1999-12-18 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

On Wednesday, December 9, my mother, Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey, a
member of the New York State Board of Regents, and I visited Midwood High School at Brooklyn College. We were introduced to the school by its
principal, Lewis Frolich. Mr. Frolich is a dynamic, futuristic leader who
focuses the administrators, faculty and students on the achievement of
academic excellence.

We were joined by our good friend Sylvan Klein, who is a guidance
counselor at Midwood. Sylvan is an outstanding academic with a wealth of educational experience. He is a caring and concerned professional whose vast knowledge helps the students to achieve their goals and guides them to aspire to their highest potential.

As the principal, Lewis Frolich, showed us the research papers that
had been submitted by 72 students to the Westinghouse Intel Talent Search he enthusiastically described several of the projects. He has had the papers bound in five volumes including Vol. 1 Environmental, Vol. 2
Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 3 Medical Science, Vol. 4 Biology and Physics and Vol. 5 Behavioral Science. As he described the curriculum at Midwood he pointed out that they required five years of foreign languages (one of which may be Latin) five years of science and five years of math.

An outstanding math teacher at Midwood is Frances Weiner, the
mother of our congressman, Anthony Weiner. When we visited her class, she was teaching quantitative analysis. Mrs. Weiner is an outstanding,
qualified professional who is vital to the academic success of the students. Math today is an area of high demand.

Many students from our area chose to attend Midwood High School
because of its academic excellence. One very fine young lady is Lianne
Binckes. She is an excellent academic student who excels at sports as
well. We enjoyed visiting with her at Midwood.

Some of the outstanding graduates of Midweek include William Thompson, the president of the New York City Board of Education and Sy
Syms, the founder of Syms Corporation. He revolutionized the concept of
"off price" clothing stores.

Midwood is one of one hundred sixty schools in the country to be
invited to the White House to receive a Blue Ribbon Award for academic
excellence. In addition, Midwood has an off campus summer school program which promotes academic excellence. It allows the students to develop their research skills at various sites including the Bronx Zoo and the aquarium. These students will be our future academic leaders.

Fifteen Midwood students attend a session of the United States
Supreme Court each year in Washington, D.C. Justice Marshall sponsored the group one year and Justice Ginsberg sponsored the class last year. After the students listen to the oral arguments presented to the Supreme Court and the session is complete, one of the justices discusses the case with the students. They are briefed on the different aspects of the case they heard.

At Midwood High School itself, they have a courtroom. They use it to interest the students in current and historical issues. It allows the youngsters to develop their debating skills. They have also reenacted
issues such as the Lincoln Douglas debate.

Midwood has many inclusion classes where special education children join with other youngsters to study various topics. In one class everyone was learning to play the guitars. Every young person enjoys this. It allows them to come together to work on a mutual interest. It also allows for the presentation of music theory while they are learning the techniques of mastering the guitar.

Since the principal Lewis Frolich comes from the political science
discipline he encourages the full participation of the students in their
student government. Midwood has a mayor, a comptroller and a city council. The students rent actual voting machines and go to the polls to elect
their representatives. Every student learns to vote and learns the
importance of being involved in their community.

With strong academic professionals like Lewis Frolich, Sylvan
Klein and Frances Weiner in leadership position our students will prosper.

Please join us for our club holiday party on Tuesday, December 21
at 7:30 p.m. at 104-02 Rockaway Beach boulevard at the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways. Our club members met Tipper Gore last week. They also joined Senator Schumer at Congressman Weiners function on Sunday.



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