By Ely Schosek
The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education met Dec. 10 for its regular business meeting for the month, but prior to the start of the meeting, board members toured the new P-TECH building.
The building was expanded upon tremendously as part of the most recent capital project. P-TECH is a part of BOCES which essentially allows students to enter the program in middle school and exit after a number of years with an associate’s degree in a specific area.
The space was formally the district offices, which are now housed right next door in the middle school.
At the board’s meeting, they heard from the architect of the project, Jeff Nunn, and the project’s Construction Manager David Vedder. Nunn and Vedder gave a brief overview of the work that has already been completed and that which is in the process.
Another part of the capital project, albeit a smaller portion but an important aspect nonetheless, is the modifications done to the Springville Middle School Library Media Center or SMS LMC. Superintendent Kimberly Moritz hopes for the board to move their meeting space from the High School LMC to the Middle School for their next meeting in January.
Moritz recently toured the middle school alongside SMS Principal Shanda DuClon, including a few specific students in the library portion of the tour. These students have been looking forward to the new space and were excited to get a “sneak peak.” The kids wasted no time notifying Moritz of the fact that they wanted new books. Moritz mentioned to the board that she doesn’t want to have a “great new space with tired old books.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS, SGI has an arranged partnership with West Valley Central Schools that allows West Valley students to participate on SGI sports teams which they might otherwise not have the opportunity to do so. Next year, SGI will not be partnering with WVCS for football due to the fact that without the partnership, SGI will move classes.
This movement is seen as a benefit in that it would become more competitive. This change would not dramatically impact WV as there was only one student who took advantage of the football opportunity and these students could be sent to a different school in the future.
Athletic Director Joe DeMartino started off presentations by introducing Chad Russell, the cross country coach. DeMartino mentioned how Russell was able to create opportunities for great friendships starting in 7th grade up through some students’ senior years. Between both the boys’ and girls’ teams, there are a total of 10 seniors. This team has run hundreds of miles together and attended a number of camps and invitationals. DeMartino added that he really couldn’t say enough about these athletes.
Prior to the start of the season, some of the athletes attended at six-day camp at Allegany State Park with other teams from our area. Brett Russell, a senior who has been with the team since 7th grade gave a short breakdown of the team’s season.
The team placed first in all dual meets earning them the division title against some great teams and competitors. At the sectional meet, the team won Section VI C1 and were 8 points away from the overall title which would have sent them to states as a team.
Jared Hecht, Brett Russell and Sonya Krezmien all competed at the state level and placed very well. Jared, a senior, said that cross country has given him one of the best team bonds he’s had on a high school team and he’s been on quite a few teams. He also said that cross country has taught him about dedication.
Mikey Evans who is a junior, said that one of the biggest things is how close they are. “Every single day no matter how your day went you look forward to practice,” he said. Russell is always looking to modify the workouts to fit the runners. With so many seniors leaving the team this year, Mikey looks forward to building an even better bond with the younger runners next year.
Coach Russell thanked the board for letting them speak and noted that he felt like he should buy a lottery ticket, he was so lucky.
ALSO OF NOTE, High School Principal James Bialasik addressed the board for his administrative report and noted that he liked what Mikey said about not forcing kids into things. “I think that’s an important message that we’ve been talking a lot about,” he added.
Bialasik also noted that it’s hard to believe but they are already looking towards next year. The high school looks to host another “elective fair” for the upcoming freshman to see what their options are. This year, they are looking to hold a similar program for the 9th, 10th and 11th grade students to see what options they have regarding elections beyond just reading a curriculum guide.