2000-04-22 / Columnists

The Week at

The Rock
by Stuart L. Astor

Thursday, April 13, marked the annual "Principal-for-a-Day" event at schools throughout New York City, when political celebrities get the chance to spend a full day seeing public schools from the inside. This year Assemblywoman Pauline Rhodd Cummings from our own 31 Assembly District of Queens County visited Far Rockaway High School.

Ms. Cummings, who was elected to the assembly seat vacated by now-Congressman Gregory Meeks, spoke to many individual classes, met many representative students and faculty members, and addressed an assembly during her one-day tenure as principal. To individual classes she stressed the importance of the year 2000 census. She enlisted the aid of students in getting family members and neighbors to fill out and mail in census forms. "The money we get for public works programs such as street and highway repair is calculated according to census figures," she explained, "so it is important for everyone to register. In Queens we have a lot to lose," she went on. "To remedy the deplorable ‘A’ Train service, to repair sewer and roads and to improve access to the peninsula, we must have the census figures."

Both as a Rockaway resident and as a member of the board of the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation, Assemblywoman Rhodd Cummings knows our community intimately. After her day at FRHS, she professed herself impressed with the school and its programs, calling it "one of our best-kept secrets," and recommending increased publicity for such community services as our lifeguard program. "Seeing Far Rockaway High School as principal-for-a-day," she enthused, "you can’t help but say, ‘Wow!’ ."

Twenty-five Far Rockaway High School seniors have received notice that they have been awarded a New York City Merit Scholarship to study at the City University for fall, 2000. The award is in the amount of $725 per student per semester and is contingent upon the recipients maintaining a "B" average for their last year at FRHS.

Projected over four years of full-time study for each student, these awards can amount to a total of as much as $145,000.00. The following is a list of our NYC Merit Scholars: Salina Afzali, Sypria Baksh, Teena Barnett, Gregory M. Bernier, Jean Paule Christie, Maria Harris, Nadia Jogie, Rosalyn Lawrence, Latavia S. Lee, Tariqua McLamb, Edwige Michel, Kharen Moy, Lyana M. Muniz, Eduardo Munoz, Taina M. Murat, Veronica Ortiz, Shivanie Premchand, Savita Ramsaran, Judene V. Rickard, Janeli Rodriguez, Shakira Senior, Jacqueline E. Turcios, Afiya K. Webb, Omowumni Yusef and Melanie A. Zayas.


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