Passionate Great Neck residents came out to exercise their right to vote in the Great Neck Public Schools and Great Neck Library election on Tuesday, May 16. All three propositions passed by a huge margin and Rebecca Sassouni and Jeffrey Shi were elected Board of Education trustees.
Proposition 1, the 2017–18 School District Budget passed with 6,772 Yes votes and 1,607 No votes. Proposition 2, the Revised Bond Referendum passed with 6,299 Yes votes and 1,925 No votes. Proposition 3, the Library Budget received 5,894 Yes votes and 2,363 No votes.
Rebecca Sassouni received 6,884 votes for Susan Healy’s trustee seat. Her opponent, Ilya Aronovich, withdrew from the race on May 10.
Jeffrey Shi won the seat of Lawrence Gross with 6,055 votes. His opponent Nikolas Kron received 1,908 votes.
“I know I speak for the rest of the board when I say ‘thank you’ to our entire community for becoming extremely interested, energized and active with regard to the vote on May 16,” said Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz following the successful passage of the budget and the bond. “While there were some intense differences of opinion about the bond and the annual budget being voted upon, the fact that so many of you became involved is a very good thing, as you expressed your opinions and exercised your right to vote, which are fundamental rights and privileges in America. We sincerely hope that as a result of this election, more people will attend school district meetings and become educated in the detailed workings of our district.”
Berkowitz also expressed, “A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all the members of our community who worked tirelessly for weeks to secure the passage of the bond and the annual operating budget. You were well organized, focused and diligent about getting out the true message that both the bond and the budget are vital to maintaining the important structural and educational workings of the school district. Now, we can all get back to our primary responsibilities, which are the education of our students and the oversight of the governance of our district. So while we cannot thank you each individually, please know that we thank you collectively for your steadfast belief that these affirmative votes would be in the best interests of our entire community.”
To the two newly elected board members, Berkowitz said, “We congratulate you on your victories and welcome you both onto the board. We are all here to help you as you transition to your new roles as school board trustees, and we look forward to working with you as we forge ahead with many projects.”
Reflecting on the past few weeks, Berkowitz said, “This election brought out some rather heated exchanges, and we will now need to seek ideas and ways to work to bring our community together again. In 1858, Abraham Lincoln said, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ We can and we must again become one community, and we will do so, because we’re Great Neck, and this communal appreciation of one another is what makes us great. We thank you all for your show of support for our schools and, most especially, for all our children.”
The newly elected Sassouni added, “Thank you, Great Neck. I am humbled by the overwhelming support I have received. I will do my best not to let you down. This community’s support for education and our homes is resounding and invaluable. Go, Great Neck!!!”