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Letter: Disappointed Over School Closing

It takes a village to raise a child. The families of OBEN had the great fortune to have Wesley School, under the direction of Carolyn Wilson, in the neighborhood for 35 years. The teachers, staff and parent volunteers, mostly all communality members, provided a host of needs to the neighborhood’s youngest members.

The students received a strong, comprehensive and varied education. Core fundamentals were taught and applied to 2-, 3- and 4 -year-olds. These youngsters were kindergarten ready and had the necessary skills, after attending Wesley, to tackle the rigors of New York State’s Common Core demands. I know because I am a public educator in a neighboring district. Additionally, I had a child graduate from the Wesley program and a 4-year-old enrolled.

Community organizers and members such as the firehouse, doctors, and dentists, came to the school during a specified theme week to explain their jobs, responsibilities and allowed students to have hands-on-experiences with equipment, meeting community members, and learning about healthy lifestyles. Field trips were planned and organized according to the curriculum to reinforce topics taught in the classroom. Students were able to make sense about the world around them from the various modalities of teaching.

Ms. Isabel, the outstanding and talented music teacher, supported and supplemented the curriculum with music education. The students received reinforcement of basic, core fundamental skills through sound and movement.

Under her tutelage and direction, and the organization and planning of the teachers, the Wesley students had their first experience of public performance. The holiday shows gathered generations and neighborhood friends. Doting parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles communed to watch and listen to a fantastic holiday spectacle of merriment and joy, exactly what the holidays should be about.

The music education Wesley School provided spawned countless benefits. The students’ language skills flourished exponentially, thus acquiring reading, writing and speaking skills. Rhythm and pattern thinking emerged, benefiting mathematical thinking. An appreciation for music started, helping create a well-rounded youngster.

I am extremely disappointed to learn about the business decision of agreeing to sell part of the church’s steeple to a cell phone company. As a community member for over 20 years, this has hit a raw nerve with me and my family. The board’s decision to sell out has destroyed a nursery’s school enrollment, and crushed parents’ expectations of their children receiving a well-rounded education. Carolyn Wilson and the Wesley staff always had the best interest and intent - educating the children of OBEN.

The ramifications of the board’s decision to sell space for cells, is yet to be seen. Short term it has killed a school.  Long term it has potentially put community residents in harm’s way.

Wesley School was a gem of a school. Its presence in the community promoted family values, meaningful and lasting relationships between the teachers, students and families, and priceless memories for the student alum. OBEN lost a valuable part of its community when the school had to abruptly close its doors at the end of July. Shame on the Community Methodist Church’s board for selling space for cells and selling out on a community.

The parents and staff will continue our crusade to bring Wesley Nursery School back and convince the board that the selling of space for cells was senseless.

Cathy Rosh

News

At the Tuesday, Nov. 18, Oyster Bay-East Norwich board of education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Laura Seinfeld said that the OBEN schools are partnering with local organizations to form a Community Advisory Board to deal with issues affecting the youth of Oyster Bay-East Norwich. The Community Advisory Board was initiated by the Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay-East Norwich. The Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club, Library and houses of worship will come together with the OBEN schools in this effort.

Other News:

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Dr. Lisa Mulhall spoke about some new courses that will be offered at the high school, including an exercise science course that will carry physical education credits from Adelphi University and a college level engineering course. These courses will be offered in conjunction with the State University of Stony Brook.

This holiday season, Oyster Bay will once again be home to unique, homemade, scrumptious confections from The Chocolate Lady, in the form of a mobile chocolate boutique set up at Buckingham Variety Store on Audrey Avenue. She arrived on Sunday and plans on staying throughout the holidays, and possibly longer.

“I have been developing this concept for the last year and a half and am excited to be coming home to Oyster Bay for this year’s holiday launch,” says Lee Perrotta, aka The Chocolate Lady, who had her shop across the street from Buckingham’s for about five years before she was forced to shut her doors on Christmas Eve in 2012 due to excessive water damage at the rental space.


Sports

Long Island Lutheran High School senior Samantha Horton of Oyster Bay signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Siena College and compete on the Girls Division I Lacrosse Team in the goaltender position next year. Samantha will be receiving a full athletic scholarship. Horton is pictured with her family.

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



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
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