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Meet the School Board Candidates for Huntington School District 3

The Huntington PTA Council will be hosting a Meet the Candidates Night on Wednesday, May 2, 7 p.m. at Finley Middle School. There are five candidates running to fill three BOE Trustee positions. Candidates were asked to submit a biography. They are displayed in the order they will appear on the ballot.

Tom DiGiacomo

I am a third-generation Huntington resident and graduate of the Class of 1979. After graduation I earned my Associate’s Degree in Business. My professional career spans over 25 years in technology, providing solutions for businesses ranging in size from small to Fortune 50. As the Northeast Regional Director of Sales for a global technology firm, I was responsible for six regional offices and managing a $100 million budget. I am currently the Director of Sales for a Long Island-based firm providing products and solutions to the Federal Government.

For the past 7 years, I have regularly attended school board meetings and been an active member of the PTA. I am also Co-Chair of our school districts “Shared Decision” making committee. My wife, Nancy, is actively involved in the PTA and is currently the Treasurer at Woodhull. She is also on the Arts in Education Committee. Our son, Casey, is in the 6th grade.

I believe my background in business and technology solutions along with a balanced approach to problem solving would be an asset to our board. I have a genuine desire to help make our district the finest it can be for all of our children.

Bill Dwyer

I have lived with my wife Karen and three sons in Huntington for the past 16 years. My oldest son Bradley is a senior at the high school, Brendan is a freshman at the high school, and Ethan is an eighth grader at Finley.

Our family has always been involved in the community. I have served three years as president of the school board, have been an officer in the Huntington Village Lacrosse Club for the past six years, and am a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day parade). Karen has been president of SEPTA and the PTA of several schools. For the past 7 years, she has run the annual fundraiser for the Huntington Foundation for Excellence in Education. As a family, we attend St.Patrick’s Church.

I have a Bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering. I also have a Master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. I work with school districts across New York advising them on technology and how to make the most of their student academic data. I hope to bring these skills to the Huntington School Board so that our district can benefit from my capabilities.

Emily Rogan

As my second term winds down, I am running for re-election to the Huntington School Board.

I currently serve as president and have served for two years as vice president. Over the past six years, I’ve been a member of the Comprehensive Health Advisory Council, attended countless school district functions and several conferences and advocacy workshops. Most recently, I attended a state issues conference in Albany.

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Having worked on six budgets to date, I offer the wisdom and insight of a seasoned trustee.

I am so proud of our board’s decision to hire Jim Polansky; under his leadership, the climate in our district has significantly improved. I am eager to spend another term working with him and my fellow trustees to build upon these improvements, providing Huntington’s students with the finest education possible and helping them reach their collective potential as citizens and individuals.

A consensus-builder and someone who values all opinions, I work well with trustees, community members, and administrators alike.

My husband and I are graduates of Huntington High School; our son is a sophomore and our daughter is a sixth-grader at Woodhull. I earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s from New York University.

Susan Tully

Susan Tully was raised in Huntington Station and has resided in the Huntington School District for over 15 years. A Walt Whitman High School graduate, Tully earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Accounting at C.W. Post College.

As a CPA and a senior financial executive, Tully has over 30 years experience working with multinational and entrepreneurial companies. Her financial experience and expertise reflects the successful management company assets and operating budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Tully has held senior financials positions at Ernst & Young and Universal Music Group. She has served as Chief Financial Officer at Palm Entertainment, Ryko Corp and BASE Entertainment. Ms. Tully is currently the Chief Financial Officer of West Brands.

Ms. Tully is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Huntington, a development program focused on community trusteeship. The program brings together leaders from diverse backgrounds to solve Huntington’s problems, including those related to the special needs of children and education.

Throughout her career, Ms. Tully has successfully recruited and developed many young professionals. She also enjoys very special mentoring relationships with young people.

A regular attendee at School Board meetings, Ms. Tully is a frequent contributor during public commentary.

Xavier Palacios

Xavier Palacios graduated with Huntington High School’s Class of 1988. He earned degrees at Columbia University and Boston University School of Law and is the owner and managing partner of a Mineola-based law firm. In 2008, he purchased and renovated a distressed property on New York Avenue in Huntington Station where he conducts a satellite office for his law practice along with a community revitalization nonprofit organization.

Palacios and his wife, Laura, have three children, including a daughter attending Finley Middle School and two other daughters not yet of school age. Palacios has made mentoring a priority in his life. At Columbia, he taught SAT prep and biology. Palacios continues to mentor and believes that families need to be engaged in their children’s education. He would seek to encourage environments that invite the families of our district to be involved in their children’s education. He has been recognized for his work in the community and his efforts to strengthen opportunities for young people. Palacios is a fiscal conservative and a problem solver by trade. His legal expertise can help the district with state mandates, district contracts, legal rulings, grant access and alignment of programs to access additional revenue.

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Vote on Tuesday, May 15, 6 a.m. – 9 p.m., Huntington High School 

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65 comments to Meet the School Board Candidates for Huntington School District 3

  • Anonymous

    Who should I vote for in South Huntington?

  • Anonymous

    which one closed my school?

  • Anonymous

    We need Susan Tully on the board to get the financials together and make sure the monies are being spent where they should be and we need Rogan to stay on the board as she has proven that she can do the job…with those 2, plus the current members I really think we have a great chance of getting our schools back on track…along with Mr Polansky, who is doing an outstanding job !!

  • Anon

    Didn’t Dwyer close the school?

    • Yes he did

      Were you referring to the school that is located inside the war zone? The school that had/has shootings and stabbings all around it? Day and night? Thank God for Bill Dwyer and the rest of the board that shut it down. At least they have the childrens safety first. If it were up to the morons in this town, they would have waited for a child to be ripped apart with bullets, lying in their own blood on the playground before doing a damn thing. Sometimes doing the right thing is very difficult. I’m glad he did and he has my vote. Common sense. Or maybe we should all listen to what Xavier Palacios said at the B.O.E. meeting last fall, “there is no more gang activity in the area, reopen the school, the station is safe.” How many shootings, crimes, incidents, etc. since he puked out that pile of crap?

  • Retired citizen

    Is it important for those who serve on the school board to have children in the Huntington public schools?

    • I am surprised......

      If you are a retired citizen with no kids in school, why would you even ask that question? You are concerned enough to read this article and post and you are a property owner ( maybe? ) who benefits from a quality school district. Tully is a very astute member of the community who has as much invested in the district as any parent who currently sends a child.

  • My Town Too

    It’s important for those who serve on the school board to have knowledge of what the job entails, to have been attending meetings regularly, to understand the issues and the dealings of the board with administration, to be willing to attend workshops and conferences after election to help learn about education law and financial responsibilities, and to be willing to work towards compromise when necessary.

    Having children in the district or graduated is a plus as is having been involved in things like PTA, committees, extracurricular activities etc, where you would come in contact with administration. I would say, yes, it’s important, but not necessary if one has other assets to offer on the board.

    This year I’d go with DiGiacomo, Tully and Rogan.

  • Anonymous

    ABD = Anybody But Dwyer.

    • Anon

      Dwyer has my full support. He and Polansky will do wonders for the district going forward, the way it was meant to be when Dwyer advocated for Polansky in the first place.

  • Tough voting year

    I know I’m voting for Emily and Xavier. I think Tom and Susan both bring strengths to the position-albeit different strengths. I’m not sure who my third vote goes to yet–Tom or Susan. Someone convince me!

  • District 3 needs to MOVE FORWARD

    While I know Dwyer volunteers a lot and that’s great, this school district needs to move forward not backwards. Dwyer had his time on the school board and it was a very bad time in this school district. I’m not willing to go back to those meetings that never ended, distress and division. We have a great superintendent now and it would benefit the whole district to keep going forward. Let’s not vote backwards. We can’t afford to return to those dark days.

    • I am surprised......

      The difference is the superintendent, not the Board Members. Polansky has shown great leadership. He is what has changed the environment and Dwyer is every bit responsible for bringing him in.

  • My Assessment

    This is a good article and fairly explains the reasons why different candidates are running. As I see it

    Tom may be good-offers a creative twist on technology and seems to be a consensus builder of sorts.
    Bill-didn’t prove himself to be the right leader for the school board when he had his time.
    Emily-most seasoned, cares about different perspectives and has a strong understanding of educational practice.
    Susan-Strong financial skills which could be very positive during these new financial struggles. Could help us get through the transition with the tax cap etc.
    Xavier-Inclusive, offers opportunities to save money and best respond to mandates with legal expertise. Consensus builder and cares about all.

    I see three seats and four candidates of quality-each for his/her own skill sets. It will be an interesting election!

    • Don't agree

      I do not believe Xavier is inclusive. In a District that has been divided, he is trying to build a Board that is very one sided and will bring us back to where we were a few years ago. He will use his Huntington Station advocacy to get it done and a large portion of the district will feel disenfranchised.

      • educated voter

        Mr. Palacios is a committed leftist, he is more concerned about power than about results. His goal is to help the Town Board take control over the school board so that all the new development projects will be unopposed. Then the developers will continue to line the pockets of the democrats and they will continue to get re-elected. For him it is primarily about money and power! His oldest has only been in the Huntington Public schools for a year which is NOT a lot of time invested in the school system. NOT a lot of time to even experience the school system. He will run on rhetoric, spend your money on programs that have great sounding names but dont work. He will pretend he is a fiscal conservative. As long as it LOOKS like he is trying to help you wont be able to criticize him or they will call you a racist. I am sick of the crony capitalism that has gone on in the White House and I DONT think we should bring it into our schools. ….we are NOT STUPID we know what you are up to.

        • That explains it!

          Was wondering why we have never seen Palacios at Board of Education meetings until now. Why the sudden interest?

          • Disgusted

            Maybe he was busy meeting with Petrone. However…he says no BOE member should voice opinions about town issues, at a time when town issues are negatively impacting our district. It’s not about racism…it’s about Ethics. You are being judged by the counsel you keep.

  • Anon

    Palcios represents his Latin Quarter. If you don’t think the district provides enough there then vote Palacios. He is wealthy enough to provide his kids the extras that will go away through private services. Are you?

  • Anon

    Palacios represents the community as whole, not just one section of it. Try not to be so narrow minded.

    • Anon

      Not being narrow minded when the comment is on what the broader population gives up. Just the opposite. Lets not pretend Palacios intends to represent the community as a whole when history shows different.

  • Anonymous

    get a life! Why don’t you run as a candidate for something instead of running your mouth and hiding like a *** behind a computer.

  • ABP(anybody but Palacious)

    Palacious has an agenda which does not include the majority of this district. He is Franks puppet too.
    TULLY AND DIGIACOMO ALL THE WAY. My third will probably be Rogan. Having Polansky is all we really need anyway!

  • T,E,X

    Interesting….at the end of the day people should vote their conscience. As far as I’m concerned, we need to keep moving towards the future. I don’t ever want to be in an audience listening to a politically motivated board again. I’m leaning towards a vote for Tully-a fiscal expert during bad financial times, Emily-an experienced Board member whose proven herself as a hard worker for all and Xavier whose legal expertise can help the district a lot with mandates, contracts etc. I’ve heard good things about Tom too but need to hear more in order to vote for him instead of one of the three mentioned here.

    • Legal What????

      His legal expertise? Puhleeeease. He can help with mandates and contracts? I thought his firm focused on making the illegal, legal. He can help with – More overcrowding, less quality of education, further expansion of the latin crime syndicate. Anyone that votes for this Petroney puppet, needs to have their head examined.

  • Change, change, change

    Let’s face it: times are a changing. School districts can’t fund themselves by raising our taxes at any level they choose. Teachers are going to be evaluated using a new system. A new Superintendent has changed business as usual. Technology is showing itself as a tool for improved academic success and the one thing we know is that change is the biggest constant we have. What does this have to do with this article? We need candidates in place who can roll with the changing times! We need people who can innovate and help the district develop new ways to make our schools successful. When any subgroup fails, it affects all of us. We have to do more with changing times. I am pretty sure I’m voting for Emily, Tom and Xavier. Each of these three seem to be forward-thinking, creative and understand the value of using new technologies in our schools. They also all care about returning to full day Kindergarten as an important value. Tully may be good but I haven’t heard enough from her except for her financial expertise-and we already have at least two financial gurus on the Board. Dwyer can serve in other ways but the School Board didn’t function well when he was given the chance. I hope people get out there and vote for the candidates who can reinvigorate our schools in this continually changing environment.

  • Anonymous

    It is important for the trustees to be sd3 taxpayers. I don’t think it’s a bad thing not to have kids in the sd.

  • Anon

    E,X,T- I choose these three because I feel Emily has done a great job with regards to what she has done in the past and she always has the kids best interests at heart. Xavier because I think it would be great to have an attorney on board plus you know he will push for full day (he’s got two young kids) and Tom for the technology. I think we need some new blood. I can’t stand Tully, although she has a financial background I can see her butting heads with the rest of them and we do not have time for that. Agree with the earlier posts on Dwyer, he had his shot. We dont want to go there anymore! It’s time to move forward!!

  • Anonymous

    why dont you people run as a candidate instead of trashing people who do. are you afraid that people will find out who you really are?

    • Anon

      And your name is………… Oh, right.

      • Anon and Anonymous

        I’m voting for Anon, Anonymous and the Unknown Comic for BOE. This will bring the change this ridiculous town needs. I would vote for a monkey before half of the names on that list. I cant even pronounce the one guys name. Really have to be kidding me.

  • Anonymous

    go back to school and get an education. do something productive with your lives. be kind and honest.

  • Anybody BUT Palacios

    Palacios will push his agenda, which includes reopening Jack Abrams, a school on the grounds of which there is suspicious adult activity almost nightly. Just read the positings on the School District 3 Facebook Group. There is a parent who lives across from Abrams who complains about suspicious and disruptive adult activity in the school playground almost every night! I believe one reason that the First Abrams Community Watch was founded was because of this activity. Palacios said there was no more gang activity in the neighborhood around Abrams. Guess he was wrong. And BTW…I am convinced that all the posts stating that the poster will be voting for Rogan, Palacios, and an unknown third is actually one and the same individual..

  • I Agree

    I agree about JAI. From The Huntingtonian–”In the immediate area surrounding the Jack Abrams school there are at least 6 homeless shelters and sober houses.” No school should be open in such a neighborhood. And who are the idiots responsible for having the school built in that location in the first place? I am voting for Rogan, DiGiacomo, and Tully.

    • My Town Too

      The school was there BEFORE the homeless shelters and sober houses.

      In fact, if you knew your Huntington history, there’s always been a school in this neighborhood! Roosevelt Elementary used to be there.

  • Anon

    Why is Xavier Palacios smiling? Because he has $$$ to spend on a video, website, signs, and ads on the VT and Hunt Patch.

  • curious

    I would like to know if the new “Re-registration” process is going to work. All parents were sent a letter if you have an incoming 5th grader and incoming 9th grader to re-register your child. A tax bill, mortgage statement OR a lease agreement was required.

    I would like to know if EVERY 4th and 8th grader will have this by today, the DUE DATE for this information.

    What do the candidates think?

  • curious

    I forgot, 3 utility bills were required too.

  • Anon

    How do you know about his eldest, and what does that have to do with anything? He spent his entire life going through the school district, which is enough “time invested in the school system” if you ask me or anyone for that matter.

    • High Rolla

      Spotted Xevaier cruzin round in his brandy new drop top Jaguar. Smelled like 90 g’s to me. Homeboys a high rolla in the hood nowadays. Heard he gots a crib overlookin the bay. Rags to riches. My man. Keep makin an takin. Da boy got my vote yo.

  • Anon

    Ya yo. You betta believe that Dwhy-err ain’t rollin like that. But he shul will when he’s company gets that BIG PAYDay Skool contract!!! Shoe enuff!! Dwhy-err bout to get paid yo!!

  • Anonymous

    ABD ABD ABD ABD!!!Anybody but Dwyer, PLEASE…. What a headache that would be

  • Kim Kardashean

    “Angry Susan T” is about to lose her job with my man Kanye. Word is McGrath is a better CPA and manager. Girl you should look into anger management.

  • Holla

    Word! Dont be hatin on X yo. Station got cha back B. Dwyas a punk. U da man.

  • Anonymous

    Where did Palacious eldest go to school before Finley? If it doesn’t matter it shouldn’t matter for other boe trustees as well!! Just sayin!

  • Deala

    We gotcha you back too Tommy D. You from da hood and d best friend of me.

  • Anonymous

    will rice and beans be served?

  • Anonymous

    we need to make sure these people don’t move ahead into these roles. I don’t care if they have an education. We were here first!!!!

  • Anonymous

    we will get that spanish guy at our meet the candidates tomorrow.

  • MTC

    After tonight’s MTC, I’m voting
    1. Emily
    2. Xavier
    3. Still unsure!

  • Anonymous

    Emily and Tom for sure!!! Not impressed with Xavier. Too political. He had all the clapping seals there last night to cheer at the right times. Kind of a turn off.

  • Point of Fact

    Under X.Palacios bio…

    “he purchased and renovated a distressed property on New York Avenue in Huntington Station”

    The Town paid for these renovations, so in fact, you, the tax payer, paid for HIS renovations.

    I will never vote for Xavier Palacios. He is part of a bigger problem that already exists and feeding that machine will sink us further into disparity.

  • Anonymous

    Right on Point in fact. Unfortunately he is part of th political machine in this town that has deep pockets which = votes
    . Ugh!!!!

  • Anon

    For the record, the town did not give Palacios one cent for the revitalization of that building. The building simply falls within the revitalization zone but was fully paid for by Palacios. Please do not spread rumors unless you know the facts. This can be verified by the town.

  • Disgusted

    Oh, sure. Town Hall never lies. Easy to believe…just don’t try to look at the financials! I mean…why audit the perfectly truthful! LOL.

  • Anon

    He did NOT use taxpayer’s money. He used his OWN. Do not go around spreading false rumors

  • Not a rumor

    Just because you say it is a rumor does not make it so. The EDC has supporting documentation that makes it a F.A.C.T.

    The tax payeers paid to renovate HIS building.

  • FACT

    http://huntingtonny.gov/minute_pdf/241.pdf

    Please see page 11 of the EDC report which clearly lists the entities that made both public and private investments into the Huntington Station revitalization zone. It clearly states that Palacios made a private investment in his building. Palacios did not receive ANY public funds or grants for the purchase, renovation or operation of his property on NY Avenue in Huntington Station.

    I commend Palacios for investing his own money back into Huntington Station. He is about making ALL of Huntington a better place to live.

  • Thanks Joan

    Thank you Joan Cergol for responding so quickly. Yes Xavier bought the building which seems to never be occupied but the TOWN paid to reface the building. It was brought up at an EDC meeting many many moons ago.

  • Anon

    The BID has not given Palacios one cent. It’s public information. Any reader can verify with the town. The end.

    Now…

    If you could direct this amount of passion to our town and less time trying to slander a candidate for a VOLUNTEER position, you could really make a difference.

    I have been fortunate to know Palacios for several years. He is an honest, no nonsense person that is results driven and would be a great asset to the BOE.

  • not

    remove the et after asset and I might agree. Also since you don’t know WHO I am how can you possibly determine what I have or have not done for the town?

  • Jeopardy Round One

    Category: Clueless Candidate
    For $100.00: HE stated there are no gangs in Huntington. Answer: Who is X Palacios.
    For $200.00: HE stated that two of his friends were shot at Jack Abrams when he was in school. Answer: Who is X Palacios
    For $300.00: HE thinks if kids were shot then what’s the big deal if it happens now.
    Answer: Who is X Palacios
    Having trouble deciding who to vote for? ABP!!!

  • ABD

    Seriously, you people are going after Xavier???? Here is a volunteer with a long time committment to every part of Huntington. We are so lucky that he has stepped up and decided to run!

  • BFD

    The facts lead to one conclusion: Xavier Palacios shoud not be on the school board.

  • My Town Too

    Several of you have commented that Mr. Palacios is getting your vote because he’s a lawyer and can help with mandates etc. Not true!

    He is NOT an education lawyer, a whole different set of rules and regs that takes an experienced education lawyer to deal with them. This is why districts hire education law firms to help with the legalities of day to day operations, lawsuits (especially special ed ones), negotiations etc. Run of the mill lawyers don’t have the know-how.

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