Having served our community for nearly 10 years, Kera McLoughlin has made the decision not to run for re-election. She shared the following statement:
I have been a Wantagh school board trustee since 2013. It has been the experience of a lifetime, and I will be forever grateful for the faith the community placed in me and the support of so many people. But the time has come for me to move on, and I will not be running for re-election this year.
The last few years have been difficult. The pandemic led to many hardships for children, parents, and teachers. It also clearly demonstrated how important it is for students to be in school and participate in the activities they love. The budgetary constraints of the prior year added to these difficulties. We haven’t all agreed on the best path forward through these challenges. But what makes this community so great is that people can have and express a wide variety of views, beliefs, and values- we don’t all think the same, nor should we. Ideally, this discourse can occur in a nuanced, measured way and extends empathy and understanding to the person holding an opinion that differs from our own. Growth and progress come when we are exposed to different viewpoints and ideas and make space to discuss and evaluate them.
I’ve served with many different people on the Board- we’ve had varying perspectives and ideas, but we’ve always approached this job through the lens of what’s best for our district and our students. We’ve made our mission a positive one- to create, build, and strengthen. Despite the challenges we’ve faced as a district, I’m proud of all we have accomplished together over the past decade. We created a district vision and mission and engaged in multi-year strategic planning to align the budget with our long-term goals. We implemented a 1:1 Chromebook initiative, upgraded our instructional technology and technological infrastructure, and adopted a more robust learning management system. We’ve strengthened the district’s fiscal position and reserves, negotiated fair and affordable contracts, and hired and retained the best administrative, professional staff and teachers. Our special education programs have been expanded and enhanced; we’ve modernized our instructional spaces, strengthened security measures and protocols, and significantly increased the district’s mental health support and guidance programs. We’ve built a STEAM program, introduced new research opportunities, expanded our fine arts and music departments, reimagined and redesigned our middle school, and strengthened our elective offerings. We’ve dramatically increased our AP classes and the number of students enrolled in challenging coursework. Targeted and effective professional development, K-12 curriculum mapping, a model teacher program, and redesigned elementary reading, writing, and science units of study have all been integral components of our efforts to strengthen curriculum and instruction.
I have three children in this district and remain incredibly invested in what happens here and what path we as a community choose to chart for the future. I hope it is one of compassion, inclusion, open-mindedness, and dedication to educational excellence. Our children deserve nothing less.
For these reasons, I wholeheartedly support my colleague, Laura Reich, for re-election to the Board of Education. From my personal and professional experiences with Laura, I know she has an unwavering dedication to our community and a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation. As a result, I believe she is the best and most qualified candidate to protect our schools’ progress over the last decade and continue to move our district forward towards even greater heights.