In North Bellmore this year, three are competing for two seats on the Board of Education — an incumbent, a first-time candidate who is active in PTAs and a former trustee.
Meanwhile, in Bellmore, two longtime school trustees run unopposed to keep their seats.
Peter Mayo, 44, an electrician with Local #3 IBEW in New York City, has lived in North Bellmore for 18 years, and has two children attending school in the district. He has also served on the Board of Education before, as well as in a leadership role within the Bellmore-Merrick little league community.
Mayo was running again, he told the Herald, “to continue to build upon the growth and progress that has been made within the North Bellmore School District — not only for my children, but for all of the children within the district — while maintaining the best cost-to-benefit ratio for all of the taxpayers of the community.”
Jo-Ann Erhard, 49, a 17-year community member, has spent 14 of those years, she said as an active PTA leader and advocate for children. She serves as vice president of operations in international trade finance at Star Funding, Inc, and lives in the community with her husband, where they raised two children.
Erhard is running “to help the district meet its fiduciary responsibilities of providing an exemplary education while keeping its focus on expenditures and revenue.”
“Additionally, I’d lime to focus on being an active voice and advocate for our children in the area of academic, social and emotional learning, and physical and mental health and wellness,” Erhard added. “I’m committed to our community and dedicated to progress.”
Incumbent Rosemarie Corless, 57, is a pediatric nurse practitioner who works with children with cancer. She has lived in the community for 27 years, and has three daughters, all of whom went through the North Bellmore and Central High School Districts.
Corless said that she has been an advocate for children since she was in college and is uniquely tuned into the developmental and educational needs of children.
“Making tough decisions at work has provided me the ability to make tough decisions school board members must deal with,” Corless said. “I have always been an engaged board member, balancing the needs of all constituents while making difficult decisions.”
Two longtime incumbents are running unopposed in the Bellmore School District. Janet Goller, a Mepham graduate, has lived in the Bellmore-Merrick community her entire life. She has worked as an operations manager for Empire Foods, a Long Island company, and also has a degree in early childhood education from Nassau Community College.
Goller has told the Herald in the past that she believes it is important to remain visible in the community. She wants the Bellmore community to feel comfortable to approach her and all members of the board should there be a problem. “I’m very committed to being visible and involved,” she said.
Maryanne Kelly has been involved with the Bellmore schools’ PTAs for more than a decade, and was the executive vice president of Winthrop Avenue’s PTA. Kelly was also a part of the PTA’s ways and means committee and was heavily involved with fundraising
She has told the Herald that her experience gave her some background in budgeting. She also coaches Kathleen’s LIJSL soccer team, the Bellmore Rockets.
She told the Herald before her last election Bellmore community the information that it needs to make informed decisions on the budget and issues to come. Kelly noted that this is key toward “making sure that parents are involved and have the right answers.”
School budget and trustee votes will be held on May 21. Visit www.liherald.com in the week leading up to the vote for polling places and times.