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New Teachers Hired In Oyster Bay

The hiring of two music teachers, a guidance supervisor, and three other teachers were approved recently by the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education.

The board unanimously approved the hiring of Michael Ginannetta as a seventh- and eighth-grade band teacher, replacing Stephen Walker, and Meagan Finnerty, as music  teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School, replacing Robert Stern. Both Walker and Stern retired at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

In addition, the board voted to hire Debra Strell as supervisor of guidance services. Earlier in the year, the board had voted to hire a supervisor of guidance.

Also, the board approved the hiring of Nicole Schwartz as English/Language Arts teacher for the high school, Colleen Kelly as a special education teacher for the Vernon School, and Lorraine Tini, a special education teacher at Vernon.

Most of the newly-hired teachers were present at the Aug. 6 meeting at the Oyster Bay High School Library to meet with board members and members of the community.

James Robinson, a former board president, presided over the meeting because board president Ann Marie Longo and vice president Robin Dando were not present.

In other news, the board voted to approve entering into an arrangement with Nassau County BOCES to provide security camera monitoring for the three local schools for no more than $12,000. At Robinson’s request, Chris Van Cott, assistant superintendent of schools for finance and operations, explained that the school system has had security cameras but was not able to monitor the cameras “in real time.” Rather, school officials could only view security tapes later and react to what was seen, Van Cott explained.

Because of Nassau BOCES’ “periodic viewing of the cameras,” school officials will be able to respond proactively if issues arise, Van Cott said.

The board also approved a contract between the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District and Oyster Bay-East Norwich Administrators Association. Robinson noted that though negotiations can be difficult, the latest negotiations were conducted reasonably.

Dr. Laura Seinfeld, superintendent of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Schools, in her report to the board told community members present that “your new board members are working very hard,” meeting with district administrators and attending training sessions by the New York State School Board Association.

Jennifer Romeo and John McEvoy, having been newly-elected to the board in May, were sworn in and began their term last month.   

Seinfeld also noted that she will be holding office hours on Aug. 21 from 8 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. for anyone wishing to see her. “We’re going to try to limit each meeting to 15 minutes. This will be a great opportunity for me to meet with members of the community, learn their concerns, and hear their input.”

Board member Maryann Santo also thanked Van Cott for his efforts to secure a sign on East Main Street warning drivers from making u-turns in front of the high school. “Drivers making u-turns were hazardous for students crossing the street for school,” Santos said.