PHOENIX – The Student Leadership group at John C. Birdlebough High School in the Phoenix Central School District recently hosted a luncheon for Senator Patty Ritchie as a way to honor the senator for her exemplary leadership qualities.
Upon her arrival at the school, Ritchie was greeted by Superintendent Judy Belfield, Assistant Principal Patrick Fitch and several students within the Student Leadership group.
According to Belfield, the district was “thrilled” to have Ritchie stop by and discuss with students the importance of leadership.
“We were thrilled that Senator Ritchie could take time out of her very busy schedule to visit JCB,” Belfield said. “Our Student Leadership group had an opportunity to learn about leadership and service to the community firsthand from one of our New York State senators.”
Ritchie met with the entire Student Leadership group and together they discussed the virtues and characteristics quality leaders possess. The class then presented Ritchie with a certificate thanking her for the leadership and dedication to the community.
District administrators also took the senator’s visit as an opportunity to thank her for a recent $5,000 donation to help upgrade district security measures. Belfield said the senator’s donation was greatly appreciated.
“Over the last five years our district has lost more than $11 million in NYS aid due in to the Gap Elimination Adjustment. Our budgets have been extremely tight,” Belfield said. “We had been investigating using the Raptor System, which does a quick background check on visitors entering our buildings during the day. With the added funds, we were able to purchase the software and components of the Raptor System.”
Belfield said the security system will be implemented as soon as office staff is trained.
According to social studies teacher Carol Blackburn, the senator’s donation showcases the leadership qualities the Student Leadership group was honoring.
“It just so happens that the donation she made to the district definitely showed the leadership qualities the students were honoring,” Blackburn said. “It is a great opportunity for the students to see our elected officials and an equally great opportunity for the senator to see all of the great things our students are up to.”