Dr. Santo Barbarino, also known as ‘Mr. Lynbrook’, made his mark on every student, teacher, administrator and community member in the Lynbrook community during his 32 years in the district. He served as principal of Lynbrook High School for 20 years between 1986-2006 and became superintendent in 2008, until his untimely passing last August at the age of 67.
Barabarino’s legacy will surely live on forever in Lynbrook schools, and thanks to the hard work of one high school senior, Jen Varvaro, students years from now will know the name and face of the man who helped shape so many lives before them.
Varvaro unveiled a portrait she made of Barbarino at the Feb. 6 Board of Education meeting in front of dozens of community members, including members of Barbarino’s family.
“This person touched all of our hearts and was involved in every aspect of our community,” Varvaro said. “From being our loudest cheerleader in the playing fields, to being our favorite spectator at concerts and arts events, he was always our biggest fan. His loss affected us all, because he truly had such an impact on every individual and is deeply missed.”
She began work on the portrait about a month after Dr. B’s passing. Varvaro said there was no set deadline, but she wanted to finish it before she graduated in June.
“I can’t even express how honored I am to know this painting will be put up in the high school as a remembrance of someone we all hold close to our hearts,” she said.
Varvaro worked on the portrait outside of school at The Art Studio of Rockville Centre where she attends a class three times a week at night when she’s not busy fulfilling her other extra curricular activities. She added that when she did have time to work on the portrait she would spend late nights at the studio determined to finish what she started.
“It’s a wonderful likeness of our dear friend,” said Lynbrook High School Principal Joe Rainis, of the portrait. “He was responsible for fostering the spirit of community that the entire district enjoys.”
According to Rainis, the portrait will be displayed inside a glass case in the high school’s lobby in the near future.