Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 14 May 2010 08:59
Incumbent Lana Ajemian has been a resident of Syosset for 27 years. She has had four children go through the Syosset school system. She was actively involved with the Child Care Council of Nassau Inc, and the Grandparents as Caregivers group.
“I have almost 20 years experience as a PTA member,” said Ajemian, who said that Nassau Region PTA gave her a bigger perspective on topics that she would like to explore in Syosset. “I am still involved in community, but I also am seeing a broader view of education in the state and would like to bring some of that home and put it to work. I have always had an interest in children and public education. I want to keep that alive,” she said.
Ajemian was the Nassau County Woman Trailblazer Award recipient in 2009, A Woman of Distinction in 2007, Syosset High School Founders’ Day Award recipient in 2002, and the recipient of the NYS PTA Jane Skrzypek Volunteer of the Year Award in 2002; Nassau District PTA, Jane Skrzypek Award Volunteer of the Year 2000; Syosset Teachers Association, Friends of Education Award 2000; NYS PTA Distinguished Service Award 2000; and National PTA Honorary Life Award in 1995 and 1989.
“I am very proud of the excellent education that we have in Syosset and I have four children who went through these schools of very different talents, abilities and interests,” said Ajemian.
Incumbent Marc Herman has lived in the community for 28 years, served on the Syosset School Board for the last 15 years, and served as the president of the school board for the past four years. He is a dentist in the community and, along with his wife Hillary, has three sons, all of whom graduated from Syosset High School: Jason, Corey, and Zachary.
Herman says that he is interested in staying on the board so he can keep Syosset schools outstanding, while remaining mindful of the economic climate. “I’m very proud that we managed to cut the budget by nine million dollars in two years, but maintain quality in such a way that no child who walks in the building would notice any difference,” he said.
In addition, Herman speaks highly of the entire current team at Syosset- from the board, to the superintendent, to the teachers, and so on- and would like to continue working closely with the team, and with the PTA as well. “We really listen to the PTA; they’re a big piece of the puzzle,” said Herman.
The incumbent noted that he was very proud of the size of the curriculum catalogue and the variety of courses available at Syosset High School, and would like to continue working to maintain that quality, while also maintaining his responsibility to the community to be fiscally responsible.
Stephanie Avidon is a mother of two who has lived in the community for 15 years. Her oldest, Matthew, attends H.B. Thompson Middle School, for which Avidon co-edits the school newsletter. Her daughter Nicole attends Baylis Elementary School.
Avidon, who works in public relations, has been involved with the PTA since her son was in kindergarten, and chairs and serves on numerous committees. For two years, she was the president of the Baylis PTA; currently, she serves as the vice president of the Syosset Council of PTAs. She also served as chairman of the Syosset Council of PTAs Nutrition and Fitness Committee, the first of its kind in the district.
Avidon says that she is running for the school board for the most natural reasons: “I love the community, and I have young kids- this is my way of giving back,” she said. She’s also concerned about the financial decisions the board must make, and wants to help the district maintain its quality while remaining sensitive to the economic climate.