Cleveland High School Interact Club receives presidential citation

Community Report, [email protected] Published 11:41 pm, Sunday, February 25, 2018 Photo: Submitted Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Rotarian and secretary Tommie Daniel, Rotarian and New Generations Chair Ernestine Belt present a presidential citation to Cleveland High School Interact Club sponsor Kathy Staph (right). Rotarian and secretary Tommie Daniel, Rotarian and New Generations Chair Ernestine Belt present a presidential citation to Cleveland High School Interact Club sponsor Kathy Staph (right). Photo: Submitted Cleveland High School Interact Club receives presidential citation 1 / 1 Back to Gallery In May 2016 the Rotary Club of Cleveland, Texas, sponsored the Cleveland High School Interact Club. During the first year, spanning July 2016 - June 30, 2017, club members raised money to End Polio Now, sponsored a water well in Nicaragua (which has their club name on the well), and for Global Youth Service Day helped out the community to sponsor a plastic bag pickup recycle day along with other recyclable items, among other local and national projects. On Feb. 19, Ernestine Belt, Rotary Club of Cleveland New Generations Chair and Rotary Club secretary Tommie Daniel presented the Rotary International 2016-2017 Presidential Citation for Interact Clubs to their sponsor Kathy Staph for their outstanding commitment to local, district and international projects at the Cleveland Independent School District Board meeting. Continue Reading

Cleveland high school pitcher throws perfect game by striking out every batter he faced

A Cleveland high school pitcher tossed a perfect game last week with some extra flair: he struck out every batter he faced. Because of the 10-run mercy rule in Cleveland high school baseball — the St. Edwards Eagles beat John Marshall 10-0 in the Division I Sectional championship game — senior Jaret Edwards only pitched to 15 batters, 11 of whom went down swinging. “He wasn't ahead on every batter. It takes extreme concentration because if you miss a pitch, it's a walk,” coach Matt Rosinski told Edwards, who has already committed to George Washington University for the fall, is 4-1 with an 0.96 ERA on the season so far. “I usually don't smile on the mound, but when I got the last strikeout, I smiled,” the right-handed pitcher told the website. “It was a pretty relieving moment.” The Ohio record for strikeouts in a single game sits at 21, tied in March by Michael McDonough at Columbia Crestview, a friend of Edward’s. But 15 strikeouts was plenty for St. Edwards. “It was just absolutely amazing," Rosinski said. “I'd never heard of this before and I'll probably never see it again in my lifetime.” Continue Reading

Teen slashed, another arrested in fight near Queens high school

One teen slashed another in the leg in a fight outside a Queens high school that also injured two school safety agents Monday, police sources said. Oscar Conde, 17, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with a minor wound, and the suspect, Ishmael Tejada, 16, was arrested, sources said. School safety agents Michael Merritt and Janet Rampersant were treated at Wyckoff Hospital for minor injuries suffered when they tried to break up the 9:20 a.m. fight across from Grover Cleveland High School on Himrod St. in Ridgewood. It was not immediately clear what the fight was about. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Local leaders unhappy with city plan to close 8 Queens high schools

Local leaders and parents are spitting mad over the city’s plan to close eight Queens high schools at the end of the school year. The city put out proposals this week to shutter William Cullen Bryant High School, in Long Island City, and Grover Cleveland High School, in Ridgewood. Plans to turn around the rest of the institutions on the state’s list of Persistently Lowest Achieving schools by closing them are expected in the next week. “It’s really infuriating,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), a Bryant alum. “I don’t see how this improves the lives or futures of the 3,000 kids that are going [there\].” The city plans to open new schools under different names in the fall in the same buildings. Up to half of the teaching staff from the 33 citywide schools targeted for closure would be replaced. The influential Panel for Educational Policy is slated to vote on the proposals on April 26. Doreen Lopez, president of Bryant’s Parent Association, said the school just got a new principal — who needs time to turn Bryant around. “It’s wrong what the DOE is doing,” Lopez said. “It affects everybody.” Brian Gavin, the teachers union rep at Grover Cleveland, called the city plan to shutter the school “smoke and mirrors.” “The plans for improvement the Department of Education is suggesting, we are already implementing,” he said. Kathy Carlson, president of Grover’s Parents Association, said the school could lose popular clubs and programs if teachers are removed. “We have so many dedicated staff members,” she said. “If we wind up losing them, it will harm the school.” Department of Education officials said the city lost out on significant federal funding when the city and the teachers union failed to quickly come to an agreement on teacher evaluations. By choosing the turn-around Continue Reading

Ohio high school shooting: 2nd student dies after teenage outcast allegedly opens fire in cafeteria

A student wounded in an Ohio school shooting has been declared brain dead, authorities said Tuesday, the second reported fatality in an attack that began when a teenager opened fire in the cafeteria at a suburban Cleveland high school a day earlier. King, 17, was one of five students injured when a suspect identified by a family lawyer as T.J. Lane began shooting at Chardon High School Monday morning. King was studying alternative energy at nearby Auburn Career Center and like the others who were shot was waiting for a bus for his daily 15-minute ride to the center. Student Daniel Parmertor died hours after the shooting.Nate Mueller, a junior, said he was sitting in the cafeteria with three friends when Lane arrived. Mueller told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he heard a shot fired and felt his ear sting. Mueller said he fled the school and called 911 from behind a car.Police Chief Tim McKenna said authorities "have a lot of homework to do yet" in their investigation of the shooting, which sent students screaming through the halls at the start of the school day at 1,100-student Chardon High. S.W.A.T. members leave Chardon High School after the shooting. Mark Duncan/AP Gov. John Kasich has ordered flags at the Ohio Statehouse flown at half-staff in honor of the slain students. Flags in Geauga County will also be lowered.Maggie Lynch.Nate Mueller told News Channel 5 in Ohio. "That shot I saw TJ take as I turned around had hit Russell and he was over the table in like a puddle of blood."Brian Bontempo declined to answer any questions about the student. Bontempo is the superintendent of the Lake County Educational Service Center, which operates the academy.Tyler Lillash, 16. "He was not bullied."Megan Hennessy, who was in class when she heard loud noises. "Everyone was running and screaming down the hallway."Rebecca Moser, 17, had just settled into her chemistry class when the school went into lockdown. The class of about 25 students ducked behind the lab tables at the Continue Reading

Queens high school teacher barred from classroom after explicit sexual education lessons

A Queens high school teacher has been barred from the classroom for giving explicit sex-ed lessons where he pretended to be a woman getting a gynecological exam, the Daily News has learned. Education officials canned Grover Cleveland High School science instructor Dyrel Bartee, 53, after students complained about his raunchy demonstrations. According to a report from the Special Commissioner of Investigation, Bartee reclined on his desk and opened his legs during a lewd presentation on childbirth in May 2011. RELATED: HORNDOG HIGH TEACHER HIT WITH STATUTORY RAPE CHARGE Then he touched his crotch and said: “This is the doctors’ favorite part because they get to put their fingers inside their women patients,” the report says. Bartee then explained to his class that “men like being doctors because they like to touch women,” according to the report. He couldn’t be reached for comment. Education officials first learned of Bartee’s bizarre routine after a group of students reported his actions online. RELATED: HORNDOG HIGH ASSISTANT PRINCIPLE CHARGED WITH SEXUAL HARASSMENT When investigators visited his school, students told them that Bartee acted out several roles in his sex-ed lessons. He played a woman giving birth, and a doctor catching the baby as it exited the woman’s uterus, they said. To illustrate the effects of venereal disease, students told investigators, Bartee “held his hands in his groin area and made an ‘oohing’ sound.” Officials bounced Bartee to desk duty in November 2011, but he continued to draw his salary of $80,987 until he resigned in April. He is no longer eligible for work in city schools. RELATED: TEACHER QUITS AFTER SHOWING TITLE OF GAY THREESOME VIDEO TO STUDENTS One of Bartee’s former students told the Daily News that the ousted instructor is not fit to teach. “He was both boring and weird,” said junior Laura Continue Reading

Seven Queens high schools to close, many 100+ years old

Some of the oldest high schools in Queens, including several that date back the turn of the 20th century, are slated to close their doors this summer. Educators said they worry the most successful programs from the seven struggling schools marked for closure will be lost when the city opens new schools in the same buildings in the fall. The specialties, which range from aviation technology to culinary instruction, could be in jeopardy as up to half of the schools’ staff will be replaced when the replacements open. “The big concern is that the schools are going to lose the programs primarily through the loss of qualified teachers,” said Paola de Kock, president of the Citywide Council on High Schools, a parents group. Department of Education officials said the city has no intention of ditching the specialties. “One of the key goals of this new school strategy is to retain the strongest programs from the existing schools, while introducing new talent and initiatives to build even stronger school communities,” said agency spokesman Matt Mittenthal. The Panel for Educational Policy voted to close seven of the borough’s public high schools at its April 26 meeting. The panel’s Queens representative, Dmytro Fedkowskyj, who voted against the closures, said he’s concerned there was “no firm commitment” from the city on maintaining the programs. Aristotle Matsis, senior culinary instructor at Long Island City High School, said he doesn’t know what will happen to the popular commercial cooking program there. Up to 20 students can compete for a single spot in the course, which prepares them to enter the industry, he said. “We have students in all the top restaurants throughout Manhattan,” Matsis noted. One school that doesn’t need to worry is Grover Cleveland High School, in Ridgewood. It was removed from the city closure list at the eleventh hour. Foreign Continue Reading

Eight Queens high schools could lose up to half of their staff under city plan

The future of eight large Queens high schools — and the hundreds of educators who work there — are in jeopardy as the city plans to overhaul the struggling institutions. The schools could lose up to half of their staff and receive a new principal and name this fall after the city and teachers union failed to reach an agreement on teacher evaluations. The move could help the city get up to $60 million in federal funds. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall has scheduled a Feb. 13 community meeting on the issue. Thirty-three city schools, all on the state’s Persistently Lowest Achieving schools list, could be affected. “The school kids are being used as a political football between the mayor and the teachers [union\],” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). “It’s unacceptable.” Schools on the state PLA list face four options. The first is to shut them down. The second is to transform them by rewarding teachers for boosting student performance. The third is to re-start them, by having a charter or management group run the school. The fourth is to turn them around. The last option involves keeping up to 50% of the school’s best teachers — which is the city’s plan. Teachers who lose their jobs will go into an excess pool where they keep their salaries while they float around the school system. The city is to submit its school turn-around proposal to the state Department of Education next week, a city official said. Ricky Davis, an aeronautics instructor and teachers rep at August Martin High School, in Jamaica, said the city’s plan is destroying morale at the school. “What it has done is interrupt the learning process,” he said. Kathy Carlson, president of the Parents Association at Grover Cleveland High School, in Ridgewood, blames the school’s poor graduation rate on its large number of students who aren’t fluent in English Continue Reading

Mr. Fix It: Custodial engineer Neal Oldis keeps Forest Hills High School running smoothly

By title, Neal Oldis is a custodial engineer. But, go ahead, call him janitor. He doesn't mind. "Most people just refer to me as a janitor," says the 65-year-old Elmhurst native and father of three. "The polite ones call me a custodian. As long as they pay me every two weeks, they can call me whatever they like. It's just a name." The custodial engineer at Forest Hills High School in Queens for four years, Oldis is in charge of maintaining the physical structure of the 74-year-old school building (plus the accompanying fields), which currently accommodates 4,000 students, nearly 50% more than initially intended. "My professional obligations are to provide a safe, clean, heated and sanitary environment within which the kids can learn," he says from behind a cluttered desk in his office. "They call us a jack of all trades but a master of none. We take care of everything from changing locks to unclogging toilets to fixing the air-conditioning." And if Oldis maintains the 256,000 square foot school building like he maintains his facial hair, he is neat and meticulous. "During these tight economic times, you have to make good use of what you have," says Forest Hills High School principal Saul Gootnick, "and Neal is extremely good at that." After returning from a stint in the Navy, Oldis entered the workforce as a cleaner at Grover Cleveland High School in 1973. A short man of solid build, he worked his way up from cleaner to the guy who shovels coal into and out of the furnace by 1987. "Fourteen years of shoveling coal caused me to lose my sense of smell," he says. "Then I got promoted to stationary fireman, which meant I could operate the school's six high-pressure boilers. It was like Evil Kenevil with six rockets." But Oldis is by no means above getting his hands dirty. In fact, that's the part of his job he enjoys the most. "I like to accomplish things," he says. "I take great satisfaction in fixing a problem structurally, whether that be Continue Reading

State Education Department eyes closure of Newtown High School

More Queens high schools are facing the axe - this time, wielded by the state. But, students, alumni and community members vowed on Wednesday to fight the possible closure of Newtown High School in Elmhurst - one of 10 Queens high schools the state Education Department has deemed "persistently lowest achieving." "This is not a done deal," vowed state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-East Elmhurst), who rallied the crowd at an impassioned meeting in the 113-year-old school's auditorium. Those on the state's hit list of 34 schools citywide have four options: They can be turned around by replacing the principal and half of the staff; transformed by rewarding staff who boost student achievement; become charter schools or simply shut down. "We identified those schools whose performance in English, language arts and mathematics were the lowest in the state and failed to show progress or schools who have had graduation rates below 60%," said Ira Schwartz, the state Education Department's assistant commissioner for accountability. Action plans could be due by late spring. "The bottom line is we need to create new programs for students that will result in increased graduation rates," Schwartz said. Newtown Principal John Ficalora blamed his school's 53% four-year graduation rate on the fact that his students hail from 100 countries and speak 59 languages. This, he said, makes it difficult for many of them to graduate on time. Richmond Hill High School Principal Frances De Sanctis was saddened when she learned her school was also in jeopardy. "We're already in transformation here," she said. The school went from earning an "F" on the city progress reports in 2008 to a "C" last year. "It would be a shame if they closed," said 11th-grader Alejandra Almonte, 16, of Corona. "They are trying to make the school better." The other Queens schools on the list are Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens Vocational-Technical High School in Long Island City, Continue Reading