Wheatley Hosts the WAC Lighting Foundation Invitational Science Fair!

Last Sunday, 7 April, students from a dozen schools across Long Island converged on The Wheatley School for the annual WAC Lighting Foundation Invitational Science Fair! Organized and run by The Research Association, the science fair brings over 400 students together to present their research to judges from regional colleges and businesses.

The fair includes eight major categories with winners selected from projects developed and completed by students in grades 9-12. Awards and scholarships are presented to winners of First, Second and Third Places, as well as Merits and Honorable Mentions.

This year’s fair was organized by our very own Alexis Pace (Director of Science) and DJ Paulson (Research Teacher). Additional support was provided by Doreen DeAngelo. The fair could not have taken place without the incredible work of our custodial crew!

Schools participating in this invitation fair include:

  • Commack High School
  • Great Neck North High School
  • Great Neck South High School
  • Herricks High School
  • Jericho High School
  • Locust Valley High School
  • Manhasset High School
  • Paul D. Schreiber High School
  • South Side High School
  • Syosset High School
  • The Wheatley School

The Wheatley students who participated in this year’s competition include:

  • Zachary Azevedo
  • Zain Akhtar
  • Manav Bansal
  • Maggie Caroddo
  • Anya Chabria
  • Matthew Cornacchia and Jacob Mohebban
  • Aisvaryaa Dhama
  • Hitangee Jain
  • Sahil Jain
  • Viraj Jayam
  • Sanjana Khana
  • Teddy Koutsoftas
  • Eliana Li
  • Karen Li and Victor Li
  • Emma Melnikov
  • Armaan Pahuja
  • Hailey Ramalhete
  • Diya Shah
  • Jaina Shah
  • Arham Sheraz and Ubaidullah Hassan
  • Vedant Singh
  • Ashley Vincenzo
  • Kenton Wu
  • Brandon Zhu

Wheatley students earned the following recognition:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Category

  • 2nd Place: Karen Li and Victor Li (“TP53 Mutations as Potential Prognostic Markers for Specific Cancers”)

General Biology Category

  • 1st Place: Manav Bansal (“Developing an in vitro Model to Study MPI Deficiency in Human Stellate Cell Activation and Potential Role of Autophagy”)

Behavioral and Social Science Category

  • 3rd Place: Anya Chabria (“A New Look at Writing: Investigating the Presence of Fractal Patterns in the Sentence Structures of Various Acclaimed Texts”)

Chemistry Category

  • Honorable Mention: Vedant Singh (“Analyzing the Effects of Graphene-Loading and 3-D Printing on the Thermal Conductivity and Viscosity of Poly(propylene)”)

Earth and Environmental Sciences Category

  • Honorable Mention: Hitangee Jain (“Effects of Pyrabactin and Abscisic on pre-irradiated Brassica Rapa seeds”)

Prototype Engineering Group

  • Honorable Mention: Matthew Cornacchia and Jacob Mohebban (Effects of Air Compression on the Levitation Ability of Magnet Levitation Trains)

Congratulations to all of the participants!

Wheatley’s Brainstormers Earns Regional Quiz Bowl Championship!

On Wednesday, April 10th, the Wheatley Brainstormers Club traveled to Plainview Old Bethpage JFK High School to participate in the Long Island Regional Quiz Bowl Championship Tournament. At the tournament, Wheatley’s Brainstormers Quiz Bowl Team competed against quiz bowl teams from all across Long Island.

In a dramatic finale, the JV team, represented by Frederick Lin, Karen Li, Tony Deluxe, Victor Li, and John Scudero won the Long Island Regional Quiz Bowl Junior Varsity 2018-19 Championship!

Their victory marks the second consecutive year that Wheatley’s Brainstormers have won the Long Island Regional Quiz Bowl Tournament.

Thank you to Brainstormers Advisor John Beleckas for his work with the team. Thank you to Mr. Beleckas for the write-up and photo as well!


Wheatley’s Mock Trial Team is Headed to Albany!!

Earlier today, Wheatley’s Mock Trial Team defeated Locust Valley High School’s team in the Nassau County Mock Trial Competition Finals! With this victory, the team advances to the State Finals in Albany at the end of May! This

Congratulations to the team members:


  • Jacob Ribotsky
  • Rebecca Sparacio
  • Ashley Vincenzo
  • Emily Yagoda
  • Brenda Zhong


  • Maggie Caroddo
  • Brooke Schwartz
  • Rebecca Zeltsman


  • Skylar Ribotsky

The students are led by our Mock Trial Advisor, Mr. Ron Roaldsen, and have been supported by Pat Shanahan! Special thanks to Mr. David Schwartz, who has served as the team’s legal counsel.

Congratulations to the entire team as students prepare for next month’s State Competition!

[Thanks to Mr. Roaldsen for the photos!]


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!]

At Our Parent-Student Evening Forum, LICADD Helps Educate and Inform about the Dangers of Vaping

The use of electronic cigarettes among teenagers has reached epidemic levels. The dangers posed by these devices are known by researchers but not by many parents or students. You can learn more about the problem through the following articles:

Along with every high school in the United States, Wheatley has worked to educate parents, students and faculty of the dangers posed by electronic devices. In light of these concerns (and after the closure of the 200-corridor bathrooms for just over a week), we held a Parent-Student Forum on Tuesday evening in order to share our concerns about electronic cigarette use, inform parents about the dangers of such heavy doses of nicotine (and, potentially, THC) at such young ages and discuss strategies to move forward as a community in order to keep our children safe and healthy.

To help us with this conversation, we had the support of our friends at LICADD (Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) were at the meeting. Steve Chassman, the Executive Director of LICADD, spoke with authority and passion about the nature of addiction, the dangers posed by nicotine abuse at such young ages and the ease at which students can transition from vaping nicotine to vaping marijuana. We also discussed strategies Wheatley would incorporate, including more student education about the dangers and the availability of treatment, more parental education and more faculty education.

Overall, it was a wonderfully productive meeting that will help us move forward in a positive, collaborative manner. Thank you to those parents and students who were in attendance!

You can view Steve Chassman’s presentation here: LICADD Wheatley School 2019

LICADD Wheatley School 2019

Wheatley Students Compete in Long Island Regional History Day!

On Sunday, 31 March 31, 43 students from Willets Road and The Wheatley School participated in Long Island History Day at Hofstra University, presenting 30 historical research projects in a variety of formats, including paper, website, exhibit, performance, documentary, either in a group or as an individual project. Long Island History Day is the regional contest of National History Day, a contest that encourages more than half a million students around the world to conduct historical research on a topic of their choice, through the lens of a specific theme. This year the theme is Tragedy and Triumph in History.

Students who are advancing to the state competition at Cooperstown on 29 April are:

  • Ashley Vincenzo: 1st place, ​Sr. Individual Website—The 1953 Iran Coup: a Tenuous Western triumph, a Significant Global Tragedy
  • Rahul Ajmera: 2nd place​, Sr. Individual Exhibit—Got Beef? The Women’s New York Kosher Meat Boycott of 1902
  • Emma Melnikov​: 1st place​, Sr. Individual Performance—A Murder to Make the Masses Seen: The Tragic Romanov Fall Paving the Way for Bolshevik Triumph
  • Ben Casella​: ​3rd place​, Jr. Individual Documentary—The Space Shuttle Program-A Cosmic Triumph with a Tragic End
  • Aliza Virji​: 4th place, Junior Individual Website—Operation Babylift-The Triumph of Enduring Vietnamese Culture after the Tragedy of War

Additional recognition (but do not compete at Cooperstown)

  • Garima Jain: 3rd place​, Jr. Individual Performance—The Triumph and tragedy of the Warsaw Ghetto and Uprising
  • Jason Koty: Sr. Paper—Muhammad Ali: The Ring of Triumph and Tragedy was recognized with the African American History Award sponsored by the African American Museum of Nassau County
  • Frederick Lin​: Sr. Paper—The Broderick Terry Dual-American History Award sponsored by the Huntington Historical Society

Additional student participants include: Derek Zhang, Annelise Belle, Amir Agarwal, Brenda Zhong, Mahdi Bhalloo, Riya Mittle, Emma Rosenberg, Eliana Duffy, Brenden Resnick, Ansh Jhaveri, Eric Chu, Sonia Patel, Grant Callahan, Skylar Blechner,Emma Novak, Lana Cale, Jessica Shaw, Kayla Rogan, Amelia Crosby, Tobey Hirsch, Ely Hahami, Christian Azzara, Ben Krittman, Aaron Raja, Rahul Dawar, Maahir Kasliwal, Allison Hacket, Anika Chabria, Julia Savy,Daniel Dayter, Kieran Laffey, Priscilla Shin, Benjamin Friedrich, Lauren Tavolacci, Amanda Werney and Skye Blau.

The students were supported in their endeavors by their dedicated teachers Patrick Shannahan, Ronald Roaldson, Jerry Pokrywka, Diane Ilkiw (​Judge​), Dr. Scott Eckers
(Judge), ​Courtney Clarke ​(Judge),​ Gena Topping, Andrew Ardito ​(Judge), ​Matt Haig, Mike Haig, Dr. John Staudt​ (Long Island History Day Academic Coordinator and Judge), ​Jo Beth Roberts (​Long Island History Day Academic Board member and Judge Captain).

[Thanks to Jo Beth Roberts for the write-up and Scott Eckers for some of the photos.]


Wheatley’s Mock Trial Team is Heading to the Finals!

Earlier today, Wheatley’s Mock Trial Team defeated a tenacious Massapequa High School team in the semifinal round of the Nassau County Mock Trial Competition. With this victory, the team advances to the county finals!

Congratulations to the team members:


  • Jacob Ribotsky
  • Rebecca Sparacio
  • Ashley Vincenzo
  • Emily Yagoda
  • Brenda Zhong


  • Maggie Caroddo
  • Derek Gilbert
  • James Li
  • Mahesh Pitchayan
  • Brooke Schwartz
  • Rebecca Zeltsman


  • Skylar Ribotsky

The students are led by our Mock Trial Advisor, Mr. Ron Roaldsen and have been supported by Pat Shanahan!

Congratulations to the entire team as students prepare for the finals!