Déjà Vu

Left to right: Mike Lusardi and Carlo Giordano
Left to right: Mike Lusardi and Carlo Giordano

Mr. Mike Lusardi has seen it all. Now in his thirty-second year working for the district, Mike is Walt Whitman’s night supervisor for custodial services. He and his counterpart and coworker Mr. Carlo Giordano, the day supervisor for custodial services, make sure that Walt Whitman High is a safe and secure environment 24/7, 365 days a year.  Whitman is a very busy building, and that’s just counting our own students and staff.  Each night and weekend, the building and adjoining athletic fields are in constant use by area groups.

It was exactly this time last year when Long Island was hit by a major snowstorm and local governments and school districts were heavily compromised by what Mother Nature left behind. Nevertheless, Mike, Carlo, and their staff, as well as the grounds and maintenance crews under the direction of Mr. Kevin Kennedy, had everything under control and ready to resume what the district does best: educate close to 2,000 high school students. 

It was then that athletic director Dr. Jim Wright got the urgent call: The 2013 Suffolk County Wrestling Championships, due to take place the very next day, had to be moved from the original location, and they needed a facility that was open and ready to take on hundreds of county wrestlers, their coaches, hundreds of spectators, and MSG varsity film crews and trucks as well, for the live televised broadcast.  “It was a very big event,” said Mike. “But Carlo has a really great team during the day, and I’ve got a great crew at night, so we all worked together to make it happen.” 

“There was a lot to do,” admitted Carlo. “But Mike and I have been working together for 28 years, and we always work well under pressure. We got through Hurricane Sandy, and we can rise to any occasion.”  Whitman is a large building, so cooperation from everybody on the team was crucial.  Both Mr. Lusardi and Mr. Giordano would like to thank the Walt Whitman custodial team for their hard work in making the tournament such a success. Day Shift: James Cozzetti, Peter Schmid, and William Royster. Night Shift: Gerald Hautman, Shawn McAvoy, Warren Moder, Mark Wadolowski, Michael Stearns, Don Prisco, Al Bush, Phil Varisco, and Greg Lecakes.

The South Huntington Security Team was also instrumental in making the day run smoothly. Head of security Mr. Ray Spatafora, never at a loss for words, spoke highly of his team. “We’ve been together for a good 10 years, and we all know what needs to get done,” he said. “My guys know who’s supposed to be here and the best way to get them to where they need to be safely.” The security team included Sal Lupinacci, Mike Pastore, Enrico Franchese, Tony Murisco, Bill Walsh, and Roberto Jimenez.

“Knowing the staff who take care of our buildings, grounds, and security, I was confident that I could offer our facilities to Section 11,” said Dr. Wright. “After the weekend was over, Section 11 came to me and presented me with a plaque as a thank you for making the event so smooth and successful. I knew that it had to go to Mike, Carlo, and Ray and their staff. These are the guys who made it all happen.”