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Carey Named to S. Huntington School Board

PTA Council president takes over Lupinacci's position as trustee.

The South Huntington Board of Education appointed PTA Council president Laura Carey Wednesday night to complete the unexpired term of Assemb.-elect Chad Lupinacci.

Carey, who has two children in the district, is in her second year as council president. After the board meeting, she said she expected to resign the PTA position in the next few months and said she was honored to be asked to serve on the board.

The appointment was not without dispute, however, as members of the audience and trustees debated the process, though not the merits, of Carey's appointment.

Board president James Kaden said the board had three options to consider:  Conduct a special election, leave the seat open until May or appoint a temporary trustee. Leaving the seat empty, meaning a board vote could conceivably end in a 3-3 tie, and a special election, because of its cost, were quickly set aside.

Trustee Ed Nitkewicz announced he wanted to appoint Carey, repeating his personal endorsement of her that he had made several days ago at a PTA Council. His earlier move led members of the audience Wednesday night to pose multiple questions about his role in endorsing her, the effect on other possible candidates or whether the community had been informed sufficiently that an appointment might occur.

Kaden said that while he "would have preferred to discuss the process," he supported Carey's appointment.

Trustee Lisa Brieff objected to the process and argued for sending letters out to district residents, informing them of the opening and inviting applicants for appointment.

Members of the audience were vocal about the process, even as many praised Carey for her work with the PTA.

"I think it was just the  procedure. It just seemed kind of sneaky," one woman said. "If you're giving a recommendation, who would want to challenge her? It affects everyone else in the audience."

Board vice president Nick Ciappetta said, "We need a person in the position as soon as possible. We now have a nomination on the floor. We're not prepared to vote against her for the sake of process.

"I don’t think this is an ordinary candidate. She’s somebody by vitrtue of her position has the respect of the community. she’ll work hard for our students. And that’s our only criteria."

Five trustees then voted to her appoint her, with Brieff abstaining. She was immediately invited to sit with the board while the board and members of the audience applauded.

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Just as the debate wrapped up, Lupinacci appeared and read his letter of resignation to the board before receiving a plaque and gifts from trustees and took some ribbing about his abilities to pack and stay organized.

He will take office in January as the representative of the 10th Assembly District. He was elected in November to fill the seat left vacant by the death of James Conte.

Ron December 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Julius Caesar Kaden has no idea what he just did by electing Carey. Et tu Brute!
Diane December 13, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Ed Nitkewicz seems to be running the show these days. Probably vying for BOE President when Kaden is voted out. Hopefully the people will wise up to his tactics. Count how may times he says middle school sports ant a Board of Ed Meeting. I have heard wonderful things about Laura, I just hope Nitkewicz is not expecting the swing vote to favor his own agenda...
Jim R. December 13, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Great job by the board. She cares about the students and the SD.
John Corey December 13, 2012 at 08:21 PM
What a great choice. It seems as though Mrs. Carey is universally considered a wonderful addition. Apparently the endorsement, nomination and appointment "process" worked favorably for our community.
Margery December 13, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I have been fortunate enough to have Laura as class mom in my sons class; for the 5 years that my son has been in class with her daughter. She volunteers each year and works tirelessly in this thankless position. I have never met a mom as dedicated to the kids and the school as she is.

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