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Grisafi, Buckley Bid Farewell To Herricks Board

Night of sad good-byes and thanks

The Herricks School Board opened its meeting with two very powerful statements from retiring trustees Peter Grisafi and Richard Buckley.

With their wives and families in the audience, both trustees had a chance to thank not only their families for the many hours they spent away from them, while serving on the school board, but everyone in the various administrations including various superintendents and colleagues on the board.

Peter Grisafi

Peter Grisafi was the first to deliver his message after serving on the board for the past 17 years.

In part he said, “I’ve loved every minute of serving on the board, well almost every minute. I thank the former superintendent Sid Freund and assistant superintendents Ron Barnes and Arlene Visconti.

“Further, the past and now current president of the board Chris Turner and the many trustees including, one of the youngest, Ed Kennedy. Plus, David Goodsell, who is now a Nassau County judge and who is in the audience tonight. The present board has been so good to work with including Dr. Sanjay Jain, Rich and Jim.

“Jack, (Dr. Bierwirth) when he arrived brought so much to the district when it was most needed. Also deep thanks to the current administration, Helen and Deidre for their hard work.

“Thank you to the members of the PTA including Tavis Smiley and for all the awards they have given to me. They are much appreciated.

“But most of all thanks to my wife and my two sons, who are in the audience tonight, for their strong support.”

Richard Buckley

Richard Buckley, too, thanked the members of the board for their support during his nine years.

He said, “How proud I am, Jack, of the work you’ve done for the community. You made lots of changes, all for the good of the children. It has always been about the children.

“But most of all thank you to my family for the close to 500 nights I had to be away from them and for their continued support and a special thanks to my wife for being here tonight, since her foot was operated on this morning at St. Francis Hospital, but she still made it here. So thank you so much.

“We had our differences on the board, at times, but what we did and decided was always for the good of the children.”

Both retiring trustees then wished the incoming board members Nancy Feinstein and Brian Hassan good luck.

Regular Meeting

The regular meeting got under way with a suggestion by president Turner to start the graduation ceremonies later in the evening at 6:30 or 7 p.m. to give the heat a chance to cool off.

The board was then opened to the public and one resident wanted to know what the school policy is regarding food allergies. She said that two of her children are highly allergic.

Dr. Bierwirth said the policy has taken longer than he thought it would, but it will be circulated. He said he has conferred with the New York State School Boards Association and basically the board has adopted its plan since it was drafted by so many physicians.

Another resident complained about the class size in the upcoming fifth grade of 29 in each class. She said, “Needless to say, the fourth grade has been very difficult for these children. She continued, “They need smaller classes. And, many parents feel the same as I do.”

President Turner said, “This class is on our radar and we will be watching it all summer.”

The meeting ended and the next meeting will be held July 19. In the next issue of the Illustrated News we will announce the results of the reorganization meeting held last July 2.