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HS Guidance Dept. Needs...Well, Guidance

The Oyster Bay-East Norwich school district’s guidance department needs closer supervision or coordination of the different services that its four counselors and one assistant offer to studentds at Oyster Bay High School, said a consultant at a Jan. 8 board meeting.

“You have so many great things that are going on,” said Nicholas Amato, the guidance consultant for the district. But, he said, closer supervision of the services is needed.

“Nothing happens in the school that doesn’t go through guidance,” said Amato, who had served in the Mount Sinai and Half Hallow Hills schools, both as a guidance counselor and as an administrator, and for the past decade, has operated a consulting business.

Amato, who is completing his year-and-half tenure as a consultant for the district, spoke to the board’s meeting at the Oyster Bay High School library.  Among his recommendations that were implemented was adding one counselor and shifting two counselors to the middle school program. The counseling center was also made more of an instructional center with a college and career aide, he explained.

Guidance is concerned with the transition from the middle school to the high school, scheduling, the diverse educational needs of the students, as well as the social environment, Amato said. So the guidance department needs one person to oversee the various roles of the four counselors and working in consort with others.

To an extent, Amato, in his role of consultant, has been helping to provide some of the coordinating unofficially. Some of it has also fallen to Dr. Dennis O’Hara, principal of Oyster Bay High School, and assistant principals.

A supervisor could take any one of several different forms. Board members seemed open to considering the possibility but had questions. Several board members inquired about the cost and whether the district could afford another position due to budgetary constraints.

“The money is available,” said Dr. Phyllis Harrington, superintendent of schools, should the board choose to establish such a position within this year’s operating budget. For next year, additional consideration would be necessary.

“What we are lacking is a job description,” said Maryann Santos, a school board member. Harrington said that a more precise description could be presented now that the board’s interest in such a position has been established.

In addition, the board heard a presentation by Mike de’Venau, a computer technician, about a news system of correspondence between the district and board members. Under the new system, board members would no longer have as much district-related material sent by mail.

Rather de’Venau explained, board members would receive an e-mail notifying them of information for them to read in preparation for meetings, with a link to the necessary information. The new system would reduce the amount of the paper that members receive.

“You are saving trees,” said Ann Marie Longo, board president.

 

News

“Visitation is up 300 percent,” said Harriet Gerard Clark, Raynham Hall Museum director.

“Two-thirds of them come because of reading the book by Brian Kilmeade, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution, and seeing the series ‘Turn’ on A&E,” added Tom Valentine, docent, who keeps the list of visitors. Soon the series will include the story of Robert Townsend of Oyster Bay who was known as Culper, Jr. when he was a spy for George Washington.

Alex Sutherland, director of education, nailed his definition. “He was the most important spy for George Washington because he had the perfect cover. He was pretending to be a Loyalist and writing for a Loyalist newspaper and befriending British officers at his coffee shop in downtown New York while secretly collecting information.

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Sports

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.

Ice Dreams, an Olympic Ice Show starring 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Jason Brown and aspiring local skaters, is coming to Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sept. 20.

Isabella Skvarla, 13, Julia Tauter, 12, and Chiara Vlacich, 12, all of Oyster Bay, Julia Forte, 12, of Locust Valley and Riley Stein, 11, of Bayville will be skating in the world class show to celebrate the opening of the best figure skating facility Long Island has ever seen.


Calendar

Art In A Meadow

Saturday, Sept. 13

Bayville Oktoberfest

Saturday, Sept. 13 - Sunday, Sept. 14

Hurricane Preparedness

Tuesday, Sept. 16



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com