The Wheatley School Alumni Associations Newletter # 138

February 26, 2024

Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,

Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 138.

According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication, Newsletter # 137 was viewed 3,364 times, was “liked” 15 times, and received two comments. In all, 4,750 email addresses received Newsletter # 137.

All underlined text is a link-to-a-link (or, occasionally, an email address). Clicking anywhere on underlined text, and then clicking on the link that pops up, will get you to your on-line destination (or address an email).

The Usual Words of Wisdom

Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 137 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, wow!, you’ll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material. I use it frequently; it usually works!

I edit all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof.  I cannot and do not vouch for the accuracy of what people tell me, as TWSAA does not have a fact-checking department.

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, worked, and/or studied there. Art Engoron, Class of 1967

The Wheatley School - First Follow-Up Study of Graduates

Dear Resident,

Judging the success of a school district-- how well it performs its job of educating young people--is a difficult task. It involves problems of definition concerning the goals of education and the meaning of the phrase, “a well-educated' citizen.” It also involves the need for compilation and analysis of many different kinds of data, covering a wide range of information on our students from kindergarten to Wheatley graduation and even bevond. Thus the task of evaluation is a never-ending one, which deserves continuing and constant appraisal.

One aspect of such appraisal is to be found in the accompanying report, which highlights a detailed follow-up study of the first three Wheatley graduating classes, those of 1958, 1959, and 1960. This study, interesting and informative in itself, lays the groundwork for an annual follow-up of our high school graduates that will provide a continuing source of highly useful data for our residents, the professional staff, and the Board of Education.

The committee of dedicated residents who undertook to initiate and carry through this detailed survey has performed a most valuable service to the entire district. It is with a great sense of gratitude for their tireless effort and an equal sense of appreciation for the significant value of their work that we present this report to you.

February 28, 1963

Sincerely Yours,

Alberta L, Saletan

Mrs. Leonard Saletan

President, Board of Education East Williston School District


Faculty Appreciation

A Teacher appreciates the Teachers

Writes Karen Bartscherer - “So much of my success as a teacher I credit to my incredible luck to have done my student teaching at Wheatley. Although Betty O’Connor Bradley was my official mentor, all of the English teachers in the department and many others throughout the school went out of their way to share their practice, to welcome me into their classrooms, and to take a sincere interest in me as a potential future colleague. The following fall, I took a part-time appointment at Wheatley over two full-time positions offered at good Long Island districts where I had interviewed! That worked out well.😊

Writes Ilona Willick Guzman - “I was in the School Within a School (“SWS”)!  Ted Tchack and Stu Doig were the greatest.  They knew how to relate to kids and treat them as adults.  And Steve Ehre (faculty) lives near me here in Scottsdale, AZ. He’s become quite the artist! We had lunch together a few years back.

Steve Ehre and Ilona Willick Guzman

These guys, along with so many of the other teachers, did a fantastic job of teaching us critical thinking skills, which, of course, I didn’t realize until adulthood, when it became very clear.

My family and I lived on Bengeyfield Drive, in East Williston, in between the Nash (Susan, 1966, Laura, 1968, and Charlie, 1973) and the Poulos (John, 1971, and George “Gigi,” 1974) houses.  Gary Cervellione (1974) lived on the other side of the Poulos house. There were so many of us all up and down Bengeyfield Dr.  And so many of my classmates are gone way too soon – over 30 of us now.  So you can imagine how much we’re all looking forward to our 50th reunion in October!

My brother Nelson (“Nicky”) was the athlete of the family.  He was a track star and held a Wheatley sprint record for a number of years.  He runs into people at reunions who still remember all the home runs he hit in Little League!  I remember being dragged to those games, but then going to Hildebrandt’s after them, so that eased the pain!

Dr. August was another great guy.  He took a bunch of us kids in high school up in the mountains to go rock climbing and camping.  I know my brother Nicky liked him, too.  Mr. Stevenson from North Side School, was another fantastic gym teacher who really knew how to relate to kids.” Art (Engoron, 1967), I can see how Mr. Stevenson (along with Mickey Mantle) was your childhood hero!  What a guy?!”


1958 - Jeffrey Philipson - Deceased

Writes Julien Hennefeld (1958) - “Jeff Philipson and I used to deliver the Roslyn Rancher together on foot to every house in the Roslyn Country Club, and we were the starting guards on the Wheatley basketball team when we were juniors. I deeply regret not staying in touch with Jeff once I started graduate school; he was a good friend and a great person.”

Writes Jay Cummings (1960) - “Art, sad to hear about Jeffrey Philipson. He was right before me on the varsity basketball team. Nice guy, played on that team with Larry Nagler (1958), who won the doubles tennis championship at Forest Hills with Allen Fox and became a well-know doctor. The innocent good old days. R.I.P., Jeffrey.”

Writes Gyll Gates Scrochi (1981) - “Hi. I just read the amazing tribute to my uncle, Jeff Philipson. Although it was not mentioned, he was the uncle to both myself and Kim Gates Goldstein (1985). We will cherish the memories of the times that we had with him and our cousins Glen and Adam. We are saddened by his passing, but celebrate his life and all that he accomplished. Thank you for the tribute and all of the Newsletters.”

1967 - Judy Berkan and Alane Spielberger Fagin - On Judy’s balcony in Puerto Rico

L-R - Judy, Alane

L-R - Alane, Judy

Front row, taking the selfie, is Victor Rafael Merced-Reyes, Judy’s husband. The guy in the rear with the orange shirt is Jim Fagin, Alane’s husband.

1967 + 2021 - Richard Friedman (1967), Art Engoron (1967), and Aarushi Jain (2021).

Palling around.

1967 - Ilene Kornblath Rosenbaum - Memories

Writes Jane Smerling Garnett (1967) - “Ilene Kornblath was my neighbor, and we waited for the bus together for years and shared many conversations, sleepovers and outings. The entire Kornblath family, Leo, Renie and Richie, opened their home to me after my family’s house fire on 11-4-1961. I lived with them, ate with them, and even wore Ilene’s clothes to school. After a few weeks my parents found a house to rent, and I moved out. I have been filled with gratitude for over 60 years for their warmth and generosity in sharing their home and their life with me.

1967 + 1973 - Art Engoron, Dan Engoron, Sara Weiss Danzi Engoron

L-R - Sara, Art, Dan - February 25, 2024

1974 - David Lebowitz - Deceased

Writes Joel Harris (1972) - “I am so sorry to hear about the passing of David Lebowitz.  His brother Bruce Lebowitz (1972) and I graduated together, and Bruce was an usher at my wedding.  While David and I were not close friends, I certainly knew him and remember all the time we spent together during the 'Wheatley Years.'   R.I.P. David. ‘May your memory always be a blessing.’”

1972 and 1974 - Glenn Monk and Elyse Rame Beyer

L-R - Elyse’s husband Mark Goldberg, Elyse, Glenn’s wife Sue, Glenn

Fan Mail

1960 (Renee Gershen Nadel) - “Hi Art, Thanks for all the wonderful messages and memories. I appreciate how long you’ve been doing this.”

1964 (Elvira “Vivi” Cilmi Kunz) - “Hi Art, Thanks for allowing me to share about and celebrate Peter Witt.”

1965 (Laurie Woods) “Thanks, Art.”

1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - “The Newsletters are alway fun to read. I appreciated the mention by classmate Leslie Buckner Strauss. I still have a hanger from her parents’ store, Buckner’s. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law purchased many, many things from there…..a great store.

1967 (Alane Spielberger Fagin) - “Thanks for curating, editing, and publishing the Wheatley Alumni Newsletter.”

1969 (Gerry Gersh) - “Another good job, Art! 👏👏👏

1970 (Andrea Carlin) - “The Newsletter connects and reminds us of how fortunate we were to have been afforded THE WHEATLEY SCHOOL start in life, which was the springboard that prepared so many of us for further education and impressive contributions to society.”

1972 (Jeffrey Asquith) - “Thanks, Art, for all you do! 🤗

1974 (Elyse Rame Beyer) - “Thank you so much for all you do to keep our Wheatley community in touch.”

1976 (James Joachim) - “Thank you for keeping us all connected and well-informed. Our teachers and friends are very special.”

1979 (Brian Napack) - “Thanks for driving the Wildcat Newsletter.”

1988 (Pete Mamais) - “Hello Art, Every one of your newsletters is better than the last. Thank you for keeping the Wheatley community connected. Your newsletters are very thoughtful, compassionate and informative, a breath of fresh air nowadays. All the best and continued health, happiness, and success to you, my friend. Best regard!”

1989 (Joseph Apicella) - “Thanks for a great read, always.”

2009 (Amanda Hartman Ryan) - “Great edition, Art! Meryl Kivowitz (1974) sounds like she was a wonderful person.”

Unknown (Max) - “My name is Max. I am raising my kids in Roslyn. Came across your newsletter today. It's really nice that you take the time to put this together. I wish someone from my High School would do the same.”

A Friend - “Congratulations on Newsletter #137. I especially enjoyed hearing Robert Hecht's report from Ushering at the Usher Super Bowl (terrific pun). Who would have ever thought that Martha Stewart would emerge as a show-stopping superstar/supermodel in 2024. And it was refreshing to read a story from the Super Bowl that did not reference Taylor Swift!  Your hitchhiking and getting a ride with Ilene Kornblath (1967) story is great. Truth really can be stranger than fiction!”


That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 138.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.


  Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967