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.

Pilobolus at McKee - May 30, 2012

This May, McKee had the good fortune, through the Hope and Inspiration Grant, to have Pilobolus do a 5 week workshop. Pilobolus is a dance company known for their unusual, creative, intensely complicated, collaborative movements. The students learned from dance instructors how to work together to move, to play - energetically, and teamwork. The students also learn how to improvise as soloists and as a team. The students also learn an invaluable lesson of being able to express themselves in a manner that has an impact on other areas of their life. The perseverance they use to see a project through to the end. It was lovely to see the students not only go through the various exercises they experienced, but also to reflect on the experience and the new acquaintances made during the series. Hearing the students articulate their thoughts about how the process of exploring movement was an avenue for them to become more assertive, or more confident, or just tap into a deeper source of energy and creativity was eye opening.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Congratulations to Damiano Mastrandrea for receiving the New York State Thomas Olivio Award for 2012. Only one other student from New York City received such as award. Here he is posing with his parents.
Why did Mr. Mastrandrea receive the award? His ability to communicate convinced his peers to elect him president. His display of enthusiastic intellectual curiosity about the numerous facets, rules, and regulations of Skills USA contributed greatly to the increase in membership, fundraising activities, and in the preparation and participation in the various competitions. He fully embraced the responsibility of disseminating information to not only the members of Skills USA but documenting their efforts, and making sure I was aware of the decisions to grow the organization based upon the meetings.

Check out the McKee Rock Band. Mr. Rob McHale, who is an administrator with CFN 405, saw our small musical ensemble at a Parent Cluster Meeting that he organized in November 2011. From doing that performance, he contacted Mr. Guarnieri (the conductor)
and invited us to perform at the 26th Annual Guidance Counselor Recognition Day Awards Ceremony. Mr. Guarnieri was honored, Mr. Ballestrino (Art Teacher and musician) was jazzed, the students were excited, and I was flabbergasted. Outside of our school, the band had not played any "gigs" in front of another audience. I must tell you, Mr. Guarnieri was the essence of cool. The students select the music, he does his magic with the music charts, and then they rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. It's May 23rd.
The guests are arriving. The plaques are laid out.
I know that I have to go to a principal's meeting scheduled on the same day. I text one of my colleagues that I will be late, because I have to see how the rock band will perform and to give emotional support. Plus, I can't help hovering to see how they will do. Who do I bump into but two members of the Chancellor's Advisory Council, two juniors:
Fredmalyn Williams and Kaelin Hernandez, who were recruited as greeters and ushers for the event. The band looked so crisp in their black and white. Click here to see a little clip of the music.

It's 1:45 p.m. on a Friday and two sophomores: Nadia Cervantes (left), and Cindy Rivera (right),are carrying a model in their hands that they want to show me. Part of the project they were assigned required that the make a model of the type of salon they wanted to own. It took three weeks for them to complete the model. Talk about attention to detail - the tables, and console were made from scratch. I can not begin to think of the time that it took to cut out

Check out the Hungerford/McKee students wading with the Beluga Whales. Ms. Marie Montvillo, a dynamic Inclusion SETSS/Special Education Teacher with Ms. Judy Bezner (paraprofessional), Ms. Haidy Roshdy (paraprofessional), and Dave Sarno (Auto teacher & camera shy) led a merry band of 6 Hungerford Inclusion students and 2 McKee Special Education students to an extended day trip to "Beluga Encounter". Now that's a close encounter of the wet kind. (Oh come on - alright - I couldn't help it).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MSIT Teams To Get New Track and Field

Click here to check out the announcement on New York 1. Check out the announcement on the DOE website. Click here. Check out the announcement in the Staten Island Advance. Click here. One could say it's a pretty big deal and the ultimate recipients - the students of McKee High School and Staten Island Tech.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Along with the traditional route of writing papers, quizzes, and tests students now have another method to demonstrate their understanding of a topic by using a free APP on their iPAD. What is the free APP? It is called ShowMe. This APP allows students to record their voice, add pictures, and provide a range of colors to highlight and demonstrate the knowledge they have gained from a particular lesson or unit. Check out the ShowMe short videos created by Ms. Mullen's AVID class who recently studied Shakespeare's Macbeth. Click here to see them. This is the first time the students used the ShowMe APP. Think of ShowMe as transforming the iPAD into an interactive whiteboard, a recorder, and an image storage site. The excitement is in how the students combine those three elements. I invite you to click here to see the different ShowMe videos.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Check out the coverage in the Staten Island Advance about the Student Empowerment Conference that happened on Friday, May 4th. Click here.
The students and teachers came back elated from the day's events. Hard to believe that just 5 years ago no one wanted to hear the words "peer mediation." Now "peer mediation" is a tent pole in the process of conflict resolution that is a credible step in addressing bullying and teen violence.

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