| IN THE NEWS DECEMBER 2014
SAVE THE DATE
Please mark your calendars for June 4, 2015 to join us in celebrating Vicki Regan's Retirment. We are gathering to celebrate a new beginning for our Director, Victoria Regan at the Brentwood Country Club 6:00 to 10:00.
Contact Kim Fauci, Special Services
at 631-434-2142 or KFauci@bufsd.org.
|WHO ARE THEY?
Please check out some new photos that we added to our General Album on the Photo Gallery Page. The photos are some archived photos that we would like to label. If you can identify any of the missing names, please contact us. Thank you.
Check out Archived Photos
|How are we doing?
We'd like to hear from you.
Please visit our
Letters to the Editor
Page where you can share your views and comments
||WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW
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.
|TED Talk: Are We Failing Our Students?
Dr.Pedro Noguera - NYSSBA 2014 Convention
This is a fact. His picture hangs on the Brentwood Wall of Fame in the G. Guy DiPietro Learning Center. His name is Pedro Noguera AND he graduated from Brentwood High School in 1976. His next step was to go on to achieve considerable personal and professional success. He is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and was a recent featured speaker at the New York State School Boards Association 2014 Convention (NYSSBA) in NYC attended by our own Paula Moore (Brentwood Board of Education Trustee and ROBS Executive Board Member). Dr. Noguera is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. Dr. Noguera holds faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development. He also serves as an affiliated faculty member in NYU’s Department of Sociology. Dr. Noguera is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. From 2008 - 2011, he was an appointee of the Governor of New York to the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees and in 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education.
Dr. Noguera received his bachelors’ degree in Sociology and History and a teaching credential from Brown University in 1981, his masters’ degree in Sociology from Brown in 1982 and his doctorate in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. He was a classroom teacher in public schools in Providence, RI and Oakland, CA and continues to work with schools nationally and internationally as a researcher and advisor. He has held tenured faculty appointments at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2000-2003), where he was named the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools and at the University of California, Berkeley (1990-2000), where he was also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change.
Dr. Noguera has published over 200 research and scholarly articles, monographs, research reports and editorials on topics such as urban school reform, education policy, conditions that promote student achievement, the role of education in community development, youth violence, and race and ethnic relations in American society. He is the author of several books including: The Imperatives of Power: Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada (Peter Lang Publishers, 1997), City Schools and the American Dream (Teachers College Press, 2003), Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools (Josey Bass, 2006), The Trouble With Black Boys…and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education (Wiley and Sons, 2008), and Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap with A. Wade Boykin (ASCD, 2011). His most recent book is Schooling for Resilience: Improving the Life Trajectories of African American and Latino Boys (Harvard Education Press 2014) with Edward Fergus and Margary Martin.
Dr. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and other national news outlets. He has received numerous awards, including the following: 1997 Wellness Foundation Award for Research on Youth Violence
1997 University of California's Distinguished Teaching Award
2001 Honorary Doctorate, University of San Francisco
2001 Centennial Medal, Philadelphia University
2003 Forward Magazine Gold Award (City Schools and the American Dream)
2003 AESA Critics Choice Book Award (City Schools and the American Dream)
2005 Whitney Young Award for Leadership in Education
2006 Eugene Carrothers Award for Public Service
2008 Schott Foundation Award for Research on Race and Gender
2008 AESA Critics Choice Book Award (The Trouble With Black Boys)
2009 Scholastic Corporation Education Hero Award
2011 Honorary Doctorate, Bank Street College
2012 Honorary Doctorate, Metropolitan College of New York
2013 Honorary Doctorate Lewis and Clark College
2013 Kappa Delta Pi Laureate
2014 National Academy of Education
2014 Education Justice Award, Educational Law Center, Rutgers University
2014 Award for distinguished scholarship, Advanced Center for the Behavioral Sciences
Paula Moore & Dr. Pedro Noguera at the NY State School Boards Association 2014 Convention
Executive Board Meeting
Holiday Trip NYC
Radio City Music Hall Show
RC 21 Website: http://rc21.ny.aft.org/
|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
Richard (Dick) Carey began his teaching career in Brentwood in 1963 only two years after he and his wife Judy met and married in 1961. They had three children including the first who was a still-born boy. John came next in 1968 and James a few years later. Dick himself came into the world in 1935. He was only 6 months of age when he remembered being cold and wet with a headache, crying in his crib looking through the slats when nobody came to him. He also remembers riding on an electric bus with his father (a NYC Fireman) along Flatbush Ave at about 3 or 4 and witnessing the aftermath of an auto accident with a dead man lying face up on the hood of a car. He never forgot the image.
He worked in Brentwood for 33 years from the time he was twenty seven years of age until he retired at age 61. I asked him why he retired when he did. Dick said he had lost the energy required to do his absolute best. He was still good in the classroom but that wasn’t enough. He feared he might become bad and he knew it was time to go when he felt unable to do what once came naturally to him. During the years he taught at the Ross building he would arrive each morning before 5:30 am even before Donald Brown the custodian would arrive. Now retired Dick was sleeping until seven o’clock every morning.
He began teaching at North Junior High (North Middle School). He taught Earth Science for three years. Lou Rabinowitz had been Chairman of the Science Department at the High School but left to accept a position at the University of Rhode Island where he became a professor with a doctorate. Dick had a split schedule of Earth Science and Physics for many years with John Leeman until his schedule eventually became Physics exclusively.
Since coming to Long Island, Dick has lived in Babylon Village. Trained at the University of Colorado as a geologist he took his first job with Johns Manville in Canada. He met his wife Judy the same year he was laid off from his job extracting asbestos from the ground. 100 ton trucks had just been introduced. He spent one and a half years working with asbestos in an open pit mine with no mask just as the demand for asbestos declined and the market changed. He obtained a political patronage job with the Nassau County Department of Public Works at a museum located off Hempstead Harbor and in Eisenhower Park. While attending Hofstra to pursue a Masters Degree he met Dr Raymond Scheele (Department Chair of Secondary Education) who told him about Brentwood. Ruth Rosenthal was the Science contact person for the district. Charlie Swensen was Brentwood’s Curriculum Coordinator. It was he who contacted John Maroca and arranged for the meeting with Stan Yankowski who solidified Dicks hiring.
He spoke of his memories of the Kennedy assassination on Nov 22, 1963, the announcement over the PA system and an altercation between two student that was never adjudicated because school was let out early that day. He spoke of the Carr Report, and the role Dave Holt had played. There was a 35% annual turnover rate among Brentwood students at that time. He remembers family life being more stable. Family instability became more pronounced as early as the seventies with divorce rates more prevalent and broken homes becoming the norm. “Pressures on family are 50% worse today”, he said, “There’s more anonymity made worse by the size of the school and the many problems we never had across racial lines. Nuclear families are different today”. All that said, he liked working in Brentwood. Teachers were needed there badly.
At North Junior High he and Joan Lange became Drama advisors who co-sponsored, produced and directed plays and volunteered as Junior Class Advisors for 3 or 4 years before the position was remunerated. He was also responsible for the Science Olympiad Dick eventually became involved with Union work. He was a Delegate first and then became Chief Delegate. He was active during the time when G. Guy DiPietro came to district politics. He speaks of his ambivalence about his involvement prior to the strike vote in Brentwood. Alfred Miller was the new High School Principal at the time Dick became head of The Planning Committee. He has no memory of why we were ready to walk out, but he remembers taking several steps back afterward. Dr. Naninni was there and Nick Siciliano as well. Mr. Miller was gone by Oct 31st. Dick remembers how scared he was and how close in his view, he came to getting fired. He stepped back for 10 years afterward even though he might have become President of the Union if he had chosen to pursue that path. He remembers how he trembled and even questioned his motives given all the other demands on his life and the part time jobs for which he was responsible. He remembered what it had been like before the union when there were standard $100 across the board raises between 1966 -1968. He misses giving the good lessons, talking about Physics and wonders what it would be like to teach an adult education Physics course to those interested in learning the subject. Yes, he misses the kids, his colleagues and even the Department meetings.
His family moved early on from Brooklyn where he was born to South Ozone Park. He was oldest of seven brothers and sisters. He told me how his mother never worked outside the home. She stayed home to raise the children. He remembers being put in the stroller and walked to Ft. Green with his mother, or going to the Malvo on Sutvin Blvd. where she enjoyed going to the movies. Dick’s parents gave him twin sisters when he was fourteen. It was then that he remembers the post partum blues from which his mother suffered. His father was always working either as a New York City Fireman or washing windows on his off time to earn extra money to support family. He remembers how hard it was being the oldest child.
He made an uncle like attachment to a Catholic Priest at St. Clemens where he became an alter boy in Third Grade continuing his service through High School for a total of 12 years. He recalled serving Mass on weekends and being there for Weddings and Funerals that made him good pocket money. He attended Public High School in Queens and remembers Fr. James Donavan who was in his late 40’s or 50’s when he became a priest. Dick learned later that he had previously worked as a reporter for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He remembered that the other priest in the Parish, also a nice guy, would not have made a good teacher.
Years later while visiting A & S in West Babylon around the Christmas Holidays, he heard the voice of a man he remembered as Fr. Donavan. He was wearing a Security Uniform as an employee monitoring a line of kids waiting to see Santa Clause. He had heard stories that the priest had run off with the organist and left the priesthood. Later that night in bed lying next to Judy, Dick recalled how he cried for the priest but was consoled as his wife reminded him that each of us has their own path to travel and that the story might not have had the sad end that Dick was imagining. He added, “we never forget voices or faces. We might forget names, but never voices”.
Among former teachers remembered was a speech teacher named Bob Shepherd – also an announcer for the NY Yankees - that he’d had in class as a Sophomore. Dick recalled how during his early 20’s he was dating a girl from Sacred Heart Academy in West Hempstead. That was when he met this former teacher again at a school dance.
John Adams in Flatbush was the first public school he attended. In the 1st or 2nd grade the family moved to South Ozone Park. He met his girlfriend for the first time at 11 or 12. He did not really know his Grandparents but did meet (John) his grandfather before he returned home to St Louis where he lived with the Sisters of Mercy near his place of employment. He had a Rexall Drug store. His maternal grandmother died when Dick was just a baby. His paternal grandmother died during the Swine Flu epidemic in 1919.
At the time of the interview Dick already had a grandson who was working his way through “the terrible two’s” to hear Dick tell it. “God bless young parents”, he said. “They have the energy needed to keep up with kids. (Can you) “Imagine” he asked, “having a baby now?
We spoke of the new generation of teachers coming into the field and what they would need to succeed in the profession based upon his experience “First and foremost” he said, “one has to be competent in their field; to know their subject from top to bottom but not dwell upon it”. “Communications skills are a must” for a successful teacher. “Learn to listen more and communicate in a way that makes kids feel comfortable”. “Physics”, he said “is hard to teach. Kid around a lot. Some people can’t do that and they shouldn’t be in the classroom. It’s an aptitude and can’t be taught. The people that train teachers have to look for people that could also be actors. Otherwise they’ll always be struggling and will continually be hearing kids say ..Boring”. Unless you can change your perspective and teach from a place of joy you “will lose both the less able and the very bright. You need to be able to ham it up while you’re teaching. At the same time a teacher needs clerical skills to keep track of the kids, learn their first name in a hurry”.
Asked about the importance of Union activity Dick advised new teachers to embrace the union. “We are facing a major crisis with the number of attacks on public unions. Without the union teachers would not have what they have today. Wait until you have tenure then become active. Job security is important. The granting of tenure is the responsibility of Administration. Firing a teacher should only happen if they are incompetent. Without strong unions there would be no end of abuses”. I thanked him for his time. He thanked me for the questions.
You can also view any of these past interviews by visiting History Project Interview Archives :
Baker Bernhardt, Ruth
Baker Bazata, Eleanor
Laub, Dr. Herb
Sustrin, Letty and Sheila
Walker Lloyd, Shirley
|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.