“As the school year approaches its end, Windsor CSD Superintendent Dr. Jason Andrews wanted to make sure he checked in one more time with a critical constituency – the five Student Council Presidents in the District.
The group held its latest Superintendent’s Council Lunch at CoreLife Eatery in Vestal. Presidents Ryan Kristof (Bell Elementary), Lizzie Hopkins (Weeks Elementary), Nora Drexler (Palmer Elementary), Haley Kohlbach (Middle School) and Larissa Balachick (High School) joined Dr. Andrews.
“I meet regularly with the group. But, being able to review their thoughts on the year and how they feel about changes we have made is important. It’s information I use with other administrators in the District,” said Dr. Andrews.
As the group ate in the shadow of a wall of produce at CoreLife, the setting was an appropriate backdrop to the discussion about how agriculture education has increased in the District over the past year. Dr. Andrews explained how the District is getting grants for greenhouses for the Middle School and High School.
“Our goal is to have one at every school,” said Dr. Andrews.
Kohlbach saw first-hand how the Ag in the Classroom program has grown.
“Our chickens are hatching this week. I’m excited. We just had a sheep come in. It peed all over the place,” said Kohlbach. “It’s getting more hands-on now that it’s getting warmer.”
“We grew cucumbers. We made a watering device so we didn’t have to water it every day,” said Hopkins.
“One of the reasons we are bringing ag into the classroom is so people understand how to grow food systems, how to grow your own food. It’s not necessarily to have every kid get a job in agriculture,” said Dr. Andrews.
In a related note, Drexler said her idea for a composting program, one she spoke about at this year’s initial Superintendent Council’s meeting, is becoming a reality at Palmer as an interest-area club.
“You throw in fruits, vegetables, tea bags – it mixes and the worms get into it. Then you can use it for your soil,” said Drexler.
The group shared its experience with this year’s state testing. The students also talked about highlights from their year. Balachick mentioned Student Council’s remembrance of the shooting victims at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Kristof talked about Bell Student Council’s Pennies for Patients drive, which raised over $2,400 to fight cancer.
“It was a productive meeting. I got a lot of information I can use going forward,” said Dr. Andrews.