All five of the Freeport Board of Education candidates are heavily invested and involved in the community. They have innovative ideas and share a common desire to elevate the Freeport School District to its highest potential. In a close call, however, we endorse Maria Jordan-Awalom and Gabriela Castillo.
As parents of students in the district, they are directly affected by the decisions of the board and are better equipped to speak to the concerns of parents and students. On the current board, none of the trustees have school-age children, so the board could use current district parents.
Jordan-Awalom has been a pillar of the community and served the community for the last 10 years in a number of volunteer positions throughout the district, including her work as the Freeport Schools PTA president. Currently, she works in the Village of Freeport assessor’s office. She regularly attends public meetings, is seen at a number of school events, has participated in district budget workshops and has spent countless hours connecting with parents, students and families in the district. She often lends a helping hand to students, parents, teachers, administrators and trustees. She’s a breath of fresh air, and through her tireless devotion to Freeport schools, she can act as a bridge between parents and educators.
Castillo’s experience in supporting and representing families in need through her work as an attorney in the nonprofit sector is one that gives us a vote of confidence in her favor. She is well versed in policy and is invested in the district. She works as the executive director of CASA, Nassau County’s Office of Hispanic Affairs, where she oversees the agency and serves as the liaison between county government and the Hispanic community.
We believe her experience would serve her well when representing Freeport families and students and advocating for their best interests. Around the district, Castillo has served on the Freeport Latino Parent Leaders Roundtable and had discussions with other parents along with the superintendent, central administration and several principals.
Jordan-Awalom and Castillo have vowed to be vocal board members who would advocate for other parents and listen to differing opinions with an open mind. Voters should give them that chance.