EWSD Recognized by National School Boards Association with a Magna Award!

On Saturday, 25 March, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) recognized our district with a Magna Award. According to the NSBA, Magna Awards winners:

…have illustrated school board best practices and have implemented innovative programs that advance student learning.

Our district won this wonderful recognition for our “In Recognition of Excellence Dinner,” our annual recognition of ten outstanding students along with the staff members who were most influential during their years at North Side, Willets Road and Wheatley. The event is featured in a special edition of the National School Boards Association’s magazine:


Along with Mark Kamberg, the President of the EWSD Board of Education, I was thrilled to accept this wonderful recognition at the 2017 Annual Conference of the National School Boards Association in Denver, Colorado. Joining us at the celebration luncheon was Susan Bergtraum, former President of the BOE and current President of the New York State School Boards Association.



Sumu Pitchayan Earns Top Spot on Wheatley’s Got Talent!

This year’s fourth annual Wheatley’s Got Talent competition took place on Monday night just hours before the impending Nor’easter led to school cancellation. The evening showcased an incredible array of students and talents. Organized by Wheatley’s Tri-M Music Honor Society and hosted by senior Lauren Levine and junior Roxane Ghadami, the evening was an entertaining exhibition of the myriad of student talents in our school!

With the assistance of our five Class Advisor judges (Mr. Crisci, Mr. Haig, Mrs. Stein, Mrs. Silverstein and Mrs. Roberts), eight performance acts were evaluated, with three finalists performing a second time — with the winner being determined by the audience vote.

The competitors were:

  • Grace McPhillips and James McPhillips (Rap & Vocal)
  • Shruti Goyal (Indian Hip-Hop Dance)
  • Alyssa Belle (Guitar)
  • Hallie ArbitalJacoby and Jessica Poomkudy (Vocal)
  • Adeel Anwar (Violin)
  • Kaileigh Fiorillo and Ally Levine (Vocal)
  • Mia Blitz (Dance)
  • Sumu Pitchayan (Guitar)

Based on the judge’s decision, the following acts advanced to the second round:

  • Kaileigh Fiorillo and Ally Levine (Vocal)
  • Mia Blitz (Dance)
  • Sumu Pitchayan (Guitar)

While we awaited the results of the evening, we were entertained by last year’s Wheatley’s Got Talent winner, Justin Vega!

We also had a chance to view the student-produced video:

At the end of the evening, Sumu was declared winner of this year’s Wheatley’s Got Talent! Congratulations to Sumu, who earned 25% of the ticket sales for the Class of 2017! Finally, a huge “Thank You” to Angela Luftig and our Tri-M Music Honor Society for organizing this wonderful event!


Wheatley’s Budget Presentation for 2017-18

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of presenting Wheatley’s proposed budget for the 2017-18 school year. We are fortunate to be able to continue to provide a broad offering of courses and programs for our students. This happens because of the ongoing support of our community, our Board of Education and our Superintendent of Schools.

Next year, we are excited about the opportunity to continue to expand our new  AP Capstone program. With the AP Research Course, students will have the opportunity to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, issue or idea of individual interest. Students design, plan and implement a yearlong investigation to address the research questions, preparing an academic paper and presentation along the way. Additionally, our Project Lead the Way program is growing into its fourth year with the addition of the Principles of Engineering course. We will have four grades of students using Chromebooks, and we will continue to support our students in all grades. We will also be expanind our Computer Science offerings through the addition of an AP Computer Science Principles course. Additionally, we will expand our co-teaching offerings for students, and — through an ongoing commitment to field trips and student clubs — we will also expand opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom.

You can view the budget presentation through the following link: Wheatley Budget Presentation_Mar17

Wheatley Budget Presentation_Mar17

Gratitude and Thanks to the PTO for a Fabulous Staff Appreciation Luncheon!!

The Wheatley staff is fortunate to have a supportive and engaging group of parents. Throughout the year, the Wheatley PTO supports our students and faculty through after-school food sales (on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), breakfast offerings during the testing period, and mini-grants throughout the year. 

One of the most special occasions, however, is the Staff Appreciation Luncheon that the PTO hosts each year. On this day, the PTO takes over Room 450, decorates it in a festive manner, and puts out mountains of food and treats — all served with a smile by our wonderful parents. This year’s Staff Appreciation Luncheon took place on Thursday, and it was a wonderful event! Thank you once again to all of the Wheatley families who helped make the luncheon a special event for all! Thank you in particular to our PTO co-presidents, Mrs. Karikas and Mrs. Cumming!

More Photos from the Wheatley-Bronx Arts Ensemble Joint Concert!

I have two sets of photos to share from the wonderful Wheatley-Bronx Arts Ensemble joint concert held just before the February break! The first set is from our very own Randy Horowitz, who has been generous with her photographs of school events over the years.


The second set is from our friends at Island Photography! Enjoy!