Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School gave tribute to important LuHi community members with the 2019 Pro Deo et Schola Award on February 8. Literally meaning “for God and school,” this is the school’s highest honor recognizing outstanding contributions to Long Island Lutheran, the church and community. This year’s recipients were longtime Hicksville residents Susan Cusick-Carpenter and Jeffrey Carpenter.
The Carpenters’ LuHi story includes Susan’s years as a LuHi student, graduating in 1978. Both of their children, Matthew and Evan, also graduated from LuHi in 2008 and 2012, respectively. During their time as parents at the school, Jeff and Sue got involved in volunteering for and attending various events including the LuHi auction, where they continue their involvement. Jeffrey joined the LuHi Board of Directors in 2008 and served three full terms through 2017. He continues to serve the school on the Advancement Committee where he has been a dedicated member since 2008.
The Carpenters have been members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hicksville for close to 30 years. They have been involved as leaders in Scouting programs (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturing Crew) at Trinity for that same amount of time. Jeff and Sue love to travel and are also involved with Grateful Greyhounds, a local organization dedicated to finding homes for retired racing greyhounds and other rescued sighthounds.
Professionally, Susan Cusick-Carpenter received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Political Science from Shenandoah University in 1982 and an Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 1984. She began her career as a hospital staff R, then as the Director of Surgical Services and a Certified Ophthalmology Nurse (CRNO) at a private practice. Cusick-Carpenter made a career change after having children and worked in clinical research, retiring as the Director of Quality Assurance. For the past 10 years, she has been employed as a multi-state licensed claims analyst and litigation specialist for a London-based insurance company.
Jeffrey Carpenter graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from Shenandoah University in 1986 and went on to law school at St. John’s University where he received his JD in 1991. Carpenter currently serves as Chief Court Attorney and Court Attorney/Referee in the Nassau County Family Court. Carpenter began working in the Nassau County Family Court in 2003, after serving in both the Appellate Division, Second Department, and the Supreme Court, Suffolk County. Jeff spearheaded the implementation of the Nassau County Family Court’s Permanency Planning Best Practices program as a pilot program in 2005 and continues to participate in oversight of the program, which has become standard operating procedure in Nassau County and is viewed statewide as a model for the effective and efficient handling of cases involving allegations of child abuse and neglect.
Besides professional accomplishments, the solid, steady support of The Carpenters through the years, even after their children graduated from LuHi, made them perfect candidates for Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School’s highest award.
The Flourish Campaign Dinner also included student musical performances and Q & A sessions with three LuHi graduating seniors who shared their experiences in leading at LuHi. Attendees learned details of the $6 million Flourish Campaign from Head of School John Buck. The Flourish Campaign includes both strategic and master planning to study academic programming and future goals. It will also review our campus facilities and utilization for students. Funds raised during the campaign will be employed to move forward with campus redesign and renovation set forth in the planning process. Also included in the Flourish Campaign is ongoing support for Christian service projects, academics, and scholarships for need and merit.