The Community Chest of Port Washington announced the selection of Beatrice "T" and Lee Aschenbrenner for its prestigious "Citizen of the Year" Award, the highest honor bestowed by the local charity. The Port Washington community is invited to come honor T and Lee on Thursday, June 7 at 8 p.m. at the Community Chest awards ceremony, held at the Port Washington library.
Beatrice T and Lee Aschenbrenner
"T" and Lee, residents of Port Washington for more than 60 years, have been active in the community for many years, in leading roles as educators. Lee has been an educator in the community, first as a teacher, then as a supervisor and finally as a principal. Currently, he is a volunteer tutor in several venues. Also an educator, T taught English as Second Language (ESL) in Port Washington for 37 years.
In 1946, Lee first began teaching in Port Washington at the Manhasset Bay School, a private school located on Carlton Avenue. After that, he taught sixth grade at the Sands Point School under John Daly, for whom the school was re-named in 1964. In 1958, Lee was appointed Elementary Consultant, responsible for supervision of teachers, curriculum and instruction in the school district.
Later in his career, Lee served as principal of Flower Hill School and Manorhaven School. As a principal, Lee was active in many national, state and county professional organizations. He was President of the Nassau County Elementary School Principals Association. For all of the years as a principal, no matter what school he was in, Lee knew the names, identities and personal academic histories of every single student. When Lee retired in 1990, he became an Adjunct Professor at the Post Campus of L.I.U., supervising student teachers for 15 years. During this period, he also served nine times as Interim Principal in Port Washington, Manhasset and Locust Valley.
As an ESL teacher in the Port Washington Adult Ed. Program, her concern was not only her students' language skills, but their needs in becoming citizens and productive members of the Port Washington community. She assisted them in applying for citizenship and served as their witness, when appearing before the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
According to Craig Michaels, president of the Port Washington Community Chest, the chest established the prestigious Citizen of the Year Award, more than 20 years ago to "honor the rendering of outstanding service in the field of health, education and welfare in the Port Washington community." The Aschenbrenner's many contributions to the Port Washington community exemplify the Chest's commitment to facilitate the "people of Port helping the People of Port."
In Port Washington, T and Lee have also been volunteers for many organizations. They were one of the 50 families who founded The Community Synagogue in 1952 and remain very active congregants in the many arms and committees of the synagogue, such as Sisterhood, Brotherhood, Adult Ed, Mitzvah Corps, Choir, etc. Lee was its Religious School Principal for its first 19 years.
T is a member of Sandsport Hadassah and Lee has served as board member for various organizations. He has served as a trustee of the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society and as a member of the Board of Directors of The Community Chest of Port Washington. He has been on the Adult Education Advisory Council and the Board of the Port Washington Retired Educators. At a Pride in Port Parade during the 1990s, Lee was Grand Marshal. In addition, he has been a volunteer at St. Francis Hospital for 20 years. Currently, in addition to reading to classes, participating in special programs in various roles at Guggenheim and Manorhaven Schools, Lee tutors regularly at the after-school program at the library sponsored by the Port Washington Educational Foundation and at the Homework Club at Guggenheim School.
T and Lee met while working at Macy's Book Department. After working at Macy's, Lee accepted a teaching position in Long Beach. T left Macy's to be an Economic Analyst at the Dept. of Social Security Administration's headquarters in Baltimore.
Later, Lee was later drafted into the Army in March 1941. Lee served in combat as an artillery officer in the 88th Infantry Division. At the time of his discharge in July 1946, he attained the rank of major.
While in the service, Lee and T were married on March 21, 1943 and recently celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary. They have three children: Karen, Erik and Lynn, 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The Aschenbrenners feel that Port Washington is a very special and distinct community. It has meant a great deal to them and contributed much to their lives and those of their children. Consequently, they want to continue to "give back" as best they can by maintaining their participation in ways that benefit the community and its residents.