Education

Five Vie for Two Seats on Somers School Board

07cf713391f535d469c5_39050.JPG
07cf713391f535d469c5_39050.JPG

SOMERS, N.Y. – For the first time in four years, voters will choose from among competing candidates next month to fill seats on the Somers school board.

A five-candidate field has one incumbent trustee, as well as a 2015 Somers High School graduate, a designer of advanced digital-information systems and two education professionals running in pursuit of two openings on the seven-member board.

The candidates are scheduled to meet at 7 p.m., May 3, in the Somers Middle School library for a debate moderated by the Somers League of Women Voters. The Somers Record will also be asking the candidates for their views and will publish the responses in the May 11 issue.

Sign Up for E-News

On May 16, voters will elect two of the candidates to three-year terms. They will also pass judgment on a proposed $88.3 million budget for the 2017-18 academic year. The budget, which increases spending by $1.4 million and hikes tax rates by $2.43 to $160.23, will have a public hearing May 9, one week in advance of residents’ voting. An additional ballot proposition will ask voters to approve a $1.7 million resurfacing two artificial-turf fields and acquisition of new equipment for the high school’s fitness/wellness center. Reserve cash would cover the project’s cost, so it would not impact taxpayers’ bills.

The Somers Central School District board adopted the proposed budget last week amid calls for strong voter turnout. The plea is a perennial one, and it is usually futile in a community that routinely sees record-low turnout for school votes.

This year’s contested school board election, however, could change that. In this year’s field, each candidate offers attractive qualities, creating the potential to increase the number of residents going to the polls.

Chadwick Olsen is filling the final two years of a former trustee. A Lincolndale resident and former business consultant, Olsen is a stay-at-home dad with three daughters in the Somers school system. He is now seeking a three-year term of his own.

Jonathan Welsh of Yorktown Heights is mounting one of the more attention-getting campaigns. Less than two years after graduating from Somers High School, he’s seeking to join the elected board that oversees SHS and every other aspect of the district’s mission. An official of the New York State School Board Association calls Welsh’s bid both unusual and “awesome.”

Jay Worona, the association’s deputy executive director and general counsel, said, “It’s so infrequent that we know of individuals of this age [running], and we really try as an organization to celebrate that when we learn of them because I think it’s an awesome thing.”

Welsh, who is thought to be about 19, could not be reached for comment by press time.

But while he brings the advantage of being only two years removed from the real-world classroom, another candidate, MaryRose Joseph of Katonah, is going into one every day. A science teacher at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, she has two daughters in Somers schools.

For her part, Dr. Lindsay Portnoy of Somers, an educational psychologist, helped found an educational company focused on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, the STEM approach. She has two children in Somers schools.

Raina Laredo of Katonah, an IT professional, specializes in information architecture, content strategy and user-experience design. Her three children, including one now in college, have all gone the Tusker route.

Trustee Linda Graffitti announced last month that she would not seek another three-year term, creating a situation similar to that of 2013. That year, one of three incumbents up for re-election did not run, prompting a five-way contest for three seats. That race brought Trustee Joseph Marra to the board.

Two years later, the resignation of Trustee Harvey Kreidberg again created a three-seat vacancy. But it was filled by two incumbents defending their seats and Olsen’s election to the remaining two-plus years of Kreidberg’s term.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somers

The Feline Night Stalker

Shades of the late Darren McGavin! If you liked the ‘70s horror shows on TV, you knew him as Kolchak, crime reporter, in the series “The Night Stalker.”

It seems that I have a night stalker living with me. My kitty, Bonnie, had her 18th birthday in April and I’ve noticed some subtle changes in her behavior. Up until that time, Bonnie would sleep on my bed at night. She ...

Hitting the road, Part II

Welcome back to our little trip across these great United States. We left off somewhere on Route 90, heading out of Cleveland.

So glad to have you following along, and frankly, if you’re following I’m just glad you’re not the cops. On the way to Chicago I found myself driving 70 miles an hour, which made the police quite angry, since the speed limit was 75. 

When ...

Sabotaged by the DMV

After living in Manhattan for the last few years, my grandson, Chris, and my wonderful grand-daughter-in-law, Silvia, have decided to move back to his hometown of Westfield, N.J. Silvia has just returned from a four-day visit with her parents in Hong Kong and they are bunking with my daughter, Lisa, while preparing their new home. Because they now have a daily commute to the city, I decided to ...

Do it badly!

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, at least to start. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I have learned to get started on a project even if I don’t have all the pieces together. Sometimes just puttering, tinkering or moving the parts around will help me sort out my brain enough to give me an idea of how to tackle a project.  

I can’t tell you how many times ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ac458cf35e59e7e799ad_postcard_bocceside

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

BOCCE OPEN PLAY

Sports

Carousel_image_ac458cf35e59e7e799ad_postcard_bocceside

Tue, June 26, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

BOCCE OPEN PLAY

Sports

Carousel_image_ac458cf35e59e7e799ad_postcard_bocceside

Tue, July 3, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

BOCCE OPEN PLAY

Sports

Excited for Somers Block Party June 30

June 20, 2018

Hello Somers:

The Town is excited this year to partner with the Somers Lions Club, Somers Chamber of Commerce and Sebastian Capital to offer a new kind of Independence Day celebration, at a new location, starting a new tradition with the 2018 Somers Block Party on June 30.

The Block Party will take place at Sebastian Capital’s 1 Pepsi Way property (across from King Kone) with gates ...