Ruth Tamarin, who served as Great Neck Park District Commissioner, from 1998 to September, 2014, passed away on May 24, 2018.
She earned degrees from Hofstra University; an undergraduate degree (English & Education) and an Educational Administrative degree as well as an MS in Special Education from Long Island University.
After she retired from the Great Neck School District, Commissioner Tamarin was an adjunct professor at C.W. Post and a supervisor of student teachers on a part-time basis. As a former teacher and mentor in Great Neck, she had the opportunity to work with our community’s parents and children. Her involvement as an educator included serving on numerous task forces, contract improvement committees and outdoor education projects. As both a teacher and parent, she was an active PTA and United Parent/Teacher participant. Prior to teaching, she was a writer and editor for Grolier’s Book of Knowledge.
Ruth Tamarin was also a co-founder, former president and a Board member of Foundation of Community Unified Services, a corporation dedicated to supporting the developmentally disabled. She was also a member of Long Island ACLD, the Community Childcare Partnership, a Board member of the Great Neck Historical Society a member of Long Island Association of Special Districts, an advisor to The Friends of the Parks Foundation, which she helped form in 2003 and a board member of Temple Beth-El’s Club Chai.
She had a vision for the Park District, along with her fellow Commissioners and Park District staff through those years. She had overseen wonderful capital improvements like the restoration of Great Neck House, the Village Green, the gardens of Steppingstone Park, the baseball fields at Allenwood Park, the acquisition of the Cohan property which brought the district new waterfront parkland, the development of the first-ever Dog Park, the replacement of every playground in every park throughout the district, the renovation of the beautiful Parkwood Family Aquatic Center, the improvements to the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink and most importantly, to Ruth, the All-Abilities PlayGarden.
Initiated by Commissioner Ruth Tamarin in 2004, was the unique concept for a special play area in the Village Green. Ruth began by forming an Advisory Board consisting of members of the community, including those who serve on the Great Neck Friends of the Parks Foundation. The focus was on an “inclusion approach”, offering a sense of belonging for all children with and without disabilities. It has become one of the most popular play areas in the District. The Park District’s PlayGarden, is a very special type of play area and a proud first for all of Long Island.
Ruth will be missed by all who knew her here in the Great Neck Park District.