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Herricks Board Congratulates New Board Members

Installation to be held on July 2 at 7:15 p.m.

At the last Herricks School Board meeting, President Christine Turner started the meeting by congratulating the two winning uncontested school board candidates, Nancy Feinstein and Brian Hassan. She welcomed them to sit at the board table during the meeting. She also said they could make comments, but that they could not vote until the reorganizational meeting which will be held on July 2 when they will be sworn into office. At that time both trustees Richard Buckley and Peter Grisafi will step down after many years of service on the school board. However, both candidates decided to remain seated in the audience.

Turner said, “It seems like so long ago that the budget vote was held and once again I want to thank all who were instrumental in getting out the vote to pass the budget.”

The board then voted on the following members of the Herricks Community Center Board of Directors for a three-year term starting on July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015: Allison Ahrens, Charlotte Podolsky and Dr. Ami Bhagat. Already serving on that board is: Jim Gounaris, Dr. Mayank Patel, Teresa Louie, Dr. Rajesh Patel and Bill Tountas.

Law To Require Tuition Of Children Living In Illegal Dwellings

Due to the fact that there has been so much discussion at board meetings regarding children living in illegal dwellings, Herricks Superintendent Dr. Jack Bierwirth read the following piece of proposed legislation crafted by both the town and the district to hopefully be enacted by both the New York State Senate and Assembly:

“Children living in illegal dwellings: A district located outside of a city with a population of one million or more may seek the recovery of tuition costs from the owner or landlord of real property where a portion or portions of such real property has or have been converted into an illegal apartment or apartments or illegal residential space within such district where a child or children who otherwise would not be a resident of such district resides in such illegal apartment or space with a parent, parents or guardian. The zoning laws and code, and the building code of the city, town or village where such real property is situated shall be used to determine the legality of the dwelling where such child or children reside. Nothing herein shall affect responsibilities, obligations, remedies, procedures and provisions set forth and included in subdivisions one through eight of this section.”

A resident asked Dr. Bierwirth if Joseph Wendling was still working on finding illegal residences and they were told he was.

Then Dr. Bierwirth added, “While the Herricks schools have a great deal of sympathy for families with students receiving a sub-standard education, it is not the responsibility of the Herricks community to educate those children. The Herricks community (Herricks taxpayers) is only responsible for educating the children of families who actually live in the district.”

Bierwirth continued, “Because of our close relationship with the Town of North Hempstead, the minute a resident registers a  child living in an apartment to attend the Herricks schools, we then submit the address to the town and  they know immediately if it’s an illegal residence.

“If you are aware of someone who is not a resident but is sending their children to our schools, we ask that you provide us with that information. We will investigate and determine whether, in fact, someone is cheating. Tips may be made anonymously by phone (305-8901) or e-mail to the superintendent’s office ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), or to private investigator on contract with the Herricks Public Schools, Joe Wendling ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Should we find that someone is cheating, we will pursue collection of tuition by all appropriate legal means.”

It was also established that the tuition for an illegal resident would be $20,000 or more if the child is receiving special services.

Dr. Bierwirth also announced that Herricks Schools was ranked 96 in the United States in Newsweek. He said, “However, after eliminating all the charter schools and magnet schools we figure that Herricks actually ranks 28 in the nation.”

Dr. Bierwirth continued, “In US News & World Report they compute the scores on a different basis. The first cut is on performance and we do well on that. The second cut is a comparison of the test scores of African American and Spanish students. Jericho makes it each year because their African American and Spanish population is so small they get a pass.”

The Annual Harry O’Neil Run or Walk is to be held on June 9. Registration may be online or in person the day of the run. The run will originate at Herricks and run through streets of Williston Park and back to Herricks.

The board will also set up a fund reserve to cover tax certiorari that now have to be paid by school districts.

It was also announced that the BOCES program will be leaving the Shelter Rock Academy but they are leaving all the renovations they made on the top floor of the academy.

The board adjourned the meeting and the next meeting will be held on June 7 at 7:15 p.m. and at that time there will be a recognition of retirees and student representatives.