Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 124.
According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication, Newsletter # 123 was viewed 3,756 times, was “liked” 27 times, and received seven comments. In all, 4,666 email addresses received Issue # 123.
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 123 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
Administration & Faculty Appreciation
Writes Beth Davidson (1959) - “When talking about master teachers, I have to throw Mr. Loring’s hat into the ring. He taught World History (and perhaps some other history courses as well) when Wheatley first opened in the fall of 1956. I had just moved to Roslyn Heights and had attended a junior high school in Brooklyn (Adreas Hudde JHS 240), which was so different from the Wheatley School atmosphere, and I was terrified. Mr. Loring gave his first World History test a few weeks into the semester, and I froze. I couldn’t remember anything that I had studied, and I was in tears. He came over to my desk and tried to help me by giving me clues to the answers to the first few questions, but my mind was a blank. He told me to do the best I could, and then he allowed me to take the test a week later. By that time I had some idea what material to study. Not only did I ace that test, but I went on to earn an A in his class and to earn a respectable GPA throughout the rest of my days in high school, college and graduate school. Thank you, Mr. Loring, for being kind, patient and compassionate. My eyes are filled with tears now as I recall that experience and the gratitude I still feel for this wonderful teacher. Beth Davidson, c/o ‘59”
Writes Carol Jalonack Blum (1961) - “I read the comments about Mr. Rosenstein, and then the comment by Judith Oppenheim Darrah. She is right. I, too, had to get to Carnegie Mellon University (only when I went there, it was still “Carnegie Institute of Technology”) to realize how amazing our education at Wheatley was. Two stories. The first is about Mr. Rosenstein. I took his chemistry course, and I was a particularly lousy student. But he assured us, if we could get a C in his class, we could get a C in college chemistry. He was absolutely right. I managed to get a C from him, and a C in college chemistry. The second involves the History Department and Mr Loring. When I got to CMU, the head of the history Department was a particularly charismatic teacher. When he learned where I had gone to high school, he told me that Mr. Loring had tried very hard to persuade him to leave Pittsburgh and come to teach at Wheatley. It certainly speaks to the kind of teachers that Wheatley was trying to recruit.”
Writes Jay Hack (1969) - “After reading the last newsletter, the reference to Mr. Rosenstein and Mrs. Bogert motivated me to write something that I've been intending to write for a long time. Here is my submission.
Interviewers ask everyone from sports stars to Jeopardy contestants which teachers influenced their life. It is hard to pinpoint only one or two because there were so many, but I want to commend two teachers who played an important role for me.
First, there is Mel Rosenstein, my chemistry teacher. He always wanted students to participate in class. He would frequently say, ‘This is not the Yellow Cab Company where you sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.’ I may have gone too far in the other direction, but I took it to heart. My personal motto, which I recently discovered comes from Jackie Robinson, is, ‘life is not a spectator support.’ I can trace my belief in that to Mr. Rosenstein and his insistence that being actively involved in his chemistry class, and hence in life in general, is the way to go. It drives my children crazy when I inject myself into all sorts of activities, but thanks to Mr. Rosenstein, I gladly do so.
The other teacher is Erma Bogert, my algebra teacher. I enjoyed math, but that predated her class and probably goes back to Mrs. Butler at The North Side School. Mrs. Bogert was special because she insisted that equations should always be presented as simply as possible. If there were two equal equations, with one involving 10 keystrokes and the other 15 keystrokes, the former was better.
I rarely write equations these days, but I write a lot of blogs, and I just rewrote a chapter of the Bar Association ethics text. My most important drafting tool, hard to admit for a lawyer accused of charging by the word, is to write things in as few words as possible. It's hard not to slip up, especially when you can just speak into a headset and have it transcribed onto a computer screen. Try to remember never to write, ‘the book was read by John,’ when ‘John read the book’ will do just as well.”
Writes Alan Peterson (1975) - Recent postings about our grand football legacy and other aspects of Wheatley's sports and fitness curricula caused an unexpected memory to come galloping back into my consciousness after some fifty years. For anyone who had Dr. Irwin August for General Physical Education or Cross Country, maybe you can clear up a mystery.
The good doctor made it a point at the start of every school year to inform his students that they should try and identify a curious trio of names; ostensibly with a history to the school or to the land on which Wheatley was built, generations before... but no doubt totally fictional.
The names he dangled were ‘Zeke Schmuda,’ ‘Tondelayo Braunschweiger,’ and ‘Orlando Weebe’ (sp?). Whoever could identify all three names and their place in history to Dr August's satisfaction would earn some sort of honor or recognition -- the specifics of which have been lost to the ages.
All I can remember is that either Zeke or Orlando was a biplane pilot, but that's hazy at best. Even Google is no help. If anyone has the answer to - or at least an insight into - this more-than-half-century-old mystery, please speak up. Thanks. A.P.”
1960 - Writes Renee Gershen Nadel - “I loved seeing the photos of the Class of 1960 Mini-reunion. It's hard to believe our age, and hopefully most of us don't feel it...too much. Of course, we all have our little aches and pains, but we are here to tell our story and live our lives as meaningfully as possible. I ran into Lynda Nudelman Finkelstein, Class of 1958, a few days ago, and that was an unexpected treat. I hope you are all checking your GOLD 1960 Yearbooks to help recognize your fellow Wheatley Wildcats in case you, too, run into any of them as I did. Renee Gershen Nadel, Boca Raton, FL”
1966 - Ronald Fradkin - Deceased
Write Classmates Edgar Clifton “Clif” Hotvedt & Ken Distler - “One dreadful aspect of aging is losing friends. One such friend was Ron Fradkin. After years of courageously pressing on through numerous medical crises, Ron passed away in late August of this year. It was one’s good fortune, including that of these writers, to know Ron, whose father, recently profiled in this newsletter, taught language courses at Wheatley. Ever on top of matters in the realm of pop art and culture, Ron especially enjoyed discussing television programs and comic book literature. He was an expert in both subjects. In our high school years, Ron lived near, and greatly admired, superhero cartoonist Jack Kirby, whom Ron often visited as he organized the first-ever Comic Con fan convention, often formalizing related plans from a payphone in the Wheatley gym. After years of being out of touch with Ron, some of us caught up with him after our class’s 40th reunion. We remained in contact with him thereafter and found his enduring positivity and courage in the face of long-term serious health issues admirable and inspiring. Ron Fradkin will be greatly missed.”
1967 - Art Engoron and Larry Weiss - 10/24/2023
1970 - Sixth Grade Graduation Photo - 1964.
TOP ROW: Hillary Elgart, Joanne Horowitz, Susan Stone, Ellen David, Joan Shacter, Craig Moss, Jeffrey Blumenthal, Arnold Katz, Lance Stein, Robert Abramowitz, Laurie Winnick, Philip Smerling, Andy Goetz, Amy Jacoby, Peter Howard, Jeff Bordiga, & David Rotholtz.
2ND ROW DOWN: Wendy Strickman, Sindy Levitt, Mindy Spier, Alison Walsh, Robin Smerling, Peggy Zuckerman, Lynn Sadowsky, Willa Kozupsky, Peter Hecht, David Berwald, Marjorie Miller, Cindy Horowitz, Jill Gross, Robin Goldberg, Richard Rosenbloom, Barry Lipsky, Amy Levenson, & Debbie Silverman
MIDDLE ROW: Miss Hyman, Mr. Morris, Kathy Mazlish, Gail Yarnell, Jane Roeder, Robert Gladstone, Marc Senter, Hal Buckner, Jill Ostrower, Halli Lehrer, Stephanie Polansky, Lisa Berley, Ellen Karasyk, Mr. Gabriel Reuben (Principal), Rhoda Schneider, Janet Oppenheim, Joan Schnelwar, Ronnie Schindler, Andrea Seaton, Bobby Bush, George Nierenberg, Kenny Levine, Mark Gordon, Jack Riefberg, Mr. Visco, & Mrs. Smith.
4TH ROW DOWN: Carol Breitbart, Lisa Donneson, Charles Rosenzweig, Jacquelyn Finger, Steve Tureff, Andrea Chock, Nancy Reuben, Julie Kramer, Robert Zazula, Laura Nathanson, David Goldberg, Dana Seaman, Ernie Holzman, Karen Hurvitz, Diane Berg, Andrew Krakauer, Ronnie Seltzer, Roberta Shechtman, & Janet Goldberg.
BOTTOM ROW: Jonathan Gold, Michael Coan(?), Albee Messing, Matthew Delson, Ricky Summers, Ricky Lowenthal, Bruce Optner, Stephen Rosengarten, Fred Gordon, Paul Stanton, Cameron Kane, Richard Oppenheim, Steven Shukow, Ron Duberstein, & Sandy Stoltz.
1973 - Class Reunion - Writes Nancy Dreyer - “I forgot to mention that Lauren Karasyk, Cathy Knoller, and Vera Kaltinick came up with Hendrick's as the venue, and they got the ball rolling with the place.”
1973 + 2007 + 2016 - Four Engoron Wheatley Graduates in Porto, Portugal
L-R - Stacey Engoron (2007), Sara Weiss Engoron (1973), Daniel Engoron (1973), Jack Engoron (2016)
1983 - Michael Pliskin - Inducted Into The Wheatley Athletic Hall of Fame
Writes Michael - “Hi Art, I greatly appreciate that some of my teammates from the 1983 Wheatley Basketball Team came to support my induction into the Wheatley Athletic Hall of Fame.
L-R - Michael Pliskin, Scott Epstein, Mark “Truck” Horowitz, Coach Ted Kiamos, & Ken Colucci
Here is a photo of the entire 1983 team:
Bottom Row: L-R - Stephen Tuozzo, Co-Captain Michael Pliskin, Marc Blitzer, Ken Colucci, Dave Reilly, Ed Gellert
Top Row: L-R - Assistant Coach Tom Tarrantino, Steven Zimmerman, Adam Evans, Co-Captain Scott Epstein, Ed Wood, Steve Cronin, Mark Horowitz, Mike Masters, Team Manager Andy Freeman, Nassau County Coach of the Year Head Coach Ted Kiamos
And finally, this is me with Sam Cusano, Wheatley Class of 2013, and soon to be my son-in-law! I told my daughter Lyndsey that she could only marry a Wheatley man!
2003 - 20th-Year Reunion
Writes Kristen Capozzi Bonell - “Hello! The Wheatley Class of 2003, had its 20th-year reunion on Saturday night, October 24, 2023, at Publicans, in Manhasset. The turnout was great! It was such a fun night catching up with so many old friends!”
Writes Clifford Struhl (1974) - “If the essay by Matthew Haig is correct, or even mostly correct, and I have no doubt that it is, it is a sad day for the East Williston School District. I was in the second graduating class of the School Within A School and to this day being a part of that experience was life changing for the endless positive benefits. Learning to think out of the box has been a hallmark of my success in life, and I like to joke, to anybody that will listen, that I carry a mental box cutter with me at all times to cut a hole in any box I get trapped in to find a way out. High School and the world have changed dramatically, but that does not mean that teachers should not be there for their students. My kids graduated from the Syosset School System within the last 10 years, and they received the kind of support for which Wheatley was famous, proving that it can still be done…..you just need the right direction from the administration and school board. For students, being challenged, encouraged, and knowing that somebody has your back is a critical part of growing up and maturing; Wheatley did it for me, and the Syosset district did it for my kids, and I'm sure other districts have done it for the kids of other Wheatley grads. I hope that Wheatley and the East Williston School District can get back on the right path; it’s never too late to change…..if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Writes John Poulos (1971) - “Hi Art, I have a million things to do today, but I put everything on hold to write to you. Now we’ll see how much of a ‘free speech absolutist’ you really are.
The Lost Boys of Montauk is NOT an excellent read, it is a pile of trash that was written to make money on sensationalism. First of all, none of them were ‘Boys,’ they were all ‘Men.’ With the exception of two of Mike Stedman’s Deck Hands, I knew everyone of the people that she saw fit to air dirty laundry about. I guess a book titled ‘What goes on in East Williston, Old Westbury and The Roslyn Country Club’ wouldn’t generate a lot of interest. Mary Stedman, aka Kookie Mary, is about the last person that should have been given a pulpit from which to spew. The book could have been reduced to two FACTUAL chapters, but, again, can’t make a buck on that. Just what was accomplished by airing the dirty laundry about the personal lives of people that had NOTHING to do with the sinking of The Windblown. Mike had a family to support and a note to pay on the boat, and tile fish were bringing in a bundle of money. The boat was built for the Gulf of Mexico, not for the North Atlantic, end of story. A better book would have been titled, “If the Ceiling in the Basement of the Shagwong Could Talk, the Whole Town Would be in Jail.” Want an ‘excellent read? Try one of the magazines/papers on the check out line in the grocery store. Best Regards, John Poulos.”
The Wheatley School Alumni Association Forum/Soapbox
Writes Steve Ehre (Faculty) - “If you must include a piece from the satire magazine Onion — and I’m referring to the essay by Jay Cummings (1960) — please make clear that nobody should take it seriously.”
Writes Liz Zoob (1965) - “Jay Cummings has made his vitriolic point. Many times. For those who agree, it's undoubtedly a balm. For the rest of us, not so much. As for the presumed 78%* (*source, please? I can throw out unsubstantiated statistics too) who think ‘we are going in the wrong direction’: I too believe our country is going in the "wrong direction"-- it is going towards the fringe right wing, anti-science, afraid of LBGTQIA people, pro-censorship, unwilling to even discuss the history of U.S. racism, let alone its current manifestations, etc. But if he means that everyone in that purported 78% believe that we should move even more rightward, as we take up the banners of white Christian nationalism and proto-fascism, then I fear for our children--and the planet.”
Writes Suzanne Stone (1966) - “Thank you, Jay Cummings, for your intelligent message!!!!”
Writes Paul Harman (1970) - “Hi Art, I wonder if Mr. Cummings has the same faith in that poll of 1,053 adults (out of 168 million registered voters, I’d like to point out) that he did in all the polls that claimed a Red Wave would hand the House and the Senate to the Republicans in the last cycle. May he enjoy his fugue state as long as it lasts. May he also someday realize that love of authoritarianism is not patriotic, that coddling hate is a dead-end road, and that objective truth cannot be subverted, perverted or denied; rules aren’t just for “the other guy,” and bullies will be exposed for the whinging toadies they often prove to be. I believe, as so many do, that among the greatest beauties of this country is the ability (not just the right) to voice one’s opinions (as long as hate-speech and incitement-to-violence is kept to your ‘inside voice’). Dismissing the value of others’ opinions, the “othering” of people with different opinions, diminishes us all and mars the inherent beauties we all could share if we would stop dehumanizing people with whom we disagree. Respectfully,
Writes John Poulos (1971) - I read Jay Cummings comments about the state of America. Turn on the TV or go on line and take a good look at what is going on in the Mideast at this very moment. For the past three years, America’s borders have been a SIEVE. As of late, almost TEN THOUSAND people a day are INVADING America; this is not immigration, it is AN INVASION. Anyone that can’t realize that this jeopardizes the security of EVERY person in America needs to do a reality check. Just how did the World Trade Center attack occur: the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing, everyone was too busy focused on what was important to them, no one was connecting the dots. No one cared, and almost THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE DIED in a matter of minutes. There is a frightening parallel between what happened then and what happened in Israel on October 7, 2023. Say what you want about ‘the former guy,’ but the guy at the helm TODAY has been too focused on the gender sign on the bathroom door. ‘Normalizing relations’ with IRAN has worked out really well, now, hasn’t it. Hamas spent seventeen years ‘getting ready,’ Communist China has blatantly flown spy balloons over America, but there will be no impact on America from a lack of border control…..I shudder to think.’
Writes Gwendolyn “Wendy” McClure (1979) - “Art, your support of 1st Amendment rights is laudable. Thank you,”
Faculty (Robert Brandt) - ❤️
Faculty (Stephen Ehre) - “Thanks, Art, for all your amazing work on the newsletters, especially given that you seem to be occupied a bit these days. Best, Steve (Ehre)”
Faculty (Georgette Macrina) - ❤️
1958 (Carol Gettleman Berkowitz) - ❤️
1959 (Beth Davidson) - “Thanks again, Art, for all your hard work.”
1960 (Patricia Birckhead Suarez) - ❤️
1960 (Joanne Festa) - ❤️
1960 (Renee Gershen Nadel) - “Thanks, Art, for always keeping us informed.”
1961 (Carol Jalonack Blum) - “I just read your latest missive. Super interesting, as usual.”
1962 (Robert Gipp) - “Thank you. I love all your hard work on the Newsletter.”
1962 (Lois Kass Kleinberg) - ❤️
1962 (Carol Keister McCormick) - ❤️
1962 (Karen Strumpfler Tucker) - “Thanks for a very interesting Newsletter.” ❤️
1963 (Lynne Howard Severe) - “Thank you for the wonderful job of producing the newsletter. “
1964 (Natalie Cobb Wentworth) - ❤️
1965 (Barry Gordon) - “Thank you for another wonderful Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter!”
1965 (Bob Halper) - “That you have time to publish the Wheatley Newsletter in light of all your other commitments is remarkable and much appreciated.”
1965 (Sharon Neely) - ❤️
1966 (Suzanne Stone) - “Another meaningful newsletter, Art.” ❤️
1967 (Scott Frishman) - “The Newsletters are always fun to read.”
1967 (Richard Schwarz) - ❤️
1968 (Bruce Potts) - ❤️
1971 (John Poulos) - “Thanks for the opportunity to let my observations be known. I sincerely appreciate the effort that you have made in putting these newsletters out. Having you to keep all of us Wheatley Wildcats connected is great! Next time I write, I’ll reflect on some of the REALLY funny things that fellow Alumni have written about our past, not the least of which is ‘The Club.’ THANKS!”
1974 (Melanie Artim) - ❤️
1976 (Bonnie Spiro Schinagle) - ❤️
1976 (Leigh Tessler) - ❤️
1978 (Michael Kass) - “Thanks for all you do.”
1982 (Theodore Pitzel) - ❤️
1983 (Michael Pliskin) - “Thank you for all that you do for the Wheatley School Alumni Newsletter.”
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 124. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967