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Holidays, Common Core And Clubs

Concerts Again

I had the wonderful experience of seeing the second Wheatley Winter Concert of this season. The chorale, honors string ensemble, symphonic orchestra, symphonic band and jazz band all sang and played expertly. Thank you to the amazing students who participated and to their outstanding teachers who prepared them and conducted the program, Angela Luftig, Stan Orlovsky, Peggy Ho and Steve Fitzko. It was a beautiful evening of music.  In keeping with our “All In” theme for the year, the program focused on one common subject, Americana. In this way, students studying American history in their classrooms would be exposed to many periods of American history through a musical lens.

 

The student-musicians researched their pieces, composers and the time frame in which they were written. For example, a sampling of our student performances follows: a choral selection “The Bells,” based on an 1849 poem by American poet Edgar Allan Poe and arranged by John Leavitt; the song, “Brother, My Brother,” by Jack Murphy and Frank Wildhorn, was inspired by the tensions between the southern and northern states that escalated into the Civil War; “Americans We” was written in 1929, at the beginning of  the Great Depression, when the composer Henry Fillmore wanted to bring music to the country and ignite spirit and pride in Americans.  As noted in the Concert program, “Music usually reflects the environment and time of its creation.  We increase our appreciation of music when we understand its historical context.” The thematic selections of the evening supported this type of connection to academic learning, while at the same time created an emotional experience that only the arts can provide.

 

Common Core Presentations In The Content Areas

At the December board of education monthly meeting, Dave Casamento, director of science and technology, Brian McConaghy, secondary chair of social studies and Joan Anderson, foreign language department chair made presentations on the Common Core and Literacy in the Content Areas. The presentations can be found on our website at www.ewsdonline.org > left side navigation to Common Core Curriculum Info > CCC Info. Once again following this year’s theme “All In” where we believe students learn best integrating ideas and skills across all content areas, the presentations conveyed the many parallels found in the three content areas above and the ELA and Math Common Core Standards.  (Audio of the presentations will be available online  when we return from the December break.)  In just one example, foreign language students now practice reading and speaking skills by gathering evidence from several sources to support a persuasive argument, similar to the ELA research paper.

 

Intercultural Unity Club 31st Annual Assembly And Luncheon

Each year, Wheatley’s Inter-Cultural Unity Club (ICU) holds its annual assembly and luncheon, an all-day cultural festival filled with live performances and foods from around the world. Over the many years, the luncheon has become a great tradition at Wheatley. Through music and dance performances by students, we celebrated the diverse cultures within our community as a way of bringing us closer together.  Special invited guests are students from the UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) Children’s Learning Center.  I was excited to be able to participate, as did several of our faculty in the end of program fashion show where native clothing from various countries was modeled.   

Following the assembly, our luncheon replaces the normal cafeteria fare with diverse sampling of food from all cultures.  As students enjoy the wonderful food, they are entertained in our transformed cafeteria by a diverse program of student and faculty performers.   We are thankful for the food and other donations from our Wheatley families.  All leftover food is brought to the Interfaith Nutrition Network – The Inn.

 

East Williston/Roslyn Community Coalition For Healthy Youth 

The East Williston/Roslyn Community Coalition for Healthy Youth (EWRCC) has as its goal, emotionally and physically healthy youth. The coalition’s objective is to educate families as they face today’s many parenting challenges by means of parent education workshops, public service ads, community website and a communications network. Coalition members include parents, school officials, religious leaders and other concerned residents and community leaders in the East Williston and Roslyn school communities.

Several times a year, Dan Brenner, superintendent of the Roslyn School District, and I join the parent board members at the Coalition’s Executive Board Meetings to plan programs for the year.   This is an important organization and we need more East Williston parents to take on key roles in this organization, such as board membership, committee chairs, etc.  By collaboratively working with Roslyn, our neighboring school district, we are able to combine our efforts for maximum impact.  For example, we are discussing combining our Parent University efforts at some time in the future to broaden the range of workshops we can offer.  PLEASE, if you have an interest in getting involved, or would just like to find out more about this coalition, contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or EWRCC Board member and district resident, Jamie Cutinella at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .   

News

The Village of Williston Park Board of Trustees passed a local law last week that establishes the authority for legal action on water bills that are $25,000 or greater. 

 

According to Village Attorney James Bradley, if a water bill remains unpaid for 90 days, he is authorized to commence legal proceedings for collection, and charge attorney fees for prosecution. Fees would be added to the unpaid bill and subject to non-payment penalties

 

“The person or entity responsible for paying the unpaid bill will be liable for the attorney fees,” Bradley said, while noting that the bill is an amendment of existing code.

The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Mineola. 

 

With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born. 


Sports

The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team defeated the Roosevelt Roughriders 47-38 on Saturday, Sept. 20.

 

Senior quarterback James Gerstner led the Mustangs (2-0) to victory by rushing 212 yards and securing five touchdowns on 23 carries.  He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.

 

“This was a big game—we were ready and pumped up all week,” Gerstner said.  “We came in ranked third but we knew we could beat them.”

Mustangs Shut Out Valley Stream

The Mineola Varsity Football team’s defense dominated Valley Stream South, winning 21-0 on Sept. 13. The Falcons never got further then Mineola’s 30 yard line. The defense was lead by senior linebackers Eric Guardado (8 tackles 6 assist), Ed Hincapie (6 tackles, 5 assist) and safety John Clancy (tackles, 3 assist).

 

Defensive linemen Anthony Sarno, Luigi Athan, Victor Tineo, Matt Lafaye and Chris Brenes controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Peter McCormack and Chris Lockwood played very well as they combined for eight tackles and only allowed two pass completions. Linebacker Kyle Dunleavy, Ben Carbone, Matt Kosowski and Brian Smith also played very well.


Calendar

Spooky Story Contest - October 1

Silver Sneaker Fitness - October 2

Live Music - October 3


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com