Monday, February 12, 2018

Act Like You Have Been There Before

Well, I have avoided the flu but that hasn't stopped me from being on an antibiotic twice and just feeling generally awful for about a week now. I woke up this morning and finally feel like I am turning the corner. You can't call a substitute for my position; and the show must go on!

Athletics Update: Speaking of putting on a show, congratulations to our cheerleaders for placing second at sectionals and qualifying for state competition. Also congratulations to Nate Wade and Devin Earl, who can now call themselves Section III Wrestling Champions and our Boys Hockey team finished the regular season at a perfect 19-0!

Math Competitors at State Level: We are very proud of students Philip Martin and Kate Graziano. They competed in the New York State Math League with 650 other students and finished in the top thirty, which now qualifies them for the state meet at SUNY Geneseo on March 17. Philip and Kate are the first (and hopefully not the last) West Genesee students in over ten years to advance to this level of math competition. Congratulations and good luck!

Musical at the High School: Last Thursday I was very entertained by the high school's performance of the musical Anything Goes. If you haven't been to one of our productions, you are really missing out. The pit provided professional level music, the tech and stage crews made set changes effortlessly, and the actors and actresses took me away from real life for a couple of hours. I can't ask for much more than that. Great work by all!

Graduation Rates: You may have read last week that New York State graduation rates rose slightly, but gaps continue to grow in certain student groups (students with disabilities, students in poverty, and minority students). I am proud to say that our graduation rates did rise as well, but we did NOT find gaps in any certain student groups, in fact, we made gains. This makes me very happy. I never gloat about our success like others do. I expect it, and when it is achieved, we briefly celebrate then get to work improving from that spot. As I often say, we (and you) are a part of something really special, and West Genesee is where I would want my kids going to school, as mine did.

Vaping: Student health is something that is important to us as well. By now you have probably heard of what a "vape" is, or what an e-cigarette is. If not, a vape is a device that is used to heat scented oils that people inhale. When modified, a vape can also be a means for smoking marijuana.

In a recent survey, we found that students find plain old cigarettes to be taboo. They don't want to touch them due to the health hazards they cause. It is clear that our society has not done enough to explain the same (and worse) health concerns exist from e-cigarettes and vapes. In fact, I have spoken to parents who openly allow their children to smoke vapes at home because "it is just scented oil".

TJ Vaughan, our eleventh grade principal, made it a project to get all of the current research about vapes and e-cigarettes. He shared his information with the students at the high school over the past two weeks and it started a lot of conversations. He is going to share his presentations with parents on Thursday, February 15, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium. If you are a parent of a middle or high school student (please feel free to attend if you are a parent of a child in another district) I would encourage you to attend.

Thanks, don't forget about Valentine's Day, and enjoy the week. Also, enjoy mid-winter break. I will write again when we return.