Beys, Brooks, Tretola running for two seats on Port Washington Board of Education

Beys, Brooks, Tretola running for two seats on Port Washington Board of Education
Port Washington resident Michael Tretola is running against incumbent school board Trustees Emily Beys and Deborah Brooks in the upcoming May 17 election. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

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

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.

Beys, who has served two terms as a board member, was first elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2019, beating the 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.

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. Abramson-Brooks also played a key role in helping make sure the district obtained its share of state aid as a result of the pandemic and described herself as a “fiscal conservative.”

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

Tretola also 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. 

In a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters Port Washington-Manhasset, the candidates discussed the state of the school district and pressing issues it faces.

When posed the question of how to engage students affected by the pandemic, Brooks said she would like to see more participation in the clubs and sports throughout Schrieber High School from both a student and administrator perspective.

“I really think there’s something for everybody in those clubs and I have always thought they were underutilized and I would love to see the administrators reach out to more students and bring in more to participate in those,” she said.

Tretola said the simplest things can be the most effective to promote social inclusivity, including organizing reading or book clubs throughout the school day.

Beys said the possible need for more clubs or more engagement is something the board would be notified of from the superintendent or administration. That being said, she acknowledged, that returning to in-person events such as schoolwide activities and concerts has been well-received by district stakeholders.

“I’m happy to see that we’re doing concerts that we are doing plays, that we are doing graduations in person again,” Beys said. “So I’m happy with that. But as a board member, I would really depend on the requirements, the needs or the asks of the administration.”

Beys touted her collaboration within the board and throughout the entire district as president and said she hopes to continue building on the work done throughout the Port Washington school system if re-elected.

I’ve always reminded others that we not only represent all the students in our district but that we represent the taxpayers of ours as well,” Beys said. “I hope to receive your vote for another term on the Port Washington School Board.”

Brooks said continuing to prioritize students’ education, improvements to the college application process for first-generation and underserved students are some aspects she looks forward to, along with facilities and infrastructure upgrades.

“If re-elected, I will continue to work towards forging the school-community partnership and ensuring that all children have the opportunity to develop such a love of learning,” she said. “It will be an honor and privilege to continue serving this community.”

Tretola touted the work of Abramson-Brooks and Beys and said he genuinely appreciates their efforts and that he has had positive interactions with both.

Tretola said he believes his experience could serve the district in an effective manner and that a parent advocate’s voice on the board would be welcomed.

“I’m in a position where I’m the underdog and I’m excited about it,” he said. “I’m running against two people who I’ve learned so much from… I actually happen to like both of them. The only difference is we see things in different ways. When you’re a parent of a child with special needs, you look at things differently. Maybe their experiences help them, but at the end of the day… the best thing you can do for a child is just believe in them.”

The election will take place on May 17 at Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School from 6 a.m.-10 p.m.


No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here