Co-Chairpersons - Julie Epstein & Nick Schratwieser
    The Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force is a community outreach committee working to implement a comprehensive school and community approach to help foster a safe and drug free learning environment that supports academic achievement.
    The Task Force relies on district resources and outside funding to promote and support district initiatives and community events. 
     Meeting Dates for Spring 2021 School Year:
    Special Events
    October 23 - Unity Day (wear your orange)
    Nov. 15 - Stephen Hill “Speak Sobriety” assemblies at Weber MS
    Nov. 18 - Stephen Hill “Speak Sobriety” assemblies at Schreiber
    Nov. 18 - Stephen Hill “Speak Sobriety” community presentation at 7:00 pm. Weber Middle School
    Dec. 4 - Dr. Stephen Dewey community presentation 7:00 p.m. at Weber Middle School
    All meeetings are held from  12:15 - 1:30 p.m. in the Daly Annex Conference Room.  All are invited.  If you would like to be included on the email list contact Stephanie Joannon at sjoannon@portnet.org or Karen Sloan and Kbsloany@gmail.com. 
    Confirmed Programs for 2016-2017 
    Sept. 25-oCT. 4   "OMEGAMAN"  Elementary School Assembly Presentations
    October 25 - Unity Day (District Wide)
    October 25 - Unity Day Walk  Schreiber Track 
    Check back as more programs/presentations become confirmed 
     UNITY WALK 2015

      I am not sure any of us could have predicted the amazing response to the inaugural Unity Day Walk.  Almost 400 people participated in the event that raised a little over $2,000 for future events of the Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force. Thank you students, parents, teachers, administrators, teams, BOE members, politicians, community leaders and friends, who participated and made this event such as success.

    The Walk began with an inspirational Maya Angelou poem of “Still I Rise” and ended with a unified final lap around the track wearing orange glow bracelets. In between, we had students singing, teachers dancing, stories and quotes on bullying, a cross country 1 mile loop and the most incredible “sea of orange” you can imagine. This was a true Unity Walk with one giant message of support, kindness, acceptance and Unity. 

    The walk culminated the day of events at all the schools.  All had activities planned and the students and staff embraced what Unity Day represents.

    Again, a big thank you for the support of this day.   Please keep on spreading the word that there is no place for bullying.  We have the power to make it end!


    Previous Programs"
    Chris Herren Presentation


    Tentative Schedule ( will add to this list once confirmed)

    September 11 - Taylor Hooton Foundation
    October 22 - District Wide Unity Day
    October 22 - Schreiber/Weber HSA Joint Meeting
    "Sexting and Internet Safety"  -  Marjorie Fisher
    December 10 - The Chris Herren Project
                                                                         2012-2013 Presentations

     April 8, 2013 - 7:00 p.m.
    Parent Presentation ONLY - Weber Middle School
    John Halligan presents "Ryan's Story"


    John and Kelly Halligan lost their thirteen year old son, Ryan, to suicide on October 7, 2003. At the time of his death, Ryan was a student at a middle school in Essex Junction, Vermont. It was revealed in much greater detail after Ryan’s death that he was ridiculed and humiliated by peers at school and on-line.


    In memory of his son, John spearheaded the Vermont Bully Prevention bill which was signed into law (ACT117) in May 2004 and only a few months after Ryan’s death . He also successfully led the passage of the law pertaining to mandatory suicide prevention education in public schools (ACT 114) in April 2006.



    John has been outspoken about the need for more education and prevention of bullying, cyber bullying and teen suicide throughout the United States and Canada. His son’s story and his accomplishments in response to this tragedy have been told world-wide by print, radio and TV


    His student presentation begins with video of home movie clips and pictures of Ryan as a very powerful way of introducing his son. John then begins to tell the story of Ryan’s life and the factors that led up to his son’s suicide. The audience gains a unique perspective from inside a family of a child who is a victim of bullying and cyber bullying. They also gain a deeper understanding of the devastating impact of a teen suicide on a family. There are many powerful life lessons imparted, including forgiveness and finding ways to turn a tragedy into hope for others.



    March 18, 2013 - "Hang Up and Drive" Jacy Good

    The Port Washington Safetyand Substance Abuse Task Force, in conjunction with the Port Washington SchoolsAthletic Department and the Schreiber Health Education department presents adynamic and timely presentation that discusses distracted driving:











    Like mostpeople, Jacy Good’s college graduation day in May 2008 was to be one of thegreatest days of her life. But her dreams were shattered just hours after shereceived her diploma, when a young man caused an accident that took the livesof both Good’s parents and left her with a 10% chance of survival. No oneexpected Jacy to live past the first 36 hours. Jacy was a fighter. Over thenext several months, she began making improvements. But life would never be thesame. She had to re-learn how to walk, talk, and feed herself. Today, she isunable to move her left wrist or fingers, and she’ll have to wear a brace onher left ankle for the rest of her life. The most painful loss was of herparents.  Since the crash, Jacy hasdevoted her life to raising awareness about the dangers of cell phone usebehind the wheel. She wears a sign on her back each day explaining how herinjuries were caused by distracted driving and urges everyone she meets to hangup and drive. In 2010, Jacy joined the board of FocusDriven to help continuespreading her message across the country.


    Jacy hasbeen a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and at Maria Shriver’s Women’sConference. She has been a guest at the United Nations and has spoken atconferences nationwide. Her story has been featured on screen and in printdozens of times nationwide, most recently in the April 11, 2011 issue of PeopleMagazine.  Jacy and her fiancée, SteveJohnson (who is part of the presentation in video form), have been speaking toaudiences nationwide, sharing their different perspectives on this senselesstragedy that has had far-reaching impact, affecting the lives of many people.In addition to Jacy telling her story, Steve shares his — of being the firstperson to receive the news of the woman he was very much in love with, and whatit was like to be by her side throughout her entire rehabilitation process.




    Evening Community Presentation:


    Monday, March 18, 2013 – Schreiber Auditorium – 7:00 p.m.


    This program is appropriate forall parents and students in helping to make a difference on the roads. If youdrive or are a passenger, this is a must see presentationfor parents and their children.


    Admission is free.  Please be prompt.


    All 11th and 12thgrade Schreiber students would have seen this program during the school day onMarch 18 as part of an assembly program.


    For moreinformation, contact the Safety and Substance Abuse Co-Chaipersons

    StephanieJoannon at Sjoannon@portnet.orgor Karen Sloan at Sloany@optonline.net


     Meeting Dates in 2012-2013
    Oct. 4
    Nov. 8
    Jan. 10
    March 7
    May 2
    Meeting are Thursdays 12:15 - 1:30 p.m. in the Daly Annex
    All are welcome
    In the 2010-2011 school year, some of the grant money helped support or fully fund the following school related programs:
    Natural Helpers
    Red Ribbon Week
    Strategic Protection Group Drug Awareness Assemblies
    Joint Weber/Schreiber HSA workshp
    Big Brother/Big Sister  Cyber Abduction Safety
    Love Heals - AIDS related education presentation
    Report -it.com
    The Task Force brought presentations from the Nassau County District Attorneys office on Heroin prevention entitled "Not My Child"
    The Task Force holds five afternoon meetings throughout the school year and are open to any one who would like to attend.  If you would be interested in getting information on upcoming meeting dates, agendas and presentations of the Task Force send your email to Sjoannon@portnet.org.
    Keep checking back on this site for the most updated information.
    Presentations from 2009-2010 School Year



    The Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force Presents a community presentation of:


    “What You Don’t Know Can HARM Your Child”


    Parents are continually asking for guidance in learning how to recognize warning signals, how to talk to their children and want a place to ask questions on how they can be a better parent.  This next Task Force presentation is geared toward answering questions and informing parents on what they can do to keep their children safe.


    Knowledge is Power.


    This second community presentation will bring in speakers from within the school district and outside of the district who have real knowledge and experiences with each age level of students.  We are offering three separate sessions this evening to address those issues that affect each level and give you, the parent, the opportunity to listen, learn and ask questions. 


    There will be sessions for parents of elementary school, middle school and high school aged students.


    Tentative Topics and Speakers:


    Elementary  – Port Washington Elementary Guidance Counselor Jennifer Biblowitz and Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, a representative  from North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center, will speak about warning signs and behavior changes that occur at this age that parents need to be made aware. They will inform about trends, warning signs in childrens behvior, risk factors, etc.  They will speak about the changes developmentally and socially your child will experience both in the home and at school.   "Little children have big ears" so awareness and understanding are key to this session as parents are encouraged bring their own questions to this session.  It is the goal of the workshop to have parents less anxious about dealing with their child and be better informed on what to look for and model.


    Middle School Age – Weber health teachers Harriette Gold and Traci Drexler along with a parent  from DAYTOP will speak to middle school parents on the issues affecting this age group.  The teachers will speak on what they are teaching in the classroom and allow parents a glimpse of the facts and strategies the curriculum offers.  Additionally, they will inform what they are actually hearing from the students and will share the realities with you.  Critical conflicts arise with this age group, specifically, self esteem, peer pressure, alcohol and drug experimentation, prescription drug abuse and sexting to name a few.   The parent from DAYTOP will speak on the mistakes parents make at this level.. She will speak from first hand experience and  help guide other parents into making better choices. This will be a frank and eye opening session and we encourage parents of this age group to actively participate in the question and answer segment.


    High School Age -  This session will address the real life situations that can and have happened in the lives of high school age students.  Whether they individually have been involved, all are affected in some way.  As parents of high school aged children, you need to know some of the consequences of bad decision making and how they affect everyone.  Dr. Debbie Levine, an emergency room doctor will talk about what she has seen in the ER with high school aged students.  Much does not get out to the public, but this will be an eye opening session.  A parent and a former student from DAYTOP will speak about some of the warning signs and obstacles facing parents as their child becomes more independent.  You will hear about the need to be a strong parent and strategies on how to be that parent from those who have been through it. 



    The “What You Don’t Know Can Harm Your Child” presentation is on Tuesday, January 26th beginning in the Schreiber Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. sharp.  We hope you will pass the word and make this a well attended event.


    If you have any questions, contact either of the co-chairperson of the Task Force, Stephanie Joannon at Sjoannon@portnet.orgor Karen Sloan at sloany@optonline.net

    Community Panel Presentation-Oct. 22nd-7:00 p.m.- Schreiber HS

    The Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force present a Community Panel Presentation of:

    “Who is in Charge?”  saying “yes” or “no” to your child can affect your life and theirs forever.  

    One of the hardest choices parents have to make is to know when to say “no” to  your  child in order to keep them safe.    Once the children come of school age, it is often a challenging and unnerving dilemma for parents to understand what the child needs from you.  The choice of being a popular parent vs. a responsible parent is not a clear one. Can you be both?

    This panel presentation is the first of three community presentations the Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force will present this school year on issues that affect the entire Port Washington community. This presentation addresses Social Host Liability as it relates to the decisions you make regarding who comes into your home when you are there and not there.   It will explore this issue from different perspectives and give everyone the necessary information to make choices that can prevent a tragedy in our town.   

    How many times have you been faced with allowing your child to go to another home and not knowing who will be there?  Do you trust your younger child to be home with older siblings? Are you sure that no one else will come in unexpectedly?

    Parents, teachers, students and community members should attend this presentation to :

    1.       Learn about Social Host Liability from law enforcement officials in our town who have experiences with  this issue as it affects homes with children of all ages.

    2.       Understand the risks of losing your home or being sued from the insurance company’s view

    3.       Learn what goes on in a court of law from a family court judge when adults and children come before the justice system.

    4.       Understand the process of prosecution from a representative from the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

    5.       Learn some strategies to help you make better choices for you and your children.

    6.       Interact with others who have the same concerns as you.

    Tentative Panelists:

    John Marks, Family Court Judge

    Steve Folan, Folan Insurance Company

    Tony Guzzello, Detective PW Police Department

    Representative from District Attorney’s Office Vehicular Crimes Unit.


    All members of the community are invited to attend this 90 minute workshop to be held Oct.22 in the Paul D. Schreiber HS auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Panelists will speak on their topic followed by two breakout sessions where community members can follow up with more questions and receive greater information from the panelists.  If you want the presenters to answer specific questions, email Stephanie Joannon at SJoannon@portnet.org  and she will compile a  list.