Archive for the ‘Staff and Administration’ Category

by Merari Hernandez, 8th Grade Reporter

Leprechauns, shamrocks, rainbows, pots of gold. The first thing that comes to mind is probably St. Patrick’s Day, a day celebrated once a year to admire the Irish.

However, St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish to begin with! He was actually a British captive, captured by Irish pirates when he was just sixteen, but returned to his family six years later. Although, he returned to Ireland, as a bishop, and became the patron saint of Ireland in the seventh century. On March 17, near the end of the fifth century, Saint Patrick passed.

St. Patrick’s Day is in fact a religious holiday, celebrated internationally. The color green was adopted years later. Blue was the first color associated with Saint Patrick. Shamrocks were used by Saint Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity, since the shamrocks have three leaves.

There are many ways this holiday is celebrated. Parades take place in major cities in several states, such as New York, Chicago, Boston, and even St. Louis. Every March 17, the Chicago River and the North White House Fountain are dyed green. Participants of parades in these cities cover themselves completely in green, as well as painting their faces completely green, or a simple shamrock.

Even though this holiday is known as an Irish celebration, the first parade took place here, in New York City on March 17, 1762. Irish soldiers serving in the English Military marched through the streets, trying to express their feelings towards the mistreatment of Irish immigrants in America.

But, the US and Ireland aren’t the only countries that celebrate this holiday. Surprisingly, several other countries also take part in this celebration, such as Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Canada, New Zealand, and Great Britain.

by Quiara Santiago, 6th Grade Reporter

Were you at 214X Idol, on March 11? If you were, then you know that Christopher Ramirez, of class 501, won overall and Faith Johnson, of class 603, won best show tune. If you were not there, then you missed out on the incredible guest performances of Lady Gaga, J-Lo, LL Cool J, Enrique Iglesias, and the host Beyonce.

There was a lot of great singing talent besides Ramirez’s powerful performance of Eye of the Tiger. Highlights from the evening include Elizah Cartagena (602), Patricia Elie (602), Demi Santos (604), Zoe Williams (503), and much more.

Idol contestants sang many great songs, from pop to musicals. Williams sang Party in U.S.A by Miley Cyrus. Meanwhile, Elie sang a true classic, Tomorrow from the musical Annie. There was even a guest performance by the Cheetahs Monsters, who rocked the house with Lady Gaga as she performed Poker Face.

I polled some of the PAZ Afterschool students and most people in the survey didn’t agree with the audience’s vote. Respondents to the poll thought Elie or Johnson should have won 214X Idol overall.

Do you know what the celebrity judges wore? Lady Gaga wore a long black shirt, a black tutu, a belt made of playing cards, and black tights. J-Lo wore a dark brown shirt, vest, and jeans. LL Cool J wore a short black shirt, black, red, and white shorts, and a gold chain. Enrique Iglesias wore a black shirt, black jeans, and a chain. Beyonce wore a black jumpsuit with a red bow. All the celebrity judges looked fabulous.

by Ms. Johnson-Parham, Math Staff Developer

Students Who Tell the Truth : A school has 200 students; however, these are special students. Some of them ALWAYS tell the truth, and the rest of them, alas, NEVER tell the truth. Among the subject areas of math, science, and social studies, each student has one favorite. A survey was conducted where each student was asked three yes, or no questions: “Do you like math the most?” “Do you like science the most?” “Do you like social studies the most?”

The results were as follows:

  • 104 students said “yes,” they liked math the most.
  • 86 students said “yes,” they liked science the most.
  • 60 students said “yes,” they liked social studies the most.

How many students tell the truth, and how many do not?

HINT: How many subjects will each kind of student answer that “they like the most?”

Always remember: “A Winner Finds A Way!”



by Marieke van Woerkom, PAZ Educator

Gerda Lerner, one of the founders of the field of women’s history, once said “When I started working on women’s history about thirty years ago, the field did not exist. People didn’t think that women had a history worth knowing.” Now, every March 8, people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day.  Hundreds of events occur on this day and throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

In the US the whole month of March is designated as Women’s History Month.  Like other minorities, women as a group have been discriminated against, ignored and made to be invisible.  It wasn’t till the 1960s, in this country, that the women’s movement motivated women to question their invisibility in American historical texts. The women’s movement, moreover, raised the aspirations and opportunities of women across the country.  Equality between men and women is still a long way off, but progress has been made and American women today have more opportunities than those in generations past.

So what about in the rest of the world?  Here too, women face issues of discrimination and invisibility.  Of the 121 Nobel Peace Prize winners, for example, to date only 12 have been women.  Kenyan native Wangari Maathai won the prize in 2004 for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”  Wangari Mathaai was not one to let her gender limit her life.  She herself took charge and lived a life of firsts.  She was the first woman in her family to attend college, the first women in East and Central Africa to earn a Ph. D. and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1977, Wangari Maathai started a campaign that came to be known as the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. Addressing the enormously complex challenges of deforestation and global climate change, the movement partnered with poor rural women who were encouraged, and paid a small stipend, to plant millions of trees to slow deforestation across Kenya. Besides the planting of trees the movement worked to preserve biodiversity, educate people about the environment and promote Women’s and girl’s rights.

In her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech Wangari Maathai shared: “As the first African woman to receive this prize, I accept it on behalf of the people of Kenya and Africa, and indeed the world. I am especially mindful of women and the girl child. I hope it will encourage them to raise their voices and take more space for leadership.

In 1977, when we started the Green Belt Movement, I was partly responding to needs identified by rural women, namely lack of firewood, clean drinking water, balanced diets, shelter and income.

Throughout Africa, women are the primary caretakers, holding significant responsibility for tilling the land and feeding their families. As a result, they are often the first to become aware of environmental damage as resources become scarce and incapable of sustaining their families.

… Tree planting became a natural choice to address some of the initial basic needs identified by women.”

Wangari Maathai came to be known as “The Tree Woman” in her native country. She faced numerous challenges, was arrested and jailed as she worked to empower women and protect the environment.  Yet she persevered.  Her story is now told around to world to inspire and mobilize others to affect change in their communities.

by Destiny Colon, 7th Grade Reporter

Born in the Dominican Republic, speaks Spanish and English fluently, loves to help people… who is this? Ms. Tennessee Marcelo-Martin, a 6th and 7th Grade ELA teacher at PS 214X.

Ms. Martin came to the United States in the 6th grade. This is when she first started learning English. It was hard for her because English was not her first language. However, she was motivated to learn the language well.

Before her career in education, Ms. Martin worked in human resources at GHI [Group Health Insurance] and at Target.

Ms. Martin did not always want to be an ELA teacher. Originally, she dreamed of being a school counselor because she loves to help people, provide support, and reach out to others. However, teaching has still given her the opportunity to help students.

Ms. Martin’s goals are for all her students to obtain a solid education. Ms. Martin’s advice for students is to, “Stay focused in your education and create opportunities that allow you to follow your dreams!”

She is a graduate of George Washington High School and Herbert H. Lehman College, both in the Bronx.

by Merari Hernandez

P.S. 214X’s girls should be able to participate in the same extracurricular activities that boys are involved in, right?

Depending on your respected opinion, here is what a select group of students and faculty surveyed feel about this issue: Out of a total of fifty-one surveyed, thirty-one voted “yes,” girls have as many opportunities as boys do. This is in contrast to twenty respondents, who voted “no,” girls do not have as many opportunities as boys do.

One of the students surveyed, Juan Sanchez, of class 801, who voted “yes,” explained why he felt that way. “Girls do have the opportunity, but they just don’t take it.” On the other hand, Destiny Colon, of class 702, believed differently. “Girls don’t have enough opportunities, because a lot of girls don’t participate in sports,” she clarified.


by Ms. Johnson-Parham, Math Staff Developer

Did you know March is Women’s History Month? With that in mind, here are some wonderful women of color who keep it real Mathematical!

Let me re-introduce you to Euphemia Rosalie Lofton Haynes. She was the first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1943. Born Martha Euphemia Lofton in 1890 to a prominent family in Washington D.C., she became a distinguished member of the educational system. In fact she was central to the integration of the D.C. public schools. She was a phenomenal woman to say the least. She passed away in 1980.

Now, let’s take a trip down south and to the west to Memphis, Tennessee. Here we’ll discover the third African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics, Majorie Lee Browne. She was born September 9, 1924 (a fellow Virgo) and passed away October 19, 1979. Her father, known as a mental math whiz, imparted his enthusiasm for mathematics to his children and Marjorie ‘always loved mathematics.’ She received her Ph.D. in 1950 from the University of Michigan.

Finally, let’s take a trip further down south through the Gulf of Mexico to Havana, Cuba. Argelia Velez-Rodriguez, considered the fourth African American woman, despite her Cuban heritage, to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics was born in Havana Cuba in 1936. She didn’t become an American citizen until 1972, after receiving her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Havana in 1960. Since 1980 she has been a program director for the Department of Education.

If you would like to know more about these, or other fabulous females of mathematics, look them up online!


by Destiny Colon, 7th Grade Reporter

Cloth, a hot glue gun, and imagination were all it took to create the PAZ Peace Collage for Respect for All Week, February 14-18. Students walked through the Respect Gallery, on the second floor, to view the collage and other PS 214X respect projects created during Advisory.

Since the beginning of the new year, the PAZ After School Program has been working on a respect collage for the Respect Gallery. Some of the individual collage pieces are really enjoyable to look at—not only are there peace signs, hearts, flowers, and respectful words of advice, there are animals such as tigers, turtles, birds, dolphins, and whales. The animals featured in the collage were done specifically because these animals are facing extinction.

The peace collage originated with Ms. Vanessa, PAZ After School Program Director. “My idea was not only about humans giving respect, but giving respect to the environment as well.”

The collage featured artwork from sixty-five students who worked together as a team.

Demi Santos, from class 604, said, “I think it’s all about saving the environment and people having peace.” Ms. Buccos, the PAZ After School Chef, said “I love that everybody came together to work on it and that’s what I think peace is about.” Also, Ms. Pujols, PAZ 8th Grade Instructor, had something to say about the completed piece, “It’s beautiful and it’s something I really like. [It] brings out the reality in people that want to do something together. And, it’s cool that there was a huge amount of teamwork.”

by Genesys Jimenez and Tyrone Thomas, 8th Grade Reporters

Do you think your days off are going to be boring, or do you want to make the most of your break? Well, here are a few activities and events that will make your vacation a lot less boring.

Movies Opening February 18th

  • Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son: A comedy based on FBI agent, Malcolm Turner, and his 17-year-old son, Trent, go undercover at an all-girls performing arts school after Trent witnesses a murder. Disguised as Big Momma and Charmaine, they must find the murderer before the murderer finds them. (PG-13)
  • I Am Number Four: An action-adventure based on a teen, John Smith. Smith is a fugitive on the run from enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri, Smith is the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small town of Ohio, which he now calls home, Smith encounters unexpected, life-changing events—his first love, powerful new abilities, and a connection to the others who share his destiny. (PG-13)
  • Film Festival at the Audubon Center, Prospect Park, Brooklyn (February 15 – 21). Screening of Planet Earth and Clever Monkeys. Free.


  • Ice skating at the pond in Bryant Park, located between 40th and 42nd Streets and 5th Avenue. Open till February 27. Skate rentals: $ 13.
  • Nintendo World Store, located at 10 Rockefeller Plaza. A video game addicts wonderland and great place for some family fun. You can sample new games on a 45” HD monitor.  Free.
  • Sony Wonder Technology Lab, located at 56th Street and Madison Avenue. A technology and entertainment museum. Free.
  • Mike Carbo’s New York Comic Book Marketplace at Penn Pavilion, located at 401 7th Avenue. Admission: $5.00.

by Merari Hernandez, 8th Grade Reporter

Many Americans know that February is marked as Black History Month. But, do they know who thought of it? Or, how about when it was decided? Black History Month has a history all its own.

First known only as “Negro History Week,” this nation-wide holiday soon evolved into something more than just a few days of reminding the youth of America about African American history. It’s a time to remember the African American men and women who contributed to the shaping of our society—both theirs as well as ours. One of the first who believed African Americans deserved some recognition was Dr. Carter G. Woodson. How did he come to accomplish such a task? It took time and patience, but through his determination, he created a path for Africans in America. What Woodson hoped to accomplish through Black History Week was to educate Blacks about their cultural background and instill in them a sense of pride in their race.

When did Black History Month start? It began as a mere remembrance of two important figures, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, on the second week of

February. Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915, which also led to the founding of the Journal of Negro History. In 1926, Black History Week, or Negro History Week, was born. In 1976, Black History Week became Black History Month, where for the entire month, students as well as adults, learned more about African American history.

February, coincidentally, is also a month that includes important dates that helped shape the African American community. Such as February 3rd, which was when the 15th Amendment was established, granting blacks the right to vote in 1870. And February 12th, the day the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1909. February 25th, 1870, Hiram R. Revels, the first black U.S senator, took his oath to office. Additionally, as stated earlier, both Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln were born in February; however, Douglass died in February, making this month all the more important.