(Ed's note: The following letter was sent to the superintendent of schools and printed here at the writer's request.)
We, the Cultural Arts Committees and District Cultural Arts Committee of the Port Washington School District, want to express our gratitude and appreciation to Dr. David Meoli for his hard work and dedication to our arts and education programs. These programs have been so beneficial to our children and our community. As an administrator to our individual committees and district committee he has been a pleasure to work with - helping, encouraging, and guiding us in bringing quality programs to our schools. He has a "steadiness, professionalism, and devotion to the arts and the students that has always been an inspiration to us. We would also like to thank Cheryl Kirmser, Dr. Meoli's assistant, for all her work and support.
Dr. Meoli has led the way in creating arts and education programs that are the envy of school districts throughout the state and a source of pride for the people of Port Washington. Many people are aware of all the work he has done behind the scenes of these wonderful programs for our children but we would like to mention a few highlights. We were chosen by the Arts Education Partnership and the President's Committee on Arts and the Humanities to be one of 100 school districts in the country recognized for their excellence in arts and education programs. Currently the Empire State Partnership program and the other numerous grants awarded to our school district through the efforts of Dr. Meoli are doing very well, enriching the educational life of our children. Last, but not least, jazz legend Marian McPartland comes each year to play with our high school jazz band as a result of Dr. Meoli's efforts and dedication to the students.
The importance of the arts in education is well documented. The arts enhance the development of abstract thinking, problem solving, math skills, self-expression, emotional health, and self-esteem. Our string orchestras and marching band have won numerous awards. Our art department at the high school "fans the flame" of our talented visual arts students, sending them well prepared to the college of their choice.
A liberal arts education has once again been recognized as vital to educating the whole person. Many states across our country, including our own, have recognized how essential the arts are to education by mandating an arts curriculum from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Though Dr. Meoli may indeed be a tough act to follow, someone must follow. We expect, and have every confidence you will, make every effort to find a creative arts director who can continue the tradition and high level of arts and education we enjoy now.
Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to working with our new creative arts director in the coming school year.
Nadine Connors Genova WMS/Schreiber
Marie Young WMS/Guggenheim
Allison White Sousa
Nina Bernstein Daly/Schreiber
Ellen Savran Weber
Susan Lerner Daly
Barbara Ring Guggenheim
Helen Sacks Sousa
Randye Hubscher Daly
Maureen Going Sousa
Barbara Ring Guggenheim
Helen Sacks Sousa/WMS
Nadine Tinger Manorhaven/Schreiber
Catherine Einhaus Daly
Awilda Cintron-Wolfert Guggenheim
Rebecca Keen WMS/Schreiber
Julie Safran WMS