Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November 5, 2019

Good afternoon,

We certainly had some wild weather on Halloween which caused our first weather-related delay for this school year. Let me express my gratitude to our Town Supervisors not only for their work but with communicating the conditions of the roads. Spreading out over 144 square miles, we depend on the supervisors for their expertise. Moving water has tremendous power and we are fortunate to have most of our roads accessible. We post our delays and closings on Channels 3, 5, 9, Syracuse.com, News 10 Now, and Channel 34 in Binghamton. I will post to my twitter feed which is viewable on our homepage and Mrs. Rice also places a notice on our webpage. Local radio stations include WXHC, WNBF, WCHN, and Cayuga Radio Group that post our weather-related information. Of course, we will continue to use School Messenger for email, text, and phone calls for all weather-related announcements.

As we seek guidance from our local town supervisors, we also seek guidance from our community when we are able. Here is your chance! Our current Strategic Plan that was created for Cincinnatus Central School District in 2012 has run its course and we have a great opportunity to design a new action plan for our staff and students. We will be convening a Strategic Planning Committee including teachers, support staff, administrators, community members, and students and we would like to hear from you. If you would like to provide feedback on our electronic survey, please visit our website at www.cc.cnyric.org. You will find the survey by clicking on ‘District’ in the header bar and the link is called ‘Strategic Planning Survey’, located in the bottom of the center column. You may also link directly to the survey by clicking on the Strategic Planning Survey link above.

It is important that an organization takes stock in how they provide their services. In our business of education, we provide service to each member of our staff, to each student as well as to parents and caregivers.

We appreciate the continued support for our students and staff.


Todd M. Freeman

Thursday, October 24, 2019

We are starting something new this school year with the Principals and the Superintendent writing a blog post each week. This week is my week, and I must admit that I am not quite sure what to put into a blog post - I have never done one before. I have read some blogs recently, and one person, George Couros, talks about how difficult it was for him to start blogging, but once he decided to just tell his story, things began to emerge. So, hopefully, through this first blog post, I can begin to tell my story, and likewise, things will hopefully emerge.

On the business side of things, we have a high school dance coming up on Thursday October 24, 2019 from 7-10pm. The dance is Halloween-themed, and students are encouraged to dress up in a school-appropriate costume. We are in the process of securing chaperones. As of this writing, I have three out of the four that we need. There will be “jobs” assigned to each chaperone, walkie-talkie radios to be used for communication, as well as cell phone communication, and the doors will be locked promptly at 7:30 pm in our efforts to make our dances a bit more safe and secure.

Friday October 25, is a full day Superintendent’s Conference Day. The Secondary School will be doing PLC team meetings and a Positivity Project overview/intro in the morning, and will be spending the afternoon with Jeanne Elmer from OCM BOCES discussing childhood trauma and its effects on student learning. I am looking forward to a great day of learning.

On a personal side, I want to start sharing my story. I did not go into education right out of high school. I was going to be an FBI agent, and planned on majoring in criminal justice at Mansfield University, PA. I had an opportunity in the spring semester of my senior year of high school to shadow an FBI agent from the Syracuse office. Through that experience, I was persuaded to major in engineering because criminal justice is too general for the FBI and they need people with specialties. So, I changed my major the first day of college to engineering.

Engineering was tough for me. I did well in the sciences in math in high school, but I had to take calculus and computer programming, and physics (calculus-based in college). I was not successful in calculus despite going to office hours each week, working with a tutor, and doing extra problems to try to figure it out. Subsequently, I did poorly in physics, too. I was involved in some music performance ensembles, so in the spring semester of my freshman year, I auditioned for the music department to be a music education major. I was accepted, and never turned back after that. I did have to go an extra semester to complete the degree because of the change of majors, but I don’t regret the extra time.

I will expand more on this story in another post. But I want to end by saying this: We don’t have to have everything figured out before we graduate high school. It is OK to explore various avenues in life. What is important is to find out what we are gifted at and are passionate about, and then pursue those things. I was not encouraged to pursue music as a major while I was in high school because the “powers that be” didn’t see it as a viable career choice. So, I succumbed to the influences in my life at that time, and pursued something I wasn’t passionate about. It took me a whole year to get back around to what I was passionate about (teaching kids music).

Help me help our students find what they are passionate about, and guide them in the pursuit of their passions. That is where the truly gratifying work lies.

Mr. Phetteplace

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Welcome to the

Cincinnatus Central School Blog

Visit Our School Website Here

Happy October! As I write this very first blog, the sun is high, the sky is blue and the leaves are approaching peak color. Quite frankly, it’s gorgeous and I encourage you all to get outside as much as possible.

For the remainder of the 2019 - 2020 school year, the school principals and I will be writing a blog in order to communicate with our school as well as our greater community. This will also be a resource for us to share what is happening at school currently and not have to wait for our print version of The Lion’s Roar. These blogs will be archived on our website for your reference.

We prepare the calendar that we mail home to all Cincinnatus Central School District residents in July in order for them to be printed and mailed prior to the start of a new school year. From that time in the summer until now, changes get made and we do have times and dates that are incorrect. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the beast when putting events in print. The answer, however, is on our school website. Please check the calendar on the homepage of the website at www.cc.cnyric.org for the most accurate dates and start times of our events. Several staff members have access to this calendar and this is updated daily. As our revamped website was upgraded in August, we are continuing to add new features to enhance the website as a communication tool. This will remain a work in progress throughout this year. I will highlight these changes in future blogs.

As of this blog post, we are now posting both elementary and secondary announcements on the website. Each morning Mrs. DeLarm and Mrs. Tomlinson post their respective announcements onto the ‘Announcements’ under District --- Quick Links. Please refer to them daily for your reference.

Each morning I drive to Cincinnatus from my home in East Syracuse to Pompey. From there, I vary my drive from day to day by using two different routes. One way I take to work includes driving rough roads between Pompey and Labrador Hollow Road, bringing me to Truxton, and down Cheningo Road and Taylor Valley Road. My family spent a great deal of time at our aunt and uncle’s farm in Truxton until the early 1990’s and I have fond memories of my time spent mowing, working in the garden, and exploring around the aging farm. Most common for me, however, is to drive through Fabius and take West Keeney Road to Cuyler and then south on State Route 12 into Pitcher and then Cincinnatus Road to school. This is my most favorite route because it takes me past the birthplace of my mother, born in a tenant house where my grandfather worked. When I was a child, my dad would honk at the house as we drove past, which was his way of honoring what he termed as a “National Landmark.” It is now an empty lot as the house burned down many years ago.

My point in sharing this has nothing to do with geography but exemplifies two greater purposes. The first is that everyone has a story and the early beginnings of my story involve a family farm. So many residents in Cincy can trace their roots to agriculture and I have great respect and admiration for the families that continue to work the land. This is one major reason I applied for this position. The second reason I shared a part of my story is that either way I drive to work, I feel connected to some family memory each morning; it is a great way to start my day.

Our most successful students feel a connection to many things such as school, their community, or to their friends and family. Within school, it is our job, as professional educators, to assist in creating those connections through athletics, clubs, curriculum, or even all of them to help students become a better version of themselves.

Have a great week!

Mr. Freeman