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West Babylon High School library being named for ex-senator Owen Johnson

In an undated photo, State Sen. Owen Johnson

In an undated photo, State Sen. Owen Johnson stands in the capital building in Albany. Credit: Dave Oxford

The West Babylon school district will name its high school library after former state Sen. Owen Johnson in a ceremony to be held at the school Tuesday night, district Superintendent Anthony Cacciola said.

“He’s synonymous with West Babylon schools,” Cacciola said.

Johnson, 83, was the State Senate’s most senior member when he retired last year after a four-decade career. A Republican, he represented the 4th Senate District, which covers part of Babylon and Islip towns.

He had a somewhat shorter career at West Babylon Grade School, going on to Babylon High School because at the time the district had no senior high of its own.

West Babylon Senior High School, at 500 Great East Neck Rd., was eventually built on land that used to be part of the Johnson family vegetable farm, Cacciola said.

Johnson still lives nearby and a family-run insurance business, Johnson & Johnson Agency, is just down the street.

As state senator, Johnson secured numerous grants for district schools, Cacciola said, including ones that funded pioneering projects such as the robotics team and the Russian exchange program.

A wood sign bearing the new name, made by students in the industrial arts program, has been posted above the library entrance, Cacciola said.

The ceremony is tonight at the high school, from 6 to 7:30. Johnson and Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer are expected to attend.


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