Spring 2009














Alternate Idea:

The Herman Chamberlain School

 Read your L.I. Advance letter re John Conquest being the first afro-american administrator in the district.  Think you suffered a "senior moment" since Les Manigault and Julia Skrine were there as early as 1970 and John came considerably later - and then as a "community coordinator."  I also think that Lucius Ware (Hampton Ave.) came before John but am not sure.

 My vote for naming the Middle School is "The Herman Chamberlain School" since Herm presided over the centralization of CSD#4 (later South Country School District) in his role as supervising principal.  (There was not a superintendent position at the time.) Mr. Chamberlain presided over the creation of what was then one of the best districts in Suffolk and, most likely, the best. He hired Cooley, Feeney, Stock, Baldwin, Reynolds, etc in this process.  I can remember when the real estate ads read "in CSD#4" in order to hasten sales to people moving to the area with children of school age.

 Why not name the Boys/Girls club building for John?

Would have responded earlier but got back from a couple of months in Florida last week

Trust you and Gloria are well!

                                                   Dave Winslow

The following is the letter to the Editor which appeared in the Long Island Advance on 2/26/09.


Name middle school after Conquest

I would like to congratulate the South Country School District for honoring John Conquest by naming a sports award in his honor. It is however, in my opinion, too little, but luckily not too late to remedy.

John came to South Country when our district, like many multi-cultural districts on Long Island, were being forced to deal with emerging racial issues.

John served as community coordinator and both middle school and high school assistant principal during his years of service to South Country. He was a volunteer coach every season he was employed here and continued to do so in retirement. In those years, he was the go-to guy, not only for coaches and athletes, but for all school/community problems and issues. John was and still is respected by students, staff and community alike.

Being sent to JC’s office was not something students looked forward to. At the same time, students needing help with personal problems or in need of advice were quick to seek his counsel. Many, now as young adults with families of their own, still do.

Our district has a history of honoring retired administrators by naming a school building (Verne W. Critz and Frank P. Long) in their honor. I think the time has come to do so for South Country’s first African-American administrator.

I would suggest that we select the middle school, since it sits at the gateway to our village district.

James P. McGowan

East Patchogue

Long Island Advance Editor’s note:

James P. McGowan is a retired Bellport High School teacher, Science Chairman, and former Bellport boys’ basketball coach. This letter refers to an article which appeared in the Long Island Advance on 02/19/09 and is reprinted in this Newsletter (Follow Link Below):

Bellport Honors Conquest

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