Lori Mahan

Lori Mahan

Thursday, 19 December 2019 13:15

Athlete of the Week: Sophia Olechowski

Photos by Susan Blackburn Photography.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — “The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.”

Sophia Olechowski, a 16-year-old dancer from Saratoga Springs has been a ballet dancer since she was a three-year-old, courtesy of her mom Mary Wilson.

“I have done a lot of other dancing,” Olechowski said, “jazz, tap, musical theater, contemporary, modern, hip-hop, and flamenco. I’ve done it all. Ballet is my favorite.”

Olechowski has been at School of the Arts Swyer Studios since her family moved to Saratoga Springs about ten years ago. Swyer Studios is an extension of the National Museum of Dance, which focuses on providing a professional-level dance instruction within a low-pressure, supportive environment. Olechowski said that the school provides that and more.

This year in The Nutcracker, she will be performing as a Ballerina Doll and Flowers and is also the understudy for the Snow Queen. This is her sixth Nutcracker.

“I’ve been doing every single nutcracker since the museum started doing it. This is a big Nutcracker year for me,” she said.

While the Dance Museum is her main dance school, she also does summer programs through Skidmore College and New York State Summer School of the Arts.

Her favorite part of dancing boils down to the performance itself.

“I’ve always loved being on stage and the feeling of excitement right before you go on stage. For me, that’s the only time I ever get that rush of adrenaline. It’s something that you worked so hard for and you finally get to show it to a bunch of people, it just feels really good,” Olechowski explained.

Still, dance has its hard times, too.

“The continuation of doing it over and over because you’re just constantly pushing yourself, constantly staring at yourself in a mirror and trying to fix everything that’s wrong and so sometimes it gets really tiring and hard but you just have to push through those hard days because the good days are worth it,” she said.

Self-consciousness can play a part in any dancer’s world and Olechowski practices staying focused on herself to beat those inner doubts.

“For me, it’s a lot of making sure I don’t compare myself to others and I’m always focused on myself and how I can better improve and knowing that I worked hard to get to where I am, so it honestly just wouldn’t be worth not liking myself at this point,” she said.

Olechowski has given some thought to what comes after high school and dance is what she plans to pursue, whether it be at a school like Julliard or elsewhere.

While she pours at least 13 hours a week into dance, she still makes time for her friends and schoolwork. She takes AP classes and enjoys challenging herself within her education. She practices a rigid before-dance schedule of homework, also.

She cites her mom as her biggest supporter:

“She is always there for all of my perfomances; she’s the one who got me started in dance. She always makes sure that I am auditioning for things and she leads me to all of these great opportunities.”

Olechowski has three siblings, none of which practice dance.

“Dance is something that makes me different, something that I am extra passionate about.”

Her passion is clear. See Sophia on stage in The Nutcracker this weekend. Performances are Saturday, December 21 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 22 at 1 p.m. at Maple Avenue Middle School’s Trombley Auditorium.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A new partnership between SUNY Empire State College and Suffolk County Community College provides guaranteed admission to a bachelor degree program at SUNY Empire for eligible SCCC graduates. This announcement follows the opening of the brand-new SUNY Empire Long Island campus in Selden. 

The new agreement assures a seamless transfer to SUNY Empire for SCCC graduates with any associate degree. It allows students to transfer up to 79 lower-division credits to SUNY Empire, more than half the 124 total credits required to complete a bachelor’s degree, meaning students can earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as one year after earning their associate degree. 

The partnership also waives the orientation fee and provides a $100 Presidential Scholarship to all transfer students. 

Thanks to SUNY Empire’s flexible, personalized education model, SCCC students can complete their degrees entirely online with one-to-one mentoring and academic support. SUNY Empire also offers on-site learning at more than 30 campuses and learning hubs across New York state, including several on Long Island. 

Students transferring from SCCC to SUNY Empire can now take advantage of SUNY Empire’s new, state-of-the-art campus in Selden equipped with cutting-edge technology for in-person and distance learning, which allows students to collaborate with each other as well as faculty and peers across New York state in rich learning environments. SUNY Empire’s Selden campus is less than half a mile from Suffolk Community College’s campus, creating an easily accessible transition to bachelor’s degree right down the road. 

“By strategically co-locating our new campus near Suffolk County Community College, Suffolk graduates can easily continue their education and pursue their goals with as few barriers as possible,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “SCCC students will save time and money on a bachelor’s degree program under this important partnership. I’d like to thank Suffolk County Community College Interim President Louis Petrizzo and the hardworking faculty and staff at both institutions that made this possible.” 

“Community colleges are all about creating opportunities for our students and Empire State has created a wonderful transfer opportunity today with a fee waiver and a scholarship component that should be the template for all transfer agreements,” said Suffolk County Community College Interim President Louis Petrizzo. 

To be eligible, SCCC transfer students must have completed an associate degree within the past three years, or be in (or entering) their final semester of completing an associate’s degree. The program is also open to employees of Suffolk County Community College. Employees who already hold a bachelor’s degree and wish to pursue a graduate degree at SUNY Empire, are eligible for the same benefits listed above. In addition these students will have access to a point of contact at the School for Graduate Studies to help with the admissions, enrollment and orientation process. 

SUNY Empire State College offers a wide range of bachelor’s degree programs that align with many of the associate degree programs at Suffolk. For a list of bachelor’s degree programs, visit www.esc.edu/degrees-programs/.   

For more information on graduate level degree and certificate programs offered by SUNY Empire State College, or to apply, visit www.esc.edu/graduate-studies.   

Friday, 13 December 2019 10:18

Athlete of the Week: James Prastio

Photos provided.

BALLSTON SPA — James Prastio, an 18-year-old senior at Ballston Spa High School, grew up surrounded by football. His father, James Sr., played semi-pro football during James’ childhood and signed James up for flag football as early as he could. 

“I immediately fell in love with the game,” Prastio said, “I had such a passion and love for football and what it meant to be a part of a team and how close everyone was. It’s just something I’ve always loved.”

“He was the heartbeat of our team this fall.  He is a very passionate athlete and loves Ballston Spa football. He was a 3-year starter for us, a team captain, and he also led our team in rushing and tackles,” Coach Jason Ohnsman praised.

Prastio has equally kind words for his coach: “He took a chance on me and that’s something that I am always going to be forever grateful for because without him taking that chance on me, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

Prastio got moved up to varsity his freshmen year for playoffs and has been a varsity player ever since. 

“The team has suffered a lot of ups and downs. My group of friends, we’ve all played together since we were six years old. We all knew that this was the year we needed to turn it around and bring Ballston Spa football back into the light again. It was time to put Ballston Spa back onto the map,” he explained.

This past season, Prastio was a runningback and linebacker, but he has played different offense positions for the team; his freshman and sophomore years he was a wide receiver and in his junior year, he played tight end. He has no problem changing it up depending on the needs of the team.

“Playing a bigger role was important to me because I wanted to bring pride back to the community. Then this year we obviously had some success reaching the semi-finals and beating Amsterdam at home for a quarter-final game, which was the first time in 15 years that we’ve had a playoff game at home, and the first time in forever that we’ve won a playoff game. To have that be my last game on that field, it was surreal and amazing. I was so happy for the community and my team,” Prastio said.

“His biggest game this year was definitely our first-round home playoff game where he led the way with 250 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns as well as 10 tackles in a 35-12 win.  It was awesome for him to lead us in the first home playoff win in almost 10 years,” Ohnsman stated.

Prastio also letters in wrestling, where he won Class B last year; he also plays lacrosse and took home Section II All-Star last season. However, football is his favorite.

“I like to hit people. I like the physicality of the sport and I especially love the brotherhood that it brings. I’ve been a part of many teams for different sports and the bond that we had this year for football is something I’ve never felt on any team I’ve been on. I genuinely loved and cared about every single one of those guys,” he said nostalgically.

Prastio is undecided on which college to attend but he plans to study education so he can be a coach.

In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and girlfriend.

When asked what his advice was for future teams, he said this:

“They can measure a lot of things; they can measure your height, they can measure your weight, but there’s one thing they’ll never be able to measure and that’s heart. That’s something you always have to have and a lot of pride in what you do.”

Friday, 13 December 2019 10:05

Saratoga Blue Streaks Hockey

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks varsity hockey team participated in the Don Kauth Memorial Tournament with games against Mamaroneck and Williamsville North at Weibel Avenue Ice Rink. Williamsville North took the W, 4-1 and Mamaroneck also took the win, 5-4. Saratoga played Mamaroneck on Saturday, December 8. In the first period, Leary scored Saratoga’s first goal with an assist from Amodio; Mamaroneck scored twice from Torre and Mollin, both assists by Delast and Spano with a second assist on the first goal. No goals were scored in period two. Mamaroneck then scored twice again in the third period by Leicht, assist by Takaya, and Delast, assist by Kelly. Saratoga also scored twice from Amodio and Sarver. Mamaroneck won in overtime with a goal by Delast. Saratoga goalie Brad Blake had six saves and Mamaroneck goalie Madlyn Boyle had 28 saves. The Blue Streaks played Williamsville North on Sunday, December 8. In the first period, Williamsville North had one goal by Okulewicz with an assist by O’Donoghue; in the second period Ward scored two goals, each with a first assist by Ferenczy and Krier; Okulewicz had a second goal in the second period with no assist. Amodio scored the only goal for Saratoga Springs in the third period with assists by Detora and Lefebvre. Saratoga goalie Brad Blake had 14 saves and Williamsville North goalie Henry Braun had 24 saves.

BALLSTON SPA — Saratoga County 4-H offers a wide variety of unique opportunities for local youth. One such offering is the Horse Quiz Bowl, a distinctive program specific to 4-H members across the country. This fun and interactive activity provides kids from ages 8-18 the opportunity to compete in a “Jeopardy” style forum on equine topics ranging from tack and equipment to health and nutrition. The Quiz Bowl teams are created of four people each, and may participate in one of three levels; novice, junior and senior. Team practices began on Dec. 10 and are scheduled for every Tuesday. Participants are welcome to join any time of the year and will begin preparing for competitions on the regional, state and national levels. The program is exclusively for 4-H members; HOWEVER, Saratoga County 4-H is always accepting new members and registration is only $5. Horse Quiz Bowl practices will be held every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. No horse experience necessary, just a willingness to learn and meet new people and enjoy yourself. Sign up any time to join a practice. For more information about Horse Quiz Bowl, contact Brieanna Hughes. To register for Saratoga County 4-H contact Leland Butting at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County at 518-885-8995.

Saratoga Springs High School Seniors
Sarah Adelson, Lydia Akaka Perras Allen, Sean Aminpur, Joseph Amodio, Elliot Armstrong, Tice Arpey, John Arthur, Lauren Bailey, Exavior Baker, Christian Barscz, Helena Bartlett, Madelyn Barzee, Aminah Bashir, Emilie Bauer, Olivia Biasetti, Megan Bissonette, Griffin Biviano, Daniel Blaisdell, Isabella Bokan, Alexander Bonacio, Kyle Brady, Justin Brooking, Madeline Buck, Aisling Byrne, Catherine Cairns, Anthony Cammisa, James Capone, McKenna Carley, Caleb Carpenter, Milo Chambers, Jackson Cherry, Madison Clark, Jordyn Clarke, Gianna Cognetti, Alanah Cohen-Tigor, Luke Connolly, Sophia Cook, Eve Crossett, Amalia CulpepperWehr, Kathryn Cuneo, Alex Czajkowski, Joshua Czech, Joshua D’Addio, Aidan Dagostino, Matthew Dahlen, Nicholas Dahlen, Joanna Dalton, Mia D’Andrea, Julianne Dardis, Rian Davis, Ryan Delaney, Sydney DeLeonardis, Anna Dennett, James Dennis, Dylan DeSimone, Alexander Deutsch, Emily DeVries, Ethan Dietz, David Diloreto, Skylar Dinsmore, Skyler Dorr, Michael Drabkin, Stephanie Duscher, Robert Dybala, Matthew Dys, Liam Epstein, Patrick Erway, Adysen Farrell, Adelle Feeley, Kyra Fiber, Sofia Figliomeni, Braden Flanders, Noah Flanders, Kylie Folts, Ashton Fox, Corwin Freedman, Peter Frolish, Phillip Frolish, Nicholas Gebo, Ronan Gecewicz, Danielle Geils, Hudson Geistfeld, Ryan Genter, Zachary Gerhardt, Sydney German, Abigail Getz, Eliza Gifford, Foster Goff, Orion Goodemote, Avinash Gos,s Payton Graham, Camilla Greene, Mark Gregory, Quentin Grieco, Eric Griskowitz, James Groseclose, Abigail Guyon, Devon Harrison, Edward Hart, Demi Hartz, Ellie Hassey, Marley Hawthorne, McLaren Heck, Lauren Hegener, Elizabeth Herman, William Hill, Matthew Hogan Jr, Griffin Hogben, Harrison Hogben, Trinity Hogben, Aidan Holmes, Madison Hudson, Taylor Hudson, David Hunter, Allison Hurt, Issabella Hussey, Samuel Jacob, Natalie Jillson, Aniyah Jones-Dowling, Brendan Joyce, Saskia Kamerling, Clare Kelly, Emma Kelly, Sean Kempf, Hannah Kern, Avery Ketcham, Evan Klotz, Christian Kondo, Ethan Kopraski, Elliot Kramer, Amanda Lamonda, Anna Lansford, Josef Laurer, Jade Leal, Cameron Lebed, Rachel Lee, Sophie Leidig, Michael L’Hommedieu, Ayden Lipscomb, Robyn Lloyd, Jennifer Lowe, Heidi Mackrodt, Meaghan MacLellan, Karleigh MacMillan, Maia Mahar, Kate Manor, Nicholas Marron, Phoenix Martens, Joseph Martuscello, Zachary Marx, Renee Maslak, Michael Masten, Natasha Mather, Mya Mc Farland, Kelly McCormick, Elizabeth McGinn, Matthew McGourty, Julia McGowan, Katherine Mebert, Jacob Meehan, Karl Meidenbauer, Kurt Meidenbauer, Christian Mercado, Jordan Mesquita, Aidan Millens, Morgan Millington, Diego Montes, Caroline Moran, Saajid Muharis McKenna Mulholland Sam Munro Joseph Murphy Shane Murphy Johanna Nally Casey Navin Sutton Nichols Jared Nightingale Kathleen O’Brien Makaela Oehler Connor Ogden Catherine O’Hara Robert Ott Ella Ouimet Melvin Palma Bronwyn Palmieri Greydon Parker Thomas Parrish Michael Pazderski Emily Pecora Charlotte Perella Regan Perella Megan Phelps Riley Phillips Natalie Piro-Felder Casey Powers Troy Prehn Caleb Quackenbush Leah Radovic Ryan Ragaini Alexa Rahman Joshua Ralston Caroline Reals Luca Reeder Hannah Reese Samuel Resue Aidan Reynolds Spencer Ripchik Tessa Rivenburg Alexa Roberts Kristen Rodecker Abigail Rodriguez Olivia Rose Molly Ruff Vincent Sablich Yotham Sage Isabel Sartin Rebeka Sawka Victoria Sawka Margaret Scala Evan Schmid Sydney Schumaker Luke Shapiro Samantha Shapiro Elizabeth Siebeneck Luke Siewert Sarah Signor Lauren Skrandel Molly Smack Faith Smith Autumn Soukup Arleigh Soule Chloe Sova Jillian Sparano Mia Staley Cameron Steuer Jade Straus Sophia Sulkin Caroline Susko Melissa Swiers Shaun Taber Kendra Teator Daniil Teteryatnik Shay Tracy Grant Travis John Trimmings Clayton Trumbull Grace Usack Anthony Valastro Olivia Vavasour Mark Verra Jackson Vick Skye Vilca Caleigh Wagner Aidan Waite Eloise Walsh Zeph Watkins Caleb Weber Olivia Weeden Chelsey Wertans Emily Whalen Lily White Kristia Wiegand Shaun Wiggins Emma Wrobel Tyler Zieker Samuel Zimmerman Wendy Zimmerman Arlo Zwicker Olivia Zwickle

GALWAY HIGH SCHOOL HONOR ROLL
GRADE 9
Alaina Aschmutat, Kira Bishop, Brian Brink Jr., Matthew Colabello, Raelynn Cullen, Grace DeNisio, Brandon Garney, Connor Johnson, Zachary Kenyon, Sydney Mariani, Jillian Neahr, Spencer Newsom, Gavin O’Neil, Molly Oravsky, Jeremiah Paro, Kaelin Pitman, Tyler Sowle, Zane St. Louis, Eric Zelezniak

GRADE 10
Brian Alden, Karley Barkley, Seth Colflesh, Kylee Decker, Shanley DeRidder, Avery Gilman,
Dylan Moules, Dalton Sargent, Caden Sherman, Myels P Shippey, Samantha (Sam) Webb-Horvath

GRADE 11
Arianna Allen, Lexie Bessette, Trevor Carnevali, Noah Flint, Joseph Hahn, Antonio Hart,
Benjamin Jordan, Sean Morse, Anthony Powers, Brendan Shader, Matthew Smith, Milan Venditti,
Michael Zelezniak

GRADE 12
Skyler Armer, Russell Cook, Kenneth DeRidder, Kenneth Hay, Nicholas Keller, Courtney Koehler, Kimberly Martin, Michelle McCray, Sierra Morris, Jaquline Pilczuk, Hayli Raylinsky, Carson Scribner, Garrett Shippey, Jake Sicard

BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Athletics Hall of Fame Committee requests nominations for its 2020 induction class. Online nomination forms may be submitted at ballstonspaathleticshalloffame.com until January 15, 2020. The ceremony will take place in May of 2020 at the Ballston Spa High School auditorium. For more information, please visitballstonspaathleticshalloffame.com.

Friday, 06 December 2019 10:44

Spa City Gamblers Opening Weekend

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Starting on Saturday, December 7, the Spa City Gamblers, a new minor league basketball team competing in the ABA is representing Saratoga Springs. The first home game will be at 7 p.m. at Gavin Park against Northeast PA All-Stars. Sunday, December 8, will be their second game starting at 3 p.m. versus Oneonta Octane. Tickets are $8 for adult and $5 for kids. The Spa City Gamblers are coached by Ben Smith and Brett Detraglia.

Friday, 06 December 2019 10:21

Local All-Star Moments

Photos provided.


Saratoga Springs Gymnastics

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs High School gymnastics team opened their season on December 5th by traveling to Bethlehem High School for the annual Tumble for Hunger Meet. Saratoga is once again the team to beat in Section 2 gymnastics this season with Ava Dallas, last year’s all-around runner-up, and Sophia Damiano, last year’s 3rd place all-around finisher, both returning for their junior year. Dallas placed 13th in the allaround at last year’s New York State Gymnastics Championship meet while Damiano placed 20th. Junior Megan Wishart, last year’s 8th place all-around finisher and state qualifier on the vault, and freshman Erika Sudigala, are expected to emerge as Saratoga is seeking their 19th consecutive Section 2 gymnastics title. Head Coach Deb Smarro, who is in her 14th year leading Saratoga gymnastics, and assistant coach Tiffany Hogben, are excited to get the season underway. “We lost a significant amount of leadership and experience from last year’s team due to graduation. However, some of our younger gymnasts have worked really hard over the summer to acquire new skills and contribute to the team. I also have a few newcomers in senior Miranda Lynch and sophomore Carly Ruschak that I’m looking forward to see compete for us this year,” commented Smarro after a recent practice.

 

Eighteen Saratoga Springs High School Student-Athletes Recognized

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Tuesday, December 3, 18 student-athletes from Saratoga Springs High School were recognized for their commitment to play intercollegiate athletics. Students shared what schools they will attend, why they chose the school, and thanked the people that supported them.

The students are as follows:
• Aisling Byrne - Rowing Rutgers University
• Dolly Cairns - Basketball University of Rhode Island
• A.J. Cavotta - Golf Southern New Hampshire University
• Kathryn Cuneo - Rowing Cornell University
• Madeleine Duchaussee - Track and Field Northeastern University
• Adelle Feeley - Diving College of the Holy Cross
• Grace Goodell - Rowing University of Texas in Austin
• Issabella Hussey - Rowing University of Louisville
• Madyson Kolligian - Lacrosse Siena College
• Joey (Josef) Laurer - Baseball Siena College
• Catherine O'Hara - Lacrosse Siena College
• Madelaine Oke - Rowing Rutgers University
• Michael Pazderski - Rowing Drexel University
• Maecy Rickman - Rowing Boston University
• Abigail Searles - Lacrosse University of Pennsylvania
• Skylar Shea - Rowing Northeastern University
• Olivia Vavasour - Rowing Brown University
• Sylvie Waters - Lacrosse Boston University

Friday, 06 December 2019 09:55

Education Briefs: Dec. 6-12, 2019

Photos provided.

Ballston Spa Schools to Host Qualifying FLL Tournament

BALLSTON SPA — Ballston Spa High School’s FIRST Robotics Team 3044 will be hosting a Hudson Valley FLL Qualifying tournament on December 14, 2019. There will be nine FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams representing area schools competing in the tournament. The top teams have the opportunity to advance on to a Championship Tournament at Dutchess Community College on February 8, 2020. This year’s FLL challenge, City Shaper, requires students to design a LEGO robot that can be programmed to operate independently on the competition table and accomplish several space-related tasks. The teams will be judged based on the robot’s performance, design, core values and on a project. The theme of this year’s project asks students to think like architects, engineers, and construction workers to identify a problem with a building or public space in their community and design a solution to the problem. Through the donations of corporate sponsors, the Ballston Spa Central School District has fielded five FLL teams for the 2019 season. Teams from Gordon Creek Elementary, Milton Terrace Elementary, Wood Road Elementary and the Ballston Spa Middle School will be participating in the competition. The tournament is funded by Hudson Valley FLL, Dutchess Community College and their Foundation, IBM, and NY Tech Valley FIRST. FIRST programs are growing in New York Tech Valley as a result of the overwhelming support of industry sponsors to engage more students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and develop the needed workforce to support their businesses. Sponsors for New York Tech Valley include GLOBALFOUNDRIES, GE, ASML, National Grid, KLATencor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lam Research, Applied Materials, AMD, Turner Construction, SCREEN USA, infrastructure, Edwards, Regeneron, Pickett Family Foundation, Acumetra, Tokyo Electron and Westerwood Global.

Fun for All Ages at Galway's Hour of Code

GALWAY — Galway Central School District invites the entire Galway School Community to its second annual Hour of Code on Monday, December 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. All ages are welcome. Participants can expect to have fun and learn about computer coding, play with robots and drones and experience Virtual Reality travels, and more! The Robotics Club will be selling food and baked goods in the High School Cafeteria.

Children's Programs at Saratoga Arts are Back!

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Arts is again offering art programs for kids during school breaks. There will be varying programs for ages five through 14. Imagination Rules for five to seven-year-old children, and Camp Creativity for eight to 14-year olds. Both programs will run December 26-27 and January 2-3. To learn more or register, visit www. saratoga-arts.org/education/ school-break-summer-camp.

Essay Contest for Capital Region High School Students

SARATOGA SPRINGS/ ALBANY — Capital Region high school students are eligible to enter “How Our Veterans Protect Our Constitution and Why” essay contest, which is being sponsored by Capital Region Patriot Flight. Patriot Flight is a hub of the National Honor Flight Network that provides World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and Cold War veterans with a free one-day excursion to visit war monuments and other historic sites in Washington, D.C. Patriot Flight participants fly to and from the Albany International Airport. The writers of the two best essays will win a one-day all expense paid trip to visit memorials and historic sites along with the veterans in Washington, D.C. Deadline to submit an application and a 300 to 500-word essay is Jan. 30, 2020. Applications are available at schools or can be downloaded from Patriot Honor Flight website at www.patriotflight. org or contact Lois Wilson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 518-732-2793. Winners will be announced on March 20, 2020 at the Gateway Diner in Albany

The Kindness Closet

SOUTH GLENS FALLS — The South Glens Falls (SGF) Kindness Closet will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. The Kindness Closet, started by Tanglewood Elementary School teacher Jamie Metivier in the building a few years ago, was initially created to address the changing socio-economic dynamics at Tanglewood. But last fall, Metivier won a $100,000 grant from Farmers Insurance through their Thank America’s Teachers® Dream Big Teacher Challenge® to expand the Kindness Closet for all families in the district. The money was used to build a freestanding structure for supplies and will enable the district to offer household items to families who need them. Families in need are invited monthly to shop at the closet for the items they need, no questions asked. Items include everything from gently used clothing to household supplies. In addition to household items, the Dec. 7 Grand Opening will include toys for holiday gifts. Anyone interested in donating to the SGF Kindness Closet can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“The Kindness Closet is a perfect example of the lessons we are trying to teach our children on a regular basis.

Ballston Spa Students Present Annual Winter Concerts

BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District Music Department is presenting several winter concerts during the upcoming weeks. The concerts are free, and members of the community are welcome at all venues. The High School Winter Concert series began with performances by the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Orchestra on Thursday, Dec. 5. The series continues with performances by the Concert Band and Orchestra on Monday, Dec. 9. The final concert features the High School Choirs and Jazz Bands and will be held on Thursday, Dec. 19. All performances begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Ballston Spa High School Auditorium at 220 Ballston Ave. The Middle School Winter Concerts will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 3, featuring the 7th Grade Band, Chorus and Orchestra. On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the 8th Grade Band, Chorus and Orchestra will perform. The middle school concerts conclude with the 6th Grade Band, Chorus and Orchestra performing on Monday, Dec. 16. All middle school concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are held in the High School Auditorium. The Milton Terrace Elementary School will host a Winter Concert featuring the Orchestra, Band and Chorus on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Cafetorium, 200 Wood Rd. The Gordon Creek Elementary School will host their annual Winter Concert featuring the Orchestra, Band and Chorus in the Gymatorium, 50 Wood Rd. on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. The Wood Road Elementary School will host a Winter Concert featuring the Orchestra, Band and Chorus on Jan. 9, 2020 at 7 p.m. in the school’s Cafetorium, 300 Wood Rd. The students from Malta Avenue Elementary School will present a Winter Concert on Jan. 14, 2020 at 7 p.m. in the Malta Ave. Auditorium at 70 Malta Ave.

Parent University Programs at Saratoga Springs CSD

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs Central School District (SSCSD) puts on Parent University programs, a series of free, informative topics yearly, beginning in the fall of the school year and merging into the new year. Programs generally benefit the parenting adult, but teenagers may find some of the programs beneficial as well. These programs are open to all community members, district staff, and teachers. SSCSD is also open to suggestions for any university topics you’d like to see and they can be sent to Maura Manny at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There are five classes left and they are as follows:

Thursday, January 23: “Being the Grownup: Love, Limits, and the Natural Authority of Parenthood” with Author Adelia Moore. In partnership with Northshire Bookstore, Clinical Psychologist and author Adelia Moore will discuss her book Being the Grownup in the Maple Avenue Middle School Large Group Instruction room at 6:30 p.m. If you are a parent, it is your job to provide shelter and safety, to make decisions about education, childcare, health and nourishment, and to create the habitat that is the context of family life. The book helps parents translate their determination to care for and Photo provided. protect their children into the clarity they need to communicate authority with a firm confidence, whether for bedtime, screen-time or mealtime. Just as she would in a clinical conversation, the author shifts the focus away from disciplinary strategies and back to the core of parenthood, the relationship between parents and children as it evolves, moment to-moment, from the dependence of infancy to the autonomy of young adulthood.

Monday, February 3: Managing Technology: presented by Dr. Randy Cale.

Thursday, March 5: "Battling an Eating Disorder: An 11 Year Old’s Journey to Recovery" with Flutters of Hope Inc. This program will be held in the Maple Avenue Middle School Large Group Instruction room at 6:30 p.m. A current SSCSD student will share her journey through an eating disorder, how she recovered, and the tools she used to do it. Her mother will discuss the myths of eating disorders and the tools she used as a parent. Both speakers will share how hard it was to overcome, but that recovery is possible and that there is hope.

Tuesday, March 31: A Discussion about Anxiety and Depression with Jaimen McMillan. This program will be held in the Maple Avenue Middle School Large Group Instruction room at 7 p.m. Depression is not about being sad. Depression paralyzes the will. Sufferers feel powerless…hopeless…and see no possibility of moving on. Anxiety is gripping a growing number of children who instead of joy and wonder, experience unfounded fear and trepidation. Among the many factors involved in depression and anxiety, perhaps the most overlooked component is the element of space. The prevailing definition of the human being is so narrow and confining that its delineation is a likely cause of depression. This lecture on Depression and Anxiety will expand this constricting concept. We will experiment with Spacial Dynamics® exercises and experience that the human being is meant to be a free individual who can learn to live in many different spaces. Each space allows for opportunities and possibilities that the others do not. Depression and anxiety do not know age-barriers. Children, teens, and adults all suffer from these afflictions. They share the complaint of feeling trapped. It is for those who want to create and establish new spaces and dynamics that allow for healthy choice, wholesome human interaction, and ultimately, to unrestricted use of their own wills.

Tuesday, April 28: "Talking about Consent" presented by Wellspring. This program will be held in the Saratoga Springs High School Library from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. This program is designed for parents and guardians of graduating seniors going to college on how to talk to them about consent. The program provides participants with an understanding of consent as a concept and provides context as to why having discussions with young people about consent is crucial. Facilitators will provide information on when and how to have these discussions.

 


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Blotter

  • COURT Daniel J. Guynup, 21, of Saratoga Springs, was convicted by a Saratoga County trial jury Feb. 6 in connection with a series of incidents that occurred last June in Saratoga Springs, and on Aug. 18 in the town of Corinth, according to Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen. All of the charges involved one victim; the victim testified at the trial, and provided detail regarding the incidents of domestic violence.  The charges include:  strangulation in the second-degree, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, criminal contempt, harassment, and two counts of assault. Sentencing scheduled of March 26. The defendant faces…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON SPA 227 Round Lake Rd., $287,500. Jazzed Estates and Property Solutions LLC sold property to Ian and Megan Warren. Route 67, $10,000. Harold Schultz sold property to MJP Design Build LLC. 17 Commerce Dr., $550,000. Harold Schultz sold property to MJP Design Build LLC. 15 Commerce Dr., $350,000. Harold Schultz sold property to MJP Design Build LLC.  14 Lawmar Ln., $260,000. Anthony Canzone, Jr. sold property to Jason and Caitlin Lyons. CHARLTON 111 Hickory Ridge Rd., $100,000. Martha Kurowski (by Exec) sold property to Gayle Bailey. 2 Meadow Lane, $138,600. Federal National Mortgage Association (by Atty) sold property to…
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