OBEN Schools Welcome New Faculty and Staff
It is always with great excitement and anticipation that the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District welcomes and embraces new members to the staff. Each new person offers new visions and enthusiasm on becoming a part of the proud tradition of educational excellence that has become the standard in Oyster Bay.
This September begins a new school year with a new leader at the helm of the Oyster Bay High School. Ms. Sharon Lasher is the new Principal who has already shown an enthusiasm warmth and compassion for all students at OBHS.
Ms. Lasher holds a BBA degree in Public Accounting from Hofstra University, a Masters in Secondary Education from Dowling College and an Advanced Certificate in School Leadership from LIU, CW Post.
Principal Lasher began her career in education at North Babylon High School as a Business Teacher. She continued teaching Business classes at Plainview Old Bethpage JFK High School. Six years ago Ms. Lasher moved into administration where she served as the Assistant Principal of Plainview Old Bethpage JFK High School.
Ms. Lasher made a lasting impact while working at JFK High School. She was honored by the Classes of 2003 and 2006 as the yearbook dedication recipient. In 2008 she was the PTA Founder’s Day Award recipient and in 2012 Ms. Lasher received a Certificate of Appreciation for Contribution to Positive School Climate.
Principal Lasher grew up in Bethpage and currently lives in Kings Park. She has two grown children. Her daughter, Jen, lives and works in Manhattan, and her son, Jeffrey, is living and working in Brooklyn.
When not working Ms. Lasher enjoys attending concerts of all kinds, traveling, boating, and spending time with her children
When asked why she chose to come work in Oyster Bay, Ms. Lasher said, “I feel as though Oyster Bay has a real sense of community, which is very important to me. I want to be a part of a school in a community where the residents take pride in where they live and raise their children. I look forward to meeting and getting to know the students, their families, and my colleagues.”
Ms. Lasher’s ever present smile shows that she enjoys being here as much as we enjoy having her here.
The District Office made some changes this summer as well. The OBEN community welcomes the new Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, Mr. Michael Cipriani. Mr. Cipriani hit the ground running. He began participating in activities in Oyster Bay before officially assuming the new position.
Mr. Cipriani began his journey in the Copiague Public Schools thirteen years ago. He has worked for the Roslyn Public Schools and Bayport Blue Point Schools before landing here in Oyster Bay.
He holds a BBA degree in Accounting from Hofstra University, an MPS degree in Human Resource Management and an Advanced Graduate Certificate- Human Resource Management from Stony Brook University.
Mr. Cipriani is a native Long Islander. He currently lives in Fort Salonga with his wife and three daughters. He likes having fun with his family, running and exercise, playing classical violin and enjoying classic cars.
Mr. Cipriani was attracted to Oyster Bay-East Norwich because of the great reputation of staff, administration, Board of Education and the community. Oyster Bay was highly recommended by his colleagues who have worked for the District.
Mr. Cipriani said, “I look forward to working to ensure that the financial and operations of the district are administered to the maximum effectively possible. I am also looking forward to implementing additional efficiencies to both preserve educational programs and protect the interest of the district’s taxpayers. I will enjoy getting to know the community, staff and the Board of Education.”
The Counseling Center at Oyster Bay High School has a dynamic new leader. Ms. Sabrina Meehan has taken the position of Supervisor of Counseling Services. Ms. Meehan is highly qualified for the to handle the awesome responsibilities of the Counseling Center.
She spent seven years working in the business world gaining valuable ‘real world’ experience. Ms. Meehan worked part-time as a K-12 School-to-Career Coordinator with the Harborfields Central School District and part-time as a Job Placement Counselor with Western Suffolk BOCES. For eight years Ms. Meehan served as a School Counselor at Harborfields High School. She then moved into administration as a K-12 Director of Guidance and Counseling Services with the South Country Central School District.
Ms. Meehan earned a BA in Psychology from Hofstra University, an MSED in School Counseling and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in School Building/District Leadership from Long Island University/Post.
Ms. Meehan grew up in Richmond Hill (Queens) and moved to Long Island when she was finishing up middle school. She currently lives in Sayville with a wonderful husband who is a Social Studies Teacher, and two amazing children, Shane who is 8 and Tessa who just turned 7 on September 1st. She loves to read, travel, paddle board, and spend time with her growing children.
When asked about coming to Oyster Bay, Ms. Meehan said, “Oyster Bay is a district rooted in great history and pride. It is a place that is clearly student-centered, and rich in opportunities for students to explore and take part in. That is what drew me to the position and I am excited to begin what I know will be a fruitful career with the Oyster Bay/East Norwich School District. I am truly looking forward to getting to know the faculty, students and families of the Oyster Bay/East Norwich School District. My goal is to keep focused on a deep tradition of excellence while continuing to build on and improve our service to our students in these rapidly changing times. I am passionate about students and know how lucky I am to work in the field of education. It has provided me with the most amazing opportunity to enrich the lives of the students in my care, and for that I am grateful every single day.”
There is yet another new face to the OBEN Schools administrative team. Mr. Joseph Pesqueira is the new K-12 Supervisor of Social Studies, Career Technologies, and Service Learning.
Mr. Pesqueira holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree from Marist College, a Masters of the Arts from Stony Brook University, and a Post-Masters Advanced Certificate from Hunter College.
Mr. Pesqueira began as an AP World History and U.S. History Teacher at The Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics where he also served as the Social Studies Department Chair.
Mr. Pesqueira is originally from Medford. He now lives in Smithtown with his wife, Anne (who happens to be a history teacher) and two beautiful children, Nicholas (2 years old) and Joanna (2 months old). He loves to do anything that involves spending time with his family. He also enjoys watching sports (huge Mets and Cowboys fan) and the History Channel. Mr. Pesqueira loves cooking. He particularly enjoys making huge breakfasts for family and friends.
When asked why he picked Oyster Bay, Mr. Pesqueira said, “I quickly fell in love with the community and the people at Oyster Bay – East Norwich. Driving through the town and passing signs for Sagamore Hill and seeing the statue of Teddy Roosevelt got me so excited. I don’t think there is any area of Long Island that has a richer history than Oyster Bay. More importantly, during every interview, it was very clear that the kids were always the priority, which is of the utmost importance to me. I knew I was in a district where the children come first and that is why I knew OBEN was right for me.
I look forward to immersing myself in the OBEN community and becoming a contributor to the continued success of our students. I’m also excited to work closely with the Social Studies Department to engage students in the classroom, as well as prepare them for successful futures. Lastly, I look forward to meeting students and parents throughout the course of the year and getting to know the needs of the students and the community.”
With the retirement last year of Bruce Levorchick, the Social Studies Department needed to hire a new teacher. They were fortunate to find Lauren Harnick who will be teaching AP U.S. Government and Politics and Criminal/Civil Law I Elective at Oyster Bay High School.
Ms. Harnick earned a B.A. in Sociology, with a concentration in Legal Studies- Health Law and Social Policy from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. After graduating, Ms. Harnick attended Hofstra University School of Law where she earned a Juris Doctorate degree. She then went on to Queens College where she garnered a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Secondary Social Studies Education for grades 7-12.
Ms. Harnick worked in New York City Public Schools at a small high school, RFK Community High School in Flushing, Queens. Before entering the teaching profession, Ms. Harnick practiced law for ten years.
She grew up in Fresh Meadows in Queens and currently lives in Merrick with her husband of nineteen years and two daughters, ages 16 and 13. Ms. Harnick is passionate about running and reading books. She has completed four marathons and numerous other smaller races. She is currently training for the Hamptons Marathon on October 1st.
When asked about Oyster Bay-East Norwich, Ms. Harnick said, “I love that Oyster Bay is a small community and that it is known for its academic excellence. I look forward to building relationships with students, parents, and my colleagues.”
Oyser Bay High School welcomes a new English Teacher to the staff, Ms. Maria Kim.
Ms. Kim attended the Bronx High School of Science and went on the earn a B.A. in English from Binghamton University. She holds a Masters Degree in Secondary English Education from Queens College and an M.A. TESOL from Hunter College. Ms. Kim is just beginning Ph.D in Literacy program at Hofstra University.
Before coming to Oyster Bay, Ms. Kim worked at the Susan B. Anthony Academy (I.S. 238) in Hollis, NY.
She currently resides in Little Neck, Queens with her husband and three spirited children aged 5, 7, and 9. Ms. Kim enjoys hiking, biking with her family, losing track of time in bookshops, and learning new things.
When asked about why she chose Oyster Bay, Ms. Kim said, “It may be more accurate to say that Oyster Bay chose me. However, I am glad to be able to teach in a smaller district where teachers can truly get to know students and help them learn. I look forward to working intensely with my students on writing and incorporating multimedia technology into our projects.”
While not new to the District, there is another new member of the OBHS Faculty. Mr. John Brush made quite an impact working as a resident sub last year for the OBEN Schools, that when Tom Neary retired leaving a vacancy in the Physical Education Department, it was a perfect fit for Mr. Brush.
Mr. John Brush is joining the Oyster Bay High School staff as a Physical Education Teacher and Head Varsity Wrestling Coach.
Mr. Brush holds a Bachelor Degree in Health and Physical Education from LIU Post, where he is currently completing his Masters’ Degree in Special Education.
Prior to coming to Oyster Bay, Mr. Brush worked as a Wrestling Coach at Island Trees High School and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
Mr. Brush grew up in East Meadow and currently lives in Oyster Bay with his wife Ali and three children; JJ who is eleven, Ryan who is seven, and McKenna Rose who is one. Mr. Brush enjoys working out, coaching, wrestling, and spending time with his family.
Mr. Brush said, “This is a great school district with a very supportive and, interactive administration. I feel I have a great opportunity to learn as an educator with this supportive staff. I look forward to continue to build great relationships with students and improve my teaching ability.”
The James H. Vernon School welcomes a new Librarian this year. Ms. Christine Parente is the new Library Media Specialist. Ms. Parente holds a Master of Library and Information Science from LIU – Post. She comes to Oyster Bay-East Norwich from the Syosset Central School District.
Ms. Parente grew up in East Meadow and currently lives in Salisbury with her husband and three children. The oldest is Brian and she has twins named Katherine and Anthony. She loves reading, visiting historic sites, and spending time with her family.
Ms. Parente said, “I have a special place in my heart for Oyster Bay. My mom grew up here and I spent many summers with my grandparents enjoying this beautiful and interesting area. I can’t wait to meet and then get to know all of the students at Vernon. I know we will have a great year.”
There is only one Resident Substitute Teacher returning to the District this year. Ms. Wendy Fragoso will again be working at Vernon. She will be joined by Ms. Brittany Ford and Ms. Christina Russo.
Ms. Christine Rooney is the new Resident Substitute at the Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School.
Mr. Fransisco Viera Pereira has joined the staff at Oyster Bay High School as a Resident Substitute.