(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Hicksville Recognizes 2024 Founders Day Honorees

The importance of the PTA has not gone unnoticed in Hicksville. The district recently selected and recognized 47 respective PTA members as Founders Day Honorees, acknowledging their hard work and dedication to their schools.

In their 2024 Bulletin Board Newsletter, Nicole Fragopoulos and Patricia Bulerin, PTA Council co-presidents, said, “Founders Day is a day when our community comes together each year to celebrate our honorees and renew our commitment to be a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for parents and an advocate for student education.

“As we gather on Founders Day,” the letter continues, “Let’s reflect on the profound words of Nelson Mandela, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’” Founders Day also serves as a reminder and celebration of Alice Mclellan Birney, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, and Selena Sloan Butler, who worked to better the lives of every child in education, health and safety. “These women had a simple idea: to improve the lives and future of all children. Our founders had strength, dedication, kindness and were united in these goals; the same which are found in our Hicksville community.”

This year marked the 71st celebration of Founders Day, and an evening of dining and communal enjoyment was held at the Crest Hollow Country Club. Honorees were selected from the district’s seven elementary schools, middle school, high school, and SEPTA (special education programs). “We are proud to work with this fantastic community and all the individuals who work hard to make a difference,” Fragopoulos’ and Bulerin’s letter continued. “Being co-presidents of the Hicksville Council of PTAs is a privilege, and we are proud to be a part of this great district.”

Chad Wyman was 2024’s District Honored Guest. (Photo courtesy of Hicksville Public Schools)

Chad Wyman, supervisor of Fine Arts, was nominated as this year’s District Honored Guest. Wyman began his tenure in the Hicksville School District in July of 1999. He vividly remembers the emotions of being approved by the Board of Education on July 7th, and running his first Marching Band rehearsal the very next day. “As a brand new teacher, the pool I jumped into was so deep you couldn’t see the bottom. But I have zero regrets. My soul has many colors, but black and orange are the two most dominant!” As Supervisor of Fine Arts, Wyman worked with district administration to maintain all art, music, and theatre programs during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Hicksville was one of only a handful of districts to maintain all Fine Arts programs throughout the pandemic. Recently, he developed ad implemented a five-year instrument replacement program that includes 263 new instruments district-wide. “I have loved every moment of my time spent in Hicksville,” Wyman shared, “and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!”

The other honorees were as follows:

Burns Avenue Elementary
Dianna O’Neill and Karin Reiner – staff
Kim Kafel and Denise Schiraldi – parents

Dutch Lane Elementary
Stefanie Cristina, Danielle Donnelly and Mary O’Conor – staff
Tracy Foresta – parent

East Street Elementary
Pam Del Gatto, Nicole Hein and Tony Puma – staff
Ciara Fiorello and Silvia Macedo – parents

Fork Lane Elementary
Ben Coreas and Tara Schwartz – staff
Serina Bernard and Amanda Campisi – parents

Lee Avenue Elementary
Kathleen Bell and Jaclyn Svaral – staff
Jodi Ridgewell and Stephen Smith – parents

Old Country Road Elementary
Gloria Cruz, Sofia DeFalco and Carrie Ryan – staff
Avel Abuzo and Nisha Diler – parents

Woodland Avenue Elementary
Amanda McGrath, Maria Talavera and Kristin Waldron – staff
Edith Chauca de Encalada and Elysia Jackson – parents

Middle School
Catherine Dambrose, Meghan Dowling-Lewis and Diego Echeverry – staff
Cindy Garcia, Danielle McKie and Diane Pramberger – parents

High School
Christine Anderson, Kevin Bunting, Erin Dolan-Dame and Karen Felber – staff
Milena Morales and Linda Smith – parents

Inna Mishiev and Jamie Murray – staff
Catherine O’Neil – parent

About the Hicksville PTA
Active involvement in PTA is one of the many ways parents can participate in their children’s education. Each school has a PTA unit that belongs to the NYS PTA and the National PTA, founded in 1897, and is dedicated to the improvement of education, health, safety, and protection of children. In addition, the Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA) is concerned with children who require special educational services in order to develop to their full potential. The Hicksville Council of PTAs is the coordinating body with its own executive committee and representatives from individual units. Together they work toward the same goal shared by the district as a whole – excellence in educational opportunities for all Hicksville students. PTA sponsors a wide variety of special activities for parents and students. In order to recognize community pride, the PTA Council sponsors a Homecoming Fair in early autumn, holds an annual Founders Day celebration, where PTA honors individuals, including staff members and parents, who have made outstanding contributions to PTA’s goals and objectives.
The interest and involvement of parents in education is a vital part of the process, and PTA invites all parents, teachers, students and community members, to join and participate. Each PTA unit holds Executive Board Meetings as noted on the District Calendar. The public is invited to attend any of these meetings; however, voting at Executive Board meetings limited to members on the unit’s Executive Board, which consists of the officers and committee chairs. Only PTA members may vote at general meetings.
If you would like information regarding meeting times and locations, please contact your unit president.

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