Felice Holder and Shameka Brown, both trustees, following Wyandanch school...

Felice Holder and Shameka Brown, both trustees, following Wyandanch school board's reorganization meeting on Monday. Credit: John Roca

An evenly split Wyandanch Board of Education failed to elect a president in a deadlock Monday, threatening further instability in a school district led by an interim superintendent who was on his first day at work.

At Monday’s reorganization meeting, trustees Latesha Walker and James Crawford were nominated for board president while Shirley Baker and Shameka Brown were nominated for vice president. The four rounds of votes all ended in a 3-3 tie. Walker, Baker and Kathy Corbin voted in a block while Crawford, Felice Holder and Shameka Brown voted in an opposing block.

“Legally, you do not have a president, and therefore the board cannot function,” said Larry Aronstein, a longtime educator of Great Neck, who began his one-year term as interim superintendent of the Wyandanch school district Monday.

“We're not going to finish the meeting tonight. They are not going to vote on the agenda with many, many, many items in terms of the daily operation of the school district, including how you pay your bills and everything else,” Aronstein said.

The board typically has seven trustees but a differently composed board last week removed board president Jarod Morris from his seat in a fractioned vote over alleged unspecified official misconduct. His term was to end in 2026.

By Monday, the board had two new members as Holder and Brown were sworn in. Holder defeated former trustee Nancy Holliday, who was the board vice president, and Brown won her seat vacated by former trustee Charlie Reed, who did not run for reelection, in the May public election.

The meeting ended with the board’s leadership question unresolved. The board did not vote on any of the agenda items.

In a follow-up interview, Aronstein said the board will meet in executive session soon and caucus to reach a majority.

“If they fail to arrive at a majority, then what our attorney has advised us is that … the Western BOCES superintendent will then select a member of the community to serve on the board and render a deciding vote,” he said.

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