Sag Harbor And Southampton Have Contested School Board Elections This Year

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The Southampton and Sag Harbor school districts will have the only contested school board races among school districts in Southampton Town east of the Shinnecock Canal this year.

When voters head to the polls in May, four candidates will seek two seats on the seven-member Southampton board, including two incumbents—current Vice President Donald King and Roberta Hunter. Joining the pair on the ballot will be Natalie Sisco and Robert Fischette, both first-time candidates.

Mr. King is seeking his third five-year term, after having already sat on the board for the past 10 years. With one student still attending the high school, Mr. King said he has unfinished business on the board and hopes to see more academic achievements in the district over the next five years.

Ms. Hunter was first appointed to the Southampton School Board in 2001 to fill a vacant seat and went on to serve from 2002 to 2005, when she was unseated. She was voted back onto the board in 2010.

Mr. Fischette said he wants to get more involved in the district now that he has two children, second-grader Anabella and preschooler Benjamin, in the district. Mr. Fischette also has a son, Mason, who is 8 months old and will eventually attend Southampton schools. A longtime resident of Southampton Village, Mr. Fischette said he is ready for the challenge.

Ms. Sisco said her goal is to make sure every student in the district is getting the support they need in their education. Ms. Sisco, who has lived in Southampton Village for 12 years, has two children, one of whom is already in the district, but said she would prefer not to have their names in print.

Sag Harbor has five candidates for three open seats, including those of Thomas Schiavoni, who was appointed in July to fill a seat vacated by Daniel Hartnett after he resigned, and Chris Tice, both of whom are trying to retain their places on the board. Board member David Diskin is not seeking reelection. Other candidates for the board include Stephanie Bitis, James Sanford and James Ding.

The first two seats are for full three-year terms, while the third candidate will finish out the term Mr. Hartnett vacated last summer. Mr. Schiavoni was appointed to replace him until this year’s vote.

In Tuckahoe, longtime district resident Sean Hattrick is running for a seat to be vacated by Harald Steudte, who opted not to seek reelection this year. Mr. Steudte served on the board from the late 1980s until 2001, and then rejoined the board in 2012.

Mr. Hattrick, a financial adviser for the past 22 years, said that as a father of four students in the district—Margaret, 14, Billy, 12, Ellie, 11, and Annie, 9—it was easy to get drawn into school activities, and that he hopes to help navigate changes in education in the district.

In Sagaponack, Board Vice President Joseph P. Louchheim is running unopposed to retain his seat on the three-member School Board. Mr. Louchheim, who is seeking his third three-year term, is the publisher of The Southampton Press. He said he is running to continue working on several projects that were started in the last few years and that he wants to see through.

The Bridgehampton School Board race is also uncontested, with three board members seeking to retain their seats on the seven-member board. Current Board President Ronald J. White is seeking his second three-year term after joining the board in July 2012. Board Members Lillian Tyree-Johnson and Douglas S. DeGroot are seeking reelection for their third terms. Both joined the board in 2009.

Staff writers Alyssa Melillo and Michael Wright contributed to this story.

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