As part of the Pride in Port tradition, the committee selects an individual(s) or group as the parade's grand marshals. This year PIP 18 honored three highly thought of educators from Schreiber who have contributed to Port Washington not only as fine teachers and administrators, but also played important roles in securing the continued success of the annual Pride in Port celebration over many years. Unfortunately for the community, they also all retired this year.
Those who joined the impressive list of grand marshals this year are Schreiber Assistant Principals Rita Albert and Carmine Matina and Schreiber Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Rose Bonanno.
Following are brief biographies of the three of them and their feelings about Port Washington.
Dr. Albert's career began in 1973 as a social studies teacher at Commack High School North. Rita earned her doctorate at NYU in 1992 and spent the last 18 years of her career at Schreiber. She was the assistant principal for the classes of '91, '95, '99, '03 and, most recently, the class of '07. After a few surgical setbacks, she is hoping to finally enjoy her retirement and have more time for traveling, golf, theater, and reading.
Commenting on Port, she said, "I loved my 18 years at Schreiber. The staff, students, and parents were all wonderful and I have many happy memories. Thank you for the honor of being chosen as one of the grand marshals for Pride in Port and good luck to the football team-Go Port!"
Rose is a committed professional with degrees from Queens College, Lehman College and Teachers' College, Columbia University. She taught physical education in New York City and Northern Westchester before entering administration. Rose spent 12 years as the Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics in Bay Shore prior to coming to Port Washington in 1998. During her eight year tenure in Port, Rose's role expanded from supervising the district's athletic programs to supervising the district's physical education and health teachers, and the safe and drug free schools grant. She has managed these enormous responsibilities with amazing finesse, grace and ability. Rose has maintained Port's excellent reputation in athletics with her integrity and high expectations for students, staff and coaches. The opportunity to work with the physical and health education staff to enhance wellness was a challenge and will continue to be a priority for her even after retirement.
Rose has been married to her husband, Monty, for 20 years, and has two sons, ages 19 and 16. She has one sister. Although her parents have passed away, they were always supportive and proud of their highly educated daughter.
When asked to comment on her experience in Port, Ms. Bonanno wrote the following:
"When first visiting Port the beauty of the buildings on Campus Drive impressed me and then the people I met reached out to me. Over the years the dedication of the staff and the community members committed to making Port Washington a great place to go to school and to live, made work exciting and fun. There was always someone to help or who had an idea to make things better. The strength of the staff and the many community groups will certainly help to meet the challenges all school districts face today"
Carmine Matina began his career in Port Washington as an Assistant Principal at Sousa Junior High School in 1984. He arrived at Schreiber with the first ninth grade class as the assistant principal in 1985. Through the years he worked closely with many students, and helped many graduate and succeed. Mr. Matina has been associated with many activities in Port Washington. He was in charge of technology for the district during its growing period. During the growth of technology he wrote several grants and received funding for the technology program. He was responsible for bringing in the Internet and setting up Port Net and the first class email for the district. Mr. Matina was regarded as "the scheduling expert", and helped shape the new Schreiber schedule. He became closely associated with the Schreiber academic teams as its advisor and won several New York State Championships with the Academic Decathlon Team. Mr. Matina was one of the founders of Pride in Port and served on the committee since its inception.
When asked to explain his Pride in Port, Mr. Matina said that his family dubbed him Mr. Port Washington because of all the time he spent there, and because of all the Port shirts he wore. To him this was a badge of honor. Mr. Matina aptly put it in his retirement speech, "For me Port is really unique, the students, staff, parents and community are truly wonderful and I will miss them."
And Port will miss the three of them.