GNH Lumber February 2024

Superintendent’s Message: Real world experiences in the classroom


By Michael Bennett

For Capital Region Independent Media

District Superintendent Michael Bennett

One of the aspects of our school district that I truly enjoy is the opportunity for students to obtain real world experiences right from their classroom.

Spartan Strong News has featured articles written by students in Chris Karle’s Journalism Club and journalism class. Students have been working hard to gather information, write articles, edit, rewrite, edit some more, and finally publish! You can also find their articles digitally on the district’s website. For students interested in a career in journalism or communications, being published is the first step to building their portfolios.

Another class that’s offering hands-on experience is Child Development, taught by Jamie Pecylak. In addition to regular classes, students must engage in “observation” hours to receive college credit for the course through SUNY Cobleskill. Under Mrs. Pecylak’s guidance, students visit partnered elementary classrooms to support teachers with lessons, work in group settings and serve as reading partners or one-on-one assistants to students. This course is a great opportunity for students interested in learning about a career in teaching and human services. Elementary students eagerly anticipate their high school “friends” visiting their classes. 

Matt Lacy’s Sports Marketing class is a relatively recent addition to the curriculum and aims to teach students about marketing and management principles, while focusing on the sports and entertainment industries. The class emphasizes group activities, hands-on projects, field trips, and lively discussions on current events. Recently, students have been involved in the marketing efforts for our athletic program. They’ve collaborated to redesign the Spartan Snapshot’s athletic section and work to update the section each week. Moreover, students are the creative force behind the eye-catching athletic game day posters displayed on the digital sign in front of the middle and high school. Students have responded positively to the class, particularly appreciating the chance to influence how the community perceives athletics. Many students in this class are athletes, which allows them to bring their passion for sports outside of school into the classroom.

Classes like Journalism, Child Development, and Sports Marketing, among many others, offer students the opportunity to have real world experiences from the comfort of their classrooms. Our hope is that these experiences will help students select a career path that interests them and create future opportunities for themselves after graduation. 

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