Notes from the superintendent the quality triangle

In swimming, we had "bookend" winners. I couldn’t ask for a better role model in senior Maddy Zapisek. She is quietly ferocious and has done things the right way throughout her swim and school career. She won Section III titles in the 200 free and the 500 free, and was awarded the Swimmer of the Meet and won the 200 free and 500 free while setting the school record in 500 at yesterday’s NYS Qualifiers. She qualified for the NYS Championship in both the 200 and 500.

The Quality Triangle: Last week I wrote about the Marching Band finishing in fourth place. I was challenged by some (and believe me, I enjoy the feedback because it means people are reading this) as if I didn’t care that we finished in a position that we aren’t used to at West Genesee.

Hardly. I was up until 3:00 a.m. after the "Dome" show, deciding what was going to come next. I care deeply about our community, our students and our staff, and the Marching Band is a part of our fabric.

Just like the football example above, one of the things that I do is take a step back and see how what we do impacts opportunities for our students’ long-term. We have a 50-year history of success in Marching Band. When we take a little dip, we can "survive" it to a point, just due to our past success. That is not acceptable to me because that’s not how I work. Adapt and overcome. I hold myself accountable every day for everything, and that makes its way into what we do at school. I just don’t yell and pound my fists to deliver accountability like you see on television shows. I use the quality triangle, and you can too in your personal and work lives.

Take out a piece of paper. Draw a triangle. Label the bottom, "Quality", label one side, "Resources" and label the other side "Time". Here is how it works to achieve accountability and how to make the conversations and decisions professional and non-blood pressure raising, and without emotion:

Think of a home. You want to renovate the kitchen. You want it to be a quality job, but money is not falling off of trees in the yard. You find a reputable contractor, and they can do a quality job, but with lower resources from you, it is going to take a while. They will renovate when they have time and maybe even with materials left over from other jobs in order to keep your costs down.

My job involves the management of dozens of these triangles simultaneously. In the Marching Band example, we all want to live up to our reputation of quality, and we want that to happen tomorrow. It will, I guarantee it. The conversations will revolve around the resources. Personnel, ideas, strategy, and preparation are some of the examples of resources. When I am satisfied that we have the correct resources in place, the program will be stamped as "held accountable", and I will make the necessary decisions or approvals, and we will move on. No fanfare. No yelling. No fist pounding. The quality triangle has been around for decades and it works. So in short, yes, I care.

Veterans Day: My next blog won’t come out until after Veterans Day. As you go to vote tomorrow in very contentious mid-term elections, don’t forget about the men and women who have provided us the opportunity to argue our political views; and to be able to vote. Our Veterans carry with them the sights, sounds, smells, and memories of unthinkable things they had to endure in order to secure our freedom. Check in on a Veteran, thank a Veteran, support a Veteran. Repeat.

Just a reminder that this Tuesday, November 6, is a half-day for students. They will attend in the morning and the dismissal times for the buildings will be as follows: WGHS: 9:55 a.m.; CMS/WGMS: 10:10 a.m.; and All Elementary Buildings: 11:30 a.m.