RYE, N.Y. - The field for the Rye City School District's Board of Education race has taken shape with the passing of the candidate filing deadline on Wednesday. Four candidates have emerged for the three board seats that are up for election. Only one candidate, board President Laura Slack, is an incumbent.
Board Vice President Ray Schmitt and member Josh Nathan have chosen not to seek re-election in May.
Slack, who is coming off her first year as board president, was vice president from 2008 to 2011 and has been on nine school district committees. She led the search for the district's new superintendent, Frank Alvarez.
Slack cited her expertise as the district looks to overcome the challenges of a tax cap world.
"I have been honored to serve the Rye community as a school board trustee for the past six years," Slack said. "Ryes schools will face enormous budgetary challenges in the next three years, and my experience will be necessary as we overcome those challenges while maintaining the excellence in education our community expects. I am looking forward to working with Dr. Alvarez in executing on his vision."
The three challengers are tax attorney Patrick Cox, 2009 candidate Chris Repetto and Nancy Pasquale, an avid attendee at Board of Education meetings.
A 20-year Rye resident and the mother of fourth-generation Garnets, Pasquale has served as president of the Milton School PTO and as a member of the Facilities Committee and the Curriculum Council. Pasquale said her experience and dedication would make her an effective board member.
"I have spent the last seven years as a dedicated volunteer for the Rye City schools," Pasquale said. "That involvement has provided an in-depth understanding of the issues facing public education in N.Y. state and in Rye specifically."
Cox said his nearly 20 years of experience as a tax attorney forming budgets makes him a uniquely qualified candidate.
"I'm running mainly out of a sense of obligation to do community service and give back to the town that I love so much," Cox said. "I really feel fortunate to live in Rye and relish the idea that this is one way to give back. I appreciate that there are significant issues facing the Rye school district and that this is an important time for the Rye City school board."
Repetto, who almost won a seat in the 2009 Board of Education election, did not respond to inquiries seeking comment.
The three candidates who receive the most votes in the May 15 election will serve three-year terms starting on July 1.
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