Joan Petroske
Written by Sandy Glickman
Reprinted from the HHHARTBEAT newsletter
Our first interviewee is Joan Petroske, who has been HHHART President since 1994. Joan attended Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx, even though she was accepted at the very selective Hunter High School.( Her friends were all going to attend Columbus, and Hunter did not accept boys, at the time.)  She went to Cornell University, where she had a dual major – Child Development and Sociology/Social Work. She worked as a Social Worker, for two years, in a Foster Care and Adoption agency.
Her teaching career in Half Hollow Hills began when, after she subbed for ten days, she was invited to teach Reading half time. She worked with First Graders. She also taught Physical Education half time. Even then they knew that if you ask Joan to do a job, she will give it her all. Her full-time elementary experience started in 1970, when she was assigned a Fourth Grade class at Taukomas.  Working towards her Master's Degree at Hofstra, at night, while she was teaching, and raising her children, Susan and Cliff, was a challenging time constraint, so her husband, Ed, (who was very much a presence in HHH, as a teacher and as a retiree until, sadly, he died in 2006) developed a system whereby each of the members of the family rotated the time-consuming household jobs which often fall exclusively on the woman.

Joan was the building representative for the Teachers' Association at Taukomas and, when it closed, at Vanderbilt until she retired in 1992. She was on the executive board of the TA and became chairperson of the elementary school representatives. Joan was on many school committees and did presentations at various venues.

Joan has been President of HHHART since 1994, She and Ed were involved in lobbying in Albany and Washington and were delegates to NYSUT and the AFT. Presently, Joan is involved as a Retiree NYSUT Delegate in Retiree Council 20, CORTLI, and LIRDC. Her efforts on our behalf have been extraordinary. We are so lucky to have her.

Joan and Ed were very ardent sailors. They sailed at every opportunity, played tennis, spent time at their time-share in the Florida Keys, and lived a very full life. Joan also found time to be president of her Condo Association. Grass does not grow under Joan's feet.

Eileen Lohrey, HHHART Vice President
Reprinted from the HHHART BEAT Newsletter

Eileen attended Great Neck schools, graduating from Great Neck South in 1960 and went on to Oswego State. She graduated in 1964 and was certified to teach K-9 Elementary Ed and Social Studies. Eileen opted to teach elementary school in Schenectady, NY, first, as a fifth grade teacher and later as a 5/6 teacher. She was there for four years, was active in the Schenectady Teachers' Association serving as a building rep. After four years, she headed to Denver, CO, with friends, where she worked for the State Education Department, bused tables and finally got a job in an inner-city school. When she was excessed, Eileen returned to Long Island and was hired by Half Hollow Hills in August of 1969. She was assigned to Otsego and worked there until her retirement in 1997.

Over the years, she became active in the HHHTA serving first as a rep and, prior to retirement, serving on the Executive Board as the Elementary Trustee. Her work on the Executive Board involved different school activities as well as district committees.
She is enjoying retirement! Traveling is fun, although she hasn't driven from LI to Acapulco, Mexico in her Chevy Corvair convertible lately. Last year, she was off to Alaska. Eileen spends time golfing, skiing, reading, "doing lunch," exercising, attending classes and volunteering. She presently serves as Vice President of HHHART where she is involved with many LI professional organizations such as CORTLI and Retiree Council 20.

Eileen is a wonderful asset to our association.

Malinda Dobrins, HHHART Secretary
Reprinted from the HHHART BEAT Newsletter

Malinda is an exemplary product of the Half Hollow Hills School System and a valued member of our Board. For elementary school she attended the old Hills School, and Sunquam. She went to Burr's Lane for seventh through ninth grades and to Half Hollow Hills High School for tenth to twelfth grades. (ed: There was only one high school when she graduated.) Her maiden name was Lianza. Perhaps you were lucky enough to have had her in your class.

Malinda went to Oneonta for two and a half years and went on to graduate from Hunter College. She got a Masters' in Arts and Liberal Studies from Stonybrook University. She took more than seventy-five additional credits and has certification in Health Science and Special Education (CW Post). She was certified in Home Economics (which exists now as Family and Consumer Sciences).

Malinda taught in Half Hollow Hills from 1969 to 2001 – Home Economics at East and West. While working, she was active in Suffolk Family and Consumer Science Organization for which she received a Teacher- of-the-Year Award.   At the High School, she was advisor to the Future Homemakers of America and various other clubs. For the last five years of her career she coached the Dixettes Kick Line.

After she retired, Malinda went to Hofstra where she was trained as a Personal Trainer and where got National Certification as a Health Fitness Instructor.  Now she teaches adult education courses, Fitness First, at East, and she volunteers at the Huntington Nutrition Center, where she holds osteoporosis prevention classes. Malinda obviously loves teaching and being a student.

Malinda's husband, Lee, is a registered piano technician. Her daughter, Marlene, graduated from High School West in 1989. She was married in 2005 and is the mother of Sam, and soon to be the mother of Mackenzie.

As a member of the HHHART Board, she volunteers and participates in any jobs that need to be done, in addition to her duties as secretary. Need envelopes stuffed? Malinda is there. Need a house for the Retirees End-of-the Year Party? Malinda has graciously opened her home for this occasion for the last eight years. Need someone to coordinate HHHART's participation in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Jones Beach ? Malinda is the one.  What an asset Malinda is to our organization!! 

Rowena Book, HHHART Board
Reprinted from the HHHART BEAT Newsletter

Straight from our hospitality and social programs committee is Rowena Book, this issue’s Board Interviewee.

Rowena Book

Rowena was born and raised in Chelsea, and graduated from Salem Teacher’s College in Salem, MA. She always enjoyed kidding around with her students about having had special training in “How to be a Witch!!” She received her Master’s Degree from Stony Brook University.

Rowena and her husband will be married 60 years in November of this year. They have three children.

Her experience in the business world involved work at an advertising agency in Boston, Esso Standard Oil in NY, and, while her husband was in the army, the Fort Lee Army Post in Virginia. Although she had always wanted to work in the business world, it was when she was doing student teaching that she fell “in love” with teaching. How fortunate for the students of Half Hollow Hills. She worked at HHH at the High School East Business Department from 1970-1990, and loved every minute of it!! Rowena did extra curricular work with the FBLA, the Future Business Leaders of America, and was a member of the building committee at High School East.

Rowena is enjoying retirement as an opportunity to keep learning, attend lectures, take courses, enjoy the arts, and travel. How lucky we are to have gained Rowena as a member of the association.

Helen Chipkin

Helen Chipkin, HHHART Board
Written by Barbara Arbuss
Reprinted from the HHHART BEAT Newsletter

In this issue, we're highlighting Helen Chipkin, an ideal model of an elementary school educator. She attended Hunter College for one year and then went on to Queens college where she graduated and was certified in Elementary Education. While teaching in HHH, she received her Masters degree from C.W. Post.

After teaching in the Syosset School District and K in Park Shore in Dix Hills, Helen began her HHH career teaching at Forest Park, transferring to the Vanderbilt School when it moved into its new building. She taught primarily in the primary grades. (Pun intended.) She taught second grade for one year and in a team teaching third grade for 3 years. But her greatest love was working with first graders. She spent most of her career at Vanderbilt in this grade.

HHHART is very fortunate to have Helen on its board. She has worked on the programs, social, and hospitality committees and is always ready to help. For many years, she worked with Honey Kellman to plan and set up the HHHART fall luncheons .

Helen has many interests and great energy so when she retired from teaching in 1992, she began working in the business world in the insurance industry with her husband, Dave.    After she was certified, she became an independent insurance agent. When she retired for the second time (from the business world), she became an adjunct at Old Westbury College working with student teachers where she thoroughly enjoyed training future teachers.

Throughout her working days, she raised two children, Judy and Eric.  Eric lives in the Albany area with his wife and Helen's two grandchildren, Meghan and Michael.  She dotes on her grandchildren and frequently takes trips upstate to visit.  Her daughter lives on Long Island which makes getting together much easier.

Helen has enjoyed many different activities outside of work.    She attends the theater, enjoys art tours and book clubs, and plays mah jong and canasta. But most of all, she is an avid traveler. She has been to China, Israel, and Egypt    She recently became engaged to Arthur Gilbert after being introduced by Honey Kellman who knew him well since he was best man at her wedding.    They have traveled extensively – to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Africa. They are enlarging Helenʼs home at this time and plan to live in Plainview with Chips, an adorable 5 lb. Yorkie.
Helen has been on the HHHART Board since 1995 and we are fortunate to have her vigor
and expertise to help us all.

Marilyn (Honey) Kellman, HHHART Board
Written by Barbara Arbuss
Reprinted from the HHHART BEAT Newsletter

Everyone knows Marilyn as Honey and she is a honey. She was brought up in Brooklyn, went to Lafayette High School, and graduated from Oswego. After graduation 3 “Oswego Gals” took a car trip cross country. It was such fun for them seeing the U.S.A. that way in spite of no air conditioning in the car and water bags in front to cool the radiator. This fostered a love for traveling, and the following summer they were off to tour several European cities and countries. Honey and Hal continued to travel with their family.

Honey's first teaching assignment was in Uniondale. She left to start her family. She has two children, her daughter, Carolyn, who is an attorney and her son, Michael, who is CFO of the ADL. She has two grandchildren, Alex and Emily, who are the loves of her life. When she returned to continue her teaching career, it was at the “famed HHH School District”, first at Manasquan and then on to Vanderbilt where she met Ruth Steinberg and others who are her closest friends – her support system as she says. When Honey retired, Ruth encouraged her to join many, many activities and to do many of the things she has enjoyed these past years.

Since she retired, her life has changed. Her husband, Hal, has Parkinson's disease and at this time, is confined to a wheel chair. The past few years have brought many challenging situations for her. Her motto continues to be “Keep Smiling”. She enjoys weekly Mah Jongg games, lunch with the ladies, theater and movies with Hal when possible. She is a staunch tennis and METS fan.

She loves being a HHHART Board Member, planning some of our luncheons with Helen Chipkin, and working with others on various projects.  And we love working with her.

Gloria Montesano
Written by Gloria Montesano
Reprinted from the HHHARTBEAT newsletter

Our Board interviewee for this issue is Gloria Montesano, Programs and Social Committee.
I was the eighth child of immigrant parents. My mother was 44 at my birth and she probably would have had more but, unfortunately, my father passed away at the age of 49. I grew up with four wonderful brothers and three sisters.
I gave my mother a jolt when I told her I wanted to go to college since the prevailing consensus at that time was that young girls never went to college and when I informed her that tuition would be ten dollars a semester, she fainted! Luckily, my brother had just been mustered out of the army and gave me the money to start my extended education. Incidentally, upon his 70th birthday I made out a check to him in the amount of his original investment with interest. Was that a surprise!

I graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. and received my Master's at Queens College. I taught at William Floyd, Herricks, New Cassel and Half Hollow Hills covering a span of 41 years.

Teaching was the joy of my life, so much so that I feel as though I didn't work a day in my life. One of my greatest rewards was being operated for breast cancer by one of my former first grade students who related to me all he remembered about his cherished first grade experience. I was happy to see that he finally learned how to tie his shoes.

Currently, I am teaching religion at St. Matthew's and am part of the adult choir. I am also very active in the St. Matthew's "Yes Group," (Young Energetic Seniors) which meets once a week for social and travel events. My favorite pastimes are reading, hiking and knitting. (Thank you Honey Kellman for your help here.)

Alice Langholz
Written by Alice Langholz
Reprinted from the HHHARTBEAT newsletter

This issue's Board interviewee is Alice Langholz who is in charge of the HHHART e-mail data base.

I'm a true Long Islander. I was born and raised in Garden City and West Hempstead. After graduating from Hofstra University (college when I attended) midyear, I started my teaching career in Valley Stream District 13. My first class was a very bright homogenous group of fourth graders; their teacher had been promoted to assistant principal.

I left that district to raise a family, returning to teaching in Half Hollow Hills at Sunquam. It seemed every year I was among the ones almost excessed. Miraculously I was able to keep my position, gradually moving up the tenure list.

My first graders were always so interesting to watch develop. Imagine watching children learn to read, write and do math day by day. It fascinated me what they had accomplished by the end of the year.

After 10 years I was “promoted” to fourth grade where I felt I had found my niche. When Sunquam closed, I was placed in Signal Hill where it was wonderful learning to work with another excellent staff. I always felt fortunate to have coworkers on my grade level who helped inspire me and encourage me to do my best. I loved working with the fourth graders. It is such a wonderful age.

Retirement has been wonderful. It has afforded my husband and me a lot of time with our three grandchildren. We've done a lot of traveling in the years since I've retired including China, Croatia, South America, France, Italy, the Baltic countries and Eastern Europe.

Photography has become my hobby. My husband is wonderful about accompanying me on photo workshops in Arizona, North Carolina, Maine and New Hampshire. I enjoy the taking of photos and editing them.

We also enjoy going to Broadway shows and playing bridge.

I'm grateful that I'm having such a good time in retirement. 

Betty Jayne Volpe

betty jayneWritten by Barbara Arbuss
Reprinted from the HHHARTBEAT newsletter

 Betty grew up on Long Island. She met her husband, Rick (a retiree of HSE), in high school.  They married while she was in college and still live in the Town of Huntington where they enjoy the extensive cultural life. Their two daughters completed the circle when they attended their alma mater, Walt Whitman High School. Betty graduated from Hofstra where she worked towards a Masters Degree in Reading. She earned a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from C.W. Post.

Betty began teaching at Manasquan in 1970 and then moved on to Signal Hill. When the sixth grades were moved to the middle schools, she taught sixth grade science at Candlewood for seven years. For the remainder of her career at Half Hollow Hills, she taught students in the gifted program.

Many years before, PET computers were introduced into the elementary schools and this was the beginning of Bettyʼs interest in technology. When she retired, this spark helped her find her niche as a consultant in Half Hollow Hills in technology integration in the classroom. She also works for Nassau BOCES and consults with a school district regarding gifted education.

She contends that the best part of her lifeʼs resume is “Grandma.” Her four grandsons are her joy. She and Rick are able to spend lots of time with them and, as she says, “it canʼt get better than this.”

When Betty became a member of the HHHART Board, she worked on the database. She then spent a great deal of time developing the award- winning HHHART website which she now consistently updates. The 2010 first-place award was given to Betty by NYSUT in the websiteʼs first year of operation.

Betty enjoys many interesting activities. She bicycles the trails of Long Island and Cape Cod, relaxes in Cancun, and knits for a local charity, Care To Knit, Inc. She formed a local chapter of this charity comprised of retired teachers called the Needlers.

We are all indebted to her for sharing her joy and expertise.

Marlene Flanagan
Written by Barbara Arbuss
Reprinted from the HHHARTBEAT newsletter

Marlene grew up in the Bronx and Queens. After she graduated from Bayside High School (having loved many of her excellent math teachers) Marlene was fortunate to be able to attend Queens College where she majored in Math and minored in Physics and Economics.

In the fall of 1957, Marlene began working as an engineering aide at Sperry Gyroscope rather than looking for a teaching position, which she knew would require many additional hours of prep time. As a female in the fifties, she was not eligible to be a full engineer and found being a "secretary" to the department very boring.

Marleneʼs thoughts returned to teaching. When she called the local High School (Martin Van Buren) right after the launch of Sputnik, she was offered a job for the following January. Marlene had to take a pay cut from industry salaries even though there was a shortage of math teachers in New York City. She had to work very hard to learn teaching techniques and the curriculum, but she really enjoyed it. Then in November, 1960, Marlene had the first of three children and began ten fun years of family child- rearing and community involvement.

In 1970 when her youngest child was in full time nursery school, she returned to teaching – at High School East. Again it was a joy. Especially rewarding was the opportunity to encourage young women and men to overcome anxiety, enjoy math, believe in their math ability, and to pursue careers in engineering and related fields. Marlene found lifelong friends on the faculty, and served in the HHHTA as well.

After 25 years it was time for a new passage – into retirement. Marlene has enjoyed this time immensely. She and her husband, Ed, did lots of traveling culminating in a 50th anniversary cruise with their family to Bermuda. After that they cruised in Alaska and then from Barcelona to Venice.

Most recently Marlene and Ed have traveled to Denver to see their four-year-old youngest grandchild as well as to Philadelphia, Vermont, and Boston for family visits to three older grandchildren, a niece, and a nephew. Marlene also enjoys her new hobby of pasteling with instruction, lots of trips to New York City for shows and museums, reading with a book club, and staying strong with exercise and Pilates. Family and friends are a great pleasure to her and, with the help of computers and smart phones, she gets to share her life. Marlene has really been smitten by all the technology available these days.

She cherishes the time she spent at High School East and feels very fortunate to have found such an opportunity for rewarding work amongst good friends. Now she serves on the HHHART Board which she believes is very important in keeping our collegial connections as well as informing us about our many benefits and the challenges to them, especially in these times. 

Webmaster:  Betty Jayne Volpe,