By SARA BADILINI
The Manhasset School District’s Board of Education celebrated retiring members from the board and two educational associations, along with seven high school students who distinguished themselves for academic merits during a Wednesday meeting.
Ann Marie Curd and Carlo Prinzo, two of the school board members about to retire, received words of appreciation.
“I would be remiss if we didn’t take some time to also acknowledge our two board members who will be retiring,” said School Board President Patricia Aitken just before she read their proclamations thanking them for their dedication to the Manhasset children throughout the years.
After listening to his proclamation, Prinzo took some time to leave a message for the people who will succeed him on the board, reminding them of their function, which “is not to go out and force change but to follow change.”
Prinzo, a Manhasset resident for 27 years and parent of two district graduates, is the second-longest serving member of the board with 15 years to his name, while Curd served on the board for nine years. Neither sought re-election in the district’s March elections.
“It’s really been an honor and a privilege to serve on this board,” Curd said. “And I have really learned a lot about education, financing of education. I just did my best and I hope that was enough.”
The board also recognized outgoing Manhasset Educational Support Personnel Association President Donna Linden and outgoing Manhasset Education Association President Edward Vasta. The two said they were “passing the torch” to new leaders and the board unanimously expressed their gratitude for the jobs they both carried out.
District officials also lauded the seven students who received medals for their performance at the Long Island Math Fair.
Junior Peter Vorillas, Freshman Edward Huang, and eight-grader John Paul Grassano were the district’s three students who won gold medals for their research in the island-wide event. Freshman Luke Meyer received a silver medal and sophomores Shawn Kay and Bill Liu along with freshman Sophia Nektalov received bronze medals.
Prinzo said the new executive board will have to face important decisions in the next few months, including “the biggest elephant in the room,” which is the appointment of the new superintendent.
At the end of May, the Manhasset Board of Education nominated Gaurav Passi as acting superintendent. The decision followed the leave of absence taken by Superintendent Vincent Butera, who was accused of sexual harassment by a former teacher and violating the district’s policy on the matter, as an independent investigation confirmed.
Prinzo stressed that the appointment of a new superintendent is “paramount to any further discussion and needs to happen quickly, intelligently and appropriately for all parties concerned.”
His remarks included the only mention of the matter. The board went on with the other points of the agenda, including several events, part of the “Joyful June” initiative, and the tenure appointments for many teachers and staff members of the school.