Herricks’ Hassan brings facilities expertise

James Galloway

Even before joining the Herricks board of education three years ago, Brian Hassan had already made his mark on the district.

Hassan, a PSEG employee with a degree in electrical engineering, played an instrumental role in Herricks transition in about 2009 to dual fuel technology, allowing the schools to use either oil or natural gas, whichever is cheaper at the time, director of facilities James Brown said.

The transition saves the district between $100,000 and $125,000 per year, according to Brown, and benefits the environment by reducing emissions.

“When oil was skyrocketing it was saving us quite a lot of money,” Brown said. “It really helped the school district tremendously, and it was through his intercession on our behalf that that really happened.”

Hassan, who is running unopposed for re-election on May 19, said he looks to use his background in facilities to benefit the board.

“I understand the pressures on an operations manager to run a facility to keep it up to date to keep it functioning so it can open every day,” he said. “That’s what I’m good at.”

Going into his next term, Hassan said, he would like to build on what he has learned his first three years in office.

“It takes three years to just learn how a school board operates, what your functions are,” he said. “The next three years I can focus on making a difference and make improvements on some of the things I learned in the past three years.”

Hassan, who has daughters in eighth and 12th grades, said the current board is diverse, making it effective at representing a diverse district.

“I think the board is a very good representation of the community: I think there’s people with young kids in school, people with older kids in school on the board and people with no kids in school,” he said.

He added that the current board members also work well together.

“We talk to each other constantly, probably at least once per day,” he said. “We’re not afraid to disagree on certain topics and at least have a strong discussion. We’re not afraid to challenge each other.”

Active with the district’s athletic boosters, Hassan said his hobbies are golf  — he has a handicap in the teens — and coaching. He used to coach his children’s soccer, softball and baseball teams.

Hassan said his initial decision to run for school board stemmed from a desire to help his community and a belief that being involved is the key to informed decisions.

“I like being involved,” Hassan said. “My attitude toward a lot of things is you don’t really have a right to question or voice dissatisfaction with something unless you’re willing to get involved. You got to get involved to make a change, to get educated.”

Brown added that Hassan has been an asset to the board, both before and after he joined.

“He’s always been aware of what the facilities’ needs are, and he’s contributed just his insight and his knowledge and has helped bring that part to the board,” Brown said. “Being able to recognize what’s necessary and needed is a tremendous help.”

Reach reporter James Galloway by e-mail at jgalloway@theislandnow.com or by phone at 516.307.1045 x204. Also follow us on Twitter @theislandnow and Facebook at facebook.com/theislandnow.

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