Message from the Spackenkill Superintendent

A Message from the
Spackenkill Superintendent

March 9, 2020

Dear Nassau Community and Families:

It is my understanding that a video post has circulated accusing the District of political bias. So here are the facts. Every year Nassau Elementary School hosts a first grade celebration of Presidents Day, our national holiday to celebrate the accomplishments of our presidents. This celebration helps our first graders develop an appreciation for American history.

The celebration is generally received very positively in the community and by families. A song is included whereby our students recite the names of all of the presidents. The recording was not updated and did not include President Trump's name. The teachers did contact the commercial company requesting a copy of the updated music but were not able to acquire it. The teachers therefore inserted President Trump’s name into the music, as they did in the past when President Obama’s name was not part of it. The children practiced the song with Mr. Trump’s name in it.

Listening to the children sing, it is not easy to hear them singing President Trump’s name over the commercial recording. However, we know that the children were given those directions by the first grade team. We received a complaint from a parent about a specific issue that occurred on Friday and we are looking into that claim.

My writing is an attempt to set the record straight. Anyone who thinks Nassau Elementary School or the District engaged in political bias during this assembly just does not have the facts. We realize that we live in a politically charged environment. If the updated recording is still not available next year, we will not include the music as part of the program to avoid a similar misunderstanding. 


Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools




15 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603;