Letter: Helpful Clarkstown South Teens During Sandy

Mike Pisano, 4th grade teacher at Bardonia Elementary and coach of Clarkstown North Rams Baseball sent in this letter to Clarkstown South Principal Jim Vitale


Editor's note: the following is a letter to Clarkstown South Principal Jim Vitale and the writer is allowing Patch to re-run the letter

Mr. Vitale, 

I feel it is worth noting the actions of three of your junior student athletes directly after the worst day of Hurricane Sandy. I live in West Nyack and had a reasonably good sized pine tree fall on my property, thankfully not doing any damage. It was lying across my neighbor's driveway and needed to be removed.

I received a knock on the door by three young men named Aidan Christian, Patrick Kelly and Ian Danahy. All of these boys are lacrosse players and students at South. These three teenagers in a very ambitious and industrious way asked if I needed help removing any debris for a nominal fee. I don't think they realized the gouging that would occur by contractors and such in the weeks to follow. When my wife heard their fee she superseded my authority by barking, "YES! And my husband will come outside and help you!"

They did remove much of my neighbor's tree debris of a few other smaller trees. ALL of the work was done by hand, no gas or power tools. Two of the boy's dads maybe 3 stopped by to see if they needed anything and they spoke equally as respectful to them. I must stress how the cooperation and teamwork they used was impressive. Even their tone with each other. Not one bad word was used. 

A number of hours later, the boys worked through the dark completing a job they signed on for, as did I.  Most impressively was the way they respectfully spoke to me, addressed each other, used problem solving skills, a heck of a lot of elbow grease, never complained once, barely accepted water and just presented themselves the entire evening.

Rest assured I gave them more money than they asked for,  which was a fraction of the quote we had gotten by a tree service who never returned our second call. When I paid them more than the agreed upon amount, they resisted and could not have been more grateful when I said they earned it.  

Thank you for taking the time to hear my story and share with you the good work you are doing at South. Please share my sentiments with their lacrosse coach, Coach Chagares I believe, and their guidance counselors. They even had nice things to say to me after I revealed my coaching position and allegiance to North Baseball.

Enjoy your Holiday Season, 

Mike Pisano

Bardonia School 4th grade

Clarkstown North Rams Baseball

Susan November 29, 2012 at 03:31 PM
This is a wonderful story and a great testament to these boys and their parents and South (my 2 kids went there), but 2 more things need to be mentioned: in these tough times where cuts are being made all around, we need to fight for our school sports. Sports, through our wonderful coaches, teaches our kids so much more than the rules of the game. It teaches teamwork, cooperation, how to lose and win, and camaraderie.When so much of today is all about "me," it is sports that helps kids think beyond that. Secondly,my 2 kids attended Bardonia elementary. While almost every teacher at Bardonia was wonderful, there are 3 that stand out: 2 are retired (Mrs. Rose and Mr.s Casey) and the third, Mr. Pisano, the author of your letter, are the kind of teachers that parents wish on their children. They are teachers that care for the children, understand them, and teach to each kid as an individual, taking their skills, abilities and shortcomings into consideration. Both of my kids had the privilege of being taught by Mr. Pisano (who still remembers their names even though they graduated elementary school well over 10 years ago!). He is a great help to parents and as shown by his recognition of these 3 boys, understands the value in positive reinforcement, and teaching by example.
Robin Traum November 29, 2012 at 04:21 PM
This is a great example of community and the young people who live in this area.


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