Office of the Superintendent

  • Superintendent Anthony PanellaWelcome to the Superintendent's Office 

    Anthony J. Panella
    Superintendent
    Email: apanella@amherstschools.org
    Phone: 716-362-3051
     
    Debbie Custodi
    Secretary to the Superintendent and District Clerk
    Email: dcustodi@amherstschools.org
    Phone: 716-362-3051
    Fax: 716-362-3022 


    February 2022

    We recently unveiled upgrades at the fitness centers in Amherst Middle School and Amherst Central High School. Funded through stimulus grants, these improvements align with one of the goals of our physical education and health curriculum to teach our students the benefits of lifelong fitness.

    Students will use the fitness centers during physical education classes learning the proper way to use each machine to target certain muscle groups and how to incorporate fitness into their daily schedules. Our coaches will also be able to reserve the centers for team workouts. At the high school, students can work out on state-of-the-art treadmills, rowers, arc trainers, spin bikes and cross fit racks. Improvements were also made to the aesthetics of the high school space including new flooring, a new sound system and logoed graphics of the Amherst Tigers athletic mascot on the floor and walls. At the middle school, new cardio machines such as treadmills, ellipticals and bikes were added and the circuit fitness equipment was updated.

    With these new functional workout spaces, we aim to create a culture of strength, conditioning and lifelong fitness for our students. Staff will also be able to use the centers at each building.

    Another new offering is a comprehensive health curriculum for our elementary students where students receive 11 health lessons from their health and physical education teacher, in addition to their regular PE class. Scheduled as trimester blocks, the new curriculum focuses on physical, social and emotional health topics and was developed jointly by two departments - Health/Physical Education and Pupil Personnel Services. Students receive six lessons in general health education aligned to the health standards and five lessons geared toward mental health. Lesson topics range from feelings/emotions and gratitude/forgiveness to nutrition, self-care and relationships.

    The students’ reactions have been very positive. Kids love learning about themselves and how they can apply what they've learned in the classroom to the real world. For example, second- and third-graders just wrapped up a nutrition unit that focused on creating a balanced meal using the MyPlate food guide. They have also had lessons on social and emotional learning with a focus on how to be a positive role model in our school community, showing gratitude and treating one another with respect.

    A student who is able to bounce back from a disappointment, show gratitude for each opportunity and support their peers are skills and behaviors that define good character. Through athletics, players are put into various scenarios throughout their modified, JV and varsity careers which will test them. Beyond learning how to throw a softball or swim the 100 meter freestyle, we also want to teach our student-athletes how to handle losses and wins gracefully.

    Our fall student athletes put in the hard work and earned recognition for it. Our girls swim/diving team made ACHS history by earning a sectional championship for the first time in our district’s history. Bringing home a consecutive sectional championship again this year was the girls cross country team. Our boys golf team earned an ECIC championship. Eleven of our fall sports teams earned scholar athlete recognition from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association for their high grade point averages.