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Carol's Corner

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Letter from the Superintendent

June 2016

Dear Colleagues:

We have survived yet another school year! This year presented some unique challenges as we rolled out new technology, struggled with the possibility of dealing with one of the largest budget gaps we faced in years, dealt with student issues, both small and large, seen people come and go, and negotiated contracts. Yet through all the ups and downs, we are ending the year strong, Schalmont Strong.

We kicked off the school year with a discussion about who owns the learning, and, as the months progressed, more of you were enabling the “empowered learner” in your classrooms, encouraging students to take ownership of their own educational experience.

When renowned international leader in education technology Alan November was able to join us in the spring, he expanded on concepts we have just begun to explore and challenged us to continue changing the educational landscape, to be pioneers in innovative teaching methods and to forge global connections in the classrooms. I have no doubt this momentum will continue into the next school year and beyond as we progress with the implementation of our technology and strategic  plans, which will help provide the tools and technology necessary to support out-of-the-box instruction.

We have already witnessed how digital literacy, flipped classrooms, virtual labs and textbooks, Chromebooks, and more access to technological tools have inspired not only our students but teachers and administrators from other
regional districts. And more is yet to come as we continue to set the pace in education innovation!

Along with the great advancements in our classrooms, there were many great occasions to celebrate outside the classroom this year as well!

With the highest graduation rate in the county, the majority of our senior class is preparing to continue their education careers at two- or four-year colleges this fall. Several students have won community, state and national scholarships and awards. We wish them the best as they move forward in life and smile a little at the thought that we as a district played a role in getting them to this point and preparing them for the road ahead.

Students this year showed off their talents and skills in many ways. From the well-attended concerts throughout the year, to the play and musical to the talent shows at the middle school and Jefferson, Schalmont students demonstrated a great passion and aptitude for the arts.

Our athletic teams continued to prove the Sabres are a force to be reckoned with, as many teams continued into post-season playoffs, and the girls varsity soccer team brought home the state title. Our athletes proved to also be scholars and were recognized throughout the year for their academic achievement as well.

Student success continued as clubs and organizations worked to make a difference. As a result, Schalmont High School is now designated a No Place for Hate school. The high school environmental club started a recycling program, the middle school craft and environmental club started a vegetable garden, the middle school respect club worked to make sure everyone lived up to the characteristics that make up a Sabre Citizen. These are just a few examples of the many positive efforts our students put forth this year.

And as the school year draws to a close, we will be saying farewell not only to our seniors, but also to some staff members including:

  • Margaret Ferrucci, Reading Teacher
  • Elisa Pepe, English Teacher
  • Eileen Scheffer, Music Teacher
  • Jeffrey Taft, Physical Education Teacher
  • Lee Countermine, Bus Driver
  • John Hess, Cleaner
  • Steven Decocco, Mechanic
  • Denise Koskey, Typist
  • Cindy Tygert, Typist
  • Marie Jankowski, Teaching Assistant
  • Dee ann Conoglio. Jefferson Teacher

Join me in wishing them the best as they move on. Their dedication and hard work was appreciated. They will be missed.

We will be hiring new staff this summer and look forward to introducing them to the Schalmont family this September.

And as we speak of summer, I am sure many of you are looking forward to vacation, time spent outdoors, and enjoying the warm weather. But summer is also a great time to take advantage of some of the professional development opportunities offered. Check out the STI website to see the latest professional development offerings.

Have a happy and safe summer, and I look forward to seeing you back here in September!

Sincerely,

Dr. Carol A. Pallas

Schalmont Superintendent