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 People in the News


People In The News - St. James Resident June Capossela Kempf

Writer June Capossela Kempf published in Kaleidoscope: Exploring the Experience of Disability through Literature and the Fine Arts

Akron, Ohio – The work of writer June Capossela Kempf of Saint James, New York, has been published in the current issue ofKaleidoscope: Exploring the Experience of Disability through Literature and the Fine Arts. Her poem, “Where’s the Bunny?,” appears in Issue 77: The Journey Continues.  Her work was selected from among more than 350 submissions considered for publication.

Kempf is an educator whose two books were published by Keith Publications, Yo God! Jay’s Story (2013) and Lady of the Dollhouse (2017). She was inducted into the Long Island Authors Circle in 2018. Kempf is inspired by the words of Maya Angelou: “One of the worst burdens is an untold story.”

The award-winning Kaleidoscope magazine is published by United Disability Services in Akron, Ohio.  A pioneer in the publication of disability literature and fine arts, the magazine expresses the experiences of disability from the perspective of individuals, families, friends, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.  The material chosen for Kaleidoscope challenges and overcomes stereotypical, patronizing and sentimental attitudes about disability.  The publication is now available at no cost online by visiting www.KaleidoscopeOnline.org.


United Disability Services has been meeting the social, vocational, community living, low vision, recreational and transportation needs of people with disabilities for nearly 70 years.  For more information visit www.udsakron.org.


People In The News - Mt. Pleasant's Aidan Eddelson Met Kidcaster 

Mt. Pleasant Mets fan finds his ‘calling’  

Aidan Eddelson, a fourth-grader at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District, was chosen to be a New York Mets Kidcaster and had the opportunity to join the broadcasters in the booth on Sept. 25. He is pictured with Mt. Pleasant Elementary School Principal Joseph Ierano. Wearing his headphones, calling the plays and hanging out with New York Mets announcers Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Gary Cohen may have been the highlight of the year for Aidan Eddelson, a fourth-grader from Mt. Pleasant Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District.

Eddelson was chosen as a Kidcaster, winning the privilege of sitting in the broadcast booth and calling the Mets game for a half-inning alongside the Mets broadcasters on Sept. 25. Eddelson won the contest by submitting a video of himself announcing a Mets highlight reel. He found out he was selected as a winner in mid-September. 

Eddelson brought along his mother, father and brother Jack, a first-grader at Mt. Pleasant, to the Mets game. “I talked to the other broadcasters about school, my teachers and hobbies,” he said. “I was able to make my own notecards and use them to talk about some of the players.” Even though he no longer plays baseball, Eddelson still enjoys watching his favorite team and player, Yoenis Cespedes. If he doesn’t become a professional hockey player when he grows up, being a sportscaster is second on his list.  

Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


People In The News - Maureen Dernbach Of Maureen's Kitchen

A Toast to Maureen of Maureen’s Kitchen

By Nancy Vallarella, What’s Cookin’? - Smithtown 

Maureen Dernbach serving up her daughter Christine’s homemade pie.Maureen’s Kitchen founder, Maureen Dernbach will be honored at the Smithtown Children’s Foundation 2018 COMMUNITY TABLE GRAND TASTING fundraiser.  The event will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, at Flowerfield Celebrations in Saint James, NY. Proceeds will also benefit Stony Brook Children’s.

Decades before it became trendy to open a café serving breakfast and lunch, Maureen Dernbach took a leap of faith and opened Maureen’s Kitchen not where it stands today, but across the street on Terry Road., in a 20 x 30 shack next to a sand and gravel business. Her motivation was to quit working for someone else, continue to work in the hospitality field and be home in the evening for her three children.  Husband Henry (Hank) Dernbach, supported Maureen’s decision but his job on a tugboat took him away from their home, children, and the business for days at a time. It was a big risk, especially for a woman with a grade school education thirty-five years ago.

A self-proclaimed and proven “survivor”, Maureen Dernbach grew up as the youngest of ten foster children and began supporting herself at age sixteen. Six years after opening the original Maureen’s Kitchen, she purchased a property across the street where Maureen’s stands today. For seven years the property was rented as a residence. It was torn down, and the commercial structure that now houses Maureen’s Kitchen was built and designed by Maureen Dernbach. She recalls, “I designed it to look like a home, a bed and breakfast. It was important that people felt welcomed. Three weeks after it was done, we enclosed the wrap around porch to accommodate additional seating. That was twenty-one years ago, and we have been busy ever since.”

Today Maureen’s Kitchen seats 125 guests at tables and an additional 12 at the counter.  Maureen has soldAt the counter at Maureen’s Kitchen with Christine the business to her children Kevin, Christine, and Doreen.  The matriarch stated “My children began working with me across the street after high school. There they learned how to care for people. We want everyone to be pleased when they visit our establishment. We have succeeded because we love what we are doing. When you love what you are doing it comes across.” 

For the past ten years, Maureen’s Kitchen has worked alongside the Smithtown Children’s Foundation providing breakfast for SCF’s annual Holiday Breakfast event. The funds raised are used to provide relief to local families in crisis. 

Maureen Dernbach (2nd from right) with Jessica and Joe Ondrush, and Christine Fitzgerald at SCF’s annual Holiday Breakfast.When asked about Maureen’s contribution to the Smithtown community, Smithtown Children’s Foundation President and Co-founder, Christine Fitzgerald responded, “We value their friendship and are grateful they have lent their brand to attract donors and supporters. SCF values Maureen’s trust in us and our mission. They are good people helping us to do good things, making a difference in our community.”

Join Smithtown Children’s Foundation on Tuesday, November 13th at Flowerfield Celebrations, St. James as dozens of culinary businesses and hundreds of attendees gather to support the local Smithtown community, Stony Brook Children’s and pay tribute to Maureen Dernbach, the matriarch of Maureen’s Kitchen.

For Tickets, Sponsorship & Vendor application: www.smithtownchildrensfoundation.com/events


People In The News - Suffolk County Police Chief Stuart Cameron 

SCSSA presents Friend of the Association Award to Suffolk police chief


From left, SCSSA Executive Director Gary Bixhorn, SCSSA Friend of the Association Award recipient Chief Stuart Cameron Suffolk County Police Department, SCSSA Past President and Superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District Lars Clemensen, and SCSSA President and Superintendent of the Elwood School District Dr. Kenneth Bossert.On Sept. 13, during the first general membership meeting of the new school year, the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association presented its prestigious Friend of the Association Award to Chief Stuart Cameron of the Suffolk County Police Department.

“It is an honor to recognize someone who has made a tremendous contribution to our association and our school districts,” said SCSSA President and Superintendent of the Elwood School District Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “Chief Cameron goes above and beyond to provide information, training and support to our school district security staff and to build upon the collaboration that has been developed between the Suffolk County Police Department and Suffolk County public schools.”

The Friend of the Association Award is conferred periodically to recognize individuals who are not members of the association, but have gone to extraordinary measures to support the mission-driven efforts of the association. Leaders of the educational community depend upon the support of others to ensure that the students in all Suffolk County public schools have access to outstanding programs and services in a safe, secure, orderly environment conducive to their learning and social-emotional development. The Friend of the Association Award is conferred upon those who have demonstrated that kind of support for those serving as superintendent of schools and the school districts that they lead.

  “This is not an annual award,” added SCSSA Past President and Superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District Lars Clemensen. “Chief Cameron has dedicated his life work to making our schools and students safer. He brings calmness, maturity and professional experience to the task of making decisions that impact the safety of our students.” 

During his career in law enforcement spanning more than 33 years, Chief Cameron has personally delivered training to hundreds of school administrators and security staff. He has also personally trained county, fire and EMS personnel on how to coordinate their responses to an active shooter incident at a school facility. Chief Cameron developed and delivered, on numerous occasions, a comprehensive tabletop exercise to better coordinate and improve school safety in Suffolk County. This exercise program was recognized by the National Association of Counties, earning Chief Cameron its Achievement Award in 2008. 

“The Suffolk County Police Department has partnered with our schools for many years, with the primary goal being the prevention of an act of mass violence in a school. While prevention is our main objective, we also have a long history of preparing our officers to respond to an event of this nature. This preparation has been multifaceted and comprehensive, leveraging partnerships with other public safety agencies and school administrators,” Chief Cameron said. “I value the working relationships that our department has developed with school administrators, and I thank the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association for this prestigious recognition.”

Chief Cameron has extensively researched and developed a level of expertise in mass shooting incidents, including attacks at school facilities. He has leveraged this research to develop evidence-based practices to assist school administrators with practical security measures at their facilities and has been the keynote speaker at school safety conferences. 

Chief Cameron has authored numerous professional journal articles, including several on the topic of active shooter response and school safety. His work has appeared in the National Tactical Officers Association’s The Tactical Edge magazine, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s The Police Chief magazine and the FBI National Academy Associate’s The National Academy Associate magazine.

“Chief Cameron has been a leader in the area of school safety for more than two decades and is a tremendous resource in developing and presenting innovative, evidence-based approaches to school safety issues,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart. “His dedication to keeping children safe and being prepared for the unthinkable is evident to members within the police department, and it is an honor to have him recognized by the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association.”


Photo caption: From left, SCSSA Executive Director Gary Bixhorn, SCSSA Friend of the Association Award recipient Chief Stuart Cameron Suffolk County Police Department, SCSSA Past President and Superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District Lars Clemensen, and SCSSA President and Superintendent of the Elwood School District Dr. Kenneth Bossert.


Photo courtesy of Suffolk County School Superintendents Association


People In The News - Michael Kinane Named VP At SUNY Old Westbury


Smithtown resident named vice president at SUNY Old Westbury

Michael Kinane of Smithtown, N.Y., has been promoted to the position of vice president of communications and chief communications officer at the State University of New York at Old Westbury.Michael Kinane of Smithtown, N.Y., has been promoted to the position of vice president of communications and chief communications officer at the State University of New York at Old Westbury.

In this role, he leads all communications and marketing activities of the College. A member of SUNY Old Westbury’s senior management team since 2000, he has developed and implementing proactive marketing and public relations programs contributing to enrollment growth of 57 percent through Fall 2018. From 2005-2017, he held additional responsibility for fund raising activities and took on a concurrent role as Executive Director of the Old Westbury College Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501c(3) corporation established to generate support for the institution. During that appointment, he and the advancement team achieved consistent growth in annual receipts and raised the six largest annual fund raising totals in College history.
Prior to joining SUNY Old Westbury, Kinane had been a vice president/senior account manager with Epoch 5 Public Relations, among the leading public relations firms on Long Island. Kinane’s career also includes serving as Press Information Coordinator for The Culinary Institute of America, the nation’s leading food service education institution, and as a news reporter and anchor for three radio stations serving New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley.
Having earned an M.A. in Integrated Marketing and a B.A. in Communication Arts, both from Marist College, Kinane maintains an active role in leading professional and business organizations. His efforts include serving as first vice president for the Advancement for Commerce, Industry and Technology (ACIT) and as an active member of Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, and Society of Professional Journalists.