Monday, October 28, 2013

Out and About

Students Participate in Government Class: Last week I had a blast talking with students in the senior class in their Participation in Government classes. This is something that I have enjoyed doing since my arrival in 2008. Because it is a government class, I am asked to speak about student rights, student searches, as well as chain of command. For the last fifteen to twenty minutes the students ask me any questions they have and I always answer them right back, whether the answer is popular or not.

The most frequent questions asked by students included:
  • Could they have more freedom as students?
  • Could they use their cellphones more during the school day?
  • Could they have more control over what we serve for lunch?
  • Could they have a "snack shack" after school before sports or activities?
  • Could they leave school grounds during the day if they were students in good standing with open slots in their schedules?
  • How do I call snow days?
  • How do I learn everyone's names?
  • Why do community members call me when students do something wrong out in the community?

The most thought provoking question was what my largest challenge is right now. I had to take about thirty seconds to mull it over. I responded that the most challenging part of my job is keeping our standards high and continuing to help students to have opportunities after high school while facing economic stressors and changes in the economic make-up of our community. I then explained leadership versus management. Many did not know that there was a difference.

I am looking forward to spending time with seniors again in the spring. I always learn a lot from them, and I do not think we listen to what they have to say often enough.

Weekend Sporting Events: If you are a West Genesee sports fan, you have probably wiped Friday night from your mind. Both soccer teams and the football team played in Sectional events and unfortunately came up on the short end. I always try to make a positive out of a negative, and I will say that it was nice to spend time with our athletic director, Mike Burns, as we traveled from Baldwinsville to North Syracuse to Liverpool to watch the students play. He bleeds blue and gold just as I do so it was fun to heartily cheer the teams and be excited for them all.

It was heartbreaking that both soccer teams lost by a goal. I was close to where the goal was scored against us in the boys game and I could not believe how high and angled the kick was to the goalie. No one was going to make that save. Just an amazing shot! The boys fought all the way to the end, but just could not get one in the net. Their teamwork was infectious, just as I had witnessed in practice all season.

At the girls game I kept tapping my foot because it was so intense. The girls ran really hard, blocked shots, made amazing saves, and just did not let up. They were relentless on offense and defense. It was a great, lose, or draw. I was proud of them for the effort, and I cannot wait to watch many of them on the basketball court this winter. Wow!

The football team is tricky to talk about. What a great bunch of young men. Again, I have watched and even participated in some practices throughout the year. There are many moving parts and when you add in injuries a team that appears to be really rolling one game can look flat as a pancake the next. That is high school football, except for those rare occasions that come around when everything works, the injury bug doesn't bite, and the stars are in alignment. I am excited for what the future holds for the Wildcat football, and I thank the current players and coaches for handling themselves with class.

Congratulations to the West Genny Cheerleaders as they won the CNYCL League Championship this past weekend.

Students choose to take on the added responsibility of representing themselves, their school and their community by participating in fine arts and athletics. Still representing us this fall in athletics are the girls volleyball team, girls swim team, cross country, and girls tennis.

Wildcats Bring Home the Title and the Cup: Still representing us in fine arts is the Marching Band who last night won their 33rd State Marching Band title with skill and precision. I love being on the turf with them during the "retreat". They are poised, professional, and complementary to their opponents. They are also a class act whose relentless pursuit of success finds them being successful quite a bit. Over 180 strong, they rocked the Dome for us. They will now participate in a national competition this weekend at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and will also march in the Veteran's Day parade. Everyone who follows the Marching Band should be very proud of their accomplishments. I sure am.

Enjoy the week. I am looking forward to getting back into classrooms after not feeling well last week. Hope to see you around!