*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                                                                     MAY 2019
May 3
General Membership Meetings

May 16
Executive Board Meeting
*New Location

*Meeting Dates
Events Schedule
POSTED 4/13/19
    NYS Legislature proposed the freezing of the reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums for all NYSHIP retirees with Medicare primary insurance. The proposal would also eliminate the reimbursement of the IRMAA for certain retirees.
    We ask that you write to your NYS Assemblymen and Senators requesting that they advocate for the removal of these proposals.
    Click on the link below to download sample letters that can be sent to your local representative. A list of their names is included.


 For further information, refer to the article "BEWARE...BE AWARE!" by Carmela Criscione in the Spring 2019 issue of ROBS Newsletter

POSTED 5/2/19
   The following was posted by Judi Weissman on the Brentwood High School Retirees Facebook Page:
   Big Congratulations to Steve Rochester! Our fellow retiree has just been awarded "Senior Citizen of the Year." What an honor, Steve! We all congratulate you! Here's the announcement:
   Every year Suffolk County Office for the Aging and the Suffolk County Senior Citizen Advisory Board honor a Senior Citizen of the Year at an annual luncheon. This year Steve Rochester has been chosen to receive this honor for all of his volunteer work. Steve comes every morning to the Suffolk YJCC Senior Lounge where he signs up seniors for lunch and performs other chores. He has done this 5 days a week for the past 6 years.
   Steve also volunteers to teach an American History class twice a month which has grown from 8 to over 30 participants. He is on the Board of Directors for the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of Long Island and for the last 6 years he is a volunteer Assistant Coach for the Brentwood High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team.
   The luncheon is May 16 at Villa Lombardi in Holbrook.


     Jim was recently honored by being inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his many achievements and lifetime Service to Wrestling.
     He was on the wrestling teams throughout high school and college, and began his coaching career in the Brentwood High School. In 1984 he was named League I, J.V. Wrestling Coach of the Year.
     You can read more about Jim's career and achievements in wrestling in the following article in Friends of Wrestling 2019.

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Please visit our
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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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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 May and see what else happened!
Historical People and Events for May
May 2019 Holidays, Bizarre, Unique, Special Days
Bizarre and Unique Holidays in May
All About May
May 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.
   You can 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.

Gloria Hannemann
Guidance Counselor
Interviewed 10/18/07

   Her name is Gloria Nancy Geluso Hannemann. Growing up, her friends knew her as Glo. Her mother always called her Gloworm, and in school she got the name Sunshine. Gloworm has become her internet screen name, a nickname recycled.  Her mother’s mother was Nancy which accounts for the middle name. She lives in Huntington with her husband Victor and their only son Vj (Victor John). She has been married for thirty seven years. Her husband came to the United States from Mexico thirty nine years ago. They met for the first time in a local restaurant and were introduced by a mutual friend. Gloria had just come back from Mexico where she had been studying for a year at the University of Mexico in an attempt to improve her command of Spanish. Time passed and their blossoming friendship became something much stronger and personal.
   Vj was thirty five years old and teaching Elementary Art in Kings Park. He had previously taught for one year in Brentwood. He married his wife Trish last summer just as her folks relocated to Michigan. He and Trish have since purchased a home around the block in his parent’s neighborhood. VJ bought fifty-five acres of land upstate where he loves spending time.  He is an avid fly fisherman who makes his own flies. He owns a dog and works well with his students who love him. Vj reminds Gloria of her father whom he never met. He and Vj had many common traits and interests. They never met because Gloria’s father died before Vj was born. Gloria believes that had her father lived he would have been a wonderful grandfather to Vj who talks about him all the time almost as if he’d known him.
    Gloria has a sister, Mary Jane who is three years younger, retired and lives in Florida. Joan is an older sister by two years who was also a teacher and lives upstate in Pine Plains, NY. She taught Science and Biology. She has a younger brother, Joseph from Huntington who is eight years her junior. He was a salesman for a lumber company. They all have frequent contact visiting one another as often as possible.
    Gloria was born on July 8th 1944 at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, and lived on East 16th Street and Avenue U. Her family moved from that house when she was either two or three years old. Her family owned a two family brownstone, and they lived on the second floor with a renter downstairs. She remembers the noise from the L Train that ran almost through their backyard. That was the train to Coney Island. Her father’s brother, who was the youngest in his family, created a tradition of taking Gloria and her siblings to Coney Island amusement park on the last day of the school every year as a reward for being promoted. They looked forward all year to being promoted so that they could go to Coney Island.
   Her grandparents on both her mother’s side and father’s side were born in Italy. Her mother’s maiden name was Barberio and her father, Gloria’s fraternal granddad, came from a family of skilled artisans who worked in stained glass. She remembers the story of how her great grandfather was commissioned to do the windows in a church upstate and that was what brought them to the United States. Her grandfather met and married Gloria’s grandmother, who also came from Italy, in America.
   Her father’s parents similarly arrived at a time when their unique talents and abilities were in demand. Her grandfather was a builder and carpenter. Her grandmother was a seamstress in Sicily, and when she came to the United States she and her brother pooled their money and opened a dress factory. They made wedding gowns in Manhattan and became very successful.    
    Gloria’s mother loved to read. She read everything. She was ninety years old and frequented the local library, where in addition to newspapers and her everyday habit of reading whatever interested her, she would devour paperback Harlequin romance novels one after another. She was very bright as was her mother (Gloria’s grandmother) who graduated Magna Cum Laude from public High School in New York when she came to America. They were not typical immigrants, because when they arrived she had a governess and more financial resources than most people had.
  As a middle child Gloria used her position to glide through life allowing her older sister to do most of her talking. She enjoyed being ignored so she could choose to do what she wanted. She was very shy and afraid of her own shadow until she decided it was time to step up and come out of her shell which she has certainly done.
   Two people other than her father that had a lot of influence on her were her uncle Carmen and her uncle Mike both on her mother’s side. Carmen encouraged her to go to college. While still in high school she wanted to become a secretary. She loved paperwork, filing and organization. She was accepted to Claremont Secretarial School in Hicksville, New York. Her Uncle Carmen said that by going to college not only could she have become a Secretary she could also have become a Bilingual Secretary.
   Michael DeBellis, was Principal of South Junior High School in Brentwood at the time and the second strongest influence responsible for her becoming a teacher. Her cousin was Claudia DeBellis. Her mother’s sister Helen, is Mike DeBellis’s wife and Gloria’s aunt. He convinced her at her college graduation party at home to come to his school and sit in on several classes, like Physical Education and Spanish to show her that this was what she really would most enjoy doing with her life. She came and she got the message.
   We spoke about the occasional accusation that nepotism plays somewhat of a role in the hiring of new teachers in Brentwood. Gloria took issue with the idea and responded as others have that hiring from within has made us better and stronger not weaker. Referencing to her own cultural norms growing up in an extended Italian family and believing how learning to identify with something larger than yourself is better for everybody. Those new teachers learn how the family that is Brentwood is a very special place.
    Her first paying job was with the Singer Sewing Machine Company on Underhill Blvd. in Syosset. She worked there in the summers while attending college. One time she was a replacement worker in the large warehouse and did multiple repetitive tasks that gave her a taste of factory work and a reason for completing her college preparation.
  Her favorite family Holiday was Christmas, and Christmas Eve was the centerpiece of that culinary celebration. She continues the tradition of having on her menu today some of fish served back then. She remembers as a child not being able to wait for midnight to occur so she could eat the meat.
   Her least favorite subject in school was history. One of her favorites was math. She almost considered majoring in math in college and becoming a math teacher. Her older sister had been good at math, so when she dropped out of Calculus because it was too difficult for her while they attended classes at C.W. Post, Gloria thought she better not even try to take it since she believed her sister was smarter and better at math than she was. She’s sorry now she didn’t try it even though her chosen career path proved to be a successful one in its own right.
  Summer was then and remains her favorite season of the year. She dreads the winter and doesn’t like being cold. The sound of migrating geese flying south in the fall reminds her to this day that summer is over and much to her disappointment the aroma of burning leaves serves as another reminder that fall has arrived. Her mother’s perfume Nina Ricci serves as a constant reminder of her mother’s presence during that earlier comforting, wonderful time of her life. Her aunt Hedgie also used the same perfume.
  She began school by attending Kindergarten to fifth grade at the John Street Elementary School in Franklin Square, West Hempstead. It was within walking distance of home. She loved it. She loved all her teachers. She had the same kids in all her classes every year. She remembered her teachers. When at the end of fifth grade she learned she was moving with her parents to a strange place called Greenlawn, she was devastated. Not only was she going to be separated from all her friends, but for years she had been waiting to get to sixth grade where everybody’s favorite teacher, Mr. Lally would finally be her teacher. She now feared it was not to be. Heartbroken, they moved to Greenlawn, and when the first day of school arrived, who do you suppose was her teacher? It was Mr. Lally who had also moved to the same hamlet. She couldn’t believe she was so fortunate. Especially when Mr. Lally saw her and beckoned her over to his desk to say, “I know we are both new here and have no friends, so why don’t we have lunch together?”
   They had built a Junior High School in Greenlawn named Taylor Avenue Junior High School. The district later got the name Harborfields when they Centralized Greenlawn and Centerport, because there weren’t enough people living in either area to justify a high school. It got the name of Harborfields being a combination of the harbor of Centerport and the fields of Greenlawn. Her sister was in the first graduating class and Gloria was in the third class among future Harborfields High School graduates.

   The following year she attended C.W. Post College. As an undergraduate she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish. At first she took graduate credits at Hofstra, Stony Brook and Hunter College because you didn’t need a Masters for permanent certification, just 30 graduate credits. Eventually taking graduate classes at Post she decided to pursue a Degree. She went to Post full time and got her Masters in Bi-Lingual Education, because at the time through Title VII Funding you got three free credits and Post gave three more credits, a total of six free credits per semester. That’s how she got her Masters. Her very last elective was Counseling the Multi-Cultural Student, a new course they were offering, that sparked her interest in counseling. She loved those kids so much she wanted to do more for them. She decided to go for her second Masters degree in counseling. By then she had Elementary Certification, Pre-K-Nursery school, K-6th, Spanish Certification, 7th –12th Certification, Bi-lingual and ESL K-12, Guidance Certification, Bi-Lingual Guidance Certification. Her greatest source of satisfaction was being nominated Counselor of the Year from Western Suffolk Counselors Association which happened at or about the same time she retired. It made her feel like she really had contributed something. There had been a time previously when she was working at Hemlock Park when she wasn’t really happy. She wasn’t exactly sure why, but it was during a time when she was traveling, moving from school to school as they were pulling bi-lingual students out of class for instruction during the same time when teachers were being let go to hire bi-lingual instructors. It was a difficult period.
   She came to Brentwood in 1966 when her uncle Mike DeBellis told her there was an opening that the district had to fill and she should apply. Gloria had always known she wanted to be a teacher from the time she was a little girl and used to play school constantly. Her younger sister and brother were always her main students. She said she knew she was a giver and a helper who was constantly trying to be of service. Teaching was a good fit. But while her parents constantly reinforced the idea of teaching, there was still that part of her personality that pushed back in the belief that it was after all her decision to make, and she would be the one to make the career decision no one else.
   Dr Naninni interviewed her when she applied for the position. She was required to take a physical exam which was given by the school districts Dr. Organblick. She described the humorous exam for us. She would be working with her former sorority sister, Nickie Ninn-Brash, and was already comfortable with that situation. She was at South Elementary school and several other buildings with pull-out bi-lingual of non-English speaking students. She was also making home visits, so it felt almost like she was doing social work.
   Brian Mangus and Richard Spina had also brought her into working with the PITA program, where she was teaching teachers. She absolutely loved computers and that interfaced with her second love of math and teaching. Every day was like a challenge. Her purpose was primarily to be there to help providing whatever was needed and going the extra mile. When any student came into her office her first thought was always, this is someone’s child, and if it were my son or daughter, how would I want them to be treated? “There are kids that are difficult. You don’t always like them but you still have to help them. I felt needed. That’s what made retirement so difficult”.
   Although she was a BTA member she was not actively involved. She attributed that to her lack of time to be of service to those in the organization. She was angered by teachers who were damaging to kids and shouldn’t have been teaching in the first place. She was appalled by the name calling of students by teachers and by teachers who complained about their job, as in “What did they have to complain about? Teachers in Brentwood were treated so well, they have nothing to complain about” It’s a wonderful place in which to work. She said we have just about the strongest union there is.
   She officially retired July 1, 2007 but agonized over her decision. She loved what she did. She missed being that person. She is now somebody else, not Gloria the counselor. When you retire from teaching you’re not just leaving a job. Teaching was who you are. It’s your identity; your career, your life; it’s YOU! As much as I miss the kids, she said, I miss the camaraderie of being around other teachers. Teachers are a special breed of people. Her last building assignment was North Middle and the total number of years she served in education was forty one. She earned fifty-one hundred dollars before taxes her first year. She retired for three reasons. (1) Her husband had just sold his dry cleaning business and was going to be home to take care of more things, (2) her mother had just turned ninety and she wanted to spend more time with her, (3) there is more to life than just Brentwood.
    When asked about them, she described Brentwood students as being great. They were always appreciative of what you did for them. Brentwood teachers are among the most dedicated professionals she has ever met. Gloria’s advice to new teachers was this – hang in there, give, receive and respect, be yourself, care deeply – and always love kids . There are people who shouldn’t be teachers, she said. You have to remember there are a few kids who don’t want to be reached. Don’t waste your valuable time trying. Yes, after doing that for a while you’ll be able to tell the difference. Let those who need and want your help embrace it.
    Wow! But doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun doing what you love. 

    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

May 14
General Membership Meetings

June 18
RC21 Luncheon

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