The Herald Gazette is endorsing Maria Venuto, Rose Sekelsky and Franklin, the standout candidates for the three open seats on the Glen Cove Board of Education. We believe they are best suited to the job.
Venuto, an incumbent, responded to question after question with a fresh approach, prescribing specific examples of creative solutions to the challenges the district faces. She is sharp as a tack, refreshingly candid and appears to have a good sense of humor, all assets she could use to defuse the tension between the board and the public as well as the faculty, and sometimes among the trustees themselves, which is occasionally seen at school board meetings.
With eighth- and fifth-grade children, Venuto will be a district parent for at least seven more years, making her the only qualified candidate with a vested interest in the district’s success that lasts beyond next year.
Although she has served only one term so far, she has already earned an award for excellence from the State Association of School Boards, and we trust she will continue to bring that excellence to Glen Cove in the future.
Although Sekelsky has no children herself, after 24 years as the principal of Connolly School, she has acted in loco parentis to about half of all the students in the district over the past two and a half decades.
She worked with the board and the superintendent to craft an effective budget for her school. We believe that experience will make her an effective watchdog, sitting on the other side of the table — more effective at finding fat to cut, because she has a better idea of where to look for it. The wisdom of a seasoned educator on a board otherwise devoid of career educators would be a welcome addition.
Three of the four remaining candidates could capably fill the board’s third open seat. Amy Franklin has run the district well as school board president for the past two years; Mary Murphy, who heads the district’s special education program, has an insider’s perspective, and Gail Nedbor-Gross, a board trustee for 20 years, knows how to cut through nonsense and ask the right questions. But given her experience as a municipal accountant and the firm yet genial manner in which she has run board meetings thus far, we give the nod to Franklin, and urge voters to show her — and Venuto and Sekelsky — their support on Tuesday.