Monday, May 2, 2016

Welcome Back!

Academic Decathlon in Alaska: I hope that everyone had a great spring break.  As you are reading this, our Academic Decathlon Team members are arriving back to town after a successful trip to Anchorage, Alaska where they competed in the national championship.

Aside from competing, they had a chance to bike, hike, and visit the Alaska Museum as well as the Alaska Zoo. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience for most, and they are appreciative of your support to help get them there. Once they recover from the jet lag, I know they plan to work with our publications department to send out a summary to our community.

Vacationing in Vegas: I had a chance to get away for a couple of days to Las Vegas. I had never been there and wanted to check it off the list. I am too cheap to gamble, so we spent the time checking out the themes from each casino, seeing a show, eating a couple of good meals, and then venturing out to the Hoover Dam and Zion National Park.

I cannot tell you if I was more impressed by the Hoover Dam, Zion, or the Vegas strip itself. They were all interesting in their own ways. As you know, West Genesee has incredible reach. While I was looking over a rooftop and out onto the strip, there was a large video billboard advertising an upcoming stay by music legend Lionel Richie. The last image shown was his guitar player, former West Genesee student Ben Mauro. Wildcat pride!
NASA Touches Down at the High School: A day before spring break, students, parents, and community members were treated by a visit from NASA astronaut, Dr. Jeannette Epps. Her presentation was sponsored by the Junior League, and she spent about an hour and a half talking about her preparation to become an astronaut, and her message was to never give up on your dreams. There was a long line to shake her hand, or get a picture or an autograph, and I commented that she was as popular as any guest musician or athlete we have ever hosted. Good stuff! She will be headed to the International Space Station in about a year and a half, and we will be following her progress.

Construction Progress: While we were away, construction workers made significant progress in each of the buildings. I toured all of the work on Friday and took these pictures. We continue to be on or ahead of schedule in all areas and we are also right on target budget wise.

If your child participates in an activity through the town Parks and Recreation Department, be sure to pay careful attention to the location of each activity when you register as some of them have changed for this summer only.

West Genesee has a Pep Band:  It has long been rumored that the fine arts students do not get along with the athletes and visa versa. For years I have told people that perception is NOT reality but it has been challenging to prove it, until now. Cue the new and totally awesome West Genesee Pep Band.

The pep band was started over the winter by a small number of students for one basketball game, and they have since grown to about twenty strong. They are also becoming a common fixture at boys and girls lacrosse games. The group is student driven and you can follow them on Twitter at @westgeneseepep. They sound great, and I am hoping that they stay together and continue to grow in numbers into next fall and winter!

Mini-Forums this Week: The last two substance abuse mini-forums for this school year take place this week. On Tuesday, May 3, there will be a forum about treatment. It takes place from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the West Genesee High School Large Group Instruction Room.

On Thursday, May 5, there will be a mini-forum that will provide NARCAN (nasal based) training with 3 one-hour training sessions starting at 5:30 p.m. in the West Genesee High School Large Group Instruction Room.

We have done a tremendous job raising awareness about substance abuse in our community and it would mean a lot to see good representation at these forums. The larger community coalition will then have a final meeting for the year where we will summarize our productive year and make plans for next year. Thank you for the continued support.

Welcome to May. Graduation is straight ahead. Enjoy the week!