New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $137 billion spending plan will increase education aid by $807 million for the 2014-2015 school year, but school officials say it will still put them up against the wall.
“Clearly the district is disappointed with the state aid allocations,” said Island Trees Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “Although the Governor's budget increased school aid three percent, this figure didn’t materialize in Island Trees.”
Based on the preliminary budget figures, the Island Trees Union-Free School District will receive $158,000 less than last year, or a total $14,102,719—a decrease of 1.11 percent.
Parents in the Island Trees School District are up in arms after learning the district terminated Coach Michael Bonsignore. Many parents wondered what motivated the board to let go of a coach who had vastly improved the football program and led a scholar-athlete team this year.
According to Michael's father, Carl Bonsignore, the Island Trees Superintendent, Dr. Charles Murphy, and Athletic Director Dr. James Kramer met with Michael and a union representative over the holiday break to inform him that the district “had decided to go in a different direction.”
A surprising non-agenda item left parents gasping in shock, as Levittown Schools Superintendent Dr. James Grossane announced his resignation from the school district, effective June 30, 2014, the same day his three-year contract is set to expire.
Prior to his tenure as the superintendent of the Levittown Public Schools, Grossane served as assistant superintendent for support services in the Massapequa school district. Before that he served as the principal of Massapequa High School.
Grossane was hired to serve the role as superintendent of schools by the Levittown Public School District in 2011, at an annual salary of $225,000. He would go on to succeed former Superintendent Dr. Herman Sirois.
The Levittown Board of Education has opened a new chapter in what has been an ongoing debate in the district over the years—What to do with the Laurel Lane school?
Built in 1956 as an elementary school, the 13-room school house would be home to several tenants over the years. It was most recently used to house the district’s alternative education center, but when the program was relocated to the Levittown Memorial
Education Center, in 2009, it left the building empty for the past four years.
When Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 to deliver his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech, he envisioned all races and religions coming together and living in peace. Those words, so eloquently spoken, made us think and inspired us to be better people and slowly, over time, change did happen.
Reverend Terry Yvette Cissé, the interim Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown, had a similar dream of bringing different religions and races to her church, and on Sunday her dream came true. Reverends from around Long Island, along with a Cantor, joined together in a musical celebration. “I am excited to bring this event to Levittown," Rev. Cissé said. "It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring this community together and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.”
How does a young boy with an unmitigated hatred for piano end up spending the greater portion of his life playing alongside legendary musical acts and releasing a hit CD? It’s all about motivation.
Thinking about incentives to inspire your children to take their piano lessons more seriously? Renowned Long Island musician Stan Wiest, formerly of Levittown, recalled what did and didn’t work when his parents faced the same task. Wiest said, “If I didn’t practice on Monday all I was given for dinner was a plate of broccoli. Tuesday was cauliflower. Wednesday lima beans. Thursday spinach. And the weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, was the leftovers.” And Wiest added, “There were a lot of leftovers.” This tactic did not work. In fact, according to Wiest, it ended up spurring young Stan to carve, “I hate piano,” into his piano, and subsequently having difficulty playing piano in the seated position for some time.
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) announced on Wednesday, Jan. 8 that she would not seek re-election this year. The former nurse has been battling lung cancer since last year.
“It just hits you,” she said. “There’s an expression called “chemo-brain,” which makes you kind of forgetful and tired. I said jokingly ‘That’s great. I can see myself sitting next to my chairman and fall asleep by accident.”
The Mineola resident said that cancer was not the reason she decided to not seek re-election. Ending her run in Congress entered the picture after the December 2012 Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Last year, Dr. Barry Leiner, a graduate of the Island Trees High School Class of 1963, was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for his dedication and expertise in the field of internet technology. Leiner was posthumously awarded a Distinguished Alumni Honor at the induction ceremony in Berlin, Germany, for his help setting up the bureaucratic structures that developed Internet communications protocols.
“The Island Trees High School is proud of Dr. Barry Leiner, a true pioneer who was instrumental in bringing the Internet,” said Island Trees High School Principal Nicholas Grande.
Widely regarded as one of the toughest wrestling tournaments on Long Island, the annual Ted Petersen Wrestling Tournament pits some of the roughest and toughest wrestlers from Nassau and Suffolk counties against each other for a chance at taking home the gold. Although placing within the top 5 of the tournament is considered an outstanding accomplishment, finishing in first is considered one of the highest honors in the Long Island wrestling world.
Named for the former Island Trees Physical Education instructor Ted Petersen, the yearly competition was a fitting means for the district to commemorate his 31 years of coaching the school district’s varsity wrestling, J.V. football and J.V. baseball teams. Dubbed
“Coach Pete,” by his students, Petersen had a reputation as someone who cared for young athletes in the district and was committed to promoting respect, fairness, and good sportsmanship. In Jan. 1998, Coach Petersen was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his coaching skills both on-and-off the mat.
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was sworn in to a second term on Jan. 2 at Bethpage High School. When a paper Bible couldn’t be located, he took the oath of office with his hand on an iPad that had the Bible on-screen. Here is his speech, abridged due to space limitations.
Allow me to start off by saying thank you, Gov. Cuomo, for taking time to join me on this special day. I am deeply honored by your presence. Colleagues in government, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, family and friends: Thank you for celebrating with me today.
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