Elections for two Great Neck Public Schools (GNPS) Board of Education trustee positions will be held on Tuesday, May 16, and the completed petitions for the nominees were due to District Clerk Michele Domanick on Monday, April 17, by 5 p.m., just as the Great Neck Record was going to press.
Six Great Neck residents submitted petitions and will be running for the two trustee positions—the board seats of Susan Healy and Lawrence Gross, who are not seeking reelection.
Four candidates will be running for the board seat currently held by Gross. Petitions were returned in this order by Nikolas Kron, Michael Golden, Grant Toch and Jeffrey Shi.
Running for the board seat currently held by Susan Healy will be (in the order in which petitions were returned) Rebecca Sassouni and Ilya Aronovich.
At the special election held on Dec. 6 for the remainder of Monique Bloom’s trustee position, from which she resigned in September due to increasing business obligations—and which runs until May 2019—Donna Peirez was elected a GNPS Board of Education trustee with 848 votes, more than any of the other six candidates. Two of those candidates will be running again in the May 16 election. Kron came in second with 384 votes, followed by Joshua Ratner with 224, Lori Beth Schwartz with 199, Toch came in fifth with 117 votes, Donald Panetta received 49 and Nicholas Toumbekis had 48.
Sassouni explained why she has decided to run: “After many years of involvement as a parent leader, I am running for the Board of Education to preserve and support our public school system. Our Board of Education, administration, teachers and residents serve learners from preschool through adults—of all abilities, ethnicities, socio-economic levels and religions, both in public and parochial schools—with excellence. As a first-generation American, I am the beneficiary of public schools and pledge to do my part to support them for the next generation of Americans.”
Kron described his reason for throwing his hat into the ring: “I am running for Board of Education trustee because I have a passion for improving the educational process and preparing our children to succeed in today’s fast-paced and connected world. I am a parent of four children, three of whom are students in GNPS. As a former management consultant and current real estate investor, I would like to bring my financial and business experience to look for ways to manage our district as efficiently as possible. I believe that there are still more ways to raise money from external sources, reserve sufficient capital funds over time and generally reduce expenses to allow the district to live better within its means. I believe all of this can be accomplished without sacrificing the educational standards that we expect from the number one school district in New York. I am unequivocally behind the GNPS, and am encouraging all of our registered voters to come out on May 16 to vote Yes for the 2017–18 budget and vote Yes for the bond proposal.”
Shi disclosed his inspiration: “From my personal experiences, every time I coached a youth soccer practice, was involved in the PTA plant sales, pitched in on class picnics, performed a teach-in for my daughter’s class, attended the funeral for slain Chinese police officer Liu on the streets of Brooklyn, attended an interfaith forgiveness conference at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck and ran for the board seats in my village, it all made me feel good and gave me inner peace. I have truly found my calling to work for the greater good of the community. What an honor it is to run for BOE of the best school district of the entire country!”
The Board of Education trustee election will be held from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on May 16. Qualified district residents who live north of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) can vote at the Baker School, located at 69 Baker Hill Rd. Residents who live south of the LIRR may vote at South High School, 341 Lakeville Rd. For voter registration and absentee ballot information, call the office of the district clerk at 516-441-4020.