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Nyack School Board Closing Argument: Jen Marraccino

The School Board Trustee election is being held by mail. You can drop off your ballot at the district office by June 9 (13A Dickinson Ave, Nyack, NY) or mail them in (ballots must be received June 16). Anyone who has lost or not received a ballot can reach out to Linda DeCicco (ldecicco@nyackschools.org) to arrange to receive a ballot.

by Jen Marraccino

When my family moved to Nyack over 20 years ago, I realized immediately that we chose a community of extremely passionate and active members who volunteer their time in many different ways to make Nyack/Valley Cottage the special place that it is. I knew right away that I wanted to be part of that commitment to our community and jumped right in.

I started working on traffic safety issues following a terrible car accident on Midland Ave. and spearheaded a project through Friends of the Nyacks to raise funds for a piece of playground equipment at Memorial Park.  When Justin, my oldest, began kindergarten I quickly realized that my true passion was public education. It started with PTA roles at Upper Nyack, including being PTA president for 4 years, transitioned to founding a group called Restore Education Funding (REF), advocating for increased school funding and less emphasis on standardized tests, moved to being Legislative Chairperson for Central Hudson Region PTA, and now to running for my 3rd term on the Nyack School Board.

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I believe that public education should be the key to all of our kids being given the opportunity to succeed in life. I think it’s the most important public institution that exists. I love learning and talking about education issues. I value the different perspectives and ideas people bring to the table. And being a parent of 4 children, two of whom are currently in college, one in Nyack HS, and one in Upper Nyack elementary, I have a pretty good range of personal experience.

I’ve learned a lot in my 6 years on the board. I’ve learned how important it is to dig deeper than you own personal circle. I understand the importance of working collaboratively with my fellow board members and school leadership. Also, how to stand strong on issues that I truly believe are in the best interest of students. I’m proud to be part of a School Board and district that is committed to prioritizing racial equity in all of our decisions which I know is crucial to all of our students’ success.

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And here we are now in these unprecedented times with unimagined challenges. It’s heartbreaking to know that while our district shifted as quickly as we could to virtual learning and staying connected to students through videos, teacher parades and more, all of our children are missing so much. We know kids are struggling emotionally, especially our HS seniors who can’t even properly say goodbye and celebrate their accomplishments. We know that inequities are growing, with kids that were struggling the most before this pandemic struggling even more now.

We clearly have some major challenges ahead of us and I hope that you see me as a School Board member with the experience, knowledge, passion, and commitment to help look out for the best interest of our kids as we move forward in these tough times.  Thank you.

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