*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                                                                MAY 2009

May 1, 2009
ROBS General Meeting
History Project Video Presentation
10:00 AM
Brentwood Public Library
May 21, 2009
ROBS Exec. Board Meeting
June 12, 2009
ROBS Luncheon
ROBS Meeting Dates Schedule

ROBS Calendar of Events



     Robert (Chico) Frankel, colleague, friend, and respected member of the Brentwood family died this year on April 6th. Memorialized the very next day, there were those who would have participated but were unable to attend due to reasons of distance, illness, or family.
     The Retirees of Brentwood Schools responding has arranged with the Brentwood Public Library, to have an open sharing of Mr. Frankel’s final Interview (part of the History Project) which took place on May 29, 2007.
     As a member of ROBS Chico talks about his early years as well as his recollections and impressions of life and work in Brentwood. His spoken word and moving image will remain forever an entertaining, inspiring and inspirational legacy of loving service.
Join us:
Wednesday June 3rd, from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm on the lower level of the Brentwood Public Library.
There we’ll celebrate Chico’s life and memory just as we honor all those others lost to us in recent years and who we believe have given so generously of their lives and commitment to the children of Brentwood.


     Dot Zuckerman is planning another one of her wonderful trips on January 27, 2010. It is a 22 day trip to Australia and New Zealand that will cost $6,424 per person including round-trip air transportation.
     You can view the travel brochure here to see the details and itinerary.
     For more information, and to book your trip, please contact Dot at:
Email: dotzee@optonline.net

POSTED 5/16/09
     We are sorry to announce that Mary Pat Lyons, who retired from IMC in 2002, has passed away. Mary Pat was also a teacher at Northwest, Twin Pines and Math Consultant at Loretta Park.
     The wake will be held at:
Mangano's Funeral Home 1701 Deer Park Rd, Deer Park on Tuesday, May 19th 2-5 PM and 7-9:30 PM. A Mass will be held on Wednesday, May 20th at St. Matthew's R.C. Church
35 N. Service Rd. Dix Dix Hills
9:45 AM

POSTED 5/31/09
(Updated 6/1/09)
    Bill Lane (Ross HS) died on Thursday, May 28th. A memorial service will be held Tuesday June 2nd from 3-5 pm including an Honor Guard ceremony, at Grants Funeral Home, 571 Suffolk Avenue, Brentwood. His wife Polly lives at 24 Columbus Ave, Brentwood 11717.


The Brentwood High School End of the Year Retirement Party which will be honoring Denis Braco, Betty Greene, Gus DePena, Joseph Pepitone, Anne Kollar, Charles Hecht, Drew Robinson will be held on Thursday, June 11th at Captain Bills from 7-11, $65 cash or check made payable to Teachers Retirement Party Fund. Any interest, contact Laura Paris at Ross 434-2201 or lparis@bufsd.org.

POSTED 5/21/09

      Polly and Bill Lane are both ill and we are sure would appreciate you sending get well cards. There address is:
          24 Columbus Ave
          Brentwood, NY 11717
      Polly retired from East Middle School in 1980 and Bill retired from Ross H.S. in 1985.

   Support VOTE-COPE with your voluntary contribution.
Pay by check or authorize a Pension Deduction.
Download the VOTE-COPE Contribution Card here.

Annual June Awards Luncheon - June 22

Theater Party - August 27

Ellis Island & Museum of Jewish Heritaage - Sept. 14

The Green-Wood Cemetery & Brooklyn History - Oct. 7

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


By John M. Sherin

     A November sun shone brightly on ROBS History Project that chilly, crisp afternoon in 1994 when Jack Zuckerman, Chris Veech and I walked through the front door to conduct a first of many ROBS interviews. We settled in a sun drenched comfortable indoor back porch with a nautical theme. Looking out upon the swans gliding on a peaceful canal at the back of her property, the passing of time was punctuated throughout by the chiming bells of a ships clock signaling each quarter hour. There we listened with focused attention as Florence Koehler related her story.
      The Koehler family owned the General Store – the only one in Brentwood from 1918. Her husband Connie had inherited the store at age sixteen when his father died and he left school to assume control of the family business. She worked off hours in the store after it became Koehler’s Market up until 1966. The store finally shut its doors to competition from supermarkets and the family moved to West Islip and into their new home due to the growing traffic and noise levels in the Brentwood area at about the same time her mother-in-law died.

R.M. Koehler & Son General Store

     They rented their building to the US Post Office. Today it is a church across from the old railroad station (now occupied by The Solar Café). The Koehler’s eventually sold the property on which their home stood at the corner of Brentwood Road to Chemical Bank (Chase Bank) and Friendly’s.
     Connie Koehler who is now deceased and to whom she had been married for fifty eight years built their home in West Islip in 1966 when he retired. She boasted six grandchildren (oldest 31 years) and two great-grandchildren (1 adopted) the oldest of which was seven years. Connie had been a fireman at a time when the Brentwood Fire Department had been the center of early community and social life.

     Florence attended first grade in 1918. Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States. She remembered that two mile walk to school every day. She’d remained friends with her first grade teacher until her teacher’s death in 1993 at 90 plus years of age. Born and then growing up in Brockport, NY, she attended a ‘Normal School’.
     When it came time to go out on her own, salaries even then were known to be better on Long Island. That’s where she headed. Once here she paid an agency fee to a Bay Shore employment firm to obtain her job. It was in the depths of the Great Depression when, though lonesome and far from home, she began teaching in Brentwood on Valentines Day, her twenty first birthday, February 14, 1933, during the first term of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Brentwood had only one four room school house.

Brentwood 4 Room School House
     She and another female teacher paid the President of the Board of Education ten dollars a week for room and board to live with his family. She got $1,400 a year for her services and no raise for the next 3 years. It was in 1936, that Florence received a 50 dollar annual raise.
     She remembers using ‘Dick and Jane’ readers in her first year. She was there when math teacher Ronald Genise, pioneered Brentwood’s use of those renowned colored wooden rods called Quizenaire– educational manipulatives for teaching children addition and subtraction. There was as yet, no cafeteria. She remembers having to eat her lunch at a table in the hallway. Though she left teaching for a few years to raise children, upon her return she earned five dollars a day as a Substitute Teacher – this was even before teachers participated in Social Security. That didn’t happen in Brentwood until 1957, the year Ross High School opened. Her retirement from the classroom happened in 1968. By that time her income had grown to over ten thousand dollars per year.

     Brentwood had been quite rural when she first arrived. Most activities took place in the nearest big town which was Bay Shore. That’s where residents went to the movies or did their family shopping. She was always active in the community and maintained an elected position on the Board of the Public Library for thirty years - remembering one proud moment when she ‘beat out’ William Cowin, in an important election for Board Trustee. The roads, she told us were particularly bad in those days, the winters hard. She recalled scrub oak and scrub pine lining unplowed roads when it snowed.
     Speaking of that more bucolic era, she mused, “students were for the most part well behaved, and their teacher’s were looked up to in those days”. When parents were invited to offer their support “they always backed the teacher.”  She made home visits when students were ill “to bring homework” She said parents appreciated her going beyond the normal call of duty. She always enjoyed teaching.
     At first, upon retirement “I missed the people”, she said. Then, she became busy with her own family. Her teachers were her role models. She eventually became one herself for several of her students, who then followed in her footsteps. She told us she maintains personal contact with them. She cited at least one first grade teacher and a high school teacher who entered the profession as a result of her influence. Her sister, daughter and daughter-in-law were teachers working in the public school system at the time of the interview. She has “no bad memories of teaching”.
It has been thirteen years since that day. Jack Zuckerman is still with us today in memory and her once comfortable West Islip home after many years has been sold. She now resides happily in Hilton Head, South Carolina in close proximity with other ROBS members who retain their own fond personal memories of Brentwood during earlier times.

Former site of Koehler's property. Corner Brentwood Rd. to Chemical Bank
  THE TOWN CRIER -  MarilynDePlaza@aol.com

Marilyn DePlaza


Some good news for a change. This weekend (5/2,5/3) the US Fencing Association Will inaugurate the first "Jeff Wolfe Long Island Challenge". This is a national event with people coming from all over the US. I'm thrilled to be honored. Mission Fencing is located on Route 25A in the Kohl's Shopping Center.


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