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Candidate Information

Sara Beaty

Family: My husband Jordan and I moved to Hawthorne in 2011. We have two children in the District- one at Hawthorne and one at Columbus.

Occupation: I currently serve as a Principal Law Clerk to a NYS Supreme Court Justice.

Education: I received my B.S. from Utica College of Syracuse University (’02) and my law degree from Albany Law School (’05). 

Community Involvement: I currently serve as the Vice President of the Board of Education.In addition, I serve on the District’s Audit Committee.I am also a member of various local bar associations.Before becoming a Board member, I was a member of the Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee and a board member on the Mt. Pleasant Education Foundation, and I still try to help out our parent volunteer organizations as frequently as I can.

Why are you running? Before I ran for election in spring of 2020, I was appointed to fill a vacancy on our Board one month before the pandemic upheaved all our lives.There were so many district plans and goals we have only recently been able to set back in motion.Currently, there are great things going on in our District, and many more that are coming, and I cannot think of a better way to serve my community than to be involved, and support the team driving us ahead.

What is your vision for the school district? My vision aligns with the District’s mission: “educating each student today for endless possibilities tomorrow.” I have two elementary school children in this district who are very different learners, and I appreciate that each child’s learning needs are so unique, as are their strengths, interests and paths forward.I believe that we can continue to enhance the ways in which we prepare all of our children for the future, and at the same time maintain the values of our community. 

What do you believe are the most important responsibilities of the Board of Education? I believe that all of our responsibilities as Board members are equally important.We have a duty to be fiscally responsible for our community.We have a duty to set fair, common sense District policies.We have a duty to listen and communicate with each other, our district officials, and of course our families and community members. 

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time as a Board member? Selecting a superintendent was no easy task.Hours upon hours were spent by all of our board members in selecting a new leader for our District.That said, I am very proud to have been a part of the selection of our current Chief Wildcat, Dr. Giarrizzo! I would need another full page to detail all the reasons he inspires the work we all do. I am also proud of our field bond and the progress that has been made on the fields. I am proud of the time our administrators and staff are spending in alignment of the curriculum and the strategic plan, and keeping the Board informed as the important work continues.I am very proud to present our community with another tax cap compliant and fully balanced budget that does so much for our wildcat community.The budget supports increased safety and security, as well as programs in reading, writing, speech, STEM, science, math, sign language, the arts, and much more that will impact all students k-12. There are exciting things going on- and a lot more work still to accomplish. I am truly humbled to be a part of it.

Laura Michalec Olszewski

Family: I have been married to my high school sweetheart Ron Olszewski for almost 30 years.We are the proud parents of three Westlake graduates each of whom attended K-12 in Mount Pleasant – two are freshman in college and my oldest is working in the real world. 

Occupation: I am the Chief Administrative Law Judge for a Hearing Office within an agency of the federal government

 Education: I am a proud graduate of Westlake High School – Class of 1986.I graduated from Bucknell University in 1990 and Fordham University School of Law in 1993.

Community Involvement: I am a 40 plus year resident of this Town and have been a member of the BOE since 2017.I have been involved with the PTA as well as theatre productions at Westlake High School from props to costumes to photography.I was a den leader with Hawthorne Pack One for ten years and served as Cub Master for five years.I am the Scoutmaster for Mount Pleasant Troop 125.I am currently the chair of Parish Council at Holy Rosary Church.I am also a member of Holy Rosary’s bell choir and am the director of the annual Christmas pageant. 

Why are you running? I want to continue advocating for the best interests of our students in a fiscally responsible manner.We have some exciting projects on the horizon and I want to continue to be a part of guiding the future of our District.

What is your vision for the school district? Our students should be challenged to be their best in everything that they do.They should be challenged to make a difference no matter how small.Whether it is in the classroom, on the playing field, on stage or just in life in general, our students should be given the opportunity to achieve the highest levels in anything they undertake.Every child is different and the instruction in the classroom should continue to reflect that.A curriculum that includes rigorous instruction is important so that every child is prepared to meet every challenge presented to them. 

What are the most important responsibilities of the Board of Education? The Board of Education should have the needs of our students at the forefront of every decision but must balance those needs within our finite resources.The Board represents a diverse community which include senior citizens living on a fixed income – my Mom still lives in town in the house I grew up in.  

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time as a Board member? During my tenure on the board we have consistently passed a tax cap compliant budget.We also were able to successfully propose and pass the field bond which will benefit the town that I love for years to come. 

Board member qualifications are as follows:

  • Must be able to read and write;

  • Must be a qualified voter of the district, which is a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age or older, and not adjudged to be incompetent;

  • Must be and have been a resident of the school district for a continuous and uninterrupted period of at least one year (1) year before the election;

  • May not have been removed from any school district office within the preceding year;

  • May not reside with another member of the same school board as a member of the same family;

  • Cannot be a current employee or hold incompatible office.

Petitions, which are available from Mary Beth Mancuso, School District Clerkare due no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 17, 2023.


For additional information, contact Mary Beth Mancuso, School District Clerk at
914-769-5500, ext. 5105