Electing incumbents supports Manhasset schools during high turnover period: board president

Teri West
Manhasset Board of Education President Regina Rule, second from left, and Trustee Christine Monterroso, right, are running for re-election this May. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

The Manhasset school district has experienced a lot of turnover in administration in the last few years, said Board of Education Trustee Christine Monterosso. It hired a new superintendent, new principals and, most recently, a new director of fine and performing arts.

But the Board of Education is likely to look the same for the time being since the two members whose terms are up – Monterosso and President Regina Rule – are running again unopposed.

That sameness should be good for the district, Rule said.

“I am running for reelection because I feel there is value for our school community in having stability at the Board level, especially when we have a number of new members in our administrative team,” she wrote in an email. “In my discussions with people across our school community, they have expressed similar feelings.”

Rule has served on the board for nine years and Monterosso has served for three.

They both said that they appreciate how the board is prioritizing student well-being.

A ballot proposition to approve capital reserve spending will allocate funds to a new social-emotional wing in the Manhasset Secondary School where middle schoolers will have access to specialists such as a social worker and counselor. Superintendent Vincent Butera has said that the space is intended to both raise awareness about such resources and destigmatize their use.

“There’s a lot of pressure on children, and not specific to Manhasset – it’s everywhere,” Monterosso said. “I think that our goal going forward is to make sure we’re focusing on the whole child and not just the academic part of the child.”

The trustee currently has an elementary schooler, middle schooler and high schooler in the district, which keeps her in touch with what’s going on at each school, she said.

“I have access to parents from all three schools, and that is really helpful,” Monterosso said. “People know to come find me if they have an issue, and I like that. I like to be able to help if I can.”

The board has been successful in maintaining a districtwide dialogue, Rule said. The school community feels like a well-connected family where people share the same values, she said.

Besides the priority the board has placed upon the well-being of students and staff, she said she is proud of the investments it has made in building upgrades.

Monterosso said she’s happy with the work the board has put into making new administrative hires and the way that appointees have upheld district standards.

A vote for her is a vote for someone who puts students first, she said.

“To touch a child’s life – it’s very meaningful to me,” Monterosso said. “I’m doing the best I can to do right by the children and to make sure that we continue with the high standards that we have.”

Manhasset voters will head to the polls at the secondary school gym on May 21.

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