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West Valley commends Boy Scouts for service to the school

WAYS OF THE WILDCAT ­— Three Eagle Scouts were recognized at the Dec. 9 West Valley Central School Board of Education meeting. From left: Michael Nowak, Daniel Loveless and Evan Williams. Photo by Justin Graham.
WEST VALLEY — A school board of education meeting took place at West Valley Central School Dec. 9, in the school’s library and media room.

Superintendent Eric Lawton presented three students with the Wildcat Way Above and Beyond Award. Daniel Loveless, a 2013 graduate of WVCS, is currently attending Alfred State College, studying to be an automotive service technician.

“He has always been a humble student and a hard worker,” Lawton said. “He attended the auto mechanics program at [Board of Cooperative Educational Services], and part of his internship was at the school’s bus garage.”

Loveless received the award after he helped to recruit helpers and gather donations, to construct a picnic shelter adjacent to the school’s playground, as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Michael Nowak, a senior at West Valley, is working on an advanced regents diploma. “Nowak is expected to have a 4.0 grade point average this year and also received acclaim for his honor and merit roll status. He has been a member of the National Honor Society, varsity baseball and the ski club, for three years,” said Lawton.

“Nowak receives this award for his efforts to recruit helpers and gather donations for a baseball dugout, as his Eagle Scout project,” the superintendent concluded.

Evan Williams, a senior, is working on his advanced regents diploma, as well. He has worked at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, as a custodian, has been listed on the honor roll and has participated in the Academic Challenge Club, for four years. Williams has been a member of the ski club, for seven years. He also participated in the planning and installation of the baseball dugout.

All three students have successfully completed their Eagle Scout projects, and the West Valley School Board offered its thanks for their efforts.

Lawton also reported that the board accepted a $200 donation for the purchase of books in the school’s library, on behalf of the West Valley Teacher’s Association. The Merry Go Round playhouse visited the school on Dec. 10, for third-fifth grade workshops.

Principal Dan Amodeo reported that the winter chorus concert was held Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. and the winter band concert will be held on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.

“We are shifting our instruction and redesigning our curriculums, that will implement the Common Core standards. As educators ­– regardless of what sources are out there – we still need to develop our lesson plans for the school year. The utilization of curriculum mapping is in process, and once finished, we can look at how the process has been translated, from grade level to grade level.

“We are looking at ways to evaluate writing levels, from grades K-12, so our teachers and students can speak the same language, when evaluating our students’ writing,” he continued. “Therefore, we can decipher between what is good writing and what is improved or developing writing. Most importantly, we need to realize that the standards are subject to change. As educators, in order to reach our students, our lesson plan and construction has to be top-notch.”

Business Official Ann O’Brien said that the adoption of the budget calendar will be similar to what the district used, last year.

“After the school board adopts the calendar, it will be posted to our website,” she said.

The budget vote and board of education election will be May 20, 2014, as required by law.

“My goal is to have a preliminary draft for consideration to be posted on Jan. 6, 2014,” O’Brien said. “At this time, we don’t have enough information to put a decent first draft together. The final date for adopting a budget is April 25, 2014. Our budget is conservative; we are trying to create an atmosphere in which we have flexibility. The district’s position of being conservative and having flexibility is good; it allows us to be more proactive versus reactive, but our surplus in the past few years has actually been decreasing.”

Amy Ignatowski and Lynn Rogers each submitted a letter of interest for the vacant board seat, after the resignation of former board member Frances Engels. The board will select one nominee, to fulfill the seat until the next annual board election on May 20, 2014.

The board approved Melissa Keller as substitute registered nurse, as recommended by Lawton. The effective day will be announced upon her fingerprint clearance.

Rebecca Knierim was appointed substitute teacher, for the remainder of the 2013-14 school year.

Derek Houser was appointed substitute teacher, for the remainder of the 2013-14 school year.

The board approved Amy Butler, as the girls elementary basketball coach, for the 2013-14 winter season.

The board also approved Kristopher Fuller, as the boys elementary basketball coach, for the 2013-14 winter season.

A donation of $500 from Wal-Mart was accepted. The funds will be used in the technology department for the purchase of USB drives.

West Valley residents may walk the school’s hallways for exercise, from 7 a.m.-8 a.m., Monday through Friday, while school is in session.

The board agreed to establish a Memorial Award for Anna Schroeder. It was requested through the establishment of the award that the principal and guidance department be appointed to the selection committee. The award will be given to a senior student at the graduation ceremony in June 2014.

The West Valley Parent-Teacher Organization was approved use of the auditorium, in addition of the cafeteria and library, Dec. 14, for the annual “Santa’s School for the Elves,” from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The West Valley PTO will also use the auditorium on Jan.11, from 10-11:30 a.m.; Feb. 8, from 6-7:30 p.m.; March 1, from 6-7:30 p.m. and March 22, from 10-11:30 a.m. for family roller skating.

The 2013-14 budget calendar was approved as prepared and recommended by Lawton and O’Brien.

A special meeting was amended to the board of education calendar to be held on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Jerry Young of Young and Wright Architects will be presenting the list of potential areas for a capital project, at that meeting, a planning session.

The next regular school board meeting will be held on Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.


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