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Update from Clarence CSD February 10, 2023

Dear Clarence School Family,  

Because I’m still a social studies teacher at heart, I wanted to share a quick lesson related to Black History Month. Recognizing that textbooks and other sources of public information did not adequately acknowledge the achievements of Black Americans, the Harvard-educated Carter G. Woodson introduced the occasion back in 1915. Originally scheduled to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln, what began as a week-long event was expanded by President Gerald Ford in 1976 as a way to “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

We want our students to have a deep, rich, honest, and comprehensive understanding of the past, and our teachers work hard to ensure that our classrooms are filled with culturally responsive learning experiences all year round. However, in February, we purposefully pause to recognize the often untold stories of Black Americans who have shaped all facets of American life. While our buildings will use different combinations of lessons, announcements, and library displays to celebrate Black History Month, we wanted to invite you to continue the conversation at home. To help, we have provided a handful of resources below, and we wanted to thank you for supporting a school environment in which all students are seen, respected, loved, and cared for.   

High School Sleepout a Success 

While we want our students to excel in core academic areas, we also want to help them grow into young adults who are caring, generous, and empathetic. These values were on full display last Friday night when our High School Student Council organized a “Sleepout” to raise funds for Buffalo City Mission, Feed More WNY/Meals on Wheels, Little Portion Friary, and Friends of the Night People. From 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m., close to 100 students (along with Advisors Jackie Bowman and Shannon McDonald) camped in the gymnasium, played games, and raised approximately $5,200. The event was just one more example of how our students are making a positive difference in the community, and we wanted to acknowledge the adult chaperones (especially those who took the late shift!) and the “Top 10 Student Fundraisers.” 

  • Adult Chaperones: Jan Thome, Doug Shaw, Mark Majewski, Tim Ryan, James Boglioli, Matt Lauer, Sophia Lamphron, Sarah Kellner, Alex Chambers, Matt Andrews, Doug Dermott, Ken Smith, Julie Mampe, and Kevin Barrett. 
  • Top 10 Student Fundraisers: Emmett Forrestel, Christina Bojdak, Noah Lurz, Shea Daigler, Emma Ryan, Alexis Majewski, Julia Cody, Eleni Deck, Angelina Filice, and Rosalie DiNunzio.  

Yearbook Alum has Bills Mafia Pictures Published in Sports Illustrated 

Aside from our academic offerings, we are proud to provide students with a range of extracurricular opportunities. In addition to giving them chances to network, gain confidence, practice teamwork, and grow as leaders, these clubs help learners explore possible career interests. As an example, I wanted to highlight a recent accomplishment of Abby Curtis—a Clarence alum who is currently finishing her studies at RIT.  

While in High School, Abby was an energetic student who served as Editor of the Yearbook. Working closely with Advisor Peter Scumaci, Abby developed the skills that recently helped her publish two pictures of the Bills Mafia in Sports Illustrated. It’s a pretty cool accomplishment, and a reminder of why extracurricular offerings are such an important part of a rewarding school experience.  

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, please consider stopping by the Middle School to check out a performance of “Music Man, Jr.”  

Enjoy the weekend, Red Devils. (And don’t forget to pick up chocolates and order flowers for Valentine’s Day next week!) 

Matt Frahm  
Superintendent of Schools