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School Board Vote

On May 17, Rye City residents will vote on the School District’s proposed $85 million 2016-2017 budget and $1.8 million bond to fund a new Osborn School boiler. Voters will also fill two open positions on the Board of Education – for which there are two candidates. Current Board President Katy Glassberg is seeking a third term, while Jennifer Boyle seeks her first.

 

On May 17, Rye City residents will vote on the School District’s proposed $85 million 2016-2017 budget and $1.8 million bond to fund a new Osborn School boiler. Voters will also fill two open positions on the Board of Education – for which there are two candidates. Current Board President Katy Glassberg is seeking a third term, while Jennifer Boyle seeks her first.

 

Boyle is a nine-year resident, whose three daughters will be in Osborn School in September. She has served on the Auxiliary Board of Rye Presbyterian Nursery School and Co-chairs the Friends of Rye City School District, while volunteering to teach in Resurrection Church’s Religious Education program. She is a graduate of Loyola University of Maryland.

 

Katy Glassberg and her husband Richy have lived in Rye since 1994. One  son is a sophomore at Rye High, another is a college freshman. Glassberg graduated from Boston University and Brooklyn Law School.

 

The candidates dropped by the paper to talk on separate occasions with Peter Jovanovich and Tom McDermott.

 

PAGE 1-BOYLEJennifer Boyle

 

When Jennifer Boyle and her husband Ed were looking to move from the City in 2007, they spent a day with their family in Rye and realized: “This is just the right fit.”

 

“I’ve always been passionate about being engaged with the community and its school system,” says Boyle. Originally from Scranton, Boyle started her career after college working for a managed care company, administering health care programs in areas such as substance abuse. Moving to New York City, where she met her husband, she joined a public relations firm focusing on health care.

 

How might her work experience help her serve on the School Board?

 

“I think my career in managed care and public relations helped me to understand that good solutions to problems take a lot of hard work, require truly listening to others, and entail trying to find an approach that benefits everyone as much as possible.”

 

With the current board signaling that another tax cap override is inevitable in the 2017-8 school year, Boyle acknowledges “we are in a challenging space in public education today.” She notes that the tax cap legislation, which may be suited for districts with stable or declining enrollment, is inappropriate for Rye because the law does not allow for the cost of rising enrollment. “The law needs to be amended,” Boyle asserts, “to deal with districts like ours.”

 

In an era in which parents anxiously tally every test or AP class their children take, Boyle, refreshingly, believes a great school environment also teaches life skills. “It’s as much about learning how to persevere, how to develop a work ethic, and how to be patient,” she says. “Learning to put the time into a project, learning to listen to others, and to understand them, is what I hope for my children.”

 

And what role does she think technology should play in a child’s education?

 

“There’s an appropriate use, but we shouldn’t give it free rein.” Boyle expresses concern about the culture of instant gratification that technology seems to promote. “This digital age affects how children relate to each other, in not always the best ways.”

 

It wouldn’t be a Rye Record interview without asking: What book is on your nightstand? “Brooklyn,” she says. Boyle notes she particularly enjoys historical novels such as Edward Rutherford’s “New York: The Novel.”

 

A!KatyGKaty Glassberg

 

For School Board President Katy Glassberg, a lot has been accomplished in recent years, and a lot remains to be done.

 

“We’ve been able to sustain academic excellence in Rye City Schools, and offer an ever-greater diversity of offerings, such as Mandarin and foreign languages in the elementary grades, more Science and Math courses, and a focus on improving literacy,” says Glassberg. She is particularly proud of the implementation of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project across grades K-8.

 

“Our students are learning to read and analyze what they read starting early in the elementary sequence,” she explains. “Rye teachers have embraced this methodology as a way to increase our students’ reading comprehension and their ability to think critically.”

 

Looking forward, Glassberg plans to focus on the continued implementation of improved technology – both the infrastructure and its use in the classroom. “Technology in education,” Glassberg observes, “is not a panacea; it’s a useful tool in learning if used correctly.

 

As an attorney, Glassberg specialized in litigation, so it’s not surprising that she approaches the work of the board by “extensively researching the facts” and “listening to as many voices in the community as possible” before tackling any issue.

 

Most immediately, she is focused on getting the current tax-cap compliant budget passed, and, just as important, passing the bond to fix Osborn’s furnace. “You can’t run a school without heating.”

 

She is confident that the school district will have a voice as the City looks to update its Master Plan. “Back in 1985, they were selling off school property, now we’re at 3,384 enrollment.”

 

Looking further out Glassberg along with several other board members has pointed to the necessity of a tax cap override in 2017-8. The Board, as she sees it, will need to weigh what the community values in terms of things like full-day kindergarten, class size, and diversity of course offerings in the middle and high school, the cost of providing what the community values, and the cost to the taxpayer. And then, there are negotiations with the teachers union, whose contract expired in June 2015.

 

And what book’s on her night table? Actually, her books are on her iPad, which she pulled out of her purse to share her current selection: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” by Susan Cain. How apposite for anyone serving in public office.

 


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