*Members: If you have any announcements that you would like to post on the ROBS web site, please contact Nick Siciliano at
             News2@robsny.org. Announcements will be posted each month on this page. If you miss any previous month's announcements,
             you can view them at the Archives page of this web site. You can also read more news in our Newsletters. In addition, if you have
             your own web site, and would like to share it with other members, let us know and we can include the link on the ROBS site
  IN THE NEWS                                                                        OCTOBER 2016
Oct 7
General Membership Meeting
Events Calendar

Oct 27

Executive Board Meeting
(Brentwood Library)
Meeting Dates
POSTED 10/4/16
     The Brentwood Historical Society is holding its third annual art raffle. We are selling a limited number of tickets for a chance to win one of the Rick Mundy giclee prints, printed on hand made cotton paper from France, below. Each picture is 22'x28", is matted and framed and retails for $215. The tickets are $10 each and the winners will be chosen at our holiday party on December 12. Winners need not be present. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit our scholarship fund. Your check, made out to the Brentwood Historical Society, is tax deductible. For more information, contact president@brentwoodhis.org

Click on images to enlarge


POSTED 10/4/16
     You will be receiving a 4 x 6 card in the mail for you to fill out and return along with your $25 membership fee. This card should arrive with the latest copy of the ROBS Newsletter. If you do not receive the membership application card, you can download one here. New members can also use this card to join ROBS.
     Simply fill out the card, and indicate if there are corrections to be made to your current listing in the directory. Return the card in the pre-addressed envelope to Carmen Roldan, 49 Linda Lane, North Babylon, NY 11703. Include your check made out to ROBS for $25 with "Dues" written on the memo line.

POSTED 10/10/16
A note from Letty Sustrin:   
    Many people ask, “What is “PROJECT HOPE?” After ROBS was formed 25 years ago, the Retirees of Brentwood Schools wanted to continue to show support for the families of the district they had worked in, and loved, so much. Suburban Children, an organization located in Bay Shore was contacted, and this wonderful project was begun.
    With the help of Michele Beecher of Suburban Children, who incidentally is a product of the Brentwood School System, ROBS has been able to adopt local families and give them “HOPE” during the Holiday Season. Our organization (Supermarket Shopping Wizard Phyllis Goodwin-Thanks so much for always doing this) provides food  for Thanksgiving, and our shopaholic Elves (Letty Sustrin, Lois Morella, Loretta Ellington and Kris Dougherty) shop for gifts for the members of the families at Christmas time.
    When the shopping is completed we will have a “WRAPPING PARTY” at the Brentwood Library. We would love some more ROBs Elves to attend this event to help wrap and deliver presents to the families. It's a very rewarding and fun time, and you also get to eat some delicious goodies and socialize!
    We have been fortunate that our ROBS members have been so generous each year when,”giving” time has come. With your wonderful support, ROBS has been able to adopt up to four families each year. We hope we can do this again.
    PROJECT HOPE has touched the lives of many; not only the families that we make happy, but also those who are involved in trying to fulfill some of the dreams of people that are less fortunate than themselves.
    You will be receiving a letter at a future date asking for your generous monetary donations. Let's continue to support this worthy tradition.
   After my co-chairman (twin sister Sheila) passed away, I made a vow that I will always continue to chair this committee with pride in what ROBS does for this community.
    Please make your checks out to: ROBS, and put “Project Hope” in the memo area. All donations can be given at meetings, or mailed to our ROBS Treasurer:
Carmen Roldan
49 Linda Lane
North Babylon, N.Y. 11703
    Thank you once again for all your support. I'm looking forward to another successful year for Project Hope.
Happy Holidays,
Letty Sustrin

POSTED 10/14/16
     Janice Thorkelsen, music teacher at SW Elementary for 33 years, passed away suddenly on Oct. 8. Visitation is at Claude R. Boyd-Caratozzolo Funeral Home, 1785 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park, today (Friday) from 7:00-9:30PM.
    For more information on Janice Thorkelsen and to post on the funeral home page click here.

POSTED 10/22/16

     James Canale, husband of Maria Canale, passed away. The viewing will be Monday morning, October 24, 2016 from 10:00 A.M. to 12 noon at the Saint James Funeral Home, 829 Middle Country Road, St. James. Interment will be at St. Charles Cemetery, East Farmingdale, N.Y. at 1:00 P.M. Cards can be sent to:
Maria Canale
34 Scarborough Drive
Smithtown, NY 11787

POSTED 10/24/16

     Susan Rubenstein Demasi, daughter of Anita Rubenstein who worked for the District in Sonderling Guidance, was recognized by NYSUT for her accomplishment in print. Susan was also a graduate of BHS and the Maslow Toffler School of Futuristic Education in 1975.
     The article appeared in the September 2016 edition of NYSUT United. She received kudos for writing the first full-length biography of Henry Alsberg, an important but forgotten figure of the 20th century. To view the full article online visit www.nysut.org/news.

How are we doing?
We'd like to hear from you.
Please visit our
Letters to the Editor

where you can share your views and comments

View the In Memoriam page
with the list of our Brentwood colleagues who have passed away. This list will be updated on a yearly basis.
NYSUT Website

Support VOTE-COPE with your voluntary contribution. Download the VOTE-COPE Contribution Card here.

October 25
Annual Brunch
Welcome New Retirees

October 6
NYSUT Regional Conference

RC 21 Website:
Sheila & Letty Sustrin
Children's Books Authors

John M. Sherin
Local /Regional
(Jigsaw Maps)600
Geography Manipulatives

Complete Team Building Kits
Teaching Cooperation/ Collaboration
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Alida Thorpe
Island Vision Photography, Inc.

Rick Mundy
Watercolor Prints of L.I., Adirondacks, NYC...

Gloria Hannemann
Hardwood Flooring and
Home Improvement

Elmon Kazandjian
NYC Art Gallery

Rose Marie Brousseau
Brentwood Rotary Club

Ronda Brooks
Children's Social Skills Groups

Rich Graziano
Mr. Graziano's Science Class
Academic Enrichment and Remedial Website

Check out the Famous People and Events on that special day in October and see what else happened!
Historical People and Events for October
October 2016 Holidays, Bizarre, Unique, Special Days
Bizarre and Unique Holidays in October
All About October
October in History
Why did we do it?
     What was our purpose in taking on such an open ended “History Project”; for which we evolved a script of questions and got answers from over 150 subjects for two decades?
     We couldn’t answer the question in 1994 when people would ask “What are you going to do with the interviews?” All we could say was that for educational purposes we had to document our record now or lose the chance to preserve so many poignant accounts, funny stories and touching tales told by exemplary educators. We knew these dedicated public servants might shortly, for reasons yet unknown, be leaving Brentwood for good.
     So, we decided to let time sort out the details. We began scheduling appointments. We asked questions and listened saving for generations the essence of what it meant to have been an educator or employed, in this large public school system during the second half of the 20th century. Brentwood remains an exemplar to all others; a diverse microcosm of America reflecting 124 districts on Long Island while simultaneously resembling thousands across the U.S. We’ve accomplished something here to be proud of. Whether we were interviewed or not, ours is a claim of service that few professionals in the State of New York or elsewhere have positioned themselves to share in the way we have.
     INITIALLY the practice of sitting with a subject for an hour and giving them a hundred percent focused attention seemed somewhat daunting to a number of friends and colleagues. So much so in fact that many declined our repeated invitations to speak with us as they left careers or retired from full employment. Despite all assurances that we were not about investigative journalism or invading privacy, they deferred. Now, twenty years after we began, some are saying they may be ready. “Better late than never” we say. However, to all among you who were willing to share not only your classroom experiences and personal stories, but precious memories from your lives along with your fondest hopes for the future, we say “Thanks”. Thanks for allowing us to continue the process by paying it forward as we share these interviews with the Brentwood community and countless professionals and researchers near and far. Through an acceptance of ROBS offer of collaboration with Archivist Dr. Geri Solomon and The Long Island Studies Institute at Hofstra University our History Project lives on in academia as well as in the collection of the Brentwood Public Library, thanks to Director, Thomas A. Tarantowicz.
   Enjoy unlimited visits to www.robsny.org where you can watch and listen to segments from featured Interviews in the ROBS History Project Section on our Announcements Page each month. Return here to listen and learn again and again.


Elmon Kazandjian
English Teacher
June 6, 2006
      Her full married name is Elmon Dadaon Kazandjian. Her maiden name was Dadaon. When she married George Kazandjian her name became what it is today. Growing up she was called Ellie. While in Brentwood she was known by her own name Elmon. She attended Hunter College and later completed her graduate work at Columbia University. She hated her name as a child but in time got used to being different. Hers was a very sad family history. Her parents were both Armenian. They went through the Turkish massacres (1915-1918) and last family members. Her mother had to live in an orphanage with her sisters and lost one of her sisters in that orphanage for many reasons. She remembers hearing that it was from starvation. An elder sister gave the younger one some of the bits of food they had, but she was weak and succumbed to whatever was going around. Elmon grew up hearing these stories. There were other massacres in 1895 but they started slowly. WW1 was used as a cover for the killings Henry Morgenthau Jr. was the US Ambassador to Turkey who established the history of this tragedy. He told the US government about it. There was the Near East Relief fund in America and there were many families who told their children “better eat your food. Remember the starving Armenians”. It was well known. Elmon hopes  before she dies (her parents both died in 1992), that she will hear the Turkish government apologize for the crimes committed. She compares what happened to Germany acknowledging the war crimes of the Nazi’s during WWII. Her husband’s family went through it as well. She met George in America at a charity picnic. He had just come over to America a few years before on his own. She called him “the pioneer.” Somehow they met at this beautiful picnic in Flushing Queens at the Armenian Home for the Aged. Unfortunately, she said, many of the people there were dying off. It was the 90th Anniversary of the massacre and there is not one Armenian family in America that hasn’t been touched by it. Armenians are all over the world. They are in China and Africa. Georges family went to Ethiopia to escape. Her paternal grandfather was taken away at gun point and her father heard the gun fire as he was shot and killed. At 14 her father was hidden in a cesspool when they came for all the men and boys. He went on bravely to become a Freedom Fighter to save the rest of his family. They always appreciated America because of her mother and father’s story. George was the last of 7 children, At the time of the interview Elmon had a younger sister Margaret, who lived in Maryland. Elmon herself had 2 daughters, the eldest, Marta Kazandjian Rinaldo, a Certified Speech Pathologist, worked in NY Hospital in Queens. She is an author and has an A personality. Marta and Joe have 2 beautiful boys; Mathew 9 and Jack 4 ½ . They live in Rockville Centre. Elmon and George have plenty of family contact. Their other daughter is Christine. Christine Woodward and her husband John have a daughter Julia, who writes poetry at 8 years of age. Elmon loves being a grandparent. Christine and her husband John own an art gallery in SOHO. In her first life she was a CCRN (critical care Nurse at Beth Israel Hospital in NY.
    Elmon was born in Hasbrook Heights, NJ. In 1935. At 4 ½ years she remembers her sister coming home with their mother from the hospital in her father’s car. She has many wonderful memories of her mother and father who she says were “the salt of the earth. She remembers thinking had dad was rich. He owned rental property. He always wrote checks and she thought that made him wealthy. They didn’t feel any effects of the depression. Her parents were savers; and very frugal. She followed in their footsteps and became a saver too. She spoke only Armenian at home. She had an uncle who taught her to speak English beginning in June of the year she started attending school. She was skipped ahead to second grade by passing Kindergarten and 1stgrade in PS 47. She went to James Monroe HS in the Bronx where she returned to teach at age 21 only to be mistaken for a student by the very teacher who had hired her. She still owns a Tiffany Medal she was awarded for her exceptional teaching ability. She loved school and learning and to this days remembers the names of all her elementary school teachers. Her first job at 15 ½ was in an office. She remembers a special black doll her mother bought her because it was different. She played with dolls until she was 10 yrs old.
     When George’s company came to Long Island, Elmon applied for a teaching position in Brentwood. She was interviewed by Fred Weaver. Beryl Nott was there. By the time she made it over to 3rd Avenue and the Administration Building the contract had been typed and she was hired as soon as she signed it. On July 7, !962 they were married. She began teaching that September. She said Brentwood at that time had a beautiful campus compared to the NYC schools in which she had taught. Everything was on one level and occupied a lot of open land. She was hired to teach English by Fran Cairns, her Chairperson. She taught many mini courses over the years but always English. Jim Watson, Joe Purcell, Pat Hauck were some of her colleagues. Her experience at James Monroe prepared her for Brentwood. She loved what she was doing and never had a discipline problem with any of her students. Her purpose was to make kids love learning and make their lives more meaningful. She team taught with Gail LeGrand.
      Her father had been an early supporter of the Ladies Garment Workers Union and against management attempts to destroy the union. She walked a picket line during a teachers strike in NYC and remembered it as being very difficult. Her first salary was $4,280.00 per year before taxes. She never asked how much she was going to make. It didn’t matter. Everyone lived at home until they got married in those days. She took a leave when her children were born and came back several years later when she was called by Shirley Hodges who told her they were looking for someone. Guy DiPietro helped her come back on the step she had been at when she left on her hiatus. She retired in 1991 when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Both parents died in 1992. She was still volunteering at the Islip Hotline and had been for the last 12 years. She enjoys her work there She also loves to read and she reads all the time. Given her parents, her genes, her spouse her relatives and friends she has made the best of what she’s been given. To new teachers she advised, “Do what you love. Love what you teach. Opportunity plus preparation makes luck”. In the last few minutes she spoke of her memorable trip with George to Ethiopia in1972. She was still wearing a lions claw on a hand made gold chain around her neck that she was given as a gift from a family member on that visit.

You can also view any of these past interviews by visiting History Project Interview Archives :
Baker Bernhardt, Ruth
Baker Bazata, Eleanor
Balinski, Wally
Brooks, Ronda
Carey, Dick
Carpenter, Beverly
Cerullo, Peter
Corkery, Florence
Corkery, Kate
Cuneen, Ray
Curio, Rich
DeBellis, Claudia
DeBellis, Helen
DeBellis, Michael
DePlaza, Marilyn
Desoto, Edward
DiMento, Peter
Edwards, Richard
Efron, Martin
Fasullo, Mike
Felicio, Anthony
Filosa, Edith
Fiore, Marcy
Fornwald, Calvin
Hannan, Edward
Helman, Harriet
Hodges, Shirley
Kirschner, Marge
Koehler, Florence
Lane, William
Lange, Joan
Laub, Dr. Herb
LeBron, Bernard
Martz, David
Mascaro, Barbara
McNicholas, Barbara
Monsen, Pattie
Moss, Ken
Mundy, Rick
Murray, Alma
Nanos, Jim
O'Conner, Thomas
Pace, Ron
Pepine, Harriet
Purcell, Joseph
Rosenthal, Ivy
Rosenthal, Ruth
Salerno, Hank
Scharf, Karen
Sekac, Evelyn
Sheele, Raymond
Silverman, Anita
Sopp, Lorraine
Spencer, Franklin
Stuhler, Patricia
Sustrin, Letty and Sheila
Vannoy, Evelyn
Veech, Chris
Walker Lloyd, Shirley
Wolfe, Jeffrey
Zuckerman, Dorothy
Zuckerman, Jack   

View May 8, 2015 History Project Celebration Photo Album

View History Project Slide Show on YouTube

              Classified Section

THE TOWN CRIER -  MarilynDePlaza@aol.com

Marilyn De Plaza
The Town Crier" was set up a number of years ago so that the retirees of the Brentwood School District could have an email center to stay in touch. Since I began to send out all sorts of information, retirees from all over the country have sent me their email addresses. Some have asked, "Do you have any idea where so and so is?" Others have sent proud news of their accomplishments, their family news, photos,etc. and sadly, we often get bad news. Many retirees whom I have never met write me to thank me for keeping this connection going, as everyone remembers the Brentwood years with warm feelings.