Daryle Abeshouse, Joanna Silberman, Jennifer Melnick and Christine Mooney, who live or work in East Meadow, were among the recipients of the virtual District 6 Women of Distinction Awards, which was hosted and presented by State Sen. Kevin Thomas.
“March is Women’s History Month,” Thomas said. “These women were chosen as honorees because of their bravery, civic mindedness, public service, volunteerism and invaluable contributions in fields such as education and health care. I am so honored to have the opportunity to share their stories, thank them and recognize them for all that they have done for our District 6 community.”
The women who were honored
Daryle Seid Abeshouse: A nurse for almost 38 years, she recently received the 2020 Excellence in School Nursing Award. She has worked as a school nurse at Barnum Woods Elementary School and as a camp nurse at Twin Oaks Country Day School and Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center for more than 20 years. Abeshouse serves in hospitality and as a secretary and party planner for Zone 1 of the New York State Association for School Nurses.
“This year, by far, has been the most challenging in my nursing career, certainly as a school nurse,” Abeshouse said, “and I’ve been an emergency room nurse before this.”
Joanna Silberman: A guidance counselor at East Meadow High School, she is also an adviser for Gender Equality Movement, where students can have an open and safe discussion about gender, race and minority equality, as well as current political, economic, social and cultural issues.
“In her office, you will see pictures of almost every single student she has ever had over the past 25 years at East Meadow High School,” Thomas said. “She loves being surrounded by her students at all times.”
Silberman said East Meadow High School is her second home.
“It’s been a tough year for all of us, but especially tough since losing my husband just three months ago,” she said. “He was very proud of my career, my reputation and connections I made with my students. He always reassured me I am a strong and successful woman and mother, even when I doubted myself.”
She said she would draw upon her strength from him, her mother, her sister and brother, her friends and two children to continue making a difference in the East Meadow community.
Jennifer Melnick: She is a psychotherapist for a private practice and a forensic social worker on New York State Assigned Counsel Mental Health Professionals Panel in Family Courts on Long Island and New York City.
During the pandemic, she worked with the New York State Helpline and provided individual and community mental health services. As the vaccine rollout began, she helped schedule appointments for family members, friends, community members and strangers.
“I am compelled to stand together and speak up in the continued battle against inequality, inequity, micro-inequity and micro-aggression of any kind,” Melnick said. “I hope that in my small way I can continue to support individuals and be an ally to communities that are underserved, underrepresented and under valued and depend on the support and collaboration of those in public office to institute change.”
Christine Mooney: She is the executive director of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce. Through the chamber she mentors East Meadow High School students who are interested in pursuing a career in early childhood education. She implemented “Sock It To Me,” which enables members of the community to donate new socks to local shelters.
“I really want to thank my family and the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce who supported me in my efforts during this hard time during the pandemic and delivering food and masks and giving the scholarships to the children of the high school,” Mooney said. “I’d also like to congratulate all the women recipients as well. It is a well-deserved award to everybody.”