*Members: If you have any announcements that you would like to post on the ROBS website, 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 website. You can also read more news in our Newsletters. In addition, if you have
             your own website, 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                                                                MARCH 2009

March 6, '09
10:00 AM
ROBS General Meeting
Meeting Dates Schedule

Calendar of Events


POSTED 3/6/09

Charles Herman
1985 Brentwood H.S. Yearbook

Published in Newsday on 3/5/2009

     HERMAN - Charles A., of Bay Shore, LI, on March 3, 200 9. Beloved husband of Irene F. Herman. Devoted father of Stephen and his wife Lili Herman and Jane Herman. Cherished grandfather of Jeffrey Herman. Former High School Science Teacher in the Brentwood School District and Facilities Manager at Sperry in Lake Success. Reposing at The Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons West Islip Funeral Home, 1225 Montauk Hwy. (1/4 mile West of Robert Moses Cswy.), A Funeral Service will be held at the Funeral Home on Saturday at 12:30pm. Interment to follow at Pinelawn Memorial Park, Pinelawn, LI. Visiting Friday 2:00pm until 4:30pm and 7:00pm until 9:30pm.

NoticeGuest BookVisit the gift shopCharities
Share photos, videos and more with Legacy Memorial Websites. Find out more.


By Dorothy Zuckerman
NYSUT Retiree Services Consultant

     Do you know the difference between a raspberry and a blackberry?  Would you rather handle an I-Pod or a pea pod?  Have you started to twitter yet? Many seniors express outrage at people who “play” with their hand held computers during a meeting or a speech.  They are taken aback by people on the street who appear to be talking to themselves over their cell phones.  Over the past few years there has been a growing disconnect between today’s youth and older adults. Each generation has shaped our world in a different way because of the world they were born into and responded to. These intergenerational differences often lead to stereotypes and prejudicial attitudes. The relationships we develop with our children and our grandchildren are essential to maintain genuine and lasting open communication.

     As seniors we read about the Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y and we are confused about who and what they represent.  Rapid changes in technology have left many seniors behind. As a result, older people often find it difficult to find a comfortable place in this changing environment.  In order to remain useful and vital, it has become extremely important for seniors to become more involved in intergenerational activities.  Sharing interests and experiences, breaking down language barriers, learning

new technology – these are ways to bring the generations together. Dowling College in Oakdale has recently established the Center for Intergenerational Policy and Practice, the first of its kind on Long Island.  For more information, contact Dowling College at www.dowling.edu/news.

     See how techno savvy you are. Can you translate the following cyber symbols?


AFAIK: as far as I know; BBL: be back later; BWL: bursting with laughter; DIKU: do I know you; GAL: get a life; HHIS: hanging head in shame; IHA: I have acronyms; IITC: If I remember correctly; JTLYK: just to let you know; LD: later, dude; LOL: laughing out loud; PA: parent alert; P911: my parents are coming; PMFMJIB: pardon me for jumping in but; TCOB: taking care of business; TILII: tell it like it is; VBG: very big grin; LLTA: lots & lots of thunderous applause

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
Home Improvement and Maintenance

Meet My Pets -" For the Birds"

Elmon Kazandjian
NYC Art Gallery


     We believe that "Humor" is important in the lives of children. The book and Mrs. Belle were embraced by readers of all ages, so another humorous book about Mrs. Belle, "The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Goes To Camp" debuted in September of 2005. It received a "Blue Ribbon" for first place from Islip Town in 2006.

     Now, our third book of the series, "The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Discovers A New Planet," will be introduced at a book reading / signing on April 3, 2009 at the ROBS meeting. Our first two books also made their debut at ROBS. After all, that's where it all began, in Brentwood, New York, in 1960.

     The best part of our "Life After Retirement" career is reconnecting with old friends and former students. We now do readings and signings all over the Metropolitan area and have met so many people that meant so much to us during our teaching career. We find that many of the children of the students we had, are now attending schools in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and we have become close friends of these families. We think of Brentwood as a nucleus that has hands reaching out to all parts of Long Island.

     We are now beginning to work on another "Mrs. Belle" adventure. Retirement is wonderful because you have the time to devote to your special projects. We are very fortunate to have so many fond memories of our teaching days and we want to continue writing about our love of teaching. We like to feel that we have been instrumental in bridging the gap between seniors and young children.

Sheila & Letty Sustrin
E-Mail: twinniesls@aol.com
Website: www.sustrinbooks.com

*See their letter below in the Town Crier



By Sheila & Letty Sustrin

     We were born and educated in Brooklyn, New York. At age five, we decided that we would be Elementary School Teachers when we grew up. Our dream came true and for 38 years the two of us taught side by side in the Brentwood, New York, School District.

     After retiring in 1998, we both realized that there was a void in our lives. We missed the interaction and everyday togetherness with the students. We volunteered time at the Laurel Park Elementary School where we had spent our last 18 years of teaching.

     We always had a desire to write stories for children. We decided that now would be the perfect time to begin a new "Life After Retirement" career. It is said that you should write about something that you are familiar with. Our love of teaching and children gave us the idea of writing our first book, and it was titled, "The Teacher Who Would Not Retire." Though the book was not autobiographical, the life of Mrs. Belle, our central character, paralleled the way we felt about children. We wanted to continue our involvement with children, just the way Mrs. Belle did.

     We were very fortunate in finding a publishing company located in West Bay Shore, New York. Blue Marlin Publications was willing to take a chance on us and we will forever be grateful. This book won a "Red Ribbon" for second place at the Americana Fair of Islip Town in 2004.

  THE TOWN CRIER -  MarilynDePlaza@aol.com

Marilyn DePlaza

POSTED 3/23/09

Bernie Heller - 2006

     It is with such a heavy heart that I send you this email of the passing of our dear friend, Bernie Heller. He was found this morning by his caregiver, Tina Gallo, a former student who lived next door,and took great care of Amy and Bernie. He evidently passed away overnight.
      Graveside services for Bernie will be held at Eternal Light Cemetery on 441 ( State Rd. 7 ), north of Atlantic Ave. on the right side in Boynton Beach. The services are scheduled for 12:30 PM. Matt and Ira Heller have arrived at Bernie's house and just called me with the scheduling. Any questions? Call me -- 561-488-1267 or my cell 561-716-6068.
      Bernie's address is 2037 Cross Breeze Drive, Wellington, FL, 33414     His sons will be there this week and the phone number there is: 561-798-2046.

POSTED 3/30/09

From Marilyn DePlaza
      I attended graveside services for Bernie Heller on Friday. It was very sad for me as I listened to the Rabbi talk about Bernie's life from the time he was a young boy, abandoned by his mother and raised, along with his brother, 2 years younger, by his father. His father worked from 2 till midnight, so he could care for his young sons. Yet Bernie was always the player, selling bubble gum, running numbers. I was surprised to hear that he had earned the Purple Heart while on a secret foray into China during the Korean conflict.
     There was more, much more...... on a personal level, Bernie and Amy arrived here in south Florida almost 20 years ago, about the same time Henry and I did and together, we had annual dinners for retirees here. One year, we had an elegant affair at the Wellington Country Club, thanks to the two of them. There were over 60 of us then, now we are down to 12. Maybe you can understand my sorrow. This was the first funeral of a colleague that I had attended here. It felt like I lost a member of my family......which I feel about those with whom I taught for over 25 years........my family.
Marv Davis was there. I had not seen him since 1980. He saw the obit in the newspaper and came to pay his respects. He is a widower now.
     I am sharing my sadness with you, my colleagues, in a selfish way, because I simply don't know where else to go with it. I loved Bernie Heller--he was a very good man and very kind to my family when I needed help placing my son in the college of his desire. I think he came through for more people than we
know. May he rest in peace with his Amy.

POSTED 3/3/09

Our deepest condolences to Janet Cutillo and family on the passing of her father, Murray Kran, early today. Janet Cutillo is the Reading Lab Consultant at South Middle School.

IJ Morris Funeral Home
21 East Deer Park Rd
Dix Hills, NY
10 am Service on Thursday followed by burial.

Condolences may be sent to:
Janet Cutillo
914 Northern Blvd.
Baldwin Haror NY11510

POSTED 4/1/09

     I am sending on an email (below) that I received this morning from Bobbe Frankel. So many of us know and love Chico Frankel that this is an easy request to fulfill. Perhaps some of you know some students who knew him and loved him and would like to write to him. Don't we all love to hear of the good times of our lives while we can, rather than have them read as eulogies.  So this is Chico's email: frankelchico@hotmail.com .. It is yours to do as you wish.

Dear Marilyn,
      I would love for you to do me a big favor. During Chico's illness I have not asked for much from friends. When people say," what can I do", I do not really know what to ask for. Many people have just done wonderful things, because they truly love my husband and give without being asked. The doctors yesterday told me that he has maybe weeks or a few months left. He eats very little and sleeps most of the time. He is however comfortable. He often talks, when he is awake, of his life and how great it has been. Chico and I really spent our lives in the Brentwood School District. We had no family in New York and our co-workers became our friends and then our family. In case you were not aware, our daughter Jennifer, has now worked as a counselor in Brentwood for ten years. She has the children of our former students. Brentwood employees have been her family as well. She got in touch with a hospice supervisor from Brentwood, the parent of one of her students , who set up our hospice team for Chico. They are so WONDERFUL!
     Chico has always said he would not have changed anything about his life. He has excepted the fact that he is going to wander to a new place soon. We have been speaking to a "spiritual counselor" who has seen his journey. She told me he is "an old soul", and his mission is almost complete. He will return to me in nature and I will feel his presence in the garden he has created for us over forty years. We have talked about spreading some of his ashes in our garden so he can continue to always nourish the soil.
     Here now is my request. I would like you to get in touch with the members of ROBS and ask anyone who has fond memories of Chico to write them down and mail them to me. The responses can be funny, serious, or whatever. One of Chico's biggest concerns is that our grandchild Skylar is only six. She will have limited memories of "her Booie". He cared for her the first three years of her life while her parents and I worked. I want to create a book of memories for her and my daughter as well. When she gets older she can read about "Booie";and see him through "new eyes", from those who loved and treasured him. I know that he has had a tremendous impact on those who came in contact with him. There are few men like him in this world. He is not only an "old soul", wise beyond his years, but the most gentle soul I have ever met. There are of course many sides to him that I have only heard about recently from former students and teachers. Patty Monson, one of his first students and a retired Brentwood teacher and Judi Weissman, who have become my "angel network", had me laughing with tears with stories recently.
      I would so much appreciate letters from friends and former colleagues of his. I would love to be able to read them to Chico as well, while he can still appreciate the love people feel for him. In my mind I hear the song "Memories" from the play "Cats". I guess it is time to send this letter off to you and begin this process. Thank you all for everything you have done and everything you have meant to both of us in our lives. May God bless all of you and keep you safe and healthy.

With great love and appreciation,
Bobbe Frankel

For those people who will be kind enough to write some memories about Chico, please send it to:

Bobbe and Chico Frankel
390 Hewlett Avenue
East Patchogue, NY 11772

POSTED 3/13/09

     These photos are from our luncheon yesterday at Padrino's. Each one had a turn telling news of other colleagues that we have seen or heard from as well as former student news. Loretta Ellington and Lil Jason came late and missed the "photo op"--but Loretta told us of a great slide show that Steve Rochester gave at a ROBS meeting up north and that got us started on "Students who have done well."
      We also DID do a raffle and Loretta Ellington won an autographed copy of the third book in the "Mrs. Belle" series written by Sheila and Letty Sustrin. That was another highlight of our luncheon here on Thursday. Thanks, Sheila and Letty.
      Of course, no matter how small or large the group, we always have a great time, so we'll keep on going as long as we can.
Enjoy the pics!


Click on the photo to view all the photos


POSTED 3/25/09

     The following news comes from a collegue at Brentwood HIgh School:

     It is with great pride that I share with you that Mr. Thomas O’Brien has been named New York State High School Principal of the Year. This award is given annually by SAANYS to recognize a principal who has made outstanding contributions to the community and the educational process with a commitment to excellence.

     Kudos to Tom for all he has done for the Brentwood High School students, staff and community.


     Diana Amador, a 6th grade teacher at South Middle School, who previously taught at Oak Park, will be retiring this year. Please view the downloadable poster . If you need more information, you may contact Eileen Kelly at South Middle School or at her email address: catluvr4@optonline.net.

POSTED 2/22/09

A letter from Sheila & Letty Sustrin
Hi Marilyn,
     Hope all is well. We have some good news to share with our fellow ROBS members. The third book of our "Mrs. Belle" series, "The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Discovers A New Planet" will be released in April. We plan to do a reading/book signing at the April 3rd ROBS meeting. Hope many of our friends will come to the meeting and join us. It'll be a fun time and there will be some drawings for prizes.
      We'd love for you to have a drawing at the March reunion in Florida and when the book is out, we will mail a signed copy of the book to the winner. Just let us know who it is!!!
      Who ever thought that retirement would be such a busy time of life!
      Hope all of you have a great time at your luncheon. Be well and have a wonderful year.

Sheila & Letty Sustrin
E-Mail: twinniesls@aol.com
Website: www.sustrinbooks.com

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