Joel Alfaro is flanked by teacher Mike Schwendemann and Humanities Chairman Joseph Leavy

Joel Alfaro Captures Steve Tribus Scholarship

Joel Alfaro is flanked by teacher Mike Schwendemann and Humanities Chairman Joseph Leavy

August 31, 2018

When Huntington School District teachers and administrators learned that retired Assistant Superintendent Steven Tribus had passed away suddenly on January 28, 2013, the spirits of his former colleagues who closely collaborated with him sank.

The ultimate professional who was proud of his chosen career, Mr. Tribus enjoyed his time in the Huntington School District, happily interacting with teachers, students and parents and making significant contributions toward new initiatives designed to enhance the quality of classroom instruction.

Mr. Tribus was just 69 years old at the time of his passing. His family quickly decided to create a scholarship in his honor and designated the award for a graduating Huntington senior planning to pursue a career as a teacher.

The inaugural recipient of the $1,000 Steve Tribus Memorial Scholarship was Anna Garfinkel who went on to graduate from Skidmore College. The 2015 honoree was Katie Duval, who is studying literature at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The 2016 scholarship recipient was Jeannie Morgenstern, who is entering her junior year at New York University. Last year’s winner was Kathryn Dara, who is currently studying English at the University at Albany.

This year’s recipient of the Steve Tribus scholarship is Joel Alfaro, who is set to begin classes this week at Colgate University. A young man known for his determination, the teenager plans to study to become a teacher. He was mentored during high school by social studies teacher Jordan Gould and it reinforced his intention to one day stand in front of his own set of classes in how own classroom,

Chairman of Humanities Joseph Leavy and English teacher Michael Schwendemann presented the Tribus scholarship to Mr. Alfaro at the Class of 2018’s senior academic awards ceremony in the high school auditorium.

Steve Tribus was a veteran educator

Steven Tribus earned a BA in history at Hofstra University and a master’s degree in administration and supervision at St. John’s University. He came to Huntington in January 1995 and retired June 30, 2000. The final months of his career in the district were spent serving as interim superintendent, following the departure of Kevin Colpoys.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Tribus was residing with his wife, Marilyn in Henderson, Nevada, near Las Vegas. A member of Far Rockaway High School’s Class of 1961, he participated in the school’s 119th commencement exercises on Thursday, June 29, 1961. He received the Henry Koslan Memorial Medal for excellence in health education.

Steven Charles Tribus began his career in 1965 as an English teacher at Canarsie High School in Brooklyn. In 1973 he moved to Grover Cleveland High School in Queens, where he worked as an assistant principal and English department faculty member.

In 1982, Mr. Tribus was promoted to director of English, K-12 for the New York City public schools, a post he served in until 1991 when he was named director of curriculum and program development for New York City.

A talented high school pitcher at Far Rockway and a baseball fan his entire life, Mr. Tribus was given tryouts by the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies organizations. The retired educator also enjoyed playing golf and was a wine enthusiast. Traveling was another favorite pastime, as Mr. Tribus and his wife of 45 years traveled throughout the world, thoroughly enjoying the experience of learning about new cultures.

A funeral service was held for Mr. Tribus on January 31, 2013 at King David Chapel in Las Vegas with interment immediately following. In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Craig (Melissa) Tribus of Henderson, NV and Evan (Alison) Tribus of Montclair NJ; and grandchildren Jaelyn and Jordyn Tribus of Henderson.

Mr. Tribus would undoubtedly have been happy to meet Mr. Alfaro and participate in a discussion concerning their joint passion for teaching and learning and working with young people.

Steven Tribus and Principal Mary Lou Griffin (standing left) with 1997 valedictorian Susan Fiore and her parents.
Steven Tribus and Principal Mary Lou Griffin (standing left) with 1997 valedictorian Susan Fiore and her parents.
Steven Tribus with Huntington's 1997 valedictorian, Susan Fiore.
Steven Tribus with Huntington's 1997 valedictorian, Susan Fiore.