Many Photos and a Few Opinionated Opinions
Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 122.
According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication, Newsletter # 121 was viewed 3,064 times, was “liked” 24 times, and received six comments (all positive). In all, 4,658 email addresses received Issue # 121.
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 121 Newsletters (and much other Wheatley data and arcana) at
Also, thanks to Keith is our search engine, prominently displayed on our home page: type in a word or phrase and, wow!, 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
‘Hood Politics And History
Writes Bill Meyn (1974) - “Ah, yes - the Roosevelt Filed ice skating rink: I can still hear the very cheesy organ music and smell the piping hot vending machine "chicken soup.” I don't mean to be insulting - I like cheesy organ music and bad chicken soup. Things we never got caught doing at Roosevelt Field as budding juvenile delinquents - jumping on the beds at Gimbel’s; sliding coins and marbles down the escalator handrails playing pinball machines in the one or two stores that had them. Everyone just knew that the pinball machines were owned by "the mob" - what that was supposed to mean, we had no idea. The memory fades, but some things you don't forget.”
Administration & Faculty Appreciation
Writes Donna Kenton (1963) - “I once heard that Wheatley Principal Walter Wathey played briefly for the Brooklyn Dodgers, along with Chuck Connors of “The Rifleman” fame. I don’t remember who told me that, and it was probably 60 or 70 years ago, but I always believed it to be true. Did anyone else hear that?
[Editor’s note - According to Wikipedia, “Chuck Connors played two seasons for the [Brooklyn] Dodgers' AAA team, the Montreal Royals, before playing one game with the Dodgers in 1949.” I have never heard that Wes Wathey played professional baseball, and I doubt that he did.”
Mystery Photo - Guess Which Wheatley Teacher Attended The 50th-Year Reunion of the Class of 1964.
The first five graduates to answer correctly win a lifetime free subscription to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter.
Writes John “Monk” Moncure (1960) to classmate Paul Hennessy about Paul’s essay describing Wheatley Football circa 1960 — “As I read and re-read your message and tales of our great times at Wheatley (and before)-thanks for putting in the time and (very well done) efforts to describe what we experienced and (in retrospect) enjoyed. I treasure my Wheatley experience and friendships.”
Writes Gary Jones (Former Faculty) - From Sept 1983 until June 2007, when I retired, I taught at Wheatley. I also coached Wheatley Football, assisting Head Coach Dan Walsh from 1984 until the end.
I am inspired to write this short note because of Mark Bertalli (1990), writing in Newsletter # 121. “In the newsletters I’ve been impressed by Paul Giarmo’s (1976) knowledge of Wheatley football. I was captain of the last Wheatley Varsity Team, Class of 1990, and have the helmet I wore. Paul might appreciate it.”
I remember many Mark Bertalli moments on the gridiron, and I remember him being an outstanding football player. Mark was always a class act, on and off the field. Mark was a key player on this very special 1987 team.
Thank you for for allowing me to reach out and share some old memories with some of those former players.”
1961 - Len Jacobs - A Full Life
Writes Len- “My class was the first in the school, and we were blessed with a spectacular faculty and a beautiful building to boot. I can’t claim any stand-out activity of my time at Wheatley, or in my school work (although I did fairly well) and I did make the soccer team. I did well enough to get into Western Reserve University in Cleveland as psychology major; Dr. Benjamin Spock was teaching there at the time. I’m 80-years-old now and lived a very full and rewarding life, living, working, and traveling all over the world, and I consider myself a citizen of the world and a well-seasoned and competent human being.”
1964 - Theodore Rothstein - Tickling The Ivories in Italy
Writes Ted - "“Here’s a photo of me in Italy sitting in with a jazz combo in a packed club one night when I was visiting my daughter, who’s been living there for many years. She’s a professor at The University of Bologna.
1967 - Howard Senft and Steve Miller - A Memorable Birth
Writes Howard To Steve - “While driving the VW Beetle of my sister, Ellie Senft Kochek (1965), to Florida in 1970, Bonnie Glassman Crohn and I stopped at your apartment in Philadelphia. Your beautiful lady was pregnant. Although the car was broken into, stealing my sister's Martin guitar, the thieves missed my camera, under the front seat, which allowed me to photograph the birth of your child. I used those photos in a Lamaze class when my older daughter was born. Bonnie helped during the birth, I believe cleaning the baby’s nose. It was a great experience.”
1967 - Arthur Engoron - Man at Work
1967 - Artie Engoron - Man at Dinner
1969 - Stefan Kruszewski - Happy in Harrisburg
Writes Stefan - “Art, After Princeton University and Harvard Medical School (Class of 1977), I practice as a doctor (forensic psychiatry and neurobiology) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My primary legal involvement continues to be whistleblower/False Claims Act (“qui tam”) lawsuits that I initiate against pharmaceutical companies.
My experience with The Department of Justice has been terrific. Almost everyone has been professional, attentive and reliable. I still have several complaints (qui tams) under seal, but much of my involvement otherwise can be found online. I have been heavily involved with the science that underscored issues with Neurontin (gabpentin), Risperdal, Seroquel, Geodon and other medicines where the science was inadequate or the data obscured, resulting in problematic reporting for the consumers.
I swim everyday, and I paint (as you can see above and below).”
i am about to (or WAS about to) whitewash the painting above and start over. The painting was difficult for me because I have so many memories of hanging out at the depot. In those early days of my life, the place seemed so inviting, as well as being the subject of multiple conversations about why the local authorities (or the LIRR) were not doing more to re-open the depot. The depot was also our equivalent of the Witches’ House in Salem, MA from the movie Hocus Pocus: time forgotten, out of place, weird, foreboding, anachronistic…..!’
1972 - Janet Kurman Hesselbarth - Forester
Writes Janet - “Hi Art, I am one of those Wheatley alumni who probably needs to send you an update about where I've been since I graduated Wheatley in 1972 as ‘Janet Kurman.’ After Wheatley I went to SUNY Morrisville (back then an “ag & tech” school), where I earned my AAS in Natural Resources Management in 1974. I graduated with my BS degree in Forest Resources Management from SUNY ESF (State University of New York, Environmental Science and Forestry), Syracuse in 1976. I pause here to wonder about other Wheatley grads who went on to SUNY ESF. I know Pete (Jean-Pierre) Moreau, '71 graduated from ESF in 1975, BS degree in Forest Biology. Any other professional foresters- besides me- that are Wheatley alumni?
Shortly after graduation from ESF I found myself in the first of many jobs, both temporary forest technician and forester with the US Forest Service (“FS”) in Libby, MT. I bounced around the west (mostly) from Northern California back to the Rockies, a 5-year hitch at US Forest Headquarters in Washington, DC, and back to (Southern) California. I married another Forest Service "lifer," Woody Hesselbarth, in 1995 in ID. We left the Cleveland National Forest, San Diego in 2001. Woody continued on with the Arapho-Roosevelt National Forest in Fort Collins, CO, while I found "federal" work with the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), Cheyenne, WY as a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) specialist at the BLM-WY State Office. Sadly, Woody passed away in 2008 from a neuroendocrine tumor carcinoid. I worked for the BLM one more year until I was able to retire from federal land management work- 25 years with USDA-FS, 8 yrs with BLM.
I decided it was time to retire in a place where a river runs through it and moved to Missoula, MT in 2017. I share my home with my two dogs, Petey and Mick- both uncommon breeds, schipperke and Norwegian buhund, respectively- who keep me entertained and active in their breed clubs.
Cheers! Janet Kurman Hesselbarth”
1973 - Class Reunion - A Great Crowd
The Wheatley School Class of 1973 held its 50th-year Reunion on October 14, 2023 at Hendrick’s Tavern in Roslyn, NY. According to Principal organizer Nancy Dreyer, “To say that a good time was had by all would be a gross understatement. The gathering was meaningful and remarkable. Special thanks go to Vera Kaltinick for working with the venue to create a beautiful event and for providing the amazing cake; Vera And Tina White for putting together the floral arrangements for the tables; Bonnie Greenberg for putting together a terrific playlist; Cathy Knoller, Barbara Burns and Ann McCambridge for the name badges with our photos, so we had a hint of a clue as to who we were; Ramona Stendardi for creating a beautiful memorial tribute to our classmates who have passed; Vera’s daughter, Lily, who handled the registration table and made sure that no one from Roslyn High School snuck in; and Todd Glickman for keeping the funds in order.
L-R - Gary Simel, Art Engoron (1967) and Peter Simel. The Simels were one of eight sets of twins of which the class boasts.
1973 - Daniel Engoron - Birthday Boy
Writes Art Engoron (1967) - On October 7th, 2023, Dan celebrated his 68th birthday with his family: L-R - Jack Engoron (Dan’s Son, Class of 2016); Dan; Art Engoron (Dan’s brother, wearing his prized Wheatley T-Shirt, Class of 1967); Frank Engoron (Dan’s brother, Class of 1970); and Stacey Engoron (Dan’s daughter, Class of 2007). Sara Weiss Engoron (Dan’s wife, also Class of 1973), photographed the group in their home.
Above - Dan with two of his three favorite brothers.
1983 - 40th-Year Reunion - Organized by Bernadette McCrave Quinn (516-297-8147).
Reactions to Matt Haig’s Essay about Wheatley’s Educational Zeitgeist
Writes Georgette Macrina (Faculty) - “I want to thank Matt Haig and Wes Berkowitz for speaking out and saying what many of us Wheatley retired teachers have been thinking. I have heard complaints from former students who are now parents in the district. They are very disappointed that their children are not receiving the same quality education that they themselves received.”
Writes Matt Sanzone (1959) - “Matt Haig is describing the Wheatley School faculty, coaches, and administration that refused to allow me, a bottom of the class student, not to be left behind.”
Writes Peter Calderon (1961) - Matt Haig’s letter is both troubling and courageous. Serious mistakes have occurred in the life of our nation, and they obviously include the culture of local school administrations. I experienced similar episodes as a World Bank staff member for 28 years, when each arriving new President felt compelled to change the Bank’s priorities and culture while bypassing the experience and wisdom of the Bank’s incumbent staff. In the case of Wheatley, we can only hope that an enlightened school board can turn on the lights again. New generations of students will count on it.”
Writes Wendy Wolf (1964) - “I appreciated Matt Haig's letter about the changes with the new administrations at Wheatley. That is very sad.”
Writes Monique Lazar Ruane (1983) - “Thank you Matt Haig and Wes Berkowitz. Those of us who are/were teachers all saw that very disappointing shift in education. I applaud you both for speaking out.”
The Wheatley School Alumni Association Forum/Soapbox
Writes Jay Cummings (1960) - “My how things have changed in a short three years. From 2016-2020 we had peace, prosperity, and law and order under the Trump administration. The worst day in American history was the first day Biden walked into the Oval office and within minutes took his poison pen and cancelled all of Trump’s America First policies that made America truly great again. Now we are engaged in a major expensive war in Ukraine and the worst attack ever on Israel as Biden has a barbecue at the White House with a band. Still want to appease Iran and re-enter the lethal Iran nuclear deal Joe? A “two State solution” is a joke, the problem with that is Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, militant Palestinians and the Islamic Jihad want a ‘final solution’ with their inhumane ISIS mentality. Look at the members of the Democratic Socialists of America who arranged the Times Square pro-Palestinian, Israel hate gathering: many are members of Congress, the Senate, the New York City Council, and the State Assembly; not one is a Republican. Waiting for a response from Schumer, Nadler, Blumenthal, Schiff, Ossoff and all the others; so far: crickets…..shame! Anti-Semitism is on the rise in America, crime is out-of-control in American cities, an open border with close to 7 million unknown unvetted, many diseased, many terrorists entering over our once sovereign border, endangering American citizens and ravaging our cities. An economy that is breaking people’s spirit now, not being able to live the American dream of purchasing a home. “Real inflation” is over 10%. From being energy independent to begging Dictator’s for oil. Unaffordable food prices forcing people to eat more junk food, causing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, leading to higher heath care costs; gas prices again reaching all-time highs. A woke indoctrinating educational system ruining the minds of our youth, not knowing what gender they are, then going to liberal anti-Semitic indoctrinating Universities with activist professors. Yesterday 31 groups at Harvard blamed Israel for the Hamas mini-Holocaust. This all under the tutelage of the Biden administration, comprised of a bunch of freaks, radicals, gender-compromised unqualified incompetents and yesterday having Secretary of State Blinken saying he trusts Iran not to spend the $6 billion gift from Biden for terrorism…..as the Ayatollah Kameini said, “he will spend the money anyway he wants”…..this over the $150 billion Obama released to Iran and the billions Biden gave to Iran when he took office and now Iran being rewarded another $43 million from Biden for some illegal transfer property case. When Trump took office he cancelled $200 million that the militant Palestinians were getting from the Obama administration. When Biden took office he re-instated it. And to think that half the country will vote for more of this insanity for another four years under the leadership of a feckless, appeasing, dangerous buffoon and a Vice President who is no better, who both hate you and your children, only wanting dictatorial power and control over you. Liberal progressive radical ideology has to be voted out of their corrupt America Last power! We again must have a president who is feared and respected, who says what Reagan said: “we win, you lose, peace through strength,” and America First, always!
Faculty (Gary Jones) - “Art, Thank you for all the time and effort you put into making the newsletters such a pleasure to read. I look forward to every issue.”
Faculty (Georgette Macrina) - “Another great newsletter.”
1960 (Paul Hennessy) - “Thanks for your fine Newsletter”
1961 (Peter Calderon) - “Art, It is difficult to say enough about the gems found in the memories of our Wheatley classmates. Reading the Newsletter is like exploring the memoirs of gifted individuals — especially touching because they are close to us and part of a common community.”
1962 (Karen Strumpfler Tucker) - “Wow. It's amazing how things changed since my graduation in 1962.” ❤️
1963 (Donna Kenton) - “Thanks again and always for the time you spend on our behalf. And thanks to Keith as well.”
1964 (Ellen Genat Hoffman) - “I always read the Wheatley Alumni Newsletter, and I appreciate it so much. Thank you for all your efforts.”
1964 (Sydell Horowitz Weiner) - ❤️
1964 (Peter LaBriola) - “Thank you for all you do to keep us all connected and provide a forum for all to pose questions and share our news.”
1964 - Ted Rothstein - “You just keep hitting this out of the park, Arthur! Please keep these Newsletters coming.”
1964 (Wendy Wolf) - “Thanks, Artie, for keeping our connections to Wheatley after all these years.”
1966 (Alice Wilkins) - ❤️
1967 (Janet Epstein) - “Thanks for keeping us alums connected.”
1967 (Scott Frishman) - “Reading the Newsletter is always fun.”
1968 (Adrienne Gladstone Fierman) - “Fabulous newsletter from happy days gone by.”
1969 (Stefan Kruszewski) - “Thank you.”
1969 (Maria Lawson Sheard) - ❤️
1969 (Jack Lipsky) - “I enjoyed Alumni Newsletter #121. A shout out to Dr. Michael Pliskin, the best Podiatrist around, and a fellow Wildcat. Another to Edward Kritzler, for an extremely enjoyable book - Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean. I had no idea that he was also a fellow Wildcat!”
1969 (Paula Panzeca Foresto) - ❤️
1969 (Sarah “Sookey” Rosenberg Aldag) - ”Thanks for keeping Wheatley connected.”
1971 (John Poulos) - “Great photographs.”
1972 (Janet Kurman Hesselbarth) - “Keep up the good work. Thank you for all that you do.”
1975 (Lauren Furst Koos) - ❤️
1977 (Karen Alt Roos) - ❤️
1981 (Peter Weiss) - ❤️
1983 (Monique Lazar Ruane) - ❤️
???? (V MOUZE) - ❤️
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 122. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967