Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00
Irene Parrino confirmed to the Mineola American that she would seek re-election for school board trustee in the Mineola School District on April 5. She officially announced her intentions on April 15.
Though the top vote getter wins the seat, election season will see Parrino face off in an at-large-bid against Williston Park resident Patricia Navarra, who announced her inaugural run last month. It is unknown if anyone else submitted trustee petitions as of press time.
The petition deadline was April 22.
Parrino has served on the school board since 2010. She is a 20-year pro bono attorney who currently volunteers at St. Aidan’s Church in Williston Park, teaching first-grade religion. The mother of two currently serves as the school district’s BOCES representative.
Nassau County named Parrino a Trailblazer of the New Millennium in 2004 and she was inducted into the Town of North Hempstead Women’s Roll of Honor in 2007. Prior to running for school board, Parrino served on the district’s Pre-K committee.
The incumbent board member feels maintaining educational programs while staying within the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap are of paramount concern in Mineola. While unfunded mandates the district faces on a yearly basis pose as challenges, Parrino is confident the district, which just adopted a budget on April 17, is working to protect residents, both stakeholders and non-stakeholders.
“Funding the school district’s budget and working within the property tax cap is not easy or certain these days as New York State’s aid to our district is low compared to years past…This year, like last year, the district is working to present a budget that is well within the allowable tax cap and meets all of the students’ educational requirements,” Parrino said.
Focusing on the districts successful science programs in the district, Parrino thinks the focus on that subject should be enhanced even more in Mineola. She has one daughter attending Jackson Avenue School and a son who attends Meadow Drive School.
“This [science] focus will help make our students intelligent science consumers,” said Parrino. “Children are naturally drawn to science. Students, of all ages, love learning how things work and experiment. We should enhance our science program with these naturally tendencies in mind.”
She commended the district’s technological prowess, specifically the iPad initiative in the schools. Apple named Mineola’ s program a Distinguished Program of the Year on April 4.
“The district has provided our students with new tools in which to learn - providing iPads to our middle school students, and put computers, net books and smartboards in classrooms across the district,” said Parrino. “I have supported new initiatives that support student achievement and excellence such as the construction of a new science laboratory at Jackson Avenue and implementing a new science program and foreign language program for our elementary students.”
Parrino, along with board members and administrators, recently toured district schools with outside agencies looking to enhance security measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. She said the review opened her eyes in terms of student safety.
“After the tragedy of Sandy Hook, the district undertook an evaluation of the safety risks and reviewed policy protocols for student supervision, access control and safety plans to ensure the safety of our children…educating and keeping our children safe is paramount,” Parrino stated.
The winner of the election will serve on the school board from July 1 through June 30, 2016.
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 00:00
The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Mineola.
With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born.
Saturday, 27 September 2014 00:00
As I tried to make my way through the unforgiving monsoon season, rain pouring as far as the eye could see, dodging puddles I rushed inside the school building. The guard yelled in the background for the children to come in quickly before they dragged in even more mud inside. Trying hard not to slip on the wet dirty floor, I pondered to myself what
exactly I was doing here. The words of Mahatma Gandhi resonated inside my head, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Here I was at a school in Mumbai India, 7800 miles from my home in Mineola, volunteering with “Aseema,” a non-governmental organization whose mission is to empower and educate the under privileged children. Children living on the streets or in slums and in inhuman conditions.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team defeated the Roosevelt Roughriders 47-38 on Saturday, Sept. 20.
Senior quarterback James Gerstner led the Mustangs (2-0) to victory by rushing 212 yards and securing five touchdowns on 23 carries. He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.
“This was a big game—we were ready and pumped up all week,” Gerstner said. “We came in ranked third but we knew we could beat them.”
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Varsity Football team’s defense dominated Valley Stream South, winning 21-0 on Sept. 13. The Falcons never got further then Mineola’s 30 yard line. The defense was lead by senior linebackers Eric Guardado (8 tackles 6 assist), Ed Hincapie (6 tackles, 5 assist) and safety John Clancy (tackles, 3 assist).
Defensive linemen Anthony Sarno, Luigi Athan, Victor Tineo, Matt Lafaye and Chris Brenes controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Peter McCormack and Chris Lockwood played very well as they combined for eight tackles and only allowed two pass completions. Linebacker Kyle Dunleavy, Ben Carbone, Matt Kosowski and Brian Smith also played very well.