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Candidate Profile: Richard Wilson Wants To Highlight 'Academic Prowess'

A former science teacher, Wilson is seeking a seat on the East Hampton School Board.

Richard Wilson
Richard Wilson
The annual budget votes and board elections take place throughout Long Island on May 21. In East Hampton, there are six candidates — Alison Anderson, an incumbent, Nicholas J. Boland, JP Foster, Wendy Geehreng, Mary Ella Moeller, and Rich Wilson — are vying for three positions on the board of education. The following is a profile of Richard Wilson:

Richard Wilson, 73, is seeking his first elected position. Wilson is a former science teacher and coordinator in the nearby Sag Harbor School District.

He graduated from Levittown Memorial High School and want on to earn a BS in business finance from Arizona State University and later a Masters in Science Education from Stony Brook University. He moved permanently to East Hampton in 1968.

In addition to his teaching career, he has also held a myriad of others jobs, such as a position in real estate sale, assistant city manager of Hertz Corp. a lifeguard at Main Beach, and a bartender. He and his wife, Patricia Wilson, also owned Village Toy Shop & Gifted Generation on Main Street in East Hampton Village for 18 years, and ROBOtech in Amagansett Square for three years (He taught Lego-Mindstorms Robotics).

All three of his children attended schools in the East Hampton School District from kindergarten through 12th grades. He now has six grandchildren, four of which are in district, from pre-school through 7th grade.

Q: What qualifies you to be a member of the school board?

My years involved in education, in particular science and technology. My years in business, both corporate, and owner of small businesses. Two years serving on the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to the EH School Board. Almost three years spent implementing the FOSS hands-on science program in all of the elementary schools in the Town of East Hampton. Also this year, expanded the program into the Middle School.

Q: Why do you want to be a member of the school board?

A: I want to work on ways to highlight our students' academic prowess (all disciplines) as is done with athletics. I want to play a part in developing and implementing programs (STEM) the prepare our students to enter the rapidly changing technological job market. If elected, what changes would you like to see at East Hampton Schools?I would like to see our teachers be given the opportunity to play a role in new program development. Too often, this reservoir of knowledge and experience is over-looked.

Q: What is the most serious issue facing East Hampton schools?

The most serious issue we are facing is nation-wide, (only 18 % of high school students are considered to be scientifically literate) This is not the stuff of white lab coats, horned-rim glasses and smoking test-tubes, but rather a basic understanding of how the world works, both naturally and man-made. These basic concepts enable everyone to make informed decisions, both personally and about issues of the time.

The other important issue is that we are not attracting enough students into science and tech. fields of study. Here are percentages of college/university graduates entering scientific/technology/engineering fields; Japan 65% - China-59% - United States 5%.

ls there anything else you'd like to add?

The Elementary Science Initiative is funded privately by a district parent, Mike Maffucci, through The Greater East Hampton Education Foundation.About two months ago I connected with Jay Fruin of Montauk, a software engineer who wants to address the nation's impending loss of technologic leadership by focusing on program offerings in our east-end schools. Due to budget constraints and government focus on standardized testing, science and technology often take a back seat. To address this problem, Jay and I have co-founded The East End Science and Technology Initiative (EESTI). a not-for profit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of this problem, along with raising funds to work with east-end educators on planning and implementing STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) programs ie. Robotics K-12 in our schools. Our website is www.eescienceandtechnology.org.

Will you vote for Richard Wilson? Tell us why you support him in the comments below.

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