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Mentoring Is A Mainstay In O’Bay

Over the past decade, Oyster Bay High School has been a proud participant of the Student Athlete Leadership Program affectionately referred to as SALP. Also known as SALT (Student Athlete Leadership Team), SALP consists of more than 1,200 student athletes across Long Island from 30 different high schools. The mission for SALP’s members is simple: to serve as role models for their community’s youth by leading lives untainted by alcohol and drug use, and spearheaded by effective effort in the classroom and on the playing field.

As a participant in the SALP program, student athletes attend training sessions at Molloy College in Rockville Centre. These students represent the most driven of their class in terms of academics and athletics. Each SALP member must be a participant in at least one varsity sport, exhibit significant effort and success in the classroom as well as serve as a key leader in the community.

Over the course of three training sessions, student athletes are trained to act as facilitators between the program and fifth- and sixth-grade students in their district. In three separate visits with their middle school mentees, student athletes discuss the importance of perseverance, citizenship and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

The program serves as more than just a learning experience for the middle school students involved; it is also an opportunity for the student athletes to practice and exercise their leadership and oratory skills. For the fifth- and sixth-grade students, the program also provides them with an opportunity to glimpse at their upcoming role as members of the high school community.

By allowing the students to ask questions and communicate with the high school student athletes on a personal level, it makes for a more comfortable transition from middle to high school.

This year, the school’s SALP program is bigger than ever, consisting of 37 junior and senior student athletes. Advisor to the program and high school physical education teacher Jeff Schiereck has been with the program for the past 10 years.

“A lot of deserving kids applied this year and we had no reason not to let them all in,” said Schiereck in regard to the number of kids participating in this year’s program. “I am happy with our decision to let in as many as we did. They are all doing an outstanding job.”  

Student athletes are split into teams of three or four students and meet with the same assigned class for each of the three visits. This allows for the students to get comfortable with their mentors over a period of time. At each visit, student athletes share personal stories relating to the visit’s topic. By doing so, they are able to show the relevance of each topic to everyday life.

Vernon students love having the student athletes visit their classrooms. They get a lot out of hearing the high school students’ stories. They learn a lot about sportsmanship and about what to expect when they get to the high school.

By visiting with the students, the SALP program hopes to inspire another generation of student athlete leaders.

“I would love to be a member of SALP someday, I could teach kids how to act if they win or lose a game and then maybe they would want to do SALP one day, too,” said a sixth-grader.

With students like this and their fellow classmates enthusiastic about one day following in the footsteps of their SALP mentors, the future of the program looks bright.

News

Serving Oyster Bay and the rest of Long Island since 1990, Periwinkles is an Oyster Bay business on Audrey Avenue that assists with event planning, staging and staffing and catering a multitude of different events. Periwinkles was started by Pat Spafford, who was encouraged to take her passion and make it a career.

 

“I was raising a family and doing this part-time,” said Spafford. “One of my clients encouraged me to make it full-time. Most of my clientele was from Oyster Bay so I settled here. I have a huge affection for the people and the place. It’s great that I have been successful here for so long.” 

On Sunday, Sept. 21, the only place to be for lovers of local music is the Homestead in Oyster Bay, where a full day of live music is planned at GlenFest featuring 25 different performances. The lineup includes big names like Richie Cannata to Sea Cliff mainstays Kris Rice and Chicken Head to up-and-comers like Matt Grabowski and Lisa Vetrone.

 

GlenFest is the brainchild of Dave Losee, 53, of Glen Cove, who plays in the Crosstown Blues Band.

 

“I had this idea for a festival years ago, and when I finally nailed down a date, people are coming out of the woodwork to be a part of it,” says Losee.


Sports

Former football coach and NFL player Bill Curry recently brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and history to a wide audience of student-athletes and coaches at Hofstra University for a lesson on diversity, tolerance and respect in high school athletics.

 

Director of the NYS PHSAA Sportsmanship Committee and Manhasset High School Athletic Director Jim Amen Jr. established the summit and invited Curry as keynote speaker.

Amen Jr. and Section VIII Executive Director Nina Van Erk introduced Curry to a crowd representing more than 37 local high schools.

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.


Calendar

MSA Party - September 17

West Shore Rd. Update - September 18

Harbor Beach Cleanup - September 20


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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