*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                                                                NOVEMBER 2009

     Just a reminder to our members to renew your ROBS membership for the coming year. You can download the Membership Application here and mail it along with your check for $25 dollars to Marge Kirchner, 666 Hawkins Road East, Coram NY 11727. Make checks out to ROBS.
     If you are not currently a member, please go to the Membership page of this site to learn more about the many benefits of joining ROBS.  You can also download the application from that page.
     We hope you will be joining us, and to our current members, thank you for your renewal.


A letter from Peter Vercillo
Project Hope Chairperson

Dear ROBS Member,
     It's time again to ask for support of our ROBS PROJECT HOPE.  As you may know, PROJECT HOPE is a way for the retirees of the Brentwood school community to show continued concern for the children of the area. Through SUBURBAN CHILDREN INC., ROBS adopts local families during the traditional holiday season. We provide food for extensive Thanksgiving meals, and many gifts are bought, wrapped and presented at Christmas time.

     For well over a decade, our members have worked to make this endeavor a success. The effort has been much appreciated, not only by the folks at Suburban, but especially by the children and their parents.

     Through our donations, PROJECT HOPE touches the lives of many. It is an opportunity for our group to add to the joy and spirit of the season. Please help continue this fine tradition. Checks should be made payable to ROBS/PROJECT HOPE. So that we may keep proper records, please send checks to:
Peter Vercillo, 26 Willoughby St., Brentwood, NY 11717.

     Thank you for your loyalty and support. Best wishes for the special weeks ahead.

Peter Vercillo
Project Hope Chairperson

POSTED 10/30/09

Brentwood HS Clericals 1970-1990
       Kay Avini passed away on September 24, 2009. Kay was the principal's secretary at the Brentwood High School for a number of years. Those wishing to offer their condolences may send them to her daughter and her family.
          Mrs. Linda Avini Murray
          526 Wintersweet Court
          Annapolis, MD 21409


     The Alzheimer's Foundation of America will be holding its "National Memory Screening Day" event on November 17. Qualified healthcare professionals at community venues nationwide offer free, confidential memory screenings, education about memory screenings and successful aging, and follow-up resources.  Click on the link below for locations and further details.
National Memory Screening Day

POSTED 11/7/09
By Ellen Edelstein

     Jim Eckert, Linda’s (Sonderling 2003) husband of 37 years, died suddenly on Oct. 18, following a massive stroke. A graduate of Penn State University, Jim served in the Air Force from 1960 - 1965, achieving the rank of Captain. He went on to have a 35 year career with Grumman while earning Masters degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Business Administration. Jim and Linda built their dream home in Mattituck and Jim became an active member of the North Fork community. In addition to serving on the Conservation Advisory Council of Southold, his love of the French Horn led him to join various community bands. In addition to Linda, Jim is survived by a sister, three children and their spouses, and six grandchildren.

See "Sad Sharing Posted 10/20/09" in Announcements October 2009



     Dot Zuckerman is planning another one of her wonderful trips on June 28, 2010. It is a 12 day trip to the U.S. National Parks that will cost $2,738 per person including round-trip air transportation.
     You can view the travel brochure here to see the details and itinerary. A reservation form is included.
     For more information, and to book your trip, please contact Dot at:
Email: dotzee@optonline.net

POSTED 11/15/09
      Paula Moore took a most memorable trip to Egypt last year with the National Association of Black Business and Professional Women's Club.  She shared this wonderful experience with us by recounting her adventures in an article she wrote for the ROBS Newsletter April-June 2009 issue entitled "Tea With The Queen".  You can find this issue in the Newsletters section of this site.

    Please click on the photo below to view some of the beautiful photo's that Paula took on her trip. These photos are posted in the ROBS Member Photos 2009-10 Album on the Photo Gallery section of the ROBS Website.

Queen Mother - February 2008


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NYSUT's 9th Annual Suffolk Regional Conference November 10

General Membership Meeting
WI Library 10:15
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November 19
AARP Defensive Driving Course

December 15
Holiday Festivities Meeting & Light Lunch

Sheila & Letty Sustrin
Children's Books Authors

John M. Sherin
Local /Regional
(Jigsaw Maps)600
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Complete Team Building Kits
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Home Improvement and Maintenance

Elmon Kazandjian
NYC Art Gallery

The Guy I Knew
By John M. Sherin
ROBS -Writers Group Feb. 2000

     Even Opening Day carried his mark. Official business having been addressed and attended to, superfluous, empty ritual kept to a minimum the meeting was quickly adjourned. The custom soon became such that as a group of single or newly married twenty something’s – our department moved either over to Thompson’s Station, an historic watering hole near the high school or to the Half Penny Pub, equally accessible, where we continued to weave a cohesive fabric of a social studies department that has endured for almost forty years. On that particular day, those thirty-two or so members at clustered tables from Ross and Sonderling were conscientiously pursuing their agenda for the day warmed by the cacophony of friendly banter and high spirit even before adjourning.
     He had been Chairman of a small department in an upstate community prior to establishing himself here. The advantage of that limited administrative experience, an extended family surname as well as his own self consuming need, contributed to his rapid ascendancy in the community heretofore known, prior to Brentwood, by the name Modern Times – a fact not lost on this student of history newly arrived. Those who remember will always think of him by one or a number of the lessons he taught us as teacher, advocate, role model, administrator or mentor.

      Devoted to his beautiful wife Roseanne, he was a loving father to three sons, John, Michael, “little’ Guy and their affectionate short haired family Lab; ‘Midnight’. He came to us with a mission; to experience life as fully as he might before age forty, mindful of limits imposed by a paternal family history of shortened life span. He was a fast living, hard working, scotch sipping, private paradigm of spiritual and intellectual prowess and contradiction, whose hearty laugh I will forever hear and remember.
     Few teachers have ascended their career ladders more rapidly than he. Teacher, Attendance Officer, Social Studies Co-Chair, Chief BTA negotiator and Superintendent of Schools – the first on Long Island without a Doctorate – while still matriculating at New York University Law School as an evening student - until Rosanne died of incurable cancer – which he researched with abandon till the end. Any average man might have been broken or incapacitated by the loss. Instead, he lost himself in his work and in a maze of Board and regional politics mindful of the big picture – responsibility to a higher self and a broken hearts need to heal itself. The complexities of choice were at that time no more than right decisions which he believed were his alone to make.

     He prized family loyalties and expected no less from friends and colleagues. His old world Italian-American mindset was something more comparable to the Japanese work culture of recent times than it was to that of an American bureaucracy where quid-pro quo’s seldom compute, his democratic values morphing into benevolent despotism as easily as liberal reforms could disappear under cover of practical, conservative realities. His end justified the means, for as Machiavellian as he might be remembered, he was in the final analysis more loved than feared. What more fitting finale could be sung on behalf of such a king making leader of leaders.
     He was the consummate workaholic, a non-stop, sleep-deprived, over the top, unrelenting pursuer of peak performance and information leading to answers. The issues with which he wrestled demanded answers. Crisis was a drug of choice. When he asked a question he already knew the answer.
     Amidst the paradox there lived an honest man, a decent and loving man whose integrity of character, focused idealism and noble goals were empowered by his own clear sense of self, his courage in the face of odds, his powers of persuasion, vision and compassion. He was a gentleman, a charmer; courteous and kind, ever the consummate host whether you were in his office or at his home.
     Much has been written in recent times about the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ), as a prerequisite of social acceptance and career success. There was no dearth of people skills among his gifts. A tough and demanding negotiator, he would achieve the unachievable with the digital dexterity of a safecracker. Unlike Willie Sutton, also a man of modest stature, he will be remembered less for words than for the giant size of his accomplishments, focusing his genius upon humble public service and the constitutional preservation of our rights to free and equal public education under law.
      Brentwood High School stands today to remind all who enter its doors of the esteem in which this Guy was held. Located in the middle of a two story sprawling and greatly expanded facility, stands the G. Guy DiPietro Learning Center. It was so named to honor his memory and to remind those of us who followed in his footsteps - of his noble legacy. I was privileged to call him friend. He was quite a Guy.

Brentwood School District Administrators

Guy DiPietro
      He arrived the year after I did. We met for the first time in the high school cafeteria that September with other members of the Social Studies Department. It was a bright and sunny beginning in 1964 to one of those days before students returned from vacation. Attendance for all staff with no exception was mandated back then. Veteran teachers and freshman alike were assembled and seated around long wood grained mica tables at the back of the spacious new lunchroom of the Sonderling Building. We could be seen through the open double doors of the cafeteria by other teachers who walked past on freshly buffed floors of the lobby.
     It was there that personnel with cups of coffee in hand were coming and going from ‘Welcome Back’ going about familiar routines while renewing acquaintances after the summer. Most were unaware of his presence that day. That’s ironic in retrospect considering how important he would become be to each and every one of us. Yet to those present, he seemed not any different from the rest. More observant and less verbal maybe with an ability to focus that would soon prove quicker than most, his appearance and demeanor belied the ambition that he held and that few others would equal. As far as we were concerned he was just another new guy; one of us.

     Nick Siciliano was there; Jack Zuckerman too; a couple of other guys who would eventually take turns among peers assuming active union leadership of the sixth largest school district in the State. Tom Brush, Bill Lane, Hal Paster and Pat McCarthy were also present, each by then well on their own paths to becoming the institutions that they became. The Chairman of our Department, Milton K. Siler Jr., officiated. It was he who had interviewed most of us for our positions. His meetings bore a style that will be remembered with fondness by those who were there during those years.

Marilyn DePlaza
THE TOWN CRIER -  MarilynDePlaza@aol.com
POSTED 11/28/09

To The Brentwood Schools Community:
     Patti Pagano Monsen's father, Lew A. Pagano, passed away on the morning of November 28, 2009. He recently fell ill and was in Stony Brook Hospital. Patti was an English teacher at Brentwood High School and retired in 2008. She is also a graduate of Brentwood High School and still lives in the community, remaining active in Brentwood Green Machine Parents Association. Her son, Andrew Monsen, is a graduate of Brentwood High School and is currently a music teacher with a permanent substitute position in the school district. The arrangements for Mr. Pagano's wake and service are as follows:
  Wake to be held at Grant's Funeral Home in Brentwood. Hours:    
  Sunday, 11/29/09: 7 - 9 p.m.
  Monday, 11/30/09: 2 - 4 p.m. and 7 - 9 p.m.
Prayer Service at Grant's Funeral Home:
  Tuesday, 12/1/09: 11:30 a.m.
   Burial to follow.
Condolences may be sent to:
Patti and Andrew Monsen
46 First Street
Brentwood, NY 11717

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