Sunday, February 28, 2010

He Shoots, He Scores!

Congratulations to the West Genesee Wildcat Hockey team for commanding the title Section Champions. Hockey is a game of superstition so I will just leave it at that and wish them well in the first round of state level play this weekend.

Kudos also to our swimmers who made the trip to Buffalo to compete in state competition. While some school and state records were broken, we came up just short of a win. I am incredibly proud of the effort and want the swim team to know that it takes me approximately five minutes to get from one end of the pool to the other!

I also want to thank some people who don't play a sport but as a result of their efforts we will be able to keep what we know as West Genesee intact; the teachers. We met informally with the teachers regarding their contract for the next couple of years. They were cooperative and willing to work with us and presented a contract that includes a lot less in compensation in order to save staff. Anyone with a pulse knows that the state economy is in a recession, and we all also know that in the public sector larger percentage raises are the norm when compared to the private sector. The teachers went against their own state level organization in settling with us quickly and for an amount that will allow us to save dollars and staff. This move will allow us to refrain from digging as deep into staff in order to balance the budget. This agreement is unprecedented for the area and will be approved by the Board of Education on Wednesday evening. We are currently working with other bargaining units within the District to help us to continue to walk-the-walk. Thank you!

I will be presenting the first run of the budget on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the high school library. If you cannot make it don't worry, I will have a video on our web site shortly, as well as all of the print materials regarding the budget.

A question that I have been asked a few times concerns the outdoor lights being on at the turf stadium at the high school. Our turf is our emergency evacuation site for our high school students. We need to keep it plowed and ready in case we need it. After the big storm our crew stayed late a few nights to clear it off instead of coming in for overtime on a weekend. We will also have Spring sports coming up, and you might see the lights on a few nights per week until daylight savings time changes again. Please keep in mind that our energy consumption is down 11% so far this year from last. We recognize that every little bit helps.

On Wednesday during the day I am going to have the unique opportunity to talk about Twitter and Blogging via a web cam and broadcasting software to about 300 members of the New Jersey School Boards Association. Board members nationwide are recognizing the need for transparency in communication and it will be fun to help them to see the power of using this vehicle to get information out to the public.

All for now. Check back this week because I am going to try and make my posts a little more frequent and a little shorter moving forward through the Spring.