Katy Dara with English teacher Michael Schwendemann

Kathryn Dara Captures Steve Tribus Scholarship

Steve Tribus Memorial Scholarship Award recipient Katy Dara with English teacher Michael Schwendemann.

June 14, 2017

When Huntington School District teachers and administrators learned that retired Assistant Superintendent Steven Tribus had passed away suddenly on January 28, 2013, the spirits of his former colleagues sank.

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

Kathryn Dara
Huntington senior Kathryn Dara.

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 senior year at Skidmore College, where she is pursuing English education studies in preparation for a teaching career. The 2015 honoree was Katie Duval, who is studying literature at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Last year’s scholarship recipient was Jeannie Morgenstern, who just completed her freshman year at New York University.

This year’s Tribus scholarship winner is Kathryn Dara, who plans to study English at the University at Albany. “An absolutely delightful young learner, Katy has certainly earning this distinction,” Huntington English teacher Kelly Quintero said.

English teacher Michael Schwendemann presented the Tribus scholarship to Ms. Dara at the high school senior academic awards ceremony last Wednesday night in the high school auditorium.

“Katy is intelligent, articulate, curious and passionate,” Mr. Schwendemann said. “She represents the very heart of our academic discipline. She is a prolific reader who loves to discuss the merits or potential shortcomings of a wide range of titles. She is also a wonderful writer, gracefully communicating complex and important ideas through scholarly essays as well as image-filled poetry.”

A member of the Blue Devil marching band since eighth grade, Ms. Dara was the flute section leader this past year. A member of the Huntington Foundation’s Youth Board, she played a role in planning the organization’s 2017 gala. The teenager completed a credit bearing internship with teacher Deidre Mayer in a French IV Honors class. “Katy is terrific, reliable and enthusiastic,” college counselor Bernadette Walsh said.

Steve Tribus was a veteran educator

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

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.

Steven Tribus
Steven Tribus with Huntington's
1997 valedictorian, Susan Fiore.

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 undoubtedly have been happy to meet and converse with Ms. Dara, enjoying a discussion concerning their joint passion for literature and both the spoken and written word.

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