Wednesday, February 7, 2018

McKee Senior Trip - 2.7-9.18

Seniors heading off to the Senior Trip at Honor's Haven from Feb. 7 to Feb. 9, 2018. Check it out:

Just received a picture of the students dancing to karaoke on their first night.  I have proof:

Sunday, February 4, 2018

MSIT Hoops Coach Charles Donohue

Kudos and congratulations to Charles Donohue, McKee instructor and Coach of the MSIT varsity basketball team. Check out the article in the Staten Island Advance celebrating Coach Donohue's all time wins. Click here or copy and paste the following link into a web browser:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

PGC at McKee in Fall 2017

McKee instructors, Mr. Scotti and Ms. Curcio stand with the first group involved in Peer Group Connection @McKeeCTHS. Senior mentors take a pix with their freshmen mentees (some camera shy) at the end of the fall semester.

At Councilwoman Rose's State of the District Address

Surrounded by 4 students at Councilwoman Rose's State of the District address held at the Music Hall in Snug Harbor, Staten Island.

Friday, January 19, 2018

McKee Soaring Angels-Ms. McFerren and Ms. Herman

Two claps up to Andrea McFerren (L) & Karen Herman (R) from the Staples store on Forest Ave., Staten Island, who were gracious, beneficent, and professional. They asked & corporate approved a donation of composition books to @McKeeCTHS for teachers to use in their classes and students to capture and convert into interactive notebooks.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Every Thursday - McKee wears College Swag

Every Thursday, @McKeeCTHS staff wear college swag. On 1.11.18 we supported College Awareness Day for middle school students in Brooklyn and Bronx. We promote a college-going culture & encourage students to consider college & career options. Check it out:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2nd & 3rd Place at GNYADA City Competition 2018

Kudos & congratulations to students John Murphy & Kerim Palinko (1st picture)

for winning 2nd place & to Nicholas Davis & Anthony Chaput (2nd picture)

for winning 3rd place at the Greater New York Automotive Dealer's Association Competition (GNYADAfor New York City on January 10, 2018.

I am so proud of these young men. They displayed grace, intelligence, perseverance, and flexible problem solving skills under pressure.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

McKee at Long Island Virtual Enterprise Trade Show

On Monday, January 8, 2018, McKee High School students took part in the Long Island Virtual Enterprise (VE) trade show. McKee VE students set up their booth and began to market their services to Long Island VE firms. While some seniors manned the Kiwitech table, McKee HS juniors went around the event experiencing, selling, and planning for their senior year. With close to 50K in sales, McKee VE students used thier persuasive communication skills to generate revenue. Check it out:

Monday, January 8, 2018

Malcolm Lewis, Class of 2013, Shares His Story

Alumni Day at happened on Friday, January 5, 2018. Over 30 alumni braved the cold and returned to McKee. Check out the story and advice McKee alumnus, Malcolm Lewis, imparted in his workshop sessions. . .

Malcolm Lewis
McKee 2013
NYU Tandon, Class of 2018

Some of the things that McKee taught me that were invaluable were AutoCad, fencing, and providing opportunities for me to accrue community service hours.  I am still shocked that NYU Tandon accepted me and opened received the acceptance letter. I was overjoyed.

The transition from McKee to NYU Tandon was both familiar and challenging.  Familiar because I had AP Language and Composition with Ms. Mullen. I always tell Ms. Mullen to this day, that all the things that we read in the class came up again in my freshman year at college.  I had a better understanding of the wide range of works because I had a second chance to see the different texts.  I earned my first “A” on my first paper in college in the Expository Writing course. When I received the grade, I felt strong: I was lit.  Come at me college. I was ready to express myself on paper.  AP English really helped me with reading and writing: it helped me to eloquently express myself. When I proceeded to other courses in the computer science field, I experienced a reality check.

Being organized was and is the challenge when attending college.  In high school I was able to take 8 classes and sleep.  When I got to college, I had to change everything.  We have more time in the classroom in college yet the demands are greater. In the high school classes, there was a vested interest in engaging the students and then all one had to handle was answering 4-5 questions from a textbook.  In college, one may have to write a program on information one has not mastered. In high school you had 30-40 students in a class. In college, there are at least 80 students in the classroom, until students start dropping out. These type of courses are called filter courses. The college is purposely weeding students out who do not have the perseverance, drive or are not serious about their education.

Let’s look at one course that I took: Python, the introduction computer science course. In college, the professor was not interested in establishing a connection with students. You, the student, were supposed reach out to the teaching assistants and ask for support. The professor tried to teach a complex subject in 2 hours, twice a week. The teaching assistants were sweet but not entirely helpful. They did not quite understand what the professor wanted them to do. The labs were extremely difficult. The wanted us to learn a great deal in one 4 four lab period. The responsibility was solely on the students to master the content in order to achieve a grade that would yield a strong GPA.

The learning curve is super steep in college.  Talking to a professor early is better and will help in your grade because you cannot do it by yourself. I always thought I was smart enough to always go it alone - but no – I realized, I had to humble myself. Realize that everyone needs help and guidance.

Be untraditional. Investigate, experiment, and explore different subjects and activities to discover your passions. Figure out what you do not want to do so that you know yourself.

As for me, in 2018; I have completed four years in electrical engineering. Now I am doing my last year in computer science studies. I want to do diversity, inclusion, and recruitment within tech industries as my career. Look out world – here comes Malcolm Lewis, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Abbas Ghulam, Class of 2017, Shares His Story

Check out Abbas Ghulam, Class of 2017, who stopped by McKee High School on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Abbas Ghulam
McKee Graduate Class of 2017
Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Class of 2019
There are a number of things that helped me to make a smooth transition from high school to Universal Technical Institute (UTI). Both Automotive Technology and Software Engineering were valuable courses. I studied Automotive Technology with Mr. Sarno, and Software Engineering with Mr. Pedersen. From Automotive I learned basic skills and knowledge about vehicles. Since Mr. Sarno set up an internship opportunity with a dealer for 17 months while I was in high school, I was able to use that experience when I arrived at UTI in Exton, Pennsylvania.

Through Mr. Pedersen in Software Engineering, I learned the logic of code, and the breakdown of how codes are created.  I also learned the rationale of why codes do what they do.  This information is needed because when you attend a post-secondary school like UTI, cars use multiple computers. Technicians now need tools and computer skills in order to repair a car. There are typically 50 to 100 computers in a car. In fact, because I am interested in the Porsche Dealership, I know what there may be as many as 300 different computers in that vehicle and that number increases as it is still dependent upon the make and model of the Porsche. 

One of the biggest things that I would advise any senior is to realize the importance of listening to what you want to do rather than what others want you to do after high school.

Do not let life’s changes, such as the death of loved ones, cause you to lose focus. To be honest, loss does hurt. Even I was thinking about being a non-completer because I was devastated by the loss of a niece and nephew who died at such a young age. Thanks to Mr. Pedersen, Mr. Sarno and Ms. Pecora, who saw that I was fading, they interceded. They sat me down and talked to me and showed consistent concern. The lesson that I learned from the talks, keeping that type of pain to yourself does not help. I made the better choice. I stayed in school. I passed my classes. For my post-secondary education path, I chose my passion, which is to be an automotive technician and know the ins and outs of high performance cars like a Porsche. 

You do a lot better when you follow your passion. I am doing extremely well in all of my classes because I love what I am studying and I look forward to what the future brings, particularly as different representatives are scouting me and laying out exciting possibilities.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

McKee at National Geographic's Ocean Odyssey

McKee HS science students explored "The National Geographic Encounter Ocean Odyssey" in NYC on Thursday, December 21, 2017. All were engaged and actively immersed in the wonders of the Pacific Ocean! 

The students felt energized after the exhibit and look forward to learning more about ocean life when we get back to class.

Check it out:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

3 CTE Teachers Participate In A Collaborative Study Group

3 career and tech (CTE) teachers participate in a collaborative study group session @McKeeCTHS in the 10th grade AVID elective class facilitated by Ms. Howley. Check it out:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

McKee AVID Students Thank the Sons of American Legion - Granito Smith Post 1296

McKee's AVID Students thank Commander Charles Navarino and the Sons of American Legion Commander, Anthony J. Navarino, pf the Granito-Smith Post 1296, for their generous donation of more than 200 notebooks. Ms. Curcio , AVID teacher and her students, express their gratitude, explaining how these notebooks become "Interactive notebooks" in their AVID and content area classes.
The students also took this opportunity to thank all their guests for their service the country. Check it out:

PK Kersey Visits McKee's Virtual Enterprise Program

PK Kersey of That Suits You visits the senior Virtual Enterprise program to impart advice about soft skills, crafting polished presentations, and professional attire. Check it out:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Career Day Focus - Auto and Graphics

Career Day at McKee between three (3) schools, McKee, New Dorp, and Tottenville on Tuesday, 12.5.17. Over one hundred students from Auto, and Graphics heard reps from these industries. The day concluded with mock interviews and internship vetting sponsored by Grant Associates.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Designing the experiment in Chemistry

Chemistry students enter phase one of designing an experiment in alignment with Next Generation Learning Standards. Check it out:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A peek at Collaborative Study Groups At McKee

Last Thursday, I entered the junior AVID class and saw the Junior AVID elective teacher facilitating 5 collaborative study groups: and not a one of the groups were covering English.

AVID is Advancement Via Individual Determination. An elective class is one per grade level and functions like an advisory creating opportunities for college trips, and imparting critical thinking, college readiness skills. 

We implemented this program six years ago and it has been a positive impact on the culture, learning environment, and graduation rate of our school.  One of the ways to encourage students to have college aspirations is to expose them to college students as tutors.  That feature has always been problematic as the schedule college students have is almost impossible to align with the needs of a high school student schedule. Luckily the AVID organization put together intensive professional development sessions in which my dedicated team members in AVID students can learn to be self sufficient in creating tutorials. The idea is to have older students tutor younger students.

What is possible is to have two teachers come up with a unique way to have a group of seniors gifted in math facilitate the process of students going through a tutorial. I saw 5 seniors act as tutors (really guides on the side) under the guidance of their teacher from the pre-cal and calculus class and in collaboration with the junior AVID teacher.  I looked at a class of 25 students broken up into 5 groups: 2 focused on Geometry, 2 groused on trigonometry, and 1 focused on Chemistry. 

It was glorious to see how students in their respective groups did 30 second speeches to express their point of confusion and have their peers help them reflect on different resources in order to find their own answers and address their points of confusion.

As I was looking at the junior AVID class, my assistant principal was in the sophomore AVID elective class to see how their collaborative study group was progressing.  The student centered constructivist environment was electrifying:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

3rd place at the Youth Business Summit at Deloitte and Touche, NYC

Who is Paul Matrecano and why is he holding an award?  

Paul Matrecano, Class of 2018, attended a Youth Business Summit. At the summit he participated in two competitions. In one of the competitions, his team won 3rd place in the Youth Business Challenge.

Here’s further information behind the photo on the right. McKee enrolled in Virtual Enterprise (VE) in September 2017. The instructor is Mr. Serrano. To jump start an understanding about the program, Mr. Serrano contacted  Virtual Enterprises, International to find out about competitions.

Select students were invited to the Fall Executive Conference that was held at Deloitte and Touche, NYC this year. The 35 student executives who attended the event had the opportunity to present in the Elevator Pitch Competition + Youth Business Challenge, network, receive insightful feedback from Deloitte judges, and acquired several management and career advice from Steve Gallucci, Deloitte's New York Managing Partner. They had the rare opportunity of meeting Deloitte's CEO, Cathy Engelbert (standing center)!

The students participated in an Elevator Pitch Competition and Youth Business Challenge (Ethics Case Scenario), which were all huge accomplishments. The executives from Deloitte and Touche, NYC were all impressed by the student's preparation and enthusiasm. 

Here's Paul, 3rd from the right, in the picture below, at the conclusion of the judging of the Youth Business Challenge competition:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Congratulations to Jhonny Sinchi, Class of 2018, McKee High School, for his early acceptance into John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

 Jhonny was enrolled in The Bottom Line Success Program, provides a widew array of support to guide students in his/her application to college. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Robotics Club at McKee

Robotics Club (Team 522) coming together to rebuild the team at McKee.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pink on Wednesday

It's really cool to see students support Breast Cancer Awareness month by wearing pink on Wednesdays during the month of October.

Since I am the worst photographer in the world with an iPhone, one of the most user-friendly phones on the planet Earth, I had to quickly get a teacher to take a picture of students as they were leaving the classroom.

It's also cool to see young men embracing pink to show support.

26 Supers at McKee - Oh My!

Monday, October 23rd, was quite exciting. For the first time McKee had 26 superintendents from Arkansas visit the school in the afternoon and toured the CTE programs and academic classrooms.

How did our school come to be selected? It was a strange confluence of circumstances. A professor at Hunter College, Ben Shuldiner, is also an executive officer in the Association of Curriculum Development (ASCD). In his duties, he crisscrosses the nation providing opportunities for supervisors to see different practices in different states.  Mr. Shuldiner happens to know Superintendent Lodico (standing) as they both serve on committees in NYCDOE.

The superintendent's organization in Arkansas wanted to see schools throughout New York City. Supt. Lodico suggested two schools in Staten Island, an elementary school, Principal Miriam Ramones at PS 16, and me at McKee.  The superintendents experienced a slice of New York life - commuting to Staten Island. They took the ferry, and walked up the hill, which is like climbing a slow climb up a 20 story building. First stop was PS 16 where they had breakfast and toured the classrooms.

At 11'30, they climbed up a 2 story hill to have lunch at McKee and tour classes for two periods. One of the classrooms they saw was Ms. Burzo Timmins and Ms. Padula in Global History facilitatng a philosophical chairs discussion group.

I had student chaperones ready to take them throughout the school. Did I realize the student chaperones would only use the stairs and not the elevator. No. They got a lot of exercise that day.

When they returned to the library, and have a chance to drink water and catch their breath, I asked them to please do a quick write of their glows and grows. After further debriefing and asking about the organization of NYCDOE, they headed back to the ferry, Manhattan and their hotels.  What a Monday!

Friday, September 29, 2017

3 McKee Students at Ad Futures Competition

Shamar Thompson, Malik Sembene, Wagawatta Perera (from left to right) of McKee High School participated in the Ad Futures competition sponsored by the Ad Club of New York (@adclubny) on Thursday, 9.28.17. The mentors were SS+K (@SSandK).

The purpose of the competition was to create marketing for the Ad Council focusing on underage drinking and driving.  The three students had 3 weeks of preparation, right at the start of the school year, along with mentors, and were able to step onto the stage in front of 240 people in the audience.

The experience was enlightening and gave each young man just a taste of what a career in advertising might be like. The go-getter McKee teacher responsible for jump starting an opportunity for a Virtual Enterprise experience was Mr. Isai Serrano.

Check it out:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

McKee PTA Welcome Back Breakfast - 9.16.17

A delightful time was had by all at the Welcome Back Breakfast that occurred on Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Here's a quick breakdown of the topics discussed:
Ms. Alexandria Lighty, McKee's new PTA president, went over key points about how Title 1 funds are to be used to help parents enhance the educational experience for the students. The parents heard about the educational, social and emotional resources available at the school. The parents also heard from representatives from several community based organizations such as: New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID) and CSI Liberty Partnership

"Roll call of the members of the executive board of the PTA are:
Alexandria Lighty - President
Lisa Solomon - Secretary
Stephanie Watson - Treasurer

To check out more photos click here or copy and paste:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Welcome Back + School Supply List for Fall 2017

Welcome Back + School Supply List for Fall 2017

Greetings Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers:

We hope you are enjoying the final days of summer. We hope your child is well on his or her way to reading the suggestions from the summer reading list. The summer reading list is at 

To help your child be a better learner, please acquire the following school supplies:
Required Contents:
• Good quality 3-ring 8 ½” x 11” binder; 2.5” or 3” with pocket inserts OR Laptop
• 5-6 colored tab subject dividers to separate classes
• Zipper pouch to store supplies (A 3-hole puncher)
• Notebook paper (Some notebook paper is now available in Cornell note style)
• 2 or more Pens
• 2 or more Pencils
• CASIO fx-9750GII or TI 84 Plus calculator
• Agenda/daily planner/calendar
• Backpack

Suggested Contents:
• Pencil sharpener (hand held with a top to collect shavings)
• Highlighters
• 1-2 zipper pouches (for supplies)
• Notebook dictionary and/or thesaurus
• Ruler
• Flash drive
• Pocket folders

Any student WHO HAS NOT TAKEN HIS/HER PICTURE for an ID card may do so by seeing Ms. LaRosa, (718.420.2655,, Room 107, at Ralph R. McKee CTE High School.

The fall term at Ralph R. McKee CTE High School will begin on Thursday, September 7, 2017. All students will report on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 8 AM. It will be a full day of school! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the McKee Community Associate Pierre Ovalles at or text/call 646.875.3793.


Sharon A. Henry


Teacher Efficacy 2017-2018

Every year I indicate what the elements are for a new teacher to succeed.  This year, to promote a learning culture (aka teacher efficacy) an assistant principal staged an intensive series of workshops. To prepare for the workshops. there were seminars on preparing the lead teachers.  Handouts were culled from various resources.

Some of the activity in the workshops for new teachers and teachers NEW to the school were captured on the blog.

The resources that were used were based on research based practices from Paul Bloomberg's Leading Impact Teams, and the incorporation of AVID methodologies.

Click here to view the stepping stones to building teacher capability.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Day 1 and Day 2 of AVID Training for Instructors New To McKee HS

I am overjoyed to see how an assistant principals and team of teachers met the previous week to coordinate PD sessions for lead teachers to train instructors new to McKee. It is a joy for a principal to see the further development of teacher efficacy. 

Day 1 of AVID Training at McKee shared group work strategies such as marking the text, Cornell Notes, & Cornell Way at .  

The sessions were facilitated by lead teachers. Check out:

On Day 2 - dived into what implementing AVID techniques would look like in different subject area classrooms.

Teachers from the Science Department shared how they will organize and implement the interactive notebook and address improving the ability of students understanding what a question is asking by deconstructing the prompt.

The summary for Day 2 involved creating of charting and illustrating their understandings of the strategies received from the day's professional development.

Check it out:

Apture Multimedia