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!

The Show Must Go On! The WTC’s “Into the Woods” Overcomes Obstacles!

A powerful nor’easter on Friday created some obstacles for the Wheatley Theatre Company’s production of “Into the Woods.” With approximately five minutes remaining in the first act, the power was lost at Wheatley. Although emergency generators kicked in, they were not enough to power the lights and sound system being used for the show. As a result, the second act of the show was canceled.

When Saturday rolled around, the extent of the damage to the community became clear. PSEG Long Island reported over 128,000 homes without service. With a luncheon and two shows planned for Saturday, dramatic measures were necessary to ensure that the show could go on! Thanks to the efforts of our Director of Facilities (Nick Fusco), as well as our building custodial staff (Scott Behnke, Juan Gonzalez and Mark Gaeta), we were able to make all necessary adjustments to ensure the luncheon and shows would continue. With the support of the East Williston Fire Department Chief Patrick Theodore and members Kevin O’Donnell and Bobby Schoen—all three Wheatley graduates—the events could continue in a safe manner for everyone!

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

Here are some photos and videos of Friday’s production (before the lights went out)!


Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Connects Classroom to Career! (Part 1)

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th grade students hands-on workshops to provide insight into ways in which reading, writing, and speaking skills can be used in the world beyond Wheatley. Over the course of two hours on Monday, 22 January, students worked with acclaimed authors, poets, comedians and creative artists in activities designed to engage students in a way that can be challenging during the regular school day.

The Midterm Experience occurs thanks to the dedication of our Secondary English Chair, Mr. Steve Collier, our extraordinary librarian, Mrs. JoBeth Roberts, and our dedicated English teachers.

Some of the workshops given include:

Thinking Like a Writer
by Todd Strasser (Wheatley Class of 1968)

Wheatley graduate and renowned author Todd Strasser (The Beast of Cretacea, Fallout, Wish You Were Dead series) shared with participants what makes stories work. Many films, plays, and novels share common story elements, such as exposition, conflict, rising action, crisis, climax, and resolution. In the first part of the workshop, students identified these elements in popular films and novels. In the second, highly interactive, part of the workshop Mr. Strasser guided students in discovering why these elements are essential, helping them create a story of their own. In the process, students discussed character and plot development, theme, backstory, foreshadowing, subplot, and many other aspects of creative writing. By the end, students not only had a greater understanding of story structure but experienced “thinking like a writer” as well.


Poetry as the Truest Journalism of Our Time
Alan Semerdjian, writer, musician and high school teacher

The great Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko once said that “poets are the truest journalists of the time,” and Palestinian-American spoken word artist and educator Suheir Hammad wrote, “Do something…start by saying something.”  Led by Alan Semerdjian, this workshop explored how contemporary voices such as Claudia Rankine, Daniel Borzutzky, and Chen Chen have reported on some of the most important issues facing our society today using the imaginative forms and techniques found nowhere else except in poetry.  Students crafted their own verses and shared their makings with each other.


Will Write for Food
Michael Dunn, Wheatley English Teacher

Do you love food?  Not just eating it but the creation, the look, the all-out pleasure barrage on the senses? For students who can relate to the aforementioned, this was the workshop for them.  In this workshop, students blogged and created a food website, reading and writing along the way about food and the culture of food, recipe construction, food tasting, cooking demonstration, reviewing cooking shows.  Remember, as Franz Kafka so wisely pronounced, “So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.”

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!]

Christina Gambino Encourages Students to Attack their Potential!

Christina Gambino (class of 2006, but she left Wheatley earlier because her family moved to Florida) came to speak to Ms. Jacobson’s Spanish Conversation students last week. She brought with her an inspirational message of positivity, encouraging students to never giving up and to overcoming obstacles that appear in life. With a background in gymnastics, Christina grabbed everyone’s attention by entering the room walking on her hands!

You can learn more about Christina’s message through her website or through one of her videos:

Thanks to Ms. Jacobson for the photos:


More Photos from the Wheatley-Bronx Arts Ensemble Joint Concert!

I have two sets of photos to share from the wonderful Wheatley-Bronx Arts Ensemble joint concert held just before the February break! The first set is from our very own Randy Horowitz, who has been generous with her photographs of school events over the years.


The second set is from our friends at Island Photography! Enjoy!