Monday, November 10, 2014


Spelling is an important Skill: The title was the correctly spelled word that won 6th grader, Abigail Ray, our annual District Spelling Bee. The competition was fierce as always, and I always appreciate students who enter the Spelling Bee. Not only do they learn how to perform under pressure, they have to dedicate time to preparation and maintain a positive attitude; even when they spell a word wrong. These are all great life skills that some don't learn until they are adults, if ever!

National Merit Commended Scholars Honored at Board Meeting: At the last Board of Education meeting we recognized our National Merit Commended Scholars: Steven Mirabito, Christopher Brown, Claire Thomas, Aaron Jones, and John Buttner. These students help to exemplify the academic excellence that is promoted at school every day. A big congratulations goes out to their parents and family members as well. Nice work!

Cinderella Finds Her Glass Slipper at CMS: Camillus Middle School presented a great musical on Friday and Saturday. They did the student version of Cinderella: The Enchanted Edition and their performances were commendable. 

West Genesee Middle School will perform the musical Fame Jr. on November 20-22. I cannot wait until all of these performers get to the high school!

Athletic Update: We have had a VERY successful fall athletic campaign. Our cheerleaders and girls swimming and diving teams all performed extremely well this weekend.  

Congratulations to our girls Swim team for becoming Section III Class A champions this weekend! There were also championships won by Shannon Cahalan for the 100 yard backstroke and Olivia Castro in the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard freestyle.

It was also a good weekend in cross country. For the girls, Carly Benson placed 5th in the state competition, and Grace Craig came in 53rd. In boys cross country, Will Randall placed 16th in the state competition. Both Carly and Will's meet finish qualifies them as individual racers for next Saturday's NYS Federation Championship at Bowdoin Park in Poughkeepsie. Our girls team has also been selected to compete in that event. This is the first time we have qualified a girls team for this elite competition.  

As we finish up our fall sports, we head right into varsity winter sports, believe it or not!

Update on Progress: Our Capital Project is slightly ahead of schedule and on budget.  I had a chance to see all of the equipment being unpacked and prepared for installation and I could not be happier with the contractors we are using to pull cable and connect equipment so we can upgrade our security and provide all campus wireless Internet access. If you click on this link to my last blog update about the project, you can see the time frame for the remainder of the project and I see no reason why we will not be able to stay on schedule.

There is a Reason We Test New Systems: Last week we tested the phone portion of our Parentlink Communication System using information from Schooltool. No bueno. What we determined from that test, is that there is a lot of work to be done before I would call that phone system a success. We have to work with two companies as well as internally to clean everything up. 

Thank you for your patience during our testing phases. Don't feel bad if you didn't get a test call from our system; I didn't either! For now, emergency closings or other emergency information will still be found through Twitter, the Parentlink mobile phone app, our Facebook fan page, your email, as well as various media outlets.

Elections Affect Everyone: The recent elections are going to create an uncertain future for education in New York State. The current governor has been very vocal about putting pressure on educators to "do better" and has also been vocal about forcing mergers and consolidations. The senate is now a Republican Senate, and they will be more vocal about promoting Charter Schools over public schools. I have been around long enough to be ready for anything, but the "fasten your seat-belt" sign has just been lit!

Recognizing Students and Teachers: Tonight the Camillus Optimists Club will recognize the West Genesee Teachers and Students of the Year.  This is a great event sponsored by the Optimists and held at Gillfian's West Hill. Students are selected by teachers and the teachers are selected by their peers which makes this award very special.  

The teachers being recognized this year are: Eliza Spaulding (West Genesee High School Science), Rebecca Eassa (Math at Camillus Middle School) and Molly O' Keefe (Physical Education at East Hill Elementary School).  

The students being honored are: Alex Tripodi and Claire Wenner from the High School, Katherine McManus and Phillip Martin from Camillus Middle School, and Jessica Potosky and Haneen Awawda from West Genesee Middle School. Congratulations to all!

Celebrating our Veterans: Tomorrow please take a moment to reflect on what our Veterans have done for America which affords us the freedoms we have today. Better yet, see if you can find a Veteran and thank them in person; they will appreciate it!

This is the first year that I will be able to walk the "Lights on the Lake" before they officially open to cars and I am excited! Also I will be attending a fundraiser for the Food Pantry of Central New York at Wonderworks. Cool!

Have a great week-