Drivers Beware!

Left to right: BOE Trustee Laura Carey, Robert and Dorothy Boyle, Superintendent Bennardo, Town Board members Susan Berland, Supervisor Petrone and Mark Cuthbertson, Assistant Principal Annie Michaelian and Crossing Guard ‘Miss Cindy.’
Left to right: BOE Trustee Laura Carey, Robert and Dorothy Boyle, Superintendent Bennardo, Town Board members Susan Berland, Supervisor Petrone and Mark Cuthbertson, Assistant Principal Annie Michaelian and Crossing Guard ‘Miss Cindy.’

Birchwood Intermediate School’s crosswalk safety light is official. In a wonderful example of concerned parents working with the town of Huntington and the South Huntington School District, this new pedestrian crossing light is a reality.

Birchwood neighbors Robert and Dorothy Boyle and Eileen Rankel were two of the many parents who have been advocating for this improvement for several years, and because of their patient and consistent efforts, crossing the always-busy Wolf Hill Road is now much safer. “We are gratified that we were able work with the district to make this happen,” said Huntington Town Supervisor Mr. Frank Petrone. “This is an exceptionally narrow and busy road, so this improvement is really worthwhile. We were fortunate that the road met the conditions necessary for this to happen.”

When a pedestrian pushes a button at either side of the street, it activates bright strobe lights that flash in each direction to warn drivers to be prepared to stop. The curb area has also been extended several feet, making the area of crossing shorter and the sidewalk safety area wider.

“Even though my daughters rode the bus, we drove to Birchwood at least twice a week due to their afterschool activities,” said then PTA Council President Laura Carey. “That is how I met Dorothy Boyle and was introduced to the traffic light issue.  As council president, I contacted both Principal Ciccarelli and Dr. Bennardo to see what could be done.”

Over the course of the next year Ms. Carey continued advocating for action, working with parents and school administrators to bring the issue to the attention of Supervisor Petrone. “I did it first as council president, and now as Board of Education trustee, but I did it always as a parent of a Birchwood student,” Ms. Carey said.

Superintendent Dave Bennardo had nothing but praise for the parents in the community who were committed to making this happen. “This group of energetic and enthusiastic parents, who all have the kids’ best interest at heart, worked well with the town of Huntington to make this happen,” Said Superintendent Bennardo.

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone and Town Board members Susan Berland and Mark Cuthbertson joined in the dedication, along with the District Superintendent Dr. David Bennardo, Birchwood Assistant Principal Annie Michaelian, District Board of Education trustee Laura Carey, and Robert and Dorothy Boyle. One individual who is also greatly appreciative is crossing guard “Miss Cindy,” who has been at the very same spot for the past 13 years and is due to retire after over 23 years of helping to ensure the safety of our students.