Six school board seats up for grabs in Riverhead, SWR

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03/06/2014 5:00 PM |

schoolsSix local school board incumbents are up for re-election this year. So far, one has said she’ll step down after her term, two are on the fence about appearing on the May 20 ballot and another two are gearing up to run again. One board member was unavailable for comment. To gain a spot on the ballot, candidates must submit their petitions by April 21, under state law.

RIVERHEAD (3 SEATS)

Three of the seven seats on the Riverhead Board of Education will be up for grabs in May.

Board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse announced last year during her campaign for town supervisor that she will not seek re-election at the end of her second term. A retired teacher who taught in the district for more than 30 years, Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse is a former president of the teachers union in Riverhead and a co-founding member of the North Fork Breast Health Coalition. The Jamesport resident was first elected to the school board in 2008.

Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse said in a previous interview that she decided not to seek another term on the board because she feels that she’s accomplished what she intended. “My goals were to bring civility and respect back to the board and to see that the bond passed,” she said. “I did the two things I really set out to do and I’m ready to move on.”

Board vice president Greg Meyer confirmed last week that he will seek another three-year term. Mr. Meyer, a Calverton resident, was first elected in 2008. He’s employed as a firefighter and emergency medical technician at Brookhaven National Lab.

When asked if he’s interested in becoming board president given Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse’s decision, Mr. Meyer said, “We’ll have to see what the board decides.

“I enjoy what I’m doing and believe the progress the board has made in the last six years has been terrific,” he said.

Board member Kimberly Ligon said last week she hasn’t decided if she’ll seek re-election. She was first elected in 2011.

SHOREHAM-WADING RIVER (3 SEATS)

Incumbents Bill McGrath, John Zukowski and Jack Costas are up for re-election to the seven-member board. Mr. McGrath, who was elected in 2008 and has been board president since 2011, said last week he hasn’t decided if he’ll seek another three-year term. As the budget season unfolds, Mr. McGrath, of Wading River, said he’s focused on helping to draft next year’s spending plan.

Mr. Zukowski, an attorney who was first elected in 2011, said last week that he plans to run for re-election. Mr. Costas wasn’t immediately available for comment.