Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00
After two terms on the Mineola School Board and six years of service to the district, trustee William Hornberger will not seek re-election in May, he confirmed last week.
“After six years of volunteering, I believe the district is on solid ground financially and moving in the right direction educationally,” he said. “I think it’s time for other members of the community to bring their ideas and vision to the board of education. It’s time to move onto the next chapter.”
Hornberger 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.
“Reconfiguration was the biggest challenge outside of contract negotiations that we faced,” Hornberger stated. “As a board and a community and administration, we had to come together with compromises for the betterment of the students.”
School board President Artie Barnett was a fixture at meetings during Hornberger’s tenure. He commended how the past boards handled reconfiguration. Barnett has been on the board since 2012.
“Will did six years and three of them were probably the most tumultuous on that board,” Barnett said. “He was involved in tough decisions. I gave him a lot of credit for running for a second term.”
Hornberger’s departure makes Board Vice President Christine Napolitano Mineola’s longest-serving school board member. She was first elected in 2009.
“I’m going to miss Will tremendously,” Napolitano said. “Will has been a tremendous asset to the school board community. We stood shoulder to shoulder during some very very very tough times. I will forever be grateful for his strength and vision.
Trustee Nicole Matzer, appointed last year to fill the seat vacated by Terence Hale, recently announced that she will run for a full three-year term.
“It’s sad to see volunteers finish their term,” Matzer said. “It’s been an honor to sit next to [Hornberger], work with and learn from him. He’s truly been an asset to this board and our community.”
Hornberger wasted no time in throwing his support behind Matzer.
“Speaking for myself and not as a board member, I fully support Nicole Matzer’s run for trustee,” he said.
School board and budget election votes are on Tuesday, May 20. There are two open seats. A newcomer, Mineola resident Margaret Ballantyne-Mannion, announced her run this week. It’s rumored that two more residents have submitted petitions to Mineola, but their identities are unknown at this time.