Williston Park resident Chris Napolitano announced that she will be running for the Mineola Board of Education this May for the seat that is currently occupied by trustee Steve Siwinski, who has decided to retire from the board.

"I have been a concerned and involved parent for many years. I have watched this district evolve and strive for the past 16 years as much as I have watched my own children experience their growing pains," she said. "I know that we are faced with numerous challenges and because of my deep involvement and love for this community, I feel ready to take on those challenges."

Siwinski, the board president, said serving on the board of education is time-consuming but very rewarding. Siwinski said that one week, he counted his hours and spent 38 working on board of education business. Board trustees are volunteers and are not paid, yet have a lot of responsibility such as hiring school personnel, adopting a budget for each school year and adopting policies and practices for the district personnel to follow.

The next few years will be especially difficult for board members since tough decisions may be required to keep school taxes at a level that families can afford them during a recession. "The current fiscal climate is certainly not to be ignored, but providing our children the best educational opportunities available must also be paramount in every decision-making opportunity," Napolitano said.

The other seat on the board that is up for election is the one that currently belongs to John McGrath, who has announced that he will seek re-election.

Prospective candidates must pick up nominating petitions from the superintendent's office at the Willis Avenue School and must be returned to the district's clerk's office with signatures of at least 43 qualified voters no later than 5 p.m. April 20. Both trustee positions are three-year terms.

Both Napolitano and McGrath have chosen to be running mates and will hold a fundraiser on Saturday, April 18 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Cornerstone Pub, located at 288 Jericho Turnpike in Mineola.

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