Herricks Board of Education Notebook: December 13

Other news from the December 13 board of education meeting.

The Herricks Board of Education held a meeting on Thursday, December 13. Here are some of the things you may have missed.

Student Recognition

  • Class of 2013 member Edward Ham was selected as one of nine national finalists for the 2013 Neuroscience Research Prize for his project entitled “The Effect of Size and Charge on the Diffusive Permeability of Nanoparticles Across an In-Vitro model of the Blood Brain Barrier.” Ham will compete to be named as one of four award recipients.
  • Kevin Yu was selected to the state music festival in Rochester as concert master of the all-state string orchestra. The designation recognizes him as being the top violinist in all of New York State.
  • Class of 2014 member Angel Ding was named fourth chair out of over 25 other violinists in New York State.
  • Joslyn Thomas was chosen to participate in the eastern division festival choir. “That really indicates that she has been selected to perform among the top vocalists of all east coast states,” assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Dr. Deidre Hayes said, noting that this year Herricks makes up 25 percent of Division I west orchestra portion of the division. “We are among the largest represented orchestras; 25 percent of the children selected were our children.”

High School Courses

  • The board approved the following courses to the 2012-13 high school course selection booklet for their respective departments: Introduction to Sculpture (art); Twelfth grade English (English).
  • The sculpture course will only run if it has enough enrollment.
  • Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth said that he was “very excited” bout the English course as “it’s really moving our twelfth grade students more towards the direction that we set seven or eight years ago to really provide more of a transition to college, help students, they don’t need to cover material, there’s no final exam, there’s no AP; this is really for them to be able to go into literature in greater depth and do more critical analysis and also work on their writing skills. This is going to be more like a college seminar if you will and really preparing them for college, transition to college-level work.”

2013 Summer Recreation Program

  • The board approved a two percent increase in fees for the 2013 summer recreation program, plus an increase of $5 for the early bird program.
  • There were no increases in salary for the director or instructors of the program.
  • Fees have not been raised in the last three years.
  • The program is self-sustaining.
  • This year the district will also include a $100 non-refundable deposit when residents sign up for the program which will then be applied to tuition for the program.
  • “We do want them to please make a commitment to the program,” Dr. Hayes said. “We have been finding over the last few years that we’re having more people sign up early to hold a space and then many other people are on a wait list.”


  • The board accepted a grant of $8,000 from the middle school PTA for the purchase of a digital screen for the middle school.
  • The screen was desired by the site-based committee and would help with communications over activities and events with students.
  • The screen will be placed on the exterior of the building to the left of the door that goes to the music wing.
  • Searingtown is also reportedly working on installing a screen.
  • The grant includes the installation.


  • An agreement was approved with the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts to hold the middle school graduation at the facility on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at a cost of $8,836. The cost would be comparable to holding the event in-district in terms of overtime, rental, etc. and the facility provides a larger amount of space.
  • A lease agreement with Pitney Bowes of Pittsburgh, PA was approved for two mailing machines for a term of 48 months under a state contract at the following costs which includes maintenance: high school: $777 quarterly; administration: $777 quarterly. The prior cost was $840 for the high school and $843 for the administration.
  • A transportation contract was awarded to We Transportation for a student to attend a 45-day program at Sagamore Day IDTP at a total cost of $1,335. No matron is required. Special education contracts were approved with the following providers: Oyster Bay-East Norwich CSD – DOL/DOR 2012-13 contract; The Summit School – 2012-13 tuition.
  • A six-month contract with MSG Varsity Network of Bethpage was approved which would give Herricks access to additional air time on Cablevision channel 614. “Chris Brogen has done a fantastic job with this,” Superintendent Bierwirth said. “We have put relatively little equipment into his TV studio, they produce programs that are as good as anybody produces around and he is an absolute pitbull in negotiating with the two networks.”

Other Bord News

  • President Barack Obama nominated Herricks High School graduate Elisse Walter for the chairmanship of the Securities and Exchange Commission. She was previously appointed to the SEC by President George W. Bush.
  • An old lunch table at the Searingtown School was declared as surplus.

The next meeting of the Herricks Board of Education will be on Thursday, January 10 at the high school. The regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. and the board will then meet with high school students at 7:30 p.m.

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