To go along with his legacy of being “Mr. Lynbrook,” there is now a new way to describe the late Dr. Santo Barbarino — hall of famer.
Barbarino, who once served as the athletic director, principal and superintendent for the Lynbrook School District, was posthumously inducted into the Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame in a special ceremony on Sept. 27 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
Barbarino became the superintendent for Lynbrook in 2008 and held the position until his sudden death in 2012 at age 67. His nephew, Chris, and niece, Gina, accepted the award on his behalf.
“He was the pulse of the Lynbrook community,” said Carl Reuter, the master of ceremonies for the event, while inducting Barbarino. “Dr. Santo Barbarino epitomized what a hard-working and gentle professional was all about.”
Barbarino was born in Brooklyn and graduated from St. Francis College in 1967. He received his doctorate from New York University in 1987. In addition to serving as athletic director in Lynbrook, Barbarino was also once the president of the Section VIII Athletic Council, a member of the Section VIII Ethics Committee and a member of the Superintendents Committee to Section VIII Athletics.
Reuter said that Santo “bled green and gold,” and added that administrators and student athletes always valued his support, enthusiasm and passion. “Name the sport and season, and Dr. Barbarino would be in attendance,” Reuter said.
Barbarino was part of the staff when Lynbrook became the first recipient of the Nassau County Sportsmanship Award. He also earned his own individual accolades, including New York State High School Principal of the Year, Village of Lynbrook’s Man of the Year and Lynbrook Mom’s and Dad’s Club Man of the Year.
In addition, the Lynbrook School District named a scholarship in Barbarino’s memory, and a golf outing was held at Lawrence Yacht and Country Club in July to raise money for it. When he died five years ago, scores of athletes lined up in their uniforms for blocks outside of the church to pay their last respects to Barbarino.
Barbarino’s brother, Al, whose son and daughter accepted the induction on the family’s behalf, said the award meant a lot to his family and will go a long way in preserving Santo’s place in Lynbrook lore.
“This award presented to my brother, Santo, is another means of keeping his Lynbrook legacy alive,” Al said. “For those of us who knew him, we knew so very well that he truly deserved the title ‘Mr. Lynbrook.’ Our family is greatly appreciative and honored for this additional award of recognition, which he has truly earned and deserves. I am very sure he is humbled for this acknowledgement.”