Fund-Raising for Japan's Victims

Students at North Middle School, in an unusual, but very fond farewell to their Assistant Principal Ronald Levine, "dunked" him--all in the name of fund-raising. (Mr. Levine will be leaving North Middle to become an assistant principal at North High.) In an atmosphere vibrant with excitement and fun, students threw balls to hit a target that would then dunk the seated person into a tank of water. The after-school activity raised money for Japan's earthquake and tsunami victims. In addition to Mr. Levine, several teachers took turns sitting in the "dunking" seat, to the delight of their students.


Staff Granted Tenure

At its June 20 meeting, the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education granted tenure to two administrators and 36 secondary and elementary school teachers. Board President Barbara Berkowitz, in her congratulatory remarks, said that the Board had read through all the recommendations for tenure and it was apparent "how hard you have all worked" and how much you've "strengthened your techniques." Superintendent Thomas Dolan said that he had personally met with each candidate and that he endorsed their candidacies "without reservation…with great pride and with great promise for the district."


Administrators granted tenure were: Susan Elliot, principal, South High School, and Samantha Tarantola, assistant to the director of Adult Learning Center & SEAL Academy, at Clover Drive.

High School Teachers

North High teachers (subject area in parentheses) granted tenure were: Christopher Ceasar (science), Caitlin Gorta (foreign languages), Dawn Gorynski (mathematics), Blaire Merdinger (English), Paul Rodriguez (business), and John Zak (mathematics). South High teachers granted tenure: Abby-Jo Brighton (science), Sheryl Burger (business), Mary Dassaro (mathematics), Leslie Yuantian Huang (mathematics), Jo-AnnEyre McNeil (guidance counselor), June Shaw (English), Stephanie Spica (social studies), and Anthony Virgilio (music).

Middle School Teachers

North Middle teachers granted tenure: Carol Goldberg (special education), Kristin Ippolito (art), Michelle Sicurella (health), Ronald Silva (English as a second language), Matthew Trinkwald (music), Zehava Vitberg (science), and Amanda Zolotin (special education). South Middle teachers granted tenure: Douglas Moore (foreign languages), Anthony Virgilio (music), and Kathryn Whidden (science).

Elementary School Teachers

Elementary school teachers who were granted tenure, by school:

E.M. Baker: Kazu Hoshino (classroom) and Dawn Luisi (classroom). J.F. Kennedy: Jessica Citrin (classroom), Dr. Agnieszka Dynda (psychologist), and Andrea Kohlmier (classroom). Lakeville: Laura Balsamo (classroom) and Dale Gindi (classroom). Parkville: Kelly Mekeel (library media specialist). Saddle Rock: Kate Domitz (special education), Jamie Hackman (classroom), Chad Lasky (music), Erin Nastri (classroom), and Robin Trichon (speech & hearing).


District Retirees Recognized

The Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education and professional associations representing teachers, administrators, and civil service staff recently recognized 40 retirees, many of whom are shown in the accompanying photo. With them in the photo are Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz, Board Trustee Susan Miner-Healy, and Superintendent Thomas Dolan.

Administrators who are retiring are John F. Kennedy School Principal Dr. Sue Kincaid, North High School Assistant Principal Dianne Edgerton, and Director of Public Information and Adult Education Ronna Telsey.

Retiring teachers (with their school in parentheses): Linda Andrews (Kennedy), Lissa Baily (South High), Barbara Berkson (Lakeville), Beth Bocian (Saddle Rock), Eleanore Brostoff (Baker), Harriet Cinco (South High), Nancy Damelin (Baker), Susan DiCarlo (Village), David Edelstein (Village), Robert Frangella (South Middle), Gary Franklin (South High), Ronda Gallucci (Lakeville), Christopher Geiger (South Middle), Margery Gogel (Lakeville), Marilyn Hoffman (Saddle Rock), Marilyn Kaplan (Saddle Rock), John Lento (South Middle), Ellen Lukoff (South High), Ronald Malazzo (South High), Josephine Raffalli (SEAL), Barbara Singer (Lakeville), Evelyn Skelly (Lakeville), Patricia Taylor (Parkville), and Robert Villanti (South High).

Lucy Fellini (South High) retired from the office staff.

Paraprofessionals who are retiring: Barbara Aronson (Lakeville), Grace Chabot (South High), Rose Juliano (South Middle), Stella Lizarazo (South High), and Marie Maher (Kennedy).

Four members of Food Services who retired: Panagiota Kavouklis (North High), Darlene Kosik (South High/South Middle), Carol Ann Mastrandrea (Parkville), and Claudia Millevoi (South High).

From buildings and grounds, one supervisor and two groundskeepers retired. They are, respectively: William Neal (North Middle), and Joseph Bazzani, Jr. (Kennedy) and Victor Domashevich (Baker).


Kennedy Honors Retiring Principal

John F. Kennedy School teaching assistants and paraprofessionals, who are talented artists and quilters, honored their retiring Principal Dr. Sue Kincaid with an activity-filled painted wall mural in the faculty lounge, and a beautiful patchwork quilt. Those involved with the projec weret: Christine Giannios, Karen Stracquandanio, Deborah Dombroski, Harriet Goldstein, Anna Maria Reda, Barbara Eisenberg. Standing, Beatriz Plaza, Mary Anne Cassimatis, Lucy Cacciatore, Victoria Gandolfi, Regina Savarese, Lisa Keen, Stella Lawrence (who spearheaded both projects), Veronica LaScala, Theresa Giorgianni, Carole Morrison, Josephine Caccamo, Theresa Aretakis, Una Lang, and Theresa Chu.


Adult Learning Center Grads

The Great Neck Public Schools Adult Learning Center (ALC) at Clover Drive, directed by Errin Hatwood and Samantha Tarantola, recognized 33 recipients of New York State High School Equivalency Diplomas at its annual awards ceremony on June 16.


Late Summer Adult Program Trips

The Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program offers four, specially planned, late summer/early fall trips, including the Hudson Valley, the North Fork of LI, and New York City. All trips are by luxury coach, departing from and returning to the Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Ave. They feature unique venues, gourmet meals, and docent-led tours. For more information, or to register, please call the Adult Program at (516) 441-4949 or visit our Web site,

Castles on the Hudso--Sept. 8

Only 30 minutes from Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River in Tarrytown, is Lyndhurst Castle, one of America's finest Gothic Revival mansions, which was once the home of railroad tycoon Jay Gould and his family. The architectural brilliance of this residence, designed in 1838, enhanced by magnificent furnishings, rose garden, and specimen trees, led to the era of American Romanticism. Our tour of the residence is a journey through time. With over 100 years of history, the beautiful hotel, Castle on the Hudson, is a regal resort that hosts notables from around the world. Enjoy an elegant lunch at Equus, the award-winning, five-star restaurant in Castle on the Hudson. It has a reputation for culinary excellence and spectacular views of the New York skyline. Sallie Newman leads this trip on Thursday, Sept. 8. Depart 10:30 a.m.; anticipated return 5 p.m. Fee: $109 (includes docent-guided tour, lunch and gratuity, and transportation and gratuity to driver).

The Latest from the Whitney & Danny Meyer--Sept. 14

Experience the Whitney Museum and the newest of Danny Meyer's restaurant creations. The Whitney's permanent collection contains more than 18,000 works in a wide variety of media, placing a particular emphasis on exhibiting living artists and important pieces from the first half of the last century, including works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock. This Madison Avenue gem is undoubtedly the place to go to view truly eclectic contemporary art. Our docent-led tour, which is sure to be first-rate, features, Breaking Ground: The Whitney's Founding Collection, is the first in a multiyear series of exhibitions aimed at reassessing the museum's collection. Unfolding in chronology over a two-year period, more than 1000 objects explore overlooked developments in American art and reconsider iconic figures and masterworks within new frameworks and contexts. If you have ever been to Danny Meyer's Union Square Café, Eleven Madison Park, Café 2 at the Modern, or Maialino, you know that the culinary experience will be memorable. Be adventurous and creative with us. Harriet Becker leads this trip on Wednesday, Sept. 14. Depart 9:30 a.m.; anticipated return 4 p.m. Fee: $99 (includes admission and docent-led tour, lunch, transportation, and all gratuities).

LI Wine-Country Tour of Three Vineyards & Lunch--Sept. 17

The North Fork of LI is now a significant wine region, producing wines that compete with the fine wines of California and Europe. Three leading North Fork vineyards will provide us with a private tour and tasting of a broad range of wines, including some of their rare reserve wines. Tour will include a catered lunch at one of the wineries. Wineries will not be repeated from previous trips. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase wines directly from the vineyards. Time permitting, there will be a stop at a fresh-produce farmstand. Harriet Becker and Robert Reina lead this trip on Saturday, Sept. 17. Depart 9 a.m.; anticipated return 6 p.m. Fee: $135 (includes transportation and gratuity to driver, three tours/tastings, lunch and gratuity).

Hudson River Cruise, Thayer Hotel Lunch & West Point Tour--Oct. 11

Just in time for fall foliage, sail up the mighty Hudson on a narrated cruise and arrive at West Point in time for a delicious buffet lunch at the historic Thayer Hotel on the campus. The vast panoramic views there and en route are truly breathtaking. Enjoy a guided tour of the United States Military Academy, established in 1802. See Trophy Point, Cadet Chapels, Michie Stadium, and other West Point attractions. Its beauty, historic importance, and training mission attracts over three-million visitors a year. Since it opened, West Point has produced more than 70,000 graduates, including generals who have commanded armies: Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur, and Dwight D. Eisenhower were educated here. For security reasons, you must bring a valid photo ID. Also required is your date of birth, at registration. Sallie Newman leads this trip on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Depart 8:30 a.m. sharp from Cumberland; anticipated return 5:30 p.m. $115 (includes cruise, lunch, guided tour, and transportation and gratuity to driver).