East Williston School Board President Mark Kamberg said if re-elected he would continue being able to help provide opportunities for all students in the district regardless of what challenges they have.
“We want to make sure that as a district, we’re providing all and equal opportunities for everybody while never taking away from the great work that we’ve already built upon and that we’re able to provide for our children,” Kamberg said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “I think it’s important that we always focus on cultivating a bright and prosperous future for all our students. We want to make sure that all our students are in the best position to be college, career, civic and life ready.”
Kamberg, an Albertson resident, has been a trustee for 15 years, serving as board president for 13 of them. He faces challenger Denise Tercynski in the May 16 board elections for a three-year term.
Tercynski, a Mineola resident since 2011, currently works with Great Neck Public Schools in their athletics and recreation office and is a current member of The Wheatley School PTO executive board. She has also been involved with the North Side School PTO and Willets Road School PTO executive board.
Professionally, Kamberg is president of S. Kamberg & Company, a Great Neck-based food ingredient supply business that his father, Stephen, started in 1965. Kamberg said he first ran for trustee during a time there was battling between the public and board on a variety of issues to use the skills he has gained in his career. “I have always been a people person and I thought I could bring that set of skills to the table and really work to bring the community together,” he said.
Kamberg said when there are concerns in the district from residents, it’s important to follow the work set out in a district’s strategic plan.
“As a board, we always have to focus on what our community wants, not us as individuals,” Kamberg said.
The president said it’s a matter of evaluating the goals, requests and initiatives of the community and having productive conversations to follow through on them. Specifically, Kamberg said that may entail speaking with different focus groups within the district, administration, and other community stakeholders to ensure goals are being met.
Kamberg added that he believes once people feel they are part of the process, they can support the process.
“I think that everybody is of value to the conversation. You want to be as inclusive as you can, making sure that everybody has an opportunity to participate in discussions,” Kamberg said. “To me, that’s really the secret to being transparent and making sure that all of these discussions take place with your community groups.”
Recent Board of Education meetings have had discussions on diversity, equity and inclusion programs and recent attempts by Project Veritas, a right-wing group known for deceptively edited exposé videos with ties to prominent conservative and Republican groups nationally, making its presence felt in some of Nassau County’s public school districts.
The district said in a March statement that The Wheatley School Principal Joseph Weiner was filmed without his knowledge or permission while answering questions about his experience with DEI at his previous district, which was then edited and altered outside the context of the conversation.
If re-elected, Kamberg said there is always something to improve on within the district and it’s important to never miss an opportunity to do so.
“The specifics may always be evolving, but it’s making sure we continue offering all opportunities for all children in an environment that makes fiscal sense to our taxpayers and our community at large,” Kamberg said.
Kamberg added that it has been an honor to serve the district and he hopes to continue to do so and provide his perspective moving forward.
“I think what makes a good trustee is to have a clear understanding of where your district has been, where it currently is and where it needs to be to continue improving, expanding and moving forward,” Kamberg said. “I really do believe that understanding is my greatest asset as a trustee. It brings consistency, a vision, a historic point of view and an understanding of the future.”