Readers Write: Statement to the community from Barbara Berkowitz

Readers Write: Statement to the community from Barbara Berkowitz

At the conclusion of the Feb. 15 Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education meeting, I announced my intention to step down from the Board on June 30, 2023.

In the days since I spoke, word obviously traveled quickly because to date I have heard from hundreds of parents, community members, past and present teachers and administrators, and friends.

It has been most heartwarming! I’ve been amazed at just how many have implored me to reconsider my decision and I’ve been humbled by the gratitude expressed for my many years of service. I’ve also been touched by all the memories shared of various times spent together, as well as the offers of other boards for me to now join.

Thirty-one years of service on the Board of Education, more than half of them as an officer, including a record 15 consecutive years as president, has been a unique privilege.

I’ve had the honor of working closely with four superintendents, eight assistant superintendents, 11 Board Trustees, many staff members, and watched with pride as thousands of students passed through our schools.

During these years, I am very proud of having been a part of several outstanding accomplishments, among them: creating a Family Math Program and a Multicultural Parent Appreciation Program in our elementary schools; passage of two major Bond Propositions; participation at all levels of PTA leadership and UPTC involvement, which included being both a moderator and panelist at two, community-wide UPTC Landmark Conferences; the creation of a new Board of Education Policy Manual; and the implementation of the Prekindergarten Program at JFK.

Since my announcement, there has been some confusion about when I intend to step down. At present, my intention is to resign on June 30. I have NOT as yet submitted my notice to the district clerk. To do so, by law, would mean that I must vacate my seat within 30 days.

It is imperative, therefore, that I officially wait to submit my letter to the district clerk so that there will not be three seats up for election on May 16 (one, in addition to the seats currently held by Rebecca Sassouni and Jeffrey Shi). To ensure that this does not happen, I will only be turning in my paperwork at a date yet to be decided after June 1.

I expect that this information clears up any confusion that has circulated within the community.

Barbara Berkowitz

Trustee, Great Neck Board of Education

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