Wheatley Alumni Monthly Newsletter

Number 11:  February 12, 2017

Dear Faithful Readers,

Welcome to Issue # 11 of The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter. As you’ve no doubt come to expect, there’s news about The Wheatley School, Wheatley Lives, and Wheatley Deaths (including photos).


EWSD Ranked 4th on Long Island; 7th in New York State, 28th in the Nation. Niche.com, about which I know nothing (but you can check out its website), ranked our school district as indicated in the caption. Other locals at the top, in order, nationally, include Great Neck (where my three youngsters attend) #5; rankings arch-rival Jericho # 10; Syosset (Jericho’s arch-rival) # 16; sports arch-rival Roslyn # 42; nearby Herricks # 64; and Mineola # 531. EWSD Board President Mark Kamberg commented (in part), in The Great Neck News, as follows: I think it’s always exciting to see positive ranking results for our school district, but rankings are only a small part of the great things that the EWSD does.” In case you are wondering which district, Niche ranked as best in the Country (and don’t feel like checking out the website, WWW.NICHE.COM, that would be the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District in Wayne, PA. Now if that doesn’t establish the ranking’s bona fides, I don’t know what would. BTW, for a dose of reality, Stanford, MIT, Yale Harvard, and Princeton, in order, took the top five college slots. (I thank Ike Evans, Class of 1965’s stalwart Class Correspondent, for first calling all this to my attention.)

Yuuuuge Donation to East Williston Education Foundation, Inc. After paying off late requests for refunds and reimbursements, The Wheatley School 60th Anniversary Celebration had just under $22,500 in its coffers. I sent a check for this amount to Louis Sobin Hersh, Class of 1963, one of The Foundation’s principals. The Foundation conducts various programs, including donating computers to needy EWSD pupils.

Next Wheatley Lunch

The Fifth Annual Wheatley School Alumni Association NYC Lunch will be scheduled for March. [Editor’s Note – That darn nor’easter flooded my basement the very day last week that I was scheduled to check out an Irish restaurant across the street from Penn Station. More soon. If you want to be on the “Lunch” invitation distribution list, please let me know…….I don’t invite everyone, but I do invite everyone who asks to be invited.]


Wheatley Family Filmmaker

Jordan Rennert is the son of Martin Rennert, Class of 1960, and the nephew of Ruth Rennert, Class of 1962, and Yvonne Rennert Guttman, Class of 1965. He has been called “an exciting, productive, young filmmaker, producer, and cinematographer with several films to his credit.” He and his business partner, Patrick Meaney, have created “a wonderful and enjoyable film” about the ever-creative English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, and lectures, Neil Gaiman, entitled Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously.

Gaiman is a New York Times #1 best-selling author, “one of the most beloved storytellers in the world.” In 2013, Neil set out on the largest book signing tour in history, spanning 40 cities in three months, the final signing tour he will ever do, and Jordan and Patrick had the privilege of following Neil on his epic journey and filming it.

According to the critics, “The film is a testament to the human spirit and when the film ends your own creative juices will be flowing.” “Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously, is a must-see, fast-moving, captivating, and thought-provoking film.” “An intimate and revealing, fast-paced and humorous film about Neil Gaiman, one the New York Times bestselling authors, and what has made him a continuing phenomenon loved by his fans.” George RR Martin, the author of Game of Thrones, invited Jordan and Patrick to hold its premiere at his privately-owned theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Here is the link to the film -- https://vimeo.com/ondemand/neilgaiman. You can use the promo code GAIMAN for a 10% discount.

P.S.: Jordan and Patrick grew up across the street from each other in Mamaroneck, NY and have been best friends and film collaborators since kindergarten. To learn more about their film-making journey, please visit their website -- www.respectfilms.com.

Ruth also wrote me as follows: “Everyone is still talking about the fabulous Wheatley 60th Anniversary Celebration and are wondering what we are going to do for Wheatley’s 70th Celebration? The Wheatley Class of 1962 Luncheon Celebration on Sunday, October 16th was an intimate sunny al fresco affair at Café Espanol at 172 Bleecker Street (bet MacDougal and Sullivan Streets) in Greenwich Village where the festivities, food/libations, and conversation flowed.


Stephen John Vanasco

Stephen John Vanasco, 1965, an anesthesiologist, passed away on 1/14/17. He is survived by brother John Vanasco, 1964, and cousins Stephanie Vanasco Fowle, 1959, and Susan Vanasco Howell, 1962.

Michael J. (“Mike”) Mazzeo

Michael J. (“Mike”) Mazzeo, 1990, passed away earlier this month (1/17). Brother Salvatore, 1975, predeceased him. Mike is survived by brothers Peter, 1977, and Gregory, 1982.

Jaqueline("Jackie") Hennelly

Jacqueline (“Jackie”) Hennelly, one of Wheatley's legendary English teachers, recently passed away. Says a colleague, “She was one of a kind.” [Editor’s note: My wife and I had a lovely lunch with her and John and Gerry Pagliaro in the fall of 2005. She taught at Wheatley after my time there, but I observed close up what a sweet person she was.]

A full obituary can be found at: http://theislandnow.com/manhasset-107/jackie-hennelly-wheatley-teacher-girl-scouts-leader-dies-90/


That’s it for this time. Additions, corrections, and submission welcome.


Contact Art: artengoron@gmail.com, Tel: 646-872-4833

© Wheatley Alumni Association 2016