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Long IslandEducation

East Meadow


7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Barnum Woods, Bowling Green, George McVey, Parkway and Meadowbrook elementary schools.


The district proposes a $199,671,104 budget for 2017-18, a 1.98 percent increase from the current $195,794,375. The tax levy would rise 1.99 percent, from $129,931,019 to $132,518,088.

This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority will be required to approve the budget.

The dollar amount of the school tax paid on the average single-family house would increase 1.98 percent, from $7,238.53 to $7,381.85.

The proposed budget maintains programs and staff at current levels. It includes an average salary increase of 1.1 percent and an average step increase of 2 percent for teachers.


There are two by-seat positions open. Incumbent Joseph Danenza is being challenged by Alisa Baroukh. Incumbent Scott Eckers is running unopposed. Terms are three years.

Alisa Baroukh

BACKGROUND: Baroukh, 40, is a lifelong resident of the district. She is a corporate accountant for a commercial mortgage company. She graduated from East Meadow High School, and has a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and a master’s degree in geography from Hunter College. Baroukh is the treasurer of Barnum Woods Elementary School PTA, and a member and committee chair of the Woodland Middle School PTA. She is a Girl Scout troop leader and a trustee of the board of Temple Emanuel of East Meadow. Her three children attend district schools.

ISSUES: Baroukh said the most important issue facing the district is what she called “the narrowing of the curriculum as a result of New York State Education Department standards.” Baroukh continued, “While a board member doesn’t pick the curriculum directly, they oversee all aspects of education within the district and thus it falls under their purview.” Baroukh said the district will soon begin the process of hiring a new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She said that if elected, she would “hire someone who would move East Meadow away from a year of test prep and towards a well-rounded curriculum that is rich in science and social studies, as well as ELA [English Language Arts] and math.”

Joseph Danenza

BACKGROUND: Danenza, 61, is assistant director of police information systems for the Nassau County Police Department. He previously taught global studies and American history at Midwood High School in Brooklyn. Danenza has a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University, and a master of business administration in information technology from Baruch College. He won the New York State School Boards Association Mastery Award three years ago. He is a member of the East Meadow Kiwanis and an associate member of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce. His two children attended district public schools. Danenza was elected in 2010 and elected again in 2014.

ISSUES: Danenza said he brings to the board “an extensive knowledge of technology, finance, government management and education.” During his board tenure, he said, “we have instituted a full-day kindergarten program, published our groundbreaking position paper on the flawed systems of standardized testing and staff evaluations, and aided in passing a historic bond issue [ensuring] that the future needs of our schools and our library will be met for generations to come.” Danenza said that he helped select a new school superintendent, “setting the stage for a new era where our district can continue to improve and excel in providing quality education for our students.”

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