Back to School
While the kids are out buying new clothes, backpacks, school supplies and sneakers, teachers are at school getting their classrooms ready for another year of “reading, writing and arithmetic.”
Marie Kleinderlein has been teaching school at ECS for 10 years. She said, “I’m looking forward to coming back after the long summer. I missed the kids. It’s nice to be the first teacher to welcome them to high school. The common perception of high school kids is that they are moody and difficult, but mostly they are warm and funny, and good to be around.”
Jackie James teaches grades 11 and 12 social studies. It is her 12th year at ECS. Her first week at school will focus on the presidential convention. Her goal in teaching is “that all be successful in what they want.” Her classes will be doing community service projects, which the kids choose. She will also be teaching a new honors class for the 11th grade in which they will do work to prepare for college.
Colleen Bower has taught at ECS for eight years. This year she is teaching kindergarten. Her goal is “getting them used to school and what it’s all about, and making instruction individual so they can accomplish what they are able to do and enjoy being here.” For Bower, “prep is ongoing from the end of the school year to the beginning of the next school year. The time is spent evaluating, finding things that need to be changed and coming up with new things to do.”
April Donoghue is beginning her 14th year at Ellicottville. This year she is teaching 4th grade. This summer, Donoghue attended training for K-5 teachers for the new English Language Arts Core Curriculum at BOCES. She said, “New York State is challenging students to dig deeper into English, language arts and math, and teachers are charged with challenging students to do their best.”
Mark Ward, superintendent of Ellicottville Central School, said, “We’re excited about the start of another school year and looking forward to welcoming our students back. This year we are focusing on 20th century skills with the theme of ‘Education, Your Ticket to the Future.’” He said enrollment is up 4 percent from last year and has been going up for the past five years. Only 15–20 children come from the village of a total enrollment of 620, and there are 54 on the teaching staff.