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Lewiston-Porter has a special visitor: State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia

Thu, Oct 11th 2018 08:20 pm
New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia, center, meets with Lewiston-Porter teachers.
New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia, center, meets with Lewiston-Porter teachers.
In the Loop with the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education
Lewiston-Porter has a special visitor: State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia
By Jodee Riordan
Board of Education President
Lewiston-Porter was honored by a visit with New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia this past Thursday (as shown in the photo). Elia was in the district to meet with Lewiston-Porter teaching faculty and administrators for a focused discussion on the district's approach to Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR).
APPR is a major issue facing school districts, and one that Elia is addressing head-on in 2018-19.
Superintendent Paul Casseri, VP Lance Dickinson and I attended a dinner with Elia back in August, and had an opportunity to discuss the issue with her directly. She announced that evening she would visit the Lew-Port district, along with Sweet Home (where she taught social studies for 19 years before becoming an administrator) and Williamsville. Her goal was to meet with area educators on this complex issue.
Elia took the helm of the New York Department of Education three years ago. She is the first woman to hold the position. In these three years, she has taken on the very difficult issues of common core standards, state assessments and alternative pathways to graduation. She is approaching APPR in the same thoughtful manner, requiring input from stakeholders across the state and time to thoughtfully review that input, before making recommendations and decisions. As a direct result of this visit, the input of Lewiston-Porter will help shape these decisions.
On the topic of decision-making, the district's Key Communicators committee will come together for the first of three 2018-19 meetings on Monday, Oct. 15. Key Communicators offer advice and counsel for the future direction of education at Lewiston-Porter, and how, in turn, the district can help to support the community.
Key Communicators brings together individuals who are a cross-section of the Lew-Port community. This includes members of the local business community and Chamber of Commerce, parents and students (both current and recent graduates), administrators, teachers and faculty, and elected leaders.
If you are interested in being a part of this important group, join us in the library at the Intermediate Education Center at 6 p.m. Monday.

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