There are 10 candidates running for three open seats on the Riverhead Board of Education this year.
All 10 candidates answered eight questions posed by RiverheadLOCAL about the school district and what they would do if elected.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, voting will take place by mail. Ballots have already been sent out, along with an addressed, postage-paid return envelope.
Below are brief biographies for each candidate, followed by a link to the Q&A for each.
Ann Cotten-DeGrasse, 76, of Jamesport, is a past member and past president of the Riverhead Board of Education. She served from 2008 to 2014 and again from 2015 to 2017, when she resigned from the board with one year of her term remaining. See prior story.
Cotten-DeGrasse is a 50-year resident of the school district and worked as a teacher in the district for 35 years. She is also the past president of the Riverhead Central Faculty Association, the union that represents Riverhead teachers.
Cotten-DeGrasse is a graduate of Abilene Christian University and holds an advanced degree from Hofstra University.
Angela DeVito, 71, of South Jamesport, served on the Riverhead Board of Education from 2006 to 2011, when she resigned from the board with one year of her term remaining. See prior story.
DeVito is a 20-year resident of the school district. She is employed as a workforce development specialist.
DeVito earned a bachelor of science degree from Columbia University in 1971 and a master of science in public health from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1981.
Christopher Dorr, 52, of Baiting Hollow is seeking re-election to his third three-year term of office on the school board. He was first elected in 2013. When he sought re-election in 2016, he polled third in a race for three seats, which meant he was elected to fill a one-year unexpired term of board member Lori Hulse, who had stepped down from the board to take office as Riverhead Town justice. Dorr was elected again in 2017, to a full three- year term.
Dorr, who has lived in the district for 23 years, is a program specialist at Nassau BOCES. He earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Suffolk County Community College in 1988, a bachelor’s degree in economics from SUNY/Potsdam in 1991 and an MBA from Clarkson University in 1994. He holds a teaching certificate from Stony Brook University (2001).
Dorr and his wife Maria have three children, CJ and Mackenzie, who are Riverhead High School juniors and Sabina, a 2013 Riverhead High School graduate.
Gregory-John Fischer, 63, of Calverton is a business consultant with a background in computer programming and software development. He has lived in the school district for 18 years.
Fischer has undergraduate degrees from CUNY/Manhattan Community College and SUNY/New Paltz and an MBA from SUNY/Albany. He is the father of four children.
Fischer has been a candidate for school board in each school district election for the past six years. He has also run for town and state office and is currently a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the First Congressional District.
Ryan Gregor, 37, of Riverhead is seeking elective office for the first time.
He has lived in the school district for 10 years. Gregor studied business management at Bryant College and Dowling College. He works as a trucking supervisor. He and his wife Meaghan have two children, Emmy, 8 and Leo, 5.
Virginia Healy, 58, of Wading River, has lived in the school district for 21 years. She is a homemaker, former financial planner and education consultant.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University in 1983 and a holds certification as a financial planner from Adelphi University (1987) with graduate-level courses in business.
Healy and her husband Kenneth have eight children, ages 12 to 32, three of whom are currently in district schools.
She is the treasurer and past president of the Special Education PTA (SEPTA) and regularly attends school board meetings on behalf of the organization.
Amelia Lantz, 55, of Riverhead, served on the Riverhead school board from 2010 to 2017, when she resigned in June of that year, with two years of her three-year term remaining. See prior story.
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Lantz is a graduate of Riverhead High School and Suffolk County Community College. She and her husband David have a child who is a student at Riverhead High School. Lantz has been a resident of the district for more than 30 years.
Yolanda Thompson, 48, of Baiting Hollow has lived in the school district for 20 years. She is a regular attendee at board meetings and a special education advocate. She is also a part-time home health aide for seniors. Thompson and her husband Daniel have two children, a son who is a 2018 Riverhead High School graduate and a daughter who is a freshman in Riverhead High School.
Stephanie Ranghelli, 47, of Riverhead is running for office for the first time. She is a real estate agent and an educator. She earned an associate’s degree from Nassau Community College in 1996, a paralegal certificate from Hofstra University in 2000, a bachelor’s degree from Dowling College in 2012 and a master’s degree in special education from Dowling College in 2014.
She and her husband Jason have three children at Riley Avenue Elementary School, Jonathan, Mia and Colton.
Therese Zuhoski, 52, of Riverhead, is seeking re-election to a second term of office on the school board. She has lived in the district for 17 years and works as a self-employed real estate salesperson.
She earned a bachelor of social work degree from Marist College in 1989 and an MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1996. Zuhoski is the mother of four children in Riverhead schools.
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