FORESTVILLE - Forestville Board of Education had many reasons to celebrate its students at the board meeting this month. This small district has students excelling beyond anybody's expectations in academics, athletics and raising money for charity.
The board congratulated eight elementary students for their excellence on the New York State assessment tests. "I've been in administration now for 13 years, seven years in this building, we've had a couple kids here and there that have achieved the highest honor of a perfect score on the ELA or the math. This year was an anomaly - we had eight students scoring a perfect score on the assessment either in the ELA or the Math," Elementary Principal Dan Grande announced.
"These are the cream of the crop," he added.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Forestville school has many reasons to be proud of its students. Eight elementary students received perfect scores on the New York state assessment tests. Pictured (L-R) are Bret Weaver, Jared Locke, Caroline Kaicher, Kira Johnson, Rhianna Nasal, Isabella Vento, Paige Whitehill and in the back is Elementary Principal Dan Grande. Not pictured is Adrianna Burgos.
This is especially impressive because the state raised the level of difficulty on the exam above that of past years. "Each student that scored a perfect score, you're about one in 1,000. We have a student in here that is one in about 100,000, who achieved a perfect score in both. In the 13 years I have been an administrator that has never happened," he said.
Paige Whitehill achieved perfect scores in both, Isabella Vento and Rhianna Nasal had top scores in ELA and Kira Johnson, Adrianna Burgos, Caroline Kaicher, Jared Locke and Bret Weaver had perfect scores in Math. All were presented with award certificates and hornet pins.
Isabella Vento, 10-years-old, said the test was kind of hard and she was nervous about the results. Jared Locke, now a middle schooler, was nervous to attend the meeting but the celebratory cake and his friends convinced him to go.
"It's not just these kids that made this happen, it's our teachers ... the support of the board of education ... the business office and the parents," he added.
Forestville can also be proud of the big hearts of the students, faculty and staff that helped to fund-raise nearly $7,000 for charity at the annual Make a Difference Day. Principal Grande even joined in Goin' Bald for Bucks along with other staff and students to support cancer research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. "I look a lot different from the way i did at the last meeting and that has a lot to do with Make a Difference Day, the activity they had going was Bald for Bucks, we had four teachers and more students participate. Just with the Goin' Bald for Bucks we raised $2,000."
"If you are around during Make a Difference Day month, you'll see that it is all hands on deck, just about everyone in the building is involved in the process. Carol (Woodward, school board president) gets everyone involved, it's the students, the faculty the parents, everyone. So, this is a Make a Difference Day activity for the school but it's more or less a community push," Grande said.
The volleyball team also held a successful event of their own, Spike Out Cancer Night. This generated $2,000 dollars for Susan G. Komen of WNY, an additional $400 for Circle of Friends, a local nonprofit that helps cancer patients and $200 was donated to the Olivia Coia Scholarship in honor of the teacher at Silver Creek School who lost her battle with breast cancer and whose volleyball team helped in the event. "It was great to see some student athletes doing something they could really take some ownership in and take pride in what they did," said athletic director, Scott Hazelton.
In addition Forestville football player Bryan Gibson is a candidate for the High School Football Rudy Award. This award honors inspirational players who demonstrate the exemplary values of football legend Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger, the inspirational figure of the classic football film 'Rudy.' The awards will honor those football players who best define what Rudy refers to as the "The Four C's" - Character, Courage, Contribution and Commitment. All are encouraged to show their support by voting for Bryan on the school's website: www.forestville.com.