Sunday, January 5, 2020

A New Decade...

It's hard to believe that we are here in the year 2020 already. Many of us can probably remember all of the hype around New Year's Eve 1999 like it was yesterday. As an adult, it's a fun mind game to reflect and think about just how much can actually happen in a year/decade and how much the world around us changes. Just the other day, as my children were talking about how exciting the year 2020 was to them, I let them know that in 10 more years none of them would be in school anymore. As a parent, you almost want to choke watching your little ones grow up. As a kid, they laugh because to them 10 years is such a long time and they almost feel as if that is a lifetime away. As with any new year, there comes with it a sense of renewed spirit and hope. Most people tend to hit the reset button and look to the future for encouragement and excitement. Many individuals have resolutions to improve in the new year and as the old jokes go, most of those resolutions fall by the wayside before February. As humans, we are creatures of habit and habit is hard to adjust, let alone change. Most resolutions center around lifestyle choices (eating better, going to the gym more, getting more sleep, etc). Personally, I am attempting to monitor my health better as I get older and although I don't want to admit that I am getting older, it is an inevitable fact. Regardless of your resolution, or whether or not you have one, we all remain resolved to improve the way in which we treat each other and understand each other. Next week, the Rome City School District will be kicking off their Equity Task Force comprised of district members, students, and community leaders with the goal of making our school district the premier district for acceptance of ALL students regardless of socio-economic standing, race, religion, beliefs, or any other trait that makes all of us unique individuals. Gone are the days where schools should be dictating to children what they should be and it is time for our community to be the first in the state to be totally responsive to the needs of our students and families. Children ARE the consumer of education and ironically, always have been. We are resolved in this new decade to ensuring that we continue to evolve and provide our children with the education THEY need and want, not what schools of the previous century dictated to society. 

Face Off Against Colon Cancer

The Rome Free Academy hockey team will be hosting their annual Face Off Against Colon Cancer benefit game (played in memory of Coach Peter Mastracco) on Friday, January 10th at Kennedy Arena, where RFA will face off against Watertown IHC at 7:00 p.m.. The RFA Ice Hockey Booster Club set up a fund in honor of the late Mastracco, who passed away from his battle with colon cancer in 2015. Please support your RFA Black Knights as they continue their messaging of “Get Checked From Behind”. Cancer is a disease that has greatly impacted our district and community throughout the years. Supporting our students in their quest to support us all is the least we can do. RFA will Face Off against Watertown IHC on Friday, January 10th at 7:00 p.m. If you can not attend the game and would like to make a contribution, please visit

Need Health Insurance?

Our Connected Community Schools program is proud to announce an exciting opportunity for those that may be in need of health insurance. On the first Wednesday of each month, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., an individual product advisor through MVP health care will be available to assist families in signing up for whichever insurance plan coverage they may need, including Medicare. The visitation sessions will be open to all community members during the times mentioned above and will take place at Gansevoort Elementary School.

Rising Stars

Rising Stars is a fun learning experience that teaches stage and life skills through games, activities, individual coaching, and actual performances on the Capitol Stage. The program focuses on developing the students' own creativity, building self-confidence, improving reading comprehension and speaking ability, accepting responsibility, and teamwork. Students will learn stage movement, character development, how to audition, and a whole lot more! Skills developed will better prepare students to compete for roles in school plays and other local stage productions, as well as interacting with confidence during pageants, interviews for college or jobs, and in everyday dealings with teachers and peers. For more information, please visit their website at or contact Janet Foote at

CNY STEM Scholarships

SRC, Inc., Loretto, TTM Technologies, King + King Architects, and INFICON, in partnership with the CNY STEM Hub, are pleased to announce the 2020 CNY STEM Scholarship Program. This scholarship program, now in its 8th year, is open to graduating high school seniors who will be majoring in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer or Software Engineering, Nursing (including PA or NP programs), or Architecture, starting in the Fall, 2020. Students in the following counties may apply: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and Tompkins. This year’s scholarship program will provide financial support and at least one paid summer internship at the participating companies, pending business conditions. Last year’s scholarship winners were from Cicero-North Syracuse, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Hannibal, ITC @ Syracuse Central, New Hartford, Nottingham and Westhill High Schools. There is no financial eligibility requirement. Students attending a college or university in New York State majoring in the select STEM areas will be given preference during the selection process. Finalists will be chosen based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, honors/awards, and an essay related to STEM. Recipients will be determined by an in-person interview. The online application and additional information can be found on the CNY STEM Hub website at The application deadline is MARCH 1, 2020. Selections will be made in April and all applicants will be notified by May 1, 2020. If you have any additional questions related to the program, send inquiries to