Published by Massapequa Public Schools
Angela Gallucci, a teacher at Massapequa High School, was recently recognized by the Massapequa Takes Action Coalition for her work as adviser of Students Against Destructive Decisions. Ms. Gallucci, a special education English teacher, has supervised the SADD club for the past seven years.
MTAC’s mission is to prevent substance misuse and to promote a healthy Massapequa. The organization has a strong partnership with the Massapequa School District to enhance its efforts. MTAC and SADD have teamed up for several initiatives.
At the annual Safe Halloween event at Massapequa High School, in which parents can bring their children to go trick-or-treating in the classrooms, SADD club volunteers stuffed and distributed 900 MTAC tote bags filled with information including “Keep Youth Drug Free” booklets, resources to help parents and caregivers establish and maintain good communication with their children, and drug prevention coloring books provided by Massapequa Elks Lodge No. 2162.
In the spring, SADD club members will present the four-week “Be Your Best Self” program at the Massapequa Public Library for middle school-age students. It builds upon lessons taught in schools in grades 3-6 through the “Too Good for Drugs” program. High school students have been trained through YES Community Counseling Center.
Last summer, members of the MTAC Steering Committee, including Ms. Gallucci and two SADD student representatives, were among more than 2,500 students and adults from across the country to attend the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Mid-Year Training Institute in Dallas, Texas. It offered in-depth, interactive training sessions about substance abuse prevention, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs to reduce substance misuse.
Presenting Ms. Gallucci with her award were MTAC’s Project Director Cathy Samuels, MTAC Co-Chairs Mark Wenzel (assistant director of YES) and Diane Marascia (Massapequa High School social workers) and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Thomas Fasano.
MTAC leaders noted that the best way to prevent drug experimentation and addiction is to educate children at a young age and to provide parents with necessary resources for effective communication. They said that Ms. Gallucci’s commitment to these efforts, as well as her strong leadership of the SADD club and work with students is why they chose to recognize her.
Ms. Gallucci said one of the biggest concerns SADD is presently addressing is the increase in vaping. This is in addition to its long-standing awareness campaigns on issues such as underage driving, opioid use and marijuana.
“My children are growing up here and will be directly impacted by what goes on in the community,” Ms. Gallucci said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with a great organization like MTAC to help make Massapequa better, safer and healthier.”