Huntington School Board members have elected Jennifer Hebert and Bari Fehrs to serve as that body’s president and vice-president, respectively, during the 2018/19 school year.
One of the longest serving trustees in Huntington School District history is retiring after a 12-year run on the board of education. Emily Rogan is stepping down at the end of the month following four terms in office.
The Huntington School Board has adopted a proposed district calendar for the 2018/19 school year. Trustees voted unanimously at their January 8 public meeting to approve the plan, which will have school begin on Wednesday, September 5 and finish on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.
Huntington School Board members formally accepted seven separate donations to the district during a public meeting of the trustees in the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School auditorium this past Monday night.
The seven volunteer members of the Huntington School Board were recognized this past Monday night by J. Taylor Finley Middle School artists and musicians, who saluted the trustees’ service to the community and their commitment to the academic and co-curricular programs that are the hallmark of the district.
The members of the Huntington School Board are elected by the residents of the community to manage and oversee all aspects of the district’s educational program, personnel, properties and financial affairs. Trustees serve three year terms without any form of compensation. Members develop an annual budget and submit the proposal to voters for approval. They appoint administrators to conduct the day-to-day affairs of the district, faculty to provide instruction and support staff to ensure the smooth operation of the school system.
State Education Law grants school board members the authority to enact the policies and regulations they feel are necessary to fulfill their responsibilities and to provide students with the education they are legally entitled to and deserve. The school board’s oversight responsibilities include the admission of students, instruction, discipline, grading, classification of special education students, appointing and managing all employees, entering into contracts, purchasing, leasing, maintenance of buildings, property, equipment and supplies and every other area of district operation.
School board members meet regularly in executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters and in public to receive reports from officials, discuss policies and attend to the district’s financial and educational affairs. An agenda is published prior public meetings and residents are provided an opportunity to address trustees. Detailed minutes of each meeting are kept by the district clerk.
The school board is entrusted with the ultimate responsibility for the proper education of all young people within the district who are enrolled in the public school system and in safeguarding the financial and material resources provided by residents through the years.
Jennifer Hebert was re-elected in May 2017 to serve her third three-year term on the Huntington School Board. Her fellow trustees elected her as president of the Board of Education for 2018/19 after she had served as vice president in each of the previous four years. She has an extensive background in education as a teacher and parent volunteer.
Mrs. Hebert and her husband, Jamie have lived in Huntington for 21 years. Together they have a son in his freshman year at Huntington High School; a son who is a freshman at Bentley University and a third son who is in his junior year at Johns Hopkins University.
A Long Island native, Mrs. Hebert graduated from the East Williston School District in 1986. She attended Tufts University in Boston, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1990 and a Master of Arts in Teaching in 1991.
Prior to moving back to Long Island from New England, Mrs. Hebert worked as a public school kindergarten teacher in Massachusetts for several years. She is currently the director of the pre-school program at St. John’s Nursery School in Huntington village. She has devoted countless volunteer hours to the Huntington School District as a PTA president and treasurer and as a district trustees.
Mrs. Hebert has also served on the district’s Long Range Planning Committee and regularly attended Board of Education meetings prior to her election. As a trustee, she has served on the district’s audit committee.
Mrs. Hebert is widely known as a creative thinker who enjoys learning about all aspects of the district and its educational program and listening to all sides of every issue. She is particularly passionate about public school education and believes the learning experience offered to Huntington students should be among the finest in the nation.
Bari Fehrs was re-elected in May 2016 to serve a second three-year term on the Huntington School Board. Her fellow trustees elected her as vice president of the Board of Education for 2018/19. At the time of her initial election as a trustee, she was serving her third year as the district’s PTA Council president.
A 27-year resident of Huntington, Ms. Fehrs earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at New York Institute of Technology. A past president of the Southdown Primary School and J. Taylor Finley Middle School PTAs, she has been involved in the Huntington School District for more than a decade.
Prior to her election, Ms. Fehrs attended school board meetings for nine years. She has been a member of the district’s Comprehensive Health Advisory Committee, District Shared Decision Making Committee and District Safety Committee and has volunteered with the Booster Club.
Ms. Fehrs takes pride in being well-versed on local, state and national educational issues. She has traveled to Albany to fight for Huntington’s fair share of state aid and met with legislators to advocate for the district. She can frequently be found attending the district’s academic, co-curricular and extracurricular events and has volunteered many hours of her free time with the Huntington Booster Club.
Employed by a local medical practice, Ms. Fehrs leads an active lifestyle and enjoys running and reading in her free time. She has a daughter who is currently a Huntington High School senior and two sons who are district graduates and are now attending college.
Christine Biernacki was re-elected in May 2018 to serve a second three year term on the Huntington School Board. She is a longtime volunteer in the Huntington School District, including serving as the PTA Council’s president.
Raised in the town of Huntington, Mrs. Biernacki attended school in South Huntington. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Connecticut and a Juris Doctor from the Hofstra University School of Law. She is a partner in a New York City law firm.
Mrs. Biernacki and her husband, who is a 1983 graduate of Huntington High School, live with their two children in Halesite. Their daughter is a sophomore at Huntington High School and their son is an eighth grader at J. Taylor Finley Middle School.
Over the years, Mrs. Biernacki has served on the district Safety and Shared Decision Making Committees and on the Committee for Special Education.
Mrs. Biernacki’s service to the community’s children predates the start of her own family. She served president of the Huntington Sanctuary Project’s advisory board. Mrs. Biernacki and her husband offered their house as a host home for Sanctuary, opening their doors to runaway youth so that the families could participate in mediation to resolve their issues and bring the youngster home.
Mrs. Biernacki has also served as president of the Town of Huntington’s Youth Bureau Board. She was recognized for her work with runaway and homeless youth by the Association of New York State Youth Bureaus and the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services.
A longtime attendee of Huntington School Board meetings, forums and conferences, Mrs. Biernacki has become well versed in many education issues. She has advocated for reforms in school aid, teacher evaluation and special education, among other areas. She comes from a family filled with educators and strives to work in a manner that will honor that tradition.
Tom DiGiacomo was re-elected in May 2018 to serve his third three year term on the Huntington School Board. His fellow trustees chose him as the Board of Education president in each of the previous three years.
A 1979 Huntington High School graduate, Mr. DiGiacomo’s family has been involved in the district for three generations. He holds an Associate’s degree in business from SUNY Farmingdale and has a professional background in the technology field, providing solutions for businesses ranging in size from small to Fortune 50.
Mr. DiGiacomo’s experience includes project and budget management, finance and implementing technology solutions. As the Northeast regional director of sales for a global technology firm, he was responsible for six regional offices and management of a $100 million budget. He is currently the director of sales for a Long Island based firm that provides the federal government with products and solutions.
Mr. DiGiacomo and his wife, Nancy are the parents of a son in his freshman year at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Prior to his election as a trustee, he has regularly attended Huntington School Board meetings, served as an active PTA member and co-chaired the district’s Shared Decision-Making Committee.
Mr. DiGiacomo strives to utilize his background in business and technology solutions, along with a balanced approach to problem solving, to contribute to making the district the finest it can be.
The DiGiacomo family has deep roots in the community. Mr. DiGiacomo’s father, Al, was a member of Huntington High School’s Class of 1941. Al DiGiacomo was the architect that designed the replacement for Roosevelt School on Lowndes Avenue. The new building was eventually named Huntington Elementary School and today serves the district as Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School.
During his time as a trustee, Mr. DiGiacomo has been a member of the district’s audit and policy committees. He has also helped rejuvenate the Huntington Alumni Association and has served as the organization’s president.
William P. Dwyer was first elected to the Huntington School Board in May 2008. His fellow trustees selected him to serve as the Board of Education president on three separate occasions. After leaving the Board for two years, he was again elected in May 2013 and May 2016 for three-year terms.
Mr. Dwyer and his wife Karen are the parents of three sons; Ethan, a junior at Northeastern University, Brendan, a senior at SUNY Old Westbury and Bradley, a Syracuse University graduate.
Mr. Dwyer, who grew up in Middlebury, Connecticut, earned a B.S. degree in mathematics at Providence College and a second B.S. degree in mechanical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He obtained a Master of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Widely known as Bill, Mr. Dwyer worked for Northrop Grumman for nine years, performing aerodynamic design and analysis using computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel testing with six of those years spent working in southern California and three in Bethpage.
In his time with Northrop Grumman, Mr. Dwyer rose from an entry level engineer position to that of group leader, winning several NASA contracts for aerodynamic design tasks on the next generation supersonic commercial airplane.
Mr. Dwyer left the aerospace industry to join a health publishing company in New York City, assuming responsibility for its networking, website and communications infrastructure, eventually rising to the post of vice-president of operations. After eight years he decided to start his own publishing company, which focused on producing patient education materials to aid in chronic disease management and developing unique community outreach programs.
Mr. Dwyer is currently employed as an account executive for an educational technology company based in Hauppauge, working with school districts throughout the Northeast to help them maximize their investment in software to benefit their operations.
As a participating member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Huntington Village Lacrosse Club, Mr. Dwyer has been active in the community. In his free time, he enjoys family outings to the games of New York’s professional sports teams.
Xavier Palacios was elected to a third term on the Huntington School Board in May 2017. He has enjoyed a long association with the district.
A member of Huntington High School’s Class of 1988, Mr. Palacios earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia University and a Juris Doctor at Boston University’s School of Law. He is the owner and managing partner of a Mineola-based law firm.
Mr. Palacios and his wife, Laura have three children, including a daughter who was a member of Huntington’s Class of 2016 and who is now a University of Pennsylvania junior; a daughter who is in third grade at Flower Hill Primary School and a daughter who is in fifth grade at Woodhull Intermediate School. Both of the younger children are in dual language classes.
In 2008, Mr. Palacios purchased and renovated a distressed property in Huntington Station where he established a satellite law office along with a community revitalization non-profit organization.
Mentoring has been a priority throughout Mr. Palacios’ life. At Columbia, he taught SAT prep and biology courses to inner city students. He has continued mentoring young people and families in the community and encouraged parents to be actively involved in their child’s education. He has been recognized for his work in the community and his efforts to strengthen opportunities for young people.
Mr. Palacios volunteered to serve as the high school mock trial team’s legal advisor, training students in the art of courtroom skills and strategies. The countless hours of preparation culminated last spring with Huntington winning the Suffolk mock trial championship and finishing ranked No. 3 at the state finals.
Mr. Palacios has also worked behind the scenes with coaches and athletes to help spur participation and promote excellence in the Blue Devil athletic program.
During his time on the Huntington School Board, Mr. Palacios has strived to be a problem-solver and to use his legal expertise to contribute to solutions regarding pressing issues facing students, teachers and taxpayers.
Lynda Tine-D’Anna was elected to the Huntington School Board in May 2018. A lifelong resident of the town, she has lived in Huntington village for the past 21 years.
Mrs. Tine-D’Anna graduated from Commack South High School and went on to obtain an undergraduate degree cum laude in romance languages at Dowling College and a master’s degree in Italian literature at Stony Brook University.
Mrs. Tine-D’Anna and her husband, Nick are the parents of three children currently attending district schools, including a high school junior and freshman and a J. Taylor Finley Middle School seventh grader. A daughter is a college freshman. Three of the children are graduates of the district’s dual-language program.
A world language teacher in the Syosset school district since 1993, Mrs. Tine-D’Anna has also served in many professional leadership roles, including as a member of the high school steering committee for the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence application process, chair of the district’s Middle State Accreditation Evaluation Committee and as founding member of the high school’s professional development program.
Mrs. Tine-D’Anna has served as a Huntington School District Special Education PTA board member and volunteer. She is a founding member and former president of a local non-profit focused on advocacy and education. As a parent of four children with diverse abilities and strengths, she has seen Huntington UFSD help each of them learn, grow and thrive.
Proud of the district’s own growth, Mrs. Tine-D’Anna hopes to bring her experience as an involved parent, veteran educator and engaged community member to help Huntington schools continue to flourish.
Audio file for the July 9, 2018 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available
Audio file for the June 4, 2018 Board of Education Meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the May 7, 2018 Budget Hearing Meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the April 16, 2018 Budget Adoption Meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the April 9, 2018 BOE Meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the March 26, 2018 BOE Extended Budget Workshop. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the March 19, 2018 BOE special meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the March 12, 2018 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the February 26, 2018 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the February 5, 2018 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the January 8, 2018 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the December 11, 2017 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the November 13, 2017 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the October 16, 2017 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the September 26, 2017 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the September 11, 2017 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available.
Audio file for the August 28, 2017 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available
Audio file for the August 7, 2017 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available
Audio file for the July 11, 2017 BOE meeting. Closed captions are available
All public session meetings start at 7:30 p.m. and are held in the Adam Spector Auditorium at Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School, except for the August* meetings which start at 7 p.m.
August 6, 27
October 1, 15
For more information, please contact Joanne Miranda, District Clerk.