Sunday, December 2, 2012

McKee HS Student at Model NYC Council 2012

At the 11th annual Model New York City Council Project, McKee student, Kaelin Hernandez participated in a unique opportunity.

Kaelin was involved in an intensive four week internship experience which focused on leadership development. The emphasis was on students learning about the policy making process in city government.

Kaelin was part of a group of 49 students that were selected to be part of the Model NYC Council. The students were screened from a pool of participants who take College Now courses at their respective high schools. McKee High School has College Now courses with both Kingsborough Community College and College of Staten Island.

This internship was spearheaded by Anthony J. Maniscalco, Director of the Edward T. Rogowsky Internship Program. This organization is a collaboration between BMCC and CUNY, generates opportunities for students in the secondary and post-secondary level to learn about public service by linking academic training to simulating real world procedures and actions within local government.

On Saturday, December 1, 2012, at 11 a.m. at Borough of Manhattan Community College, the students gathered at Emerald Hall to debate the stop and frisk policy. (L-R: Kaelin Hernandez and Ms. Marisol Hernandez.)

There were several representatives from the New York City Council. The key note speaker was Speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn. The gist of her speech: New York City Council is looking for smart, eager graduates of CUNY College to be involved in city politics. Speaker Quinn also reminded the students that procrastination is the enemy - they need to complete filling out their college applications.

Way cool event. So you know I had to stop by and lend support. . . and also take a picture.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

McKee Cosmetology at the Nursing Home

Every two weeks, since October 2012, McKee Cosmetology students visit a nursing home and provide beauty treatment under the guidance of their instructor, Ms. Mary Louise Buono. The students go through an extensive training process.


The nursing home has a salon. The Cosmetology students bring extra supplies.  It's an opportunity to build on interpersonal skills. It's also an opportunity to be exposed to careers within the field gerontology and nursing.

It's just two hours and yet the experience resonates for the the residents of the nursing home and for the students. Check out the pictures.

Staten Island Career Coaches Fall 2012

The Staten Island Career Coaches have entered McKee and through using different methods, lecture, modeling, nurturing through the resume writing process, and finally putting the students through a mock interview, these intrepid business people have left an indelible mark on the students.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Model House by Robert Krivicic

It's Thanksgiving Eve and who comes down with a model house, Robert Krivicic a sophomore in Mr. O'Connell's Construction class. I must tell you, I am always amazed at how students in the 9th grade develop in the 10th grade the composure and steadiness to complete a model house .

I talked to Robert and he indicated the toughest part, accurately measuring and shaping the angles for the roof. As someone who is all thumbs, the toughest part, manipulating teeny-tiny pieces of wood. Talk about a kinesthetic learning experience. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Course and Regents Review Help - Check out Castle Learning

Every Monday through Thursday, Tutoring is offered at McKee High School from 3 - 5 p.m.

Students are able to access online assistance at home by using Castle Learning.

Click here to find out the steps to access the information for Castle Learning. Also know that you can ask any of the teachers who work for HAI or you can ask Ms. Mahlooji who works for McKee After 3.

The first step is YOURS.

SAT Prep at McKee Every Tuesday & Thursday

SAT Prep is available at McKee H. S. EVERY Tuesday and Thursday, 3-5 p.m. in room 324 with Ms. Padulla.

Calling all Juniors and Seniors - you need SAT Prep.

Calling all Parents. The SAT Prep is F-R-E-E. It is also available on line. Your child needs to attend a session in order to know how to access the wonderfully detailed, vast array of resources for the SAT Prep.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Schools are Closed November 1 + 2




According to the NYCDOE, http://schools.nyc.gov, due to the conditions created by Hurricane Sandy, all New York City public schools will be closed to students Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2. All after-school activities and Public Schools Athletic League events will also be cancelled. 

Schools will reopen on Monday, November 5.
City employees should see instructions from the Mayor regarding reporting for work on nyc.gov.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

McKee Student in Girls Who Code Interviewed by SI Advance -

Click here to check out the link to an article in the Staten Island Advance about Maliyah Greene, a McKee High School student. 

For one week, in the beginning of November, she will be joining two of her team members in a unique experience, attending a fair hosted by Intel in California. Her group will be the only high school group invited to the ceremony. 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE SCHOLARSHIPS TO STUDY ABROAD

U.S. Department of State Youth Exchange Scholarships for U.S. High School Students

The U.S. Department of State announces scholarships for American high school students to study abroad:

  • The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships to U. S. high-school aged students for overseas study of seven critical foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajik), Russian and Turkish. The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, giving them invaluable formal and informal language practice and sparking a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. Applications for summer 2013 and academic year 2013-2014 programs are due November 1, 2012. Visit www.nsliforyouth.org for more information.
  • The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program offers scholarships to American high school students to spend the 2013-14 academic year in countries that may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali (semester), Morocco, Oman, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey. This post 9/11 program focuses on increasing understanding between people in the U.S. and countries with significant Muslim populations. The application deadline is January 16, 2013. Visit the YES Program’s website for more information.
  • The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy. Secondary school students live with host families, attend local schools, and participate in community life in Germany. Young professionals (undergraduates) and high school graduates of vocational studies ages 18-24 study and participate in practical training. Scholarships are now available for academic year 2013-14; application deadlines vary by U.S. region and range from September 2012 to January 2013. For more information and application deadlines, visit the organization in charge of recruitment for your state at USAGermanyScholarship.org.
  • The American Youth Leadership Program offers opportunities for American high students and educators to travel abroad on a three- to four-week-long exchange program to gain first-hand knowledge of foreign cultures and to collaborate on solving global issues. Several different organizations implement this program, and each has organized an academic and experiential educational exchange focused on dialogue and debate, leadership development, and community service. Recruitment areas and application deadlines vary. 
Click American Youth Leadership Program website for more information.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

McKee "Articulating" at Citywide High School Fair

Here's Mr. Hatton, showing Soaring Seagull pride by sporting school gear,  at the Citywide High School Fair, held at Brooklyn Tech High School on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Mr. Hatton is a History instructor and a member of the Advancement Via Individual Determination Program (AVID) at McKee. 

Check out the color coordination: the banners, posters, even the "swag" - magnet calendars.  

Each year McKee communicates the message that we are an all inclusive wraparound school that provides academic, technical and trade paths for students.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Congrats to Ms. Starkey - 2011-2012 Gold Star WISE Teacher

On September 12th, 2012, Working In Support of Education (WISE) announced the names of the teachers nationally who have been awarded the distinguished title of Gold Star Teacher  based on their students' outstanding performance on the 2011-12 Financial Literacy Certification Test. We at McKee are very proud of our own Ms. Carol Starkey for being one of the recipients of the award. We applaud her dedication, enthusiasm, time and commitment spent on helping students to become financially capable before they graduate.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Beautiful Day at the DANA Ford/Lincoln Fundraiser For McKee

Today was a beautiful, clear day for the 3rd annual fundraiser sponsored by DANA Ford/Lincoln car dealership on Staten Island for the McKee High School Auto Department. 


When this picture was taken it was 10:30 a.m. in the morning. Once again Mr. Ron Peleg, a main supporter and executive at DANA Ford/Lincoln worked with our intrepid Mr. Sarno, Auto Instructor at McKee, in organizing an opportunity to support the CTE program. 

The new twist this year was to have the fund raising event at DANA Ford/Lincoln's business on 266 West Service Road. I had a chance to tour the facility as well as see the site of the new building that will take it's place by February 2013. The design and layout of the new building will be impressive.

I also saw two McKee graduates who are now working at DANA Ford, one as a mechanic, the other in the Parts Department. As a principal, seeing young men at the very start of their career, able to support themselves, and in a company that promotes ongoing educational and automotive opportunities makes one feel very good.

Here comes the part that was simply out of this world.
1. I had a chance to drive a Lincoln MKX. Every time a passerby or customer within the dealership test drove a car, the company contributes $20 to the school. The Drive - A - Thon is a wonderful fundraiser. Test driving luxury cars is an out of body experience. I felt like I was riding on a perfectly formed cushion of air. Plus I kept hearing Ricardo Montalban's voice saying "corinthian leather," each time I saw the different features in the car.

2. There were 5 different cars that customers and those passing by could test drive. The red SUB/Crossover Lincoln MKS was quite a smooth ride. 

I also had a chance to see up close and person the Ford F-150 truck with a Harley Davidson moniker on the side. My immediate impression - "that's a big truck."

3. Here's the desligtful surprise. Mr. Peleg and the representatives from DANA Ford/Lincoln extended the time for customers to participate in the Drive-a-thon past the 3 p.m. deadline. Talk about a partnership between a business and a school. In the words of Mr. Peleg, "...supporting McKee means supporting the future."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Tasty Welcome Back Breakfast at McKee on Sept. 8, 2012

A delightful time was had by all at the Welcome Back Breakfast that occurred on Saturday, September 8, 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Here's the breakdown of the topics discussed.
Mr. Mark Beyer, our beloved 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 voted to have the general membership of the PTA address me about key issues. Other issues covered were the distribution of the Title 1 Parent Involvement Policy, the Parent Compact and how it is a part of the school's comprehensive Education Plan.

"Roll call of the members of the executive board of the PTA are:
Mark Beyer - President
Melissa Johnson - Vice President
Dorene Weiss - Treasurer
Karen Ferrer-Weber - Secretary

Ms. Eberlein mentioned the upcoming College Fair at McKee, and the after school programs.
Ms. Mullen provided an overview of Ralph McKee High School's Advancement Via Individual Determination Program (AVID). The growth of the program from 1 class in 2010 to 6 classes in 2012 is an indication of the measure of success. Two students provided testimonial behind the validity of AVID and how interaction with peers and instructors has enriched their lives. Ms. DellOlio (COSA) and Ms. Miller talked about extra curricular activities and the many areas by which stiudents can become involved in the school community.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What Do I Look For In A Satisfactory Lesson?



1. Teacher monitoring student entrance into the classroom. An opening exercise handed to students at the door. The teacher states expectations at the start and at each major point of a lesson. Statement of CCLS standard(s) being used.

2. Aim / Essential Question; Do Now,
Collect previous day's homework plus an indication of the expectations and standards in the lesson/unit.
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3. Motivation of 5 minutes in the form of a visual, audio selection, journal entry, or connection to the lesson. The audio selection should be music or clip aligned to the subject matter.
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4. Mini Lesson in which the skill is modeled, and the content is discussed
   Quick formative assessment of student comprehension: fill in the blanks, multiple choice.
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5. Explanation of the directions, and distribution of resources: textbooks, handouts.
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6. Differentiated instruction. Steps for the activity should be pre-posted on the chart, on PowerPoint, and/or a handout. 
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7. Assess student learning at least twice a period.

8. Monitoring the progress of the students by checking the status of their Cornell Notes as to who is exceeding expectations, meeting expectations and who is below expectations

9. Students respond to and use questions from Habits of Mind and Blooms Taxonomy or Costa's Levels of Questioning to share out core understandings that build toward answering the aim / essential question. The teacher has students "pass it on", repeat, comment or expand on the answers of other students.
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9. Summary provided by the students answering the aim or essential question both verbally and in written form with a summary in their Cornell Notes. An alternative for a quick formative assessment is an EXIT PASS. Pupils can either repeat, or elaborate on the answer to the aim. The students provide a complete indication of the answer to the aim, the skills learned and the standard(s) that were linked to the lesson.
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10. Homework assignment.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TFI Presentation on 8/23/12

I had the privilege of attending a presentation by the Fellowship Initiative at the JP Morgan on the impact of the South Africa trip on their personality, and perspective on life. Here's a fundamental truth - it's hard to snap pictures and calmly shoot video with an IPAD if ones eyes are always tearing up with pure joy at seeing young men greatly increase their capability to do expository presentations.

Four teams did their presentations. The young men from The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) extensively traveled key areas in South Africa and engaged in community service. The TFI youngsters noticed the living conditions; visited historic sites and locales: Soweto, Kliptown; attended classes, seminars, and engaged in community work projects with the African Leadership Academy Program for two weeks. Upon their return to the states, the Fellowship Initiative created digital diaries, synthesizing their learning experiences.



August 23rd arrived. The young men made sure that they distributed hard copies of their journals along with making sure that all the members of their respective groups received final instructions.




Each team expressed awe regarding how adolescent young men in a land thousands of miles away were and are able to be positive change agents in their communities.Each young man reported how their experience changed their perspective on what is possible.

The presentations by the Fellowship Initiative were accompanied by PowerPoint, and video clips highlighting seminal moments in their trip. The five young men of McKee high school who are part of the intensive mentoring program known as the Fellowship Initiative are rising seniors and are witnesses to growth and maturation. Ms. Davis, the leader of the Fellowship Initiative, is the leader (center) responsible for advocating for the efficacy of the program to the company.



In the picture above, (from left to right) Tracey Cooper, Reggie Fredericks, Kin Choo Chung, Ms. Davis, Samuel Conteh, Kenneth Alphonso. Another key player is Ms. Twinkle Morgan (below in red) who is the coordinator of the weekly activities. She along with the team of mentors, such as Mr. Calvin Hadley, help to mold, support and shape the various weekly trips, weekend tutoring sessions; local and global traveling experiences.


25 young men entered South Africa with certain perceptions. 25 young men left South Africa, each experiencing "ah ha" moments. To quote Kenneth Alphonso's poem: Final Day in S.A.
I have changed from who I was 14 days ago
I have tasted humility
Felt the power of cooperation
During this duration
I have grown to love this nation
Through Ryan and ALA's help
I* have learned to look deep in myself
And to help those that need the help around me
Last night I found out that we can be the most precious cordiality -
Leaders.
The ones who shape the future
The ones who help others' light shine so that their light shines as well
One who exhibits the six qualities indicated on the plaque:
Integrity, Curiosity, Humility, Compassion, Diversity, Excellence
So as I get back to the present tense
I want to remind myself where I have been
To remind myself to jump the fence
The fence that blocks out our deepest sense
The sense of love for not just ourselves but our family and our nation
Because these are the ideas that have changed me on this vacation.




 

Monday, August 13, 2012

IHOP with the PTA Executive Board

I had a lovely breakfast with the PTA Executive Board. As I am listening to the plans for the upcoming year, I was told about a recent video clip covered by NBC News about one of my favorite summer internship programs for students: Girls Who Code.

Click here to check it out.

Save the Date - Welcome Back Breakfast for Parents

Put the date on your calendar Parents, Guardians and Caregivers:

McKee High School's Welcome Back Breakfast will be on Saturday, September 8th, 2012, at 10 a.m.

Click here to check out the flyer. In fact, post it on the 'fridge' as a reminder.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Welcome Back + School Supply List for Fall 2012

Greetings Parents, Guardians and Caregivers:

It's about that time - - - to get ready for school.

We hope you are having a pleasant summer. We hope your child is well on his or her way to reading some of the suggestions from the summer reading list. The summer reading list is at www.mckeecths.org. To help your child be a better learner, please note that we wish you to acquire the following school supplies:
 
• Three-ring 8 ½” x 11” Binders with dividers (some teachers require that a binder be used exclusively for their class) OR Laptop
• 8 ½” x 11” lined Paper
• Flash drive
• Pocket folders
• Pens and Pencils
• Pencil sharpener (hand held with a top to collect shavings)
• Highlighters
• TI 84 Plus calculator
• Backpack
• Ruler
• Calendar OR organizer
• Physical Education Outfit

The fall term at Ralph R. McKee CTE High School will begin on Thursday, September 6, 2012. All students will report on Thursday, September 6th, 2012 at 8 AM. Yes, it will be a full day of school! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at mckee@schools.nyc.gov.

Sincerely,
Sharon A. Henry, Principal

Week 4 of Girls Who Code Summer Program

The young lady (front left) in the picture and referred to in the first few lines of the article is none other than our own Maliyah Greene, a rising sophomore at McKee.

Click here to check out the article which focused on the need to engage adolescent young ladies in opportunities that will foster a passion for computer programming and engineering.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

News from Girls Who Code - Maliyah Greene



I returned home to find a lovely email from a parent whose daughter is part of the inaugural class of Girls Who Code. The daughter's name is Maliyah Greene. The pictures are a little blurry but they still "speak a thousand words." In the picture of the inaugural summer class of Girls Who Code is McKee student, Maliyah Greene who is 3rd from the left. Here's the gist of the email from her mother:


Hello Ms. Henry, 
I hope your summer has been great!  I just wanted to thank you again for giving us the information for the Girls Who Code program.  Maliyah started 7-9-12 and she loves it.  The program is awesome.  The 20 selected girls are paired each day with a teaching assistant and mentor.  Each day they have had scientists, entrepreneurs, web designers, you name it. (who) visit and work side by side with the students.  (Both the parents and students) were invited to the company launch party. There were (a wide variety of) executives and CEO's from both academic institutions and technical inustries: NYU, JP Morgan, Tumblr, Google to name a few.  The representatives from Girls Who Code are scheduling visits to the Google, Facebook, NYU and Twitter headquarters. 





Update - the young ladies went on a trip to Google Headquarters. You know what's so cool about the second picture - the level of engagement of young girls, using technology, working in teams, to increase their capacity. That picture\ makes this principal smile. 



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

McKee HS 2012 Graduation

Click here for the article in the Staten Island Advance about the June 25th, 2012 McKee HS
graduation. Click here to see photographs of highlights from the ceremony. Click  here  to see individual pictures of our graduates.

The graduation ceremony was lovely. Our guest speaker - the head of the New York City Department of Education - Chancellor Dennis Walcott and the key note speaker, Duane Felton, a McKee alumnus, made cogent remarks that indicated life lessons as well as future strategies to cope with life's demands.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Eric Jensen's Tools for Maximum Engagement

I read Teaching with the Brain in Mind about 8 years ago. The book was fascinating and insightful. Click here to see Eric Jensen explain the central concepts. Towards my final days as an assistant principal, I would try to incorporate some of the techniques mentioned in this book. I thought I experienced some success using a few techniques out of the many indicated in the book.  Well - my friends - I am here to say I barely, minutely scratched the surface.

I recently went to a two day seminar by Eric Jensen, famed educator, noted author, and amazing workshop facilitator, entitled "Tools for Maximum Engagement." The take aways:
1) A person's "states" affect his or her learning.
2) Brain-based compatible learning activities are a blast.
3) Treat your mind and body to one of Mr. Jensen's seminars.

As I continue to experiment and work with teachers and my class I will try to share my understandings. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Congratulations to Maliyah Greene who was accepted into the competitive internship program: Girls Who Code. Only 20 young ladies are accepted into this program. "Founded in February 2012, Girls Who Code educates, inspires, and equips under-served girls aged 13-17 with the skills and resources to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Girls Who Code program is an eight-week summer program in New York City designed to introduce high school girls to basic software development skills and is accompanied by yearlong outreach initiatives, mentorship programs, and internship opportunities to realize each participant’s potential."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

McKee In The News About High School Graduation Rate

McKee High School was covered in the Staten Island Advance about our high school graduation rate. Click here to see the story. Every percentage point was due to the effort of every single member of the McKee school community hawking and stalking our students to reach their potential. It's making sure that we work as a faculty to find many ways to reach and engage students so that they are able to handle more sophisticated tasks, texts, and technology. Each class is different. Already our faculty, and staff are looking at the rising seniors, class of 2013 and pinpointing areas that need to be addressed. The work continues - - - but not before there is a little vacation time to revitalize.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Senior Prom Pictures 2012

View Senior Prom 2012 pictures taken at the Vanderbilt on June 7, 2012. Click here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Reflections from the 6-8-12 Hungerford School at the Jerome Parker Campus

You're going to have to wait a couple of days before I am able to post pictures to accompansy this post. Why? I was too emotionally caught up in the sights and sounds that I saw at a graduation. I went to the Richard H. Hungerford School today at the Jerome Parker Campus on Staten Island. McKee High School has an inclusion program with the Hungerford School. Four of the students that attend both Hungerford and the inclusion program at McKee graduated from the school. One of the students Jalen Warren was a recipient of the Staten Island Federation of PTA scholarship. By the way, another recipient of a scholarship from the Staten Island Federation of PTAs was Juan Ayllon, a quiet, resolute general education student Okay, back to the Hungerford graduation. I was told that I would be either sitting up front or on the stage, which was fine. I got all fancied up in a nice business suit, slapped the war paint on and was ready. Here are two facts you must know. The Hungerford School graduation is very emotional because one sees students with a range of extraordinary physical, learning, and psychological challenges stand in their truth to walk, or roll with the assistance of a paraprofessional, on stage for graduation. Second, there is always a slideshow which captures the high points of the year, such as the trips and the prom. Normally I just pop in to catch the central portion of the event, to yell and cheer from the back of the auditorium, with my handy box of tissues at the ready for the emotional points. I'm from Brooklyn so I've seen a great deal in the educational field. I also know that I'm a crybaby. I'll well up with tears at a Hallmark card commercial. You can guess what happens when I see the processional at Hungerford and the slideshow. So this year, I had prepared myself for the fact that I would be on the stage. Heck I've gone every year, and every year I seem to get stronger in not crying through the entire ceremony or doing the "ugly cry." You know the ugly cry that Oprah always talks about, where one gets a headache, one's stomach and face is in a knot, and one's makeup runs. The ceremony starts, the processional happens. Okay, only light misting in the eyes. I'm pretty good. A young man is rolled on by his paraprofessional and he is beautifully dressed. His shoes are like mirrors. It's heartbreaking in terms of the level of pride and care shown in how this child and every child is dressedo n the special day. Next there is a motivational speech by one of the students, a Cristin Keller. She is a small round bundle who walks with a halting limp to the podium. She takes out a device that looks like a cell phone. She presses a button which sounds like a metronome and then she holds it to the microphone. She then proceeds to give a compelling speech, intermittently punching a button to deliver her oratory about how she has experienced growth at Hungerford. She was not able to walk or talk but through the supportive, intensive atmosphere of Hungerford, under the leadership of Dr. McInerny, she knows that her possibilities are limitless. Heavy misting in the eyes. There is a standing ovation by the entire audience. Next moment from the graduation that stuck out was the introduction of the saludatorian. A tall young man who was also the Prom King. The next moment is the introduction of the valedictorian, Thurmon Brown, part of the inclusion program from McKee. Lovely surprise. Medium misting of the eyes. Makeup still holding strong. Thurmon talks about holding three jobs, one of them in the bike shop of Hungerford School. He thanks his aunt for taking him in when his grandmother passed away. The speech is thoughtful, said with feeling, and one can see that Thurmon has practiced with the help of the master teacher Ms.Montvilo. I'm just so proud that this young man has flourished at both Hungerford and McKee. I have a smile on my face and I am enjoying the moment. Another inclusion student at McKee is called up to the microphone. Thurmon presents flowers to both of his principals: Dr. McInerny and me. Pools of water collect in my eyes. It's a miracle I didn't bump into anyone. I hug Thurmon and Araod and quickly say thank you to the audience and sit down. Medium misting of the eyes. Next comes two representatives from the Veteran's Association. They are brothers. One of the brothers organizes the New York City Veterans Association parade. Prestigious. Both brothers recently visited Ground Zero and raised and lowered two American flags. One flag is presented to Dr. McInerny, wonderfully well deserved. The second flag is presented to the young man who, in the words of one of the brothers from the Veteran's Association indicated that he wanted the bikes that he fixes "to go to the children of the wounded soldiers." They presented Thurmon Brown, a wonderfully kind young man with an open generous nature, an American flag that was raised and lowered at Ground Zero in a special ceremony. Yeah - we are talking I'm standing. I'm yelling, "Holy Cow. This is amazing. Oh my, how wonderful." I can feel my mouth and hands trembling. I bring my hands to my face and do full scale ugly cry. Yep. I cried like a baby. Wait. Thurmon realizes the enormity of what he is about to receive from the Veteran's Association. Thurmon, who is 6'3" reaches down to hug a very round, short elderly Caucasian gentleman and tears slide down his face. The whole audience was wiped away. The two assistant principals on either side of me from the Hungerford School,they teared up. Went through a half a box of tissues. Eye make up - destroyed. The ceremony was beautiful, compelling, filled with captured sweet memories and humor. I also returned back to McKee with a headache from the emotional well spring that was released at the graduation. Don't get me wrong. The ceremony was beautiful. It was also filled with a lot of tears. Thank goodness next year I'll just be part of the audience, sitting in the seats, able to blend into the background. Click here to read the article in the Staten Island Advance about the Hungerford School graduation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The SkillsUSA Awards Ceremony occurred today, Wednesday, june 6th, 2012. It was almost entirely student run. I said three lines which mainly was welcome and congratulations to members of the audience. From that point on the Skills USA officers entered and put the members through the paces of conducting a meeting. The faculty who attended are my witness. It was fascinating. The student officers were dressed in red blazers, stated the purpose of the meeting, indicated it was a time of celebration, presented a PowerPoint highlighting favorite moments from the regional conference, citywide competition and statewide competition. This was the first time that I saw what the students do in a formal setting. I'll tell you how deeply moving it was to the parents. At the end of the ceremony, after the officers thanked the four advisors, gave them plaques, and the last of the awards were distributed, the parents sat quietly staring at the empty stage. One of the McKee advisors went onto the stage and dismissed the audience. The proceedings were deliberate, thoughtful, effective, and thorough. It will be fascinating to see how this particular group grows in the upcoming school year.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our third annual National Honor Society ceremony occurred today on Thursday, May 31, 2012. We decided to move it to a location that had a great deal more light. The students looked so bright-eyed, crisp, and spanking new.
Ms. Starkey restarted the National Honor Society in 2010. Ms. Bilotti did a lovely job as advisor in 2012. She will be handing over the reins to Ms. Dell Olio for the upcoming school year. This year, my personal goal was to make sure the students who joined the National Honor Society were not handheld through the process but felt a strong desire to be a part of the organization. Next stop, making sure that the executive board and members will engage in projects that will further expand the range and depth of the organization within the school.

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