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A bit more on Bronx Aerospace

June 29, 2008 am30 4:37 am

(Bronx Aerospace is #1 on the Do Not Apply list). Last month the Daily News wrote:

The Bronx Aerospace Academy – which had one of the city’s highest graduation rates in 2006 and is a crown jewel of the small high school movement – was told by the Air Force last month that it had been placed on probation.

“If compliance with all requirements are not met, the program will be closed at the end of the 2008-2009 school year,” an Air Force letter warned. The probation comes as students, teachers and parents increasingly complain about harsh policies at the school…

“They’re under a lot of pressure,” said Dehala Morales, whose son, Jonathan, a school sophomore, hanged himself on April 10 after being suspended for his role in a violent fight and being stripped of his rank in the school’s Air Force ROTC program…

School Principal Barbara Kirkweg founded Aerospace in 2002 as an alternative to traditional public schools where every student would join ROTC and wear sharp military uniforms. She blames criticism on those not up to her high standards…

Other complaints – including 29 filed by parents with the city and scores of grievances from the teachers union – include issues like student cadets being given power to promote and demote their peers; one allegedly promoted his girlfriend. Other concerns include frequent sudden changes to class schedules and harsh discipline like the recent removal of dozens of students from the ROTC program. Those kids have been excluded from ROTC classes and are attending a separate “PM school” from noon to 6 p.m….

Here’s the Daily News link to the full story.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. Iris Picone permalink
    August 12, 2008 pm31 7:58 pm 7:58 pm

    I am the wife of Sgt. Joseph R Picone who is truly the reaon that the ROTC program was instituted at the original Evander Child High School. When the program first started at the school, my husband had already run a program in Hawaii for several years.

    Barbara Kirkweg knew nothing about the program or how to do the work to get it started. Until the point when it became the Bronx Aerospace school my husband and Mrs.Kirkwig had a great working relationship.

    Joseph had the most incredible relationship with the students. He got there early every day to make sure if they needed extra tutoring or just someone to talk to he was there. I am sure if you speak to any of his students you would hear only love and praises.

    In the last years that Joseph worked there he became aware of wrongdoings that Capt.Kirkweg was doing. He reported these and it was investigated, but swept under the rug, due to the great reputation Barbara Krikwig was falsely portraying. Within the next year my husband was fired after 12 years of total dedication. Mrs. Kirkwig falsified dsocuments that he resigned. (she signed his name).

    We were told the union was looking into it, but nothing ever happened. Joseph has had to take a job at much less money and lost those years in the system and his self dignity. I think it is horrible that this women is allowed to work with any child. I also think it is very sad that in a time when good dedicated teachers are needed, my husband, who has dedicated so much of his life to kids, has been treated so badly.

    • February 19, 2012 pm29 3:14 pm 3:14 pm

      i miss picone how are i was student of ure husband back in evander childes high and he was by far the best….he cared alot about his students and showed interest like no other…..if it possible can u tell him to get in contact with me he never failed me when i graduated to give reference letter for me this is how far he took his job he wanted to see his students rise above the system being its the bronx an u know the name we get being evander childs high…..heres my… an plez i will like if i he could help me with another reference letter it been yrs im sure he remember me i was one of his best student he would always comment….my name is jhonelle henry……..

    • Anonymous permalink
      October 9, 2012 pm31 2:46 pm 2:46 pm

      Wow. I agree with Ms. Picone, I work with Sgt. Picone in 2002 when the academy started, i was hired as a secretary and left in 2004 due to the level of work i was giving by this lady. thankly i left on time she was very abusive, Sgt. Picone was a lovely man him and i just to get there before 6:30 am. He helped me a lot with my math homework when i was in undergraduate school. I have lots of respect for him and the others staff stgs. It is unfortune that she is still there, but i am a truth believer that GOD DON’T LIKE UGLY SHE WILL GET HERS SOONER OR LATER

    • Ashlye permalink
      February 15, 2016 am29 10:00 am 10:00 am

      I would like to communicate with Sgt Piccone if possible,I learned everything from him and I would like to reconnect

  2. Theo permalink
    October 9, 2009 am31 10:15 am 10:15 am

    I would like to agree with Ms Picone and call on the NY City Schools to investigate Ms. Kirkweg for harassment, corruption, defamation of character, intimidation tactics and simply lack of competence in anything that is remotely related to education. I know of several teachers first hand who have been / are being pushed out under false pretences with no regards of how that will affect the student body.
    Ms Kirkweg employs unlicensed staff who gets to observe and fire dedicated teachers who have never had complaints and who have liceses. Dr. Glenn is her right hand and together they have fired most of the dedicated and competent staff. As a results the students are very unhappy (see last year’s suicide and parent’s complaints with the city of NY), the school was threatened with probation and yet Ms. Kirkweg is untouched and Mr. Klein seems to support her? The kids do not have books to study from, teachers are being fired on false pretences, there is no discipline and the number one priority, THE KIDS, are not performing. A full and in-depth investigation is needed. If anyone has testimonials against this school and is ready to testify please contact me. Here is a link to a daily news article on the matter:

  3. The Nuge permalink
    October 10, 2009 am31 11:45 am 11:45 am

    Ms. Picone glad to see you found this article. I would like to point out what a great teacher Sgt. Picone was. In the years I came to know him, I really looked up to him. He was my favorite teacher. Everything he did in the manner of presenting himself, teaching, and his composure was magnificent. His style of teaching was superb. He entertained the class while keeping their attention focused on the topic. All at the same time, he also managed to teach us lessons through anecdotes and experiences in the service. I am unsure how he managed to reach such a high skill of teaching but he was truly a gem amongst the mud of Aerospace. That man was strict, concise and kept it real- he three best qualities in a man. To even think that Kirkweg sabotaged him makes me hate her even more. But hate does not befall me. Even if she is a wicked woman she is human nonetheless. i say give her a punishment and try to rebuild what was once lost.

  4. January 7, 2010 pm31 9:44 pm 9:44 pm

    This Is All True I am A student at Bronx Aerospace Academy..
    And Everything That People Are Saying Is so True.
    My Whole Life Change… THere is Nothing To do in that School.
    All The Good Teacher Left Or Got Fired.

    This School End Many People Carrier and Future.

    Now People Wants To Tranfer, But Cant

  5. Steven Nieves permalink
    January 7, 2010 pm31 10:05 pm 10:05 pm

    I Was A Student At Bronx Aerospace High School. And i Would Just Like To Say That Ms Kirkweg Is A Cruel Visciouse Principal Who Doesn’t Care About Anyone Especially If They Try To Take Her Down. Many Kids In That School Suffer Time And Time Again Because She Has So Much Power. She Kicked Me Out Because I Told Her That She Was A Rude And Disturbed Person. She And A New Assistant Principal Named Ms Gerdis, Both Teamed Up Against Me In Front Of My Mom Stating That She Had A Lawsuit Against me and that I Could Leave To De Witt Clinton And All Will Be Over. This Lady Has To Be Stopped And because all the teachers at the school are all afraid to get fired, they just do as there told and ignore all that has become of the once great school. Why is it that she can do what ever she wants and hurt so many bright futures. It Hurts Me Because My Friends Arew Still There Suffering The Tourment Of what she can do. There Liek Slaves Dodging Everything that she throws. Please Can Sone One Just Stand Up Against Her And take her out for good. She Cant Be a Gud Role Model If She Destroys The Futures Of Manys. Dont let her win. Once She Wins, The Kids Will Fail. And All There Dignity Will Be Lost.. Teacehrs In there care and love These Kids. They Need A Union That Will Not Tolerate These Cruel Behaviors That Ms Kirkweg Has. Kids Cant Continue To Suffer. Stop Her Now.. She Will Succeed If No One Does.. Thanx For Reading. Words Of Insperation To The Kids : Never Let Anyone Tell You That You Cant Do It. Because Our Bodys Are Great Machines. And We Can Do Anything That We Put Our Minds To. Working Hard To Achieve Greatness.. The Skys The Limit :) Preparing For Whats To Come..

  6. herminia ramos permalink
    January 7, 2010 pm31 11:40 pm 11:40 pm

    i think is true wat steven nieves said hes a friend a mine and yes i styll go to aerospace academy today well ive been tryin to transfer for 3 months know only becusz alot of good teachers been fired and becusz shes messes up our grades alot of people sence they cant transfer they wanna drop out becusz most teachers in that school is not understandable nd plusz everytime sumone gets the principal mad she always wanna take it out on the whole school just becusz one person also like we had too pass the class to get the regents cusz if not we have to take the class over and take the regents the next year and how seniors nd people that kiss ass to her get more school privilages

  7. Armondo Moralis permalink
    May 20, 2010 pm31 11:06 pm 11:06 pm

    I have heard much about this school’s principal, none of it good. These kids, can’t even spell when making comments. Not their fault, I’m not perfect either. As for that Principals ineptness, there are plenty of failed professionals still working. Education, like other professions in Government, is guilty of promoting the biggest loosers upward. That Kirkweg person, I’ve heard bad things, read bad things. Yet Manhattan does not care about the Bronx, let it burn they say. Why not just make the Bronx a large Prison? If we don’t care about the kids, that’s where they will end up.

  8. Roshane permalink
    February 18, 2011 am28 1:15 am 1:15 am

    Well i must share my experience being at Bronx Aerospace Academy.
    My name is Roshane and i spent 4 years at this school, i had the privilege to see the inns and out of the school being that i was the commander for my last year and a half. It is very unfortunate to see what has become of this school which had unlimited potential and would have been the #1 school in the city.

    To Mrs. Picone i am sorry to hear of the situation MSgt. Picone was place in i wasn’t there so i cant verify if this actually happened or not.

    What i can say is that Captain Kirkweg is a good woman, everyone has there ways and we can round up a list of things to critique anyone we have relations with. I am very disappointed in the leadership because they are the ones to set the example for the children to see. But Aerospace academy was the launching ground for many including. And if you cannot find something good to say then keep the opinions to yourself. God see and knows everything and if someone i doing trust me they will get their fair share of consequence. NYC schools on a whole is very terrible, at least someone has the courage and willingness to reach out to students of this city. Again it is unfortunate to see what has occurred, but for many of us complaining lets look at the positive things that was gained

  9. Gisselle permalink
    February 27, 2011 pm28 9:31 pm 9:31 pm

    Im in 9th grade right now , and i was thinking about transfering to Aerospace Academy .Im in a Charter school right now ..and after reading these comments ..i dnt know what to do now ! is this school really like this ?!!

  10. Ricky permalink
    March 25, 2011 am31 12:03 am 12:03 am

    Seriously, is this school really like this? Wow. I applied for this school, not knowing what was really & truly happening. I am a freshman & I am so passionate about becoming a pilot some day, & I heard about this school. I just went over all these comments & I am deffinately thinking twice. We should take a stand ! We can fight this, because I don’t want to go to this school, and the principle is like that. I have high temper problems, I would really slap her if she says anything about me. I am a nice person at heart though. Is there any way we can get in contact with Mayor Bloomberg & the DOE & see what we can do? From this point, I see this school may fall to the floor soon. I wouldn’t want to go to a school like this. I am deffinately thinking twice about it now.

  11. Jay permalink
    July 23, 2011 pm31 6:10 pm 6:10 pm

    WoW….. Just transferred to this school this summer, i haven’t even been there to visit yet, just waiting on September…… After reading all these comments, im asking myself wth did i just do……

  12. Jay permalink
    July 23, 2011 pm31 6:11 pm 6:11 pm

    WoW….. Just transferred to this school this summer, i haven’t even been there to visit yet, just waiting on September…… After reading all these comments, im asking myself wth did i just do……

  13. July 23, 2011 pm31 6:15 pm 6:15 pm

    Keep your head down; don’t draw undo attention to yourself.

    Reports from previous years indicate, despite all you read above, that the problems with programming may be the first things you notice.

    Teachers were not kind in this year’s learning environment surveys – Look here and here.

  14. Anonymous permalink
    August 10, 2011 pm31 1:55 pm 1:55 pm

    Well I suppose I should throw in my two cents on this subject. I am also a former student at Aerospace(class of 2008) and a former member of the cadet administrative staff. I can say without a doubt that all of these comments are completely true. Yes Aerospace has helped launch some students into a bright and positive future and yes it has also ruined the lives of many. In the four years that I attended Aerospace, I got to know Kirkweg quite well. The one thing that I can say about her is that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Unfortunately that attitude rubbed off on some of the student staff in a negative way. I saw friends stabbing friends in the back just to get a cadet rank that had no meaning outside of the school. I saw teachers too afraid to challenge the totalitarian regime that Kirkweg had in place, I saw the assistant principals, deans, and other admin figures abusing the powers given to them. I saw good honest people harassed and humiliated. And as for Sgt. Picone… He was the best thing to happen to that school, and I am proud and honored to say that I learned under him. Speaking of aerospace science instructors, there were a few others that ended up leaving because of Kirkweg’s behavior. Sgt. Williams, Carr, Carter. All those people founded the school and she threw them to the side like yesterdays news. A more recent example of this would be what she did to Tsgt. Mahaffi. She tried to frame him for stealing USAF funds to the school. Some of you might not know this but in 2008 $60,000 USAF funds vanished without a trace. To this day I’m sure nobody knows where it went. I can go on and on about the things that happened in that school, from suicides to attempted suicides. Kirkweg is a viper. And if you turn your back on her she will strike you. If you want to live in fear and be oppressed then feel free to apply to Aerospace be it as a student or as a teacher… Nobody is safe from her.

  15. high school for aerospace principal permalink
    October 28, 2013 am31 11:12 am 11:12 am

    MEANWHILE this phoney principal i hear lives in greenich ct……
    she needs to be investigated

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  27. Anonymous permalink
    February 15, 2016 am29 9:58 am 9:58 am

    My name is Ashlye Vazquez and I was a student at bronx Aersopace Academy from 2004-2007,and I can honestly say and testify that Barbara Kirkweg ruined my life,I completed my full credits in order to graduate and somehow this woman decided to kick me out of the school and told me clearly that I WOULD never receive a High School Diploma from her prestigious school. I was a good student,learned all of my leadership qualities from Sgts.Piccone,Williams,Carr,and Carter,I entered the school as a very shy young lady and these instructors converted that shyness and timidness into something positive,on top of that I learned and got certified in 2006 as a Student Pilot from Henry Rey and I also got a Certification from The School Psychologist/Counselor Dianne Velsor from a Safe Space Training that is useful for LGBT issues,I also completed all of my regents with High scores and instead of earning 44 credits to graduate I accumulated and earned 49 credits and in 2007 she decided to get rid of me saying that she could not have me anymore in her school,there was no valid reason,Instructors, Sgts and Staff members tried there best to convince her to why she wanted to get rid of me,and she simply said she did not want me anymore in her school,that I was causing TOO much tension with the LGBT training and that she had no time for stupidity,and that it was best and convenient for me to leave and never come back.I eventually left and was left in the air because I never received my HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA from Bronx Aerospace Academy,she suggested for me to get a GED even though I had far more credits than the average to Graduate in NYC and it was ridiculous how was I suppose to go get a GED if all of my credits were COMPLETED,I eventually went on to Plaza College in 2007-2008 and got a Degree in business,they accepted me with my Transcript,than i went on into Kingsborough Community College to major in Recreation Therapy. I was notified that a student committed suicide and I knew exactly who the student was,He was one of the best future leaders Jonathan who always strived to greatness,and I also was notified that Bronx Aerospace is no longer running with The AIR FORCE FUNDS,which is sad,And I hope Barbara Kirkweg is paying for all of what she has done,I am the proof that this woman was no type of leader,underneath all of that shell stood a woman with pure maliciousness who only thought about herself and did the worse in getting rid of Sgt Piccone,and I don’t know if I can ever get my HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA with the name of the school,but I honestly do not care. I am grateful to have met such incredible people and instructors at Aerospace and I am a successful woman today thanks to those skills learned from my dear Sgts,and Teachers…


    Ashlye M Vazquez


  1. Bronx HS Do Not Apply - updated « JD2718
  2. How Bronx Aerospace earns its top rating « JD2718

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