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  IN THE NEWS                                                                          APRIL 2012

April 13

General Meeting

For more information:
Calendar of Events

April 19
Executive Board Meeting

For more information:

POSTED 4/5/12
     On Saturday, May 12, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM, the Brentwood High School Lacrosse Stadium will be dedicated in honor of Coach Bob Hoppey. Click here for further information.

By Tim Wendel
Reprinted from The American Scholar
     The night of April 4, 1968, presidential candidate Robert Kennedy received the news that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. Kennedy was about to speak in Indianapolis and some in his campaign wondered if they should go ahead with the rally. Read More...

POSTED 4/22/12
     During the night of April 14-15, 1912, the "unsinkable" Titanic hit an iceberg and sank. While some of the passengers were saved, at least 1,517 people died that night. Learn more about the tragic maiden voyage of the Titanic.
Read more

POSTED 4/5/12
     Here is a link on the web where you can learn all about the month of April. You may find some interesting facts about this month that you didn't know.

POSTED 4/22/12
Dear Colleagues,
     I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but at the request of Vivian's husband I am passing on this news about one of our BHS colleagues.
     I spoke with Marty Nelson last night, husband of Vivian Gaitan-Nelson, former BHS Guidance Secretary. It is with great sadness that I tell you Vivian is in the terminal stages of cancer. It has spread to her brain and she is in Sloan-Kettering. Marty said she might be cheered up by some cards from BHS colleagues; send them to Vivian at:
645 Blue Point Road,
Holtsville, NY 11742.
      Please keep Vivian and Marty and their family in your thoughts and prayers.

Judi Hearst Weissman

POSTED 4/22/12
      I'm Camille Cono from Sonderling's class of 1982. We are hosting our reunion this summer. I'm extending an invitation to all retired teachers to come and attend. We would love to mingle and reminisce with you.
Courtyard Marriott, Ronkonkoma, NY.
July 13, 2012. 7-11 pm
     Please contact Reunions of America or me for further info.
     Be well and thank you for sculpting us all!
Camille Cono


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.

     VJ had been a spirited Brentwood High School graduate. He was one who decided to return to Brentwood to teach in the same building that he'd attended as a student. He'd always loved history, so he was a natural to teach it.  This account in his own words, is how he connected the dots during his lifetime and expressed it in Book Two of the Writers Group Project in 2003. 
by Vin Carnevale
      My memory of Mr., Gardiner takes place on a spring day in 1951. Both he and my father were driving around Bay Shore, New York in search of a piece of property which might serve as a location for a new home for my family. Mr. Gardiner suggested that my father buy land along Sunrise Highway, but dad wanted to live where there was no traffic. Before the end of the day, my dad had purchased from Mr. Gardiner three pieces of land. One parcel would serve as the location for our home (1524 North Gardiner Drive) the others as investment properties. As Mr. Gardiner would say, "Real estate is the wave of the future. It will serve as a good life insurance policy." His vision was right on target.
     Robert David Lion Gardiner, distinguished proprietor of Gardiner's Island until 1964, and owner of the Sagtikos Estate, is a remarkable individual beyond the estimate of his own considerable personal qualities. Mr. Gardiner represents the only instance in the history of the United States in which ownership of real property has descended since 1639 according to the law of primogeniture. He is the direct descendant of Lion Gardiner, who purchased the Island in that year from Wyandanch, Sachem of the Long Island Indians. Ownership has remained in the hands of the Gardiner Family for the past 327 years since that time.
     Through the first of several intermarriages between the Gardiner and Thompson Families,Sagtikos Manor Estate came into possession of the Gardiners in 1758, The Manor was the site of many signified events in early colonial American history. This period included the struggle against the British Crown. Members of both families participated in the affairs of the new nation. They and their heirs attained many positions of honor and distinction in business and in the new government.
     It is a matter of historical fact that President George Washington did stay at the Manor House on the night of April 21st, 1790 during an extensive tour of Long Island. Details of this stay and the hospitality he received were well documented in his diary.
     During the Revolutionary War, the Manor was requisitioned by British officers and troops numbering more than 300 in the year 1777. A bullet hole is still visible to commemorate the British visit. The British caused much devastation to Long Island during the Revolutionary War.
     For 206 more years, the Thompson - Gardiner Families occupied the Manor. They became known for their generosity and community mindedness. Their birthright, traditions, history and loyalty to a newly developing nation characterized their lives.
     Thus does Robert David Lion Gardiner bear the proud legacy of history, preserved in all its authenticity at the Sagtikos Manor. It was Kipling who once referred to those who " walk with kings, yet have a common touch." He left a tremendous impression on a six year old boy from Brooklyn that spring day in 1951. He left a greater impression on dad, who said: "Had it not been for Mr. Gardiner's vision, we would not be as fortunate in my retirement."



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April 19
UN & 9-11 Memorial Trip

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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.


     At a recent Meeting of ROBS General Membership at the Brentwood Public Library those in attendance were informed and entertained by several retired artists from the Brentwood School District who shared stories and showed examples of their work. Featured this month are two of them -

Richard John Mundy
Rick arrived in Brentwood in 1970. Not being one to look back it was time now after twenty eight years to turn the page, close the book, open another book and move on.  He had wanted to create a business before he retired but to his surprise the art business he started took off faster than imagined. He needed to slow things down to hold to his initial plan. Rick describes his early influences and the formative impact that specific people and events had on his evolving interest in art from the age of four. This soft spoken gifted artist began his Brentwood career teaching Biology for which he was hired. He remained sharing that favorite subject with successive years of Tenth Graders until he retired. Rick's love of nature and the great outdoors was never far from a need to express that love in his painting. He still wonders what would have become of him had he pursued formal instruction in art (something he never had) and begun painting landscapes decades earlier that he did.  The accomplishment in his life for which he has the most pride is his marriage. Rick describes himself as a lucky man for having married the love of his life Ann, another retired teacher, and his best friend.

Lorraine Sopp / District Coordinator of Art
     Lorraine completed her thirty years of service last year. She was interviewed as an Art teacher and hired by Manny Vega who she greatly admired and worked with for many years. Eventually stepping into the position of District Coordinator of Art upon his retirement, she is proud of her accomplishments and expresses gratitude to Manny and others with whom and on whose behalf she worked for the teachers and students of Brentwood. She loved those moments when recognizing raw talent she could provide encouragement and support. The teachers of the department always appreciated her acknowledgement of the work they were doing. She wished she could have experienced relief from the constant economic constraints endured by the district given so many opportunities it afforded students through the Arts. She was saddened at her leaving for the losses sustained by the Program at that time in light of moves underway in Albany to do damage to what, over many years, had been accomplished in Brentwood.   


You can also view any of these past interviews by visiting History Project Interview Archives :

Barbara Mascaro
Edward Hannan
Florence Koehler
Franklin Spencer
Ivy Rosenthal
Jack Zuckerman
Joseph Purcell
Lynn Desoto
Marcy Fiore
Patricia Stuhler
Pattie Monsen
Rich Curio
Richard Mundy
Wally Balinski




    Classified Section
THE TOWN CRIER -  MarilynDePlaza@aol.com

Marilyn DePlaza
"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.

POSTED 4/28/12
     I am reaching out to The Town Crier Mailing list (and other Brentwood people). I have been trying to contact Sandra Chase, who I know was very ill. When I just called now, her cell phone was disconnected and the land line rang for three minutes with no pickup. If you have any information or can suggest another place to try, please let me know, I am very concerned.
Claudia DeBellis

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