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East Williston Superintendent’s Resignation Effective July 31

Lorna Lewis tapped to head POB schools

Usually, when one door closes, another opens. For Dr. Lorna Lewis, it’s walking out of one school district and into another one…a much bigger one.

Lewis was appointed superintendent of the Plainview-Old Bethpage (POB) School District on April 2. The former East Williston (EW) School District helmsman will take over the 4,900-student POB district in August. East Williston enrolls approximately 1,800 students.

Her resignation will take effect July 31. She will succeed retiring POB superintendent Gerard Dempsey.

Lewis served five years as district superintendent in the East Williston where Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report recently ranked The Wheatley School of EW among the nation’s 100 top academic schools. POB High School was ranked 474th in the survey.

POB officials are steadfast that Lewis’ skills honed over the years will translate well to her new district. Her contract with POB runs until 2017.

“The board is confident that Dr. Lewis is the right person to lead us into the future and to take our district to the next level of achievement,” said Gary Bettan, president of the POB board of education. “We are very excited and thank the community for their support in making this happen. The district is going to be in great hands for the next five years, and possibly more.”

A former math and AP physics teacher, Lewis is co-chairwoman of a curriculum committee for the New York State Council of School Superintendents. She started her teaching career at The Collegiate School, where some of her accolades include sponsoring a finalist in the Westinghouse competition.

“I have been privileged to be selected to lead another premier district on Long Island and join a school community where educational traditions are steeped in excellence,” Lewis said. “I am looking forward to working with the board of education, staff and community as we take the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District into the next era of outstanding academic accomplishments.”

Lewis served as science chairman in the Rockville Centre School District before she became science director in the Uniondale School District and deputy superintendent in Three Village School District. She served as an adjunct professor at Hofstra University and taught graduate studies classes in science methods.

“Student achievement [at East Williston] is at an all-time high as together we have opened greater opportunities for students to challenge themselves at higher levels,” Lewis said. “Willets Road is a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. This year, we boast of 120 AP Scholars and our college acceptances have been spectacular.”

Lewis received her Bachelor of Science in physics from Fordham University and went on to earn three master’s degrees, before completing her doctorate in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University, according to school district officials.

“Over these years, we have made great strides in all arenas of the district as we courageously responded to areas of concern and worked to preserve the unique qualities of the district,” said Lewis. “I am proud of the body of work we accomplished together and grateful for the support the board and community have given me during this time.”

Lewis said she did not want to detract from her work that still needs to be completed in East Williston prior to her resignation.

“There is still a lot to be done before my departure from the [East Williston], including making sure that the district continues on its course of excellence and creating a smooth transition for my successor,” Lewis stated. “Be assured that I am committed to making this happen.”

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



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