A Message from Superintendent Pero: A heartfelt thank you to students, families and staff

With the completion of the first marking period and Thanksgiving a couple days away, I am incredibly thankful for the way our students, families and staff have come together to persevere through the upheaval this health crisis continues to bring into our lives and to make the best of every day.

I am thankful that after 18 months of disrupted and often isolated in-school learning, students returned to school full time this fall eager to learn and reconnect with teachers and peers. Their resilience and positive attitudes inspire me every day.

I am grateful for our student-centered Board of Education that spends countless hours working for the betterment of our schools and community. I am thankful for our partnerships with families and recognize the stress and sacrifices parents/guardians have made to support their child and the school.

I am grateful for our MHS Urban-Suburban students as they have endured the impacts of losing the RTS bus stop at MHS. This loss yielded earlier mornings, more bus transfers, longer walks and navigating the dark, wet and cold weather. Their steadfast dedication and determination to do whatever it takes to get to Pittsford Schools is incredibly humbling and a reminder of how important education is to our students.

I am appreciative for the unrelenting advocacy work our staff, PTSA, students and teachers carried out in partnership with RTS to re-establish the Mendon High School RTS bus stop for our MHS Urban Suburban students. RTS expects this will happen in mid-December.

I express my gratitude to our staff for being pillars of strength. As we have transitioned students back, we continue to contend with staff shortages, making all positions that much more difficult. I am watching teachers assist with sub plans, cover additional classes, administrators supervising and teaching classes, bus drivers circling back to make additional runs, custodians working longer shifts, nurses juggling ever changing requirements, our mental health experts working tirelessly, and the list goes on.  All continue to go above and beyond to make sure students are receiving the support they need to nourish their academic, physical and mental wellbeing.

The teachers, students and staff who show up each day and give their best make me proud. Excellence in and out of the classroom are hallmarks of the Pittsford Central School District. Our students are regularly recognized for achievements related to academics, art, music and athletics, and they work hard to earn those accolades; something we should all be grateful for.

Equally important, Pittsford students shine brightest in the many ways they make a difference in the lives of others through individual and coordinated acts of kindness. Students participate in holiday-time food drives, “adopt” local families to whom they provide Thanksgiving meals, and host annual events like the “Pink the Rink” hockey games benefiting the Breast Cancer Coalition and the “Rainbow Classic” basketball games to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital. In recognition of the philanthropic work and funds raised for Golisano Children’s Hospital through the annual Rainbow Classic, our students were recently awarded an “Outstanding Young People in Philanthropy” award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Genesee Valley Chapter (AFPGV).

Our students are the future and every interaction, large or small, is an opportunity to nurture that future. During this season of gratitude, I am profoundly grateful for every staff member, parent, guardian and person who contributes to the support and success of our students.

May your Thanksgiving bring many opportunities for gratitude and be the start of a wonderful holiday season.

Michael Pero, Superintendent of Schools