Beys, Abramson-Brooks challenged in re-election bids to Port Washington Board of Education

Beys, Abramson-Brooks challenged in re-election bids to Port Washington Board of Education
Port Washington resident Michael Tretola is running against incumbent school board Trustees Emily Beys and Deborah Abramson-Brooks in the upcoming May 17 election. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Port Washington Board of Education President Emily Beys and Trustee Deborah Abramson-Brooks are running for re-election against challenger Michael Tretola.

Beys, who has served two terms as a board member, was first elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2019, beating opposition in both races. She was unanimously chosen by the board to serve as president last year. Beys worked in advertising and marketing and was president of the Parents Council, Schreiber Home-School Association and Weber Home-School Association before sitting on the school board.

“I look forward to continuing to represent the best interests of ALL our students and community,” Beys said in a statement on her campaign Facebook page. “I am asking for your supPORT for one more term on the Port Washington School Board.”

Abramson-Brooks, a lawyer, was first elected to the school board in 2019. A proponent of a whole-child education, Abramson-Brooks was appointed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to serve on the state’s Common Core Task Foce.

Ahead of the 2019 election, Abramson-Brooks said she wanted to be an advocate for increased state aid and use her “fiscally conservative nature to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent in a most efficient and effective way.” In 2022-23, the Port Washington school district is expected to receive more than $12.7 million in state aid, a 23 percent increase from 2021-22.

Tretola, a 20-year resident of Port Washington, said in a Facebook post that he has 25 years of financial experience working on Wall Street and described himself as a “critical thinker and fierce advocate.”

“I am invested in the ultimate success of our students, our graduates and our community at large,” Tretola said. “I look forward to building meaningful connections with the community during this campaign season.”

Tretola said his daughter, a fourth-grader with special needs, attends Guggenheim Elementary School, which has provided him with insight on advocating for the necessary educational resources on her behalf. Tretola said he also supports whole-child education and  plans to approach conversations “with confidence, courage and compassion.”

The candidates with the two highest vote totals will be elected to serve a three-year term on the board. Efforts to reach school district officials for more information on the May 17 election were unavailing.

Residents will also vote on a $174.8 million budget for the 2022-23 school year. The budget is a 4.5 percent increase from this year’s $167,268,942 budget. The budget calls for a 2.5 percent increase in the tax levy, which falls below the state-mandated cap.  The 2022-23 tax levy is proposed to be slightly more than $150.5 million.

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