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Letter to the Editor: Re-Elect Sam Perlman

When I ran for election to the Jericho School Board in 2021, our community was deeply divided over two issues: a) the school’s COVID response, and b) the proposed Jericho mega shelter promoted by members of the administration and School Board. There was tremendous concern surrounding our District’s leadership, particularly its lack of candor, and I ran on a platform of transparency, accountability, and independence. Jericho voters overwhelmingly supported my commitment to restore the public’s confidence in the work of our School Board and repair the fracture in our community.

Over the past three years I delivered on those promises and our school district has thrived, growing more cohesive and more successful as a result. I prioritized open communication and consequently, myriad new ideas, concepts and programs were developed. The Jericho School District and all its constituents are certainly better off, and more united, today than they were three years ago.

The District’s success during my first term is unquestioned as we: i) saw two of our schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools and the District maintain its stellar ranking and reputation; ii) managed a 0% tax levy increase in 2 of my 3 years without any negative impact on programs; iii) introduced residency recertification to address the issue of non-resident students; iv) conducted a comprehensive third-party evaluation of our buildings’ security and funded multiple improvements; v) transitioned to an outside vendor for our lunch program and added morning and after school food options; vi) invested significantly in our academic and athletic facilities including science labs, technology rooms and a turf field; vii) adopted new District goals, delineating a shared vision for the next decade; viii) introduced a more reasonable DEI policy, stressing “a sense of belonging” while REJECTING any proposed mission of creating “agents of social change”; and ix) grew the HS guidance department, reducing advisor caseload by 15% allowing more personal and frequent support for students.

In no way do I take sole credit for these achievements and actions; I am one of five trustees, and the hard work is executed by the District’s outstanding team of teachers and administrators. However, the past three years have clearly witnessed a renewed energy in our District driven by an expectation of communication and accountability.

There is always more work to be done. Curricula are constantly evolving, facilities need regular improvement, and financial discipline requires consistent monitoring. In addition, our commitment to open dialogue requires vigilant attention against infringement — e.g., an aborted attempt last year by some to introduce a policy restricting topics raised by community members at public meetings, and an unsuccessful attempt by the District’s attorney to shout down a parent at our April 11 Board meeting.

Being a school Board member is a difficult job; tough decisions are required, and everyone cannot always agree. Consensus is comfortable, but optimal solutions are the product of lively debate. I recognize that my personal style might not suit everyone’s tastes. I am direct and maybe sometimes blunt; I don’t sugarcoat the bad news or exuberantly celebrate the good; I am thorough and persistent. Some will use that as an excuse to disparage me and attack my character; others will fabricate stories or perpetuate lies to push their own personal agendas. Unlike them, my only agenda remains the continued success of the Jericho School District.

I urge community members to evaluate my qualifications and my record over the past three years and vote on May 21 to RE-ELECT SAMUEL PERLMAN. Follow on IG @samperlmanjerichoboe.

-Sam Perlman, Jericho School Board Trustee

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