With the help of the elementary school Green Team, the school district dedicated a sundial in memory of Sheldon Katz, a long-time Port Jefferson resident and founding member of the Royal Education Foundation, at a ceremony on Oct. 15 in the elementary school’s new courtyard garden.
“My hope and the hope of the board is that the sundial will teach and inform our children for many, many years, just as Shelly has done,” said Scott Zamek, chair of the Royal Educational Foundation.
The sundial, which was unveiled during the ceremony, was donated by the Royal Educational Foundation and sits atop a wooden pedestal carved by elementary school art teacher Richard Anderson.
Mr. Katz’s wife Audrey pointed out that the sundial is a very fitting tribute, since her husband was an avid sailor.
The courtyard garden, which was in the works for the past two years, is the result of teachers, parents and community members working together. The project got underway when teachers and Green Team members Kari Costanzo and Laura Kelly decided to clean up the area, which had become rundown with overgrown bushes and tree roots upheaving the sidewalk.
Together, they reached out for help and received donations from Prudential Bank, White’s Nursery, the Peconic Herb Farm, Ace Hardware and Ging’s Nursery. The school district installed new sidewalks, a picnic table and benches, and the Royal Education Foundation donated a water barrel that is being used as a water source for the garden.