LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Ken Cohen is the longest-serving member of the Sullivan West school board, having held that position for 15 years. During his final board meeting on June 16, he had a few …
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Ken Cohen is the longest-serving member of the Sullivan West school board, having held that position for 15 years. During his final board meeting on June 16, he had a few words to say about serving the district community.
As a side note, his daughter Gabby holds the record for being the youngest person ever to attend an important special executive session, as former superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hilton granted the child, then aged five or six, permission to sit in on the meeting as long as she kept what she overheard a secret.
“I remember Dr. Hilton playfully instructing Gabby at the beginning of the meeting that anything she heard in the room was a big secret,” he said. “To this day, Gabby still hasn’t divulged what she heard at that meeting.”
Cohen noted that after “Fifteen years, 36 different board members, four superintendents, 180 regular board meetings and thousands of hours,” it was time to move on to other endeavors.
“It’s been a heck of a ride, one of the more enriching, eye-opening and enlightening experiences of my life,” he told the board. “I really knew nothing about how school districts operated when I started, and now I know too much. All I can say is that it takes a lot of dedicated people putting in a lot of hours, wearing a lot of hats and eating a lot of pizza to make this all work.”
Ah, the specter of politics, or the lack thereof.
“In this super-partisan world we are living in, this has been a great refuge from that nonsense. And it should serve as an example to governing bodies everywhere that you can make an impact and accomplish significant change without a political overtone,” said Cohen.
And a few kudos.
Cohen said of former superintendent Ken Hilton, he “perhaps saved this school district… and brokered a much-needed sense of civility and stability.” He said Shaun Sensiba, with whom he served for his first few years, “was my idea of the model board member—respectful, prepared, thoughtful and invested.”
From Peg Luty and Christina Kautz, “as district clerks are invaluable in making sure the board functions somewhat efficiently,” to current board president Rose Joyce-Turner, “You couldn’t ask for a more dedicated person fighting to make the school better.”
In closing, Ken rolled up his shirtsleeve to unveil a tattoo of a pink golf ball with Gabby’s name on it.
Seems that at the beginning of the school year, he told his daughter that he would get ink if she shot even-par or better in any match during her senior year on the links.
Just goes to show you that kids keep their promises, and fathers follow their lead.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here