Stacie Stark, 45, of Seaford is seeking re-election onto the Seaford School District Board of Education. Stark has served two full terms of three years each on the board. She has served as the board’s vice president as well.
Stark has two children who both attended Seaford schools. Stark’s daughter graduated Seaford High School last year and her son is finishing his 10th grade year. Both went to Seaford Harbor Elementary School.
Stark has also been a paralegal in the Queens District Attorney’s Office for the past 15 years.
“I understand union rules and contract negotiations. I’m a civil service worker.,” Stark said. “Six years ago when I chose to run the first time, there were some issues in the district, including I didn’t like how they were spending some money. I felt it was important if I had questions, I had to educate myself. I wanted to make those changes.”
Stark said she has been a part of bringing change to the district in the past six years through the 1:1 digital learning initiative, bringing sports back to Seaford Middle School, the growth of programs and even facilitating hiring a new superintendent in Dr. Adele Pecora.
“The biggest thing I thought of when I first wanted to run was thinking about where money would be better spent,” she said. “I also think now, with families home together during this pandemic, parents are seeing a lot more of what’s going on in their daily school day and student lives. I think that’s a good thing.”
Stark wants to see the continuation of the growth of programs. She says a lot of things are contingent on the budget, but she would still like to add programs and have other’s expanded like the AP Capstone Project and getting on the national scene in science competitions.
Rob Zafonte Jr., 46, of Seaford is running for a position on the Seaford School District Board of Education. Zafonte Jr. has been a Seaford resident since 2008 and has three children in the district’s schools. Son Frankie is finishing his freshman year at Seaford High School, while sons Paulie and Johnny are both at the Middle School. All attended Seaford Harbor Elementary School.
“I fell in love with the school district. The teachers have been fantastic to my family and I,” he said. “I was always considering it, but what prompted me to run was the pandemic and the at-home learning. I felt the district was behind what the other districts were being able to learn from home. How the district was utilizing Google meets or Zoom. I’ve had conversations with Dr. Percora and voiced the displeasure. The district incorporated Phase III last Monday, where students were actually able to get feedback from teachers directly. I would have liked it to start two weeks after schools closed not two months.”
Zafonte Jr. is also a detective sergeant for the New York City Port Authority. He has been in law enforcement for 25 years. He is also the current First Vice President of the Port Authority Benevolent Association.
“I’m familiar with lobbying for bills on the federal and state level. Most recently, I did it on the federal level on the matter of the Victim’s Compensation Fund.”
Another major issue for Zafonte Jr. is security of schools. “When it comes to security I have a lot of experience as a former corrections officer, state trooper and with the Port Authority, we receive annual training to combat active shooters. The Department of Homeland Security trains FBI first and then gives training to law enforcement agencies. We are constantly updated to combat most recent incidents. One thing you have to remember is that this is not a fixed item, we are constantly adapting to environment.”
Zafonte Jr. said win or lose, he wants to “see the best for our students in the district.”
Natalie Pedisich, 56, of Seaford is seeking re-election for the first time after serving her first three-year term on the Seaford School District Board of Education as a Trustee.
Pedisich has three daughters who have all graduated from Seaford schools, with her youngest graduating from Seaford High School in 2018. When her daughters were younger, Pedisich was a Girl Scout troop leader and a PAL soccer and softball coach. She has also been a teacher at Massapequa High School since 2004.
Since her start in the district, Pedisich has said that there is no cookie-cutter approach to education. She has also said she always takes the students’ stresses and needs into account when discussing any matters amongst the board that involve them.
When Pedisich ran for her first term, she said, “In education, times are challenging. But when you have a good board, with trustees who are passionate about what they want to do, it makes it a lot easier.”
Through this time of at-home learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pedisich has been an integral member of the board who has helped transition students from in-class to distance learning with key insight as an educator herself in a neighboring district.