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.
There is an old saying that the “family that plays together, stays together.” The Oyster Bay East Norwich community is very much like one big extended family. Every year the Oyster Bay High School holds a Talent and Variety Show featuring the talents of students and staff playing together. Another annual event is International Night sponsored by the foreign language department. This year, the two events are joining forces in an extravaganza of international cuisine, culture and entertainment.
The show will be held on Friday, Jan. 17 in the Oyster Bay High School Performing Arts Center (the PAC) at 8 p.m. The admission for the show is $5. However, for $7, patrons can enjoy dinner and a show. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a sampling of international foods in the high school cafeteria. The $7 ticket allows access to the food and the show to follow.
After Amy Cicio of Syosset dropped her two dogs, Reba and Ozzy, at Two By Four Dog Walking & Pet Sitting in Oyster Bay, she headed off on an overnight trip with her daughter. It wasn’t until the next day, when Cicio called the company to say she was on her way to pick the dogs up, that Cicio found out something horrible had happened.
Reba, the 6-pound Chihuahua with only four teeth that Cicio had rescued two years ago from South Carolina, was dead. She had been attacked by another dog.
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was sworn in to a second term on Jan. 2 at Bethpage High School. When a paper Bible couldn’t be located, he took the oath of office with his hand on an iPad that had the Bible on-screen. Here is his speech, abridged due to space limitations.
It sounds simple, but its effect is far reaching. The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum Board President John Specce announced that the New York State Board of Regents formally granted approval for a permanent charter to the museum.
The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum (OBRM) was incorporated under the University of the State of New York by the Board of Regents on July 26, 2006, under a provisional charter. The museum submitted an application for a permanent charter in 2012 and after a rigorous review process, including a visitation by State Education examiners, an absolute charter was approved. The review included criteria in the area of personnel, finances, facilities, collections, exhibitions and programs.
The fourth annual Christmas Concert was held last month at the Community United Methodist Church in East Norwich. The concert was a benefit for the local Youth & Family Counseling Agency, and concert-goers brought generous donations of canned goods and new children’s toys for those in need within the local community. Pastor Nelson Kalombo Ngoy gave a warm welcome to the audience, which filled the church to capacity. He also called for a moment of silence and reflection to honor Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday, Dec. 5. Linda Gier spoke about the concert beneficiary, Youth & Family Counseling Agency, located in Oyster Bay, but a great resource to surrounding communities as well.
Oyster Bay artist Barbara Ernst Prey’s iconic painting The Collection was selected by the U.S. State Department for the cover image for all invitations sent out by every U.S. Embassy and U.S. Ambassador worldwide for their Independence Day celebrations at the Embassies.
Prey, recognized as one of the most significant American artists, is known to the U.S. State Department through her participation in the ART in Embassies program, which exhibited her paintings in Paris, Madrid, Oslo, Prague and through her lectures worldwide about American art. This holiday season Prey will donate a portion of the proceeds of the sale from The Collection print to support Habitat for Humanity.
Giving dolls, toys and trucks to the annual Toy Drive of the Inter-religious & Human Needs Council (IHNC) of Oyster Bay was very successful again this year, thanks to Carol and Randy Daub of Oyster Bay. It is an extension of the Holiday Sharing Program.
Carol Daub said, “It’s the highlight of my year. Randy and I sit down at the dining table the day after Thanksgiving to work on the Toy Drive. Especially this year, when there is such a short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can’t wait.
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