When , they will have to pick between three candidates for two spots on the board of education.
Incumbents Walter Wilcoxen and Gregg Schiavoni are looking to keep their seats, while Tom Gleeson is vying for one of the three-year positions on the Sag Harbor School Board.
Wilcoxen, a former school board president, is finishing his second term on the board and Schiavoni is at the end of his first. Both said there are new initiatives they want to see through, while Gleeson, a retired teacher, wants to bring an educator's voice to the board.
In particular, Schiavoni and Wilcoxen are looking forward to the implementation of the International Baccalaureate program, which the board unanimously approved in November for the 2012-13 school year.
"It would be like leaving a job before it's finished," said Schiavoni, a licensed insurance broker at in East Hampton. He said he is excited about the prospects — increased productivity and broadening students' way of thinking. "It's not teaching for a test," he said. "I want to be there when that starts."
Wilcoxen, an architect who lives in Noyac, said he feels the program will make Pierson graduates "more marketable" and better prepared for college. "We're not doing the best job we could," he said, while adding that the district is full of talented staff and a strong professional administration. The teachers, he said, have been enthusiastic about training for the program.
Gleeson, on the other hand, often voiced his opposition of the transition from AP classes to the IB program. "I'm not sure we need IB," he said. However, "As a former athlete and coach, I know, once a decision is made, you have to make the decision as good as possible."
He feels the board would benefit from having an educator's perspective. With a master's in physical education and a professional diploma in school administration, he taught in public and private schools for 35 years. "I just look at things a little bit different because my background is different from theirs," he said.
Upon retirement, Gleeson and his wife, Ginny Gleeson, a former assistant superintendent, left Port Lookout in Nassau County and settled in Sag Harbor Village. His youngest daughter is graduating from Pierson in June. For the past seven years, he has worked as a college admissions consultant, which has brought him to 110 different schools on Long Island.
Wilcoxen's two children are Pierson graduates and Schiavoni's children are students.
Schiavoni, whose family name is among the most recognizable in Sag Harbor, lives on North Haven, where he grew up. "This is another way to give back to the community," he said.
In the six years Wilcoxen has been on the board, he said he's seen the board make great progress, notably hiring Superintendent John Gratto, who he said has helped saved the district money, as well as bringing on Lisa Scheffer, the director of pupil personnel services, and Janet T. Verneuille, a CPA, as the director of business operations.
After 10 years of trying, the district finally implemented a pre-kindergarten program, though parents have to pay. Another board accomplishment was a settlement with the Sag Harbor Teachers Association in 2010 after two years of often acrimonious negotiations, which included a protest. Schiavoni was new to the board at the height of contention. "After the contract got settled the board, we, were allowed to focus on the curriculum of the school," he said.
TASH is about half-way through the agreement, and the board will have to start negotiations again during the next three years. Schiavoni said he learned a lot from the last round, and wants to open up communication with the association earlier.
Wilcoxen said he would like to see a public discussion about employee contracts and benefits take place before negotiations get underway.
Gleeson, who is also co-general manager of the Whalers Baseball team with Sag Harbor School Board member Sandi Kruel, said he has the time to take on this new role. "You make an informed decision based on input and analysis. I have time to examine things."
Voting takes place in the gym on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.