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Holley student praised for putting sewing skills to service

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 23 November 2016 at 1:15 pm
Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Holley Middle School/High School Principal Sue Corey presents the monthly Soaring to New Heights Award to Senior Hannah Biedlingmaier.

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Holley Middle School/High School Principal Sue Corey presents the monthly Soaring to New Heights Award to Senior Hannah Biedlingmaier.

HOLLEY – Members of the Holley Central School Board of Education recognized senior class member Hannah Biedlingmaier Monday evening during their regular meeting with the monthly Soaring to New Heights Award.

Biedlingmaier stepped up and volunteered to sew new stoles for the National Honor Society. Holley Middle School/High School Principal Sue Cory said students wear the stoles for Honor Society induction ceremonies and for graduation. The school needed to replace their supply, which was becoming warn from age, Cory said.

She said purchasing new stoles would have cost the district hundreds of dollars.

“Hannah said, ‘I can make them,’ and she did a beautiful job,” Cory said. “Sewing is a bit of a lost art, Hannah makes a lot of her own clothes.”

Cory noted the project became a family effort as many of the stoles were needed for the recent Honor Society induction.

Hannah said 25 stoles were made for the induction ceremonies, but she will make more which are needed for graduation next spring.

Another senior class member, Claudia Dreschel, addressed board members regarding her year spent in Europe as a Rotary exchange student.

Dreschel spent the 2015-2016 school year in Austria and she thanked the Holley Rotary for sponsoring her participation. Dreschel described the differences in high school education between Holley and Austria.

Claudia Dreschel holds her Rotary jacket completely covered in mementos from her exchange trip to Austria.

Claudia Dreschel holds her Rotary jacket completely covered in mementos from her exchange trip to Austria.

She explained that when students reach high school age in Austria, they can choose to focus their studies at specialized schools, studying tourism, art, or business, for example.  The students are then ready to enter the workforce if they choose immediately after graduation.

Some students choose to attend an academically-focused high school, Dreschel said.

“They have strong academics, more rigorous than here,” she said.

Dreschel said the experience helped her to appreciate all that Holley Central offers its students.

“We incorporate extracurriculars, they don’t do sports with schooling (in Austria),” she said. “We have student council and clubs.”

Board members asked Dreschel how she traveled to her school and if she felt safe during her stay.

“Public transportation is more accessible there,” Dreschel said, “but I walked to school every day.”  S

he said she felt as safe in Austria as she feels in Holley, and noted incidents of violence can occur anywhere.

In other business, Superintendent Robert D’Angelo and Assistant Superintendent for Business Sharon Zacher gave a preliminary report to board members regarding changes in the minimum wage which will increase annually over the next five years.

“We wanted to give you the heads-up, it’s an eye opener,” Zacher said.

She presented board members with some initial data on how the increases will affect the district.

The changes will affect yearly contract negotiations, Zacher said. She noted the district will have to prepare itself for dealing with the increases as well as how the increases will affect the morale of some staff members.

She noted when the minimum wage reaches a certain level, it will be close to what some district employees who have worked for the school for twelve years are making.

“It’s something we need to get going on,” Zacher said. “We have to get thinking about how to learn to deal with it.”

Board President Brenda Swanger said the minimum wage increases are a growing concern for all area school districts.

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