It has been my tremendous honor to serve as a trustee for the Great Neck Public Schools and to support the education of all students, from toddlers to teenagers, from adults who continue to seek self-improvement to the students who are the most vulnerable.
While I have found my public service to be very gratifying, I have decided not to run for re-election for board trustee so I can spend more time with my family. Thank you for the opportunity to serve these past six years and for the trust and respect you have given to me.
On May 16, there will be two trustee seats up for election. I ask that all voters please vote on May 16 for two candidates who truly understand the importance of protecting the excellent Great Neck Public Schools:
Rebecca Sassouni has served on the board for six years and has been president for the past two years. I have served alongside Rebecca during this entire time and know that she is guided by what is best for the children and the district in all decisions. Rebecca possesses the excellent experience and leadership we will need as we hire and guide a new superintendent. Her institutional knowledge and commitment to maintaining our very high standards are important for ensuring a smooth transition. She leads by building consensus on the board and believes deeply in coalition building.
As president, Rebecca has introduced a broad-based, 40-member board advisory committee and added the live stream recording of BoE meetings, both of which allow for more community engagement and transparency. She has revamped our business office to improve efficiency and has overseen an increased budget pass rate. She initiated the demographic study to assess future population and enrollment trends in the district that was presented at the last board of education meeting.
One of the most impactful things she has done as president has been to rotate board members on committees so that we could get exposure to all aspects of board business, strengthening our capabilities. This brings perspectives from new committee members, more collaboration, better understanding, and often a better solution with lasting impact due to the free flow of different ideas.
Importantly, despite reductions in state aid, rising inflation, growing student enrollment, and COVID expenses, Rebecca consistently reduced the school tax increase rate to below or at the tax levy limit while maintaining the excellent quality of the education program. Rebecca adheres to her commitment to the safety, well-being, academic opportunities and rigor of all children and personnel every day and she is, by far, the best candidate for the job.
Joanne Chan is a Great Neck parent of four children, who are products of our public schools. Joanne has served as a parent leader in our schools since 2008. She served as co-president of the United Parent-Teacher Council, chair of UPTC’s Total Community Involvement Committee, executive VP of South Middle’s PTA, VP of South High PTO, and VP of Saddle Rock PTA. She executed community-building projects, including setting up the District Translation Project and ParentLink Emergencyp Messages, which translate district communications from English to Chinese, Farsi, Korean, and Spanish.
As UPTC co-President, Joanne worked tirelessly to ensure our 2017 bond was passed to allow us to maintain our school buildings and facilities. Joanne has an excellent education, graduating from Columbia with her bachelor’s in engineering and getting her MBA from NYU. Her professional background managing a business for the past 20 years means she has experience with organizational management. Joanne understands the challenges the school district is currently facing.
More importantly, given her 20-plus years of engagement as a parent and a local resident, her unparalleled volunteering experience with all key stakeholders of the school district, Joanne is uniquely qualified for this important job in support of the new superintendent. I can trust Joanne to advocate for not only my child but also all the children in Great Neck. She is the best candidate for my seat and has unequivocal support from me. She will be able to join the Board as a knowledgeable and productive Trustee.
Please support our school district. Vote for Rebecca Sassouni and Joanne Chan in the Board of Education election and vote yes on the Budget on May 16. Vote to protect the quality and reputation of our great public schools.
Great Neck Public School Board of Education