Paul Michaluk, incumbent
Michaluk has been a member of the school board for three years. His two children have gone through the district, and both are now enrolled in higher education at the …
Michaluk has been a member of the school board for three years. His two children have gone through the district, and both are now enrolled in higher education at the undergraduate level.
Michaluk said he is passionate about this town, and that it is all about the children. He has coached West Islip’s DACA team and softball team as well as BYO basketball for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He also taught religion for nine years. Involved in at least six committees in the district, he said he believes it is important to give back to the town.
“I spend close to 20 hours per month working on whatever issues come up with the district,” he said. “It is just my honor to give back to the town and the children.”
When asked about concerns to address in the district, Michaluk answered in relevance to the health pandemic that closed the schools in March.
“We don’t know what school is going to look like next year,” he said. “We just went through something very horrible, and we are still going through it. State aid is going to become a real issue. I don’t know what that is going to look like in a few years.”
Tussie is a 13-year resident of West Islip with 20 years of teaching experience. He has four daughters in the district, is an active member of the PTA, and runs several committees within the district.
Tussie pointed to the next academic year as the largest concern for the district at the moment.
“We really don’t know what to expect other than the fact that school will be different than what we are used to,” he said.
Tussie said he is confident in his ability to understand different programs and curricula as well as worthwhile test-drive options, especially when it comes to technology.
“I am a little apprehensive about kids having too much screen time,” Tussie said. “Whatever we do, we have to make sure we get it right.”
Quoting Carl Bonuso, his previous superintendent while teaching in Hicksville, Tussie explained his purpose in running for a seat on the board of education: “‘The greatest financial investment we are ever going to make in our lives is our house. The greatest emotional investment we will make in life is our children. So how do you protect both? By investing in your schools,’” he said, planning to follow Bonuso’s advice.
“I want to invest my time, my effort, my energy, and my compassion into our schools and really try to do what is best for the kids of West Islip,” he said.
Ronald Maginniss is the third candidate and is an incumbent. Maginniss could not be reached for comment before print.