The Community Education Council held its second annual legislative brunch at breathtaking Kingsborough Community College on Friday April 30. It was a glorious morning and I suspect the perfect weather plus the beach view from the cafeteria, where the brunch was held above it in U220, stimulated everyone’s appetite.
The hot breakfast buffet deliciously prepared by KCC’s caterers, Panda, was so enormous, you had to make several trips to avail yourself of all the goodies. I know I almost ran my scooter’s battery down going back and forth to get the bagels, muffins, Danish, ruggalah, rolls, scrambled eggs, sausages, pancakes, waffles, potatoes with peppers and onions. Then again, back and forth to get the orange, tomato, grapefruit and apple juices — not to mention the delicious coffees and teas.I think at this point it would be an understatement to say I might have overindulged a bit, but it was worth it!
Mind you, I chose the closest table to the breakfast buffet, sitting next to Charles Glover, from the mayor’s Community Affairs Unit for Brooklyn, who had breakfast earlier and ate nothing, but that’s OK, I ate for the three of us — Charles, the mayor and yours truly — I think I also ate for the legislators that weren’t able to make it. Burrrrppp, excuse me!
Now that I’ve established that the breakfast was bountiful and the location exquisitely beautiful, let me explain how productive it was. First of all, the sponsors of the breakfast, Tequipment, who manufacture SMARTBOARD, sent representatives Eric Cabin and Lany Burnett. Each gave an excellent presentation of their products, which are truly state-of-the-art teaching tools, and held the interest of principals, parent coordinators, PTA/PA presidents and various educational guests invited.
President Yoketing Eng welcomed everyone, acknowledging those responsible for such a great turnout, especially CEC21’s Administrative Assistant Mary Montemorano, who almost singlehandedly put the entire event together with a little help from yours truly.
Martine Guerrier, Chief Family Engagement Officer of the Office of the Chancellor, was the first guest speaker, emphasizing the vital role of the parents, principals and parent advocates. Cecile Iocono, President of President’s Council, followed next, stressing the importance of the parents, PTAs and parent associations getting involved.
The guest of honor — Isabel DiMola, Superintendent of District 21, born, bred and educated in District 21 -- remarked on how high District 21 educational standards always were, exceeding, if not setting the mark for quality education.President Eng presented the Superintendent DiMola a beautiful desk name plate with her new title.
Picking up on the superintendent remarking how District 21 has always had the reputation of being the best district in New York City, President Eng introduced an icon of District 21, former Superintendent Ethel Tucker.Ethel was given a standing ovation for several minutes, bringing tears to her eyes. President Eng invited Superintendent Tucker to the podium, where she gave a heart-stirring thank you for the wonderful tribute she received from the audience. Ethel first started teaching in District 21 at PS 97 in 1945 as a kindergarten teacher and rose through the ranks to become the last superintendent under the Community School Boards.
Assemblymen Alec Brook-Krasny, Steven Cymbrowitz and William Colton all appeared personally to greet and meet District 21 parents, principals and parent coordinators. Charles Glover also received an award of appreciation with the Assemblymen, as did Margaret Kelley, Education Policy Analyst for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. There were reps from City Councilmen David Greenfield and Dominic Recchia. Congressmen Anthony Weiner and Michael McMahon sent representatives as did State Senator Marty Golden.
Needless to say, a good time was had by all, special thanks to KCC’s Maureen Daly.
Screech at you next week!