Readers Write: Re-elect Barbara Berkowitz, a community treasure that is truly a keepsake


Diamonds, like outstanding leaders, are rare gems – resilient, strong, valuable, and formed under pressure over time.

Great Neck is fortunate to have such a jewel in its midst, Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz, who reflects the best interests of the community and lights the way to the future for all of its students. I encourage all residents to re-elect Mrs. Berkowitz and preserve the legacy of educational excellence that has been the hallmark of the district and her tenure on the Board of Education.

It was an honor and a privilege to lead the GNPS educational technology program for the past 24 years with Mrs. Berkowitz on the board that entire period. This was a time of tremendous innovation brought about by technological change, and her encouragement, understanding, steadfast leadership, and the support of the Board of Education were critical to rolling out 1:1 devices to all students and staff, installing presentations systems in all classrooms, renovating library media centers for the 21st Century, adding robotics to the PreK – Grade 12 curriculum, installing state-of-the-art wired and wireless networks in all schools, leveraging technology to become a more environmentally friendly organization, establishing our website and social media presence, upgrading security systems, and expanding digital communications.

I personally witnessed the tremendous amount of time, energy, and expertise that Mrs. Berkowitz brought to her leadership role at public meetings, working sessions, and committee meetings.

Her preparation, thoughtfulness, mastery of the issues, collaboration, compassion, and moral clarity have stood the test of time. This is a person of tremendous integrity who is fully committed to the academic success and the social-emotional development of all children, as well as the district’s mission of educational excellence, equity, discovery, and innovation.

The stellar results of the district speak for themselves — outstanding administrators, expert teachers, a plethora of instructional programs, clubs, sports, activities, and services, a tremendous record college acceptances, numerous student and staff awards, and the highest of rankings at the local, state, and national levels.

These accomplishments do not happen overnight or by accident. They are the product of community support for its schools and the hard work and due diligence of many key stakeholders which flows from the tone set from the top.

Mrs. Berkowitz’s experience, empathy, institutional history, and continuity of leadership are more important than ever given the health, safety, and financial challenges of our times.

I urge you to reflect upon how this community volunteer has always been so giving of her energy and time and how inextricably intertwined her leadership has been to school district achievement. Mrs. Berkowitz is critical to the ongoing success of the Great Neck Public Schools. This is the one diamond that is a community treasure and truly a keepsake.

Marc Epstein
Former District Technology Director
Great Neck Public Schools


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