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Hewlett-Woodmere Trustee Paul Critti steps down

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After nearly serving two years on the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education, Trustee Paul Critti resigned effective Nov. 30, as he is moving to Brooklyn. The Nov. 18 meeting was his last as a board member.

Critti was first elected to the board in May 2019, replacing outgoing trustee Scott McInnes, who also moved out of the district and had one year left on his term. Critti was re-elected in June 2020 for a three-year term.

“I think I’ve done a decent job on the board, I’ve had numerous phone calls from parents asking how come I’m leaving,” Critti said jokingly. “I appreciate all the calls. Over the summer, my family and I decided it was the time to move on to another place.”

Prior to joining the board he served as the president for the school district’s Special Education PTA for four years. He believes that helped prepare him for his time on the board.

“I was involved with the district by volunteering with the PTA and I always felt that being involved gave me good insight,” he said. “Compared to having a PTA in each school, there was only one SEPTA. I felt I had an advantage since I got to know people in all five schools.”

Board president Debra Sheinin said that Critti’s positive contributions to the district will be missed. “I just want to thank Paul on behalf of the board, students and the district parents for his time and dedication,” Sheinin said. “Not only has he been dedicated to the board, but also his work with SEPTA shows his dedication. I wish him nothing but health and happiness in his next endeavor.”

Superintendent Dr. Ralph Marino Jr. presented Critti with a gift at the meeting. “On behalf of the community and the school district, we are so thankful for your service,” Marino said to Critti. “We thank you for your dedication to the students and the entire Hewlett-Woodmere community.”

Reflecting on his tenure as trustee, Critti believes that he always tried to do right for the students of the district. “I want to believe I did a decent job on the board standing up for the people who felt like they didn’t have a voice,” he said. “We made sure programs and initiatives were the right thing for the kids. You can’t lose focus as a board member of doing right by the students

District spokeswoman Barbara Giese said that the search process to fill Critti’s position will be discussed at the Dec. 9 work meeting.