Parent University Proves You’re Never Too Old To Learn

Committee member Roberto Torres introduced Suffolk Supreme Court Judge Fernando Camacho who delivered a passionate keynote address to our Spanish speaking audience.
Committee member Roberto Torres introduced Suffolk Supreme Court Judge Fernando Camacho who delivered a passionate keynote address to our Spanish speaking audience.
Left to right: Parent University Chairperson Mr. David Perkins, Keynote Speaker Professor Alfred ‘Coach’ Powell, and Deputy Superintendent Jacci Harris.
Left to right: Parent University Chairperson Mr. David Perkins, Keynote Speaker Professor Alfred ‘Coach’ Powell, and Deputy Superintendent Jacci Harris.
Thank you to the many student volunteers who were instrumental in making the evening run smoothly.
Thank you to the many student volunteers who were instrumental in making the evening run smoothly.
Spirit of Huntington Director Michael Kitkis leads an art class for children while their parents are taking a variety of classes just down the hall.
Spirit of Huntington Director Michael Kitkis leads an art class for children while their parents are taking a variety of classes just down the hall.
Jungle Bob had all the children excited to see the many ‘creatures’ he brought with him. Children were able to get up-close and touch a Tarantula, Giant African Frog, and Bull Snake.
Jungle Bob had all the children excited to see the many ‘creatures’ he brought with him. Children were able to get up-close and touch a Tarantula, Giant African Frog, and Bull Snake.
Parent University Committee member Richard Garcia, helps a family with registration.
Parent University Committee member Richard Garcia, helps a family with registration.

On Thursday, April 30, our community celebrated the fourth Annual Parent University at Walt Whitman High School.  This special program brought together several hundred members of our community for an evening of seminars, discussions and educational presentations.  Approximately 85 different speakers and vendors volunteered their time-sharing advice on topics ranging from adolescent drug abuse to bullying and college preparation. 

Our guests were also able to enjoy a wonderful dinner, while availing themselves of the childcare and Spanish-language translation of many seminars.  The PARENT UNIVERSITY program serves as a shining example of the cooperative spirit and collective energies that characterize our South Huntington Community.  There is simply no question that we stand united in our quest to raise successful, well-adjusted children in our great school district.  Special thanks to all of the sponsors, speakers and vendors whose generosity made this evening possible.

“Parent University is always one of my favorite events because it allows us to showcase the teamwork behind our talented Student Services Department,” said Deputy Superintendent Jacci Harris.  “The closeness of our community, and ability to learn from each other, is really a tribute to the sense of family demonstrated throughout our school district.”

Photo Gallery

Thank you to Mr. David Perkins for all of his work in coordinating this evening.  Thank you, as well, to the Parent University Committee members: Bidania Criscuolo, Stacey Fletcher, Alexandria Haynes, Dr. Anne Lecci, Dr. Jared Bloom, Roberto Toledo, Carol Rubin, Cecilia Blanco, Christie Honaski, Debbie Rimler, Denise Curran, Dominic Distasio, Heather Reilly, Irem Franco, Jacqueline Oltedal, Jane Samuels, Jennifer Provda, Johanna Torres, Karina Cabrera, Kristine Duffy, Lisa Rappa, Marilyn Mandaro, Dr. Martin Zizi, Patricia Urgiles, Pwendy Fenelus, Raymond Holgado, Richard Garcia, Roberto Toledo, Ruth Love, Shaka Williams, Steve Bartholomew, Susie Blackman, Susan Schiavone, Roberto Torres, Tracy Spink, Ventura Trent, and Yuan Pang.  

We are also very grateful to our presenters for their efforts in sharing crucial information for our parents and community. These presenters must be commended for volunteering their time and expertise with us:   Tom Ehlers, Robert Dwyer, Dr. Anne Lecci, Janine D’Elia, Patricia Wilkinson, Leah Lugoviña, Dr. Martin Zizi, Tracy Murphy, Kristen Steele, Kristen Savino, Dr. Lou Corrado, Robert Callahan, Dr. Jean Bacon, Rebecca Medina, Karen Trzaska, Jessica Gaitan, Christopher Clines, Laura Van Tassell, Susana Lopez, Elaine Sefcik, Dr. Jim Wright, Anthony DeGuzman, Edward Nitkewicz, Alyssa Slansky, Denise Elmore, Jennifer O’Dougherty, Annie Guthrie, Sgt. First Class Joshua Mahoney, Johanna Torres, Andrea Lopez, Nicole O’Shea, Alfredo Rosario, Daisy Torres, Thomas Keogh, Dr. David Curtis, Dr. Tracy Hudson, Veronica Jennings, John Russo, Detective Graziano, Susan Schiavone, Maria Rodriguez, Ever Martinez, Staff Sgt. Mervin Leonor, Juan Garcia, and Osman Canales.

A special thanks to our generous sponsors: Affinity Health Plan, Astoria Federal Savings Bank, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Brooklyn Pizza, Coca-Cola, Colonial Coffee, CHL Mortgage (a Division of Freedom Mortgage), Dunkin’ Donuts (795 East Jericho Turnpike), FIT 4 Long Island (Kids and Teens), Florian Food Service Inc., Glaceau Inc., Habberstad MINI, Jungle Bob’s Reptile World, La Nonna’s Pizza, Lisa R. Brieff, Magic Beyond Imagination, Mario’s Pizza, Monaco’s Pizza, NAACP Huntington Branch, Panera Bread, Progressive Dentistry, St. John’s Episcopal Church/Cold Spring Harbor, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington Teachers’ Association, The Spirit of Huntington Art Center, Tariq Auto Services Inc., Tri CYA, Umberto’s Restaurant, YogaFlex, and Zaro’s Café.

Thanks to our vendors:  100 Black Men of Long Island, AFY-EAC, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Boy Scouts of America, The Children’s Sangha, Dolan Family Health Center, Drug Free Long Island, FIT 4 Long Island, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, Horsability, Huntington Hospital, North Shore LIJ, Huntington Sanctuary, Tri CYA, The Life Center, Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Independence, Long Island Jobs for Justice, Long Island Parenting Institute-EAC, NAMI of Suffolk County, NAACP of Huntington, NCNW (National Council of Negro Women), Pederson Krag-Early Recognition Program, Pederson Krag-The Prevention Unit/Addictive Recovery Program, Pride for Youth, Retreat Inc., Sepa Mujer, South Huntington Public Library, Stat Script Specialty Pharmacy, Town of Huntington Human Resources Department, VIBS, and the YMCA.

The custodial staff at Walt Whitman High School is top notch. Carlo Giordano and his team made sure that every aspect of the evening was executed flawlessly. A special thanks to the Whitman Lamplighters and Lou Mangieri and the Tech Department for ensuring our presenters had what was needed to share important information with our parents. All in all, it was another proud evening for our school community.