January/February 2023 Newsletter

Superintendent's Message


I'd like to express my appreciation to three Lexington students, senior Heriberto Almonte and juniors Cristhian de la Cruz and Kariana Delgado for their excellent advocacy during 4201 Association Advocacy Day in Albany. Most adults would freeze at the prospect at having to speak to a member of the state legislature. These three students were confident, composed, and articulate in expressing the importance of special schools for deaf education. Over a five-hour period, they met with twelve legislators and trekked almost 3 1/2 miles between the Capitol Building and the Legislative Office Building. The conversations between the legislators and the students are a critical part of the day. On behalf of the entire Lexington family, I would like to send "high fives" to Heriberto, Cristhian, and Kariana for being excellent school ambassadors!


Russell O. West


4201 Advocacy Day

CEO/Superintendent Russell O. West and Upper School Principal Frank Dattolo, along with three high school students, represented Lexington at the 4201 Association Advocacy Day in Albany on February 6th. Lexington is one of eleven, state-supported 4201 schools for children with low-incidence disabilities. Advocacy Day provides an opportunity for the 4201 schools to speak to legislators about the importance of providing adequate financial resources to serve our students.

Lexington would like to thank the following state senators and their staff for meeting with us: Joseph Addabbo, Leroy Comrie, Mike Gianaris, Rosanne Persaud, John Liu, and Toby Ann Stavisky. We would also like to thank the following assembly members and their staff for meeting with us: George Alvarez, Vivian Cook, Jessica González-Rojas, Andrew Hevesi, Alicia Hyndman, and Steven Raga.

Russell O. West, NYS Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas (34th Assembly District), Kariana Delgado, & Cristhian de la Cruz.

Meeting with Assembly Member Vivian Cook, 32nd Assembly District.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo (15th District) spoke with Heriberto Almonte off the floor of the Senate.

Assembly Member Steven Raga (30th Assembly District) with Heriberto Almonte and Frank Dattolo.

Meeting with Andrew Hevesi, 28th Assembly District.

Assembly Member George Alvarez, 78th Assembly District.

Congratulations to Kim Taylor!

Lexington congratulates Kim Taylor, Speech and Language Department Supervisor, on the publication of her first book, "A Flag for Juneteenth." Kim wrote the story and illustrated it with beautiful story quilts that incorporate applique and embroidery. In honor of Black History Month, Kim read the book to students in Gianna Hittmann's Elementary 9 class. Kim's reading inspired one of the students, Benson, to share his story with the class. Kim's book is available on Amazon and in stores such as Target, Walmart, and Barnes and Noble. Click here for more about the book!

Author and art quilter Kim Taylor and Benson share the covers of their books.

Academic Bowl Team

Lexington's Academic Bowl team is busy preparing for the 2023 East Regional Competition on March 9-12 at Kentucky School for the Deaf. Lexington will be competing against 18 other schools for a chance to advance to nationals. Gallaudet University established the first National Academic Bowl in 1997 with the goals of promoting academic competition among school teams and fostering academic excellence and achievement among deaf and hard of hearing students across the country.

Academic Bowl members (back row l-r): Steven Fang, Robinho Cruz, Michael Viera, and Cristhian de la Cruz. Coaches (front row, l-r): Wade Phillips, James McGuinness.

Lexington Homecoming

Lexington hosted the first annual Battle of the Liberty event against New York School for the Deaf (Fanwood) on January 6th. The event, which doubled as Lexington's homecoming celebration, included an Academic Bowl competition, with Lexington winning 44 to 12. The Lexington Varsity Boys Basketball team won a thriller against Fanwood, 40-38. Cheerleaders from both schools performed routines that demonstrated spirit and athleticism. The crowd of 120 fans included approximately 40 Lexington alumni.

Lexington alumni at the January 6th Homecoming & Battle of the Liberty event.

The Varsity Boys Basketball team with head coach Gerry Sorrentino, front right, and assistant coach Samer Abualya.

The Cheerleading team with head coach Melissa Vigilante, far left, and assistant coach Sabrina Torres, far right.

Chinese New Year Celebration

Teacher Adijah Brabham and IAs Peter Hou and John Sala prepared a special Chinese New Year's celebration for Special Needs Class #2. Students learned about the holiday, received red envelopes, and enjoyed some traditional foods.

World Read Aloud Day

Lower School students were treated to a special ZOOM read aloud on February 1st as part of World Read Aloud Day. Author and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan read her book, The Runaway Shirt. Parents were invited to join the ZOOM to get tips on how to incorporate read alouds at home.

Students Learn About Earth's Layers

Students in teacher Gianna Hittmann's Elementary class (E9) have been studying Earth's four spheres. For a unit on the geosphere, students made models using candy and pudding to mimic the characteristics of each of the various layers.

Professional Learning Community - Bilingual Education

The January 31st Professional Learning Community (PLC) for faculty focused on the bilingual education program at Lexington. Instructional personnel viewed videos from three classrooms and discussed different ways bilingual education principles can be incorporated into language planning activities for students.  

NYPD Hosts Students at New Year's Eve Ball Drop

A big SHOUTOUT to The New York Police Department's (NYPD) Community Affairs Bureau for hosting Lexington at the New Year’s Eve 2023 Ball Drop in Times Square. For students and staff who attended the event, it was a once in a lifetime experience. We would like to extend a warm thank you to the police officers, supervisors, and cadets who helped at the event and especially Police Officer Angel Familia for his special work with our school. Happy New Year! 

Students Attend Radio City Spectacular

Special Needs Class #1 was treated to a special holiday experience - a performance of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The students thoroughly enjoyed the performance, which was presented with American Sign Language interpretation courtesy of HandsOn.org.

Teacher Connie Aronson (far left), IA Evan Dach (center), and IA Lucia Infante (far right) and Special Needs Class #1.

Holiday Activities

Middle school teacher Micole Kaplan shared her holiday, Hanuukah, with students in Ms. Chesser’s (E2) and Ms. DiMeglio’s (E7) elementary classes. The students played the dreidel game, learned meanings of the Hebrew letters, and practiced addition and subtraction skills. Afterwards, each student received their own dreidel. The two classes jointly learned the ASL signs for three seasonal songs - one each for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas - and spread cheer throughout the building as they caroled down the hallways.

Kindergarten Students Learn About Hanukkah

The Speech and Language Department's Kim Taylor, Jennifer Wengrofsky, and Kezban Mani joined classroom teacher Jane Kim and IA Wayne Stelmach for a special afternoon of activities to teach Kindergarten class P3 about Hanukkah. Activities included handprint menorahs, the dreidel game, ASL and spoken vocabulary for Hanukkah, and tasting holiday pastries.

Ms. Wengrofsky (left) explains the

dreidel game.

Students had mixed reactions to the Hanukkah pastries.

Making handprint Hanukkah menorahs.

Ms. Taylor (center) presented ASL signs

and spoken vocabulary for Hanukkah.

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