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Editorial: Collaborative Excellence

Thursday, 08 May 2014 00:00

In the inaugural year of its “master teachers” program, New York State, in partnership with SUNY schools, has honored a total of 319 science, math and technology teachers—including 42 on Long Island—with the Master Teacher designation. Congratulations to Mary Blondrage and Jason Gutlaizer of the Sewanhaka High School District. These star educators will become peer mentors, sharing their techniques through seminars, workshops and one-on-ones with other teachers—especially the newest ones.

 

Master Teachers show excellence not only in subject matter and teaching, but also by cultivating thorough understanding of the students and the community in supporting STEM studies. Many people may not be aware of this program and its $60,000 four-year fellowship. Citizens can nominate a teacher for the spring cohort (and teachers can sign up for email notification when applications open) at www.suny.edu/masterteacher/. We have no doubt that in coming years we will see more Sewanhaka, New Hyde Park and Herricks teachers earn the title. 

 

It’s Budget Season

Written by NHP-GCP Superintendent Robert Katulak Thursday, 08 May 2014 00:00

Each May, all constituents of school districts across New York State are given the important task of reading all the pertinent facts and details regarding their school district’s school budget.  They also get the information regarding the residents, who are running for a trustee position, and who will represent them in the decisions, which affect the quality of the educational services we can provide for our students. 

 

This year, the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District has created a budget that continues to adhere to the tax cap as proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Our budget has been developed with the collaborative efforts of our budget builder administrators under the guidance and leadership of our board of education and the assistant superintendent for business. After six months of thoughtful conversation, expenditure analysis, cost cutting budget allocations, we have reached the lowest budget-to-budget increase of 1.55 percent.

 

Letter: “Waged” Warfare

Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00

For years, catering companies on Long Island withheld tips that were meant for waiters and other workers.  When it was ruled illegal in 2008, workers filed suit for millions of dollars in lost pay dating back to 2004. State Senator Jack Martins, who had not previously received contributions from the catering industry, took $56,000 and sponsored legislation to grant caterers immunity from lawsuits that had already been filed.  The Great Neck Record published my letter which addressed this situation.  

 

Letter: Residents Must Step Up Now

Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00

With the Village of New Hyde Park’s Operation Main Street in its final phase, its obvious they have a plan intact: to bolster the local economy and aesthetics of this small one square mile village. However, a village economy and strength is only as strong as the community around it. New Hyde park is on a major upswing, but we aren’t there yet. Residents must spend time and money in the village.

 

Whether it’s buying a bagel, grabbing a slice of pizza, or dropping off dry cleaning, bringing the kids to the park.  Patronizing local business is the core to a strong community.  It allows the local businesses to ‘give back’.  

 

Editorial: Be A Dog’s Best Friend

Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00

Nassau County’s animal protection agency just launched a new website feature that offers another way to report animal cruelty, and at the same time announced cash rewards of up to $5,000 for folks who turn in abusers. Officials were joined at a press conference by Miss Harper, a rescued pup whose ears and a leg had been cut off. 

 

The Nassau SPCA has never offered rewards before, in part due to a perennial shortage of funding. But the county has seen a disturbing rise in animal cruelty, officials said, and the outrage sparked by incidents such as the death of 13 dogs in a garage fire in

February opened a floodgate of donations—some $15,000 so far.

 

Letter: Bond Questions Need Answers

Thursday, 24 April 2014 00:00

Thank you to the New Hyde Park Illustrated News in providing the public with as much information/facts as possible regarding the Sewanhaka Central High School District bond proposal. There is still important information, however, that has not been made available to the voters. They need to have access to this information so that they can be aware of the financial impact the bond will have on them during the next 20 years.

 

There are three major questions that the board needs to answer:

 

The Budget Top 10

Written by State Senator Jack Martins Thursday, 24 April 2014 00:00

Alas, after 21 years of keeping us in good spirits and good company with his “Late Show” humor, David Letterman announced his retirement this past week.  In his honor, I’ll share highlights from our state’s new budget in Letterman style with a “Top 10” countdown entitled: Top 10 — I mean 12 — reasons to like the new, New York State budget

 

12. This year’s budget is the fourth, consecutive, on-time budget we’ve delivered. That hasn’t happened in nearly four decades. For a little historical perspective, that’s further back than the Knicks’ last championship. (Sorry. I couldn’t help it.)

 

11. Moody’s Investors Service wasn’t so moody after all. They rated the new budget a “credit positive.”

 

Editorial: Taxes Are Us

Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00

Last week, the Nassau District Attorney made several arrests for tax evasion, with the defendants collectively owing almost $1 million. One alleged scammer seems to be a lotto junkie who doesn’t declare his winnings. Three others are charged with not reporting business income.   

 

Vocabulary Studies Are Crucial

Written by Robert Katulak Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00

Over the past three years, various research studies have been conducted across our country regarding the effect that academic vocabulary plays in a student’s comprehension and understanding of content across the disciplines. Additional studies done by researcher

Robert Marzano, involving 50 studies over the past five years, point to the fact that every school has a responsibility for selecting and teaching students specific vocabulary to help them understand content and questions on everyday teacher made and standardized tests.

 

He has provided educators with a six step strategy for us to work with our students in the acquisition of that academic vocabulary. Each of our principals continues to decide with his/her teachers how to select the vocabulary words and use Marzano’s Six Step

Strategy listed below. As an entire community let’s all build our vocabulary to enrich the conversations and learning taking place in our schools, jobs, libraries and home by following these six steps.

 

Letter: Vanishing Mailboxes In New Hyde Park

Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00

Have you gone to your local mailbox recently to mail a letter only to find it gone? I have. I went to three other known mailbox sites only to find them gone too.

I called the post office and was told they were removed because people were injured. Really? Unless they tried to climb into the mailbox, I don’t think the mailbox assaulted them.

 

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