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S. Huntington Pupils Thank Board With Portraits, Praise

Students from Oakwood Primary and Countrywood continue a district tradition at monthly board meeting

It’s a tradition that goes back decades.

At least that’s how long elementary students from the South Huntington School District have offered up presentations of one kind or another to the district's board of education.

For many years, it was handwritten letters. But in the past few years, it's been portraits -- portraits of Board of Education members created by students, and presented with prepared speeches at an official board meeting.

This year was no exception. Wednesday night, four students from Oakwood and three from Countrywood marched up to the microphone at the BOE’s regular meeting in the cafeteria of Oakwood Primary and offered up words, artwork and their expressions of appreciation to each of the members of the board.

Oakwood Primary principal Eileen Kerrigan introduced the students one by one.

First up was Brayden Zalbert, who had a drawing she’d made of board president Jim Kaden. After reading her prepared speech and presenting her drawing to  Kaden, Brayden was followed to the microphone by Shalyn Sharf, who had a similar presentation for Lisa Brieff. Joseph Decker -- who had drawn Edward J Nitkewicz -- and Nicole Yerys, who had a presentation for Michele DeGaetano, followed. 

Next up were three students from Countrywood Elementary, led by principal Barbara A. Kenney. Reading prepared speeches and making presentations to board members were Olivia Taylor (Chad Lupinacci), Joseph Censoring (Nicholas Ciappetta) and Noelle Decker (Linda LaCara).

In each case, students expressed their appreciation for the board’s support to the young people of the district -- both organizationally, in terms of financial support for core subjects, music and art, and athletics; and in fomenting life lessons such as ‘how to be responsible members of the community and accepting of others.'

Several students noted the ‘wonderful changes in the buildings’ upon return to school this semester, including improvements to lighting and heating systems, fresh paint in hallways, and the ‘shiny new gym floor’ at Oakwood Primary.

Board members were uniformly pleased with their recognition. Kaden praised the excellent likenesses, including his own. And Nitkewicz made particular note, with satisfaction, that his portrait did not have any gray hair in it.

Robert W October 11, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Maybe they should ask why their classes have 33 kids in them when the board said if teachers made concessions nothing would change?
Ron October 11, 2012 at 08:43 PM
The BOE lies. Maybe the children should who are their teachers. The teachers are always out of class trying to learn the new sham curriculum program the NYSED wants.The teachers are all staying until evening in their rooms trying to complete the senseless paperwork the NYSED is demanding with little guidance from the principals or administrators because they are in in self-preservation mode from the NYSED. The BOE nor the administrators have to guts to tell the NYSED their new programs is a sham. The children already are taking state tests which prove is laughable since they have had more days with subs than with their teachers. Speak up Kaden. Speak up LaCara.Speak up Eddie....Michelle....Nick...Chad. Your children's education is being effected because NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!!
Diane October 12, 2012 at 02:07 AM
My daughter stood there 5 years ago and presented her written essay. She thanked the board. Last night I stood in front of the board and asked them to for help. Their silence said it all. I could never compromise my principles for any career or elected position. It's a sad state of affairs...
John Corey October 12, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Perhaps you have not been to a Board Meeting recently. The Board has been very critical of the regulations imposed by Albany. The minutes are publicly accessible so those who cannot attend the meetings can be informed.
John Corey October 14, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Diane. I was present when you asked the board for help. It sounded as though you were asking the board to intervene in a legal matter that is before a judge. Unless I misunderstood, I thought they told you they couldn't discuss the matter publicly and that you or your own attorney were free to do what you were asking them to do.

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