EASTCHESTER, N.Y. When Eastchester residents head for the polls Tuesday to vote on the 2012-13 school budget, they will also have the chance to give three members of the Board of Education a vote of confidence.
Board members Dave Carforo, John J. Curcio and Michelle S. Kissel are all unopposed for re-election to the nine-member panel. Here is a look at the candidates:
David Carforo, the current board secretary, is a real estate professional who has specialized in the development of rental housing since 1986. He is originally from the Bronx and has lived in Eastchester since 1994. His familiarity with the town goes back a lot further, though his father, Nick Carforo (Eastchester High School class of 1946), was raised in town and operated a landscaping business here.
A trustee on the Board of Education since 2009, David Carforo serves on the board's Finance/Audit Advisory Committee and the Community Relations Committee.
Carforo graduated from Manhattan College and has earned advanced degrees from Bowling Green State University and New York University. He has two daughters: One graduated from Eastchester High School and is attending college, and the other is a junior who will graduate in June 2013.
John J. Curcio has 20 years of experience working in public schools in New York, beginning as a special education schoolteacher in New York City. He also served as the city's Chancellor's Review specialist. He has seven years of combined experience as a coordinator and as supervisor and director of human relations for BOCES in Nassau and Southern Westchester; and additional human resources experience with the Greenwich public schools, the Lakeland Central schools and the Roosevelt Union Free School District. He is an assistant principal with the New York City Department of Education. He is on the Eastchester Board of Education's Negotiations Committee, Finance Committee and Education Committee.
Curcio holds a doctorate in psychology and a master's degree in statistics, from Columbia University, as well as a master's in industrial psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from St. John's University in 1990.
Curcio said his education and career experience help him deal with complex issues.
"I've always had the courage to make difficult decisions on behalf of our students; defend the philosophy and goals of the Eastchester Board of Education; and work tirelessly, collaboratively and, most importantly, transparently, with all community members," he said.
He and his wife of nearly 20 years, Jamie, have lived in Eastchester for the past 11 years. Their 15-year-old daughter, Maddison, is an eighth-grader attending Eastchester Middle School. Their 12-year-old son, Jared, is a sixth-grader at Eastchester Middle School, and 7-year-old son Zachary is at Waverly.
Michelle Simon Kissel has been a trustee on the Eastchester Union Free School District Board of Education since 1997. During those 15 years, she served as president three times.
Kissel was appointed as the seventh dean of the Pace University School of Law in 2008 after serving as interim dean during the 2007-08 academic year. She has been a member of the Pace Law faculty since 1985. Prior to joining the Pace faculty, Kissel served a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge A. Simon Chrein and practiced law for several years at Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP, where she specialized in products liability litigation.
She received a bachelor's degree with honors from Albany University, SUNY, and she is an honors graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, where she served as senior lead articles editor of the Syracuse Law Review.
She lives in Eastchester with her husband, Richard Kissel, and has three children: Amanda, an attorney practicing in New York City; Maggie, who is entering her fourth year of medical school; and Bobby, who is finishing his junior year of college.
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