*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                                                                        SEPTEMBER 2017

September 8

General Membership Meeting

September 28
Executive Board Meeting

Meeting Dates


POSTED 9/1/17
     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 9/21/17
     On Thursday, September 14, 2017, the 7th Annual Brentwood High School Retirees Reunion was held at the Brentwood Country Club. Select the link below to view a video of the event.
BHS Retirees Reunion 2017 - YouTube

POSTED 9/6/17
      Ivy Rosenthal, who taught Physical Education and retired from Brentwood Schools in 1984, passed away. Ivy was also Brentwood's first women's tennis coach.
     The wake will be held from 4-8p.m. on Friday, September 8, 2017 at Grant's Funeral Home in Brentwood
     Mass will be held at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at St. Anne's Church in Brentwood.
Condolences can be sent to The Rosenthal Family, 63 Pear Street,, Brentwood, NY 11717.
     Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.

POSTED 9/8/17
      Letty Sustrin will be hosting a book launching on October 8, 2017 for the last book of the series entitled The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Retires. This book is dedicated in memory of her twin sister and co-author, Sheila Sustrin. A light buffet lunch will be set out for you to enjoy during the performance. Each guest will receive a special gift from Mrs. Belle. Doors open 12:00 Noon. Reading begins promptly at 1:00 P.M. YMCA Boulton Center, 37 W. Main Street, Bay Shore, N.Y. 11706 Tel.#: 631-969-1101. View the flier for more details.

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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 September see what else happened!
Historical People and Events for September
September 2017 Holidays, Bizarre, Unique, Special Days
Bizarre and Unique Holidays in September
All About September
September 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.


Eli Acosta
Science Teacher
Interview June 19, 1998
     We were privileged to receive an hour of Eli’s time for him to relate the story of his life and teaching career in Brentwood. We sat together on June 19, 1998 in the recording studio of the high school to get his personal retrospective. He told us he was born in a sleepy little town on the northwest corner of the island of Puerto Rico where he spent the first years of his life playing in fields and listening to the wind in the sugarcane. His birth mother was Rosa Marie Martinez who passed away when he was only four years old. His father was Victor Acosta but all Eli could tell us of him was that he was originally from Spain, his hair was red and it was thinning. He had little opportunity to make more memories of his father because shortly thereafter his parents separated and Victor died.
    He arrived in the United States from Puerto Rico at four years with his birth mother and older brother. From that point on he was raised by relatives he called aunt and uncle. They were his mothers second cousins once removed. The person he called his aunt was Maria Bonpart. Her husband’s name was Valentine. He was from Venezuela. Eli described them as descent, religious people who were caring and loving and the reason he grew up in a Pentecostal home. They passed along strong values, a disciplined approach to work and an example of hard working community members. They already had three children; Daniel, Valentine, Israel. David and Valentine were older. Eli developed a sports connection with Val that stayed with him all his life. Initially they all lived in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn for several years
    He attended PS 13 in Brooklyn; a series of row houses. The building no longer exists. His family lived near there on the fifth floor of a six floor tenement walk-up. He remembered getting his first paying job in Brooklyn, working in a Laundromat. It was located Between Henry and Hicks on Degraw Street. It’s also no longer there.
      It was in 1955 that a young Eli came to Brentwood to live. At that time there was no Sonderling Building and Ross was still in the planning stage. Where the high school now stands there was only farmland. Fifth Avenue was a two lane roadway. When school started for him he attended 3rd and 4th Grades in the Annex (now part of the Public Library). His teachers were, Lou Latito and Henry Masinoff a Korean Vet. who was missing a finger. There he also attended 5th and 6th Grades. When the Ross Building opened in 1957, he and Richard Edwards were both in the 7th Grade and became two of the initial members of their year to attend classes in 1957 and 1958 in the Ross Building. At home he was not without his responsibilities either. He had a plethora of chores to accomplish, among them attending to his own laundry, putting out the garbage and retrieving empty containers, gardening and even on occasion, cooking and washing dishes in the evening – all of which helped to teach him that he was a responsible contributing member of his family and of the wider community.
   When he got to the high school his Homeroom/Shop teacher was Bill Kiriluk. He became good friends with Bill and his wife Judy over the years. Stan Yankowski taught him Science and Social Studies. Eli had Milt Siler and Vince Presno for Social Studies. Ruth Rosenthal was an inspiration to him and was no doubt instrumental in his majoring in biology when he went to college. Henny was still alive then. Eli was still thinking about becoming a Pediatrician.
    Clem Stancik was Eli’s 12th Grade English teacher. It was his first year of teaching. Eugene Bradley introduced Eli to “Leningin vs the Ants”, one of the most important books he would be exposed to as a student and another reason he decided to make Biology his major
    By then baseball had become a first love. He was entertaining dreams of professional sports but by his sophomore year he’d decided that he was too skinny to follow those dreams. He spoke to us about many of the key people in his life at that time, including Roy Rapp, Wade Cummings, Frank Bruska, and Dick Simmons when he arrived in Brentwood. He described himself as a loner in high school. He graduated from BHS in 1962.

Eli Acosta
    He next attended Manhattan College in the Bronx for four years graduating in 1966. That same year he applied for and receiving a contract to begin teaching at East Junior (East Middle School) in Brentwood. Tony Marcello interviewed him for his teaching position in the District. There he taught General Science in 7th and 8th Grades, 9th Grade Biology, Biology at East & North and Chemistry and Math at the High School, He worked alongside George Smith in Biology, Henny Rosenthal and Bill Messio before Bill left and moved to Ward Melville. He talked about Ed Murphy. During his teaching career Eli coached track and for several years was an unpaid Chess Coach. We all needed second jobs due to the low salaries at the time, and his 2nd job was coaching and teaching classes in the evening high school. He worked alongside Bernie LeBron who taught Spanish, Don Algrove who taught English and Social Studies and Joe Basso who taught math and also taught employees History at Pilgrim State when they were preparing for their Citizenship exams. Those who are old enough will remember Irv’s Luncheonette a local landmark on 5th Avenue. Irv was the owner and a Jewish businessman well known in the community who employed a local institution by the name of Gus Rodriguez. Peter Galendez also worked for him for a while behind the counter. Eli remembered Manny Vidal a parent, business man and local activist with the Lions Club who had several children including Manny and Melissa attend schools in the district. “This is an interesting place to work”, he said. “There are great programs, and an outstanding staff. The nature of the community itself is unique” He spoke of our students as an extended family. He recalled the pre-tenure experience of Bill Bernstein and his own that invoked the memory of Guy DiPietro and his tragic loss to Brentwood. He remembered making $5,900 annually his first year before taxes and the bi-weekly check for $226.92. He spoke of what he called the “stress interview” that used to be routine for new applicants. In it a candidate might be asked to explain how they would handle this or that stressful situation. When he was asked such a question he answered honestly and said, “I just don’t know, what I would do”, and almost lost the job. Administrators in Brentwood have a high stress job. He added “if you work hard, give it your best shot, it will make you happy because America is a wonderful place to live.” Each of us has only 24 hours in our day. He warned – “don’t waste it” and then he quoted Jim Sabatelle, who used to teach Driver’s Education and always carried a clip board with the following saying on it; “Youth is a Gift of God. Age is a work of Art” He was blessed throughout his career to have had four wonderful children. His first marriage that ended in divorce gave him one daughter, Lisa Dolores who was a graduate of Brentwood High School in 1988 and was working for The Long Island Aides Coalition LIAC as a case worker at the time of our interview. Her husband was working for Nike at the Outlet in Riverhead. Adam Maxwell Pilgrim was his first grandchild born in 1997. Two children were from his second marriage and his wife who died of breast cancer in 1986. James Patrick was his older son from his second wife’s first marriage. He was living in Rocky Point and expected to teach at Ward Melville High School in 1999. Christine Ann was married, living in Shirley and an Allstate Underwriter. Elizabeth Ann was the youngest of his children and living at home. She was in her Junior year at University of Maryland at College Park. His third wife is Marge Hand Acosta who retired from Brentwood in 1996. When he started teaching he was asked by his students about the meaning of his name and how they should address him. To break the ice, he told them Eliasib means God, “therefore you may address me either as Lord Acosta, or God Junior”. When he retired in 1998 Eli had served the District for thirty two years. He had decided to retire for reasons of health. He was trying to control high blood pressure. He had known for some time the toll stress takes on one’s body. He was looking ahead to the changes retirement would bring.    

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

September 5
Executive Board Meeting

September 12

General 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

              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.