Written by Jill Nossa Friday, 20 May 2011 00:00
Seventeen Glen Cove School District teachers were recognized for their experience, talent and dedication to the district at a ceremony honoring their tenure appointments at Robert M. Finley Middle School on Monday night at the Glen Cove Board of Education meeting.
The principals of each school offered anecdotes and praise for every individual teacher – ranging from those fairly new to the job to those with over 20 years of experience – who were then awarded a Certificate of Tenure by the superintendent and board of education.
“We recognize our teachers because teachers belong to a noble profession… everyone who passes through their hands goes on to be working adults, and we never know where their influence ends. We hope that these teachers can see tenure as a moment of greatness as well as a moment of inspiration to grow as a teacher,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph A. Laria.
High school senior Heather Artinian, an athlete with a grade point average of 99 who is ranked fourth in her class, was also recognized for her outstanding achievements as an athlete, scholar and volunteer with various community organizations.
The Fine Arts Committee presented a video report to the board outlining the status of the fine arts programs in Glen Cove schools. The report highlighted the positives of what the district has to offer as well as pointing out specific “gaps” such as the need for storage space, scheduling issues, and the need for repairs to the performance facilities. It was emphasized that the schools in the district do have the resources to support art, digital art & media, and music programs, but there is room for improvement. The committee will make a final report to the board by June 30.
During the public comment period, there was discussion about the future of the business program at the high school after a high school student questioned a list of 15 teaching positions slated for abolishment. It was explained that 11 of those people would be called back either part-time or full-time.
“We are still finalizing the master schedule – this is a work in progress…we are not going to water down classes…we are not going to wholesale abolish anything that has student interest,” Dr. Laria stressed.
“Maybe we should let kids choose classes that will help them get jobs in the future, not just a class that will guarantee an easy A, “ said Trustee Joel Sunshine.
Some debate ensued among the board members whether or not to table the vote on the terminations until the next business meeting – until after the budget vote, when the budget would be determined.
“Please trust that our administration knows what they are doing,” urged President Ida McQuair.
The item passed 6-1, with trustee David Huggins opposed.
Dr. Laria addressed the students in support of the business program, some who feel that the guidance counselors are influencing students’ decisions in course selection.
“You have my word that we are following up on these issues…we want to raise the bar,” he said.