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Second Bond Issue Presentation--Nov. 14

At the Nov. 14 meeting of the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education, representatives from BBS Architects & Engineers will make the second presentation on the proposed Bond Issue that will be presented to voters in a referendum on Feb. 14, 2017. Areas to be covered at the November meeting will include educational enhancements for the district's schools and programs. The proposed educational enhancements were suggested by school principals, working closely with their building's parent and staff committees.

The first Bond Issue presentation was made at the Board of Education meeting on Oct. 20, also by BBS Architects & Engineers. At that meeting, critical envelope (outside) improvements for the district's 18 buildings were presented. Areas to be considered include roof/window/door replacements and masonry reconstruction. The estimate for these projects is $51.7 million.

Community groups wishing more information about the Bond Issue may submit questions to the administration or the Board of Education, or make a request for a presentation at one of their meetings.

At its Dec. 12 meeting, the Board will adopt the State Environmental Quality Review Assessment (SEQRA) Resolution and the Bond Referendum Resolution.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Teresa Prendergast has said that the Bond Issue "will address the critical health, safety, and security needs of the district's school buildings and community facilities, and serve as an investment in our schools, sustaining Great Neck's tradition of excellence and helping our students remain competitive with their peers in similar districts. Items for consideration in the Bond will include specific educational enhancements to our programs. Projects will preserve our school buildings for decades to come and will sustain the community's investment in its schools."


The Threepenny Opera--Nov. 17, 18, 19


North High School Junior Players will present The Threepenny Opera, a dark tale of intrigue and deception, by Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht. Performances will be on Thursday, Nov. 17, and Friday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., in the school's auditorium, 35 Polo Road. The play, a thinly veiled commentary on the state of European politics and society in the years following World War I, employs many of Brecht's revolutionary ideas, particularly that of "alienation." Set in Victorian London, a hive of infamy, we are introduced to the machinations of Macheath (Mack the Knife) and his entourage. Macheath marries Polly Peachum. This displeases her father, who controls the beggars of London, and he endeavors to have Macheath hanged. His attempts are hindered by the fact that the police chief is Macheath's old army buddy. Peachum exerts his influence and, eventually, gets Macheath arrested and sentenced to hang. Famous songs from The Threepenny Opera include "Mack the Knife" and "Pirate Jenny." Play direction is by Ilana Meredith Schikler, musical direction by Dr Janine Robinson, orchestra preparation/conductor by Joseph Rutkowski, choreography by Michael Blevins, and design by Neil Saggerson, fine & performing arts department head. For ticket information, call (516) 441-4743, or contact Ms. Schikler at


Putnam County Spelling Bee--Nov. 18 & 19


The Tony-Award winning musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, will be presented by South High School on Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19, in the school's auditorium, 341 Lakeville Road. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee presents an eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. Please visit for more information and to purchase performance tickets. At each performance, there will be an intermission reception to benefit the Fran Harman Memorial Scholarship. Please visit for more information and to purchase admission to the reception.


LISFA Musicians Chosen

Thirty-four Great Neck Public School students were selected for the 2016-17 Long Island String Festival Association (LISFA) Orchestras. This musical experience brings together Long Island's highly talented, young string musicians. In the past, LISFA has grouped the Festivals into three divisions: Senior High (grades 10-12), Junior High (grades 8-9), and Elementary (grades 5-7). This year, they reconstructed the Festivals into two divisions: Secondary (grades 9-10 and 11-12) and Intermediate (grades 5, 6, and 7-8).

LISFA Secondary Festival, Grades 9-10 participants - from North High School are: Jeremy Bernstein (cello), Esther (HeeJun) Hwang (viola), Rachel You (violin), and Daniel Zeng (violin). Participants from South High School are: Yinuo (Enoch) Chen (viola), Deep Datta (violin), Margarita Joa (viola), Jaehyn Kim (violin), Chloe Metz (violin), Eujin Ra (violin), and Ann Zhang (violin).

LISFA Secondary Festival, Grades 11-12 participants - from South High School are: Glory Chung (violin), Daniel Kim (cello), Kimberly Lu (viola), Florence Ning (viola), Kevin Tan (viola), Eugene Yi (violin), Asia Zhang (violin), and Michael Zhang (cello).

LISFA Intermediate Festival, Grades 6-8 participants - from North Middle School are: Rebecca Bernstein (violin), Albert Jan (violin), Jason Mei (violin), and David Zeng (violin). Participants from South Middle School are: Laura An (violin), Eugene Hong (violin), Drew Kim (violin), Kengo Shibazaki (violin), Janice Shin (viola), Dana Siong Sin (viola), Mia Wang (violin), Jansen Wong (violin), and Sophia Wong (violin).

LISFA Intermediate Festival, Grade 5 participants - are violinist Julia Huang, from Baker School, and Joanne Lee, from Lakeville School.

Students are selected for the LISFA Orchestra based on their level and score at the NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) Festival held last year. They must also participate in their school orchestra. These students help to inspire all students in the district's instrumental music program. LISFA participants are taught by Joseph Rutkowski, at North High; Michael Schwartz, at South High; Matthew Trinkwald, at North Middle; Alan Schwartz, at South Middle; Anne Fogarty, at Baker; and Juan Garcia, at Lakeville.


GNPS Show Band To Perform at Lincoln Center


The Great Neck Public Schools (GNPS) Show Band will perform at David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall) at the Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York (IAJF) 15th Annual Gala Event on Wednesday, Nov 16. The group was invited to perform by Robert Kahen, IAJF president and North High School parent. GNPS Show Band members are: Patrick Kennedy (drums, former North High student teacher), Dr. Janine Robinson (piano, North High vocal music teacher), Joseph Rutkowski (accordion and clarinet, North High instrumental music teacher), Jacquelyn Tomlet (alto saxophone, Lakeville and North Middle instrumental music teacher), and Matthew Trinkwald (bass guitar, North Middle music department head/instrumental music teacher). The Show Band will perform a medley from Fiddler on the Roof ("Tradition"; "Matchmaker"; "Sunrise, Sunset"; and "To Life!"). Mr. Rutkowski explained the planned dramatic presentation: "I will be in one balcony with my clarinet (my accordion will be backstage) and play the opening melody of 'Tradition.' Ms. Tomlet, on saxophone, will begin the counter melody in the opposite balcony. After a few measures, Mr. Trinkwald, Dr. Robinson, and Mr. Kennedy, all on stage, will join in. The second song, 'Matchmaker,' will be played by the on-stage performers, allowing time for me and Ms. Tomlet to join them for 'Sunrise, Sunset.' The finale will be a rousing rendition of 'To Life!' " Mr. Rutkowski thanked Mr. Kahen for inviting the GNPS Show Band to perform at this "enormously prestigious event." He also thanked the school administration and the Board of Education for their support of the group, as they appear "as artists, representing the Great Neck Public Schools."