Bloom Appointed to Board of Education

At the July 2 meeting of the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education, Monique Bloom was appointed a Board of Education trustee to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Fran Langsner, who moved out of the school district in May. In her welcoming remarks to Ms. Bloom, Board President Barbara Berkowitz said, "We are positively delighted to welcome you. You have earned this position through your UPTC and PTA leadership roles and your relationship with the Board and central administration. We will find it personally satisfying and rewarding working along side of you." Superintendent Thomas Dolan added, "We are welcoming a friend." Ms. Bloom said the it will be an "honor to work with you. I plan to work hard for the district that I love. It will be a great joy to be a parent leader in this district." Monica Bloom's leadership roles with the United Parent-Teacher Council included: president (a position she recently resigned to become a Board trustee), executive vice president, vice president, and member at large. She was president of the North High School PTSA, and parent co-chair of the Shared Decision Making Committee at North High, North Middle, and Kennedy Schools, when her children were students at these schools. She also held various PTA executive board positions at the three schools. Ms. Bloom was president of the Great Neck North Sports Booster Club, and co-founder of Parents-for-Parents, a support group by and for secondary school parents. She is active in Seeds of Peace and other educational organizations. Ms. Bloom is a voting member of the Kings Point Architectural Review Committee, and a past member of the Fresh Meadow Country Club admissions committee. She is a partner at Aristotle Circle, a private educational advisory company, and was a senior vice president at Shearson Lehman American Express, where she worked for 13 years. Ms. Bloom holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from SUNY-Stony Brook. She and her husband have lived in Great Neck for over 20 years, and have three adult children and one high-school age child. The evening's Board meeting also saw the annual swearing in of Board Trustees Barbara Berkowitz, Donald Ashkenase, and Lawrence Gross, and Superintendent Dolan. (Trustee Susan Healy was out of town.) Ms. Berkowitz was again elected Board president, and Mr. Gross was elected Board vice president. Praising Ms. Berkowitz in her leadership role as Board president, a position she has held for the past six years, Dr. Dolan said, "You are the force that holds us together, who pushes us forward." Mr. Ashkenase added, "All are invited to say what they want to reach consensus. This would not be possible without your leadership." Mr. Gross explained how, through the dinner meetings that Ms. Berkowitz initiated with school administrators, UPTC, GNTA, and other key school leaders, "you have genuinely involved all components of the district." Ms. Berkowitz responded that she is proud to work with the district's exemplary team of administrators, teachers, and staff, and most especially with this Board, which has "no personal agendas, no egos," and displays great "mutual respect." Offering words of praise for Mr. Gross as new vice president, a position he has held six times previously since first being elected to the Board in 1981, Ms. Berkowitz said: "Larry has an even-tempered style. He treats all with courtesy, kindness, and respect." Mr. Ashkenase added that we are "fortunate to have you in a leadership position on the Board." Mr. Gross, speaking about his new position, said, "It is an honor to serve with the Board and under Barbara's leadership." He added, "I couldn't have served for 30 years if not for a wonderful Board. I am pleased to be a member of the Board of Education, supported by a community that has a strong commitment to education." Also sworn in at the Board meeting were Diana O'Connell as district clerk, and Carol Blach as district treasurer.


GNPS/TV Programs

Current viewing over Great Neck Public Schools Television (GNPS/TV) includes--Die Fledermaus and Spotlight. Details follow.

Die Fledermaus

For over 40 years, South High School has been producing fully staged opera productions. South is one of the few schools in the nation to have such a prestigious opera program. This year's production of Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss can be seen at 9 a.m., and at 1, 5, and 9 p.m.

GNPS/TV Spotlight

GNPS/TV Spotlight features school news, sports, and events in a lively, magazine-format. This month's show highlights the North Middle Choral Concert and Art Showcase, South Middle's Rainforest Exhibition, Village School's new TV & Film program, North Middle's play, Bye Bye Birdie, and much more! Viewing times are: 12, 4, and 8 p.m.

GNPS/TV Programming

GNPS/TV programming reflects the offerings of the Great Neck Public Schools and the achievements of its students and staff. Programs are student-produced and can be seen in the incorporated villages of Great Neck on Cablevision Channel 75 and on Verizon Channel 32. In addition, selected programs can be seen by all Cablevision viewers on Channel 20, on Sundays, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. For information about GNPS/TV and its programs, please contact Robert Zahn, district educational cable TV producer/director, by e-mail at, or by phone at 441-4676.



South High School student Lelina took a Third Place in Medicine and Health Sciences at the Andromeda New York State Science and Engineering Fair (NYSSEF). NYSSEF is the Intel ISEF/Science Service-affiliated State Fair for New York. Her project was: "The in vitro effect of IMiD Drugs on Fetal Hemoglobin Production in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)." She explained her project: There are estimated to be about 100,000 people affected with SCD in the US. Currently, Hydroxyurea (HU) remains the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of SCD. It works by increasing fetal hemoglobin (HbF) production in red blood cells. Research has shown that patients who produce more fetal hemoglobin in their cells experience fewer SCD symptoms. In my project, I worked with a set of drugs called IMiDs, which have shown potential in increasing fetal hemoglobin in patients, performing better than Hydroxyurea. I obtained blood and worked with cell cultures to compare Pomalidomide (a type of IMiD) and Hydroxyurea. Our preliminary results show that Pomalidomide does increase fetal hemoglobin in cells, making it superior to Hydroxyurea. This suggests that Pomalidomide can possibly be used as a better and more effective drug for sickle cell patients, after more extensive testing. South High science teacher Dr. James Truglio was Lelina's faculty sponsor.


South High Robotics: A Winning Team

South High School's Robotics Team has an outstanding record--four out of the last five years (when the Team first began), they have attended the international robotics competition, USFirst (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) Championship Event, by first qualifying at the Long Island regional level. From over 5,000 teams worldwide, the top 325 compete at the Championship Event. At this year's international Event held in St. Louis, MO, the Team was a finalist for the Underwriters Laboratories Industrial Safety Award. Starting with the regional level competition, students are given a complicated task with assorted obstacles that their robot must complete. They design, build, and program the robot within a strict six-week timeframe. This year's task involved a game similar to basketball. The robot was also equipped with a plow device to traverse various ramps on the playing field. The Robotics Team draws most of its 65 members from the school's robotics classes taught by co-advisors Matthew Corrigan, technology teacher, and John Motchkavitz, business education/technology department head. There is also a club that meets after school.


Wine, Theater, Culture--Adult Program Bus Trips

Join the Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program for three Fall bus trips. Tour LI's North Fork wineries; enjoy an evening of Broadway theater; explore the newly renovated and transformed New-York Historical Society. All three trips depart from, and return to, the Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Ave. Details are provided below. For more information and to register, please call the Adult Program at (516) 441-4949 or visit

LI Wine-Country Tour--Sept. 22

The North Fork of Long Island is a significant wine region, producing wines that compete with those of California and Europe. Three leading North Fork vineyards will provide private tours and tastings of a broad range of wines, including some of their rare reserve wines. The tour will include a catered lunch at one of the wineries. Vineyards from past trips will not be duplicated. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase wines directly from the vineyards. Time permitting, there will be a stop at a fresh-produce farmstand and the Catapano Goat Cheese Farm. Robert Reina and Harriet Becker escort this tour on Saturday, Sept. 22. Depart 9 a.m.; anticipated return 6 p.m. Fee: $135 (includes transportation and gratuity to driver, three tours/tastings, lunch and gratuity). Registrants must be age 21 or over.

Nice Work If You Can Get It--Oct. 12

Nice Work If You Can Get It is a '20s-era, feel-good, Broadway musical, complete with extravagant dance numbers, glittering costumes, and an unlikely love story between Jimmy (Matthew Broderick), a charming playboy, and Billie (Kelli O'Hara), a female bootlegger. Directed by Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work is a lighthearted crowd-pleaser set to the backdrop of classic Gershwin hits including, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "Someone to Watch Over Me," and "Fascinating Rhythm." This trip on Friday, Oct. 12, will be led by Shirley Romaine. Bus departs 4 p.m.; anticipated return 11 p.m. Dinner on your own before 8 p.m. curtain. Fee: $155 (includes orchestra seat, round-trip coach transportation, and gratuity to driver). Ms. Romaine will provide commentary about the show en route.

New-York Historical Society--Nov. 29

This is an added trip as the October trip completely sold out. The New-York Historical Society has been completely transformed: new space, new galleries, and new exhibits. The enlarged, modern exhibition space greatly enhances the contents of this outstanding museum--the oldest museum in NYC. Our trip will include a docent-guided tour of the new Smith NY Gallery of American History for an overview of the Society's diverse collections, entry to all other exhibits, and an excellent film, The New York Story. Lunch at Isabella's, a lovely restaurant, located a block from the museum. The three-course lunch includes choice of appetizer: butternut squash bisque or mixed green salad; choice of entrée: Tuscan turkey burger with sweet-potato fries, turkey club sandwich with parmesan fries, or pan-roasted Scottish salmon with butternut-squash risotto; choice of dessert: raspberry mousse in a dark-chocolate bag or homemade ice creams/sorbets; soft drinks, coffee, tea. Estelle Berg leads this trip on Thursday, Nov. 29. Depart 9 a.m.; anticipated return 4:30 p.m. $115 (includes admission, docent-guided tour, film, lunch and gratuity, and transportation and gratuity to driver).


Adult Learning Center Grads

Twenty-two students at the Great Neck Public Schools Adult Learning Center at Clover Drive recently earned their New York State High School Equivalency Diplomas. They are: Myriam Bradshaw, I. Hua (Anita) Chang, Pancy Ling Chung, William Corradini, Isabel Cruz, Ariel Darvish, William Erdogan, Jose Espinoza, Ka Fung Ho, Yukiko Koizumi, Merima Kolenovic, Patrycja Krawczuk, Guangfeng Luo, Jianhong Ma, Stephanie Nolan, Ricardo Pereira, Mayra Perez, Jasmin Renke, Vanessa Romero, Mihaela Susnea, Barbara Zareba, and Jian Jian Zeng.