The School Heritage Museum at Huntington
The School Heritage Museum was established in December 1985 to serve as the official depository of the Huntington School District’s traditions and history. Beginning with eight cartons of assorted pieces of memorabilia, the collection has grown to include thousands of artifacts, photos, documents and pieces of school lore. Among the items are school illustrations from 1794, science equipment from 1898, gymnasium benches from 1910, building plaques and cornerstones dating to 1910 and even 1920’s era drinking fountains and the bell that rang out from the original high school, which stood from 1857 to 1909 on Main Street at the site of the current town hall.
The Heritage Museum, which is located in Huntington High School’s room 140, has effectively chronicled 350 years of public education in the community. Artifacts include a complete set of school yearbooks since the first one was published in 1930 and annual bulletins from prior years, decades of district newsletters and newspaper clippings detailing school milestones, 19th century diplomas, historic athletic award banners, trophies and cups, distinguished alumni displays and quirky items such as the letters that once spelled out the name Robert K. Toaz Junior High School high atop the first junior high built in Suffolk and the megaphone used at the 1939 homecoming festivities.
Individuals, community and school groups are welcome to visit the facility and learn more about the history of the district and the students and staff who studied and worked here through the years. Customized tours can be arranged by calling the curator at 673-2048.
Brian Hansen assumed the post of School Heritage Museum curator on July 1, 2012. He is only the second curator to lead the museum, having taken over from the institution's founder, Jack Abrams.
Mr. Hansen obtained an undergraduate degree in communications (radio and television) at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and earned two graduate degrees in early childhood education/special education and English as a second language at St. John's University.
The new curator interacted with Mr. Abrams in the time leading up to his appointed and Mr. Hansen received the founding curator's imprimatur. He has worked as a substitute teacher in Huntington, as a full-time teacher in the New York City public schools and as a private tutor.
Mr. Hansen has been a freelance producer and writer for many years, including work as a coordinating producer/segment producer, story coordinator and associate producer for various VH1 productions. He also gives guitar lessons.
The new curator's personal interests include writing children's books, writing and playing music, coaching sports, technology and computer production.