Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:00
With tears welling up in his eyes, Mineola School Board trustee William Hornberger presided over his final meeting last week. He announced last April he would not seek re-election. Newcomer Margaret Ballantyne-Mannion won an unopposed election in May and will fill the open seat vacated by Hornberger.
He was first elected to the board in 2008 and re-elected in 2011, serving as board president and vice president in that span. The Williston Park resident oversaw the reconfiguration of the district, which included the closing of the Cross Street and Willis Avenue schools, one of the more challenging times in the district’s history. Those two schools have since been leased out to Solomon Schechter Day School and Harbor Child Care, respectively.
“I thank [the board] for [their] time, devotion and commitment to Mineola,” he said. “As each trustee can attest, I share my thoughts freely and I thank you for opening my eyes and ears to your thoughts and ideas.”
School Board Vice President Christine Napolitano is now the longest running board member. She ran for trustee in 2009 and is now the last trustee of a previous board that helped shepherd the reconfiguration.
“Will has always been known as a numbers guy, but really, he was much more than that and through [reconfiguration] he kept his eyes where they needed to be, on the students,” she said, fighting tears of her own. “Thanks for standing with me for the past five years.”
District Superintendent Michael Nagler called Hornberger a “friend” and while they didn’t agree all the time (he has voted the most against Nagler’s contract), he noted without Hornberger, the district would have suffered.
“What Will does have is the ability to see into the future,” Nagler said. “I am positive had we not reconfigured, we would have lost many programs we currently have.”
School Board President Artie Barnett said he’d be running for another term to “finish Will’s vision.”
“Will stepped up to do something and he succeeded,” Barnett said. “The school district is better off because of his service and he should be proud of the change he brought.”
Trustee Patricia Navarra appreciated his guidance during her first year on the board.
“As District Council president I fought you on a regular basis,” Navarra joked. “I also campaigned for you and supported your vision and feel very fortunate to have worked with you this past year.”
Trustee Nicole Matzer, the newest board member, noted Hornbeger’s tenacity in asking the right questions.
“I just want to thank [Will] for his service to the children and the community,” Matzer said. “And for asking all the tough questions and answering all of mine and the guidance you have given me. I will miss you sitting [next to me].”
Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:00
Way before Home Depot or Ace Hardware came into existence, there were little mom-and-pop shops like Munder’s True Value on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. The hardware store, which opened its doors in 1948, is somewhat of a suburban dinosaur having outlasted several other hardware stores in the area.
“My father, Charles, opened this store in 1948 after returning home from World War II,” said Bill Munder, who took over the store operation seven years ago. “His parents wanted to know his plans after he returned home from the marines and he decided to open this store on Hillside Avenue.”
Friday, 24 October 2014 00:00
The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from the Mineola School District showing a mild resistance to the exams.
According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, Mineola had some of the lowest numbers, with eight students opting out of the English Language Arts test. However, not a single Mineola student missed the math test. In East Williston, the opt out rates were 75 students in ELA and 60 in math.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
The New York Cosmos hosted the Mineola Athletic Association’s Soccer Club recently for its penultimate fall 2014 home game. More than 140 members of the MAA soccer club and their families came out on a chilly October evening to show their love of the game. Twenty-two Mineola boys and girls had the honor of escorting the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury players onto the field in the traditional “Walk of Champions.”
The Mineola spirit must have inspired the home team, as spectators enjoyed the exciting 2-1 Cosmos victory, with the game-winning goal coming in stoppage time.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
As a current member of the Mineola High School Varsity Soccer team, senior, Catherine Cunningham has been dominating the scoring for the Mustangs. She has 12 goals and two assists in the last seven games.
In her last week of play alone, she amassed six goals in just three games. As a captain for the last two years, Cunningham has been an All-Conference and All-Class player, leading her team to two victories so far this season.