There are eight candidates running for three open seats in the upcoming School Board Election, which will be held on Tuesday, May 18. In alphabetical order, here are their bios.
Callie Erickson, a 10-year Rye resident, is running for a second term on the Board of Education. Currently, she serves as Audit Committee Chair and a member of the Policy Committee. Callie has volunteered on the City of Rye Finance Advisory Committee, as Treasurer of the Osborn Executive Board, on the Advisory Board of RPNS, and on the Rye Free Reading Room’s Auxiliary Board. She worked previously in Business Development and M&A at JPMorgan, Chancellor/AMFM, and IDT Entertainment. She has a B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
“During my Board term, I have strived to listen to the Rye community and bring a balanced and thoughtful opinion to examine issues from all perspectives. Further, as the Audit Committee Chair, I have utilized my finance background to help ensure the District operates as efficiently as possible and remains fiscally responsible, while still maintaining rigorous academic opportunities for all students.”
Megan Escherich Evans, an 11-year resident of Rye, has worked in education her entire adult life, first as a teacher in New York City and later at Waterside School in Stamford, where after a decade in the classroom, Megan became Director of Placement and Alumni Support. Megan serves on the Auxiliary Board of The Rye Free Reading Room and volunteers at CCNS and Milton schools. She holds an M.A. from Bank Street School of Education and a BA from Dartmouth College.
“I believe it’s important for board members to come in with an open mind, and be willing to listen to all issues objectively. I will draw from my experience working in schools to provide support and oversight to the Rye City Schools and their leadership. Respectful and thoughtful discourse is essential to coming up with impactful solutions — this is exactly what we want to model for our own community of students.”
Kelsey Johnson has lived in Rye since 2012 and in that time has been an active volunteer at Midland School and at the Carver Center food pantry. Kelsey currently serves on the District’s Race, Inclusivity, and Community Task Force and co-chairs the Rye Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee. She worked previously as a buyside equity analyst at Lombardia Capital Partners and MacKay Shields. She holds a B.A. in Mathematics from the College of the Holy Cross and earned her CFA charter.
“As a parent of four children who will directly benefit from the quality of our schools over the next 14 years, I am heavily invested in the Rye City School District and its continued excellence. The combination of my prior community service experience and my professional financial background has cultivated my solutions-oriented approach which, as a member of the school board, would allow me to prioritize processes, collaborate with the community, and advocate for the success of every student.
Bozidar Jovanovic, who immigrated to the United States from Serbia in 1992, has lived in Rye since 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Boston University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. A Chartered Financial Analyst, he spent 22 years in investment management and currently runs his own firm, Honey Badger Advisors. He spent a year teaching physics at Bard High School in New York City and eight years teaching finance at Manhattanville College, School of Professional Studies, where he mentored over 20 students working on their Masters’ theses.
“I support quality public education where students are offered equal opportunity and encouraged to work to their highest abilities. The Board of Education is the steward of this education and must operate in a transparent manner. The parents should be considered partners in what is presented in the classroom and allowed to voice their input without any fear of retribution. I will ensure that ideology doesn’t dictate curricula and discourse in the classroom. The Board must also operate in a fiscally responsible manner while serving all families of Rye, including those most vulnerable among us – children with special needs.”
Laura Labriola, a 26-year resident of Rye, has over 20 years of construction management experience. She currently works for Miller Pipeline, a major national construction firm. She has experience in budgeting, cost control, contract management, union negotiations, timely, quality project completion, and construction-related insurance, bonding and legal settlements. For two years, she served as Rye All Inclusive Special Ed’s co-president and has collaborated with the past four school superintendents. Laura owns a horse farm, Sky Blue Stables in Cortlandt, which offers horseback riding and equine therapy programs for special needs, at-risk youth, and veterans.
“With my construction expertise, I can be an asset to the community on the upcoming bond projects. Ensuring projects come in on budget and on time will not only deliver an improved educational environment but also enhance Rye real estate values. I am also passionate about providing strong curriculum for all learners and transparency and inclusion in our schools. As a longtime Rye resident, I feel my experience and values align with issues facing our district today.”
John D. Leonard has been a Rye homeowner since 1978, and resident for more than 25 years. After graduating from Princeton and Harvard Business School with academic honors, his 42-year career as an equity analyst and portfolio manager focused on strategic analysis, financial governance, and public disclosure in the financial services sector. Since returning to Rye from London in 2012, he has served as Treasurer of the Rye Historical Society, and currently sits on their Knapp House Buildings and Grounds subcommittee
“Rye’s public schools are tremendous contributors to the quality of the Rye community. I believe their governance is best served by experienced leadership and broad community support. I favor greater public disclosure, input and debate before important decisions are taken, both financial and relating to educational policy. Most importantly, the best outcome for Rye will occur when all community interests — faculty/staff, parents, taxpayers, community – are vigorously represented and their perspectives incorporated before the Board takes action. The unanimity of recent Board decisions is troubling to me, as is the lack of transparency and open debate on many issues.
John Moschetti, a 20-year Rye resident, holds a Master of Science in School Administration and has worked in the New York City educational system for 28 years. He has supervised every position at the high school level as an Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel, Special Education, Operations, and Instruction in New York City. In addition, he has been an Executive Board member of the Council of School Supervisors and High School Leadership Team.
“I am excited to run for the Board of Education, as the district and country enter a partisan political atmosphere and our children are at the other end of the political pendulum. It is imperative to act now. My experience with the Equal Opportunity Centers provides a mechanism to address bullying, harassment, and discrimination without disparaging all our students. I believe that fairness should be the measure we strive for all our students, including special needs. Our tax burden is being felt by all. Together, I would like to ensure our resources are utilized efficiently and wisely.”
Chris Repetto, who has lived in Rye for 18 years, is completing his third term on the Board. He currently serves on the Facilities Committee, which he chairs, and on the Audit Committee.
A 30-year veteran of global financial services and consulting, Chris is Senior Advisor to the Promontory Financial Group. He has a B.A. in Economics/Psychology and a Graduate Certificate in Finance from the University of Rochester, and an MBA from UVA’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.
“It has been a real honor and a true privilege to serve as one of the voices that helps guide the District as it strives to serve the individual needs of all students. My many years of financial and consulting experience — and now my many years of Board experience — allow me to provide knowledgeable, strategic insight into the ever-evolving challenges and opportunities facing our District.”