After his first year as superintendent, Kenneth Card is seeing many of his goals for the East Meadow School District already coming to fruition.
When asked what his goals were for his first year in East Meadow, Card said, “My goal the first year is to come to an understanding about the traditions and culture in the East Meadow School District and what works best for East Meadow, bringing my experiences with me.”
Card has always been all about putting his students first and learning about how he can be culturally responsive toward each individual while getting each of them to where they should be academically. With that, he had a successful his first year.
The one thing Card aspired to be most as a child was a history teacher, “I remember playing school in the backyard of my home, I remember when I was younger paying my little cousins to play school with me in the hallway . . . it was fun”. However, his life took a different direction when he enlisted to serve in the U.S. Navy. He said that he was always surrounded by adults inspiring him want to join and he was drafted for seven years from 1982 to 1989.
While he was in the Navy, he went to different schools over the course of 39 months and was then transferred to Washington, D.C., where, he said, “My education was not really on hold because I was participating in many university type programs. But when I finally settled in and returned back to New York I decided to pursue his number one dream, being a history teacher.” He went back to school and by 2000, he got a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in history and enrolled in a doctoral program at Stonybrook University.
His first job was a social studies teacher at the Harborfields school district from 1998 to 2002, after which he became the assistant principal at Harborfields’ Oldfield Middle School. He wanted to continue teaching and took on another job as as evening high school teacher in Uniondale and then in Brentwood.
“Teaching a subject is cool, but students have individual needs and the teachers need to be responsive to the individual needs,” he said. “Being responsive means knowing where they come from and being culturally responsive to the student.” Card added that, as long as he was in the classroom, he was also constantly learning from his students.
Card said that East Meadow’s strengths include its multitude of college courses offered to upperclassmen and its strong business program NAF. East Meadow High School and Clarke combine to make a business program called NAF Academy of Finance, where students are able to job shadow, experience different working-based opportunities and learn practical skills.
Card said what attracted him to East Meadow was the diversity. He also said after his first interview, he immediately felt comfortable and walked out saying “yeah that is the place I want to be.”
Card said his current mission is overseeing the 55-million dollar bond on which the community voted last year. Card explained that the bond includes three different phases: “first phase us a new track, a new football field here at Salisbury Center that is basically used by Clarke, and in addition to that, all the buildings will be getting roofs.” These renovations and changes will be occurring soon in the East Meadow School District.
Julia Cuttone is a contributing writer for the East Meadow Herald. She is an incoming senior at East Meadow High School and hopes to pursue writing in the future.