Three newcomers vie for two Manhasset BOE seats after incumbents opt not to run

Three newcomers vie for two Manhasset BOE seats after incumbents opt not to run
Jill Pullano, far right, and Erin Royce, far left, being sworn onto the Manhasset Board of Education in 2021. Both Pullano and Royce are not running for re-election this May. (Photo by Samuele Petruccelli)

Manhasset Board of Education Vice President Jill Pullano and Trustee Erin Royce are not seeking re-election to the board this May, with three newcomers joining the race for the two open board member seats.

Running for the two seats on the board are Eileen Bauer, Marianna Bruno and Maria Pescatore.

The two board seats are for a three-year term which would begin on July 1 and end on June 30, 2027.

Efforts to solicit comment from the two exiting board members and the three candidates were unavailing.

Both Pullano and Royce, who are longtime parents in the district, were elected to the board in 2021 when they defeated challenger Frank Bua and the 15-year-incumbent trustee Carlo Prinzo.

Pullano, a parent of three children who graduated from the district, is the former treasurer of the Manhasset School Community Association and has served in numerous roles and on various committees throughout the district. Her 2021 campaign was based on a platform of improving school curriculum and mental health resources.

Royce, a parent of two children in the district, started her career as a school psychologist in the Syosset district and later served as director of guidance at St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay. Her 2021 campaign was based on giving a louder voice to parents of younger children in the district.

The election will be held from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. on May 21 in the high school gymnasium.

Alongside the two trustee seats on the ballot will also be a proposition to approve the district’s budget of $111,286,207, a 3.3% increase from its current budget. Included in the budget is also a 2.68% tax levy increase, which falls within the district’s allowable tax levy cap.

The budget also includes more than a dozen staff cuts, predominantly of teaching assistants. This has brought pushback from students, parents and teaching assistants who have advocated for their necessity.

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