Even with snow falling on Friday morning, January 21, students from the Great Neck School District still made it to class and Senator Jack M. Martins (R-Mineola) made it to Great Neck South High School to discuss the students’ aspirations for the future.
Prior to going to Great Neck South High School, Senator Martins held a roundtable discussion with Great Neck School Superintendent Dr. Tom Dolan, Great Neck Board of Education Vice-President Fran Langsner, Trustee Don Ashkenase, Trustee Susan Miner-Healy and John Powell from the business office.
The Great Neck School officials and Senator Martins spoke about the quality of the Great Neck Schools. “The achievement is high. The students do extremely well,” said Dr. Dolan.
“Public education is more than just textbooks. You strive to create a well-rounded individual and instill in him or her a love for learning, something the Great Neck Schools does an exceptional job of,” Senator Martins said.
The topic of school budgets was brought up during the discussion. Trustee Ashkenase pointed out that the Great Neck Board of Education has been conscious of putting forth budgets that are fiscally responsible. School districts all over Long Island are faced with having to put forth budgets the communities will pass while having to account for costs such as those for pensions and healthcare.
Senator Martins and the school officials discussed the possibility of a 2 percent tax cap being implemented and the need to provide mandate relief along with the tax cap.
“We could not be more bonded with what you’ve said,” Trustee Ashkenase told Senator Martins.
Following the discussion, Senator Martins accompanied Dr. Dolan to Great Neck South High School, where the Senator met with Principal Susan Elliott and some of the students.
Senator Martins spoke with the students and asked them what their future aspirations were. Two of the students – Daniel Warner and Zak Malamed – mentioned they wanted to go into politics because they want to make a difference.
“There is nothing you can’t do. It doesn’t matter what your background is. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t,” Senator Martins told the students.
“It was a pleasure to meet with Dr. Dolan, Mr. Powell and the members of the Great Neck Board of Education. They do their jobs extremely well as evidenced by the outstanding quality of education in the Great Neck Schools,” said Senator Martins. “The true treasure of any school system is its students. The students I met with from Great Neck South High School were intelligent, articulate and have high hopes for their academic and occupational careers. The future of New York State is bright."