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From The Desk Of Superintendent Dr. Elaine Kanas

Wheatley School Athletic Hall Of Fame 

The Wheatley School Athletic Hall of Fame provides lasting recognition for those Wheatley athletes and coaches who have performed in an exemplary manner throughout their careers and/or beyond.  The Hall of Fame also recognizes varsity teams that attained a high level of achievement.  A selection committee comprised of the Athletic Director, members of the Athletic Department coaching staff and alumni recommend inductees into the Wheatley Athletic Hall of Fame.  The Wheatley School community congratulates those who have brought such well-deserved recognition to our athletic program.


On June 4, three outstanding athletes and an outstanding long time coach and educator were inducted into the Wheatley Athletic Hall of Fame. A reception was held in their honor at 6:30 p.m. in Room 450 followed at 7 p.m. by their induction into the Hall of Fame.  


The 2013 Inductees are:  Alyson Pryor (Class of 1997) who was a member of the soccer, basketball, and track and field teams during her high school years;  Jessica Brooks (Class of 2000) who was a member of the cross country, winter indoor track and track and field teams during her high school years; Elizabeth Kalish (Class of 2007) who was a fierce competitor and all-around athlete, competing in soccer, winter indoor track and track and field teams; and Coach Joe Kelly who began his coaching career in the East Williston School District in January of 1987. During his 25 year tenure at The Wheatley School, Coach Kelly started with junior high girls basketball, JV girls basketball, JV girls soccer and in 1994 started the girls track and field team and in 1997 started the girls winter indoor track team. 

The spring and end of year Athletic Awards Night was also held on June 4.


Tri-M Music Honor Society

On May 29, I had the outstanding pleasure of watching 15 students be inducted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society.  Tri-M Music Honor Society is a National Association for Music Educator’s program that recognizes outstanding music students in secondary level schools (grades 6 through 12). Tri-M activities increase students’ school and community involvement with music. Tri-M members are selected based on their academic and musical achievement as well as on their strength of character. Chapters invite qualified students from any organized music ensemble or class in their school to join this international music honor society. Chapter members regularly get involved with community-service activities and music-enrichment events, nurturing a more cohesive, broad, and unified music program. Rewards for the activity include scholarships and awards that are available through the Tri-M awards program.  Congratulations to the new members: Kurtis Bassman, Nathan Berman, Adena Bernot, Emily Black, Sienna Brancato, Jessie Cao, Robert Chang, Jessica Chu, Luke Cuomo, Samantha Leong, Morgan Misk, Allison Perry, Jessica Perry, Julia Scalera and Cindy Zhou and to faculty advisor Angela Luftig. 


Curriculum And Instruction Goals

 The District has a leadership team that meets once a month to articulate curriculum and instruction and other aspects of the district’s schools. This team consists of all central office administrators, district directors, all three building principals, assistant principals and curriculum associates/department chairs in the content areas.  Over the past two months this team has been consulting with staff and looking at instructional data and formulating a set of instructional goals for the 2013-2014 school year. The goals are organized into eight broad, big picture goals that will most likely remain consistent for the next several years. 


The broad goal categories are Goal #1: A common framework and language supports unified practice and collaboration among all staff for achieving student learning; Goal #2: Ensure strong student readers and writers who meet or exceed expectations of Common Core Standards; Goal #3: Provide students with maximum access to post-secondary opportunities; Goal #4:  Continue process of alignment of Math Program with Common Core Expectations; Goal #5: Continue to foster the development of the whole child; Goal #6: Prepare students for successful participation in a global environment; Goal #7: Continue Successful Science Learning for Students; Goal #8: Utilize technology to further student learning,  enhance communication and create operational efficiencies.


Under each of the broad goal categories, ‘SMART goals’ will be listed each year. The SMART goals are specific objectives to be accomplished in a given school year that support each broad goal category.  The acronym SMART stands for goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented and time bound. These SMART goals sometimes include objectives from various content areas as the district focuses on coherence and alignment.  For example, Goal #2   Ensure strong student readers and writers who meet or exceed expectations of Common Core Standards includes both Social Studies and English Language Arts objectives as students work on research and writing skills in each discipline that support overall student writing and reading achievement.


A broad overview of the goals and the SMART goals for 2013-14 were shared at the June Board of Education Work Session on June 5.  If you were not able to attend the Work Session, I will be sharing these in next week’s newsletter as well as posting them on the District website.  


As we begin to formulate the District’s Five Year Strategic Plan that will span all areas of district operation, we will be working to align instructional goals within the strategic planning framework. 


Wheatley Academic
Awards Night

On May 30, I attended my first Wheatley Academic Awards ceremony.  Once again it was impressive to see not only all of the accomplishments of our students but the full range of activities at which our students excel.  At the end of the evening, audience members were able to pick up a commemorative program that lists not only all of last night’s recognitions but also other awards students have received throughout the year. For a copy of the commemorative program, it will be on our website next week.  

Look for our summer district newsletter that not only lists our Wheatley students’ awards, but also includes Willets Road students’ list of achievements. 


Teaching For Tomorrow Conference

On Wednesday May 29, Stephen Kimmel, principal of the Willets Road School and faculty members Natalie Brew and Kristin Kandel attended the Teaching for Tomorrow Conference sponsored by the New York State Middle School Association and St. Joseph’s College. 


Ms. Brew and Mrs. Kandel were presenters at a workshop entitled My Science Story: Where Science Inquiry Meets the Common Core. The workshop was a hands-on, interactive experience designed to teach the inter-relationship between science journal writing and Common Core literacy skills.  Each participant created a science journal and received teaching materials that they could immediately implement in their classroom.  


Mr. Kimmel was a featured speaker at another workshop entitled How to Get Hired in the Common Core Era.  Participants in this workshop learned strategies and skills to enable them to be competitive in the challenging arena of landing a teaching position.


Willets Road S.P.A.R.K. Leadership Team

The Willets Road S.P.A.R.K. Leadership Team, under the leadership of guidance counselor David Stander and school psychologist Dr. Bonnie Gutwirth, visited the Arbors Assisted Living Facility in Westbury.  The students sung songs, played games, and led the residents through the completion of an arts and crafts project.  The students also brought and served the residents sweet treats!  What a wonderful way for your future leaders to give back to our community.  


The SPARK Leadership Team is a community service club that is open to all 6th and 7th grade students.  


The group has worked on some terrific projects this year. For example, the team constructed paper snowflakes to show their support for the students in the Newtown, Connecticut Community.  The snowflakes were displayed in the students’ new school to help them feel welcome and cared for; the team participated in the First Annual Bully Awareness Walk in the Town of North Hempstead.  The event helped to educate the community on the destructive effects of bullying and to encourage students to be “upstanders”; the team also donated items and volunteered their time at the North Shore Animal League. 


As always, please give me a call 333-3758, or email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions, suggestions, etc.