Manhasset elects Bruno, Pescatore to board of education

Manhasset elects Bruno, Pescatore to board of education
Marianna Bruno and Maria Pescatore were elected to the Manhasset School District's Board of Education. (Photo courtesy of the Manhasset School District)

Newcomers Marianna Bruno and Maria Pescatore narrowly defeated Eileen Bauer for seats on the Manhasset Board of Education on Tuesday night and residents approved the district’s $111.3 million budget with more than 69% of the vote.

Bruno received 864 votes, followed by Pescatore with 912 votes and Bauer with 843 votes.

Bruno and Pescatore will replace Vice President Jill Pullano and Trustee Erin Royce. Both did not run for re-election.

Bruno and Pescatore will both serve three-year terms ending on June 30, 2027.

The $111,286,207 budget, a 3.3% increase from the current school year, includes a 2.68% tax levy increase, which falls within the district’s allowable tax levy cap.

The budget passed with 1,129 votes in favor and 500 votes against.

The budget includes more than a dozen staff cuts, primarily of teaching assistants. This previously garnered pushback from students, parents and teaching assistants who have advocated for their necessity, but was ultimately approved by a majority of voters.

Bruno, who has four children in the school district, is a healthcare professional and patient advocate. She said in this role she oversees a multi-million dollar budget, team management and policy oversight.

She campaigned on academic excellence, resource transparency and budget oversight.

Pescatore previously worked in construction management, where she oversaw budgets, bidding processes, and business operations. She has three children who attend district schools.

She said her involvement in the school district so far would allow her to bring an “insider perspective” to the school board. Responsibility and accountability are the values driving her vision as a school board trustee, she said.

At a candidate forum preceding the election, the two elected trustees stressed the importance of staff retention, greater budget oversight, and expanding alternative post-graduation options.


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