Peter Negri, president of the Committee to Save St. Paul's, announces that Eileen Burns Collins is stepping down from her position as executive director. "It is with reluctance and great disappointment that I must inform the community that Eileen has asked to be relieved of her duties," Negri said.
"Although we have made tremendous progress in raising awareness about the importance of preserving and restoring the historic St. Paul's building for public use," Collins notes, "it has been extremely time-consuming and a very public effort. While this project will remain high among my priorities, I have chosen, at this time, to devote my full attention to my much-loved career as an elementary educational leader. My professional goal is to see that every child in my care is afforded the opportunities to succeed and become a lifelong learner."
Negri also takes this occasion to announce: "The Committee to Save St. Paul's is delighted to welcome Maureen Traxler, who, effective immediately, joins our group as administrative and communications director. With Maureen's assistance, we will move forward in our efforts to promote public-private use of the unique and historic St. Paul's School. The Committee is anxious to continue its dialogue with residents, and demonstrate both the advantages of retaining this building for the community and the opportunities available to the village to alleviate the financial burden for our taxpayers."
A resident and active member of the Garden City community for eight years, Maureen Traxler holds a communications degree from Nassau Community College, bachelor's degree in English and public relations from Hofstra University, and attended Hofstra's web design certificate program. She has worked in the communications and public relations profession for 10 years, primarily assisting nonprofits and Nassau County school districts, and has a wealth of experience as a journalist, weekly newspaper editor and freelance writer.
For the past four years, Traxler has served as a member of the Garden City Historical Society Board of Directors, chairing its education, publicity, membership and newsletter committees, as well as designing promotional material and maintaining the Society's website. She continues to work with the Society in establishing its archive database and Historic Structures Survey. She is a director of the Western Property Owners Association and has an individual membership with the Garden City Chamber of Commerce.
"Maureen's greatest assets are that she is easy to talk to and she's a good listener," Collins, a colleague, friend and neighbor, said. "Maureen is articulate, capable and, I believe, one of the rising stars in our village."
Collins joined the group in early 2006, and has been working tirelessly to increase awareness among residents about the vital importance of finding a reasonable and affordable solution to retaining the St. Paul's building for public use. A former village trustee and past president of the Western Property Owners' Association, she has brought her enormous energy, experience and considerable list of contacts to bear on the task of enlisting support, financial contributions and developing a reasonable plan for St. Paul's. She was selected by the Committee not only for her activist role over many years in community affairs, but also because she chaired the Mayor's Committee on Public Use at St. Paul's - a volunteer group that provided invaluable insights into the myriad public needs that could be addressed at St. Paul's.
"The Committee to Save St. Paul's has achieved some incredible momentum and support, thanks in a significant way to Eileen Collins' passion and hard work," Negri added. "She has motivated people and enlisted support throughout the village. We know that she will stay involved and continue her outstanding outreach to our neighbors. We wish her well."