Voyager Program Looks to the Future at BOE Meeting

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During district’s Board of Education meeting on Nov. 14, central administrators and the board commended students and an outstanding teacher on recent accomplishments while providing important district updates, including a presentation about the Voyagers Program. 

West End Elementary School science teacher Annmarie Roth was recognized for being designated as a New York State Master Teacher of Science. To earn this prestigious title, Roth went through a vigorous application process and is among a select 275 educators from across the state to receive the honor. 

Dressed in their orange T-shirts, members of Lynbrook High School’s National Art Honor Society were praised by the board on their fantastic annual Night of the Pumpkins event on Oct. 27. The students presented a $4,000 check during the meeting to the Community Chest South Shore, which was raised during the event. 

Board trustee Alicemarie Bresnihan spoke about her positive experience attending the New York State School Board Conference and Board Vice-President Lesli Deninno updated the community on the discussions of the facilities committee. The committee gathered on Nov. 13 to brainstorm ideas for more space at Marion Street Elementary School. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak presented her report which consisted of a recap of Superintendent’s Conference Day and how the district celebrated Unity Day. A video from band teacher Edward Leone’s class at Lynbrook South Middle School was showcased, which fully displayed the Unity Day message. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and Neil MacDermott, instructional technology coordinator, presented recommendations to enhance the district’s Voyagers Program. Voyagers is an enrichment program for students in grades 3-5 who require an additional challenge. After visiting various districts, they shared two recommended options that the Voyager Task Force committee formulated. Dr. Beleckas and Mr. MacDermott focused on the academic, admission, cost and time comparisons of both options for the board to consider. 

Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, also shared a capital projects update. He reported that the boiler and the electrical upgrade at Waverly Park Elementary School is complete. Moving forward with this year’s projects, Director of Facilities James Saitta is working with the architect to develop plans to go to the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning for the projects that were voted on last May. Major projects that are in the drawing stages include a new elevator at Waverly Park Elementary School, five bathrooms at Marion Street Elementary School, new doors at Lynbrook South Middle School and a bathroom at West End Elementary School. After the drawing phase, the plans will be going to the state for approval with construction anticipated to begin next summer. Dr. Lynch also shared that the bond high school project is successfully moving forward in preparation for plans to go to the state.