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Ward Melville

When the Patriots of Ward Melville came knocking on Eastport South Manor’s door the Sharks would take the match to five sets in league volleyball action Sept 8.

Ward Melville senior Jaron Popp, a powerhouse at the net, had 37 kills in the contest leading his team to the 3-2 victory — 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 24-26 and 15-11 in the fifth and deciding set.  

Teammate Carlo Fontanini killed 11 along with four blocks, and Keelan Sohl had 38 assists.  

The win lifts the Patriots to 3-0 and hands Eastport South Manor their first loss, dropping the Sharks to 2-1 

Observing Dogwood Hollow documents at East Hampton Libarry, from left, Deborah Boudreau, WMHO Education Director; Mayra Scanlon, East Hampton Library Archivist Librarian; Andrea Meyer, East Hampton Library Archivist Librarian, Collection Chair; and Sean Brass, WMHO's Young Gardiner Scholar, funded by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Photo from WMHO

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) has announced the digitization of over 500 records of Dogwood Hollow and the development of Stony Brook Village Center in conjunction with the East Hampton Library’s Long Island Collection. These records are available to the public free of charge on a “next generation” interactive platform. The archives can be found online on the East Hampton Library website, easthamptonlibrary.org.

In November of 2021, East Hampton Library announced a new virtual research platform for their Long Island Collection. The research platform was customized for the East Hampton Library, which is the first public library to use this next generation digital archives software, called TIND. 

Ward Melville at Stony Brook Village Center’s Harbor Crescent in the 1950s. Photo from WMHO

Unlike other archive platforms being used in New York State, this digital archive is entirely interactive—contributor accounts can be created, higher resolution images can be downloaded and links are embedded to enable viewers to comment and share archived items on social media platforms. To learn more about Digital Long Island, the East Hampton Library’s new digitization platform, visit their website at digitallongisland.org.

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) was created in 1939 by businessman and philanthropist Ward Melville. Ward Melville was President of the Melville Corporation—the third largest retailer in the country at that time. WMHO owns and manages historic and environmental properties deeded to the organization by Ward Melville. These properties include Stony Brook Village Center, Thompson House (c. 1709), the Brewster House (c. 1665), the Stony Brook Grist Mill (c. 1751), the Erwin Ernst Marine Conservation Center and the 88-acre wetlands preserve at West Meadow.

The WMHO archives on this platform include the creation of Stony Brook Village Center and Dogwood Hollow. Considered the first business community in the United States, Stony Brook Village Center was created in 1941 by Ward Melville. In addition, in honor of his mother, Jennie, who loved dogwood trees, Ward Melville created Dogwood Hollow, a 2,000 plus seat amphitheater in Stony Brook Village that hosted greats such as Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Count Basie and over 100 other musicians. 

Other subjects that will be digitized are Mr. Melville’s history of bringing Stony Brook University to Stony Brook, the creation of the Long Island Museum campus, the restoration of historic properties, the housing developments built by Ward Melville, the creation of the West Meadow Preserve, and the creation of the Three Village School District and its buildings. To learn more about the WMHO, visit wmho.org.

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The Patriots of Ward Melville went into the half time break, protecting a two-goal lead , before exploding in the second half rattling off ten unanswered goals against Lindenhurst to win 15-3 at home on senior day May 5. 

Senior attackman Tyler Ruffini led the way with three assists and two goals. Kevin Dolan netted two goals and a pair of assists and Andrew Belli stretched the net three times in the Division I match-up. Goalie Zachary Licavoli had six saves in net.

The win lifts the Patriots to 9-2 in the division, 9-4 overall, trailing Smithtown East and Northport with three games remaining before post season play begins May 17.

After a long and intensive search, Suffolk County Community College has officially welcomed its new president, Edward Bonahue. 

Now overseeing the college’s three campuses — Ammerman in Selden, Grant in Brentwood and Eastern in Riverhead — Bonahue said he’s excited to come back to Long Island after leaving for his education and career decades ago. 

Bonahue grew up in Setauket and attended Nassakeag Elementary School, Murphy Junior High and then Ward Melville High School, Class of 1983. 

“It was wonderful,” he said. “Growing up in the Three Villages was a wonderful privilege, just because it taught me about the value of education.”

Ed Bonahue graduated from Ward Melville in 1983. Photo from SCCC

As a teen, he taught swimming lessons for the Town of Brookhaven, which he cites as the reason he became so fluent in the different areas of Suffolk County. 

“I had taught swimming everywhere from Cedar Beach to Shoreham,” he said. “I taught at the Centereach pool, Holtsville pool, West Meadow — it was one way of getting a sense that we live in a bigger place.”

Bonahue said he was “one of those kids” who was involved with the arts more than sports — although he did run track during his junior and senior years. 

“Ward Melville was lucky to have a great arts program,” he said. “They have a great jazz program and I was in that generation of kids where I was in the Jazz Ensemble all three years.”

His love of arts and humanities led him to North Carolina upon graduating, where he received his B.A. in English Literature at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. 

After his undergrad, Bonahue took a job in Washington, D.C., working as an editor at the U.S. General Services Administration and then as managing editor for Shakespeare Quarterly at the Folger Shakespeare Library. 

“That convinced me: ‘Oh, yeah, I kind of like this. And I think I’m going to go back to graduate school.’” 

Bonahue enrolled at the University of North Carolina where he received his M.A.  and Ph.D. in English Literature. He then moved with his wife to Gainesville, Florida, to hold the position of visiting assistant professor of humanities at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida. 

In 2009, he was a Fulbright Scholar with the U.S. International Education Administrators Program in Germany, and in 2016-2017, he was an Aspen Institute College Excellence Program Presidential Fellow. 

And while in Florida, Bonahue eventually headed to Santa Fe College, also in Gainesville, serving as the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, along with several other roles. 

But as the years went on, he decided he wanted to head somewhere new and began looking for fresh opportunities. Through networking, he heard about a post back on Long Island – a place he knew very well. 

New appointment at SCCC

Bonahue took on his new role officially on June 28. Under his leadership, he oversees the current enrollment of more than 23,000 credit students and 7,000 continuing education students. 

“One of the one of the opportunities for Suffolk going forward is to think about how we’re serving all of Suffolk County,” he said. “It’s no secret that the number of traditional students graduating from high school is going down every year. Over time, that’s a lot of students.”

While the majority of SCCC students are on the traditional path, Bonahue said that moving forward they need to figure out ways to do better outreach to nontraditional students. 

Bonahue said one of his many goals is to converge with employers and help their workers continue their education through Suffolk or connect them with future employees while still in school. He added that in a post-COVID world where there can be gatherings, he would like high school guidance counselors to come and visit. 

“I think high school students get a lot from recommendations from their teachers and guidance counselors — especially students who are underserved because of the parents haven’t been to college, they don’t have that network of what it’s like to go to college,” Bonahue said. “So, they rely on their teachers and guidance counselors for that information.”

He added that one thing that was learned during the 2020 census is Long Island is becoming a more diverse place. 

“Many have not had the privilege of any exposure to higher education,” he said. “And that’s what community college is for —
 providing access to educational opportunity and access to economic opportunity for folks who, without it, might be stuck in some kind of dead-end, entry-level service sector job.”

Bonahue noted that SCCC as a college needs to internalize its mission is not only to serve 19-year-old students.

Photo from SCCC

“Our mission is also to serve a mom with a baby at home, someone who’s taking care of parents, someone who’s working in a family business, could be a worker who’s already been on the job and has been displaced  — those are all of our students,” he said. “I think our mission is to embrace that larger sense of community, and then on top of that there are areas of Suffolk County that have not been particularly well served, or where services are not as strong as elsewhere.”

Appointed by SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, the SUNY Board of Trustees and the Suffolk Board of Trustees, Bonahue said that in his new role, he wants the college to be an agent of change. 

“I think they wanted someone who understands that Suffolk County is a diverse place — that it has many constituencies and that the three campuses have different personalities,” he said. “So, someone used the phrase that I checked a lot of boxes for Suffolk. My hope is that also I can present pictures of best practices that are practiced in high performing community colleges across the country, and if those best practices have not been adopted by Suffolk, then I think we have huge opportunities in terms of best practices that relate to community outreach, to academic and student support services, programming, workforce development, transfers and so forth. I think I think I can make a big contribution to Suffolk in a variety of ways.”

Bonahue said he plans on being not just on Selden’s Ammerman campus, he wants to be active on all three.

“I’m going to try to celebrate Suffolk across the whole county, including being present on all three campuses,” he said. “Each college serves a slightly different demographic, but one of the things I sense is that the college is hungry for a coherent and unified strategy.”

Coming back to Long Island was an exciting moment for Bonahue over the summer, but now it’s time for work. Since school started Sept. 2, he has been busy meeting faculty, staff and students, while focusing on his plans to better the local community college.  

“I loved growing up on Long Island,” he said. “And so, it’s been a pleasure to return here.”

Julianne Mosher is an adjunct professor at Suffolk County Community College.

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On Sept. 9, Smithtown East led 20-11 in the first set and let Ward Melville right back in it when the Patriots rallied to win 25-21. The Bull’s answered in the second set squeezing out a two-point win to tie the match at one all. The Patriots countered in the third set edging the Bulls by four, but Smithtown East dominated the fourth set winning by 10 to force a game five. The Patriots picked their spots and took the deciding final set 15-11 to win the match 3-2 on the road.

Jaron Popp a junior led the Patriots with 22 kills, and senior Timmy Chu notched 51 assists followed by Dylan Fagan who killed 14 and had 18 digs in the contest. Both teams retake the court Sept 14 where the Patriots host West Hampton and the Bulls hit the road to take on Comsewogue. Game times are 4:15 and 5:45 p.m. respectively.

By Cayla Rosenhagen

Cayla Rosenhagen

With a flap of the mechanical eagle’s wings above the stately façade of the Stony Brook Post Office, the Secrets of Stony Brook Village Tour had begun.

On August 26th, the small group gathered on the shady lawn beside the post office in the center of the charming village. There we met our enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide, Deborah Boudreau, the education director for the Ward Melville Heritage Organization for the past 12 years. She began the tour by telling us about the picturesque shopping center where we stood. 

Built in 1941 by philanthropist Ward Melville as a part of his industrializing ‘rehabilitation’ project in the area, it was the first shopping center of its kind in the country. We then proceeded to visit the firehouse and the Jazz Loft, which at the time of Ward Melville was the Suffolk Museum. The museum, housing works by genre artist William Sidney Mount and a large collection of wagons and carriages, was eventually moved down the road to where the Long Island Museum stands now. 

The tour group visited the historic Three Village Inn and the Hercules pavilion overlooking the magnificent Stony Brook wetlands stretching into the Porpoise Channel. The vista was spectacular and full of life; a flock of geese swam by and momentarily joined our tour, and cormorants and gulls flew overhead. 

Inside the pavilion stands a figurehead of Hercules which once adorned the prow of the USS Ohio, and a wooden whaleboat recovered from an expedition to the Arctic in 1870. The tour concluded on Main Street across from the All Souls Episcopal Church with fascinating stories about the architect of the church and an actor who once resided in one of the Victorian-style homes along the road.

It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. Accompanied by such a congenial group of people, I learned so much about the village I love and grew even closer to it.

As we said our goodbyes, Deborah announced that the Ward Melville Heritage Organization would be running another tour, called the Stony Brook Village Secrets and Spirits Tour. Just in time for Halloween, this walking tour is taking place for two days only — on October 28th at 2:50 pm, and October 29th at 10:50 am. It will begin at the Stony Brook Post Office. The event costs $10 per participant and the WMHO recommends that participants make reservations. To reserve a spot on the tour or to find out more about the program, call 631-751-2244.

Cayla Rosenhagen is a local high school student who enjoys capturing the unique charm of the community through photography and journalism. She serves on the board of directors for the Four Harbors Audubon Society and Brookhaven’s Youth Board, and is the founder and coordinator of Beach Bucket Brigade, a community outreach program dedicated to environmental awareness, engagement, and education. She is also an avid birder, hiker, and artist who is concurrently enrolled in college, pursuing a degree in teaching. 

Riley Meckley with her award

Riley Meckley, a junior at Ward Melville High School placed third at the NY State Competition of the 84th Annual American Legion Oratorical Contest, earning a $2,500 scholarship.

Competitors had to first advance from their respective county, district, zone and regional areas in order to advance to the state finals. Each student had to prepare a 10 minute speech based on the United States Constitution, highlighting the duties and obligations of a citizen. The oration must be given without any notes. 

They then had to perform a second speech based on the articles and amendments to the Constitution. 

“The Oratorical Contest has been a long standing program of the American Legion,” said Gene Ordmandy Jr., county commander and past post commander of the American Legion Post 432 in Port Jefferson. 

“Every year we search for bright young students with a willingness to learn and give an oration from memory. We are fortunate to have Riley Meckley, a Junior Member of the Legion Auxiliary, participate for the past two years, advancing to state and earning unprecedented third place New York State titles both times,” he said.

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Having lost to Riverhead by a single point back in December, the Patriots had a score to settle in the opening round of the playoffs. Settle it they did Feb. 13, torching the Blue Waves, 75-55, in the Suffolk AA quarterfinal.

The Patriots scored first, building an 11-point lead after eight minutes, up 16 points at the half and then never looked back the rest of the way. Senior guard Jack Holland did what he’s done all season leading the Patriots with 22 points. Teammate Giancarlo Serratore netted 18, while Ted Bliznakov banked 10. The Patriots 3-point game was devastating where Serratore and Holland nailed four treys each while Luke McIlvaine banked two for the win.

The No. 9 seeded Patriots (8-5) will have their work cut out for them on another road game when they collide with No. 1 seed Brentwood (13-0) Feb. 20. Game time is 6 p.m.

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Despite being a shorthanded team, the Ward Melville girls fencers bested Brentwood, 24-3, in a League II match play Dec. 16 to remain undefeated at 4-0.

In the best of 27 bouts the magic number is 14 wins, to take the match and the Patriots managed this by fielding just nine fencers, augumented by one from Comsewogue. 

Ward Melville senior Tori Obedin swept all three of her matches in saber as did Comsewogue 12th-grader Diana Nielsen who allowed just four touches. Foilists Samara Silverman, a junior, clinched all three of her matches as did sophomore Claire Becchina who denied her three opponents a single touch. Also perfect on the night were sophomores Olivia Becchina in epee and foilist Alexa Horan winning 3-0.

The Patriots are back out on the strip Dec. 19 where they’ll host Lindenhurst at 4 p.m.


Ward Melville came out firing on all cylinders in a nonleague matchup downing the Comsewogue Warriors 50-37 Dec. 10. Senior guard Giancarlo Serratore topped the scoring chart for the Patriots with five field goals and a trey for 13 points. Seniors Ted Bliznakov and Jack Holland had eight points apiece.

Senior Tyler Shannon banked 12 points while senior Jaden Martinez netted 11 for
the Warriors.

The Patriots have another nonleague matchup Dec. 13 before they take on Central Islip at home in their league season opener Dec. 17. Game time is 4:15 p.m.

Comsewogue is back in action in its league season opener at home against Deer Park also on Dec. 17 with a 5:45 p.m. tipoff.