*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.
BRENTWOOD GRADUATE SUCCESS STORIES POSTED 11/1/11 Steve Rochester, who retired from Brentwood Ross H.S. in 2004, was the guest speaker at the October 11th ROBS general membership meeting. He made a slide presentation entitled "Brentwood Graduates Success Stories", where he featured many of the graduates "then and now". He had photos of them while attending Brentwood H.S. and current photos of them today showing their current successes. This is the second slide show that he has made.
In his own words, this is what Steve had to say, "I looked up Brentwood graduates that have had a successful career. This year's presentation includes Bobby Bukowski 1970( son of Ross Bulldog Secretary Jeanne B). Bobby is an Oscar nominated Director of Photography. Also Olympic doctor Brian Krabak 1985, NY State Assemblyman Philip Ramos,(1974) Federal Justice Dept Attorney Daniel Metcalfe(1969), National War College Director Robert Gallucci( 1964), leading female Harness Trainer Linda Toscano(1973) National Soccer Coach of year at UCONN, Ray Read` (1979), and Hall of Fame jockey Richard Migliori."
You can view the two slide presentations by selecting the following link. Brentwood Graduates Success Stories You can also view these photos in the "ROBS Meetings and Functions" album on the Photo Gallery page on this website.
SAVE THE DATE POSTED 11/15/11
There will be a Retirement Party for Joi Garvin on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at Lombardi's on the Bay. Joi is currently a Special Education teacher at the Freshman Center.
PROJECT HOPE POSTED 11/1/11
Dear ROBS Member,
As we celebrate our first twenty years as an organization, we can reflect upon our many accomplishments. One such source of pride is 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 families during the traditional holiday season. Complete dinners are provided for Thanksgiving, and many gifts are bought, wrapped, and presented at Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza.
Our members have worked diligently to make this endeavor a success. The effort has been very 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.
Due to a bank change, please now make the checks payable simply to "ROBS". You may write "HOPE" on the memo line. So that we may keep proper records, please send the checks to: Peter Vercillo
26 Willoughby Street
Brentwood, NY 11717
Thank you for your continued support. Best wishes for the special weeks ahead.
Sincerely, Peter Vercillo
PROJECT HOPE CHAIRPERSON
P.S. We welcome anyone who wishes to shop, wrap and deliver baskets.
RENEW YOUR ROBS 2011-2012 MEMBERSHIP
Just a reminder to our members to renew your ROBS membership for the coming year. You can download theMembership 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 theMembership 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.
STEPHEN HOYT By John Sherin “I spent my formative years in Brentwood, New York, a place whose origins lie in the nineteenth century and the City of Modern Times, a socialist utopian community that survived for 13 years, from 1851 to 1864, exactly 90 years before I arrived in Brentwood with my family in the summer of 1954. Like the City of Modern Times, I survived for 13 years before leaving permanently” - Stephen Hoyt
Dr. Eugene Hoyt, Supervising Principal
“There’s something inexplicable about the hold Brentwood has on me”, Stephen told me during a phone conversation late one evening. Speaking to him from my home on Long Island, he’d called from some place in Russia while teaching English to Kazakh scientists, through a grant from the U.S. Department of State. He was traveling with CRDF to another teaching assignment, this time in St. Petersburg. He is now in Moscow, where he plans to devote time to writing about his life in Brentwood by incorporating pieces of the story of ‘Modern Times’ for his students who found it somewhat hard to believe. Stephen (left) and Bakybek in the mountains near Almaty
The very idea that a utopian socialist community had thrived in Brentwood on Long Island, in the United States over one hundred years ago seemed almost incomprehensible to them.
Dr. Stephen Hoyt, teaching in Kazan (Republic of Tatarstan), Russia
Stephen Hoyt, son of Dr. Eugene Hoyt, first and only Supervising Principal of Brentwood Public Schools before we had a Superintendent of Schools, continued “Whatever it is about this place I won’t be able to get it off of my mind until I tell the whole story”. So here were, Nick Siciliano and I standing before the Brentwood Public Library on May 3rd a beautiful spring Tuesday morning waiting for his arrival. Ten o’clock came and went and we glanced in the direction of 3rd Avenue where we expected him to round the building coming from the vicinity of East Middle School from which he’d walked. The previous night had been spent at the home of an old friend and longtime Brentwood resident, Tino Sarmiento. He decided at the last minute to walk to our meeting to acquaint himself with the changes he expected to encounter to his old neighborhood along the way. Once together we went to find Thomas Tarantowicz Jr., former BHS graduate who was now the Director of the Library and the person we most wanted Stephen to meet. Our disappointment showed when we learned that the Director was out for the day and not expected to return till morning. We entered the History Room of the library hoping next to find Mary Koferl and Adel Bennett, but had zero luck finding either. Mary and Adel were out. Adel that very day was, undergoing an operation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York that would save her life.
We advanced on the Administration Building where we intended to introduce Stephen to Joseph Bond, the Superintendent or to Joan Lang, Assistant Superintendent who had worked with his father when he’d been our boss. Fortuitously, we caught up with Joan for a few minutes just as she was leaving for a meeting and then took the elevator from the 3rd floor to the Office of Ann Palmer, Coordinator of Language Arts and Social Studies (Stephen’s area). There we were fortunate to be able to introduce our guest without an appointment. It had been a whirlwind morning for us much as every morning had been during our own years of active service where there’d never been enough time to plan or devise strategies for dealing with this or that impending crisis. We all learned to take a triage approach to crisis management. It was that kind of approach that had made Brentwood famous as a role model for many other Long Island school districts who followed in their own progression of growth stages through the decades.
We went next to the High School entering through the new Sonderling addition. We stopped at the 9/11 Memorial and walked to the G. Guy DiPietro Learning Center occupying the central focal point of the high school complex. We paused to view and discuss the row of photographs of former graduates, some of whom Stephen recognized and others (like Robert Gallucci who’d also attended Brentwood high school), were either already known for their achievements or whose faces were soon to be added - to our Wall of Fame.
We passed the radio studio of WXBA and were welcomed to the TV station by Peter Korovezos, another graduate who currently directs the learning of this generation of students who are studying television as their first choice of career. Along the way, Stephen stopped to engage teachers and passing students in conversation demonstrating the style of a warm, approachable people person he seemed to have inherited from his father. Time was flying and we wanted to make the most of the visit so as Nick prepared to leave, we exited the building through the entrance to the new Ross Building, turned right along the front of the complex to reach our cars past the Viet Nam Memorial where more names were recognized and identified. Stephen and I proceeded up Third Avenue, past the new Mosque, the Old School House, along Crooked Hill Road and the soccer fields of Brentwood State Park, through the former grounds of Pilgrim State Hospital and the Michael J. Grant Campus of Suffolk Community College to northern most Brentwood along Vanderbilt Parkway stopping for a light lunch at one of the new Deli’s that dot the busy border of the modern Hauppauge Industrial Park.
Former Brentwood home of Hoyt Family, 1 Taft St.
Recently completed Mosque on Third Ave. Before dropping Stephen off at the place where he was staying, we drove past Taft Street, three blocks north of Suffolk Avenue in the very center of town to the house where Stephen and his family had lived when he was a student here and his father had served as Supervising Principal. That was during Brentwood’s greatest period of uninterrupted growth – when a new school was being constructed every year for an unprecedented period of ten years.
Given his considerable family connection and distinguished professional history, one has the distinct feeling that we have not have seen or heard the last of
Dr. Stephen Hoyt.
*Civilian Research and Development Foundation / http://www.crdf.org Dr. Hoyt helped launch the program which for the last 10 years has been financed by the MacArthur Foundation (where Bob Gallucci is ironically now President!).
---------------------------------------- WASTE - WAR
By Ed Hannan
Youth is wasted in war's dirth,
Instead it should be spent in mirth.
Amid the waste, we got wasted.
This is a waste of time, my life, my time
Before I'm a short timer -
Especially when I'm a short timer.
In the meantime this is too hard
To look at, to feel, to remember -
So, I'll get wasted.
The lepers create furniture from our waste
Wasted by their disease, they do not
waste time or effort on insanities
like war or getting wasted.
Little children pick their daily bread from
our mess hall waste barrels.
We have plenty so we waste a lot.
Youth is wasted in war's dirth;
Instead it should be spent in mirth
We waste T I M E complaining about
Things I Must Endure
Not realizing that a simple twist
of perspective can allow us to notice T hings I M ight E njoy.
Then the reflection of "what might
have been" causes haunting regret
to waste our presence in the present.
This poem was written in 1996 reflecting upon Ed Hannan's years in Viet Nam where he saw active duty.
ROBS HISTORY PROJECT - John M. Sherin
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.
THIS MONTH'S FEATURED HISTORY PROJECT
It was in 1969 that Ed Hansen came to Brentwood, his daughter Deborah Mae was born, the NY Mets won the series, a man walked on the moon and the NETS became first time league champions. “It was” he said “a big year all around”. By the time of this interview in October of 1996, following his retirement, Ed had completed 27 years of teaching out of 29 in Brentwood. The previous year he’d been at LaSalle Military Academy but had made a decision to leave there after consulting with his former college teacher, Father Bruce Ritter, Founder of Covenant House.
“My life seemed like it was directed by another hand” said Ed, who doesn’t believe in coincidences. He and Janis have two grown children who attended K–12 schools in the District. He’d come to Brentwood at the end of summer school in ’69 and was interviewed for a position separately by Ed Murphy and then by Tom Campi and Guy DiPietro. At first he thought he didn’t get the job and brought the news home. They didn’t have a telephone at the time so several hours later a cab pulled up delivering a telegram that announced there’d been a mistake and he’d gotten the appointment after all.
Born on Staten Island December 4, 1940, his life had taken him half way ‘round the world before ending up here. Educated by Christian Brothers at St Peters, he attended a Seminary with full intention of becoming a Franciscan Priest. Attending Wagner and Manhattan Colleges he earned two Masters degrees ie., Religious Education, English and History. Drafted by the US and trained in the South he was shipped to Viet Nam during the height of the build up. That was, by his own description - an intense year. When he came back he was offered teaching positions in a Midwestern high school, Delaware and La Salle Military Academy where he ended up for a year.
Once in Brentwood, Shirley Hodges became a mentor. He remembers few older teachers, while the young ones were energy driven, much as they still are. The type of person who teaches in Brentwood has never lost the romantic ideal. There was a Ross & Sonderling personality. The Ross personality tended to be tougher - they questioned more assertively. There was also different atmosphere between the High School & Elementary School personnel. He remembers Brentwood when it used to “a lot more quiet”. Today there are 4 or 5 cars in front of each house with grown kids living at home. It’s traffic gridlock every afternoon. What hasn’t changed is the type of student we have, what he calls a nice mix. In many ways that has gotten better today. At a recent count there were 53 language groups here. He and Cass Howard, his partner in many theater productions over the past 20 years agree that Brentwood’s strength comes from its’ diversity. He misses the daily exchange and interaction with young people. He doesn’t miss the early rise, grading papers, the tension & conflict with administrators, the disrespect for teachers and having minimal control. He’s still teaching catechism at St Luke’s and drama at the high school. The NY State incentive convinced him and Janis that it was time to step aside to give some one else in Brentwood a chance to teach. He had taught 10th Grade English in both buildings, an overlap session, afternoon session and night school. He still maintains contact with retirees and is an active participant in the ROBS Writers Group. Ed was for ever a hands-on guy where carpentry skills and home improvements are concerned. Regarding union activity and his involvement, he admitted that with two or three jobs, graveyard shift at the post office and teaching night school– his time was limited but invariably there came a time when he had to be involved because he observed whatever was happening, “sooner or later (the same thing) will happen to you”.
Viet Nam was hot and heavy when he arrived. He spoke of being thrown out of a veterans meeting at which he was invited to speak because of what he had to say to the WWII veterans assembled uninterested in his message. He’d been assigned at Headquarters Command, dealing with body counts and public relations and knew of the mistreatment of many civilians from 1965 -1966. Once home he spoke neither for nor against the war, but remembers the SDS being active and Joe Joy, an outspoken student critic of our foreign policy leading many demonstrations and protests. “We needed the dialogue”, Ed said.
Without sufficient resources Eddie remains proud of what we in Brentwood do with so little. Much of that has to do with the lack of modern technology – the TV Studio being but one example. He stressed the importance of always having to communicate what you’re trying to do with colleagues in all departments, and bemoans the fact that teachers simply don’t have time to do it or ask the question - How can I do this differently? While confronting the constant challenge of improvising.
He sincerely hopes “that people come back to a realization of how important teachers are” and how fruitless is the time spent figuring out how to get rid of bad teachers”. He harkened back to his Viet Nam experience and the wastefulness of war given the untapped talent of those serving there and here in Brentwood.
Footnote: The Tunnel to Towers Run was begun in 2002 by family members of off-duty Staten Island firefighter Stephen Siller, (Ed Hannan’s brother-in-law) last seen after the attacks running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel with sixty pounds of gear strapped to his back en route to the World Trade Center. Now an annual event, the Run honors the 343 firefighters and first responders who lost their lives on 9/11. Originally intended as a way for New Yorkers to honor the fallen heroes, it has become a yearly tribute to everyone who lost their lives that day and transcends the tragedy. Two years ago, more than 20,000 people took part in the NY event. The Hannan’s sold their home and left Brentwood moving back to Staten Island s after the attacks in support of family.
Retirement Information Day
Lynn has been an Elementary School Nurse in Brentwood for eleven years. Prior to coming to the district she worked as a nurse at Stony Brook Medical Center. She describes Brentwood as a place with a family atmosphere. Most memorable were her very first and last years. She has memories of preparing Thanksgiving baskets for needy families of students from North. She offers high words of praise for Brentwood’s teachers and nurses. Most challenging were the years before psych-services were provided and those responsibilities fell upon nurses. What was the best part of her job? “The kids”, she said. What did she want to eliminate? “The Poverty”.
"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.
SAD SHARING POSTED 11/1/11
Marilyn - I wanted to inform you of the passing of Bruce Van Duyne....a Social Studies teacher at West Middle School for 35 years. He passed away on Oct. 16th. He fought a hard battle with lung cancer. The family is requesting donations be sent to St. Jude's Children's Hospital Research, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis,TN 38105. I would appreciate you letting the Brentwood community know about this. Thanks Marilyn. June Cardenas
SAD SHARING POSTED 11/17/11
With much sadness, I post this notice...........
Vincent De Riggi, who retired from East Middle School 2006, passed today. The wake is: Grant's Funeral Home
Suffolk Ave., Brentwood
Saturday and Sunday- 2 pm - 4 pm
7 pm - 9 pm
Funeral Monday- 10:45 am St. Anne's Church, Second Avenue, Brentwood
No flowers please- donations can be sent to the Brentwood Schools Booster Club.
SAD SHARING POSTED 11/18/11
Carol Schansinger passed away this past Monday. Carol retired in 2005 from Southeast Elementary School.
The funeral was at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel on Jog Rd. in Boynton Beach and cemetery was Eternal Light Memorial Gardens. Donations can be sent to Hospice of Palm Beach County, Gerstenberg Hospice Center, 5300 East Ave., W. Palm Beach, Fl. 33407.
This is the only information that I have.