Ever since it opened 63 years ago, Southdown Primary School has never taken a backseat to anyone in New York State.
The Southdown School community has always held its collective head high, confident in the belief that students receive an exceptional and well-rounded education in the building.
Southdown opened in September 1954 and since then thousands of elementary school age children have studied in its classrooms. Nestled in one of the prettiest areas of the district and only a short walk from the stunning waterfront, the school has always been a great place for young people.
Today’s Southdown School is led by Principal Scott Oshrin. It has traditionally had a very strong faculty and support staff and this year is no different. Several newcomers have come aboard over the summer months and they have seamlessly joined the school’s veterans.
Karen Hernandez (principal’s secretary), Valerie Murray (second grade teacher), Yanira Vetura (third grade teacher), Doreen Karavalis (reading teacher), Gabrielle Gurrieri (English as a new language teacher), Colleen Simko (special education teacher), Daniel Sinkin (teacher aide), Chris Cafiero (custodian), Valerie Monforte (special education chairperson) and Betsy Citera (school monitor) are all now counted among the Southdown family.
Mr. Oshrin recently took time out from his busy schedule to outline Southdown’s building goals for the 2017/18 school year:
• Teachers will continue to utilize assessment data in order to drive their instructional practices. Instructional practices will be modified based on the readiness level of the children.
• One of our goals will always be to increase parent engagement in our school.
• We believe it is important to focus on the whole child at Southdown. We strive to teach children how to build and maintain appropriate relationships with their peers.
This is an exciting time in Southdown’s history. “We received the first phase of a long range plan to replace our SMART Boards with the new and improved LED version,” Mr. Oshrin said. “I am especially excited to announce that our gymnasium has received a brand new 75 inch LED SMART Board. Physical education teacher Lynn Hefele and Adam Sherrard are excited to use this tool in order to enhance their instructional practices.”
Principal of Southdown School since July 1, 2014, Mr. Oshrin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology at Ithaca College in December 2004 and a Master of Science in elementary education at Dowling College in August 2006. He obtained state certification as an administrator through Stony Brook University in August 2012.
Prior to coming to Huntington, Mr. Oshrin served as assistant principal of Birch Elementary School in the Merrick School District for three years. He spent five years as a classroom teacher and as a math and reading academic intervention services teacher at James H. Vernon Elementary School in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District.
Mr. Oshrin was the principal of the 2012 summer special education program at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School in Oyster Bay-East Norwich. He also served as the varsity tennis coach, JV boys’ basketball coach and seventh grade girls’ softball coach during his time in the district.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Oshrin worked as a second and sixth grade leave replacement teacher in Hauppauge at Pines Elementary School and Hauppauge Middle School.
Mr. Oshrin is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He has participated in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Washington, DC, Columbia University Teacher’s College Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop and the Long Island Technology Summit in Melville.
Mr. Oshrin said some of his key strengths include “strong leadership skills, the wisdom to guide the student population and the integrity necessary to work collaboratively with district administrators and the community.” He takes pride in his organizational, interpersonal and communication abilities, which have served as the foundation for his administrative career.