Students at P.S. 72 choose to name their cafeteria in honor of a man who already is the namesake of their school. He helped shape educational policy in the Bronx during the 1960s and 1970s.
William Dorney was District 8 superintendent from 1969 to 1975. A student at the school suggested naming the renovated lunchroom after Dorney in an essay contest that the school sponsored to select a name.
P.S. 72 held a ceremony in the cafeteria on Wednesday, May 13 to present third-graders Eilas Lopez and Angel Rodriguez with Great Idea Awards for suggesting the name, Dorney’s Kitchen, in an essay contest recently.
“The Positive Behavior in School committee decided that one way to instill confident and positive behavior in our school cafeteria is to create a warm and nurturing environment,” P.S. 72 principal Margarita Colon said. “Renaming the cafeteria Dorney’s Kitchen will go a long way to doing that. Our motto here is be respectful, be responsible, and be safe.”
Teacher Jason Martinez was master of ceremonies on May 13 where a new wooden sign with the cafeteria’s name was unveiled. He said that the renaming is just the beginning of a larger goal of making the lunchroom more appealing and conducive to positive behavior.
“We wanted to create a fresh start for our cafeteria to go along with our motto and expectations,” Martinez said. “We are also doing a mini-makeover, with new plants and furnishings, and will also play music during the lunch periods. We want to send the message that the cafeteria is a place where we come with our friends to socialize, as well as to eat.”
“Think of it more like a restaurant, and less like a cafeteria,” Martinez added.
The school plans to make more investments into their cafeteria next year. Colon said they will purchase flat screen T.V.’s to make the kids really feel a sense of comfort, almost as if they are at home.
“If the budget allows, I expect to purchase flat-screen televisions for Dorney’s Kitchen, so when our children are having lunch, they are entertained,” Colon said. “I want to broadcast educational programming in math, science, and reading that is in tune with our Middle States accreditation testing goals.”
The Middle States Association is a board that certifies the educational programs of schools and colleges.
As a gesture of appreciation to the student body for their efforts in choosing the new name, all students received a bookmark and pencil with the name “Dorney’s Kitchen” printed on them. Lopez was also given a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant, The Green Dragon, located at 4111 E. Tremont Avenue.