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Commack Public School's Board of Education Magazine. November 2009



    November 2009Published by the Commack Board of Education


    GIRLS VARSITY GYMNASTICSFor Sports News & Photos:

    #1 in League Play


    Superintendent Announces Retirement Plans Article on Page 3

  • 2 T h e C o m m a c k C o u r i e r

    Rocco and Lisa have been selected by the Physical Education Depart-ment as Commack High Schools recipients of the New York State Suffolk Zone Physical Education Award. This award is given annually to those student athletes who have demon-strated superior leadership and academic qualities in physical education, and who are involved in extra curricular activities. Each Suffolk County high school selects two representatives who will be honored at a special awards dinner on Decem-ber 2, 2009, at the East Wind in Wading River.

    T w o o f t h e B e s t

    On hand to congratulate and be congratulated are (l to r): winner Lisa, Director of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Jeremy Thode, PE teacher David Viegas, Commack High School Principal Russell Stewart, and Rocco.


    The Commack School DistrictSeeks qualifi ed applicants for Professional Nurses (Per Diem)

    Candidates must have a valid New York State Registered Professional Nurses License.

    SUBSTITUTE ACCOUNT CLERKSBookkeeping and/or accounting experience required.

    All applicants should send a letter of intent, resume and supportive data to:

    Sheryl L. HaimovichAsst Supt. For PersonnelCommack Public Schools

    PO Box 150, Commack, NY 11725


  • T h e C o m m a c k C o u r i e r 3

    At the November 19 Board of Education meeting, Commack Superintendent Dr. James Feltman announced his plans to retire as of July 1, 2010. The Board offi cially accepted the Superintendents let-ter of resigna-tion, and Board President Mary-Jo Masciello praised Dr. Felt-man for his 24 years of service and leadership. His hon-esty, work ethic, and integrity have been rec-ognized by all, both within and outside the dis-trict. Under his leadership, stu-dent achieve-ment has moved to even higher levels and the Com-mack community has passed a budget each year. His efforts to educate and engage the communi-ty in all aspects of the educational and business process has brought to the public a level of transparency that far surpasses those of other times and other districts, Mrs. Ma-sciello stated. His leadership in imposing a salary freeze upon him-self, and structuring his retirement plans to benefi t the District despite negative impact on his own pen-sion, deserve the praise and appre-ciation of the Board of Education. Dr. Feltman joined the admin-istrative team in 1986, heading all business operations. His foresight and knowledge of technological innovations and trends resulted in advancements to the Districts communication infrastructure that continue to promote both teach-

    ing and learning in this information intensive society. His logical ap-proach to immersing both staff and students in learning and using new technology has been a major con-tributing factor to the success that

    the Commack School District en-joys. When Dr. Feltman became Superintendent in 2006, his focus on educating our students to be the best you can be became his passion. Through his hands-on style of visiting and speaking with every student in the high school each year, he shared his message of setting personal goals and striv-ing for success. Collaborating with administrators and teachers at all levels, emphasis on educating the whole child was ingrained into the curriculum. Dr. Feltmans objective of leading the students to be life-long learners through academics, character education, and social and emotional learning is on track in every classroom throughout the District, from kindergarten through high school. Perhaps an excerpt from Dr.

    Feltmans letter to the Board of Ed-ucation says it best. In my 24-year tenure in Commack, I have much to be thankful for, not least of which is a Board of Education that always places the welfare of the children

    of Commack fi rst in all of the decisions they make. I have been blessed with a staff ...of d e d i c a t e d and talented profess ion-als who give 100% all of the time. The C o m m a c k c o m m u n i t y has been most sup-portive, and I am proud

    that they have continually and un-waveringly supported the Boards educational plan. While the resignation was reluctantly accepted with mixed emotions by the Board of Educa-tion, Mrs. Masciello said that, The Board looks forward to working with Dr. Feltman to achieve his ambitious goals for the balance of the school year. Preliminary plans of the Board of Education include a Request for Proposals for a Su-perintendent Search Consultant, who will participate in the process of determining the most qualifi ed individual to continue the commit-ment of the Commack community to excellence in education. All new information regarding the Board of Educations search for our next Superintendent will be posted on the Commack Web site when available.

    t th N b 19 B d f i d l i i thi i f ti F lt l tt t th B d f Ed


    President MaryJo Masciello reads Dr. Feltmans letter to the Board and the community at the November Board of Education meeting.

  • 4 T h e C o m m a c k C o u r i e r

    You cant turn on the television at any time of the day or night without seeing a commercial adver-tising one prescription drug or an-other. Do you cringe when certain ads come on when there are chil-dren in the room? Created by phar-maceutical companies, these ads make it look like all physical and emotional problems can quickly and safely be overcome by simply using their product. The result is that many medicine cabinets are crammed with new and old medica-tions like never before. This growth in prescription drugs has created a new and far scarier side effect. To many young-sters, the medicine cabinet is the new drug of choice. In addition to its easy availability, children over-whelmingly believe that because these drugs are legal, they are also safe. Since these drugs are so readily available, and many teens believe they are a safe way to get high, teens that wouldnt otherwise touch illicit drugs are more likely to abuse prescription drugs. In todays youth subculture, teens abuse prescription drugs more than almost all other drugs combined. One in fi ve teens has already tried prescription drugs to get high. Every day 2,500 kids age 12 to 17 try a painkiller for the fi rst time. Twenty-nine percent of teens believe painkillers are not addictive. These beliefs and behaviors cuts across geographic, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic boundaries. It is now a massive problem that re-quires increased awareness and education. One simple answer is to en-courage parents to lock their pre-scription drugs in a safe foolproof container. Just as responsible gun owners lock weapons to keep them out of the hands of children, respon-sible parents are encouraged to lock their medications to keep them out of the hands of not just teens,

    but young children that often think these colorful tablets are candy. To that end, Commack SEPTA, is promoting a custom made elec-tronic lock box that fi ts into most medicine cabinets. Talking to kids

    about drugs is necessary, but reliev-ing them of the temptations in the medicine cabinet is necessary, too. Details about this important product can be found on our Web site. This year, Commack received additional help in its efforts to fi ght drug addition from the White House Offi ce of National Drug Control. They direct the Drug Free Commu-

    nities Support Program in partner-ship with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Adminis-tration. The Commack Coalition of Caring was awarded the maximum grant of $125,000 per year for a fi ve

    year period. This grant funding is vital in helping the Commack community to battle the devastating effects of drugs and help our young people to develop positive alternatives to substance use, said Dr. John Kelly, Director for the Commack Coalition of Caring and longtime CHS school psychologist.

    P r e s c r i p t i o n M e d i c a t i o n P r e s c r i p t i o n M e d i c a t i o n S a f e D r o p O f f P r o g r a m S a f e D r o p O f f P r o g r a m


    Do you ever wonder what to do with your unused prescription and expired over-the-counter medication? Did you know that more children abuse medication taken from their own medicine cabinets than buying them from a street dealer?Did you know that fl ushing these medications is a danger to our groundwater and soil?

    The Commack Coalition of Caring has a simple solution to disposal of your unused or expired medication; get rid of it in a safe way through our program with local pharmacies. Just take your unused or expired over the counter drugs and prescription medications to one of the pharmacies listed below, who have safe drop off disposal boxes.

    The pharmacies cannot accept needles or controlled substances (narcot-ics). There are no specifi c days or hours. The only request is that the drugs be dropped off during pharmacy hours.

    The following pharmacies have agreed to participate in the Safe Drop Off program:

    Walgreens 555 Larkfi eld Road, East Npt., NY 266-5093 5001 E. Jericho Tpke. Commack, NY 858-0408 820 Ft. Salonga Road, Northport, NY 261-1057CVS 341 Commack Rd., Commack, NY 462-9077 2000 Jericho Tpke. East Npt., NY 462-7366 977 Jericho Tpke. Smithtown, NY 265-7143 520 Larkfi eld Rd., East Npt., NY 368-4433

    If you have a