Monday, March 24, 2014

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Events this Past Weekend:
Family Time - I hope that each of you enjoyed the weekend. My weekend was jammed with a lot of fun things. First, our oldest son came home for spring break and that was a treat in itself. We haven't seen him since December, and we probably only connect once or twice a week by text; so to have him home was great.

We got a chance as a family to shop at the mall, see the new Muppet movie (we usually go to see movies where things blow up and people drive fast, but the Muppets are the Muppets), and finished with a great breakfast at a diner (family favorites are the The Gem, Stella's, and Nesticos we rotate). Our washing machine is probably glad to see him head back to school, but the rest of us will miss him until we see him again in May.

Sixth Annual Culture Fair - We had a blast at the Culture Fair. We got there early to try all of the food before it was gone. Each year I try to branch out in the food category. I was pleasantly surprised by the Portugese kale soup and cinnamon rice pudding.  The entertainment was great, and I learned some new dance moves that I know will be wrong when I try to repeat them. I want to thank all of the people who took the time to organize the event and volunteered their time and talents. I am already looking forward to next year. (Click here to view some videos of the event.)

Syracuse Half Marathon - This event was interesting. It started at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday at the OnCenter Downtown. The temperature was 10 degrees and it was snowing pretty hard. Throughout the course we ran in snow, rain, sun, and ice through icy streets, salted streets, dry streets, and one big ice puddle right by the back entrance to the Creekwalk; that was a real wake up call! This continues to be my favorite long race in the metro Syracuse area. A big thank you to all of the volunteers, emergency personnel, and organizers; you know how to do it right!  I'd also like to thank the random person who called me out by name to cheer me on (no idea who he was)!

Events this Week:
National Honor Society - Tonight is our National Honor Society induction ceremony, and I am looking forward to congratulating students and their parents for their hard work and dedication.

Field Trip to Tech Valley High School - This week I am taking a group to Albany to visit the Tech Valley High School. This school uses a concept called project-based learning and technology to complete high school graduation requirements. This concept is similar to many workplaces where there are fewer walls and people from all departments and different job titles work together to achieve common goals.

As we begin to respond to the economy, college and career ready demands, new technology, and keeping students interested, there are many concepts that we need to research as we begin to create our own "High School 2.0". Stay tuned for my review of Tech Valley High School, as well as concepts for our students that we may consider as we look to the future.

Budget Update - This week we will be looking for some final budget numbers from the state so we can wrap up our budget process and really concentrate on getting things ready for the actual budget vote on May 20. I really don't have more to report in this department as our elected officials need to complete their work.

Enjoy the week as temperatures are looking better by Friday!