Meet the Board of Education Candidates

On Tuesday, May 21, the Pawling Central School District will hold a budget vote and Board of Education election. This year, the three incumbents will be running for re-election unopposed. The Pawling Record has interviewed each incumbent to help readers learn more about them. Here are their answers.

 

Dr. Jeffrey Asher

Why are you running for a position on the Board of Education?

 For the last six years that I have been on the School Board, there has been significant improvement in the educational curriculum and environment for all students. We have done this while reducing the tax levies in a number of those years. I have also had the honor of serving as the President of the School Board this last year. Recently, the Board selected our next Superintendent, Ms. Kim Fontana, who currently holds the position of Pawling School’s Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She has worked well with our current Superintendent, Dr. William Ward, in developing a climate of trust along with a new curriculum vision. I want to continue for a third, three-year term to better ensure that this progress continues.

 

What are your qualifications for the position?

 As a candidate who has completed his sixth year on the School Board and has been President of the Board for the last year, I feel particularly well qualified to serve this next three-year term. My engineering management experience has provided an excellent background for dealing with the myriad challenges that face school board members. Finally, I have been a resident of Pawling for over 30 years and have grown to know and love being part of our Town and Village.

 

What do you hope to accomplish?

I want to continue the progress that the School Board has made in the last six-years by expanding the educational opportunities for all our children. Ever mindful that this must be done with an eye to keeping a rein on the cost of education.

 

What is your educational background?

My degrees are in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. I believe my most important skill development has come from being a bench, research scientist in fluid mechanics at GE as well as being a consumer advocate and manger at Consumer Reports.  I retired from Consumer Reports a decade ago and have been an active member and leader of the Pawling Rotary and my church.

Dr. Edward Grippe

Why are you running for a position on the Board of Education?

I am running to work to continue the excellent progress made under the current administration. 

 

What are your qualifications for the position?

My qualifications are nearly 46 years in education, from being an Assistant Athletic Director, to being Chair of Social Studies in a high school, to my current position as Chair of Humanities, and Professor of Philosophy at a two-year college. This plus a general interest in education, from Platonic sense with a Deweyan outlook, and the past three years on Pawling’s School Board. 

 

What do you hope to accomplish?

I hope to assist in fostering increased tolerance and sensitivity for diverse personalities, as well as bringing continued attention to efforts to decrease bullying throughout Pawling’s schools. In addition, I hope to encourage a deeply ingrained appreciation of critical thinking across the curriculum. 

 

What is your educational background?

BA in History from Fordham University; MA in Philosophy from Fordham University’s Graduate School; Ph.D. in Philosophy from The City University of New York. NY State Certification in teaching History 7 – 12. 

 

Harvey Matcovsky

Why are you running for a position on the Board of Education?

I am a grandfather, retired financial planner, and advocate for free quality public education. About eight years ago, a number of concerned citizens questioned the direction and finances of Pawling’s schools. We ran for the Board of Education and began what I refer to as the renaissance of our schools. We hired Dr. William Ward as Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Neysa Sensenig as Assistant Superintendent of Finance, and Ms. Kim Fontana as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum. Ms. Fontana will be our new Superintendent of Schools upon Dr. Ward’s retirement. These individuals and the staff and teachers they subsequently hired are greatly responsible for U.S. News and World Reports having ranked Pawling High School in the top 14% in New York State and top 11% nationally. Thank you Pawling for your past support of the Board of Education’s budgets and propositions. 

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