Distinguished Alumni Award
The William Floyd High School is accepting nominations for the Distinguished Alumni Award. This award will honor Alumni for their outstanding contributions made in, but not limited to, the areas of: business, community service, education, journalism, law, medicine, performing arts, public service, science, and visual arts. Characteristics to be given primary consideration will be: academic achievement, as well as professional and/or business achievements and accomplishments, and community or civic consciousness.
Below you will find a list of all William Floyd Distinguished Alumni honorees. A plaque is mounted on the wall of the William Floyd High School’s north lobby for every distinguished alumni member that has been selected since the program began in 2009.
The Distinguished Alumni Award program is sponsored by the William Floyd School District and the William Floyd Alumni Association.
Nominate a graduate for the Distinguished Alumni Award!
Click here to download a printable Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form
Click here to access the online Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form
P.J. Cinque (Class of 2005)
P.J. Cinque is a professional musician whose career has brought him to many great concert halls around the world. P.J. joined the San Diego Symphony in 2015, having previously been a member of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. As an educator, P.J. served as double bass professor at Capital University in Columbus, OH, and has taught masterclasses at Northern Arizona University and SooChow University in Taiwan.
P.J. received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School and, during his studies, participated in Denmark’s Thy Chamber Music Festival, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. An advocate for community engagement, P.J. participates and assists in the annual San Diego Bass Fest and San Diego Symphony outreach programs. P.J. is extremely grateful to the talented and passionate teachers of William Floyd and enjoys working with current William Floyd students during his visits home.
Kristine (Fafejta) Gawlowski (Class of 1986)
Kristine (Fafejta) Gawlowski has been a proud member of the William Floyd community since her childhood when she used to spend summers at her grandmother’s bungalow in Mastic Beach. Kristine and her family fell in love with the community so much so that they eventually built a home of their own in the area.
Kristine, who is an employee at Tangier Smith Elementary School, has faced much adversity in her life including being diagnosed with two brain tumors, having to undergo seven reconstructive surgeries, being on a feeding tube for 11 months and losing her home in Superstorm Sandy. Through that adversity, Kristine has exemplified perseverance, strength and dignity, which was on full display when she selflessly volunteered to donate her kidney to a co-worker’s husband. It all began when she saw a post on social media from co-worker Amy Surrey stating that Amy’s husband, Artie, was in desperate need of a kidney transplant due to polycystic kidney disease or PKD. When Kristine saw that, she did not hesitate to get tested to see if she was a match.
Following months of testing, the results showed that she was indeed the best match, but there were still hurdles she had to clear. Due to her prior health history, Kristine needed clearance from several doctors to see if her body was healthy enough to undergo another surgery. She underwent CAT scans, MRIs, chest X-rays and a battery of other tests to determine if she was able to go ahead with the operation. She received the all-clear in late November 2018, approximately one week before the kidney donation surgery. “I always felt that I was lucky to be alive,” she said. “There had to be a reason that I’m still here, so when I learned I was a match, there was no hesitation.”
On December 4, 2018, doctors at Stony Brook University Hospital successfully performed the kidney transplant surgery. Doctors told Kristine that her actions saved two people – first Artie who directly received a kidney from Kristine, and another person because Artie’s spot on the kidney donor list was vacated. Both Kristine and Artie are doing well
Wendy (Murphy) Gross (Class of 1984)
Wendy Murphy Gross has been a lifelong community resident and proud educator in the William Floyd School District. She began her education at the Little Red School House where she attended kindergarten and graduated from William Floyd High School in 1984. She studied music at SUNY New Paltz receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Therapy in 1988 and received a full scholarship for her Master’s degree in elementary and special education in 1989.
Wendy worked as a music therapist and special education teacher at Just Kids Learning Center from 1984-1995. She was then hired by William Floyd as a kindergarten teacher in 1996 and worked in Tangier Smith, William Floyd, and Moriches elementary schools. In 2017, Wendy began working as a special education kindergarten teacher at the William Floyd Learning Center.
Working to improve the community that Wendy was raised in has been a priority in her life. Coming from a family that is very active in the community, Wendy participates in many organizations. In 2011, she became of member of the Board of Trustees at the Mastics, Moriches, Shirley Community Library and serves as vice president. In 2012, Wendy organized the Teachers Story Corner which promotes improving and maintaining literacy skills over the summer. She also has served as a volunteer for the 5K Run for Literacy since its inception which has raised thousands of dollars for family literacy services. Wendy can often be seen volunteering her time as a tutor in the community library.
Over the past 15 years, Wendy has volunteered her time with the music ministry at St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church in Mastic Beach. She has worked with the children’s choir, adult ministry and provides music for mass with her daughter, Sarah. Wendy was a religious education instructor for five years and worked as a volunteer for more than 15 years at the St. Jude’s golf outing.
Jamie (Oldham) MacPherson (Class of 1995)
Jamie (Oldham) MacPherson is the executive director of Global Regulatory Affairs at Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. After high school, she attended Northeastern University earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bouvè College of Pharmacy in 2001. During that time, she was exposed to regulatory affairs. After college she worked in different facets including regulatory compliance, regulatory strategy, regulatory CMC, and now has more than 15 years of experience navigating regulations, providing regulatory guidance to biotech/pharmaceutical companies and collaborating with health authorities globally to provide patients access to therapies, particularly those with rare, serious and life-threatening conditions. Dr. MacPherson has worked on therapies across many therapeutic areas in her career including reproductive health, cardiorenal, metabolic and endocrine, and neurology.
Jamie lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She enjoys rooting for her son, who is training for his black belt, and skiing with her daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys giving back to the community, a quality cultivated in her by her family and by the many influential teachers and role models, who provided guidance during her formative years. She has trained several service dogs for NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services) and enjoys running road races for her favorite charities such as Shooting Touch, Gronk Nation Youth Foundation and Elizabeth Schickel Foundation. She attributes her success in life to hard work, the encouragement of her family, and the loving support of her husband, without whom she could not have accomplished as much.
John Sumwalt (Class of 1990)
John Sumwalt was born and raised in Mastic Beach. Following graduation, John attended SUNY Oswego and took public justice classes. In November of 1992, John began his law enforcement career with the New York State Park Police where he worked in the New York City region before being transferred to the Long Island region in 1994. In 1995, John was sworn in as a recruit in the Suffolk County Police Academy.
With the Suffolk County Police Department, John has been a patrol officer assigned to Fifth Precinct’s Patrol, COPE and the Precinct Crime Sections, was assigned to the Fifth Squad Detectives as an investigator, and was promoted to sergeant in 2005 where he was assigned to the Fifth Precinct and Chief of Patrol’s Office. He attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA, in the summer of 2010. Shortly after his return from the National Academy, he was promoted to detective sergeant and assigned to the Seventh Squad Detectives and subsequently as the Commanding Officer of the Computer Crimes Section. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of lieutenant and was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Department. In 2016, he was promoted to the rank of detective lieutenant and served as the commanding officer of the Technical Analysis Section. In April of 2017, he was promoted to captain and was assigned to the Internal Affairs Bureau. In August of 2018, he was promoted to the rank of Deputy Inspector.
In his current role, John oversees The Major Crimes Bureau, which consists of the Homicide, Major Case, Special Victims, and Hate Crimes Sections. In addition to his work in policing, John is the owner of East End Trophy and Awards, a business he took over from his parents. John has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Long Island University and a Master of Professional Studies in criminal justice leadership from St. John’s University. He and his wife, Heather, reside in East Quogue with their two sons, Coady, 16, and Heath, 12
Caragh DeLuca (Class of 1999)
Caragh DeLuca is the national State and Local Tax Asset and Wealth Management practice leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC0. As a partner based in the Chicago office, Caragh has 13+ years of experience in the industry. Prior to joining the Chicago practice, Caragh spent seven years working in the New York City practice. Additionally, Caragh serves on the board of directors at the Chicago Child Care Society. She is a Certified Public Accountant in New York and Illinois. She is a graduate from St. John's University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and Master of Science degree in taxation.
Lynn (Dorfer) Green (Class of 1964)
Lynn Dorfer Green attended the William Floyd School District from first grade. Upon graduation, she attended Mary Immaculate Hospital School of Nursing, and earned a degree as a registered nurse (RN). Lynn later earned a Bachelor of Science at St. Joseph’s College, and a Juris Doctorate from Touro College-Justice Fuchsburg School of Law. She combined her nursing and law education by working as an RN, a nursing instructor, and practiced law in the area of medical malpractice, negligence, Family Court and Supreme Court referee, Small Claims Court arbitrator, and Acting Village Justice of in the Village Bellport, NY.
Steven Januszkiewicz (Class of 1995)
Steven Januszkiewicz, a 1995 graduate, has devoted his life to public safety and community service. He is a communications supervisor for the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services and a 23-year member and lieutenant in the Mastic Fire Department. Steven is a graduate of the Stony Brook University Paramedic program and also works as an EMS first responder. Each year Steven returns to William Floyd schools to teach fire safety and prevention and to promote the Fire/EMS service to the district’s students interested in the field. Steven lives in Shirley and continues to provide dedicated service to the William Floyd community.
Matthew Klein (Class of 1999)
After graduation, Matthew joined the U.S. Army and served in the 3rd Infantry Division as a machine gunner and squad marksman. He conducted 400+ combat missions during two tours in Iraq, receiving the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and a Purple Heart for shrapnel wounds resulting from a large IED explosion. He was honorably discharged in 2006. Matthew now serves as a detective with the NYPD in the elite, three-member forensic artist unit. Detective Klein’s primary focus is creating the likeness of suspects for “wanted posters” when there is no surveillance footage by interviewing witnesses. His forensic sketches have resulted in many perpetrators being brought to justice.
Gregory Williams (Class of 2002)
Violist Gregory K. Williams has performed throughout Europe and the United States. Greg has taught at the Ross School, Saint Francis Preparatory School, P.S. 115, Kellenberg Memorial High School, Long Island School for the Arts, NYSSSA School of Orchestral Studies, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, LIU-Post Summer Music Festival and Queens College. He studied viola performance at Boston University and the Eastman School of Music, and will receive a doctorate from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2018. Generating scholarship money for William Floyd graduates is a passion, he directed the annual Music Alumni concerts and helped to organize 5K runs through Kara’s Hope Foundation.
John Del Vecchio (Class of 1986)
John Del Vecchio earned a Gold Medal with the United States Sport Jujitsu Team at the World Games held in Aukland, New Zealand in 1996, ranking # 1 in his weight class. The United States Sport Jujitsu Team was recognized as an official Exhibition Olympic sport and joined together in Atlanta in 1996. John’s Northeast Martial Arts School has enabled him to share his passion by teaching others. He also has donated his time to help young people through martial arts. John also runs a successful business in the plumbing and heating trade in the Tri-Hamlet community.
Melissa Faulkner (Class of 1995)
Melissa Faulkner has been a science teacher in Weymouth, Massachusetts since 2002, first teaching 7th grade and now high school biology and forensics. She is also chairperson of the Board of Directors for FNE International, a non-profit organization that partners with communities in developing nations such as Nicaragua and Peru to advance housing, health and education. Melissa has traveled to Nicaragua six times with FNEI, helping to build homes and teach children there.
James Gibbs (Class 1995)
James Gibbs is the CEO and Co-founder of Meter Feeder, Inc., the leading developer of next-generation parking management solutions. James teaches entrepreneurship classes for H.O.P.E. for Tomorrow, an organization whose mission is to develop youth by addressing risk factors. He has also been involved in combatting human trafficking.
Marybeth Hoffman (Class of 1991)
Marybeth Hoffman has worked as an analyst for the United States Department of Defense. She attended Quinnipiac University on athletic and academic scholarships. Marybeth was awarded teaching and research assistantships and earned her Ph.D. at the University of Rhode Island. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Kansas. Marybeth is a member of the William Floyd Athletic Hall of Fame.
Anthony Liberti (Class of 1962)
Anthony Liberti is a real estate broker/owner of Century 21 Cor-Ace Realty, Inc. He owns two other businesses, South Shore Development Corp and Liberti Associates. Tony is vice president of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Christmas Parade committee. He served as a trustee on the William Floyd Board of Education for 9 years. Tony and his partners created and continue to lead the annual scholarship golf outing which has raised nearly $500,000 to date for William Floyd students.
Paul Casciano (William Floyd High School Class of 1970)
Paul Casciano has been a public school educator for 41 years, all in the William Floyd School District. He was our Superintendent of Schools for nine years. Key among our achievements during Paul’s tenure were the establishment of educational and financial integrity in the operations of our district. He also served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent. Paul was named a National Distinguished Principal, New York State’s highest honor for Principals. Moriches Elementary School received multiple State and National awards during his tenure as Principal. He remains active in our community through various organizations. Paul is currently teaching college courses in school leadership.
Monica (Sica) Corona (William Floyd High School Class of 1981)
Monica Corona has been employed at William Floyd for the past 28 years and currently serves as principal of Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School, a position she has held for the past 13 years. She was the new principal when Nathaniel Woodhull was transformed into a K-5 school in 2003, and unified teachers, staff and students from the other four existing elementary schools to form a new school. Monica began her career at William Floyd as an elementary teacher at Tangier Smith Elementary and later became an assistant principal at John S. Hobart Elementary. She is co-president of the Suffolk County Elementary Principals Association. Monica is very involved with the ALS Foundation and has raised thousands of dollars for this worthy cause.
Sam DeMarco (William Floyd High School Class of 1983)
Chef Sam DeMarco, William Floyd High School Class of 1983, appreciates his start in Ms. Green's “Home Ec” class, which inspired him to continue cooking. He graduated from NYIT Central Islip in 1987 with a certificate in Culinary Arts. At NYIT, he received the inaugural “Chef Award” for Most Likely to Succeed – and that he did. Chef DeMarco rose through the ranks in the most prestigious kitchens of NYC during the 1980s, when the American culinary scene was on the brim of exploding. Chef Demarco has since developed, and opened numerous large projects – FIRST, Rattlecan, SammyD's, Merrywell(s), the Travel Channel show Chow Masters and much more! He and his wife, Ellen, have three children, Dakota, Delilah and Mossimo. Keep It Hot!!!
Tara Fogarty (William Floyd High School Class of 1999)
Tara Fogarty is an Emmy-nominated television producer for the nationally syndicated Rachael Ray Show. During her time at William Floyd, she was a Rockette, chorus member, NYSSMA honoree and theater participant. She graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelor’s in mass communications and a concentration in production. Throughout her successful career, she held positions with MTV Beach House, Project Runway, Wife Swap, The Doctors and the Rachael Ray Show. Tara is engaged to Joseph Graziano and has planned their wedding for June 2016. She credits her success to her loving family, especially her mother, Eileen, who has been her biggest source of inspiration and strength.
Daniel J. Panico (William Floyd High School Class of 1996)
Dan Panico currently serves as Councilman and Deputy Supervisor for the Town of Brookhaven. He has authored landmark legislation including the tax cap, anti-nepotism law and sweeping ethics reform. A pioneer in the areas of land use, zoning and planning, he has preserved hundreds of acres of farmland and open space, worked to prevent over development, and has emphasized redevelopment of our existing developed lands. He is credited with spearheading the most aggressive crackdown on illegal housing and blighted structures in the history of Brookhaven Town. Raising the quality of life for all has been the hallmark of his tenure.
Christine Bensen (William Floyd High School Class of 1986)
Christine Bensen has worked in the digital industry for more than 19 years and has experience in database marketing, data modeling and segmentation, reporting and marketing database design. She leads the display media practice department for a digital advertising agency, iCrossing. Prior to that Christine worked with McCann, Publicis Modem, Moxie, and TBWA Chiat Day. Christine's clients past and present have included: Avon, Directv, American Funds, L'Oreal USA, LG Mobile, Intuit, Visa, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Xbox.
Harold Deiters (William Floyd High School Class of 1989)
Harold Deiters is a Certified Public Accountant, Accredited in Business Valuation, Certified in Financial Forensics, Master Analyst in Financial Forensics, Chartered Global Management Accountant, and Partner in professional services firm; Holtz, Rubenstein, Reminick LLC. He is a professional in business appraisal and forensic accounting. Harold is a director of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). He is currently President of the local Suffolk County Chapter. Harold earned a BS in Accounting from St. John's University and is an adjunct professor at St. Joseph's College. The Long Island Business News named him one of the top "40 under 40" in business.
James Horkovich (William Floyd High School Class of 1965)
Dr. Jim Horkovich is a professional engineer and public policy advocate for emerging technologies such as Directed Energy systems and photonics technologies. He is the industry lead and spokesperson for the Directed Energy Professional Society Directed Energy Outreach Program, and is also the Program Committee chair for the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) Directed Energy Program Committee. He is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS). Jim most recently served as the Defense and National Security Committee chair for a National Academy of Sciences initiated joint professional engineering societies (SPIE, OSA, IEEE) effort to create a National Photonics Initiative. He recently retired as a Raytheon Engineering Fellow and Chief Technical Architect for High Power Laser Programs at Raytheon Missile Systems, and is now a private consultant. Jim’s U.S. Air Force career concluded in 1990 after directing all Strategic Defense Initiative Organization laser-technology programs at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory. He received two commendation medals and two meritorious service medals.
Josephine Smith (William Floyd High School Class of 1999)
Josephine Smith, William Floyd High School Class of 1999, is the first daughter of a firefighter killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to graduate the Fire Academy and become a member of the FDNY. She fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter and following in her father’s footsteps. Her dad, Firefighter Kevin J. Smith, a member of FDNY Hazmat Co. #1, perished in World Trade Center Tower One during an effort to help those trapped inside.
Jason Frank (William Floyd High School Class of 1990)
Jason earned a B.S. Degree from Niagara University. He is a highly-decorated police detective serving with the Newtown Police Department, where he has worked for the past 18 years. On December 14, 2012 he was a first responder at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of one of the worst shooting tragedies in history. President Obama personally recognized Jason for his bravery and dedication and the US Senators from Connecticut invited Jason to attend the State of the Union address as their guest and speak on behalf of tighter gun control.
Tara Hoag D’Amato (William Floyd High School Class of 1990)
Tara graduated Magna Cum Laude as Valedictorian from Long Island University, Southampton College with a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing. She studied at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She earned an M.A. Degree in Library and Information Science and a Certificate in Human Resources Management from St. Joseph’s College. Tara has led several Suffolk County libraries as director including: the Quogue Public Library, the East Hampton Library and the Port Jefferson Free Library. She also served as marketing director for the East End Arts Council. Currently she is the assistant director of the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library and executive director of the Friends of the Arts. Tara is a Board member on the Mastic Shirley Chamber of Commerce and co-coordinates the community musical with the William Floyd Community Summit.
Jacqueline Intonato Eglevsky (William Floyd High School Class of 1964)
Jacqueline earned B.S., M.A. and MS degrees in education. She became a teacher at Moriches Elementary School in the William Floyd School District, emerged as a leader and helped Moriches attain national recognition for a second time. She was selected by her peers to attend the United States Department of Education’s 1993-1994 National Blue Ribbon Awards Ceremony in Washington D.C. Throughout her career at William Floyd, Jacqueline served as a teacher, an assistant principal, principal and assistant to the superintendent for elementary learning.
Lynda Rakvin Zach (William Floyd High School Class of 1989)
Lynda earned a B.S. at The Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. at Long Island University. She is a lifelong resident of our community and currently serves as the executive director of Colonial Youth and Family Services, where she began as a youth worker 20 years ago. Lynda is involved in community organizations such as Lynvets, the Rotary Club of Shirley and the Mastics, the Kiwanis Club of the Mastics and the Mastic and Shirley Community Emergency Food Center Foundation.
Jason Robotham (William Floyd High School Class of 1994)
Jason is an accomplished research scientist and entrepreneur. He earned his B.A. in biology from the University of Scranton and a Ph.D. in immunology from Florida State University. Dr. Robotham has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific papers spanning the fields of allergy and infectious disease research. He co-founded BioFront Technologies Inc., a biotech company focused on food safety diagnostics. He is a guest speaker on these topics at Florida State University and within his community.
Al Fritsch (Class of 1981)
Al Fritsch is an accomplished musician, vocalist, producer, composer, and arranger. He was a founding member of the music group Drive, She Said, which released six CDs and has toured Europe extensively. He has served as a vocalist and studio musician on numerous recordings, including CDs from Ace Frehley (Kiss), Robin Trower, Benny Mardones, and Rod Stewart. A member of SAG and AFTRA, he has performed on hundreds of radio/television commercials, film soundtracks, and industrials since the mid 1980's. Al is also a founding member of the William Floyd Music Alumni Jazz Band.
Barbara (Guarino) Kruk (Class of 1970)
Barbara (Guarino) Kruk is co-owner of Roma Funeral Home in Shirley. She provides assistance to families with funeral arrangements if hardships exist so that their loved ones are treated with care and dignity. Barbara writes a very touching weekly column for a local newspaper which illuminates the lives of community members who have recently passed. She has authored a book "Connie's Story: A Triumph of Love" which describes her life with her husband Connie, his struggle and triumph.
Edward Hennessey (Class of 1979)
Edward Hennessey is a successful attorney who is currently serving in his first term as New York State Assemblyman. Ed began his legal career as a prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. Early in his private law practice, he represented labor unions and the rights of working people. He now concentrates on criminal law, personal injury and real estate. He served as Brookhaven Town Councilman from 1994 through 2005, and worked to restore integrity to government. Mr. Hennessey also served as counsel to the New York State Senate Democratic Leader as a policy advisor and later as an external relations specialist.
Robert Horkovich (Class of 1972)
Robert Horkovich is a nationally top-ranked lawyer in the area of insurance recovery. He is Managing Partner for the prestigious law firm of Anderson Kill and Olick, P.C. Bob has been engaged by the United Nations as its counsel on several significant projects. He is lead trial counsel for the State of California for environmental insurance recoveries. Bob also practices bankruptcy and restructuring as well as environmental law. He has been recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and is considered one of the finest coverage trial lawyers in the country. Lexis/Nexis and Law360 have named Bob as its "Policyholder Lawyer of the Year." He has obtained over $5 billion in settlements and judgments from insurance companies for his clients over the past decade for environmental clean-ups and for medical costs for asbestos victims. Bob has been well-published, penning numerous journal articles and he is frequently a featured guest speaker at professional conferences. Bob is a veteran of the United States Air Force rising to the rank of Captain, USAF JAG Corp.
Josephine Nobissoi (Class of 1971)
Josephine (Joi) Nobisso is an accomplished author of children's books and her books have earned many awards. Joi has been honored with “The Friend of Education” Award and the NCEAs “Distinguished Graduate” Award. She is a member of The Authors' Guild, and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Earlier in her writing career, Joi published three pseudonymous novels with Putnam for adults. Joi is co-founder of the Long Island Children's Writers and Illustrators group. She has served as an officer of the Westhampton Writers Festival and on the joint committee of the American Library Association - Children's Book Council.
Michael Charzuk (Class of 1981)
Mike Charzuk is an award winning producer, audio engineer and musician, having more than 25 years of experience in audio production as a recording musician and audio book producer. Mike is the Executive Producer for Audible.com and has produced hundreds of audio books, dozens of which have been nominated for Audie Awards, Earphones Awards, and a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word project in 2010. He has produced hundreds of promo spots for Viacom, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and TV land. Mike headed the production team that rebranded TNN into Spike TV.
John Dolezal (Class of 1962)
John Dolezal has been in public service his entire life. He served in the United States Marines and was a Suffolk County Police Officer for 24 years. John has 50 years experience as a firefighter and has lifetime membership in the Mastic Fire Department and the Mastic Ambulance Company. John is a charter member of Save the Forge River, Inc.; dedicated to healing and environmentally restoring the livelihood of the Forge River. He is currently serving as their treasurer.
Hiroshi Kimura (Class of 1985)
Dr. Hiroshi Kimura is a dentist specializing in periodontics and dental implants. He is owner of Periodontics and Dental Implants of New York. In addition to his private practice, Hiroshi is Clinical Assistant Professor of the Columbia University School of Dentistry. He is an international lecturer on dental implants and periodontics. Hiroshi holds numerous certifications and memberships in professional dental associations.
Vincent Nasta (Class of 1979)
Vincent Nasta was an outstanding and popular art teacher at Riverhead High School for 17 years. Vincent was a commercial artist and a published book illustrator over a 25 year freelance career. He was a general aviation pilot, air show pilot and certified flight instructor. After his untimely death in 2008, The Vincent Nasta Foundation was established in his memory, providing scholarships for deserving graduates.
Karen (Maginn) Poidomani (Class of 1981)
Karen Poidomani has been a business teacher for the past 26 years at William Floyd High School. During her career, Karen has been honored as: Suffolk County Business Teacher of the Year, New York State Business Teacher of the Year, News 12 Educator of the Month and the SCOPE Teacher Service Award recipient. Under her leadership as chairperson, the Business Education Department has won the Region 1 New York State Business Department of the Year Award three times, most recently in 2010. She was a recipient of the William Floyd Alumni Association’s Outstanding Educators Award in 2010.
Kim Barnes Arico: Class of 1988.
As head coach Kim has led St. John’s University women’s basketball to national prominence. Kim has earned more than 150 career victories at St. John’s University and is approaching 250 victories in her entire collegiate head coaching career. She is involved in numerous charitable activities in her community.
Nicholas Cassone: Class of 1962.
Longtime educator who served in the William Floyd School District for 27 years as a teacher and administrator. As Principal of Tangier Smith Elementary School, he led the school to state and national recognition. In retirement, Nick continues to assist students and families through his many volunteer endeavors.
Jeffrey Chan: Class of 1984.
In addition to performing surgeries, Jeff is the Director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in the state of New York, specializing in trauma surgery and critical care medicine. He continues to play an active role in the education of Cornell surgical residents.
Maria D’Amato: Class of 1997.
Opera singer who has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and leading roles with Sarasota Opera, DiCapo Opera and Opera North. She has been a soloist with a variety of symphonies.
Lee Zeldin: Class of 1998.
New York State Senator, first state senator to be elected from our community since John Floyd of the Floyd family. Lee is a veteran of the United States Army and has risen to the rank of Captain. He earned his Juris Doctorate at Albany Law School and has served as a federal prosecutor.
Vincent Pascale (1965)
A graduate of the Class of 1965, is a successful entrepreneur, government official and civic advocate who still resides in the William Floyd community. He is also a former trustee and president of the William Floyd Board of Education. He currently serves as Chairperson of the Brookhaven Town Planning Board.
Tony Guma (1980)
A 1980 graduate, is a prolific actor, producer and writer who has appeared in dozens of television shows and motion pictures including The Suburbans a movie that he co-wrote and starred in alongside Will Ferrell and Jennifer Love Hewitt. His credits also include the films Mission Impossible III and Star Trek, the latest installment released in 2009. He is also a two-time collegiate All-American soccer player from Hofstra University and former coach.
Debra Bensen-Kennedy, MD (1988)
A graduate of the Class of 1988, is a clinical research oncologist who is actively pursuing a cure for cancer. She earned her medical degree at Medical College of Virginia and is currently designing and running clinical trials to develop new cancer medications. She also served on the faculty of Louisiana State University’s School of Medicine.
Joseph Leonardi, CEC (1993)
A 1993 graduate, is a successful chef and teacher who was named “U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year” for 2009 by the American Culinary Federation, Inc. In 2008, he was a member of the gold medal-winning team at the Culinary Olympics held in Germany. He is currently employed as an executive chef at the prestigious Somerset Club in Boston, Massachusetts.
Craig Lehmann, Ph.D., CC (NRCC), FACB, is Executive Dean of Health Sciences Center Schools (Dentistry, Nursing, Social Welfare & Health Technology & Management), Dean of the School of Health Technology and Management and Professor of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Stony Brook University, Health Sciences Center. He is a registered clinical chemist with the National Registry of Clinical Chemistry (NRCC), registered Clinical Scientist with the American Society of Clinical Pathology and a Fellow in the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (FACB). In addition to his more than 75 journal articles, he has co-edited and edited five clinical laboratory science textbooks. Craig’s story of resilience and determination in the face of health challenges and poverty to pursue his education is an inspiration to students and colleagues. He travels throughout the world lecturing on the use of e-health technology to respond to the socioeconomic and health care concerns of aging populations.
Paul Breschard class valedictorian, received his B.A. in English Education from C.W. Post College and immediately began teaching at Floyd. He received his Master’s Degree at Hofstra University. He served as director of adult education, alternative school instructor, home instructor, summer school instructor, newspaper and yearbook advisor. He retired from teaching after thirty four years. Paul was considered one of the most effective and popular teachers on the District faculty throughout his career because of his care for his students, engaging style and his unique sense of humor. Many of his former students credit their success in school and their careers to his influence as their teacher. Paul and his wife Jerri have two children; Jayme and David. He has been a resident of Mastic Beach since 1954 where he continues to contribute as a civic leader and activist trying to improve the quality of life in our community. He serves as a director of the Pattersquash Creek Civic Association and the William Floyd Alumni Association and is Chairperson of the Mastic Beach Village Exploratory Committee.
Bill Konstant has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to ensuring the survival of endangered species and their habitats. After graduating from William Floyd High School, Bill earned his B.S. from Cornell University and M.A. from SUNY Stony Brook. His career in wildlife conservation has included positions with several zoological parks and international organizations including the World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International. Bill’s work to save endangered species has helped support projects in dozens of countries and allowed him to travel to Belize, Guatemala, Panama, Brazil, Suriname, Liberia, Gabon, Madagascar, Malaysia and Vietnam. In the process, his writings on natural history and wildlife conservation have appeared in a number of scientific and popular publications, he has co-authored a field guide to the Lemurs of Madagascar, and his nature photography has been used to highlight and generate support for many different projects. His work has been featured on television through Animal Planet. Bill and his wife, Nannette (William Floyd High School Class of 1971), live in Flourtown, Pennsylvania, and have two children, Melanie and Evan.
Garett Leskowitz , Ph.D., attended William Floyd schools, grades K-12, and graduated valedictorian. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then worked for a small company developing fiber-optic chemical sensors. Garett earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Caltech. He lectured and performed research at MIT, Harvard and the University of California, Riverside. His research focus is spectroscopy, the interaction of light with matter. His work is detailed in many published papers, presentations at conferences, and patents. He now teaches and directs student research at The Claremont Colleges, California. Garett’s research on observing nuclear magnetic resonance in microscopic samples has assisted the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) planetary exploration program in their search for water and other signs of extraterrestrial life. Garett and his wife Mary Mason have two sons, Nathaniel and Noel. He is active in music, playing drums and percussion in several rock, jazz, chamber, symphonic and theater-music groups.
Frank Coraci. Born in Shirley, was involved with the William Floyd Update News Team and was a four-year member of the wrestling team. He earned his BFA from New York University where he studied filmmaking. His student film, “Coffee,” was an award winner in numerous festivals. Upon graduation, he went on to direct travel documentaries that took him to more than 27 countries around the world. Frank then directed and co-wrote his first independent feature film, “Murdered Innocence,” which won the Long Island Film Festival's “Best Feature Film” and “Best Directorial Debut.” Frank then moved to Los Angeles where he wrote and performed on Adam Sandler’s platinum selling and Emmy Nominated comedy album, “What the Hell Happened to Me?” He directed the music video for the album and executive produced and created the HBO special from the 23 city tour of the album. Frank’s most noteworthy film credits include the motion pictures “The Wedding Singer,” “The Waterboy,” “Around the World in 80 Days,” “Click,” and the upcoming “Zookeeper.”
John Thaler is the Founder and Portfolio Manager of JAT Capital Management, a long/short equity hedge fund based in New York City. After graduating from William Floyd, he attended the University of Chicago where he earned a BA in Economics. Upon graduating from college, John embarked on a career in finance, starting in the Investment Banking division of Merrill Lynch in New York City. John left Merrill Lynch to become an associate in the Boston office of Spectrum Equity Investors, a Telecom, Media and Technology-focused private equity firm. After 2½ years in Boston, John returned to the New York area to become a pre-launch member of the team at Shumway Capital Partners, a long/short equity hedge fund based in Greenwich, Connecticut. He left Shumway Capital after five years to launch JAT Capital Management, which he continues to run today. John contributes to his alma mater and community by sponsoring scholarships for William Floyd students in pursuit of their college education.