Monday, April 18, 2016

All Clear

Junior Prom Already: I hope you had an opportunity to enjoy the fantastic weather over the weekend. I know I did, and so did four hundred and three students who attended our Junior Prom on Saturday night.

The prom this year was an absolute delight. There was not a single issue and the energy was very high and very positive the whole night. As you can imagine, I as the superintendent (and probably you if you had a child out later than usual last night) sleep with one eye open until I get the "all clear" text from the high school administration and Camillus Police first thing Sunday morning. What a great time; I am looking forward to the Senior Ball on May 13!

Kick-Off of "No Empty Chair" Campaign: On Friday, and just prior to the prom, West Genesee was selected as the kick-off site for the "No Empty Chair" (Click here to view a YouTube video about the event.) campaign sponsored by the Governors Special Traffic Safety Division. Some of our students watched the extended opening press conference.

I was very impressed by senior Katie Lannon, who delivered a powerful message about making good choices while flanked by high ranking officials from the New York State Police, District Attorney's Office, Onondaga County Sheriff's Office, Department of Motor Vehicles, Camillus Police Department, and a parent who had lost a child. She was masterful with the media as well, and I was really pleased with how she represented the District and most importantly, herself. Nice work!

More Mini-Forums: Last week there were a lot of cool events that happened. First was the "prevention" mini-forum. You can view the presentation by clicking here. It was led by Penny Williams from OCM BOCES and Donna Knapp from The Prevention Network. I definitely learned a thing or two about signs to look for in children related to substance abuse, and I think it would be well worth your time to take five minutes to scroll through their presentation.

The next mini-forum is on treatment and will be led by substance abuse treatment counselor Kimberly Sacco on May 3 at the West Genesee High School. Two days later on May 5 will be NARCAN training, which will also be at the high school and provided by the Camillus Police Department. I can't thank everyone enough for their involvement and efforts.

Letter of Intent Signing Ceremony: We also held our official Division I and Division II athletic signing day. This year we had thirteen students commit to various colleges and universities. The sports are women's and men's lacrosse, women's soccer, men's golf, and men's basketball. Click here to read an article from the District e-Newsletter that lists the names and colleges.

The combined academic average of all of the student athletes who signed the letters is a 91; very impressive. We wish them well next year and beyond!

C.O.D.E. Program is Recognized: Many of you are familiar with our Community Oriented Drug Education (C.O.D.E) program.  For those who are not, it is a partnership between the District and the Camillus Police. We tailor curriculum to help teach students in grades K-12 about making good choices, and remaining drug and alcohol free. The program is unique because we select and change the curriculum based on the needs of our community.

Officers Kelly Grace and Diane Brand are responsible to help teach the curriculum.  In 2013 they, our administrators, and teachers made the decision to include some curriculum about what to say and do if faced with abuse.  For their efforts, the Camillus Police Department, Officers Grace and Brand were honored by the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center at the “Shine A Light” On Child Abuse Award Ceremony with the Children’s Guardian Award for the partnership and continuing education that McMahon/Ryan, the Camillus Police and the West Genesee School District share regarding our CODE Program.

Come Meet an Astronaut: This Thursday is your chance to meet with an astronaut. Join us this Thursday, April 21, in the high school auditorium from 7:00-8:30 p.m. for an evening with NASA Astronaut, Jeanette Epps, Ph.D. as she describes her journey to becoming one of NASA’s elite female astronauts. We are looking forward to having Dr. Epps among us and in our District!

Spring break is next week. I am going to give you a chance to enjoy yourselves and not have to worry about checking for a blog. Barring anything unusual I would need to share with you, my next post will be on Monday, May 2. Until then, enjoy and remember that every day is a great day to be a Wildcat!