Jeannie Morgenstern Wins Steve Tribus Scholarship

Huntington English teacher Mike Schwendemann with Steve Tribus scholarship recipient Jean Morgenstern.

Jeannie Morgenstern Wins Steve Tribus Scholarship

July 25, 2016

When Huntington School District teachers and administrators were told that retired Assistant Superintendent Steven Tribus had passed away suddenly on January 28, 2013, his former colleagues were surprised and saddened.

A consummate professional who was proud of his chosen career, Mr. Tribus enjoyed his time in the Huntington School District, interacting with teachers, students and parents effortlessly and making notable contributions toward initiatives designed to improve 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 earmarked the award for a graduating Huntington senior intending to study English in college in order to prepare for a career as a teacher.

The inaugural recipient of the $1,000 Steve Tribus Memorial Scholarship was Anna Garfinkel, one of the leading members of Huntington’s Class of 2014. She is set to enter her junior year at Skidmore College, where she is pursuing English education studies in preparation for a teaching career. Last year’s honoree was Katie Duval, who is studying literature at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

This year’s Tribus scholarship winner is Jeannie Morgenstern. She plans to major in liberal arts at New York University. Named a Distinguished Senior after compiling an academic grade average of at least a 90 during her first seven semesters of high school, the teenager has been a major contributor to Et Cetera, the high school’s literary magazine.

English teacher Michael Schwendemann presented the Tribus scholarship to Ms. Morgenstern at the high school senior academic awards ceremony in June.

Mature beyond years, the new Huntington alum has been an optimistic presence around the high school throughout the past four years. “I was able to acknowledge when something was difficult, because I knew that a struggle is not permanent,” said Ms. Morgenstern last spring. “As a result, I was willing to ask for help when I needed it.”

Active in the Gay Straight Alliance and Awareness Weekend initiative, Ms. Morgenstern has many fond memories of Huntington teachers going back to elementary school. She studied in the district beginning as a kindergarten student. She has considered being a health, English or social studies teacher or a writer or doctor.

Steve Tribus a longtime educator

Steven Tribus earned a BA in history at Hofstra University and a master’s degree in administration and supervisor 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.

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Steve Tribus

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 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 surely have pleased to meet and sit down and get to know Ms. Morgenstern, taking delight in discussing their joint passion of literature and the spoken and written word.

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Huntington English teacher Mike Schwendemann with Steve Tribus scholarship recipient Jean Morgenstern.
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Steven Tribus and Principal Mary Lou Griffin (standing left) with 1997 valedictorian Susan Fiore and her parents.
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Steven Tribus with Huntington's 1997 valedictorian, Susan Fiore.

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