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Heartfelt Send-Off For Hornberger

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].”

News

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com