Monday, May 29, 2017

Time for Remembrance...

This is a time of year where we should all take a moment to pause, reflect, and say thank you to all of our proud men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. As a society, we have been trending more and more toward the concept of entitlement in recent years. Unfortunately, entitlement is not the concept that our fine nation was built upon; nor was it the intent of everyone that has come before us. Our ancestors (some of whom are still alive today to share their stories) believed in hard work, dedication to your task/role in the world, and commitment to your fellow American. These ideals are what made America great during the 20th century because regardless of your heritage, our country bonded together. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing trend of what can I do to avoid working hard, or taking responsibility, or helping a neighbor/colleague simply because it's the right thing to do. We have lost sight, as a society, of the concept of brotherhood and sisterhood and that we are all working together for the same goal. Even in this age of constant news cycles and social media, as we enjoy our safe lives here at home; there are women and men all over the world putting themselves in harms way to ensure our freedoms and we don't even know about it. Worse yet, most people don't even care. The least we can do on our end is to work hard, be committed to each other, and be committed to producing excellence so those that do sacrifice for us, have a quality country to come home to. So, in this Memorial Day, I thank all of our service men and women who have sacrificed for our country and continue to sacrifice. Thank you to all of the current members of the Rome City School District who have served in the military prior to rededicating their life to serving children. Finally, let's take a moment on this day to reflect on what we have lost sight of and re-engage the concepts of working hard and doing the tough task because it's the right thing to do; not because we want an extra buck. Happy Memorial Day everyone!! 

Congratulations Utica O.D. Teen All-Stars

Congratulations to Rome Free Academy seniors Emma Gilroy and Tommy Weir for being the recipients of the 2017 Utica Observer-Dispatch Teen All-Star award. The Observer-Dispatch initiated the Teen All-Stars program in 1992 to recognize the many talents of our local high school students. Each year, dozens of local seniors are nominated by friends, family, school officials and members of the community with a final panel of 25 students being selected as Teen All-Stars who excel both academically and in their extracurricular activities. This year, we are proud to be represented in our community by both Emma and Tommy. To read more about their individual stories, please click on the links below. Congratulations and thank you to Emma and Tommy for representing RFA and the entire Rome community!!

District/Superintendent Evaluation

Each year, part of the growth process for those of us in eduction is the evaluation cycle/process. Last August, we did a survey to determine some feelings of the community in regard to their thoughts/perceptions of the District. Now, I will be sending an evaluation link to our community members via email for the same purpose. I have had the opportunity to lead the District for 11 months and our team needs to solicit feedback with regard to the perceptions and feelings of our families and community. The survey will be completely anonymous and should take roughly 5 minutes to complete. Please take the time to provide us with your thoughts so that we can continue to improve our organization for kids.

New Opioid Concern for Parents

Police in the Elmira, NY area have issued a public health warning about a new narcotics trend in the area that could pose a danger to children. Candy-like drug tablets have been found in the Elmira area and they contain a mix of Xanax, fentanyl and heroin; but are disguised to look like SweetTarts candy. The drugs even have a small letter "S" stamped on them that mimics the SweetTarts logo, making it more challenging to decipher the candy from the drug. While we have not received any confirmed reports of the drug being in our region, we are receiving multiple warnings from our local substance abuse/prevention centers to help spread the word to be on the lookout.