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Laing Running for Reelection to Board of Ed

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Donna Laing is hoping to be reelected to the Hastings Board of Education on May 15, but that's not the only area where her work has been felt by the school district.

“Before I became a member of the school board I was the treasurer for the PTSA in Hastings for 10 or 11 years and I was on the executive committee of the PTSA that whole time," Laing, a 53-year-old Hastings resident who has lived in the village with her husband and four children since 1996, said.  "I've also been running the book fair that the PTSA runs at Hillside for the entire 13 years that’s been going on."

Laing is one of three incumbent board members seeking reelection for what would be her second three-year term.

Laing has been on the board for four years after being appointed to replace a member who had stepped down in her first year and then was elected the next year.  Laing currently works for the book publisher Scholastics in the legal department.

Along with the board of education, Laing has also served on the policy committee, finance committee, curriculum committee and the arts advisory committee.  Among her greatest accomplishments Laing points to the superintendent selection process.

“I think that has been very successful for the district and has been a great move for us,” she said of the board selecting interim superintendent Timothy Connors.  “Then also picking Roy Montesano who’s going to be starting on July 1, we’re all very excited to have him and we think he’s going to do great things for the district.”

If reelected, Laing said there are a couple of goals she would like to accomplish in the future.

“I think one of the things we’d really like to work on going forward is to really get the curriculum into a vertical and horizontal integration,” she said.  “We’ve been working on mapping the curriculum, which basically means figuring out and planning out what’s happening where to make sure that progression is happening the way it should.”

The board of education’s proposed budget for the next school year is under the state tax cap and Laing said it would be difficult to select one area where cuts could be made.  However, Laing said the board will continue to explore ways to save money for the district.

“Obviously we’re always looking for ways we can share services and looking for ways to work with our neighboring school districts, but you have to be careful because when people think, oh, automatically you’re going to save money by consolidating districts, that’s not necessarily always the case,” she said.

If reelected, Laing said she would like to help enhance the middle school experience, to follow up on recommendations for the math department after the state’s tri-state consortium and to improve communications with the community.

“No matter how many times you send out a newsletter or an email there are people that just have busy lives and don’t read them so we just need to constantly work on a multi-faceted approach,” she said.

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