UPDATE: Election results available here.
Candidate for Nyack Trustee115 Wydendown Road, Nyack, NY 10960
Employment: Development Director for Pure Earth, a charity addressing toxic pollution issues in developing countries throughout the world.
Education: Bachelors degree from Rutgers University
Tenure: 15 year resident of Upper Nyackjenmarraccino@hotmail.com
Election Central: Why are you running for office or seeking re-election?
Marraccino: I have 4 children in the schools ranging in age from high school down to nursery school. I am extremely passionate about education issues. I think the Nyack/Valley Cottage community and schools are wonderful, but I believe there is always room for improvement. I look forward to representing the voice of the parents, students, teachers and all community members to keep Nyack schools improving and meeting the needs of the community as a whole
Election Central: What in your personal, civic or professional experience recommends your election or return to office?
Marraccino: I have been extremely involved with education issues over the past 10 years. I was PTA President at Upper Nyack Elementary school for 4 years. Following that, I founded an education advocacy group called Restore Education Funding (REF) focused on the need for increased education funding and less of an emphasis on high stakes testing. Concurrently, I held the role of Legislation Chairperson for Central Hudson Region PTA covering Rockland, Putnam and Orange Counties. With these roles I have developed very strong relationships with State and Federal Legislators and other educational leaders. I have learned a lot about new state and federal education policies and the positive and negative ways that these new policies are affecting students, parents, teachers and the community at large. I have very solid knowledge on funding issues such as the tax cap and Gap Elimination Adjustment. I have worked hard to educate community members, encouraged advocacy and looked for feasible ways to move education in the right direction.
Election Central: What would be your top three priorities if you are elected or re-elected?
Marraccino: I think the biggest challenges and priorities:
1. Figuring out how to properly implement the new Common Core Standards in a manner that works for all students. Assess programs currently in place, look for best practices from other districts and continue to advocate at the state level.
2. Developing financials plans that work for everyone. Clearly it is not easy to fund a full educational experience for all students and keep taxes low for community members struggling with high property taxes while dealing with continuing state aid cuts and under funded state mandates. I think this is work in progress that involves continually looking for savings and new revenue sources.
3. Communicating sufficiently with all stake holders. I plan to use social media to share board agendas prior to meetings and to recap board meeting, as well as holding bi-monthy daytime meetings at my home to gather community feedback.