Two at Hampton Bays named Teachers of the Year

Two at Hampton Bays named Teachers of the Year photo  thumbnail161752
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Two music educators in the Hampton Bays School District have been recognized by the VFW as teachers of the year. Steve Piliero, a music teacher at Hampton Bays Elementary School, was designated as New York State’s VFW Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Jennifer Halsey, a Hampton Bays High School music teacher, earned the High School Teacher of the Year designation by VFW Post 5350. 

Both teachers were humbled by the honor. “This is a special recognition for me,” said Piliero. “It’s like completing a circle, since I am being honored for my efforts in honoring our veterans.”

Likewise, Halsey said, “I am extremely grateful for this incredible honor. I have been blessed to be teaching the past 26 years, and my love for what I do grows bigger every year. To be a part of a child’s life — not only in music, but to witness their overall success in high school — is priceless.”

Piliero and Halsey have been instrumental in the district’s monthly veterans recognition ceremonies by preparing students for performances that pay tribute to local veterans.  

Piliero has taught in the Hampton Bays School District since 2004. As a music teacher and choral director, he has prepared students for performances at 9/11, Veterans Day and Flag Day public ceremonies and implemented various multimedia lessons in general music for his students in grades K-4. He also serves as the school’s sound technician for public and school events and ceremonies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in mathematics from the SUNY New Paltz and a master’s in liberal studies with a music concentration from Stony Brook University.  

Halsey has been a music teacher at Hampton Bays High School since 1996. She oversees the symphonic band, jazz band, pep band, marching band and pit orchestra. She also teaches at the school beginner piano and music theory and at the district’s Life Skills Academy of Music. Additionally, she is the school’s Interact Club advisr. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Arts in library studies with a concentration in music from Stony Brook University.