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Board of Education Candidates 

on May 23, 2020

2020 – 21 Board of Education Candidates 

Who are the candidates? 

In addition to voting on the 2020-21 school budget vote, residents are also asked to elect three candidates to the Warwick Valley Board of Education. Trustees are unpaid and serve three-year terms. The candidates, in the order they will appear on the ballot, are:

Luis Abramson

John Garcia (incumbent)

Robert Howe (incumbent)

Dory Masefield (incumbent)


Luis Abramson

Hello, my name is Luis Abramson a retired NYPD Officer and a resident of Warwick for 10 years along with my wife, Karen and two children that attend the School District. I am running for a seat on the School District Board, it would be my honor to serve this exceptional community. I have advocated for the educational needs of my kids but also our community’s children. Now as a former member of the Hudson Valley Family Council Advisory member for LIFEPlan CCO NY, currently Central Hudson Region NYS PTA Diversity Chair, Volunteer for the Special Olympics as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), advocated and obtained free of charge Autism training for our local first responders and current community officials are working to set dates for such training to become reality.

As a parent of a little one with an IEP, I can relate to many parents with kids with disabilities, in the past (2018) I gathered around 500 signatures from parents in our community and surrounding areas attempting to bring pre-school services for kids under the spectrum (IDD) to avoid them the long drive, out of district and county sometimes (still advocating with current officials). Worked in the past representing center-based services providers wanting to bring change and solutions to this situation in our area considered “under-served” due to limited program options for pre-school aged children on the Autism Spectrum. I drove my son for two years and he took the school bus for a while but when I saw it took him a daily commute of 4 to 4.5 hours, I decided to continue driving him until his transition to the WVSCD where now they have an excellent program and support for his needs as well for other kids his age. I know about the sleepless nights, tantrums, difficulties for support services and feeling discourage because the lack of after school services for special needs students. I would like to advocate and find a way for advance technology hardware for our students as well for teacher development. Committed to helping every child succeed including integration and participation for those with special needs

I feel extremely concerned about the economic effect this health crisis will have on our school district budget in the coming years. I believe there are workable solutions and those will enhance the education & success of our students. Education is basically the most important thing we spend money on as a society. I’m a very strong advocate, not only withing our schools, but also working beyond our doors, whether it’s at the County level or Albany (lobbying with the NYS PTA) to be able to communicate and work with government entities to let them know the issues we’re seeing, and where we need help. We are a diverse community and we must celebrate that diversity. Our schools are here to serve the educational needs of all the children equally. I would like the opportunity to continue to enhance our district along with the current board members where students, parents, teachers, and staff feel they are welcome and that they belong. As a Latino parent part of beautiful diverse Warwick, I humbly ask for your vote of confidence, as I seek to be part of a change!   


John W. Garcia (incumbent)

I wish to be a member of the Warwick Valley Central School District Board of Education because I feel I have a knowledgeable understanding of the community as a lifelong resident. Teaching in Warwick schools for 35 years gives me a perspective on how teachers think. My master’s degree in School Administration also allows me knowledge from that point of view. Warwick schools are the place that my parents and children graduated from, and my wife still teaches. I have great pride in the school and community and would love to contribute positively as a Warwick School Board Member.

One of the most significant issues of the Warwick Valley School District is to provide our students with the necessary tools to be successful after they graduate from high school. Preparing them for college or a good job after they graduate is essential to their success in building a productive and happy life. The Warwick Valley CSD School Board, with the assistance of the School Administration, must chart an effective course of action. Working together with parents, teachers, and students will be of utmost importance. This process will require continual evaluation and re-evaluation. I feel this will elevate our students and help in making them productive future citizens. 

If I win the election, I will work to be a successful and positive member of the Board of Education, bringing my experience and pride in the community and school to meet best the needs of both the community and our outstanding students. I welcome the opportunity to continue serving the community as a board member and help the district navigate through this critical time. I ask for your vote and encourage you to mail in your ballot today. Thank you in advance for your support.

Length of residency: 64 years – lifelong resident, born and raised

Board of Education Service: Since 2017 (Policy Committee)

Volunteer Work: Purple Champions, Warwick Football, Hall of Fame Committees, Warwick Little League Baseball, Warwick Youth Football Recreational Warwick Basketball
CYO Basketball, Old School Baptist Church Ceremony

Occupation: Retired Warwick Valley Middle School Physical Education Teacher and coach – 35 years (1979-2014)

Education: Warwick Valley High School – 1974 Graduate – Regents diploma, Slippery Rock State College – BS in Education – 1978 – (Physical Education, Health, Driver Education

Iona College – 1985 – Masters in School Administration


Robert Howe (incumbent)

With my many years of experience on the Board, I’m able to provide a valuable perspective to our decision-making process – why we do things certain ways, what has worked, what has been tried, and why it didn’t work. I’m also keenly aware of finding the balance between curriculum improvement and the cost to our property owners. 

The most significant issue currently facing Warwick schools is moving forward with our academic excellence in the face of reduced state support. If re-elected, I will continue to find the balance between providing the best educational opportunities for all students and keeping the property taxes as low as possible.

As a resident of the Warwick Valley Central School District for 39 years, I admire our community’s commitment to all its residents. My foremost responsibility is the wellbeing of all students; therefore, I am fully committed to serving the District with this goal in mind. We need to remain fiscally responsible, maximize non-tax revenue,  and advocate for our fair share of New York State Aid. I would be honored for the opportunity to continue to serve on the Board of Education.

 

Length of residency: 39 years 

Board of Education Service: 27 years (BOE Audit Committee, BOE Facilities Committee)

Occupation: Owner of Abundant Energy, Inc. in Pine Island; Make aluminum frames for skylights, greenhouses & sunrooms.

Volunteer Work: Community Coalition for Teenage Drug & Alcohol Prevention

Education: BA in Business 


Dory Masefield (incumbent)

As a mother and a teacher, I am passionate about providing quality education to all of our students at Warwick Valley. My first two terms on the Board were such a fascinating experience that I would like to continue as a member. I have had the pleasure to work with an amazing board and administrators toward crafting the best education we can for our students in a rapidly changing world. In the past six years, we’ve added dozens of new courses, including Criminal Justice, Biomedical, Robotics, Forensics, and Civil Engineering. We adopted a Sustainability Policy to ensure we are incorporating concepts of environmental stewardship and sustainability in our students. We have continued to provide teacher’s extensive opportunities for professional development, increased security at all buildings, and revamped the Middle School Media center. The district has continued to reach out to the community to maintain the many valuable partnerships we share. I want to continue to do the best I can for the Warwick School District.

Some significant issues face Warwick Valley Schools. We need to be sure the budget provides the best education for our students while being fiscally responsible. Technology is an educational tool, but it has to balance with personal interactions rich in context and hands-on experiences. Our district must continue to be proactive on social issues related to the health and mental wellness of our students and the greater community, such as cyberbullying, drug abuse, and the vaping epidemic.

I want to continue to build trust between the community, the School Board, and the district administration. My background in different academic capacities, as both staff and teacher at different academic institutions, gives me a depth of understanding for the various stakeholders involved. The path to creating the best educational opportunities for all our students with such limited resources is by building consensus and working together.

Length of residency: 18 years

Board of Education Service: Member Since 2014 (Policy Committee) 

Current Occupation: Science Teacher, Grades 5-9, at Tuxedo Park School.

Co-founder and Instructor at EARTH Summer Camp in Marion, NY: Ecology, Art, Recreation, Together, with Horses.  Building character and confidence in campers through ecology, artistry and horsemanship. USSF Referee

Previous Employment: Middle and High School Science Teacher at Islesboro Central School, ME;  Elderhostel Instructor in Oceanography at Ferry Beach Conference Center, ME; 

Teaching/Research Assistant, University of Maine Oceanography Department; Research Technician for Dartmouth College Environmental Studies Department

Volunteer/Community Activities: Coach, Warwick Soccer Club, Travel and Recreation Soccer; WVCSD  PIE Program Volunteer 2008-2015  – Helped create and maintain the PIE garden behind Sanfordville Elementary School, lead nature walks, help PIE teachers with Math and Science enrichment with hands-on science activities. Stage Manager/Set Design and Construction for Sanfordville Drama Productions  2012-2015, WVCSD 20/20 Committee Member – 2009-2014, Fair Funding Committee

Education: University of Maine, Orono, ME – Ph.D. candidate in Physical Oceanography, Physics of Estuarine Circulation and implications for transport of contaminants. 

S.U.N.Y. College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY – M.S. in Environmental Science/Chemistry

Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH – B.A. in Biology, modified Environmental Science

Earl L. Vandermeulen High School, Port Jefferson, NY



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