Tag Archives: Christ the King High School

Christ the King dominates All Hallows in basketball season home opener

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

For Christ the King High School‘s basketball team it was business as usual.

The Royals completed a dominant victory over All Hallows High School, 58-27, for their season home opener Sunday.

Royals’ sophomore Rawle Alkins and Travis Atson led the team with a double-double each. Alkins had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Atson scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“We were focused. We were ready to play before the game,” Alkins said. “We weren’t joking around in the locker room or nothing. We wanted to win really badly.”

The victory marks the third consecutive double-digit win for the Royals (3-0) in as many games to start the season.

Punishing defense coupled with an overwhelming offensive fueled the Royals, who are the reigning state basketball champions. By halftime the Royals lead 35-16. They continued attacking in the third quarter with a 9-0 run to inflate the lead to 46-16, before All Hallows (0-5) finally made their first basket in the second half.

By the end of the third quarter Royals head coach Joe Arbitello pulled his starters from the floor.

All Hallows was able to score a few more baskets in the fourth quarter while Christ the King starters were out of the game, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

Despite the string big victories, Arbitello said they aren’t trying to blow teams out.

“We’re not really trying to show that we are dominant,” Arbitello said. “The one thing we are trying to focus on now is getting better every game. We want to play at the level that Christ the King has come accustomed to.”

The next game for the Royals will be on Friday, December 20 against Cardinal Hayes.



Alumni fear for future of Christ the King High School following lawsuit

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Alumni and parents of current Christ the King High School (CK) students are blasting the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn after it filed a lawsuit against the institution last week.

The Diocese is suing the school to force the Board of Trustees to reaffirm an agreement that says the institution must remain a Catholic high school or relinquish control, which is a long-standing promise between the two parties.

However, people are seeing the move by the Catholic organization as a money grab and are afraid the Diocese might try to close the school.

“I was upset by it,” said Janet LaCava, a Christ the King alumna. “I think that CK has worked hard to make it a self-sustaining entity, and with so many schools closing, to possibly cause an excellent school to close when it is doing so well, does not make sense to me.”

In the mid-1970s CK was on the verge on closing due to financial problems, according to numerous sources close to the school. At that time the Diocese transferred control of the school to the Board, under the request that the school stay a Catholic high school. The members of the board, which were made up of parents, eventually returned the school from financial strains.

Presently, the Board has found a way to generate cash by opening up continuing education classes such as dance and Spanish, a day care and a preschool. Additionally, this year they started renting space to a public charter school, Middle School Preparatory. In the last three years the school, which costs about $9-10 million yearly to operate, has made about $3.7 million from these measures, according to Thomas Ognibene, the school’s lawyer.

That money has gone to making repairs and underwriting tuition for CK students.

The Diocese has said that it requires schools that have opened Charter schools donate 40 percent of rent revenue to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust, which helps disadvantaged students afford a Catholic elementary school education, and that CK has not complied. But Ognibene said that in July the Board agreed with the Diocese to a plan to pay more than $1.7 million over the next five years, which includes the 40 percent of rent revenue from the charter school.

Ognibene fears that the Diocese is planning to reacquire the school and close it.

“This is a very shallow plan by the Diocese,” he said. “There is no question in our minds that they want to close the school. They are clearly going out of the business of Catholic education.”

“We have said a 100 times that we have no intention to close the school,” said Marty McLaughlin, a spokesperson for the Diocese. “We love this school. Our question is what has been going on over there?”

Christ the King has until November 24 to reply to the lawsuit.



Diocese suing Christ the King High School over control

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Christ the King High School

A two-year crusade between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Christ the King High School is heading to the courts.

The Diocese filed a lawsuit against Christ the King to force the school’s Board of Trustees to renew a written agreement to stay committed to providing Catholic high school education or relinquish control of the institution.

“It is sad that we have to go to these extraordinary lengths to have our rights reaffirmed by the court,” said Monsignor Steven Aggugia, judicial vicar of the Diocese. “But it’s time for the Diocese to get a full accounting from the Christ the King Board of what has transpired over the years.”

In the 1970s the Diocese transferred control of the six high schools it owns in Brooklyn and Queens, including Christ the King, to non-profits, under condition that they run the institutions as Catholic, according to court papers.

This agreement must be reexamined and for the past two years, the Diocese has been trying to get the Board to reaffirm this agreement, to no avail.

This year Christ the King began renting space to a public charter school, Middle Village Preparatory Charter School, and the Board has also been operating various enterprises on the campus, including a day care center, online courses and continuing education courses in Spanish, drama, dance and karate.

In addition to getting the Board to reaffirm the commitment, the Diocese is asking Christ the King to turn over all leases for the various businesses that the property has been used for over the years.

“I think they are monetizing an asset and not accounting to us,” said Marty McLaughlin, spokesperson for the Diocese. “They are monetizing an asset that doesn’t belong to them. What [the Diocese] wants is a full account of what is going on there.”

Board members believe that the Diocese wants control of Christ the King because of the school’s amazing record over nearly four decades since transferring to Board rule. Thomas Ognibene, a former city council member and lawyer for Christ the King, said that the agreement in question was supposed to be in place for 30 years and the Diocese had until 2006 to reaffirm it.

“We’ve poured our life blood into that school and they’re looking to shut it down,” Ognibene said.

The Diocese also said Christ the King is the only school that doesn’t follow a rule to donate 40 percent of revenue from charter schools to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust, which gives scholarships to “disadvantaged” children for Catholic elementary schools. However, the Board has said they have complied since July.

The Diocese said that they have no plans to close Christ the King or the charter school.



Christ the King hosts ‘Community Day’

| photographers@queenscourier.com


Different organizations from around the borough joined together on Saturday, May 11 at Christ the King High School to share their initiatives with intrigued attendees. The American Cancer Society set up shop and detailed its Relay for Life event, and representatives from groups such as the Juniper Park Civic Association and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce were present. Reps from different banks such as CitiBank and Astoria Federal Savings Bank as well as insurance groups such as New York Life were also there to share information with anyone interested. The event brought the community together to explore many different areas, from physical therapy to photography studios.

Click here to see more photos.

South Ozone Park college student shoots for NFL

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Stockton Photo

David Lopez wants one particular job when he graduates college this spring: playing in the National Football League.

“I like the aggression of the game,” he said. “I love the game. I was never afraid to hit, it’s fun.”

Lopez, of South Ozone Park, has been working on getting himself drafted, or signed, after finishing up his collegiate career as a safety for Pace University. Because the school does not have a draft day for professional scouts, Lopez has faced an uphill run to the endzone.

He came to Pace after playing running back at Christ the King High School, a team that made it to its league’s championship during his final year. When Lopez, now 22, arrived at Pace, however, he was the young guy on a team of seasoned veterans. In order to gain some experience and retrain for a new position, Lopez opted to red-shirt his freshman year — essentially benching himself.

“The first year I was completely clueless to the schemes,” Lopez said of adjusting to college gridiron life. “I learned from the older guys. The older guys taught me a lot.”

Lopez was ready to go the following year and said it was astounding to take the field for the first time. Although Pace lost its first game, Lopez found his groove and took off.

“Two plays in I got a big hit and it was all smooth from there,” Lopez said.

Tragedy struck the team during Lopez’s tenure, however, and soon after he was forced into a leadership position.

In late 2010, Lopez’s teammate, D.J. Henry, was shot by police in Westchester as he drove away from an altercation outside a bar. As a result, some players were deemed ineligible to play, and others decided to transfer out.

“It took a lot out of us as a team,” he said. “The last two years at Pace, I was one of the older guys with a bunch of 17- and 18-year-old kids.”

Suddenly Lopez, intimidated by the veterans two years earlier, found himself propelled into a leadership role. As a captain who still felt like he was 18, Lopez was now mentoring new players both on and off the field.

Ideally, Lopez says he’d like to play safety for his favorite team, the New York Jets, but getting into the league is his top priority right now. To get himself into big-league shape, he’s been training with former Miami Dolphin and Christ the King alum Willie Poole and teammates from Pace.

One fundamental he’s taken from his mentors is that he is gunning for a job that hundreds, if not thousands, of others are vying for throughout the country. His next step is to make it to a pro-day either at Fordham University or Stony Brook University. The challenge there, Lopez said, is getting the schools to allow him to try out, as players from the home school would obviously get preference.

Under Poole’s leadership, Lopez has learned a new physical and mental aspect to football:

“He’s turned it up a notch on us, but it pays off,” Lopez said of Poole’s training. “He pushes us to stay perfect.”

Poole, who’s trained Lopez for a little more than a month now, said his protégé is conscious of the struggle he faces coming from such a small school. Despite this, Poole said Lopez is a true football player with strong skills and even stronger determination.

“I can honestly say that I really, truly believe that he is a better talent than the school he went to,” Poole said. “He works tremendously hard…he wants to get better.

“The bottom line is the kid can play football,” he added. “This kid is a football player.”





‘Model’ kid turned her cancer into her cause

| tcimino@queenscourier.com


Soon you’ll be seeing a lot more of Carly Rose Nieves.

The 16 year old from Middle Village, who her mom calls “not your typical teenager” will soon be emblazoned on the fleet of 75 vehicles for the New York Blood Center (NYBC).

Part of the NYBC’s “rebranding campaign,” Nieves, a freshman at Christ the King High School (CTK), was one of eight from the greater New York area who sat for a photo shoot on March 31.

“It was fun, they were such nice people,” said the teen, who admitted she was “a little bit nervous at first.”

What sets Nieves apart, said her mom, is her heart.

Battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) — a cancer of the white blood cells that normally fight infections — since she was seven, Nieves received blood transfusions and underwent two years of intensive chemotherapy. Then, at age 12, she suffered a relapse of ALL. The relapse placed her in the high-risk category, which required additional intensive, high-dose chemotherapy.

Now Nieves — who regrew a full head of hair following the chemo — has been out of treatment for a little over a year and is in remission.

Her focus is school — she plans to pursue American Sign Language in college, since it’s her favorite subject — and helping others, as it has always been.

“She’s living and loving life,” said mom Lisa Cangialosi-Horner. “She is so selfless, she’s just amazing.”

While Nieves was fighting her own battle, she was also working to help the friends she made in the hospital, others who are ill — and to spread awareness about how important and easy it is to register and donate blood.

“I feel like I’ve always wanted to help,” said Nieves. “But after relapsing you look at things differently, It’s sad that there are kids suffering and spending half their lives in the hospital.”

To that end, the family has organized numerous blood drives at CTK and has raised thousands for Friends of Karen — an organization that supports critically-ill children and their families.

“She helped us regain entry to Christ the King,” said Harvey Schaffler, executive director of donor marketing for NYBC. “Now we have blood drives there twice a year.”

“I’m very proud of Carly, she’s an amazingly strong young woman,” said Cangialosi-Horner. “She thinks of others before herself, and she’s always thinking and praying for her friends in the hospital.”

Schaffler explained that the new campaign has received “enormously positive feedback” so far because “what really resonates for donors is envisioning the people they help.”

So Nieves’ image, along with the others featured — set to roll out by the summer — will not only draw attention to her own fight, but to that of those still in need of help.

For Nieves, who turned her cancer into her cause, seeing herself on a moving vehicle may be a little daunting at first.

“I may feel like a celebrity, but I’ll still probaly be in shock,” she admitted.

For more information about becoming a marrow donor, call 1-800-MARROW-2. It’s a simple process that takes just a few minutes of paperwork and a cheek swab.

To learn more about Friends of Karen, which will be hosting a gala fundraiser on August 2 at the Inn at New Hyde Park, go to www.friendsofkaren.org.

A mission born from a cause

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo

Fifteen-year-old Carly Rose Nieves is turning ordinary people into heroes, one pint of blood at a time.

For the second year in a row, the Middle Village teen — and her team of family members and friends — organized a blood drive and bone marrow registry at Christ the King (CTK) Regional High School.

The December 17 event brought in 75 pints of blood and 10 new bone marrow donors for the New York Blood Center.

“The lowest time for blood supply is the winter and holiday season,” mom Lisa Horner said.

Although this year’s drive brought in fewer pints than the previous year, Team Carly kept their heads up.

“I was kind of disappointed,” Lisa said. “But if we didn’t have the blood drive, there would have been 75 fewer pints.”

Last year, they collected 200 pints of blood, registered 54 people to be bone marrow donors and raised $3,000 for Friends of Karen — an organization that supports critically ill children and their families.

“I’m happy we got what we did,” said Lisa. “We were really expecting what we had last year, but it’s okay. I just wish it was more. I’m trying not to let it get me down.”

Carly has been battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) — a cancer of the white blood cells that normally fight infections — since she was seven.

She received blood transfusions and underwent two years of intensive chemotherapy. Then, at age 12, she suffered a relapse of ALL after three years. The relapse placed Carly in the high-risk category, which requires additional intensive, high-dose chemotherapy.

Now, Carly — who regrew a full head of hair following the chemo — is out of treatment and in remission. And after being out of school for three years, Carly is back as a freshman at CTK and she is “loving every minute of it.”

But she has not forgotten her mission — or the friends she has made in the hospital who are still suffering.

“Carly was just wondering where everybody was,” Lisa said of the lower turnout. “I was trying to be positive about it and just make her understand it’s more than what we had to start off with.”

Just like the resilient spirit of their soon to be 16-year-old daughter, Lisa and her family will keep pushing through with more blood drives and bone marrow registries.

“It’s a good thing and people don’t have to be afraid of it,” said Lisa. “I’ll just keep getting the word out.”

For more information about becoming a marrow donor, call 1-800-MARROW-2. It’s a simple process that takes just a few minutes of paperwork and a cheek swab. And to learn more about donating blood or organizing a blood drive, email lhorner67@gmail.com.

Queens Veterans Day Parade honors those who served

| rcasiano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo. The third annual Queens Veterans Day Parade drew 800 local veterans and their supporters to Middle Village this past weekend.

The third annual Queens Veterans Day Parade drew 800 local veterans and their supporters to Middle Village this past weekend to honor those who served in the Vietnam War.

Veterans from the Vietnam Veterans of America, Queens Chapter 32 and the North Shore Marine Corps League were joined by several community leaders and organizations on Sunday, November 6 for a parade and ceremony at Christ the King High School.

During the only Veterans Day parade in Queens, the community cheered on their Vietnam War vets, some of whom recall the criticism at home for serving in the then very unpopular war.

“It was great to be appreciated, but look how long it took,” said Pastor Toro, Jr., of Ridgewood, who was honored as one of the Grand Marshalls and is the president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Queens Chapter 32. “I am standing up here for all the Vietnam War veterans. We have their backs.”

The ceremony capped the afternoon parade that had various groups march 10 blocks from Metropolitan Avenue and 79th Place to the high school.

School groups such as the Sunnyside Drum Corp. and the Sacred Heart Twirlers and many more supporters joined the Queens veteran groups as they marched. Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley and Peter Vallone Jr. were also on hand to salute the veterans at the parade.

David Hills, a Marine from Forest Hills, stood on the sidelines with his wife, cheering on the classic cars, bag pipe music and his comrades who marched in the parade.

“It’s the biggest parade I’ve ever seen. It’s very nice,” said Hills, who is a member of the North Shore Marine Corps. As he watched, a committee member thanked him for his service with a handshake.

“It’s terrific,” he said of the acknowledgment. “We really appreciate it when they say that.”

The annual Queens Veterans Day Parade started three years ago out of a need from the community to salute their troops closer to home.

The parade was sponsored by the Catholic War Veterans Post 1172, Middle Village Chamber of Commerce and the Middle Village Property Owners and Residents Association.