In The Spotlight

Weekly highlights inside S-VE!




1/31/18 - Elementary and High School Opportunities

At the Elementary School: 4th grade students worked on poetry for over a month during an ELA unit. They read poems by established poets such as Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman and Sherman Alexie and wrote original poems patterned on these. This week, the elementary school hosted a Poetry Night for families where students individually presented their readings for an audience in the music room. An interactive experience was held in the cafeteria, where families searched posters with excerpts from the studied poems and a bound booklet of student poems to connect famous poems to original pieces. Great job 4th grade team and students! 

At the High School: Thanks to Robin Ott and Ms. McKinery, Mr. McIntosh was able to take a group of high school students to Ithaca College to see the graphic design/game design curriculum.  Each student got a chance to use the virtual world game designing equipment, see 3-d printers in action, and received an extra guided tour of the College television studio thanks to Mr. Peter Johanns, one of our Board members.


1/24/18 - Our Volunteers

A volunteer appreciation event will take place in March. We will honor our volunteers and staff that have worked with the volunteers in the 2017-18 school year.


1/19/18 - Discovering Musical Talent

Kay Brown and Elementary crew performed a wonderful musical “The Share Bears” on Wednesday night for parents, families and the community.. Our Middle School and High School Music teachers are preparing students for All County Band and Chorus auditions. Our High School staff is working with students on the musical “The Sound of Music”, coming in March! Great job music department!!!


12/27/17 - Excellence

Spencer-Van Etten Central School District has been named to the 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll for expanding opportunity and improving performance for Advanced Placement students.


12/20/17 - Giving Back to Our Community

Elementary students and staff recently collected over 1,000 non-perishable items for the S-VE Food Cupboard! Great job to all who participated in this donation!


12/13/17 - Establishing Connections

The entire middle school population is divided into 16 field day teams. Teams get together once a month, all year long, to establish student connections that span across grade levels. Teams establish relationships student-student, student-teacher and building-community. Events are always geared for full team participation and help to build a sense of community, school spirit and community service. This week, teams participated in a snow themed Breakout activity to promote teamwork, inspire each other and create a feeling of success. Students had an opportunity to work with peers and teachers as a team to solve the puzzles. Inside the Breakout Box was a candy cane for each member and a recipe for making artificial snow. All 16 teams successfully saved S-VE’s winter vacation!


12/6/17 - Appreciating our Senior Citizens

High School Student Council and SVETA partnered to appreciate the Senior Citizens in our community with a holiday dinner. Jerry Carr and our cafeteria staff catered the event, which typically feeds between 150-200 people. High school, middle school and elementary school students served the delicious meal and mingled with the guests, achieving a family dinner experience. Great job to all involved.


11/29/17 - Every Day Heroes

Britany Elsey applied for a scholarship through the local rotary to sponsor 6 high school students to attend a leadership conference at the Heart of New York Teen Institute. This conference emphasized leadership development, enhanced self-esteem and group interaction skills focusing on alcohol, drug and high-risk behavior awareness and prevention. This experience was life changing for these 6 students, as they laughed, cried and connected to the theme of “Every Day Heroes” at the conference. These students look forward to sharing their action plan and ideas with the school and community.


11/15/17 - Professional Excellence

As a retired S-VE Middle School Nurse, Gail continues to serve as the Health and Wellness Coordinator for S-VE. Additionally, as recent President-Elect of the New York State Association of School Nurses, Gail will be a vital member of the Executive Committee and will represent the organization among national nursing leaders and state educational leaders. She will have the most up-to-date information to share with our school nurses on the best practices of school nursing and how to enhance the educational successes of S-VE students through quality health services. 


11/8/17 - Expanding Student Opportunities

- Middle school students, ages 11-13, had the opportunity to participate in the Spencer-Candor Lions Club Peace Poster Contest under the direction of Nicole McCarthy. Jacie Tompkins’ painting won the school contest, which was then brought to the 20-E2 District Fall Conference by Lions Club members. Jacie’s painting won at the District Level and will now be brought to New York City to be judged at the Multi-District/State Level!  
- 20 high school students participated in a video conference workshop called “Word, Sound, Power: Poetry of Resistance” on Monday with a presenter from the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This interactive opportunity was available to students with the help of Rene Carver and Rebecca Paasch.
- 4 high school students went last Sunday with Mr. McIntosh to take part in the National Art Portfolio review at RTI in Rochester. The students were able to speak with their choice of 85 different art colleges that attend this annual event.


11/1/17 - Freedom to be Artistic

99 middle school students participated in a Pumpkin Contest directed by Nicole McCarthy. The pumpkins were donated from the Sayre Wal-Mart with the request submitted by Eric Knolles. Students worked either individually or with a partner to design their pumpkin for one of the two categories: decorating (adding materials to cover the pumpkin) or painting. In some cases, quality family time was achieved as parents, siblings and other family members assisted the students with the project. School Board Members and the Administration voted on the pumpkins to declare 1st – 3rd place in both categories.


10/25/17 - Helping our Students Make Good Choices

Student Council, SADD and the Leadership Group sponsored Red Ribbon Week at the High School to promote drug awareness and to encourage a drug free life. This afternoon high school students filled a silent auditorium as they listened to a panel of speakers from NOPE Task Force, which included a police officer who struggled to get through the emotional stories of teens losing their lives because of drugs. The message clearly delivered that trying drugs “just ONE TIME could kill you”. Students and staff emotionally reflected on the presentation in their advisory classes following the assembly. “Be the Hero… Tell Someone”


10/18/17 - Encouraging Students to be Role Models

Our staff has been creating opportunities for older students to set an example for younger ones. These opportunities are taking place in all three schools, such as PAWS Leadership Team in the middle school, Senior High Student Council working with Middle School Student Council and 4th grade Caring Council students working with 3 year olds in Early Pre-K.


10/11/17 - Recognizing S-VE Graduates that make us proud!

S-VE 2005 Graduate Adam Whitmarsh was one of many off-duty troopers at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas on October 1st. Please click the news link below to view his story of how he jumped into action that night.


9/27/17 - Sustaining our Composting Initiative

As a tribute to Mitch Youngling, who assisted Rick Rogers for the past few years with our composting initiative, Dr. Morgan joined the crew this morning to learn the final composting process, as well as provide hands-on assistance!

The process: The crew picked up the bins from the Elementary and Middle Schools and emptied them into the tractor bucket, 4 bins at a time. Dr. Morgan drove the tractor to the field to dump the compost while Rick and Deb washed the bins so they can be returned to the school. Attached are extra photos. Together We Achieve… Sustaining our Compost Initiative! 


9/20/17 - Supporting our Students

Our students truly appreciate each of you who have taken time out of your schedule to attend a sporting event this school year. It makes a difference to our students when they look at the sideline and see their principal, teachers and bus driver (come back after the bus run) cheering them on! Together We Achieve… supporting our students in all that they do! 


9/13/17 - Roll Out of 1:1 Devices

As part of our strategic plan, last year our 4th graders were assigned 1:1 iPads with the goal of a paperless classroom. This year, Darla, Alonzo and James have begun the process of rolling out 1:1 iPads to the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. This week, 9th grade students were each assigned their 1:1 laptop/tablet are now ready for instruction! The district goal is for all grade levels to eventually implement a paperless classroom through use of a 1:1 device.  


9/6/17 - Pride in our Buildings and Grounds

The 2017-18 School Year is off to a great start! As we all drove to work this morning and entered each building, we felt an overwhelming sense of Panther Pride. The hard work of our custodial staff this summer beams in every direction as you look around our buildings and grounds. Thank you for giving 100% this summer. Our staff, students, parents, community and visitors appreciate you!



6/7/17 - Senior Walk

The hallways at the Elementary and Middle Schools were lined with students yesterday, as the Class of 2017 proudly walked through wearing their caps and gowns. The seniors walked with their Kindergarten reading buddies through the Elementary School, reading signs of congratulations, seeing tears from teachers they’ve had and hearing claps from all. At the Middle School, the seniors received high-fives from students and staff, a loud applause and emotional embraces.
The Senior Walk Through celebrates the hard work and successes of the Class of 2017, as well as creates a lasting impression on the younger students.  

5/31/17 - Job Fair

Robin Ott from Career Development Council, along with High School Principal Missy Jewell and High School Student Council Rep Erika Brown, created a new event this year for Juniors and Seniors to practice resume building and interviewing skills with the intention of future employment! The Job Fair, held today in the high school gym, consisted of 22 various businesses, where they interviewed students seeking full-time and part-time employment to fill available positions.
S-VE continues to help students transition toward their future!


5/24/17 - RtI MS Project

Our SVE Middle School was chosen by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Instructional Support as one of ten middle schools in the state of New York to participate in the Middle School RtI Demonstration Project.  The purpose of the RtI Middle School Demonstration Project is to provide school specific support to New York State (NYS) public middle schools (Grades 5-8) that are interested in developing or refining a data-driven prevention/intervention framework aimed at improving instruction for all students.  
 The SVEMS RtI team has been working hard this year to revamp and lift a new way to approach RtI instruction. Jack Wiiki brought an opportunity to the team when he received information about the project through an email in in January.  The team applied for the project, went through an interview process and was officially accepted to the project last week.  The RtI MS Project is a three year process in which an RtI program will be created and implemented to meet the individual needs of ALL students. Members of the SVEMS RtI team specialize in academics and/or behavior.  The members on one or both teams are: Eric Knolles, Christina Lampila, Angie Holmes, Pam Brock, Brenda Anderson, Katherine Richards, Korie Fitzgerald, Enock Francois, Nicole Delaney, Stefanie Smith, Thomas Anderson, Lara Rogan, Dan Craven, Jack Wiiki, Larry Bleck, Kelly Cooke, Bret McDermott, James Carmony, Stephanie Panfel and Emily Cron. 


5/17/17 - Hooked

After a close encounter with a fishing hook, Lloyd Twarz, Transportation Mechanic, went above and beyond, taking time to reline and return the fishing pole to the middle school student. Lloyd also brought the student lures that can be easily removed to ensure safely when not in use. Capturing the good stuff!


5/10/17 - Franziska Racker Centers Community Partner Award

The Spencer-Van Etten Central School District was the recipient of the Franziska Racker Centers Community Partner Award for 2017! On May 4th, Christina Lampila (Director of Instructional Support), Matt Stroup (S-VE Elementary School Principal), Sally Lawrence (Franziska Racker Center Preschool Teacher) and Connie Sczepanski (S-VE Pre-K Teacher) were honored for their dedication and commitment to the mission and vision of Racker Centers in Tioga County at the Tioga Community Celebration. Great job S-VE!


5/3/17 - Sign Language Enrichment

Second grade teacher, Mrs. Marie Mack, has been teaching sign language to her students for enrichment. She began with teaching the students some background information about the deaf community and they listened to some recordings of how it is to be hearing impaired or deaf.  Marie’s students can now hold a conversation using entirely sign language! Pictured you can see the partnered students engaged in conversation with the prepared dialog on the board (including choices for answers to the questions). What a great life skill! Wonderful job, Marie and class!


4/26/17 - Diversity, the Power of Words and Valuing Others

Enock Francois (middle school teacher) and David Campbell (middle school physical education teacher) captured the attention of high school students last week as they presented during a whole school assembly on Diversity, the Power of Words and Valuing Others.

Three key quotes from their presentation were:
“The words you speak could destroy someone.”
“When you understand how your words affect people, you learn to choose your words wisely.”
“We have the power to change somebody’s life.”


4/19/17 - College and Career Awareness

March was filled with college and career awareness initiatives at the Middle and High Schools. Middle school students enjoyed a month of March Madness activities, as well as participated in a career day and the unique 6th grade Cornell University Acceptance Day. Meanwhile, the high school expanded their career day experience by adding college visits! Some students visited Binghamton University, Elmira College and Cornell University. Other students attended career mini-sessions, led by previous S-VE graduates, and then chose a business to visit, such as Wegmans, McGuire and Tioga Downs, for exposure to career opportunities. Great job to all who put the pieces together for our students!


4/5/17 - Terracycle

Middle School teacher, Brenda Anderson, and her helpers have been turning trash into treasures through Terracycle initiatives for just under 10 years! Collection of items such as drink pouches, chip bags, granola bar wrappers and cereal bags have turned into cash! Profits have financially benefited the middle school by sponsoring speakers, supporting educational "green" projects and purchasing prizes for Green Week, to name a few. The current cumulative total raised is $6,138.72 through Terracycle! Amazing!


3/29/17 - Elementary WIN

WIN stands for Whatever I Need (elementary version of RTI)
WIN encompasses: math, ELA, social skills, speech and enrichment
Students work in small flexible groups (students can move in and out as needed)
The most exciting change is that we have grade level data meetings 3X year where we discuss EVERY student (K-4)
 - At these meetings we discuss every aspect of the students, not just academics
 - Meeting members include: WIN team (math and ELA RTI providers,  Speech-Language Pathologists, Counselor and School Psychologist), grade level teachers, special ed. teachers and school principal
 - These meetings ensure that NO student "slips through the cracks"


3/22/17 - Speak Volumes through Color

High School students “Speak Volumes through Color ” in the 6th period Art Class thanks to an approved grant from Inspire, written by high school staff Erika Brown. Students received step-by-step instruction, by student teacher Blaithe Donovan, to create their own canvas painting over food and drinks. Students were actively engaged, stepped out of their comfort zones and encouraged each other through the process. Students ended class feeling proud of their work, eager to share the experience with others and valued as an adult.


3/15/17 - Calming Corner

Elementary school counselor Kristen Cooke works diligently with students to assist them through many aspects of their daily school and home lives. Working on their social/emotional well-beings is an integral part to her individual, small, and large group counseling sessions. She leads the kids through deep breathing techniques, trains them to use positive self talk, and helps them take a "walk in someone else's shoes" in mock social situations. After reading "This is Your Student's Brain on Trauma" in a recent NEA magazine issue, Kristen assisted a teacher in the elementary school to create a "calming corner." Students who are feeling overwhelmed, emotional, angry, or who just need a break, can use the calming corner to be alone, rub sensory items like ribbons, squeeze stress balls, and rest on or squeeze a large pillow. A timer in the calming corner helps the kids return to class after five minutes, ready to try again! Having a quiet spot in the classroom where students can still hear and see instruction but also take a break and practice their coping skills helps students have less melt downs, less trips to the planning room for "eruptions," and feel like they have a positive, safe place to learn and grow.


3/8/17 - Quest for Syrup

The Middle School Quest class led by Mr. David Campbell and Mrs. Lara Rogan combined their talents with Mrs. Anni Ryan and Mrs. Brenda Anderson to tap some sugar maple trees in the school yard in an attempt to make maple syrup. The group was able to get 15 gallons of sap in two days and boil it down into 12 ounces of maple syrup. The syrup will be on display at the middle school science fair tonight, March 8, 2017, at 6pm!


3/1/17 - Personal Finance

Mrs. Renay Meissner’s ACE Personal Finance class at the High School has been participating in the H&R Block Budget Challenge since February 9th, which will end on April 20th. As stated in the challenge, “Each student gets a regular paycheck, a checking account, a 401(k) savings account and bills to pay throughout the simulation.” Through this challenge, students become “Read-World Ready and tackle financial life as an adult”. At the end of the challenge, the top 5 students with the highest overall Read-World Ready scores receive a $20,000 scholarship! Currently, there are 53, 595 players in this challenge. As of today, Kassidy Egan is ranked 20th, having earning herself the 15th spot a few days ago. Other students are close behind in the 32nd range! To read more about this opportunity, go to!


2/22/17 - Transportation Department

Every employee at S-VE plays a significant part in our student’s journey through our district. The majority of our students begin and end their day with our transportation staff. Bob Kinsman has been an asset to the transportation department, as he greets students, staff and coworkers with a smile before genuinely asking about their day. All of the students on Bob’s bus route are Bob’s “kids”. Additionally, Bob has driven many athletic busses to away competitions and then watched the games as he waits to bring them home. On occasion, Bob has been known to treat a team with pizza after a game. Bob’s connection with the athletes and coaches is unique. You can ask anyone about Bob and they will have a story about a positive interaction with Bob. In the staff room at the bus garage, Bob always socializes with everyone and is willing to help with whatever is needed. Aside from driving bus, Bob has gotten permission from parents of some kids on his route, allowing Bob to take the kids to the golf course/driving range, where he taught them how to golf! Bob genuinely cares about the wellbeing of our students.


2/15/17 - Agriculture Program

S-VE is making its mark on the map through our Ag program with Kaylie Ackerley! The agricultural education program at the high school strives to expose students to leadership skills, agricultural careers and opportunities through classroom instruction, FFA, and supervised agricultural experiences. Our Ag students are learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, and living to serve through this program! If you can’t stop in to see what is going on in Kaylie’s classroom, check out the Ag page on our website!


2/8/17 - Encouraging Growth

At our middle school, Angie Holmes and Dan Craven have implemented a recognition system for students who are showing great growth, yet fall short of the grade point average required to be named an honor roll, high honor roll or scholar student. Angie and Dan acquire a list of names based on staff recommendations. Once a month, one boy and one girl from each grade level are surprised, recognized, and rewarded for their academic growth, attitude and effort. During lunch time, Angie and Dan dress-up as Ketchup and Mustard and walk through a packed cafeteria looking for the students on their list. Once found, the students are publically acknowledged for being “On a Roll” including an explanation of why they were nominated and given a coupon for the Snack Shack at the middle school. Awesome way to increase growth!


2/1/17 - Increasing Technology

As our district continues to move forward to increase technology, it is evident that Darla Thomas, our BOCES Technology Director, goes above and beyong to ensure that all technology needs are being met. While daily needs are being addressed, Darla effeciently works with her team to reach district tech goals. If you stop by Darla's office, you're bound to see boxes of equipment needing to be opened, programmed, delivered or installed. You may search for Darla amongst the paperwork or you may find an empty chair because she is attending one of many meetings or problem solving in classrooms. As our technology increases, so does the responsibility for Darla and her team. Lastly, you are always greeted with a smile and her willingness to help you. Great job Darla!


1/25/17 - Pen Pals in Malaysia

Jeannette Luther, middle school teacher, worked in classrooms in Malaysia this past summer and bridged her current sixth grade students with 5th graders at Dalat International School as pen pals. Jeannette’s students been sending the students in Malaysia hand-written letters through the mail half way across the globe. Last week her class opened their second package from Malaysia, where each student received a letter and/or a gift. The experience was also recorded so they could share their excitement with the students in Malaysia. With the help of Mrs. Farmer, students also created infographics about themselves and emailed the projects to their pen pals.


1/18/17 - Our Cafeteria

As much as our district has been in disarray since the beginning of summer due to Capital Improvements, our cafeteria staff has been very flexible and successful in feeding our students healthy meals in difficult circumstances. As of the new year, the district kitchen has been operational at the high school! Attached are two pictures of the new serving area, including the hot lunch and self-service line, as well as the salad bar. Stop in to see if for yourself!


1/11/17 - Panther Media

Through the hard work and planning of Jack Wiiki, Sandy Holmes, William Dove and the administrative team, our district received $19,000 in grant support from the Community Foundation for the Twin Tiers and from the Floyd Hooker Foundation to make Panther Media a reality. Panther Media is still a growth in process, but you can view their progress by going to our website to find the latest athletic stats, videos, club opportunities, as well as a feature teacher section! Goals include increasing awareness of all the powerful education and experiences at S-VE as well as building a career path for students to pursue broadcast and/or journalism.  
The High School Panther Media Staff (students, Mr. Dove and Mr. Ross Storm) is always looking for volunteers (parents, staff or students) to send them highlights or stats from athletic events to keep the site as current as possible. Please email William Dove for further information or to share your ideas… and view the Panther Media site today!


1/4/17 - The Walking Classroom

Due to the gracious generosity of Inspire! SVE, Laura Weisse's 3rd grade class is piloting a walking classroom format. Instead of 9-15 minutes of sitting to listen to the curricula's ELA texts, her students now engage with MP3 players to listen to the texts while walking planned paths both in and outside the elementary school. Brain-based learning research shows that physical activity increases childrens' academic readiness and intelligence; brain cells change, grow, and work better together with exercise. Students return to the classroom to complete comprehension activities based on their listening tasks for the day. In one week, Laura's students have walked 5,962 steps while listening and the class has an average of 96% on their written ELA tasks. Great job Laura!


Spencer-Van Etten
Central School District

16 Dartts Crossroad
Spencer, NY 14883


Office Hours:  8am-4pm

Dr. Joseph Morgan
Superintendent of Schools

(607) 589-7100

Laurie Cooper
Secretary to the Superintendent,
District Clerk,
Records Retention Officer


Jane St. Amour-Bradley
School Business Executive


Anne Frisbie
Purchasing Agent,
Benefits Coordinator


Jennifer Swayze
Public Information Coordinator


Jack Wiiki
Chief Information Officer


Christina Lampila
CSE Chairperson