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Long IslandEducation

Hempstead school board approves hiring of new treasurer

Deputy New Hyde Park Mayor Donna Squicciarino starts next week. Trustees also appoint new director of facilities.

Members of the Hempstead board of education met

Members of the Hempstead board of education met this evening regarding hiring of a new treasurer and director of facilities at the office of superintendent in Hempstead March 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Chris Ware

The Hempstead school board approved the appointment of a new district treasurer at its meeting on Monday night to replace Luz Valentin, who is retiring.

The board approved the appointment of Donna Squicciarino as district treasurer effective March 26 through June 30, with a prorated salary of $20,000.

All four board members present voted in favor of the resolution. Board Vice President Gwendolyn Jackson left the meeting during an executive session and did not vote.

Valentin also served in a dual role as an accountant for the district, but retired from the position Feb. 28.

Squicciarino, a certified public accountant, is a trustee and deputy mayor for the Village of New Hyde Park. Her background includes working part time as district treasurer for both the Sewanhaka Central High and Mineola school districts.

The struggling Hempstead school district has long had financial issues and is one of the lowest performing districts on Long Island.

A December 2014 audit of the district conducted by the state Comptroller’s Office found numerous flaws in the district’s financial operations and handling of its budget. The office said in January it plans to again dispatch a team of auditors to examine the district’s books.

As part of its efforts to turn around, the district has contracted with Plante Moran, a highly respected firm that conducted the forensic audit of the Detroit Public Schools, to audit its own books.

The board Monday night also appointed Mark Salvati as director of facilities at a prorated salary of $130,000 to fill a vacant position. Salvati, who spoke with the board in executive session, is from Peekskill and currently serves as a project manager focused on air conditioning at West Point, he told Newsday. Trustees Randy Stith, LaMont Johnson and David Gates voted in favor of his appointment. Board President Maribel Touré abstained.

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