Vote Yes For Our Children And Community


The upcoming vote on May 16 is about so much more than the budget and the bond, it is about protecting our community.

I consider myself an advocate for all children. Professionally, I have been a college counselor for more than two decades (I used to work in a public high school on Long Island as a guidance counselor) and I am the mother of two children who have benefited from the Great Neck Public Schools.

Working with families across Long Island, Westchester and New York City, I can tell you how lucky we are to live in a community that fully supports its public education. Our Great Neck schools are not perfect, but they are locally and nationally recognized for the quality education they provide. Our teachers are ranked #1 in New York according to Niche, an independent organization that compiles data on U.S. schools and neighborhoods. Yet our teachers are not ranked top on the pay scale.

If our budget does not pass, we stand to lose teachers, science and technology labs, AP and honors classes, extracurricular clubs and athletic teams, arts and music programs, special-education services and so much more. One only needs to attend a school concert or musical, a robotics event or a science fair at our schools to appreciate the opportunities our children have to learn and grow inside and outside the classroom.

Here is the good news—we have the numbers on our side. If every single person who is eligible to vote within GNPS supports our budget and our bond, we will win. There is no place for apathy or complacency. Let’s stand up together to protect our children and our community.

I will also be casting my vote for Rebecca Sassouni, an avid supporter of children and public education, because she has been involved in our community and our schools for years and is a proven connection to GNPS. Her experience as a parent member of the Board of Education’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee, an officer of United Parent-Teacher Council, the chairperson of the UPTC Legislative Committee and a parent cochair person of the North High School Shared-Decision Making Committee prove her dedication and commitment. As a class parent and PTO board member at the JFK, North Middle and North High Schools for years, Rebecca’s dedication to improving the GNPS system is a focal part of her life.

Professionally, she is a lawyer in private practice. She is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association’s Education Law Committee. Additionally, all four of Rebecca’s children are products of GNPS (with two still in high school). I have sat on multiple committees with her over the years and she is extremely qualified. She is absolutely an advocate for children, and our community would be best served by her leadership.

I am also endorsing Jeff for the Board of Education. Jeff moved to Great Neck, like so many other people—specifically for the tremendous public education. He has a daughter at Lakeville Elementary School, and he is eager to learn and is super smart. As an engineer, he fully understands the necessary physical improvements our school’s need. Jeff will have a quick understanding of the fiscal responsibilities of the Budget and the Bond Referendum and advocating for the needs of Great Neck Public Schools. For more than two decades, Jeff has worked in the financial, health-care and technology industries. Jeff is a team player and ready to serve our public school system.

Say Yes to the budget, Yes to the bond and support Sassouni and Shi as two candidates who will defend public education in Great Neck.

Jill Madenberg

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