Lancaster Central School District

Centers of Learning and Growth


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In the Spotlight...

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Dear Lancaster Parents, Family, and Friends...
As I reflect on the true meaning of the holiday season, I keep coming back to two simple words: light and hope. No matter your beliefs, light and hope are things that can unite us all.

Hanukkah, the Hebrew Festival of Light, happens to begin this year on Christmas Eve.

Whether it is as simple as a small tree decorated in the corner of your living room, or a subdivision, like Stonybrook, that uses their holiday light celebration to raise tens of thousands for charities, light is a symbol of hope that brings us out of the darkness.

At his inauguration, President George H. W. Bush spoke of "all the individuals and community organizations spread like stars through the nation doing good." He founded the Points of Light Foundation and throughout his presidency, he recognized just over 1,000 points of light that had made a difference throughout the world.

Here in Lancaster, we have more than 6,000 points of light: our students, your children. Never do they shine as brightly as during the holiday season.
This week, kindergartners in Mrs. Jennifer Wanat's class at Court Street Elementary decorated five dozen cookies for the Buffalo Soup Kitchen while high school leadership students baked and decorated 500 dozen cookies to share with local needy families as part of our annual Day of Giving.

For anyone who has ever doubted the true spirit of the holidays, I encourage you to stop by the Lancaster Youth Bureau on the Day of Giving and see scores of faculty, staff, volunteers, and students working hand in hand to make the holidays a reality for nearly 150 local families. It truly is a beacon of hope.

Gifts come together from all corners of the district, including nail polish, coloring books, toys, and lotion from the William Street School Good Citizen's Club, to the school's All About Books promotion which raises funds for books to be donated.

Hats, scarves, and mittens are collected at John A. Sciole and the middle school, while Sciole students also showed their holiday spirit by collecting canned goods for the Trinity Food Pantry and sent holiday mail to our troops. Our musical students share their talents throughout the community with concerts that warm the hearts of young and old.

At Hillview and Court Street, faculty and staff adopted veteran families for the holidays through WNY Heroes. In addition, Hillview's Good Citizens' Club donated more than 50 boxes of gifts for the global project: "Operation Christmas Child," which benefits children in third world countries.

None of this would be possible without the love and support of our faculty and staff who are the guiding lights for our children. From all of us, to all of you, may the light of hope shine in your lives this holiday season.

Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools