Meeting of 9/28/17: ‘A lighthouse school district’

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
September 28, 2017

Members Attending (19): Roberto Martinez, Pat Bailey, Murray Forth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Dean Calamaras, Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Maggie Forth, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, Debbie Rodriguez, Terry Brewer, Phil Kellerman, Julius Frankel, Jim Butterworth, Ron Annis, Carole Spencer.

Guests (2): Jeff Simons, Jeremy Forth.

PROGRAM: ‘Becoming a Lighthouse District’

EGCSD Superintendent Jeff Simons addresses the club.

Terry Brewer introduced Jeff Simons, who has been the superintendent of the East Greenbush School District for slightly over a year, and is a prospective Rotarian.

Jeff last addressed our club during the run-up to a vote on a capital budget for the district. It was passed by a wide margin, and the first phase will begin being implemented next summer.

Jeff covered the high academic achievements, excellence in classroom teaching, supportive safety nets, and positive parental and community support. He said there is a 92% graduation rate at Columbia High School, and the system overall is ranked sixth in the Capital Region. Student achievement has been above average (58% ELA), and the Regents Exams Mastery level is above 85%.

He also discussed “Where Are We Going?,” including; the curriculum, measuring success, 21st Century learning technologies, rigorous college-level AP, Arts, Humanities and CTE coursework and workplace learning and mentoring.

In addition, he discussed mentorships and community-based learning. Even with high levels of literacy, he noted, there remains a need for strategic partnerships and high levels of numeracy and technological skills.

He said employers need graduates with both “hard” and “soft” skills such as solving problems, verbal skills, the ability to plan and organize and prioritize, to obtain and process information, analyze data, and have a proficiency with computer software programs.

Jeff said we will get there by having strategic partnerships, collaborative planning and communication, prioritization of goals and objectives, cyclical reviews and a climate of trust.

His full presentation can be accessed on this website’s “Program Presentation Archive” page by clicking here.


Screen shot 2017-09-29 at 2.04.05 PMTHANK YOUs — The club received a thank-you note from Phil Nasca for the floral arrangement sent to him. And, we received a note of thanks from The Anchor food pantry for our recent donations.

EXCHANGE STUDENT UPDATE — President Roberto informed the club that we will not have anyone participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange program this year.

EMERGENCY TRAINING — Dean Calamaras, who participated in Rensselaer County’s “Bystanders to Upstanders” training symposium, reported that 150 people participated in the training of volunteers who will first responders assist in cases of emergency.

Screen shot 2017-09-05 at 3.26.18 PMSHELTERBOX — Bill Dowd delivered the club’s donation of $7,050 to local SB representative Jack Faddegon, who also is our Assistant District Governor. The donation was made in support of SB’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

THE ANCHOR — Terry Brewer reported on Columbia High School students supporting The Anchor Food Pantry with food and other supplies. A definite date is needed for delivery of items collected.

T-SHIRTS — A few “Humanity” T-shirts are left. In two weeks, we will begin giving away the remainder.

RECOGNITION DINNER — Terry reported that planning for the 2nd annual Community Recognition Dinner has begun.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 6.20.29 PMRECYCLING DAY — Murray Forth said all planning has been finalized fot our next “Recyling & Shredding Day,” set for Saturday, October 14, at the Wainschaf Associates warehouse in Rensselaer.

ALSO ON THE CALENDAR — A hurricane relief fundraiser is set for October 20 at Columbia High School. … The annual Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) workshop will be held on Saturday, October 21, at the UAlbany Health Sciences Campus in Rensselaer. Members are encouraged to sign up; the club will pay the fee. … The Capital Region Nordic Alliance fundraising luncheon will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, October 22, at the Albany Country Club. … The annual District 7190 Foundation Dinner, this year themed “People of Action,” will be held on Thursday, November 16, at the 90 State Street event space in Albany. Click here to find the form for reservations.

NEXT MEETING — 6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 5, at Quigley’s. The speaker will be Tovah Lisky of Junior Achievement.

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