Tony Dill, current president of theSchool Board, is running again for the unopposed seat.
Dill, 71, has been a full-time resident in new Suffolk for five years but has been summering in the area since he was a small child. He’s an architect, owns his own business and has three grown children.
If re-elected, Dill will be entering his 10th year on the school board that recently adopted a $747,168 2011-2012 budget — 23.5 percent less than that of the current year with no program cuts. Dill said that serving on this three-member board at a school populated by about 20 kids is always a unique and interesting experience.
“We have an incredible staff who are in tune on how to instruct these kids in a multi-grade situation,” he said.
New Suffolk recently hired a third teacher in order to adjust to the population “explosion” of 2009-10 — when enrollment more than doubled from nine to over 20, though next year’s enrollment is projected to be slightly less.
Dill said he also believes that it’s his job to make sure that the school’s staff members prepare kids of all ages for state-mandated proficiency tests but basing instruction on aptitude, not necessarily age.
“If a second-grader is has the aptitude of a fourth-grader in math or reading, then that student will study with the fourth-graders,” he said.
Most importantly, Dill wants to see the tiny New Suffolk school — an icon of the small waterfront community for over 100 years — continue to serve local families for years to come.
“This place is really important to the image and life of this community,” he said. “Without the school, New Suffolk would be just another housing subdivision in Southold Town.”
Don't forget to vote for school board candidates and 2011-12 budgets on Tuesday.