Tilles Talk: A Regent Visits PEN Society

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The high school’s PEN Society welcomed Roger Tilles, a member of the New York State Board of Regents, to speak on Dec. 11. During the in-depth discussion, held in the school library, Tilles answered student questions and touched on numerous relevant subjects, including the Common Core, Gov. Cuomo, charter schools, special education, career programs and BOCES.

The PEN Society is a student-governed book club dedicated to improving the school’s curriculum and creating an environment that supports a love of reading and discussion. Guided by adviser Teresa Greco, club members enjoy reading poems, essays, short stories and novels and discussing them, both as a whole and in small groups. In addition to encouraging reading for pleasure, PEN’s other goals include preparing for and hosting monthly modern issues debates and participating in community service opportunities such as supporting libraries and book drives.

Tilles, a Great Neck resident, represents Long Island on the Board of Regents. He was first elected as a regent in 2005 for a five-year term, and was re-elected to second and third terms in 2010 and 2015. An acclaimed educator and business leader, Tilles has also served as director of Tilles Investment Companies; founder of the Long Island Arts Alliance; executive vice chairman of the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts; chairman and founding member of the Association for a Better Long Island; acting chairman of the Long Island Regional Planning Board; chairman of the Long Island University Board of Trustees; and member of the New York, Michigan and Washington, D.C. Bar Associations.

“We were very excited and honored that Regent Tilles agreed to speak with the PEN Society students about the current state of education in New York and where he hopes it goes in the future,” said Christine DiProperzio, Deer Park’s curriculum associate for ELA, reading and library in grades 6-12. “Ms. Greco and her students did an amazing job in preparing and asking questions relevant to their own education and how the state’s policies will impact it in the future. We appreciate Regent Tilles’ honesty and candor in responding to their questions, and for simply taking the time to listen to real students’ issues and concerns.”