School Board Holds Reorganization Meeting

The Garden City Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 7th.

Board members re-appointed trustees Colleen Foley as president and Barbara Trapasso as vice-president and welcomed Laura Hastings, who ran unopposed for the pending open trustee position in May.

During the regular meeting that followed the reorganization, the board appointed Kevin Steingruebner as assistant principal at Garden City High School. Kevin Steingruebner will be replacing Adele Pecora-Dusanenko, who resigned. Steingruebner holds a B.A. in history from St. John’s University, an M.A. in liberal studies from SUNY at Stony Brook, and an advanced certificate in educational leadership and administration from the College of St. Rose. He served in the Valley Stream Central High School District as dean of students from 2005 to present, was athletic director from 2003-2005 and project coordinator from 2002-2003. He also taught social studies at Valley Stream Central High School from 1995-2006.

The board also appointed Michael Tullo as middle school athletic coordinator.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen congratulated the students who graduated this year. “They were behaved as you would expect young adults to behave who are ready to embark on a new phase in their lives,” he said.

He applauded everyone who made this year’s commencement a success, including former Garden City mayor Peter Bee, who gave a well-received commencement address. He was also pleased with the record number of faculty members who participated. Dr. Feirsen also commended the PTA and Garden City Teachers’ Association for sponsoring a reception after the ceremony.

This year the ceremony was held on a Saturday morning instead of a Sunday afternoon, a controversial change the school board decided to make in January after errant behavior was exhibited by some students and audience members. The school board and many parents were especially concerned about the problem of underage drinking and were disturbed by a student trend of extending the prom celebration, which is on Thursday, through the weekend.

“It wasn’t an easy decision but everything worked out beautifully,” Dr. Feirsen said.

The superintendent said the prom was a “great success without incident” and congratulated the Garden City Community Council on Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention and the PTA for sponsoring a well-attended Prom-a-palooza, which was held before the prom on June 25th.

The board officially adopted the changes to the student transportation policy. Last month, a small group of parents whose children will lose their bus service complained about the change. The revision will affect the transportation status of 118 students. Dr. Feirsen said letters have been mailed to those affected and administrators are currently working with school principals to modify arrival and dismissal procedures. He said more information will be forthcoming over the summer.

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