School/Club News


I.S. 259 commemorates 9/11 with speaker, tour of school’s memorial

posted Sep 14, 2017, 12:55 PM by Joanna Gillen

From Brooklyn Reporter: Link to article
On Monday, September 11, I.S. 259 William McKinley, 7301 Fort Hamilton Parkway, was host to a day filled with commemorations and lessons for its middle school students on the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Jessica Amato, an English teacher at the school, arranged for 9/11 Memorial Museum docent Sharyn Yansko to speak to students about the attack that claimed thousands of lives, going into detail with slideshows and stories of the day that 19 terrorists hijacked four airplanes, two of which slammed into the One and Two World Trade Center.

“As an American and a New Yorker, I was outraged that we were attacked and determined that we would continue our way our life and not be terrorized,” she explained.

Community leaders and elected officials were also on hand, including Assemblymember Pamela Harris, Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, aide to Congressmember Dan Donovan, Fran Vella-Marrone, and aide to State Senator Marty Golden, John Quaglione.

Afterwards, eighth grade students Benjamin Forni and Jeanie Tramontano gave students and guests a tour of the school’s impressive and touching memorial and mural that pay tribute to both the victims and the heroes of 9/11 who lost their own lives attempting to save others. The mural, created by students, teachers and alumni, took years to complete and was unveiled in 2012.

The mural begins on the third floor with a painting of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, leading into a hallway that features poems, art, and the names of fallen heroes.

“Students painted the American flag and it took them months to get every line straight and get it right,” said Tramontano. “One of the poems,” she added, “says ‘All gave some and some gave all.’ This means that everyone tried to help and some gave their lives.”

In addition, a painting inspired by Michelangelo — also created by students — represents how individuals tried to help those in need. A firefighter’s helmet is also painted on one of the walls with the number 343, the number of firefighters that died on 9/11.Several fragments from the World Trade Center that were donated to the school were also on display, including steel, glass and a cross found at Ground Zero.

Quaglione was impressed by the students’ eagerness to learn. “It’s hard to believe that children in middle school were born after September 11,” he said. “For them, it is just something in the history books. To bring it here, tell a personal story and show pictures of people that actually died and to hear about the heroism is special, because you don’t want it ever to happen again.”

“The museum is going to be so impressed,” added Yansko. “On my way out, I want to take pictures of the mural. These kids are fabulous. The fact the school has its own memorial and mural is just astounding. I’m really surprised and pleased because that’s a living way to remember as kids walk past it all the time. They’ll never say they never heard of it.”
















I.S. 259 students remember the fallen on Memorial Day during annual ceremony

posted Jun 13, 2017, 9:57 AM by Joanna Gillen

Article From Brooklyn Reporter
By Jaime DeJesus   - 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017  - 2:04 PM

A local school again paused to remember the country’s fallen heroes.

        I.S. 259 William McKinley, 7301 Fort Hamilton Parkway, held its annual Memorial Day tribute on Tuesday, May 23, featuring patriotic students reciting touching poems for soldiers that lost their lives fighting for their country’s freedom, performances from the school’s marching band and concert string orchestra, and appearances by veterans, elected officials and community leaders.
        The event’s organizer Jessica Amato was proud of both her students and the community. “I am always amazed at the great support we get as we interact with everyone in the community and engage in one room to teach our students and all of us the importance of Memorial Day and why we shouldn’t take our freedoms for granted,” she said. “I always learn something new from my students when we put together programs like this.”
        “For many of us, Memorial Day represents the beginning of the summer season,” added Principal Janice Geary. “Many of us have barbecues, stay outside and go on vacation. However, none of these activities would be possible without our veterans who served and gave their lives to this country so we can be free and enjoy those simple pleasures.”
        Councilmember Vincent Gentile, a McKinley alumni, was also in attendance. “It’s a pleasure to be here as Memorial Day is a day we celebrate each and every year,” he said. “This year for me it’s a little special because I’m one of the deputy grand marshals for the parade.”
He also discussed the importance of the day. “If you pick up a newspaper and read about what’s going on in the world, you realize what freedoms we have and how we fought to get those freedoms and that many people gave their lives so we can get them,” he said. “Each and every year, this school takes time out to mark Memorial Day and as a graduate of McKinley, I appreciate you remembering this day.”
        “We’re here to remember those that fought for our freedom that didn’t come back and made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Fran Vella-Marrone, who represented Congressmember Dan Donovan. “These were people that went off and gave their life for people they didn’t know or ever meet, like you and me. They died for us.”
        “Memorial Day is to honor those who have died for us,” added John Quaglione, representing State Senator Marty Golden. “They have definitely inspired all of us to come together this morning and remember all of those that have fallen and continue to inspire our nation and our people.”
Veterans also spoke to the kids, which led to an emotional portion of the program during which students named a soldier from each state who had died in the line of duty.
        “As we hear those names, it’s easy to think of them as long lost heroes, ghosts and people we can’t relate to,” said Max Rose, who served in Afghanistan as an infantry officer. “But I served with people not much older than you and it’s important to realize that they were and are human. They make mistakes, they’re afraid. But they’re courageous not just because of what they did but what they didn’t do. The times they didn’t shoot. Civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq are alive because of the courageous restraint they showed. Every day I think of the friends I served with. We thank them for their service today.”

Congratulations to our Award Winning Cafeteria Staff!

posted Jun 13, 2017, 7:51 AM by Joanna Gillen


The Billion Oyster Project

posted Jun 5, 2017, 10:17 AM by Joanna Gillen

We are proud of all of our students who have been involved in the The Billion Oyster Project this year. This program is an ecosystem restoration project which aims to restore one billion live oysters to the New York Harbor.  Oysters filter the water, provide a habitat for other species, and can reduce the force of tidal energy.  Classes at McKinley, led by Ms. Prazenica and Ms. Barrett, have joined the BOP and have an oyster restoration station at the American Veterans Memorial Pier in Bay Ridge. Their classes have been taking trips to the pier to collect data on the oysters and measure the water quality.  Data is then submitted to the BOP and the students gain a greater appreciation for our harbor. 

Keep up the great work!!







Multi-Cultural Food Festival

posted May 28, 2017, 7:18 AM by Elizabeth Urena   [ updated Jun 13, 2017, 7:41 AM by Joanna Gillen ]



Chalk Art Success!

posted May 19, 2017, 10:09 AM by Joanna Gillen


On Tuesday, May 16th, McKinley art students showed off their skills by creating life size drawings in the school yard. 
Congratulations to Ms. Livi for all of her hard work and dedication to preparing students for this competition and all of the participants, especially the following winners: 

Number 1: “The Joker and Batman” 

Nyama Amat 806 and Katherine Abalonski 811

Number 2: “The Wolf” 

Kevin Wong, Howa Chu and Anwar Alnuairi 812

Number 3: “Colorful Rain” 

Simona Garcia, Charlene Chui and Vinny Jiang of 706

Best Cartoon: “The Cheshire Cat” 

Genevieve Heffron and Citlali Coyoltecatil 707 

Best Animal: “Bird to Flower” 

Yanxia Weng and Emily Chen 712 

Best Portrait: “Repunzel” 

Amnah Shaaban, Briella Scuteri, Rawda Ahmed of 707 Karla Meza 714

Most Original: “3/D rainbow tunnel” 

Alice Lian, Xiurong Chen, Jialing Lin 816













Congratulations to our Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest Winners.

posted May 19, 2017, 9:28 AM by Joanna Gillen

Congratulations to Lacey McShane and Ya Ling Xiao whose artwork was celebrated at the 31st Annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest Celebration on May 16, 2017 at LaGuardia Community College. Second through twelfth grade students attending public, independent, charter or parochial schools (or homeschooled) in New York City and East and West of Hudson Watersheds were invited to create original art and compose poetry that reflects an appreciation for our shared water resources. Our students were one of the few celebrated as "Water Champions" for their artwork. Congratulations!












Congratulations Ms. Geary & Agent Askew!

posted May 12, 2017, 7:18 AM by Joanna Gillen   [ updated May 12, 2017, 7:19 AM ]

Congratulations to both Principal Geary and Agent Askew for receiving awards this week recognizing their dedication and commitment to their work at McKinley. 

Ms. Geary received the "Inspired Education Professionals Award" on May 11 at MCU Park. She was celebrated for her devotion to the profession and her willingness to serve the special needs students from New York City. 
Also on May 11, Agent Askew was honored at the 3rd Annual School Safety Agent Recognition Ceremony. She was celebrated for her exemplary service every day at McKinley. We are so lucky to have them both at McKinley!



Vitra Vision Shines at the International Virtual Enterprise Trade Show

posted Apr 7, 2017, 7:58 AM by Joanna Gillen   [ updated Apr 7, 2017, 8:38 AM ]

For the past 8 months, the 8th grade Virtual Enterprise class has been busy creating and running their own customizable eyeglass company, Vitra Vision. On April 5, they were able to showcase all of their hard work at the VE International Trade Show in NYC. They set up a booth with their business plan, sample products, brochures, catalogs, business cards, and promotional items and spent the day promoting and selling their products to more than 3,000 students, educators, business leaders, and industry professionals.By the end of the trade show they totaled over $500,000 in sales, which will be credited to them in the Virtual Enterprise Banking System. 


To make the day even better, McKinley's Vitra Vision was one of only 20 schools awarded a medal for best overall booth – and the only Junior High on the list!

 

Congratulations to Vitra Vision (class 806) for all of your hard work! 







Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of Willy Wonka Junior!

posted Mar 19, 2017, 4:01 PM by Joanna Gillen   [ updated Mar 19, 2017, 4:45 PM ]

The entire auditorium was filled and excited for both nights of Willy Wonka Junior. The hard work and dedication of the entire cast and crew was clearly visible as they captivated the audience from beginning to end. The acting, singing, costumes, lighting, and set designs made for a perfect performance both evenings! 

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