Monday Morning Incident at Silas Wood

Hello All:

We just wanted to provide you with a "heads up" on an incident that took place this morning outside Silas Wood. A little while before arrival time, a disoriented man appeared on campus and was immediately intercepted by Mr. Toto. Mr. Toto asked if he could be of assistance, but the individual was unable to clearly communicate his intentions. Mr. Toto asked the individual to leave campus and even offered to help get him some help.

Unfortunately, the man double backed around the side of the building and remained on campus. At this point some teachers assisted in keeping track of the individual, and Mr. Toto called the police who responded to campus. The individual was taken into custody, and an ambulance was called to evaluate his condition. Although there was no danger to students or staff and the individual did not gain access to the building, there was a great deal of police and EMS activity. All is well at this point, and the Monday morning is progressing in typical fashion.

Please have a nice week.

Dave Bennardo

Homecoming Parade Highlights

American Legion Post 1244 led the parade with the Color Guard, followed by the Walt Whitman Marching Band.
South Huntington Hall of Fame Honorees, fresh off their induction ceremony on the turf field, acknowledge the crowds that lined Jericho Turnpike and the neighboring streets surrounding the Whitman campus.
The Stimson Marching Band always exhibits a genuine sense of pride and unity throughout our wonderful community.
Walt Whitman senior class members who marched with their float, included Principal Kathie Acker and Class Advisor Diane Zamow.
South Huntington’s Primary Centers and Intermediate Schools love a great parade, especially one that briefly closes down Jericho Turnpike.

From Dr. Bennardo:

Thank you to all of the students, staff, parents, school district and community groups that participated in this weekend’s beautiful Homecoming celebration.  The Hall of Fame dedication, parade, and ballgame activities generated a genuine sense of pride and unity throughout our wonderful community.  There was something special about seeing the members of our South Huntington family marching down the center of Jericho Turnpike as a sea of Wildcat “maroon and white” filled the streets. 

Our varsity dancers, cheerleaders, marching band, class floats, clubs, and athletes were joined by Hall of Fame inductees, the local scouts, teams, elected officials, advocacy organizations, police, and fire departments for a day of true South Huntington spirit.  We are truly blessed to live, work, and learn in such a special community, and the days ahead promise great things for our South Huntington family.

Photo Gallery

Senior Night for Big Game Tonight!

Oscar Alfaro (21) and Jameson Latko (8) keep the ball moving into scoring position.

The Boys Varsity Soccer Team improved their record to 10-3-1 with a 2-0 defeat of Connetquot yesterday. Oscar Alfaro got the Wildcats on the board in the 37th minute off a cross from Fabrizio Chamorro. Fabrizio added an insurance goal in the 67th minute to seal the victory. Shane Sacks made 2 saves to preserve the shutout. With the win, the Wildcats are now in a first place tie with their opponent on Monday night, Hills East.

Please come out and support the team for Senior Night and this League II first place showdown TONIGHT, Monday October 20th at 6pm.

And the winner is….. Mary Beth Kraese!

Whitman Principal Kathie Acker gives a gratulatory hug to the winner of a 2015 Toyota Corolla, Mary Beth Kraese.
Left to right: Booster Club President Christine Dickson, Raffle winner Mary Beth Kraese, and Huntington Toyota General Manager Thabiti Lee celebrate with the help of the Wildcat Cheerleaders.
Booster Club President, Christine Dickson (right) with Huntington Toyota General Manager Thabiti Lee (left), are surround by Wildcat Cheerleaders before the winning ticket is pulled.

The Booster Club Homecoming Raffle was a big success and the crowd at the end of the 3rd quarter of the Homecoming football game waited with bated-breath as the winning ticket was drawn. And the winning ticket belonged to a Mary Beth Kraese. The Kraese family is a big supporter of the district and you can find Mary Beth at many events. The Booster Club President, Christine Dickson, would like to thank the South Huntington community for their tremendous support of the Homecoming raffle.

Prizes included:

1st Prize: 2-year lease on a 2015 Toyota Corolla LE with maintenance

2nd Prize: 4 Jets tickets in a suite

3rd Prize : 4 Giants tickets in a suite

Champions Reunite


The 1984 Walt Whitman Championship Football team members are celebrated at half time on the turf field. The 1984 team was the Suffolk County Division 1 Champions having defeated Sachem 17–24 in final. Members in attendance include: Rich Spadaro, Joe Grella, Pete Hansen, Kurt Lemke, Brian Long, Sean McAuley, Mike McGinley, Chris Montanaro, Kirt Murphy, Anthony Milano, Brian McEntee, Jack DeWitt, Steve Donnelly, Tony Aguidio, and Chris Cammer. 


Best in Suffolk Celebrate 40 Years Later

Halftime recognition for the 1974 Football Championship team.
A message for all to remember is easy with a Booster Club field sign.

The Rutgers Trophy is presented by the Rutgers Club of Long Island to the season's outstanding football team in Suffolk County. Walt Whitman High School was the 1974 Suffolk County Conference AAA Champions defeating Huntington 32-30 in final. The 1974 Rutgers Trophy Championship Football team was part of the South Huntington Homecoming celebrations this past weekend as members gathered to relive their glory days and catch up with team members.

Congratulations to: Jim Dietrich, Tommy Smith, Glen Thourborne, Dave Loehle, Dave Lasek, Rich Thompson, Robert L Meissner, John Walsh, Mike Heiser, Tom Livingston, Marty Riccio, George Melillo, Gerry Farrell, Coach Triolo, Coach Mangerotti, Rob Stanco, Mike Bussey, Eric Fisher, Arty Phalen, Coach Cariddi, Eddie Hill, Bob Albino, Rich Landress, Ed Steitzle, Mark Lepera, and Denise Buzzy Engle.

8th Graders Ready for Homecoming

Stimson’s 8th graders got together this past week for their annual group photo.

Homecoming is here and the finishing touches are getting attention. The band is ready and South Huntington’s school community is ready for what’s shaping up to be a beautiful homecoming Saturday.

The festivities start today, Saturday October 18th, when South Huntington's students, families, and staff will be joined by the South Huntington community as they help induct seven new members of the Hall of Fame at an 11AM ceremony on Whitman’s turf field. Then the homecoming parade begins promptly at 11:30AM, to be followed by the annual football game at 2PM.


Meet Christopher Cerrone – Walt Whitman Class of 2002 and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee


Hailed as "a rising star" by The New Yorker and by WIRED for his work at "the leading edge of operatic innovation," Christopher Cerrone (b. 1984, Huntington, NY) is a Brooklyn-based composer of a wide range of orchestral, operatic and chamber music, multimedia projects, and ambient electronic works. Throughout the range of musical media, Cerrone's works are characterized by a deep and evocative beauty.

Cerrone’s first opera, Invisible Cities, based on Italo Calvino’s classic surrealist novel, was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize, and has been praised by The Los Angeles Times as "A delicate and beautiful opera...[which] could be, and should be, done anywhere." Invisible Cities received its fully staged world premiere in the fall of 2013, in a wildly popular production at Los Angeles' Union Station.  Performed to 22 sold-out performances, the opera was taken on international tour in 2015/2016.  Invisible Cities was be published worldwide by Schott Music and is planned as a released commercial recording.

Other notable projects include a commission for the Los Angeles Philharmonic to be premiered in 2015; a collaborative work for Eighth Blackbird; original scores to accompany installations at the New Museum and the Time Warner Center in NYC; a staged production of a chamber opera, All Wounds Bleed, by the Tulsa Opera; a violin concerto, commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony; a Carnegie Hall commission for Ensemble ACJW; and Memory Palace, a solo work for custom-built percussion instruments and live electronics, commissioned by the American Composers Forum's JFund.

Cerrone has received awards and grants from some of the most prestigious organizations in the world, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Chamber Music America; the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy; OPERA America; the Jerome Foundation; ASCAP (3-time Young Composer award winner); and New Music USA. He has served as composer-in-residence at the Carlsbad Music Festival and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy.

A co-founder emeritus of Red Light New Music, Cerrone is one-sixth of the Sleeping Giant composer collective, with whom he serves as co-composer-in-residence at the Albany Symphony from 2014-2017. He holds multiple degrees from the Yale School of Music (M.M., M.M.A. and D.M.A.) and the Manhattan School of Music (B.M.).

Please join us:  Chris, along with seven other distinguished Walt Whitman alumni, will be our honored guest at this year’s Hall of Fame festivities, which will take place during Walt Whitman’s homecoming weekend on Saturday, October 18. We invite the community to stop by and say hello to Chris and the other honorees.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

9AM- Hall of Fame Breakfast (WW South Cafeteria, RSVP/Tickets Required)*

11AM- Hall of Fame Ceremony (Turf Field)

11:30AM- Homecoming Parade (Whitman Campus and surrounding neighborhoods)

12Noon- Hall of Fame Tailgate Party (Whitman Campus)

2PM- Football Game (Turf Field)

* To RSVP tickets for the Hall of Fame Breakfast contact us at

Green & Gold Go For The Win

Revisiting their glory days, our gridiron greats prepare to battle, all for raising important funds for student programs at Maplewood.
A ticket to the big game, check. A night out with friends screaming support for our favorite teachers, check. Helping to support great programs for our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, priceless!
Special thanks to our Maplewood PTA for sponsoring this wonderful activity and to all of the dedicated fans who attended the game.

Special thanks to all of the teachers and staff members who participated in Friday night’s Maplewood Green and Gold Bowl.  This special tradition generates tremendous spirit, while raising important funds for student programs.  Special thanks to our Maplewood PTA for sponsoring this wonderful activity and to all of the dedicated fans who attended the game. The final score was 28-28 and clearly, everyone won, especially the students at Maplewood.

The Maplewood Green Team:  Mr. Fauci, Dr. Centamore, Mr. Slovak, Ms. Vitale, Mrs. Dawes, Mr. O’Connor, Mrs. Isaacson, Mrs. Trapani, and Mrs. Guerriere.

The Maplewood Gold Team:  Dr. D’Elia, Mr. Winters, Mr. Cardella, Mr. Dwyer, Mr. Schmidt, Mrs. Schumm, Mrs. Belz, Mrs. Whittall, Ms. Carron, and Mrs. Gross.

Photo Gallery

Gymnastics Team Honors Former Coach


The Walt Whitman Girls Varsity Gymnastics Team attended the "Long Island Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk" on Sunday, October 12th at Jones Beach in honor and memory of former Gymnastics coach Mr. James Barish. The walk raised more than $1,300,000 and attracted over 8,000 supporters.

Way to go girls!

Congratulations Girls Volleyball!

The Varsity Girls volleyball team set the pace for a great night in the North Gym.

On Wednesday evening, October 15, the Junior Varsity and Varsity Girls volleyball teams played their volleyball games to raise money for their annual Dig Pink breast cancer fundraiser. The girls transformed the North gym into a sea of pink, sold T-shirts, bracelets, and conducted a 50/50 raffle.  We hear that the 50/50 raffle winner, a dad from HHH East, gave back his winnings and donated the money!

Dig Pink® is The Side-Out Foundation’s trademark name for its fundraising events in the sport of Volleyball. To learn more about Dig Pink go to:

The Whitman team worked hard to fundraise for the event. Congratulations Girls!

From 1940 to 2027... and Beyond

Oakwood Kindergartners, shown with Principal Eileen Kerrigan and Assistant Principal Mitch Levy, were the first group to be photographed, Countrywood is up next.

As we prepare to welcome back Walt Whitman alumni from as far back as 1940, this weekend's South Huntington Hall of Fame dedication at Walt Whitman High School, provides us with a wonderful chance to recognize the accomplishments of our graduates who have achieved distinction in their professional and personal lives. It’s interesting to note that we are in the process of photographing the Walt Whitman Class of 2027.

They may not be thinking that far ahead, but South Huntington’s kindergartners represent the Class of 2027 and the photographs will serve as a fun way to track their progress through their years in South Huntington.

This weekend at the Hall of Fame Ceremony, we will be presenting a special award to Mr. Pat DeRosa, Class of 1940.  Yes... you heard right, Mr. DeRosa is 93 years old and has fond memories of South Huntington High School in the late 30’s. This renowned musician will be one of our featured highlights at this weekend's homecoming celebration.

The feelings of pride and unity will be in great abundance, as we kick off the weekend's homecoming celebration with community members representing the class of 1940 to 2027, and beyond.

Field Hockey Prepares for Top Teams

Senior Field Hockey players prepare their team for some tough games that could mean getting into the playoffs.

The Varsity Field Hockey team recorded another win in their game against William Floyd on Tuesday October 14th.  Goalies Kayla Neiland and Nicole Grennan each had shut outs in the 5-0 win.  Goals were scores by Kelly Baumann, Kate Manson and Christina Lofaso.  Assists by Christina McFelia, Shayna Pehel, Emma Manson and Christina LoFaso.  The team continues their hunt for the playoffs as they prepare for upcoming games against the #2 and #3 teams in the division.

Come out and support the girls at their next home game on Tuesday, October 21st at 7PM when they square off against Lindenhurst.




Walt Whitman’s Boys Cross Country team ran themselves right into another League III Championship on Wednesday at Sunken Meadow State Park. There are always a couple schools with a couple great runners, but what makes the Wildcats and their coach Rob Conroy so successful, year in and year out, is the shear number of really good runners.  A quick scroll down the various events, as posted by Just-In-time Racing, shows just how consistent the Whitman Cross Country program places runners in top positions.

Next up are the Section XI Division Championships on October 21st, the Suffolk Frosh/Soph Championships on October 24th and the New York Section XI State Qualifier on October 31st.

Congratulations: Christopher BIAS, Thomas BLACKALL, Jonathan BRIGATI, Zachary BRUNO, Steven CIRAVOLO, John CREERON, Christopher DYBUS, Jonathan EICHNER, Connor GALVIN, Michael GIARRIZZO, Alec GONZALEZ, Matthew HARRIGAN, Mark HUSTEDT, Jonathan JULIANO, Jacob KAHRS, Jack KARMEN, Zachary LELLA, Graham LUNT, Brett MAIER, Chad MAIER, Tyler MALONE, Andrew MARTIN, Ryan MC ALLISTER, Ryan MC QUADE, Joseph MENDOZA, Michael MORCK, Benjamin NACE, Michael NAUGHTON, Shamar POWELL, Joshua ROILAND, Brett SCHANKIN, Raj SHAH, Aiden SMITH, Sean SMITH, Jonathan SPARLING, Perry TRIPI, Jonathan VITAL and Jack WROBEL.

Soccer Playoff Bound

Witman Hernandez scored 2 goals in the game off assists by Michael Lorello that puts the Wildcats in the playoffs for the 2nd straight year.

The Boys Varsity Soccer Team clinched the playoffs for the 2nd straight year with a 4-0 win over Lindenhurst yesterday. With the win, this keeps the Wildcats in first place in League II with a 9-2-1 overall record. Witman Hernandez scored 2 goals in the game off assists by Michael Lorello. Lorello also added a goal later. Fabrizio Chamorro added a goal and an assist in the game. Austin Salas and Shane Sacks combined for the shutout.

Please come out and support the Wildcats at their next home game (Senior Night) against Hills East on Monday, October 20, at 6pm.


Randy Pawlyk... Whitman’s Secret Weapon

“Randy is very sharp in sports and in life. He doesn’t miss a thing.” Coach Tom Fitzpatrick.
When Kieran Elmore is home for a visit, he knows exactly where to find Randy.
Randy, with Jaron Batts before a recent football game.
Randy, with coach Mike Moccia at last Spring’s Gold Key - Sports Hall of Fame Dinner.
Randy, with Rose Pedretti after a basketball game last season.
Danielle Muller- Walt Whitman Class of ’03 was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame last year and spent some time catching up with Randy at the Gold Key - Sports Hall of Fame Dinner.

You see him at almost every football, basketball, and lacrosse game, and practice too, no matter what the weather. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, he’s out there, bundled against the elements.  Randy Pawlyk, at 32 years of age, has learned to endure more than most of us will ever have to. Randy was born with cerebral palsy and has spent his life in a wheelchair. When you first meet Randy, you might be a little nervous. “When I first met Randy in 2001, I had some difficulty communicating with him,” said South Huntington Athletic Director Dr. Jim Wright. “But it didn’t take him long to make me feel comfortable, and we quickly developed a great relationship. He made it so I stopped looking at the wheelchair and focused on him.” 

“I didn’t know who Randy was at first,” said senior Jaron Batts, Whitman’s outstanding three-sport athlete. “When I was a sophomore, I looked up to our quarterback, Mitchell Bermudez, and saw that he was always spending time with Randy, so I thought that Randy must be a good guy. So I started talking and hanging out with Randy as well.”  

Once you spend time with Randy, it doesn’t take long to see that he is a special guy, and when it comes to sports, a very smart guy as well. He’s quick to point out a moment of laziness, and he’s just as quick to compliment a great play. “No matter what the score, whenever I came off the football field, Randy was there, telling me to keep my head up and never quit,” said Jaron. “It could be bitter cold out at practice, and there he is, and you say to yourself, Randy’s here; I have no excuse to not get out there and give my best.” 

Kieran Elmore knows what Randy brings to Whitman’s teams. “I miss Randy a lot,” said the offensive lineman, now in his sophomore year playing for the Bryant Bulldogs. “Whenever I came over to him from the playing field, he knew exactly what to say, and he was always right,” said Kieran. “I always incorporated the advice Randy gave me into my game because seeing how hard he works to get here everyday and the positive comments he always had for me made me a better player.” When Kieran recovered a fumble against Hills West, Randy’s old high school, and ran it in for a touchdown, the very first thing Kieran did was run the ball to the sideline to give to Randy. 

Kieran is one of many young men who learn from their previous Whitman classmates and pay it forward to the next group. “I saw what Randy meant to our team through Myles Jones and then, when it was my turn, I could see Jaron Batts was ready to run with it,” said Kieran. The relationship Randy shares with Whitman’s athletic teams works both ways. Randy is a tough guy and yet there are days when he experiences painful discomfort as well as disappointment, so when the teams rally around him at the beginning for each game and when they share big wins with him in the center of the celebration, it provides Randy with a source of comfort and joy that no medications could come close to replicating. “A kid who doesn’t talk to Randy, who doesn’t help him with his drink, or put his parka on when it’s raining out, doesn’t get it,” said Wright.

Randy works well with Whitman’s coaches and helps push our athletes, imploring them not to take anything for granted. “Randy looks at life a little differently than most,” said Varsity Head Football Coach Robin Rosa. “He doesn’t look at what’s wrong; he looks at all that is great with life and admires the kids and how they play the sport.” 

For Varsity Basketball Coach Tom “Coach Fitz” Fitzpatrick, Randy is a fixture at Whitman’s games and practices. “I’ve known Randy for a good 20 years, even back to when he was a student here at Stimson.  I’m now entering my sixteenth year coaching Whitman basketball, and I can honestly say he always has a smile and is an inspiration to myself, my coaching staff, and the team,” said Coach Fitz. “Randy is very sharp in sports and in life. He doesn’t miss a thing.” 

Whitman’s Varsity Lacrosse Coach Bob Howell loves what Randy brings to his team. “Randy is a very special young man. He is so positive and inspirational for the players,” said Howell. “He speaks to them in the locker room, and they listen and respect him.” The leaders in any sport, boys or girls, always seem to gravitate to Randy because they respect him as a member of their team family and what he adds to the mix. “Randy is a true leader in his own right,” said Howell. “Kids with leadership qualities recognize that.”

Varsity basketball player Rose Pedretti appreciates the support both she and the Lady Wildcats get from Randy. “When I see him on the sidelines, I know it’s not easy for him to get here, and when he does, he helps inspire the whole team to play better,” said Rose.  “There are things we all take for granted, and to get to know Randy and know his story with his high school friend David Kleet, it really opened my world.” 

After his parents moved, Randy went to high school in the Half Hollow Hills School District, and for years made his presence known on the athletic fields, dreaming of what it would feel like to run.  Randy met David Kleet, a Hills West student athlete, in 1997. David at first thought he had little in common with Randy. “My circle of friends were typically athletes, which obviously did not include Randy,” wrote David in a 2001 letter. “Later, I could come to understand what I was missing.” David and Randy became friends when Randy was appointed football team manager.  But it was a speech Randy gave before the first game of David’s senior year that made all the difference. Having suffered an ankle injury, David was feeling a little sorry for himself, something Randy’s speech in the locker room would all but fix in a few short moments. “Meeting Randy has been a turning point in my life,” Kleet went on to write. “He has taught me so much about courage, determination, spirit, and overcoming adversity. That individual I was reluctant to interact with 3 years ago has become somewhat of a hero for me. His example has helped me to become a more mature, understanding, and better person.” 

After graduating from high school, and for reasons unknown to most, Hills West decided Randy’s presence on the sideline was no longer welcome, and it wasn’t long before Randy’s athletic contacts landed him courtside at Walt Whitman High School. The inclusive culture at Whitman is unlike many school districts on the Island. Over the years and after hundreds of interviews, students have pointed out that it is precisely that diversity that makes the Whitman experience so real and so true. Whether it’s students with special needs or students of our minority population, respect and a true sense of a school community is a guiding principle. 

Each year, student athletes welcome Randy into their confidence. These students know about compassion, and they are leaders, many of whom come back to Whitman each year as alumni. When they do, their first stop is to visit with Randy. They know that the moments they spend with him are as priceless as the smile on his face when they leave. 

So if you see Randy tooling around one of Whitman’s sports events, there is no need to be nervous. Come up and say hello! Randy is smart, friendly, and the best inspirational and motivational volunteer coach any high school could ever want.

Stimson Teachers in the Pink


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Stimson teachers and staff rallied their support to help provide mammograms, education, and support services to women in need. This annual campaign, to increase awareness of the disease, has made a lot of progress but still has a long way to go and needs your help! “While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.” Says the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) on their website:

NBCF’s mission is to save lives through early detection and to provide mammograms for those in need. This mission includes increasing awareness through education, providing diagnostic breast care services for those in need, and providing nurturing support services. 

The Sweet Sound of Success

The Oakwood Singers illuminated the room at last Wednesday's Board of Education’s public meeting.

Where do our award-winning choral groups at Walt Whitman High School get their start? Is it with the very talented Stimson Middle School Show Stoppers, directed by Ms. Terri Haas or Ms. Orlando’s eighth-grade chorus? Perhaps it's with Ms. Vanessa Riva’s sixth-grade chorus at Silas Wood. Or maybe it's with our fifth graders, led by Mr. Paul Kosak at Birchwood and Ms. Vanessa Melillo at Maplewood, who have no trouble finding dedicated students eager to practice before their school day begins.

The further back we look, the more it becomes clear that as early as kindergarten, our students are immersed in music as a part of their education. Our community has the pleasure many times over the course of the school year to hear Mr. Adam Slawitsky's students at Countrywood perform; their holiday concert at our December Board of Education meeting is always eagerly anticipated.

Over at Oakwood Primary Center, music teacher Ms. Luellia Pinelli has created a choral culture that is second to none. Oakwood’s dual-language second graders were the featured entertainment at past Long Island Teachers’ Institute conferences, and Oakwood’s various singing groups perform regularly for several senior groups in our community. But there is nothing like the voices of primary school children to bring smiles to the faces of audiences from every walk of life. The Oakwood Singers illuminated the room at last Wednesday's Board of Education’s public meeting. We join in thanking our district's youngest musicians for reminding us just how special our South Huntington community can be.

The Oakwood singers, under the direction of Ms. Luellia Pinelli include: Alexandra Schindler, Kyle King, Zachary Gluckstal, Brandon Reader, Anna Isernia, Katelyn Roberts, Morgan Franz, Shayleen Michel, Ciara Coleman, Grace Blaney, Erin Conlon, Ivelysse Rodriguez, Jennifer Portillo, Katherine Nodell, Dylan Reader, Christian Ortez, Leah Petronella, Christian Umana Benitez, David Escobar Henriquez, Joseline Moreno, Kimberly Rivas Carballo, Georgette Athanassiou, Christofer Bonilla, Tyler Francisco, Angelin Fuentes, Annelisa Boise, Reilly McKinley, Heather Kowalczyk, Ashley Ervolino, Chris Flores, Eva Moreno, Jake Schwantner, Ethan Jacoutot, Eva Blaney, Luca Cioffi, Marissa DeWitt, Sienna Gresser, Sean Haritonides, and Harpreet Rattu.


Meet Jane (O’Donnell) Reich – Walt Whitman Class of 1978 and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee

“I believe my experiences [playing sports at Whitman] built-up my self-confidence, taught me how to work hard and push myself beyond what I thought possible, and most importantly experience firsthand the value of good teamwork. Lessons I have embraced and used throughout my life.” Jane (O’Donnell) Reich

My Early Years: I was born in Bayside Queens and moved out to Huntington Station at the age of one. I attended Central Elementary school 1st through 6th grades and was a member of the last class to graduate from Central Elementary school in 1972.   I attended Memorial Jr High School for 7th, 8th and 9th grades where I learned to play the Clarinet.  My favorite teacher was Mr. Reilly my ninth grade English Teacher. English was not my favorite or best subject, but I LOVED being in his class! He made learning fun.  His class was demanding and he made every day a challenge! I grew up with two brothers, one sister and six cousins; all graduates of Walt Whitman High School.  Currently my cousin Brian Dreher is a teacher at Walt Whitman HS and my niece Meghan O'Donnell and nephew Sean O'Donnell attend Walt Whitman HS.

My Professional Career: My professional experience has centered on providing quality services and supports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities and their families in residential, school based and community settings.  For the past 30 years I have worked at The Center for Developmental Disabilities Inc. where I have been a determined advocate, helping improve the lives of hundreds of individuals with disabilities through my roles as the Director of Adult Residential Services, the Director of Quality Assurance and currently as the Director of Adult Day Services.

My Personal Life: After high school I attended St John’s University for two years and then transferred to SUNY Geneseo where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1982. At Geneseo I played on the woman's basketball team and received the female athlete of the year award my senior year. I Received a Master’s in Public Administration, Long Island University, School of Business and Public Administration, Brookville N.Y. July 1992 Concentration in Health Care Finance. Inducted as a member of Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration 1992. I was married in 1987 (divorced 2005) and moved to East Northport NY in 1988 were I have lived for the past 26 years. I have two boys; Ryan 23 (Graduate of RIT) and Devin 21 (currently studying to be an electrician) both graduates of Northport High School. To this day I love the game of basketball, enjoy playing golf and belong to the Executive Woman’s Golf Association.  I am a diehard NY Giants football fan.

Awards and Acknowledgments:  I have had a very blessed life and now that my boys are older I find I have more time to give back to my community.

•My newest endeavor has been volunteering with the Cow Harbor Warriors. A local nonprofit organization focused on "honoring and enabling“ individuals in the tri-state area who were wounded as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), by raising funds and awareness and enlisting the community’s support for organizations that advance wounded warriors past their visible and invisible injuries.

•Youth Directions & Alternatives (YDA) Board Member: A non-profit community and youth agency serving the school districts of Elwood, Harborfields and Northport New York. Currently serving my second term as Board President. A volunteer member of the YDA Board of Directors since the fall of 2007.

•Surrogate Decision-Making Committee Panel Member: Currently serve as a Chairperson of the Surrogate Decision-Making Committee for the New York State Commission on Quality Care for the Mentally Disabled. These Committees are an alternative to the courts to provide consent or to refuse major medical treatment for persons with mental disabilities who are unable to provide their own informed consent and have no family or guardian to provide or withhold surrogate consent on their behalf. Appointed to SDMC in May 2003. Serve as a Chairperson since 2008.

•St Elizabeth CYO Basketball Coach: CYO 5th-6th grade boy’s intramural basketball coach 2010 – 2011 & 2011-2012 seasons.

•Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club Member: a service club of like-minded business and professional leaders from the Hicksville-Jericho community who work on improving our community through local, national and international humanitarian activities. A club member from October 2004 to June 2009. Board President July 2007 – June 2008. Awarded a Paul Harris Fellow in 2008. Woman in Rotary distinction award in 2008.

A Brief reflection on your time at Walt Whitman:  A time filled with many opportunities to grow and learn about myself and begin to see the world beyond Huntington NY.  While at Whitman I played Varsity Basketball 10, 11, 12 grades and Varsity Volleyball 11th and 12th grades. I believe my experiences on these teams built-up my self-confidence, taught me how to work hard and push myself beyond what I thought possible, and most importantly experience firsthand the value of good teamwork.   Lessons I have embraced and used throughout my life.

Please join us:  Jane, along with six other distinguished Walt Whitman alumni, will be our honored guest at this year’s Hall of Fame festivities, which will take place during Walt Whitman’s homecoming weekend on Saturday, October 18. We invite the community to stop by and say hello to Jane and the other honorees.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

9AM- Hall of Fame Breakfast (WW South Cafeteria, RSVP/Tickets Required)*

11AM- Hall of Fame Ceremony (Turf Field)

11:30AM- Homecoming Parade (Whitman Campus and surrounding neighborhoods)

12Noon- Hall of Fame Tailgate Party (Whitman Campus)

2PM- Football Game (Turf Field)

* To RSVP tickets for the Hall of Fame Breakfast contact us at


JV & Varsity Tennis Wrap Regular Season- JV Go Undefeated!

Congratulations JV Girls Tennis:  The team completed an undefeated season last night beating Elwood/John Glenn 4-3 in a very tough match.  Winning their doubles matches were Ally Wirth and Caroline Tomaselli, Cinthya Ramos and Sarah Panza, and Heather Kurash and Lauren Brown.  Clinching the match was Julia Bellontine.  Congratulations on an amazing season 

The Varsity Girls Tennis team battled John Glenn last night in their last match of the season.  The Whitman girls left it all on the court. 

In Singles play, Seniors Rini Halder and Eliza Wong beat their opponents in straight sets 6-1,6-4 and 614,6-1 respectively.  Tina O'Donnell and Paola Cespedes were tenacious on the court as they both won multiple games for Whitman.

In doubles action, Nikki Smith and Misha Patel won several games as mental toughness and athleticism proved too much for Glenn.  Elisabeth Silverman and Mary Rose Stone split the first 2 sets in their which forced a 12 game pro set.  Both girls displayed the true meaning of competition.  Senior Laura McAuley and freshman standout Shailee Patel played their hearts outs winning multiple games for Whitman.

Come support the girls as they head into Individual Varsity tournament play this Saturday at Smithtown West.


Oakwood Second Graders Off to a Super Start



With the summer now well behind us, Oakwood’s second grade teachers are already taking on the changes, challenges, and rewards that a new school year always brings. Teachers began by organizing and decorating classrooms, settling old friends into new positions, and sharing the wonderful ways they relaxed over the summer vacation.

Our second grade teachers spent quite a bit of time becoming familiar with the newly acquired Foundations phonics and handwriting program and RTI model of intervention, as well as, welcoming the many new faces that now comprise their new 2014-14 class families.

Students began with a few quick tours throughout the building; the newly arrived students fell quickly into the routines of the classrooms and were thrilled to know they were finally the big kids on the block. Along with the many responsibilities they now had as role models, they found out they would get ‘grown up’ agenda books where they would copy their homework assignments, finally be in the school Sing-along’s, and be voted in as student reps by their peers.

It was only the first week or two of school, but as you walked by various rooms, the second graders could be heard chanting the alphabet and tapping out their sounds led by the Fundations owl; Echo. They were writing and carrying out classroom rules, reviewing various school, lunchroom, and snack policies, and thumbing their way through handwriting, health, and vocabulary booklets.

Student preparation for curriculum night included: all about me projects, self and family portraits, and welcome notes and journal entries left upon their desks for eager parents to see.  This exciting evening was certainly a success with its wonderful turnout of interested parents.  It gave teachers the opportunity to share with those eager moms and dads what their classrooms are like and what lies ahead for their second graders.

And so it begins… another year packed with new opportunities for learning, watching students grow both socially and academically, observing the blossoming of individual learning styles, creating and implementing instruction for every learner, and instilling a sense of pride and success in all of our students.

As always, we look forward to working with our PTA and reaching out to all of our classroom families by asking that we all work together to make each child’s second grade experience a wonderful one!


DATE: Saturday, Oct 25th 

TIME: 8 am to 3:30 pm (rain or shine)

WHERE: Walt Whitman HS North Gym parking lot 301 West Hills Rd, Huntington Station 

For the 9th year we are collecting ALL GENTLY USED CLOTHING (men’s, women’s & children’s), stuffed animals & soft household items, strollers & car-seats. Including : SHOES, BOOTS,SNEAKERS,  BELTS, HANDBAGS, BACKPACKS, BRIEFCASES, BEDDING, CURTAINS, TOWELS, small AREA RUGS, TIES, HATS, SCARVES, GLOVES, STUFFED ANIMALS, DOLLS AND SMALL HARD TOYS (no bigger than 24" x 24"), baby strollers 


South Huntington PTA Council will be paid per pound collected. ALL FUNDS RAISED WILL BE USED FOR SCHOLARSHIPS. Please forward this email to friends.

Questions? Contact Jayne at

Thank you for your support!

Donations will be sorted and shipped in containers to developing countries to be reused (NOT ragged). Vendor has an"A" rating with the Better Business Bureau.


Floating Classroom Thrills Whitman Marine Biology Students

With their eyes closed, most of the Marine Biology students from Walt Whitman enjoyed guessing what creature was in their hand.
Surprise! Long Island is full of Spider Crabs.
Good thing these guys have their own environment.
Low tide on a sand bank in the Peconic Bay provides a perfect opportunity to get out and see first hand Long Island’s unique Marine Eco-System.
Another one of the fantastic marine environments that allow you to get up close with the undersea world.

In late September 49 Marine Biology students from Walt Whitman set sail for a 2-hour tour. They wanted to experience Long Island’s marine life first hand.  Students arrived at The Long Island Aquarium promptly at 9am and were greeted by playful seals swimming in their outdoor enclosure. 

Students then embarked onto the Atlantis Explorer Boat and traveled out into Peconic Bay... viewing and leaning about the wildlife that resides there. The Atlantis Explorer is a unique “floating classroom,” and a fascinating way to discover the ecological wonders of Long Island’s waterways.

The students got to play the "Fear Factor Game" trying to guess what was put into their hands.  The boat spent two hours sampling the water for temperature, purity, and salinity, pulling up crab traps and then beached on a salt marsh where the student got to seine for small animals, wade into the bay, and dig and catch fiddler crabs! 

After the boat tour, students then got to explore the entire aquarium, visiting all the exhibits; the Coral Reef Tank, the Amazon Tank, the Shark Tank, and the sea horses where all big hits!!  The playful sea lions and the ever-hungry sting rays where also favorites of the students.

If you would like to learn more about our local aquatic systems, visit the Long Island Aquarium at


Marching Bands Rock Whitman

The Senior Ceremony of Flowers is always a highlight of the home show festivities.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo congratulates the Whitman Marching Band Drum Majors and Color Guard Captains.
Overall winner Arlington High School gets congratulated by NY State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci.
The Walt Whitman High School Wildcats performing their 2014 season show titled “Joy” under the direction of Dennis Pettas and Caitlin Cumatos, Band Co-Directors; and Allan Deitz, the Wildcats Marching Band Coordinator.

The Walt Whitman Marching Band hosted their annual Home Show on a beautiful late September evening. Eleven bands performed to a sell-out crowd with the band from Arlington High School, in LaGrangeville, NY taking home the top score of 86.85.

As hosts, the Whitman Marching Band is not an official competitor, but for many in the audience, their performance was second to none. 

Scoring for the evening was as follows:

Small School 3 Category: Garden City-66.35;

Small School 3 Category: Division Avenue-68.90;

Large School 3 Category: Suffern 62.60;

Large School 3 Category: Huntington 79.70;

Large School 3 Category: Whitman 74.40;

Large School 3 Category: Sachem 76.10;

Small School 2 Category: Malverne 75.95;

Small School 2 Category: Mineola 77.80;

Large School 2 Category: Kingston, NY  77.55.

National Category: Brentwood 82.30;

National Category: Arlington (NY) 86.85.


Photo Gallery

Congratulations Walt Whitman Marching Band, and especially all of the parents and volunteers who put in countless hours, helping to ensure a fun and smoothly run event. 

The Band Parent Association Executive Board would also like to thank the chairpersons and all volunteers in the following committees:

Norman Shaiman/ Christine Eaches - Food

Show Announcer,- Jim Pelusp

Anthony Sansotta - Record breaking 50/50

Betty Hibler- Host Hostess

Jenn Cusumano- Admissions

Darren Sherland-  Food Ticket Sales

Sharon White- Raffle Baskets

Michele Reilly - Grand Prize Vacation

Show Logistics- Donna Dukes

Money Manager- Geraldine Clark

Show Tabulator- Robert Grey

Show Hospitality- Janet Lo

Journal Ad Sales - Caroline Butterfield 

A Big Thank you to: Alumni Parents, Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci, Dr. Bennardo- Superintendent of Schools, The South Huntington BOE, Stimson/ Whitman Administration, BOCES Culinary- Hospitality Students, Security, and the South Huntington Grounds & Facilities staff.

A special thanks to: Starbucks Coffee, Arlene Stone Cotton Candy, Juniors Pizza, White Post Farms, all the visiting and participating marching band.

Seniors Lead The Way in Tennis

The Varsity Girls Tennis Team improved their record to 5 and 4 as the beat Kings Park 7-0 on Monday, October 6.  The Seniors stole the show outplaying Kings Park and sealing the deal for Whitman.

In singles play, Rini Halder showed her dominance  beating her opponent 6-0, 6-0 while Tina O'Donnell played with confidence as she beat her opponent 6-3, 6-1.  Paola Cespedes over powered her opponent winning her match 8-1.


PTA Gift Wrap Fundraiser Wraps Up

The South Huntington Council of PTAs Gift Wrap Fundraiser has come to an end.  This is the biggest fundraiser of the year and the profits we raise help support the district and school based programs.  This fundraiser also provides PTA Council Scholarships to our students. 

If you have an order or were planning on placing an order and have not done so yet, please send it in before Friday, October 10th!

If you have not received a brochure and would like to place an order feel free to place an order on www. All items ordered on line can be credited to your student.  At checkout just enter your students name, school, city and state!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jeanette Hansen at or Patty Emanuele at


A Deeper Understanding Comes To Life

Silas Wood teacher Michelle Anglisano works with a student who is choosing a painting from the Chauvet Cave to recreate.
By blowing the paint through a straw, student’s hands create a stencil, similar to what the cave people in Southern France created.
The O’Dell Module units lay out an inquiry process using the latest technology mixed with a hands-on experience that gives our students a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
Working in small teams, students share ideas as they experience creating their own pre-historic art.

Michelle Anglisano’s 6th grade classes have started studying pre-historic art using the O'Dell Module. The O’Dell Module units lay out an inquiry process through which students learn how to deepen their understanding of topics.

“Our students have been observing the beautiful cave art from the Chauvet Cave, located in southern France,” said Ms. Anglisano.  “The students are also reading an article titled; Hands Across Time.  This article discusses hand stencil art, so we wanted the classes to have the opportunity to get a tactile and kinesthetic experience by creating their own pre-historic art.”

Two of Ms. Anglisano’s classes made their own paint by grinding colored chalk into a fine powder and added a little water. By blowing the paint through a straw, they shot the paint, while aiming it at the outside of their hand, onto a crumpled up piece of a brown paper bag. Their hands were placed on the paper bag creating a stencil. This entire process was similar to what the cave people did as their prehistoric hand stencil art.

Another one of Ms. Anglisano’s classes created a different version of the art found in the Chauvet Cave. These students used chalk and charcoal as their medium. The students, working in small groups or individually, chose their favorite picture from the cave paintings and then copied their own rendition of what they saw. The chosen cave painting the students were recreating, was drawn on a piece of paper with a sandy surface.

“Our students' work will be displayed as part of our classroom door which is going to be transformed into a Prehistoric cave entrance very soon,” said Ms. Anglisano “Thank you to all the assistant teachers and my student teacher for the awesome help they gave our students.”


Meet Chad A. Lupinacci – Walt Whitman Class of 1997 and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee


Assemblyman CHAD A. LUPINACCI represents the 10th Assembly District which covers most of the Town of Huntington and a portion of the Town of Babylon in Suffolk County. 

Lupinacci began his career in public service while in college by interning for his predecessor, Assemblyman James D. Conte, as part of the Assembly Internship Program.  Additionally, after a rigorous selection process, he was chosen to intern in First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s White House office, assisting with correspondence, speechwriting, and scheduling.  During his White House internship, Lupinacci also worked on archiving material for the Clinton Presidential Library. 

Just prior to being elected to the New York State Assembly, Lupinacci served three terms as a Trustee for the South Huntington Union Free School District.  During his tenure as a school board member, Lupinacci worked diligently to improve graduation rates and the quality of district-wide education. 

As a professor, Lupinacci’s main interests lie in the area of American politics, especially the American presidency, and state and local government.  He constantly strives to integrate his unique experiences in various levels of government into his classroom lessons. 

Lupinacci was elected to the New York State Assembly on November 6, 2012.  Lupinacci is a life-long resident of the Town of Huntington.  He graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1997, and is a parishioner at St. Hugh of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church.  Lupinacci credits his love for learning, teaching, and public service to his unforgettable experiences at WWHS and the strong sense of community in the Town of Huntington. 

Lupinacci received his B.A. in political science from Hofstra University; his J.D. from the Hofstra University School of Law; and his M.B.A. from Hofstra’s School of Business.  He currently teaches classes in business law and political science at Hofstra University, Farmingdale State College, and St. Joseph’s College.

Please join us:  Chad, along with six other distinguished Walt Whitman alumni, will be our honored guest at this year’s Hall of Fame festivities, which will take place during Walt Whitman’s homecoming weekend on Saturday, October 18. We invite the community to stop by and say hello to Assemblyman Lupinacci and the other honorees.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

9AM- Hall of Fame Breakfast (WW South Cafeteria, RSVP/Tickets Required)*

11AM- Hall of Fame Ceremony (Turf Field)

11:30AM- Homecoming Parade (Whitman Campus and surrounding neighborhoods)

12Noon- Hall of Fame Tailgate Party (Whitman Campus)

2PM- Football Game (Turf Field) 

* To RSVP tickets for the Hall of Fame Breakfast contact us at



Cornell & Countrywood Discover Fun


A chilly fall breeze did not subdue the adventuresome spirit of members of Adrienne Workman's first grade class at Countrywood Primary Center, as they met at Centerport beach this past Sunday to collect organisms for their Cornell Cooperative Extension Discovery tank program.

Parents and students worked together to collect many specimens including snails, mussels, guppies, sea plants and even shrimp!  The collected organisms will take up residence in the class's saltwater tank, as an extension of the Cornell Discovery tank program, which is provided by the Countrywood PTA.


Seizing The Moment


Walt Whitman Grad David Farrell, Class of 2003, was in Huntington recently at a book signing for his new book: On The Books: A Graphic Tale of Working Woes at NYC's Strand Bookstore.

A David and goliath story, On The Books is the first-hand comic strip account of the labor struggle at NYC’s legendary Strand bookstore in the summer of 2012. Told by Greg Farrell—an employee of the store who interviewed numerous other members of the staff—the book examines the motives and actions of those involved, including the store, the staff, the union local, and the people of New York City, as understood by the author.

Through interstitial comic portraits, Farrell gives voice to his comrades, who often share a nuance of the story that would have otherwise gone overlooked, and provide a depth of opinion and fairness to accompany Farrell’s often very personal interpretation of events. In its ten short chapters the book explores at once the inner workings of our national retail environment, the inner struggle to exist within it as a young working person, the current state of the book trade, and what happens when that no longer seems possible.

Congratulations Greg, You make Walt Whitman and South Huntington Proud!


PTA Reflections Open for Entries

The theme for this year’s PTA Reflections Program is “The world would be a better place if…”

If you are interested in entering your work in Visual Arts, Literature, Photography, Music, Film Video Production or Dance Choreography, the time is now to ask your teacher or stop by the Main Office and pick up an application request form.

The deadline for actual entries to be submitted is Monday, November 3rd. 


September Athletes of the Month

Whitman Principal Kathie Acker congratulates her two outstanding athletes for September.

Christina McFelia started the Field Hockey season on a hot streak. In early September she was one of the top scorers on Long Island, and has now settled in to the middle of the top-scoring group as the Lady Wildcats go up against the top teams in Suffolk’s Division I. When Christina is not attacking the goal with her hockey stick, she can be found in the award winning Wind Ensemble with a flute in her hand. She is active in the Girls Leaders Organization, as well as the National- World Language- English- and TriM Honor Societies. It’s college decision time for Christina, she may be leaning towards a business major, but where that will be is still up in the air.

Whitman senior Tariq Soliman, a right–handed, 6’1” outside hitter, set a League single game record of 30 kills in September and has helped keep his Wildcat Volleyball team in good standing in League I play. Tariq also plays for the Long Island Volleyball 17-Year old regional club, and if the fit is right, may want to continue his volleyball career in college next fall. Tariq is a member of the National Honor Society and has an interest in pursuing Law in college. Currently NYU seems to be a good fit for Tariq, so we will need to stay tuned for his decision.  Tariq fits in well at Whitman, thoroughly enjoying his teachers and the rich diversity of the Whitman student base.

Congratulations Christina McFelia and Tariq Soliman, Walt Whitman’s September Athletes of the Month.


Meet Brenda L. Moore – Walt Whitman Class of 1968 and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee


Dr. Moore is an Associate professor of Sociology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1987.  She is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), where she has been a full-time faculty member since 1988. 

As a faculty member, Dr. Moore teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in sociology, and supervises graduate students’ MA and Ph.D. theses.  She is internationally known for her scholarship on patterns of mobility and organizational change as it pertains to women in the military. 

Dr. Moore has published several refereed journal articles analyzing effects of race and gender on occupational assignments and career trajectories of military personnel.  Her books (To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race: The Story of the Only African American WACs Stationed Overseas During World War II, New York University Press, 1996, and Serving Our Country: Japanese American Women in the Military during World War II, Rutgers University Press, 2003), have given voice to populations largely ignored by American scholars.  Her books are not only an outstanding contribution to the sociology of gender and race, but also a historical study of racial minorities in the United States.  Her current book project is an historical analysis of military sexual trauma.

A Brief reflection on her years at Walt Whitman:  I was quiet, reserved, and often unnoticed.  Like many young women my age, I was conscious about my appearance and decorum all of the time.  We, as young women, were taught to be ladies, and to respect ourselves, our families, and our community.  We wore skirts and dresses to school; never pants.  I would sometimes find excuses not to go to gym third period so as not to have to spend the remainder of the day walking around with unmanageable hair.  Still, I participated in intramural sports such as field hockey; and danced and sang as a chorus member in such plays as Annie Get Your Gun, and Oklahoma. 

I generally did well in all of my courses after spending many hours studying at home and in study hall.  I was a very good student; not outstanding.  My Dad used to say, “A good education is something that no one can take from you.”   Both my parents were very involved in my school affairs; from attending plays and concerts that I participated in, to meeting with my counselors for the purpose of planning my academic curriculum for the following year.  I was enrolled in a variety of regents courses that would help prepare me for college.  Most of my high school teachers were dedicated educators; they encouraged me to achieve academically as did my parents.  Still, my parents were the ones who initiated conversations with my teachers and school administrators, (and sometimes followed-up with letters to Albany) to ensure that I had the best possible learning experience.   

As high school students, my classmates and I had our social events.  We listened and danced to the music of Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and The Beetles.  We did the twist, the mashed potatoes, the monkey, and the locomotion.  We had fun!   

On a more serious note, we came of age during political turmoil in the United States.  I remember Walt Whitman High to be a very conservative school in an age of political unrest.  I and my classmates witnessed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968, five years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and only weeks before the killing of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.  We were also confronted with political events like the Civil Rights Movement and the movement against the war in Vietnam.  These incidents had a profound effect on many of us as we tried to understand what it all meant.  These events, along with many of my experiences at Walt Whitman, helped to shape my interest in national and international politics; more specifically, human rights issues.   What was going on in my world at that time provided a foundation for my academic studies on race and gender equality that would develop in subsequent years.

Personal Life:   Brenda spent several years running in 5, 10 and 20K races; particularly while she was in the military and later in graduate school.  In the early 1990s Brenda stopped running due to injuries in both knees.  She now enjoys traveling; both abroad and within the United States.  She finds pleasure in visiting friends and relatives; as well as entertaining them in her home.  Her hobbies include: reading, cycling, Bikram yoga, zumba, and salsa dance.  She loves all music, but especially gospel, classical and jazz.

Please join us:  Brenda, along with six other distinguished Walt Whitman alumni, will be our honored guest at this year’s Hall of Fame festivities, which will take place during Walt Whitman’s homecoming weekend on Saturday, October 18. We invite the community to stop by and say hello to Brenda and the other honorees.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

9AM- Hall of Fame Breakfast (WW South Cafeteria, RSVP/Tickets Required)*

11AM- Hall of Fame Ceremony (Turf Field)

11:30AM- Homecoming Parade (Whitman Campus and surrounding neighborhoods)

12Noon- Hall of Fame Tailgate Party (Whitman Campus)

2PM- Football Game (Turf Field) 


* To RSVP tickets for the Hall of Fame Breakfast contact us at


Driving Blind for 5 Seconds

Left to right: Deputy Superintendent Jacci Harris, Whitman Assistant Principal Colleen Grady, Assemblyman Lupinacci, and Brandon V. Ray from AT&T.
Whitman seniors put pen to paper acknowledging their pledge to not text and drive.
Seniors make the pledge to never text while driving.
Principal Acker wants to make sure each and every senior in attendance will be present on June 27th- Graduation Day.

With a new school year underway, this is the perfect time to remind everyone, especially our young drivers, that traffic safety is a priority. New York State Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci teamed up with AT&T to educate Walt Whitman High School students, faculty and staff about a very dangerous driver distraction - texting and driving.  This past Friday afternoon, Walt Whitman seniors gathered for a sobering assembly. The program “It Can Wait” was an anti-texting while driving program sponsored by AT&T and Assemblyman Lupinacci. “Texting while driving has become an all-too-familiar end for so many families,” said Lupinacci. “Too often, these tragic accidents could have been prevented by drivers’ simply putting down the phone and waiting to text until they’ve arrived safely at their destination.”

Principal Kathleen Acker opened the program as she introduced Brandon V. Ray, AT&T External Affairs for Long Island; and Assemblyman Lupinacci. Principal Acker spoke with the students about some very sobering facts including that texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk, and that texting while driving is equivalent to driving blind for 5 seconds.

Studies show that those who text while driving are much more likely to be in a crash and more than 200,000 car crashes and injuries happen while a driver was texting and driving. Research also finds that sending or looking at a tweet, Facebook post or email from behind the wheel is just as deadly.

What really got everyone’s attention was an emotionally charged 10-minute Documentary YouTube video clip called “The Last Text.” This was a heartfelt true account of lives lost and the very last texts as displayed on their phones. Brandon Ray shared with the students what AT&T is doing to help combat this deadly compulsion. The Whitman seniors, in an unusual moment of cell phone permission within the school, were able to pledge on the spot and then signed pledge cards promising to never text while driving.


Fall 2014 Adult Education Course Offerings


Adult Education Registration Open! 

Sign Up Today for our Adult and Continuing Education Courses.

Download course booklet below.



Upraised Math K-8

Our school community now offers Upraised Math, a resource to help families help their child(ren) succeed in math this year. Families can use Upraised Math to be informed about what your child is learning each week in grades K-8, understand today’s new teaching strategies and get tips to help with homework.  You can also access high quality resources online, including videos, practice activities, and games. Click here to access Upraised Math. 

Drowsy Chaperone Packs the PAC


Audiences simply loved The Drowsy Chaperone. The musical, performed by the incredibly talented cast of The Long Island Musical Theatre Festival, had two performances this past weekend at Walt Whitman’s Performing Arts Center.  The play opens with the houselights down, the narrator, Man in Chair, sitting on a darkened stage, greets the audience. He is a fan of vintage musicals and decides to cheer things up by playing a record of the original cast recording of a (fictional) Broadway musical entitled The Drowsy Chaperone.

No sooner has the needle touched the record, the audience, together with the narrator, are transported to a 1928 Broadway theater and the recording comes to life and The Drowsy Chaperone begins, as the man in the chair looks on. Mix in two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theater producer, a not so bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone, and you've got a show packed with fun, great music and dance numbers, and the perfect showcase for this talented cast.

Photo Gallery