Wall of Fame 2019

The town of Farmingdale, as you all probably know, is a tight knit community that people hold close to their hearts even after they leave high school. Being a senior at the high school myself, and having lived here and gone to school here my entire life, it’s easy to see how much it can influence someone as a person. This year’s three inductees truly represent the power of the Farmingdale experience and the importance of hard work. They were inducted at the high school on Monday, April 29, 2019.

Paul Defendini

Paul Defendini graduated from Farmingdale High School in 1997. Defendini enjoyed the competitiveness of life in high school as a two-sport athlete playing for the boys varsity soccer and lacrosse teams. He was also involved with many activities, such as being a member of the wind ensemble, playing in the orchestra pit and marching band, and being a part of the Varsity Leaders Club, along with many other clubs. Clearly, Mr. Defendini took full advantage of the many opportunities Farmingdale offered him.

Paul Defendini’s career began as a summer cleaner/custodian at Saltzman East Memorial Elementary School in 1997. After Defendini received his undergraduate degree in English and got his masters in administration from Hofstra University, he worked as an English Language Arts Teacher, then later a dean, at Weldon E. Howitt Middle School. He was then appointed as the District’s School Business Administrator and eventually the Assistant Superintendent for Business. Finally, in 2018 he earned the role of Superintendent of Schools for the District of Farmingdale.

Defendini is also an active member in his community. He is a part of the PB & J gang at the St. Kilian Church, where he makes sandwiches for the homeless, he serves as an assistant PAL lacrosse coach, and is a Cub Scout leader.

Paul Defendini shows a true passion and love for Farmingdale. You can see that he gets the greatest joy and motivation out of helping the community and students; he sees students as problem solvers, critical thinkers, innovators, and wants them to become the best versions of themselves.

“I believe that all people have a story, and all people, if you listen closely enough, have something they can teach us,” says Defendini.

Carol Kellerman

Mrs. Carol Kellerman, class of 1969, left Farmingdale High School with many experiences that allowed her to succeed in her future. All of her feelings about learning and curiosity, along with her writing ability, came from her very supportive high school teachers. In high school, she was given the opportunity to run for a place in the student government. She learned how to campaign and developed a lifelong interest for government and politics.

Kellerman has worked with many charitable organizations; most recently she served as Chief Executive of the Citizens Budget commission, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization dedicated to influencing change in the finances and services of New York City and State governments. Being from a public high school on Long Island gave her a very important perspective and understanding of New York State politics, exposing her to different points of view and allowing her to be a perfect fit for her job.

Along with New York State politics, Kellerman also served as the Chief Executive of September 11th fund, a $500+ million charitable fund created to provide assistance to victims of the terrorist attacks.

Attending Harvard after high school, she felt extremely prepared coming out of Farmingdale with all her knowledge and experiences to take on the new life that was ahead of her. She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard.

Steven Tiscione

Steven Tiscione graduated from the high school in 1995 and is a graduate of Hofstra University and Yale Law school. His dream to become a trial lawyer stemmed from his participation in the law club at Farmingdale High School where he competed in mock trial competitions. He carried this desire with him throughout college, law school, and finally to his career as an assistant U.S. Attorney. He participated in varsity sports, which he says gave him an appreciation for discipline and taught him teamwork and healthy competition, all of which have played a part in his life and career. Along with being influenced by clubs and sports, Steven Tiscione points to his teachers, specifically his 10th grade humanities teacher, that have positively affected his life. Mr. Scwinn, he says, enriched his love for history and travel, two large pieces of his life.  

Some of Mr. Tiscione’s awards and achievements include being a recipient of the  Federal Law Enforcement Foundation’s Prosecutor of the year award, the Federal Drug Agents Foundation “True American Hero” award, and the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service.  He is also a three-time recipient of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Award.

Being so successful at still such a young age, it’s obvious to see that Steven Tiscione deserves a place on our Wall of Fame.