A Night of Recognition at the Lynbrook Board of Education Meeting

Board members with others thumbnail224620
Board members with others thumbnail224622
The Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education held its regular meeting in the Lynbrook High School cafeteria on Sept. 14, during which the board accepted the retirement of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak after 30 years of service in the district.

Board members read the resolution to accept the retirement of Dr. Burak, acknowledging her start in Lynbrook at Marion Street Elementary School as a second grade teacher, her managing of the Summer Playground program, her leadership in technology innovations as a Lynbrook High School teacher and later as the Director of Communications, Technology and Library Media Services, and by helping to launch the district-wide network. In 2001, Dr. Burak became the Assistant Superintendent for Business during which time she was able to put the Lynbrook Schools in a solid financial position. Dr. Burak took on the role of superintendent in 2012 and has since continued a legacy of innovation and has instilled a universal drive to put students first in Lynbrook schools. Dr. Burak’s retirement is effective July 1, 2023.

“I really could not ask for a harder working team,” said Dr. Burak. “I want to publicly thank the administrative team for all that you’ve done, because we have been through a lot together.”

New staff members were introduced by Board Vice President Ellen Marcus, including Stacy Dewar-Johnson, Caroline Kosiba, Joseph LaBarbera, Errol Dusman, Emily Grillo, Mai Kobayashi, Jennifer Ligouri, Michelle Chang, Alanna Loftus, Karina Aristy, Taylor Heedles, David Yaker, Jennifer Wisnewski, Veronica Underhill, Meegan Schwartz, Marissa Palmeri, Vincent Gross, Shay Voor, Jennifer Marchignoli and Erica Henry.

Dr. Burak announced West End Elementary School reading/ENL teacher Jennifer Glatzer is a recipient of the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award. Applications for the prestigious award are received from teachers throughout the state. The award recognizes educational leaders who exemplify the professional work of outstanding teachers striving to obtain New York State’s standards of success for all their students.

Board members shared their findings after participating in safety inspections at each school building. Each building was presented in top shape with all safety and sanitation needs met. Trustees also made note of recent and upcoming additions in the buildings, such as the wellness room coming to South Middle School that will mirror the one established at North Middle School.

During her PTA liaison report, trustee Tara Aragona reminded residents that homecoming festivities will take place at the high school on Saturday, Oct. 15, with the parade kicking off at 1 p.m., followed by the scholarship football game at 2 p.m. All are welcome. The PTA will be selling tickets for the game for $5 as well as additional food and merchandise. Funds will go towards scholarships for graduating seniors.

The board opened the meeting to public comment for old business on school security. A district-wide security supervisor and additional guards at each building have been established.

In her superintendent’s report, Dr. Burak discussed the two-day Superintendent’s Conference Day, which involved extensive training for staff members, including training in violence prevention, sexual harassment, culturally responsive education, data security, safety and more.

Dr. Burak updated residents on Mission Control Project Liftoff, a special project that the district is participating in. Interested students in grades 6 through 12 are invited to participate by designing a thorough, microgravity-themed project that has a chance to be performed on the International Space Station. Project proposals will be due Oct. 19, and on Nov. 1, three finalists will be chosen at a districtwide symposium. Elementary and secondary level students can also submit designs for art patches, and two winning patches will join the winning project in its trip to the International Space Station.

Oct. 7 will be Emergency Evacuation Day, an early dismissal day for students as they practice an evacuation drill. Reunification strategies will be tested.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Dr. Gerard Beleckas updated the community on the Sounds Write program, which was piloted last year in the Kindergarten Center and by special education and reading teachers to a high level of success. The program helps students learn to read and write by taking what they hear and transferring it to a piece of paper. The program helps students become proficient readers and writers, and Dr. Beleckas noted last year’s kindergarten students’ tremendous progress with these skills.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations and Information Systems, Dr. Paul Lynch praised the hard work of the district’s custodial staff as the school year has started. In his capital projects update, Dr. Lynch shared the Waverly Park Elementary School court and the high school library projects are going out to bid. Specifications for the two new turf fields at North Middle School and Marion Street are being finalized and will be sent to the New York State Education Department for approval.

Mrs. Marcus shared a sympathy resolution for Edward Mattson, who served as a music teacher at Marion Street for 27 years.

Board members accepted donations, including a flag recovered from Ground Zero after Sept. 11, 2001, from the Beyrer family at North Middle School, two benches, a tree and bushes to be placed at the rear of the high school in memory of Thomas Donaldson, and an acoustic guitar for use at Marion Street.

Date Added: 9/16/2022