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Atka The Wolf Visits Westbury

Classroom assignments became a lot more memorable for Westbury Middle School students last week, as sixth graders got a visit from a wolf. 


Students gathered in the auditorium for an assembly, where educator Alex Spitzer from the Wolf Conservation Center first gave a presentation on wolves. He explained different wolf behaviors, how they hunt, their diet, habitat and development. Atka, an 11-year-old wild gray arctic wolf, then came into the assembly, much to the delight of students. Atka (who was on a leash) roamed through the aisles of the auditorium and onto the stage, sniffing around and exploring his surroundings. Students asked Spitzer questions, enthralled as what they had been learning about in their classrooms came to life. Ms. Leckler’s sixth grade class was sitting front and center during the assembly, and students were captivated by the wolf. 


“I like that we got to see a real wolf at our school, that’s something you don’t see everyday,” said one student.


Since September, students have read several texts about wolves and have learned about scent markings, packs and communications through their readings. At the assembly, students were able to learn additional facts about wolves such as that they are afraid of humans, have two coats of fur and that they raise their paw when they’re ready to attack. 


“He told us a lot of facts that were really interesting,” said a student. 


Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.


In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.


“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.

The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9. 


Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.  


Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 


The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.

Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.


Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds.  Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group.  She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group.  Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.


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