The new school year has brought several new faces to Southdown Primary School classrooms. Teachers and support staff have hit the ground running and the building’s 315 students have responded in their typically energetic manner.
Southdown has been serving the Huntington community since September 1954. Following a recent reconfiguration, the school is currently educating youngsters spread across grades K-3.
Principal Scott Oshrin is pleased with how the new school year has been unfolding during the opening weeks and with the way the new teachers have seamlessly blended into the faculty.
The new teachers include Amanda Adrion, Sarah Anderson, John Romano and Alyssa Scudieri. They are all excited to be members of Southdown’s family.
Amanda Adrion is a new kindergarten teacher at Southdown. “I have been passionate about teaching all of my life,” she said. “Teaching is a job that allows me to inspire young children to be the best version of themselves. It is an honor to be a part of the Huntington family.”
Prior to being hired to teach at Southdown, Ms. Adrion served in a variety of instructional positions at Washington Primary School. “My experiences at Washington allowed me to work with such wonderful students and teachers,” she said. “I truly enjoy working with such a diverse population and learning about students’ different backgrounds. Huntington is an amazing school district that focuses on building lifelong learners.”
Ms. Adrion obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood/childhood education at SUNY Cortland. She is currently studying for a master’s degree at Touro College.
“Transitioning to Southdown has been such a positive experience,” Ms. Adrion said. “I have enjoyed meeting all of the students and collaborating with the teachers. Southdown is a welcoming place that supports all of their students. As an educator, I love creating hands-on engaging lessons that support all different learners. My goal is to inspire young children and make them excited about learning. Teaching is my passion and I look forward to an amazing school year at Southdown Primary School.”
Sarah Anderson is “thrilled” to be teaching English as a New Language in the town where she was born and raised. She joins Southdown with over 17 years of ENL teaching experience in some of Manhattan’s finest public schools.
Ms. Anderson first began working with English language learners in Costa Rica where she lived for two years. It was there that she acquired Spanish language fluency and became deeply interested in the cross section of language, ideas and culture.
Inspired to continue working with an international community, Ms. Anderson returned to New York and pursued an education in TESOL (Teaching English to speakers of other languages). She has been teaching ENL ever since. In her free time she enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her family. She is “delighted to have the opportunity to give back to the community” that raised her and is “deeply grateful” to be a part of the Southdown Primary family.
John Romano has joined the physical education staff at Southdown. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sports management at Dowling College, where he was a member of the baseball team, starring as a pitcher.
After graduating from college, Mr. Romano was a personal fitness trainer, working with hundreds of high school and college athletes. He then decided to pursue a career in teaching, eventually obtaining a master’s degree in physical education at Adelphi University.
Prior to coming to Huntington, Mr. Romano was a physical education teacher at PS/MS 206 in East Harlem for four years. He helped numerous students to attend different summer camps for sports/activities by raising money through the Go Fund Me and Donors Choose platforms.
Earlier in Mr. Romano’s career, he worked in Kings Park as a permanent substitute for three years. During that time he was a physical education leave replacement teacher at the Park View Elementary and RJO Intermediate Schools. For the last five years, he coached junior varsity girls’ basketball at Kings Park High School. He also coached JV baseball at John H. Glenn High School for four years and JV boys’ basketball at Smithtown East High School for three years.
Mr. Romano sought a position in the Huntington School District because he wanted to be a part of an “amazing and caring district,” he said. “I’ve heard so many amazing things about this district, I knew this is the place I wanted to teach and make an impact on student’s lives.
The new Southdown physical education faculty member wanted to become a teacher because he wanted to influence and help students just like his former teachers influenced and help him.
“Being a teacher is an amazing opportunity to mold young students into amazing adults,” Mr. Romano said. “The transition into Huntington has been amazing. Everyone has been so helpful and has made me feel like I’ve been a part of the district for a long time.”
Alyssa Scudieri is a new math teacher at the school. “I am very excited to be able to join the Southdown family” she said. A graduate of Hofstra University she is currently working toward a master’s degree at Stony Brook University.
“Teaching was a career I always dreamed of,” Ms. Scudieri said. “I always looked up to my teachers and dreamed of being in their position one day. I have a special place in my heart for children and to play such an influential role in their life is an extremely rewarding job to have.”
Since earning her undergraduate degree at Hofstra, Ms. Scudieri has been a permanent substitute elementary grade level teacher as well as a kindergarten teacher.
“I truly feel blessed to be a part of the Huntington community,” Ms. Scudieri said. “My family has been in Huntington forever and it is truly a special place. To be able to teach in the district where my dad and grandparents both graduated from is an indescribable feeling. Thank you to the whole staff at Southdown for making me feel so welcome and so comfortable in my new position. I am looking forward to a great year with all the students, staff and families at Southdown.”