Powwow blog
  • Students Build STEAM Knowledge During Summer Camp

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 9/16/2019 8:10:00 AM

    STEAM Camp

    More than 60 students from Salamanca City Central School District participated in our second annual STEAM Adventure Camp. STEAM, standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, is a programming methodology that the Salamanca schools have adopted to teach students innovation, and creative approaches to real-world problems while building on students’ mathematics and science base.

    Throughout the month of July, Salamanca students participated in fun, hands-on activities that involved the five STEAM disciplines.

    “One of the goals of STEAM summer camp is to help bridge the gap between school and summer,” said Aaron Straus, district STEAM coach. “These added experiences allow them to get excited for different science and technology outlets that they might see during the school year.”

    To kick off the summer, students designed video games using Scratch, programmed spherical robots (similar to the BB-8 unit in Star Wars), and explored common electronic repair tools such as a soldering pencil and multimeter in Makers Boot Camp.

    “This is fun learning,” commented Salamanca student, Gabriel Santiago-Soto, an 8th grader who attended all three weeks.

    During the second week, students experimented with ultraviolet sun rays, while they explored the mathematical concepts of color, folding, symmetry, and pattern. Those who participated in the Geology, Ecology and Hiking camps engaged in activities that emphasized basic ecological concepts about habitats, species identification, and how organisms and habitats adapt to change. Other students learned the basics of circuitry while they constructed original projects such as alarms, doorbells, and simple AM/FM radios.

    Heading up the multidisciplinary program was Mr. Straus and adventure coordinators, Gene Jankowski and Richard Wade.

    Also unique to Salamanca are the Accuplacer STEAM Camps. During the school year, high school students can dual-enroll in college-credit coursework if they achieve a satisfactory Accuplacer Test score. In preparation for fall enrollment, students were given the chance to enroll in specialized STEAM summer school courses to review the content of the math and reading Accuplacer exams. The Math and ELA Accuplacer exam fees are waived for students who completed these courses.

    During the last week of July, students participated in the district’s premier river program. On Monday, kayakers were divided up into small groups to work on basic paddling and river safety.

    “We had a handful of older kids that helped us with the younger kids,” Mr. Jankowski said. During the Tuesday and Wednesday camp days, students kayaked the Allegheny River with ACA-certified Salamanca teachers.

    “The program continues to evolve and we look forward to planning next summer’s adventures,” Mr. Wade said.
    Salamanca STEAM Camps are scheduled to return next summer. In the meantime, students can look forward to the Vex and First Robotics clubs, STEM class, STEAM guest speakers and field trips offered during the school year.

    Comments (0)
  • Update On Construction Projects, And The Importance of Health & Wellness For Our Students

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 9/13/2019 8:05:00 AM

    Robert Breidenstein Dear Warrior Nation,

    As we settle in for the 2019-2020 school year, we are off to a wonderful start. Just a few short weeks ago we began with our Welcome Back Picnics at Prospect and on the Main campus. Judging by the turnout, and the smiles, I’d say they were both a smashing success. Next year’s events look to be bigger and better. We have tentatively set the 2020 Welcome Back Picnic dates for August 26 and 27. Save the Date!

    By the time you receive this edition of the Powwow, we should be able to officially announce the ribbon cutting ceremony date for the STEAM wing dedication and grand opening. The construction crews are working at a feverish pace to turn these spaces over to us in the next 30-40 days. Mid-October is our target date and barring any unforeseen events, we should hit this target. The Seneca Intermediate Office space is just a few short days or weeks away from inspection and clearance. We will move the Seneca office staff as soon as we can to free up the music spaces they are currently occupying in the transition period. Prospect continues to see major renovations and the contractors were able to accelerate a major HVAC portion of the project without disrupting instruction. We anticipate turning over the old library into the new main office sometime after Thanksgiving and then jumping right into to the soon to be old office space demolition.

    This school year the District has added a fifth District Goal. This goal will focus on Health and Wellness with particular attention on attendance. In a recent U.S. Department of Education study, chronic absenteeism is identified as a significant obstacle in student learning and academic success. The building block that must be in place to meet student achievement and high school graduation goals is attendance. Physically being present in school is one of the most basic conditions for a student’s success – if students are not in school, they are not learning what is being taught and could be falling behind in earning the course credits needed to graduate [Lauren Bauer, Fellow - The Hamilton Project]. As a district with rising achievement rates, increased graduation rates and student participation levels to be rivaled, school attendance is still a priority.

    Prospect, Seneca, High School and District Office personnel are readily available to help our students and staff model exemplary attendance. We ask parents and the community to similarly assist us in this goal. Some key benefits of good attendance are: September and October attendance rates are proven reliable predictors of attendance for the entire school year; reading levels are positively impacted by consistent school attendance; sixth graders with high attendance rates in one cited study are almost 70% more likely to graduate High School in four years; and students who improve their daily attendance rates are more likely to experience higher levels of academic achievement. Attendance matters!

    Thank you for being here and supporting our students.

    Robert J. Breidenstein

    Comments (0)
  • Sign-Ups Open For Fall Extended Day Program

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 9/12/2019 2:05:00 PM

    EDEP logo Enrollment is now open for Seneca Intermediate and high school students interested in participating in Extended Day Enrichment programs and clubs before and after the school day.

    Opportunities available this fall for students include yoga, robotics, fitness, arts and crafts, book clubs, dance, gardening, homework help, tutoring, and a lot more. Programs begin on Monday, September 16.

    Seneca Intermediate students can pick up an enrollment form at the main office during the school day or download and print one at www.SalamancaNY.org/EDEP. High schoolers can sign up online at www.SalamancaNY.org/HSEDEP.

    Prospect Elementary will start after school programs in October. Enrollment forms will be sent home with students.

    Comments (0)
  • District Welcomes New Teachers & Staff for 2019-20 School Year

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 9/12/2019 9:00:00 AM

    staff pictures

    Salamanca City Central School District welcomes the following new teachers and staff members:

    Bethany Antes

    Bethany comes to Salamanca as a long-term substitute teaching assistant. The Wellsville native has a degree in graphic design from Alfred University.

    “Going to school for something other than education and then getting back into it through subbing and now becoming a TA only verifies my choice to continue my education and hopefully one day become an elementary teacher,” she said.

    She enjoys art and spending time with family.

    Chad Bartoszek

    Chad comes to Salamanca as a physical education teacher, varsity football coach, and assistant athletic director. The Salamanca native previously taught at Ellicottville and Portville.

    “I grew up in Salamanca, live in Salamanca, and have many friends and family who live in the town,” he said. “The draw of making a difference in our hometown was powerful.”

    Chad studied history education at the University at Buffalo. He is married with two young sons and a dog.

    Kersten Furlong

    Kersten comes to Salamanca to teach physical education after spending 15 years teaching and coaching at Falconer. The Salamanca native studied physical education and coaching at SUNY Brockport.

    “I love working with kids and watching them grow and become successful,” she said. “The PE teachers I had at Salamanca were my true inspirations.”

    She enjoys running, playing sports, and visiting family in her spare time.

    Paul Furlong

    Paul is a Salamanca native who joins the district as a physical education teacher. He studied health and physical education at Fairmount State University in West Virginia.

    He taught and coached at Genesee Valley and Allegany-Limestone for 11 years each.

    “I live here and grew up here,” Paul said, “and now it’s my turn to teach and carry on the Warrior traditions and ways.”

    He chose education as a career because “it gives me a chance to coach and give back to the students.”

    April Hayes

    April is a 2007 Salamanca alumna who joins the district as a long-term substitute teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Penn State and is attending St. Bonaventure University for an advanced degree in school counseling.

    “I’ve always wanted to work with kids and be a trusted person for them in school since they spend so much of their time there,” she said. “Miss Bonafede, who is now Mrs. Sibilio inspired me toward this career path.”

    April enjoys watching football, walking, listening to music, and spending time with her three children.

    Dr. Graham Hayes

    Graham joins the high school staff as a computer science teacher. He has degrees in geology, computer science, and geographic information systems.

    The native of Canada previously taught at the University at Buffalo, Erie Community College, and Christian Central Academy. His cousin, SHS science teacher Cheryl Johnson, encouraged him to come to Salamanca.

    Graham enjoys woodworking, fly fishing, and backpacking in his free time.

    Jeffrey Hitchcock

    Jeffrey comes to Salamanca as a long-term substitute teacher assistant. He attended Jamestown Community College for elementary childhood education and history, and he has also taken credits at SUNY Fredonia.

    The Ellington, NY native spent the last three years as a teacher’s aide at Sinclairville Elementary School.

    In high school, Jeffrey told a teacher he might be interested in education. “She allowed me to see the behind-the-scenes of a teacher’s job,” he said. “After that, I knew this was what I wanted to do.”

    During the summer, Jeffrey works as a trail guide at a horse ranch in Tionesta, Pa., where he takes people on horseback through trails around the Allegheny Mountains.

    John (Jack) Jerabek

    Jack is the new librarian for Seneca Intermediate School. The Buffalo native attended SUNY Geneseo and University at Buffalo for history and political science.

    He substituted at several districts before coming to Salamanca. His inspiration to teach started after tutoring a classmate in seventh grade.

    Jack enjoys cooking, camping, and spending football Sundays with his friends back home.

    Brittney Jimerson

    Born and raised in Salamanca, Brittney joins the district as a Home School Coordinator. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SUNY Fredonia and Buffalo State in U.S. History and museum studies.

    Her teachers at Salamanca – Lisa Monacelli and Gerald Musial, in particular – inspired her to pursue education as a career.

    “If I can have any sort of impact on a community, I want it to be the community I grew up in,” she said. “I want to help kids succeed and help grow our town into a place we are all proud to call home.”

    In her free time, Brittney enjoys doing puzzles, reading books, watching Jeopardy, and hanging out with family and friends.

    Annie Rose Kostrzewski

    Annie is a long-term substitute computer technology teacher at Seneca Intermediate. She grew up in Orchard Park, NY and attended Catholic University where she majored in elementary education.

    Annie joins the district after serving as a director for a private daycare center.

    She was inspired to work in education by her third-grade teacher. “She was equal parts of engaging and fun, which I hope to reflect the same to my Salamanca students,” Annie said.

    In her free time, she enjoys teaching swim lessons, photography, and eating seafood.

    Kristen McLhinney

    Kristen joins the district as a high school math teacher. She grew up in Cheektowaga, attended SUNY Fredonia, and spent the last 10 years teaching in Charles County, Maryland.

    “I love the Southern Tier and the sense of community in the district,” she said. “I can’t wait to work with the staff here and become a Warrior.”

    She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading, and following the Bills and Sabres.

    Rob Miller

    Rob comes to Salamanca as the director of educational technology and information service. The Brocton native previously worked at Erie 1 BOCES, Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, and Arlington High School in Poughkeepsie, NY.

    He studied business education and educational technology at Buffalo State and Boise State. He was inspired to pursue education by his teachers and coaches growing up.

    Rob enjoys spending time with his two children, coaching them in sports, and golfing.

    Dan Ornowski

    Dan joins the high school staff as a band teacher. The native of Angola, NY and graduate of SUNY Fredonia was inspired by his high school band director to pursue a career in education.

    Dan has also taught music at Charter School For Applied Technologies and North Collins.

    He enjoys kayaking, camping, and hiking.

    Corinne Quinn

    Corinne joins the Seneca Intermediate staff as a special education teacher. The Bradford, Pa. native has also taught at Allegany-Limestone, Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES, and in Pennsylvania.

    She owns degrees in elementary/special education and differentiated instruction from St. Bonaventure University.

    In choosing to come to Salamanca, Corinne said, “I wanted to work in a district that utilized technology to educate students in a way that enhanced their learning and helps them become global leaders.”

    She enjoys family time, music, baseball, hiking, camping, kayaking, and cooking.

    Jennifer Reed

    Jennifer is a new pre-kindergarten teacher at Prospect Elementary. She previously was a teacher assistant at the school and a teacher at Head Start for 10 years.

    The native of Corry and DuBois, Pa. majored in elementary education and early childhood development from Edinboro University and University of Phoenix. She has lived in Salamanca for the last 16 years, and her daughters attend Prospect and Seneca Intermediate schools.

    “I have always loved working with children and I have wanted to be a teacher since I was little,” Jennifer said. “My mom was a preschool teacher and I always loved helping her.”

    She enjoys attempting Pinterest craft ideas in her free time.

    Katie Rogers

    Katie joins the district as a social worker. The native of Salamanca previously worked with BOCES as a school social worker.

    “Salamanca is my home community,” she said. “It has always been my goal to bring my education back to our community. I graduated from here, and my children attend this school district.”

    Katie has a degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

    She enjoys being outside, biking, and making good memories with family.

    Timothy Schnaufer

    Timothy joins the district as a long-term substitute computer technology teacher at Prospect Elementary. The Buffalo area native was previously a professor for 21 years at Erie Community College.

    He attended Erie Community College, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Buffalo State College for architecture and career and technical education.

    Timothy’s wife Sue also works in the district and his sons attend Salamanca High School. He enjoys hunting, fishing, kayaking, hiking and building things.

    Michelle Sullivan

    After many years as a teacher’s assistant in the district, Michelle becomes a STEM teacher at Prospect Elementary. The Olean native has also taught at Allegany-Limestone and BOCES.

    Michelle studied special education at D’Youville College. She enjoys collecting insects, rocks, “science stuff”, and Thor comic books.

    “I got a job here 13 years ago and stayed ever since,” she said. “I loved the teachers I have worked with and the students I have been able to teach.”

    Jen Tyra

    Jen comes to the district as a reading teacher at Seneca Intermediate after serving in the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES 6:1:1 intensive therapy room for two years.

    She attended St. Bonaventure University for elementary/special education and started her teaching career in Raleigh, N.C. She is from Grand Island, NY and lives in Olean.

    “I just always knew education was my future from early on,” Jen said. “I had a few teachers in high school who were really good at building relationships with the students, and they are the ones who inspired me most.”

    She enjoys running in her free time, having completed two marathons and many half marathons.

    Amanda Urbanski

    Amanda is an Ellicottville native who joins the district as elementary school teacher at Prospect. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SUNY Fredonia in childhood education and literacy education.

    She has spent the last five years teaching at Cattaraugus-Little Valley. She was inspired to pursue education thanks to a love of working with children.

    “This grew into a love for teaching kids how to read,” she said. “I believe in every students’ capability to read, and the best part of my job is watching timid beginning readers blossom into students confidently reading books they love.”

    Amanda lives in Salamanca with her husband, who grew up here, and a son who was born in June. She enjoys hiking, reading, and running.

    Stephanie Vogle

    Stephanie joins the district as a home school coordinator. Born and raised in Salamanca, she attended Jamestown Community College and Empire State College for early childhood education.

    She taught preschool for many years at Seneca Arts and Learning Center. Stephanie was inspired to teach by positive role models in her youth, most notably her second-grade teacher Cindy Mohr.

    Asked what she would like to experience at SCCSD, Stephanie said: “I would love to see our community come together to bring back the sense of the Warrior pride that once embraced our community.”

    In her free time, Stephanie enjoys listening to music, dancing, singing, gardening, traveling, outdoor adventures, and spending time with her family.

    McKenzie Whitmore

    McKenzie joins the Seneca Intermediate staff as a special education teacher. The Salamanca native studied childhood inclusive education at SUNY Fredonia.

    “The most memorable thing that happened for me was during my senior year of high school when I job shadowed Lisa Gunning in her kindergarten classroom,” she said. “Having that experience really showed me that I wanted to go into this career field.”

    McKenzie enjoys walking and spending time with friends and family.

    Comments (0)
  • Check Out The September Powwow Newsletter

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 9/11/2019 12:00:00 PM

    September Powwow newsletter cover Our September edition of The Powwow newsletter will be mailed out soon to Salamanca residents.

    The monthly issue cover all things Salamanca City Central School District includes:

    • Back to school pictures
    • An update on construction work on all campuses
    • Photos and information about new teachers and staff
    • How are teachers and students stayed busy over the summer
    • And more

    Before the newsletter hits your mailbox, download it here or by clicking the cover photo.

    Comments (0)
  • Little Warriors Bus Safety Program Started At Prospect

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 9/10/2019 12:05:00 PM

    Little Warriors Logo The Salamanca City School District Transportation Department is excited to announce that the safety committee has designed a positive safety program just for Prospect Elementary students. Little Warriors’ Ride with Pride will begin this school year.

    How does it work?

    Every week, students who ride the bus to and from school can help their bus earn a badge if they follow all safety rules. If the school bus receives a badge each week, the bus will go in a drawing for school bus of the month.

    Students riding the bus of the month will receive a bag of goodies. The bus driver and monitors on the bus will receive a coffee mug with their name and a logo saying “Bus of the Month”.

    The students will be able to see on Friday mornings how many badges they have earned for each week. Officer Steve, Prospect SRO, will post the badges on a board for display.

    This program does not replace the Warrior Ride with Pride program that the transportation department put in place late spring. That program is still active for all district students and focuses on individual students that go above and beyond with safety on the bus.

    Comments (0)
  • College Financial Aid Workshop Set for September 10 at LGI

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 9/9/2019 8:00:00 AM

    financial aid workshop Salamanca High School is hosting a Financing Your Education Workshop at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 in the LGI for parent/guardians and their students who are interested in pursuing college after graduation.

    The workshop features a presentation from the New York State Department of Financial Services, question-and-answer session, and helpful brochures for the following subjects:

    • Scholarships
    • Loans
    • How much aid you qualify for

    Students and parents/guardians will receive help filling out the FASFA and learn about available grants and helpful state programs.


    The student support center will also host College Apps & Snacks at 3 p.m. September 18 for students needing help with their college applications. Of course, snacks will be available for participants.

    Comments (0)
  • State Health Advisory: Use of vape products causing ‘severe’ health threats

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 9/6/2019 8:50:00 AM

    no vaping sign Cases of severe pulmonary disease have been reported in New York State (NYS) among patients who reported recent use of vape products. Cases have been reported from various areas of NYS, including the Capital District, downstate, and western region. Patients have ranged in age from 18-49 years old.

    Detailed information about the reported vape products used is still being investigated, including the name and type of products as well as where they were obtained and the method of delivery and use. However, many cases have reported the use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing vape products, as well as other vaping products, in recent weeks and months.

    Similar cases of severe pulmonary disease associated with vape product use have been reported in several other states, and NYS is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate. While no deaths have been reported to date, some patients have had progressive respiratory compromise requiring major medical attention.


    Cases have reported various symptoms upon presentation, including:

    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea
    • Cough
    • Pleuritic chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fever
    • Diarrhea
    • Anorexia
    • Weight loss

    Symptom onset has ranged from days to weeks, and all cases have consistently reported regular use of various vape products. All reported NYS cases have required hospitalization, however patients may show less severe symptoms in outpatient and emergency department settings.


    There is no specific treatment for patients with symptoms and findings consistent with vaping-associated pulmonary disease and in which other likely causes of illness have been ruled out. Treatment is supportive. Some patients have had progressive respiratory compromise requiring supportive care including endotracheal intubation and systemic steroids. Other cases have self-resolved with close clinical monitoring and minimal supportive care over several days.

    Did you know?

    The New York State smoking rate among youth is at a record low (4.3%), but their e-cigarette use doubled between 2014 and 2016 (from 10.5% to 20.6%).

    The New York State Department of Health reported that youth and young adults are the primary users of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. High school students use e-cigarettes at rates five times higher than adults over age 25. Youth and young adults say their reasons for trying and using e-cigarettes are flavor and taste, curiosity and the belief that they are less harmful than other tobacco products.

    What are e-cigarettes?

    Electronic cigarettes and similar vapor products are tobacco products. Most contain a battery that heats a flavored liquid, usually containing nicotine, into an aerosol users inhale. The liquid is often called e-liquid or e-juice.

    Some other names for electronic cigarettes are:

    • e-cigarettes, e-smokes, e-cigs and cigalikes;
    • vapes, personal vaporizers (PVs) and advanced personal vaporizers (APVs);
    • mods, pod mods, pod vape devices, vape mods and box mods;
    • wop machines;
    • pens and vape pens; and
    • electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

    Visit the New York State Health Department's e-cigarette and vaping resources page for more information.

    Comments (0)
  • Stay Up to Date on Warriors Sports this Fall

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 8/27/2019 8:05:00 AM

    The fall sports season gets underway for Salamanca Warriors teams this week.

    The varsity girls’ volleyball team hosts Dunkirk at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, and the girls’ varsity soccer team welcomes Franklinville, Falconer, and Bolivar-Richburg for the Andrea Morton Memorial Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

    Stay up to date with Salamanca athletics all year long by visiting our live schedules page. The page gives users access to team schedules and monthly schedules for all events. You can also register with the site to follow teams and receive notifications.

    For more information on our athletics teams, visit our sports page.

    Comments (0)
  • Find Out More About PowerSchool At Welcome Picnics

    Posted by Vincent Pezzimenti on 8/22/2019 9:05:00 AM

    PowerSchool Logo Before the welcome back picnic kicks off for high school and Seneca Intermediate students on August 28, stop by our PowerSchool Parent Portal training.

    Trainings will be open to parents and guardians from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the high school library. The welcome picnic begins at 5:30 p.m.

    The training is geared toward high school and Seneca Intermediate parents and guardians who need help accessing or using the Parent Portal.

    Those who come to the training will be given a ticket for a food item from Lloyd’s Taco Food Truck to redeem during the picnic.

    PowerSchool gives parents and guardians online access to available information about your student’s attendance, schedules, assignments, grades, and teacher and school communication.

    Visit www.SalamancaNY.org/powerschool to log in or register for an account. Instructions on creating parent portal access and connecting a student to your account are included on the page. You can also complete annual student registration using PowerSchool.

    If you do not have a computer or internet access at home, you may access PowerSchool at school or the public library.

    Comments (0)