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New Rochelle Library Board Candidate: Haina Just-Michael

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The Daily New Rochelle will run candidate profiles on the two candidates running for two uncontested seats on the seven-member New Rochelle Public Library Board of Trustees, and the nine-member New Rochelle Board of Education before the May 15 election. Each candidate was asked the same questions.

Incumbents are running unopposed for all four seats. Haina Just-Michael and Bernardo Nunez are running for the two library board seats. Nunez was appointed midterm to fill a vacancy.

Chrisanne Petrone and David Lacher are running for the two school board seats.

The Daily New Rochelle asked candidate Haina Just-Michael questions about herself and what she plans to do if elected. Below are her answers.

What do you think of the current state of the New Rochelle Public Library?

The NRPL has served me and my family for the past 20 years as a second home.  My children literally grew up going to the NRPL and later the Huguenot Children's Library.  They know the importance the Libraries of our community play in our daily lives.  It’s not just about books for us. NRPL serves us all as great community center. I take great pride in serving on the Board of Trustees at such a vital part of the great city of New Rochelle.

Our NRPL Board of Trustees is made up of a dedicated, bright, artistic, diverse group of New Rochellians.  We respect one another and there is always a healthy discussion about all the different needs of the New Rochelle community as it pertains to the Library.

Why do you want to be re-elected to the New Rochelle Public Library Board of Trustees?

I believe in New Rochelle as a great place to live and the Library is an important part of that function.  I truly enjoy and feel honored to be part of the role of making NR and even better place.

Why do you enjoy serving on the board?

The people serving on the board make life in New Rochelle and the Library a little more interesting and exciting for me.  I enjoy knowing that our Library is being helped by those people.  Although the board plays a great role in securing the Library as a great place, none of what we do would be possible without a great leader exemplified in Tom Geoffino, our library's director and the staff at NRPL.  The library is fortunate to function with a few great volunteer arms--the Friends of NRPL; the NRPL Foundation and Partnership at the Huguenot Children's Library are vital in keeping the library a well-tuned vehicle.

What do you plan to do if re-elected?

I have recently learned of some new educational tools which can be partnered with schools and libraries which I am hoping to introduce.  However, right now we are in the midst of many new possibilites such as revitalizing the Ossie Davis Theater.

What is your background?

I have been working in the field of public relations for about 30 years.  My primary focus is not for profits.  I am currently a freelance media consultant through the JUSTMEDIA Group, Inc., a business I established in 1992 and own and operate.

I currently serve on the ENVISIONR committee as well as on the Board of the League of Women Voters in New Rochelle.  I also occasionally host the LWV's Cablevision  program, People, Places and Issues.

I have lived in New Rochelle for 20 years with my husband and three daughters.  I have degrees from NYU and Univ of Penn.

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