Meet the candidates for Baldwin Board of Education


In the upcoming Baldwin Board of Education election for May 21, three candidates are vying for two contested seats.

Incumbents Mary Jo O’Hagan, the current school board president, serving since 1994, and Annie Doresca, a trustee since 2015, are both running for re-election. Additionally, newcomer Mahogany Williams is seeking her first term.


Mary Jo O’Hagan

O’Hagan, who’s had experience in leadership positions with committees and organizations, is seeking to continue expanding opportunities for students if re-elected.

“We are on a positive trajectory, expanding educational and career opportunities for students every year,” she wrote in an email to the Herald. “I want us to remain on course, and I want to work on one of our board goals, which is to enhance communication and engagement with the community.”

An advocate for enhancing educational programming, O’Hagan received the National School Development Council’s Leadership Award last year, recognizing her leadership and efforts to enhance educational programs. She seeks to continue that in Baldwin if re-elected, saying she has worked with the current board on the multi-year, multi-funded capital project bond referendum set to also be on the ballot.

“I have worked on the current bond proposal with my colleagues and district administration,” she wrote. “I am excited by the potential for matching upgraded facilities to our future focused educational program. I want to be a part of seeing our plans come to fruition.”

If approved, the capital bond proposal aims to modernize and revitalize century-old buildings. The project encompasses renovations across the district’s high school. Discussions are underway regarding the transformation of various facilities, including the athletic center, performing arts center, parking/site renovations, cafeteria, and more.

“One advantage of my long time involvement on the Baldwin School Board is the relationships I have built with the greater educational community on Long Island and beyond,” she wrote. “My leadership in other educational organizations have given me a platform to advocate for Baldwin and a wealth of information and knowledge that I can bring back to the district and community of Baldwin.”


Annie Doresca

Doresca has served on the board for nearly a decade while concurrently holding the position of Chief Financial Officer at Jewelers of America and serving as a professor at Baruch College. As a professor, she emphasizes the significance of her role in guiding her decisions and initiatives on the school board.

“In my capacity as a trustee over the past nine years, I have witnessed firsthand the profound impact that dedicated governance can have on our schools,” she conveyed in an email. “I am driven by the remarkable progress we’ve achieved and the ongoing work that lies ahead. My objective is to continue contributing to the decision-making process, ensuring it aligns with the needs of our students while preparing them for future success.”

Doresca recently spearheaded the introduction of a jewelry-making program to the district, alongside securing $100,000 in funding for the expansion of Career and Technical Education programs, slated to commence in the fall.

If re-elected, she remains dedicated to enhancing the educational environment by improving adaptive learning programs and augmenting mental health resources within the school.

“My qualifications for the Board of Education derive from a fusion of professional expertise, educational insights, and board experience. With nearly a decade of service on the School Board, my understanding of the district’s needs and potential areas for growth is deeply rooted.


Mahogany Williams

Williams has lived in Baldwin for 14 years and is an alumna of the school district, having graduated from both Baldwin Middle and High School. Previously, she served as the PTA President at Meadow Elementary School and currently holds the position of corresponding secretary on the Middle School PTA board.

With over a decade of experience as an attorney, Williams currently works for Milbank LLP. In an email response explaining her decision to run, she expressed her belief in her ability to assist the Board of Election in providing Baldwin’s educators and administrators with the necessary tools tailored to students’ diverse learning styles and aspirations. She also aims to enrich the curriculum with technical skills and intellectual disciplines to enhance opportunities for children.

“I believe that I can help the Board of Education equip Baldwin’s teachers and administrators with the tools calibrated to the different ways our students learn and desire to serve,” she wrote, “as well as help infuse the curriculum with the technical skills and intellectual disciplines necessary to transform our children’s opportunities.”

If elected, Williams plans to champion the interests of children and families, promote community engagement, advocate for diversity and inclusivity, and support educators and administrators within the district. She asserts her qualifications for the position, citing her fresh and diverse perspective, expertise in managing complex issues, commitment to community engagement, and ability to execute a vision for key stakeholders.

“I am qualified for the position because I offer a fresh and diverse perspective to the board,” she wrote, “as well as unique experience in managing complex issues, deepening community engagement, and executing on a vision for key stakeholders.”