Readers Write: Vote for Chan and Sassouni at a critical time for Great Neck

Readers Write: Vote for Chan and Sassouni at a critical time for Great Neck

I write this letter as a long-time Great Neck resident and involved Great Neck public school parent (past North Middle School PTO president, United Parent Teacher Council executive board member, and member of district Health and Safety advisory board) to urge you to vote on May 16 for continued competency and excellence for our school district.

Vote for Joanne Chan and re-elect Rebecca Sassouni as trustees for the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education. Having known and worked with each of these women in various capacities on school committees for over a decade, I can vouch for their pre-eminent character and qualifications to steer our district on a continued path of success.

As a recent empty-nester, I ask myself why I should be invested in a school board election when my children are no longer students in the GNPS system.

A first-rate education is the foundation of lifelong learning and for me and my family, the reason why we moved to Great Neck. School district quality is one of the most important factors home buyers consider when looking for a place to live.

An excellent school district greatly increases our children’s chances of success. The quality of our schools is the primary reason our home values have continued to rise in Great Neck. Strong schools attract families, boost businesses and the local economy and drive population growth.

A recent study conducted by the district shows a continued steady increase in enrollment in GNPS, an indicator that families still want their children to be educated in this premier school district.

For our Great Neck community to continue to flourish and maintain prosperity, this trajectory of top-quality education must continue. Our school district deserves first-rate leaders with a vision to deliver excellence in a changing environment.

With the unexpected announcement of the retirement of our long-time trustee, Barbara Berkowitz, more than ever, we need board members who have seasoned experience with the schools and the district. Joanne and Rebecca fit this bill.

Their challengers do not and have instead endorsed a campaign that supports censorship of books and curricula. Supporting an Orwellian school environment where our Great Neck educators will be frightened to teach, may be the downfall of our cherished public schools.

Without strong leadership, our school district will no longer be able to attract and retain talented teachers and our public schools will no longer be a selling point to new families, a precursor to the rapid decline of our downtown and home prices.

Joanne and Rebecca are impressive professionals with advanced degrees (Joanne with an engineering degree from Columbia University, MBA from NYU and 20 years of business management experience, and Rebecca with a law degree from Hofstra University and well versed in educational policy).

These two candidates fully embrace the values of a Great Neck education bringing with them decades of involvement in GNPS parent leadership. The breadth and in-depth knowledge that Joanne and Rebecca have accumulated about district processes and policies, the different school populations and needs, and inter-relationships between stakeholders, can only be cultivated over decades of active involvement.

Their challengers simply do not measure up in experience, demonstrated commitment, or knowledge. Perhaps this is why the challengers have opted out of engaging in any meaningful forum with Joanne and Rebecca despite numerous invitations.

At this pivotal moment for Great Neck Public Schools where the district is searching for a new superintendent, the pro-public school team of Chan and Sassouni possesses the right combination of skills and broad-mindedness necessary to help raise critical thinkers and steward our school district forward. Let’s bring experience, excellence and integrity back into the equation in this school election.

I implore you to vote on Tuesday, May 16 for Chan and Sassouni

Linda Cheung

Great Neck

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