The Massapequa School District started the school year with several changes in administration, including 18 new teachers and the return of all excessed staff members.
Longtime educator Laura Lai — who joined the district in 1984 as a special education teacher and recently served four years as Asst. Principal of East Lake Elementary — has been named Elementary Special Education Supervisor.
Lai oversees the Special Education program at East Lake and Unqua elementary schools. She is responsible for conducting classroom observations and providing ongoing guidance to both teachers and parents. Lai is also the District Wilson Literacy Advisor, which includes training and supporting teachers with various reading programs.
Replacing Lai as Asst. Principal is Bryan Piotrowski, who came from Unqua. Piotrowski taught for 11 years and most recently assisted in leadership operations while earning a post-master’s degree Certificate in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University.
At the secondary level, Massapequa High School Director of Guidance Paul Weber received a title change to Executive Assistant for Guidance. He will also be overseeing the guidance program in grades 7-12, as well as the sixth-grade transition to middle school.
School psychologist Michelle (Pawlak) Provenzano joined the district as Secondary CSE Chairperson for Berner Middle School and Massapequa H.S. Ames Campus. She comes from the Woodward Children’s Center in Freeport.
Massapequa also welcomed 18 new educators. They include Lindsay Audiino, English/special education at Berner and Massapequa H.S.; Jennifer Brittman, part-time librarian at East Lake and Unqua; William Chlystun, Social Studies teacher at Berner; Danielle Dialto, part-time special education teacher at Birch Lane; Melissa DiGiacomo, special education teacher at Berner; Tara Gonzalez, librarian at Lockhart and Fairfield elementary; Laura Hutt, part-time guidance counselor at Berner; Doreen Jaeger, special education teacher at Fairfield Elementary, Carmen Keaney, special education teacher at Unqua, Patrick O’Reilly, who has returned to the district as a special education teacher at Massapequa H.S. and Ames Campus; Jie Qian, part-time LOTE (languages other than English) teacher at Massapequa H.S. and Berner; John Pardue, Social Studies teacher at Massapequa H.S. and Ames Campus; Tonina Russo part-time Science teacher at Massapequa H.S.; Patricia Skjoldahl, part-time Family & Consumer Science teacher at Berner; Marissa Sondo, part-time art teacher at Birch Lane, Fairfield and Unqua elementary; Jennifer Wilkinson part-time ASL teacher at Massapequa H.S.; Jessica Yandoli, part-time Math teacher at Massapequa H.S.; and Marian Zedalis, special education at Birch Lane.
Reinstated teachers include Anne Marie Amodia, Melissa Bruno, Jaclyn Coyne, Natalie Dizdar, Kathleen Duffy, August Eberlin, Leanne Leder, Danielle McCaffery, Denise Robertson, James Sciara, Kathryn Tauches and Michael Viola.
Greetings to newcomers and a welcome back to the current staff!