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Trustee Tina Diamond Steps Down

After faithfully serving the Farmingdale school district for 13 years as a member of the Board of Education, Trustee Tina Diamond is calling it a day.

At the recent public meeting on June 5, Board President Shari Bardash-Eivers gave a heartfelt farewell speech in honor of Diamond’s years of tireless service to the students of Farmingdale.

“Tina joined the Board of Education in 2000, but she was already well-know to us as an officer of the PTA,” she said. “She’s been an active participant in Project Home, community groups, and the police department, helping children make good choices both in and out of school. She’s also had an extremely proactive role in legislative activity, and finally, she’s been the board’s representative with the PTA council.”

Bardash-Eivers presented Diamond with a commemorative plaque and wished her best in her future endeavors.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, we congratulate you on a job well done,” she said. “We know that you will continue to be active on behalf of our students and our entire school community, and we know you will be successful in all that you do.”

With tears in her eyes, Diamond spoke fondly of her time serving on the board, and vowed that she would still be a regular participant in and proponent of the Farmingdale School District.

“I’m very proud to have been a part of some very positive changes in the Farmingdale school district throughout my career as a PTA leader and a school board member,” she said. “I thank everyone for their support of my efforts throughout the years. Thank you so much, everyone.”

In addition, Superintendent of Schools John Lorentz gave his official yearly wrap-up presentation, highlighting the trials, tribulations, and achievements of the Farmingdale district during the 2012-13 school year.

 Early in the presentation, Lorentz thanked the public for their support of the Farmingdale’s 2013-14 budget, which managed to stay within the tax levy limit while maintaining the district’s current programs.

“As you know, the budget was approved with a 67.3 percent approval rating,” he said. “We made sure to hold a number of budget workshops this past year leading up to the vote, because we want to make sure that the community is making an informed decision when they vote yes or no on that budget, because we operate as a team, and we share all of the responsibilities.”

Lorentz also touched on security concerns brought on by the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.

“We’ve revised a lot of our procedures, we’re practiced all of our drills,” he said. “We’ve also hired new security personnel and we’ve even contracted with a firm to do a security audit for us, not only do we have to instruct our students in the proper manner, but we have to make sure that we have a safe and secure environment for them.”

Other items covered in the presentation were advances in the district’s programs, such as reading, math, and science; Lorentz also spoke about the ongoing efforts to adopt the New York State-mandated Common Core Learn Standards.

“The Common Core is a good thing; it’s really going to help up to jump-start our way into today’s world,” he said. “Classrooms are not meeting the needs of students today, so with the adoption of the Common Core by the state, our work will be about examining our curriculum and comparing it to the Common Core, making adjustments, and determining additions to the curriculum.”

Overall, Lorentz said that the success of the efforts Farmingdale has made in becoming a high-achieving school district is due to a team effort among teachers, administration, involved parents, and most importantly, the students themselves.

“I think that we should be very proud of the work that we’ve done,” he said.