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Fran Langsner Resigns From School Board

A move from Great Neck precedes the resignation

As of June 1, Great Neck Public School Board of Education Vice President Fran Langsner will no longer serve on the school board. Ms. Langsner’s letter of resignation, read at the June 4 public action meeting by Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz, explained that Ms. Langsner had relocated outside of the school district on May 31.

Ms. Langsner, who has served on the school board for 12 years (five of those years as vice president), wrote that it has been “an incredible privilege … to serve as a steward of public education to a community that finds the future in the face of every child.” As Ms. Langsner left Great Neck and the school district, she stated that it is her hope that since her first election in February 2000, that she has been able to “fulfill the trust that was placed in me.”

After Ms. Berkowitz read Ms. Langsner’s letter, she and the board addressed the issue, first explaining that, honoring Ms. Langsner’s wishes, there had been no public discussion about “her circumstances.” Ms. Berkowitz further explained that when the Langsners put their house up for sale it was their hope that they would quickly find a new home in Great Neck, but this did not happen.

Ms. Berkowitz said that she has known Fran Langsner for more than 20 years, as she and Ms. Langsner served a multitude of parent positions in the school district. “Fran has been a fair, honest, hard-working, tremendous asset to our board,” she said. Ms. Berkowitz continued, noting the confidence and trust she placed in her vice president whenever she had to miss a meeting. And she spoke of the “wonderful gift” of having worked with Ms. Langsner on the board’s vital policy committee.

“It has been an absolute joy to work alongside her,” Ms. Berkowitz said, as she noted that Ms. Langsner had asked that there be no party or dinner nor any sort of recognition as she leaves the board.

Following the resignation announcement, longtime Trustee Lawrence Gross spoke of Ms. Langsner as “such an important member of the board for so many years.” And he spoke of Ms. Langsner’s hard work, involving both the decision and the subsequent move, when the Parkville School absorbed the Lakeville kindergarten classes. “I will miss her and the district will miss her … she was so highly effective as an advocate at the state and federal level,” he added.

Trustee Susan Healy, who will now chair the board’s policy committee, will take Ms. Langsner’s wisdom with her. And she noted her predecessor’s “gift for detail.”

Trustee Donald Ashkenase, who (along with Mr. Gross) has served on the board for over 30 years, termed Ms. Langsner’s departure “a real loss.” He spoke of his former colleague as “an exemplary board member” with “no ego involved.” He said that she “worked for all of the children in the Great Neck Public Schools.”

Ms. Berkowitz also announced that UPTC President Monique Bloom will be appointed to the board of education at the board’s July 2 re-organization meeting. Ms. Bloom will fill the remainder of Ms. Langsner’s term until it expires in May 2013.

Ms. Bloom spoke briefly, saying that on behalf of the parents in the school district, she was offering a “thank you” to Fran Langsner. Ms. Bloom thanked the school board and Superintendent of Schools Thomas Dolan for her new appointment and she promised to “do my best to serve every student.”

Fran Langsner left Great Neck and left the school board, with fond thoughts, much appreciation and “all my good wishes for the bright future the Great Neck Public Schools so richly deserve.”