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Hewlett-Woodmere candidates face write-in challenger

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Incumbent Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education candidates Paul Critti and Cheryl May did not have a single resident submit a petition to oppose either of their candidacies in April. Because of a coordinated write-in campaign lifelong Five Towns resident Kenneth Sicklick has become a candidate for the one of the two three-year terms. The election is at-large, the two candidtes with the most votes win.

Sicklick confirmed he is the write-in candidate people have been discussing on community group pages, and he endorses the campaign. In a more than 1,650-word Facebook post, he explains who he is, why he is running, why he is a write-in candidate and why his name isn’t on the ballot.

“To be clear, I would have preferred to have my name on the ballot,” he said in an email. “I did not go into this with any intention of running a write-in campaign. I missed the deadline for inclusion of my name on the ballot.”

Sicklick said that several school district residents urged him to publicly a few of the questions he has been asked over the past week. He is a lawyer with Goulston & Storrs in Manhattan focusing on corporate law, merges and acquisitions and real estate joint ventures.

He is married with four children. Attended the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, Yeshiva University and Harvard Law School. An athlete in school he also won an award for Spanish poetry reading in Lawrence High School.

“I believe that it is important to be a well-rounded individual, and I understand the role that extra-curricular activities play in producing well-rounded students,” he wrote.

He said he was involved in the community as a teenager. He wrote for the Nassau Herald and served on the Lawrence Village Centennial Commission. Sicklick said he has coached “hundreds of children” in youth basketball leagues and in the Hewlett-Woodmere Little League. He added he is a member of Young Israel of Woodmere and board chairman of the New York National Conference of Synagogue Youth. “I want to give back by helping to increase the overall experience of all students in the district,” he wrote.

Sicklick said that he wavered initially because of the possibility of personal attacks. “I hesitated to participate in the election because I know that one of the candidates in last year’s election faced a slew of anti-Semitic attacks and personal threats,” he wrote.   

Embracing the write-in idea, he said he could take part and possibly avoid mud-slinging. He involved longtime friends then spoke with residents and leaders in the public and private school communities. Sicklick said he is an Orthodox Jew and does not want to harm the Hewlett-Woodmere School District.

“To be sure, while I am seeking to give more of a direct voice to private school  parents, my efforts reached both private school and public school parents, as well as individuals who have no school-age children,” he wrote.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic voting is being done by mail-in ballots. All ballots must now be submitted by June 16 at 5 p.m.