North Salem Principals’ Association endorses Aversano, Guldan for Board of Ed


Photo by Sora Shimazaki

This is the first of a three-part series that will introduce readers to the North Salem Central School District Board of Ed candidates and their backgrounds, their platforms, and where they stand on key issues for parents and community members.

Last week, the League of Women Voters of Northeast Westchester hosted a candidate forum to provide voters with an opportunity to hear directly from the four candidates running for two open seats on the North Salem Central School District Board of Education: Carolyn Aversano, Matthew DeRose, Kurt Guldan and Christopher Jaeger. The forum was attended by approximately 50 community members, including parents, current and past board members, local leaders and district administrators.

The day after the forum, at the May 3 Board of Ed Meeting, North Salem Middle/High School principal Vince DiGrandi, speaking on behalf of the North Salem Principals’ Association, publicly endorsed Aversano and Guldan.

Aversano and Guldan both have Board of Ed experience. Guldan is the current Board Vice President and has served on the Board for the past six years. Aversano previously served on the Board between 2013-2015 and is also a former trustee of the Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES Board of Education, which serves 18 area school districts, including North Salem. Matthew DeRose and Christopher Jaeger are the two challenger candidates. Both have elementary-aged children who attend Pequenakonck Elementary School.

DiGrandi’s remarks on behalf of the North Salem Principals’ Association
“I’m here to express my unwavering public support for the candidates Kurt Guldan and Carolyn Aversano for the Board of Education. We will be entering this upcoming school year with the district’s first change in superintendency in the last 15 years (thank you, Ken). And to fully support the transition as well as the work moving forward, Mr. Guldan–a current two-term Board of Ed member–and Mrs. Aversano–a former Board of Ed member and former Board of Ed president–are the clear choice to bring experience, knowledge and collaboration to our district.

"I have worked closely with both of them on a myriad of topics over the past six years. Kurt has been instrumental in leveraging his county and state contacts to bring the Middle School/High School water project to completion. This is a project that was bogged down in red tape for years, and if not for Kurt’s ability to cut through the bureaucracy, might still be. His relationships will once again be needed for assistance as we undertake the water project at PQ. He has also worked tirelessly behind the scenes for North Salem families. I have personally witnessed him providing essential resources to families in need throughout the community. He spent his personal time in the rain with me handing out Covid tests, which he helped us attain. He was instrumental in the upgrading of our auditorium sound system. He organized free Narcan training for our nurses and administrators and is the reason we have been allocated thousands of dollars in grant money this year alone.

"Carolyn is a member of the Foundation for Learning and an active participant in our mission committee meetings. Mrs. Aversano and I have had multiple conversations about North Salem graduates and her ideas which focus on our ability to ensure that we have the requisite resources and tools needed at the building level to best prepare all students for life after graduation.

"As a member of the Foundation for Learning, [Aversano] supported our request to bring in a national expert, Katie Koestner, to speak to our juniors and seniors this year about consent and sexual assault. Carolyn’s focus is always about what’s in the best interest of students - those that continue on to college, the workforce, or into the military; those that participate in the arts, or those who play sports. She cares about all.

"These two candidates have an unparalleled commitment to the whole child and I am confident that they will work collaboratively to ensure that our schools provide the best possible learning environment for all students, K-12. Their efforts have resulted in significant improvements in our school system, including areas of safety and mental health, and I know Kurt and Carolyn will continue to be tireless advocates for all, promoting policies that ensure every student has an opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background or circumstances.

"I urge everyone to join me in supporting them, these two outstanding individuals, Kurt Guldan and Carolyn Aversano, as they run for the North Salem Central School District Board of Education. I have tremendous confidence that they will work to build a better future for all students and ensure that our schools remain a source of pride and excellence for many years to come.”

More from the Candidate Series
Tomorrow, the North Salem Post will explore each of the four candidates in more detail, including their backgrounds, motivations for running and key platforms.

Voting will take place Tuesday, May 16 at Pequenakonck Elementary School.

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