Working For A Better East Ramapo
By: Legislator Harriet D. Cornell (D-West Nyack)
Following years of efforts and advocacy alongside our state representatives, a more permanent measure of progress was achieved recently when State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia appointed former state education deputy commissioner Charles Szuberla to be the monitor for the East Ramapo Central School District.
This appointment will enable Szurberla to provide important oversight of the activities of the school board. Additionally, he will work with all members of the community to provide further recommendations that will improve the school district and the level of education public school children receive in East Ramapo.
I applaud the Commissioner and our state representatives for their hard work in order to reach this point. This appointment comes on the heels of the inclusion of $3 million in the state budget that will only be used to restore programs that were cut- another step toward reestablishing a quality education system in East Ramapo.
I was proud to support resolutions in the County Legislature that spoke to the issues of East Ramapo and the need for a state monitor. On this and other issues that are decided upon by other governmental bodies, it is critical that we as your County representatives give a voice to your concerns, and make sure the decision makers know we are watching and speaking up.
It is only through the combined efforts of local officials and determined parents and activists that a brighter future exists for the children of East Ramapo.
Another bright spot in the district was the permanent appointment of Dr. Deborah Wortham as the Superintendent of the East Ramapo Central School District. In her short time as interim superintendent, Dr. Wortham proved herself to be a capable and open-minded leader, meeting with all interested parties on the key issues in the district, and working toward resolving them.
I was very impressed with her skills, knowledge, and abilities when we met to discuss East Ramapo and her plans for the district. I was also struck by the affection and respect she gave the students, and how they responded in kind to her. It was beautiful to see. Dr. Wortham’s permanent appointment will no doubt bring a greater level of stability to East Ramapo.
While these events are positive signs that should improve the state of East Ramapo, we will all continue to watch and advocate for the district’s future. By staying involved and working collaboratively in a constructive manner, we will ensure a brighter future for all the children of East Ramapo.