Written by Arthur Kaminsky, Manhasset@antonnews.com Thursday, 08 August 2013 00:00
Teaching eight classes a day is hard work, but for Sean Quinn it was a labor of love. “Not one morning did I ever get out of bed, put my feet on the floor and not want to go to work,” he says.
Quinn, who for the past 28 years taught music in Manhasset schools, led the students in the elementary school orchestra and fourth-grade string ensembles, and created a variety of other musical groups for the school district, at both Munsey Elementary and Shelter Rock Road.
From 1973 thru 1985, Quinn held a series of teaching positions at private schools in Queens and Nassau that provided him with “terrific qualifications” when it came to applying for a position with the Manhasset School District. “He was the best candidate by far,” says colleague Eileen Murphy, “combining excellent conservatory training with 12 years of teaching experience and the perfect personality for relating to elementary students.”
Murphy, who taught the middle and high school classes to which Quinn’s pupils “graduated,” noted he was a world class fiddler, elected to the Irish Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Quinn has won an array of championships at the highest level of competitions in both the United States and Ireland, where his parents were born.
and The Quinns emigrated to settle in Flushing, Queens. Louis Quinn was a musical talent while his wife, Mary, was in charge of raising their seven children (two girls and five boys). Sean was second in line—following older sister Mary. He graduated from St. Francis Prep and received classical training at Mannes College of Music in Manhattan. Graduate work leading to a master’s degree was accomplished at Queens College and Long Island University.
Quinn taught a full eight-period schedule of classes, splitting time between Munsey Park and Shelter Rock Elementary Schools. He took over a modest 25 student orchestra in 1985 (half from each of the two elementary schools) and built it into a widely admired and often honored institution with 230 kids now playing strings for the enjoyment of the entire Manhasset community. For the past 18 years, he has been in charge of Great Neck’s district-wide summer music program.
Quinn also provides private lessons which allow talented young musicians to benefit from his unique teaching skills on a more personalized basis. Quinn has composed over 300 original fiddle tunes and his music is played on more than 50 CD’s.
Quinn the performer is also in great demand at local weddings, bar mitzvahs and similar celebrations, where he is often joined by one or more of his three children. Chris, a former Marine now an undercover detective with the New York City Police Department (NYPD); Tara, also a teacher; and Heather are all excellent violinists.
Somehow, the world’s busiest music teacher finds time to squeeze in as many rounds of golf as he can with great pals and fellow teachers Mark Fay and Chuck Collyer. Having essentially introduced Sean to the sport, long-time MHS golf (as well as football and basketball) coach Collyer has a special perspective regarding his friend on the links:“He’s actually a pretty fair performer when it comes to the game but – as with so many people who are high achievers – he is easily frustrated by his inability to master golf just like he has mastered all elements of the musical world.”
Joe Capodecasa, Shelter Rock’s band teacher selected Quinn to stand up for him at his wedding five years ago.
“From serving as my mentor when I first came to Manhasset 15 years ago, Sean and I hit it off perfectly – on just about every level” he says. “I don’t think I’ve ever met another individual that is able to combine as many skills as does Sean – who is a fabulous teacher, a world class performer, a tremendously loyal friend and just such an all-around great guy.”
Friday, 17 January 2014 00:00
Negotiations are currently underway between the Village of Farmingdale and members of the local CSEA labor union. After a closed door executive session meeting, on Jan. 6, village trustees met with members of the labor counsel to iron out terms of a new contract proposal, which they said will hopefully meet the fancy of union leaders.
“We have sent our proposals out there,” said Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand, “we are just waiting for the CSEA membership to approve it.”
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
A new Child Care Centerfor children ages eight weeks through Pre-K—opened at Farmingdale State College this week, which will be open to the community and the college campus.
“The College owes a great deal of thanks to everyone involved in this project,” said Farmingdale State College President Hubert Keen. “This center provides a safe and nurturing environment for the children of our students, faculty and staff.
Especially for our students, the availability of quality child care can determine whether or not they are able to complete their education.”
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
On Saturday, November 9, the MHS Girls Swim Team competed in the Nassau County Team Championships. After a strong preliminary performance on Friday, the girls had their sights set on swimming even faster on Saturday at the finals. On Friday, Manhasset qualified 14 individual swims in the top 10 and all three relays. The team also had an additional 7 swims in the consolation finals (places 11-20). On Saturday, the top 20 individuals and relays compete in each event, all finishers scoring points towards their team total.
In the championship’s opening event, the 200 yd. medley relay team from Manhasset set the tone for what turned out to be a historic day in Manhasset Girls Swimming. The relay team of Grace Kenlon, Allegra Sodi, Megan Smith and Meredith Johnson finished third and set a new school record time of 1:51.96, also qualifying for the New York State Championships.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
The Indians' regular season came to a close recently, but not before the boys locked up several more post-season honors to complete a highly successful campaign that brought an undefeated season as well as Division and Conference Championships. Manhasset headed into the post-season with high aspirations and battled it out with rival Wantagh High School for two weekends in a row—at both the Class Country Championships and the State Qualification race—coming up just short on both occasions, but achieving many milestones along the way.