Class of 2018 is Celebrated at the 61st Annual Commencement Exercises!

Earlier today, Wheatley held its 61st Commencement Exercises — this year in celebration of the Class of 2018! The 10:00 am ceremony included four wonderful musical performances and four impressive student speeches. It was a moving ceremony befitting this remarkable graduating class.

Congratulations to all of the graduates and their families!

You can view a copy of the Commencement Program here: Graduation Program 2018

English TenP Talks Highlight Student Passions!

On Wednesday, 6 June1 May, students in our English 10P Honors courses invited friends, family and special guests to the second annual “Ten P Talks.” Modeled after the well-known Ted Talks, these student presentations aimed to answer the question, “What Matters?” Students chose topics that reflected their passions and interests, aiming to educate and inform the audience in under ten minutes.

The topics and presenters were quite impressive! Congratulations to the students, and thank you to Vanessa Mahnkens and Stephen Collier, who organized and helped the students through their presentations!

My one regret was that the format of the evening prevented me from seeing more than nine presentations!

The students and topics presented include:

  • Rahul Ajmera: LMFAO: Why It’s imperative that we laugh
  • Alison Amarain: Punch Stress in the Face
  • Kaya Amin: The Simple Step to Dealing with Stress: Mastering your Mindset
  • Kavina Amin: Listening and Learning from the Other Side
  • Zach Azevado: How Bad Decisions Lead to the Greatest Life Lessons
  • Alyssa Belle: Are Doctors Killing Us?
  • Robert Boubour: Observe, Question, Analyze, Reflect: Getting More Out of Less
  • Patrick Brady: Lost in Translation
  • Maggie Caroddo: Surfing Your Stress Away
  • Eric Chu: The Influence of Cinema
  • Matthew Cornacchia: A Thermostat for the Earth
  • Aidan Cozzolino: The Beauty of Video Games
  • Peter Cuomo: Memes: Ubiquitous and Potent
  • Deana Druz: My Anxiety Gives me Anxiety
  • Kaitlyn Ducroiset: Unequal Education is Barbarous
  • Sofia Fuertes: The Inspiring Power of Dance
  • Derek Gilbert: What Diseases Can You Smell on your Breath?
  • Mariam Goher: Let me sleep just 5 more minutes
  • Katie Gold: How Physical Activity Affects Stress
  • Elizabeth Ho: Hey Moms! Don’t Ban Me from Fortnit
  • Alex Horowitz: The Power of Words
  • Eileen Huerta: Should the Private lives of Famous People be off limits
  • Hitangee Jain: The Misconceptions of the Vegetarian Diet
  • Ansh Jhaveri: Why I’m Brown
  • Megan Kaye: The Dangers of Initiation
  • Sanjana Khanna: What the US could learn about learning
  • Teddy Koutsoftas: Riddle Me This
  • Hema Kumar: Are You Self-Diagnosed with Mental Illness?
  • Rachel Lee: Let’s Celebrate Procrastination…Later
  • Eliana Li: Feigned Ignorance is Bliss
  • Karen Li: How Are You?  I’m Busy!
  • Ilana Nimkoff: Food Allergies:  The effect they can have on people
  • Natalia Potrapeluk: The Power of Color
  • Madison Ramos: Why You should and shouldn’t be a Hermione Granger
  • Orell Rayhan: Seeking Discomfort
  • Brenden Resnick: Human Transit: Change Your Perception of Public Transportation
  • Diya Shah: So, You Think You Can’t Dance
  • Kiran Shaikh: Small Hands, Big Responsibilities
  • Dean Sheinman: The Power of Superstitions
  • Rebecca Sparacio: Does Starbucks Make Star Students?  The Coffee Diploma
  • Amanda Ustick: Striding for Success
  • Ashley Vincenzo: I Swear I’m Normal:  Only Child Syndrome
  • Aidan Wong: Play With a Purpose
  • Trenton Wong: College Applications: Are they too competitive
  • Erin Wu: The Key to Happiness
  • Emily Yagoda: How to Change the World with a Single Dollar
  • Alia Yamin: Why We should turn back time
  • Aaron Zachariah: Internet of Things and Future of Technology
  • Becca Zeltsman: We are More than just a number
  • Allison Zheng: Art’s Life Lessons
  • Brenda Zhong: Post-Colonial Obsession: America’s Fascination with the British Royal Family
  • Sharon Zhong: Community of the Not-So-Future

Our 14th Annual “In Recognition of Excellence” Dinner Celebrates Students and Staff!

Last night, 13 June, our 14th Annual In Recognition of Excellence dinner was held. During a very busy time of the year, this remains one of my favorite evenings. Through our students’ own voices, attendees are reminded of the deep and lasting impact our faculty has on our students’ academic, emotional and social lives. The celebration of the relationships formed and connections made is what makes for such a special evening!

With so much talent in our school, it is still possible for some students to not get the recognition that they deserve. To recognize these students, the In Recognition of Excellence award was introduced fourteen years ago. This honor is given to a group of students who have demonstrated outstanding service to school and community, demonstrated respect and concern for fellow students, and set high expectations for themselves as they have achieved their goals.

The recipients of this award were asked to select one teacher, staff member or coach from their experiences at North Side, Willets Road, and Wheatley who had the greatest positive impact on their life.

Congratulations to our recognized students and the faculty they acknowledged:

Brett Bloomberg

  • Lynn Kaye (NS-Ret.)
  • Joseph Virgilio (WR)
  • Birthe Seferian (W)

Herbert Cumming IV

  • John Coyne (NS)
  • Dr. Joseph Coladonato (WR)
  • Ashley Rogala (W)

Nicole Hetzel

  • John Coyne (NS)
  • Michelle Santoro (WR)
  • Christina Cambria (W)

Brett Katz

  • Kara Fraser (NS)
  • Natalie Brew (WR)
  • Danielle Calvagno (W)

Alexandra Ostad

 

  • Dr. Joseph Coladonato (WR)
  • Adam Plana (W)
  • Lauren Walbroehl (W)

Hannah Ostad

  • Dr. Joseph Coladonato (WR)
  • Mary Martinez (W)
  • Cynthia Schwartz (W)

Jesse Romano

  • Patrick Clarke (W)
  • Timothy Schwalm (W)

Michele Strocchia

  • Kelly Powers (NS)
  • Kristen Kandell (WR)
  • Michelle Chalfen (W)

Aiden Wong

  • Bonnie Klein (NS)
  • Bridget Lennon (WR)
  • Robert Teseo (W)

Meet our 2018 PTO Recognition Award Students!

The penultimate award given during the Academic Awards Evening is the PTO Student Recognition award.

The purpose of this award is to recognize two deserving seniors who exhibit the qualities we value and encourage in our young people:

  • Kindness, respect, and tolerance for self, others and the environment
  • Good judgment and decision making
  • High ethical standards and character
  • Sincerity
  • Dignity
  • Courage to overcome obstacles
  • Good citizenship
  • Dependability and helpfulness

These awards were presented by our PTO past-president, Mrs. Diane Cumming. Here is what was said about this year’s recipients:

This first recipient of the PTO Recognition Award exemplifies the spirit of Wheatley. Mature, confident, poised and persistent, her radiant smile and infectious sense of humor helps to break down barriers and bring people together. With an adventurous spirit, she has taken advantage of many new opportunities during her years at Wheatley.

A member of our Mock Trial Team, a Wheatley Welcomer, a cast member in our school musicals, a participant on our guidance advisory board, co-captain of our fencing team, and a peer tutor for Spanish, she has been engaged in so many facets of our school life. Along the way, she has improved the experiences of all those around her. Our community has benefitted from her positive outlook, and her presence will be missed next year!

On behalf of the Wheatley PTO, it gives me great joy to present the PTO Recognition Award to Caroline Crimmins.


This year’s second recipient of the PTO Recognition Award is the epitome of a well-rounded, highly successful high school student. An outstanding student who earned AP Scholar with Distinction recognition, he has also been a leader in a variety of community service initiatives both inside and outside of school. Described by his teachers as someone possessing the highest ethical standards, good judgment and impeccable character, he is a quiet yet forceful leader in our school and community, always looking to help others in any way possible.

A few days ago, his athletic talents were celebrated at the final Sports Awards Evening of his Wheatley career. On that night, he was recognized for his outstanding athletic achievement, dedication, sportsmanship and love of the game; tonight, we recognize him with the PTO Student Recognition Award.

On behalf of the Wheatley PTO, please join me in recognizing William Feil.

Meet our 2018 Wheatley Medalists!

The final recognition given during our Academic Awards Evening is The Wheatley Medal. Presented by the Wheatley Principal, the Wheatley Medal seeks to highlight a senior boy and girl who have exemplified the highest standards of scholarship, ethical conduct and service to school and community.

Here is what was said during the presentation of this year’s medalists, Ananya Bansal and Justin Vega.

The first recipient is known for her warm smile, sharp intellect, athletic skills, leadership, and compassion towards others.  As a change maker, she is always willing to step out of her comfort zone to enhance her life and the lives of others. A catalyst for group discussion, she asks the insightful and critical questions that engage the group and gets everyone involved.

Virtually every teacher looks to her leadership in the classroom where she leads group discussions, poses provocative questions for discussion and assists her fellow classmates. This student has a myriad of interests and is never afraid to take advantage of any challenges or opportunities that may cross her path.

Incredibly well-rounded, she is a scientist, writer, athlete, leader, and activist— as well as an individual who will never compromise her own ideals. A quiet leader, she eschews the spotlight as she goes about her many activities. The Class of 2018 has been fortunate to have her leadership and engagement, and our school is a better place because of her presence.

Please join me in congratulating Ananya Bansal as one of this year’s recipients of The Wheatley Medal!


The next recipient of the Wheatley Medal is truly a Renaissance Man. A thoughtful and passionate scholar, a creative and talented musician, an irreverent and fearless actor, and a quiet yet persuasive leader, he has left an impact in so many areas of our school. In fact, many of us cannot imagine Wheatley without this young man!

He has worked in some capacity on stage or behind the scenes for almost every one of our Tri-M or WTC productions. With a true love of music, he has competed in Wheatley’s Got Talent, played in his church rock band, performed with the Jazz Band and played with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. His creativity and technical skills are well known through the videos he has created for Showdown or Tri-M.

Due to his thoughtful analysis, passionate discussions and deep understanding of the many connections across different subjects, his teachers describe him as someone who makes everyone in the class better. There are very few high school students who can receive the many accolades he has amassed and still remain humble and unpretentious. We are all part of his fan club!

You have already heard his name this evening, and you will certainly be hearing his name in the years ahead! Please join me in congratulating the second recipient of the Wheatley Medal, Justin Vega.

DSC01262

Sara Creamer Celebrated with the Conrad G. Hecht Scholarship!

Each year, the LIASEA asks high schools to nominate students who have demonstrated exceptional talents and progress during their high school years. This year, our very own Sara Creamer was selected as the recipient of the Conrad G. Hecht Award. This award provides Sara with a scholarship in recognition of her remarkable work over the years.

Sara was celebrated this past Friday at a luncheon at the Crest Hollow Country Club. She was joined at this luncheon by her family, Dr. Mazza, Mr. Sposato, Mrs. Laurino, Mrs. Calhoun and Mrs. Klein.

Vintage Coffeehouse 2018 Dazzles the Audience!

After months of submitting, revising, editing, and proofing, the 48th Edition of Vintage, Wheatley’s student literary magazine, was released amidst great fanfare at Friday evening’s Vintage Coffeehouse. During this wonderful event, students, faculty and family members assembled in Room 450 to hear some of the selections included in this year’s edition and to be entertained by the incredible talents of our students.

A huge “Thank You” and “Congratulations” to our Editor-in-Chief, Vani Kumar, our Junior Editors of Literature, Saman Suleman and Anne Yan, for assembling a wonderful team of editors for this year’s truly remarkable edition. Thank you as well to Rick Allen Wilson, our Faculty Advisor to Vintage.

Performers included:

  • Ally and the Suncats
  • Emma Melnikov
  • Kenton Wu
  • Alekya Bokka and Adeel Anwar
  • Michaela Balboni
  • Robert Boubour
  • Alexandra Levine
  • Spectrum (see Wheatley’s Got Talent 2018)
  • Shruti Goyal and Talia Rosen
  • Kimberly Esquillin
  • Kajal Kapoor
  • Justin Vega
  • Vani Kumar
  • Patrick Brady
  • Halli ArbitalJacoby