In what has become a time-honored green and gold tradition, the Lynbrook Council of PTAs hosted its 2014 Founders’ Day celebration on Feb. 4. The event honors a select group of teachers, parents and community members who have been dedicated advocates for the children of Lynbrook Public Schools. This year’s honorees, who touched the lives of countless children through their enthusiasm, caring, dedication and love for learning, exemplify the theme for this year’s celebration, “Believe, Dream, Inspire.” This theme, which was borrowed from the 2014 National PTA Reflections program, has special significance to the Lynbrook school community, since it was submitted last year by Waverly Park fifth-grader Julianne Lampert. Her winning submission was selected from thousands of entries in the 2014 National PTA Reflections theme search contest.
This year’s event was hosted by Central Council PTA First Vice President Jen Denker. The Lynbrook Council of PTAs honored Julie Bergen with a lifetime membership award and bestowed a distinguished service award to elementary orchestra teacher Gayle Meister. Lynbrook South Middle School math teacher Neil Giordano was also honored with a distinguished award. Other recipients of lifetime membership awards were Marisa Amalfitano, Michele Bergsohn, Salvatore Brescia, Amy Chrein, Yessi Clarke, Melissa Fabel, Andrea Goldstein, Carol Henderson, Christine Ketelsen, Maria Papini, Elizabeth Parco, Randi Polansky and Amy Tappeto.
Founders’ Day commemorates the day in 1897 when some 2,000 people met in Washington, D.C., in response to the call of Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. They established a national organization dedicated to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the home, school, place of worship and the community. This group, the National Congress of Mothers, later became the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. Since 1910, the month of February has been set aside to honor the Founders of PTA.