Robert Bernstein Honored at SWS Mock Trial Competition!

Before yesterday’s 35th Annual SWS Mock Trial Competition, Patrick Clarke (SWS Moderator) led participants in a special ceremony recognizing the contributions made by Robert J. Bernstein to the education at the Wheatley School.

Bob Bernstein, known by generations of Wheatley students as “Bullet,’ was a social studies teacher at Wheatley from 1968 until 1997. Some of the highlights of his five-decade Wheatley career include:

  • Advising the School Within A School (SWS) program
  • Creating the law program and the courtroom in Room 205
  • Starting the SWS Mock Trial Tournament
  • Being a founding member of the Nassau County Mock Trial Competition
  • Mentoring generations of Wheatley teachers

Even after retirement, Bullet has continued to be a part of the school community. A number of years ago, the Mock Trial club adviser position was vacant and Bullet, as usual, stepped up. Not only did he come out of retirement to help our students, he led them to semi-final and finalist finishes in the Nassau County State Mock Trial Tournament.

After reading a proclamation referencing Bob’s many contributions,  Mr. Clarke declared that the SWS Mock Trial Tournament would henceforth be called the “Robert J. Bernstein SWS Mock Trial Tournament.”

Thank you to Bob for all of his wonderful work for Wheatley!

[Thanks to Mr. Clarke for some of this write-up.]


35th Annual SWS Mock Trial a Success!

On 6 December 2017, the 35th Annual SWS Mock Trial Tournament was held at Wheatley. As part of this tournament, seven schools and two Wheatley teams competed. The field included Roslyn, Manhasset, Great Neck North, Syosset, Baldwin, Glen Cove and Kellenberg. Wheatley had one team representing SWS and one team from our co-curricular program. Over 100 students participated!

The SWS Mock Trial tournament has always been an opportunity for teams to get ready for the mock trial season which focuses on the New York State competition. For many of the participants, they are experiencing their first mock trial.

For this competition, we were fortunate to have five wonderful attorneys serving as judges: Robert Greco, Mark Cohen, Steve Barnwell, Nicholas Moyne (son of former social studies teacher Claudia Moyne) and Allison Sealove Laskowitz (Wheatley Class of 1990, a former member of SWS and Mock Trial).

Each team participated in two rounds of competition to determine who would meet in the finals. The final matchup started in the Wheatley auditorium at 1:30 with Great Neck North’s defense team taking on Wheatley’s club prosecution team. It was a close contest, with the Wheatley team winning on points.
Congratulation to Mr. Bernstein who was instrumental in getting this team on the road toward mock trial success and to Mr. Ronald Roaldsen who now serves as the adviser to the Mock Trial Club!
[Thanks to Patrick Clarke for the write-up!]

Wheatley Cybercats are Finalist in their First Competition of the Year!

On Saturday, November 18th, the Wheatley Cybercats competed in the 6th annual Half Hollow Hills FRC Invitational. One of the purposes of this early competition is to give robotics teams across the region an opportunity to experience the demands of a competition before heading into the Spring season competitions.

In the spirit of the off-season invitational, many younger team members got the chance to be a driver, pilot, or gear feeder— all of which are very high-stress positions.

The Cybercats were able to make it all the way to the finals matches, winning 4 matches during the single elimination games, and losing the best of three finals matches by a close margin.

This is the second year in a row that the Cybercats were finalists at the HHH Invitational. This is also the second year that the Cybercats competed at the HHH Invitational, meaning that they have a 100% finalist rate!

As Steamworks comes to a close, we begin to prepare for FRC PowerUp and for our competitions in April!

Led by coaches Patrick Hurley, Joseph Fina and John Goodman (Class of 2016), the Cybercats who participated in the invitational event included:

  • Zachary Azevedo
  • William Cafarelli
  • Eric Chu
  • Nadav Cohen
  • Michael Cornachia
  • Joe Feimer
  • Jonathan Friedrich
  • Jamie Horowitz
  • Abhishek Kumar
  • James Marini
  • Elan Mizhiritsky
  • Justin Parker
  • Steven Popovitz
  • Natalie Scudero
  • Neil Shah
  • Arham Sheraz
  • Ashley Vincenzo
  • Danyal Zulfiqar

Thank you to Cybercats team member Elan Mizhiritzy for the write-up and collection of photos!

Hallie ArbitalJacoby is the Newest Wheatley Idol!

On Friday night, the Wheatley auditorium was packed with spectators enjoying the 13th edition of Tri-M’s Wheatley Idol! Hosted by Michaela Balboni and Saman Suleman, the evening featured performances from ten competitors. From these ten initial competitors, three finalists were selected by our “celebrity” judges: Mr. Eckers, Ms. Seferian and Mr. Wilson. These three finalists then performed another song and the winner was selected by audience vote.

This year’s ten competitors were:

Grace McPhillips (11th Grade)

Kavina Amin (10th Grade)

Shruti Goyal (9th Grade)

Gabriella Zucker, Accompanied by Grace McPhillips (11th Grade)

Brianna Werney (9th Grade)

Jaime Behar (8th Grade)

Michelle Porter (11th Grade)

Tessa Karikas, accompanied by Nicole Hetzel (both 12th Grade)

Emma Melnikov (9th Grade)

Hallie ArbitalJacoby (12th Grade)


From these ten initial competitors, the three finalists selected were: Tessa Karikas, Emma Melnikov and Hallie ArbitalJacoby! Each of these finalists performed another song for the audience.

Tessa Karikas (with Nicole Hetzel), Round 2

Hallie ArbitalJacoby (Round 2)

Emma Melnikov (Round 2)

After these three performances, the audience voted. While the votes were being tallied, last year’s Wheatley Idol, Kaileigh Fiorillo, dazzled the audience with her renditio of “Burn” from Hamilton:


When the vote count came in, Hallie ArbitalJacoby was declared the winner of Wheatley Idol XIII! She performed one more song for the audience:

Thank you to our Tri-M students and our Tri-M Advisor (Angela Luftig) for all of their work putting together this wonderful evening!

Here are some photos from the event!

Abhishek Kumar Presenting Research in Denver!

Congratulations to Abhishek Kumar (Class of 2018) who was invited to present his research at The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis. Abhishek departed for Denver this past Sunday and will spend the week at the conference—including a presentation session!

Abhishek will present his project titled: Performance Analysis of a Parallelized Restricted Boltzmann Machine Artificial Neural Network Using OpenACC Framework and TAU Profiling System.

This SC17 conference brings together the international high performance computing community—a gathering of scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, programmers, system administrators and developers that is unequaled in the world—for an exceptional program of technical presentations, papers, informative tutorials, timely research posters and Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) sessions.

The SC17 Exhibition Hall features the latest technologies and accomplishments from the world’s leading vendors, research organizations and universities; SC17 provides the unique opportunity to see the latest technologies that will shape the future of large-scale technical computing and data-driven science.

Abhishek worked under the guidance of Senior Technology Engineer Dr. Abid Malik at Brookhaven National Laboratories in Upton, New York.

You can view Abhishek’s presentation board here: Abhishek Kumar Research Board

Congratulations to Abhishek! [Thanks to Ms. Pace, our Science Department Chair, for the write-up!]

DECA Students Kick off the Competition Season!

On Friday, 27 October, members of our DECA club participated in a competition at Plainview-Old Bethpage High School. The competition was represented by many public high schools in Nassau County. Students had the opportunity to listen to a keynote address (given by a successful local entrepreneur), participate in leadership activities, and compete against other schools in developing a creative and successful business plan.

Led by DECA Advisor Joseph Virgilio, the following students participated in the competition:

  • Matt Baltzer
  • Jason Bergstein
  • Brett Bloomberg
  • Jona Chorost
  • Tony DeLuxe
  • Evan Gitlitz
  • Zach Jacobs
  • Coby Khami
  • Lex Wain
  • Summer Puricelli
  • Jacob Ribotsky
  • Manan Shukla
  • Caleb Varghese

For their French Cuisine/Soup Kitchen restaurant model, the team consisting of Matt Baltzer, Jason Bergstein and Lex Wain placed 5th out of 27 teams! Congratulations to all of the members!

[Thanks to Joseph Virgilio for the write-up and some of the photos!]