After six years on the Tuckahoe School Board, Sharon Grindle says there is still more work to do and she would like a third three-year term.
Grindle, 52, is a former guidance counselor specializing in special ed guidance counseling who is retired from the Three Village School District. Her three children, Tuckahoe seventh-grader Rachel, junior Daniel and Stony Brook University freshman Paul, all attended starting in kindergarten.
There are several initiatives Grindle said she wants to see through. For instance, the district has new math and science curriculums for kindergarten through fifth grade and new computer-based programs are slated to start in the fall. She noted that the district has a new technology teacher and a new library media specialist. “Together they work to bring virtual learning into our classrooms every day,” she said.
The school also added SmartBoards to every classroom during her tenure on the School Board, Grindle said. “There’s just so much in education that’s happening now for kids.”
Giving credit to School Business Official Keri Loughlin and Superintendent Chris Dyer, Grindle said the proposed district budget for 2012-13 is an lean as it can be. It calls for a tax levy increase of 1.99 percent, while the maximum allowable annual levy increase is 2.7 percent under a new state tax cap.
Grindle said the 2012-13 plan includes switching from half-day to full-day pre-kindergarten with transportation, with no increased costs for taxpayers. “As soon as you get kids into a classroom and start learning early, they have a much better trajectory to catch up if they're behind in any area, from math to hand-eye coordination, manipulating objects ...," she said, explaining why the School Board favored full-day pre-K. The school will not add any teachers or new bus routes to make it happen, she said.
The district will also continue to offer parents a choice between sending their kids to Southampton High School and Westhampton Beach High School for ninth through 12th grades, as Tuckahoe does not have its own high school.
On the possibility of Tuckahoe School District ever merging with Southampton School District, Grindle said, “I really would not like Tuckahoe to lose its individuality. It’s such a wonderful place. There is so much one-on-one attention there.”
“Right now there is no talk of consolidating, but it’s always something that is a possibility,” she said.
And on why she enjoys being on the School Board, Grindle said “I love kids, I love learning, so that’s why I do this."
Grindle has been a PTO member and liaison to the School Board and a member of the Shared Decision Making Team. She holds a master's degree in education and a bachelor's in early childhood and elementary education.
In 2012, she was presented a SCOPE award for outstanding school board service and in 2010 was awarded a New York State School Board Association certificate of achievement.
Grindle has one challenger for her seat, Harald , a former member of the School Board looking to return.
The election will take place in the gymnasium Tuesday, May 15, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.