Outsourcing Transportation Major Topic at Nov. 4 BOE Meeting
Huddled against the rain, juggling umbrellas and placards, the picketers gathered at strategic spots along the route near the high school on the night of the Nov. 4 Manhasset Board of Education (BOE) meeting. Their signs read, "Teachers support bus drivers," "It's 3 p.m. which bus are your children on?" and "District is unfair to teachers and bus drivers." At the entrance to the high school Edward Vasta, president of the Manhasset Educational Association (MEA) i.e. the teachers' union, representing over 270 members, was standing with Judy Reilly, president of the Manhasset Educational Support Personnel Association (MESPA), representing over 250 bus drivers, custodians, support staff, clerical and teaching assistants. Ed Vasta said, "We are here in unity and solidarity to support each other." He also said their purpose was to oppose the district's proposal to outsource busing and therefore eliminate the positions of 35 bus drivers. MESPA was present, said Ms. Reilly, to support the teachers in securing a contract which expired June 30, and to oppose a wage freeze. This was not their first night out with the placards, they also picketed at all the open houses to draw attention, they said, to the "negative effects on children under an austerity budget." Mr. Vasta added, "the number one goal is the safe and high quality education the children deserve."
Chamber of Commerce Salutes MHS Arts
The Manhasset Chamber of Commerce holds an annual cocktail party at which a Man and Woman of the Year are honored. This year's honorees were Eileen Murphy, director of music programs at Manhasset High School and John Shorter, director of theater arts. Held at Strathmore Vanderbilt Country Club, it was one of the most successful events the chamber has sponsored and drew a mix of local business people, civic leaders, parents, students and friends, as well as public officials. Rev. Ray Ormond, pastor of Church of Our Saviour, Lutheran, in Manhasset, gave the invocation, saying that "In an uncertain and confusing world, the work you do is holy work. We thank God for our good schools." Chamber Co-President Diane Harragan introduced the school officials present, including Assistant Superintendent of Schools Robert Feirsen, High School Principal John Stark and Munsey Park Principal Jean Kendall. Chamber Board Member Rita Eredics then thanked major donors and merchants who support Chamber of Commerce programs. Americana Manhasset gave $2500 to help underwrite the event; Manhasset-Port Washington Real Estate Board $1000 and Rotary Club of Manhasset $500 toward the purchase of holiday wreaths to give Manhasset a festive appearance this coming season. Ms. Harragan introduced Co-President Rae Dowling who enumerated the Chamber's activities throughout the year, including the Adopt-a-Pole program, Business Card Exchanges, Craft Shows, Antique Car Shows, summer concerts and the upcoming poster contest and Tree Lighting. Mr. Maimone then took the microphone to present awards to the honorees. He spoke of Ms. Murphy's "creative muse" and her ability to teach music. "She connects with kids," he concluded. Ms. Murphy thanked him and said that the arts have always been supported by the central office. She said that she looks forward to many more years of teaching, which drew enthusiastic applause from the audience. After a brief interval in which Manhasset Postmaster Bob Trombley gave an abbreviated version of a speech from Macbeth, Mr. Maimone went on to describe Mr. Shorter's many accomplishments in his 28 years at Manhasset. He reminded those present that the high school's fall musical production will be presented on Nov. 18, 19, 20 and 21. This year the show will be South Pacific. In his response, Mr. Shorter said that the honor was "more than I would have expected." He spoke of meeting so many wonderful poeople and, like Ms. Murphy, he said, "My joy is always kids. It's always sad to see them leave but exciting to see them arrive."
Girls X-Country Team Wins Conference
The Manhasset Girls cross country team won the conference team championship this past Saturday at Bethpage State Park. The team was paced by Natalie Bindert in 4th place (21:19), closely followed by Sanya Kennedy in 6th place (21:25). Lena Edelstein finished 8th in 21:42, Lisa Mascali 13th (22:26) and Carolyn Kim 21st (23:29) for a score of 52 points.Completing the scoring were Aditi Kanth (28th) and Sarah LaRosa (30th). The next closest team was Seaford with a total of 77 points. The girls will be competing for the County Championship this coming Saturday at Bethpage State Park to earn a shot at the State Meet on Nov. 13.The girls finished the dual meet season with a 12-0 record.
Girls Swim Team Saves Best for Last
The Manhasset Girls swim team posted their most impressive team performance at the right time. The venue was the Nassau County Team Championships held at the Goodwill Games Aquatic Center (Eisenhower). The Indians sent a record number 13 swimmers and two divers to the three-day event. The divers Taylor Stoessel and Taylor Fleischacker dove impressively on Thursday night. The thirteen swimmers to compete in the county championships were Morgan Cotter, Amanda Goldstein, Elena Yee, Chrissy Brodt, Johanna LoVecchio, Dana Matesich, Chrissy Gotimer, Whitney Quackenbush, Samantha Reiss, Jaclyn Carey, Christina Vlachos, Meghan Shea and Allison Haspel.
To Members of the Manhasset Community
Teacher Resource Center Deserves Credit for Project