Superintendent's Weekly News Brief

For the week ending October 28, 2022

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West Senior art teacher Christopher Galley is an internationally-known working artist who has been building national recognition in the art community for a few decades. A soft-spoken mentor in the classroom, Galley's work roars off the canvas in wheat-paste mash ups of consumerism and the consumed. Brightly colored and darkly-themed, made up of repurposed modern imagery combined with hand-made original impressions, Galley's work has been featured in solo exhibitions, invitational and juried exhibitions, group exhibits, gallery installations, and many publications. He has also designed websites and once designed a T-shirt logo for an Australian cycle team that raced across the Moroccan Desert on tiny monkey bikes.

Galley, whose work lives in Switzerland, Canada, and England, as well as regional venues and private collections, calls his work a combination of digital design, hand rendering, painting, and a variety of street art techniques. He acknowledges the sometimes-macabre style he has embraced through his art and famously attributes it to growing up in Pennsylvania adjacent to the cemetery where, long before his time there, they filmed the 1968 classic “Night of the Living Dead”.

A hard-core following was sure to follow Galley’s style. A motorcycle industry magazine, Cycle Source, named Galley their 2018 Artist of the Year. Lowbrow Customs Moto Parts and Accessories, who publishes a quarterly magazine, with a circulation of 150K readers, featured Galley’s work on the cover, along with an Artist Profile Feature in their May 2021 issue.

In 2019, Galley did artwork for the 2019 Major League Baseball All Star Game in Cleveland, OH. He represented the Pittsburgh Pirates in a show sponsored by Fender Guitars and Louisville Slugger. The story was picked up by several different news mediums and outlets across the nation.

His students are aware of Galley's art-centered life and have seen his renderings, all of which certainly has value to his students in the Academy of the Visual Arts, who are gifted artists themselves. Though not everyone in the program chooses to go on to be an artist in life beyond high school, they enjoy a good dose of inspiration for their creativity, considering their teacher is that working artist many hope to become.

Galley’s Academy students often take on extra tasks in the form of community projects on weekends. Galley will join them while they work in neighborhoods unfamiliar to them, but frequented by Galley. “I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of students who’ve gone on to be working artists and working art teachers, across the region and all the way to the west coast,” he says.

Galley's day job is certainly one he takes as seriously as anything he does. He teaches Studio in Art, Drawing and Painting, Enhanced Drawing and Painting, Art Portfolio Development, Advanced Placement Studio in Art, Computer Graphics, Advanced Computer Graphics, Digital Photography and Printmaking. Along with that, he's made himself a valuable member of the district, wearing many extracurricular hats for the enhancement of his colleagues and students.

"I have managed the chapter of the National Art Honor Society, the Art Club, and the Photography Club," Galley says. "I have also served on building and District technology committees, served as the art department leader, coached football at both the modified and junior varsity levels, and both men’s and women’s lacrosse at both the junior varsity and varsity levels. I have also served as a building representative, webmaster, New York State retirement committee delegate, grievance committee member, negotiations committee chairman and treasurer of the West Seneca Teachers Association, Inc."

So, what do Galley’s students think about his work? “They know I work,” he said. “Sometimes I will bring in my work, and I let them know if I’m going away for a day here and there because of a show. I’m happy to show them examples of what I’ve done and teach my technique.”

Often more stoic than invitational judges, Galley says, “Teens are a tough crowd. I know the work I do outside of the classroom impacts the way they see me. Sometimes I’ll get a quiet, ‘cool, ‘ which is the equivalent of a high-five. I consider myself lucky.”

You can see Galley's body of work at his website, Devil Chicken Design. He will be showing and selling prints at the Queen City Market, December 3rd, at Seneca One Tower.


The Western New York Consortium of Higher Education visited East & West Senior

on Thursday, October 27th.

Because college-talk is a mainstay of every day education in our high schools, staff wore their college togs today to represent their own colleges during the consortium. Our counselors will tell you that they talk to our students about college all the time, answer questions, fill out sample applications - and then there is the specialized college essay writing.

On Thursday, admissions representatives from the Western New York area were available to meet with any interested seniors at West, and seniors and juniors at East, to discuss academic majors, collegiate athletics, housing opportunities, tuition cost, financial aid, clubs and organizations, how to apply to their universities and colleges, and more.

And this just in: A special offer from SUNY will allow students to apply to up to 5 SUNY colleges/universities for free. Normally the cost is $50 per school, so this is definitely something to take advantage of. The deadline is NOVEMBER 6th. More information can be found at

The Colleges and Universities participating in this visit include:

Alfred State College, Hilbert College, Houghton College, Bryant & Stratton College, Jamestown Community College, Buffalo State College, Medaille College, Canisius College, Niagara County Community College, Daemen College, Niagara University, D’Youville College, St. Bonaventure University, Erie Community College, Trocaire College, SUNY Fredonia, University at Buffalo, Genesee Community College, and Villa Maria College.

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The Science Honor Society of the West Seneca Central School District is an exclusive organization that recognizes outstanding success in the sciences and promotes service to the school and local community. The criteria for membership were determined by a committee of science teachers from West Seneca East and West, under the guidance of district administration.

Its rigors include successful completion of two Regents or two AP science courses, a minimum 90% cumulative average in Regents Level science courses, or minimum 85% in AP science courses, mastery level (85% or higher) on ALL New York State Science Regents Examinations, enrollment in at least one science course each school year during all four years of high school; and a minimum of 20 service hours over a two school-year period; 10 hours of which must be completed while volunteering at school events or assisting in the science department.

Kudos to these dedicated students, who go above and beyond for the love of science. And thank you to teachers, Gregory Jubulis (West), and Mackenzie Green (East), who shepherd our Science Honor Society inductees through!

Pictured: West Senior (top) & East Senior (below).

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On Monday, the East Middle Boys Modified Volleyball team held a special recognition ceremony to honor selected staff at East, prior to their 5:00 game vs. Amherst. Under the direction of East Middle speech teacher and coach, Mari Garry, each team member wrote a short description of why their selected staff member was deserving of recognition. The mutual respect and love these mentors and their students have for each other is palpable. The student athletes signed their name to each statement made about each honoree. Student nominators and staff honorees are as follows:

The team and Coach Garry unanimously voted to recognize Physical Education and Athletics Clerk MaryKay Biddle, East Middle’s 2nd shift custodial team, and Principal Jason Marchioli, all for their unwavering support.

Athletes and Teachers as follows: Bobby Crisp/Mr. Buckenroth; Mark Zulowski/Mrs. Stermer; AJ (Andrew) Leeb/Mr. Lake; Cameron Bielat/Mr. Papke; Kaden Palmer/Mr. Overton; Brayden Sherk/Mr. Glieco; Quinn Cywinski/Mrs. Farley; Grason Walker/Dr. Angiers; Chad Yeomans/Mr. Frank; Sean Sobieraj/Mrs. Zybchynski

A few examples of written accolades are as follows:

Honoring Dr. Angiers: You made a difference to my learning career by making it a fun in a subject I did not really enjoy. You also made me make a goal of reading every night. I also enjoyed the fun games you played with us. ~ Grason Walker

Honoring Mr. Frank: You made a difference to me because of how you taught me. I liked how you were strict but fun. ~ Chad Yeomans

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PLC Committee

The West Seneca Central School District has contracted with PLC Associates for strategic planning services, in which a study will be conducted concerning zones of attendance for family and student equity and efficiency of operations.

For this purpose, a small group of District parents and staff have been selected to be a part of PLC's Core Team.

The inaugural meeting was October 24th. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for November 29th, and December 14th, with a 6:00 PM start time. Core Team members are expected to commit to attending every meeting. Work between meetings will involve preparing for the meetings by reading materials provided in advance, in order to prepare for information sharing and presentation of ideas through thoughtful responses and suggestions that will benefit the community's children.

The Core Team, working with PLC associates, will also be responsible for developing recommendations to be presented to the BOE in February. We will keep you updated as the process moves along.

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East Middle has started soccer intramurals for students in 12:1:1 and 6:1:1 classrooms! This is a first-time endeavor, and teachers are excited to offer an extracurricular athletic opportunity for these students. Assistant Principal Erin Farley has been planning this team since the beginning of the school year with teachers Mari Garry, Becca Embree, Liz Jankowiak, Sherry Kowalyk (1:1 aide), and general education student volunteers.

The team had its first soccer practice on Monday, with another Thursday. Next week, November 1st and 3rd, they are excited to play their first two games. Families will be invited to the East Middle gym to cheer on the students and watch history being made!

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Enjoy your weekend!

Matthew Bystrak