FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM OCTOBER 11, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 33
Avella continues his senate re-election
campaign on third-party lines
BY JENNA BAGCAL
As the November midterm elections
draw closer, state Senator Tony
Avella announced plans to continue his
reelection campaign despite losing the
Democratic primary in September.
Th e senator announced on Oct. 8 that
he would be running on the Independent
and Women’s Equality Lines, thanks to
the grassroots political group Families
for Tony Avella who have been fervently
backing him in his reelection.
“Th ey and others from all political perspectives
have asked me not to give up
the fi ght but to continue to campaign for
them,” said Avella in a statement. “No
matter where I go in the district since the
election, residents have expressed their
serious concerns with the candidates that
won the Democratic and Republican
One of the group’s organizers, Phil
Wong, said that he and others in the district
formed Families for Tony Avella following
the September primary.
Th ough Wong does not live in the 11th
Senatorial District, which includes neighborhoods
like Whitestone, Flushing,
Bayside and College Point, he was
inspired by the work Avella had done
where Wong lives in Elmhurst. He added
that he oft en works with district parents
in his work as an organizer.
Wong said that the grassroots campaign
has received “very positive” feedback
from the community in the short
time that the group has existed.
“It’s gaining momentum,” Wong said.
“But it’s a big district and there is a lot of
work to do.”
Th e organizer said that the “dozens”
of volunteers have been working since
the group launched by participating in
“old-fashioned campaigning” including
making phone calls, handing out fl iers
and knocking on people’s doors.
In his announcement, Avella voiced
his concerns about his opponent John
Liu and the Republican candidate Vickie
Paladino and added that others in the district
shared his sentiments.
“Th ey feel that the Republican candidate,
perhaps well-intentioned, has no
experience in government and no knowledge
of the issues our communities face
or how to deal with them,” Avella said.
“Many more have expressed shock that
disgraced and scandal-ridden John Liu
won the Democratic primary. Th ey feel
John Liu is an embarrassment to the
community and are very afraid of the
negative impact on the community if he
is elected. All during the campaign countless
people asked me how can he run,
‘Why didn’t he go to jail for campaign
fi nance fraud?’”
Heather Stewart, a spokesperson for
Liu’s campaign responded to the Avella’s
plans for reelection in a written statement.
“It’s about time that Tony Avella fi nally
fesses up to what were his intentions
all along,” Stewart said. “Not to worry
— Democrats fi red him on Sept. 13, and
voters will fi re him again on Nov. 6. Soon
aft er, Avella will also have to answer for
accepting well over $100,000 of illegal
contributions through the SICC fund.”
QNS reached out to Paladino, who
responded directly to Avella’s comments
regarding her experience.
“As a 63-year resident of this district,
a taxpayer, homeowner, mother, and
small business owner, I can assure all
concerned citizens that I am intimately
familiar with the issues our district faces
and what it takes to solve them, and I welcome
all to visit my campaign offi ces in
Whitestone or reach out to me directly
on social media where I’ll be more than
happy to personally address their concerns,”
said Paladino in an email.
In September, Avella received 47 percent
of the votes, while his opponent Liu
garnered 53 percent of the votes. Wong
said that if voter turnout had been stronger
he believes that Avella would have
won the primary. Th e midterm elections
take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
This Ozone Park high school saw a big jump in SAT scores this year
BY EMMA MILLER
email@example.com / @QNS
Students and faculty at Robert H.
Goddard High School in Ozone Park
were joined by Councilman Eric Ulrich
on Tuesday to celebrate some real academic
Students who took the class increased
their SAT scores in April 2018 over their
11th grade PSAT scores by an average of 74
points. Th e highest increase was 390 points.
Th e students’ average PSAT score was 975,
and the average SAT score was 1050.
“Th is critical program has resulted in
changing the trajectory of student performance
resulting in more students being
college and career ready. It has also supported
many parents who felt relieved to
know that their children were being supported
by experts with the additional benefi
t of saving hundreds of dollars,” said
Principal Dr. Joseph Birgeles.
Ulrich has funded the course at this
and other schools across the district since
“With this funding, we are able to off er
a high-quality course with proven results
- all at no cost,” said Ulrich. “I’m very
proud of this program, of this school and
of these students who are committed to
putting in the time, eff ort and energy to
SAT prep is a 10-week aft erschool
course. Students must show their commitment
to the program through an interview
process. Robert H. Goddard had 50
students in the program this year, which
was double the enrollment from last year.
Th ey were able to expand by using Test
Rocket, a more cost-eff ective program.
In 2016, students who took SAT prep at
Robert H. Goddard brought their average
Photo courtesy of City Councilman Eric Ulrich
score up by 121. In 2017, they brought the
average score up by 153.
Other schools off ering the program
include Channel View School for Research
and Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Park
and John Adams in Ozone Park.