December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008

Dear LoMA Family,


What a great Thanksgiving we had last week! It was wonderful to see so many families and friends of our students. Over 150 people turned out, and, based on how many leftovers we had, they ate more than ever. That’s because Mr. Lachnit, Rahmel and Nick (Jessica’s domestic partner) did such an amazing job working with me in the kitchen. Fortunately, we did not need to cook the deserts because so many people contributed their specialties. I want to give out a special shout-out to Carl for his red velvet cake (he is taking Christmas orders for $12) and to Millie for her carrot cake. Trece and Ms. Garfield organized and shopped for all of the food, Millie and Ms. C. kept everything running smoothly as always, and Mr. Lopez caught all of the good times on video.


Ms. McDevitt and our student government did a magnificent job organizing the event. Two weeks ago I went with them to meet Deputy Mayor Wolcott at City Hall. They were a polite and interested audience as we toured the Blue Room, City Council Chambers and the Bullpen where all of the mayors top assistants work together in one big room. This hard-working, dedicated student government has organized the school dance, sprit events and many other fun activities this year. I look forward to the fun and lively events they have planned for the rest of the year.


The Oppenheimer mentees and New York Cares served the food efficiently and professionally. The volunteer group New York Cares, under the leadership of Ms. Sheahan has already worked on an art projects with senior citizens at a nursing home and answered children’s Christmas cards. Next, they’ll be taking care of abandoned pets at an animal shelter. With our first graduating class coming up this year, our first set of Oppenheimer mentees will be earning their $4000 scholarships for completing their three day a week, four year commitment to the program. More importantly, I am very proud to have seen these kids grow emotionally, academically and socially through their connection with Trece and the employees of Oppenheimer Funds.


The revitalized Parent Association Meeting met after the dinner to approve the school’s comprehensive education plan and organize future meetings. Under the leadership of our new officers - Renee Cradle, Lebab Fallin and Elsie Rosario we will kick off the School Leadership Team next week in order to give parents, students and teachers a greater say in creating school policy.


Something that all four of these organizations have in common is that part of their mission is to serve others. At this time of year we often hear the expression that it is better to give than to receive. The people in these groups have generously given up their time to help others and strengthen our LoMA family. As they have done so, they have learned how empowering, interesting and fun it can be to help others. The fact that every one of these groups has grown every year is evidence that they must be getting something out of it and the success of last Tuesday’s feast shows how we all benefit when people work for a better community.


Thank you,



John Wenk