There aren't that many opportunities for transformative change in a community like Syracuse. It's an aging northeast city which has lost population, manufacturing and some of its position in the national conversation. Tomorrow begins a fresh time of opportunity when the Syracuse School District signs a new superintendent run the schools. Sharon Contreras was one of the top two choices of a consultant and Say Yes to education. She comes from the Providence, Rhode Island district. She signs tomorrow and starts on July 1st when Dan Lowengard retires.
Tonight on our nightly Talk@10 segment on CW6 Michael Benny and I drafted a note to leave on the desk of the new superintendent just to get her started in the right direction in her effort to give children a better education in Syracuse. It's critical to our greater Central New York community that the neediest students in the city and the sharpest students all come through the school system ready for life.
You can see the actual note in the picture that goes with this blog. The note is type written with a few handwritten touches with a bit of a grafitti effect. Here at the points that were carefully jotted down in a period of less than one minute.
1. Fulfill the promise of Central Tech. (Steve Jones started this project a few superintendents ago)
2. Never say Swing Space again, renovate. ( it's time to get the construction moving to renovate the schools in greatest need)
3. Expand Hillside Work Scholarship. (which has a track record that proves 24/7 mentoring makes a difference for needy students)
4. Dream big and support Say Yes. (take full advantage of every promise made by this program designed to prepare kids for college from the early years and pays to go)
5. Convince City Hall you know more than them about running a school system.
It's just a start, but at least Ms. Contreras will have a foundation on which to build. Good luck to her.
Any questions or comment please forward them to mattsmemo@CNYcentral.com . I may even use some of your thoughts on NBC 3 News at 5:00, the 10:00 News on CW6 or on CNYcentral.com.
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