At the Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Feb. 12, the Lynbrook community came out to support 11 longtime staff members who had their retirements approved. The evening also featured student and staff recognitions, a presentation on the K-12 counseling plan and important district updates.
Staff members who will be retiring at the end of the 2019-2020 school year include school nurse Raffaella Careccia, teacher Steven Freifeld, Director of Athletics, Health and Physical Education Thomas Graham, teacher Kimberly Hermann, teacher Lisa Liguori, teacher Louise McCartin, teacher Maria Morrongiello, secretary Karen Rayder, custodian Christopher Robertson, teacher David Shanker and nurse Dorota Zois. Each retiree was honored by the board for their years of service.
Lynbrook High School senior Sara Bahri was recognized for being a Regeneron Scholar and Ally Fitzgerald, a junior wrestler, was commended for her numerous athletic accolades. Fitzgerald is the first female wrestler for the Lynbrook Schools, the first female wrestler to win a wrestling tournament on Long Island, the first female wrestler to qualify for the Nassau County Wrestling Championship and the first female Eastern States Champion. The board also recognized Lynbrook High School girls track coach Joe Beyrer for earning the Nassau County Track Coach of the Year award.
Following the recognitions, Director of Guidance Laurie Mitchell presented on the district’s K-12 guidance plan. Among its many goals, the guidance department strives to “prepare students to participate effectively in their current and future educational programs” and “encourages parental involvement in their children’s education.” She also presented on what is new this year such as additional social workers, elementary and secondary wellness teams and career exploration classroom activities for secondary students.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak spoke about the district’s Diversity Committee, led by West End Principal Dr. Cindy Lee. She shared the committee’s two belief statements: “Each student will learn in an environment that promotes equity, inclusion and diversity” and “Each student will seek to understand the complex and rich identities of self and others.” During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak shared that the district received not as much of an increase in state aid as it was hoping to receive. She encouraged community members to reach out to state legislators about this to enact a change.
In addition, Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, shared a curriculum update about the Voyager program and the Flight School enrichment program. He spotlighted some of the hands-on activities that students have participated in such as DNA extraction in the Voyager program and animal adaptation projects in the Flight School program.
Before the close of the meeting, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, provided a capital projects update. Bids were reopened for the Waverly Park elevator and Marion Street and West End heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems on Jan. 9. Dr. Lynch reported that the district was able to accept the bids that day which came in at budget. During the meeting, the board awarded the four primes at Lynbrook High School and the construction manager who will take the district through the next two to three years of the project.