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Letter: I Will Run For School Board In May

My name is Margaret Ballantyne-Mannion, Ph.D., and I am a candidate for the Mineola School District Board of Education. My family moved to the district in 1972. I graduated from Adelphi University with a B.A. in Spanish and earned my M.A. and Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University. Since 1984 when my husband, Luke Mannion, and I married, we have lived in the school district. We have two sons, Thomas, 24, and William, currently a junior at Mineola High School.  

 

The reason I am seeking election to the board is simple: I am excited about the recent accomplishments of the district and I am eager to help the teachers and administrators continue to offer the very best educational experiences and opportunities to all our students, on all levels. We have outstanding teachers who are developing challenging and meaningful curriculum, technology that outshines all other districts in New York State, a recognized music program, a full range of extracurricular activities for all students, a fiscally responsible administration and students who make all of us proud. Mineola is at a tipping point and I think that my educational background and professional experience would allow me to help advance the district’s mission. 

 

For more than 30 years I have taught Spanish language, literature, translation techniques and culture, as well as western civilization, women’s studies, English as a second language, literature in translation courses. In the early 1980s. my discipline adopted national proficiency standards and I have been deeply involved in the integration of those standards into the curriculum at three different colleges, and continue to do so at York College/CUNY where I am Spanish professor.

 

My professional duties have centered on curriculum creation and development, faculty development, long-range and strategic planning and accreditation. I have been a department chairperson, chair of the college curriculum committee, chair of the College

Committee on Academic Standards, co-chair of the General Education Reform Committee, co-chair of the York College Middle States Decennial Accreditation Self-Study Process to name just a few of my responsibilities which I believe prepare me for work as a trustee on the board.   

 

Over the past decades I have been active in the community, especially through St. Aidan’s Parish where I have been a member of many committees, volunteered with the first Happy Caps group, served as lector, Eucharistic minister, RCIA team and pastoral council member. Currently, I am a catechist in the Special Needs program and a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. In the school district I have been class parent several times, member of PTA in Meadow Drive, the middle school and high school, and SEPTA, which this year I serve as Co-President. I have also served as a Spanish language interpreter for CSE meetings. 

 

I am asking for your support because every day I witness the academic standards and rigor young people need in order to succeed in college or their chosen career. We owe our children nothing less than this: that our students graduate from Mineola Schools with the best education possible. That is my goal for each and every child in our District.

 

Margaret Ballantyne-Mannion 

 

Mineola resident


News

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


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