The school board elections this year, as seats in local districts become available, are not expected to be the game of musical chairs that they have been in years past. Several board seats will be uncontested, including one on the East Hampton Board of Education, where Laura Anker Grossman, a 20 year board veteran, is stepping down.
Dr. Grossman describes her increasingly demanding schedule as a professor and administrator at the State University at Old Westbury as one reason she is not running again. “It’s a painful decision,” she said yesterday. “And I’m not saying to myself that this is the end. I want to stay involved.” She added that she has enormous confidence in the “new blood” on the East Hampton board, which now is entirely composed of members with no more than two years’ tenure.
Dr. Grossman said board members work well together and are committed, as a whole, to striving to attain excellence for the district. “We’re in good hands,” she said.
There are only two candidates for the two open seats this year. Liz Pucci, who was elected to the board when Stephen Talmage resigned after last year’s annual meeting, submitted a candidacy packet and will retain her seat. Christina DeSanti has also applied, and is unchallenged.
“I have two children in the district,” Ms. DeSanti said on Monday. Ms. DeSanti runs Dreesen’s Catering in East Hampton with her husband, Rudy, and holds a bachelor’s of science degree in business management. “And I’ve always been very active in the PTAs. I’m on the John Marshall site base committee and am very involved in the schools at the building level.”
But, she said, the larger issues affecting the district, like the 2-percent tax levy cap — made her want to step up to the plate. “I give the current board a lot of credit. They have successfully tackled a lot of important issues this year.”
“As a parent and taxpayer, I want to ensure that we maintain a strong curriculum in spite of budget constraints and put forth a responsible budget that meets the needs of our children and community,” she said.
In Springs, John B. Grant will run to retain his place on the board and Dennis Donatuti, a former principal of the John M. Marshall Elementary School, is running against him. Mr. Donatuti is a frequent and vocal attendee of Springs School Board meetings.
Mary Lownes of Amagansett is vying to keep the seat she has held for 10 years, with Rona Klopman, former chairwoman of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee, running to unseat her.
The Montauk School District has only one seat expiring this year, since the terms on the board are for five years. Kelly White will retain her seat since she is running without opposition.
In Wainscott, David Eagan is running to retain his seat, and Kelly Anderson, a school parent, is running for the seat that was vacated when Iris Osborn was forced to resign in March.
Voters will be able to decide on the new candidates when the elections roll around May 15, the same day as the school budget vote.