Nominations for BSCTA offices are closed and we will have one contested election for 2nd VP. Below are the bios from each of the candidates.
Voting will take place in each building on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 and the winners commence their term of office on May 31, 2019. If the election is uncontested, the three year term for each officer will also commence on Friday, May 31, 2019.
I was raised in Bay Shore, NY and graduated from Bay Shore High School in 1998. After graduation, I attended the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, graduating at the top of my class with a B.M. in K-12 Music Education. While I was still in college and doing my student teaching, I interviewed at 3 school districts, one in Connecticut and two on Long Island. I was offered jobs at all three but ultimately chose my alma mater. I spent 11 years at the Bay Shore Middle School teaching orchestra until I transferred to the high school, where I have been for the last 6 years, teaching orchestra and multimedia. I have also been the music director for the high school drama productions for the past 15 years as well as serving as the advisor for Tri-M, the music honor society. All of these different activities have given me the opportunity to interact with the students on several different levels as well as to gain invaluable leadership and organizational skills.
I am currently the 2nd Vice President of the BSCTA, where I have multiple responsibilities, including working with our law firm, meeting with financial advisors, sitting on multiple committees, participating in contract negotiations, representing members in various capacities, and working alongside Mike Krieger and Pete Southworth, our President and 1st VP. Prior to taking on this responsibility, I worked hard as the Political Action Chairperson, with the assistance of Mariusz Borkowski, helping to bring positive change to our town, district, and state. I attended multiple meetings throughout Long Island, gaining valuable information about our political climate and how it affects not only us as members of the BSCTA, but our students and community as well. I was also instrumental in arranging protests to help evoke change at the state level. Prior to that, I was a rep at the high school, where I attended meetings between the reps and the administration, and worked with members of the BSCTA on various personal issues. During my time as a rep, but more importantly as a community member, I led the charge against a charter school that was trying to open in our area. I managed to attend their private meetings, find out their inner workings, establish an online group to share information, and ultimately create a petition with enough signatures that, when it was presented to the BOE at a meeting, made a huge difference in the charter school's ultimate demise.
I pride myself on my professionalism. I am very proud of my ability to work with different groups of people. I am nothing but honest, I listen to my colleagues' concerns and do my very best to address and/or help fix them, and, most importantly, I respect and hold close personal and private information. Furthermore, I have been able to develop a strong working relationship with administration, where I can advocate for our unit while preserving the working relationship that is so important.
I hope that I am given the opportunity to continue to lead and listen to our members. I believe in honesty, transparency, and fairness, and I will continue to bring those qualities to our unit.
Christine Spina-Chocko has been a leading figure among the teachers in the Bay Shore School District since 1999. She has been an active member of AFT, NYSUT and BSCTA during that time. Not long after being hired, her commitment to the union and her field became evident and was recognized by both administration and peers. She is charismatic and effective and not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, especially on behalf of the teachers she represents.
Christine stands out from other candidates because she has served as our union representative for three different buildings; South Country, the Middle School and she is presently a building representative at Gardiner Manor. She has taught various grade levels and is a teacher's teacher. She is extremely loyal to all of those she encounters.
Christine will continue to work to ensure that all teachers in the district are represented equally, and that all teachers continue to take part in our district policy making. She wants to ensure teachers maintain the flexibility to take care of their own families. She recognizes that the times have brought an even more complex student, along with the ever-changing technology and curriculum. Christine wants to ensure that teachers are part of all district classroom initiatives. Her experience in district elementary schools and the middle school will increase the union camaraderie and make for a more cohesive unit.
Throughout her career she has volunteered for countless endeavors and events. In Bay Shore, she has coached district sport teams, mentored teachers, and has held positions on innumerable district committees. This year she continues to do her part and has been added as a member of the Emergency Response Team, trained in the Stop the Bleed initiative and spearheaded a Security Team at Gardiner Manor. Also, she volunteers on the Parents' Association board for the school her own children attend. Christine has helped that school raise $50,000.00 annually. She volunteered to aid Mt. Sinai Hospital, previously South Nassau Hospital, to assist in opening up a one of a kind "Women's Center for Specialty Care". Christine was chairperson for the first two major fundraising events. Her leadership and dedication to the cause has raised approximately $473,000.00 for that hospital.
With the belief that when our executive board is equally represented -we will feel more united as a union- during a time when solidarity is of the utmost importance. This is why she is seeking this opportunity to represent you all as second Vice President.
Her responsibilities demand a lot from her but she still makes time for her husband Kevin and their children, Caleigh and Patrick.