Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00In recognition of the dedication of school board members throughout New York State, boards of education are being honored during the annual School Board Recognition Week (this year held Oct. 28 to Nov. 1), as declared by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. More than 700 school boards statewide are being commended for their devoted service to children. In his official proclamation, Governor Cuomo wrote, “The men and women serving as members of school boards are dedicated to children, learning, and community, and devote many hours of service to elementary and secondary public education as they continually strive for improvement, excellence, and progress in education.”
In the 1790s and early 1800s, New York State passed laws establishing school districts and empowering its citizens to elect school boards. Great Neck established its first board of education in 1894 and it has continued as a proud institution.
A Great Neck Public Schools tradition of honoring its school board during this week has grown to include a presentation by students. At the Oct. 21 Board of Education meeting, elementary school students presented a medley of songs to President Barbara Berkowitz, Vice President Lawrence Gross, and Trustees Monique Bloom and Susan Healey. (Trustee Donald Ashkenase was unable to attend the meeting.) Ms. Berkowitz was moved to “tears of joy” after hearing “Welcome to Our School” and “Thank You,” sung by kindergartners and first-graders, and “You Raise Me Up” and “Look How Far We’ve Come,” sung by fifth-graders.
Sixty-five students participated in the joyful presentation. They included kindergarten students in Richelle Fishler class at Parkville School: Noah An, Amelia Brown Delinois, Adrien Dai, Johanna Foldi, Zachary Gilbreth, Christina Hui, Christian Kaczor, Nora Kelley, Madison Lee, Aaron Liu, Alam Mavani, Ethan Moy, Adrian Pribetic, Taylor Weber, Conrad Xu, and Chenglin (Eric) Zhou. Lakeville first-graders in Patricia Lovell’s class who sang were: Megan Chin-Lam Chan, Calvin Chang, Annabelle Chay, Joyce Chen, Ryan Chen, Simon Davydov, Boreum Kim, Dylan Kim, Amit Levy, Danielle Liang, Selena Lu, Amanda Luo, Joseph Milazzo, Vincent Ribando, John Roggendorf III, Shayaan Siddiqui, Kimberly Villatoro, Louis Wang, and Xinrui (Rebecca) Zhang. The other performers were fifth-graders from Baker, Kennedy, and Lakeville Schools. From Baker: Alexandra Delafraz, Danielle Gruber, Nyah Lamarre Blanc, Abigail Levy, Ryan Mah, Eitan Nazarieh, Adam Sanders, Anna Sardo, Molly Sherry, and Katherine Smolens. From Kennedy: Alexandra Ahdoot, Luca Arasheben, Daniel Choi, Ariela Hakimi, Luke Hakimian, Lauren Murphy, Shira Pirouzian, Ariella Sakhai, Isaac Turofsky, and Victoria Varkonyi. From Saddle Rock: Lily Becker, Hanna Eshaghoff, Jordana Lerner, Scott Levy, Albert Li, Dana Livian, Jacob Nissim, Ashley Schlusselberg, Gracie Tropp-Levy, and Hunter Waldman.
The performance was under the direction of Chad Lasky, Saddle Rock vocal music teacher. The singers were accompanied by recorded music and by Robert Pietromonaco, Lakeville vocal music teacher, on piano. The other vocal music teachers paramount to the event were: Robin Golub, Parkville; Cynthia Gorney, Baker; and Korey Terranova, Kennedy.
All Great Neck Public School Board of Education members are residents of the school district, elected by fellow residents in the annual school district election in May. Each serves a three-year unpaid term as trustee. The Board is responsible for legal issues, and for determining educational policy, supervising the administration of the schools, and levying taxes on properties to support school district operations.