Hansen Named School Museum Curator
The Huntington School District's Heritage Museum has a new curator for the first time in decades after Brian Hansen was named to the part-time post to replace Jack Abrams, the institution's founder and longtime leader.
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 has interacted with Mr. Abrams, who endorsed his successor's appointment. "I wholeheartedly support Brian taking over," Mr. Abrams said. "He is very well versed in computers and technology and will modernize the record keeping and inventory."
"Mr. Hansen has learned considerably from Jack [Abrams] in recent years," Superintendent James W. Polansky said. "We are confident that he is in the best position to maintain and enhance the Heritage Museum, a marquee district asset."
Mr. Hansen has worked as a substitute teacher, a full-time teacher in the New York City public schools and as a private tutor. He has also worked as a freelance producer and writer for many years, including as a coordinating producer/segment producer, story coordinator and associate producer for various VH1 productions. He gives guitar lessons, too.
The new curator's personal interests include writing children's books, writing and playing music, coaching sports, technology and computer production.
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 more than 350 years of public education in the community. Artifacts include a complete set of school yearbooks dating to the first one published in 1930 and annual bulletins from prior years, decades of district newsletters and newspaper clippings detailing school milestones, 19th century diplomas and historic athletic award banners, trophies and cups, distinguished alumni displays.
The Heritage Museum also contains 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. There is even a large display board with the engraved names of every single Huntington School Board member and their years of service.
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 have studied and worked here through the years. Customized tours can be arranged by calling the curator at 673-2048.