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Message from Principal Kelly

June 24, 2016

Good morning PS 174 families!
Welcome to our final assembly of 2016
here at our wonderful school.

Fifth graders……do you remember first coming to school?
      I know you do because I read some of your reflections and                             essays.

Parents? Remember those first days…..

PreK, Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade. The teachers, the friends.

For some of you, this is your only school. For some there have been other schools….and several more to come –
             middle school, high school, college, and graduate school.

Many teachers….pre k and kindergarten,

      classroom and cluster teachers….music, gym, math, art              science, technology and        other enrichments.


Our auditorium is very full today….full of moms and dads,

      Brothers and sisters, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts,                      uncles and friends.

Your fifth grade teachers are here,
Mrs. O’Connor is here! Mrs. Hui, our local elected officials,
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz,
New York City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz,
New York State Assemblyman Andrew Hevisi;
and other invited dignitaries from our community.

      Remember that we represent every single teacher you have ever had – PreK, Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third,

and fourth grade……also, music, gym, math, science, technology,

                                         art and social studies.


I look at all of you today and you are changed.
You sing with pride and gusto – You are Powerful!

You have changed over these years…..not just growing taller, but growing stronger – more powerful on the inside as well as the outside,
you are making better choices, using your words to communicate, solving spats and conflicts by speaking
defending, compromising, then agreeing.
So much strength in you to believe, powerful!

I know how much you love being outside
and playing in both gym and at recess,
how important playing soccer and basketball is to many, many of you.      

This is why we asked for more recess balls and games and                      instructed you how to take turns and be a part of a team.

And we know just how important physical activity is to you….

You had some whole group instruction,
in the gym and classes on how to choose teams……
what is good sportsmanship?       …..and later, qualities and behaviors for teammates and friends.

Taking these traits – sometimes called “rough and aggressive”        
by some…..and thinking about the positive attributes of  drive,
loyalty and fairness……..all putting it into competitions
and contests and programs.       


What programs?

      You remember going to the Arthur Ash Tennis stadium and                      playing tennis        last year?

      This is why your trip was to Chelsea Piers, so you could                             climb, and swing, &jump and why we again                                           participated in the District 28 basketball                                                  tournament league.

      I was told by the bus driver that he was surprised when he                      heard the scores. He thought you won every game.

But we all know the real importance  – not winning, but getting to play!

Thank you, Mr. Niccolich


This has been a wonderful year, did you ever think that you        

could be earning (virtual) hundreds of thousands of $$                      investing in the Stock Market, that three of you would                                           and then be speaking to a crowd of Sifma Foundation and

Wall Street CEOs and executives!

Who could ever forget the film crew who came from Japan to record students playing financial literacy games, including the Stock market game, for a television new show in Japan?

….and the bus load of students bringing our students to the NY Public Library for the Citywide Spelling Bee!

      Thank you Mrs. O’Connor!

Parents, could you imagine, your young children, learning to dance with such ease and grace, the foxtrot, meringue,

             the tango, the waltz and the swing?

I know when they hear the music today, there will be dancing in                      the gym.

      Thank you Ms. Desvigne!

That children who speak with passion,

      (in prior years, sometimes known as bickering or arguing)

              can have a constructive outlet by learning the art and                             craft of debate.


Who wants to play? And because you can never move enough,    we brought to you Capoeira, the Brazilian art combining dance, movement and culture all while developing focus, concentration, and leadership.

Every child was changed by this experience, through rhythm and sounds, as well as the gestures and controlled movements.


Who knew that students would also choose to feed their minds by playing chess and program robot during lunch. That thinking, visualizing and strategizing could become as automatic as their Simple Solutions grammar work.

….That 3-D printing, an everyday event here in our school,                      and in most schools, children and adults, have never even seen a printed object before.

And our students are Typing to Learn, and learning to code on They are also seeing the relationship between geometric shapes and angles and linking it to the importance of math, engineering and building.

Thank you Mr. Bebenroth and Mrs. Ballard

You have won trophies, worn school sweaters, team shirts and ties, dance dresses and bow ties. You have filled your binders with awards and certificates.

You have shown your strength to succeed. Yes, powerful!

      Thank you parents, for supporting and teachers for writing                      the grants for these exemplary programs and materials.

Our school is changed. Look at the hallways, look at the Artsonia online museum. The trips, the projects, the artistic displays, creations; the sketches paintings and reliefs. Our school is filled with wondrous creativity, imagination, and expression!

Thank you, Ms. Cooper

And for four year, we have had the most projects invited of any school to the NYC Armory for the STEM Matters Expo.

Thank you, Mrs. Friedman


You have changed. You have changed because you have listened.

I know that because I read your advice letters, reflections, your essays.

One advice letter says – Dear incoming Fifth Grader -, “You are in the fifth grade. You are the role models of the school. Stay good and behave properly.”

Thank you, Jialin Yang


You have changed because you appreciate.

I know because I read a letter that says, “You made all the tears in this school permanent smiles and all the students bright. Although this seems not as important to some, it has made 174 my happy place.”

Thank you, Sara Ali.


You have changed because you care.

I know because I read the kindergarten writing display that said, “I am happy at PS 174 when I play outside.”

Thank you, to all of our fifth grade student monitors.

You have changed because of how you feel….

I know because I smiled and was surprised to get a note that says, “Mrs. Kelly, you are funny and awesome?”

Thank you, Shakur


You have changed because now you speak in front of a group!

Mario knows that I am very proud of him; I read his notebook reflection that said, “I am very proud that I can speak in public because Mrs. Kelly noticed and she would never say something that wasn’t true.”


You have changed because you have learned.

I know that because ….according to Faris, “My teacher spends a lot of time to show a lesson, so that all students will 100% understand it!”

Thank you, Mrs. Engel.


I know that you have learned because…..when Angie wrote describing her final year as being, “the best year of my life because I go to be with my friends, have a good school year with my lovely teachers.”

Thank you, Mrs. Lapidus and Mrs. Morgenstern.


That Matheus writes, I have accomplished things that I did not think I could have ever done….spelling bee, debate, stock market game…and my fear of writing….even sent a letter to Mayor Bill DeBlasio!”

Thank you, Mrs. Rouse and Mrs. Duque

That Daniel asks, “Do you wonder how I blossomed this year? I participate more often. I’m starting to get more good grades. My hand is always up.”

Thank you, Mr. Romano and Mrs. Lobanova


I know that because of you our school you our school will never be the same ……balancing exemplary projects and programs through grant writing and leading teachers with STEM learning, Debate Team, Math Olympiads and student council learning…..and according to Malachi, “thanks for making more work for us!”…I know that he adores printing his blue 3-D model of a skyline…..

Thank you Mrs. Russell and Ms. Holloway.

And to all of our behind the scenes paraprofessionals, guiding, nurturing and caring for our students….

Thank you all, every one, for each and every day.

Ms. Anna, Ms. Kaur, Ms. Laboni, Ms. Diana


And just one of the precepts from Wonder,

the book that has changed many of you in 5-232…..

“You are your own little light,

shine bright so everyone can see.”


You are my avid readers and descriptive writers, you are my

mathematicians, engineers, my artists.

You are builders, designers, creators.

You are script writers, essayists, persuaders.

You are my actors and singers…. sound and stage crew.

You are debaters, chess players, instrumentalists.

You act, you run, you play, you think.

You have imagination, drive and talent.

You choose, you try, you learn, you appreciate and you care.

You are my students.

I am your principal….and I will never forget you.

Thank you.