A Jog In Great Neck On Saturday Morning

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After dropping off my five-year-old daughter, Katherine, at her ballet class at Great Neck House last Saturday, I used the precious hour to jog in the community. As a full-time working mom, I rarely have an hour of uninterrupted time for myself, so this time has become something that I really look forward to.

On this sunny April morning after a long winter, I was so delighted to see that spring had finally come to Great Neck. Running down the streets, I was greeted by blossoming flowers of different odors and hues on the sidewalk, sparkling morning dew on green lawns and sweet birds chirping in the budding trees. Children were laughing and chasing each other on the playground of Village Green Park. What a pleasant time it was!

I am truly proud of Great Neck and feel that moving here has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. About this same time three years ago, my family made our first house-hunting trip to Great Neck while I was seven-month pregnant with my second daughter, Victoria. My husband and I were renting in Jersey City with Katherine. As much as we liked the short commute to Wall Street where we both work, we felt that we needed to find a house in the suburbs, where the girls would grow up with fond memories of playing in the backyard, watching the sunset sitting on the porch and going to great public schools with friends in the neighborhood. We bought our house after only two house-hunting visits to Great Neck, since we knew clearly what we wanted: outstanding schools, a convenient train commute to the city and a safe community. These three factors go hand in hand.

In the past three years, we have made so many friends here and have truly loved the neighborhood. Many of our neighbors and friends are parents with school-age children, who were primarily attracted to Great Neck by its top-ranked public schools. Some others, to my surprise, are people whose children are already in college or working. Across the street from my house, one family continued to stay here after their children graduated from Great Neck North High and another neighbor recently moved here from the city after their children went to college. I asked them why they choose to live here even though they do not need the public schools any more. They said that the real estate value would not go down with great public schools, and since more affluent homeowners live in more sought-after school districts, they’re usually good, safe communities. “Just look around Great Neck, isn’t it beautiful?,” one of them asked. “It is an easy decision to make to stay in this community. I fell in love with Great Neck immediately when my Realtor showed me around Stepping Stone Park.”

At the end of my jog, I came to the rubber runway at the Great Neck North Middle School. Finishing the last lap, I could not help but think about the Great Neck school district votes on May 16, which will influence the future of our public schools, our children and our community. I would strongly urge all people in our community who are eligible to vote to show up and cast their vote to help shape the future of our public schools. Good public schools are critical not only for families with school-age children, but also for all homeowners as home prices are directly tied to the quality of public schools. Please cast your vote and help make our public schools better for the future of our children and for the Great Neck community we all love so much!

—Wei Lu

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