Giving Honor Where It’s Due

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Many outstanding and deserving students, administrators, faculty and board members were honored at district’s final Board of Education meeting of the 2017-18 school year on June 14.

To start off the night, Superintendent of Schools Robert Banzer introduced this year’s Special Olympic Athletes, the Unified Basketball Team, and the Unified Sparkle Squad. Christina Pulaski, Director of Special Education, and Mark Danutono, Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics, each took time to commend the students and all those involved.

“We’re one of few districts on Long Island that supports this amazing cause and it was an incredibly rewarding experience this year for all involved,” said Mr. Danutono. The Unified Basketball team, led by the boys varsity basketball coach Andrew D’Eloia, consists of special needs students collaborating with general education students as one team and participate in basketball games against other schools.

At the meeting, educators Cassie Reilly, Elizabeth Sherwood, Jenny Konop and Pamela Uruburu were then recognized with Professional Achievement Awards for 2017-2018, and commended for the effort and dedication they put into education.

The district’s retirees were celebrated and praised for their years of hard work, support and guidance to the students of the district. Every name that was called was met by thunderous applause, which is a testament to the tightknit community that makes up the Northport-East Northport School District.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for serving our district well,” said Board President Andrew Rapiejko. “As you move onto this next season in life, we wish you nothing but happiness.”

In addition, eight teachers and administration members received tenure, including: David Storch, District Chairperson of Science and Technology; Erin Affa, Dickinson Avenue Elementary School; Stephanie Campbell, Ocean Avenue Elementary School; Jami Catapano, Dickinson Avenue Elementary School; Brianne Furstein, Ocean Avenue Elementary School; Kara Mueller, Fifth Avenue Elementary School; Deborah Valenti, Northport Middle School; and Adam Wessinger, Norwood Avenue Elementary School.

The ceremony concluded with Board trustee Tammie Topel receiving the New York State School Board’s Excellence award. Mrs. Topel was not only commended for her dedication to the board, but for her leadership and investment in development opportunities.

“There’s a lot of time, energy, and responsibility that goes into the position of Board trustee,” said Mr. Banzer, “so we thank you for all you’ve done for the district, and wish you all the best.”