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Letter: To the Manhasset Community

I am writing to thank the residents of Manhasset for electing me to serve on the school board these past six years – a period of enormous positive change in our community. I have decided not to seek re-election. I leave the board confident that, simply said, we are in a better place now than we were six years ago.

Among our proudest accomplishments was bringing in a strong and dynamic administrative team, led by our superintendent Charles Cardillo. We were able to maintain and enhance the overall high quality academic and co-curricular programs, while at the same time, being fiscally responsible. We have effectively managed growth in enrollment; negotiated competitive contracts with our unions; upgraded our facilities, which had been neglected for decades; and we streamlined our operations, including eliminating approximately 40 positions with no negative impact on our educational quality by outsourcing our outdated and inefficient in-house transportation unit.

With the school board elections around the corner, I wish all the candidates luck but would ask that we as a community remain focused on electing those who recognize the never-ending challenge of balancing the needs of both our children and our taxpayers without the unfortunate negativity or single-agenda campaigning we’ve seen in the past. The stakes are too high…especially now.

There will always be those– and we see it not just in our own community, but throughout the region and even the country – who choose to operate through fear, misinformation and negativity. Fortunately, at least in Manhasset, they are few and far outnumbered by those who truly are committed to positive change. While not always easy, the meaningful progress we have made during the last six years tells me that our approach has been the right one. A great and gratifying lesson for me and for our kids. As a mother of two Manhasset High School students, and an aunt of two Munsey Park Elementary School students, I feel that our children are receiving a fabulous education in the Manhasset School District. I would like to thank the teachers, administrators and staff for caring and helping to develop our children into fine young adults. I would also like to acknowledge and thank Tower, SCA, Indians Rock, Booster Clubs - Athletics and Drama, P.A.S.E. and SEPTA and all the parent and community volunteers for providing an incredible amount of support and generosity to our schools during my tenure on the board.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve. It truly has been a privilege and pleasure. I look forward to continuing to serve our community, our school district and our children in the coming years.

Aline Khatchadourian