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James Wilson Competes for School Board Seat in Southampton

Real estate exec and Southampton Village resident says he can work on a team.

Southampton Village resident James "Jake" Wilson says he is the School Board candidate with the experience to face down tough issues and cooperate with board members, teachers and administrations.

Wilson, 47, is a commercial real estate executive for Brightleaf Management. He has two children in , sophomore Lily and junior Maude.

He serves on the Friends of Board and is a former board member of the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights in Washington, D.C.

Wilson is originally from Massachusetts, outside Boston, and has lived in Southampton for 12 years.

"The board and the community are facing some difficult issues over the next several years," he said. "We, as a community, need board members who can work together and get along and work as a team.”

He added that, because of his professional experience, he can effectively sift through data.

During Tuesday’s Meet the Candidates Night, he said he is concerned that the district has a Harvard-level cost-per-student, while students are not getting a Harvard-level education.

Posed the question Tuesday of whether and school districts should merge, Wilson said he thinks it would be efficient for the superintendent to oversee more than the three schools he currently does.

Wilson said he likes the district’s dual language program for elementary school students, in which students spend equal time learning in English and in Spanish to become fluent in both languages. He said he believes multiculturalism is important.

Asked what changes he would like to see, he said that one idea he favors is making physical education a pass/fail course. “I think gym should be fun,” he said. “It shouldn’t be academic.”

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.

Wilson is competing with , and .

The election will take place May 15 in the music room from 10 a.m to 9 p.m. Voters will also .

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