Readers Write: Sustain and improve Great Neck Board of Education

The Island Now

I am a long-time resident and parent from North with a child in Baker and North HS. On May 5th, I listened to the forum for candidates for the election of Great Neck Board of Education Trustees. Barbara Berkowitz, Grant Toch and Michael Glickman.

Each was persuasive and I think Great Neck is better for having such strong candidates with strong ideas on how to sustain and improve our children’s education.

Berkowitz has consistently led Great Neck to be a top-ranked school district for all our students and offers stability in a time of chaos.

Toch and Glickman both offer grand new visionary ideas that would greatly enhance our school district, though there was a preoccupation with achieving parity for North and South and not much for improving the district overall. And with my kids in North, I want North to improve, but I do not think it should come at the expense of South.

We heard good new ideas Great Neck School District should integrate next school year.
One of the best I heard is the idea of having teachers from South and North help each other and visit the other’s schools.

The teachers are the backbone of our education system and bolstering and where some of our schools are especially strong, others are disappointingly weak. As a North parent, I have provided my criticism of the shortcomings at North and I believe adding a financial incentive for the teachers to participate in such an exchange would attenuate any concerns Berkowitz has about teacher morale.

Toch is assured his seat as he is running unopposed and thus his vision of how to improve the school will be added to the board.

Of Berkowitz and Glickman, we need Berkowitz to sustain and improve the strength of our entire school system. Also, I would rather Glickman had stuck with substantive ideas and vision of the future of Great Neck schools and learning from crisis.

It seemed candidate Glickman’s uncomfortable eagerness to win went off track to blame Berkowitz personally for the shortcomings of Prendergast on remote learning.

That is like blaming my daughter for a classmate getting a B. While I think Glickman has valuable insight, more involvement with the schools would improve his candidacy.

We would only lose stability and a vision for the district as a whole in choosing Glickman over Berkowitz.

The choice is easy this year, Berkowitz to sustain our schools, and Toch with the new vision.

Also, I want to remind everyone to please vote for our school budget.

James Wu
Great Neck North Parent

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