Hauppauge Schools Welcome New Faculty and Staff
It is always with great excitement and anticipation that the Hauppauge Public Schools (HPS) welcome and embrace new members to the staff. Each person offers new visions and enthusiasm on becoming a part of the proud tradition of educational excellence that has become the standard in Hauppauge.
This September begins a new school year with new leaders at the helm. Ms. Jacqueline Pirro steps into the Business Office as the new Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations.
Ms. Pirro comes to Hauppauge from the East Williston School District in Old Westbury, New York where she served for eight and a half years as the Assistant Superintendent for Business. Before that, Ms. Pirro worked for six years as the Business Manager for McGann Mercy High School in Riverhead. Ms. Pirro also has private sector experience having worked for three years as a Pension Analyst for Price Waterhouse Coopers in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Ms. Pirro earned a School Business District Leader Certificate from Dowling College. She also holds a Master's Degree in Education and is a Certified Business Teacher from Dowling College. Ms. Pirro did her undergraduate studies at SUNY Albany where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing with a Minor in Psychology.
She is a graduate of William Floyd High School and currently resides in Center Moriches where she lives with her husband Frank and their two children, Elena age 10 and Jack age 2. Ms. Pirro enjoys spending time with family, going to the beach, and all types of exercise.
Ms. Pirro chose to work for HPS because of the strong Central Office team and the student-centered culture with a focus on learning for all. She looks forward to becoming a part of the Hauppauge community.
The Central Office also welcomes Ms. Carolyn Probst as the new Assistant to the Superintendent for Educational Services and Student Outcomes. In this role, she will be working to support K-12 school counseling, homebound instruction, education of homeless students, and the use of data to inform the educational program.
Ms. Probst is currently working towards her Doctorate in K-12 Educational Leadership and Policy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She anticipates completing the program in May of 2018. Ms. Probst also holds EdM Degrees in Education Leadership and School Counseling from Columbia University Teachers College. She also earned a Masters in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University Teachers College. Ms. Probst earned a Bachelors of the Arts Degree in Communication, Law, Economics and Political Science at American University.
Ms. Probst began her career in education as a School Counselor at Westhampton Beach High School. She then worked as the Director of Academic Advancement and Innovation in the West Hempstead School District. Prior to coming to HPS, Ms. Probst worked as an Assistant Principal for Westhampton Beach High School.
Ms. Probst is originally from Hauppauge. She currently lives in Riverhead with her husband, Craig, who is also a Hauppauge graduate. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her four nieces. She is finishing her doctoral degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. The program is completely in-person so most of her time is spent either reading, writing, in class or on an airplane.
When asked why she picked Hauppauge, Ms. Probst said, "In my work with students, I have always worked passionately to increase post-secondary opportunities through the creation of a college-going culture and the development of informed college consumerism among students and families. The creation of the Assistant to the Superintendent for Educational Services and Student Outcomes spoke volumes to me of the District's commitment for creating the very best possible outcomes for all of its students. The chance to join the incredible team in District Office to do work I am really passionate about in a place I love made the decision very easy.
I am excited to meet the students and families of Hauppauge and to provide them with the best possible programs, information, and support. I look forward to meeting Hauppauge families at school events and visiting college campuses with our students."
Hauppauge High School (HHS) has a new face in the main office. Mr. Joseph Wieckhorst was hired as Assistant Principal. Mr. Wieckhorst comes to HPS from the Lawrence Union Free School District where he served as the Assistant Principal at Lawrence Middle School. He was the supervisor of discipline, acted as the chairperson of the Mathematics, Science, and Technology departments, and was the master scheduler of the building.
Prior to working at Lawrence, he was the Mathematics Department Coach and Mathematics Teacher at Louis Pasteur Middle School 67 in Little Neck, Queens, in NYC School District #26. In addition to teaching, he also coached the volleyball team.
Mr. Wieckhorst holds a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Adolescent Education and Mathematics from St. John's University, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook University, and an Advanced Certificate in Educational Leadership and Administration from The College of Saint Rose.
Mr. Wieckhorst grew up in Levittown and graduated from Division Avenue High School. Currently he resides with his wife in Huntington. They celebrated their three-year anniversary on August 16.
Mr. Wieckhorst is a huge sports fan. His favorite teams include the New York Yankees, the New York Jets, the New York Islanders, and the New York Knicks. He also loves to travel and to play volleyball, softball, and golf in his free time. In college, he studied abroad in Rome, Paris, and Salamanca, and visited several cities across Europe during that time. Since then he has visited Germany, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Argentina, and Brazil. Recently, Mr. Wieckhorst traveled with his wife to the United Kingdom for a two-week trip around Scotland.
When asked why he chose HPS, Mr. Wieckhorst said, "There are many reasons. First, Hauppauge has incredible traditions in academics, athletics, and the arts, and I want to be a part of that and help build on those traditions to make them even greater. Also, it has always been a goal of mine to work in a high school as a leader. Maybe most importantly, I believe in the mission that Hauppauge has set forward and I can see myself growing professionally long term here.
I'm really looking forward to building new relationships and making strong connections to the community. I can't wait to meet the students, parents, and teachers that have made Hauppauge one of the best school districts on Long Island. I'm also excited to see all of the amazing work the students do, see the plays and concerts that are put on, and catch a lot of Eagles games."
Another excellent administrator has made his way to the Hauppauge Schools. Mr. Tim McCarthy is the new Director of LOTE (Languages Other Than English), ENL (English as a New Language), and Integration of Instructional Technology.
Mr. McCarthy comes to HPS from Oyster Bay where he served as a beloved French Teacher and High School Assistant Principal. He earned a Bachelor of the Arts Degree from Siena College, a Masters from Queens College, and an Advanced Certificate from St. John's University. Currently, Mr. McCarthy is pursuing his Doctorate at St. John's University.
Originally from the Lake Gorge region in upstate New York, Mr. McCarthy currently lives in Melville. He is a father of one (soon to be two in February) girl, Morgan, who is two and half years old and is married to his wife Stephanie, who is also an educator. When not working or working on his dissertation, Mr. McCarthy enjoys playing ice hockey and working on projects around the house.
Mr. McCarthy said, "This position at Hauppauge is a dream job for me as it integrates my passion of languages with technology. Although I know I have big shoes to fill, I'm very excited about the opportunity to learn and grow here at my new home. I'm very excited about the opportunity to learn and grow here at my new home while doing all that I can to help all our students do the same."
And speaking of French Teachers, Mr. Karl Pierre, joined the faculty of the Hauppauge Middle School as a French Teacher. Mr. Pierre earned a Master's Degree from Stony Brook University.
Mr. Pierre comes to HPS from Eastport South Manor High School. He is from Deer Park where he still resides with his wife and daughter. As with many of the new faculty, Mr. Pierre is continuing his education. He is a current doctoral candidate and is usually found working on that program. When not working, Mr. Pierre loves to spend quality time with his family and likes to travel often.
Mr. Pierre said, "I picked Hauppauge because I did research on the school district and it seems like a great district to be part of. I am an advocate teacher and I take education very seriously. I am here to make positive social impact in the students' lives.
I am looking forward to having a great school year at HPS helping the students in the community achieve their goals and dreams."
And while speaking of languages, there is a new English Teacher in HPS. Mr. Brett Groneman will be working at the Middle School and High School. Mr. Groneman comes to HPS from the Lindenhurst School District and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Stony Brook University.
Mr. Groneman is from Smithtown and still lives in Smithtown. He is engaged to be married on October 1st and has a seven-year-old daughter. When not working, he likes to play video games, go on hikes, and travel to Vermont.
Mr. Groneman feels that Hauppauge is where he is meant to be. He is looking forward to meeting and getting to know all the students.
Kristen Bocchino is new to the Pines Elementary School where she will be working as a 2nd Grade Teacher. Ms. Bocchino holds a Bachelor's Degree from Quinnipiac University and a Master's in Education from Dowling College.
Previously, Ms. Bocchino worked at St. Patrick's Elementary School in Huntington and Holy Family in Commack where she taught kindergarten and 5th grade.
Ms. Bocchino is from Smithton and still lives there. She is hoping to purchase a home in the near future. When not working, she loves to travel, try new restaurants and spend time with family and friends. Ms. Bocchino also writes a food blog.
Ms. Bocchino said, "I chose Hauppauge, because my teaching beliefs and philosophies coincided well with the mission of Hauppauge schools. I am looking forward to getting to know the students and faculty, growing and further developing my teaching skills and making new friends. I am so excited to be working in the Hauppauge school district."
Another teacher has been added to the staff at the Pines. Ms. Jessica Gumbus is teaching second grade. Ms. Gumbus earned a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Psychology and Elementary Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She continued her education at Hunter College where she garnered a Masters in Special Education.
Previously, Ms. Gumbus worked in the New York City Public Schools in 2nd, 3rd and 5th Grades. She has also worked in Hauppauge as a Math Teacher and North Babylon in 3rd Grade.
Ms. Gumbus is from Pittsburgh, PA and currently lives in Port Jefferson Station with her husband Mike and their daughter Emily, who turns two this December. When not working, she enjoys anything outdoors, such as riding bikes, going to the beach, the park, and enjoying outdoor concerts and festivals. At home, she enjoys cooking, watching movies, and watching football and hockey. She also likes to play, read and have art time with Emily.
Ms. Gumbus said, "Hauppauge is a great school district with dedicated staff and families. The district also provides many opportunities for growth and learning professionally. I am looking forward to building relationships with my students and their families, becoming a part of the Hauppauge community (in and outside of the school day), learning new curriculum and being a part of my second-grade team."
Pines Elementary also welcomes a new Literacy Teacher. Ms. Jessica Vesonder comes to HPS from the Spruce Street Elementary School in New York City.
Ms. Vesonder holds a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Art History with a minor in Elementary Education. She went on to earn a Master's in Special Education and is currently training in reading recovery at NYU and is Orton-Gillingham trained.
Ms. Vesonder grew up in Garden City and is in the process of moving back to Long Island from New Jersey to be closer to her family. She lives with her husband Matthew and one baby girl, Vivian Heron. When not working, Ms. Vesonder enjoys going to the beach, hiking, playing golf, and playing with her daughter.
Ms. Vesonder said "I picked Hauppauge because my family lives close by and teaching reading is my dream job. I look forward to working with and learning from all the wonderful teachers in the district."
Sometimes a "new" face looks very familiar. Bretton Woods has a new 3rd Grade Teacher who is already family. Ms. Margery Fey has been a substitute and leave replacement at Bretton Woods for years and is now a full-time member of the faculty.
Ms. Fey has a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Economics from Stony Brook and a Master's in Childhood Education from Dowling.
Ms. Fey also worked for one year of pre-school in Setauket and one year of 4th grade in Northport.
She grew up in Queens and Greenlawn. Ms. Fey currently lives in Kings Park and is married with three children.
She enjoys walking and being with friends and is looking forward to getting to know her students and watching them make progress over the school year.
Bretton Woods also welcomes Amanda Leaderman, Special Education Teacher in the Third Grade ICT Classroom. Ms. Leaderman attended St. Joseph's College where she earned a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Special Education. She remained to continue her education where she garnered a Master's in Literacy and Cognition.
Ms. Leaderman is also a familiar face as she taught first grade at Bretton Woods last year.
Previously she worked in Queens for the Department of Education for two years and worked in the Hauppauge School District for three years as a permanent substitute and leave replacement.
Ms. Leaderman has been married for three years and enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also loves cooking and baking.
Ms. Leaderman said, "I am an HHS alum. I wanted to be a part of the Hauppauge School District. Hauppauge is such a special place to me and I am so happy to be a teacher in this district. I am looking forward to teaching third grade this year. I am also looking forward to growing with my students on this new journey as a Special Education Teacher."
Jacqueline Milo is also a new Special Education Teacher. Ms. Milo is located in the Hauppauge Middle School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Secondary Education from St. Joseph's College and garnered a Master of Science in Students with Disabilities Secondary Education from Touro College. Previously, she worked at World View High School in the Bronx.
Ms. Milo grew up in Hauppauge, recently married and is currently living in Lake Grove. When she is not working, Ms. Milo enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and dog. She likes shopping, traveling, and trying new restaurants with her husband.
Ms. Milo said, "As a Hauppauge graduate, it has always been my dream to come back and teach in the district that I graduated from. I look forward to growing as a teacher and as an individual. I am excited to meet my coworkers and students."
HPS has a new Traveling Reading Teacher, Ms. Stephanie Ebinger, who will be seen at Hauppauge Middle School, Pines Elementary School and Bretton Woods Elementary School.
Ms. Ebinger holds a degree in Elementary Education (N-6) from Oneonta State College and as a Reading Specialist (K-12) from Hofstra University. She also earned a certification in TESOL K-12 (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Molloy College.
Previously, Ms. Ebinger has served as a Reading Specialist in the Northport-East Northport School District, a Sixth Grade English Language Arts (ELA) Teacher in the Mamaroneck School District and as an Elementary Classroom Teacher in the Smithtown Central School District.
She grew up in Commack and for the past twelve years has lived in St. James with her husband Bill, two sons, Drew (13) and Dylan (10) and their yellow Lab named Willow.
Ms. Ebinger loves spending time with her family and traveling to warm destinations is a favorite. She is a lover of music...especially country. She also enjoys reading, cooking, boating, water sports, and keeping active.
Ms. Ebinger loves learning new things through traveling and always keeps an open mind for new adventures. She said, 'Hauppauge is a small, close-knit community where students, parents, and teachers can work as a team to cultivate an environment that encourages the values of dedication, hard work, and a desire for every student to reach their full potential. I'm so excited to be a part of it. I look forward to continuing the growth mindset initiative that the district has in place, as well as getting to know the faculty, staff, students, and parents of Hauppauge."
Students at the Middle School will be comforted to know that there is a new person there looking after their well-being. Ms. Carolyn Muller RN is the new nurse at Hauppauge Middle School. Ms. Muller earned her Registered Nurse (RN) status at Suffolk County Community College.
She has served as a Registered Nurse for the Huntington School District and was the Clinical Care Manager for Ocean Family Medicine. Originally from Corona, Queens, Ms. Muller currently lives in Commack with her husband of 25 years. Together they have two children. Their daughter, Caroline, just graduated from St. John's University and their son, Nickolas, is currently a student at Binghamton University.
Ms. Muller enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, caring for her animals, and reading. She said, "I worked for Hauppauge for many years before and during nursing school. I always enjoyed the sense of community within the district and loved the years I spent there. I am looking forward to working with the parents and children at the middle school, building relationships with the families and staff. I cannot imagine a better group of educators, parents and students."
Leave replacements are a vital part of the school community. It takes a dedicated and talented individual to step in and maintain a continuity of excellence in the classroom. One such person is Michelle Alvarez. Ms. Alvarez is a returning leave replacement for Katherine Earheardt in the Business Dept. She carries a Master's Degree plus a few credits. In addition to her Business Certification, Ms. Alvarez is also certified in Social Studies. She lives in the Moriches, has two teenage girls and is celebrating her 19th year of marriage this month. Ms. Alvarez began teaching at a Long Island Alternative High School and spent ten teaching in the Business division of a local private college as well as serving as the college's Information Systems Administrator. Ms. Alvarez said, "Upon my return, I am looking forward to seeing some of my previous students as well as helping students engage in all that our Business Department has to offer. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and working out at a local gym."
Ms. Heather Turnbull has been hired as a Leave Replacement in the Science Department at Hauppauge Middle School. She will be teaching Earth Science and Life Science. Ms. Turnbull earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from SUNY Oswego and a Masters in Science Education Grades 7-12 from SUNY Stony Brook.
Previously, Ms. Turnbull worked as a Kickboxing Instructor at "iLoveKickboxing" in Lake Grove and as an Office Manager for an energy company called Superior Plus Energy.
She is from Northern New York, about eight hours north of here, in a small town called Oxbow. She currently she lives in Centereach and loves playing volleyball, working out, going to music concerts, and baking.
She said, "From working at the kickboxing studio, I met many new individuals from the area. The ones that were or still are from Hauppauge and have children that attend this school district always speak highly of the community. After reviewing the website and what the school and community had to offer, it was a no brainer to start my teaching career here. During the first few days of school, everyone was and still is welcoming and helpful, which has made me think I definitely chose the right path. This year, I look forward to all the challenges and successes I will face as a new teacher. This is a very exciting time for me and I am already enjoying every minute of it. I also look forward to getting to know my students, their guardians and the Hauppauge community."
Finally, HPS has a new Public Relations Assistant. Mr. Tom Gould comes to the District from having worked as a Media Communication Specialist in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District. Mr. Gould holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Boston University, a Masters in Mathematics from SUNY Stony Brook, a School District Administration Certification from Long Island University, and a Juris Doctorate from the Touro Law Center.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Gould was raised in Huntington, New York where he still resides with his wife of 33 years. Mr. Gould has two children, a son and daughter, and four grandchildren. His family has been and continues to be his greatest joy.
When not working Mr. Gould likes to write, play and record music. As a bass player and singer, Mr. Gould has released over a dozen CD's and has played his songs at places like Carnegie Recital Hall, CBGB, the Bitter End, Hot Dog Beach and cities such as Nashville, Boston and New Orleans.
Mr. Gould said, "In my Public Relations role in Oyster Bay, I learned first-hand what a dynamic, innovative, energetic and enthusiastic leader Dr. Dennis O'Hara is. His College Awareness Program is the best new idea I have seen in my thirty-plus years in education. I have seen this program completely revitalize an entire student body. Ms. Carolyn Probst is an essential partner in the formation of this program. Knowing that these two cutting edge educators are here in Hauppauge working side by side was all I needed to make me jump at the chance to come to Hauppauge to watch them in action. Great things are on the horizon. Already, I have met many exceptionally talented teachers and students in HPS and am excited to help spread the word about the treasure that is to be found here in the "Land of Sweet Water." If you see me, most likely I will be carrying a camera, so keep smiling. I know I will be."