In Garden City, Phil Huntington of Seaford shows Locust Primary...

In Garden City, Phil Huntington of Seaford shows Locust Primary School students how an antique pumper truck works, in celebration of National Fire Prevention Month. Credit: Handout

Many local schools held special events to teach fire safety awareness and techniques to students in recognition of October as National Fire Prevention Month.

In Deer Park, Assistant Fire Chief Phil Scarfi visited John Quincy Adams and May Moore elementary schools, demonstrating a fire alarm and discussing such topics as identifying a family meeting place outside the home in the event of a fire. Scarfi has been conducting fire safety workshops in the Deer Park schools for the past 34 years, district officials said.

"A fire in the home can be extremely frightening, and it's OK to be afraid," Scarfi said. "If we learn what to do to prevent it, and what to do if there is a fire, we can keep ourselves safe."

In Blue Point and Westhampton Beach, elementary school students went through a "smoke house," a mobile unit that recreates a home environment and allows children to identify and correct household hazards that may lead to fire and burn injuries.

The units were equipped with nontoxic odorless smoke and heated doors to enable kids to practice choosing the right exits and crawling to escape.

In Copiague, Great Neck Road Elementary School welcomed a local firefighter dressed in full protective gear so that children could see what a firefighter looks like during emergencies and not be afraid. Volunteers also demonstrated the correct way to stop, drop and roll if clothes catch fire.

In Garden City, Locust Primary School pupils learned about firefighting history by touring a 1923 pumper truck owned by the husband of kindergarten teacher Rose Huntington.



Interim BOCES principal

Francis G. Banta has been named interim principal of Nassau BOCES' Long Island High School for the Arts and the Doshi STEM Program. He replaced Ava Favara, who retired after serving as principal of the high school for four decades.

Banta's career began in 1964 as a social studies teacher at Howard B. Mattlin Middle School in Plainview. He has held a wide variety of administrative positions, including several stints as interim principal of Long Island high schools, Nassau BOCES said.



New principals

The West Hempstead school district has three new principals: Teresa Grossane at West Hempstead Middle School, Michelle Notti at George Washington Elementary School and Amy Sullivan at Chestnut Street Elementary School.

Grossane, who replaced Marcia Murray, most recently served as assistant principal of Westbury Middle School. Notti, who replaced Theresa Ganley, previously was principal of Chestnut Street Elementary. Sullivan taught first grade in the Garden City Union Free School District for the past 15 years.



Partners nominations

Nassau BOCES is accepting nominations for its 8th Annual Education Partner Awards, which honor those who play an influential role in public education in the county.

The Education Partner Award is open to people in all walks of life. Nominations also can be made in five other specific award categories: Nassau BOCES employees, organizations, school board members, students and teachers.

"Each year, we honor those people whose impact on public education can be measured in a tangible way," Nassau BOCES' district superintendent Thomas Rogers said. "And in these challenging times, we are especially appreciative of people who go above and beyond their scope of commitments."

Nominations should be submitted by Nov. 4 at Winners will be announced in January and honored at an April 2 awards gala.



'A Day Made Better'

Three Long Island teachers were among 1,000 winners nationwide this month in OfficeMax's "A Day Made Better" program, which seeks to support teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies.

Patricia Peyton of Summit Lane Elementary School in Levittown, Jane Riccardi of Trinity Regional School in East Northport, and Traci Smith of Park View Elementary School in Kings Park were surprised in their classrooms with $1,000 worth of school supplies from OfficeMax.

The program is coordinated with the nonprofit

AdoptAClass Principals nominated teachers based on passion, innovation and dedication. "Teachers and educators are part of the crucial infrastructure necessary to build a promising future for our children, and yet many teachers and schools face significant challenges to make ends meet in classrooms due to budget shortfalls," said Carolynn Brooks, vice president, chief diversity officer and president of OfficeMax Charitable Foundation.

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