Monday, March 30, 2015

Empowerment Panel on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Great day at the UFT on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for (Left to Right) Jessica Padilla, Zully Roman, and Luis Hoffman. Students listened to a panel of celebrities who overcame obstacles as children and excelled in their careers. TT Torres, daytime DJ from Hot 97, talked about how her mother left her at her friend's house at the age of 14. Ms. Torres surmounted considerable odds to graduate college in Virginia and start up as a DJ. Currently she is a NYC DJ in one of the biggest radio station markets across the country. Ms. Torres started " I will wait till I graduate," a campaign to keep teenagers Informed about how difficult it is to raise a child when one is a teenage single mother.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jeremy Duenas' Logo Selected for TFI: NYC

A Holy Cow moment - Just found out a student from Ralph R. McKee CTE High School, Jeremy Duenas', logo has officially been selected to represent The Fellowship Initiative (TFI): NYC for years to come! Logos were submitted from each city to represent their part of the program. Mine is one of four - New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and TFI - and will represent the NYC cohort.
Jeremy's logo will be on all future promotional items, presentations and letterheads from TFI: NYC.
The student on the left is from McKee High School, Class of 2013. His name is Tracy Cooper, who is currently in college and is involved in giving back by being a young mentor in TFI. Way Cool!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

2nd SEP Hackathon Results - Congratulations to all

The 2nd SEP Hackathon has just concluded. Let me take a moment to speak on behalf of the judges: Mr. DeFilippo, Ms. Mahlooji, Mr. Lombardo (Guest Judge), Mr. Kapur (Guest Judge), and I to indicate how ecstatic I am with the range of creativity and ideas that I heard and saw.
Here are the results:

First Place - Meme Dream Team who devised a learning environment survey prototype app

Second Place - The Four Amigos Team who devised an feed to make it easier to access the features on the McKee website.

Third Place - Distracted Driving Team who devised a game to indicate the dangers of texting while driving with room to explore other methods that could compromise

Fourth Place - UJAME who devised a web application that would help students "de-stress" from their day by looking at soothing cool colors and motivational quotes.

Honorable Mention - Virtual Wallet who wanted to have one method for students to have access to a range of information on a mobile app: ID, to funds.

It is an adrenaline rush to see young minds whirring and crafting possibilities.

2nd SEP Hack-a-thon at McKee High School, Mar. 21, 2015

Check it out - It's a Saturday, and students are eagerly having intense discussions in order to design a mobile app that would entrance the masses.

Take a look:

The Post Secondary Success Story of Raja Kapur - McKee 2005

     Students from Ralph R. McKee CTE High School are upstairs participating in the Software Engineering Program (SEP) Hack-a-thon. The focus will be on developing mobile apps. Two former students of Mr. Pedersen stopped by to support the students and to see Mr. P. One alumnus is Raja Kapur, and here is his post secondary success story.

Raja Kapur
McKee 2005
CTO, Shoptiques

I was always interested in IT and that’s what drove me to McKee High School.  It was over an hour in travel time, as I lived by the mall.  Being in the CISCO program helped me to know how my skills compared to my peers and what areas I needed to improve. Being in a group setting helped me to push my boundaries and capabilities.  When you work by yourself you do not have a comparison in order to know how well you are achieving.  The set up at McKee in the CISCO gave me the confidence in my skills to be able to apply them both professionally and educationally.
McKee helped me get an internship at a local IT company. While I was there I realized my true passion was in Software Development.  From there I used my existing skills to secure an entry level position in a Software Development Agency. Throughout this time I was attending night classes at College of Staten Island for a computer science degree.
As I took on more and more responsibilities in my career, I found that I did not have time for the night time studies.  The key to success was and is my curiosity and my hunger to learn more.  That is the secret.  It is what gets you noticed by those who are in control of companies. My employers noticed that my knowledge base kept expanding and rewarded my for my efforts.
          My advice is to push your boundaries and compare yourself to your peers. Don’t hold yourself back by assuming you cannot accomplish a goal.
Stay hungry about learning. I am always ready to expand my knowledge about IT and about business operations.  

Parent Teacher Conferences at McKee High School

Open Parent-Teacher’s Night
March 26th
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Open Parent-Teacher’s Afternoon
March 27th
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Report cards will be distributed at the
Parent / Teacher Conferences.

Pictures from the 2nd Annual YEA Event, Mar. 19, 2015

Just wanted to take a moment to share these amazing photographs taken at the Young Entrepreneur's Academy Event that is sponsored by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and held at Staten Island Technical High School on March 19th, 2015. It was a late start but I must tell you the range of ideas presented was captivating.


  This is quite an august panel of investors.  I do not know if I would have the wherewithal to present to seasoned business people my idea for a business.  But then again, when I was 16, my head was in the clouds and the latest Star Trek episode.

Stephon Barrett presented his idea for ReFerb - a company that refurbishes out of date computers.

 Here is Jessica indicating that Jay's Creations provides customized designs on sneakers or shoes.

Here's the YEA Class of 2015 with members of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tyreek Penn's Post Secondary Success Story

Tyreek Penn, Class of 2011 stopped by my office, at McKee, today, Thursday, March 19, 2015.  I hollered and gave him a big hug.  It is great to see how this youngster is developing as proceeds in his post-secondary educational journey.  Here is his story:
Tyreek Penn Jr
McKee 2011
Adelphi University, BSN 2016
Nursing student on the path to achieve a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
          A habit that made me successful in high school so that I was able to go to college was getting heavily involved with in my school as well as my studies. I was also good at building strong student to teacher relationships. McKee provided many opportunities here, including being the first Student Principal for a day. I often went to seek help from my teachers, and after constant studying I was really successful in high school.
          Theses habits helped me in college because although college is a whole new ball game, the fundamentals I learned in high school are still the same. I started off with an undeclared major in college. After freshmen year and a summer internship at Maimonides Medical Center on the Cardiac Critical Care Unit (CCU), I decided to declare my major in Nursing. I got heavily involved on campus such as becoming a Resident Assistant and an active member of Student Nurses Acting for Progress (SNAP) club. I visit my professors at least once a week to go over and receive material that I am learning in class.
          My turning point that helped me decide to go to college was the first marking period after freshmen year at McKee. I use to suffer from major nose bleeds my freshmen year. My grades went from 90s to 70s. I decided that this would never happen again. I wanted to go places in life. Ever since that first marking period in the ninth grade, I made sure that I was always on the honor roll.
          I decided to declare my major as Nursing, in my sophomore year at Adelphi University, I had to take a test to be eligible for the program. I joined the C-Step program (Science Club) and they provided tutoring for the Nursing Entrance Examination. This proved to be a strong move as I was accepted into the program at my school. I will complete my Nursing degree in May, 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Peer Mediators in Training at McKee

I had 5 events happening today, Saturday, March 14, 2015, which is a sizeable amount for McKee High School. They were: HBCU College Fair, PTA meeting, NYPD Exam Tutorial training session, Peer Mediation Training, and Saturday School.

A quiet and powerful event that occurred in our Black Box Theater was that 12 students showed up on Saturday, March 14, 2015, to be trained in the principles of conflict resolution to become Peer Mediators at Ralph R. McKee CTE High School. The New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID) provided the training.

Hundreds show up for HBCU College Fair at McKee on March 14, 2015

The rain and clouds did not stop the students and their parents shopping for colleges. Check out the coverage of the HBCU College Fair that happened on Saturday at McKee HS, March 14, 2015 in the Staten Island Advance:
Here are a few candid photos from the event as well:

It was way cool to have State Senator Savino, Councilwoman Debi Rose, and Director of Education Rose Kerr from Borough President James Oddo's office stop by and say a few words. I am still "geeking" off of introducing those three powerful leaders who are committed to public education.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Shark Tank on Staten Island + 2nd SEP Hackathon at McKee

Your eyes do not deceive you, two students from McKee will be pitching to the Staten Island “Shark Tank” at SI Tech High School.

The Hackathon will have 3 staff members attending to approximately 35 students. 

The date: Saturday March 21st from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.   

Locations in McKee: Rooms 209, 211 and the Student Cafeteria. 

HBCU College Fair - Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sunday, March 8, 2015

15 students at SKillsUSA NYC Regionals - 4 Award Recipients

McKee High School fielded a young team of 15 competitors to enter the SkillsUSA New York City Regionals. The event was held at Thomas Edison CTE High School in Queens, The co-advisors, Mr. Reynoso, and Ms. Lapenta not only helped set up the different events, on Friday, March 6th, 2015 till 11 p.m but were at McKee to chaperone the students to the competition at 6:45 a.m.

Here are the four award recipients:
Joed Diaz won 2nd place in Carpentry. The project, look at a blue print and build the frame for the side of a house within 3 hours. The inside of his hard hat was soaked with perspiration as he worked non-stop to complete the task.
Aaron Ocasio won 2nd place in Advertising Design.

Abubakkar Siddique won 3rd place in Job Demonstration.

Justin Forlenza won 3rd place in Information Technology Services.

Congratulations to all of the competitors putting themselves into a situation that pushed their thinking processes and challenged their assumptions, knowledge, and capacities.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Are You a Rising 9th Grade or 10th Grade Student - Apply to McKee

If you are a rising 9th grade or rising 10th grade student and want to learn more, whether your dream is to design the most iconic building in New York City or join Local 20, then apply in Round 2, to McKee. Here it is like private school, with small classes, committed faculty, secure grounds, and sophisticated technologies:

Apture Multimedia