The Glen Cove School District budget passed last Tuesday, with results totaling 740 votes in favor to 330 opposed. Trustees Barrie Dratch and Maureen Pappachristou were both re-elected to the board of education in the uncontested election; Dratch received 615 votes and Pappachristou received 786 votes.
“I am excited to be serving another term on the board,” said Dratch, who has been a trustee since July 2011. “I am looking forward to continuing the work we have started under our leadership with Ms. Rianna. We are moving the district forward and I am proud of the strides we are taking in supporting the needs of all of our students.”
The Glen Cove School District has reached a new agreement with the Glen Cove Teachers Association through June 2016 that compensates instructional staff members fairly and helps sustain the district’s present and future fiscal health.
“After close to three years of collective bargaining, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that is acceptable to both sides,” said Glen Cove Superintendent Maria Rianna. “During the budget development process, the board of education and administration had to make some tough choices to maintain a quality educational program and uphold our fiscal responsibility to the Glen Cove taxpayers. This agreement will allow us to preserve opportunities for students while addressing the cost-of-living needs of our teachers. On behalf of the Board of
Education, I commend the GCTA leadership for their cooperation throughout this process. It is because of their commitment to the children of this community that concessions were made.”
It has been 100 years since the Locust Valley Library opened its doors to patrons. On Saturday, May 10, the library celebrated its 100th birthday with a tree planting on the front lawn and an ice cream/face painting social in the community room. Library staff and residents were on hand to witness the first shovels placed in the ground for the planting of the new cherry tree.
“The tree planting is the first step in updating our library,” said Library Director Kathy Ray Smith. “We have plans to renovate our community room inside, update our AV equipment and trim the plantings that are overgrown in front of the library.”
It is now illegal in the City of Glen Cove for vendors to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19. That was the unanimous decision that passed at the Glen Cove City Council meeting last Tuesday night as the council voted 6-0 in favor of banning the sale of the product to minors. The new law is an addition to the already existing tobacco laws in the city. An e-cigarette is a battery-powered device that converts liquid nicotine into a mist, or vapor, that the user inhales.
“This is another step in our already stringent tobacco laws here in Glen Cove,” said Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello. “We want to take an active position to make our youth aware of the dangers of smoking. We feel it is the right thing to do.”
During the first week of August, Glen Cove will be a hub activity as it plays host to the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA). The 114th annual event will take place at Nassau Country Club for the first time in 100 years.
“The USGA’s selection of Nassau Country Club to host the championship is a shining example of Glen Cove’s historic significance to golf, and a tribute to our ability to host a national golf championship,” said Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello. “The golf course and our community will be showcased to the world for five days on Golf Channel. We need to fully embrace this event to ensure it is a great experience for the players, USGA officials, media and spectators.”
Peter Quick, who has been president of the club for the past 30 years and is co-chairman of the event, explained that the idea to host the event was first discussed eight years ago. It was brought before the board for a vote, and brought to the members as well, since hosting the event is costly; plus, it means members don’t have access to the full facilities for the week.
Every year SAFE’s PRIDE Project Coalition participates in the National Drug Facts Week campaign by creating a program for students at Finley Middle School and Glen Cove High School. The hope is that if youth are armed with information they will either stop taking drugs or choose never even to try them.
SAFE’s campaign this year included a visit from Staff Sergeant Dave You, who spoke to students about the dangers of marijuana and alcohol during an After 3 program using the firsthand experiences of people he knew to drive home his points.
After several years without a contract, an agreement has finally been reached between the Glen Cove Teachers Association and the administration, which was approved by the school board on Monday, May 5.
Trustee Gail Nedbor-Gross said, “We appreciate what the teachers do for us...the savings is also appreciated."
“It’s a fair settlement and I thank the teachers’ association...it will be a substantial savings over time, so I thank you for your time and good graces,” said Superintendent Maria L. Rianna.
The Glen Cove Board of Education held the final budget presentation on Wednesday night at Glen Cove High School, 13 days before the upcoming budget vote. The final 2014-15 budget tally for the district is $79,281,428. This is an increase of $2,610,796 from last year’s budget, which was $76,670,631. The 2014-15 tax levy for the district is $64,780,719, which is a 1.58 percent increase from the 2013-14 tax levy of $63,770,937.
School Superintendent Maria Rianna said that the budget gap of $1,227,000 means projected staff cuts for the 2014-15 school year. Staff cuts are projected for ESL (English as a Second Language) and library staff and in other areas of the district.
To say that Sara Testa has been having a difficult year would be an understatement. During a time when the Glen Cove High School junior should be focused on college tours, taking the SATs, playing soccer and generally enjoying being a teen, she has instead had to endure the better part of the school year in the hospital with an undiagnosed condition.
“It’s been a long battle for her,” says Sara’s mother, Ricki Testa.
“She spent Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, and the day of the junior prom in the hospital,” says Rose Iannelli, a family friend whose daughter, Tanni, is a classmate of Sara’s.
Glen Cove eighth-graders were visited by the “cool kids” in gym class recently when the members of SALT (Student Athlete Leadership Team) stopped by to talk about the importance of sportsmanship and civility. SALT members are trained to do peer to peer training with the district’s middle school students to teach them how to be leaders, good friends and have good values, and the students always enjoy the visits.
SAFE, Inc. PRIDE Project Coalition partners with the SALT program, led by Denise Kiernan, director of health, physical education and athletics for the Glen Cove School District to help keep the program running.
“Being fair, respectful and being a better person, that’s what sportsmanship is,” said SALT President Sam DiPaola, who is also the class president. “Bringing sportsmanship into everyday life, well, that’s civility.”
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