Lancaster Central School District

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Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings

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Dear Lancaster Parents, Family, and Friends...

The month of November contains two holidays, the true meanings of which seem to have been altered somewhat in today’s commercialized world. The first holiday, recently observed, is Veterans Day, the second, Thanksgiving.

It is noteworthy that both holidays have the central theme of thankfulness, with Veterans Day being devoted to paying homage and thanks to past members of our armed services. These men and women have given so much, sometimes paying the ultimate sacrifice, for the freedoms that we often take for granted.

Recently, members of our faculty and student body presented at a conference ways in which we are infusing all grade levels with a sense of leadership and service to others. I’d like to briefly highlight how that effort has taken hold. Throughout the month of November, spanning the grade levels, projects have been devoted to paying our respects and giving thanks to our veterans. Those efforts will be covered in detail in our district newsletter, but briefly, letters and cards of thanks, collections on behalf of needy veterans and their families, and walls of tributes and artwork are among the many ways our students expressed their gratitude.

Lancaster Middle School’s leadership students, under Ms. Bonnie Blatner, are a shining example of how that spirit of giving, service, and thankfulness is focused not merely on one day, but transcends the calendar. Tallies are still coming in, but as of this writing, the middle school has filled more than 70 bags of food and collected more than 40 turkeys that will be distributed to families in need, in time for Thanksgiving. As we head into the holiday season, we will see more of these drives taking place, culminating with the annual holiday distribution at Lancaster Youth Bureau, which all of our schools are integral to the success of each year. Typically, several hundred families are showered with gifts, food, decorations and trees, hats, scarves, and mittens…more than just to warm the body…but an abundance to warm the heart as well!

This week, as the tradition of Thanksgiving is celebrated, many families will gather for a feast fit for a Norman Rockwell painting. For others, the traditions are simpler, or more modern, in keeping with the diversity of family life. Whatever traditions your personal Thanksgiving observance hold, I hope you find yourself surrounded by loved ones. Before the Black Friday hype draws your attention away, I hope you have an opportunity to reflect on how fortunate we are to be living in this caring community in this great country.

On behalf of the entire Lancaster Central School District, and with deep gratitude, I wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving. I hope you find time to savor the moments, as well as the delicious food!

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

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