Meet the Candidates

Lisa Colacioppo

Occupation: I have over a decade of experience working as a Director of Account Management at a national healthcare company.  In this executive role, I was responsible for managing accounts totaling in excess of 20 million dollars.  I successfully created strategic partnerships with a diverse group of clientele including various collective bargaining unions like the NYC Transport Workers Union (TWU) and Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees International Union (H.E.R.E.I.U).  The expertise I acquired in my career allows me to bring a unique skill set to the Board of Education.  My experience includes overseeing customer satisfaction through problem identification and resolution, maintaining compliance with client, federal and state regulatory requirements, overseeing client audits and hiring, training and supervising staff.  As Director, I sought to balance the often-conflicting priorities of long-term financial success with a high quality of patient care.

 

Qualifications: In addition to my career qualifications, I have also volunteered extensively in various capacities in the North Shore School District.  I serve on the district’s Legislative Action Committee, the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Committee, the Sea Cliff School (SCS) Gala Auction Committee and the SCS Nutrition Committee and previously served on the Homework Policy Task Force as well as the Assistant Superintendent Search Committee.  I currently serve on the SCS Parent Community Association (PCA) Executive Board and the SCS Garden Advisory Committee. I believe strongly in innovative programming and assisted our school librarian by securing funds for author visits in my role as Book Fair Chairperson over the past 3 years. I also spearheaded the Let Grow Project and am a founding member of Think Outside, which has advocated for outdoor learning since the pandemic started.  In addition, I served as Chair of Membership at the Roslyn Trinity Co-op.

 

Relationship building, critical thinking, problem-solving, effectively communicating and, most importantly, listening are my strengths and will empower me to be a successful Trustee. 

 

Personal: My husband and I have proudly called North Shore our home for over a decade. We are current residents of Sea Cliff and former residents of Old Brookville.  My son is a third grader at the Sea Cliff School.  We have enjoyed watching him benefit from the many educational and extracurricular opportunities that the district has afforded him.  As a family, we are active in many athletic leagues where my son plays baseball (my husband is the coordinator for junior boys baseball in Sea Cliff), soccer, basketball, golf, and tennis.  Sports have been a great way for my son to meet children from other schools in our district and have allowed me the benefit of getting to know different community members. When I am not watching a game or driving to another one, I am likely taking walks through our beautiful town or reading a good book.  

 

Statement: It is an honor to announce my candidacy for North Shore Board of Education Trustee during this unprecedented time. Over the last year, our district has, more than ever, seen the important role school plays in our community. It is no secret that our district is facing imminent fiscal, health and educational challenges. As a mother of a third grader and a taxpayer, I worry about protecting the tremendous investment we’ve made in our schools. Consequently, I am running for Trustee to use my unique skill set to ensure our children are receiving the most robust education while remaining fiscally responsible.

 

In my role as Director of Account Management for a national healthcare company, I managed clients whose revenue exceeded 20 million dollars. I ensured the relationship between my clients and my company was solid through financial success, customer satisfaction and quality assurance. These past corporate experiences have prepared me well to advocate effectively on behalf of our own residents. For example, I will work to ensure we continue to fight for all stakeholders, pressuring our legislators to ensure the tax-reduction agreement between the county and LIPA is fair and equitable, and advocating against unfunded mandates for our district. But most importantly, I will use my voice and my vote to represent all members of our district.

 

With extensive experience serving on an array of district committees such as the Legislative Action Committee (LAC), Social-Emotional Learning Committee (SEL), and the Homework Task Force, I have gained insight not only into the operations of the North Shore School District but into our community’s shared values. Most districts espouse a strong commitment to academics, but what makes ours unique is that its emphasis on academic excellence encompasses educating the whole child. Many families, like my own, move to the district because of the North Shore School District’s Shared Valued Outcomes (SVOs). To be critical thinkers, problem solvers, effective communicators, collaborators, innovators, and committed individuals are the qualities we need to teach and instill in our students as well as exemplify in our Board of Education.

 

As a Trustee, I would continue to protect and advocate for opportunities aimed at social-emotional learning, the fine and performing arts, STEAM programs, and athletics, without losing sight of the importance of balancing mounting fiscal pressures. My success in business, as well as my ability to work collegially with teachers, administrators, parents, and fellow community members will serve me well in that role. I am invested in our children, our community, and our district’s long-term success. I hope that you will vote for me on May 18th, but most importantly, please vote, your choice matters!

 

 

Maria Mosca

Occupation:
During a 24-year career at Columbia University, I was Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies and Director of Student Information Systems.  I worked primarily in the areas of student, administrative (i.e., admissions/financial aid, registrar, etc.) and academic (i.e., instructional support) technology services.  My duties included managing teams of up to 25 people, directing all operations, budget administration, personnel, and strategic planning; working with students, faculty, Deans, and administrators at all levels throughout the University; defining new software application requirements, designing solutions, and providing oversight of development, testing, and rollout of new apps.


Qualifications:
I graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College (B.A. in Geography) and later completed a Master’s degree at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies (M.S. in Landscape Design), but the skills I acquired during a long career in academia and my district volunteer work have been perhaps the best preparation for a role as Trustee. 

Many of my district friends know me as the “Garden Mama” at the Sea Cliff School (SCS), where I have managed the SCS Garden & Greenhouse since its inception in 2016.  I have volunteered extensively in other areas as well, including the K-12 Teaching and Learning (T&L) Committee, Legislative Action Committee (LAC), Bond Advisory Committee, SCS Shared Decision-Making Committee, and the Littleworth Lane Joint Task Force.  I also served three years as an SCS Class Parent and I am a Founding Member of the Think Outside advocacy group.  These volunteer roles have given me insight into the operations of our top-rated school district: from my direct work with students in the SCS garden, to the stimulating and energizing challenge of strategic planning in T&L, the Bond Committee, and LAC, topped off by the task I recently assigned myself to study the intricacies of our district budget.  This experience, along with the skills in leadership, collaboration, and service delivery I gained during my university career, gives me a solid platform from which to operate as a valued team player on the Board of Education.

 

Personal:  
My husband, Art, and I have lived in Sea Cliff since Spring 2015, arriving shortly before our daughter started Kindergarten at the Sea Cliff School.  Now a 5th-grader, she is savoring her final months in elementary school, while her eagerness builds to move up to North Shore Middle School and all the course offerings that await her there.  When I am not volunteering, I love time with my family, the outdoors and gardening, reading, music and the arts, baseball, and cheering my daughter’s softball team from the sidelines. 

 

Statement:  
I am excited to announce my candidacy for Trustee of the North Shore School District Board of Education.  My desire to serve my community and our schools is strong, to be a dedicated guardian of public education for our children today and for the future. 

 

My husband and I came later to parenting than most.  So, my deep commitment to maintaining the outstanding quality of our North Shore schools will always be weighed with the challenges of living within our means as a family and as taxpayers.  It is a key responsibility of a Trustee to learn to balance these sometimes-competing interests when reviewing and making decisions about our district budget, and I am ready to accept that responsibility.  In the last few years, I have educated myself by frequent volunteering and by attending public BoE meetings and budget talks, asking questions, exchanging ideas with neighbors, and learning about some of the many issues that affect our taxes, such as the LIPA plant decommissioning, unfunded mandates, and the risk of potential cuts in New York State aid.  At the same time, I have delighted in the countless achievements of our superb schools and students, and I have rejoiced in the steady climb in the market value of my home.  The two are tightly connected, just as other aspects of our community’s strong appeal to newcomers are heavily influenced by the good health of our schools.  I am eager to contribute, and I hope you will contact me with your concerns and ideas so that I may serve with as broad representation as I am given.  My goal is to be a guardian of public education bringing an open mind to the table – ready to listen to all stakeholders and collaborate with Trustee colleagues to achieve creative and workable solutions.  I will be grateful for your support on May 18th.  Every vote counts!

 

Paul Puskuldjian
Occupation 
I have worked in the financial services industry for over 35 years. I am the Chief Operating Officer of a financial services technology company. Prior to my current COO position, I managed global operations as Managing Director at both Citigroup and Lehman Brothers.  I am no stranger to challenges.  One of the greatest challenges I experienced was rebuilding our entire operation after our offices were destroyed on September 11th.  During the 2008 financial crisis, I worked with the Federal Reserve to ensure markets would function as the financial crisis unfolded.  In addition to my day-to-day responsibilities, I was also responsible for on campus recruitment at several universities and received multiple Global Citizenship Awards for my work on recruitment, diversity and inclusion. 


Qualifications 
I graduated from North Shore High School and attended Adelphi University where I received a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). I have a strong background in finance and operations.  In the community, I served on the North Shore School Districts Athletic Advisory Committee, coached soccer and roller hockey and helped with PAL Lacrosse.   Most recently, I was the Advancement Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 195 where I worked with scouts to advance in rank, including 6 scouts that achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. As a fellow Eagle Scout, I could not be more proud of what these boys achieved.  I am grateful for all this community has to offer and all the parent volunteers.   I feel my unique background – and years of experience in finance and operations - will allow me to bring a much needed perspective to the BOE.  


Personal 
I am the father of 4 children.   All my children attended North Shore, where they had the opportunity to experience the best of North Shore Schools and its wonderful teachers. Generations of my family have attended North Shore Schools. After our last child graduated Glenwood Landing Elementary School, we were so grateful to the school, we decided to make a donation. We asked the Glenwood Landing Principal to use the donation any way that she felt necessary to improve the school. The following year, the districts first outdoor classroom was born.  My wife Gayle, also a North Shore School Graduate, spent years very active in the schools and community.  Gayle was a Cub Scout Leader, Girl Scout Leader, Class Mother and participated in countless teacher recognition lunches as well as High School Talent Shows. One of Gayle’s greatest joys would be walking into Glenwood Elementary School and seeing one of her own teachers from when she attended school there.  In my spare time, I enjoy fishing, exercising and DIY projects. 


Statement 
I love North Shore Schools and this community. Over the last 40 years I have watched the school district go through changes, some good - some questionable.  What has been eye opening for me, over the last several years, is the financial mismanagement by the district administration. When digging into the details, it became apparent to me that this mismanagement has been going on for years. We need administrators who treat the district’s finances like their own.  The year after year tax increases and endless flow of taxpayer money has allowed the districts spending to go unquestioned.  I believe my previous experience in finance and operations management will be of great help to the district. 

 

As a parent of children that played sports in the North Shore School District, I find it insulting to the parents of athletes that the district would propose a Referendum to fund the needs of Athletes and not provide Athletes with the facilities and equipment they need immediately.  I recall my children growing up and participating in Little League, Lacrosse and Soccer.  The parents would say to each other:  “wow these kids are great, wait until they get into High School, we will have the best teams!”, only to find out later that many of the best athletes choose to attend private schools because North Shore lacked the programs and facilities to support athletes.  North Shore must provide equal funding for athletics and athletic equipment and facilities.  A Referendum should not be required to support athletic programs.  

 

The North Shore School District has accumulated millions of dollars in reserves.  Some reserves have not been used since the 1990’s.  Other surrounding districts have larger enrollment and fewer reserves.  Instead of continuously accumulating debt and asking taxpayers to pay more, the district should use the funds that are in the reserves.  Perhaps some of these funds could be used to modernize the Athletic Program, as well as the Arts, Theater and Music Programs. 

If elected I will strive to ensure the North Shore School District respects the needs and requirements of all students and residents in the North Shore Community. 

 

 

Anthony Stanco

OCCUPATION:  Semi-retired real estate investment, management, and attorney.  I have been a teacher, a counselor/outreach worker, a carpenter/contractor, a real estate agent, and a journalist.

 

QUALIFICATIONS:  Graduating from the State University College at Geneseo, NY in 1976 with teacher certification I entered the field at a time when there were 20,000 unemployed teachers in Nassau County due to declining enrollment.  At Geneseo, formerly a NORML school, the respect I had for the dedication of my classmates gave me inspiration to hold close to teaching; first as a substitute, then full-time private, then public.  My experiences were unique and informative.  My experience as a trial attorney often directly concerned children's needs, in all settings.

 

PERSONAL:  My father was born at home on Franklin Ave in Sea Cliff.  I attended St. Boniface and taught CCD. Also the Sea Cliff Gospel Chapel.  I am a Christian Quaker, and was the clerk of the Martha's Vineyard Meeting of the Society of Friends.  As a Friend I live by five values: nonviolence, honesty, simplicity, tolerance, and equality.  My simple Stoic beliefs are shared by my Roman Catholic wife and impressed upon our three, soon to be four, sons.  I love sailing.

 

STATEMENT:  To my mind, life has strong metaphorical aspects that unite all people, regardless of their origins, attitudes, or actions.  When I approach another person, I am essentially approaching myself in another form.  It is impossible for me to distinguish myself from the rest of humanity.  Still, I am capable of observations.  When it comes to this school district, I feel something like I am Walter Huston dancing in the dirt.  Or I am Fran shouting at Scott in Strictly Ballroom telling him he is a gutless wonder, because, in essence, he is selling himself out.

 

I know school districts where the revenue per student is a fraction of what we raise, yet the students are educated no less.  What's the great difference we offer?  We have more choices, I can say, but after that, it does not add up.  Our schools could be the finest in the nation, or even the world, given the resources available.  What holds us back?


We are followers.  We are great consumers.  We are shoppers of the ready-made, the processed, the so called proven programs developed by someone somewhere for some children possibly in some laboratory, and we say, “Oh, let us buy that, and that, and look at that!”  And by this we are failures.  Our district is consumption oriented and not production oriented.

 

Recently we hired a new superintendent.  Our Board hired an agency to help with the selection.  We know so little ourselves we can't know what we need?  Well, we can pay someone who knows better, eh? 

 

The fact is that you can't buy real knowledge.  Attaining knowledge is a commitment and a process.  And it is teachers that understand the students that are placed in their care that should be knowledgeable about how to reach those very students.  Those individuals I will call your children, or, the community calls our children.
When I taught I never taught the same lesson the same way, because, it wasn't the same children.  A teacher teaches two things: first knowledge, second, individual students.  The work of teaching is matching those two. 

 

I remember being asked by an interviewing principal who it was I admired as a teaching role model, and I said, “Marva Collins.”  That clown answered me, “Never heard of her.”  I just thought to myself, what a hole this place must be, let's get this over quick.

 

There are people we can call sophists masquerading as teachers almost everywhere.  They constantly try to convince you that they know some special knowledge you don't have, and they wish to trade that knowledge for your cash.  In the end, you always get a bad bargain from them.

 

Suppose we were not a pack of gutless, clueless wonders.  Suppose we expected the teachers to be teachers and approach their students with professional care using their own judgment and their own methods and just held them accountable as if they were professional?  Professionals, separate from professionalism, are those people that have no other recourse than to perform or be replaced.  They stand by their own judgment, and are judged by their own works.  There is no buck to pass.  Traditionally that meant you were either in the military, the clergy, medicine, or law.  Now we seem to have professional tradesman, which is absurd.  I have been a tradesman myself, but hardly could I think the word professional correctly applied.  Competent was certainly sufficient.  Master was better.

 

Teachers claim to be professional yet many are just union employees.  Some get their tenure and then wait for their pensions.  Teachers like those need something to invigorate them.  Teachers that are comfortable doing less than a real commitment to the children in their classrooms need to be eliminated, actually.  There should be no tolerance for halfway teaching.

 

We will not be able to keep our students away from drugs, or casual sex, or worse, unless we are able to, with consistency, convey the actual harm they do themselves when they engage in behaviors beyond their emotional growth.

 

It has long been documented how adolescence brings on emotional stress and negative behavior.  What I see for girls in particular is heartbreaking.  While at this time in primitive cultures girls have opportunities to receive mentoring it seems that all our children get their awareness from popular culture.  In schools for decades the “new and exciting” programs have been rolled out again and again, yet with no measurable results.  Yet here, in our new age of communication, with so much available, we seem to miss putting together our own program, for our own children, and ignore all those powerful observations historically put together by people trying to find their place in the universe. 


Everything a human being struggles against to find self-awareness has been well documented in  myths, philosophical debates, societal struggles, even wars.  The simple truth of living remains elusive for many, though the truly educated have all found their peace.  The obvious fact that none of us is much more than a speck of dust in the universe begs all the questions that need to be addressed regarding our social contract, the laws, the morals, the values that we, by our own law's mandates, are to present to our children in our schools. 

 

However, in avoiding this vital responsibility all school will become now is a stepping stone on a path to earning higher wages, what happiness do we give our children and our community?  Shall it be successful sociopaths?  Or, as Elie Wiesel said, “educated Eichmanns? It seems to me our shared values need to include a curriculum that expressly lays out all the rational choices an emotionally grounded person must make, and what ages are considered most appropriate to make those choices and why.  Choices all people must make, or, if avoided lead them into addiction, depression, and hopelessness.

 

When we see our children out in the world learning for themselves lessons we would rather they learned under our care, we know our schools have failed.  Under no circumstance do I want any casualties.  Tragedy is a real part of living.  More tragic is to be privileged and ignorant, and find that tragedy is all too real far too late.
There is content upon content available for our children to bring them into greater consciousness yet they need real guidance and not platitudes, and certainly not the vulgar display of awards on the front lawn of the schools.  I remember another principal, years ago, telling me that the school was a business.  I stopped him right there.  I said it is a public service. 

 

Now I remember full well days wherein students in our schools suffered physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at the hands of both teachers and administrators, and the worst of it was in the Junior High School.  On the other hand, there were brilliant educators mixed into the faculty, and whatever there was then is all gone forty years later.  Making sure those conditions never exist is also a part of raising emotionally healthy children.

 

As I promised last year, again, I will put up no signs.  Once elected, I will take no phone calls.  I will pander to no one.  What I will do is be available for parents each month for open discussion separate from school board meetings.  As I was collecting signatures this year a man came up to me saying he had served on the board, questioning my credentials.  He seemed very bitter.  Others also, some expressing disgust towards the schools we are running now.  I am going to promise you all this if elected, that I will, in the open, conduct myself honestly and directly in all matters.  I will never be bitter or frustrated because the schools do not become the exact model I believe is needed for real success.  What I will be is a part of the process, and I will bring to the table an experience which in my soul I know is undeniable and persistent, which is the truth.  I will deal with the truth as it reveals itself, and in the open, and for everyone's benefit.  If this is a model for a Trustee you want to see, then please give me your support.