Contested races will be held for two trustee positions on the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Board of Education.
The first contested race will be to fill Ernest Gentile’s seat. Sangeeta Nischal and Kathryn Canese are running for this position.
Nischal began an online petition last year to urge the Board of Education to recognize and add Diwali, a Hindu religious celebration, as a holiday on the district calendar.
“The Indian population in the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park community now accounts for a good percentage of the overall student body,” the petition states. “We believe that there should be an effort to accommodate the religious requirements of Indian students and show respect to their faith by school or classes not scheduled on Diwali day.”
Her opponent, Canese, is a past co-president for the Hillside Grade School PTA. She has been vocal about school issues and stated her disappointment last year at a board meeting when physical education teacher Kerri Rudd was transferred from Hillside Grade School to New Hyde Park Road School. Canese has two children in Hillside Grade School.
The other contested race is for Patricia Rudd’s position. Rudd and Saadia Malik are running for this spot.
Rudd was on the board for 15 years before moving to Michigan for work in 2014. She returned about a year later and sought a return to the board, which was successful.
Rudd has been active with the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association and has also been involved with education lobbying efforts in Albany and Washington, D.C.
She has three children that attended New Hyde Park-Garden City Park schools and her daughter is a part-time physical education teacher in the district.
Malik started an online petition last year to add Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as school district holidays. These are Islamic religious festivals.
“The Muslims in our New Hyde Park-Garden City Park community would benefit from the day in order to observe the holiday with family & friends near and far,” the petition said.
Jennifer Karrane, currently a trustee, is running uncontested for her seat.
Incumbent Juleigh Chin will be running unopposed for a seat on the Herricks Board of Education.
Chin has been on the school board for six years and is a 14-year resident of the district. She is currently president of the Herricks Board of Education.
She supported past efforts to begin school classes later and has been part of a board that has overseen the hiring of a new superintendent, among other things. The board has also continued to keep the budget below the state tax cap.
The Herricks Board of Education has come under fire recently as Herricks teachers are without a contract after almost 10 months. As the current president of the board, Chin has said that the board and the Herricks Teachers Association have been actively engaging in negotiations.
Efforts to reach the candidates were unavailing.