NHP-GCP voters approve 3 budgets, 2 board candidates

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New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school board Vice President Tara Notine and Trustee James Reddan (Photos from nhp-gcp.org)

New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school district voters approved more than $237 million in spending and re-elected two school board officials on Tuesday.

The district’s $38.2 million budget passed by a margin of 678 votes to 310, and a proposition to spend about $3 million in reserves on building projects passed 696-285.

School board Vice President Tara Notine won a second full three-year term unopposed with 717 votes, and Trustee James Reddan won his first full term unopposed with 704 votes.

The Sewanhaka Central High School District $193 million budget was approved by New Hyde Park-Garden City Park voters 648-321. Sewanhaka’s four component districts passed the budget by a total vote of 3,507 to 1,295.

The Hillside Public Library’s $3.06 million budget also passed 750-231. Library board Trustee Peter Pinto was re-elected unopposed with 446 votes, and Rita Kostakos was elected to the board unopposed with 313 votes.

“It’s a very exciting time to be in the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school district,” Reddan, who also serves on the Sewanhaka school board, said Wednesday.

The budget includes a 2.08 percent increase in property tax revenue, the maximum increase allowed this year under the state’s tax cap law.

The reserve money will fund repairs at all four of the district’s schools, including fixes to walls, floors and sidewalks.

Notine was first elected to fill the seat vacated by then-Trustee Alan Cooper in 2013 and won her first full term in 2014. Reddan was appointed to the board in October 2014, replacing then-Trustee Patricia Rudd, who was elected to the board again last year.

Notine, a 19-year district resident who works in the cosmetic industry, said she and the board have accomplished her goals of shrinking class sizes and communicating more with the community.

The board also hired new principals for all four of the district’s elementary schools last year, another achievement that Notine said she is proud of.

She and Reddan will join the board in overseeing the transition between retiring Superintendent Robert Katulak and Jennifer Morrison, who will replace him in July.

“I believe she will be a perfect fit for our district and will continue to make our district the best it can be,” Notine said in an email.

Reddan, a lifelong Garden City Park resident and Town of Hempstead engineer, said he also wants to help smooth the transition into high school for the district’s sixth graders.

He has proposed more widely distributing iPads to fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms to prepare students to use them daily in Sewanhaka schools.

“Being on the Sewanhaka board and wanting this transition to be as smooth as possible helps, because it helps facilitate that,” Reddan said.

Abiding by the state tax cap law while continuing to expand the district’s educational offerings will be the board’s “biggest challenge” in the coming years, Notine said.

“However, we have been able to achieve this so far and I am confident we will continue to be able to do so in the future,” she said in her email.

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