*Members: 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                                                                          DECEMBER 2012

December 7
Holiday Luncheon
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December 20
Executive Board Meeting
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January 4
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Letters to the Editor

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by Nick Siciliano   6/05

     This month's major educational story was reported in Newsday regarding the high salaries some teachers on Long Island are earning. A number of teachers are making $100,000 or more. The New York Times Long Island section of May 15, 2005 also had a story about the high teacher salaries. The number of teachers making these high salaries varies district by district; the median salary in all districts being much lower than $100,000. Unfortunately, the public focuses on the higher salary.
      The issue of high salaries may or may not have an impact on school budgets. This depends, most likely, on whether the public believes that the schools are doing a good job. It should be noted that there are only three districts on Long Island where there are large numbers of teachers making $100,000 or more. They are Manhasset (75 teachers) Lawrence (91 teachers) and East Islip (80 teachers).

     The public views the student as a product and expects those of us serving that product to succeed in developing a "good" product. This means that at the end of the year it is expected that the students on the elementary level can read at or above grade level, write properly and do math. On the high school level it is expected that students are able to pass all their regents examinations.
      What the parent, quoted above, and others like him do not understand is that requirements to become a teacher have improved considerably since we were actively teaching thus, the argument that today's teachers are not too bright is not really fair. m addition, the teacher alone does not have all the answers to produce a successful "product" at year's end. There are many factors that go into the process. For example, the student has to take some responsibility as does the parent and the school administration. You can not put all the blame on the classroom teacher.    

     The issue of high teacher salaries, however, does need to be addressed. As we are aware, each year that we taught, we received an increase in salary and as a teacher in the New York Times articles mentions, it takes well over 20 years before the teacher is getting a high salary. A goodly number are making half of $100,000. The high salary discussion will no doubt lead to further calls for merit pay. The public wants to see results. Unfortunately, we are responsible for the poor image that the public has of our profession.
      We have to take more control of the profession than is now presently given to us. It is necessary to make the public aware of what is needed to have their children be successful in school. We also have to be willing to take steps if our own members are not doing the job. The public has little knowledge or understanding of what it takes to become a good teacher and what we are trying to achieve in our classes. Unless we make the public aware of what is going on in the schools and what we are attempting to do, we will continue to have criticisms such as the one leveled by the parent quoted above.


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.

Why did we do it?
     What was our purpose in taking on such an open ended “History Project”; the one for which we’ve evolved a script of questions with corresponding answers from over one hundred and fifty dedicated volunteers for nearly two decades?
      We couldn’t answer the question in ‘94 when people would ask “What are you going to do with the interviews?” All we could say was that for educational and informational purposes we had better document our record or lose any chance to preserve innumerable poignant accounts, humorous stories and touching tales told to us by exemplary educators and dedicated public servants, who shortly and for reasons unknown might soon be leaving our Brentwood for good.
     We decided to let time sort out the details as we commenced making appointments to ask questions and simply listen. Listen we did as this project evolved saving for subsequent generations the very essence of what it means to have been an educator or employed in a large student centered public school system during the latter half of the twentieth century. Brentwood remains an exemplar to all the others; a diverse microcosm and accurate reflection of the approximately one hundred and twenty seven neighboring school districts on Long Island and the thousands across this country. We’ve accomplished something here, something we can all be proud of having been part of, whether we were interviewed or not, ours is a claim of service that few other professionals in the State of New York are positioned to share in a like manner.
     INITIALLY the practice of sitting for an hour with the Subject of our interview and giving them one hundred percent of our focused attention for that period of time seemed a little threatening to many of our friends and former colleagues. So much so in fact that many declined repeated invitations to be interviewed as they left careers behind or retired from full time employ with the District. Despite all assurances that this was not to be about investigative journalism or invading their privacy, they’ve deferred. Until now, almost seventeen years after we began, some say they may finally be ready. We say, “Better late than never”. However, to all those among you who were willing to share openly not only your classroom experiences but personal stories, precious memories from your lives and fondest hopes for the future, we say thanks for allowing us to be able to continue the process of giving as we now are able to share interviews with you, with the community and with countless regional professional educators and researchers through tentative acceptance of ROBS offer of collaboration with The Long Island Studies Institute at Hofstra University.
      You can now enjoy unlimited visits to www.robsny.org/ where you’ll see and hear segments from the History Project Interviews featured here in the ROBS History Project section on the Announcements Page archived each month thereafter for those wishing to return again and again.


Shirley Walker Lloyd
Speech Teacher

Retired 1995                                             Interviewed 2003                                                                     
     Shirley Hunter Walker-Lloyd was born in 1935 in Carbondale, Pennsylvania during the depression and named after Shirley Temple the popular motion picture child star,. Her maiden name was Hunter. Walker was the name of her first husband who left the family after she was excessed from her position with the district during their early years in Brentwood. Robert Lloyd who predeceased her was her second husband. Shirley had many memories of the depression and the poverty she experienced first hand in the coal town where she spent the early part of her life. She remembered underground fires burning constantly in the mines where members of her own family had worked and whose lives were shortened by conditions endured there. She spoke of old fashioned washing machines and wash boards her mother used on the laundry that was never white when it was hung on lines in the yard to dry. Instead, it was grey like many of her memories of the town itself. She speaks lovingly of a mother and father who, coming from large families and without formal educations, married young and had to work very hard to put food on the table and clothes on the backs of their children. Shirley’s mother made their clothes out of raw flour sacks at a time when the family lived in cold water flats with pot belly stoves. Her parents had grown up before child labor laws and being children of large families themselves, were expected to work long hours helping support of their own families even before the age 10 and 11 years.
      Shirley’s son Jim, father of her grandchildren, had been caught up two years earlier in the tragedy of 9/11 while in the subway on his way to work on Wall Street. The train was stopped and made to return to Penn Station, which for reasons unknown to him at that time had been evacuated. The story of that day and her families worst fears is a story for the ages.
      It was in 1961 at the Statler Hilton Hotel in NYC while attending a Conference for Speech and Hearing Teachers, that Shirley first met Irv Masten. She came to Brentwood at his encouragement and was interviewed by Jack Smith and himself. Formally dressed for the interview with white gloves and hat she was most impressed by their relaxed easy going informality. Her first position after being hired was at Village School followed by appointments to South West Elementary and South East Elementary at a time when there were only six elementary schools in the district.  She was certified in K-12 Elementary. Some of the people with whom she worked were Joe Carson, Andy Caruso, Fred Weaver, Ruth Weaver, Howard Brodsky, Bruce Romboli and Austin Harney.
     It was not unusual for her to have worked with poor children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Some of her students included those desperately in need of surgery for cleft pallets.  One such story involved a young man whose family lived in a basement in back of store on 5th avenue. Shirley was struck by the appalling conditions including flies and several babies on a mattress.  She arranged visits accompanied by a nurse and interpreter. It bothers her to this day that one such family moved in the middle of the night ( perhaps a rent issue) after arrangements had been completed for the young mans receipt of free medical attention. She longed for the closure that never came.
      Deeply involved with the BTA and the teachers union, she was one of fourteen teachers involved in a precedent setting class action suit that had to do with reverse discrimination. She testifies to Dot and Jack Zuckerman’s constant assistance and dedication to the advancement of the profession and help to fellow teachers. Alan Oshrin Esq., represented teachers at that time. She was subsequently assigned to Ross HS with George Cavuto as a Reading Teacher. She was then given a 2nd grade assignment at Pine Park Elementary but when new federal rules were instituted Brentwood found it wasn’t in compliance with specific handicapped laws. She avoided having her Teaching position eliminated by returning to her original assignment in Speech and Hearing  She spoke appreciatively of the supportive letters received from Dr. Breiger, George Mann and Guy DiPietro over the years.

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

Barbara Mascaro
Beverly Carpenter
Edward Hannan
Evelyn Sekac
Florence Koehler
Franklin Spencer
Ivy Rosenthal
Jack Zuckerman
Joan Lange
Joseph Purcell
Karen Scharf
Ken Moss
Lorraine Sopp
Lynn Desoto
Marcy Fiore
Mike Fasullo
Patricia Stuhler
Pattie Monsen
Rich Curio
Richard Mundy
Ron Pace
Wally Balinski


December 11
Welcome Brunch

For information visit
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.
POSTED 12/3/12
     Matthew Fay, former business teacher and administrator in the Brentwood School District, passed away on November 25, 2012. You can read the obituary online. When the page opens, select "View Full Notice" in red on the left side of the page.

POSTED 12/7/12

     Try and stay happy, healthy and have wonderful holidays....I will be in Bogota , Colombia after Dec 16 and there I have no access to my lists.....so hold your news till the New Year and enjoy! Love to you all and to your families. Marilyn

POSTED 12/7/12  

     I know many of u have been in this position but this one hit home. One of my students is homeless. We always have a few students during Christmas but this year there is a lot more so whatever they get from us will not be as much. I am asking if anyone can help this child?
She is a sweet student. Has a mom and younger and older brother
Men ( M shirt) 32-32 pants slim fit
18-24 months boys
Girls 12 slim skinny jeans
S Shirts womans

Thank u so much
Eileen Kelly
South Middle

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