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!]

The Class of 2019 is Celebrated at Wheatley’s 62nd Commencement Exercises!

Earlier today, Wheatley held its 62nd Commencement Exercises — this year in celebration of the Class of 2019! The 12:00 noon ceremony included three wonderful musical performances and four impressive student speeches. It was a moving ceremony befitting this wonderful graduating class.

Congratulations to all of the graduates and their families!

You can view a copy of the Commencement Program here: Graduation Program 2019

Graduation Program 2019

[Thanks to Melisa Byrns for some of the photos!]

Our 15th Annual “In Recognition of Excellence” Evening Highlights the Impact of Faculty on our Graduates!

Last night, 19 June, our 15th Annual In Recognition of Excellence dinner was held. During a very busy time of the year, this remains one of my favorite evenings. Through our students’ own voices, attendees are reminded of the deep and lasting impact our faculty has on our students’ academic, emotional and social lives. The celebration of the relationships formed and connections made is what makes for such a special evening!

With so much talent in our school, it is still possible for some students to not get the recognition that they deserve. To recognize these students, the In Recognition of Excellence award was introduced fifteen years ago. This honor is given to a group of students who have demonstrated outstanding service to school and community, demonstrated respect and concern for fellow students, and set high expectations for themselves as they have achieved their goals.

The recipients of this award were asked to select one teacher, staff member or coach from their experiences at North Side, Willets Road, and Wheatley who had the greatest positive impact on their life.

Congratulations to our recognized students and the faculty they acknowledged:

Julia Braito

  • Jill Widyn (NS-Ret.)
  • Kristen Kandel (WR)
  • Jenna Stein (Wheatley)

Francis Cappi

  • Amy Potter (NS)
  • Patrick Shanahan (WR)
  • Paul Paino (Wheatley)

Anthony Di Fiore

  • Robert Owen (NS)
  • Patrick Shanahan (WR)
  • Susan Vasselman (Wheatley)

Lauren Druz

  • Jill Widyn (NS-Ret.)
  • Dr. Joseph Coladonato (WR)
  • Alexis Pace (Wheatley)

Jaydon Ephrat

  • Christopher Campbell (NS)
  • Kirsten Donaghy (WR)
  • Joseph Crotty (Wheatley)

Jesse Futerman

  • Roxee Lore (NS-Ret.)
  • Kirsten Donaghy (WR)
  • Danielle Calvagno (Wheatley)

Andrew Gullotta

  • Tracy Kasschau (NS)
  • Dr. Joseph Coladonato (WR)
  • Birthe Seferian (Wheatley)

Hailey Ramalhete

  • Frank Bannerman (NS)
  • Kirsten Donaghy (WR)
  • Cindy Schwartz (Wheatley-Ret.)

Samantha Rothstein

  • Debra Garbacki (NS)
  • Sloane Sepe (WR)
  • Ashley Rogala (Wheatley)

Nicholas Tagios

  • David Einsidler (NS-Ret.)
  • Kirsten Donaghy (WR)
  • Susan Donofrio (Wheatley)


How About Over 1,000 Photos from Prom 2019?!?

As described in two previous posts, the Senior Class Prom that took place last night was an absolutely wonderful event! The students looked great, the weather cooperated, the locale was stunning, and the students had an amazing time!

Central to the fun at the event was the hosting by High Voltage Entertainment. They kept the fun going on the dance floor and guided the students through a thoroughly enjoyable evening! Their photographer was present to capture the arrival at the prom and the fun on the dance floor!