June 5, 2020
 Issue: 43   
Congratulations to Some Amazing Educators 
A message from President Perry Fuchs  
 
Good afternoon Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers. I hope this newsletter finds all of our members healthy and looking forward to some well-deserved rest as we approach summer vacation!! As with every year, this past May, we had another dedicated group of educators and PFT members who were granted tenure by the Plainedge BOE. Despite what many in society think, tenure is not a guaranteed job for life; rather, it is simply the right to due process before being disciplined or terminated from a teaching position. It is granted by the BOE upon recommendation from the Superintendent of Schools. Earning tenure as an educator in NYS is truly a rigorous process: Newly hired educators must go through one of the longest probationary periods (4 years) of any profession that grants tenure. The members featured below have gone above and beyond in their first few years here in Plainedge and have truly earned the distinction of being recognized for tenure. We wish them much luck and success as they begin the next phase of their careers. Keep up the good work!! In solidarity. 
Matthew Rich
Matt currently works as a physical education and 5th grade health teacher at John H. West and Easplain Elementary School. Prior to West and Eastplain, he was teaching 6th grade and 8th grade health in the Middle School for 4 years. Since his start in Plainedge, Matt has always coached all 3 sports seasons, including teams such as Varsity Track, Varsity Soccer, Middle School Soccer, Varsity Wrestling and 8th grade Baseball.  Before coming to Plainedge, Matt worked half of a year at Herricks High school and half of a year at Drexel Avenue Elementary in Westbury as a physical education teacher. In addition to his job during the school year, he has worked our Enrichment program's inaugural year, as well as our ESY Summer Program the last five summers. 
 
When asked if he would like to thank anyone for reaching this important career milestone, Matt responded, "I would like to thank all of the staff here at Plainedge for making this such an amazing place to work and for all of their support during my time at Plainedge. I would also like to thank the administration for always being available and supportive, as well as my past principals and collaborating teachers. Finally, I would like to thank my parents for providing me the opportunity to grow up in one of the best districts on Long Island and for instilling in me the values of hard work and important abilities such as dependability, reliability and accountability." 
 
Matt looks forward to another 25+ years in the Plainedge School District working with our amazing students and staff. 
Joe Fauci
Joe has worked at Plainedge Middle School as a special education teacher and currently teaches ICT 7th grade math and science. Throughout his first four years at Plainedge, he has also taught Life Skills, ICT algebra and Earth science, as well as resource room at each grade level (6th, 7th and 8th). Prior to coming to Plainedge, Joe taught for two years at Lindenhurst Middle School as an ICT and a Life Skills teacher.
 
When questioned about the people he would like to thank, Joe stated, "It's impossible to write down everyone I would like to thank, but I'll try! First off, I wouldn't be anywhere without the love and support of my family, especially my parents Paul and Maria, my sister and brother-in-law, Jennifer and Bryan, and my wonderful fiancée Christina. In addition, I would like to thank each and every one of my co-workers (especially my special education team!) A few co-workers that I'd like to specifically thank are Jeannine Zappia, Matt Koster, Christina Nullet, Kristina Fabian, Melissa Perez and Anthony Giovanelli. They are just a few of many who fully took me in and made me feel welcome to the Plainedge Family, while helping me every step of the way my first four years. We've formed lifelong friendships that I am very lucky to have. I'd also like to thank our awesome central administration, the PFT, my amazing building administration, and my fellow coaches and players of the sports teams that I am lucky enough to coach. Most importantly, I want to thank each and every student and player that I've had the privilege to work with."
 
Upon receiving tenure from the Plainedge BOE , Joe plans to celebrate with his family and close friends. He would like to share a huge thank you for making his first four years here literally a dream come true. Joe has often been overheard telling people that he hit the lotto when he got a job in Plainedge! 
Alexandra Schnupp
Alex has spent the last four years working as a reading teacher and literacy coach at Plainedge Middle School. Prior to coming to Plainedge, she taught high school and middle school English Language Arts for the NYCDOE.

When asked if she would like to thank anyone for his or her help in achieving tenure, Alex responded, "I would like to thank the PFT for always being there to support me. I would also like to thank the amazing teachers, administrators and staff at Plainedge Middle School for welcoming me into the Plainedge family from day one. "

After being granted tenure in Plainedge, Alex plans on celebrating her tremendous accomplishment with her family, at a distance of course!  Alex is a very proud Plainedge graduate and now excited to be a member of the community as a tenured educator as well!

Matt Cento
Matt has worked in Schwarting Elementary School since 2015, first as an ICT teaching assistant, and then a special education teacher.  He has worked with children in both fourth and fifth grade for the past four years.   Before his time at Plainedge, he worked in Connetquot as a TA for a year and a half.  When questioned about the people he would like to thank, Matt stated, "I would not be able to be where I am without the amazing support of my fellow teachers, administrators and amazing co-teachers.  A very special thank you to the PFT for their continued support and making Plainedge an amazing place to work and grow!"
 
Once things have finally settled down for the school year, Matt plans on having a nice relaxing dinner with close friends to celebrate his tenure appointment.    
Linda Ackerina
Linda teaches in Plainedge Middle School where she has been a teacher assistant for 4 years in the Life Skills Program and self-contained classroom setting. She started out her teaching career working at a private school (School for Language and Communication Development - SLCD) as a speech therapist and as a special education teacher for grades (Pre K-2).  She has also worked in the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District as a third grade inclusion teacher, and held various teaching positions in the Island Trees and Massapequa School Districts.
 
When asked about the people she would like to thank for helping her reach this point in her career, Linda replied, "Many heartfelt thanks and appreciation to my principal, Anthony DeRiso, assistant principal, Jennifer Weismann, special education director, Bridget Murphy, and special education coordinator, Christina Nullet for the wonderful opportunity to work at Plainedge and for their exceptional leadership, support and encouragement.  I am also thankful for the amazing colleagues that I have been blessed to work with: particularly, Michael Quiery, Rachelle Schnall, Karen Russo, Lisa Hogan, Lynn Mudryk and many others for sharing their knowledge, expertise and advice.  They have all helped me grow professionally. In addition, I am very thankful and excited to be a part of the devoted community of Plainedge Federation of Teachers.  Plainedge Middle School is truly a special place to work.  I look forward to continued growth and future professional opportunities for many years to come."
 
Linda plans on celebrating her tenure appointment by enjoying a celebratory dinner with her loving family and friends!

Bess DeGaray
Bess has worked at Plainedge High School for the last four years teaching Regents physics, college engineering, and animal behavior. After graduating from college, she taught physics for one year at Northport High School, and then landed in Plainedge.
 
When asked if she would like to thank anyone for his or her help in achieving tenure, Bess responded, "I'd definitely like to thank my parents for supporting me throughout the years and always encouraging my pursuit of a career in education.  I also would like to thank everybody at PHS who helped make my first few years so great, especially the science department and the admin team. In addition, I'm so glad to be a part of the PFT!"
 
As far as any celebrations are concerned, according to Bess, she has been quarantining pretty strictly out of her apartment and with her family, so she will be celebrating with them as soon as possible!

Marianne L. Goralski
Marianne is currently a 5th grade teacher at Schwarting. Prior to that, she was a 3rd grade teacher at West and spent several years as a TA, resident sub, and per diem sub in the Plainedge elementary schools. Before coming to Plainedge, she was a 6th grade teacher in Baldwin Public Schools, along with a few years teaching 4, 5, and 6th grades for the Diocese of Rockville Center. In addition to being an elementary school teacher, many are surprised to find out that Marianne is also certified in Secondary English.
 
When asked about all the people that have helped her reach this milestone in her career, Marianne replied, "I've gotten help along the way from too many people to mention, but I am grateful to all my sub friends from the early days, my West teams, mentors, and friends, and my Schwarting team and friends."
 
Marianne was very pleasantly surprised by her Schwarting 5th grade team by a fun sign on her lawn decorated with balloons to celebrate her tenure appointment. She also received so many wonderful congratulatory texts and emails from many of her colleagues in Plainedge, as well as her family, of course!
 
As far as celebrations are concerned, there are Zooms and Facetimes to be had, but the celebration Marianne looks forward to the most is when her family can be together again! Her sons live in two other states, and they haven't seen each other in several months. They are by far her number one support!

Kayla Boyle
  Over the past four years, Kayla has had the pleasure of working alongside educators in both John H. West Elementary and Plainedge Middle School, providing speech/language therapy to students exhibiting a range of communication disorders. Prior to coming to Plainedge, she had the opportunity to fulfill leave replacement positions across Nassau and Suffolk, including Wantagh UFSD, Huntington UFSD, and North Merrick UFSD.

When asked if there was any one or group of people she would like to thank for being able to achieve tenure, Kayla responded, "A special thank you to my colleagues in the special education and speech departments for their examples of wisdom, integrity and dedication to students that have undoubtedly made an impact on me. I'd also like to thank my fellow PFT members and esteemed colleagues for their special recognition of this momentous milestone"

As far as any special celebrations are concerned, Kayla plans on rewarding herself with a special trip to commemorate her accomplishment.
Maureen Brennan
If Maureen looks familiar to you, that's because she has worked in Plainedge for 34 years: For 32 years, she taught English both at the Middle School and at the High School. Before coming to Plainedge in 1984, she taught for two years at Sandy Creek Central SchooI. She retired as a distinguished classroom English teacher in 2016 and has since been honored to be a teacher assistant, working with amazingly talented teachers in the self-contained English, social studies and health classrooms, as well as working with the Spanish 1 and 2 transitional classes.

Maureen very much enjoys interacting with and supporting the students. When asked to reflect on receiving tenure for the second time in Plainedge, Maureen responded, "I thank all my colleagues, both retired and still teaching, for all their guidance and support."


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NYSUT Values
The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) represents teachers from across New York. PFT is a proud member of NYSUT as are all of our members. What does NYSUT represent?
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Home Loan Programs
Union Direct is a home loan company that works with both active and retired educational professionals. Some of the programs they provide include:
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