Readers Write: Re-Elect Michael Culotta for the Floral Park-Bellerose Board of Education

Readers Write: Re-Elect Michael Culotta for the Floral Park-Bellerose Board of Education
Michael Culotta was re-elected Tuesday along with Rosemarie Peltonen, who will take the seat left vacant by Douglas Vigo. (Photo courtesy of the candidate)

On May 17, the Floral Park-Bellerose community will be going to the polls, and I ask for the privilege of serving you for another term and representing your voice on the Board of Education.

When I was first elected in 2019, I vowed to advocate for our students, fight for our families, and make decisions with an eye toward fiscal responsibility. With these priorities guiding me, I helped our district achieve tremendous success over the last three years.

As a trustee, I helped oversee the first expansions of Floral Park-Bellerose and John Lewis Childs Schools in decades—key projects that we delivered to our students and our community on-time and within budget. We implemented a full-time Universal Pre-K program, which helps ease the financial burden of childcare on our families.

We developed new science programs and discovery labs, and we made strategic investments in technology. We prioritized mental health and social and emotional learning throughout the constantly changing environment of the last two years. We supported our students with psychologists, social workers, and guidance counselors, and we supported our teachers with critical training.

I worked with our board and our administration to bring more transparency to our operations and decision-making. We transformed our website and uploaded more detailed information about our curriculum, our capital projects, and our budget. We revamped our social media pages, we shared regular newsletters and updates, and thanks to Zoom, we have been able to engage more of our community during public meetings.

During any other moment, these accomplishments might have felt like heavy lifts. But we reached these unprecedented achievements in the face of a raging pandemic, which our district took head on. For the last two years, I have been at the table, working to bring our community together, listening to concerns and ideas, and helping to develop comprehensive plans to keep our children safe.

As a result of these efforts, we were able to bring our students back into the classroom while minimizing the transmission of the virus. Today, we can see the smiles on the faces of our children, who have demonstrated to us the true meaning of resilience. They are inspirations to us all.

Although we have come a long way over the last two years, we are not completely out of the pandemic, and there is still much work to be done to ensure that the future of our children remains bright.

We find ourselves in a moment of transition on many fronts. Our community has grown. Our original school buildings were constructed a century ago, and their infrastructure is aging. New educational standards are on the horizon. The number of students who require special educational services has grown exponentially over the last ten years.

This environment offers the perfect moment for us to develop a new long-range strategic plan for the Floral Park-Bellerose School District. We have an opportunity to reimagine the educational experience for our students, establish new goals, and raise the bar in our schools.

As an attorney and senior executive, I have extensive experience bringing people together around complicated problems and issues, building consensus, and implementing meaningful and strategic changes. I have helped our district reach new heights in the face of tremendous obstacles and adversity. I can get the job done.

My wife and I, like many others in the area, bought our home in Floral Park, planted our roots, and invested in our community because the school system is one of the best in New York State. Our oldest child is thriving at Floral Park-Bellerose School, and our youngest child soon will be joining their ranks.

I have a vested interest in the success of our school district. When we succeed, our children grow, our home values remain high, and our community continues to be one of the most desirable places to live and learn in Long Island.

I would be honored to serve as your Trustee and continue the great work of our community during another term on the Floral-Park Bellerose Board of Education. I humbly ask for your vote on Election Day. Thank you for your support.

Michael Culotta
Floral Park-Bellerose Board of Education

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