Office of the Superintendent
Welcome to the Superintendent's Office
Anthony J. Panella
Secretary to the Superintendent and District Clerk
Twenty-five seniors at Amherst Central High School earned the Seal of Civic Readiness through a program piloted this school year by the New York State Department of Education. Civic readiness is the ability to make a positive difference in the public life of our communities through the combination of civic knowledge, skills, actions, mindsets and experiences. At graduation these students wore a civic readiness medal and their diploma included the Seal of Civic Readiness emblem.
This new initiative gives students who want to make a positive difference in their community a way to showcase their learning and skill sets. The requirements are based on a point system and students can do various coursework and activities to earn the points required for the seal. Some ways they earned points was by passing all four required social studies courses, passing advanced social studies classes, showing mastery in an elective course that promotes civic engagement, passing the Regents Global or U.S. History exams, participating in service learning or work-based learning that promotes civic engagement and completing a final civics project.
The final projects are wonderful examples of how committed this group is to making a difference in the world. One project outlined the experience gained working in high school student government. Another student researched building accessibility issues. One student, through her final project, became a certified translator for a program that helps families prevent behavior problems. Another student researched inequities in the medical field for minorities. These are just a few examples.
The students were able to share their projects during a Civics Fair in early June where parents, teachers, school administrators and invited elected officials attended. I was so proud of the depth and insights our students shared through their projects and how well they articulated that knowledge to the guests at the fair. Since many of the students built their projects around a topic that was of personal interest to them, their enthusiasm for their research was contagious. It was a capstone event that I hope they will never forget.
Another memorable year-end tradition at Amherst is our Parade of Graduates where our seniors put on their caps and gowns and visit our two elementary schools. The students at Windermere Boulevard and Smallwood Drive elementaries lined up outside and in the hallways to congratulate the seniors as they paraded by. It’s a festive atmosphere with cheering and high fives. It’s fun to watch the faces of the little ones as the seniors come through. There are always lots of smiles and, quite often, many tears as the seniors reconnect with favorite teachers they haven’t seen in several years.
Finally as we head into summer, July and August are busy months for families registering new students for school. We have streamlined our registration process by incorporating a Central Registrar. Families can start the registration process online at www.amherstschools.org/registration. The Central Registrar is located at the District office and will assist families through the registration process. We look forward to meeting our new families and wish them a successful school career in our district.