Southdown Primary School will welcome hundreds of students back to classrooms this week as the 2020/21 school year opens across Huntington UFSD.
There will be many familiar faces around the building so returning students should feel right at home. The kindergarteners coming to the school for the first time will all receive a warm Southdown welcome. Teachers said that parents have nothing to worry about and plenty to look forward to along with their children.
Southdown Principal Scott Oshrin
“This summer has been whirlwind,” Principal Scott Oshrin said. “Much planning and preparation has gone into making this school year safe and enjoyable for the children. The halls and classrooms have been quiet and lonely since mid-March. I am so excited to see their smiling faces return to school.”
Southdown’s tradition dates to September 1954 when the school opened its doors for the first time. Carved out of land that once comprised part of a sprawling Gold Coast estate, the Southdown campus is located in one of the most gorgeous areas of the town. The school has produced spectacular students over the years along with award winning artists, musicians and athletes.
“I am excited to welcome a new PTA board and president this school year,” Mr. Oshrin said. “We have been engaging in conversation throughout the summer about how to best support the Southdown students.”
The new PTA executive board consists of Sheena K. Fallon (president), Devon Perotti (vice president), Katie Golden (vice president), Anina Monte Savatta (treasurer), Mary Reilly Halder (recording secretary) and Tammi Jessie (corresponding secretary) and Jenny Monge and Desiree Marquez, who will both serve as Southdown’s delegates to the district’s PTA Council.
Ms. Fallon is beginning a two-year term as the Southdown PTA president. She’s the parent of a second-grader in the dual language program and she hopes to expand the PTA’s Spanish-language communications as part of her role.
“The incoming Southdown PTA board is excited to make this school year fun for our kids,” Ms. Fallon said. “This year, the PTA will focus on helping families feel connected to Southdown and each other outside of its usual events.”
New Teachers Come Aboard
“I am also excited to welcome new staff members to Southdown,” Mr. Oshrin said. “At Southdown, we pride ourselves on going above and beyond for each and every student. I am confident that our new team members will do just that.”
Southdown’s new faculty members include:
Christine Hoffman obtained an undergraduate degree at Dowling College and a master’s degree in TESOL (teaching English to Students of Other Languages) at St. John’s University. This her marks her sixth year of teaching. She is also certified to teach early childhood education, elementary education and special education. Prior to teaching on Long Island, she was a teacher in New York City.
“ I am very excited to be teaching English as a new language this year,” Ms. Hoffman said. “I am eager for this school year to start, and I really look forward to working with the amazing students and staff at Southdown. I look forward to continuing my career at Southdown and hope to impact many students and families in a positive way. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to the 2020/21 school year.”
Heather Flaherty said she is “thrilled” to be a Southdown third grade teacher this year. This is her first year at Southdown, but my fifteenth year as a teacher in Huntington UFSD. She has taught fourth, fifth and sixth grade at both Jack Abrams School and Woodhull School. She also served as a literacy coach for grades 3-6 for a five year period.
“I absolutely love teaching, learning and trying new things, so, this new and upcoming school year is something that I am truly looking forward to,” Ms. Flaherty said.
The longtime educator obtained an undergraduate degree in elementary education at LIU-C.W. Post College, where she also earned a master’s degree in reading.
Ms. Flaherty had a “wonderful experience” while completing her student teaching requirements at Southdown and Woodhull. “After student teaching, I worked in Huntington as a substitute teacher and then I taught fifth grade for one year at a private school in Queens. After that, I began my journey as an educator in Huntington and started as a fourth grade teacher at Jack Abrams.”
Outside of school, Ms. Flaherty enjoys spending time with her family. She has three children with her husband, Kevin, including daughters ages 8 and 10 and a son, who is six years old “We have enjoyed our time together this summer,” she said. “We travelled locally, spent a lot of time at the beach and went for a bunch of family hikes.”
Teaching in a new building suits Ms. Flaherty just fine. “All in all, I am so happy to be a part of the Southdown community and look forward to a fantastic school year ahead,” she said.
Lindsey Estevez said she is “excited” to be an ENL teacher at Southdown. She obtained an undergraduate degree at LIU Post and will earn her master’s degree in childhood education and ENL in December at St. John’s University.
“I am from a big family of teachers,”Ms. Estevez said. “My mom, aunts and cousins are teachers. Some of my favorite things to do in my free time are to watch movies, go for walks on the boardwalk and go to the beach as much as possible. I am so lucky and thankful to be a part of such a wonderful community here at Southdown and I cannot wait for this year.”
A happy member of a “big Dominican family,” Ms. Estevez speaks fluent Spanish.
Christine Moakley obtained a bachelor’s degree in speech communication at St. Joseph College and a master’s degree in library and information science at Long Island University.
Ms. Moakley most recently worked as a leave replacement librarian at Mary G. Clarkson Elementary school in Bay Shore. She has also worked at Holy Trinity High School as a librarian, department chairperson and liaison to the Nassau BOCES library system.
In her free time, Ms. Moakley enjoyed reading and utilizing technology. She looks forward to working with the faculty, staff and students of Southdown.