Summer Employment Program Honored

Summer employment students with honored guests are the highlight of a recent BOE meeting.
Summer employment students with honored guests are the highlight of a recent BOE meeting.
The dynamic duo of Debbie and David Perkins brings a wealth of experience and commitment to our students.
The dynamic duo of Debbie and David Perkins brings a wealth of experience and commitment to our students.
Honoring corporate partner Bethpage Federal Credit Union and their commitment to our students: left to right: Dave Bennardo, Superintendent; Jacqueline Harris, Deputy Superintendent; Ever Martinez, Community Development Relationship Manager at Bethpage; David Perkins, District Coordinator of Student Services; and Jim Kaden BOE President.
Honoring corporate partner Bethpage Federal Credit Union and their commitment to our students: left to right: Dave Bennardo, Superintendent; Jacqueline Harris, Deputy Superintendent; Ever Martinez, Community Development Relationship Manager at Bethpage; David Perkins, District Coordinator of Student Services; and Jim Kaden BOE President.
Tyler Gianchetta entertained the audience singing and playing a dulcimer.
Tyler Gianchetta entertained the audience singing and playing a dulcimer.
Christopher Corbin: “I learned to adapt to certain situations, it showed me that you should not be afraid to try new things.”
Christopher Corbin: “I learned to adapt to certain situations, it showed me that you should not be afraid to try new things.”
Diamond Garcia: “it made me feel very accomplished.”
Diamond Garcia: “it made me feel very accomplished.”
"Working with special needs children and seeing some of the difficulties they had to deal with made me feel that if these children could accomplish what they did, I had no excuse except to step up and be the best I could be.” - Destinee Felder

At a recent Board of Education meeting, the Board and members of the community had an opportunity to congratulate our Project Excel students on their fine summer work. Project Excel provides mentoring, counseling, homework help, parent training, paid work experiences, and youth employment opportunities. This model program is a proud cornerstone of South Huntington’s education program. Our Project Excel program continues to be a source of tremendous pride for students, parents, and teachers alike. 

Coordinator of Student Services Mr. David Perkins brings his passion for student success, networking, and counseling to his tireless work with our students. He also brings his wife of 34 years, Ms. Debbie Perkins, as a volunteer to assist students. We were very happy this year to have South Huntington students working in our facilities, special education, athletics, and central offices, as well as our extended school year program. 

It was inspiring to hear our students speak of their proud summer employment experiences, and it was particularly heartwarming to learn that the work had encouraged several of our students to consider careers in special education. Each student worker was paid approximately $1,400 by the Suffolk County Department of Labor.

We congratulate all of our Project Excel students and offer special thanks to Tyler Gianchetta for performing a beautiful song and to Destinee Felder, Diamond Garcia, and Christopher Corbin for sharing eloquent essays with the Board meeting audience. “There are not too many jobs available for people my age,” read Destinee in her heartfelt essay. “I was able to bring money into my home and help my mother pay for my school clothes and school supplies. It made me feel proud to be able to do that.” 

For Diamond Garcia, working as a teacher’s assistant opened new doors of opportunity. “When the program was over, it was hard seeing my students leave knowing they may still need me,” wrote Diamond in her essay. “The students I worked with learned how to become independent, and that made me feel very accomplished.”

For Christopher,  the program introduced a whole new world. A position he was hoping to get was filled, so when Mr. Perkins told him he would need to do something different, something out side of his comfort zone, Christopher was not sure he would enjoy the work.  He is the first to admit that he was wrong. “This job was more than just about the money; I learned a lot this past summer,” wrote Christopher. “I learned to adapt to certain situations. It showed me that you should not be afraid to try new things. I had an amazing experience.”