Monday, September 15, 2014

Blasts from the Past

Our Graduates do Well: I recently ran into, or heard from, several of our graduates, and they are keeping themselves pretty busy! One, Ben Mauro, is an international rock star and has most recently finished touring as a guitar player for legend, Lionel Richie. He took an opportunity to give back to our school community by creating an endowment fund for our Fine Arts program. We are very appreciative and look forward to his future visits!
  • Another very recent graduate learned that she will be hitting the stage at Carnegie Hall this winter.
  • Three others were just adopted into the Upstate Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame and two of the three were Academic All-Americans as well as Lacrosse All-Americans.  
The list could goes on and on. The people I referenced are just the people I saw, heard from or read about this past week. Our graduates do well. This is not by accident.

High School is Nationally Ranked: Last week West Genesee High School was ranked in the top 3% of all high schools in the United States by a National publication. A blogger commented that I should "step my game up" because we were only in the top 3% (there are over 19,500 public high schools in the United States), and should have THE top High School in the United States.

I am used to, and most certainly accept, the constant pressure and demands from our community to perform. That is why I am the superintendent, and I get paid to provide the highest quality educational program that we can provide and that our taxpayers can support.

The road to the top is bumpy and I am not sure that the view at the top is any better. The top schools spend the most per pupil to keep class sizes the smallest. They do not provide as many diverse college course options as we do (AP courses count in the weighting of schools more that college credits from two and four year colleges and universities), and all of the very top high schools are in much wealthier communities (as an example even the wealthiest Central New York Schools to make the list were still in the top 3% with us).
  • Our graduates get accepted to the same schools as those in higher ranked high schools,
  • our tax rates remain among the lowest, and
  • we perform well, even though we are an average wealth community that is continuing to trend downward in the wealth department.
So as I write this, my reaction to the blogger is that our "game" is stepped up, we have accepted all challenges, and we are working within the framework that our community can accept. We will continue to do so, and I encourage all graduates to reach out to me and let me know what great things you are doing!

This is a blog and not a book, so I am going to write again later this week with some other concepts that we are working on this year.

Thanks and enjoy the week!