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Lynbrook's Waverly Park School to Open with Donated Generator

Although LIPA has yet to restore electricity, school could still open Tuesday, Nov. 13.

If a Nor'easter hadn't struck the area this week, dropping 7 inches of snow and pulling down more trees and live wires, the Lynbrook School District planned to open its schools on Thursday and Friday despite the fact that one of its buildings still did not have power.

The substation that supplies electricity to Waverly Park Elementary School, a Lynbrook public school located in a section of East Rockaway that was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, is down and the Long Island Power Authority does not expect it to be fixed any time soon. So Lynbrook school officials came up with a plan to have all Waverly students and faculty report to their school and then be bused to and from either West End or Marion Street elementary schools each day until the power was restored.

But during a special public meeting held by the Lynbrook Board of Education Thursday night to address concerns related to Hurricane Sandy, school officials revealed that Waverly Park did have power, not LIPA-supplied power, but rather electricity coming from a generator donated to the district by GDF SUEZ Energy N.A., a company that Christopher Clarke, Waverly Park PTA Co-President Yessi Clarke's husband, works for.

The company's operations manager, Marc Dowdy, tracked down the generator, and plant manager Michael Stockstad granted the approval for GDF to pick up the rental fee.

"Tremendous amount of appreciation needs to go out to Mr. Clarke and his company for bringing us the generator during the height of the storm last night," Interim Superintendent of Lynbrook Schools Dr. Melissa Burak stated Thursday.

The generator arrived at Waverly Park midnight Thursday and was installed later that morning by  Clarke, Jim Richards and George Georgiadis.

"[It] is running at Waverly right now," Burak said, but explained, "We need to run it for the rest of the week just to be sure it can sustain a longer duration before we bring the students back to the building."

Lynbrook schools are closed Monday for Veterans Day but the district is planning to have all of its schools open Tuesday, Nov. 13. Dr. Burak and Board President Cathy Papandrew assured parents that the district would reach out to them well before Monday night to let them whether or not Waverly Park School will be ready to receive students.

"The safety of our students is always first and foremost, so once we feel comfortable and are ready to send the kids back to Waverly Park a Global Connect message will be delivered," Dr. Burak said. 

, from Wednesday's Nor'easter forced Lynbrook to cancel classes Friday. During the past twoo weeks, students have missed nine scheduled school days. To help make up instructional days, Lynbrook school officials have decided to change April 29 from a staff-only day to a school day for students. It may also have to take back vacation days in February, but that has not been decided yet. (Nov. 8 was converted to a staff conference day so it does not count as one of the missed instructional days.)

Burak added, "We are waiting for a decision from the State Education Department on whether or not they will relax the 180 required days of attendance."

Check back later today for Part II of our coverage of Thursday night's board meeting to learn about what the district is doing for students displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

Tom Janis November 09, 2012 at 07:16 PM
wow your getting better you stopped picking on 6 year olds get off your lazy rear and go help someone instead of complaining about how you think others view you. Look in the moirror moron you are the only one saying that so guess its your lack of self confidence that makes you feel inferior as not once has a "Waverly" parent said they dont want their kids mixing with "your" kids. pathetic human you are
Joe Vitale November 09, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Poor Tom - just tis too scared to face the facts, that the Waverly parents have complained to the Bd of Ed since the beginning of ths of the potential of their kids having to be bussed to a different school. Forget the idea that thousands are suffering with lost homes. IT was more important that they get a generator so their kids didn't have to go and share classroom space with the other kids in the district. Sorry Tom the facts are the facts whether you like them or not. The selfishness of the Waverly parents shines through again.
Tom Janis November 09, 2012 at 07:28 PM
amazing that you actually graduated from LHS. I thought the school district and famillies in the community were better than that but I guess life did not treat you well and you feel the need to take it out on others did your mommy not kiss you good night often. May god have mercy on your children for having a moron as a father.
the big kahuna November 09, 2012 at 07:31 PM
dr kayen pushed this idea of a generator through the board of ed. The same guy who promised everyone an athletic complex when he ran for the board-only to vote AGAINST it after he was elected. this is what you are dealing with. Im done. im going to Bay park to help clean out homes. Ill bring my generator to give them some power. Tom if your happy, im happy!
Tom Janis November 09, 2012 at 07:33 PM
i happy as long as people are helping each other not sitting on their ignorant azz blaming other people for a natural disaster. Thank you big Kahuna for helping just hope you follow through on your words.
Joe Vitale November 09, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Tom - yes the families in this district are better than the selfishness shown by yourself, and the Waverly parents. The families in the district show compassion to those whom are dealing withe devestation this storm has brought. The families in this district have helped bring food and blankets to people. Donate money and non-perishables. But what do we see from the Waverly parents. The need to be selfish and use a generator that could help hundreds for their own selfish needs.
the big kahuna November 09, 2012 at 07:37 PM
i already have. and i answer to God not you
Tom Janis November 09, 2012 at 07:38 PM
starting to think the only word you know is generator. I am truly sorry for your short falls in life
Joe Vitale November 09, 2012 at 07:41 PM
And Tom we have seen that you have shown your kids and the kids of Waverly that selfishness is the most important thing in a disaster.
Tom Janis November 09, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Yup your correct you were there when my kids and I went to the ERFD and dropped off toys and food and clothing. Once again you are ignorant. Once again I gaurentee you have not helped one individual through these rough times. I gurantee you have not done anything except look out for your own family. Do you have a generator to bring to the victims in LB or RR? Have you brought it? Have you purchased boxes of coffee and brought it to the fire department for the man and woman that are out there helping no I guarentee it. I guarentee my children have done 10 fold what you have done to help out. Good luck in life and may god have mercy on your lost soul. I'm out to continue helping my community rebuild and prosper.
Tara Festa November 09, 2012 at 09:51 PM
WOW...really? In my heart I have to believe that everyone's nerves are shot. I cannot believe this is how people really feel. The kids need something normal in their lives and if school can be the one thing that is normal, let it be. All of those comments are heartbreaking. Parents try to remember the kids grow up watching and listening to EVERYTHING we do.
Jennifer Hinderstein November 09, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I am grateful that a parent in our district was able to problem solve for all of the elementary school CHILDREN! By helping to get Waverly Park up and running, he not only eased the trauma that many children have been living through, he also ensured that West End students and Marion Street students do not have to be further disrupted in their education by hosting so many students in already cramped schools. Mr. Clarke has demonstrated to our children the true meaning of community! Dr. Burak and the Board of Education have all shown exemplary leadership under incredible circumstances. It is a pity that ignorance still abounds!
Mary Rainone November 09, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Whatever anyone feels there is no reason to bring up someones nationality. With that comment you have truely shown what an ignorant jackass you are. Oh and so you know this italiano is from the South side just like joe. So you not only insulted the italians in this town but also the people on the North side who had nothing to do with this bickering, many who happend to be good friends of mine and my children. OH AND JEALOUS OF WHAT?????? Italiano Mary Rainone
Lisa November 10, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Please note that the above comments are not submitted by Joe Vitale from Lynbrook. Someone is impersonating him. I just spoke with him and he had no idea what the Patch was and didn't know anything about a generator. I don't understand how the Patch allows people to comment without proper authorization.
Mary Rainone November 10, 2012 at 01:37 AM
well i didnot want to comment on the generator situation. Although i do read the patch this is the first time i have ever commented,and that was because of the attack made on my nationality. I just got off the phone with Joe Vitale whom i have know for many years and he said this is not him writing not even sure what patch was. He was truely upset I absolutely believe him knowing him for many many years he has always gone out of his way to do what he feels is best for the kids in this community many families know him and his family including the kids from waverly. Yes joe will tell you what he thinks whether it is at a board meeting or to your face, you may agree or disagree with him but he has always been straight forward, i know he would never hide behind a web page. To those of you who know joe you know what he is about Bottom line is if you have a gripe go to the person stop hidding behind someones name make yourself known if you feel that strongly. Sometimes things are not as they appear, sometimes when we talk badly about others we use words we cannot take back.
Adriana Baloglou November 10, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Tom Janis should apologize to all the "Italiano"s. Adriana Baloglou
Joe Vitale November 10, 2012 at 02:53 AM
In regards to the post and comments that were recently made on the above issue, I would like to comment myself....... I am the real Joe Vitale. Those comments that were made was not me nor would i ever do that. For those that know me I have dedicated my time in our community for over 20 years. Very sad that someone in our community had to be a coward and not use there name an insult our community. For those of you who know me and spoke up, Thank You.
Shari November 10, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Has anyone driven to the Waverly area? It is desolate. Their houses are ruined and they have lost everything. East rockaway and Bay Park emulate what we see on the news and never believe it could happen to us. A natural disaster is noones fault and especially not our kids. Kids just want to be back in their classrooms with their friends and teachers. Thank you patch for reporting. As a teacher, I can't wait to hug my students who have suffered for the past two weeks, had to be rescued from their homes and are currently displaced. Thank you Mr. Clarke for getting our lives back to normal.
Melissa Pinto November 11, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Sorry to go off topic this Italian American woman from lynbrook doesnt stick her nose in the air has donated many things to long beach,freeport,katrina victims ,sandy victims ect and has done baking for the volunteers at amory's,took my certified therapy dog to shelters,nursing homes ect,...to Make people smile. Don't judge my nationality or any other nationality. Thanks
whalepoop November 11, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Dr. Burak is charged with seeing to the needs of the school district, oher people are charged with seeing to their areas of responsibilities. Kudos for getting it done.
Arnie F November 11, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Dr Burak has completely failed in her responsibilities to the Lynbrook community and children. Areas all around us found ways to get schools up and running and she has found excuses. The waverly park incident is the icing on the ckae to the lack of compassion and failures. Kids who lost homes or have no heat are in much more need than waverly park schools. The east rockaway schools could have used this generator but instead waverly selfishly took it. Well now they got their wish and their kids will not have to go to classes with the rest of lynbrook.
teachermom November 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM
It's amazing that you are not ashamed of your bigotry. Please, lets keep this forum for intelligent people. You sound like a very caring, concerned individual. I'm sorry your comment about Italians ruined it for you.
Paul T November 12, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Glen The thing you dont seem to know is there was plenty of backdoor and bureaucratic bs as part of this. The Marion parents complained that the Wavrly kids were coming there and they werent told what was going on. Now on the Waverly side we had the perfect opportunity to teach the kids the responsibility of helping those less fortunate. But instead selfishness prevailed and the parents wanted their kids in Waverly and not going to other elementary schools. Burak should have stepped in and put and end to the infighting but she didnt.
Gutty November 12, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Your a complete joke Joe -
Gutty November 12, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Joe - I cant just sit here and listen to this anymore. Your ignorance on the pulse of this neighborhood is why these divides exist in the first place. Last I checked, even though I live in "South" Lynbrook/East Rockaway as you state my mail says Lynbrook. What is with this South -North bullshit. I am a Waverly parent who was born and raised in Valley Stream. I have friends of every race and creed, every socioeconomic class etc..
Gutty November 12, 2012 at 04:20 PM
My nephews attend Marion Street. How dare you say I think I am better than anyone else. We all simply want our lives to return to normal - no more so than with our children. Maybe if you were educated in the psyche of adolecents you would know that change affects kids in many ways - mostly not good. The generosity of a Waverly parent allows our kids to return to a normal state - which they should have. This decision is about kids.
Gutty November 12, 2012 at 04:20 PM
We have all helped out in the community throughout this crisis. If you want a medal for things you think you did in the last two weeks take a number my friend because it aint coming. All you have done is fuel a fire that shouldnt exist. And to be honest, all the "south" kids were excited to see old friends from other schools who they have grown up with, went to pre-k with, dance with after school, play in sports leagues, see at camp, beaches, parks etc..all year round. To lump all Waverly parents with possibly a few who feel different again is plain ignorant and insulting. I find your posted comments cowardly and a personal attack against me, my family and ALL MY "SOUTH" friends who do not act in any manner that you suggested. Have you ever taken the time out of your hatred and anger to actually meet a Waverly parent - hang out - get to know them - their kids - their families?? Maybe your opinion would change. Until then - keep your comments to yourself or move to the inner city Mr Humanitarium. Sad I even had to waste time at work writing this.
Adam November 12, 2012 at 06:18 PM
As a parent of two Waverly Park students it is very sad to see how the Waverly parents are acting on here. They seemed more concerned with showing off how muh they did to help than anything else. What each person did is between them and their God. It is not a contest to say you did more than others. But being Waverly thats what it becomes. As for the generator it should have gone to an area that was in more need than us.
the big kahuna November 14, 2012 at 01:53 PM
hope it all worked out cause you lost feb break! if we were back in school last tuesday we would still have it. thanks.
the big kahuna November 14, 2012 at 01:53 PM
and spring break is next

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