Monday, March 3, 2014

How Many People Did You Perform in Front of Today?

The Effects of Winter Weather:  I am starting to think that there is a hidden camera someplace just waiting for me to go bonkers because of this snow and cold weather. The video would go viral online and everyone would have a chuckle. I have spent my ENTIRE life in New York State, between Buffalo, the southern tier, and Syracuse and I am telling you that this winter is on the verge of making me crack and there is no way to get away from it. I was supposed to be in southern California this past weekend for a conference, but I had to cancel. I would have flown into mudslides and flooding and then would have been delayed getting back here by snow and ice. Good times. Making memories.

Budget Time: We did get some time last week to complete the first draft of the budget. Our tax levy will be below the tax cap for West Genesee. We are trying to keep all of our programs intact. In order to do so, the legislature needs to restore about $825,000 from a state budget line item called the "Gap Elimination Adjustment" or GEA. The $825,000 represents about 33% of what the state has held back from West Genesee to balance their own budget over the past few years. We should hopefully know by the end of March if we are going to get some of the GEA funds back. If we are not able to, we will have to make some challenging budget reduction decisions. The first presentation of the budget is this Wednesday at around 7:00 p.m. in our high school library. You are welcome to attend and see how we have budgeted and programmed for next year.

Our Students Perform: Because our school and programs have been so successful for so long, I think we sometimes take some things for granted. I was wound up this weekend as the girls basketball team played for the sectional title, the boys hockey team played a regional game for the state championship, and a runner and a swimmer were trying to break state and school records. Our Academic Decathlon members were also in competition.

I was focused on each team or individual finding success without thinking about the bigger picture. I was worried all week about getting extra bleachers, shuttling for overflow parking, making sure sound systems would reach large groups, that we had adequate police and ambulance support, how to handle turning people away from facilities due to sellouts, etc… BAM! It hit me right in the face. Win or lose, how many people do our students perform in front of?

When I was in high school I played varsity golf and I had a part time job as a security guard at the K-Mart when it was still in Western Lights Plaza. On any given day I would perform my job as a golfer or security guard in front of a couple dozen people max. The largest crowd I had been in front of before I became a superintendent was a full Civic Center for my high school graduation. That holds 2,117, and I was on stage for about 40 seconds to get my diploma.

A few statistics about our students:

  • The Marching Band performs at the Carrier Dome in front of over 25,000 people. 
  • All of our performing arts students get a chance to perform in front of a packed Civic Center for Kaleidoscope. 
  • The bands and ensembles are invited to perform in many different venues each year with crowds ranging from a few hundred to over 2,500.
  • Every graduate gets to cross the stage in front of between 4,000 and 5,000 people, with several graduates performing speeches or musical arrangements.
  • In sports, full house for football can get us up over 2,000 fans.
  • Our gym holds well over 1,000 and our basketball teams have played in front of nearly full houses. Heck, when I watched the boys play CNS earlier this year at CNS they had to evacuate over 1,500 of us due to a faulty sensor. 
  • A boys or girls lacrosse sectional championship game can draw close to 2,000 fans. 
  • Shove Park was a "sell out" on Saturday night with just over 1,000 people.  
In comparison:

  • A local community college averages 223 fans for a mens home basketball game. 
  • National recording artist Carley Rae Jepsen (Call Me Maybe) drew 853 people to her concert at the New York State Fair until she nearly gave tickets away and still couldn't get over the 2,000 mark. 
You get the picture!

The next time I think about a tough win or loss, I am going to remind myself of how many people they performed in front of and win or lose, how much they learned about composure, self confidence, expectation, and being role models. Much more than I had learned at their age, I can tell you that!

If I was to update you about all of the sports that have taken place over the past week, this blog would be five paragraphs longer! Please check our website or Facebook page for the most up to date information and celebrations.

If it gets over 40 degrees between now and next Sunday, I might blog again just to celebrate that fact. If not, you will hear from me in a week!