September 2003

D. O'Hara Appointed Principal of Oyster Bay High School
OB-EN School District Begins New Academic Year
New OB-EN Professional Staff Members
OB-EN Staff Members Focus on District-wide Goals
OB-EN Board of Education Meets - August
OB-EN District Honors Long-Term Staff Members
OB-EN Board of Education Meets - September
OB-EN Board of Education Adopts Goals

Oyster Bay High School Students Selected for All-State Music Concerts
College Representatives Visit Oyster Bay High School
Roosevelt School's New Kindergarten Wing Reflects Theme of 'Brilliant Beginnings'
Oyster Bay High School To Hold Blood Drive


D. O'Hara Appointed Principal of Oyster Bay High School

Dennis O'Hara has been appointed principal of Oyster Bay High School, succeeding Rebecca Quarm who has retired. "Mr. O'Hara brings to the position high-quality skills and abilities from his former successful administrative and teaching experiences," observed George J. Chesterton, Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Chesterton also noted his strong interpersonal skills and commitment to fostering a supportive and positive atmosphere for learning.

Mr. O'Hara who assumed his position on August 1, comes to Oyster Bay from the Hauppauge School District, where he served as assistant high school principal, summer school principal, teen center coordinator and science department chairman. He also has experience as an adjunct professor at Dowling College and C. W. Post College, and as a science teacher in Hauppauge, Valley Stream and Miller Place schools. "I am honored to be here and am looking forward to serving the students, parents, teachers and residents," Mr. O'Hara stated. "Education is people-intensive and one of my goals is to cultivate an excellent rapport with students and faculty to bring out their best," he noted. As a "people-person," Mr. O'Hara expressed his strong interest in the community, with its Main Street and opportunity to interact with residents on a regular basis.

Mr. O'Hara holds a bachelor of science degree in biology and secondary education from SUNY at Old Westbury, a master of science in technological systems management from SUNY at Stony Brook and a professional diploma in educational administration from Dowling College. He is pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. A participant in ultra-distance triathlons and marathons, he also has extensive experience in coaching and mentoring.

OB-EN School District Begins New Academic Year


Although the weather outside was dreary, bright classrooms and shining hallways provided a welcoming environment for students starting the first day of the new academic year in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District on September 3. The smiles of teachers, administrators, parents and the students themselves added to the special atmosphere of excitement and anticipation.

"We are prepared for a great year in this beautiful building," noted Rebecca Quarm, who is serving as interim principal at the Roosevelt School. "The teachers and students are enthusiastic and ready to go," Mrs. Quarm added. Although the first and second graders started a regular schedule of classes, kindergartners and their parents visited the school in the afternoon for an orientation session. Awed by the stimulating rainbow colors, creative design and openness of the renovated building, they also were delighted with the reading, computer and play areas.

At the Vernon School, Martin Malone, principal, was looking forward to the implementation of a new major curriculum initiative. "All classroom teachers will be using the reading program from Teachers College at Columbia University," he stated. "This will enhance our successful writers program that also was started through Columbia," Mr. Malone stated. In addition, he noted that the new windows and floors prepared the building to open in top physical condition.

Although students at Oyster Bay High School also started the day with a high degree of excitement, the building quickly became quiet as teachers got right down to business.


New OB-EN Professional Staff Members Participate in Orientation Program

During an orientation program on August 29 at Oyster Bay High School, new professional staff members were welcomed to the district. The session, conducted by Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Technology Harriet Copel, was designed to introduce the new teachers to one another and to acquaint them with the goals and procedures of the district. The new staff was joined by Dr. George J. Chesterton, Superintendent of Schools, who narrated a bus tour of Oyster Bay and East Norwich, highlighting the role geography and history have played in the development of the community.

Brief biographies of the new professional staff members follow:

Kevin Scanlon, Supervisor of Social Studies, previously served as chairperson of humanities and social studies teacher in the Three Village School District. Mr. Scanlon has additional teaching experience in the Brentwood School District and in Connecticut. He holds a B. A. in history from Iona College, where he also earned his M. S. in criminal justice. He is pursuing studies in the school district administration certificate program at SUNY at Stony Brook.

Donna Buckley, Special Education Teacher, Roosevelt, has experience as a classroom teacher and teacher's assistant at Eastern Suffolk BOCES. Ms. Buckley also served as a special education teacher/early interventionist and Applied Behavior Analysis therapist at Rothman Therapeutic Services. A graduate of Dowling College with a B. S. in elementary and special education, she holds an M. A. in liberal studies from SUNY at Stony Brook.

Deborah Cerulli, English Teacher, Oyster Bay High School, taught at the High School on a part-time basis last year and also has taught English in Queens. Ms. Cerulli will work with seventh and eighth graders in the Academic Connections course. She earned her B. A. in communication arts from St. John's University and her M. A. in literacy from Adelphi University.

Jessica Falkenmayer, Special Education Teacher, Oyster Bay High School, completed her student teaching at the Timber Point Elementary School in the East Islip School District, working in grades one through six, and at the Kramer Learning Center, working with pre-kindergarten children. She earned her undergraduate degree in elementary and special education from St. Joseph's College with a concentration in speech communication.

Lesley Feinmesser, Mathematics Teacher, Oyster Bay High School, gained experience as a student teacher at the Grand Avenue Middle School and Calhoun High School in the Bellmore-Merrick School District. Ms. Feinmesser also worked as a business analyst for She received her B. S. degree in business administration from SUNY at Albany and her M. S. in secondary education/mathematics from Hofstra University.

Andrea Lorusso, Mathematics Teacher, Oyster Bay High School, previously taught at Massapequa High School and, as a student teacher, at Longwood Junior and Senior High Schools. Ms. Lorusso earned her B. A. degree in mathematics education from C. W. Post College, where she is pursuing her M. S. degree in applied mathematics.

Melissa Maringer, Reading Teacher, Vernon, completed her student teaching in first grade in Massachusetts and in grades 3 - 6 in Rhode Island. She also served as a literacy teacher for a summer program as a substitute teacher while during graduate work. Ms. Maringer holds a B. A. in elementary and special education from Providence College, where she also earned her M. Ed. degree in literacy. She coaches the girls' varsity tennis team at Oyster Bay High School.

Mitch Nagrowski, Science Teacher, Oyster Bay High School, has extensive experience teaching in the Great Neck and Syosset School Districts. He earned his B. S. in science/education from Queens College and his M. A. in secondary education from Hofstra University. He also holds an M. A. and school psychologist certification from Brooklyn College.

Megan O'Shea, Special Education Teacher, Roosevelt, previously taught in the summer program for BOCES at the Rosemary Kennedy School. Ms. O'Shea also has experience in Valley Stream and the Island Trees School Districts. She received her B. S. in elementary and special education with a concentration in psychology from St. John's University.

Kerri Parrella, Special Education Teacher, Oyster Bay High School, has previous experience as a leave replacement teacher at Vernon and teacher assistant in a self-contained classroom. Her student teaching involved both general and special education assignments. Ms. Parrella earned her B. S. in elementary and special education from Dowling College.

Nicole Perperis, Health and Physical Education Teacher/Athletic Trainer, Oyster Bay High School, completed her student teaching in health at Oyster Bay High School.
Ms. Perperis received her B. S. in athletic training/physical education from Hofstra University and her M. A. in health education from Columbia University.

Amanda Prangenberg, Art Teacher, Oyster Bay High School, has worked as assistant to the director of the Southampton Historical Museum and with, an online art gallery business. She completed her student teaching at two high schools in California. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Manhattan, Long Island and San Francisco. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with a B. F. A., she earned her teaching credentials at St. Mary's College in California. She also is serving as an advisor for the yearbook.

Cara Riebe, Psychologist, Vernon, has previous experience at Half Hollow Hills High School East, St. Mary's Children and Family Services, and Island Trees High School. Ms. Riebe earned her B. S. in early childhood development at the University of Buffalo. She also holds an M. S. in school psychology from St. John's University, where she is studying for her Psy. D. degree.

Jeffrey Schiereck, Physical Education Teacher, Roosevelt, previously taught at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, where he coached football, baseball and basketball. He received his B. S. in physical education at SUNY at Cortland and his master's degree in health education from Hofstra University. He coaches varsity football at Oyster Bay High School.

Meredith Schwarz, Art Teacher, Oyster Bay High School, worked as a computer teacher's assistant in the Hicksville School District and completed her student teaching in the Jericho School District. Ms. Schwarz earned her B. A. in studio art at SUNY at Binghamton and M. S. degrees in art education and computers in education at C. W. Post College. She is serving as a yearbook advisor.

Matthew Sisia, Band Director, Oyster Bay High School, served as a student teacher at the Skaneateles Middle School and Auburn High School. Mr. Sisia received his B. S. in music education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY at Potsdam and his M. M. in wind conducting at Pennsylvania State University. He also will work with the Pep Band and junior high school Jazz Band.

Michael Stallone, Executive Director of Obie's and Teacher, Oyster Bay High School, has experience as the business department chairperson at Northridge High School in Colorado and as an accountant. Mr. Stallone earned his B. S. degree in accounting from C. W. Post College and his M. S. in secondary education from St. John's University.


OB-EN Staff Members Focus on District-wide Goals

The entire staff of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich District prepared for the opening of school during a Superintendent's Conference Day on September 2. "The excitement in this room reflects an aliveness and readiness to start a new beginning," observed Superintendent of School George J. Chesterton. Following a welcoming breakfast, Dr. Chesterton stated, "Even after my 34 years in education, I still find it incredibly exciting to get back to this most important job of teaching children."

Citing an example from the book, Bringing Out the Best in Others, Dr. Chesterton described a kindergarten classroom in which the teacher stressed that it was all right to make mistakes. As a result, the students were encouraged to become "fearless learners." He urged teachers to ask themselves, What can I do to make my classroom a better environment for learning? "All our buildings must be safe environments, not just physically but also emotionally," he emphasized. "Like a flywheel that hums when it is at optimum operation, we all have to push in the same direction as we strive for greatness," he stated.

Board of Education President Robin Dando highlighted the goal of continuing academic improvement. "Each and everyone of you has the power to make a difference; use that power well," Mrs. Dando told the staff. Reading a selection from "The Best Advice for Teachers," she stressed the ability of teachers to convey wisdom, make subjects come alive, mold students' minds and impart a way of life that encompasses purpose and passion. "I hope all of us will be inspired to reach great heights this school year," she stated.

In closing, Dr. Chesterton extended appreciation to all staff members for their patience during construction, especially at the Roosevelt School. "In order to have a good opening, clerical and custodial staff worked diligently throughout the summer and down to the last minute over the holiday weekend," he said. Work at Vernon and Oyster Bay High School was completed early so that attention could be focused on Roosevelt. "We can't thank them enough for going above and beyond to make our buildings the best they've ever been," he stated.


OB-EN Board of Education Meets

At the meeting of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education, held August 26 at Oyster Bay High School, Superintendent of Schools George J. Chesterton announced that, although construction at the Roosevelt School will be "a race to the finish," the school year will open for students as planned. "Despite the horrible winter, rainy spring and recent power outage, the architects, contractors and district staff have made outstanding efforts to accomplish our goal," Dr. Chesterton stated. At the final stage, custodians are playing an enormous part in readying the building. "Through excellent coordination, we did what we intended to do," he noted.

Architect Roger Smith from Burton, Behrendt & Smith described the building's readiness, noting the exception of the library-media center, which will be isolated from student areas while construction is completed. Frank Faruzzo of School Construction Consultants, Inc., stated that finishing touches are being done and all needed items are on site, with the exception of the main entrance doors. An official opening ceremony will be held in the fall.

Special reports were presented on the work of the Site-Based Teams. At Roosevelt, team member Barbara Butler highlighted accomplishments, including: revision of the kindergarten orientation program to be more welcoming and informative for new parents; introduction of laptop computers for student use; revision of the holiday concert schedule to alleviate overcrowding, and completion of a feasibility study for the replacement of the wooden playground.

At the Vernon School, the Site Based Team concentrated on a variety of issues, including new criteria for the Atlantis program, use of student portfolios, curriculum enhancement through interdisciplinary units and thematic learning, improvement of parking lot safety, parent workshops, elementary health, and cafeteria concerns.

Frank Imperiale, assistant principal, described the items on which the Oyster Bay High School team focused. These encompassed: holding a Club Fair to showcase available activities for both parents and students; reviewing security; examining teen social issues, and improving communications between school and home. Other items of discussion included the middle school initiative, orientation for sixth grade students and the master schedule.

Assistant Superintendent Phyllis Harrington narrated a computer presentation by administrative intern Sally Lemmon, who coordinated the Summer Literacy Program. "The enrollment of 196 students was very high and the program was well received by parents," Dr. Harrington observed. One reason for its success, Dr Harrington emphasized, was the involvement of district teachers, who are well entrenched in the readers' and writers' workshop process. Although the program was conducted at Vernon, two classes were held at the Boys' and Girls' Club in response to requests from parents for early morning sessions.

Board members also address the following Discussion Items: the current status of class sizes at Oyster Bay High School, Board of Education goals, the license agreement with Oyster Bay Rough Riders Youth Football and a Saturday Computer Academy for students with special needs. During the Public Comments section of the meeting, a parent noted the positive advantages of the looping program and recognized five teachers for their outstanding dedication to students.

The next Regular Meeting of the OB-EN Board of Education will be held Tuesday, September 16, at Oyster Bay High School, starting at 8 p.m.



OB-EN District Honors Long-Term Staff Members

Superintendent of Schools George J. Chesterton recognized 19 long-term staff members for their dedicated service to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District during a welcoming breakfast on September 2 at Oyster Bay High School. "Year after year, these individuals have made outstanding efforts to serve the young people of this community with expertise and professionalism," stated Dr. Chesterton. The honorees have been with the district from 20 to 38 years. They include: Robert Scamell, Elaine Bloom, Kathy Hendrickson, Heidi Gross, Karen Boeckkmann, William Reed, Sharon Brandt, Linda Reed, Rosemary Crawford, Janet Bransfield, Robert Rose, Ingrid Schnur, Lucyann Dechiaro, Virginia Zucker, Mary Lou Cuccu, Linda Moller, Joan Brandt and Lil Livolsi and Barbara Stella, who tops the list with 38 1/2 years.


  OB-EN Board of Education Meets - September

At the Board of Education Meeting of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District, held September 16 at Oyster Bay High School, Superintendent of Schools George J. Chesterton described the "extremely good opening" of district schools. "The contractors and custodians did an incredible job," Dr. Chesterton noted. There are 65 new entrants district-wide, with 30 at the Roosevelt School, 32 at the Vernon School and 3 at Oyster Bay High School.

At Roosevelt, the new kindergarten classrooms are in place, with the library-media center expected to be completed next month. Principal Allison Brown also had a new beginning on the first day of school, culminating with the birth of her daughter, Emma Rose. In her place, Rebecca Quarm, former principal of Oyster Bay High School, welcomed students and will serve as interim principal until Mrs. Brown returns at the end of December. Dr. Chesterton also extended appreciation to members of the Parent-Teacher Association for their help in supervising the new parking lot area and directing parents and students to the new entrance.

Assistant Superintendent Phyllis Harrington reviewed some curriculum projects, including the Teachers College reading and writing programs at Vernon and Roosevelt, purchase of new textbooks and continuous efforts to align materials with New York State learning standards.
Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Technology Harriet Copel conducted a presentation on websites to access NYS school district information. Mrs. Copel demonstrated how to find the OB-EN Report Card on the NYS Education Department website, along with information on district performance on standardized tests, comparisons to similar districts, fiscal accountability and summary reports on statewide performance. She also visited the Newsday website, which contains data on local schools.

During the Public Comments section of the meeting, a Vernon parent asked about Academic Intervention Services (AIS), use of classrooms by outside groups, new technology for lunch payment and replacement of a staff member. Dr. Chesterton responded that services started the second week of school and are based on student needs; an outside group is using the cafeteria or library and not the classrooms; new technology will be explored for the lunch line, and the interview process has started to replace the staff member.

The OB-EN Board of Education, which approved its goals for the 2003-2004 school year, will hold a Work Session on October 7 and a Regular Meeting on October 21. The meetings will be held in the library of Oyster Bay High School, starting at 8 p.m.


OB-EN Board of Education Adopts Goals

At its Regular Meeting, held on September 16 at Oyster Bay High School, the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education adopted its goals for the 2003-2004 school year.

The Board supports the philosophy that "our good organization can be great." All students will meet high standards for academic performance and personal behavior and demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by a dynamic world. Our qualified professionals will remain current with best practice in their fields. Parents and community members will be kept informed about the ongoing progress and success of our school system and the overall success of our students.

Excellence in Academic and Personal Achievement

Strong Instructional Programs
The Board of Education will continue to support the successful programs to date with particular focus on the following:

Professional Development
The Board of Education will support focused and measurable staff development with an emphasis on:

Meeting the needs of all learners (Let Me Learn)

Student achievement (StarTECH- Looking at Student Work)
Classroom Observation
Special Education (working with the autistic child)
Middle Level Practices
Because educators serve as role models, the Board of Education encourages that all members of the professional staff will:
Understand the importance of their attendance
Dress in a professional manner and,
Maintain an appropriate manner at all times.

The Board of Education will improve communication with the community at large by:

Expanding distribution of school information to community centers, supermarkets, local stores, etc.
Increasing the mailing list of Harbor Voice, Agapae, and district newsletters to include realtors.
Making informed decisions about the timeliness of communication to parents.
Keeping the marquis updated.
Increasing the opportunities for people to volunteer their talents.
Continue a subcommittee of individuals with marketing and public relations experience.
The Board of Education will support on-going methods to improve parents' communication about their child's education such as Parent Workshops, Curriculum Coffee Hours, Parent Brochures, and Open Houses.

Resource Capacities/ Facilities

The Board of Education will monitor the timely and effective management of the Roosevelt and High School projects.
The Board of Education will work closely with the PTA's to increase the turnout of voters for our school budget.

Board of Education Policies

The Board of Education will continue to review and update the policy book to completion.



Oyster Bay High School Students Selected for All-State Music Concerts

Andrew Palczewski and Steven Chen, both juniors at Oyster Bay High School, have been recognized as All-State music students. Andrew will perform with the All-State Mixed Chorus and Steven has been accepted as an All-State Band Alternate. About 200 students throughout New York State are accepted into each group based on their ratings in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Festival. "Students must choose music from a list composed of pieces usually performed by international concert artists, and Andrew and Steven received A+ ratings," stated Stuart E. Rauch, Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts. Andrew, and Steven if a seat becomes available, will spend four days at the Annual NYSSMA Conference in Rochester, to be held November 30 through December 3. They will participate in intensive rehearsals that will culminate in a performance at the Eastman School of Music.
Andrew has been participating in the choral program in Oyster Bay since sixth grade. He is a member of the Oyster Bay High School Mixed Chorus and sings tenor with the Chamber Singers. As a member of the Concert Band, he plays trombone. He also was a member of the ensemble in Oyster Bay High School's productions of "Guys & Dolls" and "The Boy Friend."
Steven has been participating in band since fourth grade. He is currently the saxophone section leader of the Oyster Bay High School Concert Band and a member of the Jazz Band. He also performs with the Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts Concert Band.
Mr. Rauch will attend the NYSSMA Conference, along with Linda Koevary, Oyster Bay High School Chorus teacher.


College Representatives Visit Oyster Bay High School

Representatives from a variety of colleges and universities visited Oyster Bay High School on September 23 to participate in a Mini-College Day. A large group of highly motivated students took this opportunity to talk face-to-face with admissions counselors, ask questions about programs and tuition, seek advice on application procedures and collect printed materials. The institutions included both private and public, local and regional, large and small, and highly to moderately competitive. This was the first of a series of three events at which students have the opportunity to talk with admissions staff and gather information to help with their
college search.

Junior David Roach focused on where his interests might lead him after high school. He asked the college representatives about special programs and courses of study. "That's why we are here," noted Joe Hagn, Long Island representative for SUNY at New Paltz. "We want to help students identify programs of interest, familiarize them with admission standards and address their concerns," Mr. Hagn said. "We try to attract students who want to excel in higher learning," observed Rob Piurowski, who was representing SUNY at Potsdam. Herman Hargraves, a former guidance counselor at Oyster Bay High School, attended as a representative for York College of Pennsylvania. "Although some students on Long Island are familiar with York, we want to introduce our school to the Oyster Bay area," he said. Melanie Coburn, admissions counselor from C. W. Post College, noted that she was there to address any pre-conceived ideas the students may have and to communicate the many attractions of a local college.

Among the other participating schools were: Adelphi University, Albertus Magnus College, Alfred University, The Art Institute, Bentley College, Canisius College, College of Aeronautics, DeSales University, Five Towns College, University of Hartford, Hofstra University, Iona College, Keystone College, LIM, Manhattan College, Marymount University, University of New Haven, New York Institute of Technology, Queens College, Queensboro Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Sacred Heart University, Smith College, Southampton College, St. John's University, Virginia Wesleyan and SUNY at Brockport, Farmingdale, Geneseo, Old Westbury, Oneonta, Oswego and Stony Brook.


Roosevelt School's New Kindergarten Wing Reflects Theme of 'Brilliant Beginnings'

The bright color scheme, openness and well-defined activity centers in the new kindergarten wing at the Roosevelt School embody the school theme of "Brilliant Beginnings." In addition, the entire building has been retiled, repainted and refreshed. "We have always considered our school to be special but we are so proud of our new look," observed Principal Allison Brown, who is on maternity leave. "The kindergarten wing is bright, cool, colorful and conducive to learning," added Rebecca Quarm, who is serving as interim principal.

"The carpeted reading nooks are a big hit with the children," observed Claire Sass, kindergarten teacher. "We also are thrilled to have the new cubbies so that the students can neatly store their coats, backpacks and lunchboxes," she added. Mrs. Sass's students have eagerly started their reading and writing workshops and already have learned six new poems. "The students like the interactive shared reading sessions and they all have their own independent reading boxes," she stated.

Louise Moller's class also makes good use of the reading nook. For example, students sit in the reading nook as Mrs. Moller talks about the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear and they follow along with their own copies of the book. Johanna Babcock's kindergartners are enjoying reading old favorites such as Owl Babies and Caps for Sale. Her students also are making books about their lives from birth to five years old.

"We now have whiteboards instead of blackboards, which are so passe," remarked Edna Standerwick, who team-teaches with Dana Siegel. Their students are learning sequencing by arranging photographs of themselves when they were babies and toddlers and then drawing self-portraits as they appear today. "This activity not only helps them organize items but also gets them to know one another better," Mrs. Standerwick observed.

Christine Bartell's class also is involved in sequencing, a section of the Mathland program. Through different activities, students learn the concepts of first, next and last. Her team teacher Doreen Buckley explains that the students study a series of three pictures. After discussing what is happening in each picture, the students decide the logical sequence of events.
With the new renovations at Roosevelt, students are being provided with opportunities to fulfill their learning potential in every area of study--reading, writing, math, computer, science, art and music. As construction approaches completion, the building is truly a place for "Brilliant Beginnings."


Oyster Bay High School To Hold Blood Drive

Oyster Bay High School will hold a Blood Drive on Thursday, October 23, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the gym. "We are encouraging community members to become donors, along with our students, faculty and staff," stated Anita Connors, school nurse, who is coordinating the drive. "Blood donors save lives, with one pint of blood able to help up to five people," Mrs. Connors noted. During last year's drive, over 30 pints of blood were donated to the New York Blood Center.

To donate blood, you must:
§ Be at least 17 years old (parental permission required for 17-year-olds)
§ Weigh at least 110 pounds
§ Have a picture ID and know your social security or passport number
§ Have not donated blood within the last 56 days
§ Be a "Caring and Sharing" person.
"Sharing this 'Gift of Life' could be the most rewarding and self-satisfying hour of time you will ever spend," observed Mrs. Connors. Become involved and convince a friend to donate with you.
For more information, please call the Health Office at 624-6541.