Monday, June 22, 2015

Making Memories

An Incredible Weekend: How many people can say they were able to hand their youngest child their diploma (after having him as a student since Kindergarten) at graduation and then spend the next day with their dad at the ballpark? Not many.

We meticulously plan our graduation ceremonies, and I thought that Saturday was one of the smoothest on record. The student speeches were very insightful and well written and the musical selections were out of this world! Thanks to Dr. Copeland, Mrs. Sierotnik and everyone else who makes graduation as special as it is.

Special Days: While I truly believe that every day should be Father's Day and Mother's Day, we do designate days on the calendar so people can make them extra special. Our graduation coincides with Father's Day most years. If you are fortunate to have your father (or mother) still with us as I do, please understand what kind of gift that truly is.

Background Stories: Our graduation is quite streamlined and attendees do not get to see or hear some of the side stories that are sometimes going on in the background. This year two young men who came across the stage abruptly lost their fathers within the past few weeks, one within 48 hours of the ceremony. There they were, coming across the stage to receive their diplomas and shake my hand. My sense was that they were being "tough" because they were helping to hold their families together and to show some normalcy.

Always trying to learn from every experience, seeing them reminded me that there are a lot of little things in life that we let get bigger than they need to be and because there aren't bigger issues at the time to focus on. Don't let the little things get big, appreciate your family and friends while they are still here, and be kind to others because you don't know their story.

Visit to the White House: Last week I had the opportunity to visit the White House to work with a small group of superintendents from around the country on an educational initiative called the "Maker Movement". Essentially the Maker Movement is a project-based learning approach to education and incorporates ALL subject areas, not just science, technology, engineering, and math as many other project-based initiatives do.

West Genesee was selected to attend because we have demonstrated sustained success in a variety of areas. I was more than happy to carry our flag to the White House, and I am looking forward to attending again in the future.

Preparing for the Arrival of the New Executive Principal: This week is the last week of classes. We will be doing the usual wrap-up items that we normally do, but we are also going to be preparing for the arrival of Geoffrey Morton, who was appointed as Executive Principal for the high school.

Mr. Morton is currently a Middle School Principal in Baldwinsville. He also has high school administrative experience as well as having worked with at-risk, urban, and suburban students. For a period of time he was also a policy writer for the New York State School Boards Association. Before entering administration, he was a high school social studies teacher. He will begin his work at the high school with Dr. Copeland, Mr. Caraccio, and Mr. Blake on July 6.

Enjoy the week and believe it or not, my next blog will be a year end wrap up!