Tag Archive | "athletic director"

Longtime Bridgehampton Athletic Director Mary Anne Jules Hangs Up Her Whistle

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Mary Anne Jules hugs a graduating student at the Bridgehampton School graduation Sunday, June 29. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

Mary Anne Jules hugs a graduating student at the Bridgehampton School graduation Sunday, June 29. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

By Tessa Raebeck

For 32 years, Mary Anne Jules has paced the sidelines at Bridgehampton School’s athletic contests, no small feat considering that Bridgehampton students often compete on East Hampton and Sag Harbor teams. After three decades of serving the small, tight-knit district as a physical education teacher and 23 years as its athletic director, Ms. Jules’s retirement was announced at the graduation of the class of 2014 Sunday, June 29.

The school gave Ms. Jules an honorary diploma at graduation and on Tuesday, July 1, she took time from watching the United States play Belgium in the World Cup to confirm her decision.

“I love my career at Bridgehampton,” Ms. Jules said Tuesday. “Believe me, it hasn’t been an easy decision… I’ve loved it there, it’s a great place to work. I’m very fortunate that I had my career there.”

“The district and I are very, very sad for her to go,” said Ronnie White, president of the Bridgehampton School Board. “She put in her time and she was just an extremely integral person, a mentor to our school.”

Ms. Jules’s athletic career extends past her time in Bridgehampton; She played sports her whole life and was a four-sport varsity athlete at Baldwin High School up-island, playing field hockey, volleyball, basketball and softball.

Mary Anne Jules, second from left, smiles as she watches her students graduate from Bridgehampton School Sunday, June 29. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

Mary Anne Jules, second from left, smiles as she watches her students graduate from Bridgehampton School Sunday, June 29. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

“Back then in my day, you could play four varsity sports, that’s changed since then,” said Ms. Jules, adding, “I’ve been pretty active my whole life.”

After shining at Baldwin, a large district in Nassau County, she was invited to play basketball at SUNY-Cortland in upstate New York—and quickly made the lacrosse team, too.

“I didn’t play lacrosse ’til college,” Ms. Jules said. “I just got lucky, I tried out for college lacrosse and I ended up making the team, so I was pretty fortunate.”

Some would argue that, in addition to luck, her athleticism had something to do with it.

After graduating from Cortland, Ms. Jules was a substitute teacher in Syracuse for a year and then took the position as Bridgehampton’s physical education teacher in 1982. While teaching, she got her master’s degree at Southampton College and her administration degree at Dowling College.

“If you’ve been involved in athletics, you know what a difference athletics makes in a kid’s life…I call it the laboratory for life,” she said. “I went to a great phys. ed. program and that’s why I wanted to become a phys. ed. teacher.”

While still acting as the school’s physical education teacher in 1991 Ms. Jules also became athletic director for the district. She also served as president of Section XI, the governing body of Suffolk County high school sports, from 2010 to 2012.

After years of wearing many hats and watching many games, Ms. Jules intends to spend her duly earned free time doing none other than watching games, but under the sole hat of doting aunt.

Three of her nephews play college-level lacrosse and she has several nieces and nephews involved in high school sports, so she will be catching up on watching them play, in addition to continuing to follow the careers of her Bridgehampton students.

“In all the years I’ve been there, they’re good kids,” Ms. Jules said of Bridgehampton. “In a small environment you get so much support, it’s a huge family…I’m just very appreciative and grateful for the career I’ve had and I will miss Bridgehampton School a lot, I really will.”

“It’s such a unique job in that you can teach from 4-year-olds to seniors. As a physical educator, I can teach all those kids. I can watch them grow. After that I go to graduation parties, I go to weddings, you really get to know the kids so well,” she said.

Mr. White said Ms. Jules, who lives in Water Mill, has promised to come back and visit from time to time.

“She will be missed, she is loved,” he said.

“That’s what’s so special about [Bridgehampton],” said Ms. Jules, “kids don’t fall through the cracks there. They get a lot of support and you can really become very close to the students. And you can make a difference, every day you can make a difference in the school.”

UPDATE: Sag Harbor Athletic Director Todd Gulluscio Expected to Resign

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Sag Harbor Athletic Director Todd Gulluscio is expected to resign at the end of the current school year, which formally ends July 1. Photo by Amanda Wyatt.

Sag Harbor Athletic Director Todd Gulluscio is expected to resign at the end of the current school year, which formally ends July 1. Photo by Amanda Wyatt.

By Tessa Raebeck

A source in the Sag Harbor School District confirmed last week that Todd Gulluscio is expected to resign from his position as athletic director for the district by the end of the current school year.

Mr. Gulluscio has declined to comment, other than to say he left the district on good terms. Other sources in the district likewise confirmed there is no ill will involved in his decision.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso said Wednesday, June 11, that Mr. Gulluscio has not submitted his official resignation yet but he expects a formal announcement on the decision will be made within days.

“We will have official word very shortly of the opportunity that has presented itself to Todd,” Dr. Bonuso said.

Although there is not yet confirmation, it is rumored that Mr. Gulluscio is relocating to the Shelter Island School District, where his family lives and where his wife is a teacher.

“It seems that there is a real good possibility for him that he may very well avail of himself,” Dr. Bonuso said. “But that can only happen if there is something far more formal and official that needs to be done.”

“So, he’s trying to be very good about not putting out any unofficial word or anything that has not been confirmed or affirmed, but because he wants to keep us out in front of what is a very likely possibility at this point he passed along unofficial word, just so we can prepare ourselves should it happen,” the interim superintendent added.

Mr. Gulluscio, a native of Shelter Island, joined Sag Harbor in January 2013. He took the position previously held by Montgomery Granger, who served in a joint position as director of athletics, health and physical education, as well as supervisor of facilities and grounds, from 2009.

Mr. Granger stayed on as director of buildings and grounds after Mr. Gulluscio’s appointment to a newly created position of director of athletics, physical education, health, wellness and personnel.

Before Mr. Granger, the district struggled to fill the void left by Nick DeCillis, who was athletic director from 1995 to 2007. Wayne Shierant, Bill Madsen, Mike Burns and Dan Nolan all held the position in the interim, making Mr. Gulluscio the sixth athletic director since Mr. DeCillis.

Prior to coming to Sag Harbor, Mr. Gulluscio worked in the Greenport School District for over seven years, the last two and a half years as its athletic director.

Pierson has seen much success in its athletic programs under the guidance of Mr. Gulluscio, with the field hockey team winning the state championship in the fall and the baseball and softball teams winning their respective Class C New York State Regional Finals Saturday, June 7, for the second year in a row.

“I think he’s done a remarkable job and I think just about everybody who has had the opportunity and privilege of watching him do his job would have the same sentiment,” Dr. Bonuso said. “But again, we want him to do what is best, obviously, for him and his family. I know how committed he is to this school family, but I guess sometimes you need to do what you need to do.”

Montgomery Granger

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web Monty Granger 8-3-09_2380

Sag Harbor school district’s new director of athletics, health and physical education and supervisor of facilities and grounds has quite a title and a very visible role in shaping what people think of the district as a whole.

What attracted you to the dual athletics and facilities role? And to Sag Harbor?

I have a passion for quality education and experience has taught me that many things in a school are connected and interact to impact teaching and learning; from the students, staff, parents and community, to the doors, windows and walls, to the plants, trees and sidewalks. Everything we see, touch, hear, smell and taste can have a positive impact on teaching and learning.

As for Sag Harbor, I heard many positive and complimentary stories from Nick DeCillis [Pierson AD from 1995 to 2006] and others and knew I would like it. It reminds me a lot of the Big Bear Lake region in Southern California, near where I grew up.

You were appointed on the night our district’s Long Range Planning Committee submitted its recommendations to the board (July 13). What did that board meeting teach you?

That the residents, school board members, teachers, and administrators share my passion for quality education, and understand that many things in a school are connected and interact to impact teaching and learning.

Have you ever seen a district with so ambitious a facilities agenda?

Yes. In 2001 Comsewogue shared some of the same ambitions. Two $14 million bond projects and eight years later, many of these ambitions have been realized.

What were your roles in attaining those goals?

As Athletic Director [from 2000 to 2004] I helped plan and supervise parts of the first bond issue with regard to a new fitness center, synthetic turf and natural turf fields, and tracks and tennis courts at the high school and middle school. This past year and a half, as Director of Facilities, I helped plan and supervise new boiler installations, new HVAC systems, new lighting for the middle school auditorium, new windows and doors, new high security keying systems, brick cladding repair, concrete replacement, and other projects. I also oversaw the implementation of a multi-million dollar energy performance contract.

Where did you start your teaching career? And your administrative one?

After graduating from Teachers College [Columbia University] in 1986, I began teaching in the New York City public school system as a high school health and physical education instructor and coach. I first became a school administrator in the Middle Country school district in 1998 as the health and physical education department chair at Centereach High School. In 1999 I became the director of health, physical education and athletics for that district.

You have also had a long career in the armed forces reserve. How did that come about? When did you leave?

I joined the California Army National Guard in 1986 to become a combat medic, earn some extra money and serve my country. In December of 2008, after 22 years of service, I joined the Retired Reserve at the rank of Major.

Where was your most recent tour of duty?

My last tour of active duty service was to Iraq, from October 2004 to December 2005. I served at Camp Victory, in Baghdad; Abu Ghraib Prison; Camp Bucca, near al Basra, and for six months at Camp Spartan, in Ashraf, Dyala Province, where we held members of the Mujahedeen al Kaq (or “MeK”, or People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran), the expatriate nationalist Iranians who fought with Saddam Hussein against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war, and who want to overthrow the mullahs in Iran. All these were incarceration missions and my duties included coordinating and ensuring medical, preventive medical, environmental and other aspects of detention operations were in compliance with U.S. Army, Department of Defense, and Geneva Convention regulations and laws. It was an extremely rewarding and life-changing experience.

What did you see there?

I saw extreme professionalism and sacrifice on the part of U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilian contractors. I saw exemplary bravery and selfless-service. I saw compassion and dedication beyond what any television or other media have ever or will probably ever show or report on. I saw grateful Iraqis. And I saw lots of bad guys.

Have you ever thought about writing about or reporting on those experiences?

Yes. I actually had a personal narrative published in the wartime anthology “Operation Homecoming,” published by Random House in 2006, edited by New York Times best-selling editor Andrew Carroll and sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. I wrote about my anxiety and fear of leaving my family and my then two-day-old son, Theodore on my first deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in January of 2002. The story is called “Theodore.”  I have also written a memoir of that whole experience at Gitmo where for about six months I was the ranking Army Medical Department officer for the incarceration mission. The memoir is called, “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: The Real Story,” and it will hopefully be ready for publication sometime this fall. I have written several poems about my time in Iraq, and I hope someday to write a memoir of my time there as well.

What are you looking forward to most as you start out these next few weeks?

Getting to know people, places, and things. I want to know what people like about the Sag Harbor Schools, and about what they’d like to change and I would like to be a part of the team that will preserve the best and help change the rest. I believe that every day is an opportunity for excellence and I look forward to those opportunities very much.

What were your favorite sports growing up? What else did you find yourself doing in high school?

I grew up playing baseball, basketball, football, and tennis with my brothers and friends and on youth teams, and hiking and exploring the foothills of the Sierra Nevada across the street from my house. In high school I played varsity football (2 years), volleyball (1 year), and tennis (4 years). I also was an exchange student, sang in choirs and small singing groups, and acted in plays.

And because people always want to know and are afraid to ask: How old are you? Are you married? Do you have kids? Where are you living?

Wow!  Well, I guess they’ll find out sooner or later, won’t they? I am 47. I am married to my grad school sweetheart, Sandra, whom I met in 1985. Sandra and I are blessed with five children; Benjamin, who’s 13; Harrison, who’s 10; Theodore, who’s 7; Hamilton, who’s almost 3; and little Hermione, who’s 10 months, and who’s named for the bookish, loyal and brave Harry Potter character–the boys insisted. We have lived in Port Jefferson Station, where my wife grew up, since 1991.

Have you stayed close to Nick DeCillis?

He has been one of my mentors since I was a new AD at Middle Country. I was at the dedication of the Newfield High School Stadium and new scoreboard that bears his name when Nick was honored there. I have had the esteemed pleasure of being a colleague of Nick’s through Section XI [the Suffolk County Chapter of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association] for many years now.  Nick is a great man and a legend among athletic administrators.