At the outset of the last New Hyde Park/Garden City Park School Board meeting the boys and girls of the band, led by music director Bruce Dedrick, entertained the audience with a concert of Christmas Carols. The selections included: Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
During the business portion of the meeting the board appointed Frank Martin as the Interim Acting Director of Facilities and Transportation.
Superintendent Joseph Rudaitis commented that the district was very lucky to obtain the services of Frank Martin. He said that his resumé was much too long to even repeat but that the district was in very good hands. He added, "Now, anyone with any problems regarding the facilities and/or transportation can contact Frank Martin." He also thanked Martin for being so gracious. He came in for a few days prior to his appointment to work with former director Chris Milano.
School board president Louis Zacarese, during the standing committee report portion of the meeting, reported that at the last Sewanaka Central School Board, of which he represents New Hyde Park Memorial High School, the valedictorian and salutatorians were named in all the high schools.
At New Hyde Park Memorial Sheila Bandyopadhyay was named as the valedictorian and Kristin Kramer as the salutatorian.
Further, Sewanhaka Central Superintendent Dr. John Williams presented a Good Samaritan award to New Hyde Park Memorial teacher Patrick Corvetti for his fast action in protecting students during an incident that resulted in a school lock-down in November. The incident was reported in detail by school board president Zacarese at the last New Hyde Park/Garden City Park school board meeting and was in the Illustrated News.
Zacarese also said that Dr. Williams congratulated all the sports teams for a successful fall season especially the New Hyde Park Memorial Girls Soccer team who made it into the league conference semi-finals and the New Hyde Park Varsity Field Hockey team on their league championship. In addition New Hyde Park Memorial Girls Varsity Soccer Coach James Magyar and Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Vincent Scott were presented with Coach of the Year awards.
New Hyde Park Memorial Special Education teacher Colleen Healy is being honored by the Family and Children's Association as a "Caring for The Community" recipient for her work with her developmental learning students. Zacarese added, "Her volunteer work has provided excellent job training skills for the students while saving the association thousands of dollars."
Dr. Williams also announced that New Hyde Park Memorial teachers Abbey Katz and Dante Morano have been given a "Program of Excellence" award for their program entitled the Power of Myth by the New York State English Council. The program was presented at the council's annual conference in Albany.
Finally, Zacarese said that Dr. Williams advised that the district attendance rate this year is 97 percent and that number is consistent for all the high schools in the central district.
The next Sewanhaka Central School board meeting will be held on Dec. 15 at the Sewanhaka High School.
President Zacarese then asked for the treasurer's report and Mrs. DiMaria reported on the October totals. The bottom line is that at the end of October the district had $4 million in cash on hand after moving monies from a matured CD and receiving STAR payments.
Zacarese then turned the meeting over to Superintendent Joseph Rudaitis who announced all the things the children in the various schools are doing to make the Christmas season a little brighter for those around them.
The Garden City Park school children conducted a coat drive and donated 75 to 100 coats to needy children in the area.
Grades 2, 3 and 4 have been busy making oak tag trees and decorating them for the veterans as part of the "Love a Vet" program.
Hillside grade school children have joined the K-Kids a new club which is an offshoot of the Key Club, of New Hyde Park Memorial High School, sponsored by the New Hyde Park Kiwanis Club.
The children in this group have been busy making holiday decorations for the senior citizens at Denton Green on Denton Avenue in New Hyde Park.
Also at Hillside grade school, the student council is sponsoring a toy drive and all the students are busy collecting new, unwrapped toys for needy children.
The children at the Road school made Thanksgiving cards for the seniors who live at Denton Green and are busy collecting toys for the Toys for Tots program.
The Manor Oaks kids are all making cards for the elderly and sick residents of The Parker Geriatric Institute located on the grounds of Long Island Jewish hospital.
The students are also collecting toys for the Interfaith Nutrition Center along with the Girl Scouts of Troop No. 1273, who attend Manor Oaks school.
Rudaitis also announced that the return of the 6th Grade Conference was a huge success.
The program is held for the sixth graders who are graduating this year from the grammar school. They travel to the high school and with the help of Principal Loretta Nugent and the students at the high school, they attend workshops to help them integrate into the very large school, as seventh graders, from the small grade school they now attend.
Rudaitis said that thanks to the monies provided by New York State Senator Michael Balboni the children were able to have a wonderful day.
He also thanked Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello for being the keynote speaker and for giving such a stirring speech to the children and he also thanked school board president Louis Zacarese for his advocacy in bringing back the sixth grade conference.
Rudaitis announced that he has been working closely with the Nassau County Office of Probation and, in the interest of efficient communication, BOCES will now be the liaison for all Nassau school districts that are involved with any sex offender incidents.
Rudaitis said that instead of individual school districts trying to get the word, they need only contact BOCES and they will see to it that the probation offices in both Nassau and Suffolk are contacted with detailed information.
Rudaitis added, "I am glad to have played a role in this process."
At the end of the meeting Annette Giarratani wanted to know if the board had a plan for recruiting for a new superintendent. It was mentioned that a search will be conducted in the New York area, but as yet the details have not been completed
The next board meeting will be held on Jan. 10, 2005 at 8 p.m. at the Garden City Park School.