Readers Write: Vote for Nanette Melkonian – the independent voice for Port Washington Board of Education

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Nanette “Nan” Melkonian’s passion for education; ability to build consensus; and experience as a student advocate, parent, and teacher make her an ideal candidate for the Port Washington Board of Education.

I met Nan more than 14 years ago when our children were in nursery school. I wanted to be a mom like Nan. Even then I could tell that she was a warm, caring, nurturing soul who loved children and believed in the importance of enabling every child to find their own path.

My respect and admiration for Nan have only grown as I’ve gotten to know her better with our work on educational issues. She believes in thorough research and talks to many people within our district as well as at the state and national level to fully understand an issue, its implications, and how it will affect students and our community.

Nan works to address the needs of all students in the district from Pre-K to 12th grade: outreach education at the Parent Resource Center, Parent Education Committee for the Guggenheim HSA, Compact Committees at Guggenheim and Weber, Parents Council, and. As co-president of AGATE, she is an effective advocate for children and families:
• Protecting ESTEAM programming and restoring PEP to address both whole class and core group needs through the Curriculum and the Budget and Facilities Committees
• Introducing an analysis of homework on the Policy and Curriculum Committees
• Encouraging review of the Schreiber English and Social Studies Honors Projects by the Curriculum Committee
• Promoting review of the Weber Core Extension Program via the Curriculum Committee
• Improving language access for non-English speaking community members

Nan gets things done because she asks questions, listens, and establishes trust with educators, Central Administration, the BOE, teachers, parents, and the rest of the Port Washington community.

She is an active listener who wants to hear everyone’s views, especially those with whom she disagrees, to work towards consensus. With this sense of partnership and collaboration, she has been part of real solutions and change.

Her ability to understand educational issues, work well with others, and problem solve are among the reasons why she was selected to serve on several district hiring committees and the district’s Vision and Mission Committee.

Among the candidates for BOE, Nan is the only parent with a student at Schreiber or Weber. This uniquely positions her to fully understand the pain and challenges felt by families of students in our secondary schools.

She has seen the social, emotional, and academic effects remote and hybrid learning has had on them, which is why she investigated how other districts brought back their students sooner and committed to safely restoring full-time in-school education for all students.

This is a crucial time in the Port Washington school district. In addition to addressing the COVID-19 crisis, our district’s Vision and Mission and Equity and Inclusion Committees are planning for the future.

Our community needs a BOE committed to quality education that focuses on each student’s personal academic, social, and emotional growth; an effective and fiscally responsible budget; and open communication and transparency with the entire community, which is why I urge you to vote for Nanette Melkonian for the Port Washington Board of Education on Tuesday, May 18.

Adrienne Saur
Port Washington

1 COMMENT

  1. I have only met Ms. Melkonian personally at school events a handful of times, so I will only speak of her candidacy, not her character. Others have vouched for and I have no reason to question it whatsoever. Nor her qualifications. However it certainly feels like there is a sense of pre-ordained entitlement from Nanette, and it is echoed by a vocal, connected elite in this community. Yes, she has been a longtime fixture in the school community, but this makes her more of an insider and trustee incumbent than the “independent candidate” that this letter’s title purports. Considering she has been on all of these committees, co-president of AGATE and and involved for all these years… it’s hard to talk about “change” when you’ve been so entrenched. I am just becoming familiar with the other challengers in the race, but this group could use a few new faces on our board.
    – R. Collins

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