Three candidates are running for two open seats on the Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education.
Incumbent Sarah Hassildine is seeking re-election, while fellow trustee MaryLynn Hoeg has decided to step down.
Ms. Hassildine will run against newcomers George Haase and Jennifer Anderson for full three-year terms.
Ms. Hassildine, 51, of Cutchogue, served a three-year term on the board from 2012 to 2015. She did not seek re-election then because she planned to relocate after her son graduated from Mattituck High School. But she chose to stay and was appointed in September 2018 to fill a vacancy on the seven-member board. She’s lived in the community for over 30 years and worked in the district as a substitute teacher, teacher assistant and in the technology department.
One of the main reasons she’s seeking another term, Ms. Hassildine said, is that she believes in the goals of the district and giving students the best educational opportunities. She believes the district can achieve those goals by supporting teachers, staff, students and community.
She said the purpose of the board is to inform and support the greater community. If re-elected, she said, her biggest goal will to be improve transparency between the administration and the community.
“We want the community to be happy and informed of what’s going on, we want the teachers and the staff to be supported, and we want the children to feel supported,” she said.
Mr. Haase, 62, of Southold, ran for a seat on the board three years ago against six other candidates — and lost by two votes. He said he admires what the district had done for his son, who graduated last year, and his family. He’s eager to run as a way to give back to the community by providing his time and keeping up the momentum.
Mr. Haase, whose wife is a teacher assistant at Cutchogue East Elementary School, first came to the East End when his parents purchased Orient by the Sea in 1978. He studied accounting at Long Island University and recently retired as co-owner of the Fig and Olive Bed and Breakfast on Skunk Lane in Cutchogue with his wife.
Ms. Anderson has lived in Mattituck since 2007 and has two children in the district. A PTA member and a Spanish teacher in the Westhampton Beach school district for 16 years, Ms. Anderson said she’s running for school board because she cares deeply about the children’s education and the community.
The Georgetown University alumna said she wants to create opportunities to raise student achievement while being fiscally responsible. She believes her bachelor’s degree in international business and Spanish, her master’s in adolescence education from Dowling College and her education leadership degree from Stony Brook University can help the board make informed decisions that will benefit the children’s education while staying in line with the budget.
She said she understands the changes and challenges the community is facing and intends to “carefully navigate through the decisions to evolve our program and represent the community interests.”
Ms. Anderson also volunteers as a Little League coach and college interviewer for Georgetown University.