Board Vice President Lawrence Gross will not run for reelection in May. At the Board of Education meeting on March 9, Gross explained that he recently retired from a long career in the design, manufacture and sale of international food-service equipment and that, consequently, he and his wife have decided to move into New York City. Board of Education members must be residents of the school district, so Gross’s move out of the district will preclude him from seeking reelection as a board trustee.
Following Gross’s announcement, Board President Barbara Berkowitz said, “To say that this news saddens us would be an understatement of huge proportions. But now is not the time for reflection, or paying homage to Larry Gross for his 36 years of extraordinary service to this community. We will have an opportunity to do that at a later date. Instead, I want to outline the procedures required to run for a board seat. Candidate petitions and information packets are available from Michele Domanick, district clerk, in the Phipps Administration Building, 345 Lakeville Rd., 516-441-4020, on school days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Candidates will need to indicate the board seat they are seeking. The two trustees whose terms are expiring on June 30 are Lawrence Gross and Susan Healy. By law, signed petitions must be returned no later than Monday, April 17, by 5 p.m. Although schools are closed on April 17, Ms. Domanick will be at Phipps until 5 p.m. on that day to receive signed petitions. The lottery for ballot position will be held on Tuesday, April 18, at 10 a.m. It will be conducted by Ms. Domanick.”
Gross, now in his 12th term on the board, has served as a trustee, president and currently as vice president. Prior to becoming a board trustee, he served on a number of Great Neck school–related groups, including the United Parent-Teacher Council and the Board of Education Citizen’s Budget Advisory Committee. In 1979, he was chair of STOP, a community group opposed to a plan to close two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. Although STOP could not prevent the closure of Kensington-Johnson School and Parkville School, they were effective in preventing the closing of North High School and North Middle School. It was Gross’s involvement with STOP that led to his running for the Board of Education in 1981.
Gross urged anyone who is considering running for the board to be “aware of how a Board of Education should consider and act upon district matters” and to “offer their services to the community, not on behalf of any special interest, but on behalf of all children.” He continued, “there is an overwhelming need for interested parents and other residents to participate in district elections, in order to ensure that their support for public education registers where it really counts—at the ballot box.”
He concluded by adding, “I have a grandparent’s connection to the schools and will have for years to come. I will not be far away and expect to return for a variety of events and occasions.”
For the complete text of Gross’s speech, visit www.greatneck.k12.ny.us.