*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                                                                          JUNE 2012

June 1


June 7
Herbs and FlowersFor more information:
Calendar of Events

POSTED 6/1/12

Judi Hearst Weissman posted this in Brentwood High School Retirees.

     Bobbe Frankel just shared this beautiful memorial video of Chico Frankel. It was put together by Alida Thorpe; she and Chris often traveled with Bobe and Chico. This video is so beautiful and really captures Chico's heart and spirit. I thought you might enjoy it. beautifully done, Alida; thanks for Sharing.
Judi Hearst Weissman - May 23


POSTED 6/27/12

From: Sharon Schrag
To: District Wide
     It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of my dear friend Annette Clark on June 25th after losing her long battle with cancer. Her courage and spirit and loving nature were an inspiration to all who knew her. She will be greatly missed. She was a monitor at Freshman Center. She is also the sister of Marie Luke (retired teacher from Hemlock Park).
    The wake is today (June 27, 2012) at Claude R. Boyd-Spencer Funeral Home, 255 Higbie Lane, West Islip, NY 11795
Hours: 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
    Funeral Mass is Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes, 455 Hunter Avenue, West Islip, NY 11795.
    Condolences can be sent to: Annette’s daughters Johanna, Bernadette and Catherine at: 1343 N. Monroe Avenue, W. Islip, NY 11795

POSTED 6/7/12

     Marie Allen, mother of Virginia Garcia, passed away on Tuesday, June 5th. Marie was a very caring and dedicated aide at Loretta Park for many years.
     Rolands Funeral Home
     500 North Ocean Ave,  Patchogue
Thursday 2-4 and 7-9
Mass Friday 10AM - St. Francis de Sales, Amity St./Ocean Ave., Patchogue
    Condolences may be sent to Ms. Virginia Garcia, 16 Vail St., Islip, NY 11751. 

POSTED 6/26/12

     Melenese Hamilton passed away early on Saturday, June 23, in her home in St. Augustine, FL. She taught physical education and gymnastics in Brentwood for 34 years. She taught, at least, in Northwest, Twin Pines, and Pine Park Elementary Schools.
     The wake is on Monday, July 2, 2012
Haile Funeral Home
802 North Oak Street
Stark, Florida 32091
A service will be held at the True Vine Ministries on Tuesday, July 3 at 11 AM.
422 N. St. Clare Street
Stark, Fl
     Condolences can be sent to:
The family of Melanese Hamilton
600 Intracoastal Circle,
St Augustine, Fl 32095

POSTED 6/29/12

     It is with great sadness that Mr. Lance Lawther, husband of Brentwood retiree Patty Lawther, passed away suddenly. He will be waked on Sunday at
Overton Funeral Home
172 Main Street
Islip, NY
Viewing: 2-4:30 & 7-9
Burial is Monday @ Calverton Cemetary.
POSTED 6/23/12

     Brentwood High School’s Scholarship Presentation was held on May 17, 2012. Through your generosity ROBS was able to increase the number of scholarships this year from four awards to five. An additional $500 scholarship was awarded. In all, ROBS awarded $3,000 in scholarship money.
      Merrissa Bhimsingh is the recipient of the $1,000 Jack Zuckerman Scholarship Award and Patricia Iglesias is the recipient of the $500 Lilian Kelly Scholarship Award. The recipients of ROBS $500 scholarships are Karissa Jean Pierre, Wendy Escobar and Maryam Rabbani.
      All scholarship winners plan to pursue careers in education. ROBS congratulates the winners and wishes them good luck in their college careers.


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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.

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Counseling in Times of Stress

      Millie O'Neill was a Hall Monitor in the Ross Building until she retired. She wrote this short piece while confined to a sick bed from which she never recovered. It reflects her deep commitment to the young people of Brentwood who she served on a daily basis. She would like to have been asked to speak to graduates of the high school. This was what she wanted to say. Millie was a loving parent of several Brentwood graduates, one of whom named Donna even attended the Maslow Toffler School for several months of her senior year.      8-11-25 - 3-21-06.

by Millie O'Neill
     If I were to give advice to graduates it would be as follows:

     All the education in the world may go for naught if not combined with common sense. That common sense should tell you to follow your own talents—your own potential. Choosing a career based on salary alone could lead you to difficult and unhappy times in your life. As they say money can't buy happiness and you can't take it with you. (What you can take with you is the part of yourself you give away.)

     Should you take the time and make the effort to explore your own talents it is then you'll discover where you fit in the work force, where you will experience productivity and a sense of accomplishment. Such a choice doesn't happen overnight, nor is it at the first job you accept. It also may require you to work at other jobs until you've found your niche. Don't ignore your talents -embrace them, nourish them, for these gifts you've been given have purpose and will lead you to the career that is meant for you to find enjoyment in your work.
     If in your mind you see a brick wall, replace it with many doors. Use those doors as a means of discovery. It is a method of finding yourself- discovering the importance of self. Make a list of your likes and dislikes. Your talents may fall in the area of your likes (but not necessarily since talents need development.) You also have talents that will surface as you move through life (At the right time and the right place.) Aside from the talents we use in a career we also possess the ones we use in everyday life, (either as a hobby or for enjoyment.) Never envy the talents of others for that is wasted energy that deters you from finding your own gifts, your own abilities.
     The choices in the working field are many. They may be in the area of medicine, music, architecture, judicial system, computers, writing, teaching, etc. As you make choices be aware that you should bring to that field your gifts, your talents. Since you will spend the majority of your years in the working field it makes sense to choose a line of work that brings you satisfaction, that helps you to unfold and find growth so that you may have an unlimited vision of the importance of yourself and the lives you touch.

June 19
Annual Awards Luncheon
Registration Form

June 28
Day at the Races
Belmont Race Track

July 11
Theater Party
Gateway Theater

For information visit
RC 21 Website: http://ny.aft.org/rc21

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.


Mike Fasullo
Michael H. Fasullo Jr. shared his story with us in December of 2011. Having accepted a teaching position in Brentwood he arrived with a passion for physics and a love for imparting it to his students. He was greeted with culture shock. Fast forward several years and offered a chance to move to administration he accepted the challenge; this after after having been active in the BTA and an Executive Committee member. The first day students arrived, a young woman walked into his office and proceeded to be sick on his shoes. Therein began a story of survival and redemption which led Mike to seriously consider leaving the profession he loved. Then in 1984 Part 100 came about changing policies and requirements throughout the entire school system. He became Coordinator of Secondary Planning and the roof fell in as a tree literally came crashing through his office. He worked full time negotiating contracts with Les Black, holding successive titles culminating in that of Assistant Superintendent from the 1990’s to 2002. As he talked we touched on many subjects including Guy DiPietro, Superintendents Hearings, an accusation of bigotry, a classic Stan Yankowski story as well as a serious one. Mike recalled Lou Rabinowitz, Bill Muledy, John Leeman, and Jeff Goldschmidt from his early days. We talked about Brentwood and the best thing about it being “the people”. We talked about categories of students, attendance rates and the 42% turnover rate in the district each year, teacher performance, the union, NCLB. He considered teachers in his early days being like Monks, gifting children with what they did best and backed by parents. They were he said,  “the most hard working, dedicated child centered professionals that ever existed.”but pass it along.

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

Barbara Mascaro
Edward Hannan
Florence Koehler
Franklin Spencer
Ivy Rosenthal
Jack Zuckerman
Joseph Purcell
Lorraine Sopp
Lynn Desoto
Marcy Fiore
Patricia Stuhler
Pattie Monsen
Rich Curio
Richard Mundy
Wally Balinski



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

Marilyn DePlaza
"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 6/5/12

     Gerry Duff, former teacher at Northwest Elementary school and later guidance counselor, passed yesterday.
     Gerry will be waked at Overton's Funeral Home on Montauk Highway in Islip, today, Tuesday from 2- 4 and 7 -9.
Mass will be 10:45 tomorrow, Wednesday at St. Mary's in E. Islip, burial on Thursday in Massachusetts.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Alzheimer or Diabetes Association.

Posted 6/14/12
     After a long illness, Joseph Fiore, the husband of Karen Fiore, passed away. Karen Fiore was an aide at South Middle School.
     The arrangements are as follows:
Chappey’s Funeral Home
1225 Montauk Highway
W. Islip, NY
Thurs., 6/14 – 2 - 4:30 p.m.
                       7 – 9:30 p.m.
Funeral Services will be held on Fri., 6/15, 9:45 a.m. at:
St. Anne’s Church, 88 Second Ave.,
     If anyone would like to contribute to a collection for the family, please see Joanna Gearino (Guidance)
or Cathy Charland (room 212).

Posted 6/23/12

      Below you can view a YouTube video and share Grace Fishenfeld's wonderful news about her very talented granddaughter....I love sending good news like this to all of you. Congratulations to Jessica and all her family and friends who are so proud of her.
     "Our granddaughter, Jessica Fishenfeld was chosen to represent the opera and theater department of NYU at a leadership conference in Florence, Italy." Grace
View YouTube Video

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