Two newcomers are competing this Tuesday, May 19, for the East Quogue Board of Education seat that will soon be vacated by current President Kathryn Tureski, who has opted not to seek a fifth three-year term.
Christopher Hudson, a teacher at the Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School, and Carolyn Terry, the current president of the East Quogue Parent Teacher Association, both hope to claim the open chair on the five-member board.
Residents can cast their ballots at the elementary school on Central Avenue between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Mr. Hudson has lived in East Quogue for most of his life and is making his first run for the board. He and his wife, Tara, have two children—Baily, 7, and Brady, 6—now enrolled at the East Quogue Elementary School. Their youngest child, Harper, is only 2.
Mr. Hudson, 39, has been a teacher at Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School for the past 14 years and serves as the co-president of that district’s teachers’ union.
“I’m well-versed in all of the changes in education,” Mr. Hudson said. “As a board, I think we need to continue to foster a relationship with our legislators to help get positive legislation [passed] that will help feeder districts.
“Being in a similar district, I understand what’s going on financially and educationally,” he continued, noting that, like Remsenburg-Speonk, East Quogue pays tuition to send its middle and high school students to the Westhampton Beach School District.
Mr. Hudson said he has completed all the required coursework at Stony Brook University to earn his administrative certification, and intends on taking his certification exam soon.
He added that his experience as both a teacher and an East Quogue taxpayer qualifies him to serve on the board.
“We have to try to get something out there and work with the community to create support for a fiscally responsible budget that also maintains the academic standards of our school,” he said.
Ms. Terry, an East Quogue alumna and mother of three, is also making her first board bid.
The 45-year-old has served as president of the district’s Parent Teacher Association for the past five years. If elected Tuesday, Ms. Terry said she would like to lobby Albany lawmakers to make East Quogue’s tuition payments to Westhampton Beach an exemption from the cap on the tax levy so that more funds could be allocated to her district’s elementary school.
A stay-at-home mom, Ms. Terry said she would work to get the state to change course on many of its unfunded mandates, and seek the financial relief that had been promised to East Quogue under the tax levy cap legislation.
“I would like to work to help keep the quality of education that East Quogue kids receive as high as it has always been,” she wrote in an email. “This will not only help our future generations, but a great school is always good for property values, which, in turn, will hopefully keep our village thriving.”
As president of the PTA, Ms. Terry has organized multiple fundraisers and social events for the elementary school. She is also involved with the Westhampton United Methodist Church and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Nazareth College of Rochester.
She and her husband, Tom, have three children: Matthew, 21, Kyle, 18 and Rachael, 11.
“I love our school, I love our community and I want to help,” Ms. Terry said.