Next time I’m wearing my sneakers

Elaine Kanas

What a great time was certainly being had by the students when I visited Herman Lim’s second grade physical education class at North Side this week … and had I been wearing my sneakers, I would have joined right in; it looked like so much fun.  

Our North Side PE teachers, Mr. Lim, Meryl Fordin and Tom Greeley, do a terrific job of providing our youngest students with a well-rounded physical education program. The program not only supports strength, agility and physical fitness, but also focuses on building collaboration skills, personal responsibility and a sense of independence, as well as encourages students to challenge themselves. 

Our K-4 students have a wealth of equipment and opportunities available to them as part of their PE program.  

During the class I had the pleasure of observing how our physical education program combines some of our high-tech equipment with low-tech activities.  

Students had the choice of flying across the gymnasium on a zip line, practicing gymnastics on uneven bars, rings and a balance beam, rope climbing and climbing on our new spider web while also using a super slide, stationary bicycles and Xbox and Wii fitness games.  

Thanks to the members of our North Side PTO, who, over the years, have generously contributed by supplementing many of our high-tech equipment used in the PE classes. 

In Recognition of Excellence in the Fine and Practical Arts

Did you know that each year The Wheatley School sponsors a dinner in recognition of excellence in the fine and practical arts?  

Just as our students are honored in various celebrations for other academic content achievements, our fine, performing and practical arts students are recognized and celebrated for their terrific accomplishments.  

It was a wonderful experience attending the dinner last week. 

Student artists, thespians, musicians, writers, readers, editors and stage crews were all honored.  

Student groups beautifully performed various pieces and there was terrific student artwork on display.  All students were recognized by their faculty sponsors.  The evening culminated in a special presentation and award, The Eve and Jerry Jerome Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music and Citizenship.  

The award was established 45 years ago by the four Jerome brothers, who graduated from Wheatley, in honor of their mother and then later, father, who passed away.  

I had the pleasure of sitting next to one of the sons, Al Jerome, who, along with Wheatley music teacher Angela Luftig, presented the award to senior Alexandra Boubour.  

Congratulations to all the commended students honored: Leigh Anderson, Ariana Arralde, Dara Bahk, Shalini Bansal, Kelsey Beresheim,  Joy Bestourous, Alexandra Blach, Alexandra Boubour, Sienna Brancato, Emma Casali, Robert Chang, Ellie Chen, Krista Chen, Jessica Chu, Caroline Connolly, Luis Costa, Madison D’Ambrosio, Nicole Degliomini, Joseph Dinetz, Joshua Dinetz, Jennifer Dioguardi, Tyler Eckhoff, Melanie Esquilin, Mia Fabiani, Luke Fallarino, James Feimer, Sam Fieldman, Daniel Fouzailoff, Peter Frey, Jakob Gilbert, Sarah Golden, Brian Gong, Jonathan Goodman, Jillian Gothelf, Anthony Graffigna, Nicole Grieco, Timothy Han, Morgan Hanel, Sana Haroon, Andrew Hastings, Amanda  Iannone, Salvatore Ingardia, Joshua Jacobs, Aleena Jangda, Andrew Jin, Katie Kaminsky, Katherine Keller, Erica Kim, Justin Kopp, Hunter Krasinski, Jacqueline LaGinestra, Alana Leahy, Benjamin Lee, Sabrina Lee, Samantha Leong, Michelle Lin, Antonio  Liparoto, Juliana Luber, Jade Marcus, Cara Mattioli, Morgan Misk, Hannah Mittman, Donna Nazarian, Gabrielle Nelson, Elizabeth Nolan, Erin O’Kelly, Sumu Pitchayan, Jordan Pollack, Priya Prasad, Namita Reddy, Talia Rosen, David Rosenzweig, Jeffrey Roudbai, Angela Salvatore, Julie Samuels, Andrew Schloss, Kieran Schnur, Courtney Schwartz, Gabriella Schwartz, Neil Shahdadpuri, Darien Shield, Farrah Siegler, Daniel Singh, Justin Spar, Jaclyn Stroud, Michelle Sun, Sam Tanenbaum, Avery Tanenhaus, Rachel Tomei, Justin Vega, Laura Vega, Danielle Wasserman, Harris Wekselblatt, Seung Min Yi, Kuan Yu, Nancy Zhang, Cindy Zhou and Andrew Zuckerman.

Thank you to Faculty Sponsors, Paul Chisholm, Doreen DeAngelo, Julia Donovan, Jen Fatone, Steve Fitzko, Nicole Girgenti, Melinda Gomez, Kristen Guyton, Dr. Peggy Ho, Patrick Hurley, Rick Leidenfrost-Wilson, Angela Luftig, Kristen Malik, Colin McKenna, Stan Orlovsky, JoBeth Roberts and Tom Storck.

Special thanks to Assistant Principal Karen Klapper who organized and hosted the event.  

The Village Green Concert

The Concert on the Green last week was a great way to spend a spring evening.  

Thanks to the Wheatley Symphonic Band and the Willets Road Wind Ensemble who played beautifully while we sat on picnic blankets and portable lawn chairs, taking in the great sounds.

When I asked, I found out that the Wheatley band and the Willets Road Ensemble, who played a terrific finale together, had only practiced together once … that very morning!  It sounded like they had rehearsed together for weeks!  Thank you students all and Wheatley music teacher Dr. Peggy Ho and Willets Road music teacher Scott Hoefling for a wonderful evening.


and Commendations 

Wheatley Senior Succeeds at the International Science and Engineering Fair

Wheatley senior Arjun Kapoor had a tremendous week at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Approximately 1,700 high school students, from over 75 countries, regions, and territories, showcased their independent research and competed for approximately $4 million in prizes.  

Together, with his partner Sahil Abbi from Herricks High School, Arjun won four special awards. The special awards, which were distributed on Thursday evening, included, awards from the Association for Computing Machinery, the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, ORACLE® Academy and CERN (“Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire,” the European Organization for Nuclear Research).  

Each of these awards carry a monetary prize with the combined totaled of $7,700.00 for the pair.  

In addition, the pair took second place overall in the Systems Software category.  Arjun’s project is entitiled, Generation via Embedding of Quasi-Optimal Networks for Application in High Performance Computing.  Congratulations Arjun, his mentor Dr. Yuefan Deng, Professor at Stony Brook University and Wheatley research teacher, Mary Alexis Blondrage for all of the time and dedication that went into preparing for the regional, state, and international competitions.  

Willets Walk for Veterans

During the school day on April 24, 2015, after our Willets Road students completed their math assessments, the Willets Road Student Council sponsored their second annual Willets Walk for Vets.  

Money raised will be donated to Team Red, White and Blue, an organization that helps enrich the lives of our veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activities.  Students’ sponsors donated money for each lap walked around the back of Willets Road by students.  

The event raised $2,206.00, which will be put to good use by Team Red, White and Blue.  

Thank you Willets Road students and their generous donors!  A special thank you to Student Council co-advisors 7th Grade science teacher Bridget Lennon and 7th Grade math teacher Kristen Griswold.   

Have a Good Weekend

As always, please email me at or call me at 333-3758 with any questions, suggestions and/or any topics you would like to see in this newsletter.

About the author

Elaine Kanas

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