2024-2025 Budget

Voters approve district budget; elect Shauna Best and Peter Agro to the board

Pine Bush Central School District voters approved the $141,504,647 budget, with xx percent of voters supporting this 2024-2025 spending plan.

Shauna Best and Peter Agro took the two seats on the board of education. This year, six residents ran for the board: Best, Agro, Lisa Dyer, incumbent Ross Tompkins, Phillip J. Salinardi and incumbent Matthew Watkins. Best and Agro will serve their three-year terms, starting July 1, 2024.

“Thank you to our residents for approving this budget,” said Superintendent of Schools Brian Dunn. “Our team worked diligently on this budget, providing for our students and always keeping our taxpayers in mind. I am so grateful to our voters for showing their support for our students and the district.

“I want to congratulate Shauna Best and Peter Agro and thank them for their willingness to serve their community,” Dunn continued. “I look forward to working with them both over the next three years, moving our district toward its goals. We had an excellent group of candidates running for the board. I also want to thank Ross Tompkins and Matt Watkins for their service to the community. Your dedication to our district is commendable.”

This year’s budget included a tax levy increase of $1,824,727 or 2.96 percent, below the 4.05 percent limit set by the state. This budget increases spending by $5,875,006. State aid increased by $3,211,061. All existing programs are maintained in this budget. Two psychologists were added, as well as a behavioral assistant. Four teaching positions were eliminated through attrition.





Yes – 873

No – 418



Board of Education

Shauna Best – 647

Lisa Dyer – 309

*Ross Tompkins – 308

Peter Agro – 483

Phillip J. Salinardi – 403

*Matthew Watkins – 329


* incumbent

Budget Vote and Board of Education Election is May 21, 2024

Budget Newsletter

Every resident within the district is mailed a copy of the budget newsletter, after the public hearing is held. The 2024-2025 budget newsletter was mailed on Wednesday, May 8. Click here for a copy of the newsletter.

Also, the district mailed a postcard to all residents at the end of April, with information about the new polling sites this year. Here is a copy of the postcard.

Budget Book

2024-2025 Budget Book – Includes the line item budget, brief bios of the six board candidates, the New York State Report Card, and more.


The district’s annual budget vote and board of education election will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. There are new polling sites for 2024. The district has condensed its voting sites to two locations (learn more about this here). Voting will be from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the following polling locations:

District 1: Pine Bush High School (for residents of Gardiner, Shawangunk, Crawford and Montgomery)

District 2: Circleville Elementary School (for residents of Mount Hope, Wallkill and Mamakating)

A white background with the words New Polling Sites 2024. District 1 at Pine Bush High School includes residets of the towns of Gardiner, Shawangunk, Crawford and Montgomery. This merges the current districts 1 and 2. District 2 will vote at Circleville elementary School. This includes residents of the towns of Mount Hope, Wallkill and Mamakating, merging the current districts 3 and 4.

Six candidates to run for two board of education seats

Six candidates will be on the ballot May 21, 2024, for two board of education seats. 

Here are short biographies of each candidate in the order in which they will appear on the ballot.


A woman in a blue shirt smiles. She has chin-length dark wavy hair.Shauna Best

  • Town of Wallkill Planning Department; former owner and director Very Best Preschool
  • Lives in Town of Wallkill; district resident for 48 years

Shauna Best is a graduate of SUNY Orange and SUNY New Paltz, where she received a degree in elementary education. She attended both Circleville Elementary School and Circleville Middle School. She held positions as a camp administrator and unit director at the Town of Wallkill Boys and Girls Club. She and her husband have four children; one is a Pine Bush High School graduate and three are students in Pine Bush schools. Ms. Best is a volunteer in the district, as well as with Town of Wallkill community events. She is a member of Leadership Orange and the Walden Sportsmen’s Club. She volunteers with the Friendly Visitor program, the Hudson Valley Food Bank and is on the board of directors of the Orange County Childcare Council. This is her first time running for the school board.


A woman with brown shoulder-length hair and bangs, waring a blue striped shirt, smiles.Lisa Dyer

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Nursing, SUNY Orange; Registered Nurse
  • Lives in Bloomingburg; district resident for 37 years

Lisa Dyer has been in the nursing profession for 46 years. She has two decades of experience in healthcare management and 15 years in higher education. Dyer received her Master of Science degree in nursing education from Excelsior University, her Bachelor of Science degree in business, economics and healthcare management from SUNY Empire and her Associate of Science degree in nursing from SUNY Rockland. Dyer has a grandchild in the district. Her two adult children graduated from Pine Bush High School. She has served several terms on the parish council at her church, Our Lady of the Assumption. This is Dyer’s first time running for the school board.


A man with short dark hair, wearing a dark suit and red tie, smiles.Ross Tompkins

  • Division manager for Kriss Law Atlantic Closing and Escrow; co-owner Pineapple Day Spa
  • Lives in Shawangunk; district resident for 58 years

Ross Tompkins is a graduate of Pine Bush High School Class of 1982. He attended SUNY Orange and SUNY Dutchess, studying business management and human resources, as well as real estate development. He has more than 30 years of experience in the banking and real estate businesses. He is completing his second term on the board of education. He has three children, two in Pine Bush High School and one a graduate of PBHS. He is assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 37 in Pine Bush, a past president for the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women (NAPMW), a member of Hudson Valley MBA, and a member of Mountain View Methodist Church.


A man with short hair, wearing a dark blue shirt, smiles.Peter Agro

  • High School Math Teacher, Monroe-Woodbury
  • Lives in Crawford; district resident for 19 years

Peter Agro received his Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY New Paltz, and a Master of Arts degree from Brooklyn College both in secondary mathematics education. He also earned a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Administration from SUNY New Paltz. Agro has been a teacher at Monroe Woodbury for the past 22 years. In addition to teaching high school, Agro has also taught college math and worked in the private sector as both a credit analyst and a business systems analyst on Wall Street. He and his wife have one child who attends Pine Bush High School. Agro served on the Pine Bush Board of Education from 2015 to 2018, serving on the district’s Audit Committee and as president from 2017 to 2018. He did not seek reelection because of a health issue at the time. Agro is a former cub scout leader and T-ball coach, and volunteers for the Beautiful People organization.


A man with very short hair, wearing a gray zip up jacket, smiles.Phillip J. Salinardi

  • New York State Police Investigator; veterans of the US Marine Corp. 2002-2010
  • Lives in Shawangunk; 13-year resident of the district

Phillip J. Salinardi is a graduate of SUNY Empire State College, receiving a bachelor of science degree in community and human services. He volunteered for 11 years as a travel coach with the Town of Wallkill Soccer Club. Salinardi’s wife, Tracey, is a graduate of Pine Bush High School. Three of his step-children are PBHS graduates and one is currently a PBHS student. This is his first time running for the school board.


A man in a white shirt and gray suit jacket smiles.Matthew Watkins

  • Self-employed – GOALS Development Company
  • Lives in Shawangunk, lifelong resident of the district

Matthew Watkins received an associate’s degree in marketing from SUNY Delhi and a bachelor’s degree in general business from Penn State University. Watkins has served as a councilman in the town of Shawangunk and a trustee for the Pine Bush Area Public Library. He and his wife have three children, all graduates of Pine Bush High School. Watkins served on the school board, from 2016-2017, and from 2019 to the present.




Board of education adopts $141,504,647 budget for 2024-25 school year

The Pine Bush Central School District Board of Education adopted the 2024-2025 budget Thursday night, April 18, a $141,504,647 spending plan that maintains all existing academic, co-curricular and athletic opportunities for our students.

The budget details

The proposed tax levy will increase by 2.96 percent or $1.825 million, for a total of $63,387,542.

This budget is 4.33 percent more than the current year’s budget, an increase of $5.875 million. State aid increased 4.63 percent, providing just over $3.2 million in additional aid over the current year’s figure. The district will also use $3,086,040 in fund balance for this budget.

The tax levy is the amount of money raised by taxes. Fund balance is money that was previously collected by the district but not appropriated. The tax levy limit, set by the state, is 4.05 percent. The district’s tax levy is below the state limit.

What this means to homeowners

A homeowner in the district, with a home valued at $315,000, would pay approximately $138 more for the year in school taxes with this 2.96 percent change in the tax levy.


Providing for our students

The proposed budget continues to provide the strong academic programs we have built here at Pine Bush, all in a safe environment. The budget reallocates staff, including the addition of two school psychologists and one behavioral assistant, based on the needs of our students.



Polling Locations – New in 2024

  •  Election District No. 1:  Pine Bush High School
    118 State Route 302, Pine Bush
    (Residents of the Towns of Gardiner, Shawangunk, Crawford and Montgomery)
  • Election District No. 2: Circleville Elementary School  
    2000 State Route 302, Circleville
    (Residents of the Towns of Mount Hope, Wallkill and Mamakating)

    Budget FAQs

    Candidate Petition Packet

    Residents of the Pine Bush Central School District who wish to run for a seat on the board of education must complete a petition with a minimum of 25 signatures and turn it in to the district clerk by Monday, April 22, 2024 at 5 p.m.

    Prospective candidates may download a petition packet here or stop by the district office, located at 156 Route 302, Pine Bush, and pick one up. 

    The packet explains the process of running for school board. It contains the physical petition pages that can be printed out and returned after signatures are gathered, as well as board policies, contribution and expenditure statements and information on upcoming workshops to prepare for becoming a board of education member.

    Voter Information

    For information on voter registration and eligibility, absentee ballots, military ballots and early mail ballots, click here.

    Absentee and Early Mail Ballots

    This year, New York State has instituted early mail voting for any residents wishing to vote in this manner. Similar to absentee voting, registered voters must request an early mail ballot in writing within 30 days of the election (after April 21).

    The form to request an early mail ballot can be found here. After verifying the status of the voter, the district will either mail the early mail ballot or the voter may pick it up at the district office. 

    Applications for absentee ballots may be obtained from the district clerk or downloaded here.

    Applications must be received by the clerk at least seven days before the election, if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the election if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter.

    Applications for ballots may not be submitted more than 30 days prior to the election.  The clerk will begin accepting absentee ballot applications on Monday, April 22, 2024

    All completed ballots must be received by the Office of the District Clerk no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

    For further information, contact the district clerk at (845) 744-2031 ext. 4023.

    Military Ballots

    Any residents who are members of the military and in service on the date of the election may request a military absentee ballot. Please return the request by 5 p.m. on April 22, 2024. Your ballot will then be sent to you.

    For further information, contact the district clerk at (845) 744-2031 ext. 4023.

    Voter Registration

    Qualified voters may personally register at the District Office during regular office hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., until May 9, 2024. 

    In addition, personal registration will be conducted on Thursday, May 9, 2024, between 4 and 8 p.m.  at the district office. 

    Any qualified voter may register with their respective county board of elections at any time prior to voting in a school election.  You may also register  online through New York State.

    Residents of the district who are already registered with their county board of elections are registered to vote in school elections.

    Budget Development 

    Budget Development Calendar

    Budget Presentations

    The following presentations were made at board meetings.

    Anyone wishing to view the meetings may do so here.


    Budget Update – (presented April 2, 2024)

    District Consultants and Preliminary Budget Presentation – (presented March 12, 2024)

    2024-2025 Proposed Administrative Staffing; Proposed Extra-Curricular Programs and Athletics; Technology Budget; Transportation/Registration; Operations and Maintenance Budget; Proposed Debt Services and Draft Budget (presented Feb. 27, 2024)

    2024-2025 Building a Budget/ Budget Rollover Projections; Projected State Aid; Tax Cap Calculations (presented Feb. 6, 2024)

    2024-2025 Demographic Update Study(presented Feb. 6, 2024)

    Pine Bush Central School District
    State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
    Phone: (845) 744-2031
    Fax: (845) 744-6189
    Brian Dunn
    Superintendent of Schools
    This website is maintained by Public Information Specialist Linda Smith. It is the goal of the Pine Bush Central School District that this website is accessible to all users. View our accessibility statement. The district is not responsible for facts or opinions contained on any linked site. Some links and features on this site require the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Visit the Adobe website to download the free Acrobat Reader. This website was produced by Capital Region BOCES Engagement & Development Services, Albany, NY. Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved.