Vibrant school districts are one of county’s strengths

Posted 24 January 2016 at 12:00 am


To see the greatest strength of Orleans County, one needs not look further than the Holley, Lyndonville, Kendall, Medina, and Albion school districts.

As New York State wrestles with the issue of public education and the expectations of both teachers and students in 2016, each of the five school districts in Orleans County moves forward with a strong sense of identity and purpose.

The Ronald L. Sodoma Elementary School is so secure in its own identity in the village of Albion, that it constructed an entryway that boldly states its guiding principles in the form of concrete crayons. The teachers within the building model the same respect, responsibility, and optimism that have been adopted as the school’s mission statement.

Each of the five towns of Orleans County has a rich cultural heritage of scholarship, athleticism, and musicianship that is continued by the students. This is best seen in the All-County Chorus and Band Concerts that take place twice a year and feature the greatest musicians of the elementary, middle, and high schools.

The passion and talent that all of the students carry is a testament to the same qualities found in the music teachers in each school district. These events also exhibit the strong community that has been built by many years of musical excellence.

As one drives through the crumbling and near empty downtown blocks of each village, there is a temptation to believe that the cultural identity and importance of Albion or Holley or Lyndonville have disappeared with the Erie Canal.

But when one visits the school, a different story is told: Football, baseball, basketball, track and field, tennis, swimming, golf, jazz band, marching band, chamber ensembles, concert band, chorus, men’s and women’s select choir, musicals, plays, talent shows, Advanced Placement classes, chess club, MasterMinds, internships, and trade classes. When one looks at what our schools offer, Orleans County is a culturally rich and thriving community.

Lucas Smith
(Editor’s Note: Lucas Smith sent this in as part of a challenge from Orleans Hub to write an essay promoting Orleans County.)