With the emergence of two candidates for two school board seats this year, Susan Schaefer and Jordana Sobey, the Sag Harbor School District will have an uncontested school board race for the first time since 2010.
Ms. Schaefer is a sitting board member who was appointed earlier this year to fill the seat vacated by Tommy John Schiavoni when he was elected to the Southampton Town Council. Because her appointment expires May 15, the same day as the board elections and school budget vote, Ms. Schaefer would have needed to run again in order to retain her seat, and on Monday she turned in the required paperwork to do so.
Ms. Schaefer is the vice president of Bridgehampton National Bank and is the manager of its Bridgehampton branch. She has previously served on the boards of the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Sag Harbor Little League and Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt. When she was appointed to the Sag Harbor School Board in January, she was the unanimous choice out of a pool of eight candidates. Ms. Schaefer did not respond to requests for comment this week.
Ms. Sobey, who moved to Sag Harbor about four years ago, will be a newcomer to the Sag Harbor School Board. She is a parent of two children who attend Sag Harbor Elementary School, and serves on the board of Goat on a Boat at Bay Street Theatre. She is a corporate attorney with international law experience, and currently leads an in-house legal department for a technology company, handling a range of responsibilities from contract negotiations to financial matters to data security. Ms. Sobey has volunteered to teach financial literacy classes to women through Coalition for the Homeless and has also taught angel investing to female entrepreneurs through the Pipeline Fellowship.
In an interview, Ms. Sobey said she has seen her kids thrive in the Sag Harbor School District. She said she is running for a seat on the board because she wants to become more involved in her community.
“I’ve always been interested in local government, so I took lots of zoning and land use classes in college thinking that was something I wanted to do someday,” Ms. Sobey said. “Then I had kids, and I realized a good way for me to get involved in local government is the school board.”
Asked what she feels are the most important issues facing the Sag Harbor School District, Ms. Sobey said they include transparency, school safety, fiscal responsibility and meeting the educational needs of all students.
Regarding school safety, Ms. Sobey said she hopes to be able to preserve “things that are beloved by the community” while finding a balance with safety and security concerns.
Overall, she believes she brings a unique skill set.
“I do think I will have a good eye as contracts come before us,” Ms. Sobey said. “I think I will add a good point of view. I’m a good listener and I’m a peacemaker. I plan on listening to everyone’s opinion and trying to understand where they are coming from.”