A little less than two years ago, I wrote an article on the annual America’s Best High Schools List (“Jericho #32, Syosset #142 On Newsweek’s ‘America’s Best High Schools’ List”, June 18, 2010). At the time, longtime SHS principal Dr. Jorge E. Schneider had yet to retire, and I remember being a little shocked at how blunt he was in his criticism of the list. Schneider said the list is meaningless because the metric it uses—the amount of AP tests given in an academic year divided by the overall number of students, devised by Jay Mathews of the Washington Post—is completely arbitrary.
One could dismiss Schneider’s opinion as sour grapes, since Jericho routinely beats the stuffing out of Syosset in the rankings (and that was going on even back when I was an SHS student), but Schneider is a man of conviction, and I, for one, was convinced he was speaking from the heart. He didn’t care about his district’s placement because he saw the list as a cynically motivated attempt to draw media attention to education in general, not a legitimate tool to help districts evaluate their instructional programs.
“What am I going to do with my life?”
This question is being asked all over our country as college graduations take place. The caps and gowns will soon be discarded and the job search will begin. The celebrity speakers have disappeared and their vague statements are all in the past.
In response to questions about increasing the transparency of the workings of the school district, both incumbents insisted the board has spirited, lively discussions and debates—only they have them behind the scenes, during executive session. Now, for all we know, they might. But how are we supposed to know—because they said so?
Did you realize that you have to be in perfect physical and mental health to travel on the airlines? From waiting in myriad lines at the airport to removing your belt and shoes, it can make you lose your patience and your inner vitality.
Once you get to your destination, things brighten up. Our final spot was Las Vegas, Nevada. We had been to McCarran Airport 40 years ago: then, it was a lazy little airspot in the desert with only one or two landing strips. It has now grown into a huge metropolitan complex with trains and buses taking you to your awaiting plane.
Around the neighborhood and online, there’s been a fair amount of talk that this year’s Syosset School Board election has involved a lot of name-calling, mudslinging, and other less-than-perfectly-civil behavior. Personally, I’ve seen more complaining about alleged name-calling than actual name-calling, but I can’t be everywhere: for all I know, the campaign is triggering energetic brawls behind Mario’s Pizza. I highly doubt it, but one never knows.
Traditionally, the Syosset-Jericho Tribune has not endorsed school board candidates. We still don’t, but I can understand why a front-page story on Josh Lafazan a few weeks before the election might seem like an unofficial endorsement. I wanted to take a moment to clarify our position: we did not profile Mr. Lafazan because we are supporting him over the other candidates. We did a story on him because the Syosset High School 2012 senior class president immediately throwing himself into the race for school board trustee before even seeing his diploma is newsworthy in and of itself, and our primary goal is to report on the news in our community.
Over the past decade that I have served the residents of Syosset as a Town of Oyster Bay Councilman I have seen, along with the community, the untimely passing of so many fine individuals. Unfortunately, on April 7, Jeffrey Rozran, a longtime English teacher at Syosset High School and president of the Syosset Teacher’s Association, died as a result of a battle with lung cancer.
Growing up in Syosset, I was fortunate to have many fine teachers in the Syosset School District and several deserve credit for influencing my professional and personal life. Approximately 31 years ago I was especially privileged to have Jeffrey Rozran as my English teacher. From the day I met him, he had a positive influence on my life.
To me, rock climbing always seemed exotic and dangerous—something fashion models and professional stunt doubles did to keep fit in Hollywood. Maybe if I knew I could try it out any time I wanted after a 10-minute drive, my assumptions might have been more in line with reality.
Like many film-goers I have my list of favorites. Some are hilarious (Airplane), some are gripping (Wages of Fear), some are masterpieces (Godfather) and some are timeless classics (Wizard of Oz). And, then there are those that are so haunting that I cannot seem to shake loose of them. The darkly disturbing 2009 Austrian-German film, The White Ribbon, is one of the more haunting ones.
Filmed beautifully in black and white with subtitles, The White Ribbon portrays the residents of a northern German village, dominated by a baron, sometime before World War I. Inhabitants of this village appear to be sliding down a slippery slope of moral depravity. Men in positions of power - a doctor and a clergyman, for example – routinely mistreat women and children.
The Columnist is not my life story, even though I have written a column for Anton Newspapers for the last 14 years. It is the story of Joseph Alsop, of the famed Alsop brothers Joseph and Stewart. During the ’60s they were quite influential in American politics.
To make the 8 p.m. theater opening, we left on the LIRR about 5:30 p.m. to allow time for a nice Manhattan supper before the play. What a surprise it was to see the train filled with Ranger hockey fans of all ages, all wearing blue and red shirts with the names and numbers of players on their backs. Callahan and Lundqvist were two of the popular names adorning the jerseys. These fans were boisterous and gregarious, quite hopeful of a Rangers victory at Madison Square Garden.
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