May 4, 2009

May 4, 2009


Dear LoMA Family,

Last week I wrote about the importance of trying your best and working hard during this final home stretch of the year. This week I want to focus on the many examples of students who are doing this and earning impressive results on the stage, on the court and in the classroom.

For such a small school, our students are impressively capturing audiences on the newest and largest stages in the city:

Þ    The drama majors are creating an experimental, “black box” theatre in collaboration with American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) stage management team. They have carefully painted the entire room, removed extraneous features and will be hanging curtains soon. We will be seeing their end-year performances in this newly renovated space next month.

Þ    Through the support of Chase Manhattan Bank, our dancers will be performing on New York’s largest stage with ABT on June 5th to a sold out performance which will be seen by our juniors and sophomores. This performance is being supported administratively and financially by the Oppenheimer mentoring group.

Þ    LoMA students will also be performing one of LoMA’s own student-written plays at a Broadway theatre through a partnership with Fidelity Futures. LoMA’s actors for the performance will be auditioning next week before some of the most prestigious figures of New York theatre.

Þ    Last month many of our students put on an inspiring performance at Edgies.

Þ    Photography created by our students involved with the LoVE program is currently on display at Henry Street Settlement, and in the main gallery is a show curated by LoMA’s art majors.

Þ    Finally, I am very excited to see RENT in our own renovated auditorium in two weeks. The cast and crew have been rehearsing late into the evening, on weekends and over vacation to bring us a spectacular, moving show.

One might expect to see an arts school’s students in some of the top theatres and galleries of New York. What has been even more surprising is our athletic prowess on the ball courts.

Þ    Our intramural basketball team continues to be undefeated after seven games. What has been remarkable about this is how they continue to win year after year, not through any start performances, but through fluid, supportive teamwork.

Þ    Two Seward Park Varsity teams are following up on the success of our girls’ basketball and volleyball teams and have made it to this season’s finals – our boy’s volleyball and girl’s tennis teams.

Finally, our students’ academic success continues to grow through their hard work and dedication.

Þ    This Friday about a dozen juniors will take the prestigious and difficult Advanced Placement exam in US History. These students have been coming to school an hour early, staying late after school and even attending Saturday classes all year. If all of this hard work leads to success on the test, they will earn college credits now.

Þ    I see more and more students attending tutoring and meeting the terms of their contracts. It looked like almost half of our students came to after school tutoring last week, and their test grades reflect these good efforts.

All of the success our students’ are enjoying through their determination and hard work follows the unyielding formula: effort = success. On the court, the stage or in the classroom, our students are putting in the hours, keeping their focus and doing their best. The results this fortitude are now becoming apparent as our seniors’ college acceptances are rolling in. Virtually all of our senior have applied to four year colleges, and nearly all of them have been accepted somewhere (some are still waiting to hear). Some of the schools they have been accepted to are: University of Hawaii at Hilo, Brandeis University, New York University, Lawrence College, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and many SUNY schools including Binghamton and Purchase’s famous music conservatory.

Work Hard and Succeed,



John Wenk