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Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,

 

Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 60:

 

Reminder: Please use artengoron@gmail.com or 646-872-4833 to reach me.  I'll continue to check my AOL accounts, but they constantly underperform.  If you haven't in longer than you can remember, please check the Lost List, http://wheatleyalumni.org/Lost/Lost%20List.html, to help us Find¨ people.

 

 

The Usual Words of Wisdom

 

Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 59 Newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at http://www.wheatleyalumni.org/  Also thanks to Keith is our handy-dandy, super-duper search feature, prominently displayed on our home page: type in a word or phrase (such as your name) and, voila, you'll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material.  Amazing!

 

Meanwhile, if you are completely uninterested in Wheatley matters, please ask me to remove you from our distribution list.

 

I edit all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof.  I do not have a fact-checking department, and I do not vouch for the accuracy of what people tell me, although occasionally I correct obvious errors or refuse to publish blatant falsehoods. 

 

If you send me anything, please indicate whether I can publish it and/or your contact information.  Scores of alumni email addresses can be found on the Wheatley Public Directory, http://wheatleyalumni.org/PublicDirectory.htm

 

I welcome any and all text and photos relevant to The Wheatley School and the people who administered, taught, worked and/or studied there.

 

 

Public Service Announcements

 

Major Brouhaha Over Student's Speech at Wheatley Commencement, June 20, 2021

Writes Art Engoron (1967): A major brouhaha has erupted (and by now possibly calmed down somewhat) over a few words that graduating senior Huda Ayaz, one of three student speakers, said during her recent commencement address. The full sentence was: Educate yourself about international dilemmas, including the ethnic cleansings of Palestinians and Uighur Muslims.¨ Some students and parents were upset and/or offended, and some apparently accosted Ms. Ayaz immediately after the ceremony.  Principal Feeney, who was sent draft and final versions of the speech but apparently did not notice the words in question, sent an email to the community apologizing for the speech.  Huda (and/or her family) is now suing the school and members of the administration.

 

I do not want to get in the middle of this hot potato (how's that for a mixed metaphor?), and I don't have the time to sort through all the material I have received.  Instead, I'll publish somewhat helter-skelter links (to articles) and commentary.  I'll start by publishing a link to a video condemning the speech (click anywhere within the blue wording below; remember to click on the arrow and to unmute¨), followed by an essay supporting Huda's right to speak her mind.

 

 

For the Prosecution:

A student speaks at @WheatleySchool Graduation event & slips in an #antisemitic claim about #Palestinian Ethnic Cleansing¨. #Jewish students are horrified. The school apologizes & comes under attack for doing the right thing! Let us all #SpeakUp & CALL OUT the LIES! StandWithUs The AntiSemitism Watch (The ASW) Campaign Against Antisemitism Combat AntiSemitism ADL - Anti-Defamation League Hasbara Fellowships Fuel For Truth CLUBZ StopAntisemitism

 

 

For the Defense

Student delivered graduation speeches tend to be boilerplate blather. Speakers are usually selected because of their high grades rather than oratory skills. Staff work with students to hone the speech into the expected form and message V Our high school years were great, we overcome difficulties, and now we move on to new challenges. Congratulations Class of 2021.¨ The system broke down last week at one Long Island, New York school because of a very brave young woman who delivered a real heartfelt speech. She should have been congratulated, instead she was allowed to be attacked by people in the audience and was abandoned by educators who should have defended her.

Huda Ayaz, a seventeen-year old young woman of Pakistani descent who wears a religious head covering, was one of three students chosen from among the 147 graduating seniors to deliver a graduation speech at Wheatley High School in East Williston, New York this year. Ayaz followed established procedures, a preliminary draft of her speech was approved by school administrators, she understood she was permitted to make changes if she wished, and she submitted a final version to the school's principal via email for approval. The principal later acknowledged he had not carefully read the updated version before sending Ayaz an email confirming receipt.

At graduation, Ayaz delivered the final version of the speech she had emailed to the principal as required. In her speech, Ayaz encouraged her fellow students to Speak for those who don't have a voice, and stand up for any injustice that you see. Educate yourself about international dilemmas, including the ethnic cleansings of Palestinians and Uighur Muslims. Families are continuously torn apart, and real human lives are being lost but ignored.¨

Educate yourself and advocate for others seems a perfectly appropriate message for a high school graduation. Ayaz highlighted two incidences recently in the news that most concerned her as a Muslim and as an American. No nation, religion, or ethnicity was singled out for condemnation.

No one got up to defend Ayaz when she was booed from the audience as she received her diploma, although one rowdy person, presumably a parent, was escorted from the campus. No one in authority addressed the crowd valuing Ayaz's moral challenge to students or defending her right to her views. According to her attorney, Ayaz was later verbally accosted after the ceremony ended and security guards had to restrain the individuals.

Instead of publicly defending Huda Ayaz and freedom of speech and thanking her for challenging students to educate themselves on international issues and act appropriately, the school principal sent out an email to people who attended the graduation apologizing for the content of Ayaz's speech.

I apologize that such a wonderful ceremony became marred for many people in attendance due to those remarks. As an institution of learning, we will take what happened today and strive to make further sure our students understand the lessons we seek to teach above regarding time, place, openness and appropriateness.¨

The superintendent of the East Williston School District also sent an email stating There was a very upsetting moment during the graduation ceremony when a student speaker inappropriately inserted political speech into a graduation address.¨ The superintendent promised to take necessary steps to prevent such an upsetting occurrence ever happening again.¨

But wasn't Huda Ayaz's speech what school is supposed to be about? Wasn't Huda Ayaz doing exactly what she was taught to do: think critically, marshal arguments supported by evidence, take a clear moral stand, and act based on her beliefs. Is learning supposed to be turned off at graduation ceremonies?

I also need to ask, would the response to Ayaz's speech have been different if she asked the graduates to educate themselves about the rising tide of anti-Semitism and anti-Asian attacks in the United States? Would that have been considered too political?

Ahmed M. Mohamed, legal director for the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and a lawyer for the Ayaz family, charged, The school just abdicated their role in protecting the student. They threw this child, 17-years-old, under the bus, and in essence said, "We're not going to protect you. We're going to look out for ourselves, you're out on your own." Both Huda and her father had to receive medical treatment at a hospital after the graduation ceremony because of anxiety.

I agree with Ahmed Mohamed. Not only does the East Williston School District owe Huda Ayaz an apology, but it owes the entire graduating class an apology for not standing up for the democratic values it taught them about during their school careers.¨

 

 

Miscellaneous Links

https://theislandnow.com/featured/wheatley-grads-speech-met-with-backlash-from-administrators-parents/

 

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/graduations/wheatley-school-graduation-incident-1.50288374?utm_source=appshare

 

https://www.cair.com/press_releases/breaking-cair-ny-condemns-islamophobic-anti-palestinian-anti-immigrant-incidents-targeting-muslim-family-at-the-wheatley-school-graduation-westandwithhuda/

 

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2021/6/23/2036679/--Go-back-to-Pakistan-New-York-parents-harass-Muslim-student-and-family-after-graduation-speech?detail=emaildkre

 

 

Miscellaneous Comments

 

While there's plenty of reason to find fault with the Wheatley and district administration in this incident, as well as with at least two parents, the press reports do not appear to be a fair characterization of what happened.  You can watch Ms. Ayaz's speech on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMAotNdfCsg) -- where you'll hear there was no audible booing either during or after the speech, and a respectable amount of applause and an enthusiastic whoop afterwards.

 

Of course, harassment by even one parent should not have been tolerated, and the craven attempt to shift blame by Principal Feeney -- whose first priority should have been to support the right of a student to express a considered personal view and to decry any attempt to stigmatize her -- should not have been let stand by the district.  If he had, perhaps the story would have been how the Wheatley community stood up for diversity and free inquiry even in the face of a few people who had trouble hearing that message.

 

 

--Steve Roselaren

who was Steve Rosenthal (class of 67) until he had the honor and pleasure of marrying Heather McLaren in 1989

 

 

Responds Rich Weissman, 1972 : Wow. This does not speak well for Wheatley.  I searched for the incident and see that yesterday it was reported on ABC news and in Newsday. This is the kind of story that may be picked up in other outlets over the upcoming week.¨

 

 

Writes a 20th Century Wheatley graduate - How do the alumni feel about this?  I'm truly upset and I know for a fact that I and my husband would have stood up at that line in her speech and cried False.¨ I'm so sad that this was at my alma mater.

 

 

Another grad writes : Anyone who has read a newspaper account of an event they attended knows that the report is never totally accurate and complete.  * * *  Nothing excuses the ethnic and religious slurs, the bullying. These have to be addressed and eliminated immediately, and an apology offered.  It will take time and the efforts of many good people to heal the wounds.  So disappointing that this happened at Wheatley.

 

 

From another grad : Here is an open letter to Huda Ayaz.

                So Huda has a right to express her feelings but those that don't agree with her should just shut up, huh?  Well, now that she has finished being educated in one of the finest primary and high school systems in the entire WORLD, perhaps she should move to the Gaza Strip to get her college education at the school of hard knocks.  She can become a member of Hamas and learn all of the skills it take to become a suicide bomber and kill Israelis' indiscriminately.  Or if she has good technical skills she can attend classes in missile building and perhaps perfect a missile that will be very accurate in killing Israeli Civilians.  She should go fight for what she believes instead of whining about it at a High School Commencement.

 

                My High School Commencement at The Wheatley School was 50 years ago.  Want to complain Huda?  Try dealing with the GREAT LBJ sending over 60 THOUSAND young Americans to their death in Vietnam because LBJ didn't want to lose face.¨  Who was to Blame for the deaths? A crooked politician that was making a profit on munitions that Texas Instruments had parts in.  Who is to blame for the nightmare of the Palestinians?  A crooked politician, Yasser Arafat who died with hundreds of millions in Swiss bank accounts after years of doing NOTHING for the Palestinian cause.  Think that Hamas is the answer?  You better think again.  Nothing like Iran vowing to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and using proxy pawns (Hamas and Fatah) to do the job.  So, if incendiary balloons and homemade missiles were falling in Albertson, East Williston, Mineola, Old Westbury and The Roslyn Country Club area, you would sit on your hands Huda?  I rather doubt it, if you were smart enough to be a WHEATLEY commencement speaker.  Go ahead, tell me I'm wrong.

 Yours Truly

 John Poulos

 Atlantic M & D, Inc.

23 Hanse Avenue

Freeport, NY 11520

(516) 377-8787

 

Finally, Ilene Schuss, Wheatley faculty, Social Studies Dept., writes, in a more general vein, as follows:  When Social Studies teachers stop teaching their warped agendas to our kids, maybe then we'll not see students making such statements, as they'll know the real truth, not what these left wing liberals want them to believe.  I'm encountering arguments in most young adults I meet who are Jewish, because the "critical lens" they are supposedly taught in school is designed to distort things.  For years, I know Hadassah has had a "text book watch" to help identify cases where these influencing books are heavily slanted against Israel, even printing maps without her.

 

 

 

Wheatley Principal Sean Feeney

Writes Paul Hennessy (1960) : I thought you'd be interested in comments from Wheatley's excellent principal, Sean Feeney, on the influence of educators including former principals Boyan & Wathey in helping to shape youthful values.  Sean grew up in Newton, MA where I live, and he attended the same high school (Newton North) as my son & daughter.  He was an outstanding miler & cross-country runner back in the day and a true believer in the value of team sport participation.  Good to hear that Wheatley has kept as normal a schedule as possible during the pandemic.

 

Writes Principal Feeney :I am on Art's mailing list, so I do get the newsletter every month.  I read the article you wrote regarding your participation in three sports teams. Those are some remarkable stories, Paul!  The value of team sports cannot be overstated; they add so much to one's high school experience.  These have been strange times for our students in school.  I am proud to say that Wheatley has been open for all students every day since the beginning of September 2020. This has created as much of a sense of "normalcy" as possible during this pandemic.

 

Note: Paul had previously written of the value of high school, particularly sports, as follows:

 

--the educational influence Wheatley educators (administrators, teachers, coaches) had on students--especially lessons about gracefully winning and losing (behavior I noticed sadly lacking in some national "leaders").

 

--the "small unit leadership" skills instilled by our inspirational coaches that contributed to work experiences, careers, families, and lifetime friendships.

 

--and finally, the empathy some of us old-time alums who enjoyed Wheatley in relatively halcyon times feel for current students, whose experience is so limited by the pandemic.  Our payer for them--and the world--is the soonest possible return to something like the youthful normalcy we enjoyed.

 

 

Wheatley Former Principal Walter Wesley (Wes¨) Wathey : Sailing Along

Mr. Wathey turned 97 on Friday, June 18, 2021.  His wife, Joan, is also in her 90s, and they have been married for more than 70 years (72, to be exact, I think), which Mr. Wathey said, in our semi-annual telephone call, Must be some kind of record.¨  He mentioned again how proud he is of the interesting and successful lives so many graduates have led and are leading.

 

Writes Gene Razzetti (1961) -  We can't say enough good things about Mr. Wathey, and (for that matter) the rest of the amazing teachers and coaches that made Wheatley the Gold Standard - from the very beginning.  I guess I was in Vietnam when those morons decided not to salute the American Flag.¨

 

Writes Elvira Vivi¨ Cilmi Kunz (1964) :Mr. Wathey was not only my principal and summer employer, he inspired me to go into teaching.  ¥Thank you, Mr. Wathey.  I'm retiring this year after almost 50 years of teaching.'¨

 

Writes Ken Gallard (1968) :Mr. Wathey certainly served his time for the benefit of us all.  So many of us really revered the guy--and truly cared about him as an individual.  Gratitude to him for making much of our experience the level of quality it was.

 

 

The Passing of Legendary Wheatley Teacher Robert J. (Bullet Bob¨) Bernstein

 

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The Nassau County Bar Association honoring Bob Bernstein (back row, slightly left of center, dark suit, white shirt) at a ceremony in Mineola.  On the far left is Bob's sister-in-law Sandy.  On the far right are Andy Wilkins, 1969, and his wife.

 

 

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Bob and Andy (R-L) at the Event

 

Writes Andrew Wilkins, 1969 :Dear Art, It is with profound sadness that I inform you of the passing of Bob Bullet¨ Bernstein Tuesday, May 18th.  Bob was my closest and best friend.  Our friendship transcended more then 53 years.  Bob was my Social Studies teacher his first year at Wheatley, in 1968, and we were able to build an incredible friendship going forward together.   Bob had been experiencing some health issues on and off over the last six months and I was actually on my way up from Florida for a scheduled visit to spend time together.  Unfortunately, when I got off the plane I was informed of the bad news.  Over the course of Bob's long teaching career, it is impossible to measure the impact he had on his students and fellow teachers.  From his early involvement in School Within a School to his long time coaching of the Mock Trial team, Bob's contribution to Wheatley is unparalleled.  Bob's loss to me is unimaginable.  I will miss him terribly, as will all those he touched inside and outside of the Wheatley community.  Andy

 

PS:  Bob's loss hit me hard.  I do have the wonderful memories to fall back on.  The pictures above are among many of Bob and myself.

 

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/newsday/name/robert-bernstein-obituary?pid=198759404


The Family of Robert J. Bernstein announces with great sorrow his passing.


If you would like to make a gift In Bob's honor, you might consider the EWTA Scholarship Foundation.


A check can be sent to the
The EWTA Scholarship Foundation
Á Pat Clarke
11 Bacon Road
Old Westbury, NY 11568

There is also a Hofstra scholarship being created in Bob's name.  The interest will go toward financial support for Hofstra's students.  If you would like to make a gift to the Hofstra scholarship, please contact

Benjamin Vogt
Executive Director for Major Gifts
101c Hofstra Hall
101 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
(516) 463-6199 - business
(516) 463-4561 : fax

 

 

Class of 1960 : Seventh Reunion Since Their 50th

The festivities begin the afternoon of Tuesday, October 12, 2021, on the North Fork of Long Island.  Contact Class Activist Ken Martin at KEMLKC@CFL.RR.COM.

 

 

The Passing of Lester Wolff

Lester had been the oldest living former member of the House of Representatives.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/12/us/lester-l-wolff-influential-former-congressman-dies-at-102.html

 

Writes Carl Wirth (1967) - Art, I just finished reading Lester Wolff's obituary in Thursday's New York Times.  His successful 1964 campaign for congress was the first campaign on which many politically-minded Wildcats worked.

 

 

Articles About the 1960s Pledge of Allegiance Brouhaha

Writes Kenny Lang (1967) : My wife and I are giving up our townhouse in NY and will be spending half the year in Florida and the other half in Ohio where our younger son lives.  We have a grand-daughter in Florida and another in Ohio and feel it's time to make the move before we get much older.  In the process we are clearing out a lot of stuff and I came across the attached newspaper articles you might find interesting. They refer to the pledge of allegiance brouhaha that occurred while we were at Wheatley. 

 

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Faculty

 

Steve Ehre : Wheatley's School Within A School

In response to Laurie Senz '75.  The letter you published came about after we had an enormous number of students enter the School Within a School¨ in one year.  We were up to almost 40% of the high school students.  We were still having other teachers from other disciplines ad hoc teaching in the program.  That went away the next year.  Karen Bartscherer, part -time, and Peggy Meisel, 80%, stayed on, plus a new teacher, Jim O'Brien (Physical ed, and later Assistant Principal). Only Stu Doig, Ted Tchack and I remained full time SWS teachers (although Stu and I were technically only 3/5ths).  Even with the problems, it was a great learning experience for most students.  But that year, too many were testing the limits of what they could get away with, particularly a group of male students. Not only were courses suffering with lack of attendance, but the Wednesday Community Building Days were getting hard to keep organized. 

 

In order to stop our growth, Mr. Ouchi pushed the Administration to limit our recruiting students by using only a one-page summary of our program (we had been giving out a pamphlet which included a course directory).  That didn't stop our success, so in two (or 3) years the Administration limited us to 25 new students per grade.  I think Peggy had left, and Wes Berkowitz and one other person (a woman named Marsha¨) were our guidance counselors then.  There were a lot of very angry parents and upset students.  For me personally, they were great years, especially as I started to offer a course called Seminar.¨  Some of the books we read over the years: David Halberstam: The Best and The Brightest; Theodore White: The Making Of the President 1960; Theodore White: The History Of the Presidency; J.K. Galbraith: The New Industrial State; Charles Silberman: Criminal Justice and Criminal Violence.  The list goes onKgreat works.  I LOVED teaching that course and I know students also got a lot out of those books; they told me so later in life.

 

There was always one big over-riding problem with the program.  In the beginning and for all the time I was at Wheatley, SWS attracted students from predominately one area (Roslyn Heights), and one religious group (Jewish).  As the person in charge, I tried so hard to expand its reach but with limited success (but with the help of some very brave students from outside those two communities).  We never knew if it was the parents, or students or a combination that stopped other groups from joining, but it was a major failure, in my opinion.

 

Jerry Mintz, 1961, Comments on the SWS:  I think that SWS was one of the most significant examples of a democratic public alternative. Someone once told me that it was inspired by the democratic alternative that I had started in 1968. 

 

I was also told that when it got up to 40% of Wheatley's students, as Steve Ehre noted, that the administration and some teachers didn't like that and managed to limit its numbers. 

 

It was interesting to note Steve's comments about its limited demographic.  But what if it was allowed to grow and became the philosophy of the whole school.  Then it would have become inclusive.  There are a couple of examples of this in other parts of the country.  Those schools are thriving to this day.  But unfortunately this didn't happen at Wheatley.  SWS became more of a token and has remained so.  But I am happy it still exists.  There once were other similar schools in this area, such as in Roslyn, but they no longer exist.  There are other SWS programs in other parts of the country, such as SWS at Brookline High School in Massachusetts. 

 

 

Graduates

 

1958: Steve Nelson - Another Great Book

Writes Art Engoron (1967):  Steve was the valedictorian and the youngest member of Wheatley's first graduating class.  Following up on his recent memoir about the Sixties, ¥Gettin' Home,' he has written another fun, informative book, titled Homo Electric: How Coronavirus, Social Media and Climate Change Are Accelerating Evolution of a Dynamic New Human Species¨ (available on Amazon).  It puts several major current issues into the context of evolution, which he argues is being driven by electricity to take us beyond Homo sapiens.  If you think you know evolution from what you may have learned in science class at Wheatley (or college for that matter), his book will open your eyes to new ideas.  I particularly liked the sections on the evolution of computers, and on the role of music and dance in evolution.¨

 

For the flavor of his writing, check out his recent column at https://www.berkshireeagle.com/opinion/columnists/steve-nelson-coronavirus-electricity-and-human-evolution/article_ae131c66-b41a-11eb-9d59-3b2b268a069c.html.

 

 

1960 - Jay Cummings : A View from the Right

Writes Jay :All I remember during my high school years it was all about patriotism and romance.  I am a conservative Jew and very proud of it.  I speak truth and common sense and have much wisdom.  I write on politics, our youth and have been published.  The only backlash I received was just one and that was from an anti-Semite.  Our youth is our future and what I see now in academia doesn't bode well for the future of the Country we love.  I see our youth being indoctrinated into thinking what they are told to think now how to think with different opinions and choices.  I think the Ivy League schools are the most dangerous places in America for the reasons I mentioned.  If Wheatley is going the way of woke critical race theory, cancel culture and the approval of ripping down our history, then I am finished being a proud Wheatley alumni.  Commencement is supposed to celebrate a milestone, not have someone who hates America and Israel give a political speech.¨

 

 

1960 - Lynn Haussermann Allman - Deceased

Not confirmed by an on-line obituary, but heard from a reliable source.  Leaves behind sisters Joan Haussermann Hessemer, 1963, and Patricia Haussermann Klimas, 1966.

 

 

1964 :Girls¨ in the Garden : Meryl Moritz, Marilyn Bardo, Nancy Gittleson Hodson

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Writes Marilyn :Normally the three of us get together a few times a year, but until the latest get-together we hadn't seen each other in 2 years.  So here is a picture of Meryl Moritz, Marilyn Bardo, and Nancy Gittleson Hodson at the NY Botanical Garden.  Needless to say, it was a joyful reunion!¨

 

 

1966 - Neal Kirby : Captain America in the Modern Age

Writes Neal :After the terrible insurrection on Jan. 6, my wife pointed out a picture of some wacko inside the Capitol holding a Captain America shield.  As my father co-created Capt. America in 1941 with his then partner, Joe Simon, I was pretty pissed.  By today's standards, my father would be considered a pretty progressive Democrat, and he would have been incensed seeing a symbol of his character used in the insurrection.  Jake Tapper of CNN is a fan of my fathers', and we've shared a few emails back and forth.  So, I wrote up a statement concerning the incident and asked if he would post it on his Twitter, which has a couple of million followers.

Figured it was worth a shot.  Well, he was very gracious and posted it (link below), and it went nuts!  They even put it up for a few hours.

https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/1349553898172928002?lang=en

 

I enjoyed reading Steve Ehre's piece.  I had him either as a junior or senior, and I really enjoyed his class.  I remember that

Nassau County had this day¨ where they had students chosen by their Social Studies teachers take over¨ county government.  Steve (guess I can call him that now) asked me if I wanted to participate, and I wound up Warden for the Day.¨  Had a great tour of the county jail!  I think I was in my twenties when I finally realized that all the women seated in the lobby were hookers. They whisked me through pretty quickly!  He probably won't remember, but please pass on my regards next time talk with him.

 

 

1967 - Art Engoron - Not Exactly Photogenic

 

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With my court staff at Pepolino in Soho

 

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With my boys night out¨ buddies at the Palm on West 50th Street

 

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With my summer staff

 

 

1967 - Joanne Gordon Sampson : Facebook Obituary

Joanne Sampson (née Gordon) died peacefully at Connecticut Hospice on April 24, 2020, in Branford, Connecticut, at the age of 71.  Joanne is survived by her daughter Rachel (Berlin/NYC), her son Matt, daughter-in-law Nicole, and grandchildren Stone and Lily (Brookline, MA), sister Mimi (Medford, MA), and nephew Joshua Gordon-Rachman (Chittenango, NY).  She was preceded in death by her parents Gus and Addy Gordon (Roslyn Heights, NY) and sister Leonore Gordon (Brooklyn, NY).


Joanne was born on March 12, 1949, in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Roslyn Heights.  She graduated from Colby College in 1971 with a degree in French.  She earned a master's degree in Special Education at NYU in 1972.  After graduation she worked with children with autism at Kings Park State Hospital on Long Island, and then moved to Boston in 1973, where she married and worked in the Boston Public School system.  Over an action-packed 14 months in 1978-80, Joanne welcomed Matt and Rachel into the family and set about nurturing them in the Jewish traditions, and in reading and learning in general.  In 1981 the family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut.  During her 40 years in Norwalk, Joanne worked as an early childhood educator in a number of Jewish institutions, including Temple Shalom and the Conservative Synagogue in Westport, CT.


Her children remember her as a caring, silly, and generous mother who encouraged them to pursue their goals, championing them at every turn.  She was a devoted mother first and foremost and dedicated to her grandchildren and grandpets.  She was admired by friends, family, and community members alike for her extremely loyal, patient, and compassionate spirit, always ready to give with her heart, her time, and her words.  She was a fierce advocate for social justice, and often volunteered across Fairfield County for causes in which she believed.  Joanne was an accomplished baker, her sour cream coffee cake and honey cake eagerly anticipated at holiday meals.  She was an active member of Temple Shalom in Norwalk, CT.


In this time of COVID19, an intimate Zoom funeral officiated by Rabbi Cantor Shirah Lipson has already occurred.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Parkinson's Foundation at 
parkinson.org.  Her children would like to specifically thank Dr. Ebony Dix (Yale University) for devoting a huge part of her head and heart toward their mom's care in the last months of her life.

 

 

1967 : Carl Wirth-V Political Memories

Writes Carl :Where we lucky to attend Wheatley, where we were given the opportunity to understand politics first hand?  I remember a group of us went and protested at the opening of the 1964 World's Fair to promote more jobs/better jobs for Negroes (now it's Black Lives Matter), or how each Social Studies class sent two delegates to either the UPD or EGO convention, and as candidates for GO President we (you and me) had to address each class for their delegate vote, and our senior year we had a Republocrat Convention for President in 1968.  As GO President I got to give the keynote address...And in '64 most of our classmates favored LBJ over Goldwater (LBJ was the peace candidate), but by the time we were in college, we were out protesting against him. So many of us were young Liberals, gosh I hope none became Trumpsters...I think of my own political activism here in Nebraska, and 90% of the time I've been on the losing side, but I know my political roots from what I learned at Wheatley.

 

I remember attending a Lester Wolff rally in Great Neck and the surprise visit by Bobby Kennedy, and while many whole-heartedly supported Wolff, there were some people supporting Ken Keating, a Republican who turned his back on Goldwater, and the Williston Park Republican club endorsed the Conservative Party candidate for Senator (Henry Pulucci, a poli sci prof at St. John'sK..some things never seem to change...Ah, the memories of a 72-year-old geezer...Carl

 

 

1967 - Corinne Zebrowski Kaufman and Amy Pastarnack Hughes at Buckram Stables Café, Locust Valley, NY

 

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1970 - Michael Stedman: Remembered K..and Now Written About

Writes Classmate Paul Seeth :Some of your readers might be interested in this new book about the sinking of the fishing vessel Wind Blown,¨ resulting in the death of Captain Mike Stedman and his 3 crewmembers. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HFdpCgZgnQo

Writes Art Engoron : Even though Mike was three years younger than me, we were both members of the 1967 Wheatley School Physical Fitness Team.  At a meet in Van Cortland Park in the Bronx we came in Second in the Metropolitan Area (to Carle Place); and at a meet in Virginia, we came in Fifth in the Nation (Carle Place came in first).  (All of which might sound more impressive than it was; under the guidance of Mr. Irwin August, we trained for months, whereas some of our competitors said they were taking the test¨ for the first time).

 

 

1971 : Brave Members of the Class of 1971 at Wheatley's 60th Anniversary Celebration : October 15, 2016

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1971 : Diane Sharrock Moretti : Brother Glenn at Willets Road

 

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Writes Diane :Art, This is a 7th grade class photo from the Willets Road School for the school year 1952-1953.  

 

My understanding is that this class could have opted to attend Wheatley High, but it would have been for just their senior year of high school. If I am wrong, kindly disregard! My brother opted to stay where he was, at Mineola High. 

 

My brother, Glenn Sharrock, is the tallest student standing at the back of the room, between the two boys wearing white shirts. He was born in 1940, so these students are all approximately at age 80. 

 

 

1973 - Jody Blumberg Coletta : Fun Times In the Neighborhood

Writes Jody :I was in the class of 1973... with my twin sister Laurie (who graduated a year late due to illness).  We lived on Concord Street, around the corner from you and your family K in particular your twin brothers, Danny and Gerry (the same ages as Laurie and me), as well as the whole gang on both sides of Bengeyfield Drive!

   
We were all friends (or friendly): Danny and Gerry were friends of ours, as were the Simels, Richard Semble, Renee Greco, Carol Alt, Carol Leifer, Lisa and Tami Buxbaum, Jeff Kirsch, The Amato Brothers, Jill Shapiro, Marta Balducci, Charlie Nash, Jeff and Leslie and Michael Sinnott, Stuart and Ken Strachan, Anne Canadeo and Frank Acierno, and many others.  My apologies for leaving anyone out.. but I stuck to people on Bengeyfield Drive, Concord Street, and Weeks Road.  We had an awesome group from our neck of the woods.¨  The original North Siders.¨  Our own complex, exciting story... with characters who could likely add as much drama and interest and appeal as any in the great show and then movie, West Side Story¨! Only ours would be Northside Story¨!

 

One more thing.. my Mom.. who passed away not long after high school graduation... still spent 20 plus years in our house on Concord Street (with my Dad), so she knew many of the moms, including your dear mom (Edna), and I remember her being at our home and that my mom liked her very much.  I also remember her as being very nice.  As well, I have a few adorable pictures of Danny and Gerry with my twin and I K quite young, about 6 years old at our house; as I remember, they used to (especially Danny) come over to play.  I hope I can find one (I move a lot but would never throw it out; it is somewhere) and if I do, and Danny and Gerry ¥give the ok,' I can send it to the newsletter if you think anyone would be interested..🤷🏻ð😊 or just for the Engoron family enjoyment!a

 

Anyway, Arthur, such great old memories.  I appreciate that you do this.  I hope it is a labor of love, as it is a warm gift to us.  Tonight, just reading the newsletter, and hearing names from my past, woke up a whole part of my consciousness¨ that was likely asleep.¨


 

And Now, Just for Fun (and Please Do not be Offended)

 [[[Right Click and Choose Play¨]]]

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Fan Mail

 

Faculty (Steven Ehre) :Art: Thanks for continuing this wonderful Newsletter.¨

 

1959 (Matthew Sanzone) :I enjoyed another fine newsletter.¨

 

1961 (James Goldfeder Pahz) :I love what you are doing with the Newsletter.¨

 

1966 (Claude Levy) :Thanks for your latest newsletter.¨

 

1966 (Marta Pesa, Exchange Student) :Thank you, Arthur, for the great job!!  I really enjoy the Newsletters.  It is fantastic to remember good times and experiences.  With gratitude.  Marta A Pesa (AFS) (American Field Service).

 

1967 (Carl Wirth) :Keep up the great work.¨

 

1968 (Richard Horowitz) :Thank you for another wonderful newsletter.  Keep writing them, I enjoy reading them.¨

 

1969 (Sarah (Sookey¨) Rosenberg Aldag) :Thanks for the latest issue; please keep up all of your good work.¨

 

1973 (Jody Blumberg Coletta) :Thank you so much; very enjoyable to see all of this.¨

 

1973 (Gail Gimbel) :Always an enjoyable read.  Great job, again.  Bravo!¨

 

1981 (Joe Light) :Thanks for the newsletter.  I enjoy it and appreciate it.¨

 

 

Closing

That's it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 60.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.

Art

 

Arthur Fredericks Engoron

The Wheatley School Class of 1967

ARTENGORON@GMAIL.COM

WWW.WHEATLEYALUMNI.ORG

646-872-4833

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