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Update from Clarence CSD April 14, 2023

Dear Clarence School Family,  

As you may know, yesterday afternoon, Ms. Colleen Coggins was announced as the next French Road Elementary School Principal in the Brighton Central School District. Ms. Coggins has been our Clarence Center Principal for the past 11 years, and the Brighton Bruins could not have made a better choice. In addition to being one of the highest achieving districts in the Rochester area, Brighton gives Ms. Coggins the chance to live and work right next door to her family.

When Ms. Coggins begins her new position on July 1, she will be leaving some impossibly big shoes to fill. During her time in Clarence, Ms. Coggins has proven herself to be an educator who understands the importance of kindness, positive relationships, and fostering a sense of community. Friday Morning Programs simply won’t be the same without Ms. Coggins, and we are grateful for the many ways in which she has enriched our school community.

In the weeks ahead, I will pass along important updates regarding our Clarence Center Principal search, as well as how stakeholders can provide input in the hiring process. However, in the coming days, I would ask that you take a minute to congratulate Ms. Coggins on her new opportunity, and to thank her for making such a positive difference during her time in Clarence.

Summer Job Opportunities for Secondary Students

Now that Spring Break is officially in our rearview mirror, we are reminded that the end of the school year will be here in a blink. While Summer Vacation is a great time for relaxation and travel, July and August can also be important opportunities for many of our secondary students to gain experience in the world of work. Aside from teaching students about independence, responsibility, and the value of money, part-time jobs can reinforce the skills that students need to excel in school as well as after graduation.

If you think your child would benefit from a summer job, I wanted to pass along a pair of resources you might find helpful. The first is a link to a website maintained by our High School Guidance & Counseling Department. Titled “Job/Summer Opportunities,” the page is updated regularly as we become aware of different openings in the area. The second involves information on Summer Laborer positions offered through our own Buildings and Grounds Department. The jobs are great options for students interested in 32-40 hours of work each week, and they involve things like moving furniture, cleaning, painting, and helping to care for our athletic fields.

Clarence Senior Cooking Up a Great Future

Speaking about the potential that comes when education involves vocational training, I wanted to highlight the work that Robert Peters is doing at the Harkness Career & Technical Center. A senior in Clarence, Robert was recently profiled by Erie 1 BOCES for the excellence he has demonstrated in its Culinary Arts Program. From safety, to sanitation, to food preparation, Robert is well on his way to mastering the skills needed for the restaurant business. As he gets ready to graduate, Robert is set to enroll in culinary school, and he’s the perfect example of a student who makes us #ClarenceProud.

Red Devils in the News

If you were watching the local news this past Monday, you may have seen a story aired by WGRZ-Channel 2 regarding our Clarence Chorale and Wind Ensemble. Next week, close to 100 of our students will be travelling to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach to perform the Pulitzer-nominated piece Kakehashi: That We Might Live. The documentary performance piece tells the story of those who were surrendered and sacrificed in Bataan and Corregidor at the onset of World War II, but it also honors the service of military personnel, veterans, and their families. The trip is a really unique experience for our students, and you can catch the WGRZ-Channel 2 clip using this link.

While on the topic of military service, I thought you might also enjoy learning a bit about Army Colonel Erin Miller. Along with being a proud member of the Clarence Class of 1994, Col. Miller was just appointed Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army Fort Drum & 10th Mountain Division. The first female officer to serve in the role, Col. Miller is proof that you can do just about anything with a Clarence diploma. We couldn’t be more proud of Col. Miller’s recent accomplishment, and I wanted to pass along the link to a great piece recently put together by Spectrum News 1.

If you have tickets to the sold-out performance of “Annie” tonight, I’ll look forward to seeing you for the “Night of the Arts” at Harris Hill! If not, I hope you can get outside to enjoy the sunshine this evening, and that you have a relaxing weekend.

Matt Frahm 
Superintendent of Schools

PS: I wanted to extend a quick “shout out” to our High School Physical Education Department for implementing a new unit in self-defense this past week. After listening to a group of student leaders express concerns about safety in college, our teachers partnered with the Training Edge in Clarence to provide self-defense instruction in Krav Maga. I stopped by to watch one of the lessons earlier today, and I was reminded that we are so fortunate to have teachers who are always finding new ways to keep our kids safe.