Joseph Brandi (PMHS Class of 1966): Joe Brandi was a multi-sport athlete at PMHS who went on to become a highly accomplished high school teacher and coach, and a prolific community volunteer and leader in his lifelong hometown of Patchogue. Brandi not only captained and earned MVP honors on many of his PMHS teams in football, soccer, basketball and baseball; he was also an extremely popular and excellent student and active leader. Over a span of 33 years, he accomplished unprecedented successes for many of that district’s teams. His freshman boys’ soccer teams achieved a spectacular 20-year run of 13 undefeated seasons and six with only a single loss. In 1976 he started the first girls’ track and field team and went on to win 15 league or conference championships. In 1992 he took over a boys’ varsity soccer team that had won only a single championship since 1967 and in his first year led the team to the county playoffs. Within two years the team developed into one of the top squads in Suffolk, wining several league championships. During the many years that Brandi worked in the Connetquot schools he also served the PatchogueMedford community, amoungst which as the fundraising chairperson of the Knights of Columbus helping many charities such as the Stony Brook Children’s Cancer Hospital and local veterans’ homes, outreach programs, soup kitchens, and food pantries
Matthew Campbell (2001) Matthew Campbell is a highly renowned expert in the field of Mathematics Education, currently serving as an assistant professor at West Virginia University. Campbell came up through Medford Elementary and Saxton Middle School where he was a member of the “gifted and talented” program and also an active athlete in several sports. In 2014 he achieved his Ph.D. from Oregon State University and began his professorship at West Virginia. There he is deeply involved in research, teaching, and service in the interest of transforming the preparation of teachers across the nation to provide the best possible educational experiences for their students. As an educator he works with prospective and practicing middle and high school mathematics teachers—applying ideas from research to support their professional growth, supporting them in their practice and engaging with and learning from their students. Campbell has presented his work at numerous state, national, and international conferences and his writing his been published in many academic and practitioner journals
Katherine Wrinkle Ciparelli (2000) Katie was one of Suffolk County’s and New York State’s most accomplished cross-country and long-distance runners during her Patchogue-Medford years. She began running as an eighth grader at Saxton Middle School and qualified for the State cross-country meet. It was the first of her five trips to that championship meet, where she placed tenth as a PMHS freshman and seventh as senior. Katie also won many individual titles at meets around the region. She was also a member of the Patchogue-Medford National Honor Society and played in the school orchestra. As a collegian, Katie was the first Sacred Heart University athlete to win a conference championship in cross country, and the first to make All-New England and All-East—each of which she made four years in a row, and the first Sacred Heart track athlete to be chosen for Division I All-East, All-American and Academic All-American honors, and the first to participate in a NCAA championship meet. Katie and her husband Chris currently live in New Milford, Connecticut, where they started Oliver’s Team to help defray medical costs and finance research for her son, Oliver, who as a two-year-old in 2012 was diagnosed with metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD). After Oliver’s passing in 2014 they redirected fundraising efforts in Oliver’s name to fight and find a cure for MLD. One of the premier events that raises money for Oliver’s Team is an annual track and field meet
Alma Custead (1878-1963): Served as Head Librarian for the Patchogue (Carnegie) Library from 1914-45, during which time she built and developed one of the finest and most admired public libraries in Suffolk County and Long Island. She was responsible for developing, expanding, promoting and establishing the library as one of the finest and most admired in all of Suffolk County and Long Island. She began planning the Library’s growth while World War I was still raging, and when it ended she secured public and private funding for new acquisitions, additional shelving and personnel to build, curate and grow the collections. She aggressively promoted the Library and its holdings, including publishing the contents of the entire catalogue in the Patchogue Advance. Library usership and circulation surged under Ms. Custead, and she also reached out to all the district schools, helping librarians to classify and catalogue their own collections. She visited students in their classrooms and hosted them at events at the Library. She also broadened the Library’s holdings by including media other than literature. As Patchogue was welcoming many European immigrants and their families to work in businesses and factories in town, Ms. Custead further enhanced the value and reputation of the Library by acquiring from Albany a large collection of foreign-language literature. During and between the two world wars, Ms. Custead led used-book donation drives to benefit the thousands of soldiers mustered at Yaphank’s Camp Upton and those headed overseas. Thanks to Alma D. Custead’s 31 years of dedicated service, the Patchogue Library became the envy of libraries throughout Long Island, and it thrived as the very beating heart of the Patchogue-Medford community itself
Tylhor Dodd (2005) Tylhor Dodd is a well-known San Diego, California radio personality, and also a highly successful and sought-out inspirational speaker and substance abuse counsellor who has helped reshape and restore hope to the lives of countless numbers of troubled youth and adults throughout the country. It took Dodd years of pain, struggle and effort to finally achieve his success. As a child Dodd was, in his parents’ words, “a high-energy kid who definitely gave the teachers and administrators at Canaan Elementary a challenge.” He loved sports, baseball in particular, and would work long after organized practices and games with the help of a personal trainer, pitching and batting coaches. It took several years until Tylhor finally found salvation in a San Diego treatment center. A key to his successful rehabilitation was his deeply felt empathy for other sufferers, and he became a highly sought-out speaker and advisor to individuals and groups all around San Diego. At the same time, Dodd studied broadcasting at a community college and worked his way up the ranks at Rock 105.3 where today, known as “Thor,” he co-hosts a popular morning show. Tyhor returns often to Patchogue-Medford, solidly connecting with current students by recounting the many painful lessons of his life. He has also made amends with the many people who reached out to help him over his years of difficulty, beginning with his parents, Carri and Victor Dodd, who now reside in Florida.
Tony Frascogna is the long-time Varsity Baseball coach at Patchogue-Medford High School, mentor to an entire generation of P-M students, and a generous and tireless community volunteer. After lettering in both football and baseball at PMHS, Frascogna played a baseball at James Madison University, after which he began his teaching and coaching career at Patchogue-Medford. Frascogna’s passion for connecting with students extended from the classroom through a variety of extracurricular sports and activities. He quickly became a student favorite, recognized as a friendly motivator and teacher of life lessons. Frascogna became the Varsity Baseball coach in 2001, and currently ranks among the top active coaches in Suffolk county with a won-lost record of 228-149. The only P-M coach who won more games is Frascogna’s mentor and fellow 2019 Hall of Fame inductee, George Ulrich. Frascogna has also led drives to raise money for various organizations and people in need, including the hurricane relief funds for Houston and Puerto Rico, the League of Yes for special-needs players, and the fight to cure cancer, through an event called “Rock Together,” in which Frascogna not only acted as master of ceremonies, but also as lead singer with the rock band “Eddie Trap.”
Ed Lacinski (1976) Ed Lacinski made unique and longstanding contributions to the Patchogue-Medford schools and community, beginning when he was still a student at Oregon Middle School, in the form of expert audio recordings that, to this day, preserve and celebrate the musical and artistic history and legacies of generations of P-M students. Ed’s fascination with music and recording began at age 5, when he attended a recording session of his father’s polka band. Everything about that day fascinated Ed, and thus began the passion of his life and his great gift to our community. In 1997 WALK sponsored a contest for high school choral groups to compete for an opportunity to sing at a concert with Manheim Steamroller at Nassau Coliseum. Ed entered a recording he’d made with the Barton Elementary Chorus. The Barton kids could not win because they were not in high school, but when WALK broadcast the recording, the station’s switchboard blew up. It became WALK’s most requested holiday recording that year. Ed approached PM Schools Superintendent Ray Fell and Music Director Howard Cohen, about finding a charity to benefit from prospective CD sales, and they came up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Ed’s employer, Harman International, donated CD cover artwork and pressed 7,000 discs. Sam Goody’s and AID Auto Stores sold the CDs that Ed personally delivered to their stores. Ed incessantly promoted Celebrating Wishes by the Barton Elementary Chorus, even organizing a mall tour on which he played drums while the students sang. Celebrating Wishes raised more than $50,000 for Make-A-Wish, making it the highest-grossing school-sponsored project for the charity
Michael Lauria (1997) A graduate of PMHS Class of 1997 and St. Joseph’s College Class of 2001, Mike has used his career as a highly successful restaurateur and manager to generously support not only the Patchogue-Medford School District, but also countless charitable organizations and causes throughout the community at large. Mike’s extremely popular Rudi’s Bar and Grill in Medford stands as a shrine to notable Patchogue-Medford alumni—and PM Hall of Fame Inductees—such as Lt. Michael Murphy, Sgt. Keith Bishop and Marcus Stroman, as well as others. But even more important, Rudi’s has hosted many fundraisers, and throughout his career Mike has personally supported endless drives to raise money for such charitable organizations as the Make-a-Wish and St. Baldrick’s Foundations, Ronald MacDonald House, Stick It to Cancer, the Jake Ritter Foundation, Contractors For Kids, and many others. Mike began his business career with the Kaufman Organization, rising quickly to a managerial position in the real estate firm, and went into food service with the MacDonald’s Corporation. In 2004 he was selected to receive the company’s Ray Kroc Award, given annually to the top one percent of the nation’s McDonald’s restaurant managers, and in 2008 he became the first MacDonald’s employee to win the Ray Kroc Award twice. In 2012, Mike seized an opportunity to become the owner of Rudi’s and since then he has been a member of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce and of the Greater Patchogue Historical Society. He has also been an invaluable friend and staunch supporter of the Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame since its founding in 2015. In 2018 Mike was a recipient of the Hall of Fame’s Special Recognition Award
Kevin Lustig (1981): Kevin Donald Lustig is a scientist and entrepreneur who founded the global research marketplace Scientist.com—an innovative, online platform for scientists that currently ranks as No. 9 on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. Kevin’s lifelong mission has been to empower scientists. With the creation of an online hub that easily and efficiently connects scientists to vendors across the globe, he has effectively helped to streamline and reduce the cost of scientific research. Scientists now are freed up to spend more time on experiments. In 2013, Kevin was named San Diego’s Most Admired CEO by The San Diego Business Journal. That same year he was also one of five national finalists for Entrepreneur magazine’s Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Kevin was twice recognized as one of the life science industry’s 100 Most Inspiring People by PharmaVoice magazine in 2013 and 2014. Scientist.com was also named to Inc.’s Best Workplaces List in 2018. Kevin and his company leaders have created an inviting environment for their team by fostering a culture of trust and openness. Employees have flexible work hours and are given room to explore creative ideas. As CEO, Kevin encourages employees not to miss important family functions such as kids’ soccer game and band recitals. The company also plays an active role in its community, from sponsoring events raising awareness of childhood cancer to taking part in the annual March for Science. Kevin attended Canaan Elementary and Saxton Middle School with his three siblings and went on to graduate in the top ten of his class from PMHS in 1981. While in high school, Kevin was editor of the school newspaper, a member of the Key Club and participated in the Boy’s Club of America leadership program. Upon graduating, he received a full scholarship to Cornell, where he distinguished himself by cloning a special gene and graduating magna cum laude in 1985. Kevin went on to get his doctorate from UCSF and did post-doctoral work at Harvard University before becoming director of the biotechnology company Tulark in 1997.
Sal Nicosia is a beloved former teacher, counselor and mentor in the Patchogue-Medford schools, and also a U.S. Air Force veteran, author, public official, community advocate and tireless volunteer. Nicosia served in post-World War II Japan, after which he earned a bachelor of science degree from City College of New York. He began his career as a Social Studies teacher in the P-M district in 1956 and served for more than 30 years as a teacher and then as a crisis counselor for elementary students. Nicosia served as the first president of the Patchogue-Medford Teachers’ Association from 1962-63, created the first breakfast program in the Patchogue-Medford schools, and helped establish the first New York State Child Protection Law in 1973. After his retirement from the P-M District, Nicosia served as a consultant to BOCES, Director of Counselling Services for the Smithtown Christian School, and as an assistant professor at Dowling College. Beginning in 1975, Nicosia became active in government, first by appointment to the Child Protection Planning Committee by Suffolk County Executive John V.N. Klein, and then as a 1976 candidate for the U.S. Congress. Nicosia lost that election, but continued his political work as a legislative aide to a number of state and county officials. Currently, Nicosia is an advisor to State Senator Thomas D. Croci. In 1997, Nicosia authored “Empowering Our Children,” which motivates and stimulates young people to participate effectively and knowledgeably in the political process, and to continue to do so as adults. The book has been adopted into the curricula of at least seven Suffolk County school districts. Today, Sal is over 90, and still wakes up every day ready to go out and work for the betterment of the people of Suffolk County.
Denise Nostrom is a successful personal financial adviser and president and founder of POWER (Power of Women Exchanging Resources), an organization created to educate and inspire women to pursue business opportunities. She was recently appointed to the Brookhaven Town Women’s Advisory Board. She is also a passionate community activist who donates her time and money to inspire, mentor, and reward students and serves as a volunteer cheerleading coach. Denise entered the financial services industry in 1990 as a portfolio assistant at Smith Barney, then moved to a smaller firm. Feeling that she was not satisfactorily fulfilling her career ambitions, she trained to become a personal financial advisor with IDS Financial Services (now known as Ameriprise). In 1996 she started her own firm, Diversified Financial Solutions, developing a diverse roster of clients through her philosophy that with time, discipline, and determination anyone can reach their financial goals and dreams. Denise proudly reports that in 2019 Diversified Financial Solutions is celebrating 23 years in business. As a successful business owner herself, Denise’s goal for POWER is to raise women up to become more successful in their lives, in and out of the business world. Denise is also very involved with the Patchogue-Medford School District. Each year her company awards two college scholarships, and she works closely with the district’s School-to-Career program as a mentor for the Career Raiders Internship program, and for several years has served as volunteer cheerleading coach
Lynn Sadofsky is a highly successful television executive and producer, with more than 25 years of experience in the field. Currently Lynn serves as Senor Vice President of Programming and Development for the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. In this role, she oversees the networks’ New York City offices and works with the programmers to develop new series, manage show production and cultivate new talent for the networks. Lynn graduated 11th in her PMHS class and was very involved in extracurricular activities. She was a member of the National Honor Society and was elected president of the General Organization in her senior year. The G.O. sponsored and organized many activities including the Homecoming parade and bonfire, the All-School Musical and many fund-raising activities throughout the year. Lynn was also an active member of the theater program, both on-stage and behind-the-scenes. In her senior year she was the assistant director of the All-School Musical, Wonderful Town and was a member of the chorus of the senior show, Guys and Dolls. Upon graduation Lynn headed off to Syracuse University from where she graduated cum laude with a dual major in Television/Radio/Film from the Newhouse School of Public Communications and Marketing from the School of Management. Lynn currently serves as a member of the No Kid Hungry Leadership Council. No Kid Hungry is a campaign developed by the non-profit organization Share Our Strength, whose goal is to end childhood hunger in the United States. She also volunteers at the Food Bank for New York City’s Community Kitchen for West Harlem
George Ulrich is a beloved and supremely impactful former teacher and coach who served the Patchogue-Medford schools for 34 years. Over the course of 25 years, 1966-91, Ulrich reigned as the winningest Varsity Baseball coach in PMHS history. His teams won nine league titles, and the greatest of his squads, the 1974 Raiders, won the Long Island Championship, leading Ulrich to be selected as Suffolk County’s Coach of the Year. His total of 352 victories ranks 15th on the all-time honor roll of Suffolk County baseball coaches. Many of Ulrich’s players went on to have successful careers in the college and professional ranks, and a few made it all the way to the Major Leagues, notably Jeff Schaefer (Class of ’78), a five-year infielder with the White Sox, Mariners and Athletics. In addition to coaching Varsity Baseball, Ulrich also made his mark coaching football, first as the freshman coach at South Ocean Junior High, and then as chief assistant and defensive coach of the PatchogueMedford Varsity. Beginning in 1958 and continuing until his retirement in 1991, virtually half of all the male students in the P-M District came under the very strong influence of Ulrich (and his partner for many years, Ed Wakim), the phys ed teachers at South Ocean Jr. High (later Middle School). Ulrich liked to come off as strict, and even intimidating at times. Scrawny pre-teens would shiver in his presence. But as soon as students learned to “fall into line” and perform to the best of their abilities, Ulrich would often break the tension with sweet praise, a few jokes and smiles. He employed the same techniques coaching baseball and football. He always gave special attention to young people with special needs, particularly those from broken homes or who had lost a parent. Even after 50 or 60 years, many of his former students and players consider Mr. Ulrich to be among their most memorable, if not favorite, P-M teachers and coaches, and many consider him to be among their most treasured friends. Ulrich is being doubly honored today, having been selected to the Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame not only as a worthy individual, but also as one of the coaches of the honored 1967 Varsity Football team, the first Patchogue team in 24 years to win a football league championship.
1967 Varsity Football Team: Suffolk County League II co-champions, before the existence of league, county and Long Island championships.
Joseph Agostinello, Head Coach
John Silady, George Ulrich, Assistant Coaches
Charles Brown Bill Fadley Larry Natale Managers
Gary Schaefer, Bob Wittneben, Co-captains
The Officers and Trustees of the Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame Booster Club are proud to honor Fran Kosiczky as its 2019 Person of the Year. Fran joined the Patchogue-Medford school district in 1985 as a Biology teacher at Saxton Middle School. After a year she moved up to the high school and taught a variety of science courses over the next 29 years including Living Environment, Living World, Applied Chemistry, Regents Chemistry, Mammalogy, Environmental Science, and ESL Science. During her career she has served as yearbook advisor, advisor to both the Key Club and Interact Club, class advisor, chaperone to both athletic and nonathletic events and proctor for SAT, ACT and PSAT tests. She also became a champion of many students who may have fallen through the cracks. Non-academic, special education, and ESL students all flourished under Fran’s inspiration and guidance. Before it was “the thing to do,” Fran kept her classroom supplied with breakfast food for those who needed it. Her classroom was a sanctuary for many. Students who were otherwise turned off to school found their educational motivation and confidence because of Fran. She was also the head cheerleading coach for 13 years, taking her girls and boys to perform at colleges and universities throughout the country, many receiving college scholarships. Her 1997 team was selected as the UCA Northeast Regional Champions.
In the Fall of 2012, Fran became one of the chairpersons of the Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers’ Community Outreach, and a year later received the New York State United Teachers’ Community Service Award. She had begun to volunteer at a community soup kitchen based at St. Francis de Sales Church in Patchogue, and soon, many district teachers, staff and students were following her example, joining in the generous effort to fight hunger in the Patchogue-Medford community. Fran now serves as lead community coordinator of the St. Francis kitchen, which has grown to be part of the expanded Patchogue Neighbors Soup Kitchens, serving breakfast to nearly 100 community members each week. It is for these great passions and dedicated community service and charity that the Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame proudly honors Fran Kosiczky as its 2019 Person of the Year.
The Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame is proud to recognize Brian Ilg and his family as recipients of the Sean Patrick Dixon Hall of Fame Raider Courage Award for 2019. Brian, an eighth-grader at Saxton Middle School, was born with Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a painful, disfiguring skin disorder. This devastating genetic disease causes the skin to blister and break causing wounds similar to those suffered by burn victims. The children who suffer with this disease are dubbed “butterfly children.” Only one in a million people develop EB. Brian requires a three-hour daily dressing change to treat and protect wounds that cover 60 percent of his body. Despite the pain with which Brian lives, he is rarely seen without a smile on his face. He is well loved and his sweet spirit infuses and inspires everyone he meets. In 2015, Brian’s nurses and a support group of local families—“Brian’s Bees”—pulled together to build Brian his “Honey House.” This 20- by 8-foot trailer provides Brian with a portable, sterile environment in which he can bathe and have his bandages changed in a safer, less painful environment.
In the past few years, Brian’s health and strength have declined steadily. Desperate for relief and a cure, the Ilg family started working with a team of doctors at the University of Minnesota, the only facility in the U.S. to offer bone-marrow transplants for EB patients. There were no other options. A successful transplant would improve the quality of Brian’s life and possibly enable him to live without bandages and constant pain. Brian’s sister, Annalise, a PMHS sophomore who would do anything to help her brother, turned out to be perfectly matched to become Brian’s bone-marrow donor. The Ilgs were thrilled when tests showed that the transplant of Annalise’s cells was 100% successful. But Brian still has a very long road ahead of him. He must travel to Minnesota several times a year for check-ups and treatment. His school friends have held fundraisers for him called “Butterflies for Brian.” Community members can color a butterfly and donate a dollar to help Brian’s family with the enormous expenses that come with this disease. Brian and his family show their unwavering bravery every day, and are more than worthy recipients of the 2019 Raider Courage Award, named in memory of the late Sean Patrick Dixon, who was honored for his courage by the Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame in 2017.
Anthony Guarino Jiana Hall
Mr. Brian Reich
Erik Astudillo, Violin
Sebastian Calle, Violin
Sarai Espinal, Viola
Sarah Baghdadi, Cello
Justin Kremer, Guitar
Frank Venero , Bass
Celena Coutard , Piano
Mr. Michael Rudnicki
Ceremony & Dinner Sponsor: CIRIGLIANO AGENCY, Mike Cirigliano, Class of 2000 Aegean Pizza & Restaurant, Holbrook, Harry Rossis, Class of 1987
Patchogue-Medford School District Board of Education
Dr. Michael Hynes, Superintendent, Patchogue-Medford Schools
Dr. Randy Rusielewicz, Principal, Patchogue-Medford High School
Suffolk County Legislator Rob Calarco
Custodial Staff, Patchogue-Medford High School
Security Staff, Patchogue-Medford High School Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers (PMCT)
Music Department, Patchogue-Medford High School
Directors Mark Stuckey, Music and Arts & Ryan Cox, Athletics & Physical Education Mr. Reich, Mrs. Sweda-Abrescia-Show Choir Directors
Patchogue Medford High School ROTC, Major John Francolini, Commander John Papanek, Journal Editor
Our Journal Advertisers
Paul Mazzola (‘78), Island Print Center
Patchogue-Medford HS National Honor Society
Principal’s Council PMHS
Student Athlete Advisory Committee PMHS
Brookhaven Town Ecology Site
Pam Julian-Petersen, Food Service Supervisor
Danielle Hofmann, Facebook Administrator
Ms. Nadine Scalzo’s Class
Flowers by Rose Marie, Rose Torre, Sayville
Our Wonderful Middle School and Elementary School Volunteers
Gary Overholser, Stage Lighting and Audio
Mike Greco & Christie Ramos—PMHS Grounds Keepers
Sam’s Club of Medford
Ms. Jen Mott, Mr. Patrick Legge, Mr. Mike Taylor and their ACES Class of PMHS CONNOISSEUR MEDIA GROUP OF LONG ISLAND, WALK FM, The Shark 94.3 & MAX 103.1 Amanda’s Bakery Company, Medford
Geoffrey Cheshire, Photography
Beverly & Bernard Jefferson