Mathew Wilensky, a longtime resident of Amityville, was born in Staten Island to Leon and Rifka Wilensky, Jewish immigrants from Latvia. He attended public school in Staten Island and attended the University of Illinois, pursuing a degree in English. His education was interrupted by World War II when he enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in the Pacific and was honorably discharged after four years.
Mr. Wilensky graduated from the University of Illinois and Hunter College. While studying for his master’s degree in education, he obtained a position as an English teacher in West Babylon in 1952 and moved to Bay Shore. He remained in the West Babylon district as a teacher, coach and administrator. During his teaching career, he served as English Department Chairperson. In 1960, he was appointed Assistant Principal of the Senior High School. In 1966, Mr. Wilensky was appointed Director of Secondary Education followed by his appointment to Assistant Superintendent in 1968. In 1972, Mr. Wilensky was appointed Superintendent of Schools and retired in June, 1979. During his superintendency, he continued in his love of teaching and taught an advanced placement English class in the administration building.
Mr. Wilensky was also an adjunct professor at St. John’s University. “He loved teaching” said his wife Claire, who he married in 1980. “He loved to read and fought prejudice in its many forms, fighting for civil rights and women’s equality”. In addition to reading, in his spare time, Mr. Wilensky enjoyed sports, especially football and the West Babylon Eagles.