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Candidate Information

In the 2024 Board of Education Election, there are three candidates running for three open seats. The are listed in the order that they were randomly drawn to appear on the ballot. Candidates submitted this information and it has not been edited by the District.

Michael Horan

Occupation:  I am currently a Captain in the Fire Dept of New York (FDNY).
My wife and I own a local dance studio in Hawthorne where children from the community have been learning dance for the past 20 years.

Education: I received my B.S. degree in Business Administration/Finance/Marketing from Fordham University in 2000.

Community Involvement:  Member of the Board of Education (2018-present), BOE Vice President (2020-21), BOE President (2021-present). I have also been part of different organizations over the years such as Westlake Middle School PTA Secretary (2017-18), Sherman Park Little League TeeBall Director (2021) Manager/Coach (2014-2020), Westlake Wildcats Football Coach (2014-2021); Cookies for Kids Cancer Fundraisers

Why are you running?  With two children in the school district, I have a vested interest in the future of our district both academically and financially. I believe the district has an obligation to continue to provide an excellent and enriching education for our children, while at the same time remaining fiscally responsible to all residents.

What is your overall vision for the school district?  Our district is in a good place right now and continues to head in the right direction. I subscribe to the District's mission statement of "educating each student today for endless possibilities tomorrow."  We should encourage a K-12 learning environment where our students are challenged to perform their very best in all areas while realizing that not all students learn the same.  I would like to see the district continue to embrace our Strategic Plan and Portrait of a Mount Pleasant Learner in the coming years.

What do you believe are the most important responsibilities of the Board of Education? The most important responsibilities of the BOE include collaboratively setting the vision and goals of the school district while ensuring responsiveness to the values and priorities of our entire school community.  We must also effectively communicate with our students, parents, administration, and faculty.

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time as a Board member?  Hiring our current Chief Wildcat Dr. Giarrizzo; Passing 5 consecutive tax-cap compliant budgets; Passing tax neutral Athletic Fields Bond (2022) and Instructional Bond (2023); Supporting our K-12 Curriculum Alignment, Development of our Strategic Plan & Portrait of a Mount Pleasant Learner; Supporting our Career Research Academy at WHS; Supporting our upcoming Universal Pre-K initiative.  We have accomplished so much in these past six years and there's so much more to come!

Michael Griffin

Occupation:  I am a Credit & Risk Manager

Education:  I graduated from SUNY Albany with a B.A.

Community Involvement:  AYSO volunteer as coach and Division Coordinator, WYSL coach and youth lacrosse coach for Mt Pleasant Wildcats.

Why are you running? Besides the fact that I enjoy being on the Board, I want to ensure that the District continues its work to provide the best education and opportunities for our kids. 
After all, it is all about the kids.  There is nothing more rewarding than serving your Community with the view/perspective of providing opportunities for the growth/betterment of our children.

What is your overall vision for the school district? That our programs, teachers, administrators and all staff continue to work in a manner that allows for the best opportunities and instruction for our kids. 

What do you believe are the most important responsibilities of the Board of Education? To ensure that  the District continues to realize and expand the goals and opportunities for our kids and realize our goals in a mindful manner.  Must also ensure that we are operating the District in a mindful and financially responsible manner.

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time as a Board member? That would be assessing our "Vision" for the School district along with the upgrade in outdoor and indoor facilities.  We have been able to make numerous improvements over the last several years, with the support of the Community, which leads me to believe that we have the Community's support and best interests at heart.

Colleen Scaglione Neglia

Occupation: In addition to having served as a Board of Education (BOE) member for the last 9 years, including 3 years as BOE President, I am also a stay at home mom.  Previously, I worked for 18 years as an Assistant Vice President in the corporate controller's group for an S&P 500 company. 

Education: Bachelor's degree from the University at Albany, Major: Political Science, Minor: Business 

Community Involvement:  I have served as a member of our BOE for the last 9 years, during which time I served as the BOE’s Vice President for one year, and President for three years.  While on the board I have served on the Curriculum Instruction Assessment Committee (CIAC) and the Audit Committee as well as the liaison between the BOE and the Education Foundation and PTA. Prior to being elected to the BOE, I was the co-president of the WMS PTA, parent member of the CIAC, on the parent committee to interview candidates for the WMS Principal, parent member of the WMS International Baccalaureate (IB) Committee, class parent for each of my three children, member of the Westlake Athletic Club (WAC) and assisted my husband to start Westlake’s Jr. Wildcat basketball program.     

Why are you running?  I believe in our district’s ability to provide the resources for our students to achieve greatness.  Since I was elected to the Board in 2015, I have contributed  to the positive educational developments at our schools, as well as the enhancements made to our facilities and fields.  I would like to continue serving our community and working with this great BOE, administration and faculty to build on our recent successes.  

What is your overall vision for the school district?  Continue to implement and strengthen our academic programs in line with our strategic plan of educating each student today for endless possibilities tomorrow. Prepare our students to succeed in a competitive workforce by challenging our students through rigorous curriculum, while offering differentiated instruction to support the needs of each student.   

What do you believe are the most important responsibilities of the Board of Education? The most important responsibility of a board member is to listen to the needs of the students, our community and the district staff in making the decisions that shape our schools, while maintaining a fiscally responsible school budget. Additionally, we are responsible to have district wide policies that provide the safest environment for all.

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time as a Board member?  During my time as a BOE member, I am most proud of my involvement in:

  • Developing the size and scope of the 2023 Instructional Bond referendum, the 2022 Field Bond referendum and the 2016 Facilities bond referendum which allowed for many improvements made throughout our schools over the past nine years.  
  • In addition we have made a commitment to an annual appropriation to the capital line to make improvements to our facilities as to not rely on bond referendums for improvements.  
  • Led the search in hiring two incredible Superintendents Dr. Peter Giarrizzo and Dr. Kurtis Kotes to lead our district forward. 
  • Proposing a tax cap compliant budget while providing important components for safety and security, 
  • Implementing and strengthening our academic programs in mathematic enrichment, STEAM, reading and literacy while enhancing our instructional alignment K-12, 
  • Developing several new programs including:  foreign language at the elementary level, sign language, a career research academy,  a full implementation of the STEMScopes science curriculum in grades K-5, a comprehensive review of the elementary writing program, new courses of study in science and engineering at the high school level, selecting Advanced Placement Capstone Project for Westlake High School. 

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.
Board of Education Candidate Petitions are available from the School District Clerk, Mary Beth Mancuso.  Petitions are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, April 22, 2024.
For additional information, contact Mary Beth Mancuso, School District Clerk at
914-769-5500, ext. 5105