David Dougherty, 44, of Flanders, is seeking his first term on the board. He has been a district resident for 10 years and is the father of two children: one who is a graduating senior and one who is a freshman at Riverhead High School. He is a graduate of Eastport High School and works as the northeast regional sales manager for Vintage Wine Estates. He is also a volunteer firefighter in the Flanders Fire Department.

Why are you seeking election for the Board of Education? 

I am running to help make sure our kids are safe and the school is fiscally responsible. Lastly, to ensure that academics is always the most important part of the district.

If elected, what will be your top three goals as a board member?

To build confidence that the school district is doing everything possible to make sure the students are safe. To assist in the creation of new and innovative ways to help students learn. To make sure we are maximizing every dollar in the budget.

What needs the most improvement in Riverhead schools? How would you work as a board member to improve it? 

Communication between the parents and the schools of all the amazing programs the schools have for all students. We need to acknowledge all the accomplishments at the school.

Do you think there is a district policy that should change? If so, what is it, why should it be changed, and how would you work on the board to change it?

If I am elected to the board, I look forward to updating and creating policies with the board of education, and administration, to give the students more of a stake in their education.

Do you favor the district asking voters to approve a capital construction plan to increase classroom capacity in the high school? If not, how should the district deal with overcrowded classrooms? 

We need to maximize the use of every inch of the school before asking taxpayers to foot the bill, in this current economy.

What skills or abilities would you bring to the school board and how would you put these to work to improve how the board functions?

I know how to be fiscally responsible and make sure every dollar counts. I always pride myself on making the most profitable and sustainable decisions.

Have you accepted contributions, either financial or in-kind (such as accepting the donation of literature, signs, phone bank staffing, social media services, advertising, etc.) from any source? If so please identify source, type and amount.

I have accepted zero outside contributions.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: alek@riverheadlocal.com