The Reds Tale

Summer 2019 (Edition I/II)

From the Desk of the High School Principal-Mr. Tom Roote

I recently had an opportunity to listen to Dr. Joe Sanfelippo. He is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, WI. The Fall Creek School District was named an Innovative District in 2016 and 2017 by the International Center for Leadership in Education. A look at many of his speaking resources revealed an emphasis on three areas:
  • Be intentional
  • Open doors
  • Build people

It doesn't happen often, but as he focused his fast paced, funny and self deprecating storytelling in those three areas my mind kept wandering away from the "areas" to one particular word he was using throughout his presentation. He kept using the word "ensure". So much so that I actually Googled its definition to see just how appropriate the word was given his messaging. I came up with:

  • Make certain that (something) shall occur or be the case.
  • Make sure, make certain, see to it.
  • Make certain of obtaining or providing (something).
  • Make sure that (a problem) shall not occur.

Given the timing of his presentation (early July) I was operating well within the mode of reflecting on what has worked and what has not worked at NHS in recent memory. Admittedly, I considered letting flashy recent graduation rates of 92% and 91% lull me into complacency. To have done so would suggest a lack of intention and a focus away from opening doors. Fortunately, my mind wandered to a worry that has stuck with me since early last fall, something I have wanted to examine and address! The issue I have begun exploring is the proportionality (or dis-proportionality) of some of our responses to student needs. In order to understand our proportionality issues I will illustrate with a made up scenario (based in reality) that suggests a disproportionate response. Mark, Pam and Stan average seven absences every eight weeks of the school year. By week sixteen they have accumulated fifteen or more absences each. Mark is regularly suspended and does not access tutoring, his grades hover around 40%. Pam has avoidance issues, works thirty hours a week and is not well supervised, she manages 60's. Stan is well off and enjoys long weekends and art/music camps that conflict with school, but averages grades in the low 80's. Which student do you think gets the most attention? What if I told you that Stan has failed Regents exams his freshman and sophomore year and displays many risk factors for substance abuse? Without giving you the answer, I will tell you that last school year one of the three students above would have gotten 90% of our collective attention while the other two shared the remaining 10%. What can be done to ENSURE that all three students get a proportionate amount of attention? In answering that question I will reveal the NHS compass heading moving into the new school year. It is our plan to place a higher, I mean up to the ceiling higher emphasis on tier I interventions, thereby paving the way for a higher quality tier II system of interventions. Tier I interventions are typically whole school and whole class based. They are essentially our agreed upon norms. Tier II interventions are deployed when students do not respond favorably to tier one strategies. For example, students are given small group attention. This involves more intentional teaching strategies/behavioral supports that pinpoint exactly what students need to learn and then we teach them accordingly.

In order to get to the aforementioned desired state across the building, we will focus energy on developing norms for what is classroom managed and what is office managed. We will organize this work in small professional learning communities such as grade level teams, Staff Advisory Cabinet (SAC), SRT (as a tier II team) and a PRIDE (positive behavioral supports) team. Lots more to come!

Contact me at or 315-332-3250.

From the Desk of the Assistant Principal-Mrs. Robyn Ross

“It will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge. It will be a place for parents and children to share pleasant times in one another’s company; a place for teachers and pupils to discover greater ways of understanding and education… (It) will sometimes be a fair, an exhibition, a playground, a community center, a museum of living facts, and a showplace of beauty and magic. It will be filled with the accomplishments, the joys and hopes of the world we live in. And it will remind us and show us how to make there wonders a part of our own lives.”

This was Walt Disney’s reasoning behind creating and building Disney amusement park in 1955. When I first read that quote, I thought it was about schools. Wouldn’t it be great if we could say the same about our schools? My family and I went to Disney this summer and WHAT an excursion. The first ride we had to go on was the Haunted Mansion. Getting to the ride was an experience. You pass by tombstones; hear eerie music playing in the background; feel the cold air once in the mansion; it is dark as night; smells like an old musty house.

Disney designed its space in such a way that every single component contributes to the telling of the story. This same process can be applied to schools. Everything related to school should be considered design elements to be created to support the teaching and learning related to the specific space: furniture, layout of the room, lighting, colors, scenery and even smells and sounds. Each of these can be used to set the tone, enhance the atmosphere, and tell a story.

We have an amazingly talented group of artists, historians, mathematicians, scientists, coaches, instructors, role models, problem-solvers at Newark High School…We have a story to tell and we look forward to going on a few rides with you!

Contact me at or 315-332-3270.

From the Desk of the Administrative Intern-Mr. Jason Dentel

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” – Brené Brown

Entering my 22nd year in the Newark Central School District, there is a truth that I have held onto throughout my career. When you are feeling complacent, do something that scares you. This journey started in 1998 when I began as a reading teacher at the N.R. Kelley School. As a reading teacher, I learned the power of vulnerability. I could often relate to the struggles of my students, as I experienced those same struggles as a reader.

The following eight years as a fourth-grade teacher, I learned the impact adults have in students’ lives. The teachers, parents, coaches, and community members working together to help students discover who they are, and who they want to be, has a profound impact. The past 13 years as a 6th-grade teacher, I have found the importance of finding your voice. The courage to know when to speak, and also when to listen is a lifelong skill I learned alongside some fantastic teachers and students.

As I begin this next scary adventure, I have seen firsthand how Newark is becoming a community school. A key component is building consistency in all five buildings; for example connecting the math program K-12 with consistent practices and programming as well as the creation of shared values in each of the buildings. We show Newark Pride by being:

  • Respectful
  • Responsible
  • Safe
  • A Community

This will be the foundation as we have truthful and courageous conversations throughout the year. My focus is to help everyone to do what scares them and allow themselves to be vulnerable. As Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.”

Contact me at or 315-332-3255.

Mash Up

All: Thankfully, we have settled into some good routines regarding safety and security. Nonetheless, I will share a few updates and considerations for the new school year:

  • We manage fewer challenges in the bus loop when foot, wheelchair and vehicular traffic do not intermingle with the drop off (7:40 am) and pick up (1:40 pm) of our Newark Education Center students. As a reminder, at these times, we encourage you to conduct school business while avoiding the loop. This may require you to park in our lot and not in the loop.
  • When dropping off/picking up at our regular drop off (7:30 am) and dismissal (2:30 pm and 3:00 pm) times, using the doors nearest Red Fox Lane is expected.
  • We once again plan to keep the main doors locked and thoroughly clear guests to the building until 3:00 pm, whereas in the past we stopped doing so at 2:30 pm. Visitors must have identification and will be cleared through a data base that flags issues and alerts appropriate personnel. All staff must have a visible badge.

All: The main office continues to serve you with a great deal of support from an assistant principal, athletic director/dean and an intern. Two forms of support fall into the realms of student management (behavioral supports) and supervision. To that end, Ms. Robyn Ross will manage grades 9-11, Mr. Chris Corey, also our athletic director, will help me with seniors and Mr. Jason Dentel will be invited by both Ms. Ross and I to assist us with any student we manage. Additionally, Mr. Dentel will supervise all our parking and driving procedures.

A reminder to staff: If you want to update your door display poster with a new picture or information about yourself, e-mail Robyn Ross with the image and changes.

All: Click for an updated staff handbook and student handbook.

Staff: Department supervision will be as follows:

  • Mr. Roote: Math (Mr. Castor), Counseling Office (Ms. McGavisk), Technology (Mr. Heinzman/NMS), Science (Mr. Harrington) and Special Education (Ms. McEwen)
  • Mr. Corey: Health/PE, Business/FACS (Ms. Cline) and Art (Ms. Dentel/Lincoln)
  • Ms. Ross: English (Mr. Dalton), Social Studies (Mr. Eakins) and Foreign Language (Ms. Chistolini)

All: Mr. Gnau reports that the Village and Town are anticipating starting the excavating of the sidewalk from Woodlane up to the Middle School on August 7th or 8th. This will be weather dependent and how it affects what they are currently working on right now. Please forego parking on the hill from Woodlane to the Middle School as they will need to access the area near the road to remove the dirt to start the work.

All: Jack and Ava (my kids) recently watched the movie Holes as it was a freebie on Prime. Unrelated to the movie are the holes around the high school. Our holes are intended to make way for camera and lighting upgrades. Anyone that has been in our lot after dark knows that this is a welcome upgrade!

Seniors: Click here if you are interested in Senior Privileges.

Juniors/Seniors: Looking for parking/driving paperwork? Click here.

With the school providing electronic devices to students in September, similar devices (phones, gaming consoles, etc.) not supported by the school will no longer be allowed in classrooms. Because students often identify a parent/guardian directed expectation that they stay "plugged in" I would ask you to bring your need to Ms. Ross so that we may consider accommodating hardships individually.

Drama Club Newsletter

Staff: A new badge reader has been installed on the northeast leading to to Library and LGI.

All: Substitute Teacher & Tutor Training is August 22 & 23 from 9:00-3:00 pm at the Conference Center in Newark. Contact: 315-332-7354 or email or for more information.

All: We have been working hard since July to fill a pair of staffing gaps (Mr. Palumbo and Ms. Long both took teaching jobs elsewhere). Stay tuned for updates!

Welcome new/newer staff:

Mrs. Kristen Pilcher-Special Education: I began my Newark teaching career as a first grade special education teacher at Perkins, then a fifth grade special education teacher at Kelley School. I spent the last nine years teaching in a 12:1+1 classroom for grades 3-5. I live in Fairport, N.Y. with my husband Jason, daughter Kaitlynne, and dog Noah. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, taking walks along the canal, and visiting historic places. I am excited to join the High School team this year!
Ms. Rene Sinicropi-Returning School Psychologist: I am excited to return to Newark and work with everyone again. I missed Newark the last 2 years and I am looking forward to being back at the high school setting. I attaching a photo from my sons captain America 3rd birthday party! This is how I spend my spare time right now! (And I made that cake!)
Mr. Cameron Lanich-Health and PE (FYE at NHS): I am honored and excited to join the Newark team. For the past three years I have been teaching K-8 health and physical education in Rutland County, Vermont. I am a Western New York native and moved out of state for the teaching experience, so I am thrilled that my journey is bringing me back to teach in the best area in New York. I spend all of my free time hanging out with my wife and three children. In Vermont we enjoyed hiking the mountains and since moving we have already explored four state parks. We will be doing a lot of swimming and adventuring this summer. I am excited to meet all of you and begin my work of guiding students to a healthy future.
Ms. Krystal Crawford-Prevention Counselor: I am looking forward to joining the Newark team! I live in Penfield with my husband Ryan, 2 year old son Hayes and our new son Jayce (born June 5th). I also have a 14 year old step daughter, Rileigh. I was with Delphi Rise as a Prevention Counselor in the Brockport School District for the last 6 years. I am Certified in School Counseling and have my Credentialing in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling. I enjoy spending time with family, being a mom, camping and shopping.

Social Emotional Learning and the Plan for Excellence

This coming school year we have made a big commitment to integrating SEL into several classrooms. To that end, we have added approximately eighty minutes per week of extra Algebra I instruction. Half of the added instruction (Mr. Cameron Lanich) will be focused on skill development that is relevant to every day life. Think how the regular promotion of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive competence can impact teens at such a formative time in their social and emotional development!

Instructional Corner

Recently our instructional coaches started a #NCSDLearns twitter chat. This is something will likely begin to grow as the year progresses. If you are interested in seeing what was discussed and shared please click the link below to check it out! You do not even need an account to just read the chat, but if you do you can still respond to the prompts.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Document Sharing Space

Calendar Share

Prior to distributing. Teachers turn in your Course Outline(s). Contact T Roote

Thursday, August 22 and Friday, August 23 from 9:00-3:00 pm at the Conference Center in Newark. Substitute Teacher & Tutor Training. Contact: 315-332-7354 or email or for more information.

August 29, 8:30-12:30 pm in the NHS gymnasium. Freshman Orientation. Contact J Johnson or C Fladd.

Thursday, September 5 at 7:30 am. Opening Day.

Monday, September 16. Picture Day.

Wednesday, September 18, October 9, November 13, December 11, January 15, February 12, March 11, April 15, May 13 and June 10. College Wear Wednesday. Contact S Gardner.

Friday, September 27. Homecoming. Contact R Yuhas or L LaPaglia

Friday, September 27. Field Trip Requests are due. Contact T Roote

Friday, September 27. Extracurricular Stipend interest is due. Contact T Roote

First Tuesday of each month. Staff Meeting. Contact T Roote

TBD. Below 65 Reports. Contact T Roote

Tuesday, October 22 at NHS, time TBD. Open House.Contact T Roote

Thursday, April 30. Capstone Day. Contact D Barry, K Ganter or R Ross

TBD. NHS Program/No WTCC Program. Contact R Ross

Close Up/Share a Pic

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The Newark High School Mission, Vision and Values

The Newark High School Mission: We are a school community with deeply held hometown pride, committed to readying young people to be life-long learners with experiences aimed at continuously motivating us to hone our skills in the complex tasks of teaching and learning. Our community is devoted to providing supports for the aspirations of our adolescents as they mature into adults with ambitious plans for college and careers.

The Newark High School Vision: Staff embody the school values and impart confidence while providing an inviting classroom environment with clear expectations and specific academic and behavioral goals. Students embody the school values through intellectual and emotional perseverance. Families embody the school values while remaining actively involved as advocates for their children and supporters of the school programs and staff.

The Newark High School Values: Safe, Responsible, Respectful and A Community.