By Elizabeth Riggs

In what was the highlight of last Tuesday’s meeting, the Ellicottville Central Board of Education meeting announced that Middle School and High School Principal Bob Miller has been recognized as the Region 12 “High School Principal of the Year” by the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS).

“It is truly an honor be chosen for this award, as there are so many outstanding high school principals in the eight counties of Western New York that Region 12 covers who are dedicated and work so hard for the students in their schools,” Miller said. “I am truly humbled to be accepting this award and feel that I would not be able to do so if it were not for the Ellicottville Central School District’s outstanding community of students, parents and staff that I am blessed to work with every day.”

Miller will be honored at an upcoming SAANYS awards banquet in Cheektowaga on Wednesday, May 17.

In other business, Superintendent Mark Ward informed the Board of potential changes to policies for high school students taking college level courses, which could results in the students being required to pay. According to Ward, the state is currently reviewing current procedures, causing some schools, such as Jamestown Community College, to offer a College Connection Program, which would mean high school teachers are teaching college level courses in the schools.

“If the state enforces their interpretation of how this college credit would be handled it would mean that students would have to start paying,” Ward said. “For our school, it really wouldn’t make any difference because our Board made a resolution that the school would pay for books and course credit for any of our students taking courses.”

However, Ward says the change is something of which to be aware.

“It certainly is a valuable thing to encourage the kids to take the courses. It kind of whets their appetite a bit and proves that they can function at that level,” he said.

In the elementary school report, Elementary Principal Connie Poulin noted the upcoming state math assessments for grades 3-8, which will stretch the school for space as IEPs and other student needs will require alternate locations or one-on-one administration of the assessments to students.

Poulin also reported that kindergarten screening will take place from May 8-10. The screenings are required to review student growth and determine need for potential specialized services, and will be testing for cognitive, speech, motor and health skills.

In other elementary news, ECS will be holding their annual tree planting on May 11. Poulin noted that the event creates a special memory for elementary students.

Coming up on May 30, the ECS PTO will host an interactive science presentation assembly entitled “Bubble Blast,” presented by the Buffalo Museum of Science.

In the Middle School and High School report, Miller announced several individual student recognitions.

Elliott Bowen attended the Sixth Annual Buffalo News/BCANY Awards Banquet for boys’ basketball, and was recognized as East 2 League MVP. The event was held at Ilio DiPaolo’s in Blasdell.

Student Megan Chapman will be attending the highly-competitive Horizons III Program at Clarkson University this summer, in which students will take SAT prep courses, learn more about college admissions and financial aid, and explore possible career paths.

Students Lisa Krotz and Hannah DeChane traveled to Ancaster, Ontario to participate in a weekend event for the Rotary Student Leadership Award Program for Students High On Training (SLAPSHOT), a program fostering youth leadership and for students ages 15 to 18.

Miller also noted the upcoming NYSSMA Solo Festival on Saturday, May 13 at Pioneer Central, as well as Ellicottville’s participation in the Penn State “Sea, Air and Land Challenge,” held last Thursday at Bradford Area High School. The ECS team included students Simon Lin, Adrian deOrbe, Jacob Summers and Gabriel Hauri.

In other business, the board approved the permanent appointment of Karin Harger to School Nurse (RN) after her successful completion of a one year probationary period.

The next ECS Meeting will be a Budget Hearing held on Tuesday, May 9 at 7 p.m.