|Wednesday, April 23, 2014|
|Sayville Alumni News|
|Wednesday, April 23, 2014|
|Sayville Alumni News|
This past October, the Class of '63 had a fabulous 50th reunion weekend. We had previously experimented with little reunions in Sayville, Florida, and Maryland, but almost 130 of us came to this big reunion. We were hooked, but concerned about post-partem depression. How could we harness our organizing energy (and the cash left over from the reunion)?
And so the idea for this Alumni Association was born.
This won't be easy. In high school, we spent our time with those of our same class and age. We had our cliques, often partially defined by who we rode the bus with. Doing an Alumni Association requires that we ignore bus routes and town borders, ignore those age differences that were once so important to us.
Why do it? What binds us together? It is a common heritage. We all weathered high school, the same school, with all its joys and bruises.
We didn't create this Association because we think SHS is or ever was the greatest school, but because it was OUR school, and it drew us together, offered opportunity, and served as a step on the path of our lives. And together, perhaps, we can make SHS greater.
And about those cliques: Many old-timers wish they had immersed themselves in the available diversity, that we had gotten up from our seats and walked across the cafeteria to talk to those we ignored. We now discover how delightful, how three dimensional, and how accomplished our unknown classmates are. Of course we can use this Association to find old friends. But we can also use it to find new ones. It's not too late to get it right.
The mission of the Sayville High School Alumni Association is to facilitate, develop and enhance mutually beneficial relationships among SHS alumni, faculty, staff and students. -- from the organizational meeting of December 4, 2013.
Using this Site
The site will publish contact information, including email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and photos. Such information will be available only to registered Alumni. Anyone who does not want certain info published may remove that info for themselves once registered, and should not provide it during registration. Anyone who registers may correct their own information.
If you do not want certain information published about you, first register, providing correct information about yourself.
Once you have completed registration, please write from the email address you used when you registered, and provide your name and class year, and tell us what information must be withdrawn. We will not remove your name, email address, age, or Class photo.
Please complain when you find things broken or missing here, but please also be patient with your webmaster. Write me (David Stang) at David@SayvilleAlumni.com
Register now. The site will then interact with you on your next visit, and things will begin to fall into place. Use the Register page to register. Its free.
Read the small print. For instance, you only need to enter a few items -- those marked with an asterisk -- when you register (email, name, and graduate date). And you DO have to click Submit down at the bottom of the page.
Opt-Out Becomes Opt-In
The original design of the site was "opt-out", due to various imperfect thoughts your webmaster had had about supporting reunion organizers and those wishing to reconnect. It is now opt-in. No info is published about anyone other than name, yearbook photo, and an estimation of their age based on their year of graduation.
The original info published was obtained on the Internet from public sources. Now, any info that is displayed will be that which has been input by our classmates. Further, only classmates who have registered with a valid email address will be able to see any of the contact info here.
Let me know if you have issues with what remains of the site, or ideas on what direction things should go.
The power of an Alumni Association comes from its leadership and members, and particularly from the number of members we have. We believe that an Alumni Association of the people, by the people, and for the people will have the best chance of prospering.
Our rules for membership are simple:
Anyone who has ever attended or worked at Sayville High School is automatically a member. Period. No banishment for dropouts or those who had to move away.
No dues. Alumni everywhere have learned to hold onto their wallets when the Alumni Association comes knocking. No fear for us, because no dues. Not now, not ever (we hope).
No elitism. Our Yearbooks ranked the status of our school members by the size of their photos: Principal, Vice Principal, Faculty, Seniors, Under Classmen and Secretarial staff, and then finally Custodial staff. Among faculty, the first photos were always of those teaching English and Science, the last to be listed were music, physical education, business... No more. In this Alumni Association, we will not favor students over faculty or staff, or some faculty over others, or some staff over others. This was our school. And this is our Alumni Association.
Building the Base
Yearbooks. Our database currently contains the names of over 18,540 students and faculty, along with some contact info for some of them. We started with Yearbooks, which provide name, photo, and age (which can be inferred from class year). Yearbooks were provided by the Sayville Library (Thank You!), Sayville High (Thank You!) and from private collections. We've scanned Yearbooks back to 1930, cropped all Senior Photos, tried to improve image quality with Photoshop, and added the name, picture, class, and assumed age, to our database.
Your Additions. All additional information that is displayed comes from our classmates who have registered on the site. They have opted-in to display this information. No information is displayed from other sources.
Our steering committee has lots of ideas for Association projects in the future, but this is not our organization. It is yours, and most of our project ideas will be coming from you. The best projects would bring benefit without being costly. Do you have an idea for a project? Please drop us a note: Ideas@SayvilleAlumni.com.
Local Reporters. No longer do we all live 10 minutes from the center of Sayville. So reporters could bring benefit by digging up Sayville-area news, and reporting on it here. Easy pickins: the Suffolk County News, the Sayville-Bayport Patch, the SHS web site, Church bulletins, the newsletter of the Sayville Library, Classmates.com, Sayville.com, and ClassFinders.com.
Awards Committee. Many individuals and organizations in our area could be recognized for the value they bring to the lives of students and alumni. For instance, the Sayville Library should be acknowledged for its efforts to support and motivate the lifelong education of our community. Join this committee, and help with the process. Kathy Duggan O'Bannon and Sharon Smith are coordinating this effort.
We want to help build reunions. We have a page of Reunion News, a page of links for Reunion Organizers, and an experimental page for reunion registration. In addition, each class page on this site starts with links to that class's web site, reunion organizers, and Facebook page.
How You Can Help
Register Yourself, Amend Others
Register! This is the single most important thing you can do: provide your information, so that others may contact you. Provide this info on our Register page here.
Tell Everyone. Help us find your siblings, your relatives, and everyone you have stayed in touch with. Tell your family and friends to come visit this site and to register here.
Amend. Our Amend page provides a means for any classmate to update our database with nuggets of information as they are uncovered. While the Registration page provides a means for a classmate to add or update their own personal information, the Amend page allows any classmate to record what they've learned about others. Use it as a note-taking tool when doing internet searches, reading email, making phone calls... There is more guidance on ways to track your classmates here.
Share Copies of Your Old Photos
Do you have any old photos of Sayville? Anything cool in those family albums? If so, we'd like to make some digital copies. We'll add them to the image collection that powers our slideshows here, and share them all with the Sayville Library, which has been so generous with us. Write the webmaster to explore how you can help.
Incorporation. We plan to incorporate whenever we are in a position to plan any action that will require capital, so that your donation will be tax-deductible. Our mission statement, proposed articles of incorporation, and proposed bylaws are here. Comments are welcomed.
Crew. We began with our reunion organizing committee, then evolved into an Association-specific "Founding Committee". Everyone on this committee has agreed to grab an oar and pull, but no one wants a title or permanent position. So we will continue to evolve. And we hope you will grab an oar too. Current rowers and their duties:
Thanks to Kathy Duggan O'Bannon, Susan Peters Ranghelli, and Jane Roe Tierney for their effort in scanning yearbooks, and thanks to Alice Lepore and Jonathan Pryer of the Sayville Library and Ron Hoffer of Sayville High School for providing the yearbooks we scanned, one of the scanners we used, and a comfortable place to work.