Alumnus Scott Weiss (Class of 1999) Shares his Experiences!

Over the past several years, the SWS community has welcomed back former students who want to share their post-Wheatley experiences with our community.

On April 11, Scott Weiss (Class of 1999), a former SWS Moderator (President), came to our Community Day to share his story. Today, Scott is a design professional who, after working in IDEO’s San Francisco, has set up his own business working on social impact design projects. He described how he is currently working with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to create new ways to provide opportunities for underserved communities.

In addition to describing his projects and the basics of design planning, Scott described how he has reinvented himself repeatedly during his career. After studying film at Syracuse’s Newhouse School, Scott pursued his Hollywood dreams in Los Angeles where he worked on major motion pictures and in reality television. He then transitioned to a new city and a new path, moving to San Francisco and IDEO. IDEO is one of the premier design firms, having partnered with Steve Jobs and Apple very early and helping design the mouse for the early Macintosh computers.

Scott’s presentation also included an interactive activity where pairs of SWS members created a secret handshake that revealed something about each of them. It was raucous and enlightening.
SWS plans to continue this program of bringing back alumni to present to the community. In the past, we have welcomed back a Peace Corps volunteer who is now a quail farmer on the North Fork. Writer Eric Brach returned to discuss his published work as did Stephanie Klein. Performer and educator Elana Jaroff also visited last year, exposing the community to her dance career and her mindfulness practice.
[Thanks to Pat Clarke for the photos and the write-up!]

Wheatley Students Succeed at LISEF!

On Thursday, 15 March 2018, 12 students attended the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF) held at Crest Hollow Country Club.  The students participating in the second round of the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) division were:

  • Emily Wang – 2nd Place in Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Vedant Singh – Honorable Mention in Biomedical Engineering
  • Rebecca Sparacio – Honorable Mention in Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Hitangee Jain – Honorable Mention in Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • John Li – Honorable Mention in Engineering Mechanics

Emily Wang also received a special award from the Stockholm International Water Institute.  This recognition allows her to enter her project into the US division fair where she has the opportunity to represent the US at the international level.

Wheatley also had a number of students competing in the Junior Varsity Division of LISEF. These students included:

  • Viraj Jayam – 2nd place in Mathematics and Computers
  • Manan Shukla – Honorable Mention in Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Victor Li – Honorable Mention Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Karen Li – Honorable Mention in Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Emily Yagoda – Engineering and Physical Science
  • Brooke Schwartz – Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Kenton Wu – Cellular and Molecular Biology

It should be noted this was the first time the Wheatley School had students compete in the mathematics and computer division of LISEF.

We are proud of all of the students who participated in this prestigious competition. Those recognized as honorable mention and above represent the top 10% of their category.  Achieving at this level is an extraordinary achievement.

Thank you to Alexis Blondrage Pace (our Science Department Chair and Research Coordinator) for working with our students. Thanks to Robert Teseo for the group photo!

LISEF Group Photo

Kia Zivari (Class of 2010) Shares her Engineering Experiences with Students!

On Friday, 2 March, Wheatley alumna Kia Zivari (Class of 2010) spoke with students in our physics classes and our Project Lead the Way POE class about her work and studies since leaving Wheatley. Currently working as an engineer for Boeing in Seattle, Kia did a wonderful job sharing her trajectory and helping students understand the nature of her work.

Thank you to Traci Maier for the photos and the invitation to Kia!

Wheatley Students Present at Human Rights Conference!

On 1 February  2018, students from Wheatley’s Gender Identity Sexual Orientation Alliance (GSA) traveled to Adelphi University for its  32nd Annual Human Rights Conference. The Wheatley students attended as both participants and attendees. Students were accompanied by Mrs. Seferian and Mr. Ardito. A purpose of the conference is to encourage mutual understanding and respect among all members of our community, and to explore ways to eliminate prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination.

One of the eight breakout sessions of the conference was held by five Wheatley students: Michaela Balboni, Ethan Moreh, Emma Melnikov, Steph Clarfield and Lucy Brancaccio.  Their presentation focused on the History of the LGBTQ+ Community across countries such as the United States, Japan, Russia and Australia. In addition to this, the students presented on different activists around the world that they thought deserved recognition. These activists included Mamikon Hovsepyan, Xavier Bettel, Tamara Adrian, Ian Thorpe, and Chi Chia-Wei.

The feedback received by Ms. Seferian was overwhelmingly positive and impressed with the knowledge and time put towards the presentation, given their age and other responsibilities.

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

Students Present AP Seminar Projects!

Wheatley’s AP Capstone Program is College Board program designed to help students learn the research, collaboration and communication skills necessary for success in college and beyond. You can learn more about this relatively new two-year program here: AP Capstone Program.

The first year of our AP Capstone Program consists of the AP Seminar course. Taught by Mrs. Alexis Blondrage Pace and Mr. Andrew Ardito, the AP Seminar course requires students to investigate topics from multiple perspectives, collaborate with classmates, synthesize new information and deliver presentations in multiple modalities.

The AP Seminar course is a wonderful, accessible course for our 10th-grade students.

On 30 January, students in this year’s AP Seminar course presented their group presentations each other and to the three evaluators: Mrs. Blondrage Pace, Mr. Ardito and Mrs. Roberts. As you can see from the listing below, the presentations included a wide-range of topics. The score students earned on this presentation factors into the overall AP score given at the end of the academic year.

  • Affirmative Action: Zach Azevedo, Jason Koty, Aidan Wong and Dean Sheinman
  • War on Drugs: Chloe Lanese, Fernando Macedo and Sanjana Khana
  • Chemical and Nuclear Weapons: Sahil Jain, Emily Yagoda and Aidan Cozzolino
  • Foster Care System: Ally Keller, Eliana Li, Erin Wu and Alia Yamin
  • The Role of Technology in the Classroom: Ilana Nimkoff, Emily Blumberg, Izzy Avila and Becca Zeltsman
  • Native American Rights: Rahul Ajmera, Brenden Resnick, Ashley Vincenzo and Brenda Zhong
  • Women’s Health Care: Rachel Lee, Allison Zheng and Alyssa Belle
  • Gun Control: Danyal Zulfiqar, Derek Gilbert and Ashis Kumar
  • Capital Punishment: Maggie Caroddo, Hailey Ramalhete and Diya Shah


Curriculum and Activities Night Highlights Opportunities for Students!

As parents of our incoming 8th Graders (the Class of 2023) were learning more about their child’s first year at Wheatley, parents of current Wheatley students were learning more about the many offerings, programs and opportunities in grades 9-12 through our Curriculum and Activities Fair.

Over the course of the evening, parents were able to attend sessions on the following specific topics:

  • SWS/English options (for parents of 9th graders)
  • STEM Overview, including PLTW, Computer Science, Mathematics and Science offerings
  • College Level Course Offerings, including AP course options, Dual Enrollment courses, AP Capstone, alternative diploma pathways

Parents also had an opportunity to learn about our co-curricular offerings, including our many clubs and activities. It was an evening of information and activity! A huge “Thank You” to the department supervisors, club advisors, and classroom teachers who helped make this night both informative and exciting!

You can download some of the information distributed through the following links:

Khavi Earns the Top Spot in the Federalist/Anti-Federalist Debate!

Yesterday, students in our English 11 course presented speeches based on their study of historical documents and of rhetorical strategies in their social studies and English classes.

This event is the culminating activity of a collaborative, interdisciplinary project developed by Natalia McMillan, Jen Fatone and Mike Haig in our English and social studies departments. Students studied the Constitution, analyzed the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, and then developed speeches arguing for or against the ratification of the proposed Constitution using information from their close reading of these texts. Students were required to reference these texts and used rhetorical techniques such as appeals to pathos, ethos, logos and metaphor.

In their English classes, students developed and delivered speeches, then voted on which speeches were the most effective and convincing. The top six speeches (based on student votes) were presented to an enthusiastic crowd in Room 450. As students delivered their speeches, the audience used a rubric to evaluate each speech on the following four criteria: Presentation, Argument, Counter-argument and Rhetorical technique.

The following students presented speeches:

  • Daniel Fox
  • Angela Signorile
  • Tyler Mosca
  • Matthew Kreitzer
  • Khavi Ahmed
  • Mohammed Jaffer

When the votes were tallied, Khavi was declared the winner, followed by Matthew and Angela!