*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
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IMPORTANT DATES   IN THE NEWS                                                                        FEBRUARY 2018
March 2
ROBS General Meeting

February 15
Executive Board Meeting

Meeting Dates
Events Schedule

POSTED 2/2/2018
The following is s note from Richard Loeschner:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
   Last night the Brentwood Community lost one of its treasures, Les Black passed away Thursday, February 1st. Les began his career as an Elementary School Teacher at North in 1967. Les served as Vice President and President of the BTA, Principal at Pine Park, Director of Elementary Education, Associate Superintendent and finally Superintendent from 1994 until he retired in 2006. For those of us who were fortunate to work for him we will always remember his sense of humor, gentleness, and his ability to make everyone feel special but most importantly he was a fierce advocate for Brentwood kids and schools. He deeply loved this community and his positive impact and imprint will never be forgotten. There is one more thing; the multiple standing ovations and the long, long applauses you gave him this past September meant a great deal to him and moved him deeply. When we hear about the services we will forward you the information. Rich

Service Arrangements:
Thursday, February 8, 2018, at 4:00 p.m
Shalom Memorial Chapels
760 Smithtown Bypass
Smithtown, NY 11787

Condolences may be sent to Mr. Black’s nephew:
Mr. Kenneth Pollack
2501 Northwest 46th Street
Boca Raton, FL 33434


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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.
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Check out the Famous People and Events on that special day in February see what else happened! Historical People and Events for February
February 2018 Holidays, Bizarre, Unique, Special Days
Bizarre and Unique Holidays in February
All About February
February 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.



Martin Hochheiser
Guidance Counselor
October 24, 2002

   Martin was named after his paternal great grandfather. His nickname is Marty, but while living in California, they nicknamed him Fuzzy, because he had a beard. The name Hochheiser means “high house”, and almost every Hochheiser is related and can be traced back to a small town in Austria. At the time of this interview he was married for 41 years to Marcia, with one son, Scott who was 37 at the time. Marty is a native Long Islander, born in Babylon in 1935 and currently living in East Islip where he has lived since 1968.
  Marty’s family were in a sense “pioneers” on Long Island. His grandfather helped found the Jewish temple in Babylon before he moved back to Brooklyn, where he originally came from. The village of Babylon was a very small town, so everyone knew everybody. He and his brother “reeked havoc” and were constantly in trouble. While in elementary school in 1941, he remembered being scared during an air raid drill thinking that the US was under attack.
    His father was in the auxiliary police at that time. He didn’t have a lot of formal education but was very bright. His mother was a very bright woman who was frustrated being a stay at home mother, so she became very active in several Jewish groups. She enjoyed reading and speaking publicly.
   Marty has an older brother, and a younger brother who passed away. He remembers that he and his older brother used to pick on their younger brother. He and his older brother were very close. Marty was always telling jokes with a great sense of humor.
   When asked if there were any adults in addition to his parents that influenced him, he recalled several of his teachers in elementary school and high school.
   Marty originally wanted to go into Journalism and drama. He started college later, because he didn’t have the money and worked in a luncheonette as a soda jerk to earn money. He then met a cousin who had gone to Brooklyn College and told him about the tuition free program there for students going into education. So, Marty enrolled in Brooklyn College and studied there for a year commuting by train each day. He met a friend who was going out to California and was looking for some company, so Marty decided to go with him. While in California, he joined the Teamster’s Union and worked at several jobs. He would listen to the union workers who would complain about their work and this made Marty want to help and counsel them. He then decided to go back to school and attended Los Angeles City College at night. He decided that he wanted to be a school counselor, so he returned to Brooklyn College studying in the education program. At that time, in order to be a school counselor, you had to work as a teacher for 3 years. He liked history, so he taught social studies in Brentwood while getting his Masters in Counseling and then became a guidance counselor there. He studied an additional 30 graduate credits at C.W. Post College.
   Marty was always working. His first paying job was working for the local Newspaper, the Babylon Leader for $.25 an hour to assemble the paper and $.02 a copy selling it at the train station. In addition to working in the luncheonette, he was a pin boy at a bowling alley.
   When asked what his favorite holiday was, he said Passover, when their close family would all get together at his late grandfather’s house. As the family got bigger, they celebrated over two nights. During prohibition, they made their own wine for the holiday.

Martin Hochheiser
   After graduating from Brooklyn College in 1961, he worked as a substitute teacher in several school districts. He substituted and taught Social Studies in Brentwood and then started teaching full time when they added a new position in September of that year. When Marty first started teaching, he was afraid he was going to be too soft, so he came on in just the opposite– really strong. He soon saw that that didn’t work, so he discussed it with his students and listened to what they had to say. He said that he learned from them and that things “took off” from that moment. Marty became Student Counsel advisor and was involved in extra curricular activities. In working with the Student Counsel he got involved with the community running food drives and adopting about 25 needy families during the holidays. He and Ray Perez, who was also a guidance counselor at North Junior High at the time, used to deliver the food to the needy families. As a counselor, he really loved his job and enjoyed helping the students one-on-one with their problems and working towards their futures. He taught 9th grade social studies for about 6 years and then worked as a counselor at North Junior High for 35 years. Having been a teacher first helped him as a counselor, because it gave him a sense of what a teacher is going through in the classroom. He was asked the names of some of the people he worked with over the years. He mentioned Bob Rosenblatt, John Maroka, Bill Kirlick, Ed Poluvchek and Joe Comunale.
  Marty felt that as an educator his purpose was to get as much as possible out of the students and to teach them that they were important and for them to find something were they could feel success. He did not enjoy the beginning of the year where there was more paperwork and scheduling etc. He wanted to get to meet with the students as soon as possible. He liked getting the kids involved with the programs at Stony Brook, Presidential Awards, and Outstanding Youth Awards with the Town of Islip.
   During Marty’s second year of teaching, he became very involved in the BTA as a delegate, chief delegate, and member of the negotiating committee, the grievance committee, and the extra curricular committee. He was also in charge of the professional counsel. He was involved in many situations while a member. The year he was on the negotiating committee, the teachers came close to going on strike. Marty felt that the teachers’ union has become very positive and very strong. Marty also mentioned a lot of good leaders like, Joe Hogan, Dave Marts, Nick Siciliano, Dot and Jack Zuckerman, Les Black, Joe Harris and Bob Farina. When asked if there were any “loveable characters” that he remembered while working in Brentwood, Marty mentioned Dave Files, Bob Tagner, Phil Tache and Phil Grief.
  Marty retired in July 2002 mainly because it was getting harder to get up early for work, and he was actually losing money by working. However, it was hard to make the final decision, because he really loved his job and enjoyed working with the students. When looking back on his accomplishments, two things stand out in his memory. One is the positive feedback that he would get from former students who would come back years later to visit him and thank him for the positive influence he had on their lives as adults. The other is in reaching out to the community with the annual food drive and the annual senior citizens concert that he established.  
    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



Executive Board Meeting

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