*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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DO YOU KNOW WHO IS IN THIS SOUTH JHS PHOTO? POSTED 5/1/16 Click on the photo to enlarge
Can anybody help us identify the people from South Junior High in this photo. The person on the right with the apron on is Michael DeBellis who was the principal. Can you identify the other two? Please contact us if you can. Thanks.
DONATING BLOOD POSTED 5/1/16
Help save a life today by donating blood to those in need. The following are scheduled local blood drives:
May 7th - Central Islip High School - 85 Wheeler Road, Central Islip - 9:30AM - 1:30PM
BRENTWOOD HISTORICAL SOCIETY FUND RAISER POSTED 5/6/16
The Brentwood Historical Society will be hosting a Paint Night fundraiser on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at St. Anne's Council Knights of Columbus on 96 Second Ave., Brentwood. Doors open at 6:30pm. Tickets will only be sold in advance for $40. All proceeds are going towards the restoration of the Modern Times School House located on the grounds of Brentwood High School. Download this flier for further details and registration.
SAD SHARING POSTED 5/25/16
Haskell (Hal) Paster, who retired from Brentwood High School as a social studies teacher, passed away today.
The funeral service will be held at Temple Beth Sholom, 441 Deer Park Ave., Babylon, on Friday, May 27, at 10:00 am, with interment at New Montefiore Cemetery.
The family will observe shiva at their residence -- 5 Max Way, Commack -- with visits at these times:
Friday, May 27 - after burial until Shabbat
Saturday, May 28 - after Shabbat
Sunday-Tuesday, May 29-31 - afternoons and evenings
A shiva minyan will meet there at 8:15 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Hal's entire family
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Letters to the Editor Pagewhere you can share your views and comments
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.
THIS MONTH'S FEATURED HISTORY PROJECT
Kate Theresa Corkery -Administrator Interview: December 2011
We began listening to Kate on the afternoon of December 16, 2011 as she told us the story of a 38 year Brentwood odyssey from its’ inception. Kathryn Theresa Corkery, born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, had retired from Brentwood in 2008. She was the middle child of three. Known as Kate, she had an older sister Florence, recently deceased, and a younger brother John. Each exerted their own influence on her during formative years making her the beneficiary of an inclusive family life experience. That being said, Kate was very different from her sister who was five years older and had been an “A” Business student excelling in typing and shorthand. She was closer in many ways to her brother. She loved sports, most particularly swimming and camping. Her favorite subjects had been reading and social studies, her least favorite subject was math. She was named after her parent’s best friend, the family called her Aunt Theresa from Wading River. Kathryn had been a Great Aunt who once lived with the family. Kate had been named for her as well. She remembered her and hearing stories of the many obstacles she needed to overcome to become the complete person she ultimately became with her substantial hearing challenges. She remembered her heavy, clunky old hearing aides and how she was influenced by her example. Her mother became her greatest influence becoming St John’s Educated in the 1930’s and graduating Summa Cum Laude. Kate became the first person of her generation in her family to teach. There were other influences as well; many Girls Scout Leaders, teachers, specifically Mr. Fred Coverdale from Bayport HS. Nick Maletta was her Latin teacher.
Kate attended an old wooden school house, PS 65 in Woodhaven from which she recalls the aromas of graham crackers and white paste. She entered 2nd grade in Bayport and graduated from Bayport Blue Point HS. She attended Hamline University in the Twin Cities of Minnesota from which she graduated in 1970. The apple of her father’s eye she was a “daddy’s girl but a “tomboy”, who followed the road less traveled insofar as girly-girl kinds of things like sewing and cooking were concerned. She left them to the domain of her mother and sister Florence, both of whom enjoyed what Kate called ‘magic fingers’ in their abilities to make things out of nothing. Her mother had in many ways been her rock and overriding role model. Memories of her included aromas of food cooking, the sound of a sewing machine, sights of yards of fabric, dancing lessons, and costumes. She remembers her mother returning to school to become an elementary school educator and getting her degrees before she came to Brentwood to teach after having had experience for a short time as a Business Teacher. Kate remembers becoming interested in becoming a teacher through her mother in the way that everything they did together became a family project. She realized that Education had been a luxury in the previous generation. She intended to take advantage of her every opportunity.
Both her parents were people persons. Her father was also her hero. While working as a milkman for Sheffield Farms in Brooklyn, he’d saved a mother and her little boy from a burning building with a gas leak in Coney Island. Kate called him Mr. Personality because of his sense of humor. He was an outdoorsman type. Temporarily moving the family to Woodhaven Queens, they ultimately settled in Bayport L.I., in 1955 when it was still real country. He worked there for Evans Dairy for a while before owning a dock building company where he constructed docks that survive today in many Fire Island communities. She followed him everywhere. They were buddies.
Kate was living in Sayville, at the time of the interview and married to Jim. They had met over 20 years earlier on the Browns River in Sayville, went sailing one night and shortly thereafter, sealed the deal. They love sailing and beach in summer. They both enjoy cold weather, favoring winter in the Adirondacks’, where they often participate in skiing, & snow mobiling.
Her decision to teach in Brentwood was made at the last minute. Her decision was between Brentwood and William Floyd in August of 1970. Lou Lotito, who was in North West Elementary asked her to join them. She felt a pull to taking one of the many teaching jobs available Sitka Alaska, but due to her mother, she’d enjoyed a history in Brentwood. Her decision came at a difficult time, with South closed, and other schools closing. She would be excessed on 14 separate occasions leading her to become certified in English, Reading, ESL,and Administration. She loved it all eventually becoming a Teacher on Special Assignment – as Staff Developer focusing on the ARL Assured Readiness for Learning Program. This was her favorite assignment.
As the Coordinator of Language Arts and Social Studies K-12, she had an intense desire to learn and share through her staff development. She made many friends in the different buildings and saw many of her students become teachers in Brentwood. While never really involved in – BTA or BPSO her professional involvement was at the State and Regional level becoming Regional Director for NYS Reading Association. When asked if she was ever afraid to teach she responded in a word,- “Never”. Every assignment was an adventure and an opportunity to learn. She recalled earning $8,000 per year in the beginning.
Had she not become a teacher she might have enjoyed pursuing History or Archeology, Among her closest professional friends have been Christy Tedaldi, May Pat Lyons, and Karen Scharf. She commented upon the changes she had seen in the district over time. Schools were older now, and the sense of family that once existed she saw slipping away The missionary zeal for the welfare of children remained; children still came first with teachers. The real multiculturalism she got had been learned more in the classes of Brentwood than in any of her college classes.
Her reason for leaving had a lot to do with the fact that many of her contemporaries were retiring, Les Black among them. She thought she failed her retirement for she immediately went to work for Suffolk BOCES and became a consultant to Scholastic The part of her assignment that had remained the most fun were the parts that had to do with the arts and education – she loved bringing artists, authors, and performers into the school as role models. While she could have remained longer she was happy with what she did and preferred to “go out” on a positive note. We spoke about 9/11 and it’s impact. She was not going to miss all the testing but did miss the people and the constant learning. We asked about her 3 wishes for the future of Education. She expressed a desire for Equity in Education and Creating beautiful environments for nurturing body, mind and spirit of students and teachers alike. Brentwood’s Teachers she said, are a cut above the rest, its students most deserving, talented and gifted.
She witnessed the first years of basic competency exams at the High School and survived split session. That was when she was hired by Tom Campi as an English teacher in the HS. Testing is controversial these days. However it sets standards for personal and professional growth.
Her advice to new people is to be patient, flexible, open minded, never doubt the possible. She said she had personally enjoyed the luxury of working with outstanding educators and principles. She said “Thank You” to, and named, the Principals, “who made me a better teacher and a better person”.
You can also view any of these past interviews by visiting History Project Interview Archives :
Baker Bernhardt, Ruth
Baker Bazata, Eleanor
Laub, Dr. Herb
Sustrin, Letty and Sheila
Walker Lloyd, Shirley
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.