School News


Questions for School Board Candidates
The School Board Vote is quickly approaching….MAY 19 is the Annual Budget Vote and School Board Election.
What are the Responsibilities of a Board Member
Schoolchildren should always their ultimate focus, school board members act officially at the board table, working with other board members to serve students and accomplish the following:
Create a shared vision for the future of education
Set the direction of the school district to achieve the highest student performance
Provide rigorous accountability for student achievement results
Develop a budget and present it to the community, aligning district resources to improve achievement
Support a healthy school district culture for work and learning
Create strategic partnerships with the community stakeholders
Build the district’s progress through continuous improvement
Adopt and maintain current policies
Hire and evaluate the superintendent
Ratify collective bargaining agreements
Maintain strong ethical standards
Characteristics of a Board Member

The following are attributes that all effective board members should possess.
Effective Communicator: Can describe what he or she wants and describe what others want; a good listener
Consensus Builder: Capable of working toward decisions that all can support and willing to compromise to achieve goals
Community Participant: Enjoys meeting a variety of people, can identify the community’s key communicators and reaches out to the community
Decision Maker: Is comfortable making decisions and can support group decision-making
Information Processor: Can organize priorities and schedules to handle large amounts of verbal and written information
Leader: Willing to take risks, be supportive of board colleagues, district staff and community
Team Player: Helps promote the board’s vision and goals

What motivates you to want to become a board member?
What attributes are essential for successful school board members?
What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?
What role does policy play/have in the functioning of the board?
Do you have sufficient time/energy to devote to this position?
How would you handle the requests, if approached, by an individual? Special interest groups?
What qualities, behaviors should board members exhibit?
What is your vision for education in this community?
Do you understand the role of the superintendent? Describe the superintendent’s role.
Do board members/the board have a role in the day-to-day operation of the district?Can you/should you support a board decision that you were not in favor of?
What do you see as the primary work of the board?
What kind of relationship should a district/the board have with its community? With its parents and families?
How can a board know if its goals are being accomplished and its policies carried out?
Who should set the rules governing board procedures, methods and behavior? Who should enforce them?
With one or two meetings a month, all school boards are limited in what they can do. How does/should the board decide what’s most important?
How can the board be accessible to your community?
What responsibilities do board members have regarding advocacy?
What are the leadership responsibilities of school board members?
What are the current challenges facing education/school boards?
What is the most important responsibility of a school board?
What is the public relations role of a school board?

If the candidate is unable to answer many of these questions, then you might need to re-evaluate supporting them for a BOE Member.

Sag Harbor, NY: Pierson/Bridgehampton Varsity Field Hockey Team the NYS Class C 2013 Champions…More than Just a Game To Me

Lady Whalers, 2013 NYS Field Hockey Class C Champions

There are many significant moments we live in our lives that we remember. Our 16th birthday party, our first kiss, the birth of a child, the death of a parent…. a championship game. Our children don’t know it yet because they don’t have the benefit of hindsight but this championship game will be with them for the rest of their lives. For some, it will help to define them as winners. For others it will show them what can be accomplished with hard work and teamwork. Both good lessons that will further their individual pursuits, as they get older.

My take is somewhat different. To me, there is NOTHING as good as team sports. If your child is interested and you have the time (what a novel idea) please encourage them to join a sports team. The lessons learned are endless. The inside jokes, the special nod of a head, the telepathy, the bonding of lifelong friendships. These are the things that will move forward, the things that will last.

Lady Whalers 2013
Katherine Matthers, Allura Leggard, India Hemby, Samatha Duchemin, Kasey Gilbride

We often celebrate the captain of the team and the star players. We see them with the ball, in their hand, the bat, the ‘SPEAR’ in their hands and admire their ability to rise above the moment and seize the opportunity to make the big play and win the game. We are in awe of the great coaching and understand that we don’t always know as spectators what is best for the team. The Lady Whalers are blessed to have a few really good players and some great players and it showed on Saturday and Sunday night, November 16th and 17th 2013. We marvel at their resolve.

photo credit: Kurt H. Leggard

I want to talk about the team. What we don’t see are the countless hours of practice and rehearsal that goes into making the big play. The repetition, the struggle the ‘bench players’ that push the stars to greatness. I was so excited to watch the young ladies overcome the bad calls, the physical play of very worthy opponents to win but it doesn’t occur without the winning DNA that this TEAM has within their collective body. I am excited for our seniors, for their grit and determination and magnificent play. But they learned it somewhere. Three years ago as many of you know well, Pierson lost an opportunity for a championship to this very same team in a double overtime thriller. This current victory was forged through that loss. The team alumni that lost that game came out to watch and cheer the current team on. Some of today’s stars were on the bench when Pierson lost in 2010.

Photo credit: Kurt H. Leggard

So I say to everyone, look to the end of the bench and peer into the future. We cannot tell who will be the next star to rise to the occasion to carry the team to victory. What we do know is this. The character of this team was revealed through the struggle. It isn’t what you do when things are going well that says who you are, its how you respond when things go their worst that determines who you are and what you will be. The DNA of the Lady Whalers Field Hockey team is filled with pride, strength, skill, determination, grit and excellence. This DNA runs deep and I am very hopeful for the future. Get your kids to join a team and let their winning DNA improve the fortunes of that team! Go Whalers!

photo credit: Kurt H. Leggard
Congratulations: Coach: Shannon Judge, Asst. Coach: Melissa Edwards, Kaitlin Daniels & 
Elizabeth Marchisella
Team: Kasey Gilbride, Katherine Matthers, Emmeline Luck, Kirra Mcgowin, 
Emma Romeo, India Hemby, Rachael Miller, Phiona Vall, Samantha Duchemin, Erica Selyukova, Kerrie Vila, Cassandra Spencer, Sheila Mackey, Ana Sherwood, Calista Cafiero. Allura Leggard, Hollie Schleicher
for more images on their amazing journey to the State Finals..check out Photography By Kurt

Check out the Winning Goal and Goalie’s cartwheel….So very funny!

Greetings Hamptons Mouthpiece Readers…Sag Harbor Capital Projects Bond Vote 2013 is approaching quickly and your vote is needed. In 2009 the Taxpayers Rejected the $6.7 Million Bond Vote in Sag Harbor. According to Mary Anne Miller a school board member, she states the bond prop did not pass in 2009 due to an extremely low voter turnout, in conjunction with lack of understanding of scope of projects and disagreement over parking upgrades. (only 620 people voted that time, out of over 5000 registered voters. ) I don’t think 600 voters truly represented the sentiment of the majority of the community? Many other people supported the upgrades and renovations, but just did not vote.

This was also during the teachers contract negotiations and the community was split and non-trusting of the district and the board. The bond was to be used to replace windows and roofing on the district’s two buildings, resurface parking lots to accommodate more cars, and redesign the main entrance at Pierson High School. The district had pitched the bond issuance as a more cost-effective way of making the needed repairs and improvements than folding each project into the annual general operating expenses. Now 4 years later the Bond proposition is being brought back to the voters in Sag Harbor, but this time it is for 9 million. Take a look at this video of Superintendent Dr. Bonuso speaking about what is included in Propositions 1 & 2 of the proposed Bond Vote.

The bond resolution is broken into two propositions.

  • Proposition #1 covers capital project work district wide totaling $7,357,132 (renovations & enhancements to Pierson auditorium, reconfiguration of Pierson Shop & Kitchen areas, construction of additional gymnasium storage in the elementary school, reconstruction of the Hampton Street and Jermain Avenue parking lots and construction of the Pierson bus parking lot. Districtwide improvements will also be made to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing & drainage systems, resulting in a supportive learning environment that is more energy-efficient and cost-effective.
  • Proposition #2 covers the installation of a new synthetic turf athletic field and two-lane walking track at Pierson High School totaling $1,620,000. Both the field and track would be used to support the districts’s physical education curriculum, reduce maintenance and provide cost efficiencies. The track would also be available for use by community residents. Passage of each proposition is not dependent upon the passage of the other proposition.
The proposed work will include the replacement and/or reconstruction and refurbishment of roofs, windows, doors (from companies like the Commercial Door Repair in Sacramento) and ceilings; improvements to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical and drainage systems; energy conservation measures; exterior building envelope improvements; fire safety improvements; improvements to enhance accessibility to the physically challenged; parking, driveway and sidewalk improvements; interior reconstruction and space reconfiguration; other interior and exterior building and site improvements; and the installation of a new synthetic turf field at Pierson High School.
It is important this bond passes because many of these capital projects are in desperate need of improvement and if the district cannot make these improvements through the bond proposition they will need to include them in the budget for the following school year. If this does happen programs might be cut and our students will be the disadvantaged. Even if your children no longer attend the district or you do not live in the district full-time, the children who do attend this school need you to vote YES on both propositions. Our children deserve to have a safe place to go to school. The community in addition benefits from a new turf field with an outdoor track, and our discrepant auditorium that is in desperate need for an upgrade will benefit if the community votes to pass the bond propositions 1 & 2. So the real question that many of you are asking is how much will this cost me in taxes,
Proposition 1 & 2 = $8,988,132
Town Average Home Market Value Cost per Year Cost per Month
Southampton $500,000 $60.00 $5.00
$1,000,000 $120.00 $10.00
East Hampton $500,000 $62.88 $5.24
$1,000,000 $125.76 $10.48
For more detailed information you can read the district newsletter regarding the bond Proposition. CLICK HERE FOR THE NEWSLETTER

My friends this Sag Harbor Capital Projects Bond Vote 2013 are necessary and I ask you to please show your support by coming out and VOTING YES for the Bond Proposition 1 & 2 on Wednesday, November 13th. If you are registered to vote in Sag Harbor please make this a priority to vote on this day, if you cannot be here in person you can submit an Absentee Ballot.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS are still an option for SHUFSD Bond Proposition Vote. If you will be out of town on Wednesday, Nov 13th, you can still cast your VOTE via absentee ballot. You can vote, in person, in the District Office any day until the 13th, as long as you submit the official Absentee Ballot Application to the District Clerk ASAP.
Please see following instructions:
Please print the “Application for Absentee Ballot” form or come to the District Clerk’s office to fill one out. CLICK HERE FOR ABSENTEE BALLOT AND INSTRUCTIONS
Applications for absentee ballots may be obtained during school business hours from the Office of District Clerk, Superintendent’s Office 200 Jermain Avenue, Sag Harbor, New York Absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk by 5:00 p.m., prevailing time, on Wednesday, November 13, 2013.
If you have any questions, please call Mary Adamczyk, District Clerk, at 725-5300, x 411.