Sunday, December 11, 2016

A 900% Increase...

My blog this week is not a philosophical thought, rather an attempt to inform our community about a reality and a concern for our youth. What has increased by 900% recently you ask? E-cigarette use among high schoolers has increased 900% in the past 4 years. This past week, the Wall Street Journal and many other major media outlets of reputation have released articles in relation to the surgeon general's most recent comments. One of the most alarming things about these devices is that people still do not realize that they contain nicotine. Our children are become more and more addicted to nicotine through the electronic cigarette than our older generations ever were to the traditional cigarette. I strongly urge our parents to do some more homework on the e-cigarette prior to thinking that it is a safe alternative for anything. The e-cig has become the gateway drug to more serious things, has shown to stunt brain growth in teenagers, and falsely advertises their product on most occasions. Research is showing that 4-times more teenagers are using e-cigarettes than other forms of tobacco products and on average 40% of high schoolers have at least tried smoking them. Of greater concern that isn't discussed as much about e-cigs is that sellers are constantly finding ways to 'lace' the syrups with other products that are much more addictive, altering, and dangerous than nicotine. The Wall Street Journal article can be found here: I urge you to take a moment to do some reading to learn more about the most significant health concern facing our youngsters in our society today.

2016 Fall Scholar Athletic Teams 

The NYSPHSAA has released the list of scholar athletes and teams for the Fall 2016 season. Our Scholar Teams for the Fall 2016 season include: Girls Varsity Field Hockey coached by Mackenzie Williams, Girls Varsity Cross Country coached by Matt Downs, Boys Varsity Cross Country coached by Ty Knamm, Girls Varsity Soccer coached by Bill Tagliaferri, and Girls Varsity Tennis coached by Karen Gaesser. In total, across all sports, we had 107 students achieve the Scholar Athlete distinction. Team awards are given to teams that have 75% of the roster achieving a GPA of 90 or better. 

Rome Rescue Mission

'Tis the season for giving and the Rome Rescue Mission is currently conducting their holiday collection drive. As with every community, ours is no different in terms of wanting to help those in need. Below is their flier and I encourage you to join with our schools to help those in need this season. Every school, as in years past, continues to develop service projects geared toward helping others and building a sense of community. On behalf of the schools, our students, and our staff; thank you for your support of our community!!

Safe Schools Positions

Safe Schools Mohawk Valley (formerly Utica Safe Schools) is looking for After-School Program staff to work with school- aged students (grades K-8) at Bellamy Elementary in Rome and Strough Middle School in Rome. The positions are 15 hours a week during the afternoons from 3:00-6:00PM or 2:00-5:00PM, depending on location. You MUST be available to work those hours; reliable transportation a must. Posting will remain open until all positions are filled (14 positions available). Rate of pay $10/hr. Must be fingerprinted and pass a background check per New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Job responsibilities include:
- Responsible for safety and supervision of a group of 10-15 youth.
- Work with supervisor in planning and implementation of programming.
- Assist students in homework, escort students to clubs and groups.
- Facilitate group activities.
- Complete required paperwork and training.

Skills / Requirements:
- Must be 18 years of age or older.
- High school diploma or equivalent required.
- Previous experience with diverse populations a plus.
- Experience working with and supervising children (does not need to be formal).

- Skills that can be brought to the program a plus (dance, art, music, etc)

If you are interested, please email cover letter and resume to
Employment application can be downloaded at

RFA Travel Club Breakfast With Santa

It's official!! The RFA Travel Club will be hosting their 2nd annual Pancake Breakfast With Santa. The event will be on Saturday, December 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in RFA's cafeteria. The cost is $6 per person with kids 5 years old or younger being free. Tickets can be bought from travel club members before the event or at the door. For more information, please contact the RFA travel club at