Lori Mahan

Lori Mahan

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. 

Applicants should send their completed application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., deadline is Jan. 31.

Thursday, 16 January 2020 11:34

Safer Schools

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.

Founded in 1991, Saratoga Independent School is fully accredited by the New York State Independent Schools Association and chartered by the New York State Board of Regents.  This year, the school serves 150 students in grades prekindergarten through eighth, residing in 13 different school districts. Enrollment for the 2020/21 school year has begun and prospective families may contact the school at 518-583-0841 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Saratoga Springs vs. Albany Academy Hockey

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Monday January 6, the Blue Streaks defeated Albany Academy, 4-1. Billy Leary and Devon Wormley each had a goal while Michael Montague had two goals. Goalie Brad Blake had 9 saves. 

SRYMCA/Saratoga Honda Youth Basketball Scores 

PBA v. Blend Realty
PBA-53:  Stephon Lindsey-12, Isaac Ryan-9

Blend Realty-13: Mason Foster-6, Riley Baumeister-4

Olsen Associates v. Cudney’s Cleaners
Cudney’s-27: John Gerardi-13, Ben Van Valkenburg-6

Olsen’s-19: Xavier Ruscio-13 , Colin MacGreger -9

Spa Café v. Vahanian & Associates Financial Planning Inc.
Spa Café-55:  Brian McCarthy-15, Mark Early-12

Vahanian & Associates-47: Tommy Maurer-28, Cameron Fitzpatrick-12

Pashley Construction v. Village Photo
Village Photo-41:  Unique Steel-16, Jacob Krygouski-12
Pashley’s-27: Nate Siewert-12, Raymond Garcia-6

Thursday, 09 January 2020 11:06

Athlete of the Week: Nick Palso

BALLSTON SPA — “More enduringly than any other sport, wrestling teaches self-control and pride. Some have wrestled without great skill, none have wrestled without pride,” said by Dan Gable, an American freestyle wrestler often considered to be the greatest amateur wrestler in American history.

Nicholas Palso, a junior at Ballston Spa High School, has just had his 100th win and recently won at the Saratoga Invitational. Palso is currently 25-2 and wrestling in the 106 bracket.

Palso has been wrestling on varsity since 8th grade after only spending one season before on modified. 

“Our team is doing great this year! I’m surprised at how well we’re doing,” he laughed.

“I was thinking we wouldn’t be as good as we are but the guys I’m wrestling with are really good.”

Their team is young, so expectations weren’t too high at first.

“We have a lot of freshmen,” Palso clarified.

Palso doesn’t think anything about wrestling is hard, even the eating to maintain his weight, which he maintains by eating “mostly chicken” and by working out.

He does admit to missing desserts and can’t wait to indulge in his favorite ice cream, mint cookie crumble from Stewart’s, once the season ends

Palso was immersed in the sport through going to some of the home matches when he was younger with his dad; his grandfather also wrestled.

“At those matches, I fell in love with the sport,” he said.

Palso does not play anything else, focusing solely on wrestling and in the off season he trains and lifts to stay in shape.

He still manages to keep up on his schoolwork by doing his homework before and after practice, whatever it takes as he would like to attend college and wrestle at a collegiate level also.

In his free time, he hangs out with his friends and they play video games.

He cites his dad, Nicholas Sr., as his biggest supporter, “he’s always at my matches and is always the one who brings me to my practices and tournaments.”

In regard to his 100th win, “I was super pumped!”

Palso is appreciative of his coaches and his teammates.

“My coaches are great, they’ve helped me get through some good and bad times,” he said.

BALLSTON SPA — Ballston Spa High School’s FIRST Robotics Team #3044 and FIRST Tech Challenge Team #6945 recently hosted a Hudson Valley FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Qualifying Tournament. Eight FLL teams participated in the tournament. The first-place winner was the BroBots team from Christian Brothers Academy in Albany. They will be moving on to the Hudson Valley FLL Championship Tournament on February 8, 2020 at Dutchess Community College. Other teams that received awards at the tournament include: • Robot Design Award & Robot Performance Award (BSpa Beasts from Saratoga County 4-H) • Project Award (Motors in Action, Wood Road Elementary) • Core Values (Bionic Builders, Ballston Spa Middle School) This year’s FLL challenge, City Shaper, required students to design a LEGO robot that was programmed to operate independently on the competition table and accomplish several design and construction related tasks. The teams were judged based on the robot’s performance, design, core values and on a project. The theme of this year’s project asked 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. The tournament was sponsored 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 our 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, nfrastructure, Edwards, Regeneron, Pickett Family Foundation, Acumetra, Tokyo Electron and Westerwood Global. Additional information is available by contacting Ballston Spa K-12 Science Coordinator Diane Irwin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or at the High School by calling 518-884-7150.

BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District is currently enrolling students for its Universal Prekindergarten Program for the 2020-2021 school year. An eligible child is a child who resides within the school district and who is four years of age on or before December 1, 2020. A child who is age-eligible to attend kindergarten is not eligible for the UPK program. Agencies that provide the Universal Prekindergarten Program for the district are the YMCA Malta Childcare Center, the Saratoga County Equal Opportunity Center Head Start program at Gordon Creek Elementary School, and the Ballston Area Community Center. To apply to enroll a child at the YMCA Malta Childcare Center, contact Jenna Graber at 518-583-4342. To apply to enroll a child at the Saratoga County EOC Head Start program, contact Lina Sanchez at 518-884-7270, ext. 3484. To apply to enroll a child at the Ballston Area Community Center, contact Kathi Leigh at (518) 885-3261, ext. 16. The application packet is available on the BSCSD website or through the UPK agencies. The application deadline is January 31, 2020. Parents/guardians will be notified in writing at the end of February of placement decisions. For any other questions regarding the program, please contact the Ballston Spa Central School District’s Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at 518-884-7195, ext. 1330. For additional information, visit the district’s Universal Prekindergarten Program webpage via www.bscsd.org

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