Danielle Fishel, Topanga from ‘Boy Meets World,’ flaunts cleavage for sexy Maxim spread

Boys, meet Topanga. The "Boy Meets World" star Danielle Fishel has gone from demure high school star to Maxim cover girl, starring in this month's sizzling photo spread. In the feature, the actress struts her stuff in lingerie and heels, caught performing domestic chores like vacuuming and grocery shopping in her skivvies. Fishel, 31, dished on her hit 1990s show, and gave a sneak peek of the upcoming Disney channel spin-off, "Girl Meets World." She even gives the scoop on where her character's name "Topanga" came from. "Michael Jacobs, who created 'Boy Meets World,' says he was driving down the highway when production called and said 'We need a name for this character!'" Fishel said. "He happened to be driving past Topanga Canyon, so he said 'Topanga.' He says that if they had called him two miles later, I would've been named Canoga, which is the next exit." And though Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence make the perfect TV couple, in real life, the two are just friends. "We went on one date, when I was about 15, and by the time the dinner was over we realized mutually that we were more like family than lovers," Fishel said. But that doesn't mean that the TGIF cast didn't have its gossipy moments. Fishel recalls a time that she was on a jet going to Disney World with the Olsen twins with her family when things got silly. "We were trying to take a nap, and all of a sudden Bob Saget walks down the aisle, rips open our curtain and shouts 'Do you guys have any coke?!'" Fishel continued. "Then he looks my dad in the eye, laughs, and closes the curtain. My mom was like, 'What was that all about?'" Alas for 1990s television enthusiasts, Fishel is off the market. The actress is set to marry her boyfriend of four years in October this year. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Boys and girls are not on the same page about elite city high schools

The city’s brightest boys and girls are increasingly going separate ways in high school — and New York needs to know why. Every year, about 27,000 eighth-graders take the highly competitive admissions test for eight schools that are considered among the best in the five boroughs. The test takers split roughly 50-50 between boys and girls. But boys win 60%, and girls get 40%, of the 3,700 ninth-grade classroom seats at Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, Staten Island Tech, Brooklyn Latin, the High School for American Studies at Lehman College, the High School for Math, Engineering and Science at City College and Queens High School for the Sciences at York College. Meanwhile, girls are taking command at excellent high schools that admit students based on grades, state test scores, essays, interviews and other entrance exams. These schools include Millennium, Baruch, Bard, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank McCourt and Townsend Harris. Girls far outnumber boys at all of those. An astonishing 70% of Townsend Harris students are female. At Millennium, 64% of the students are girls; at Bard and Eleanor Roosevelt, 63%. The question that demands answer is whether the boys and girls are self-segregating after enjoying equal shots at schools that seem best suited to help them achieve goals in college and beyond. If so, fine. The object is not to tailor student bodies to match the makeup of the city’s population, but rather to ensure that all comers are comparably prepared to meet admissions standards and feel welcome at all schools. The Education Department should start an inquiry by examining the flow of students into the eight schools that use the admissions test. The students who are most likely to ace the exam are those who have ranked in the top 5% on their eighth-grade math standardized tests. But, according to the department, the boys in that group have done better than the girls on the high school admissions exam, so the Continue Reading

Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel to reunite for ‘Boy Meets World’ sequel: ‘Girl Meets World’

Not even the wise Mr. Feeny could have seen this one coming. The Disney Channel confirmed rumors that it is developing a “Boy Meets World” sequel about Cory and Topanga’s 13-year-old daughter, Riley: “Girl Meets World.”   Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel will reprise their roles as Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence, the central couple of “Boy Meets World.”   "I'm going to be a father! Well, on TV at least. The ‘Boy Meets World’ sequel is officially happening," Ben Savage tweeted Monday.   Danielle Fishel confirmed her involvement in a blog post on Tumblr.   “First of all, let me say that you, the fans of Boy Meets World, have been awesome,” she wrote. “That word is often used incorrectly by people, including myself, on a daily basis but you have truly been awe inspiring.  You, yes, even YOU, are the reason that Girl Meets World WILL BE MADE.”   Fishel said that many conversations took place about the new sitcom before everyone agreed to it. The first sentence out of everyone’s mouth when approached with the idea was ““Let’s only do it if we think we can create something as special as we did with BMW.”   Boy Meets World, which ran from 1993 to 2000, became a popular staple in TGIF, ABC’s weekly block of family-friendly programming. The show endeared itself to a generation of children who, now in their twenties, are brimming with excitement over the announcement.   Fishel said that much of the cast shares the audience’s enthusiasm and nostalgia.   “Those years were among the most warm, hilarious, insightful, educational years of my life and I wouldn’t trade them for the world,” she wrote.   [email protected]   Watch the video here Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Nazareth Regional HS sends boys and girls basketball teams to state Federation tournament in Albany after controversy involving former athletic director

When the state Federation basketball tournament is held in Albany this weekend, Nazareth’s boys and girls teams will both be trying to win ‘A’ level championships. For first-year athletic director Anthony Barnes, it’s an embarrassment of riches and reason to celebrate: two teams vying for state championships in the same sport in the same year. But all the success and accolades have also come with a bit of controversy at a school that is desperately trying to clean up its image. While Nazareth is vying for glory in Albany, the school’s previous athletic director, Rochelle Murphy, will be home in Brooklyn, following the fun from afar. Murphy, who spent four years as Nazareth’s AD, quietly stepped down from Nazareth in August after an incident involving boys basketball coach, Todd Jamison, who was in Glens Falls this weekend scouting for the upcoming Federation tournament. What began as a passionate discussion about the whereabouts of one of his players turned physical, with pushing involved, according to Murphy. After the police were called in, Murphy says she fired Jamison on the spot, but Nazareth principal Providencia Quiles later overruled that decision, saying Murphy didn’t have the authority to fire a school employee. Quiles later conducted a two-week investigation and decided that Jamison would keep his position and wouldn’t be punished. She released a statement in July following the investigation, saying, in part: “Differences have been successfully resolved,” and “the matter is concluded.” But unwilling to work at a school that exempted Jamison’s alleged behavior, Murphy said she resigned from her position in early August. “I left due to the unfortunate incident in the summer,” Murphy said in a recent phone interview, without elaborating. “I really don’t want to comment further. I kind of felt like I didn’t have an option. . .I Continue Reading

Making return to greatness: Big expectations for Boys and Girls High School

Boys and Girls High School Principal Bernard Gassaway is on a mission to save the troubled Bedford-Stuyvesant school. Gassaway, who took over the fabled Fulton St. school three years ago, said the city's Department of Education will close Boys and Girls if he isn't successful. "I'm just beginning to stop the bleeding," said Gassaway. "I have to take ownership of what happens at this school. The students are here and it's our job to educate them." Some of what Gassaway would like to do to remake Boys and Girls is controversial. He wants to get rid of at least 20 teachers on his staff of 60 because of "incompetence." But he's making do with them for now because of the lengthy process involved in removing teachers. "I wanted to expedite the reform that was needed at this school but it takes a lot of energy, effort and time to remove incompetent staff," he said. Boys and Girls was a success under longtime principal Frank Mickens, who retired and has since died. He and Gassaway, who met when Gassaway taught English at Boys and Girls, remained close friends after the two men left the school. The school faltered under Mickens' replacement. In a conversation with Gassaway, Mickens worried the school could close - and Gassaway said he would take over if school officials wanted him to. Gassaway had one condition: He wanted to meet with then-Chancellor Joel Klein and set a few ground rules - including a guarantee he would have at least three years and not be transferred; that no other school would move in to the building; and that security would be stepped up. Three years in, Gassaway has put in some reforms. He recently changed the academic policy for student-athletes, requiring all seniors to hold a minimum 70% average and do mandatory community service in order to be on a team. He also hopes to launch his "Fathers Program" where students who have children learn skills to help them support their families. "The idea is to have a spectrum of Continue Reading

Danielle Fishel wants to go from ‘Boy Meets World’ kid star to adult actress

Danielle Fishel made a name for herself as the cute-faced kid on "Boy Meets World." Now, she's hoping to get back into the sitcom game and make it as an adult. "Everytime I go out for something, people are like, 'Go get your 'Community!'" Fishel told The News, referring to Joel McHale, who went from hosting "The Soup" on sister network E! to starring in NBC's hit comedy "Community." "But it's going to take a really special pilot to understand that 'The Dish' is going to be my first priority. We've all worked really hard to make it grow." As she looks for her next sitcom job, Fishel is pulling double duty. She's hosting Style Network's "The Dish," a clip show that pokes fun at the week's best TV snippets, headlines and gossip, and she's also working on a psychology degree. "The Dish" is produced by the same folks behind McHale's "Soup," and for that reason, Fishel has high hopes for what her show could one day become. "I am such a huge 'Soup' fan and such a Joel fan, that all I hoped in the beginning was that we would be allowed to stay on the air long enough to work out all our quirks, build up a fan base and maybe someday be as good as 'The Soup' is," said Fishel. "I feel like now, after two years, we really have a good thing going on and I just want it to keep getting better." She's even gotten a few pointers from McHale. "He gave me a bunch of advice when I started, but one thing he said was, 'When it feels like you're doing a crappy job up there, that's when you know you're doing it right,'" Fishel said. "I'm still learning how to slow down and take a breath and allow the audience to enjoy a joke." Before landing at Style, Fishel was best known for her role as Topanga on "Boy Meets World." "People still recognize me from that show," said Fishel. "And that's so fine with me. Most people aren't lucky enough to work on a show that sticks in the viewers' minds for so long. I'm never going to have a hard time with that." She wants to continue Continue Reading

Medgar Evers boys and girls 4×400-meter relay teams qualify for Millrose Games

Adrian Lewis remembers last year's Millrose Games as if it were yesterday. The Medgar Evers boys and girls 4x400-meter relay teams entered the meet with title aspirations, and each was loaded with talent. But both squads struggled, leaving with third-place finishes. "It wasn't great," Lewis said. "You know how you'll sometimes get that grudge that you just hold onto, and you really want to do better? That's how we've felt ever since." Medgar Evers began its quest for redemption on Wednesday at the Armory, competing in the Millrose Trials. And while neither the boys nor the girls won, both squads qualified for the Jan. 29 Millrose Games and served notice that they'll be serious contenders in that competition. The Lady Cougars dominated the girls 4x400 for nearly 1,200 meters before Cardozo stormed to victory behind a blistering anchor leg from Chamique Francis. And the boys team held a late lead before succumbing to Boys & Girls over the final 400 meters and finishing second. Still, Cougars coach Shaun Dietz said his squad had enjoyed an encouraging showing. "We came here and all we wanted to do was qualify," he said. "We can run even better than we did today." That's a frightening thought for Medgar Evers' opponents, especially in the girls competition. The Lady Cougars entered Wednesday's competition having run a state-best 3:55.13 at the Hispanic Games just a week earlier, and they seemed to be Millrose favorites. Defending Millrose champion Cardozo was relegated to second billing. "It was different," Francis said. "Usually, we're the favorites." The Lady Cougars ran like a favored squad from the outset, jumping to an early lead behind Rachel Leake and holding the advantage after three legs. But Francis blasted past Medgar Evers anchor Kamil Edwards and pulled away over the final 300 meters. Cardozo finished in a state-best 3:50.94, nearly four seconds faster than the Lady Cougars (3:54.35). The boys team enjoyed a similarly solid Continue Reading

Boys and girls grappling with newest battle of sexes

Janel Gonzalez's reaction was one of pure joy. Moments after the 96-pounder from Lehman pinned her opponent in a PSAL wrestling match, Gonzalez, a 4-6½ spigot of energy who is also a cheerleader, cupped her hand over her mouth. "I was shocked that I really won," she said of her first win of the season, which came against Petrides' Emmanuel Bandoo on Jan. 3. "I didn't believe it at first. I was just shaking my head. I tried to go back to the bench, but I was suffocated by hugs." Such scenes of hysteria are becoming more common this winter, in what has amounted to a breakout season for girls wrestling in New York City. Approximately 40 girls from 16 PSAL schools are pulling on a singlet and taking their spot on the mats, according to data compiled in December by Mike Spanakos of the Beat the Streets program. With 15 fledgling developmental squads this season bringing the number of PSAL wrestling programs to 45, the number of girls is noticeably increasing. Some, like Gonzalez, say they were attracted to the sport's physical component. Baruch's Joann Lee, a former team manager who grew frustrated as a spectator and discovered she is a terror on the mat, wrote her college essay on her experiences as a grappler. "I'm proud to be a girl wrestling in a sport with mostly boys," she said during her team's meet at Edison on Friday. "You feel like the crowd is kind of whispering about you when you go out to wrestle, but it doesn't matter; I'm too busy focusing on what I have to do." The girls have not escaped the predictable responses from male coaches and opponents, which range from sportsmanlike and collegial to chilly and unwelcoming. Wingate's Tony Ann Nelson was supposed to compete in a tournament on Saturday at Herricks HS on Long Island, but her male opponent from Farmingdale refused to wrestle against a girl, Herricks wrestling coach and event director Cliff Forziat said. Added Farmingdale JV coach Darrin Simons: "I'm not going to push him Continue Reading

IHSAA cross-country finals: Carmel boys, Zionsville girls win state titles

TERRE HAUTE – It was a day of validation Saturday in the boys and girls Indiana High School Athletic Association cross-country state finals.Hamilton Southeastern senior Gabe Fendel captured the boys state title that had eluded him over his previous three accomplished seasons; Greencastle junior Emma Wilson verified her undefeated season by overtaking defending champion Tyler Schwartz late to win the girls title; the third-ranked Zionsville girls corroborated their ascension in the ranks of the elite with the program’s first state championship; and No. 1 Carmel reclaimed its status as the best boys program around.It was a fitting finish for Fendel, who placed 107th as a freshman, ninth his sophomore season and as the runner-up a year ago. He navigated the 5,000-meter LaVern Gibson championship course Saturday in 15 minutes, 17 seconds.“It was weird (Friday) night. I wasn’t too worried about the race,” said Fendel, a Colorado recruit. “It didn’t feel like the state meet. But once I got here, it hit me. Usually before big races, I can’t sleep. I stay up really late. But I fell asleep and didn’t think about it. When I woke up, though, I was like, ‘This is it.’ I’ve been waiting to get this state championship in cross for four years. I’m just happy to finally get that under my belt.”Fendel charged out and at 400 meters looked in control, maintaining his lead throughout. Cathedral junior Cole Hocker, who handed Fendel his only loss of the season in the regional, hung with the leader before dropping back midway through. He surged near the finish and looked to push Fendel, but couldn’t close the final 10-meter gap. He placed second in 15:19.“He’s always been the guy that’s just been a step ahead of me,” Hocker said. “But he’s definitely given me something to work toward.”Wilson attacked the hilly and windy course in the girls race, Continue Reading

CARIBBEAT: Live broadcast of Jamaica’s thrilling Boys and Girls Champs coming to Queens from Team Jamaica Bickle organization

After marking its 20th anniversary last year, the Team Jamaica Bickle track and field program for Caribbean high school athletes is picking up its pace in 2015 by adding a live viewing of the exciting Jamaica Boys and Girls Championships to its agenda. The Jamaica, Queens-based TJB will show the prestigious track event, known as simply as “Champs,” in New York on March 28 at the Magnet Lounge, 241-05 Linden Blvd., in Queens, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. — one of about 40 locations around the world getting a live look at the annual gathering of Jamaica’s world-class scholastic runners, jumpers and throwers. TJB officials urge Jamaican high school graduates - who religiously follow the exploits of their respective alma maters - to bring their school colors and cheer on their team during the broadcast of Champs. Many top-flight participants in the Jamaica event, which dates back to 1910, take in Philadelphia's Penn Relays track meet every April - which attracts athletes and fans from across the U.S. and around the world. For two decades, TJB has helped visiting athletes from Jamaica and other Caribbean nations get accommodations, transportation and food they are accustomed to while at the Penn Relays. The nonprofit organization’s volunteers and sponsors are gearing up for this year’s Penn Relays in Philadelphia, April 23 through 25. The successes of Jamaican high school athletes and Olympic-caliber competitors have been followed at Penn by participants from Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Grenada, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other Caribbean locations. As the Penn Relays, there are TJB-sponsored Thanksgiving services, an awards reception and the big annual breakfast at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in the Bronx on April 18. For information on Team Jamaica Bickle, to make a donation and lend support, call (718) 523-2861, send email to www.teamjamaicabickle.org. For tickets and information on the Penn Relays, visit Continue Reading