By Dr. David Bennardo, superintendent of the South Huntington school district.
It is amazing to note that today marks a full year since Super Storm Sandy altered the physical and emotional landscape of our region.
What started as a typical autumn season quickly assumed "once-in-a-lifetime" characteristics as downed trees, power outages, floods, property damage, closed schools, and shuttered businesses challenged us in previously unforeseen ways.
The storm signaled the start of an incredibly difficult period as a Nor’easter, the tragedy in Sandy Hook, and an enormous winter blizzard came upon us in rapid pace.
We were tested at every turn, and our material and human resources were stretched to the limits of their potential. As a first-year superintendent and newcomer to South Huntington, Super Storm Sandy provided me with an immediate window into the remarkable soul of this community. The compassion and resiliency of our faculty/staff, students, and parents never waned, and the spirit was absolutely inspirational throughout the crisis.
The feeling of common purpose was almost indescribable, and we drew closer through the collective strength of our school district family. While the weeks and even months surrounding the storm were certainly draining, I could not have been more proud of the selflessness, charity, and sacrifice displayed by the members of our community.
I learned through the autumn and winter of 2012-2013 that there is no storm as powerful as the character and spirit of South Huntington.