Written by Betsy Abraham, email@example.com Thursday, 15 May 2014 08:55
On May 20, Hicksville residents will take to the polls to vote for the school budget and for a new trustee to represent them on the Board of Education. Three seats are up for re-election. Incumbents Kevin J. Carroll and Steven Culhane are running unopposed and trustee Dolores Garger is not running again when her term expires July 1. Running for Garger’s open seat are David Jao and Michael Beneventano.
Jao has lived in Hicksville for more than 20 years. He has four kids; three who have graduated from the district and another who is a sophomore at the high school. This is his second time running for school board and says he now has more time to dedicate to the community.
“I’m running for the betterment of the students in the community as a whole,” Jao says. “I want to do my part in civil service. I have no hidden agendas.”
Jao says there are many issues in the district he would like to help change and that with his over 25 years in corporate experience he will be an asset to the board.
“My experience speaks for itself. I’m the chief information technologist for a Manhattan engineering firm and have a knowledge of budgeting, human resources, accounting, and technology and that will all help me contribute to this position,” Jao said.
Jao is currently the vice president for the Hicksville Garden Civic Association.
20-year-old Beneventano graduated from Hicksville High School in 2012 and says if elected, being a recent grad will be a huge asset.
“Based on how I’ve seen the district run there’s competent board members and we have a great administration but one thing they could benefit from is a student voice, someone who’s been in the school and seen the day to day operations. I think that’s a missing component,” says Beneventano.
He was actively involved in numerous organizations in high school, including orchestra and string ensemble, four honor societies, captain of the cross country and wrestling team. Now, as a sophomore at St. John’s University majoring in risk management, Beneventano serves as the co-chair for the budget committee of the student government.
“To say I have no experience would be invalid. I’ve co-chaired a bunch of committees and handled a budget. It teaches you leadership and responsibility,” says Beneventano. “I’ve taken the time for the past six months to evaluate how school boards function and research procedures and school law. If I get elected, I’m going to be a proactive member from the get-go.”
“It would be a privilege to be elected and I don’t take it for granted. I’m putting my time in and I owe it to my community to do a good job. I take this very seriously,” he said.
Two of the main issues Beneventano says he wants to improve on are community involvement and transparency.
“We had a very small voter turnout last year and board meetings generate low turnout. The school could benefit from hearing all our taxpayers and parents. I think some people feel their opinions and voices aren’t valued,” he said.
In regards to communication, Beneventano says he wants to send out more information to parents via email. He’ll seek to increase transparency by making the website easier to navigate and making information discussed at board meetings more easily available.
“I understand that not everyone can make it the meetings, but I want to put the information online so parents who don’t have time to come to the meetings can still be involved,” Beneventano said. “We want all our residents to know what’s going on. And a lot of parents I spoke to don’t.”
If elected, Beneventano promises to make communication a foundation of his time as a trustee.
“There are four types of people we need to be representing—the taxpaying resident, parent, teacher and student. If these four views are taken into account, we’ll be able to make a collaborative decision,” Beneventano said.
Registered Hicksville voters can vote May 20 at Burns Ave. School, Dutch Lane School, East Street School, Fork Lane, Lee Avenue School, Old Country Road School, and Woodland School May 20 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. For more information call 516-733-2104.
Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:00
Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.
There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.
Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.
It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.
Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup. I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club. This U16 team has a group of standout players led by Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.