Rahul and Emma Shine at National History Day Finals!

On Thursday, June 13, officials from National History Day (NHD) presented the awards for the national finals of the 2019 National History Day Contest, held June 9-13 at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Over a half-million students entered the competition late last year, and over 3,000 of them advanced through the regional and state rounds. Competitors represented 57 affiliate members, including every state, Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and international schools in South Korea, South Asia, and China.  The contest required students to create themed research-based projects in one of five categories as individuals or group members: documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites. Only the top two entries in each category from each state or affiliate then went on to the national contest. The 2019 theme was Triumph and Tragedy.

The Wheatley School was represented at the national level by two students:

  • Rahul Ajmera with his exhibit The Real Housewives of the Lower East Side: The 1902 Kosher Meat Boycott
  • Emma Melnikov, who presented her entry in the performance category with A Murder to Make the Masses Seen:  The Tragic Romanov Fall Paving the Way for Bolshevik Triumph.

This was Rahul’s first time competing at the national level; it was Emma’s second trip to the elite competition.

In order to create projects, students engaged in months of historical research using primary sources found in archives and museums, books, and interviews.  Rahul and Emma also spent hours translating documents from Yiddish and Russian in order to accurately understand their topics. Both students were supported in their research by their teachers, Andrew Ardito, Courtney Clarke, Pat Clarke, and Dr. Scott Eckers, and their school library media specialist Jo Beth Roberts

Rahul Ajmera won 4th place in the nation, in addition to winning the “Outstanding New York Affiliate Award” sponsored by the National Park Service, and the Immigration History special award, a monetary award, sponsored by the Lombardo family.

Both Emma and Rahul have much to be proud of.  The Wheatley School congratulates them both on their tremendous achievements!

[Thank you to Jo Beth Roberts for the write-up!]

Wheatley Poets Recognized at Walt Whitman Annual Student Poetry Contest!

On Monday, 7 April, the award ceremony for the 33rd Annual Student Poetry Contest was held at the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association. This year’s ceremony was held during the year in which we are commemorating what would have been Whitman’s 200th birthday.

Wheatley English teacher Rick Wilson took his AP Literature students to receive the recognition announced last month. It was a beautiful ceremony with congratulatory tributes by NYS Senator James Gaughran, NYS Congressman Thomas Suozzi, NYS Assemblyman Steve Stern, Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, and Suffolk County Legislator Susan Berland.

Senior Tiffany Jiao was the Grand Champion in her category! Tiffany read her Whitmanesque “Sweet Poison” piece for the audience of 200.  Other winning Wheatley poets who were present included Huda Ayaz and Yusuf Meghji.  Not present but still honored were Jamie Ryan and Manan Shukla.  Mr. Wilson received the award for our AP class Grand Champion anthology “In the Eyes of an Eagle.”

Whitman Poet-in-Residence Jane Hirshfield was truly inspiring, reading not only from her own poetry but in calling out the importance of young poets in these challenging political times.  Tom Suozzi, too, was highly articulate as to poetry’s purpose in society and the significant accomplishments of our young people.

Congratulations to the students who were recognized during the ceremony. Thank you to Mr. Wilson for engaging his students in this contest celebrating one of our country’s literary treasures!

[Thanks to Mr. Wilson for the write-up and the photos!]

Students Succeed at 36th Annual Nassau Mathematics Tournament!

On Friday, 1 February, 19 Wheatley students competed in the Nassau Mathematics Tournament (NMT) at SUNY College at Old Westbury. This one-day event is open to all high schools (both public and private) in Nassau County. Generally, about 40 schools send students to participate in this competition.

The “Senior” team earned 5th Place overall! This team was comprised of:

  • Karen Li
  • Vedant Singh
  • Trenton Wong
  • Kenton Wu
  • Brandon Zhu

Two of our students had outstanding individual results:

  • Brandon Zhu came in 1st overall
  • Vedant Singh finished in 5th place overall

Our “Junior” team brought home 8th Place Honors overall. This team consisted of

  • Manav Bansal
  • Viraj Jayam
  • Victor Li
  • Justin Wong
  • Ryan Wu

We also had excellent individual contests:

  • Ryan Wu finished in 9th place

Valued efforts were also turned in by Adam Aldad, Richard Attardi, Sahil Jain, Siddhant Jain, Jason Koty, Armaan Pahuja, Neil Shah, and Avinash Reddy.

A big “thank you” to our Mathletes Advisor, John Beleckas. Special thanks to our Mathematics Chair Robert Teseo and to NCIML President Kevin Myers for making this event possible.

[Thank you to Mr. Beleckas and Dr. Teseo for the write-up and photos!]

Congratulations to Grant Peterson, our Geography Bee Winner!

On Friday afternoon, sixteen of our 8th Grade students competed in the final school round of the National Geography Bee in order to determine who would represent Wheatley in the next round of the competition.

The event was the first round in the annual National Geographic GeoBee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward middle-level students’ curiosity about the world.  Questions cover not only geography, but also cultures, physical features, history, and earth science.   The contestants answered increasingly difficult questions about five themes of geography in seven rounds that included favorites such as “Weird… But True!” and “Odd One Out” before several students advanced to the final rounds.

After in-class preliminary rounds (held in Social Studies 8 classes), the following sixteen students qualified for the Wheatley Final Round:

  • Amir Agarwal (GT)
  • Rachel Aquino-Okeke
  • Skye Blau
  • Grant Callahan
  • William Caroddo
  • Daniel Dayter
  • Michael Emouna
  • Neha George
  • Tobey Hirsch
  • Sonia Patel
  • Grant Peterson
  • Andrew Pinto
  • Tyler Richman
  • Zachary Samuel
  • Lauren Tavolacci
  • James Tercynski

Congratulations to Grant Peterson, this year’s Geography Bee champion! Grant outlasted Daniel Dayter and Sonia Patel in a nerve-wracking final round. Grant will now have the opportunity to take a qualifying test for the State GeoBee, which will be held in Albany this coming March.

Thank you to Dr. Scott Eckers, our Social Studies Chair, for hosting the final round. Thank you as well to all of the 8th Grade teachers (Mr. Michael Haig, Ms. Courtney Clarake and Mrs. Gina Topping) for supporting this competition in their classrooms.

Kajal Kapoor is the Newest Wheatley Idol!

On Friday night, the Wheatley auditorium was filled with spectators enjoying the 14th edition of Tri-M’s Wheatley Idol! Hosted by Ashley Vincenzo and Brenda Zhong, the evening featured performances from nine incredibly talented competitors. From these nine initial competitors, four finalists were selected by our “celebrity” judges: Ms. Calvagno, Mr. Gadamowitz and Mr. Orlovsky. These four finalists then performed another song and the winner was selected by audience vote.

This year’s ten competitors were:

Charlotte Iannone

Julia Dioguardi

Sarah Amselem

Brianna Werny

Jaime Behar

Kajal Kapoor

Krittika Prajapati

Emma Melnikov

Shruti Goyal


From these nine initial competitors, the four finalists selected were: Shruti Goyal, Emma Melnikov, Kajal Kapoor and Brianna Werny! Each of these finalists performed another song for the audience.

Shruti Goyal, Round 2

Brianna Werny, Round 2

Emma Melnikov, Round 2

Kajal Kapoor, Round 2


After these three performances, the audience voted. When the vote count came in, Kajal Kapoor was declared the winner of Wheatley Idol XIV! 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:

Wheatley Inducts 81 Students into the National Honor Society!

Earlier this evening, 81 students were inducted into Wheatley’s Chapter of the National Honor Society. Students inducted into the National Honor Society have met the requirements of the organization’s four pillars: Scholarship, Leadership, Character and Service. In a wonderful ceremony organized by Wheatley’s NHS advisor, Mrs. Allison Chanin-Bermudez, some of the current National Honor Society officers spoke about each pillar of the society. Kenton Wu spoke about Scholarship, Dina Aldad spoke about Leadership, Kristen Leong read Yusuf Meghji’s essay about Character (Yusuf was ill and could not attend) and Pricilla Prasad spoke about Service.

The Keynote Address was given by Dr. Tamir Aldad, a 2002 Wheatley graduate and member of the NHS. Dr. Aldad spoke of the important role failure and struggle play in one’s personal and professional development.

Thank you to Ms. Chanin-Bermudez for organizing such a wonderful ceremony! Congratulations to the following inductees:

  • Rahul Ajmera
  • Alison Amarain
  • Kavina Amin
  • Kaya Amin
  • Alex ArbitalJacoby
  • Meredith Ardizzone
  • Isabel Avila
  • Zachary Azevedo
  • Brandon Behar
  • Alyssa Belle
  • Skylar Blechner
  • Emma Blennau
  • Emily Blumberg
  • Patrick Brady
  • Jessica Calabrese
  • Maggie Caroddo
  • Eric Chu
  • Samantha Chusid
  • Joseph Contrastano
  • Aidan Cozzolino
  • Peter Cuomo
  • Maxwell Davidoff
  • Nicolas DeBellis
  • Kaitlyn Ducroiset
  • Jacquelyn Dunne
  • Thomas Dwyer
  • Matthew Ferrone
  • Jenna Fey
  • Sofia Fuertes
  • April Garnock
  • Norah Gidanian
  • Derek Gilbert
  • Katharine Gold
  • Emily Gothelf
  • Alex Horowitz
  • Hitangee Jain
  • Sahil Jain
  • Ansh Jhaveri
  • Jacob Kaufman
  • Megan Kaye
  • Sanjana Khana
  • Jason Koty
  • Theodore Koutsoftas
  • Hema Kumar
  • Eliana Li
  • James Li
  • Karen Li
  • Samantha Lew
  • Akiva Mohebban
  • Amanda Molstad
  • Victoria Mora
  • Kaila Nabatian
  • Vana Nath-Mahadeo
  • Ilana Nimkoff
  • Ari Ostad
  • Karthik Pitchayan
  • Natalia Potrapeluk
  • Madison Ramos
  • Orell Rayhan
  • Isabella Rios
  • Brenden Resnick
  • Brooke Rubenstein
  • Tyler Schore
  • Diya Shah
  • Dean Sheinman
  • Jaylyn Soleimani
  • Rebecca Sparacio
  • Alexander Tu
  • Amanda Ustick
  • Ashley Vincenzo
  • Aidan Wong
  • Trenton Wong
  • Erin Wu
  • Emily Yagoda
  • Zachary Yakubovich
  • Alia Yamin
  • Aaron Zachariah
  • Rebecca Zeltsman
  • Allison Zheng
  • Brenda Zhong
  • Sharon Zhong

Frederick Lin Finds Success in Germany!

This past summer, freshman Frederick Lin earned the distinction of participating at the International History Olympiad hosted in Berlin, Germany. The 2018 International History Olympiad was attended by over 200 students with more than 30 global affiliations. In the competition, he finished 2nd place in art history and 3rd in women’s history. At the closing ceremonies held at Charlottenburg Palace, he was awarded a silver medal (art history) and bronze medal (women’s history).

The International History Olympiad is a biennial week-long competition of history, attended by some of the best young history students from around the world.

Congratulations, Freddy!