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                                                                          MAY 2014
May 2
General Membership Meeting

June 6

Events Calendar

May 22
Executive Board Meeting

Meeting Dates

POSTED 5/1/14

By Joseph Governale
Originally published in, Newsday, Friday, April 25, 2014,

     An old man stood near his car, pointing to an open window. Inside, on the backseat, lay a sleeping puppy. The brown, black-striped canine wore no collar or tags.
     "She was in my driveway this morning, nosing around the garbage pails," he said.
     Then, after telling us about his own crowded house -- three German shepherds, a Great Dane and six cats -- he asked: "Could you nice folks maybe give this baby a home?"
     We were in the parking lot of 7-Eleven on Broadway Avenue in Holbrook. My wife and I had just come out with some Saturday-night goodies.
     I was about to say no, but the Mrs. touched my arm and gave me a look, one I'd seen on occasion over eight years of marriage.
     We were taking the dog. . . . . .  More

Read entire article online

POSTED 5/9/14
The following article appeared in The Huffington Post , 5/8/14

"The Founder Of Mother's Day Hated What The Holiday Became"
by Emily Cohnon
     The founder of Mother's Day wouldn't have wanted you to buy those flowers for mom. Or that card. Or those chocolates. In all likelihood, she wouldn't have wanted you to celebrate the holiday at all.
      The fact that we will collectively spend nearly $20 billion on moms this year probably would have caused Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother's Day, to throw her lunch on the floor like she reportedly did in the early 1900s, when she found out that a department store in Philadelphia was offering a Mother's Day special, according to Mental Floss. More.....
Read entire article online.

POSTED 5/1/14
     Congratulations to Ellen Edelstein for being awarded the NYSUT Community Service Award for 2013-14. In addition to being on the ROBS Executive Board, Ellen is the president of the Brentwood Historical Society.
     She will be honored at the annual RC21 Awards Luncheon to be held on June 17 at the Meadow Edge Restaurant at West Sayville Country Club.
     The winners of the NYSUT 2014 Communications Competition will also be recognized at the luncheon.  ROBS received Awards of Distinction for this year's past newsletters and website. Congratulations to Ronda Brooks, Carmela Criscione, Adrienne Eastmen, Ellen Edelstein, Gloria Hannemann and Marge Kirchner.
      Come to the luncheon on June 17 to join your colleagues as they receive their awards. You can contact the RC21 Office at (631) 587-1151 or rc21@wita777.com for further information.

POSTED 5/5/14

     You can read some interesting facts about the Brentwood High School online at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

POSTED 5/15/14

It is with sadness that we inform you about the passing of Warren Swensen's brother, Edward. He will be waked at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home ,735 First Street, Greenport, NY (631)

POSTED 5/5/14

     A meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens resulted in President John F. Kennedy designating May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging the nation to pay tribute to older people across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter's proclamation changed the name to Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate those 65 and older through ceremonies, events and public recognition.
     Read the following statistics that the U.S. Census Bureau compiled regarding older Americans. Profile America Facts
      The White House, Office of the Press Secretary released the following Presidential Proclamation on Older Americans Month, 2014.  

POSTED 5/29/14

     John Galaris, Brentwood administrator, passed away Tuesday evening.
      He will be waked on Friday, May 30th at: Raynor and D'andrea Funeral Home
245 Main Street, West Sayville, NY
     Visting hours are: 2:30-4:30 p.m.and 7:00-9:30 p.m.
     There will be a funeral on Tuesday in Massachusetts. R.I.P. John. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

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.

May 6
Executive Board Meeting

May 13
General Membership Meeting

May 16
Israel, Jordon & the Holy Land 12 Day Trip

June 17
Awards Luncheon

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

Labor History Month — Explore the rich history of the labor movement in America. Find resources from the American Labor Studies Center and AFL/CIO

May 1 — International Workers Day.
Recognizes the social and economic achievements of the international labor movement. To learn more, visit www.tolerance.org.

May 3 — World Press Freedom Day. According to Reporters Without Borders, 88 journalists were killed in the line of duty last year; seven media assistants were killed. For more, visit www.rsf.org.

May 10 — World Fair Trade Day promotes the Fair Trade market. Visit www.fairtraderesource.org.
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

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.


Alma Murray


    Alma was born on Dicoyan Island (Concepcion), in the Philippines on December 23, 1939 and was given her mother’s combined names - Albina and Maria. Her mother was the devoted teacher and school Principal that was the inspiration for Alma’s becoming a teacher. When she came to the United States, with the private school education she had acquired in the Philippines she was accepted by Columbia University, matriculated and then hired to teach music in the Brentwood School District at the Elementary level by Beulah Vincent, George Catandella and Carmine Puleo all of whom she’d met while attending CU. It was her life long dream come true. There she taught music for the next 30 years. Her mother’s wish had been that Alma would follow in the family tradition becoming a lawyer like her sister or a doctor like three of her brothers. Alma chose instead to teach due to the intercession of an 80 year old aunt who was a nun at the school Alma had attended. The youngest of her three brothers graduated from law school and became a very successful businessman. Studying music and going to Law School at the same time Alma made the life altering decision to pursue a career in teaching.
     Hers had been a family of substance coming from a long line of judges, attorneys, physicians and teachers going back generations. They’d had a comfortable existence as a landed gentry owning fertile plantations, acres of rice farms and large land holdings that sustained them providing an idyllic environment in which Alma spent her formative years surrounded by family and enjoying generational contacts. Her history included a backdrop of Spanish surnames and Spanish culture until the United States acquired the Islands after the Spanish-American war in 1898.
     Her father’s family had included a long line of Generals, Majors and Colonels many of whom had distinguished themselves by military service. Alma’s father had been the ranking U.S. military commander in the Philippines until the Japanese took over. From then on he became Gen. Douglass Mac Arthur’s Chief Intelligence Officer when Mac Arthur went off to Australia until the War’s conclusion when he returned. Alma’s family remained in the Philippines during the war and went into hiding working with the resistance until the US victory in the Pacific. They had price on their heads and could only dream of coming to the United States. Alma retained her identity while becoming devoted to the United States. After she retired from teaching her mother asked her to go back to the Philippines to reclaim the family’s ancestral lands. She did not refuse. This interview traces the period between 1970 to 2000 and her introduction to and emersion in Brentwood concluding with her decision to retire. She lived in Bay Shore and Dix Hills with her NYC teacher husband John, and her musically talented son John. Alma succeeded in her struggle for recognition taking her families case all the way to the Philippine Supreme Court acting as her own attorney. She moved back to the Philippines permanently some 6 years ago where as far as we know, she resides still. She was interviewed on Jan 12, 2006.

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


    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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