BALLSTON SPA — Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 358 in Ballston Spa honored two Ballston Spa teachers during a recent awards ceremony. The Veterans of Foreign Wars offer a variety of nationally accredited awards and scholarships for both students and teachers.
Megan LaRowe, a fifth-grade teacher at Gordon Creek Elementary School, and Dan Hornick, a Social Studies teacher at Ballston Spa High School, were awarded the Smart/Mahar VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year Award from the local post.
The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top classroom elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America’s history and traditions effectively. Teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism are prime candidates for this award.
Congratulations to the Ballston Spa teachers receiving this notable recognition. Information about all of the scholarships and programs the Veterans of Foreign Wars have to offer can be found at VFW.org.
BALLSTON SPA — Launching Pad Productions, the Ballston Spa Middle School drama club, presents the musical Frozen Jr. as this year’s annual production. It is perfect for families of all shapes and sizes.
Frozen Jr. will be performed by a cast of over 50 students with another 60+ crew members putting the show together behind the scenes. Performances will be held on Friday, January 31, Saturday, February 1, Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8 at 7 p.m. There will also be a matinee performance at 1 p.m. on February 1 and 8. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased at the door before each performance.
In conjunction with Launching Pad Productions, the Rotary Club of Ballston Spa will be in the lobby before each performance collecting non-perishable food items for their annual Spread the Love Food Drive to benefit food pantries in Ballston Spa. Please consider bringing a few non-perishable food items with you when you come to enjoy Frozen Jr.
The show is directed and produced by Middle School teacher Joseph Shaver; choreographed by Sarah VanAernem; music directed by Laurie Huck; scene and lighting design by Patrick Ferlo; and costumes by Melissa Glastetter and Dawn Nolan. Please contact the Ballston Spa Middle School for additional information at 518.884.7200 or visit the website at www.bscsd.org.
BALLSTON SPA — Ballston Spa High School students were recently selected to exhibit their work at the annual Saratoga All Stars Art Show. Their work is on display from January 11 – February 8, 2020 at the Saratoga Arts Center with the work of other students from throughout Saratoga, Fulton & Montgomery counties.
Students who had their artwork selected for the show include Mason Malpass, Leah Thimineur, Lindsey Warner, Shelby Whitney, Alexys Donnley, Brandy Walosin, Savannah Ingram, Lexi Lumley, Sarah Helly, Mallory Czimbal, Anna Harmon, and Sabrina Hu.
Additional information is at www.saratoga-arts.org/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/.
CAPITAL DISTRICT — The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society (BHOS), under the direction of Dr. William Jon Gray, will hold its 23nd annual vocal scholarship competition for high school seniors. Two scholarships will be awarded to the top two competitors along with an opportunity to sing in a BHOS concert. Applicants need not plan a career in music, but the scholarships are intended to facilitate the continued study of singing in college. This year's audition will be held on Sunday, April 5 at the Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills. Details and applications can be found a www.bhos.us/award. Deadline is March 7, 2020.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — “First of all, be a good teammate. Try to do anything that helps the team, then the teammate, then yourself. Team first. That’s something to go by,” Joe Amodio, a senior ice hockey player at Saratoga Springs High School said.
Amodio has been playing ice hockey since he was nine after playing soccer and baseball before that.
“My dad was always a big Rangers fan, so I just gravitate towards the sport. Eventually, it took over as my number one and it’s all I ever do now,” Amodio explained.
Amodio is an assistant captain for the varsity team and plays center, wing, and “whatever coach tells me to.” Mostly, he plays forward.
Amodio takes his leadership position on the team, and in life, seriously. He is the oldest of five; he has four younger sisters that range from age 15 to six months.
“Being a leader is something that is hard to teach, it’s hard to learn. It is developed over time. I’ve had a lot of good mentors, former captains, coaches, my parents are really involved with me. I have a really big family that taught me a lot about being a leader by example and what it really takes to be a leader,” Amodio said.
The two older sisters also play hockey and he thinks the two younger girls will also.
On the ice, Amodio is there to score and set his teammates up for success. He stresses being prepared for whatever the game throws at them.
“At the end of the day, you’re trying to put the winning effort out there,” he said matter of factly.
Amodio knows the team’s record this season so far but he really doesn’t think it shows how good of a team they are.
“Overall, the boys are going really well, we’re very happy and working hard every day at practice to get better,” he explained.
Amodio also plays travel hockey before and after the high school season, as well as participating in camps. He has been accepted into multiple colleges, including Sienna, which is his top choice, but he hasn’t made a decision yet. He wants to go for accounting and become a CPA, following in his dad, Charles’, footsteps. He has a girlfriend of a year and a half, Shannon Thomas. He is also proud to call Kimberly DeMarco-Amodio his mom. DeMarco-Amodio was a student at Saratoga Springs also and was an All-American player for soccer and lacrosse.
His advice to anyone thinking about trying ice hockey is “just get out there and have fun!”
We look forward to seeing how your season pans out, Joe!
BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District’s Board of Education recently recognized those staff members who have earned National Certification in their respective professional roles and expressed congratulations on behalf of the school community.
Jessica Lamb received National Board Certification in Special Education. She currently is a Special Education Teacher who works with the students and families at Gordon Creek Elementary School.
Reid Keefe received National Certification as a School Psychologist. She currently works with students and families at the Ballston Spa High School.
Christina Carlson recently joined the school district as a Guidance Counselor specifically working with the students in the district’s Clean Tech Early College High School. She received her National Board Certification in School Counseling.
Shannon Hansen, Science Instructor at Ballston Spa High School, also was recognized for receiving re-certification as a National Board Certified Science Teacher.
Ballston Spa Teachers’ Association President Kim Pusatere presented information on the national certifications and commended the staff members for their commitment to their profession and to the students in Ballston Spa. Additional information on national certification is available at www.nbpts.org/national-board-certification.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Jean Fei, a longtime community advocate for diversity and sharing resources, will facilitate “Making the Invisible Visible,” an interactive three-part workshop on Monday, Jan. 20 from 9:30 a.m. - Noon. The event will be held at the Susman Room, Saratoga Springs Public Library (across from the Children’s Library).
“Our goal is to increase social awareness, sensitivity and education about poverty, racism, and discrimination in our own community,” says Beverly Lazar-Davis.
All attendees are invited to participate in each stage: drawing and describing poverty, the ten chairs of wealth and the web of power. We will brainstorm solutions to the issues we have learned about and provide resources for youth to create social change for a brighter future. Families, adults, teens, and children (9+), who have a willingness to participate in an interactive, educational and gentle program are welcomed.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Soroptimist International of Saratoga County (SISC) announces the availability of $24,000 in grant funding for organizations that support the needs of women and girls in Saratoga County. These awards, given by the club each year, should provide women and girls with access to the education, training and support they may need to improve the quality of their lives.
In order to qualify, candidate organizations must reside in or serve the needs of citizens of Saratoga County. Grants are typically awarded for programming, start-up, or capital projects. Consideration will be given to the number of people served. Individual endeavors such as pageants and competitions cannot be funded.
For a grant application, visit the SISC website at www.soroptimistsaratoga.org.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — To start the New Year, 18-year-old Michael Ross of Malta, who had been a student at Shenendehowa, threatened to shoot students at Maple Avenue Middle School. He was arrested and released on his own recognizance to be arraigned at a later date.
Saratoga Central School District in response, increased the presence of armed security for the following Monday, January 6.
Local parents, students, and residents were appreciative of the increase but had concerns about what comes next.
One parent commented on a local Facebook group to say that he was cancelling work and keeping his children home.
Several parents and community members attended the Saratoga CSD Board of Education meeting on January 14 to express their concerns during the comment section at the end.
Erika Borman, a parent, spoke passionately:
“There is no debate that mental health services need to be increased in our schools. Yes, they do. There is no debate over whether or not we can remove over 400 million firearms overnight in the country. Not remotely possible.
While both sides fight over gun control, our kids are sitting ducks in the middle of a political issue that will not be solved anytime soon.
Finally, the debate about whether or not active and retired police officers are qualified to carry a firearm on campus has been settled.”
This has been an ongoing argument in the district for over a year with no clear resolution.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Come see one of Saratoga’s top-rated independent schools. Saratoga Independent School (S.I.S.) is hosting an Admissions Open House on Wednesday, January 22 at 9 a.m. During the open house, prospective families will have an opportunity to meet Lisa Brown, Head of School, as well as other faculty and staff. Ms. Brown will welcome families and provide a brief history and overview of S.I.S. Members of our faculty will take families on tours of our campus, allow them to observe classes, and answer questions about the school.
Saratoga Independent School Highlights:
• Rigorous academic curriculum, following the state standards of education
• 2 dedicated science labs
• Small class sizes
• Curriculum-based field trips throughout the Capital Region and beyond
• After-school enrichment programs, including engineering, computer programming, team sports, piano, French language, and Odyssey of the Mind
• Specials including art, music, and Spanish starting in Pre-K
• Physical Education utilizing our playing fields and expansive wooded campus
• Safe and Secure 60-acre campus for hiking, snowshoeing, outdoor learning, and sledding hill for recess fun
• Wholesome lunch program in partnership with Healthy Living Market
• Interscholastic soccer, cross-country, and track opportunities
• Before Care daily from 7:30 am and After Care daily until 5:30 p.m.
• 5 minutes from I-87 Exit 14 and 5 minutes from downtown Saratoga
Saratoga Independent School’s small class sizes, flexible teaching styles, thematic learning, team building, and respectful community provide students an academic and social education unmatched by other regional schools. The middle school expansion—currently serving its second class of sixth graders, first class of seventh graders, and adding eighth grade for 2020/21 —offers students a rigorous academic program preparing them for enrollment in advanced programs and selective high schools.
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