Incumbents Donald L. Ashkenase and Barbara Berkowitz will both be running uncontested for trustee positions in the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education election on Tuesday, May 15.
Ashkenase, who currently serves as vice president of the board, will be running for his 13th term and Berkowitz, who has been president of the board since 2006, will run for her ninth term.
First elected to the board in 1982, Ashkenase’s current term expires on June 30. He has served as vice president of the board since 2017 and was previously vice president in 1984–85. He was also president of the board from 1985 to ’87 and has been chair of the Board of Education Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) since 2017 and a past FAC member.
In 2014, Ashkenase was a recipient of the Lions Club of Great Neck George Carr Humanitarian Award.
Professionally, he has been a strategic advisor in finance since 2016 and previously was first vice president–finance and chief financial officer from 1969 to 1977 at New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. He was a special advisor to the president from 2009 to 2016 and executive vice president–corporate from 1987 to 2009 at Montefiore Medical Center. From 1977 to 1987, he was chief financial officer at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
Since 1977, Ashkenase has also been an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University, School of Public Health, executive MPH program. In addition, he has been a board member of United Jewish Appeal (UJA) in New York, Young Judaea Global, Samuel Field Y and Primary Care Development Corporation.
He earned an MBA in hospital administration from Wagner College, a BS in accounting from Brooklyn College and served in the U.S. Air Force.
Ashkenase is married with three adult children and two grand-children, who are elementary and middle schoolers in Great Neck Public Schools.
Berkowitz was first appointed to the board in 1992 to fill a vacancy after the death of a trustee. First elected to the board in 1993, her eighth term expires on June 30.
She has been president of the board since 2006, was vice president of the board from 2000 to 2003 and chair of the Board of Education Policy Committee from 1993 to 2006. She also served as chair of the Board of Education Citizens Advisory Committee. As board president, she is an ex officio member of all Board of Education Advisory Committees.
Last year, Berkowitz was the recipient of the Town of North Hempstead Woman of Distinction May W. Newburger Women’s Roll of Honor Award. She received the Lions Club of Great Neck George Carr Humanitarian Award in 2014, Hispanic American Community of North Hempstead Outstanding Member of the Community award in 2012, Woman Trailblazer Award from former Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth in 2010 and Woman of Distinction Award from former New York State Senator Craig Johnson in 2009.
She was a cochairperson of the United Parent-Teacher Council (UPTC) Budget Committee, UPTC delegate, past PTA president and treasurer, past newsletter editor of Baker Bulletin and founder of Family Math and Outreach Programs at Baker School. Berkowitz was also a member of the Shared Decision Making Committee at North Middle School and Baker School and the founder and a member of GIFT (Good Ideas For Teens), a com-munity committee exploring teen activities and sites for functions in Great Neck.
Berkowitz was a district liaison for North Shore Child and Family Guidance Program on Cultural Integration and a Cub Scout leader, as well.
The former retailer attended LIU Southampton and SUNY Fredonia, where she majored in English and secondary education and minored in psychology. She is married with one adult child.
In addition to the election for board trustees on May 15, a vote will be held for the 2018–19 proposed school budget in the amount of $229,845,028. Registered voters can cast a ballot at their assigned polling location from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at E.M. Baker School, Lakeville School, Saddle Rock School or South High School.
Postcards were mailed to remind registered voters of their assigned polling location. To find out where to vote, call the district clerk at 516-441-4020 on school days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or use the Poll Place Finder at www.greatneck.k12.ny.us.
Read details about the school budget.