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Beloved Sachem Teacher Matthew “Dezy” DiStefano Wins Humanitarian Award

Staff Member Wearing

Sachem High School North teacher and coach Matthew “Dezy” DiStefano, who passed away in January 2020 from a rare form of kidney cancer, has been named the winner of the New York State United Teachers Humanitarian Award.

A special education teacher and volleyball coach at his alma mater, Sachem North High School, DiStefano is being honored for his inspiring work in creating the DezyStrong Foundation, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help aid in the cost of cancer treatments for patients and assist families in their time of need.

The award came following a resolution passed by the Sachem Central Teachers Association, led by President Philip Barbera, which asked New York State United Teachers to consider recognizing members who make significant humanitarian contributions to their communities.

DiStefano’s inspiring work galvanized not only the Sachem community, but also attracted the support of professional sports teams and numerous collegiate and high school athletic programs throughout the country. Additionally, the DezyStrong Foundation Infusion Suite was recently opened at Huntington Hospital on Long Island to help make patients more comfortable while undergoing treatments.

Date Added: 4/12/2022