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                                                                          FEBRUARY 2014

New Year's Breakfast
Rescheduled for Feb 7

Events Calendar

Feb 20
Executive Board Meeting

Meeting Dates

POSTED 1/28/14

    Governor Cuomo’s recently announced 2014-15 budget proposal contains a provision that alters Section 167-a of the Civil Service Law, which if enacted, would discontinue the State’s reimbursement of the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) payment.
     That would mean participating EMPIRE Plan/New York State Health Insurance Plan (NYSHIP) members would have additional out-of-pocket health care costs placed upon them.  
     Please read the Retiree Council Action Alert from the desk of Vice President Kathleen Donahue for details.

POSTED 2/23/14
     Elaine Cucciniello Passed away yesterday, February 22. She was a district librarian and taught at Northeast Elementary and worked in the district for 25 years. She was the mother of Madeleine Mazella, retired teacher from Northeast Elementary. Reposing at Moloney's Funeral Home, 840 Wheeler Rd. Rte. 111. Hauppauge. Religious service will be held Monday. Funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday at 10AM at St. John of God R.C. Church in Central Islip. Interment following at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery Coram NY. Visitation on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9PM.
www. moloneyfh.com
     Condolences can be sent to Madeleine Mazella, 55 Brooksite Dr., Smithtown, NY 11787

POSTED 2/18/14

     ROBS would like to congratulate its fellow member and Delegate At Large, Ellen Edelstein, for a well deserved community service award . The following article appeared in Newsday, Sunday, February 16, 2014, p.G14:

Ellen Edelstein
Former educator

Ellen Edelstein of Brentwood has received a 2014 Public Service Award from the Suffolk County Martin Luther King Jr. Commission in recognition of her community service. Edelstein, who previously taught at Brentwood High School and the Academy of St. Joseph in Brentwood, is currently vice president of the Brentwood Public Library's board of trustees, president of the Brentwood Historical Society and chair of the Bay Shore Interfaith Council. She is also a member of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Commack Jewish Center.

POSTED 2/18/14
     Carol Herzog passed away early this morning after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was a Special Education Teacher in Brentwood for 32 years, working at both Southwest and Oak Park Elementary schools. She retired in 2003.
      She will be waked at Branch Funeral Home in Smithtown, just east of Route 111. The wake will be on Wednesday and Thursday, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. There will be a brief service on Thursday evening as well as a few eulogies. The funeral mass is on Friday at 10:30 am at St. Patrick's Church in Smithtown, about 1/4 mile east of Route 111. The burial will be at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery on Route 112 in Coram/Medford.
     In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang at St. Anne's RC Church in Brentwood will be greatly appreciated.

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.

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

Social Justice Efforts Critical to Union's Mission
Published in NYSUT United: A Union of Professionals, Sept/Oct 2013

     In helping educators plan ahead, NYSUT has provided a selection of social justice events and resources for each month of the school year. The following are those listed for the month of January:

     African-American Heritage Month — NYSUT members can order 2013 posters of singer Marian Anderson by emailing orders@nysutmail.org. Watch www.nysut.org for announcement of the 2014 poster.

Feb. 1 — Deadline for Speak Truth to Power student video contest. www.speaktruthvideo.com.

Feb. 14 — Teach students about child labor in the chocolate industry and sweatshop issues in the flower industry. Visit www.laborrights.org.

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.


Raymond Scheele

Elementary Education

    Raymond Scheele was born in 1921 in Woodside, Queens. Earliest memories were of a family visit to Post War WW1 Germany where he saw unforgettable scenes of deprivation, suffering and starvation. Recounting memories of the Great Depression in this country following the crash of 1929 he recalled hunger so extreme that he’d eat leaves off privet hedges to feel something in his stomach. During WW2 he worked as a civilian with the Intelligence Service before joining Hofstra where he became a member of the Education Department
It was the 1950’s. Ray had just completed collaborating as co-author on a definitive book on Puerto Rican’s. About the same time he’d authored a grant proposal to the Ford Foundation, enamored as he was with the Discovery Method of Learning. He received the Grant and was directed to Brentwood which at that time was home to the second largest population of Puerto Rican’s in the United States outside Manhattan. Dr Eugene Hoyt was known to be responsive to innovative curriculum reform. Mr. Hoyt would eventually work for the Foundation along with others that included Joseph Dionne, Ray Fournier and Vincent Presno.
Ray began teaching in Brentwood in the Village School in 1952. He was present when the new High School graduated its first class in 1957. He remembered Special Education classes in the one wing of the Village. In Brentwood he was assisted by the able and creative influences of the Swensen brothers Edward and Charles, Gretta and Hank Moraine and Leonard Sachs, all of whom he’d known from Hofstra. John Mrowka was helpful as was Charlie Grey and the mathematician Roland L. Genise, who first introduced manipulative Cuisenaire Rods to the district.  Brentwood HS was one of five schools in the US to participate in the Maryland Math Program. Remedial Reading was introduced as part of the Discovering Your Language Program. The district reached out to other leaders in the field from Philadelphia, to consolidate successes. Ray insisted upon role play rehearsals with his staff before any new program was presented to the community. When New Math was introduced he was flabbergasted when a question so unexpected was asked by a resident that he was caught dumbfounded. “Isn’t this all part of a Communist plot to destroy the educational system of the United States of America?” 

There were many Polish families in Brentwood back then. Ray introduced Soccer as the primary sport in the district to make minorities more visible. Mr. Yankowski was opposed since he was a football coach and he “built character”. Dr. Scheele left Brentwood and the Ford Foundation once he determined it was going in the “wrong” direction. “Weaver”, he said, “was the wrong choice for the high school. As a first year teacher he was paid $3,900. Garbage collectors got more. His interview took place on Oct 20, 1996. Shortly thereafter he moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where Dr Raymond L. Scheele passed away on June 14, 2006. He was 85.

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
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
Hannan, Edward
Helman, Harriet
Hodges, Shirley
Kirschner, Marge
Koehler, Florence
Lane, William
Lange, Joan
Laub, Dr. Herb
Martz, David
Mascaro, Barbara
McNicholas, Barbara
Monsen, Pattie
Moss, Ken
Mundy, Rick
Murray, Alma
Nanos, Jim
O'Conner, Thomas
Pace, Ron
Purcell, Joseph
Rosenthal, Ivy
Rosenthal, Ruth
Salerno, Hank
Scharf, Karen
Sekac, Evelyn
Sheele, Raymond
Sopp, Lorraine
Spencer, Franklin
Stuhler, Patricia
Sustrin, Letty and Sheila
Vannoy, Evelyn
Veech, Chris
Walker Lloyd, Shirley
Wolfe, Jeffrey
Zuckerman, Dorothy
Zuckerman, Jack


Jan & Feb
No Meetings

RC 21 Website: http://ny.aft.org/rc21

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 Websit


    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.


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