Board of Education
The GNPS Board of Education has established, conferred, and received awards that recognize extraordinary contributions to education and to our district. These honors are memorialized below.
SCOPE Education Services 2021 Award of Excellence
Mr. Ashkenase is a recipient of the 2021 SCOPE School Board Service Award in recognition of his dedication to the school community as a member of the Great Neck Board of Education. The annual SCOPE Education Services Awards of Excellence were presented in May 2021 to celebrate the contributions of outstanding education leaders from 47 public school districts across Long Island.
Mr. Ashkenase was elected to his first three-year term on the Board in 1982, and he was re-elected 12 times by his fellow residents. His 39-year tenure as a Trustee is the longest in Great Neck’s history. His leadership on the Board included five years as Vice President and two years as President.
Mr. Ashkenase was a champion for children and his contributions to the District cannot be overestimated. His support for academic programs and his continuity of service has benefited generations of Great Neck students, including his own three children and two grandchildren.
Mr. Ashkenase passed away suddenly on March 8, 2021, leaving behind a legacy of almost four decades of dedicated service to our students, our staff, and the entire school community. The District is forever grateful for Mr. Ashkenase’s unparalleled service and leadership.
2020 New York State Senate Commendation Award
Barbara Berkowitz, president of the Great Neck Board of Education, has been honored by Senator Anna M. Kaplan as a recipient of the 2020 New York State Senate Commendation Award.
Senator Kaplan hosted a virtual reception for award recipients and their guests via Zoom on Oct. 13, where she recognized “exceptional individuals who have shown extraordinary dedication and made lasting contributions to the community.”
“The New York State Senate Commendation Award is one of the highest honors that I as Senator can present, and it is reserved for a select few individuals each year whose exceptional work to support the community merits this level of recognition,” said Senator Anna M. Kaplan. “This year’s recipients from the 7th District represent the best and brightest of our community, and it’s my absolute privilege to give them the recognition they deserve.”
Ms. Berkowitz was first appointed to the Great Neck Board of Education in 1992, and she is currently serving her ninth term on the Board. Ms. Berkowitz is the longest consecutively serving president of the Board of Education, a position she has held since 2006. She also served as vice president of the Board from 2000-2003.
Prior to volunteering her time as a Board trustee, Ms. Berkowitz contributed to the GNPS community through other various school associations and committees. She served as a member and executive board officer for the E.M. Baker School Parent Teacher Association (PTA); a member and budget chairperson for United Parent-Teacher Council (UPTC); and a member of Shared Decision-Making Committees at both Baker School and North Middle School.
Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association (N-SSBA) Outstanding School Board Service Award
Great Neck Public School Board of Education Vice President Lawrence Gross is the recipient of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association (N-SSBA) 2017 Outstanding School Board Service Award. The Service Award recognizes extraordinary contributions by school board members to local school boards and communities.
In her speech at the Award presentation ceremony, Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz characterized Mr. Gross as the “consummate school board trustee who works collaboratively with the Board, administrators, staff, and community.” She went on to say, “He is, without question, the quintessential School Board trustee. He has served the Great Neck Board of Education for 36 years, 10 as president and another 13 as vice president. He promotes cohesiveness and has been a mentor to all who follow in his path. Larry Gross is famous for listening to all sides of an issue, contemplating his decisions with precision and fairness, and isn’t averse to changing his mind after listening to another point of view. He has always been available for anything asked of him, be it to present a topic at a meeting, or chair a committee. The public has tremendous confidence in the issues he presents, as he does so with immersed and complete knowledge. Larry Gross exemplifies the adage that there is no “i” in “team.”
Due to a move out of the district, Mr. Gross will be retiring from the Board of Education on June 30, 2017, at the conclusion of his twelfth term as a Board Trustee.
GNPS Friend of Education Award