Mineola Board of Education member Steve Siwinski has announced he will be seeking re-election. Siwinski was first elected to the board six years ago and has served two consecutive terms. He released this statement at a recent board of education meeting:
"Six years ago I decided to run for the board of education. That decision was based on the need I felt to improve the school district with respect to student achievement especially in the high school and to contribute my experience in construction on school projects that were recently improved under a new bond.
"Six years later, this drive has changed. We are at a point in history that there is a general distrust with public officials, the public trust in on the downswing and the tax issues are in everyone's mind.
"The school budget in the only publicly voted budget in the country. It is also the budget that has the most impact on the future lives of our children. In structuring the budget, we, as board members, must give the consideration that the opportunity is given to all students.
"Not all students are strong in academics. Some are talented in sports, some in music and some in art. In searching for a college to continue education, universities consider participation in sports and fine arts.
"Students that are not as strong in academics but are strong in sports and fine arts still have a road to higher education. This school board has put in motion five years ago a process to improve the students' achievement in all areas and to cut the cost of doing so throughout the district.
"The next three years will be an important challenge for those who sit on the board. This board will decide the fate of this district far into the future. We are on a path that needs to be nurtured and we need to turn around the actions that were seeded close to 30 years ago.
"Presently, we are at a place where the shadows of the past are casting an ominous darkness on the future of the district. The board needs to continue to shine a light on these issues and correct the past for the future but we need to do this by keeping our priorities straight and our top priorities need to be focused on student achievement.
"Six years ago, there were different challenges. Today, I feel we need experience as well as level-headedness on this board.
"After considering these challenges and understanding the needs, I have decided to re-run for my seat on the board this May."