*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                                                                        JULY / AUGUST 2017

July 20

Executive Board Meeting

August 17
Executive Board Luncheon

Meeting Dates

POSTED 7/5/17

Click on photo to view more
     We are proud to announce that once again ROBS was able to award four scholarships to graduating Brentwood High School seniors this year. Scholarship night was held on May 26, 2017 at Brentwood High School, and ROBS Delegate At Large, Jim Nanos was there to present the scholarships to the winners. Kyle Niehr was awarded the $1,000 Jack Zuckerman scholarship and Katherine Orellana was awarded the $1000 Dorothy Zuckerman scholarship Yelinda Leniohan was awarded the $500 Sheila Sustrin scholarship. Gabriella Cruz was presented with the Lilian Kelly $750 Scholarship.

POSTED 7/5/17
     The following is a letter that was sent to Newsday this morning from Chris Veech, a retired Brentwood High School teacher.

POSTED 7/20/17
Marilyn Hallam's (former Health Services Secretary in BUFSD) husband, Joseph died peacefully yesterday surrounded by his family. Funeral arrangements are as follows:      He is being waked at Chapey's in West Islip. Thursday: 7- 9:30pm
          Friday: 2-4:30pm and 7:00-9:30pm          Saturday: Mass 10:00am at St. Joseph's Church,  Babylon


POSTED 7/28/16
     You can find the membership application card for you to fill out on page 4 of the latest copy of the ROBS Newsletter, which you will be receiving in the mail.  If you do not receive the newsletter, you can download the Membership Card here. The membership fee is $25. New members can also use this card to join ROBS and go to the ROBS Membership Page on this website for more information on joining ROBS and downloading the card..     
      Simply fill out the card, and indicate if there are corrections to be made to your current listing in the directory. Return the card addressed to Carmen Roldan, 49 Linda Lane, North Babylon, NY 11703. Include your check made out to ROBS for $25 with "Dues" written on the memo line.    

POSTED 7/1/17

The following is a note from Ellen Edelstein:
      The news of Maddi's passing has saddened me beyond words. She was not only an elementary school teacher but she was the BTA Vice President for many years and was a major reason that the working conditions in Brentwood were as wonderful as they were. All of us benefited tremendously from Maddi's dedication and hard work and the contract that we enjoyed was a result of Maddi's participation on the negotiating team. She also had a real interest in Brentwood history and, along with Gerry Brophy, created the bus tour of Modern Times that many of our teachers were treated to at their orientation. I 'resurrected' that booklet to present to our newly tenured teachers at the Tenure Tea in their honor. I think it's important that those of our colleagues who may not have been aware of Maddi's contributions be informed of their significance.

POSTED 7/14/17
     The Association for Mental Health and Wellness was formed in 2014 upon the merger of three leading Suffolk County organizations, the Mental Health Association in Suffolk, Clubhouse of Suffolk and Suffolk United Veterans. As the local chapter of Mental Health America and Mental Health Association of New York State, MHAW's objective is to ensure access for Suffolk County residents to the highest quality of mental health care and information. The mission of the agency is to empower people and communities to pursue and sustain enriched, healthy, and self directed lives.      If you are interested in becoming a literacy volunteer with the agency, please contact C.E.O., Michael Stoltz at 631-471-7242.

POSTED 8/2/17
     In efforts to secure the NO Vote on the Constitutional Convention, NYSUT will hold Retiree Phone Banks, every Tuesday – starting (August 1st) until Election Day, Location: NYSUT Suffolk - 150 Motor Pkwy, Hauppauge – 3rd floor. Hours: 10:30 – 1:30 - Lunch will be provided.      We need all the help we can get to defeat this proposition on Nov. 7th. We are scheduling for the month of August now: Aug 1,8,15,22,29. Please consider giving an hour or two of your time . . . Call (631) 273-8822

POSTED 7/1/17

     Maddi Dwyer, who taught at North Elementary School, passed away on June 29, 2017. Maddi was also the BTA Vice President for many years. Her husband, Tom, also worked in the distract as a guidance counselor in the high school. You can read more about Maddi in her obituary at https://www.moloneyfh.com/obituary/
     A Celebration of Maddi’s life will be held from 11:00am – 1:00pm on Sunday, July 9th 2017. Moloney’s Lake Funeral Home at the Mother Teresa Tribute Center, 132 Ronkonkoma Avenue, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779.
11am to noon - Eulogies and dove release Noon to 1pm - Luncheon and sharing memories of Maddi.

POSTED 7/20/17
    Grace Mauro, who taught in the Music Department, passed away yesterday. Grant's Funeral Home in Brentwood is handling the details. Services at Grant's are on Saturday and Sunday 2-4PM and 7-9PM. Funeral Mass on Monday at St. Anne's at 9:45AM.

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.
NYSUT Website

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

August 8
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

Rich Graziano
Mr. Graziano's Science Class
Academic Enrichment and Remedial Website


Check out the Famous People and Events on that special day in July and August see what else happened!
Historical People and Events for July

Historical People and Events for August

July and August 2017 Holidays, Bizarre, Unique, Special Days
Bizarre and Unique Holidays in July

Bizarre and Unique Holidays in August

All About July and August
July in History

August 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.


Ester Mae (Kitty) Hicks Hayes
Elementary Teacher
Interview Feb 12, 1999

    History was admittedly not one of Ester Mae Hicks Hayes favorite subjects. In spite of that it’s her history that enables us to piece together the chapters of her fascinating life. Ester (she dropped Mae, thinking it too country), adopted the knick name ‘Kitty’ in college, which stayed with her through college and beyond. Her parents were Ella Evans Hicks and Emmanuel Hicks. They brought her into the world in 1928 in Brighton, a twin city of Beaver Falls Pennsylvania, just 50 miles outside of Pittsburgh,. It was Herbert Hoover’s time in the Presidency as Wall Street experienced the worst financial collapse ever, ushering in the Great Depression and making possible Franklin D. Roosevelt’s unprecedented four terms in office beginning in 1932.
     Her mother, whose own mother Ester Evans, (Kitty’s grandmother), was originally from Henderson, North Carolina, and one of eight children all of whom were taught at home by their father. Ella was the first person in the family to go to college at Knoxville, in Knoxville TN. There she met Kitty’s father when they were students. He’d originally come from Alabama. Kitty’s mother taught for a year while Kitty’s father went to the Seminary in Pennsylvania, to study, eventually becoming an ordained minister. When they were wed, they started their family in Pennsylvania, where Kitty’s two oldest sister’s were born. Kitty became the next of the four girls born there before the family then moved to Camden, N.J.    Her parents were very family oriented. Those were the worst years of the Depression. Although no one was hiring married women teachers during those years., the kids never felt deprived. Even though her mother had been a teacher, her sisters never thought about becoming teachers. Her oldest sister wanted to become a journalist. She was sent to Japan and Guam during the War to help set up the USO. After World War II she decided to become a teacher in Philadelphia. All her sisters went to Knoxville College. Mary went next, Kitty the following year. Miriam started the year Kitty graduated. Miriam went for one year but wanted to major in Drama until she learned they had no such program there, so she transferred to West Virginia State. Mary and Miriam both taught Spanish in Philadelphia High School and then went to Puerto Rico as ESL Exchange teachers.
    Growing up with a strict, loving minister father, Kitty wasn’t allowed to date until she was eighteen years old. “Boys and books don’t mix”, she was told. Movies weren’t allowed until she was twelve and were even then, selected by parents who accompanied her. The kids were also accompanied by their parents to museums and family picnics. The Camden schools at that time were segregated and she was called “colored.” The Junior High School and High School were only beginning to experience integration. She graduated from her high school in 1945, the same year WWII ended. During her senior year she won the Public Speaking Contest. That was a big deal.
      When she was a little girl under twelve, she took turns performing the many chores she and her sisters shared, like washing and drying fishes, making beds, and scrubbing the front porch. She liked to hold her father’s hand, describing herself as a “Daddy’s girl”. Her first paying job was working for a neighbor, Mrs. Katz, who lived across the street and for whom she did house work, like scrubbing the kitchen floor. She and everybody else in Camden, at one time or another, worked in the Campbell Soup factory Canning Division, she for six or seven years. Summers were tomato season. She remembers making $ .55.5 per hour. Everyone then working for the company was required to be at least sixteen years of age.

Kitty Hayes
     Sometime during the mid fifties she applied for a teaching position at the Second Supervisory District on Deer Park Road. Speaking there with someone she remembered as the Superintendent, she was told local communities were not yet ready for Negro teachers. Tears came to her eyes as in disbelief she said to herself, ‘I can’t believe this stuff is still going on here’. She had been dealing with forms of that kind of discrimination since being a student teacher and it made her sad to think it was still a reality on Long Island. She applied for substitute work anyway in Wyandanch, Bay Shore, and Babylon and proceeded with a program of Graduate studies at New York University and Hofstra College. Her application to Brentwood got her an interview with Dr Eugene Hoyt who offered her a contract after subbing in the District for two or three months. Meanwhile she took her education courses at Colombia for purposes of certification and matriculated for a Masters in Educational Administration & Supervision. She started teaching 3rd Grade in South West at the Elementary level with Mr. Walters, and Principal Art Breiger before he received his doctorate. She met and substitute taught in Ralph Sakin’s Building and worked with Mr. Graff in Village who retired with her in 1989. Dot Zuckerman had been her Grade Chairman and she became close friends with both Jack and Dot over the years.
      Kitty took her first plane flight in 1973 to represent Brentwood and the BTA at a teachers union national convention in Portland, Oregon. Shortly thereafter she remembered a five way merge of several unions as we evolved our organization structure on the way to AFT and NYSUT. “We were like a family” she said. She was a GIS for four years and worked with Joan Lange on the District Curriculum Committee. Kitty also participated in a Home Tutorial Program, ran several field trips and Parent Workshops. She organized a Book Mobile, established a regular route in conjunction with the Brentwood Public Library. and worked with The Neighborhood Opportunity Center – She taught fifth Grade at Hemlock Park and took her half year Sabbatical the year she worked with Mr. Graff. She was paid $4,200 her first year before taxes for 10 months. She ended up with a Masters Degree plus 45 credits. She continued to express her love of theatre by participating in Senior America where she was chosen Miss Senior New York. She performed with The Grey Wig at Hofstra University. She organized a Theatre for Children and was a Consultant for Head Start.
     Even though she was not ready to retire when she became eligible at age 55 she did retire after 32 years when she attained 61 years of age. Her purpose for teaching as she defined it was to build students self confidence and teach each of them how to enjoy learning Her advice to new teachers was always to make sure from day one - you love what you do – if you can do that you will never have a bad day.
     Her interview took place on February 12, 1999, almost ten years after leaving her very active service.

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

              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.