Herricks $125M budget, Chin’s re-election on ballot

Herricks $125M budget, Chin’s re-election on ballot
Superintendent Fino Celano (left) and Trustee Juleigh Chin (right) pictured at a previous meeting. (Photo by Tom McCarthy)

Herricks residents are scheduled to vote on a $125.3 proposed budget as Juleigh Chin seeks re-election to the Board of Education Tuesday, May 17.

The proposal for the 2022-2023 fiscal year represents a spending increase of 1.99 percent from the current year and calls for a tax increase of 0.5 percent. 

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

Breaking down the budget, 76 percent of it is devoted to programs and 13 percent 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.

Juleigh Chin, trustee for the Herricks Board of Education, said if elected again she wants to keep Herricks on the path of success it has enjoyed in recent years.

“We want to maintain the level of excellence that Herricks has been known for and catapult us forward to becoming even greater,” Chin said.

Chin is currently running unopposed for her fourth three-year term. Her current seat is the only one up for election. 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 has been 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.”

In her current term, Chin said she prioritized getting through COVID-19. 

We were in unprecedented times and this was a very trying time, for obvious reasons,” Chin said. “Heath and safety were paramount, but so was the educational, emotional and social well-being of our students and staff. I am proud of the work of the district through this time and stand firmly that we did well by our community.”

If elected, Chin maintains 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 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. 

Chin is a parent to two Herricks High School graduates, the younger having left the district in 2021, and believes serving on the board is perfect for her. 

“I truly love my role with the Board of Education,” Chin said. “I can’t say how long I will stay on the board, but I have complete faith and trust that I am where I am supposed to be at this time in my life.“

Voting will be held Tuesday, May 17, in the gymnasium of the Herricks Community Center, 999 Herricks Road, New Hyde Park between the hours of 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

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