Dear Lancaster Parents, Family, and Friends...
Many people who viewed a video about our capital improvement
project that was voted on last week heard the opening statement I made,
“Lancaster is Great!” I stand by those words today, as much as ever.
The Lancaster community has so very much to be proud of. We
have the highest graduation rate in our district’s history (98%), not to
mention the highest in Western New York. We have an outstanding music program,
including our national class two-time state champion marching band; a
Performing Arts Society chosen this year to be one of five high schools in the
nation to debut Disney’s The Little Mermaid musical for schools; and our very
own Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra, also unique in the country. Our athletes
continue to excel on and off the field, with Lancaster High School again being
named a New York Public High School Athletic Association School of Distinction
for every one of our varsity teams achieving a 90% academic average.
The outstanding program we are able to offer in academics
and extracurricular activities is due, in large part, to the support that we
have from our great community. For this, we owe you a huge debt of gratitude.
While we’ve established a long-standing record of being one
of the state’s most cost-effective and administratively efficient school
districts, crafting a budget that will be endorsed by the taxpayers each year
is no small task. I want to give utmost credit to our seven board members who
work tirelessly on the budget process, not only to safeguard your investment,
but also to ensure that the children of this great community are well provided
On behalf of the board of education, administration,
teachers, faculty, support staff, and students of this great district, I also
want to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the voters who came out on May 19
to show their support in passing a reasonable budget, but also the largest
capital campaign in district history. The much-needed improvements, from
obsolete boilers and drainage repairs, to enhancements like improved media
centers and a small venue theater at the high school, will benefit students for
decades to come.
Finally, that brings me to the LEAF portion of the project.
Athletic facility and music suite improvements, which will come to fruition
when the Lancaster Educational and Alumni Foundation succeeds in its $1
fundraising campaign, will provide us with an indoor track, capable of hosting
sectional events, a turf field for multiple uses and more. Our expressions of
gratitude would not be complete without giving special thanks to Mr. Russell
Salvatore, whose generous gift of $300,000 puts LEAF well on its way toward
meeting its goal! For more information on how you can help LEAF, go to www.nyleaf.org.
Did I say, “Lancaster is Great”? I should have said,
“Lancaster is the greatest school district in Western New York!” Thank you all
for your support. Together, we continue to make great strides for the children
of this community!
Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools