Students throughout the Malverne School District will take part in a special celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 16, at 7 p.m., in the Howard T. Herber Middle School auditorium. The event will also recognize social worker Joseph Aquino and community leader and former Malverne High School principal James Brown, who will both be honored with the district’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award. Students from throughout the district will perform as part of the celebration.
As a social worker for more than 25 years, Aquino will be honored for his daily impact on the students’ lives. He graduated with his master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University and began working in the Diocese of Brooklyn. By 1999, Aquino had joined Malverne School District as a part-time social worker at Howard T. Herber and in 2000, was working full time at the high school. Aquino is responsible for individual and group counseling for more than 120 students each year, crisis intervention, drug and alcohol education as well as organizing guest speakers and presentations on substance abuse and mental health awareness.
Brown was born in Georgia and served in the U.S. Army prior to entering college. Brown’s first position in his 37 years of education was as a substitute teacher at Roosevelt High School after he graduated with a degree in business administration from Hofstra University. He then moved on to Freeport Public Schools, in which he served as both assistant principal of the high school and then principal of Dodd Middle School before retiring in 2000. Brown was asked to serve as an interim principal at Malverne High School and stayed for five and a half years, spreading his positive influence to students each day before retiring again.
The entire community is welcomed and encouraged to attend the event.
Compiled by Nakeem Grant