*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                                                                         JANUARY 2015

January 2
New Year Breakfast

Calendar of Events

January 22

Executive Board Meeting

Meeting Dates
POSTED 1/2/15

Carol and Ross Herzog
     Last month we posted an article about some archived photos that we added to our General Album on the Photo Gallery Page. These were photos that Dorothy Zuckerman had kept in her office at NYSUT. We received a note from Ross Herzog with a history behind one of the photos. We thought we would share it with you.
      "I recall that this photo was an earlier version of a "selfie." This was taken on a tripod with a time release, in our apartment in Bohemia, shortly after Carol and I were married. Carol looks fine, but the chair had square patterns in a variety of shades of orange. It was the ugliest piece of furniture we ever bought. If it was in Dottie's collection it was probably taken for the COMPACT newsletter which the BTA published as we approached negotiations. It was meant to provide to the community a positive image of the District's teachers. I did the interviews and Carol did the layouts. I recall that we only published it for one year. However, it was an early indication of Carol's commitment to serving and supporting the BTA for her entire career
(delegate, committees, Executive Board)"

     Please check out the entire collection of photos, and if you can identify any of the missing names, please contact us so we can label them correctly. Thank you.
 Check out Archived Photos

POSTED 1/8/15
Reprnted from News12.com, Jan 8, 2015

     BRENTWOOD - A Brentwood High School graduate has created a peaceful initiative aimed at easing tensions between the community and police.
     The “Cards for Cops” program asks students to create colorful Thank You cards for police officers. Students at Brentwood Middle School made their designs Thursday.
     “The one thing we need in this community and communities around New York and around the nation, is a relationship between officers and civilians. It not about blue lives or black lives. It's about all lives that truly matter,” said Shadrack Boakye, the programs founder.
     So far, the Cards for Cops initiative has spread to seven different states.
See story and video online

POSTED 1/23/15
     Miriam Massucci, who retired from Sonderling HS in 1987, passed away Thursday morning. The wake will be next Wednesday & Thursday, 1/28 & 1/29, at Overton Funeral Home, 172 Main St, Islip, from 2-4:30 & 7-9. Funeral mass Friday, 1/30, at 10am @ St. Patrick's RC Church, Bay Shore.

POSTED 1/19/15

Celebrating Martin Luther KIng Day, January 19, 2015. Discover how the American hero is still shaping lives around the world. View this online artecle at www.aarp.org

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.


Demand Governor Cuomo & Chancellor Tisch Stop the Assault on Public Education
If he wants a fight, we'll give him a fight

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 January and see what else happened!
Historical People and Events for January

January, 2015 Holidays, Bizarre, Unique, Special Days
Bizarre and Unique Holidays

All About January
January in History

Feb 3
Executive Board Meeting

(No meeting in January)

March 24
General Membership Meeting
(No Meetings in Jan. or Feb.)

RC 21 Website:
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.

     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


Chris Veech

Chris entered the world on a September 11 in 1933. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the first President she would come to know was in his first term leading the country out of the worst depression it had ever seen. She was born in Brooklyn, NY of Norwegian immigrant parents. Her mother was a book keeper and ardent feminist, her father a conscientious cabinet maker. Planning to return home to Norway after coming to America to make a living and finding it difficult, they became trapped by the depression and moved to several different places in Brooklyn. One of her earliest memories was being alone in a crib, climbing over the side and then out a window to the fire escape after first removing the small collapsible window screen at its base. The iron bars of that fire escape saved her from falling to the street. Thankfully she was rescued by the person who discovered her situation. It was little wonder that she remained fearful of heights for most of her life. She spoke of two materiel possessions of her grandparents she retained. One, the ancestral home in Norway which she visits every summer and the other were censored letters she received during the Nazi occupation of Norway during WWII.
     Chris was an only child and expressed a strong, assertive presence from childhood on. Her parents had always maintained that one day she would attend college. She started Kindergarten at McKinley across from McKinley Park on 7th Ave. She attended Bay Ridge High School choosing an Academic Program rather than the General, or Commercial Diplomas that were also offered. Columbia University was next and then Teachers College. She first attended and graduated from St. Olaf College, in Northfield, MN, where she began her teaching career in 1955 earning $3,400. It was where she got her first real taste of classroom teaching and met interesting people, among them the renowned Garrison Keeler of (PBS) and Prairie Home Companion fame who she had as a student. It was during her first teaching assignment that she met and married her husband Bob with whom they would have two children, who both became teachers: Gregory went into Special Education and Rondi Casey, Physical Education. Living in their beautiful home in Commack they’ve become Grandparents five times.
      She obtained a Masters degree in Theatre Arts, and working at the time with Bob actually had a raised stage in her classroom and just like in the motion picture Mr. Holland’s Opus, lived the idealized version of that movie even before coming to Long Island. Once here she taught first in Syosset during pre-NYSUT days where she pushed for the formation of a union prior to having tenure, and then taught in Commack before coming to Brentwood in 1975. Prior to accepting a position in the district Chris had become politically active campaigning for a run to the NY State Senate and running for the Smithtown Council. She had been an Educational Coordinator of Planned Parenthood for Nassau & Suffolk County at the time she was interviewed by Gilda Mantin and Dave Martz. Jobs were hard to get in 75. As happened to so many others during those times, she was let go the next year 1976 – 1977 but was eventually rehired and taught English in the Ross Building. She also became an adjunct for Syracuse University teaching as part of Project Advance for several years. She also taught Social Studies at the 10th Grade Center where she had 10th, 11th, 12th grade classes. She remembered enjoying ten week sessions offered as a Drama Elective. Then a traumatic event associated with her last year in the High School made her reevaluate her personal priorities and prompted her retirement in 1991, earlier than planned.
     Chris soon became involved with (ROBS) the Brentwood Retirement Association which was in the process of being formed. She became Communications Coordinators of both RC21 and ROBS prior to participating in the Writers Group which composed, collected and published volumes of stories about the Brentwood experience for Collections in the Islip and Brentwood Public Libraries. Chris made major contributions to all three and was awarded many certificates from NYSUT and the AFT where her Journalism was Recognized in annual Competitions.

     Her file of letters from former students are near to her heart. Abhorring the constant vitriolic rant about Brentwood in local media, she points to the many success stories of its outstanding graduates like Wayne Spencer who she once taught. She maintained contact with former teachers over the years For those entering the field she warns, “Teaching is a 9 – 5 job and you better either love it or leave it”. Her interview took place 18 years ago on December 13, 1996. Her date of birth coincided with that of Florence Koehler with whom she had maintained a friendship until her death earlier this year.

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 1/7/15
     It is with sadness the Registration Office announces the passing of Rev. Jose Manuel Benitez, father of Cris Benitez (Coordinator of Census and Attendance)
     Wake will be at:
O'Shea's Funeral Home
63 Carleton Ave, East Islip
(between Sunrise Hwy and and Main Street)
      Wednesday and Thursday, 2-4pm and 7-9pm (both days) 1/7- 1/8

Funeral Service will be at The Faith Alive Church, 17 W Suffolk Ave, Central Islip
     Friday, January 9 at 11am
(Church is next to McDonald's and across the street from Taco Bell)

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