Three candidates will vie for two open seats during this year's board of education election. Patch asked the candidates to give us a quick rundown of who they are and why they are running. Residents will have a chance to question the candidates at the May 9 Meet the Candidate event taking place at the high school and can place their vote for the budget and candidate of their choice on May 15.
Diane Nally has lived in Kings Park for over fifty years. She is married with three children, all of whom graduated from Kings Park High School. Her husband was a teacher at Kings Park High School for 32 years and her son Tom is an eighth grade social studies teacher at the high school. Her two daughters are educators in other districts.
Nally has worked at St. Joseph’s school of religion for 15 years as an education instructor.
Kings Park Patch: What prompted you to run?
Diane Nally: I have been attending school board meetings since September and I feel that there’s more that can be done to give the community a greater voice. The school board needs to be more inclusive and needs to listen to the community more.
KPP: Can you expand on that?
DN: I just think that there are ways that we can involve the community more in what’s going on in the district. I think that I have, in preparing to run for the school board, I have gone to school board meetings in other districts. I went to one where they talked about having a survey on the site when it came time to prepare their budget. They had a community meeting and presented different options and then did a survey on line, which they do periodically.
I just think that sometimes it is difficult for parents and community members to come to a school board meeting and we need to look for ways to include them.
KPP: Can you give an example on how you would do that?
DN: I would support a survey. From being at board meetings, I think there are ideas I can bring to the board to help us be more of a bridge between community and the district.
KPP: What do you see as some of the district’s most complex problems?
DN: Economic times and mandates from the state make running the district difficult. They have to make tough decisions. We really need to listen to the community and evaluate what they are asking us to do. More can be done to include members of the community who are unable to attend board meetings.
KPP: What ideas do you have in mind?
I would like to see the public comments portion of the meetings before they do voting. Not on all issues, but on things that are controversial, where people feel they would like input and we can hear them before vote
Also exit surveys to fill out after a board meeting to give feedback and or to say I had a question I didn’t get to ask or this was great a meeting.
Patch conducted a Q&A with each candidate running for the board. Check back tomorrow for our Q&A with Charlie Leo or read yesterday's Q&A with Mike Kelly.