Election fever in New Hyde Park school board races

Election fever in New Hyde Park school board races
Elections for the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Union Free School District were held Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Flickr)

Elections for the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District will feature two contested races for three spots this upcoming May. 

For three-year terms on the board, incumbent Kathryn Canese is running unopposed whereas incumbent Jennifer Kerrane is running against Katherine Bannon and Patricia Rudd is running for re-election against Gjergji Shuku.

On the trustee ballot for the Hillside Public Library, Peter Pinto is running unopposed for his own seat for a five-year term commencing July 1. 

Canese, the vice president of the board, is a past president of the Hillside Grade School PTA and previously successfully petitioned the district to remove schools as polling places after a school had a lockdown drill during an election. During her PTA stint, she said her focus was on ensuring that everything would be to the benefit of the children, with an emphasis on improving the safety of the school. Canese said she also worked to bring in cultural arts and found a calling in advocacy issues.

Ahead of her last election in 2019, where she was elected for the first time after beating Dr. Sangeeta Nischal for Ernest Gentile’s vacant seat, Canese said “her goals are very much in line with the goals our current school board has adopted,” while prioritizing transparency between the community and district. 

Kerrane first ran for a seat on the board in 2013. She has been a resident of New Hyde Park since 2004 and has three children. She used to be a member of the Manor Oaks School PTA and was an elementary school teacher for the New York City Board of Education.

Kerrane previously said she has worked with the board over the years to keep the budget at an acceptable level for taxpayers. 

Rudd was on the board for 15 years before taking a two-year hiatus in 2014 to move to Michigan for work. She also served as vice president of the board for one year during her first stint. Rudd moved back and returned to the board in 2016 after defeating Shamini Sivalingam for an open seat.

Rudd previously said she worked in retail operations for cultural institutions, such as the American Museum of Natural History and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Rudd has spent years lobbying for education in Washington and Albany and is a former member of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association. She has said her passion is legislation and she believes that the federal government should give more control to the states over education.

According to publicly available information, Shuku — Rudd’s opponent — worked as a financial institutional examiner for the state comptroller’s office most recently in 2020.

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