Year in Review: 10 School Stories of 2011
In a community with a large school district and a major university within its borders, educational issues often become prominent.
Whether a public school issue or a development at Stony Brook University, this year yielded a number of hot issues on the schools beat in the Three Village community. Here's a look back at ten of the most-read education stories.
- Three Village voters approved a $174.6 million school budget for the 2011-12 school year, which carried a tax increase of 3.8 percent and assured the community that many programs slated for possible cuts were safe for now.
- Following a difficult budget season, the Three Village Educational Foundation saw an increase in the number of grant applications it received this year for its mini grant program.
- Developers broke ground on the Hilton Garden Inn at Stony Brook University this past summer, which has been a hot-button issue in the community since it was proposed.
- Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley issued an apology behind closed doors to Stony Brook Southampton students who were affected by the school's decision to shutter most of that campus in 2010. Of more than 50 students invited to the apology meeting, only seven attended.
- During the school budget vote season, a letter from the school's attorney was leaked to the community regarding negotiations with the teachers' union. A subsequent investigation into who had leaked the letter proved inconclusive.
- Parents in the Three Village Central School District grilled administrators over the implementation of the "Everyday Math" curriculum in the elementary schools, with some saying it is ineffective and confusing, and others willing to take a wait-and-see approach.
- In September, Dr. Steven L. Strongwater resigned as CEO of Stony Brook University Medical Center after five years at the post.
- In October, the Three Village Central School District concluded its multi-year search for a superintendent by looking to one of its own to fill the role: Cheryl Pedisich, formerly the assistant superintendent for pupil and personnel services.
- In November, an independent financial audit of the Three Village Central School District yielded a positive result: a grade of "A," with no major weaknesses or deficiencies in the system.
- Stony Brook University celebrated a "milestone moment" in December when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a $35 million challenge grant award to SBU at the same time Jim and Marilyn Simons made a $150 million donation to the university.