Students show off new reading skills

Glebe Street Elementary School Principal Abbey North, standing, has a group of accelerated readers present to the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education Thursday night at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Glebe Street Elementary School Principal Abbey North and several of her students gave an accelerated reader presentation to the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education on Thursday at Johnstown High School.

Glebe uses a computer-aided reading system that helps its second and third graders master literacy skills.

“It’s a schoolwide program that works along with all our academic programs,” North said.

Several of the children read during the presentation to the board.

“I like reading because reading is fun,” one boy said.

North said the school’s Accelerated Reader, or AR program had a fun kickoff assembly. In the program, she said the students pick a character and color it, moving their characters to certain levels as they attain reading accomplishments. Students also take AR tests, acquiring different point levels. At the higher levels, children are rewarded with prizes such as invitation to a pool party.

Glebe second-grade teacher Debra Ammann told the board there is much positive reinforcement with AR.

“Kids encourage each other along the way,” she said.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the AR students passed out snacks to board members.

In other reports to the board:

∫ District Athletic Director James Robare recognized members of the 2017 Johnstown golf team — the 17-1 Foothills League tournament winners, and runner-up in the Section 2 Class B Tournament. He said he has a saying: “Something great will always happen every season.”

Johnstown coach Mark Ralbovsky said the team loses seniors, but younger talent emerges.

“Golf has always been a power sport in Johnstown,” he said. “I think we’ve been in the top three of Section 2 the last five or six years.”

Robare also recognized six-year Fonda-Johnstown swimmer and JHS senior Emily Miles, who posted a pair of fourth-place finishes during the Section II Division 2 Girls Swimming and Diving Championships at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park on Nov. 4.

Accompanied by Coach Ken Hoefs, who called her a “leader” and excellent student, Miles told the board she plans to major in criminalogy at college and someday work for the FBI.

∫ Recognized as master teachers during the meeting were JHS science teachers Hanz Litz and Gary Osarczuk.

“It’s a very big honor in New York state,” said Superintendent Patricia Kilburn.

The New York State Master Teacher Program is in partnership with the State University of New York and Math for America. It has been expanded to include eligible K–12 STEM and computer science teachers. The program celebrates the work of the highest-performing STEM teachers by establishing an expert community dedicated to developing expertise in certain areas.

“We had an opportunity to dive back into the content area,” Litz said.

Osarczuk added, “I think we’re just honored to be selected to represent Johnstown.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]


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