Monday, February 23, 2015

Welcome Back!

I hope that all of you had a chance to do something relaxing over break. While I worked through break week, I did get to be a part of the Carrier Dome crowd when Syracuse took on Duke in men's basketball. I am looking forward to the day when a Syracuse football crowd is that loud and happy to be there. It will happen, just hopefully before I lose ALL of my hair!

Acceptance Week at the High School: With so much going on with the Governor's budget that you needed to be aware of, I did not get a chance to share with you quite possibly the best thing that I have ever seen happen in a high school. A little while back our high school Respect and Responsibility Club, under the direction of Assistant Principal Peter Blake, thought it would be a great idea to create individualized large "post-it" notes and stick them on the door or locker of EVERY student AND Employee in the school. They spent an entire Sunday afternoon working on this task (our high school has 1,500 students and close to 300 employees) and kept their plan completely secret. You can imagine the absolute joy and enthusiasm everyone felt when they came to school and saw an individualized note waiting for them.

What made this even more amazing was that two days after this was completed not a single note was on the floor. Talk about being able to measure respect and value. I was so proud of their accomplishments that I wanted to share it with all of you. If you are an educational leader, please feel free to "borrow" this idea and use it in your school. Incredibly positive and powerful!

Students Have Fun Field Trip Over Break: A special thanks as well to about twenty bus drivers, six custodians, and several food service workers who volunteered their time to chaperone and entertain about eighty elementary students during winter break. They took the students to a movie and then provided food and entertainment for them when they returned. The varsity boys basketball team, Camillus Police Department, Camillus Fire Department, WAVES Ambulance, Westar Federal Credit Union, and the SEIU Labor Association also provided assistance and contributed to the great day. Thanks to all!

Supporting Public Education: There are a lot of educational forums happening to help combat the current attack on education that is being lodged by the Governor.  He is holding money from schools in return for his reforms, many of which are believed to be hurtful to students by education professionals. We are going to be front and center while we fight for resources for children, but I want you to know that we will NOT use children as a part of this process. I do not feel that it is right to have children write letters or miss school to ride to Albany, etc. I want students in classrooms learning from their teachers.

Thanks and enjoy the week!