Runner-Up Named to School Board

Liz Pucci
Liz Pucci has accepted a nomination to fill an open seat on the East Hampton Board of Education. Morgan McGivern

    A lot of shoes needed filling at Tuesday night’s East Hampton School Board meeting. After Jacqueline Lowey and Patricia Hope were officially sworn in as the newest board members, the group voted on a new board president and began discussions on who would replace Stephen Talmage, a board member who resigned at the end of June.
    They agreed to offer the position to Liz Pucci, who ran for the school board and came in third behind Ms. Lowey and Ms. Hope.
    When reached for comment yesterday morning, Ms. Pucci said that she had accepted the position.
    “I’m looking forward to stepping into some really big shoes,” she said, referring to Mr. Talmage, a board member for 14 years. “My goal is to try to get back on track — refocus on a great school with happy kids, happy teachers, and happy parents,” she said. Ms. Pucci has four children — a 22-year-old with learning disabilities, a child at Northeastern University, a 16-year-old junior, and a 13-year-old in eighth grade.
    “I hope I’m able to help bring the tension levels down, too,” she said.
    At the meeting on Tuesday, the vote for the next board president was initially tied — three for George Aman, a former school superintendent who is in his first term, and three for Laura Anker Grossman, the most recent vice-president of the board, who, with the departure of Stephen Talmage, has been at the table the longest.
    Dr. Aman voted for himself, as did Dr. Anker Grossman, but as the impasse continued, Dr. Aman changed his vote. Dr. Anker Grossman is the new president; Dr. Aman was voted in as vice president.
    For an interim superintendent to fill Raymond Gualtieri’s position until a full superintendent search is completed, the board may draw on a list of resumes that have already been given to the school by New York State’s Board of Cooperative Educational Services and SCOPE Educational Services.
    In addition to experience, “we need to ask about their financial requirements and their availability,” said Ms. Hope.
    The board decided to post a job description on the school Web site and to set a Tuesday deadline for resumes to be submitted. It scheduled an executive session that night to discuss the candidates. According to Dr. Gualtieri, the district already has about 20 resumes. On Tuesday, the board plans to narrow the list, and on July 18, it will conduct interviews. A decision on the interim superintendent is expected by the next official board meeting on July 19.
    Although Adam Fine, the high school principal, was not at Tuesday’s meeting, Dr. Anker Grossman has requested a full presentation, with a disaggregated school report card, to see why East Hampton High School was ranked 8th out of 10 on the East End.
Film Doc Deadline
    The Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival has announced a deadline of Friday, July 15, for filmmakers to submit their entries. The submission form is available on the festival’s Web site at The festival is directed by Jacqui Lofaro, who is a documentary filmmaker living in Bridgehampton.
    There are three categories: short documentary (under 30 minutes), feature documentary (over 40 minutes), and student documentary (maximum 20 minutes).
    The event will be held at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor on Nov. 19 and on Nov. 20 at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. New this year will be an opening night reception, film screening, and panel discussion on Nov. 18. It will honor Richard Leacock, a pioneering cinema verite filmmaker who died in Paris in March at age 89.