New York State Regent Tilles Visits Sayville
Sayville School District was recently honored by a social call from New York State Regent Roger Tilles. The visit began in mid-morning at Lincoln Avenue elementary school. After touring both Lincoln Avenue’s MST LAB and Makerspace with Principal Dr. Michele LeBlanc and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Christine Criscione, as well as observing the students climbing ropes during a gym-class athletic competition, he joined the children in Mrs. Laura Moyer’s second grade. Settling into the reading corner with the students, Mr. Tilles recited the poems from Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutzsky and Marc Brown in an animated style that thoroughly engaged the students. In turn, he taught the children a funny, “scary” poem to share with their families.
At the end of the Regent’s visit, Mr. Tilles was presented with a student’s painting of a colorful sunflower. A member of Mr. Joseph Dragotta’s fifth grade and a gifted art student in art teacher Mr. Rick Michaels' class, Ryan Sheehan presented his interpretation of a sunflower to Mr. Tilles, explaining that the sunflower had special significance at Lincoln Avenue. He also thanked Mr. Tilles on behalf of the entire Lincoln Avenue community for coming to their school.
During Mr. Tilles' visit to Sayville High School, he met with Sayville Superintendent Dr. John Stimmel, High School Principal Ron Hoffer and administrators, mingled with students in the halls, enjoyed a school-cafeteria lunch served up by our exceptional Food and Nutrition High School Lunch program, toured the school—including the FACD school store—and attended a special performance by the award-winning High School Wind Ensemble. He ended his brief visit in the RISE/RISE TECH lab where he marveled at the scientific sophistication of the students’ research projects.
The name Tilles may ring a bell. While the Tilles Company was a well-known industrial real-estate developer, the Tilles family has also been highly acclaimed for their copious philanthropic works. The two-million dollar renovation of the auditorium for music and dance at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University—now known as the Tilles Center—is a prominent example from the long list of projects and worthy causes.
On an individual basis, Mr. Roger Tilles has been recognized as a “visionary leader and patron of the arts and education,” for which he received the prestigious Amy and Horace Hagedorn Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Long Island Chapter in 2017.
As a current member of the New York State Board of Regents representing all Long Island school districts, Mr. Tilles spends time in Albany where he is involved in developing educational policy. His ongoing desire to understand the educational process and to listen to his constituency is the purpose for Mr. Tilles’ routine visits to the school districts on Long Island. This December visit from Mr. Roger Tilles was Sayville School District’s lucky day.