Monday, December 11, 2017

Something New, Something Different

Well, we finally got a little snow and cold. It was the perfect time to try out my new $26 Costco (Kirkland) waterproof and insulated boots. They passed with flying colors, which I was super happy about. I can now take the money that I would have spent on brand name boots and spend it on Glazed and Confused donuts. Win!

New and Different: I did try something new and different this weekend. Being born and raised on the west side, I have really only grocery shopped at the Western Lights and Fairmount Wegmans, Tops, and Price Chopper. My wife and I were on the other side of town, and for the first time in my 46 year history, I stepped foot and shopped at the Dewitt Wegmans. I know, I know, a REALLY big deal. Aside from the burger bar, the aged beef station (I am still on the fence about eating beef that sits out for a month or two, so I passed), and the overall layout; it was a Wegmans. I am sure we made them happy because my son and his friend are coming home for the holidays this week and the bill was about five times what it usually is when my wife and I shop for ourselves!

Last week I had an opportunity to tour the brand new Friendly Ford Store in Geneva, New York. Two of my former students (from my teaching years), Jeff McKee and Mike Wilkenson, are the General and Sales Managers (and I am very proud of them), and they gave me a complete tour of the new facility. It was very impressive. One of the bays, the diagnostic bay, featured a new system that can scan a car for any issues when it is hooked up to a computer system. Instead of getting an "OK" as a printout, you get a grade with comments for each major part of the car, and approximately how much time you have until that particular part needs attention.

Why do I bring this up? That system for cars reminded my very much of the new standards-based report cards that our elementary students are now receiving. Our teachers and principals designed a report card that gives parents a complete picture, with comments, about every part of a child's learning. It is much easier to see growth areas, and it is much easier to celebrate what is going well. I was excited for parents to receive them for the first time a week or so ago. Change is change, but sometimes it isn't too bad!

Update on School Resource Officers: I would like to congratulate our former School Resource Officer, Kelly Grace, on her retirement from the Camillus Police Department. She was our first School Resource Officer and held the job for 16 years before an injury forced her to the sideline about a year ago. She is the definition of class, and she is an outstanding role model for students. She made the position proactive instead of reactive, and she was a large part of the fabric of our District. Congratulations to Kelly and best wishes for a great retirement.

Her replacement, Officer Anthony Gucciardi, picked up where she left off a year ago and has spent his time building positive relationships with all of our students. Last week, he surprised some of our elementary students by busting out his piano skills. I thought he was going to play the theme from "Cops" of course, but he had more of a Billy Joel style. The students were impressed!

Supporting Charity: Many of you attended the Harvest Dinner that we had at the high school to Support the Senior class and a charity of their choice. They raised $2,000 to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in the name of former longtime teacher, Marsha Schoff, who recently passed away; Outstanding.

Featuring a Student: Every now and then I feature a student that you should probably get out to see for free, before you have to pay to see them. Right now that student is sophomore hockey player Dan Colabufo. Our hockey program is stacked with talent, and he really rises to the top as a leader, skater, decision-maker, scorer, and passer. He really does have it all.

Hockey is weird in a way. The absolute best players with true college or professional level potential rarely finish high school. They usually are recruited to play in what is called a "prep" school, or on a team at the "junior" level. They usually enter their freshman year of college as 21 or 22 year olds. While I just mentioned that Dan is a sophomore, based on what I have seen from him in the past three games, I can't imagine a prep school or junior league team not reaching out to him. In other words, see him at Shove Park while you can. He was recently athlete of the week. Learn more about Dan from this video about him at: #WildcatPride

Robotics Club: I want to end with a feel good story. Our Robotics Club, called the Vex Club, competed against 24 other schools this weekend and did really well. The robots that the students created has to perform several different tasks. They also combined with Liverpool's club to find success. Great teamwork.

Thanks and enjoy the week!