Kelly Anderson is a parent to District students, a teacher at the , and will soon sit on the Wainscott board of education.
She joins incumbent David Eagan, who is up for re-election, on the ballot this Tuesday. They are running unopposed for the two open seats.
A regular at the small district's often even smaller meetings, she decided to take on the new role following the . Eagan and school board president Nancy McCaffrey have been serving alone on the three-person board since.
In a twist, election law stipulates that whoever garners the most votes will receive the open seat for the full three-year term on the board, which is Eagan's position that is up at the end of June. The candidate with the second highest number of votes will fill the rest of Osborn's term, or two years.
Eagan, an , first joined the board when he was appointed to serve out the rest of a term of a deceased board member and has served a total of eight years. "Nancy and Iris asked me to help build the school," he said of the bigger schoolhouse that took the students from the historic one-room schoolhouse on the property.
Eagan said he enjoys being part of a family history of public service. McCaffrey is his mother-in-law. His wife's family has strong roots in Wainscott. "I've learned a lot sitting at the McCaffrey dinner table."
Anderson, who has lived in Wainscott for seven years, has sent her two children to the school; daughter Reghan has moved on to the fourth grade at John Marshall Elementary School and son Calum is a first-grader in Wainscott.
A native of Sayville, Anderson has a master's in special education and reading. She has been teaching in the Southampton School District for 10 years. She has also been the vice president of the teachers' union there for the past four years.
"I'm very vested in public education," she said. She would like to see continued emphasis on second language (Spanish is now taught once a week), and technology being used in the classroom, but overall thinks the current board has done an excellent job.
Eagan said he was proud that the board was able to deliver a budget under the 2 percent tax levy increase cap without cutting any services and also settling a contract with the teachers association (of which there are just two members). The district also continues on .
He said Superintendent Stuart Rachlin, who was hired last year, has added a new layer of professionalism to the district and has pushed the board to add Smartboards and other technologies, as well as increase gym classes from three to five times a week.
"They do it really well — I've been watching David, Nancy and Iris," Anderson said. "I'm always so impressed with how they tackle and handle issues and move on."
Last year, Anderson picked up a petition to run when she heard Osborn was stepping down after a decade on the board. When she learned , she did not challenge her.
Still, she said she thinks it's important to have a current parent on the board. McCaffrey and Osborn are both grandmothers and Eagan does not have children.
While Eagan believes he and the rest of the board have done a good job listening to the parents, he said he understands Anderson's sentiment. He said he is looking forward to serving with her. "She is one of the few parents that come on a regular basis for no specific purpose," he said.