I am so very pleased to write this letter praising Barbara Berkowitz. I met her initially when I was a teacher and building administrator in the Great Neck Public Schools. Eventually, I became an assistant superintendent of secondary instruction. During that time, Mrs. Berkowitz was a member of the Great Neck Board of Education. That made her, essentially, my “boss.”
Obviously, I was able to observe her demeanor with parents, children, staff, and her fellow Board of Education members.
For all the many years I worked in Great Neck, I had the opportunity to note that her demeanor was impeccable. I observed it in her relationships and interactions with parents, children, staff, and her fellow board trustees. It was one of mutual respect for one another, and I never once saw her raise her voice to argue with or demean anyone.
In the first place, she loved the students, and made all of her decisions with the K–12 population as her major priority. She applauded every reasonable request for programs and funds if she felt it was truly in students’ best interests. She was always right!
Her response to parents was gracious and thoughtful. When parents attended Board meetings and made requests and/or suggestions, she listened attentively and tried to honor their requests if they were feasible. If not, she explained what the problem was in implementing them.
Her relationship with staff was always respectful and supportive. She researched their suggestions for new courses and their approaches to the varying needs of students.
Mrs. Berkowitz worked well with all staff, including the superintendent of schools, administrators, teachers, and support and building staff.
She was a very good listener, and did not ever foist her priorities or views on others.
I loved working for her. She responded positively, with an open mind, to new courses, programs, and teaching approaches.
Barbara Berkowitz respected all the constituencies involved in our excellent school district. Consequently, everyone profited from her attentiveness.
I have nothing but the greatest admiration for this Board member who has been volunteering her time and energy to support a superlative school district. She is a wonderful woman and an outstanding Board of Education member!
Remember to vote for Barbara Berkowitz on Tuesday, May 11.
Arlette Sanders, PhD
New York University