The William Floyd School District has four seats up for reelection in which all four incumbents will run unopposed.
Three seats are for three years July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2025 and one seat will fill a vacancy for the remainder of Robert Vecchio’s term expiring June 30, 2024.
Vecchio resigned in December of last year to accept a position with the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association.
April Coppola is a lifelong resident of the William Floyd community and a 1984 graduate of William Floyd High School. She has served as a member of the school board since 2016, assuming the role of vice president after the passing of her friend and colleague Jeananne Dawson in 2019, and then taking over as president after Robert Vecchio’s retirement from board service in late December 2021. She resides in Shirley, N.Y., with her husband Rob, and has three children: a 2019 alumna and two future graduates and members of the Class of 2023.
Some accomplishments from her tenure on the board of education include helping to oversee a district with an increasing graduation rate of over 90 percent, as well as the overwhelming passage—91.2 percent—of the $39.4 million capital budget project in 2017, which is transforming the district’s schools and community for many years to come with new and upgraded facilities. Additionally, the board of education, now under her leadership, continues to put forth fiscally responsible budgets as evidenced by the 2022-2023 proposed budget of a -4.86 percent tax levy, a reduction of nearly $5 million in taxes for the community and its residents while also offering topnotch opportunities for students. This is on the heels of a zero percent tax increase for the current school year (2021-22).
Coppola began her volunteer service long before her election to the William Floyd Board of Education. She is a member of the William Floyd Community Summit Beautification Committee, as well as the organization’s advocacy group. She currently serves as treasurer for the entire Community Summit. Some of the projects she has participated in are flower plantings, spring and fall cleanups—especially at the corner of Montauk Highway and William Floyd Parkway, the unofficial “gateway” to our community. She also served on the Tri Hamlet Day planning committee, as well as a member of the sewer and new library committees, and other volunteer groups pertaining to improving issues in our local communities.
Other volunteer work that she performs includes assisting Colonial Youth & Family Services in their youth services program in the Flowers for Friends program, raising money for prom assistance and volunteering to help in their community events.
Coppola also serves as a member of the Chamber of Commerce of the Mastics and Shirley serving on various committees including: Christmas Parade, Egg Hunt and Halloween Party; she also attends various business development meetings for the area. She has also served as a member of the William Floyd Elementary School PTO when her children attended.
In addition to all of this volunteer work, Coppola has worked in the Human Services field for nearly 30 years, including working for Colonial Youth & Family Services, Independent Group Home Living and currently, Developmental Disabilities Institute.
Robert Guerriero has been a resident of the William Floyd School District for 36 years, first purchasing a home in the community with his brother in 1986. In 1993, Guerriero married his wife, Karen, and they have lived in Mastic Beach ever since. Guerriero’s two daughters, Karen (Class of 2012) and Kristie (Class of 2014), attended the William Floyd School District K-12, attended college and began successful careers in their chosen professions.
Guerriero was appointed to the board of education in 2010 when a vacancy occurred and was subsequently elected as a trustee in 2011 to fill out the remainder of that term. He has since been re-elected to full three-year terms in 2013, 2016 and 2019.
Guerriero first started attending board meetings with encouragement from former longtime trustee and former board vice president, Jeananne Dawson, and embraced public service and advocating on behalf of William Floyd’s students and community. After Robert Vecchio’s retirement as BOE president and former vice president April Coppola’s ascension to board president, Guerriero was selected by his colleagues to serve as the board vice president.
As a trustee, Guerriero is most proud of the district’s increasing graduation rate, the overwhelming approval of the recent transformative capital project, putting forth fiscally responsible budgets and providing great opportunities for students. In addition to all that has been mentioned, the most rewarding part of serving as a trustee for Guerriero is presenting diplomas to students at graduation, as it represents a milestone in their lives: the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.
In his career, Guerriero serves as the president of the Rockville, Springfield & Plain Lawn Cemeteries, an industry that he has been part of for more than 50 years. As president, he handles all the day-to-day operations as well as payroll, investments, and all that is inherent in this type of not-for-profit industry. Most importantly is the ability he has in his position to help families who have suffered the loss of a loved one.
Lorraine Mentz has been a resident of Shirley, N.Y., since 2002, when she and her husband, Chris, moved into the community from Nassau County. Lorraine and Chris have two daughters, Madison, a William Floyd High School Class of 2021 alumna, and Mikayla, a future member of the Class of 2024, both who have had wonderful experiences at William Floyd.
A teacher by trade, Mentz worked as a secondary math teacher at I.S. 141 and the I.S. 10 schools in the NYC school system before moving to Shirley and becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom. While raising her daughters, she served on the Just Kids Parent Organization for two years, the William Floyd Elementary School PTO for nine years, and the William Floyd Middle School PTO for three years.
Before joining the board of education, Mentz served as a per diem substitute teacher in three William Floyd schools for six years (William Floyd Elementary School, Moriches Elementary School and William Floyd Middle School) and, later, as a permanent substitute teacher at Westhampton Beach Elementary School. She currently serves as the administrative director for the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association.
Mentz holds a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Old Westbury in business management & administration and a master’s degree in secondary education from Mercy College. In 2013, she received the SCOPE Shining Star Community Service Award for distinguished service in the field of education and has been an involved and active community leader in the William Floyd school community for many years.
Mentz became interested in serving on the board of education after attending many meetings over the years. She found great value in attending them and as a result decided to serve the William Floyd community in a new capacity, as a board trustee, a role that she applied for and was appointed to fill the vacancy left by former trustee, Anthony Speruta, in 2017. In 2018, she was elected to fill the remainder of that term expiring June 30, 2019, and then subsequently re-elected to a full three-year term in 2019.
Kevin Meyer is no stranger to service—he is retired from the FDNY, where he served as a firefighter with Engine 320, Ladder 167 in Queens, N.Y. He also served as an educator during his career as a middle-school teacher in Robert H. Goddard Middle School in Ozone Park, where he taught math and science, and later served as a dean of students’ supervisor.
So, when a vacancy occurred on the board of education due to Robert Vecchio’s retirement from board service at the end of 2021, Meyer stepped up to serve his school community in this new capacity. After a rigorous interview process with many outstanding candidates, he was unanimously chosen and appointed by the board of education to serve as the newest trustee. He was sworn in to office in early January 2022. He is running unopposed and after this year’s upcoming election, he will finish out the term expiring June 30, 2024.
Meyer is heavily involved in the community, including directing the William Floyd girls youth lacrosse program, coaching various youth sports such as soccer, cross country and basketball teams, as well as serving as a parent helper at elementary school events and high school athletic contests. He has been involved in community cleanups, food drives, blood drives, community fundraisers and other local events, as well as serving as a volunteer at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.
He holds an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Suffolk County Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in professional and liberal studies with a minor in elementary education, coaching and social studies from Dowling College, as well as a Master’s of Science in special education from Dowling College. He has also earned his school building leader and school district leader certifications at the College of Saint Rose.
Meyer is a family man, husband and father of eight, including six of whom are at various levels of their education at William Floyd—with one currently attending William Floyd High School, one at William Floyd Middle School, three at Moriches Elementary School, one in UPK, and two more who will be attending William Floyd schools in the future. His wife, Dr. Amy (Newhoff) Meyer, is a proud alumna of William Floyd High School and an administrator in a neighboring school district.
Trustees up for re-election include: president April Coppola, vice president Robert Guerriero, Lorraine Mentz and Kevin Meyer.
The budget vote and election will take place on May 17 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the William Floyd High School East Lobby
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