Class of 2016 top scholarsDuring the meeting, the school board will recognize the top two high school seniors: Lauren Zakrzewski is the class valedictorian and Lydia Anderson is the salutatorian. Lauren plans to attend either Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute or the University of Michigan in the fall to study chemistry, while Lydia plans to study pre-law at Hartwick College. Both young women are members of the National Honor Society and have been involved in many extracurricular activities throughout their school careers, including Character Education/No Place for Hate and Student Council. They also have participated in interscholastic sports: Lauren ran track and played softball, while Lydia played varsity soccer. I am confident both will be highly successful in their future endeavors!
I also want to recognize the balance of the Top 10 scholars of the Class of 2016, which includes Samad Abdul, James Creaser, Sarah Skinner, Brendan Austin, Arianna Greene, Seamus Manning, Samael O’Brien and Ian Brown. Congratulations once again to all!
Wrestling a successful seasonThe varsity wrestling team and Coach Dennis Lane will be recognized for their hard work, determination and skill. The Cannoneer wrestling team with an overall record of 7 wins and 1 loss was second in the league, was named Class C Sectionals Champion, and earned the Section 2 Sportsmanship Team of the Year Award. Wrestler Collin O’Brien was Section 2 Champion with a season record of 38-3 at the 145 pound weight class and he advanced as a New York State Qualifier at the Times Union Center, where he went 1-2 in the state tournament. The wrestling team also had four Class C Champions, including Collin O’Brien, Connor Lyons, Charles LaBelle and Hunter Weaver. A stellar season!
Teacher tenureWe also celebrate and congratulate the following teachers for earning tenure this year and for their commitment every day to the students of our district: Denise Cusack, K-2 Special Education, Kara Taylor, kindergarten teacher, and Rebecca Hewitt, 9-12 Spanish teacher (who received tenure in January).
Budget proposal unveiledAt the April 19 meeting, school business manager Keith Heid and I will present the proposed 2016-17 school budget to the board for ratification. When state legislators passed the state budget earlier this month, they provided an increase in foundation aid for schools greater than that proposed by Governor Cuomo in his executive budget in January.
For our district, it translates to a year-to-year increase in aid of 4 percent, or approximately $450,000. I am, of course, grateful to our local legislators for fighting the good fight to increase school aid, but am reminded as we continue working to develop a balanced budget, that we face a 0.24 percent tax levy cap, which severely limits our ability to raise additional revenue. I will have more school budget information to share in my next blog before the school budget vote on May 17.