Herricks revisits budget proposals as students, teacher honored

Herricks revisits budget proposals as students, teacher honored
Herricks High School. (Photo courtesy of Herricks Public Schools)

The Herricks Union Free School District resumed Phase Two budget plan discussions for the 2024-25 school year Thursday night, including a proposed $6.9 million overall increase of 5.2% over last year and a 2.38% tax levy increase.

“When you go to vote on the third Tuesday in May, the community will be voting on the total expenditures, which is our budget to support programs for next year,” said Assistant Superintendent Lisa Rutkoske. “Predominantly that is supported through our tax levy.”

The revenue projections for the 2024-25 school year also anticipate a 10.65% increase of $2.6 million in state aid and a 330% percent increase, or $1.8 million, in appropriation of fund balance and reserves.

In light of growing enrollment, the district is also looking to hire a new school counselor at Herricks Middle School and an additional special education teacher at the elementary level.

The school district’s budget also calls for major increases in other areas, including health insurance, payroll and transportation, signaling plans to purchase new school buses, replace bus patrol onboard cameras and plans to replace musical instruments throughout all levels.

Foreseeable upgrades in facilities and equipment also include refurbishments of select classrooms and bathrooms across the district and renovations of the HMS auxiliary gymnasium and kitchen.

In other news, the board presented three awards of Recognition of Outstanding Student Achievement at the high school level and one award of Recognition of Outstanding Teacher Achievement.

The district congratulated high school student Ashi Harani for her two distinguished Awards from the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology as demonstrated by their computing experience and involvement in activities.

“Ashi was awarded a national honorable mention for the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing High School Award and was a Regional Affiliate Award winner for the Greater New York area,” the school board said. “It recognizes just 400 high school girls nationwide and we’re so proud that Ashi is one of them.”

High school senior Katherine Shaw and sophomore Alexandra Sang were among 80 student artists selected to have their works featured in the Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at The Heckscher Museum. The competition is the only juried high school competition in Long Island that offers high school students the opportunity to showcase their artwork in a museum.

The board also named Herricks Middle School Library Media Specialist Jodi Thompson as a History Day Leader and named her the Junior Division 2024 Robbie Harte Teacher of the Year.

Thompson also received statewide recognition as the New York State History Day Junior Teacher of the Year as well as a nomination for The National Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced at the History Day Convention in June.

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