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LERN Senior Leadership Taps Ronna Telsey

Ronna Telsey, head of the Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program since 1993, was one of 30 adult educators invited to attend a Senior Leadership Conference sponsored by LERN (Learning Resources Network). LERN, with 1,100 members worldwide, is the largest and most respected organization for continuing-education providers in public school districts, community colleges, technical institutes, colleges and universities, community organizations, professional associations, parks and recreation departments and the military.


The conference, by invitation only to the top leaders in LERN, was held last month in Tucson, AZ.  Telsey was the only attendee from the New York metropolitan area and the northeast region. No expenses were borne by the school district. 


Following the conference, William Draves, president of LERN, wrote, “Thanks so much for a great Senior LERN Leader Retreat. Very exciting. More later, but right now your ideas and contributions are featured on our home page for May at 


“It was a wonderful experience for many reasons. First, it gave me the opportunity to interact with my peers from the most successful adult education programs in the US and Canada. These interactions validated that what we are doing here, in Great Neck, is exemplary and confirmed that the issues we are wrestling with are universal,” said Telsey, who has served on LERN’s 10-member Community Education Council since 2009. “Second, small-group discussions on specific topics resulted in suggestions that I found worth pursuing. Third, I was asked to assume a leadership role in the planning and execution of a LERN mentoring program for new adult educators and others who may need assistance. I am very excited about this opportunity.”


Ronna Telsey has been associated with the Great Neck Public Schools for 34 years. From 1993–2011, she was director of public information and adult education. From 1979–1993, she was director of public information. For the past two years, she has been consultant to the Adult Program.


In 1995, Telsey was named Golden Empire Apple Professional of the Year by the New York State School Public Relations Association. Before joining the school district, she was employed by Long Island Jewish Medical Center, as a writer in its Department of Public Affairs, and by Mademoiselle Magazine, as production editor. 


Telsey has lived in Great Neck since 1967 and has been an active member of the community. She is past president of the Great Neck United Community Fund, of the Career and Working Women Group of Great Neck Hadassah, which she co-founded, and of the Cumberland School Parent-Teacher Association. She is a recipient of the Great Neck Award (1997) from the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce, the Woman of Achievement Humanitarian Award (1987) from the Eleanor Roosevelt Chapter of the American Jewish Congress, and the Community Notable Award (1984) from the Great Neck United Community Fund.