Monday, June 24, 2013

Time for Summer

I think I have gained about five pounds from attending so many graduation parties over the weekend! It is hard to believe that I am finishing my fifth year as Superintendent of our District. As many of you know, I was born and raised on the west side and it is a privilege to be able to come back home and lead such an incredible community.

We have certainly been through some good times; and some not so good times. We have been to the highest of highs together academically, in our fine arts, and athletics; and have shared the lowest of lows together when we lost staff and students. Through it all, we have become an even stronger school community and have shown those outside of our community what true teamwork, trust, and cooperation looks like. I am very proud of all that we have accomplished.

I am also very happy to be able to tell you that the Board of Education has extended my contract through at least 2018. This gives us plenty of time to continue on the path we started, and allows me to continue to lead us through unprecedented change in education. My family and I are truly blessed and appreciative to be home and to be working with such great people in this community. Thank you for your continued support.

Over the summer, I am going to be working (of course!), but I will be taking a couple of weeks off from writing in my blog. I hope that you enjoy the start to what will hopefully be a great summer in Syracuse, New York!



Monday, June 17, 2013

Moving On

Graduation: This past weekend we held our high school graduation in the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College. This is the first year that we have held the ceremony at this new location. In the months leading up to the event our staff met and planned to make sure that everything would go well in our new home. That planning paid off. The venue was spectacular to say the least and the entire afternoon was very special for an exceptional group of seniors. I would like to say thank you to all of the employees at the SRC Arena, our  faculty and staff, our community, and of course our graduates for a wonderful time. You will all be missed. Please come back or check in when you can to let us know how you are doing!

Exam Time: Regents exams are going well, students at our Middle Schools are finishing up their final exams, eighth graders have had their moving up ceremonies, and elementary students are putting the finishing touches on another great school year.

On the Agenda: In the coming weeks we will wrap up the business end of the school year before we roll everything over for the new school year that begins on July 1.  On the agenda for the summer will be:
  • Putting together a small Capital Project to address security, technology, and building level needs. You will hear much more about this during the summer months and into the fall. 
  • We will also be working to totally integrate full-day Kindergarten for the first time.
Enjoy the week. I am hopeful that the rain will stay away for graduation parties, end of the year get-togethers, and just because we are ready for some better weather.
Take care and I will see you soon.


Monday, June 10, 2013


Weekend Events: I think there has been enough rain for a while. I love the green grass and fewer allergies, but I also like being able to attend events without wearing full rain gear!  Thankfully, the rain did not stop a lot of great things from happening over the weekend.
  • Senior John Clare won the Post Standard Amateur Golf Tournament.  He is tied for the youngest player to win at 17 years old. Congratulations! 
  • We had runners at state competition.
  • Our Boys Lacrosse team played for the New York State Championship. Unfortunately, they did come up short, but considering the ups and downs of their season, having an opportunity to actually play in the title game is pretty remarkable.
  • East Hill, Split Rock, and Onondaga Road Elementary Schools held their mini-triathlon which was well attended.
  • The Fine Arts Department held their annual awards reception that was also well attended.
Upcoming Events this Week:
  • Students at the high school will be taking final exams this week
  • The first high school graduation will be held at the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College Saturday, June 15, at 1:00 p.m.
As the School Year Winds Down: Now is the time that I enjoy visiting middle  and elementary school classrooms. Students are excited to be finishing projects and assignments because summer is right around the corner. At the same time you can sense that students are sad to leave their classroom. There is a lot to be said about that I think. Very strong relationships are built throughout the year and that is wonderful to experience. We always remind our students that even though they will be leaving for the summer, we are right here and will be excited to see them again in the fall.

In the Future: In my next few blogs leading up to July, I will include pictures of picnics and end of the year celebrations, but I should also be able to provide some insight as to what our students will be facing academically during the upcoming school year. I think it goes without saying that our students and faculty have had to face some pretty interesting things. Once the State has had a chance to process what they did to all of us this year, the voice of reason will hopefully enter so that we can strike a better balance next year. I will keep you posted for sure.

Have a wonderful week and congratulations to our seniors!


Monday, June 3, 2013


I hope that all of you had a great weekend. I think I need a few days off after mine! I got a lot of work done and made it to a lot of events, but I was dragging getting up this morning to say the least.

Congratulations to the West Genesee Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team. They defeated Ithaca by a score of 10-9 on Saturday night in the first round of the New York State Class A State Championship. They will play Penfield on Wednesday, June 5, at St. John Fisher College in Rochester. If they win, they will play in the New York State Championship game at the same location on Saturday, June 8. Best of luck!

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to join many students and parents in the 2nd Annual Save Modified Sports Run/Walk. It was great that the weather held for the event and everyone had a great time. If you are a runner but did not get a chance to participate, I think you would have liked the race course. You can find out more information about the race and the course at

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mr. and Mrs. Northrop and the rest of the Modified Boosters. As a superintendent I could not have been more pleased and appreciative of their organizational skills, business practices, and professionalism. They have been unified about helping modified athletes to continue to get an opportunity during budget challenges. They raised $75K twice, and will raise $35K for next year, $18K for the following year, and then will work to provide equipment, uniforms, etc., in the years thereafter as the District re-assumes the cost of modified sports. To say thank you is an understatement. If you have a chance, please help them to get across the finish line (pun intended) with the money they need to raise for next year and the year after. Their efforts will be remembered for years to come.

Tonight is our Senior Awards Night, and Thursday is a BOCES graduation followed by the Fine Arts Reception. We will certainly be busy! Thanks for your continued support and have a wonderful week.