On Tuesday, May 16, residents of the North Fork School District will vote on the proposed school budget and decide who will serve on the local school board.

There are contests in three regions: Mattituck, Southold and Greenport.

Mattituck – Cutchogue

In Mattituck-Cutchogue, three candidates are vying for two vacant school board seats.

Current and current board chair Patricia Arslanian is seeking a second term this year.

Ms Arslanian, 67, lives in Mattituck. She is a retired teacher. She holds a BA and MA in English Education from Stony Brook University.

She believes the three most pressing issues facing the district are declining enrollment, maintaining a balanced budget in a “financially troubled economy” and recruiting and maintaining quality workers “despite location and housing issues.”

“I’m passionate about giving back to my community and continuing the work I’ve been involved with as a member of BOE for the past three years,” she said.

She will face Lorraine Warren, a 45-year-old newcomer from Mattituck and a stay-at-home mom. Ms. Warren holds a BA from Stonehill College and is an active member of the District Parent Teacher Student Association. She wants to increase efforts to prevent substance abuse among students, and believes the district’s most pressing problem is declining enrollment.

“I think it’s important to actively think about what the future of our school district will look like with reduced enrollment,” she said. “We will need to implement ideas to continue offering our students all of the programs, activities and traditions that are currently available.”

Also on the ballot was Mattituck resident Lauren Ocker, 39, a high school honors chemistry teacher. She holds a BS in Biology from SUNY/Cortland and an MS from Stony Brook University.

She sees the three most pressing issues facing the district as declining enrollment, rising costs and tax caps.

“We have shared teams and programs with neighboring districts for many years, and I think it is important to continue to pool available resources and work together not only to sustain certain programs, but also to allow our students to connect with other neighboring districts in unique ways, ’” Ms Ocker said.


Three seats are offered on the Southold Union Free School District Board of Education. Incumbents Scott Latham and Brian Tobin are running for re-election against four other candidates: Thomas Grattan Jr., Thomas Kennedy, Christian Pryor and Marta Thomas.

Mr Tobin, 55, lives in Southold. He’s a firefighter in New York City. He holds a BA from Mount Saint Mary’s University.

He sees the three most pressing issues facing the region as preparing students for professional or higher education career paths, accommodating enrollment fluctuations and ensuring that “the region’s brick-and-mortar factories remain relevant.”

Mr Latham, 54, lives in Southold. He was a lieutenant with the Southold Police Department. He holds a BA from Ithaca College. He is running for a fifth term on the Board of Education.

He believes that declining enrollment rates, learning loss due to the epidemic and inflation are the three most pressing problems currently facing the region.

He backed the district’s budget proposal.

“I think this is a fair budget proposal that respects our taxpayers in this time of inflation, while keeping teaching, sports, arts, transport, extra-curricular activities and student support intact,” he said.

Mr. Kennedy, 53, is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard and has a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University. He lives in Southold.

He cited declining enrollment, the pandemic’s lasting impact on the education system and increasing students’ access to digital resources as three of the region’s most pressing issues

Mr Grattan, 54, is the owner of Sophie’s Rest and Tom Grattan Lawn Care. He lives in Peconic. His survey responses did not specify where he attended high school or college. )

Mr Grattan said he saw the top three issues facing the Bank of England as increased budgets, declining enrollments and the need “to introduce new programs for students without increasing the budget”.

Mr. Pryor, 40, is a lieutenant with the New York City Fire Department. The Peconic resident holds a BS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He doesn’t think the school district faces any pressing problems.

“I think it’s a great school district that’s kept up with the times,” Mr. Pryor said. “As a board member, I want to maintain what the Southold School District has achieved.”

Ms Thomas, 43, is a manager at Cornell Oysters and lives in Southold. She holds a BA in Business Administration from Stony Brook University.

“The three most pressing issues, in my opinion, are keeping our children safe and seeing school as a safe place in today’s world, maintaining a high-quality curriculum as we reduce enrollments, and addressing social and [fostering] Emotional learning occurs by identifying students who need these services,” Ms Thomas said.


There is only one seat up for grabs on the Greenport Union Free School District Board of Education. Current board vice president Kirsten Droskowski is seeking re-election and has been challenged by newcomer Amanda Clarke.

Ms Droskoski, 58, manages air BNB and is the bookkeeper for her family business, Birchwood Landscapes. She is working on her 10day Served on the Greenport School Board for 2009.

Ms. Droskoski wants to make the well-being of the district’s students and staff a top priority.

“I am committed to continually finding ways to improve our schools and programs for our students and staff, and to ensure that our students receive a well-rounded education that will set them up for future success, whatever path they choose Get ready,” she said.

Ms. Clark, 41, is an Olympian, sailing professional and owner of local businesses Mermaid Water Solutions and Goldman Water testing. A Greenport resident, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College.

She sees the three most pressing issues facing school districts as cost increases, student enrollment and education levels.

“It’s important to support the budget and provide stability and confidence for our students, teachers, administrators and staff,” Ms Clark said.

•Oysterponds School Board Deputy Chair Janice Caufield and Board Member Jeffrey Demarest are running for re-election unopposed.

In New Suffolk, Brooke Dailey is also running unopposed for a vacant school board seat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *