All aboard the District 20 schools tour

November 26, 2012 Denise Romano
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Councilmember Vincent Gentile, District 20 Superintendent Karina Costantino, District 20 Community Education Council President Laurie Windsor and CEC members embarked on a five-hour tour of new school buildings in the district on Tuesday, November 13.

First stop was P.S./I.S. 163, The Bath Beach School, where the chorus, Bath Beach orchestra, dance and theater troupes gave rousing performances.

Principal Maryann Wasmuth told attendees that the brand new building has a state-of-the-art science lab, dancing studio, art room, music suite and library. There is also an after-school guitar program, made possible by a grant funded by Gentile.

Next stop on the tour was P.S. 748, The Brooklyn School for Global Scholars, where Principal Ursula Annio refers to her students as “bucket fillers,” who are people who are kind to others, as well as themselves.

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“We not only educate but produce children who go back and give to the community,” she explained. “We want them to be socially responsible as a global citizen, not just of the U.S.”

P.S. 748 also offers yoga, karate, sculpting, drama and cooking classes, besides the regular curriculum.

P.S/I.S. 229, the Dyker School was the next stop. Former staff and PTA members were invited back to enjoy a performance from the famed senior orchestra, who played “The Heights March” an original composition written in honor of the new school.

Principal Robert Zappulla gave a brief history of P.S. 229, which opened on May 2, 1932 with students from P.S. 163. He noted that the first addition to the school – which is now the auditorium and gym – was built in 1960.

Today, the new Bay Seventh Street wing of the building has a special art room and a brand new gymnasium, plus more classroom space to make room for sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

The last stop on the tour was New Utrecht High School, which has a new library addition that serves as a multipurpose room.

Principal Maureen Goldfarb explained that the new moldings and doors were painted to match the original woodwork. The room serves as a resource and conference room, as well as a place to emit Podcasts. It is also equipped with a greenscreen and smartboard.

The cafeteria on the fifth floor was converted into 13 classrooms, all which have smartboards. The widened hallways alleviate overcrowding.

To conclude the day, The New Utrecht High School chorus sang a few songs. But the band really blew everyone out of the water. Instead of the usual string section, New Utrecht’s had electric guitar, bass and piano, and played hits such as Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.”

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