Chin re-elected, $125.3 million budget passes in Herricks

Chin re-elected, $125.3 million budget passes in Herricks
Superintendent Fino Celano (left) and Trustee Juleigh Chin (right) pictured at a previous meeting. (Photo by Tom McCarthy)

Herricks residents voted in a $125.3 million proposed budget for the next fiscal year as well as another three-year term for Trustee Juleigh Chin. 

Chin earned 943 votes as the lone candidate while the budget was passed with 70% of 1,167 total votes.

The new budget represents a spending increase of 1.99% from the current year and calls for a tax increase of 0.5%, which falls below the cap guideline of 1.61%.

Over the last seven years, the district’s average tax levy increase has been 1.54%.

Some 76% of the budget is devoted to programs and 13% goes to capital improvements, according to district officials.  The district anticipates state aid of $16.6 million, an increase of $2.2 million from the current year.

Some highlights include funding for social-emotional learning programs, instructional technology improvement and updated facilities.

District officials previously said they plan to fund a partnership with Northwell Health for crisis intervention and underwrite additional social worker staffing at the middle school.

In terms of facilities, the proposal includes bathroom renovations at the Searingtown and Center Street schools, art room renovations at Searingtown and the high school, and technology classroom upgrades at the middle school.

The district also plans to complete an initiative to provide each student with a Chromebook, which has been at the center of its technology goals.

Chin, who ran unopposed, stays on the board for a fourth term that will officially begin July 1. In addition to her role as trustee, she has also served on the board as a vice president and president, specifically during contract negotiations with the teacher’s union and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to her time on the board, Chin was a PTA president and PTA council vice president for a collective six years. She said she saw a chance to be on the school board as “the right time to move forward in my role in the district as well as in the community.”

Chin previously said if she was re-elected she would maintain her commitment to keeping Herricks at its current level while also ensuring that the district finds the best replacement possible for outgoing Superintendent Fino Celano.

“I want to assure our community that choosing the right leader to be at the helm of our district is our top priority,” Chin previously said.

Celano, who has held the role since 2015, is retiring this June at the end of the school year. The district previously announced that the board is in the final stages of finding his replacement and hopes to update the community in the near future. 

Outside of being a trustee, Chin said she has been an adult leader of Boy Scout Troop 201 since 2011 and a strong supporter of both the Herricks Athletics Boosters and Council of PTA’s.

She is also a member of the United Way Community Impact Council, chairperson of the Herricks Korean Community and has been a member of the Nassau County Asian American Affairs Committee since its inception in 2019. She currently works in the Department of Community Services and Services for the Aging in the Town of North Hempstead.

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