OSWEGO, NY – Warren Shaw, OHS Yearbook advisor, was joined by Mackenzie Dunsmoor, editor in chief, to present the members of the board of education with their complimentary copies of the 2011 annual at this week’s meeting.
“The reason we are presenting this to you is to not only share our appreciation for your support, but also to let you take a first-hand look at what high school students are capable of creating,” he said.
Oswego competes statewide and nationally with other yearbooks. Oswego’s creation will likely be in the top five in New York State, the advisor predicted.
“We are typically in the top 10. I think this book probably is one of the best that we’ve put out,” he said, adding that Oswego has moved from the Bronze level to the Silver level in the national competition.
“For any group to be successful and create something above and beyond, it takes strong leadership, somebody who is committed and somebody who is dedicated. The book you’re looking at was completely done by students,” he explained. “As advisors we don’t write anything, change anything … we as advisors will say ‘Maybe you ought to look at that page again.’ But we don’t go back and proof or tell students they have to change things; unless of course they try to slide something in there that we know shouldn’t be there and they have tried to do that in the past (such as pictures of Mylie Cyrus).”
In his teaching career, he said Mackenzie was one of the most outstanding students he has had the good fortune to work with.
“This is her book. It is her vision, her design,” he said.
“The theme of the book this year is ‘matters.’ What we really just tried to do was to show the importance of the little things in life; and how everyone matters in the big picture,” the OHS graduating senior told the members of the board, which included her proud dad, board vice president John Dunsmoor.
She thanked the board for the opportunity to take the yearbook production class, “because without it, I don’t know where I’d be today. It has shown me what I want to do with the rest of my life. Because of it I have become a better person, a better leader and I’ll be attending the Syracuse Newhouse School, which is in the top three in the nation, next year. I credit a great deal of that to this book.”
The board also feted Dave White on his last meeting.
“There’s no doubt we’ll miss you,” said district clerk Bill Foley. “He always has, in his heart, the best interest of the school district, its students and its employees.”
The members of the board thanked White for his service and the advice that he provided them.
“I’ll be there to support you. I know where your next step is and I really hope that you get there,” Dunsmoor said referring to White’s bid to be the city’s next mayor.
White admits that he has changed the way he looks at a lot of things since he started on the board six years ago.
“I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of nice people. I want to thank all of those people who were kind enough to invite me into their class and let me see really what it’s like,” White said. “It was a great experience.”
He didn’t always agree with the superintendent; but he will miss arguing with him, he said.
“Sometimes it’s hard to make him understand the righteousness of my cause. Sometimes I prevail and sometimes I don’t,” he said.
“I’ve done my six years here. I wish every one of you the best of luck. Anything I can do to help, feel free to call. But I’m not going to come over and tell you how to do it. You didn’t listen to me for six years, you’re certainly not going to listen to me then,” he quipped.
Following the meeting, board members and guests shared a cake marking White’s last meeting; it also recognized Hayley Lukaczuk, the student rep to the board for this school year.
Board member Kathy Allen wanted White’s ring tone to be part of the minutes for his last meeting – so, using her phone, she played it into her microphone, Darth Vader’s theme from Star Wars. She then presented him with a toy lightsaber.
Among the myriad personnel matters the board approved Tuesday was the appointment of Mary Beth Fierro as the new principal of Oswego Middle School.
Fierro is currently in her first year as principal at Riley Elementary School.
Bonnie Finnerty, current OMS principal, is leaving the district next month. She is the new superintendent of the Schroon Lake School District.
Linda Doty, the director of data management for the district, was named to replace Fierro at Riley. Doty is a former principal at Fitzhugh Park Elementary School.
Carrie Plasse was appointed to the new position of director of math and data management; the positions were combined as part of the 2011-12 school budget.