Honoring Superintendent James W. Polansky and Community Member Dr. James Paci
After a year hiatus, the Huntington Foundation for Excellence in Education (HFEE) board members are incredibly excited to announce their annual fundraising event, The Reach for the Stars Gala, will be held on Wednesday, May 4, from 6 – 10 p.m. at a new venue, The Water’s Edge in Centerport. HFEE will be honoring two pillars in the community, Huntington Superintendent of Schools, James W. Polansky (view profile), and alumnus, James Paci, M.D. More detailed features on the honorees will follow soon.
“We are thrilled to be back in action, planning our Reach for the Stars Gala and celebrating two exceptional leaders in the Huntington community,” said Jennifer Stevens, HFEE’s new president. “We couldn’t ask for a more ideal fundraising opportunity – two widely respected honorees, an exquisite new location on the North Shore of Long Island, and a group of passionate board members and volunteers who are building on HFEE’s legacy and ushering in a new chapter for our organization as we approach our thirtieth year of supporting Huntington schools. This will be an extraordinary event.”
Tickets for the gala are on sale now and can be purchased online below.
“I’m extremely proud of the impact we’ve had on the Huntington schools over the years and couldn’t have done it without the dedication and stewardship of our board members including Debbie Knowles, Kris Colleluori, Amy Girimonti, Laura Cheshire, Jen Hebert, Michele Sabatino, Toniann Mangan — many of whom, like me, have graduating seniors this year or in Debbie’s case, have children who have already graduated,” remarked Alice Marie Rorke, former HFEE president and board member emeritus. “The gala plays a significant role in our ability to fund our teacher grants and support our educators in their quest to enhance curriculum and inspire their students’ enthusiasm for learning. I’m excited to see how the new board will advance HFEE’s vision.”
Since its inception in 1993, HFEE has funded over $1.1 million in educator grants within the Huntington school district. HFEE grants range from state-of-the-art technology for Huntington’s Robotics programs and other STEM programs, to cutting edge teaching techniques and classroom equipment like Alpha Better desks, to equipment for arts and music programs, like a trailer to transport the marching band’s instruments and equipment to competitions across the state.
Despite the challenging past two years of the pandemic, HFEE was still able to award over $30,000 to the district in grants ranging including a video broadcasting program at the High School, a computer prototyping lab at Finley, flexible seating for the Woodhull 5th grade dual language program, heart health programs at the STEM school, an innovative rhythm-based whole brain learning program at Flower Hill and more. In addition, at the end of the 2021 school year, HFEE presented a $2,500 scholarship to graduating senior Bliden Martinez who is studying to become a history teacher at Suffolk Community College.
The request for grant proposal period will be open in the fall of 2022 and grant requests will be reviewed and granted in early 2023. More details on this process will be shared in September 2022.
If you are interested in learning more about HFEE or would like to donate in any way, please click here.