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Great Neck Siemens Finalist


Jay Zussman, national finalist in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology.

Jay Zussman, a senior at South High School, copped a top national award in the 2014 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, one of the most prestigious student competitions in the science community. He was named a national finalist in the Individual Category, one of six Individual winners and the only one from New York State. Jay earned a $20,000 scholarship. He had been named a Siemens Semifinalist in mid-October, advanced to become a regional finalist, and now a national finalist. This is the first time a South High student has won a top prize in the Siemens competition.

Jay’s project is “Zip1 C-terminal phosphorylation promotes Zip1-Sgs1 interaction in meiotic cells.” His study characterizes the importance and detailed chemistry of the interaction of two proteins involved in meiosis, a type of cell division in sexual reproduction that is essential to the maintenance of genetic diversity and may help scientists understand the beginnings of incapacitating diseases. [Read more...]

Great Neck School Board Sets Goals


The GNPS Board of Education (from left): trustees Donald Ashkenase and Monique Bloom; Vice President Lawrence Gross; trustee Susan Healy; President Barbara Berkowitz

With all of their goals, as always, centered around meeting the needs of every student, Great Neck School District Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz presented the 2014-2015 board goals. Berkowitz discussed each of the six goals at the October public action meeting.

Goal number one addresses communications, communicating “effectively” with constituents (parents, faculty and administrators) as well as the “larger community.” The board plans to reach out to share ideas; communicating with the district and the community by conducting an electronic survey. Berkowitz also said that they will also look for ways to increase participation in the budget vote. All of this will be accomplished by offering full support, with translations to Chinese, Mandarin, Spanish and Farci. [Read more...]

Great Neck School Tax Due

The first-half 2014-2015 School Taxes are in the mail; they are due and payable without penalty until Nov. 10, 2014.  Mailed payments must be postmarked by the US Postal Service on or before the last day to pay without penalty.  By law, office postage meters are not official postmarks (NYSRPTL-Sec 925).

Although school taxes are collected by the Receiver of Taxes, payments you make in response to the school bill are forwarded to your local school district and local library district, if applicable, and do not fund the operation of town government. The factors that determine the amount of your school bill are beyond the control of the Town of North Hempstead. These factors are:

•The assessment on your home, which is determined by the Nassau County Department of Assessment.

•The budget and tax levy approved by voters and adopted by your local Board of Education.

•The percentage of your school district’s tax levy paid by property owners in your property tax class.

All property owners, except those whose taxes are paid through a mortgage escrow account, should receive a tax bill.  If you misplaced your tax bill, please call 311 to request a duplicate. If calling from outside the Town of North Hempstead, please call (516) 869-6311.  Please have your School District, Section, Block and Lot number available.  When paying by mail, please include your remittance stub(s) with your check in the return envelope (previously provided). When paying in person, please bring your entire bill. This is the only School tax bill you will receive. PLEASE KEEP YOUR SECOND-HALF STUB IN A SAFE PLACE.

Please include your Bill Number(s) on your check and make checks payable to: CHARLES BERMAN, RECEIVER OF TAXES

Regular office hours are 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.  For your convenience, the tax office will be open extended hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 10.  Additionally, you may pay at these convenient local collection sites:

First-Half 2014-2015 School Tax Local Collection Sites

Fri. Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Fuschillo Park,Carle Rd. & Broadmoor Ln., Carle Pl.

Fri. Oct. 31, 1  to 2 p.m.  Yes We Can Community Center 141 Garden St., New Cassel

Mon. Nov. 3,10 a.m. to 12 p.m.   Clinton G. Martin Park, Marcus Ave. & New Hyde Park Rd., New Hyde Park

Mon. Nov. 3, 2 to 3 p.m. Broadway Park, Broadway & County Courthouse Rd., Garden City Park

Wed.  Nov. 5. 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Great Neck Senior Center, Inc.,80 Grace Ave., Great Neck

Wed.  Nov. 5, 11 to 3 p.m.  Michael J. Tully Park, Evergreen Ave. New Hyde Park

Thur. Nov. 6, 10 a.m.  to noon Port Washington Parking Dist., 15 Vanderventer Ave., Port Washington

Thur. Nov. 6, 1  to 2 p.m. Hector Gayle Roslyn Community Center, 51 Orchard St., Roslyn Heights (Parking Lot on Lincoln Ave.)

Fri. Nov. 7, noon to 1 p.m. John D. Caemmerer Park, Wentworth Ave., Albertson

Great Neck Alum Launches Book

Laura (Laurie) Deutsch, a longtime Great Neck resident, will be launching her book, Writing from the Senses, on the East Coast at the Book Revue in Huntington, on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. with a discussion, reading and a Q&A. The public is invited. Recently published by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (Writing Down the Bones, etc.), Deutsch’s new book helps writers tap into an endless source of engaging material, using their senses as prompts. It contains personal essays and memoir from Deutsch’s years in New York and abroad, as well as instruction and writing exercises.

Deutsch graduated from Great Neck South in 1964, daughter of Dr. Enoch and Edith Deutsch of Lake Success. Editor-in-chief of The Southerner, Great Neck South’s newspaper, she graduated from Bryn Mawr College and the University of Chicago Law School. Her studies included a year in Europe and a year in Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar. Deursch’s brother, Daniel, and sister, Margery, also graduated from Great Neck South.Book_101014B copy

Deutsch has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1972. A writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher, her personal essays, features, travel and humor pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco magazine, MORE magazine, Time Out, Eating Well, a travel book published by Simon & Schuster, and other publications. Her writing has been anthologized in many collections, including Travel Stories from Around the Globe, Best Women’s Travel Writing, and Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana (lead essay in a collection published by Traveler’s Tales). Her commentary has aired on public radio. [Read more...]

Pre-K Registration For 2015-16

Enrollment for the Great Neck Public Schools Universal Prekindergarten Program (UPK) is now open for the 2015–2016 school year. This program is offered to all district residents at no cost. In order to be eligible, children must be for years old by Dec. 1, 2015.

The UPK program is housed primarily at the Parkville School, 10 Campbell St., New Hyde Park. Morning and afternoon sessions are available. Bus transportation is only provided to and from the Parkville School for either the a.m. or p.m. session. In compliance with the New York State Education Department, some students can attend our UPK collaborative agency, the Great Neck Community School, 225 Schenck Ave. Transportation is not available to this location.

UPK registration is being held schooldays at the Office of Registration and Attendance, located in the Phipps Administration Building, 345 Lakeville Rd., from Oct. 20 to 31. You can register your child between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. according to the following schedule: last names starting with the letters A–E, register on Oct. 20 and 21; F to J, on Oct. 22 and 23; K to O, on Oct. 24 and 27; P–T, on Oct. 28 and 29; and U to Z, on Oct. 30 and 31.

Please note that no placements will be made until the close of the registration period. Therefore, it is unnecessary to register ahead of time. If you have not received a registration packet in the mail, you can download the registration forms from the district wePlease bring the following information to registration (it is not necessary to bring your child): proof of district residency (deed, current tax bill, or closing statement if ownership, current signed lease or current rent receipts if rental); three pieces of current, official mail, online mail is not acceptable; child’s original birth certificate; parent or guardian valid photo ID; parental control papers (if applicable); and immunization certificate signed and stamped by a physician or an authorized health agency.

For more information about UPK registration, please contact the Registration Office by phone at 51) 441-4080, or by e-mail at

For additional information about the UPK program and the optional “Fun for Fours” enrichment program, please visit the school district website at, and click on the Parkville School logo that appears in the scroll near the top of the screen.

Great Neck Scores Well In Core Tests

The Common Core? State testing scores? While Great Neck School District Superintendent Thomas Dolan recently stated that “the jury is still out” on the state-mandated Common Core curriculum and standardized tests, he also noted that the school district does not want to “over-emphasize” testing.


Thomas Dolan, superintendent, GNPS

Dr. Dolan reviewed test scores at the most recent school district Board of Education meeting and reported that Great Neck School District students out-performed students through-out Nassau County “at every level, throughout the region.” He emphasized that Great Neck students are outperforming students in the region, “with more difficult tests.” Yet, scores did not always portray this achievement.

When school districts were afforded the option of students taking either the Algebra Regents or the Common Core test, the district chose the Common Core test. The Common Core test turned out to have a scoring system that was vastly different from the Regents scoring, and, as a result, though Great Neck students did impressively well with the Common Core tests, the scoring forced scores lower. And although the district has written to the Board of Regents for some sort of dispensation, as yet there has been no answer. [Read more...]

Secondary Staff Granted Tenure

One secondary school administrator and 25 secondary school teachers were honored for their dedication with tenure appointments made official at the June 16 meeting of the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education.
“Tonight is one of those most special nights,” said Superintendent Thomas Dolan. “Tenure is earned and the work you have done is considerable. I have reviewed all the candidates’ records and personally met with each of them. I congratulate you and thank you. I am honored to recommend all 26 candidates for tenure.”
The grantees are:
Samantha Tarantola (assistant principal at North Middle School)
North High teachers: Matthew Blackstone (English), Eileen Davidson (English), Lindsay Haskel (special education), Israel Henriquez (foreign language), Maya Lerner (science), Jamie Reyna (special education), and Blair Silver (special education).
South High teachers: Holly Cipriano (science), Kimberly Gewitz (social studies), Peter Marques (physical education & recreation), Thomas Marr (English/drama), Michael Moran (English), and Jessica Skemer (speech/hearing).
Village School teachers: Lauren Gengo (English) and Cindy Pavlic (special education).
Samantha Gallagher (social studies) was granted tenure at the SEAL Program and North High.
North Middle teachers: William Giannone (mathematics), Kerri Paino (special education), Amanda Reilly (guidance), Jacquelyn Tomlet (music), and Yun (Lillian) Zhang (foreign languages; also at South High).
South Middle teachers: Jacqueline Hazel (special education), Daniel Isaac (social studies), Lawrence Nahoum (social studies), and Paul Pelech (mathematics department head).
“Tenure is a cause for celebration,” Board President Barbara Berkowitz told the candidates. “You have undergone arduous evaluations and reflect the high standards in Great Neck.”

— From The Great Neck Public Schools

District Presents 5 New Awards

Last week, we congratulated the graduating seniors at Great Neck North and Great Neck South high schools and offered details on the winners of the traditional top awards—Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Barstow, and Scott Moss.
This week, we look at the five new awards, given this year for the first time.

Dennis Dallal Award

Jonah Klempner, North High, Dennis Dallal Award

Jonah Klempner, North High, Dennis Dallal Award

North High graduates Jonah Klempner and Julia Wolf are co-recipients of the Dennis Dallal Award for reflecting, in the words of Dina Dallal Khani, his sister, “Dennis’ natural ability to make people around him feel important.” The recipients of this award should be “accepting, compassionate, and kind towards others.” Jonah Klempner was an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor and an active member of the school’s Chess Club and Team, taking awards on the state and county level and at chess competitions outside of school. He was active in social causes, co-captaining the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island Walk-a-Thon and participating in walks to raise funds for autism, arthritis, and cancer research, among others. During elections, he works to get out the vote. Klempner was a Peer Mentor and a member of DECCA, earning an award on the state level. He was an actor and set crew for school plays. Klempner will attend SUNY-Binghamton University in the fall.

Julia Wolff, North High, Dennis Dallal Award

Julia Wolff, North High,
Dennis Dallal Award

Julia Wolf worked for several social causes, including Adopt-A-Dream, Breast Cancer Walk-a-Thon, Relay for Life, Great American Bake Sale, and Special Olympics. She was captain of the volleyball team, named All-Conference and Most Valuable Player, and won a silver medal in the Pan American Maccabi Game. Wolf captained the softball team and played on the basketball team. She was TV North Club vice president, an Athletic Leadership Club officer, and a member of Peer Drug Awareness, Peer Leadership, Art Club, Model Congress, and Model UN. Wolf plans to attend Purdue University.


Fran Harman Award For Excellence In The Performing Arts
Steven Telsey won the Fran Harman Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts, established in memory of Fran Harman, a gifted director, choreographer, technician, and stage manager who brought out the best in students at South High School for 30 years. “My sister loved the school and the performances,” said Andrea Broveto, Harmon’s sister. “We are honored for her.” Award recipients should pursue a career in the performing arts and exemplify the standards Harman set for herself and others.

Steven Telsey, South High, Fran Harman Award

Steven Telsey, South High,
Fran Harman Award

Telsey was the winner of the Gershwin (Musical Theater) Award for Best Leading Actor in the New York City region, and earned a Superior Rating and “Best of Fest” for his co-performance of a scene at the New York Educational Theatre Festival. He was a four-year participant, playing major roles, in South High operas, musicals, and plays (encompassing 11 productions), and performed in the One-Act Plays during his sophomore and junior years. He was an assistant director of Is He Dead? (the only production in which he did not perform) and director of a One-Act Play. He was also co-president of Theatre South. Steven sang tenor in an ensemble that performed at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Young Musicians Concert. He was a tenor section leader of Mixed Choir, a leader of Barbershop Quartet, and a member of A Capella and Chamber Choir. Steven will attend Elon University.

Elizabeth Chi, South High, Ryan Sims Award

Elizabeth Chi, South High, Ryan Sims Award


Environmental Stewardship Award
This award, given to a student who has demonstrated a passionate interest and commitment to caring for the environment in the Town of North Hempstead, was presented to Elizabeth Chi.

Ryan L. Sims Memorial Award
South High graduates Elizabeth Chi and Cristina Lai are dual recipients of the Ryan L. Sims Memorial Award, given to an outstanding student in science and one in music. Ryan L. Sims was a South High School Class of 2007 graduate who died at the age of 23. At South, he excelled in science and music, playing the saxophone and clarinet, and received the school’s John Philip Sousa Award.
Elizabeth Chi was given the Sims Award for music. She played tenor saxophone in the Symphonic Band at the New York State School Music Association Conference All-State and in the Band at the All-County Music Festival. She was Section Leader in the Jazz Band, and a member of the Pit Orchestra. She is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor, having earned perfect scores on her four exams, and a National Merit Finalist. Chi was a Level 5 Silver Medal Winner in the National Spanish Exam. She was active in many clubs, notably serving as president of the Animal Rescue and Environment Awareness Club and founding the Envirothon Club. Chi has interned for two local politicians, and volunteered for the Alley Pond Environmental Center and the North Hempstead Democrats. She will be attending Cornell University in the fall.

Cristina Lai, South High, Ryan Sims Award

Cristina Lai, South High,
Ryan Sims Award

Cristina Lai received the Sims Award for science. She was an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, earning perfect scores on her five exams, and winner of a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship. Lai was a member of the First Place Science Olympiad Team A, a two-time member of second-place teams winning in General Biology at the WAC Lighting Foundation Invitational Science Fair, received Honorable Mention in Microbiology at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, and a Rising Scientist Award, presented by the Child Mind Institute. She played piano in an ensemble trio at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Young Musicians Concert. Lai was principal violinist in the Chamber Pit Orchestra and a violinist in the Chamber Orchestra, where she was also secretary. She was a Level 5 Gold Medal Winner in the National Spanish Exam. Cristina was president of the Science Olympiads Club and the Varsity Tennis Team. She was a grade representative on the school’s Shared Decision Making Committee. Cristina will attend Duke University.

North Shore Community Arts Council Certificate in Opera
This certificate, given to a student who has excelled in opera, was given to Steven Telsey.

No Free School Lunches

The Great Neck School District adopted a new policy on charging school meals at the school board’s June 16 public action meeting. The proposal was introduced in May and discussed a second time at the school board’s June 2 meeting.
The policy seeks to help the district inform parents (or guardians) whose children buy meals at school of their obligations regarding payment and to maintain a system of accounting for charged meals that follows state guidelines.
SchoolPolicy_070414ATo date, if a child had no lunch or lunch money, the school district would still provide the meal. However, parents did not always repay the money, adding to the district’s financial stress. The district rejected the suggestion of registering parental credit card numbers for students’ use in the cafeteria at the earlier meeting.
The new policy states that the school board does “recognize” that a student might forget to bring lunch money to school and, thus, to ensure that no child goes hungry, and to “promote responsible student behavior,” but yet to minimize any monetary burden on the district, there shall be guidelines. Only regular meals, and only what is on the menu, may be charged; no snacks may be charged; a computer point-of-sale system will register charged meals, to ease collecting payments.
The policy also states that if school authorities suspect that a student is abusing this policy, they must first give notice to the parent or guardian, and then the privilege may be refused.
The policy, which applies to all schools in the district, is to be communicated to all parents on an annual basis, prior to the opening day of school.

Managing School Records

Recognizing the need to preserve records, the Great Neck School District’s Board of Education has proposed the development of a new policy on records retention. At the board’s June 16 public action meeting, the board introduced the proposed policy. SchoolPolicy_062714A
The new policy addresses the school district’s need to preserve all records, including electronic records.
Trustee Susan Healy, chair of the board’s policy committee, explained that all of these records must be preserved “in a way that allows for their safe retention as well as for the legal disposition and destruction of obsolete records.”
The policy states that all school records must be handled in an “orderly and efficient” process.
It also states that the superintendent of schools (or a designee) retains the records for a specific time frame and then disposes of these records within a time frame established by New York State law.
The new policy also states that digital images of public records may be stored electronically and may then replace original copies.
And in order to provide accessibility, the school district must then follow procedures set by the commissioner of the New York State Department of Education.
Records retention requirements are to apply to any information system that stores electronic records.
Since this was just the first reading of the proposed policy, no action was taken. The school board must hold at least three public readings before approving a new or amended policy.
In some cases, for a very complex or controversial issue, more than three hearings may be necessary.
The proposed Policy On Records Retention will be read for a second time at the Board of Education’s Tuesday, July 1 public action meeting, at 8 p.m. at the Phipps Board Room in the Phipps Administration Building on the South Campus in Lake Success.