Editor’s note: Last week we reported that by mandate of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, all school district elections will take place June 9 via absentee ballot only. The districts are charged with mailing proposed budgets and a list of school board candidates to eligible voters. The voter must return the ballot via mail with postage provided by the district. This is the first of two installments detailing what’s at stake.
It’s déjà-vu all over again.
A decade ago, George Aman was named president of the East Hampton school board. Now he’s running for that august body again. It’s safe to say his is one of the most familiar names in the annals of East Hampton education.
Aman resigned after three years on the board in 2013 to pursue other administrative positions that became available in the area — he had previously served as the school superintendent of the Amagansett School District for 10 years. He has more than 40 years’ experience that includes being a math teacher, serving as a principal in Liverpool, NY, and being an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Riverhead and in Longwood.
In East Hampton, John J. Ryan and Jackie Lowey have expiring terms. “I’m running and I believe Jackie is as well,” Ryan told the Independent. His is a three-year term.
“I believe that both John and Jackie are good board members, but I have 40 years of experience,” Aman said. “I believe I am more qualified.”
A letter from the candidate appears in this week’s Independent.
In Amagansett, there are two three-year terms on the board of education up for grabs and three candidates. Kevin Warren is the only incumbent on the ballot. Meredith Cairns and Kimberly Slicklein have also filed petitions to seek election to the board. Cairns is on the Amagansett Library Board of Trustees. Hank Muchnic is not running.
Cairns is a member of the PTA, Amagansett Library Board, a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and a former prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
In Montauk, school board president Diane Hausman, who holds one of five seats, is up for reelection.
Hausman is the only candidate and will run again.
Sag Harbor School District has three expiring terms: Brian DeSesa, Diana Kolhoff, and Alex Kriegsman. “As of today, Diana Kolhoff is the only board member of the three members listed above that has stated that she will not seek re-election,” said District Clerk Victoria Handy last week.
The incumbents Kriegsman and DeSesa both are said to have filed by the May 12 deadline and will run again. Former board member Sandi Kruel has filed a petition to run, as have Ronald Reed and Helen Roussel.
Kruel has a long history with the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League and was named its president in 2018. She served multiple terms on the school board before leaving 2017. Her son Nick, who played for Pierson High School, is a major league pitching prospect.
Roussel founded the Dyslexia Advocacy Action Group to promote dyslexia awareness and works closely with local schools. Reed is an artist and architect. DeSesa and Kriegsman are attorneys.
In Southampton, there are two board seats available, each for a four-year term. Anastasia Gavalas and James McKenna, whose terms expire on June 30, 2020, have indicated they will run again. McKenna is the former Mattituck-Cutchogue District Superintendent.