Written by Rick Karas Friday, 28 September 2012 00:00
New year, new students, and in this case, a new look.
Before the Garden City Board of Education held its first regular meeting for the new school year, it was time to take a tour. The 2009 School Investment Bond has allowed the district to make significant improvements to its buildings, and all were invited to check out some of the changes at Homestead.
“Homestead was really starved for space,” District Superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen said during the tour. “We have all kinds of special services we provide to students [here] ... they were working in, well if Gulliver were here, he would see it was almost Lilliputian, very tiny spaces, inadequate for kids.”
For starters, the old, cramped library has been converted to a psychologist’s office and resource room. The new library? It’s one of the features of an entire new wing added to the school over the summer. It features a large computer center. Right next door is a shared art and music space, featuring concert-like risers, so students can get a taste of what it’s like to perform on stage before they actually must do so.
The other major component of the renovation is energy. New overhead lighting has been added that automatically dims when there is enough sunlight. The lights will use reduced wattage, meaning they won’t heat up too much. Thermal doors will help keep classrooms warm in the winter, and brand-new windows have been installed throughout the school, replacing the old, energy inefficient single-pane models. Also, new boilers have been installed featuring a dual system. That means if one goes down, there is a backup ready to go if needed. Outside, new landscaping has been installed in the school courtyards. Smaller projects such as panel replacement and masonry will continue over the course of the school year.
With the tour complete, it was time to get down to the business of another school year, as the September meeting began. Dr. Feirsen noted that the high school has been awarded the School of Distinction award from the state, meaning all varsity teams had a GPA of 90 percent or higher. Also, both the middle school and high school have been recognized by the state education department as Reward Schools, having reached the top 10 percent in terms of student progress measured year-to-year. This will allow the district to apply for competitive grants.
The board announced that the district’s Professional Performance Review plan, meant to align with state legislation, has been submitted, but that they have not received feedback from the state as of yet. While they wait, the district has initiated a series of benchmark exercises, where students in every subject will be tested on what they know before formal instruction begins. Dr. Feirsen also said he’ll be seeking board approval for the Consolidated Application for federal grants, to bring some extra revenue into the district. It was reported that at the end of July, the district had a balance of roughly $20.5 million.
The next meeting of the board will be Tuesday, October 16, at the Middle School at 8:15 p.m.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
On May 8, more than 500 fashionably dressed women converged on the Garden City Hotel for the Sid Jacobson JCC’s tenth annual Friendship Circle Luncheon. Notable celebrities on hand were Good Day New York co-host Rosanna Scotto, who was also the event’s MC, and singer/actress Megan Hilty from the Broadway play Wicked and NBC’s hit drama Smash, who entertained the ladies with her favorite songs from both shows.
The Friendship Circle Luncheon was started 10 years ago by Denise Silverberg, as a way to raise money for programs providing support for adults in their 30s, 40 s and 50s that are afflicted by Alzheimer’s. Silverberg’s mother has the disease, so she understands firsthand the role of a caregiver and the stresses involved in taking care of someone who has it.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Deputy Mayor Nicholas Episcopia attended the HUB Stakeholders Meeting held by Nassau County’s consultants on the Transportation Project. He was joined by EPOA President Judy Courtney, Vice President Chris Mullaney, and Director Leo Stimmler, as well as William Bellmer, a member of the Garden City Planning Commission, Dorothy Episcopia, past EPOA president, and former mayor Robert Rothschild. Bob Schoelle and Brian Ridgeway attended the afternoon session. Garden City is a stakeholder because a large portion of the village lies within the defined HUB area.
As presented, the currently preferred alternative transportation plan appears reasonable and eliminates the construction of a light rail system that would run from the Mineola Station, south behind Arthur Street, and east along the spur adjacent to St. James Street South, as was initially proposed. Nonetheless, as we have consistently done over the years, we will continue to monitor plans for the transportation project and strongly express our opinion if we believe any aspect of this project would be detrimental to the quality of life in Garden City.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
The Garden City JV lacrosse team finished the year with a stellar 14-0-1 record. Led by Head Coach Tom Flatley and Assistant Coach Brett Hepworth, the Trojans overpowered most of their opponents with explosive offensive bursts, tough-nosed gritty defense, and rock-solid goaltending. The offense averaged over 15 goals per game, while the defense allowed just over three goals per game.
The season commenced with a hard fought, triple overtime thriller against Syosset that ended in a 7-7 tie. As the team became more cohesive, most of the next few opponents, including Hewlett, Lynbrook, Carey, Roslyn, Kellenberg, and others, found themselves overmatched against this Trojan team. However, that did not dissuade Ward Melville from putting forth an inspired effort on their home turf for three quarters, before finally falling to Garden City 12-7.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
The boys and girls high school teams are both rolling and have their sights set on a long run in the playoffs. Both team have faced a number of formidable opponents throughout the season and have successfully navigated their schedules. One thing that has been consistent for both teams has been that their defenses have had to stand tall at key times and shut down very active offenses. Both Coach Finnell and Coach Chapman have made sure that the non-league schedules of their teams will ensure that their teams are prepared for whatever the playoffs can throw at them.
After going the full season last year undefeated, the boys team has three blemishes on their record with losses to powerhouses Ward Melville, Manhasset and LaSalle of PA. With a 9-3 record the Trojans are looking to wrap up the number two seed in the playoffs to force a rematch of the Manhasset game in the County finals. The boys have excelled defensively only allowing 4.25 goals against per game. And if you remove those three tough losses the goals against average drops to 3.1.