*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.
MUSICAL PERFORMANCE AT ROBS OCTOBER 2ND MEETING POSTED 11/1/15
The Long Island Classic Jazz Ensemble entertained the ROBS members at their general membership meeting on October 2. by performing several selections from The Great American Songbook. They performed in the Brentwood Public Library auditorium. It was evident by the toe tapping, head bobbing, hand clapping and singing along to the familiar songs, that the audience enjoyed the music immensely. The performance was arranged by John Sherin, ROBS member, who played bass and sang. The other members of the group were Sal Rizzo (percussion & vocals), Bob Lee (drums & vocals), Tom Pandel (Guitar & vocals) and Jim Ilardi (piano).
You can view the photos of the performance here or in the ROBS Meetings & Functions album on the Photo Gallery page of this website.
EXCITING NEWS FROM BARBARA MASCARO POSTED 11/1/15
"Theodore Joseph Mascaro was born on October 21st. at 3:14 pm. He weighed 7 lbs. and is 20 1/2 in. tall with dark hair. He looks like a combination of his big brothers Charlie and Will. They are going to call him Teddy. He is the 3rd child for our son Billy and his wife Erin. Everyone is "over the moon" with happiness!"
Our congratulations to the Mascaro family!
INTERVIEW WITH LYNN EVANS MAND, FORMER MEMBER OF THE "CHORDETTES" POSTED 11/17/15
Lynn Evans Mand who retired as a Special Education teacher from Hemlock Park in 1989, was a member of the "Chordettes" popular musical group from the 50's to early 60's. She was recently interviewed speaking about her carreer with this group. To view the video on YouTube click on MRS. SANDMAN: A Chat with The Chordettes' Lynn Evans. You can also watch the video of the Chordettes performing a couple of their hits by selecting The Chordettes "Lollipop" & "Mr. Sandman".
There was also a brief article in the March/April Announcements page of the ROBS website, although the link referred to in the article is no longer active.
SAD SHARING POSTED 12/2/15
Anthony (Tony) DeMarco passed away Monday, November 30th after a long illness. The wake will be at Grants Funeral Home. Coram, NY on Friday, Dec 4th 2-4 and 7-9. The address for the funeral home is 3640 NY-112, Coram, NY.
Condolences can be be sent to Charlotte (Deschamps) DeMarco at:
510 Venetian Blvd.
Lindenhurst, NY 11757
The following is a beautiful tribute to Tony written by his wife and our colleague, Charlotte DeMarco. It also appeared on Facebook:
Tony DeMarco 1933-2015 Anthony (Antonio Franklin) DeMarco, Tony as he is known to friends and family, lived life to its fullest. An active skier (nearly 100 days in the past year), hiker, and story teller, he was obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge and the opportunity to teach others. Tony greeted life with a smile and a hug. Tony masked his long parallel battle with various cancers which finally took his life at 82 years young.
Tony was born on October 5, 1933 in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts. He was the youngest of 4 children born to Italian Immigrants, Annamaria Giannini DeMarco and Pasquale DeMarco. He grew up in Boston and began his career working at the Ford Motor Company, until he was drafted into the Army in 1953. After returning to the Ford Motor Company as a Korean Veteran, he took advantage of the GI Bill and was the first in his family to attend college being accepted to Boston University in 1958. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Education in 1962 quickly making up for lost time.
Tony is survived by his wife, Charlotte DeMarco, whom he met and fell in love with while teaching in the Brentwood School District. During his 40 years in Brentwood he was a Junior High School Wrestling Coach, a Junior High School Math and Science teacher, an innovator of the IPS program, a High School Physics Teacher, a Math Lab Consultant and a Computer Lab Consultant.
He loved his family and was a father and grandfather to his large extended family. His extended family built a vacation retreat on Queechy Lake in the Berkshire Mountains creating many memorable moments. After retiring, Tony and Charlotte spent the winters in Salt Lake City where Tony skied most every winter day in the Wasatch Mountains of Snowbird, Alta, Solitude and Brighton. From June to December he chose to reside in Canaan, NY, and on Long Island, New York where he had time to reacquaint with family and longtime friends.
Tony is one of the most giving persons to all. He loved sports and was a dedicated runner, running the NYC Marathon in under 3 hours. He loved gardening, dancing, cabinetry, carpentry, reading, tutoring family members in science and math and spending time with friends. Tony had the most generous, loving heart and touched many lives with his presence. His family and friends will always be thankful for the gift that is his life.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Tony and Charlotte DeMarco Scholarship Fund managed by the Brentwood Union Free School District in Brentwood, New York.
For all whom have loved him, there will be a memorial service honoring him in the coming months (details to follow).
Friday, December 4
2-4 and 7-9
Michael J Grant Funeral Home
3640 NY-112, Coram, NY 11727
Saturday, December 5
2-4 and 7-9
Yannantuono Burr Davis Sharpe Funeral Home
584 Gramatan Ave
Mount Vernon, NY
Tony will be buried in West Stockbridge, Ma.
How are we doing?
We'd like to hear from you. Please visit our
Letters to the Editor Pagewhere you can share your views and comments
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
Letty and Sheila Sustrin
Elementary Education Teachers
June 22, 2006
The Sustrin sisters, with Letty being the older identical twin, were born in Bethel Hospital in East Flatbush Brooklyn twenty minutes apart on the same day. To say that they were close all their lives doesn’t do justice to their relationship. A unusual team of teachers, they shared just about everything including the nickname “Twinnies”. As a couple of unmarried sisters they were solely devoted to their careers, to affection for their countless student “children” and their beloved Scotch Terrier, one of the six they owned going back to childhood and the memory of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Falla”.
Each was her own person with her own style not withstanding their collaborative dedication to serving children as primary school teachers in Northwest, Pine Park, Laurel and Laurel Park, where Lou Lotito and Pat (Buster) Hudson were supportive Principals. Their work was life as defined by their purpose. We learned during their interview on June 22, 2006 that when the inevitable time came for them to retire their feeling of loss was overwhelming - especially for Sheila. Nevertheless, they acted together, supportively retiring on the same fateful day in 1998. In response to the NY State incentive that year, Letty was first to sign just as she had when they were hired by the District upon their arrival in Brentwood in 1960 - 38 years earlier at an annual salary of $4,700. The pressing need they confronted in 1998 was to involve themselves in new activities. According to Sheila, Letty was the stronger person. They began reading the papers to discover what was available for retirees. One letter they wrote to the Editor of NEWSDAY was published, picked up and printed in THE NEW YORK TIMES. They decided after that to write together each night. From their collaboration was born the idea of Mrs. Belle “The Teacher Who Would Not Retire.” Teaching, they said, “is and was our life”, a life they wholeheartedly embraced from the time they were five years of age. Suddenly, retired teachers began to empathize with Mrs. Belle, as going forward their demographic grew to include young and old alike, and other sequels followed; The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Goes To Camp.” Sheila’s name came from her father’s family and Letty’s after their maternal family. The professional relatives on their paternal side became role models for both girls, especially uncle Michael who’d been a teacher and worked his way from the classroom, through administration to become a Superintendent of Schools. Their mother passed away in 2002 at 86, a few months before their first book was published. Their dad died suddenly of cancer when they were 38. They both attended Brooklyn College while still living in Brooklyn and even after moving to Plainview between the years 1958 and 1960. That’s when they came to Brentwood. They continued pursuing their formal education until 1965 when they completed their Master’s Degrees. Once in Brentwood they met with Leigh Stewart because Eugene Hoyt was away. North West was open and Pine Park in the planning stages. Lou Lotito was invited to interview them which he did in the old administration building. By September they had found what would become their new family in Northwest from which six administrators would be chosen by the district. They all helped each other and became very close friends in and out of school even after 46 years. Each child was their main concern, not the contract. After 18 years when Northwest closed they moved from teaching Kindergarten to 1st grade. In 1978 Lou Lotito nominated them as Teachers of the Year.
Their purpose was to make teaching fun every day. After retirement they did something they had never done – they joined groups providing extra help to those needing it with reading and writing. The enjoyed the excitement of learning new things. According to Letty, Sheila was the more technical of the two. The exemplary leadership they enjoyed over the years was due to the quality of teachers and administrators from Laurel and Northwest with whom they worked. They felt sorry for the new teachers and the necessity of constant testing with the loss of having fun with children They advised new teachers to leave time for fun each day since kids remember it. They had a wonderful 38 years in Brentwood.
Letty and Sheila Sustrin
You can also view any of these past interviews by visiting History Project Interview Archives :
Baker Bazata, Eleanor
Baker Bernhardt, Ruth
Laub, Dr. Herb
Sustrin, Letty and Sheila
Walker Lloyd, Shirley
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.