Michael R. Cornell

Mr. Michael R. Cornell
Superintendent of Schools
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Wendy Heslink 
Executive Assistant to Superintendent

School Board focused

on district priorities

The last week in October was School Board Member Appreciation Week in New York State. I’d like to use this space to highlight just a few of the important ways that our Board’s leadership benefits the schools and our community. The Board of Education in Hamburg is 100% focused on the learning and growth of the students and adults in our school district. Their commitment to both community service and to leadership is absolutely vital to achieving the vision and mission of the school district. 

This Board is truly present and engaged. Their visits to our schools, requests for presentations at Board meetings and regular attendance at school-based events serve as evidence of their deep commitment to learning. In recent years, their own School Board goals have emphasized the execution of our strategic plan, the efficacy of professional learning for our teachers and our progress towards assuring modern learning for our students. The results of their efforts can be measured in a variety of ways. Our graduation rate and our Regents Exam scores are among the highest in Western New York. 

Because our Board gives us the tools to make good on our commitment to help every student thrive after High School in whatever path they choose to pursue, our young people are ready to succeed. According to a recent study by the Empire Center, Hamburg graduates are more likely to graduate with their degree from college after four years than those of all but a handful of other public high schools in Western New York. Importantly, our students whose learning after High School is a two-year degree or a job-specific certificate program are thriving in the workforce, serving our country with distinction in the military, assuming leadership roles in the community, and, in some cases, already running their own businesses. 

The Board’s oversight and engagement in our recently completed 2016 capital project has also been extremely valuable. By being able to tap into their insight, and combining that with the needs of the end users of the spaces that were renovated, this capital project resulted in the complete transformation of our High School Library Media Center, our Middle School Library Media Center, and our Middle School Family and Consumer Science Suite. As we progress in our planning for the 2020 Capital Project, the Board’s input will continue to be a central feature. 

The Board’s stable presence as a key partner in leadership forms a governance team that allows us to look beyond our school district for important resources. Since 2015, we have secured over $1 million in additional one-time state aid that has resulted in the renovation of the Library Media Centers at Boston Valley and Charlotte Avenue Elementary Schools, as well as the construction of maker spaces at the Middle School and at Boston Valley. Because our Board acts as a stable and thoughtful partner in the life and work of our school district, our
state representatives have been able to extend this very important additional help to the Hamburg Schools.

Finally, the members of the Board are active in the community in ways that directly impact our schools. They serve on the Parent Child Connection, our District Safety Committee, our Strategic Planning Committee, on the Hamburg Industrial Development Agency and our PTSA. Many of them have been honored by the Erie County Association of School Boards for their commitment to professional learning and for their Board service.

An engaged, committed and thoughtful Board is absolutely essential to the success of any school district. In Hamburg, we have exactly that. If you see Board President Tom Flynn, Vice President Cam Hall, Laura Heeter, Robbin List, Michael McGarry, Richard Schneider or David Yoviene out and about over the next few weeks, please tell them “thank you” for their service to our students and to our community.




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