Readers Write: New slate runs for Port school board

Readers Write: New slate runs for Port school board

Last summer, the Port Washington school district and the Board of Education shared an infeasible hybrid re-opening plan that did not even include a virtual-only option. Within days, Adam, Adam, and Justin organized “5 Days for Port,” which included a 1,000-person Facebook group, a 1,200-signature petition, a 250-person rally, and coverage in Newsday, News 12, and ABC 7.

Under pressure, the district made the right decision and brought back grades K-5 full time in October. We fought for Port Washington’s kids and won. The success of the school year has validated our efforts, and we are proud of our role in making that happen. We represent parts of the community not represented on the current board, and have new ideas that will help revitalize the stagnant board’s impact on public education in Port Washington.

Now is the time to rebuild community trust after missteps and mishaps in the way they reacted to COVID in the spring, summer, and fall of 2020.


Adam, Adam, and Justin collectively have eight children in the district, representing four of Port’s seven schools. The Board of Education’s current incumbents running for re-election have zero children currently attending school in our district. Every decision made by the board impacts our children and our lives.

While we thank them for their service, they cannot possibly understand the toll of this past year on kids and their families. In fact, at a recent board meeting, one incumbent said on the record that “Port children are entitled” for wanting to go back to school five days a week. That board member is correct — every kid in Port is entitled to five days a week of in-school public education. And we will make sure every child in our district gets it.

We will bring a new set of experiences, ideas, and expertise to the Board of Education that it painfully lacks.


Adam Smith runs strategic and financial planning, as well as day-to-day operations, of a New York-based real estate investment and development firm. His expertise includes: facility management, construction, financial analysis, budgeting, and all things technology. Adam serves on the Board of Trustees and as the Emergency Preparedness Chair of a local religious institution and preschool. He also volunteers with the Bedford Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corp. In his spare time, he coaches youth baseball in Port Washington. Adam, is the son of a retired New York City career educator. He and his wife Jenny live in Port Washington North with their three boys, ages 7, 5 and 3.

Adam Block is a public health professor and will bring decades of real-world experience as an educator. As an author of articles and children’s books on COVID-19, he understands that COVID will not turn off like a light switch. With expertise in health and public policy, Adam understands the mental, emotional and physical health risks associated with a variety of activities. He understands the science of getting our children gradually back to learning and playing together quickly and safely. Adam and his wife Lauren, a physician at Northwell, were both born and raised in Port Washington and graduated from Guggenheim, Weber and Schreiber. They have three children: boy-girl twins in third grade and a son in kindergarten, and two dogs, Zoe and Cookie.

Justin Renna is a seasoned professional ventilation expert employed by an international manufacturer of HVAC equipment, as well as a full-time youth athletic coach at both the secondary and elementary levels. Justin dedicates his free time to coaching the youth of Port Washington in sports ranging from football and baseball to track, among others. Justin serves on the Board of Directors of a local youth sports organization and is the co-founder of a popular local youth track club. Justin is eager to see Port Washington athletics resume safely and quickly. He lives in Manorhaven with his wife Randie and his two kids, ages 10 and 8.

Adam Smith

Port Washington

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