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Miller Place school board

Johanna Testa. File photo by Victoria Espinoza

The Miller Place Board of Education has a new set of leaders this year.

At its annual reorganization meeting on July 1, board trustees promoted Johanna Testa from vice president to president and elected Rich Panico as vice president. Testa was first elected to the board in 2013, while Panico was elected in 2014.

The meeting also marked Keith J. Frank’s first. Frank won the open seat on the board of education two months ago.

“I was excited, I thought it went well and I continue to look forward to the new year,” Frank said in a phone interview the next day.

Frank said capital improvements to the district’s facilities and buildings that are currently underway would be the first project he focuses on as a trustee. In addition, he would like to find ways to maintain the academic excellence that Miller Place is known for, as well as extracurricular activities, music and art programs.

Keith J. Frank is sworn in as Miller Place school board's newest trustee. Photo by Victoria Espinoza
Keith J. Frank is sworn in as Miller Place school board’s newest trustee. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Testa and Panico expressed similar thoughts. The leaders said the school board’s attention will be on updates to the athletic fields. The Miller Place High School football fields will be replaced with synthetic turf and lighting will be installed. The projects are funded through a bond referendum passed last year.

“I feel honored and positive about being appointed the new board president,” Testa said in a phone interview. “I think we have a good board and I am looking forward to the upcoming year.”

Panico said he didn’t anticipate being nominated for vice president.

“I was very honored since it’s only my second year on the board,” he said in a phone interview. “I wasn’t expecting it, it’s pretty neat.”

The renovations to the athletic fields need to be done by September for the students to use in the fall, Panico said, so he is eager to see the improvements begin.