Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00
The horror that struck Newtown, CT on Friday, Dec. 14 sent a wave of terror across the country after a 20-year-old man gunned down 20 elementary school students and seven teachers. Since then, local school officials have faced questions about safety and security.
Whether it was a coincidence or a sign of safe planning, the Mineola School District held safety and lockdown drills at two buildings just before shooting, District Superintendent Michael Nagler told the Mineola American on Monday, Dec. 17. Drills were held at Mineola High School and the Hampton Street School.
“We do lockdown drills in conjunction with Nassau County Police,” he said in a phone interview.
District officials assured that administration would review all its safety policies and modify them if needed. Nagler expects Thursday’s [Dec. 20] school board meeting to detail those initiatives.
“It is unimaginable to me that children are the target of such violence,” said Nagler, a father of two school-age children. “We try as parents and as educators to shield kids of the harsh realities of an adult world. It rocks you emotionally.”
Mineola guidance counselors will be visiting elementary schools throughout the week. One thing that Nagler said is key for younger kids is routine.
“Younger kids like routine,” he said. “When you deviate from them, they know something is up. We try to keep it as normal and as usual as possible as they go through their day.”
Parent Sheri Wilgosz wanted to break her routine when the news came over the radio while she was driving Friday morning. Her first reaction was to go get her 7-year-old daughter, but rethought her next move.
“I didn’t want to scare her,” she said. “She was in good hands. My initial reaction was to drive and get her out of there. Not that I thought that anything would happen to her. I talked myself down because I didn’t want to upset her.”
Mineola’s Ann Marie Egan held her breath when she first learned of the shooting. Her niece is a guidance counselor for a middle school 30 minutes from Sandy Hook.
“My niece works with some people from that neighborhood,” she said. “She said she knows people from that school and they’ll be getting together to help out. They’re all heartbroken.”
Mineola parent and nursery school teacher Maria Luca said working with children close to the age of the victims jarred her psyche when the news came in. She stated further that her hopes and prayers are with the families.
“You think of your children,” she said. “That was my first instinct. When my children were students at Jackson [Avenue School] I would never even consider this happening.”
Saturday, 22 November 2014 00:00
Winthrop University Hospital employee Jeffrey Brenner, a hyperbaric technician with the Life Support Technologies group in Mineola, recently received the American Heart Association’s prestigious Louis J. Acampora Heart Saver Award at a dinner at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The award is named for a Long Island teenager who succumbed to a sporting injury that is understood to have been preventable if a cardiac medical device had been immediately on-scene and applied.
“I hope that I have made a real difference in my town and the world around me to help prevent death and improve the quality of people’s lives” said Brenner.
Friday, 21 November 2014 00:00
The Wheatley School recently hosted an Item Writing Workshop for more than 100 language teachers representing districts across New York State. The workshop was sponsored by the Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors (FLACS), the professional organization that has assumed responsibility for the creation and administration of the FLACS
Checkpoint A and B Exams (formerly the NYS Second Language Proficiency and Regents Exams).
Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00
After consecutive seasons of finishing runner-up in the men’s golf Player of the Year for the Skyline Conference, Christian Bleck of St. Joseph’s took home first place in a rather unlikely turn of events.
After a herniated disc caused the Chaminade High School alum to miss every event after the first week of the season until the conference tournament, Bleck returned—without even having the luxury of practicing a full 18 holes—and competed with the best players the conference has to offer.
Thursday, 06 November 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustang boys cross-country team won the division 4A championship recently at Bethpage State Park. This is the first championship for the program since 1974, ending a 40-year championship drought.
Mineola defeated Seaford, who also entered the undefeated in division competition, 38-20. Overcoming rain and high winds throughout the race, many Mustangs ran personal records for the 5K in route to the victory.