Superintendent's Weekly News Brief

For the week ending March 10th, 2023

Big picture


The West Seneca Students of Excellence Program honors students from both East and West High Schools for demonstrating outstanding achievement in a variety of domains. In its latest iteration, the crux of the program is the idea of citizenship, character, talents, morals, and ideals.

The categories are: Visual Art/ Creativity, Global Citizenship, Work Ethic, Athletic Achievement, Community Service, Communication Skills/ Literary Arts, Perseverance, Career Preparation and Commitment, Personal Intellectual Development, Performing Arts, Peer Leadership, School Citizenship, Character Development, and Overall Achiever.

The goal of the West Seneca Students of Excellence program has been and will continue to be a celebration of the essence of students beyond their academic achievements. We salute our excellent scholar citizens!

A semi-formal dinner will be held to celebrate the honorees in April. Each student is welcome to bring two guests and their most influential educator, with all expenses absorbed by benevolent sponsors.

Students of excellence, we are so proud of you!

Below: West and East

Big picture
Big picture

February Students of the Month: East & West

Each month, the West Seneca School District’s High Schools recognize a “Student of the Month” in each specific academic area. Their coursework and high level of commitment to that specialty sets them apart, and their achievements and dedication are acknowledged by the school and community. To recognize them properly, their photo is displayed in their respective schools, as well as at “The Market in the Square”. This program is funded by local businesses within the community. The 2022-2023 sponsors for “Student of the Month” are Sgroi Financial, LLC, West Seneca East Student Council, West Seneca West Student Council and Inter-State Studios. The following students have been recommended for this honor for the month of February.


Rachael Heusinger - Art

Hannah Ramos - Business

Jackson Bojarski - Community Service & Citizenship

Elizabeth Hiam - English

Malak Al-Khulaqi - Health

David Rosati - Math

Samantha Struebel - Music

Anna Zimmer - Physical Education

Hannah Dobe - Science

Casey Swan - Social Studies

Mckenzie Lucey - Technology

Molly Graves - World Language


Paula Altschaft - Art

Sophia Vaillancourt - Business

Joshua Croglio - Citizenship & Character

Mary Staffeldt - English

Riley Carey - Health

Lillian Adey - Math

Lillian Adey - Music

Grant Cohn - Physical Education

Michael Duffy Jr. - Science

Anna Hand-Smith - Social Studies

Grant Cohen - Technology

Devin Becker - World Language

Big picture

Diversity Week at East Senior

East Senior was excited to host their first Diversity Week since pre-pandemic times! Many of the activities took place after the school day, and one very important event is taking place tomorrow, when the International Club, under the mentorship of teacher Ashley Sorenson, will set up a new apartment for an adopted family under the Home Again program.

For this reason, we ask that you enjoy the overview of what East did all week, while there will be an expanded story with pictures next week.

East students celebrated with LGBTQ+ diversity, neurodiversity, a rousing unified basketball game, a cultural background dress day, a Taste of Culture, and a door decorating contest. Driven by ELL students, doors were decorated to represent their countries. Judging will take place after school today. Stay tuned next week, and we will share it all with you!

National World Language Week at West Senior

In celebration of National World Language Week, West Senior's World Language Department hosted several special events after school, all week long.

The International Food Frenzy took place on Tuesday. Wednesday was International Jeopardy day, in which all questions were based on information shared by our exchange students about their home countries, languages, and cultures. It was personal and informative!

On Thursday, Journey's End Refugee Services (JERS) presented about what their organization does for the Buffalo community. As a bonus, West Class of 2017 alumna, Rose Lukasiewicz - who is working at Journey's End as a Interpretation and Translation program assistant - was among the presenters!

Look for a story next week about our guest speaker, who was resettled by JERS, and who now works for them. He had some very interesting perspectives on life in America, paying taxes, and the value of freedom and education that captured the student's hearts and minds.

Big picture

Lett-uce Be Friends at Clinton

Fourth grade students in Mrs. Blaszak and Mrs. Bampton’s class are growing lettuce in their class. Earlier this year, students learned about plants in science. They grew paperwhite bulbs and observed the rooting system growing in gravel. Now they are watching lettuce grow through a hydroponic system. They observed the rooting system progress in water only.

Students were involved in the full life cycle of a lettuce plant from the seed to lettuce leaves. Now, they are able to enjoy a homegrown salad from their classroom at Clinton Elementary. Science is good, good for you, and it tastes good too.

Big picture

Unified Bowling

Our Unified Bowling Team played a tournament at Airport Lanes this week, and they NAILED it! The team was ECSTATIC for their 3rd place win, as well they should be!

Lauren J. Clark, Unified Sports Head Coach, said. "We are surrounded by such love, light and support all the way to the top and we are forever grateful that this program is flourishing in our District."

Each year, Ms. Clark oversees this team of 25 players, who give the sport their all while steeping themselves in camaraderie. Team members are serious about the sport. East Senior student Stephan Cook, with perfect form, threw a strike, collected some high-fives, and took his cell phone out to snap a shot of the score monitor. These bowlers have game!

“It is a beautiful program,” says Ms. Clark. “It allows students in our special education programs to be on a Varsity team with student athletes from our General Education setting to form one cohesive team. It bridges the gap between all students!"

Next up: Unified Basketball. Go Team!

Big picture

Next Generation Science Standards

Once a science geek, always a science geek. The Grade 5 Science Teachers received training this past Tuesday under the direction of Franco DiPasqua on the Next Generation Science Standards. Our teachers instill excitement in their students by being excited themselves. Here, you see them conducting the required laboratory experiments that go along with the Grade 5 New State Assessment that will first be administered in the spring of 2024.

If the enthusiasm of the science teachers is any indication, the students will take to the new standards with gusto and look forward to the hands-on aspect of their learning.

Big picture

March Into Literacy at Allendale

By Librarian Jessica Casamassa

Allendale Elementary loves to read! On March 1st, we kicked off a week of fun and learning to celebrate Read Across America! Activities such as guest readers, dress up days, mystery book display, door decorating contest, and raffle baskets kept us busy and engaged. Students in Grades 3-5 completed author research in the Library and students in grades K-2 had a great time with hands-on learning through storybook STEM activities.

Librarian Jessica Casamassa, Building Literacy Facilitator Lisa Donovan and the Building Literacy Team planned and executed all the fun and have a lot of awesome learning activities scheduled for the rest of the year such as One School, One Book, Star Wars Week, Book Fairs and a Literacy Night so stay tuned for more reading-themed excitement at Allendale!

Big picture

East Senior Musical this weekend

"The Lightning Thief" is based on Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riodarn. March 9-11 at East Senior. Plenty of seats available for all performances. Purchase tickets here:

Appropriate for all ages - especially those who have enjoyed the books or movie!

Big picture

Substance Abuse Awareness for Parents

As educators, we believe it is important to share important knowledge with the wider school community. Now that marijuana dispensaries are becoming more prevalent in NYS and our region, we are being proactive about helping parents to be informed and vigilant about the presence of THC "candy" in the community. Please follow this link to our website, where you can see a page we are devoting to this topic.

Enjoy your weekend!

Matthew Bystrak