Going Back in Time: Discovering F.A.M.E.’s Roots


Photo by Ceania Gonzales

Cathy LoSchiavo (left) and Joe LoSchiavo (right) representing F.A.M.E.’s roots at the Applebee’s Tri-M/F.A.M.E. fundraiser!

During the Applebee’s Tri-M/F.A.M.E Flapjack Fundraiser, I had the honor of interviewing Joe LoSchiavo and his lovely sister Cathy LoSchiavo. These two siblings have been in the district since the 1970’s and have had a passion for Pat-Meds’ talent since then.  

Ms. LoSchiavo, has been a teacher in the district since 1977-2012 and taught kindergarten at Bay Elementary for 28 years. Since retirement, she’s been a substitute in Patchogue-Medford district. However, she specifically enjoys teaching at PMHS as she gets to see her former student all grown up. Ms. LoSchiavo was also the youngest teacher certified to teach in Pat-Med history, teaching at the age of 20! 

“She’s being modest about it, but she should give herself more credit.” her brother says. 

Back in the 70’s, both siblings went to Oregon Middle School where their mother had worked. Mr. LoSchiavo revealed to me how their mother had started the very first chapter music-PTA in 1977. At the time, this music PTA was called OMPA, which stood for Oregon Music Parent Association. This association is what morphed F.A.M.E into what it is today!  

“I am a part of the Eastern Suffolk Bord, and I go around and see a lot of different schools, and I can say unequivocally that Patchogue-Medford talent doesn’t the recognition that it should,” Mr. LoSchiavo exclaims. He is also a former member of our Board of Education, serving for 15 years from 1999 to 2014.  

As I was interviewing the siblings, Mr. LoSchiavo started to talk about how his sister has been a bit too modest when talking about her teaching days. Ms. LoSchiavo was the youngest teacher certified to teach in Pat-Med history, teaching at the age of 20!  

Before concluding our interview, Ms. LoSchiavo left a word of advice for all students in the music programs in Pat-Med, “Keep following your passion, keep following your dreams, because music is what it’s all about.” says Ms. LoSchiavo. 

Thank you so much to Mr. LoSchiavo and Ms. LoSchiavo for the mark they and their family have made in our school district and for sharing this amazing story with us!