2008 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Robert E. Lupinskie
Glen Cove School District and Nassau BOCES
Asking Robert E. Lupinskie whether the glass was half full or half empty wouldn’t work. He would simply find the nearest water faucet and fill it to the brim.
A longtime board member for Nassau BOCES as well as the Glen Cove School District, Lupinskie was a man of action. And while he didn’t start out to be one of public education’s greatest advocates, his need to act is what got him involved more than two decades ago.
Lupinskie began his career in public education in response to issues he saw when his children were in school. “I could sit on the outside and complain, or I could help to create solutions,” he said.
His early efforts — fighting to close a school his daughter attended — frustrated local school officials, who, he said, tried to placate him by placing him on a Regents task force. But Lupinskie persevered, and in 1991 won a seat on the Glen Cove School Board of Education. He served as president of the Glen Cove Board for four years, having also served as its vice president and as a member of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee and the Committee on the Regents Plan. One of his greatest joys as a board member, he said, was handing his daughter her diploma years later when she graduated.
Lupinskie first worked with Nassau BOCES in 1993 as a member of its Budget Advisory Committee. Three years later, he was elected to the Nassau BOCES board and served on it for the next 12 years. Of the many changes he helped to implement, he was most proud of seeing BOCES move away from leasing buildings to buying them, resulting in reduced costs for taxpayers and increased stability for the educational programs.
In addition to the countless hours he dedicated to local boards, Lupinskie testified on educational matters before Congress and numerous New York Assembly and Senate committees. He served on the New York State Special Commission on Educational Structure, Policies and Practices, and testified on New York State Real Property Tax Circuit Breaker Provisions; 3020 (a) Reform; E-rate Changes and Policies; Dual Roles of BOCES Superintendents; and Universal Pre-Kindergarten Programs.
“I believe I made a difference in terms of changing statute that has improved public education,” Lupinskie said recently. “But it’s not the fact that I did it. What’s important is that it is even possible for an individual to have such an impact.”
He was active in the National School Boards Association and served as a member of its Federal Relations Network, School Board of Tomorrow Forum, Technology+Learning Focus Group, National Affiliate Advocacy Network, Charter School Forum and Technology Leadership Network.
He also was a member of the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) with active roles on the State Legislative Network and the Board Member Training, Property Tax Exemptions and Standards Committees. In addition, he served as a faculty member for NYSSBA’s New School Board Member seminars.
Sought after for his keen business acumen and thoughtful insight into educational issues, Lupinskie presented on a broad range of topics at national, state and regional conferences for NYSSBA, as well as for the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and New York State Association of Small City School Districts (NYSASCSD) Also, on behalf of NYSASCSD, he served as an of cer, board member, and member of the Finance, Nominating and Governance Committees.
Lupinskie was appointed to the American Arbitration Association’s Panel of Arbitrators. Professionally, he was an executive with the Social Security Administration..