The Port Washington Board of Education convened on May 1 for a regular meeting and tenure award ceremony for 10 teachers and one administrator. While the tenure award ceremony and reception were the main events, the board once again discussed the budget, enrollment and retirements.
Assistant Superintendent of Business Mary Callahan explained that as proposed, the budget will have a 3.15 percent budget increase and a 3.12 percent tax levy increase that is within the tax levy formula mandated by New York State. Human Resources Administrator Elaine Fenick noted that the current enrollment total for 2018-19 is 5,554 students with kindergarten enrollment totaling 364 students so far.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Mooney honored Port Washington educators with a certificate presented to President of the Port Washington Teacher’s Association Christine Vasilev for National Teacher Day on May 8.
“I’d just like to say on behalf of the more than 500 professionals dedicated to quality education, I thank you,” said Vasilev. “Port Washington is a unique community. We, the teachers, value individuality and diversity of the children we teach and we particularly appreciate your recognition tonight of our individuality, our uniqueness and the ways our individual and uniqueness meets the needs of the children of Port Washington.”
Other announcements included the launching of the Port Washington Union Free School District Facebook page and that the Anti-defamation League designated both Schreiber (for its third year) and Weber (for its first year) “No Place For Hate” schools. The varsity girls softball team stood during community comments and expressed their gratitude to the board for their work in helping the team play at Schreiber.
“We’re here tonight to thank you for everything you have done to get us back on campus,” said junior and varsity softball player Kailey Gallagher. “Our practices are so much more productive now. We’re always on the field, warmed up and ready to go before the visiting team for games. Games are much better now because it’s easier for friends, families and teachers to come support us now that we’re here on campus.”
After the regular meeting, the board recognized those retiring from the district including Director of Guidance K-12 Hank Hardy, Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services Mehri Fryzel, Daly Elementary School teachers Dr. Ruth Addeo and Alison Schlanger and Weber Middle School teacher Maureen Peraza.
“They have made a difference in the lives of so many children and their families,” said Mooney about the retirees. “We’re truly grateful to them for sharing their talents with the Port Washington School District for so many years.”
Tenure was awarded to Weber Middle School Principal Christopher Shields, Weber art teacher Alicia Edgar, Weber teacher Ann Marie Hall, Guggenheim and Daly physical education teacher Michael Killoran, Weber special education teachers Gregory Silak and Tara Lasky, Weber speech teacher Jaime Sklar, Guggenheim ESL teacher Cassidy Wolfert, Salem teacher Nicole DiCarlo and school psychologist Dr. Ericka Bloomfield.
“On behalf of the board, officially, congratulations,” said President of the Board of Education Karen Sloan. “It’s important to say every year, the process of becoming a teacher in this district and receiving tenure is rigorous and not an easy path. Those that receive tenure here are the best of the best and we’re very fortunate to have all of you.”