In the Elmont Union Free School District, there is a contested election for a seat on the board of education. Current board president Deanna Doreson, who is seeking re-election, is being opposed by Dale Black-Pennington. The election is Tuesday, May 21. Here is a look at the candidates:
(The following was submitted by Deanna Doreson)
I have been a resident of Elmont for 50 years and attended the Gotham Avenue School, Elmont Memorial High School and Nassau Community College. My three sons also attended elementary and high schools in Elmont. Scott is now a practicing attorney, Lawrence is a teacher, and Matthew is attending Adelphi University, studying to be a teacher. As a parent, I served the Dutch Broadway PTA as vice presient and president, Interschool PTA and PTSA at Elmont Memorial.
In addition to a lifetime of experience with our community's dreams and stuggles, I have devoted 15 years to the elementary board of education in Elmont. For the past four years, I have also served simultaneously on the Sewanhaka Central High School District Board of Education. Throughout these years, my leadership, interpersonal and negotiation skills have been tested under some of the most challenging conditions that any of us have experienced in our lifetime. My commitment to children has remained unchanged. I have worked intently to make our schools a better place for children to learn and I believe this effort has made a difference.
As school board president, I have taken personal initiatives and shown sustained commitment to a number of educational programs that have improved our schools:
* I pressed for and achieved significant reduction in class size as early as the 1990s.
* I initiated and pressed for the idea of an all day kindergarten, and because of this, Elmont became one of the first districts on Long Island to implement this program.
* I argued intently for new programs including summer enhancement programs, character education in elementary schools and a district-wide pre-school program.
* I was a leader in Elmont's struggle to add 40 new classrooms to our overcrowded facilities. This project was successfully completed on time and within budget.
* I have served on various committees such as Family Life, Technology, Curriculum and Building and Grounds to achieve goals for the betterment of all students.
My record indicates that I become personally committed to every project this district decides to undertake, and refuse to leave a job until the outcome is something that our community can be proud of.
I have lived in Elmont almost my entire life. I love the community and aspirations of the people who have been my friends and neighbors through these years. I am a member of the Parkhurst Civic Association, served on the board of the Elmont Cardinals League and participated in the first "I Love Elmont" committee. I ask for the opportunity to build on the experience and achievement of that lifetime and continue to serve the Elmont Board of Education.
(The following was submitted by Dale Black Pennington)
Dale Black-Pennington is a wife, a mother, a proud parent of a student at Stewart Manor School and an active community resident. She resides in South Floral Park with her husband, Ralph, and son, Alexander. Until attending College at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, she resided in Queens, New York with her parents and siblings. After obtaining a Bachelors of Arts degree from the State University of New York, she attended Columbia University, where she obtained a Masters degree in Public Administration. She then attended Capital University Law School where she earned a Juris Doctorate degree.
Dale has a broad professional background. She has served as a criminal prosecutor with the Kings County District Attorney's Office. She has also held positions as an associate attorney with the New York City Transit, and a Manager of Labor Relations with New York City Transit Authority. She was also an administrative law judge for the City of New York. She will bring these varied experiences and the skills that she acquired to her position on the board.
While at Capital University she met Ralph Pennington. In 1989, she returned to New York City where she began a legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County, New York. In 1991, she married Ralph Pennington and the two resided in their first home in Queens New York. Their union was blessed with the birth of a son, Alexander, in 1994. The family moved to South Floral Park and Alexander was enrolled in the Stewart Manor School.
Dale and her husband now have a law practice together with offices in Forest Hills, Queens and Bellerose Village. She is the editor of the South Floral Park Villager, and is one of the new founding members of the South Floral Park Civic Association.
Dale has an strong dedication to education and the interests of our children. She serves as an Impartial Hearing Officer for the State of New York, and is greatly concerned that every child should receive a fair and appropriate education. Her experience with education law gives her a valuable perspective and expertise.
Dale believes the role of a board of education members is to:
* Raise the academic expectations of our children, parents and teachers.
* Promote closer interaction with parents, teachers, board members and school administrators
* Maintain and expand our facilities
* Promote Community Knowledge regarding issues facing the district.