Mohonasen Central School District kicked off the new school year with a staff assembly at Mohonasen High School on Sept. 5. Mohonasen Teachers Association President Christine Patterson led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance, after which Superintendent Shannon Shine and Board of Education President Lisa Gaglioti welcomed staff, encouraging them to make a difference in students’ lives.
Shine noted that the district’s free and reduced lunch population, an indicator of students living in poverty, has more than doubled in the last decade to a current 40 percent of students.
“Challenging situations exist and impact Mohonasen students,” said Shine. “Many students come to us from broken or otherwise fractured families. Some students are coming to us hungry. In addition to challenging situations, there are also tragic and horrific situations which exist for some of our students.”
Yet, despite these challenges, Shine said he believes educators can make a difference, and he challenged them to support their students and each other.
“Meet our students where they are, academically and socially, equip those who are not equipped, teach, build relationships, model resiliency, cheerlead, praise, refine, admonish, build up; set the bar high and train our students to overcome so they will be prepared for the many hurdles life has to offer. Give them opportunities,” he said. “Be there for one another as well. Encourage one another. Collaborate. Commiserate. Laugh together and weep together.”
Gaglioti encouraged staff to consider how they can make a difference in their students’ lives.
“I know that teaching is hard, but your actions and words can make a difference,” said Gaglioti. “You have a chance to inspire the future of the world.”