The Candor Board of Education held their regular June 18 meeting via Google Meet. The virtual meeting, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was attended by some of the younger members of the school community who were curious about why their parents were talking on the computer.
The district will continue meal deliveries through summer, and 250 families have signed up for summer lunches. Superintendent Jeff Kisloski praised the work of the Wednesday volunteers who help pack out the food and load the buses. Transportation director, Holly Carling reported that, between mid-March and the end of the official school year on June 17, the district had distributed more than 57,000 meals.
This week they begin delivering summer boxes, but with two fewer bus drivers. That is because Bernard Blinn and Russell Corpin retired at the end of the school year. On their last delivery day, students and families lined the roads holding up banners and home-made signs for them.
End of Year Celebrations
Last week, sixth-graders participated in a moving up ceremony. They walked from the front of the high school to the elementary school, where parents met them to take pictures. Everyone kept masks on and remained physically distanced, Elementary Principal Katie Volpicelli said. She also reported that the elementary students upheld their tradition of celebrating Flag Day.
“Flag Day is a big deal,” she said. So this year, music teachers Taylor Dziekan and Stephany Marilley figured out a way for students to participate in the annual June 14 celebration. Students used materials they had at home to create flags, some drawing and coloring American flags and some using colored paper and glue. Families sent in photos and videos which the two teachers put together into a Flag Day video. They also invited students to record themselves singing “It’s a Grand Old Flag” and edited that into the music track. They posted the video to the district’s website.
“These last couple weeks of school, everybody worked hard to connect with all the families,” Volpicelli said. “I think we had a very good ending to the school year. All the teachers deserve a shout-out for the way they [persevered] through the past few months.”
Junior-senior high school principal Wayne Aman noted that graduation will be a drive-through event on the evening of June 26. Parents and families will remain in cars to watch their graduating seniors receive a diploma, he said. The school will record parts of the graduation, with plans to post the video on the school’s website. Currently, there’s a slideshow of graduating seniors running on the website.
Cumulatively, Candor high students earned 1,068 credits through the College Now program. “That’s the equivalent of $331,000 in tuition,” Aman explained. “Our kids are taking advantage of the program.” Seventeen students participated in the early college program this year, with another 11 students participating in the early career program. This June, two graduates will receive not only their high school diploma, but also an associate’s degree from Tompkins Cortland Community College: Kayleigh Wulf, with 65 college credits, and Carolynne Horstmann, with 66 credits.
Athletic Director Peter Ahart held discussions with coaches to determine the senior awards. “Many student athletes deserve the awards,” he said in an email after the board meeting, “but only a few student-athletes can win the awards.” Some of the awards are monetary, others include gift cards, scholarship money, pins and certificates. The Booster Club provided the money for most of the awards.
Ahart is grateful for the Booster Club’s unwavering support of the athletes. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s purchasing commemorative jackets for our volleyball team [for winning states], jackets for our dedicated boys basketball volunteers, ‘pop-up’ tents for our cross country program for the team, or providing pizza and wings for our girls basketball team.”
The Chris Weisz Memorial Scholarship Award went to Ty'vone Benners and Lance Jensen. The Sean C. King Memorial Award for a runner went to Lance Jensen. Alex Morse received the Nathan Fairlie Memorial Award for football. Three young women shared the Candor Sportsmanship Award: Arianna Aman, Camille Brock, and Erin Bruttomesso. Lance Jensen and Jennah Kareem share the Iron Indian Award for participating in a sport every season, and the Bill Pace Memorial Award. The Robinson Award, given in honor of longtime coach and Athletic Director Robert Robinson to student-athletes on the honor roll went to Alex Doucett and Ty'vone Benners, and Daniel Thomas received the Bob Collyer Award.
This school year is over, but people are already planning for the next school year. Bern Smith, director of operations, reported that his maintenance team will be cleaning and preparing classrooms for the fall. Their concerns include the type of cleaners and disinfectants they can use, to how they can set up desks to provide physical distancing in the classroom. “Where do we store the extras,” he asked.
Superintendent Kisloski reported on the budget vote. A total of 359 absentee ballots were returned to the school by the extended June 16 deadline. He was happy at the community support, with 78 percent of the votes approving the budget (281 for; 77 against). Faculty are looking forward to summer staff development in August, even though people are not sure what next year will look like.