Upcoming EWSD budget meetings

Elaine Kanas

Important Upcoming

Budget Information

Robin Lufrano, Acting Assistant Superintendent for Business and I will be attending the following PTO meetings to make budget presentations:

•May 5, 2015 – Willets Road PTO Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Willets Road cafeteria

•May 12, 2015 – Wheatley PTO Meeting at 8:00 p.m. in Wheatley Room 450

•May 18, 2015 – North Side PTO Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Wheatley auditorium

A BOE Public Budget Hearing will be held on Monday, May 11, 2015, beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the Wheatley Auditorium.

In-person voter registration for the annual school election will be held in the Wheatley lobby on Thursday, May 7, 2015 between 8:00 AM – 12:00 noon and on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 between 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

If you have any questions about the budget, do not hesitate to contact me at kanase@ewsdonline.org   or by phone at 333-3758 or Mrs. Lufrano, Acting Assistant Superintendent for Business at lufranor@ewsdonline.org or by phone at 333-1707.

You can view the budget presentations and additional budget information on the district website at www.ewsdonline.org > left-side navigation bar to 15-16 Budget Info

Foreign Language 

Induction Ceremony

On Monday, April 20, the Foreign Language Honor Society held its annual induction ceremony.  Fifty-six Wheatley students were inducted into the three national language honor societies that make up the Foreign Language Honor Society: La Société Honoraire de Français, La Società Onoraria Italica and La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica.  The purpose of these organizations is to stimulate interest in the study of these languages, to give recognition to scholarship and achievement in these languages and to promote an understanding and appreciation of the cultures and civilizations of the people who speak these languages. To be eligible for induction, students are required to maintain an average of at least A- for two consecutive years plus the first semester leading up to the induction ceremony. These inductees have also demonstrated interest in using the language beyond the classroom through their participation in local and national competitions, language clubs or travel experiences. 

A special honor was bestowed on Wheatley senior Stephanie Fink, who was already a member of the Spanish and French Honor Societies.  Stephanie was inducted into her third language honor society, La Società Onoraria Italiaca.  Congratulations Stephanie! Tanti auguri Stephanie! Félicitacions Stephanie!  

¡Felicidades Stephanie!


to all the 2015 inductees:

La Société Honoraire de Français:  Ariana Arralde and Pedro Lamarre

La Società Onoraria Italica:  Madison D’Ambrosio, Laura D’Angelo, Antonio Deodato, Stephanie Fink, Brittany Haber, Gretchen Keller, Antonio Liparoto, Raffaela Palmieri and Angela Yang

La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica: Sanjay Allahdad, Isabella Araujo, Samuel Avila, Claire Baker, Benjamin Barnett, Rebecca Besada, Carly Brensilber, Stephanie Buchheim, Brianna Clarfield, Alana Conroy, Joseph Dinetz,  Kathryn Feil, Lauren Frantz, Nirel Gidanian, Samuel Goldman,  Zachary Groveman, Samantha Hurtado, Alexa Kamberg, Rebecca Khorsandi, Jacob Klee, Rachel Koty, Nirav Kumar, Allison LaMonica, Diana Lee, Ashley Lessen, Lauren Levine, Allison Levy, Theodore Lewis, Michelle Lin, Gil Lotzky, Alexa Mizhiritsky, Dylan Nektalov, Darren Novel, Ashley Nussbaum, Jax Nussbaum, Sumu Pitchayan, Austin Pomerantz, Victoria Roldan, Taylor Ribotsky, Jennifer Spar, Justin Spar, Justin Vega, Micki Wain and Joshua Wolff 

Thank you to the current members of the three honor societies who assisted during the induction ceremony: seniors Alexandra Boubour and Sabrina Lee and juniors Daniel Singh and Andrew Schloss. 

Long Island 

Science Congress

In addition to making a difference for our own students, many of our teachers and administrators provide service to outside professional educational organizations and endeavors.  In this way, they contribute to the broader educational field, as well as expand recognition of our school district. Shout out to Wheatley science teacher Allison Chanin-Bermudez who for many years has overseen the coordination and presentation of the Long Island Science Congress.  Last week, I was happy to have the opportunity to stop by the Cradle of Aviation to see the Long Island Science Congress in action.  The Long Island Science Congress, sponsored by the Long Island Sections of the Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS), is an adjudicated exhibit of science projects by students from Nassau County and Suffolk County middle schools, junior high schools and senior high schools. Displays of science research projects require project proposals, abstracts, reports and oral presentations based upon actual experiments and/or field work/observations that are performed by the student.  Categories include behavioral science, biology, chemistry, earth, space, energy, ecology and physics.  Thank you to Wheatley science research teacher Mary Alexis Blondrage and Wheatley social studies teacher Andrew Ardito who also attended and served as judges. Congratulations  to our Wheatley students who entered the competition: Danish Anwar, Ananya Bansal, Rachel Fuzaylov, Roxane Ghadami, Sahaj Gulati, Ally Kim, Vani Kumar,  Megan Kirschner, Ashley Lessen,  John Li, Mitchell Lin, Gil Lotzky, Jessica Poomkudy, Saman Suleman, Ally Wang, Emily Wang, Anne Yan and Alice Ye. 

An awards ceremony will be held on Monday, May 18 at The Wheatley School.


Robotics in our district continues to grow and develop both at Willets Road and Wheatley.  For the first time this year, students at Willets Road have a trial Robotics club under the direction of Willets Road/Wheatley instructional technologist Audra Beberman and Willets Road teacher/teaching assistant Katerina Skiadas.  Each week, students will be learning how to program our new Sphero Rolling Robots.   The software for the Sphero, SPRK, was invented because one of the tenets of the creators of Sphero is “play is a powerful teacher.” SPRK lessons give kids a fun crash course in programming while sharpening their skills in math and science.  Moving forward, it is anticipated that this club will participate in the Lego Robotics program with an eye toward competing in regional middle level Lego Robotics competition.  

At The Wheatley School, the Robotics club has been in existence for several years.  The club, under the direction of technology education teacher Patrick Hurley and math teacher Joe Fina, is comprised of approximately 20-25 students in grades 9-12.  The objective of the club is to teach programing, engineering design, problem solving, critical thinking and team work.  Students construct a robot based on specifications developed annually by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).   Students are also given specific robotic “tasks” that their robot must complete while adhering to a strict six-week window to complete the robot. Club members work long hours to finish the robot by the deadline in order to participate at the regional competition, located at Hofstra’s sporting arena.   The Wheatley team was proud to participate this year and is already looking forward to next year.  

Congratulations to our Robotics club team and our students who attended the FIRST Robotics Competition: Michael Braunstein, Donovan Cheung, Ethan Cohen, Brian Gong, John Goodman, Anthony Graffigna, Sahaj Gulati, Will Kerzner, Justin Kopp, Gil Lotzky, Ziv Lotzky, Elan Mizhiritsky, Jared Rothstein, Kieran Schnur, Ryan Schnur, Jordan Weinstock and Aidan Wong.  Thank you Mr. Hurley and Mr. Fina for your dedication to the club and team work.

All students are invited and welcome to participate in either club, based on their grade level.  There is a supportive and nurturing environment, and a good time and challenging learning experiences are had by all who participate. 

Kindergarten Visit

As I’ve shared with you before, one of the favorite parts of my job is the time I get to spend visiting with our students and staff.  This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to visit one of our kindergarten classrooms for the whole morning.  Thank you to Susan Soliman and her wonderful kindergarteners for an informative and terrific visit.  The morning I visited our kindergarten students, they were studying diagraphs (two letters that make one sound), practiced closed-syllable words, discussed, wrote and drew about recycling in preparation for an Earth Day presentation, read independent books, worked collaboratively in learning centers with their peers and in small guided groups with their teacher and were excited to use iPads for math and reading challenges, among other activities.  The children were so poised and at ease as they engaged in their learning activities and enthusiastically shared what they were learning with me.  Thank you to Ms. Soliman and her students for making my week!        

 Big Band Night

I had an absolutely great time at last Friday Big Band Night/Puttin’ on the Ritz for the senior citizens and empty nesters of the East Williston School District community.  In yet another example of the multi-dimensional focus of our school district that places importance on the development of the whole child, Tri-M Honor Society students hosted this very special event. Students serve as hosts and servers for a delicious dinner and music event.  I was very impressed with the poise and warmth of our students as they made everyone feel at home, representing an example of the best of our school district to the outside community.

Our student performers did an exemplary job as well.  No one could keep their feet from tapping, and some of the seniors and students quickly made it to the dance floor while our student Jazz Band, Stage Band and vocalists played and crooned such tunes as Blue Moon, Cry Me a River, Jive Samba and so much more.  Congratulations to all and thank you as well to our faculty advisors, Tri-M Honor Society – Angela Luftig, Stage Band Director – Dr. Peggy Ho and Jazz Band Director – Steve Fitzko. 

NYSSMA Fair at Wheatley

Each year student-musicians, from elementary, middle school and high school, perform at NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) Festivals across New York State.  The locations of the Festivals are rotated each year between different high schools.  This week, our district hosted a two-day NYSSMA Festival at Wheatley for 15 school districts.  One thousand three hundred thirty student-musicians walked through the halls of Wheatley, carrying a variety of instruments and music sheets, to be evaluated by professional teacher/musicians.  Although not considered a competition, students can compete against themselves by being evaluated year after year. 

More than 110 Wheatley students, from the Tri-M Honor Society (music honor society), National Honor Society and music students, volunteered at the two-day festival.  They registered student-musicians, acted as greeters, collected scoring sheets, directed visitors to their proper performance rooms and acted as performance room monitors by each of the 38 classrooms used throughout the building.   

A special thank you to Mark Meyers, East Williston’s NYSSMA coordinator/host and retired Willets Road music teacher. Thank you to the district music department, Rachel May, Edward Lattari, Scott Hoefling, Karen Brandine, Denise Giuliano, Angela Luftig, Dr. Peggy Ho and Stan Orlovsky for their support.  A special thank you to Mrs. Luftig and Dr. Ho, as well, who went the extra mile in coordinating our student volunteers and kept the festival running smoothly. 


New Calendar Event – The New SAT and ACT Presentation – May 27

The Wheatley Guidance Department has partnered with Kaplan, Inc. and invited parents of 9th and 10th graders to a presentation addressing the upcoming changes to college testing, specifically the new SAT and ACT on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 7:30 PM in Wheatley Room 450.  In an email to parents, Director of Guidance Greg Wasserman stated, “As you prepare the college admission process, planning ahead will be critical for your child’s success … we will give you an overview of each exam and provide information that will assist you moving forward.” 

Congratulations and Commendations

 CSI Challenge Champs!

Congratulations to the Wheatley CSI team that competed today at the CSI Challenge at LIU Post.  The team took home top honors at this unique event where high school students use their forensic skills and conduct a criminal investigation based upon a fictional crime.

Congratulations to Morgan Hanel, James McPhillips, Samantha Hurtado, Neil Shahdadpuri, Nirel Gidanian, Donovan Cheung, Rachel Jozef, Sharon John, Lavanya Reddy, Katie Keller, Alexa Kamberg, Lauren Levine, Margaret Giacinto, Eric Beierlein and Sarah Barbey.  Congratulations and thank you to Wheatley science teacher Mindie Schwartz.

 Wheatley Musicians to Perform at Tilles Center

Congratulations to Wheatley juniors Andrew Schloss, clarinet, Andrew Zuckerman, alto saxophone, and sophomores Sumu Pitchayan, bass clarinet, and Kevin Yi, alto saxophone, on being selected to perform with the Tilles Festival Band along with the LIU Post Band. Guest Conductor Rossano Galante will be working with the students at rehearsals tonight, Friday, April 24, 2015 and tomorrow, April 25, 2015 in anticipation of the Festival performance on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the Tilles Center in Brookville.  Wheatley music teacher Dr. Peggy Ho will also be playing clarinet alongside the students at the Festival.

 A Student Philospher

Congratulations to Wheatley junior Jeffrey Poomkudy who is one of only two students nationwide selected to represent the United States in the 23rd International Philosophy Olympiad! He will be traveling to Estonia to compete against many students from around the world.  We look forward to hearing about the Olympiad from Jeffrey on his return.  

Have a Good Weekend

As always, please email me at kanase@ewsdonline.org 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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