North Sea's Andrew Brindle, is one of four candidates seeking two seats on the Southampton School Board.
Brindle, 46, has three children in , third-graders Cooper and Hudson and first-grader Chase, and one in , sixth-grader Hope.
Brindle said he is looking to join the School Board while his children are young because he wants to effect change in time for their benefit.
Originally from England, Brindle moved to the U.S. in 1993. He became a permanent resident of Southampton in 2007. "I love this community and I'm here for the long-term," he said, adding that he thinks he will make a good complement to board members who have been in the area longer.
Brindle said he spent 25 years working in finance, including 18 years at JP Morgan in England, Paris and New York. He has founded several small businesses, including an alternative energy company in Westhampton Beach.
He has served on several boards, both for-profit and nonprofit, and he volunteers to coach football, lacrosse and baseball.
At Tuesday's Meet the Candidates Night, he was posed with the question of whether Southampton and school districts should merge. He noted that Southampton is examining what services it can share with Tuckahoe, such as busing, but said the clear winner in a full merger would be Tuckahoe taxpayers, who currently pay a higher tax rate than Southampton.
Questioned on the district’s dual language program, in which students spend equal time learning in English and in Spanish to become fluent in both languages, Brindle said, “I couldn’t be more intimately familiar with the program.” Two of his children participate. “It was a massive selling point for the school when I first arrived,” he said.
Brindle said the dual language program is a clever way for the district to fulfill the state mandate for English as a Second Language education.
He said he has spent the past few weeks meeting parents, teachers, School Board members and administrators. "I feel I have a keen awareness of many of the hot topics that the community needs particular focus on," he said, citing the the long-term budget, state testing scores, the dual language program, shared services opportunities with other school districts and enhanced cooperation and coordination between the three schools.
Brindle said, for voters who cast their ballot for him, “What you’ll get is a thoughtful, reasonable person with 20-some years of finance experience and is invested in the district."
Two School Board seats are available, one for a full five-year term, and the second for an abridged term of four years. The candidate with the most votes will receive the longer term. There are no incumbents in the race. School Board President David Dubin is not seeking re-election, and former member Amy Pierson stepped down shortly after to take a job with the school district.
Brindle is competing with , and write-in candidate .
The election will take place May 15 in the music room from 10 a.m to 9 p.m. Voters will also .