New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $137 billion spending plan will increase education aid by $807 million for the 2014-2015 school year, but school officials say it will still put them up against the wall.
“State aid represents very little of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich (OBEN) Central School District’s revenue,” says Superintendent Dr. Laura Seinfeld. “However, in light of the tax levy limit and the low CPI, any and all state aid is helpful. “
The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum is making significant strides towards its goals of restoring the historic Oyster Bay train station and Locomotive 35. The museum has been awarded three grants to do the restorations, a project intended to preserve a large piece of history for the area.
Development Director Bill Bell said, “The contribution the museum will make to the cultural and historic fabric of Oyster Bay hamlet is astronomical. It is truly unique in the region, combining history, technology and political history. What the Long Island Rail Road meant to Oyster Bay, and Long Island, is an incredible history, and it’s important that it be told.”
With our American obsession with all things English, e.g. Masterpiece Theatre, Downtown Abbey, Mystery!, hearing Victoria Crosby talk is “a visit to the home country.” She recently came to share information about the Daughters of the British Empire (DBE) and read from her book of poems dedicated to the group and their work: Poetic Vic, Britcentric, at the Oyster Bay Historical Society’s Koenig Center.
The DBE, a not-for-profit group, supports homes for the English aged in four states where there is a local chapter. They also keep those related to Britain up to date on the world of the Windsors. They each also support their local charities.
Katharine Gahagan from Bayville is one of the chosen few fashion students at Pratt Institute lucky enough to show her design talent in an exhibition taking place this week. The exhibition, “Organic Matter: Woven Artwear by Pratt Fashion,” is dedicated to the unexpected possibilities of knitwear design by Pratt students at Ralph Pucci International’s Gallery Nine in Manhattan.
Fashion students at Pratt Institute were challenged to re-think the form, function, and design of knitwear as fine art for this innovative exhibition, which is free and open to the public.“My class was sitting and watching him; I actually saw Ralph Pucci stop and look at my piece and take a picture. It was very exciting,” says Gahagan, who is starting the spring semester of her sophomore year at Pratt.
If Brian Kilmeade could be cloned and sent to all the high schools in this country, our love of America would grow by leaps and bounds; and students would get in line to take history classes. Speaking on Sunday, Jan. 19 at the Seawanhaka Yacht Club, Kilmeade shared tales of George Washington and his Long Island Spy Ring from his book George Washington’s Secret Six. Kilmeade's telling held the excitement of a Super Bowl finish—with Robert Townsend crossing the 30-yard line and heading for the end zone. (Kilmeade's first two books were sports oriented.)
The author is co-host of Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends and also hosts Kilmeade and Friends on Fox News Radio. This, his third book, hit number three on the NY Times Bestseller list and is Penguin’s leading book for the year.
History is made to be told, and black history in Oyster Bay had its turn as a panel of guests with ties to the Civil War spoke at the Koenig Center. The evening began with a commemoration at Pine Hollow Cemetery and continued with a pop-up Civil War exhibit and panel discussion.
Panel members included Elizabeth Roosevelt, whose grandfather, James Roosevelt, helped found the first black regiment in New York; Frank Carl of Maryland, a descendant of Civil War veteran David Carll; Brian Rapalyea, a descendant of Civil War veteran Simon Rapalyea; Ludger K. Ballon, USCT re-enactor; and Judith Burgess, Ph.D., who is researching black residents of Long Island who served in the United States Colored Troop and had connections with Oyster Bay. Elliot “Butch” Garrison, chair of the Oyster Bay Historical Society (OBHS) Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, rounded out the group.
Finding the necessary resources to help your kid succeed can be difficult, especially when that child has special needs.
Nancy Waring Weiss, MS CCC/SLP of Social Fitness Services in Oyster Bay, will join more than 50 elite special needs industry leaders to provide, under one roof, vital tools, information and advice for Long Island families who have children with autism, other developmental disabilities and/or learning disabilities at Long Island’s first ever free IBO/Mosaic Interactive Special Needs Resource Fair on Saturday, Feb. 1. Sharing her expertise in assessment and treatment of children and adults with social communication challenges as well as speech and language disorders, Weiss will be readily available throughout the event, taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Mosaic School for Autism, located at 1309 Wantagh Avenue in Wantagh, to offer guidance for special needs families in attendance while addressing their concerns and questions.
This past Monday was the first school board meeting of the new year for the Oyster Bay School District and it was back to business as Assistant Superintendent for Finance & Operations Christopher Van Cott outlined the district's facilities update.
“It is a three part plan,” said Van Cott. “We’re focusing on current project status, potential 2014-15 capital reserve items and long-term capital needs.”
Debra Kienke, who was the director of special services in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District for 13 years, has left Oyster Bay to assume a position in Oceanside, which is closer to home for her. During her tenure in Oyster Bay, she was instrumental in creating many education programs and initiatives that have helped to make the district’s special education program one of the most respected in Nassau County. Her overall philosophy for “keeping our kids in our community” has created programs that not only address students’ individual educational needs, but also includes community based job opportunities for students aging out of high school and beyond.
Kienke noted that “the OB-EN school community has been unbelievably supportive of our students over the years. The relationships that have developed between mainstream peers and our students reflect on the families and character of this district. The thriving after-school peer mentoring programs at Vernon and the high school are a testament to that. These programs offer opportunities for all students to come together, have fun and enjoy each other’s unique gifts.”
As Governor Chris Christie fights the fallout from his G.W. Bridgegate, Oyster Bay continues to learn about its connection to George Washington. That means learning more about Washington’s Culper Spy Ring, including that AMC Network has a new 10-part miniseries called Turn, about the Culper Spy Ring. The air date has not yet been determined, but they think it will be in the spring.
Raynham Hall Museum was the home of Robert Townsend Culper, Jr., the reason for their new Spymaster Lecture Series.
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