Board Honors Students and Staff; Educates Community on Voyagers Program

Photo of Sarah Gaudet Being Recognized
Photo of Maureen Powers
Photo of Gerard Beleckas

The Lynbrook community gathered on Dec. 13 for the district's Board of Education meeting where students and staff were recognized for their strong commitments and achievements, and important district updates were shared.

Lynbrook High School junior Sarah Gaudet was honored by the board for being named an All Long Island Swimmer, while also earning eighth place in the Girls 100 Yard Butterfly category at the New York State’s Girls Swimming and Diving Championships. The board also approved the tenure of administrator Arlene Mishanie and recognized Maureen Powers, typist clerk at West End Elementary School, on her upcoming retirement. Powers dedicated 30 years of service to the district and received a plaque from the board as a sign of appreciation. 

In addition, Vice President Lesli Deninno presented the facilities committee report. She explained that at the recent committee meeting, the group focused on updating the building and grounds throughout the district, integrating the building conditions survey, prioritizing projects that will appear in the budget and spoke about establishing a ground reserve to use for maintenance and replacement. 

Administrator for Personnel and Student Support Services Maureen Berman, shared news of the re-registration process with community members. Beginning this January, the district will begin to expand the registration process to include fifth-graders going into sixth grade. Currently, the district registers kindergarten students and does a re-registration process for students moving from eighth-grade to ninth-grade. 

To update the community on the district’s Voyagers Program, an enrichment program for students in grades 3-5 who require an additional challenge, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Gerard Beleckas spoke about the future of the program and what the Voyager Task Force committee is looking to do next. He highlighted what the committee’s points of discussion have been, including the focus of the program, the curriculum, the enrichment aspect and the acceleration. Through his presentation, the community learned about the identification process and what the Voyager Program looks like now. They also learned that the district will be visiting other school districts to examine various models of the Voyager Program to enhance the current offering. To conclude his presentation, Beleckas asked the community for their input on what they would like to see changed or added to the program. 

During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Melissa Burak congratulated the Lynbrook High School newspaper staff from Horizon, for their record number of Empire State School Press Association award winners. In addition, she educated the community on the Nassau County PILOTs (Property in Lieu of Taxes), explaining how they work and that they are a factor in the tax cap formula. 

Beleckas followed Dr. Burak’s report with a curriculum update on the new graduation opportunities presented to high school students in New York State and Assistant Superintendent for Finance Operations and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch, provided a capital projects update. 

In his report, Dr. Lynch shared that the Waverly Park Elementary School boiler and the West End Elementary School brick pointing projects have been approved by New York State which means bidding can take place in the spring of 2018. He also provided a bond update which consisted of design ideas being discussed for the new locker rooms and air conditioner projects to be sent to New York State right after the holidays.