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A day in the life of the Springville-Griffith Institute School Board

SPRINGVILLE — The following guest column was submitted by Journal Correspondent Dave N. DeLuca.

My father walked into Z&M Ag and Turf in Springville, to pick up a part for his tractor, when an employee asked for his name.

“Dave DeLuca,” my dad replied.

“Oh, you write for the Journal. You do a great job,” the employee said.

“Nope, that’s my son,” my dad responded.

I guess he had that coming sooner or later, because a lot of people who read the Journal don’t know who I am. They don’t know that Dave DeLuca, the 54-year-old bearded Italian who talks with his hands, is my father.

I am Dave DeLuca, the 18-year-old sports nut who goes to Springville-Griffith Institute High School and does write for the Journal. I do my best to cultivate the Springville and West Valley sports scene, as much as I can. But please, don’t call me a one-trick pony; I can chime in on a number of other topics.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a senior at S-GI. Sometimes, I have to separate my duties as a student from my duties as a writer. Other times, I get to use both positions to give a unique outlook or an observation from a front row seat.

In this case, that outlook is from a corner seat, next to S-GI Board of Education Vice President Delia Bonenberger and Board Member Jon Einarsson. During the last nine months, I have gotten to know the seven board members, because I represent the student body, on the board. As the student representative, I need to inject my perspective regarding policies, resolutions and obstacles that the board may face.

When the moment presents itself, I’m more than happy to give my theory on various topics. However, that hasn’t always been the case. At times, I’m the shy guy; not wanting to disagree or be that devil’s advocate of the bunch. I do admit, I bite my tongue, at times, to save myself the embarrassment of being incorrect because of my age and lack of experience, overseeing education.

I learned, from the start, that the seven members on the board were vastly different from one another. All of them have unique interpretations about the type of education children at S-GI should be receiving.

It took me a long time to realize the kind of influential opportunity it is, to be on the school board. While I could not attend executive sessions and I could not vote, various approaches by other board members did not go unnoticed. It’s a lesson that was learned, outside of the classroom. Outside of the “common core;” an extracurricular activity.

Be involved. Have an opinion. Don’t teach it, if you can’t preach it. I can’t count all of the encounters I’ve had, with parents and students, about budget talk. I’ve heard it all.

“She wants to cut this.” “He wants to cut this.” “You know you go to Springville, when ...” Those are the top three, by far.

How many of those people have attended a board meeting, in their lifetime? Not enough of them. A long time ago, if you had a problem or a question, you would contact someone. You came to a meeting and expressed your concern. Today, it’s just a complaint on twitter.

The board members I got to know volunteer their time, because they care. They care about this community, this school and, most importantly, the education of S-GI students. That’s why they signed up for their seats. They felt like they had notable opinions and had notable ideas, to make the school a better place. If that’s the worst thing they do, in life, they’ll die as model citizens.

A school board is not meant for the members. It’s meant for the community. They are public meetings. I would say that the entire community has to step it up, from now on. Parents, you have power to change things, in this school. Have a concern? Let the board know, because, if it’s logical and has a possible positive solution, it can be resolved. Students, you can too. They’re doing this for you.

Across Western New York and even across the country, the number of people who care is too low. Not enough people develop opinions. Don’t wait for someone else to lead the charge. Be the first. You can make a difference.

It’s not hard for me to tell you how I feel about education.

Stop testing.

“Common Core” is not the answer.

Extracurriculars offer opportunities that are life-changing.

Those are just a few of mine. How about you? The board sparked my interest, in what is going on around me. Maybe a column by an 18-year-old is the start, for you.
See you at the next board meeting.
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2013-06-15 | 10:21:15
Civil War piece created by first Medal of Honor re
Excellent story and a great reproduction but I am surprised no one has noticed that while Julian Scott was an early recipient there were many awards for 1861 and earlier in 1862 and more than a hundred has been presented by the time Scott received his award in 1865.