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Hewlett-Woodmere School Board Candidate: Fred Usherson

Teacher seeks a seat on the board of education.

On May 15, School District 14 residents will vote on a $105 million budget, as well as choose three school board candidates in an at-large election. Fred Usherson is one of four people seeking a seat. The following is the questionnaire put to all candidates by the Hewlett-Woodmere Central Council PTA.

How long have you lived in the district and are/were you a parent of a child in the public schools?

I have lived in the district 12 years with my wife and two children. My daughter is currently attending fourth grade and my son currently is attending third Grade at Hewlett Elementary.

What particular experiences or skills qualify you to serve as a school board member?

Currently, there are no serving school board members with an education background. As an educator for almost 18 years, I understand the challenges that exist in our schools today and how to improve learning by improving our staff. Having also worked in industry for almost eight years, I know the value of incorporating technology in our schools, beyond just the computer, to offer our students enhanced vocational and life skills that they could apply in their future endeavors. In summary, as an elected official, I understand that I have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers in our district to minimize tax increases. As a parent, I want the best possible education and learning opportunities for our children. I would like to return our school district to the great district that it once was — that everyone remembers. If elected, I know I can improve it!

The district has incorporated my prior campaign recommendations such as offering our children access to online databases such as the Discovery Education Website www.discoveryeducation.com). In addition, the district also took my recommendation and has instituted a robotics program, which has been quite successful. I would like to see this program expanded to include Battlebot Robotics. For more information about Battlebots, go to www.Battlebots.com or this website to see a video of how it is used in a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) program in high schools;

Listed below are my college degrees and teaching and administrative certifications.

Education:

Specialist Diploma in School Administration and Supervision, Queens College 1996

MBA, Marketing & Corporate Finance & Investments, Adelphi University 1991

BA, Computer Science, Queens College 1984

CREDENTIALS:

New York State Certified School District Administrator

New York State Certified Teacher Electronic/Electro-Mechanical

New York State Certified Teacher Computer Technology

New York State Certified Teacher Business and Distributive Education

FCC Licensed General Class Amateur Radio Operator

What do you see as the major issue(s) facing our school district?

Our district has wasted exorbitant amounts of money most recently on 40 percent salary early retirement incentives (as reported in the media) for administrative staff — while most are already making more than $150,000 annually. Why are we paying administrators early retirement incentives? These people already have pensions and a huge salary. If you want them to leave, stop offering raises! Now you know why we paid a school tax increase to our district last year. As a voter and a tax payer, this wasteful spending is unconscionable and I think we should offer our school board members an early retirement incentive — stop re-electing them and vote them all out of office!

In addition, last spring, our board approved $50,000 for parking lot lights at the administrative building (WEC) so district staff can to go to their car at night in a lighted parking lot. Finally, our district wasted tens of thousands of dollars in the past on an educational consulting group called the Tri-State Consortium that did nothing to help us.  Ironically, when I posed the question last spring to our elected school board members about offering free after school tutoring for our children at the two elementary schools and the middle school, they refused. When you consider the poor performance of our schools, the huge amount of children attending the summer learning academy (summer school), and the numerous amount of tutoring services that are opening in our neighborhood, I wonder who are these elected board members really serving? The examples described above I am sure is just the tip of the iceberg on wasteful spending that has existed in our district for many years. 

What do you see as the greatest strength of Hewlett-Woodmere schools?

The greatest strength of our district is our teachers, coaches, and support staff, such as our school aides.  For example, in recent years at Hewlett High School, we have seen the dedication of teachers and staff that helped some of our children achieve the semifinalist round in the Intel National Science Competition. I have also seen this staff dedication in our coaches and support staff. My children have gained tremendous knowledge from our district swim team coaches. With all their dedication and service to our children and district, these people described above truly are the greatest strength of our district. 

Over the years, I have seen many good people both educators and schools aides get terminated by our district as they claim for lower enrollment. The school aides in the lower grades such as at Franklin Early Childhood Center and at Ogden and Hewlett Elementary schools have been instrumental in helping with the development of our children. Last year, the district even considered terminating a technology teacher from our district and cancelling the Discovery Program. 

Sadly, by losing these good people, and programs, we as a district are losing our greatest strength. These people are the essential staff for our district. I would like to see technology programs in our district expanded, not reduced. If elected, I would work with my fellow board members to look for other alternative solutions to reduce expenses other than cutting the essential staff described above. 

The irony with our elected school board members is that according to the New York State Department (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/admincomp/) our district spent $1,347,519 for our top four executive positions, yet our board members describe this as “fiscal responsibility” as we eliminated over the last few years dozens of school aides and teachers. I call this penny wise and pound foolish!

What do you see as the greatest weakness in our district and what would you do to change it?

The greatest challenge we face in our district is our school performance compared to other Long Island school districts. Our performance affects not only the education of our children; it affects our property values, the local economy for attracting small business into our community, and ultimately our school taxes. Performance and fiscal responsibility for our school district starts with our elected school board members who approve district expenditures and authorize policy. Considering the high taxes we are paying and the poor performance from most of our schools, we are not getting in performance what we are paying for in taxes. 

I have two children attending school in our district and I have a vested interest in their education and your children’s education. Our district is ignoring the children in the lower grades (FECC, the Elementary Schools, and Middle School) by not providing them with adequate resources, then the district plays “catch-up” with our high school students offering them free tutoring and tablet PC’s. For example, when my children attended the Franklin Early Childhood Center (FECC), they were in classrooms with one student computer for the entire classroom. Now that my children are attending Hewlett Elementary, I see similar issues. When I first brought this issue to the school board, their response was that they feel that “socialization skills are more important than computers.” Looking at our performance data, you decide if you think this policy is working. Furthermore, if that’s how our school board feels, then why bother putting even one computer in a classroom? What expectations for meaningful instruction does our district expect from a teacher with only one student computer in a classroom? 

Instead, I recommend that the student to computer ratio for General Education classes in FECC, Hewlett Elementary, and Ogden Elementary have at least 3:1 and a 2:1 ratio for Special Education classes. In addition, at Woodmere Middle School and Hewlett High School, the general education classes have at least a 2:1 ratio and the special education classes have a 1:1 ratio.  In a district with a budget close to $106 million dollars, I don’t know why we can’t offer at least an iPad 2 to each child from grades two to 12. These are currently selling for only $360 each.

What changes, if any, should be made in the district’s budget?  

Clearly, we should reduce our expenditures for administrative salaries and stop the early retirement incentives. If elected I would work with my fellow board members and try to further reduce administrative costs, by effective renegotiation of contracts for executive staff members, and look to further consolidate or eliminate administrative functions in the administrative building (WEC). I want to put more money back into the classroom!

Is there any other information you would like to share about yourself or your goals? What would you like the community to know about you?

I am running as an independent candidate for trustee for the Hewlett-Woodmere School District because in addition to having a comprehensive vision for improving the staffing and technology within the district, I am also running on a platform on improving instruction and fiscal responsibility. If elected, as an independent candidate, I offer both an independent voice and vote at board meetings on the issues that face our school board. I invite the district residents to visit my website at WWW.FRED4HW.COM

Based on prior data published by Newsday and the New York State Education Department, I performed a comprehensive performance evaluation of our schools within our district. In addition to computing percentiles for each grade, I also did a performance cadre comparison to other affluent equivalent and geographically homogeneous districts in Nassau County.

Based on the performance data, we should offer free after school tutoring at all the schools in our district. I believe it is the districts responsibility to offer all possible assistance to our children. Parents shouldn’t have to pay privately for tutors or spend their hard earned money on tutoring services. I informed the board last year that if the district paid two teachers at the two elementary schools and middle school $50/hour for two hours, four days a week, for 40 weeks, it would cost the district $36,000. I’d rather see the financial expense incurred for free tutoring than parking lot lights at WEC!

Finally, I want to thank you, the voter, for your time and considering my candidacy for our school board.

Note: One of Central Council Presidents’ responsibilities is to help publicize information on the board of education candidates either through a Candidate’s Night or a questionnaire. All information coming out of Central Council this year regarding the candidates and budget has been handled by Central Council Co-President, Mitchell A. Greebel only. There will be no Candidate’s Night due to scheduling restraints. The questionnaire used this year is the same one that was used in the last two (2) contested elections with a few minor changes developed in consultation with all the unit presidents. The responses were written by the candidates first hand with no editing or changes other than to consolidate and format the information here. The answers are provided here in the order that the candidates will be on the ballot. The order was chosen by lottery pick, which was conducted by the district clerk and witnessed by a district security guard. By law, the lottery is held the day after the petitions are submitted.

E. Rollins May 10, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Fred - Since I posted my questions, you have been on the Patch and again posted your website on other candidates profile pages, but you still haven't taken the time to answer a few simple questions that were posted here on your own page. You previously made comments about the district "losing all credibility" on an issue. Don't you think that by refusing to answer simple questions posed to you, but instead taking the time to post links to your own self-aggrandizing website on the other candidates' pages causes you to "lose all credibility" as a serious candidate for the school board?
Chris Albanese May 10, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Fred, I'm keeping an open mind about the election but would like you to comment on 2 of the items that you mentioned 1-Don't you think the safety of staff members and also the parents that have to go to the WEC at night is important? Was there an alternate source to fund this project? 2-Are you talking about using the tablets in school only in a lab setting or would you have them signed out at the beginning of the year like a text book? I don't know about your kids, but I would not want my 7 year old to be responsible for an ipad. In fact, I forbid it. He has enough trouble remembering where he left his DS. Using round numbers for the 2nd grade alone, to put 100 iPads in the hands of our 2nd graders is a potential $36,000 gamble. Also, who will be serivcing them? Are the technology teachers equipped for this or is there additional staffing required. (btw, you could probably get 10 high school students to do it voluntarily...)
Fred Usherson May 10, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I'd like to thank the Nassau Herald for their endorsement in the May 10, 2012. (Page 35) edition. If I win, the children and our district residents will thank you too.
Fred Usherson May 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Hi Chris. Reguarding your concerns, I am not aware of any crimes occuring in the parking lot. This lot, located on Broadway, a major secondary road, has lighting from the street lights. Given the choice of spending $36,000 for free after school tutoring for the two elementary schools and the middle school, vs. $50,000 for parking lot lights, I choose the free tutoring
Fred Usherson May 10, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Chris, reguarding the iPads, if you read one of the articles I highlighted at FRED4HW.COM, you will see some schools are using them in Kindergarden.
Fred Usherson May 10, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Chris, the iPads can be kept on a cart in the elementary schools and distributed to each student in the middle school. Just like we do with the tablet PC's in the H.S.
melissa gates May 10, 2012 at 11:04 PM
I would like to make sure our residents know exactly how the tablet program works in the High School. They are not kept on a cart. The students are issued them at the beginning of the year and even keep them over the summer until they either need to be replaced or they graduate. Since this program was phased in gradually, only three grades had the tablets this year. Next year every student will be issued one. There have been very mixed reviews from both students and teachers...whether the tablet program continues will have to be evaluated.
Fred Usherson May 11, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Thank you for your comment Melissa, i knew that already. What I meant was that in the elementary schools, they could be utilized by the teacher at their discretion and distributed and collected by the teacher and stored in a cart. These students are too young to take them home. The middle school students should be allowed to take the iPads home. I hope this clarifies my position on iPads. More importantly, and Melissa I think you mentioned in one of your comments about mixed reviews. This correlates directly to staff development, as I discussed on my website, FRED4HW.COM. Many people have a fear factor when it comes to technology and staff training is important so they will embrace it.
melissa gates May 11, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Fred, you specifically said, "Just like we do with the tablet PC's in the H.S." I do not think you have any idea how the tablet program has been implemented at the High School. And actually, this is the first year that all four grades have been issued the tablets but you did not correct me. Having been at almost every Board Work Meeting and Board Regular Meeting and having attended the all day Budget Work Meeting, Budget Forum, and Budget Hearing and never seeing you once, I am concerned that you do not have much knowledge with district operations or the current proposed budget. Having been on the Professional Development Team for the past two years I can say that I agree with you whole heartedly that staff training is extremely important. I also know that only part of the mixed reviews of the program could be solved by staff training...
E. Rollins May 11, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Hey Fred - You still haven't answered my questions: You say you want the district to "cut costs", but then complain about the retirement incentive they offered (something that all level of governments and even corporations have done as a way to trim their payrolls and reduce costs). As previously reported in the Standard, this year the cost of the incentive will be approximately $160,000 (ONCE), but the district moved existing administrators into two of those newly vacated positions and cut two administrative positions. That will save them $350,000+ this year, and next year, and the year after, and the year after, etc. Don't you think that spending $160,000 once, to save $350,000 every year, is a good investment? You also said that you thought that the district "loses credibility" when it was asking the state to finally restore the state aid they cut from the district several years ago. Do you not think the district should look to have the state restore the $1,000,000+ that they cut from us so the district could reduce that amount from the local property tax levy we have to pay? Are you saying you wouldn't advocate to get our state aid restored and would rather see the district's taxpayers have to make up the difference? How is that better for the taxpayers? Lastly, how many board meetings have you gone to over the last year? Did you go to the budget meetings? The Patch said that you didn't even go to the public budget hearing? Is that true?
E. Rollins May 11, 2012 at 03:29 AM
So you think that free tutoring for one year is a better use of district funds than installing lights in a parking light that is used by parents, staff, and the entire community that will be in use for years to come? You do realize that we have lots of parents and kids that go to events at WEC during the school year when it gets dark early and that it improves everyone's safety if the lot is better lit. Well, maybe not, since apparently you haven't been going there for board meetings to see what is going on in the district. Remember voters: If given the choice between a one year, short term "fix" to provide free tutoring, or investing in the long term safety of all of the districts residents who use the lot between WEC (one of the busiest night time buildings in the district) and the Library (used by all of the community members), Fred put safety second.
melissa gates May 11, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Rollins...you bring up a very good point about meetings that Fres has attended but i believe you could extend your question to last year as well...Fred states that last year the district considered cancelling the Discovery program. That is not accurate. There was a recommendation to revamp the Discovery program. A major part of it was that the Discovery lab for the 8th graders at WMS would be eliminated because it was underutilized. There was major outcry from the community at the Budget Forum...the Board responded to the wants of the community and due to a special grant there was no CHANGE to the program. I don't remember seeing Fred at any meetings last year either so I can understand why he gets these facts wrong.
melissa gates May 11, 2012 at 04:03 AM
And as far as the free tutoring concept goes...WMS offers extra help on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings before school begins. At the High School there is Operation Success which operates for most of the year in the morning before school and after school to help students that appear to be struggling. If students are unable to attend these times, every teacher makes themselves available at other times during the day and if that is still not convenient for the student arrangements can be made (through the department chair) to meet with another teacher. There are also National Honor Society students available to tutor students that request help. As well, there are regents review sessions that are offered outside of the regular school day in the Spring. Fred...please don't tell me that you are suggesting tutoring for free for Elementary school children...if needed they get supports during the school day...can't we allow them to develop and grow and play...or is it just all about the State Standardized tests?
Fred Usherson May 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Melissa, if the services that are currently in place were sufficient, then why are there so many tutoring services opening in our neighborhood? Why is our district doing so poorly in performace compared to other local and affluent eqivalent school districts. Children learn better in the afternoon, not in the morning. Studies, have shown this to be true. If you require further evidence, I'll show it on my website, FRED4HW.COM. I believe we owe it to our children--even the elementary students every opportunity for help. In the elementary schools, not all teachers offer early morning tutoring. If they do it, it is out of the kindness of their heart. It is time for us to put the money back into the classroom, not the administrators pockets!
Fred Usherson May 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Melissa, As far as your personal attack about me not being at the meeting when I suggested free tutoring, I was there, I did suggest it to the board at that time, and your running mate Mr. Witt sat there silently and offered no support while our school board president said "we are not going to do it!'. I don't sit at these meetings when I go and take attendance as you and your cronies might. Folks, the bottom line is this, I submitted my candidacy on the last day one and half hours before my opportunity closed. Had I not run, the district's hand picked three would have won unopposed. We have all seen what has gone on with the board and our district for years. I want to stop the wasteful spending, put more money back into the classroom for our children, and work hard to minimize/eliminate the tax increases. We can do it, it started with last years election. As a protest vote to our district, approve this years budget, vote for me, and don' t vote for any of the three candidates!
melissa gates May 11, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Dear Fred. Tutoring services open everywhere because it is a big business! It is absolutely not a reflection of the quality of a district when a tutoring business opens there. If you go to Jericho I am sure you will see as many tutoring businesses trying to make a living there too. Where better than to open such a business than in a community where high achievement is expected and where people are perceived to be wealthy? As far as your other statements...it had been determined that due to children's scheduling (such as sports and religion), an afternoon program would not be successful at the WMS. As well, I do not know of ANY Elementary School teacher that offers tutoring before or after school. If a child is struggling they are recommended for AIS (next year it will be called RTI)or they are evaluated to determine if they need to be classified and require an IEP. As well, the district believes in differentiated instruction so that the elementary children get the support they need during the school day. After hours of being at school, little children DO NOT need to sit for MORE school. They need to go run and play and socialize. And if you are basing your statement that we are "doing so poorly in performace compared to other local and affluent eqivalent school districts" on the single event state standardized tests such as the ones this year that caused so much controversy when many invalid questions had to be thrown out...well...that is just extremely myopic.
E. Rollins May 11, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Fred - You have had your site up since 2008 (anyone who wants to can look at the "copyright" on the bottom that's 2008-2012), and have run before. Until I pointed it out to you, the "voter registration info" page still said everyone had until 2009 to register. Making a claim that you did this as a last minute decision in nonsense. "Sitting at these meetings" (as you refer to it) is not about taking attendance, it is about participating in the process, and educating yourself about what is really going on. The candidates who ran last year went to meeting after meeting to be informed on the reality of things. You didn't do that, and based up the fact that you are screaming from the rooftops about a retirement incentive, but apparently are completely unaware of the actual costs savings that those incentives bought them, only goes to prove the point that you have not put the time in to see what the real issues are in the district. You go on and on about ipads for the younger students and claim the younger students are being neglected, but there is already a pilot program at Franklin that uses them. Again, had you been involved and going to meetings, you may have known that.
melissa gates May 11, 2012 at 01:30 PM
And as far as your perceived personal attack by me...I have only stated the facts. I never said that you were not at a meeting that you say you were at. The meeting you are referring to where you suggested the tutoring was not this year or last. Sorry if I didn't make it clear that you have not been present since the last time you ran for the Board. I believe this to be fact.
E. Rollins May 11, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Fred - Can you make a statement without referring someone to your website? Are you getting paid by google for hits or something? And, speaking of websites, did you see the latest US News & World Report list that had George W. Hewlett High School at a gold medal school (putting them among the best in the nation)? Perhaps you can put a link on your website to that report, and show some pride in the programs in the district, as opposed to complaining about things that quite often aren't even real. See that the schools Fred is complaining about is among the best in the nation: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/new-york/districts/hewlett-woodmere-union-free-school-district/george-w-hewlett-high-school-14191
E. Rollins May 11, 2012 at 01:36 PM
He certainly hasn't disputed that fact Melissa. He also hasn't clarified why he thinks spending $160,000 one time, to save $350,000+ annually, is a bad idea. Nor has he explained why he thinks it's a bad idea for the district to try and get our state aid restored to lessen the burden on our property tax levy by over $1,000,000. There seems to be allot of unanswered questions.
E. Rollins May 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Fred - So you are basically saying that if the students and teachers aren't all thrilled with an idea, it's not possible that it's because the idea may have issues, but rather just because they haven't been trained enough to embrace it yet? Seems pretty authoritarian and closed minded on your part, doesn't it? Are you suggesting "They just don't know what's good for them", but when you're through with them, they will!
E. Rollins May 11, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Fred - By the way, the board addresses speakers through it's president, not individual board members. Attacking Mr. Witt for "just sitting there" while Mrs. Gould responded only goes to further demonstrate the point that you really have no clue what it is to be a board member or what it is that is really going on in the district. You may have a "background in education" because you are a teacher in the NYC public schools, but that doesn't mean you are well suited to be a leader in Hewlett-Woodmere.
E. Rollins May 11, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Fred - On the page "See Fred's Attempts to Improve the Educational Performance in our District", you list the recommendations you made at board meetings. The most recent one listed is 2009. I guess that confirms you haven't been going to meetings.
Chris Albanese May 11, 2012 at 08:32 PM
To further your point Melissa, there are more and more classroom teachers and recent graduates that have no job waiting for them. Given their specific skill set, they either seek employement as corporate trainers or tutors usually leaving their resume with any SD within an hour's driving distance. With the increased emphasis on standardized tests, the outside of the school day educational industry has been really making a fortune. I know parents who send their B student to tutoring. It's not just the at risk or failing student. One last point, I think the reason kids don't do well in school is because they don't go to bed until 9:00 and don't go to sleep until 10:00 or later. They wake up tired. There is so much pressure to stay awake and watch the must see TV or American Idol or play the computer/video game with their friends. I am as guilty as any parent and the puppy dog eyes get me every time. I'd like to see the schools, especially FECC & the elementary schools work with the local sports teams and clubs to limit the LATE after school acitivities. I know it's a logistical nightmare, but we have to ge tour kids' bedtimes back on track or start giving them coffee in their bottles. If we make the effort as a community, we may have a chance.
Fred Usherson May 12, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I'd like to thank the Nassau Herald, the South Shore Record, and the South Shore Standard for their endoresements. The South Shore Standard endorsed me as the preferred candidate over Stephen Witt and his running mates. See my ideas on how I want to improve our schools AT FRED4HW.COM.
E. Rollins May 12, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Fred - Why are you lying? The South Shore Standard Closed their piece on the vote by saying "Just as voters brought in newcomers Cheryl May and Scott McInnes last year, we recommend that voters continue that trend and put three more fresh faces on the board." How does that make you the preferred candidate over Steve Witt's running mates? Anyone who wants to see the truth can go look at the Standard piece here: http://standardli.com/2012/05/school-board-elections/ As to the Herald, they clearly endorsed Steve Witt and Melissa Gates and when it came to the third candidate they said "We like them both, but give the edge to Usherson because of his education background...." Hardly the glowing endorsement they gave Melissa and Steve.
Fred Usherson May 14, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Folks, take a look at the data compiled by the five towns patch.com staff and you will see for yourself that our district has the highest cost per pupil that any other district reported. Yet if you consider the resources our children are not provided where is the money going? Answer: wasteful spending and administrators pockets! Let's put the money back into the classroom for our children's sake. When you vote, pass the budget, and vote only for me and don't vote for Witt, Gates, and Altus. This protest vote will send a clear message to our board and district that we, as a community are not happy with the wasteful spending!
E. Rollins May 14, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Fred - How about letting "the folks" hear YOUR response to questions regarding positions you have stated previously. This is your page here on the patch, so please use it to finally answer a few simple questions: You called the retirement incentive the district offered a "waste", but after spending $160,000 this year (once time) they were able to move two administrators into vacant positions and cut two administrative positions for a savings of over $350,000 this year, as well as future years. Please look at that "data" and explain to the readers how cutting those positions and saving that money was a "waste".
E. Rollins May 14, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Fred - You also said that the district shouldn't have lobbied our state legislators to stop imposing unfunded mandates on us ($2,300,000 this year alone) and shouldn't try to get our state aid fully restored (still over $1,000,000 less than it used to be). Please explain why you oppose the district trying to take action that would result in a savings to the district's taxpayers of over $3,000,000. You claim that you want to reduce the tax burden on us, but if they did it your way, that's $3,000,000 we have to pay in property taxes that might otherwise be paid for by the state.
E. Rollins May 14, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Fred - It sounds like you are the only one complaining about "the resources our students are not provided". You have said our elementary students are "being neglected" and that you want every student to get an ipad2, yet apparently are unaware that they are already using ipads at FECC. You still haven't told us where you want plan on coming up with the $1,000,000 you would need to buy all of the ipads you want, but still say that you will stop tax increases? And Fred, are you seriously trying to claim that Steve Witt, a man who had dedicated the last several decades of his life to education, of wanting to deny resources to our children? You are not only talking about a man who has spent 28 years serving this district, but who is currently the president of Nassau BOCES and has been awarded the Outstanding School Board Member Award in New York State. And Melissa Gates? Someone who has has been an integral part of the district's PTA (most recently Central Council Co-President), and who hasn't even been on the board before? You want to claim SHE is neglecting our students? And Jon Altus? A man who has dedicated his life to helping others as a Physician? Melissa and Jon have never even been on the board before, so how can you blame them for things that they were not even a part of? At least they come to meetings to see what is really going on.

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