*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                                                                          SEPTEMBER 2013

September 13
General Membership Meeting
Welcome New Members

September 19
Executive Board Meeting
Meeting Dates

POSTED 9/1/13

Published online at Newsday.com
August 30, 2013 8:50 PM

     For longtime coach, tennis is a love match
For 50 years, Clem Stancik has been coaching tennis for the love of it. Stancik, who first coached the boys varsity team at Brentwood High School in 1963, does it for the students whom, every year, he shapes from kids who have never set foot on a court into varsity athletes.
"That's what I love about these kids: They don't give up on me," Stancik, 75, said. "I just love the sport."
     The complete article can be viewed at:
For longtime coach, tennis is a love match.....

POSTED 9/16/13

     On Friday, September 13, 2013 ROBS held its first meeting of the 2013-14 year at 10:00 am in the Brentwood Public Library. At the first meeting of each year the new Brentwood staff retirees are welcomed. This year we welcomed six new retirees: Valerie Vismale, Joanne Brown, Carmen Roldan, Carol Comerford, Alice Neidig and Diane Spagnoulo. You can view their photos here and also in the "Meetings and Functions" album on the "Photo Gallery" page.
     In addition to the welcoming of new retirees, John Sherin conducted a hands-on activity entitled "Keys to Memory". He distributed worksheets, cardboard locks and keys and had each participant take out their own set of keys. Each person was asked to select two objects from the worksheet and two keys from their personal key chain that had a particular significance to them. The members were then divided into small groups of four or five to discuss their selections. The entire group then met as a whole to present what was discussed and learned in each group. The activity was a big success as seen by the enthusiasm of the group and the discussion that followed.
     At each monthly meeting of ROBS, there is a guest speaker on topics of great interest to its members. You can check out the "Calendar of Events" page to see what the up-coming events will be. We hope to see you at our next meeting.

POSTED 9/1/13
Reprinted from History.com

     On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defining the presidency of George W. Bush. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters.
     To read more about this horrific event and other news of what happened this month in history, go to:

POSTED 9/23/13

By Joseph Governale
Originally published in, Newsday, September 20, 2013

     The beach, some park, a sailboat out on the Sound -- we all have that one special place. For me, it's the grounds surrounding the Sisters of St. Joseph convent in Brentwood. Those 210 acres are a pastoral paradise, and it is there that I go when the noise of life gets too loud.
     Two summers ago, the din was deafening. A late-night call from my doctor brought news that I had cancer of the liver. Cancer! That terrible word, always for others, was suddenly mine. Until that moment I could never imagine the world without me. Now that possibility loomed. Disbelief, anger, fear -- I felt each over the next few days. Then sadness set in, sucking my spirit dry.
     Friends and family spoke to me. A psychologist, too. "Be strong," he said.
     I'd given my mother the same advice when she was diagnosed with cancer. Now that it was me, though, those words had a hard, cruel ring. . . continued
     Read entire article on Newsday.com

POSTED 9/1/13
New legislation requires all homeowners receiving a Basic STAR exemption to register with the New York State Tax Department in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years. Homeowners do not need to re-register every year. Based on the information provided in the registration process the Tax Department will confirm homeowners' eligibility in future years.
     For more information and instructions on registering please view:
50+Life STyles: "STAR Rebate"

POSTED 9/23/13

     This year's NYSUT Hispanic Heritage Month poster features Librada Paz, a Mexican-American farm worker rights activist who came to the U.S. at 15 to work as a migrant farm worker and later earned a degree in Mechanical engineering technology and became a U.S. Citizen.
     Read more about this online in NYSUT United.

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.


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


September 3

Executive Board Meeting

September 17
General Membership Meeting

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


     Have you ever been reading the news or a story online and come across an item you didn't know? You could look it up in a source like Wikipedia, but that would mean leaving the page where the story was, and possibly not returning to the original story. Well, there is a new web browser add-on called Curiyo that lets you look up names, places and terms in a pop-up window without leaving the page you're reading.
     Curiyo is a new browser app that offers additional information about underlined terms in a story from sources like Wikipedia. It is a free extension— a small piece of software that adds a feature to a browser. It automatically identifies the most interesting topics on any page you are reading and subtly underlines them. When you move your cursor over the dotted line, a tiny question mark appears, and when you click on the underlined words, the Curiyo box pops up. In the box is information about the term you are looking up in addition to a choice of sources you can use to learn more.
     Curiyo can be downloaded at Curiyo.com for free. It works with all four major browsers on both Windows and Mac: Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. You can also read a review of this product in The Wall Street Journal online.

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

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.


Peter Cerullo

Music Teacher/Department Head

    Peter Cerullo was born on August 23, 1920. The only child and first generation American born of Italian immigrant parents, he was a Virgo. Part of the National Youth Administration during the Great Depression, he remembered the difficulties of those years. Joining the US Army during World War 2 he was placed in the Army band and stationed in Italy for several years.
     After the war Pete returned to Vermont and enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music. He graduated in 1947. He joined the New Orleans Symphony first and the Indianapolis Symphony. Growing increasingly dissatisfied with the direction his career was moving he returned to Boston University in 1951 and completed his Masters in Education. He student taught in Shrewsbury Mass. and was offered his first teaching position.
     Dr. Eugene Hoyt came to Massachusetts in 1955 to recruit teachers for Brentwood. Peter saw the add in a local newspaper and showed up for the interview. He was offered what he said was an enormous starting annual salary ($4,500), twice what he was making in Vermont. Amidst great excitement he and his wife Anna decided to move with their children to Brentwood, L.I. There he taught music at the Village School and became Music Department Head from 1955 – 1965. He found the sleepy suburban community of Brentwood to be very similar to his former home in Vermont. Instead of the financial freedom he expected, it was often a struggle to make ends meet with his growing family. He performed in NYC and played club dates as a second job.
     Peter recalled the court case crusades over hair length and short dresses below the knee led by Principal Fred Weaver and Assistant High School Principal, Mrs. Beryl Nott.  He served as a substitute teacher for a while after retiring and noted the changed attitudes of today’s students toward teachers. He remembered teaching music in the boiler room of the Village School when there was no classroom available. The smoke from the coal furnace would deposit a layer of soot on books and on teacher’s coffee. Nostalgically, he remembered the change from coal to oil heating. He spoke of music as being the foundation of a child’s education and over everything stressed the importance of a teacher’s love for children. On November 22, 1963, Peter brought maestro Arthur Fiedler to Brentwood to conduct the Long Island Symphony Orchestra. The announcement that JFK had been assassinated abruptly ended the proceedings.
     Peter retired in May of 1983. His interview took place on May 24, 1996.

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

Anthony Felicio
Barbara Mascaro
Barbara McNicholas
Beverly Carpenter
Dr. Herb Laub
Edward Hannan
Eleanor Baker Bazata
Evelyn Sekac
Florence Koehler
Franklin Spencer
Ivy Rosenthal
Jack Zuckerman
Jeffrey Allen Wolfe
Joan Lange
Joseph Purcell
Karen Scharf
Ken Moss
Lorraine Sopp
Lynn Desoto
Marcy Fiore
Marilyn DePlaza
Mike Fasullo
Patricia Stuhler
Pattie Monsen
Rich Curio
Richard Mundy
Ron Pace
Ronda Brooks
Ruth Baker Bernhardt
Shirley Hodges
Shirley Walker Lloyd
Wally Balinski


    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 9/1/13
     The Brentwood High School Class of 1963 will be having a reunion cruise from Florida in November that's open to all years' graduates of the High School and their friends.
     View the flyer for further details.

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