Letter from the Principal

Brandon Wojcik

What a great start to the year!  This September has been one of the best beginnings I can remember.  Our middle school transition program has been a great success, our students seem better prepared to handle lockers, homework and getting to classes on time than in years passed.  Our sports teams are doing well, and there are plenty of home games left in the schedule to come out and support them. And of course our homecoming and spirit week was a raging success, the dance was incredible and well attended as always.   

I wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of the hard work and dedication that goes into homecoming.  This huge undertaking is almost entirely the efforts of our student government led by Morgan Smith, Rachel and Haley Kehr, Henry Jarzynski, and Sabrina Wroblewski.  They work under the thoughtful advisement of Mrs. Finkley, Mr. Hider and Mrs. Boulanger, but the lion’s share of the legwork is executed by the students. They personally coordinate with local law enforcement agencies, the fire department, local businesses and our local and state governments to secure permits and plans for road closures and safety issues.  The skills of collaboration and communication they refine through the process is something that will serve them well in the real world and not easily replicated in a classroom setting.

Last week, I e-mailed a message from The NYS Poison Center about the vaping crisis taking place among our youth and in our schools.  I can tell you first-hand that this is not an embellishment nor a false alarm. I have a large collection of e-cigarettes I’ve confiscated from kids over the years and use them to educate our incoming students and parents.  It has become increasingly difficult to distinguish these devices from normal everyday objects. I’ve seen e-cigarettes shaped like pens, credit cards, small erasers and flash drives. Each of these is similar to something that a high school student may have in their possession.  It’s not stretch to conclude that these devices are targeting our children, not only because of the flavors, but the suspiciously covert nature of the design.

I would also caution you to inspect any suspicious packages your child receives.  Many of the students I deal with for vaping issues tell me how they get around the laws for minors buying tobacco products.  The most popular way is to buy from a friend, but many tell me they can get a Visa gift card from any convenient store and go online to buy them.  According to these kids, they simply click the box certifying they are of a legal age and then enter the credit card number. A few weeks later, the device and supplies show up in the mail, no questions asked.  

For more information on the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping, visit www.CDC.gov/e-cigarettes

Best regards, 

Brandon F. Wojcik
Jr.-Sr. High School Principal


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