Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 06 May 2011 00:00
The Herricks Board took a final vote on the budget to be presented to the public on May 17 at the Herricks Community Center Gym, 999 Herricks Road, New Hyde Park from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Prior to the vote Dr. Bierwirth pointed out that Tom Rogers has been appointed as head of Nassau BOCES, and has streamlined the entire program making it very efficient. After that the board voted on the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) budget of $18,947,178 which amounts to an increase of 2.8 percent.
The board also voted for the following BOCES trustees, who are running uncontested. They are: Deborah Ann Coates, Eric B. Schultz and Stephen B. Witt. Usually, the BOCES budget is voted on a Tuesday, but due to both the Passover and Easter holidays, the vote was held over until Wednesday, April 27.
Dr. Bierwirth said at the last board meeting that he would meet with Third Precinct Inspector Kevin Canavan, regarding the rumor that the Nassau County Police Department was considering closing the Third Precinct. Dr. Bierwirth said he did speak to Inspector Canavan but the Inspector felt it was too premature to discuss the situation as no decision has been made by the Nassau County Police. It was explained, however, if the Third Precinct headquarters did close, police officers would still be on duty in the Third Precinct area and it would just be the administrative office on Hillside Avenue that, would be closed.
Dr. Bierwirth said he has been receiving a number of wonderful letters regarding staff members who were going to lose their jobs.
Bierwirth continued, “Most people, unfortunately, don’t realize that New York State law determines who must be let go in teacher and administrative positions and civil service determines who must be let go in the case of civil service positions. It is not the decision of the board and it is not an administrative decision. I have been trying to explain this in every letter I send out. Many of the letters pleaded with us to reconsider our process and it’s not an option that is open to the board or the administration.”
Dr. Bierwirth then said, “We are going out, in the next three weeks, for our third year for anticipation notes and it looks like the short terms interest rates will still be low. Last year our rate was at one-half of one percent while the 15 to 20 year rates were still at four and four and a half percent. I doubt that we will get rates that low next spring.”
Dr. Bierwirth continued, “Just before the break we had a visit from one of the assistant principals at our ‘sister’ school in Shanghai which is called the Shanghai United International School and we were really impressed. They have quite a program. They take students to an International Baccalaureate and they study from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the students are expected to be fluent in English by the time they reach high school.”
Trustee Peter Grisafi wanted to know if the students asked for shorter school hours as Herricks students have in the past and Dr. Bierwirth said, “I don’t think they consider things like that. They just do what is determined for them. If they started an hour later, they would be ending at 6:30 p.m. I have a feeling that there is not a lot of discussion with the students, they just do it.”
Dr. Bierwirth continued, “The assistant principal had an interesting background. She graduated from Michigan and worked as an accountant before she became an educator and her mother had a degree from Denmark and her father had a degree from American University. Very impressive and very, very interested in keeping in touch. They want to be penpals, etc. with our students. This entire program was nicely facilitated by the Asian Society.”
Trustee Paul Ehrbar announced that the Herricks Community Players production of Crazy for You is set to open in the newly air-conditioned Herricks Theater, 999 Herricks Road, New Hyde Park next Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 and then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until May 22. For tickets and further information, please call 742-1926.
Dr. Bierwirth explained that due to the fiscal restraints, the Board of Education, in conjunction with the proposed budget must abolish the following positions in the stated teaching areas, effective June 30:
(Part-time positions are not listed.)
Board president Christine Turner announced that since it was Administrative Approval Day, the board presented tokens of appreciation to both Judy Mehling and Carol Scaldaferri, both work in the office of the superintendent.
It was also announced that principal of the Middle School Joseph Leccese will retire at the end of this school year.
The board then appointed Karen Warren to act as the permanent chairperson at the Annual Election and vote to be held on May 17 at the Herricks Community Center gym from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The board ended the meeting and the next board meeting will be reported on in a future issue of The Illustrated News.