Incumbent Tuckahoe School Board member Dr. Daniel Crough, who currently serves as the board chairman, is seeking a second three-year term next week. He is unopposed.
Dr. Crough, 44, said while he is proud of what Tuckahoe has accomplished overall, he said the last year has especially made him proud.
“It has been an era of making cuts and trying to keep up with mandates, and very important discussions and deliberation,” he said. “Tuckahoe has gone beyond the monetary and refocused on our values and on students’ education. It’s been about how we can work together to solve problems and value the efforts of our teachers and students, as well as how the board and administration can do a good job and give teachers and students the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.”
He said it is a very exciting but challenging time in education, citing the new Common Core standards and the new Annual Professional Performance Review for teachers. With all these changes, including the state-mandated tax levy cap, he said it is imperative that the board remains transparent.
“I am most interested in getting people the facts,” he said. “That’s how we’re going to have the best discussions about what’s best for our community.”
In the last year, the district has had to wrestle with cutting expenses, making tough choices such as cutting teaching positions and scaling back on maintenance projects. But the biggest issue that has plagued the district was high tuition costs paid to Southampton and Westhampton Beach school districts and the possibility of a merger with the Southampton School District as a result of that. Both school boards hired a consulting firm to study the benefits and disadvantages of consolidating.
Dr. Crough said that while he and the board do not have a stance on whether the district should eventually consolidate with Southampton, he said both districts have the same “commitment to excellence” and that “a merger is likely to provide many financial savings.” He said, however, that he is looking forward to the results of the merger study and the input of the community.
Despite the hot topic, Dr. Crough said Tuckahoe School will keep moving forward.
“We will continue to focus on academic excellence and maintaining Tuckahoe as a wonderful place to learn and a wonderful place to work,” he said.
Dr. Crough, who has lived in Tuckahoe for almost 15 years, is an emergency physician at Southampton Hospital. He earned his medical degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center College of Medicine at Syracuse and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from LeMoyne College.
He was specially trained in emergency medicine at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and has been involved with continuing medical education for East End emergency medical technicians and medical teaching for residents at Southampton Hospital. Recently, he started as the medical director for Suffolk County Community College’s paramedic program.
He has two children, a daughter, Noelle, who is a junior at Southampton High School, and a son, Spencer, who is in the eighth grade at Tuckahoe. His wife Allyson is the co-president of the Tuckahoe Parent Teacher Organization.
Tuckahoe residents can cast their votes on Tuesday, May 21, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Tuckahoe School Library.