Disabled Veteran Honored
Disabled Veteran of Huntington was honored by town officials and Veterans Rock for sacrifices made to his country while serving in Afghanistan at a ceremony held at Besito Restaurant in Huntington on March 30.
Veterans Rock, a local non-for-profit organization founded by John Tunney, supports disabled U.S. Veterans and their families living on and returning to Long Island. Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and Phil Caporusso of VeteransRock.com were on hand to congratulate Byler, a graduate of Huntington High School, as he was presented with a charitable contribution from John Tunney on behalf of Veterans Rock.
“The sacrifices James Byler has made in defense of our nation are a reminder that freedom is precious... and without those to defend our principles we would lose the very heart of what makes this country great,” said Tunney.
Teen Poets Featured on HART Buses
The Town Board will recognize teen poets from the community recently selected for participation in the Town’s Public Art Initiative at a ceremony held at the Walt Whitman Birthplace on April 23 at 7 p.m.
Winning teen poets will receive certificates in an award ceremony with members of the Town Board. Immediately following conclusion of the award ceremony there will be a poetry reading led by adult poet mentor Michael Cirelli at which each of the teen poets selected for the program will read their winning poems. After the reading there will be a brief reception honoring the teen poets. The award ceremony, reading, and reception are free and open to the public.
Michael Cirelli's newest collection, Everyone Loves The Situation (Penmanship Books, 2011), winner of the 2011 Silver Medal for poetry from the Independent Press Awards, deconstructs MTV's hit reality show, Jersey Shore, flipping the cultural zeitgeist on its (gelled and sprayed) head. He is also the author of Vacations on the Black Star Line (Hanging Loose Press, 2010), which was named in About.com's Poetry Picks "Best Books of 2010," and Lobster with Ol' Dirty Bastard (Hanging Loose Press, 2008), which was a NY Times bestseller from an independent press and was featured in the "Debut Poets" issue of Poets & Writers Magazine. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Hanging Loose, Texas Review, World Literature Today and King Magazine, among others. He is the Executive Director of one of the nation's largest youth literary arts organization, Urban Word NYC, and has authored two poetry curricula, Poetry Jam (Recorded Books, 2010) and Hip-Hop Poetry & the Classics (Milk Mug, 2004). He teaches courses on Hip Hop & the Teaching of English at New York University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Bank Street College of Education. He has also appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and Brave New Voices.
Poetry for the HART is a Huntington Public Art Initiative developed by the Town’s Public Art Advisory Committee in conjunction with Teenspeak, Co-Lead Agency, who suggested the project to the Town. Teens in the community from ages 14-18 were invited last fall to submit poems for consideration in the program.
This spring a selection panel comprised of Huntington poets Bruce Johnson and Mark Elber, as well as Huntingon Public Art Advisory Committee member Deborah Robbins (Huntington Station), reviewed the 148 different submissions from 115 different teen poets and narrowed the choices to the 13 winning poems.
Additional partners in this project included Heckscher Museum of Art; Huntington Arts Council; The Long Islander, which has pledged to publish the winning poems; REACH CYA; Town of Huntington Youth Bureau; Tri-Community Youth Agency; the award reception host – Walt Whitman Birthplace Association; and Youth Directions & Alternatives CYA, as well as numerous area teachers who actively encouraged their students’ participation. Subsequent to the ceremonies, colorful placards, each bearing one of the winning youth poems, will be placed in the interior advertising spaces on buses throughout the HART system.
10 Honored by Half Hollow Hills PTA, Town
Councilwoman Susan A. Berland joined Suffolk County Legislator Steven H. Stern at the annual Half Hollow Hills P.T.A. Founders’ Day Dinner on Thursday, March 23 to present official proclamations from the Town of Huntington to ten individuals who were recognized for their dedication to the district. The evening’s honorees were Nicole Baggio, Sarah Baptiste, Jamie Diodato, Jennifer Ievolo, Maria Lennon, Geri Sundermier, Cynthia Yantz-Cullen, Nazanene Yaquibe, Salvatore Randazzo and Joshua Shinbrot.
Eight teachers from the Half Hollow Hills Central School District have earned National Board Certification, an honor that is considered the gold standard of teaching. National Board Certification is an advanced teaching designation that complements a state’s teacher license credentials. The teachers honored for earning National Board Certification were:
- Nicole Baggio, Ostego Elementary
- Sarah Baptiste, Ostego Elementary
- Jamie Diodato, High School East
- Jennifer Ievolo, High School West
- Maria Lennon, Candlewood Middle
- Geri Sundermier, Candlewood Middle
- Cynthia Yantz-Cullen, High School East
- Nazanene Yaqubie, Sunquam Elementary
Salvatore Randazzo joined the Half Hollow Hills School District nine years ago in 2003 and is the recipient of the New York State PTA Distinguished Service Award. Sal is a reliable and dedicated leader who is adored by staff and students alike for his zeal and enthusiasm in fine arts education. Sal provides rewarding and enlightening experiences for his students and his leadership has fostered a remarkable reputation for Half Hollow Hills throughout Suffolk County.
Joshua Shinbrot has been an active member of the Half Hollow Hills High School East student body for the past four years and is the recipient of the New York State PTA Honorary Life Membership Award. Joshua has served as the Sophomore Class President, Junior Class President, Student Government Parliamentarian and Student Government Chairperson. Joshua is currently leading an effort to have a traffic light installed on a major road adjacent to Half Hollow Hills High School East.
April is Cat Adoption Month
The Grateful Paw Cat Adoption Shelter in East Northport, a LAP shelter, has been highlighted for Cat Adoption Month this April. The shelter is located at 104 Deposit Road. More info can be found at www.laphuntington.org.