Thursday, December 17, 2015

Maliyah Green, Class of 2015, Now at Spellman College

Maliyah Greene, McKee Class of 2015, stopped by to visit on Thursday, December 17, 2015. Check out her post-secondary success experiences:
Maliyah Greene
McKee 2015
Spelman College, BA

Cornell notes is the habit that helped me a great deal in high school and continues to help me in the transition into college. I did not realize the importance of knowing how to do Cornell Notes were until I attended my first college courses and study for the quizzes and finals. Spelman has a group of students who have experienced AVID when they were in high school. We had a mixer between Spelman and Morehouse organized and for students who had been exposed to AVID. We discussed how to do outreach so that AVID permeates throughout the AUC which is Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta Colleges.

I plan to do the Dual Degree Engineering program. I am majoring in Computer Science and trying to minor in a language like Spanish. I will do that for 3 years and I will then go to either Georgia Tech or USC for 2 years to get the degree for computer engineering.

I felt it was important for me to leave Staten Island for my post secondary experience. I wanted to be independent. I thought I would miss home. I enjoy the responsibility of living away from home. It also helped me put myself out there and make sure that I conversed with professors and peers.

My post-secondary success story is that I made the dean’s list. This means I made all A’s in all of my courses. Making the dean's list involves many hours of studying and late nights in the library. I was in the library until 4 or 5 in the morning, reviewing my notes, my CORNELL NOTES, which were so important to study during finals week.

My advice to seniors is that work as hard as you can in high school. Put your priorities in order. Take your work seriously. It is not a game. Do not procrastinate. There are students from across the world, that are smarter and from different socio-economic backgrounds. Realize and accept it is easier for some people who have been exposed to a great many advantages than for others. My solution: I just push myself to work harder in order to stand out from everyone else. That’s life after high school.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Key Club at Kiwanis Holiday Party Dispensing Gifts.

Here are four members of McKee's Key Club chapter, who helped give gifts out to disabled children at The Kiwanis Club Holiday party on Monday night, December 14, 2015.

Monday, December 14, 2015

St. Johns University - Staten Island Campus Tour - Dec. 14, 2015

Thirty (30) juniors, chaperoned by Ms. Jennifer Pecora (College Advisor) and Ms. Dawn Messina (AVID Junior Elective/ELA Instructor) made a trip to Saint Johns University at the Staten Island campus on Monday, December 14, 2015. The weather may have been foggy, but interest, exchange of questions and information were plentiful and luminous. Check it out.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Computer Science For All

Major movement happening today.  Here's just a reminder that a video crew came out to Ralph R. McKee High School to take video shots of our students in the SEP program to help exemplify Mayor DeBlasio's initiative of Computer Science for All.  Check it out:

Computer Science For All
TWEET: SHARE: WATCH: Mayor de Blasio makes a major announcement about the future of Computer Science in o...

Check out Mr. Pedersen's students and Mr. Pedersen, himself, in the green shirt, and the blackboard. 

SEP Hackathon at McKee - Holiday Comics

On Saturday, Decemberf 12, 2015, 16 students participated in the Holiday Comics themed hackathon at Ralph R. McKee CTE High School. Mr. Pedersen, SEP instructor hosted the event with able assistance from Mr. Sarno (Auto), Ms. Mahlooji (History), and Ms. Durga (Graphics). The comic ideas generated had distinctive twists on the holiday genre.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bob Wolf, CEO of HOPE speaks the power of First Impressions

On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 4 classes were treated to hearing motivational speaker, Mr. Bob Wolf, who is the CEO and founder of HOPE. The central theme focused on the power of "First Impressions." The main reason for students to hear this type of talk: ALL children should be given basic skills that will help them get into the post secondary institution of their choice and/or job market and be equipped with essential skills that will enable them to earn support from and work effectively with people.

Guest Speaker Protocol

McKee High School follows the principles of Advancement Via Individual Determination or AVID.  This means we try to infuse Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading within every lesson using a combination of different methodologies to deepen and enrich critical thinking in every child.

One piece we try to encourage is exposing our students to guest speakers who provide motivational talks about how he/she has overcome odds and how the advice he/she wants to impart to students to help them achieve.

While it is hard to get mentors to come across the Verrazano Bridge, I am increasingly fortunate to come across speakers in principal's meetings, and attending conferences sponsored by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and the Staten Island Economic Development Fund.  To ensure that students are active listeners we employ SLANT.  Every educator has probably used this acronym - here is McKee High School's take on this protocol as used to guide the students when they listen to a guest speaker.

Student Protocol for Guest Speakers

When guest speakers visit your AVID class, not only does the speaker make an impression on students, your class will also make an impression on the speaker. For example, a guest speaker might say,
“ Students listened politely while I spoke.”  A guest might also say “I noticed the students were attentive, took notes and asked really good questions.”  We know that the 2nd description reflects the abilities of AVID students. Below you will find SLANT guidelines for demeanor and ideas for interacting with your guest.

v Sit with proper posture in your seat.

v Lean forward and listen

v Ask questions. Some examples are  

1. Which college, university or post-secondary setting did you attend?
2. How did you choose this educational path?
3. Who or what inspired you to follow your educational path to college/post -secondary
4. What skills did you find were a must to get through college or post- secondary training?
5. How important were communication skills, especially writing and speaking skills, in   
    getting through college or post- secondary training?
6. What skills from your educational path have transferred to and added to your current  
     professional success?
7. What advice would you give young students beginning their path to college or career

v Nod your head “ yes” when you hear a strong point made by the speaker.

v Take Cornell Notes.

McKee Auto Students on NY1

I received an email from Mr. John Widlund, McKee Class of 1985, now Executive Director of Career & Technical Education in the Office of Postsecondary Readiness in the New York City Department of Education. 

Here is what he wrote:
I am so proud of you and of McKee High School. Every chance I boast about McKee I do so. We would like to feature this in our next CTE Newsletter and possibly do a Twitter feed.

Of course I said “Yes!”  Check out the coverage on NY1:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

McKee Gear is Here - Get your McKee Swag On

We will be placing another order for McKee gear (hereinafter known as McKee Swag). A copy of the catalog is available by clicking here or copying and pasting the following link into your web browser:

If you are interested in ordering, please bring in the order form and money (cash/money order) to Ms. Eberlein, room 307 by December 9th. 

Please stop by.


Click here or copy and paste the following into your web browser to check out the McKee Swag:

Friday, December 4, 2015

Vice Provost O'Keefe of SJU visits McKee

Vice Provost James O'Keefe of Saint John's University did guest speaker presentations to four different classes on Monday, November 30, 2015. Along with sharing his path to career experiences, Dr. O'Keefe referred to one of my favorite books: Sean Covery's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The theme of the presentations, Aristotle's quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Noreen Mullen (AP Humanities; Vice Provost James O'Keefe, and me, Ms. Henry

Dr. O'Keffe in Ms. Messina's AVID junior elective class

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2015 Model NYC Council Project

Check out Joseph Mendoza (2nd from Left), McKee 2017 and Katelyn Rodriguez (Center) McKee 2017, participated in the fall Model New York City Council project on Saturday, November 21, 2015.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

30000 Degrees and McKee

McKee is part of the 30000 Degrees Initiative.  In November, at Wagner College, two students received honors for participating in the logo competition.  Kevin Carrera, McKee 2017, won first place in the logo competition.  Chynna Cummings received honorable mention
Kevin Carrera (L) and Jimmy Carrera (R) father - 1st place winner

SkillsUSA Fall Leadership Conference

These lovely young students that you see on the bus are the executive board of the McKee Chapter of SkillsUSA. So many activities and events happened that I only now realized I had not posted the pictures sent to me from the trip.

Here is the Official NYS SkillsUSA Fall Leadership 2015 Conference Recap Video

Composed by: 

Midge McCloskey
CFO & Membership Coordinator - NYS SkillsUSA

Katrina Fiorezna 
State Conference Coordinator - NYS SkillsUSA

Jorge Reynoso 
Membership Coordinator - NYC SkillsUSA
Lead Advisor - McKee CTE HS Chapter

Jessie Kalloo 
City Conference Coordinator - NYC SkillsUSA
Lead Advisor - Thomas Edison CTE HS Chapter

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What a Day - Promoting AVID At McKee to Garden City Educators

Ms. Noreen Daly Mullen, Ms. Brigid Howley, and Ms. Bleta Miftari addressed over 85 educators at a consortium in Garden City to demonstrate what AVID looks like at Ralph R. McKee High School, today, Nov. 17, 2015. The full day professional development ended with a half hour Question and Answer period with 9 students and Ms. Dawn Messina, "skyping" in from the principal's conference room at McKee.

Howley (L), Mullen (M), Miftari (R) prepping
Garden City educators participating in the Four Corners

9 McKee students about to Skype for Q & A with educators

Experiencing a Socratic Seminar using an AVID Weekly article
McKee students "skyping" in for the Question and Answer period

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Peek at an AVID Tutorial

Here is Brigid Howley, English teacher at McKee High School, who organizes the students for an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) tutorial.
 This technique requires the teacher to guide students to fill out a request form in which they look at the notes of a subject they struggled with in the past two or three days. The student writes the essential question from the lesson, indicate the notes, vocabulary, and then generates a question that reflects his/her point of confusion.

Through the efforts of Ms. Mullen, Assistant Principal Humanities/AVID Coordinator, we have tutors from the College of Staten Island, who help the students, by facilitating the capability of the students to look at different resources to figure out how to address the point of confusion.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A peek into a Socratic Seminar on The Book Thief

Check out a snippet of McKee High School's Ms. Howley's class engaging in a Socratic Seminar in her sophomore class.  The students were in the midst of doing an interdisciplinary project with the Graphics Arts instructor, the Social Studies instructor and Ms. Howley based on their reading the novel The Book Thief. 

Click on the link

I always appreciate seeing how other instructors are able to orchestrate collaborative discussion sessions.

McKee's Software Engineering Program Highlighted in the CSA News

Check out the Borough Briefs Section of the November 2015 issue, the last page of CSA News.
Plus – the three young men you see pictured below were one of the 5 winners at the November 4th SEP Designathon that happened at Microsoft Offices at 11 Times Square.
It’s in the CSA News!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

McKee Chapter of SkillsUSA at 10.18.15 Breast Cancer Walk

Check out Ms. Lapenta, Mr. Reynoso, and Ms. Reynoso chaperoning members of the McKee Skills USA Chapter who followed through on their commitment to participate in the Breast Cancer Walk that occurred in Central Park, today, Sunday, 10.18.15. 
These plucky youngsters awoke at the crack of dawn to catch the 7 a.m. SI Ferry to commute to Central Park. They walked 5 miles all in the name of great cause.
Ms. Lapenta (Far Left), Mrs. and Mr. Reynoso (Far Right)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

MSIT Varsity v. Harry S. Truman HS Game on New Field

Check out my pictures that I took with my IPhone on this glorious day, 10.10.15 of the MSIT Varsity football game against Harry S. Truman.

First, a little background, all sports teams are combined of McKee and Staten Island Tech. One of the greatest combinations is the MSIT junior varsity and varsity football teams.

The new athletic field, which had the ground breaking ceremony in 2013, and was supposed to have the grand opening in August 2015, was finally available for the football team to play their first game.

The field is not finished. The girl's softball field is far from done.  There are still placement, storage, and safety features that have to be addressed. Still, the field was able to be ready for the students to play on after two years of being nomads.
Here are some RMHS students enjoying half-time, sitting on the bleachers. I am sort of shocked that I was able to actually take this picture given I have the shakiest hands in the west. 

MSIT players coming in to get advice and to switch direction playing on the field .  I may not know the football terms but I definitely understand how all the players fully enjoyed walking on level ground. I cannot tell you how many times the coaches and students regaled any and all who would listen about the old field in which they would have to clear out all manner of debris, and I mean all manner of debris, before they could practice or play.

Look at that blue sky. Talk about a lovely crisp day. Click here for a detailed description of the MSIT varsity game against Truman. Final score: MSIT-28 to Truman-14

Click here for the SI Advance article of the MSIT JV game against Truman that also occurred today, Saturday, 10.10.15. Final score: MSIT JV 14 to Truman JV-12.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Two McKee Grads at Ohio Tech College

Two McKee 2015 graduates, Thomas Emmerling (L) and Brandon Colvil (R), taking a pause between classes, sporting their post secondary swag at Ohio Technical College. I am always amazed at how young men mature, and grow in a few months over the summer. Check it out.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Here's Eterneity Povod's Post Secondary Story

Ms. Eternity Povod, graduate of McKee 2015, stopped by, Friday, October 2, 2015, to show off her new braces. She'll be heading back to SUNY Adirondack on Sunday. Here is her post secondary story . . .

Eternity Povod,

McKee 2015
SUNY Adirondack College
Liberal Arts – Math and Science, BA 2019

      My Cornell Notes has helped me to make the transition from McKee to SUNY Adirondack. It’s helped me to be a great note taker.  It has helped my class mates as well. I didn’t think it was going to work and then Professor A’Hern, in the English course wanted me to explain the Cornell notes method.  There is a job at the college for note takers.  The professor asked, “Who wants to be a note taker?”  They have a smartboard. I came up and stood in front of the class, which has 150 students, drew the line and as the professor lectured, I just put her words into questions and notes, and put answers by questions so that it was organized. I sit right in the front row.  I got a B+ on my first essay and my classmates struggled.    Cornell Notes always helped me in high school and I plan to use it throughout college.

      I would definitely have to say the teachers were the turning point for me to decide to attend college.  After Ms. Gorgoglione and Ms. Kenavan and Ms. Pecora said, “You’ve got to go. You’ve got to go away,” I realized they believed in my ability to handle going away to college. After visiting SUNY Adirondack College and seeing my dorm room, which is huge, I realized that I would live in a suite. A suite means there are two people per living area, a dining room, living room and a kitchen.  We each have our own restroom. Those conditions convinced to go away to college.

      A top point that I have experienced in my first months at SUNY Adirondack is when I got my paper back from the professor. I was excited. My roommate is in the same writing class as I am. It’s called the CRW to check our essays before we turn it in.  I’m a good writer.  She went to the CRW, 5 days in a row and she received a “D”.  The professor’s feedback on my essay, which received a “B+”, was “Great organization. All you have to do is bring it back with the correct punctuation.” This was just the other day. I turned in the paper again before travelling to New York to get my new braces. Hopefully, my “B+” I will be upgraded to an “A” on Monday.” The 90 and 100 were in my labs in Biology.

      I plan to be an orthodontist.  I love the study of dentistry. I look at people’s teeth. I have always loved teeth.  My freshmen year at McKee, Ms. Kenavan said, “You need to start thinking about what you want to do.”  I was confused. One of my classmates at McKee said, "You are always smiling." I realized I do, and that I always am aware of people’s teeth.  From that I realization, I found my passion.

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