November 13, 2022
Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 82.
According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after posting, Newsletter # 81 received 3,089 views, seven likes, and two comments.
Please note that anything underlined is a link-to-a-link or an email address, and anything not is not, because Substack does not allow underlining of anything else.
Writes Christopher Leonardi (1982) - “LinkedIn has a Wheatley School Group: The Wheatley School (East Williston School District). It currently has about 450 members and is a private group. With so many of us spread around the US and elsewhere, I think joining the group would be a good networking opportunity. I know I use several of my other groups to network with on projects or just looking for someone who might have had the same business experience or background to help me work through something. If you are interested please look up the group and ask to join. I am not endorsing the group or its contents, just suggesting that you to check it out.
1979 - Wendy McClure - “My own sweet memories of our principal, Mr Wathey:
Dr. Wills, Choir Director, asked me to sing the National Anthem at our Class of 1979 Graduation Ceremony. At some point during the song I made a mistake— no recollection of what that mistake was— and I interrupted myself while singing to say “excuse me” to the audience. At the end of the ceremony Mr. Wathey approached me and said: “If you make a mistake while performing, never stop and say ‘excuse me,’ just continue on with the performance.” Wise words which I never forgot!
Another sweet memory: Mr. Wathey attended our 1977 Long Island Field Hockey championship game… which we won!! What an excellent leader?! May he Rest In Peace.”
Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 81 Newsletters (and 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 you’ll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material.
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
Stephen Ehre - Still Feisty - Writes Robert Ciullo 1968 - “Good to see that Stephen Ehre is still his feisty self. I will never forget when he brought me into the mind-altering T Group of the late 60’s. It was hard to explain to my parents why I was getting home so late on a school night and what we talked about at those seasons!”
Joan and Klaus Feindler - Accomplished Couple - Writes Edward “Woody” Ryder (1973) - “Thank you for mentioning Klaus Stefan Feindler, the late husband of Mt. Holyoke and Columbia Teachers College alumna Joan Feindler, of blessed memory.
Some 25+ years ago, when my wife, Joyce, was pregnant with our daughter, Joan and Klaus invited us to dinner at their Melville, NY home, the street name of which, “Beaumont,” was the genesis for the name of Klaus' eventual environmental consulting firm.
While we were happily surprised that Joan’s colleague, Aline Desbonnet, was also at the Feindler home for this dinner, and I was in my early 40s at the time, no matter how many times both Madame Feindler and Madame Desbonnet told me to refer to them that night, respectively, as “Joan” and “Aline,” I think I was successful in accommodating that request for about 10 minutes maximum, when I had to turn to them both and tell them "I tried. But I cannot refer to either of you by your first names." I was conditioned to refer to them formally.
After Joan passed away I remained in contact with Klaus for a number of years, particularly when anniversary dates for WWII battles came upon us. Klaus was a unique, charismatic, urbane, and well-read gentleman of the old European school. He could have had military logistical conversations with the likes of Konrad Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle, King Baudouin of Belgium, just as easily as he did with once P.F. Flyer-wearing kids whom he first met through his wife's work on Bacon Road in Old Westbury.
They left behind two stellar daughters: Eve, a psychiatrist here on Long Island; and Lexi, a daughter who lives with her family in the Philadelphia suburbs, having relocated there some years ago from Pelham, NY.”
Joseph McCormack - Remembered by Matt Sanzone (1959) - Writes Matt - “Mr. McCormack was one of my teachers at Wheatley, one of many I will never forget. He loved the football teams and always found time to single me out. I was certainly not alone, because Mr. McCormack, along with many of the other Wheatley faculty, engaged all the athletes.
When I began my teaching career and would sometimes visit Wheatley, I made it a point to see him. So, when I submitted my application for the assistant principal position, he was very supportive. Tom Cautella was the retiring AP and Mike Glennon was the retiring HS Principal, both of whom I knew well. Mike and I were colleagues when he served as the English Dept. Chair at Locust Valley HS. Mr. Cautella took me under his wing and guided me through many rough spots of my rebellious teen years. Although the statute of limitations has long since passed on the hijinks of those years, I’ll still keep them private.
The interview process was exhausting; it included interviews with the high school administration, union representatives, teacher committee (Mr. Goldwasser, Mr. Ouchi, Mr. Pagliaro), parent committee, and a student committee. I made it through and went for a final interview some days later with the superintendent and board. At the time I was a sitting principal in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District, so I was commuting for the interviews. Alas, I came up short and was greatly disappointed. A week later I received the attached letter from Mr. McCormack which was like a life preserver.”
Response to The Essay by Kathleen Ryan Burke (1969) in Newsletter # 81: Writes Gene Razzetti (1961) - “Well and thoughtfully said, Kathleen, except that my brief comment expressed my feelings about ‘Abortion,’ not about ‘Abortion Rights.’”
1962 - Robert (“Bobby” Asbell - Deceased - Writes sister Penny Asbell (1965) - “I’m sorry to let the Wheatley community know that Bobby passed away in July 2020 - a sudden event, likely a heart attack. I miss him greatly, although our family has many fond memories of being together. He was a wonderful uncle to my son and daughter and was beloved by his ophthalmology / retina patients at NYU and the Manhattan Veterans Administration and many classes of residents.”
1964 - Ronald Miller - Hildebrandt’s Report - Writes Ron - “I have to mention Hildebrandt's again. My sister, Sue (1967), and I had lunch there last week, and it still hasn't changed! There is a new owner, Spencer Singer, who is a musician, so we had a pleasant chat, as I am still singing myself.
1965 - Jeffrey Orling - The Old Neighborhood - Writes Jeff - “Art, I am sure I would not recognize anyone now... but I do remember the names and have some memories of those years. I've driven through my old neighborhood... the Country Club... and it is completely unrecognizable. Every house has been completely remodeled to unrecognizable. The Country Club was small houses and all the owners added on to them. I would be surprised if any of the original houses remain without the modifications. I moved away in college and only came back to visit my parents, and when my mother sold the house I never had a reason to go there.
What a wonderful place to grow up! And our schools were great and teachers incredible and so many left an indelible imprint on my life.
1965 - Peter Till (and Art Engoron, 1967) - Smiles
November 7, 2022 - Dinner at Lola Restaurant, Great Neck
1966 - Robert Eastman - Wheatley Wildcats Are Everywhere! - Writes Robert - “I have been in the business of vacation & luxury villa rentals for 30 years. Traveling around the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe has been an incredible way of meeting Wheatley grads in foreign places.
1966 - Gretchen Gersh Whitman - A Night on the Town
L-R - Art Engoron and Gretchen and Gerry (1969) Gersh
1966 - Andrea Ibanez - Remembers Brother Alan Ibanez and Cyrus, 1962, and Darius, 1964, Elahi - Writes Andrea - “I remember Cyrus as very serious, driven, and proud in a good way. In Spanish the word to describe it is “dignidad” rather than “orgullo” a more negative take on pride. English doesn’t quite capture the distinction well.
Darius was at our house most days, such a lovely person and my brother Alan’s best friend. Totally different personalities, but best buds nonetheless. Darius was a really sweet person. I remember that he was on the wrestling team. One Saturday, Al went to confession at the Church of Saint Aidan in Williston Park. Why Saturday? Because you wanted to have the least time between confession and communion on Sunday (so there was little chance of sin in that interval). Al told Darius he needed to stop by the church for a few minutes, sat Darius down in a pew to wait, and just before confession told Darius not to tell anyone he was Muslim. Typical Al joke.”
1966 - Claude Levy - Hanging Out With Art Engoron (1967)
1968 - Sally Felton - Still “Lost” - Writes a classmate - “Sally studied art at the Roslyn School of Painting for several years while attending Wheatley. Upon graduation she attended art school in Philadelphia. Her talents led her to an art study program in Italy, where she met her husband-to-be. After they were married they moved to his native country, Costa Rica, where he is an attorney and she continued her art career . Her parents and younger sister moved to Garden City. Unfortunately I lost contact.”
1968 - David Pinter - Dinner in the Flatiron District
David and Art Engoron (1967) after dinner at Obica Mozzarella Bar, November 10, 2022
David is active in City Parks Foundation:
1970 - Woody Mann - Music Mann Remembered
L-R - Woody Mann, wife Valerie Lettieri Mann, and David Pinter (1968)
Writes David Pinter (1968) - “My dear friend Woody Mann passed away this past January. He was a respected & world renowned musician. This is Mary Flower’s composition in his memory.
Farewell to Woody
Writes Mary Flower - “Here's a little instrumental I wrote dedicated to the memory of a great musician, Woody Mann, friend and inspiration to many. He is greatly missed.”
1971 - John Poulos - First Responder - Writes John - “I spent approximately 60 hours at the WTC the week after the 9/11 attack, and I was a civilian responder that went to Mississippi after Katrina. After seeing things that I never expected to see at those places, I HAD planned to move the company away from the water in Freeport. Five years went by after Katrina and the paranoia about being on the water faded into the rearview.
We had 42 inches of saltwater roll through the building from Sandy, a LOT of injection molding machinery went under. It was pretty wild. We were burned out of the building by a neighbor in 2010 (second time in 14 years), Hurricane Irene put a few inches of water through the building in 2011, right after were finished the smoke damage cleanup from the fire the year before. The Irene cleanup wasn’t as bad as the fire cleanup. And then 14 months after the Irene cleanup, SANDY…
I kid you not, I have been discarding water damaged inventory and machinery from Sandy for the past 2 months. The village came in to deal with the neighbor that keeps burning up and I was told to remove the four 20’ ocean containers behind the building. We tucked a lot of stuff away in those containers in the event NY Rising wanted to have an adjustor examine the loss; they turned out to be a waste but National Grid REALLY helped us out. I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid (I think), so no more 30,000 pound machines in this building.”
1977-1985 - Tracy, Kathleen, Mary, Thomas, Sean, and Megan Dwyer - Mom Gone
Writes Sean Dwyer (1983) - “Art, our mom, Mary Ita Dwyer, passed away on October 19, 2022, after battling lung disease. Mom was not only the proud mother of six Wheatley grads – Tracy (‘77), Kathleen (‘78), Mary (‘80), Thomas (‘82), Sean (‘83) and Megan (‘85) – but she was also a legendary teacher at North Side. Many Wheatley graduates passed through her doors at some point in their educational journey. And many of them have reached out to our family with stories and remembrances about what an exceptional teacher and mentor she was. It gives us great comfort to know she enriched so many lives.
Our mom was a force to be reckoned with. Teacher. Vice President of the Teacher’s Union. Democratic Party leader. And retirement did not stop her. She became a world traveler and then found her new home on Shelter Island and went right to work organizing and strengthening the Democratic Party there. Then she created what became the crowning achievement in her educational career: a creative writing program- 2 Rs 4 Fun – that pairs Shelter Island 3rd and 4th graders with retired senior mentors. The program promotes the development of originality of thought and its expression in children’s writing and encourages kids to think of themselves as ‘authors and writers.’
Our mom always said you have to take the bitter with the batter. The pain we feel as a family is far outweighed by the luscious batter our mom created. The love she gave. The kids she raised. The incredible husband and father she loved so deeply. The way she lit up a room. The way she guided us all by example to be better human beings. She led a life that touched and inspired so many others. We loved her beyond words and we will miss her every day of our lives.
1979 - Laura Abrams Emert - An Equestrian Tale
Writes Laura - “Hi Art, I feel compelled to share my story now rather than have my obituary reported in your newsletter! I went through North Side School, Willets Road School, and The Wheatley School almost always doodling pictures of horses and probably creating horses for almost every art assignment we were asked to complete. I distinctly remember a fourth grade art project where I made a clay horse that was later fired in the kiln at North Side, it was very cool. While I did have the opportunity to take a set of two group riding lessons at a stable in Glen Head/Glen Cove around age 11, riding wasn’t an activity my parents were willing to keep me active in. I even spent a day at Roosevelt Raceway around age 14 grooming horses, but my parents weren’t willing to drive me back and forth to the track to do this on a regular basis. After graduating Wheatley my horse endeavors were placed on a back burner for many years. However, as the saying goes, dreams do come true. After starting riding lessons again in 2019 I bought my first horse in July 2021. It’s funny that I still feel as passionate about horses now as I did as a child, despite the occasional spills. I look forward hopefully to enjoying many more years with my horse, Primoroso. I ride here on Long Island and in Ocala, Florida.
Faculty (Steve Ehre) - “Art, Thanks for all you do. ‘Objectively’ speaking, you do a great job!”
Faculty (Patricia Mathews) - ❤️
1962 (Nancy Newman) - “Once again, many thanks for the newsletter. It’s fascinating to hear about my classmates’ current lives when I can still picture them so vividly at age 6 or 10 or 16! “
1963 (Keith Aufhauser) - ❤️
1963 (Martin Kay) - “AFE, Thanks, Marty”
1965 (Penny Asbell) - “A special shout out to you, Art, and our webmaster, Keith, for the Wheatley newsletter- thanks for all the information and photos.”
1965 (Ike Evans) - “Hi Art - As always, I enjoyed reading up on all the Wheatley news. Thanks for all you do!”
1965 (Jeffrey Orling) - “Thanks once again for these emails... My memories are fading and it's a hoot to have you spark one from my Wheatley days... and to learn about classmates from more than half a century ago. You're doing a great thing with these emails!”
1966 (Robert Eastman) - “I love reading the newsletter and thank you for your efforts!”❤️
1966 (Andrea Ibanez) - “This newsletter is unique in so many ways. Madame Feindler - beloved French teacher. Dr. Wathey - wonderful leader and kind man.” Keep it going!”
1967 (Robert M. Jacobs) - “Hi Art, Thanks for all you do to keep everyone connected. Wheatley was a special place that made great contributions with many talented graduates. Tough to appreciate as we went through it, but results speak volumes. Keep up the good work!”
1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - “I always enjoy reading the Newsletter. It brings back many memories of so many people that passed through my life, and funny brash things I did. Bob and I even named our first dog, a sheepdog, after Assistant Principal Colin Bentley 😉.”
1969 (Bill Kirchick) - “Great Newsletter, as always.”
1970 (Barry Lipsky) - “I enjoy reading the Wheatley Alumni Newsletter and catching up with friends and acquaintances.”
1971 (John Poulos) - “Thank you very much for your efforts to keep us all connected and for the time that you put into these newsletters; it’s nice to hear about all of the people that I knew a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.”
1971 (Danny Reich) - “Great job as always.”
1972 (Susan French Congero) - “I still read your newsletters, some sad, some good. Keep up the good work.”
1974 (Donna Baldassin Light) - ❤️
1974 (Michael Marazzo, Jr.) - “Thank you so very much”❤️
1975 (Amy Rothbaum Patalano) - ❤️
1979 (Laura Abrams Emert) - “Thanks for your excellent newsletter and the opportunity to share.”
1981 (Peter Weiss) - ❤️
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 82. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967