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School Board Discusses Special Election

Tensions ease with new board, new superintendent

After the resignation of Trustee Joel Sunshine last month, the Glen Cove City School District is in need of one more board member, and is trying to determine the best route to take. The greater part of the Aug. 26 meeting centered around a discussion by board members, the superintendent and the public about how soon to hold a vote and whether or not to “piggyback” on the Nov. 5 general election.

 

“You should seriously consider the impact on filling the seat...the person has to be the choice of the people,” said Zefy Christopoulos, noting that holding the election in conjunction with the general election could politicize the process, “We just went through a horrible time...the children of the district have been hurt, and we need to heal. We need to engage the public in the healing process. It’s time to be a headliner for a good reason.”

 

“I don’t think we should hold the election on Nov. 5,” said Trustee David Huggins. “We need to do it as soon as possible. Whatever we spend here is a drop in the bucket compared to what we spent on legal fees over the past year.”

 

Board President Donna Brady decided she would not vote on items in the interim, and the board determined they would look into the time line necessary for giving the candidates each a fair shot. The candidate will fill the empty seat for the remainder of Sunshine’s term, which expires next June.

 

Resident Dan Cox, who taught in the high school’s television studio for a number of years, unofficially announced his candidacy, stating that he moved to the district 30 years ago when it was seen as “progressive” but has been disappointed to not have seen the same types of “visionaries” since.

 

Addressing the board he said, “I watched two men bully the board...you could have done better.” He noted that Superintendent Maria Rianna’s “lack” of history as a superintendent is a good thing. “This is Glen Cove, we need change...I will bring that.”

 

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Dr. Michael Israel and Joseph Fiorino, director of facilities, presented an update on the wood shop room, which will be used for the strings students this year since no students are currently enrolled in wood shop. It was explained that the space was cleaned up and only cleared out of garbage; all existing equipment will be kept in the garage if it is needed in the future. The room was divided with a temporary wall, and the total cost was $600.

 

Resident Alison Gasparello asked for an update on the hiring of the high school principal and on the investigations. 

 

Rianna replied that the hiring committee has looked at six candidates and was not happy with any of the choices, so the search will be reopened. 

 

As to the investigations, she said, “We think it’s coming to a quick and necessary ending.”

 

At the end of the meeting, resident Rick Smith noted a change in atmosphere at the past two board meetings.

 

“The tension is gone,” he said.