Monday, September 12, 2016

Never Forget

Remembering 9/11: In my job, one thing you are taught and then are forced to learn is the concept of "stick and move". In the sport of boxing, stick and move means to learn how to concentrate your resources, make a decision, and immediately move on to the next decision. In boxing, dwelling on decisions can have a tough result. In my job, dwelling on decisions causes the organization to run inefficiently and no high functioning school district can run inefficiently.

One of the things in life that has made me reflect on, however, is September 11, 2001. Our current freshmen were not alive on that very scary day for America. If you are my age, you can remember where you were the exact minute the first plane hit the Twin Tower. You personally know/knew someone impacted by that awful day, or you know someone who knows or knew someone.

From the bad came a sense of absolute patriotism, and what it means to be a real life hero. The emergency responders who ran toward the towers never to be seen again, the volunteers who lined up by the thousands to provide assistance when the safety of their surroundings was not known, and the survivors themselves; many of whom helped others to flee knowing that slowing down may have cost their life as well. (Pictured below is Shawn Picciott, a 2015 West Genesee graduate who attends the US Naval Academy.)

Fifteen years later, we have learned, we have dwelled, and we have moved forward; but we never forget, and we won't, and that is okay. Peace to those who lost their lives, and pride to those who call themselves Americans.

School Begins: In other news, we are beginning the second week of school. Week one went well, although I wish the air conditioning was working in all of the buildings. Soon for sure, but for those who attended open houses or ice cream socials, soon wasn't good enough; and I agree!

I really enjoyed reconnecting with all of our students and staff. The kindergartners are just a blast to meet with for the first time. I am always impressed that they can say the word superintendent, let alone know and remember what I do for a living. Impressive!

Capital Project Update: I would call our construction project 98% complete, with the last 2% being touch up paint, trim, carpet, and we are finishing the air conditioning and cafeterias at Onondaga Road and East Hill Elementary schools. We are very fortunate to have completed the project on time and most importantly on budget.It took a LOT of people to make that happen and my thanks goes out to everyone.

Thanks for the support and have a great week!