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Letter: Westbury Board Of Education Letter

The Westbury Board of Education began working in December 2011 with practical precision, sound financial direction and much deliberation in order to produce the 2012-2013 school budget.

This budget reallocates, consolidates and eliminates district positions. For the past month, the Westbury community has been faced with letters from residents regarding the upcoming budget vote. Although we don’t entirely concur with these residents, we certainly respect the fact that we exist in an era of freedom of speech and we would have it no other way. However, our constituency elected us to represent this community and as a part of our responsibilities we would like to go on record with our position regarding the decision to present a 2 percent tax levy to our community. It has been implied that the Westbury Board of Education and district personnel are not sensitive to the taxpaying residents in our community. Let us not forget the contributions our instructional and administrative staffs have made to assist in meeting the challenges of our financial crisis in education and at the same time the board of education has painstakingly reviewed areas for consolidation and elimination.

Givebacks from the Westbury Teachers Association (WTA) and Westbury Association of Administrators and Supervisors (WAAS) units include:

-WTA deferred salary and step increases to Feb. 1 for three consecutive years.

-WAAS Union took a “0” salary increase and deferred step increases to Jan. 1 for one year.

The salary deferments from these two units, with the bulk coming from the WTA realized a cost savings of over $3.6 million as generated over a three-year period.

While we regard early childhood education as a foundation to a child’s educational career the decision to limit the pre-kindergarten program to half-day was another necessary cost saving measure. On the half-day pre-K, the district saved $992,000 through reduction of personnel and transportation.

Through careful and diligent management of our finances we were able to appropriate $7.1 million of the fund balance into the revenue budget to maintain our academic programs and lessen the burden on our community taxpayers.

The board of education has worked diligently in presenting a sound budget while being sensitive to the taxpayers and ensuring each student continues to receive a quality education in the Westbury School District.

Dr. Pless M. Dickerson, president
Rodney A. Caines, vice president
Leslie F. Davis
Rocco N. Lanzilotta
Siela A. Bynoe
Laura L. Pierce


Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.


In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.


“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.

The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9. 


Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.  


Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 


The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.

Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.


Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds.  Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group.  She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group.  Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.


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