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Letter: Commander: Candidate For School Board

I’d like to take this opportunity to announce my candidacy for Trustee of the North Shore School Board of Education. I have lived in the district for eight years, having relocated from the from the south shore of Long Island. I have embraced the peacefulness, beauty and sense of community I have experienced since my move.  It is a truly special place.  


I am running for the Board of Education because I believe my experiences, both the professional and life skills that I have cultivated over my 65 years make me an excellent candidate to help solve the challenging issues that are before our community and school district.


Although I am retired, I am and have been involved in several organizations on a volunteer basis. I am an active member of the North Shore Athletics Booster Club, where I am in the process of creating a link to assist student athletes with the college recruiting process. I serve meals and do computer work for the INN Soup Kitchen in Glen Cove, servicing a population very much in need. I am a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, meeting over the course of the last year to address issues facing the district.


Professionally I have been in involved in public education for 33 years, first as a teacher and coach, followed by my role as Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics for both the Lynbrook and Harborfields School Districts. I have been an adjunct professor at Adelphi University and coordinated the student teaching program at Hofstra University. I earned my B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University, my M.A. from Adelphi University and my Administrative Certification from St. Johns University.


In these roles I honed mediating, listening, negotiating, problem solving and consensus building skills. I often took on thorny issues and worked with groups with opposing points of view to create healthy solutions that everyone could not only live with, but would benefit from.


As an Athletics Director I developed and implemented an academic eligibility to support student athletes better understand both academic responsibilities as well as meeting their athletic endeavors. Everyone bought in. I led a group analyzing substance abuse issues of our students that led to the creation of a community coalition comprised of parents, students, youth program coaches, leaders from various religious groups.  The goal…..everyone on the same page. 


As a senior citizen I am cognizant of the fiscal pressure brought to bear by ever increasing expenditures. I will stand with you and represent your interests to the best of my ability. Simply put, my passion is to bring people together and implement solutions that build and strengthen communities. As adults in the North Shore community we have a responsibility to provide a great education to our most precious resource, our children.  I cherish my community and desire only to serve. I want to use my skills, experience and passion to ensure the quality and sustainability of our schools.  


I ask for your vote on May 20, to support our district’s budget and to elect me as your representative to the Board of Education.


— Joanna Commander