The Lindenhurst Board of Education will be announcing how it'll fill a vacant seat that's been left open since October when former BOE Trustee Julie Bartolomeo resigned .
This comes after it recently interviewed four candidates who submitted letters of intent indicating their interest in the position via e-mail to Board President Donna Hochman and to the District.
The candidates included four Lindenhurst residents: Lynn Aniello, Richard Koehler, former BOE Trustee Robert Spero and Frances DeBenedictis.
All four were interviewed by the Board after the most recent BOE meeting at the McKenna Administration Building.
The BOE originally discussed the vacancy at the last Community Forum before Hurricane Sandy hit, indicating it had three options to fill the position: appointment, a special election or no action (thereby leaving the seat unfilled until the next Board election, which is in May 2013).
According to Hochman the vacancy was discussed and letters of intent were invited at that late October meeting, and it also posted the same information on the District's website . The deadline was last Friday, and as of close of business that day, there were no other letters of intent submitted, she said.
Each one was asked the same questions, Hochman said.
"I wanted to make it fair across the board," she said.
Topics included why they were interested in the position - with most expressing their interest to help better the education system in Lindy - what their background and community service was, their thoughts on the New York state tax cap and what programs they'd like to preserve, if any.
"I wanted to keep the questions more generic since all of them except for Mr. Spero didn't have Board experience," Hochman said.
She also explained to each candidate that if he/she were appointed by the BOE, then he/she would have to run again in May 2013, and then again in May 2014, when Bartolomeo's original term would’ve expired.
"This was to give them a sense of what's involved, and get their take on how they'd feel about running for two years in a row, since this a little bit different than normal," Hochman said.
Usually members of the nine-member Board run on a staggered schedule, with each term lasting three years. They don't normally run for reelection annually.
The interviews and the possible appointment of one of the four candidates are one direction the BOE could go to fill the vacancy.
The Board will now weigh its options - appointing a new trustee, holding a special election or leaving the position vacant until the May 2013 BOE election - and announce how it'll proceed at a special meeting on Wednesday, December 19.
That night the monthly Community Forum has been canceled, and replaced by this special meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. at McKenna.
This is ahead of when the 90-day window the Board has to make this decision since Bartolomeo resigned would close.
After that meeting the BOE will also hold a workshop at 7:15 p.m. during which a presentation about the District's special education program will be given by Lou Aiello, assistant to the superintendent for special education and pupil personnel services.
It's one of three workshops the BOE scheduled at McKenna this month and in January:
- Thursday, December 13, 8:30 p.m. - Insurance
- Wednesday, December 19, 7:15 p.m. - Special Education
- Wednesday, January 9, 7 p.m. - Curriculum Update
Information about all three is posted on the District's website , and since Aiello is retiring in January, Hochman said the Board really wanted to have him give the presentation special education.
"The workshop about insurance was originally supposed to be in October or November, but the storm pushed it back," Hochman said. "And with Mr. Aiello retiring, we felt it was important to have someone still familiar with the program give the presentation instead of waiting. Normally we wouldn't have workshops so closely like this."
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