Amanda M. Fairbanks previously worked in the editorial department of The New York Times and covered higher education for The Huffington Post. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, The Hechinger Report, and Education Week. A graduate of Smith College, she spent two years at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in East Hampton with her husband and young son.
The East Hampton Star
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It is a changing of the guard for the Springs School Board, which recently elected a new president and vice president.
At a reorganizational meeting on July 8, board members chose Elizabeth Mendelman as president and John Grant as vice president. Ms. Mendelman replaces the former president and outgoing board member, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, whose nine-year term ended at the end of June. Mr. Grant was also vice president last year.
The recent death of Anna Mirabai Lytton, a Springs School eighth grader, cast a pall over the school’s graduation ceremony last Thursday evening at East Hampton High School.
There was hardly a dry eye in the house as Springs students took to the stage during a ceremony that celebrated the achievements of those assembled while also serving as a final farewell to a beloved classmate.
Adam Fine, East Hampton High School’s principal, began Tuesday night’s meeting of the East Hampton School Board with a summary of the findings of a recent school-wide survey examining issues such as security, diversity, and support. The survey, an anonymous 20-minute questionnaire, was conceived of by a committee of students, parents, faculty, and clergy following the suicide of David H. Hernandez, a junior at the school.
“A love fest” was how Eric Casale, the principal of the Springs School, described Monday night’s school board meeting, during which two of its members bid a final farewell. But quickly talk turned to questions concerning his leadership in dealing with a cheating scandal when he was a principal in the Bronx.
At East Hampton High School, for the second year in a row, two girls have been named valedictorian and salutatorian. Georgia Bennett is valedictorian and Cameron DiGate is salutatorian. They are cousins. Georgia will play the lead in next month's production of "Grease" and was also the valedictorian of her eighth-grade class at the East Hampton Middle School. Cameron is a student council representative and a varsity field hockey player. Come September, Georgia is headed to Northwestern University, while Cameron is undecided.