Meet Andrew Lewner and William Belmont, the 2022 Board of Education Election Winners

Lynbrook Board of Education (BOE) held an election on May 17 to fill two open positions. Catherine Bien, Andrew Lewner, and incumbent-President William Belmont were on the ballot, and Tara Aragona ran a write-in campaign. After the votes were counted, the winners were announced as Lewner with 795 votes and Belmont with 1,110 votes.  

     Belmont, a Lynbrook native, is finishing his fifteenth year on the board. As a student at LHS, he was captain of the football team and actively involved in many clubs and activities. He attended law school and has worked as a police officer and trial attorney. Currently, he owns a private investigation firm. He also has two children—Rachel, a senior, and Jake, who graduated in 2020.  

      Belmont strongly believes that “if you live in a community, you should work to make it a better place.” His favorite thing about being on the board is being involved with not only the students but helping the teachers, and being a part of the education as well. “I enjoy playing a role in the community even though I am not an educator,” he said.  

     During his time on the board, Belmont has particularly emphasized his feelings on the issue that the state has vast control over Lynbrook: “What is good for Albany might not be good for Lynbrook.”  He reassured the community that when it comes down to it, Lynbrook is equipped with the technology and the resources needed if a problem surfaces. 

     Belmont wants to ensure that the upcoming selection of a new superintendent and transition of LHS principal go well. “Any switch can be hard, but I am optimistic about moving forward. I think that it will be hard to lose Dr. Burak as she has made such a beneficial impact on our community, but we are looking for someone who will be in the best interest of the kids and Lynbrook as a whole,” he said. He feels “confident” that LHS will run well under new principal Matthew Sarosy, saying, “Every administrator or principal has his/her own way and style of doing things; I am excited for what awaits in this new chapter.” 

     For the past two years, COVID-19 protocols have been another central topic at board meetings. Belmont said, “I feel that we have done an incredible job navigating through the unknown and we will continue to do so. The pandemic was hard as no one knew what to expect, [but] Lynbrook pulled through with the technology and I am so proud of everyone for doing so.” He continued, “In case of an emergency, now we are better situated and know how to handle whatever it is that strikes. I am hoping that if there is a threat or a spike of COVID-19, it will be smooth sailing online, and in the worst case, we will go virtual for the time being.” 

     Lewner is an attorney and practices business law. He has experience with local politics and has lived in the community for over 13 years. In his time in Lynbrook, he has dedicated his time to coaching teams such as Lynbrook Little League and East Rockaway Soccer Club. In addition, he and his wife co-run the book fair and field day at Waverly Park. He has two sons in the district—Gabe, a freshman, and Cameron, a fifth grader. 

    Lewner decided to run for the school board because of the pandemic. “I saw parents typing on Facebook how unhappy they were, but they didn’t actually do anything about it,” he said. “I really pushed for the schools to reopen and kept getting frustrated when I saw no one had the kids as their best interest. I felt there was no better way to fix the problem other than actually getting involved. I proceeded when I saw that the community had the best interests of the administrators and teachers but not the students. [In] any decision being made for our district, the kids should be put first.” 

      Lewner feels he will better the community because he can “implement [his] lawyer skills and economic concepts” and is not the type to “come up with a solution and walk away.” He said, “Lynbrook would benefit from a super strong advocate for the kids; and that’s what I am.” He ran on the slogan “Putting Kids First” and said, “I look forward to truly making an impact on the kids. I cannot wait to make a real positive change in the district. I am also excited to see the progress through my kids and how their experiences benefit from my position on the board.” 

      Lewner wants to give the students “every possible advantage” through “more technology, more electives, [and] more school clubs” because he feels that “several competing districts have a significant number of clubs and electives that we don’t have.” He posed the following question: “Why is it that if you cannot get into Virtual Enterprise that there is no other business elective? Everyone wants it, and it’s unfair [that] people lose the opportunity to learn.” 

     Both Belmont and Lewner will serve three-year terms and work alongside the other five board members to execute their goals.