Special thanks to my wife Danielle who was there every step of the way providing sound advice, words of wisdom and helpful feedback pertaining to agenda items, speeches, email responses and so much more. I love and appreciate you—you contributed so much to my work on the Board and played a significant role in any successes that my office achieved over the years.
I also want to thank my parents Ruth and Irving for their unwavering support. I was fortunate to have them very much involved in my School Board life. Whether it was attending DASA institutes, watching and listening to meetings or visiting schools with me, you were able to be a part of this journey. On my late-great Dad’s 90 birthday he visited, if I recall correctly, at least two schools, where he walked around with me and met staff who worked at these schools. Mom, even at 96, provided valuable feedback and was always ready to discuss education issues and matters that came before the Board.
My children, who—one was 2 weeks old when I got elected, one was born during my first term, and one was born during my second term. Thank you for giving me insight into what really matters. As the Superintendent said at more than one DASA Institute, “Karps’ Kids Can.” So, to my sons, thanks for making me look good. Herschel, Benji and Samson—you are very special to me.
Jerold Blumstein, who for 15 consecutive years, was a terrific advocate for our constituents and equally important, a listener. The many meetings he attended, he did so with a smile, and with an open ear and mind. Constituents always appreciated that he came to listen. He also lent a helping hand to many administrative assistants on the 7th floor. Elected officials, community leaders, teachers and parents really liked Jerold and I received many compliments about him throughout my tenure on this Board. You have continued to make a positive difference on the 7th floor just now in Dr. Perez’s office—and for the District 8 family. You are lucky to be working for someone who cares about the community she represents.
Maria Delgado has been with me for the past 10 years. As a former secretary to school site principals, she was a tremendous asset in not only helping transitioning secretaries at many of our schools, but in helping administrative assistants on the 7th floor navigate the system. Like Jerold, she has been very helpful in the contests and activities we’ve coordinated from our office and she is someone that has made sure the “I”s are dotted and the “t”s are crossed when it comes to the paperwork we needed to complete.
Denise Izquierdo was with me for the first 6 years and she helped take our annual HOPE Contest to a higher level and was someone who helped our office run smoothly.
In the early years, Michael Gonzalez provided tremendous guidance and valuable feedback. His knowledge, experience, and analyses helped me secure my footing.
Finally, we appreciate Joann Bassan as she helped our office in attending community events and in ensuring that we would not experience any language gaps with our Haitian Creole speaking constituents.
Thanks to friend and former student Aleksandar Jocic for the development of this website and for so much more.
I thank all the principals and assistant principals I worked with--you opened your doors and hearts to me along the way.
Thanks to: Region Superintendents Enid Weisman, Essie Pace, Marcos Moran, Jose Dotres, Vivian Santiesteban Pardo, Jose Bueno, John Pace, and numerous region directors including Paul Greenfield in the early days and Sally Alayon more recently.
Jim Torrens, Iraida Mendez-Cartaya, Valtena Brown, Jose Dotres—I know I mentioned Mr. Dotres before as a Region Superintendent—but I mention him again as his responsiveness and performance remained strong as a cabinet member, his team including Lorraine, Ron Steiger, Tabitha Fazzino, Raul Perez, Victor Alonso, Michael Levine, Mike Krtausch, Maria Gonzalez, Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, Carl Nicoleau, Ana Rijo-Conde, Lisette Alves and Chris Carranza specifically for the continuation of the STEAM Scholars Banquet and the HOPE Contest, Maggie Abrahante, Ava Goldman, and Ava along with Angie Torres regarding students with ADHD, Marie Izquierdo, Lisette Rodriguez, Penny Parham, John Doyle, Jayne Greenberg, Millie Fornell, Maria de Armas, Tiffanie Pauline, Rose Diamond for so many additional district 3 student stations, Rosa Novo, Bob Brazofsky, Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Sylvia Diaz, Bob Strickland, Mark Zaher, Lisa Martinez, Chief Edwin Lopez (I appreciate the way you honored my Dad), Desiree Llopiz, Pat Roman, John Schuster, Eva Regueira, Beatriz Zarraluqui, Walter Harvey, Luis, Mindy and Mary and the attorney’s office, Gisela Field and the research department, the IT department, Bruce and everyone in the kitchen, Howard Giraldo, Sherman Henry, Karla Mats and the UTD Officers, Al Palacio, and FOP’s Al Palacio, the late Chuck Burdeen, AFSCME’s Phyllis LeFlore, DCSAA’s Ernie Blanco, CEP’s Jasmine Crawford, MEP’s Jorge Garcia, DASA’s Ramses Ancheta, DESMEC’s Rollie Sardinas, John LaBonia, and staff at WLRN some of whom I’ve worked with in different capacities for 30 years including John Stubbs and Rick Pressage.
I want to thank my past and current representatives to various committees and other involved stakeholders including Karen Morton, Isaac Salver, Bob Schomber, Ari Sklar, Dr. Beny Rub, Alan Rubin, Sandy Baker Hoover, Tanikka Anderson-Knowles, Stephen Korn, Glenn Dryfoos, Beverly Heller, Dr. Elizabeth Levine, Gilbert Squires, Millie Delgado, Glen Gopman, Illene Wallace, Michael Olusczak, Monica Matteo-Salinas, Dr. Karmenchu Santana-Vega, Rosa Cannon, Yoni Markhoff, Faiza Liban, John Escobar, Ken Friedman, Stewart Turner and Marjorie York.
I would like to thank the Turken family for the Jennifer Beth Turken Heart Award program and a commitment that is making a true difference. Jennifer’s memory lives on as a result of many acts of kindness by the Turken family’s initiative. Those who kept me in the loop such as Dr. Wil Blechman, Paul Novack, Ed Cobin, Ira Levine, Dr. Leslie Rosenfeld, past and current members of the QEC, Micky Steinberg, John Aleman, Karen Rivo, Mimi Jankovits, Adele Sandberg, Dr. David Buncher, Becky Cohen, Marianna Talalaevsky, Rebecca Carter, County Commissioner Sally Heyman, Sharon Sbrissa, Sam Joseph, Angel Aguilera, Al and Jane Blake, Elaine Adler with the Aventura Marketing Council, and thanks to Beth Edwards and the PTSA Board for recently honoring me with the Lifetime Legacy Award, and thanks to all the PTSAs.
I want to thank Wendi Grossman with 610 WIOD-AM radio for interviewing me regarding education issues over the years, and Ari Odzer, Rosh Lowe, and more recently Hatzel Vela.
Thank you, Alex Munoz with Animal Services and Lisa DePriest,of the Humane Society of Greater Miami. Together, we’ve educated our children about the challenges this community faces regarding pet overpopulation.
I thank David Ertel for his generous support of children in our district, Brad Meltzer for his dedication to City Year and Mark Gordon and Nancy Platt for introducing and funding SHAPE.
To the many people who contributed to my past campaigns, thank you for your support. To the voters—thank you for placing your trust and faith in me and giving me the privilege to represent you all these years. This has been a remarkable journey and you placed me in a position to help others. For that I will always be grateful. Thank G-d for giving me the opportunity to serve others, and to have patience, a compassionate ear, and self-restraint—I never lost it and kept calm.
Thanks to so many in my family and to many of my former students, some of whom are now M-DCPS teachers, for helping me during my grassroots campaigns and throughout the years I have served the community. Thanks to Sandy and Erni Hirsch, Scott Hirsch, Matt Spritz, Eric Spritz, Tracy and Robert Slatoff, Evan Ross, Mark Blumstein, Adam Schwartzbaum and Joe Falk.
I appreciate the work of Cindy Rodriguez-Pereira who has added her professional touch in updating and improving this website. I also appreciate the support of the Zweig family and everyone at the Talmudic University's consortium of schools. Thank you, Rabbi Yitzhak Zweig for providing me with a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the successes of your schools where children and young adults receive a high-quality Torah values-based education.