Deadline Extended For School Board Candidates 


Many members in our vocal community want a say in the Great Neck Public Schools. Nine petitions for candidates wishing to run for the Board of Education trustee seat left vacant by the resignation of Monique Bloom were filed by the Nov. 7 deadline. However, since one of candidates withdrew from the race the following day, in accordance with Education Law 2018, the Board of Education is now required to reopen the end date for the filing of petitions until Monday, Nov. 28, at 5 p.m.

Eighteen interested parties picked up applications, but ultimately, nine completed and returned them, according to Jessica Vega, Great Neck Public Schools public relations coordinator. The remaining eight candidates are vying for the position in the special election for school board trustee, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Bloom’s resignation was announced by Board President Barbara Berkowitz at the Board of Education meeting on Sept. 19. At that time, the board also announced its decision to conduct an election for a new trustee for the remainder of Bloom’s term, which runs through May 2019.

The board provided a detailed description of board members’ responsibilities, along with a packet outlining the steps necessary to run for the trustee seat. Seven weeks after the announcement, petitions for the position were due, allowing community members sufficient time to consider their interest in running, obtain the necessary materials and signatures, and return the signed petitions.

Donald Panetta and Josh Ratner announced their candidacies in the Great Neck Record during the past month. The other candidates, listed in the order that their petitions were returned, are Nikolas Kron, Nicholas Toumbekis, Lori Beth Schwartz, Donna Peirez, Mariana Ristea, Michael Darvish and Grant Toch.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the day after the filing deadline, the board received notice from Ristea that she was considering withdrawing. By Wednesday afternoon, she confirmed her decision not to run and submitted a letter withdrawing her candidacy on Thursday, Nov. 10.

So the community can learn about each candidate, longtime Great Neck resident and former Great Neck Record Associate Editor Carol Frank interviewed the remaining eight candidates for GNPS/TV on Tuesday, Nov. 15. The same four questions were to be asked of each one, which they heard for the first time during the interview. The program will be broadcast on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon Channel 32 in the incorporated villages in Great Neck and will be available On Demand at

Schwartz’s statement is appearing in the current issue of the Record. Peirez’s announcement will appear in next week’s edition and all other candidates are welcome to submit statements.

The Board of Education remains hopeful that the election for the vacant trustee seat will be held, as scheduled, on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Read “School Board Announces Bond Issue, Trustee Monique Bloom Resigns, And More,” “Donald Panetta To Run For School Board,” “Josh Ratner To Run For School Board,” “Lori Beth Schwartz To Run For School Board,” “Donna Peirez To Run For School Board” and “Nikolas Kron To Run For School Board.”


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