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Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,

Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 110.

According to Substack, in the first 25 hours after publication Newsletter # 109 was viewed 4,916 times and was “liked” 16 times. In all, 4,649 email addresses received Newsletter # 109. Apparently, once is not enough for some people!

All underlined text is a link-to-a-link. Left-clicking anywhere on underlined text, and then left-clicking on the link that pops up, will get you to your on-line destination.

The Usual Words of Wisdom

Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 109 Newsletters (and much other Wheatley data and arcana) at

Wheatley School Alumni Association Website

Also, thanks to Keith is our search engine, prominently displayed on our home page: type in a word or phrase and, mirabile dictu, you’ll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material. I use it all the time; it works!

I edit all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof.  I do not vouch for the accuracy of what people tell me.

We welcome any and all text and photos relevant to The Wheatley School, 11 Bacon Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568, and the people who administered, taught and/or studied there. Art Engoron, Class of 1967

Class of 1973 50th-Year Reunion

Saturday, October 14, 2023 - 1:30 to 5:30 pm

Hendrick’s Tavern - Roslyn

Passed Hors D’oeuvres, Buffet Lunch, Dessert, Beer and Wine

Cost - $125 per person -Plus Ones welcome!

Contact Nancy Dreyer with any questions and/or to arrange payment:


“Don't miss this! It's going to be a terrific event! Gentle reminder - we're not getting any younger.”

Class of 2003 20th-Year Reunion

The event will occur on October 21, 2023, starting at 7:30 P.M., at Hendricks Tavern in Roslyn. The cost is $180 per person - spouses welcome. Food and top-shelf liquor included. Please pay no later than June 30, 2023.  You can pay Kristen Bonell (Capozzi) or Ari Schnitzer by Venmo: @Kristen-Bonell, @Ari-D-Schnitzer

For more information please email Kristen at KRISTEN.BONELL@GMAIL.COM.

Cover of the 2023 Wheatley Yearbook

The ‘Hood - More History

Writes Robert Holley (1958) - “Despite many hours of research, I am still not terribly certain about how/why our high school got named ‘Wheatley’ or ‘The Wheatley School.’  There must be some sort of 1954-55 East Williston School Board minutes on which one could lay hands to get some insight. Someone must know our actual naming history! Maybe an East Williston local can discover some 1950s vintage official school board minutes, or the like, that would yield a clue to the ‘Wheatley’ naming. Seems like this would make an excellent research project for a current Wheatley history or civics class (hoping that they still study those subjects!)

This “Wheatley” naming inquiry began with a note from Class of 1960 scribe and coordinator Paul (“Pablo”) Hennessy. Paul wondered if our school could have possibly been named for well-known slave poetess Phillis (sometimes spelled ‘Phyllis”) Wheatley (1753-1784). Paul received an almost immediate response from his fellow conspirator Kenneth (“Martino”) Martin, along with some banter from Ken about Paul interrupting his business day, forcing him to research the matter.  Ken sent him some historic references he and other classmates found about old estate homes in Wheatley Hills, etc., etc. I found it rather hilarious, though, that Ken never mentioned the fact that his own Martin family lived ON WHEATLEY AVENUE, just west of the North Side School.  Maybe the name "Wheatley" was selected for the high school because of the proximity of Wheatley Avenue to the oldest public school then in the area, the North Side School.  BTW, Ken is a full United States Marine Corps Colonel who fought valiantly in Vietnam and is justly proud of his rank.

Kudos to Paul (‘Pablo’) and others from the Class of 1960 for taking such an interest in this ‘naming’ mystery.  The Class of 1958 was proud to be the first graduating class of The Wheatley School, but Paul's and Ken's Class of 1960 was the first class to have the distinction of attending all four years in one of America's finest high schools.

For now, I will accept my own ‘geographic solution’ (a nearby hamlet and topography with a ‘Wheatley’ name) and the seemingly favorite theory that  ‘The’  was placed in front of our name to give us a  preppy / private school flavor.  

Although there are many Long Island entities with the name ‘Wheatley,’ the most common one seems to be ‘Wheatley Hills,’ and that apparently arises from a prominent geographic feature, high ground, on the north side of the Island, also more generally referred to as the Harbor Hill Moraine, a terminal moraine left over from the Ice Age 12,500 years ago.  At the end of the 19th century, the view from the hills—you could look south and see ships in the Atlantic!—made them a very desirable building site for the estates of some of America's richest families.

The name ‘Wheatley,’ though--especially for the old  hamlet--baffles me. Ordinarily, a frequently used place name derives from an early local family or the name of a town in some settlers' country of origin. Westbury seems to fit the latter bill, being the English town from which came the Quaker Seaman family that had settled in central Long Island by 1670.  But I can't find any old L.I. family named ‘Wheatley.’ There is a town named ‘Wheatley’ in England, but it's not near England’s Westbury, and it doesn't seem to have a connection to pioneering in  N.Y.

My research journey was rather exciting, and I am somewhat mystified as to why I knew so little about the history of our immediate Long Island environment.  I well remember Mr. Warren Loring's history course on New York State, but not so much about central Long Island.

During hours of reading old newspaper accounts of L.I. history, I came across a 1957 article on Charles Shaffer’s father, Howard Shaffer, who was my family's minister at the Community Church of East Williston. He was from West Virginia, graduated from the University of West Virginia and Yale Divinity School and ministered in Bronxville and Bayside before East Williston. Because of his calling, and in spite of his athleticism, he turned down an offer to try out as a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.

For all the fans of Patricia (‘Pat’) Birckhead (a countless number, I guess), I found a 1937 article (attached) on the origins of the real estate upon which my neighborhood (‘The Ridge’) was built. The large property originally belonged to Will Rogers, and he named his estate Orchard Meadows, which accounts for several of our street names (including Pat's) and the many fruit trees on almost all the residential properties (mine had six).

Speaking of fruit, I'm in last stages of harvesting a crop of 1,000 mangoes here in Florida.”

An Alternative History of The Naming of The Wheatley School

At an East Williston School District Board meeting in the early 1950s the following conversations took place:

Well, gentlemen, we have our land and we have the financing for our new high school.  So what are we going to name the new school?

I have always thought that North Side, here where we are meeting tonight, should have been named Wheatley Elementary, as it is located on Wheatley Ave.  So since our land is located on Bacon Road, lets call it Bacon High School.

Yeah, great!  And we can have as our mascot The Hogs.  Can’t you just see it – The Bacon Hogs!

And if one of our athletic teams lose, the local sports section can read “Oyster Bay Sliced up The Bacon Hogs.”

OK, so maybe we can’t use “Bacon”, but since North Side didn’t use the “Wheatley” name, lets call it Wheatley High School.

We shouldn’t use “High” since our new school will have 7th and 8th graders.  So how about just “The Wheatley School?”

That sounds a little “preppy.”

Well, nothing wrong with that.

OK, all in favor of naming our new school The Wheatley School.



You betcha



OK, so we have settled on a name.  What about a mascot?

I have heard that the class coming up that will be our first graduating class has a bunch of smart kids.  So lets let that class come up with a mascot.

Yes, but the principal should have veto power over a name.  These kids are smart enough to figure out the mascot should be “The Hogs.” [Submitted by Bruce Richardson (1958)]


Submitted by Matthew Sanzone (1959). Enlarge to read more easily.

Wheatley Football Relic

Submitted and explained by Bob Holley (1958) - “Looking over old Wheatley football relics, including the attached game record for Seaford, I came across something that didn’t seem to make sense at first blush: that Doug Kull scored an extra point on a ‘T36 plunge.’ Why wasn’t that a 2-point "extra point"? Because schools did not adopt the 2-point conversion until 1958. It migrated to the pros even later.”

Writes Art Engoron - Wheatley’s first football team went a legendary 8-0, scoring 155 total points to their opponents measly 39. I had heard rumors of this, but there it is, in black (or purple) and white. Star quarterback Steve Perlin died in 1967 when his Marine jet fighter crashed on a training mission. Punter Garrett “Zeke” Zebrowski (1960) is very much with us, as are many other members of the squad, with some of whom I am in touch, including Ken Martin (1960); Paul Hennessy (1960); and Matthew Sanzone (1959).


Stewart Doig - Writes Joanne Festa (1960) - “Mr. Stewart Doig was an exceptional teacher. His 'pass or fail' grading method created the strong desire to go to his class. He was most entertaining, and my history education has stayed with me. I am so grateful that Mr. Doig was my teacher for two years.”


1960 - John (“Monk”) Moncure - Writing to Bob Holley (1958): “I remember the good old days—when you lived on Orchard Meadow Road, downhill from North Side—as did Pat Birckhead—and were one of the ‘Older Guys’ —whom we avoided. Remember touch football on the back side of North Side—and the intense basketball games on the courts there? And the little square gym inside? Such sweet memories—Monk”

1965 - Jane Mannheim Claud and Ronnie Moore - Colorado Rocky Mountain High

L-R - Ronnie Lynn Moore and Jane Mannheim Claud

Writes Jane - “Hi Art,  Recently, Ronnie Moore and I visited Breckenridge, Colorado, and here we are. Ronnie and her husband have been hosting me for several days, and I’ve seen all sorts of parts of Colorado that are beautiful. We’ve had a good time and were happy to get together again.”

1965 - Jeffrey Orling - Man on Board

Writes Jeff - “I am fine... considering arthritic knees and hands... both of which severely limit my activity.  My wife, Elsa, and I spent the afternoon at the boat, which is both ready to sail and up for sale.  Perhaps we'll take it across the Sound and drop the hook for the weekend.  The boat was the best thing I ‘did’ in my life.  I had no idea I would take to the sea when I was back in Roslyn. I've done tens of thousands of miles at sea, traveling as far as Brazil, and I sailed the Canary Islands on a friend's boat. However,  I am looking to end that part of my life... but I take away my memories of some great times.  I am trying to convince Elsa to do a trip to Newport... for a week or two. Not using the boat is dumb.  All it needs is provisions, and it's ready to go. Here’s a photo of me messing about on the boat in Stamford:”

1973 - Timothy Clarke - He Also Remembers Mama

Writes Tim - “Toni (Buckner LaPietra, 1975), reading your remembrance of my mom, Joan Clarke, was wonderful. Everyone who entered our house was always greeted with love and respect. Our parents set a high standard when it came to compassion, such as for the black students from Virginia, who, in the 1960s, my father, as President of the Catholic Interracial Council, had bused up to our community so they could attend school with us, when the segregated schools in the south would not allow integration. These students attended the North Side School with my sister Ann (Clarke Gerrity, 1974) and me.  In middle School, Ben Mtshali, a Zulu chieftain and a member of Unesco and his white Dutch wife came to live with us with their new born daughter when they could not find an apartment in Manhattan that would rent to them.

A fellow High School student who was having  difficulty living with her own parents found refuge in our home for three years.  All were welcome.  Tim Clarke”

1974 - Victoria Abbott Pitcavage - Time Capsule?

Writes Victoria - “I still live in East Williston and pass by the Willets Road School often. Does anybody from the Class of 1974 remember planting the tree that was alongside the old driveway into school, I think on Arbor Day? With a time capsule? Not sure if I made that up and have been wondering for years. The tree is still there, if that’s the right tree.”

1980 - Glenn Gould - A Facebook Photo

May be an image of 1 person, smiling and ocean

Fan Mail

1958 (Carol Gettleman Berkowitz) - ❤️

1960 (Joanne Festa) - “Thank you for another sophisticated Newsletter.”

1962 (Richard Glassman) - ❤️

1962 (Karen Strumpfler Tucker) - ❤️

1963 (Martin Kay) - ❤️

1965 (Jeffrey Orling) - “Thanks Art, Your work is much appreciated.  Reading about ‘Wildcats’ is a hoot.”

1967 (Scott Frishman) - “Art, Superlative as always.” 😊👍

1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - “Arthur, Another fun read.”

1967 (Barbara Smith Stanisic) - ❤️

1969 (Paula Panzeca Foresto) - ❤️

1970 (Andrew Krakauer) - ❤️

1972 (Robin Freier Edwards) - ❤️

1972 (Jeffrey Kargman) - ❤️

1973 (Timothy Clarke) - “Hi, Art, Thank you very much for all you do.” ❤️

1974 (Victoria Abbott Pitcavage) - “Thanks, Art.”

1974 (James Elefonte) - ❤️

1976 (Robin Firetog Glanzberg) - ❤️

1977 (Peter Fitzpatrick) - ❤️

1985 (Sarah Tirgary) - ❤️

???? ( - ❤️


That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 110.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.


Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967