WPHS opened in 1972, becoming the second high school to serve the Lakeland Central School District. Students, who graduated from Panas in the early years, and even as little as several years' ago, will not recognize our school today. Benefiting from several different bond initiatives, Panas has been transformed - and the work continued into school year 2007 - 2008. September 2005 added new sports facilities (new gym locker rooms, bleachers and refinished floor; new athletic fields, including a multi-sport synthetic field, lighting, press box and bleachers), new tennis courts and new hallway floors and lockers. We already benefit from new ventilation (we are the only fully air-conditioned school building in the district), new ceilings, new science and art rooms, new lighting, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a renovated cafeteria with an outside patio. Our cafeteria has been featured on national television, as we have piloted some of the district's initiatives for healthy food choices and scanner checkout systems, and we continue to enjoy really delicious, homemade offerings including hand-pulled pizzas and fresh calzones. New windows and doors are a part of the improvements slated for the 2007 - 2008 school year. Colorful murals, sports photos and Senior Class collages brighten the hallways. Inside, our focus has been on continuing to meet the district's expectations for "raising the bar". We have an energized Science Research program, a nationally - recognized debate program, a full slate of Advanced Placement courses, and noteworthy scores on Regents exams. Our graduates attend many prestigious college and universities including Princeton, Wharton, Harvard, Dartmouth, Carnegie Mellon and Cornell. Each year we are named to the Top Public High Schools listing in the Westchester Magazine, and the Top 1000 High Schools listing in Newsweek Magazine. Complementing our academics is a very full program of after school activities, including clubs and a very competitive interscholastic athletic program. The school has also been the beneficiary of a number of educational grants, especially from the Lakeland Education Foundation. Some of these grants have supported an on-going Distinguished Lecturers' Series, the construction of an outdoor classroom with authentic Shakespearean gardens, and the expansion of our instrumental music program with a variety of electronic instruments. Our professional staff has been honored with awards, as well. Social Studies Department Coordinator Anthony Mellor was named by Princeton University as an Outstanding High School Teacher, English teacher Susan Erichsen was recognized by the Lakeland Education Foundation for her Excellence in Teaching, and The College Clinic named guidance counselor Melissa Smith 2006 Counselor of the Year. Starting with the 2007 - 2008 school year, our district is embarking on an academic program called Learning Styles, which helps students and teachers recognize what individual learning styles are, and how to teach and learn maximizing those strengths.
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