By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star
---- — Several innovative programs from Delhi Central School will be presented at an upcoming convention of the New York State School Boards Association.
Delhi is one of 15 schools that will have booths at the three-day event, Oct. 25-27, several of those involved said Wednesday. It will be held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
“It’s an honor to be able to showcase all these great things” taking place at Delhi, Superintendent Jason Thomson said. While teachers man the booth, Thomson and two board members will avail themselves of the professional development the convention has to offer.
Districts submitted applications to have a booth, high school science teacher Mark Kline said, and “we made the cut.”
He will be displaying the programs, along with agriculture teacher Michael Cipperly and food service director Christine Miller. Also on the creative team getting the booth ready are high school biology teacher Kathryn Davino, Thomson, technology director Luke Potrzeba and elementary teacher Jill Coleman. Most of the group talked about the preparations Wednesday at the school.
The exhibit titled “Cultivating Real-World Connections in Science and Technology” will highlight programs that include the school garden, the maple sugar facility and alternative energy class.
The garden is used in a high school science elective, but affects students at all levels, Miller said, by providing fresh produce for school lunches. In the kindergarten A-Z Foods Program, Miller uses a variety of fruit and vegetables, some from the garden, to reinforce the letter of the week.
The alternative energy program, taught by Kline, is a high school elective. Students investigate traditional energy sources and alternatives; this included following the public hearings on hydrofracking and becoming aware of the political process, Kline said. At the end of the year, students go to SUNY Delhi, where Professor James Ellis gives them hands-on experience working with photovoltaic cells.
Also in the booth will be information about an agricultural science program that features making and selling maple syrup and related products, taught by Cipperly. It began in 2002 and in 2009 students started building a maple sugar house. Thanks to a legislative grant secured by Sen. John Bonacic, students will be installing photovoltaic cells and a reverse osmosis machine to the building located near the school. This will not only make the process more energy efficient, but it will give students hands-on experience on using technology, he said.
These programs provide students with “21st century skills,” Thomson said. They are the result of teachers and staff who care and “always challenging themselves. I have great, great people. It’s hard not to get excited.”