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, 26 November 2014 00:00
Thanksgiving is a holiday, a festival, celebration and food fest. Tradition says the first Thanksgiving feast was celebrated by pilgrims and Native Americans back in 1621 to give thanks for their harvest after a harsh winter. Over a century later, George Washington, the nation’s first president, issued a Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789.
Fast forward to 21st century—the modern day Thanksgiving has come a long way since then. What has not changed however is the shared elaborate meal consumed with family and friends in the same spirit of celebration and giving thanks for the blessings.
Saturday, 22 November 2014 00:00
Winthrop University Hospital employee Jeffrey Brenner, a hyperbaric technician with the Life Support Technologies group in Mineola, recently received the American Heart Association’s prestigious Louis J. Acampora Heart Saver Award at a dinner at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The award is named for a Long Island teenager who succumbed to a sporting injury that is understood to have been preventable if a cardiac medical device had been immediately on-scene and applied.
“I hope that I have made a real difference in my town and the world around me to help prevent death and improve the quality of people’s lives” said Brenner.
Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00
After consecutive seasons of finishing runner-up in the men’s golf Player of the Year for the Skyline Conference, Christian Bleck of St. Joseph’s took home first place in a rather unlikely turn of events.
After a herniated disc caused the Chaminade High School alum to miss every event after the first week of the season until the conference tournament, Bleck returned—without even having the luxury of practicing a full 18 holes—and competed with the best players the conference has to offer.
Thursday, 06 November 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustang boys cross-country team won the division 4A championship recently at Bethpage State Park. This is the first championship for the program since 1974, ending a 40-year championship drought.
Mineola defeated Seaford, who also entered the undefeated in division competition, 38-20. Overcoming rain and high winds throughout the race, many Mustangs ran personal records for the 5K in route to the victory.