Last December, at the Dalers Deck the Halls Holiday Breakfast at Farmingdale High School, a fourth-grade Albany Avenue student named Anthony dropped every single one of his raffle tickets into the bucket for a chance to win the prize of being Honorary Superintendent of Farmingdale Schools for a day. He didn’t win, but his twin brother Jake—who ironically dropped in only one raffle ticket—did, and graciously agreed to share his win with his brother.
Dressed to kill, with Daler pawprints on their ties and freshly minted ID badges, Jake and Anthony began their day as many local people do—at the Farmingdale Starbucks. After meeting up with Superintendent Paul Defendini, they accompanied him for a day of typical duties, beginning at Farmingdale High School and continuing to Albany Avenue and Woodward Parkway Elementary Schools.
The highlight of their day? “When we got to pull the alarm for a fire drill!” said Anthony.
“Yeah,” agreed Jake. “That was the most fun thing we did today.”
The pair lunched at Palmers Restaurant, where they attended a Farmingdale Rotary Meeting aside Superintendent Defendini. The boys were warmly received by the gathering and were inducted as “members for a day” by Rotary President Len Constantinopoli.
Following lunch, the boys accompanied Mr. Defendini back to his office at Weldon E. Howitt Middle School, where they got to see some fun artifacts from the district, including a ledger dating back to 1892 that was used to record teacher salaries, and an antique bowl and spoons that were unearthed during recent construction. Both boys were drawn to a protectively encased baseball, placed prominently on a table. “That ball was used to throw out the first pitch at the new Howitt Athletic Field,” explained Superintendent Defendini.
“The day was a great success and gave the young Dalers firsthand knowledge of what really goes into running a school district,” said Superintendent Defendini. “I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Jake and Anthony. They were so attentive and interested and I wouldn’t be surprised if some day one of them earned their way into my position!”