Four File To Run For BOE

By on July 30, 2019

Verona public schools
Jim Day and Glenn Elliott are seeking re-election to the Verona Board of Education, and they will be challenged by Sara Drappi and Lynn Halsey. All four filed candidate petitions by Monday’s deadline. There are two three-year terms up for election, and the vote will be held on Tuesday, November 5.

Day will be going for his third term on the BOE. A resident of Verona since 2003, he was first elected in 2013, defeating Elliott who was then seeking a fourth term.

“I am running for the Board of Education to continue to advance the school district above and beyond where it is today,” Day said by email. “Working with the board and administration for the past five years, we have expanded the academic offerings to students, improved the technology in the schools, enhanced the district mental health program, and increased security for the six school buildings. As a result of these efforts, the district received numerous accolades and awards in recent years, which elevated students for academic achievement and helps Verona to be a desirable town to live in.”

Day ran again in 2016, as did Elliott, and both were elected. Elliott is now looking to build on that comeback.

“Serving the great people of Verona and the Verona School District for almost 15 years has been a tremendous honor,” said Elliott by email. “In the face of so many challenges, we’ve accomplished great things in the areas of curriculum, facilities, mental health, staff development, strategic planning and technology. The results speaks volumes, and the recognition the District has been receiving at the local, state, and national level only serves to validate what we’ve achieved. But the work is never done, we can always strive to be better. So I’m seeking another term…another opportunity to serve our community. There is nothing more important to a town than it’s schools, and the experience, knowledge and passion I bring to the position will serve the District well.”

Halsey filed to run in the 2018 BOE election, but withdrew her candidacy before the vote. She is a Verona resident since 2011, and was the director of sales operations for NBC Universal before obtaining a master’s in social work. Halsey served on the BOE’s Strategic Action Planning Committee and has two daughters in Laning Avenue School.

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“Our family has gained so much after only having joined the Laning family three short years ago,” Halsey said by email. “Verona schools are truly the heart of this caring and involved community and I would love to have the opportunity to give back by serving on the board. My passions and ideas are a result of a unique intersection of experience in media sales operations, women’s healthcare, and mental health work with vulnerable communities. I would love the opportunity to use my dedication to researching and implementing evidenced-based practices as a way to ensure that our kids, of all ages and grades, are prepared to deal with the unprecedented stressors of today and the ever evolving world of tomorrow. Advocating for the needs of our youngest learners by supporting smaller class sizes, improved conflict resolution programs, a fully integrated mental health curriculum, and a strong technology program is essential to continuing the efforts that Verona voters already put into action last year on Election Day. I am excited to begin meeting with the residents of Verona so that I can gain a deeper understanding of their education priorities and expectations of the board.”

Drappi is a Verona native who attended Verona public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade and went on to get a bachelors from Indiana University-Bloomington. She received a masters in education and  a certificate in special education from Montclair State University and has been a special ed teacher for eight years. Drappi’s two daughters will be attending Laning, the same school she attended. She is a member of Sustainable Verona, a coach for both recreation softball and this year’s inaugural girls’ field hockey team. In addition, Drappi was co-lead of last year’s drive to get voters to approve full-day kindergarten.

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“As an educator, I believe that the school board has a responsibility to serve every student equitably,” Drappi says. “My professional experience as a teacher in special services allows me a unique perspective on how to use the quickly growing special services budget as effectively as possible to ensure tax dollars are used responsibly. Furthermore, as our town continues to grow, collaboration and communication between the school board and the town council will be essential in managing infrastructure concerns before they occur. I am incredibly proud to be a life-long Hillbilly and look forward to helping all Verona students succeed at every level.”

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