After deciding not to run for re-election in 2017 after serving four years on the Port Washington School District’s Board of Education, Christina Nadolne said, the education she received during her hiatus and her previous experience on the board makes her a strong candidate for this year’s June 9 election.
Nadolne is running against incumbent Rachel Gilliar, Adam Block, and Julie Epstein for one of two seats on the board for three-year terms in the at-large election.
Nadolne, a mother of two, a dental claims manager, and dental hygienist said she did not seek re-election in 2017 after serving one three-year term followed by a one-year term to achieve her masters in public health from George Washington University.
She said the 100-percent virtual education taught her the importance of integrating technology into public school districts.
“Everything I had to do was fully virtual,” Nadolne said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “From group work to online discussions, everyone in my program was constantly connected. Now, with the uncertainty of in-person education for the fall, it is extremely important to integrate more technology within the school district.”
Nadolne said she agreed with the district’s decision to close schools earlier than the rest of the North Shore due to the coronavirus pandemic. Planning for the future, she said, will be one of the first items of discussion if she is re-elected to the board.
Nadolne said she has had conversations with her sister, an intensive care unit head official in Seattle, about the importance of planning ahead and coming up with contingency plans for a modified curriculum.
“Incorporating technology into the classroom can allow guest speakers to come into classrooms, promote out-of-the-box thinking, and would be a driving force to bring people into the Port Washington School District,” Nadolne said.
One thing Nadolne hopes there will not have to be a contingency plan for is this year’s $163.2 million adopted budget.
Nadolne, in a virtual forum hosted by the League of Women Voters on Thursday evening, said she is a proponent in approving the budget, and touted the work done by the administration to modify and develop a budget that remained under the state-mandated tax cap.
“Safety and quality education comes first [in a budget], so we would have to work with the constraints we have to assure that our students and teachers have a safe entry into our schools and that we are providing an appropriate and challenging education in any way that we can,” Nadolne said in response to a hypothetical question of the budget not being approved.
Nadolne said she was on the executive committee for Salem Elementary School’s Home School Association, a volunteer at the Port Washington Parent Resource Center, an active member of the Port Washington Soccer Club, and a religious educator at St. Peter’s.
“Basically I began volunteering at a very young age, but when I had kids I started to become a volunteer for whatever they were involved in,” she said.
Nadolne touted her volunteer work and prior experience on the board of education ahead of the election.
“I know what the job entails, and I have the experience to know what my role will be if I am elected,” Nadolne said. “I also am a devil’s advocate in the sense that I will always provide a topic of discussion with potential benefits and hindrances.”
Nadolne said she also understands points of concern with parents from Kindergarten through 12th grade and prides herself on being a receptive individual who will always take others’ input into consideration.
“If people have issues or questions on any subject matter, I am someone who is easy to contact and speak with,” she said. “Regardless of what people are discussing, I will always take concerns from every stakeholder within the district into consideration.”
Absentee ballots for the election of two trustees and the budget vote must be received by the school district by Tuesday, June 9, at 5 p.m.