September 25, 2008

A Message from Grand Island High School Principal Sandy Anzalone

It’s All About Spirit!

It’s Spirit Week at GIHS! Visitors to the building on Mismatch Monday must have truly believed that we have little to no fashion sense. Class Color Day was Tuesday. Oh my! Seeing 222 senior girls and boys dressed in pink (especially the pink, fuzzy slippers) was quite the sight. The seniors won the competition, but not by much… 178 freshmen dressed in yellow were in the lead until about noon and then the rest of the numbers started coming in from homeroom and the rest of the seniors started arriving from Kenton and Harkness VoTech. Then, the seniors took and kept the lead - winning free entrance into the Bonfire. It truly was a sea of Pink (seniors) with 222, green (juniors) with 164, red (sophomores) with 177 and yellow (freshmen) with 178. Altogether 741 students participated in the day - not to mention all the teachers who dressed, as well.

The 2nd annual Bonfire and Junior/Senior Powder Puff Football game under the lights is sure to be a hit tonight (about 6 hours from now). The Bonfire is “rekindled” from an old tradition in the 60s and 70s. Kiss 98.5 will be on-site to help us dance the night away and the Grand Island Fire Company will stand guard soaking the sparks and not the crowd (they promised). The entire Building and Grounds crew, along with Mr. Swiatek, has been working all day to set up the field. It looks spectacular! We expect to have a packed house - including the VIP parent section!

Saturday afternoon we will host Williamsville East at our Varsity Football Game. The Father of Viking Athletics, H. David Meyers, will be honored at half-time. The Grand Island Vikings are looking for revenge after last year’s disappointing loss.

Saturday night is our first ever Homecoming Dance for all grades! In the spirit of unity, grades 9-12 will celebrate the kick-off to the 2008-2009 school year. With a lot of homework, very little sleep, a lot of Spirit and a lot of smiles - we are indebted to the following people for all their time, energy and dedication: Student Council officers - Susan Pioli, Lauren Fermoile, Allison Boron, Tiffany Turner, Brooke Chamberlain, Emily Incorvia and Amber Duda; Assistant Principal, Christopher Swiatek; Student Council advisors - Mary Colpoys (ever the champion) and Rob Simpson - newly inducted.

And, to Cristal in Volusia County, an alumnus from GIHS - thanks for the web contact. It’s great to hear that your students are great, too!

Stay safe. Enjoy being a parent. Go Vikings!

September 18, 2008

 A Message from Grand Island High School Principal Sandy Anzalone

Do you know what’s in your child’s cell phone? 

 Technology has such amazing capacity- our students are absolutely hooked on the capabilities and speed at which they can call, text, photograph, videograph or record a friend. Teachers are excited when their students create podcasts on their own. Parents are calmed when they can get in touch with their children any time of day or evening. Cell phones add an element to all of our lives that makes it so much easier to communicate with each other and have fun doing it. 

On the other hand, have you ever been in a car with 2-3 teenagers and realized that they are all “talking” and you have absolutely no idea what they are saying- because they are texting. To some extent, this is probably the way my mother felt about the 25-foot telephone cord.

 Photographs of each other - easy. With cell phones we can walk around and snap shots of anything and anybody we want. I’ve seen some fabulous candid group shots of really good friends that will last forever. They are priceless memories that might never have happened if we had to remember to bring a camera.  This ease and speed though makes it very easy for curious, young minds to take inappropriate pictures of themselves or others, press “send” and create situations where reputations and safety are jeopardized in a matter of seconds. Do you know what’s in your child’s cell phone? 

I had to laugh the other day when I asked this question and the parent responded, “I don’t even know how to turn it on!” How very true. So what can we do? 

§               Have frequent conversations with your child about phone etiquette

§               Learn how to use your child’s cell phone

§               Know the content - names, pictures, text

§               Ask to have the phone and watch their reaction. Do they take the battery out before giving it to you?

§               Review an itemized report of your child’s cell phone usage - are there patterns showing up that peak your interest as a parent

§               Are they using it during school hours?

 Today’s teenagers are no different than we were - they simply have access to so much more, so much faster. Stay safe. Enjoy being a parent.

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