8th Grade Club Fair Presents Wheatley’s Co-curricular Offerings to the Class of 2023!

The more students are engaged in school, the happier and more successful they are! In order to help our newest students understand the many offerings available to them at Wheatley, we hold an 8th Grade Club Fair to showcase our co-curricular offerings. Our older students set up display tables to showcase their club or activity, encouraging the 8th Graders to sign up for their club and attend the weekly meetings.

Wheatley has a variety of clubs and activities available to all students. A full listing (with descriptions) can be found on Wheatley’s website: http://www.ewsdonline.org/TWS/12484-Untitled.html

Before the students attended the Club Fair, the 8th Grade Student Senate elections were held.

You can view a copy of the video used to promote the various clubs below. All 8th Graders saw this video before the Club Fair!


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

Harvard Club of Long Island Names Adam Plana as a Distinguished Teacher of 2018!

This past Sunday, the Harvard Club of Long Island recognized eleven teachers from Long Island as “Distinguished Educators of 2018.” Wheatley’s own Adam Plana was one of the educators recognized at this event.

The  press release is as follows:

“This award honors teachers who transform lives,” explained Dr. Judith Esterquest, Harvard Club of Long Island Chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee. “Devoted teachers like Mr. Plana offer Long Island students deep expertise, extraordinary talents, and countless hours of attention.  By capturing the minds and imaginations of our children and preparing them for challenges that were unknown even a few decades ago, these teachers shape the future of our country.”

Mr. Plana will be honored at the Harvard Club of Long Island’s annual University Relations Luncheon on April 15, at the Heritage Club at Bethpage, along with 11 other teachers from across Long Island. Following the award ceremony, Harvard Professor Michael Klarman will lecture on The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the U.S. Constitution. A renowned legal historian and constitutional law scholar, Prof. Klarman will discuss questions that resonate today: why so many features of our constitution insulate the national government from populist political influence, why the Philadelphia convention was so unrepresentative of national opinion, and why ordinary Americans approved a scheme that drastically reduced their political influence?

Mr. Plana attended SUNY Stonybrook and there received both his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and his graduate degree in Education. Mr. Plana, who teaches all levels of Physics, has taught for 22 years, all of them at The Wheatley School.   He attributes his long tenure to “mutual respect” between students, teachers and administrators at the school.

The respect earned by Mr. Plana has come from effort, initiative, and vision.  In addition to teaching Physics, he has introduced new classes, such as Forensics and the Physics of Sports and Stunts — and coached the Physics Olympics team, advised classes and clubs, coached middle school soccer, and led set-building for school theatricals.

Mr. Plana brings this same level of participation and energy to his personal life, coaching the soccer teams of one or more of his 3 sons for the past 10 years.  In recent summers, Mr. Plana, his wife and boys have driven across the country, discovering the wonders of the road while visting many national parks along the way.  In his “free time,” Mr. Plana has been the lead guitarist and singer for several rock bands, including the faculty rock‑and‑roll band that plays at student functions.

Andrew Zuckerman, a former Wheatley student who is expected to graduate from Harvard College with the class of 2021, nominated Mr. Plana.  Mr. Zuckerman was class president, when Mr. Plana was his class advisor, and a student in Mr. Plana’s Physics class.  “What I loved about Mr. Plana was the seriousness with which he took physics,” recalls Mr. Zuckerman.  “He wanted us to understand each topic fundamentally. Live demos were frequent. Diagrams were abundant. Questions after class were welcome.”

Mr. Zuckerman credits Mr. Plana with his motivation for success at Harvard.  “Mr. Plana stressed the importance of learning for the sake of learning.  He reminded me to push myself for reasons that lie outside of external validation.”

Dr. Sean Feeney, Principal of The Wheatley School, says “One of our veteran educators, Mr. Plana is loved by students and parents alike. A collaborative educator, Mr. Plana is a leader in our school. He mentors younger teachers and freely shares his strategies and techniques with colleagues. In the classroom, his hands-on approach to teaching helps students connect the content to the practical. He motivates and inspires some of our best students.”

Dr. Feeney continues, “Outside of the classroom, Mr. Plana connects with students in a variety of ways, most notably the weekly early morning soccer scrimmages. Mr. Plana epitomizes the Wheatley Spirit of collaboration, close connections with students, and classroom creativity. We are fortunate to have him as part of our faculty.”

At the ceremony on April 15, the Harvard Club of Long Island will announce the Distinguished Teacher of 2018 who will also receive a scholarship for a “Harvard experience” at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Mass. Past winners of the scholarships have enhanced their teaching by sampling the resources available to Harvard students: meeting with faculty; visiting research laboratories, rare book archives, and specialty museums; and enjoying visual and performance art. The scholarships are funded by contributions from Harvard alumni living on Long Island.

This year’s 12 Distinguished Teacher Award winners were nominated by current Harvard undergraduates and then selected by Harvard Club of Long Island board members. This year’s award winners teach economics, English, history, math, physics, chemistry, science research, and Spanish. The winners teach in the Bellmore-Merrick, Bohemia, Brentwood, East Meadow, East Williston, Herricks, Hewlett, Lynbrook, Manhasset, Mt. Sinai, and Roslyn school districts.

The East Williston School District has had one previous winner;  Kevin Meyers, teacher of mathematics, was recognized in 2006.

Thanks to Dr. Judith Esterquest, we have some photos from Sunday’s event!

JBE Plana RS

Dr. Judith Esterquest, HCLI; Adam Plana, Honoree; Robert Sherlock, HCLI

*2018 Distinguished Teacher honorees and Klarman

2018 Honorees and Harvard Law School Professor. Front row: Renée Barcia, Herricks HS; Adam Plana, Wheatley School; Dr. David Rifkind, Hewlett HS; Dr. Rebecca Grella, Brentwood HS; John Halloran, Connetquot HS; Back Row: Prof. Michael Klarman, Harvard Law School; Laura Lastorino, Brentwood West MS; Jason Boland, Calhoun HS; Glynis

Wheatley Theatre Company’s Production of “Into The Woods” Is a Must See!

Last night, the Wheatley Theatre Company’s production of “Into the Woods” debuted to an enthusiastic audience! Combining several beloved fairy tale characters and music that tells the story of a childless couple’s quest to start a family.

The Wheatley Theatre Compay’s production is directed by Andrew Ardito. Additional support included:

  • Vocal Direction: Angela Luftig
  • Dance Captains: Ananya Bansal and Shruti Goyal
  • Stage Manager: Stephanie Clarfield
  • Assistant Directors: Lucy Brancaccio and Rachel Fuzaylov
  • Stage Assistants: Ethan Moreh and Talia Rosen
  • Costume Designer: Maura Calio
  • Set Design: Paul Chisholm and Tom Storck
  • Light and Sound Design: Scott Eckers

You can view the full program through this link: Into The Woods Program

You can view a Mineola American article about the production through this link: Into the Woods_Mineola American 2Mar18

You can purchase tickets to Friday’s show (7:00 pm) and Saturday’s shows (2:00 pm and 7:00 pm) through this link: https://goo.gl/ZkaA0Y

Mr. Eckers shared the following photos from the final dress rehearsal:

Wheatley Wildcat Scores Big at Adelphi Press Day!

On Wednesday, 28 February, 9 students representing the editorial staff of The Wheatley Wildcat attended Press Day at Adelphi. Students were accompanied by Mrs. Jo Beth Roberts, our librarian and newspaper advisor. This annual event is an opportunity for High School students to learn more about Journalism, culminating with the Quill awards for outstanding work in the field by High School newspapers.

Wheatley’s Wildcat newspaper has won multiple awards over the years, but this year the format of the newspaper moved to an entirely online environment, which in turn created new challenges and opportunities. The staff of The Wildcat, led by Editors-In -Chief Karan Amin and Mara Zuckerman, are able to write articles and publish expediently, which makes the student paper more exciting and timely.

Adelphi began the event with a presentation about “Fake News” history and impact, followed by a panel discussion with journalism professors, magazine writers and publishers. The students then went to breakout sessions to discuss how the news and the structure of a school setting impact their own reporting.

The highlight of the day is the presentation of the Quill Awards, featuring 15 categories. Each school may enter up to six categories. The Wildcat entered the following categories:

  • Best Online Newspaper: Karen Amin & Mara Zukerman, Eds. in Chief
  • Most Outstanding Reporter: Camellia Yi
  • Best Arts Review: Jacob Ribotsky
  • Best Opinion Piece: Kenton Wu
  • Best Feature: Abhishek Kumar

The staff was nervous as it was the first year that the paper was written exclusively online. The students were thrilled when it was announced that the Wildcat had been recognized with 2nd place for Best Online Newspaper.

The students probably should also have received an award for most creative; after lunch Kenton and Abhishek collected empty lunch boxes from all the students and created an impressive tower, much to the delight of all in attendance.

Read The Wildcat online at https://wheatleywildcat.org/

Congratulations to the students! Thanks to Mrs. Roberts for the write-up and photos!

John Li Named a Regeneron Scholar!

On 9 January, Wheatley Senior John Li was named a scholar in the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search!

In 2017, Regeneron became only the third sponsor (after Westinghouse and Intel) of the Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. As part of its 10-year, $100 million commitment, Regeneron nearly doubled the overall award distribution to $3.1 million annually to better reward the best and brightest young minds. Founded and led by two Science Talent Search alumni, Regeneron recognizes and prioritizes the need to inspire more young people to engage in science.

The 300 Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,818 applicants from 555 high schools in 45 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico and six American and international high schools overseas.  The scholars were selected based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists.

John’s project, “Three Efficient Inventions That Work Together to Reduce the Time and Cost of Automobile Transmission Fluid and Filter Changes by 3/4th,” looked at streamlining the current procedures for changing transmission fluid and filters.  The proposed three inventions work in conjunction to reduce cost and time for not only the consumer but the automobile industries as well.

John’s project summary is as follows:

Transmission fluid and filter changes usually cost greater than two hundred dollars and require an hour. Inefficient design makes these common maintenance procedures expensive and slow because of many unnecessary steps. Car owners have to wait a long time for maintenance and also pay high labor costs. These problems are solved by a combination of three inventions that are very simple for car manufacturers to adopt. The three inventions work together to make transmission fluid and filter changes fast, inexpensive, and mess-free. It is estimated that transmission fluid and filter changes will only cost 55 dollars and require 12 minutes, resulting in a 3/4th reduction in time and cost for car owners.

On January 23, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists.

You can read Newsday’s coverage of Long Island’s scholars through this link: Regeneron Scholars_Newsday_10Jan18

Congratulations John!


Wheatley’s Huda Ayaz Fifth Book is Published!

In November, Wheatley 9th Grader Huda Ayaz presented me with a signed copy of her most recently-published book! Huda and her family joined Wheatley this past summer, and we are thrilled to have them as part of our learning community. Huda is the published author of five books: the first four books of the Freeze-land series and the fifth, most recent book, Angie Moon and the Legends.

Freeze-land, a fantasy series for children, revolves around a girl named Samantha who goes to a secret planet and tries to save it from an evil man who is trying to make the world sad and dark.

Angie Moon and the Legends is a YA science fiction novel about a half Loch Ness Monster named Angie who must fight against time and rescue her missing friends. Huda is currently working on the sequel to Angie Moon and the Legends.

Huda’s younger sister, Maliha, is also a published author! Maliha wrote the fiction children’s novel The Heart of Time, centered around Amber’s search for a necklace that can help ghosts move on from an in-between world and into the afterlives. Finally, Huda and Maliha’s older sister, Sadaf, has also published a YA mystery novel called Crossing Red Lights! You can find out more about these three remarkable sisters at www.ayazsisters.com