By Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach
Meet Jack Gobinski, a Park Avenue Elementary School third grade student and the recent recipient of a Positive Phone Call from his principal. Jack has been a student at Park Avenue since his very first days as a kindergartener and, he says, you really couldn’t find a better place to go to school.
“It’s a nice school,” says Jack, adding, “everybody is nice here.”
Jack says the first year or two of school was a bit scary. The school seemed giant, he said, filled with so many new faces. In fact, he didn’t always like it all that much.
Now, though, he’s a role model for the younger students, says his teacher, Denise Kipp.
“Jack is one of the most hardworking, polite, respectful students I have ever met. He comes to school to work hard every single day,” says Ms. Kipp. “He is kind and helpful to his peers (and) has an outstanding attitude towards learning.”
Students like Jack are the reason behind Warwick Valley’s Positive Phone Calls. Each week, the principals or assistant principals of Park Avenue, Sanfordville, Warwick Valley Middle School, and Warwick Valley High School call the homes of several students and tell parents what a great job their children are doing. Often it is to report an act of kindness, an academic milestone reached, or a challenge faced with grace. The names of the students and their accomplishments are also shared with the Warwick Valley Board of Education.
“It’s one of the best parts of my day,” said Park Avenue principal Sandra Wood. “If I could, I would make Positive Phone Calls all day long.”
When Ms. Wood called Jack’s parents, she reported that he is “one of our hardest workers, a good citizen and a true shining star.”
Jack said the phone call made him feel proud.
“I try to be somebody the little kids can look up to,” he says. “And I try not to talk too much in class.”
Each week, Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach shines the “The Superintendent’s Spotlight” on one of Warwick Valley’s amazing students. “Superintendent’s Spotlight” features students who reach goals, face challenges, and are role models to their peers.