*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
IMPORTANT DATES   IN THE NEWS                                                                        DECEMBER 2017
December 1
ROBS Holiday Luncheon

December 21
Executive Board Meeting

Meeting Dates
Events Schedule


POSTED 11/1/17
     If you haven't all ready done so, please renew your 2017-18 membership today. The application and information for new members to join ROBS can be found on the Membership Page of this website.
     Nick Siciliano’s sister, Anna Kratunis, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 12th after a long battle with cancer. The funeral will be a private family affair. Condolences may be sent to Nick at 39 Jeremy Ct. Nesconset NY 11767.
    Nick, a former social studies teacher, retired from the Ross High School in 1993 and is the current president of ROBS.

     On Sunday, November 19, Henry DePlaza, the husband of Marilyn DePlaza, retired ESL teacher, passed away. He died of Alzheimers. There was a private family funeral for Henry on November 24th. Condolences can be sent to Marilyn at her daughter's address:
c/o Marci Deplaza, 18540 Long Lake Drive, Boca Raton, FL 33496.
     Donations can be made to the Alzheimers Foundation in Henry's name.

     On Sunday, Dec. 17, Lorenzo Pupillo, the husband of Rose Ann Pupillo, retired North Middle School guidance secretary, passed away. Visitation is at Mangano Funeral Home, 1701 Deer Park Ave., Deer Park, NY.
Dec. 22 - 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
                7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Dec. 23 - Mass at Saints Cyril & Methodius R.C. Church, 125 Half Hollow Rd., Deer Park.
     Condolences can be sent to Rose Ann at 781 E Bismark St., Hernando, FL 34442

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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.
NYSUT Website

Support VOTE-COPE with your voluntary contribution. Download the VOTE-COPE Contribution Card here.

Check out the Famous People and Events on that special day in December see what else happened!
Historical People and Events for December
December 2017 Holidays, Bizarre, Unique, Special Days
Bizarre and Unique Holidays in December
All About December
December in History
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. W
e 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.


Carole Ann Potts Bruno
Business Teacher
July 20, 1998
     Carole spoke of the derivation of her name, Carole, from Carole Lumbard and Potts, a Welsh name, from her father’s family who were Quakers. She was given the nickname of Potsy while in college. Carole is married 30 years to her husband, Greg, and has a daughter, Victoria age 25 who lives in North Carolina and a son age 21 who lives at home. Her husband is retired from the LIRR after 30 years.
     Carol played the flute in junior high and the high school band and got her love of music from her father, who had an extensive record collection. Her paternal grandfather, whom she had never met, was a self-taught musician. Her maternal great grandfather, who migrated from Italy, played the accordion.
    Carole, an only child, was born in Brooklyn and moved to West Islip at the age of four when her father returned home from serving in the army in WW2. She attended West Islip schools from K-12. Some of her early recollections include having her tonsils taken out at age 2.5 years, meeting her first best friend, Kathy Gifford the day she moved to West Islip, getting their first TV and watching several movies at the Bay Shore Theater. Her mother was a working mother, and one of the places where she worked was a candy factory, so Carole remembers her bringing home all the cracked candies. She remembers her father always being very busy around the house building and fixing things. Having been born after the depression, she was raised in a frugal manner being taught to save everything.
    As a child, Carole describes herself as skinny and very quiet —the “Goody Two Shoes”. She has always been an early riser. She played with dolls and loved fall and spring. Her favorite aroma is that of flowers. An aroma that brings back memories is that of a good spaghetti sauce. Because her family did not own a car, she remembers going to school in a taxi when she first attended in kindergarten.
    Teaching was a career that Carole said she chose as an accident. In high school, she took all business courses and planned on getting a job as a secretary in Manhattan. In her junior year, a former teacher, Jack Russell, convinced her that she should go to college and become a teacher. She then decided that she could be a business teacher teaching typing and other secretarial skills. She attended the NY State College for Teachers where tuition was free if you chose to teach business. Right after graduation, she got the teaching position in Brentwood. She learned of the opening through a lead that she received from her college. Carole was the first member of her family to attend college. She took time off from teaching when each of her children was born. She did her graduate studies at C.W. Post College and Hofstra University.
    Her first paying job was during her senior year in high school working after school in the West Islip storefront library as a page. During the summer after high school graduation she worked full time at that library and several summers after that at the Bay Shore library.
     Carole started working as a business teacher in the Brentwood School District in 1964. She taught in the Sonderling High School at the age of 21 where she was only a few years older than her students. For Carole, standing in front of the class for the first time was a frightening experience. Her impression of the school district was very positive from the start. During her first years she became very active in the school district by attending the new teacher party, becoming a BTA delegate and joining the district’s bowling league. She felt a real comradery among the staff. On Fridays she remembers that many of the teachers met at the Brentwood Country Club after school to socialize.

Carole Bruno
      Some of the administrators that she remembers while working in the high school where Stan Yankowski, Bill Kiriluk, Harvey Brickman and Larry Briggs. At the time the business department chairman was Matt Fay. When she retired, the only two teachers in the business department that were still there from when she started teaching were Mary Anderson Baber, Jim Cliggett and Don Kubisco. During the early years of Brentwood, there was a large turnover of teachers. According to Carole, it was a kind of training grounds for teachers and administrators.    
    In the business department, Carole taught typing, shorthand, secretarial practice and speedwriting. She was certified to teach business in secondary school, and at one time she was an advisor for the business club. She felt that her purpose as a teacher was to give her students a marketing skill. She wanted to prepare her students with life skills. For a several years she continued to maintain contact with some of her former students.
     As a BTA delegate she was quite active in the union. However, before she started working in the district she had a negative view of unions due to the many strikes her father was involved in while working at Republic. Her views gradually changed when she saw all the positive benefits to the teachers brought on through the BTA.
    When asked who were some of the “loveable characters” she remembers from the early days in Brentwood, Carole mentioned Reggie Poquette, Max Sparer and Maurice Burns. She also has fond memories of the faculty picnics at the end of each school year.
    Carole retired in 1997 from the Ross High School. When asked why, she said that one of the reasons was that her husband had retired the year before. She also felt that she wanted to retire at age 55 so she could have a “nice long and healthy retirement”. She felt that she had done everything that she wanted to do in teaching and just move on to another phase in her life. While teaching, the accomplishment that gave her the greatest source of pride was that she felt she had given her students the skills to be successful in life. She could see this by several letters that she would receive from former students thanking her for her advise and for what she had taught them. She had made a positive difference in their lives. She is spending her retirement doing many of the things she enjoys like taking road trips, visiting Manhattan and joining local groups at the library.
    When asked what were her favorite types of books that she liked to read, Carole said she liked medical mysteries. She also liked sprawling sagas like Gone With the Wind which she read several times. When asked if she had any heroes, she named Jack Russell, her former teacher who had influenced her greatly in choosing her career as a teacher. This influence also caused her to often give advice to her own students with reference to choices they would make in their paths through life’s journey. What she misses most about Brentwood now that she is retired is the comradery with her colleagues. What she doesn’t miss are the deadlines, paperwork and having to get up early. The advice that she would give young teachers starting out is that from the start let the students know that you are their teacher and that you command a certain respect. They should also work hard, keep up with things and have fun.


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

View May 8, 2015 History Project Celebration Photo Album

View History Project Slide Show on YouTube


December 5
General Meeting
Winter Breakfast

December 12

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

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.