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BLUE BOMBER VOICES: Welcome back to the Lake Placid Central schools

September 8, 2018
By ROGER CATANIA - Lake Placid Central School District Superintendent , Lake Placid News

With the heat of this summer still in the air, I hope the start of this school year did not catch you by surprise.

September is here. Labor day is over. Fall is soon upon us. And of course that means the school year has begun.

Welcome back!

Article Photos

Roger Catania, superintendent, Lake Placid Central School District
(News photo — Jessica Collier)

There are many of you to welcome. To all of our students from Pre-K to senior year, welcome back! To returning faculty and staff, welcome back! To our new students, new faculty, and new staff members, welcome to Lake Placid; we are glad you are here!

We have been busy all summer getting ready for the start of the 2018-19 school year - tuning up buses, shining floors, upgrading technology and installing new security cameras.

We are also finalizing plans for the upcoming capital project with the hope of beginning work in the spring - repairing infrastructure, increasing security measures and enhancing working and learning spaces.

More importantly, we have been considering multiple ways for improving the learning environment in our schools - continuing to build on our traditions for academic excellence, strengthening our close-knit community where no student slips between the cracks and expanding extracurricular opportunities where all students are invited to explore and blossom through the arts, sciences and athletics. Every child in Lake Placid and Wilmington deserves the best education available anywhere, and it is our job to ensure that our children will flourish today and be well-prepared for the world they will enter tomorrow. So yes, we are ready, we are excited and we are eager for another school year. Welcome!

At the start of every school year, I like to reflect on the purpose of schooling and to think about why we do what we do. Today's public schools are the inheritors of an inspiring tradition, a great cause. During the first half of the 19th century, Horace Mann, the father of American public schooling, declared schools to be the great equalizers, the balance wheel of the social machinery. Mann knew that all children deserved the opportunity to reach their potential and to benefit equally from the promise of America. Public schools were created to lay the foundation for equal opportunity and American democracy.

That mission is as true today as it was 175 years ago. In a nation in which so many competing interests constantly threaten to divide us - along political, economic, religious, class, racial, and ethnic lines - our public schools serve as the primary vehicle for uniting us. Schools play a central role in helping define who Americans are and want to be.

Yes, schools must continue to teach students to read, write, compute and gain knowledge in science, history, language, literature and the arts. And while it is true that we must continue to inspire personal growth, prepare students for college and help students develop skills for future employment, what we do is even more important than that. It is our job to make citizens and to shape our democratic citizenry. That's a heavy load! And yet, our best efforts are needed now more than ever.

Thankfully, we are not in it alone. The Lake Placid Central School District benefits from our wonderful village, two towns, 160 employees, the state Olympic Regional Development Authority, the Adirondack Foundation, the Educational Opportunity Fund, numerous businesses, organizations, families, parents and community members - an abundance of support working together to educate our children. Together we continue to make our schools the enlightening, uplifting, ethical, democratic, and inclusive force we were always meant to be. This is our purpose, and we do it as well here in Lake Placid as anywhere in the region, the state or the nation.

As summer comes to a close, this immense and rewarding effort begins again. The hallways are waxed, the yellow buses are on the road, the classrooms are cleaned and organized. As your superintendent of schools, I am honored to welcome students back to school. We are ready for you, and we are excited to see you.

Welcome back!



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