Wednesday, May 22, 2013

One Last Thank You

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who came out to vote and support our schools.  We passed another fiscally responsible budget that maintains the quality education on which our community depends.

I also want to thank the community for tolerating all the signs, flyers, buttons, Facebook posts and ball field conversations of grassroots democracy. 

I'm afraid to try to list everyone here that helped out for fear of forgetting someone but I cannot tell you how much I appreciate everyone who had a lawn sign, made calls, sent emails, hung signs, found FB friends, delivered lawn signs, cable-tied banners, shared links,  said 'thanks for running,' addressed envelopes, handed out flyers, got signatures, opened their homes to me, got my campaign up to speed, wrote letters, designed signs, watched my son at the playground, wore a button, or took my picture -- and I'm sure I've forgotten some of the hundreds of things we had to get done..

I am looking forward to serving on the board and seeing you all soon.


P.S. - I am gladly accepting returns of all lawn signs!

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Special Thanks --

When I decided to run for school board, I wanted to bring my skills as a successful business person and fundraiser to the significant financial challenges our district is facing. I also wanted to bring my deep interest and involvement in our schools to work on issues like standardized testing that are hurting the education we want to provide

I’ve been astonished by the support I’ve received from our community and the many offers to help. Thanks to everyone who took a sign, posted a flyer, got signatures, held a coffee, designed signs, hung banners, or handed out leaflets.

The Board of Education as an entity does not endorse candidates.  Since I announced my candidacy though, some current and former members have stepped forward to offer their support, and I am gratified to know that I have the backing of people who have worked so hard for our community.

Having attended board meetings, asked questions, and scrutinized the budget during public comment, I know their support comes not from walking in lock step with the board or administration but from my deep commitment to our schools and the skills I will bring to the board. So, today, I want to send a special thank you to all of you.


My Spouse is a Teacher

Some people have asked on Facebook if my spouse is a teacher. It’s no secret - Yes. Dr. Allyson Weseley has been teaching at Roslyn High school for 23 years. She was recently mentioned in a Newsday article which I posted as a link to on my Facebook page for everyone.  She runs the very successful research program at Roslyn. She also co-authored the Barron’s Guide to the AP Psychology test. With three Ivy League degrees, Allyson chose to devote her life to teaching, something we should all applaud. Teachers are citizens, taxpayers and neighbors just like the rest of us.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Letters They Didn't Print

A huge thank you to everyone who wrote Letters to the Editor! Here are two that didn't make it in:

In support of Sara Jones for Trustee of the North Shore Board of Education

To The Editor:

I am writing in support of the candidacy of Sara Jones for North Shore School Board Trustee and I urge everyone to do the same.

As a life-long resident of the North Shore community, a graduate of our school system, tax-payer, and a parent of a GWL kindergartner and an eighth-grader in the middle school, I am deeply interested in the up-coming school board elections.  We are voting at a critical time for our community and its schools.  The closure of the LIPA power station presents fiscal challenges that will affect our tax levy, school budgets, and property value.  The tax cap challenges the board and our educators to maintain the quality of education in our district -- a school system whose effectiveness directly impacts our property values.  State testing and mandates that are costing millions of New York State tax dollars, and are of dubious educational value, determine more than ever how and what our children are taught.  This is a time calling for level-headed, experienced, and dedicated leadership.

Sara Jones is that candidate.  She is smart and accessible.  She is a professional possessing the qualities our district needs now. She combines respect for educational principles and for fiscal realities.  She has the business and financial acumen, gained as a business owner, CEO, and a director of fund-raising, to make wise, informed choices.  She is deeply invested in the North Shore community and the well-being of our children.  She is well-informed, dedicated, committed, and compassionate.  These are the qualities we need on the board. 

Sara Jones is also a friend, a fellow parent, a concerned tax-payer, and a dedicated volunteer in our district.  You see her at soccer practice, school concerts, community events, giving back to the community that we all value so much.

The qualities of Sara Jones -- fiscal responsibility, integrity, commitment to educational principles -- are what we require for the stewardship of our respected and effective system. I am confident putting the education of my children and the maintenance of our educational system into the hands of Sara Jones.  I am confident she will make the correct choices with what are becoming more and more limited resources.

This election matters a lot.  Get out and vote for Sara Jones, the candidate most qualified to meet the challenges and demands the North Shore School District is facing.

John Ryan
Glen Head

Vote for Sara Jones

Like many other folks in our beloved school district, I am writing in support of Sara Jones’s candidacy for the North Shore School Board of Education.  So immediately the question, becomes why?  But in my mind the real question is why not?

I have known Sara for about four years now as our sons met in preschool and from there not only did their friendship develop, but also I found a fellow Southerner in the heart of Long Island.  Since the time I met Sara, I have always been amazed by the intensity of her commitment to all tasks she undertakes.  Whether it is her dedication to improving our children’s school nutrition, or developing her successful business, or strengthening the after school programs at Sea Cliff, I truly stand in awe of her.  How she does it all, and with her incredible positive energy and enthusiasm is beyond me to this day.  She still manages to be available for her children’s after school events and performances, spends time with her family and friends, and continues to be an outstanding citizen in our district.

Recently someone asked me “Why would someone want to run for the School Board?  It seems like it must be so demanding and you are not even getting paid for it.” This person is absolutely right.  It is extremely demanding but the stakes for those involved are high.  And I think we all forget that the actions of the School Board directly affect us, and more importantly our children.

Currently, our North Shore School Board is up against some very big decisions that may not work in our favor.  For instance, the loss of revenue with closing of the LIPA plant will have drastic implications for the school budget.  Sara Jones will be able to bring her strong business experience to the table when making the best financial decisions for the budget with our children’s education at the forefront.  Another increasingly important issue is the role of the New York state standardized testing and the impact on our children’s education.  Sara recognizes the importance of the schools being held accountable, however she also understands that our children need a more well rounded education to succeed in our ever-changing world. 

Sara Jones will be able to work effectively our community to bring costs under control but also maintain a high quality of education for our children.  We need our children’s needs to be more accurately represented on the School Board and Sara Jones is that voice.  Please join me in support of her candidacy for the North Shore School Board of Education.

Pooja Vira
Glenwood Landing

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Don't Miss this Letter from Tom Murphy that the Record Pilot Did Not Run

  "Change for the Better"

May 21st is the annual vote for the North Shore School District budget and election of trustees. There will be three positions to fill and six candidates vying for those seats. For better or worse, change is on the way. The two candidates who are most qualified to bring us change for the better are Sara Jones and Tim Madden.

Both Sara and Tim have demonstrated their knowledge of the most important issues facing our district today. They both  have families in our community and children attending our schools. They have a vested interest in making sure that our schools provide a top notch education for all students and will seek to do it in a fiscally prudent  way.

What impresses me most though, is that both Sara and Tim  are people of integrity and character who truly have an independent voice. They understand that the obligation of a school board member is to represent the community at large, not any one individual or group. They are beholden to no one and when it comes time to raise their hand on any issue, they will do it with facts in hand and within their own conscience.

Please join me in voting for a change for the better. Vote for Sara Jones and Tim Madden on May 21st.

Tom Murphy

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Did You Get the Mailing?

Just got this mailing which tells you to vote down the school budget resulting in layoffs and a significant increase in class size.  It also gives me a "D". Mark your calendar. Vote on May 21st between 7am and 10pm at the High School.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Special Thank You to North Shore’s Teachers

When I decided to run for school board, I wanted to bring my skills as a successful business person to the significant financial challenges our district is facing. I also wanted to bring my deep interest and involvement in our schools to work on issues like standardized testing which are hurting the education we want to provide.

I did not know at the time how much support I would receive from our community. I am deeply grateful for the 150+ families who have put up lawn signs, and I am very proud to now have the support of our hard-working teachers' union. As a pro-education candidate, I’m gratified that the educators who have dedicated their lives to our children have decided to stand with me.

So many of our teachers are also our neighbors – citizens and taxpayers -- integral to our community. I’m sure this is one of the many reasons that last year our teachers agreed to what was at the time the most conservative contract agreement in the state by an overwhelming majority, saving the district millions of dollars.

Although the union has not made a donation to my campaign, they have independently chosen to support my election in various ways including some of the signs you may have seen recently.

Many thanks to you all -- and please vote on the 21st.