Superintendent’s Message: Gratitude

Grateful for our staff, students, and community


As this year comes to an end, one word continues to pop in my head, and it’s probably one that you wouldn’t expect.

From time to time, I tell people that Weedsport district has had many peaks during the 15 years that I’ve been here as Superintendent but hasn’t really had a low point. I realize that’s a bit arrogant. Still, it is true that Weedsport has had a succession of outstanding years, allowing us as professionals to concentrate on our students and their educational programs.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and we, along with every other district in the state, suffered from its negative effects. Budget season was particularly hard because of the uncertainty around state aid – our primary source of funding – and having to reduce some of our staff.

I know that we are not a perfect school system and we can always improve. Still, I am continually impressed with the community-wide respect and support that we are afforded as educators. More than 1,100 ballots were cast in this year’s school budget vote. That’s more than double from last year and our budget passed with a 73% pass rate!

Taxpayers support us, parents encourage us, and the students continued to focus on their work even during the lockdown. And during the lockdown, our staff banded together to educate and feed them.

I also tell others that Weedsport continues to enjoy success because the teachers, administrators, and support staff consistently go about their jobs in a serious and dedicated manner. The result means that a majority of our students are challenged across a broad gamut of classes and extracurricular activities. This once again reflects this learning community’s collective work ethic and a belief that our students are capable of high achievement both in the classroom and out.

As a district, we push our children academically, we expect them to behave properly, and we are willing to invest of ourselves in helping them to understand everything from the basic rules of grammar to the complexities of advanced technology.

So yes, I am grateful for everyone in this learning community. A community that has more than earned the upcoming summer vacation.

In gratitude,

Shaun O’Connor