Letter to the Editor

Farrell would be a dedicated board member


To the Editor:

As a former school board trustee in District 13, I understand the commitment, the knowledge and the skills that a person must have to effectively serve our community. Patty Farrell is such a person.

She has been a resident of the district for 15 years and her sons attended our schools. Her youngest is currently in Memorial Junior High. Patty has been actively involved in every local school that her boys attended. She has held several executive board positions in both the Wheeler Ave School PTA (including president) and the Central Memorial PTSA. In recognition of her involvement and contributions to PTA, Patty has received both the New York State PTA Honorary Life Membership Award and the Carolyn Fiori Leadership Award from the Nassau Region PTA. Also in recognition of her outstanding leadership ability and knowledge, Patty has moved up the ladder in the PTA structure to become assistant director for Nassau Region PTA, which means that she currently assists the executive boards of other PTAs with issues within the units that need the help of a very experienced outsider. I like the opportunity to have a school board trustee whose knowledge and skills are recognized beyond the boundaries of our community, don’t you?

I know Patty best through our mutual work on the Valley Stream District 13 Educational Foundation during the past six years. The phrase that most comes to mind to describe her is “detail-oriented.” She thoughtfully questions everything — and I mean that in a good way. Patty picks up on things that others miss. From small details such as conflicting sections of our by-laws to larger issues such as grant money, it is Patty who is most likely to raise questions that help us fine tune everything we do.

Here’s an example of something that Patty is currently working on for all of us: over the years our Foundation has secured many grants for District 13. It is Patty who has taken the initiative to pursue $29,000 in legislative grant money that was earmarked for the district but not received, including working with the district’s Business Office and communicating with Senator Skelos’ legislative aide, to see to it that we get the money that our district is owed. I like the opportunity to have an inquisitive school board trustee who is detail-oriented and who keeps an eye on the district’s funds, don’t you?

I want Patty Farrell, and I hope you want her, too. I urge you to vote for Patty so that she can continue to use the knowledge and skills that she has gained by volunteering in our community, to benefit all of us in District 13.

Elaine Catalanotti


Former District 13 trustee