Dear Sackets Harbor Central School Community,

Summertime is a time to recharge, refresh, and reconnect with friends and family.  It is a time to enjoy the beauty of the North Country and the adventures which surround us.  I certainly appreciate the slower pace of the summer months but have much to accomplish before faculty, staff, and students return for the 2018-2019 school year.    

One of the most important tasks we undertake in the spring and summer months is hiring.  I am very pleased to introduce to you our new SHCS staff members and encourage you to reach out to them at Open House on August 29th to welcome them into our school family. 

Jennifer Ashcraft – Mrs. Ashcraft comes to SHCS after working as a kindergarten teacher at Gouverneur Central School.  We are excited for Mrs. Ashcraft to join Mrs. Allen and continue her role as a kindergarten teacher.

Larry Carpenter – Mr. Carpenter will serving as our new head mechanic in our bus garage.  He has served as a diesel mechanic for many years at Northern Fire Equipment and we look forward to working with him.

Jordan Davis – Miss Davis will be succeeding Mrs. Quinn who recently retired.  She will be teaching Earth Science and Living Environment after teaching Biology and Physics in Virginia.  Her enthusiasm for education was evident and we’re excited for our students to meet her. 

Gale Mildren – Mrs. Mildren is a well-known face here at SHCS.  She has served as a substitute for us for many years including several long-term stents.  She recently obtained her NYS Certification and will be joining Miss. Townsend in first grade (Note, Miss Townsend will soon become Mrs. Smith as she will be married this summer!). 

Andrew Oak – Mr. Oak, another well-known teacher at SHCS, will be taking on the position of Grade 5 teacher.  He served during the 2017-2018 school year as our Elementary Mathematics Interventionist. 

Miranda Vondell – Ms. Vondell will be joining Mr. Staie as a fellow third grade teacher.  She has been teaching 5th grade at Pulaski Elementary and is so pleased to join the team here at SHCS.

This summer, we will also be working collaboratively with faculty, staff, students, parents, and community members to hire a new principal to lead our school building.  We will share an update as soon as the appointment is made. 

The Capital Project officially commenced on June 25th and has been in full effect all summer.  The project will be completed in two phases.  Phase I should be mostly completed by the time school opens in September.  The District is still waiting on approval of Phase II from The State Education Department and it is our hope that the majority of the work for Phase II will be completed during the Summer of 2019.  Capital Project updates are posted consistently on our website (  

Graduation 2018 was a great success!  I thank all of you who were able to join us for this very special day to pay tribute to our graduating seniors.  We wish our students well as they move on to college, the workforce, or the Armed Forces.  Each and every one of them will be missed.      

Though we do not wish for the summer days to pass too quickly, there are a number of wonderful events and opportunities which lie ahead which make the start of the school year something to look forward to. 

  • Sportsmanship Night will take place on August 8th this year.Remember, this is mandatory for all fall athletes as well as a a parent/guardian to attend.JV and Varsity fall sports begin on August 16th and modified will be the first day of school.Our amazing Booster Club has organized Senior Nights for our boys’ and girls’ teams to be under the lights at home this year!Our boys will play on October 4th and our girls will play on October 5th.We have great teams and I encourage our community to come out to support our student athletes throughout the season.
  • Our District was recently awarded a grant entitled, “Seeds for Success”.The goal of this grant is to make students more aware of the many different facets of agriculture from nutrition and gardening all the way up to precision farming, genetics, and robotics.To meet the demands of this grant, our Seeds of Success Team has decided that the best way to introduce the many aspects of agriculture to our students is to actually show them through a series of engaging field trips.We are calling it, “Going Where it Grows”.We are aiming for numerous field trips throughout the school year.There will be more information available at Open House and students are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible as there are a limited number of slots available.
  • The inaugural year of the Sackets Harbor Central School District’s Athletic Hall of Fame was a great success!We celebrated former athletes and coaches.Congratulations to Coach Jim Powers, Coach Lyle Weaver, Coach Charlie Bridge, Former Student Athlete Dr. George Schatz, and to the 2008 Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball Teams.We have included nomination forms within this newsletter and encourage additional submissions for 2019.
  • Thank you so very much to all members of our school community who have either helped organize the fundraising and/or supported our fundraising for our new band uniforms.Our efforts are paying off and we are well on our way to meeting our goals!

I was at my gym recently and noticed a quote on the wall by Fernado Flores.  It read, “Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great.”  I thought about this quote in relation to our school.  We have a great school here in Sackets Harbor because we have great faculty and staff who are committed to high quality educational opportunities for our students.  We have great parents and community members who are dedicated to our children’s success.  We have great kids who make every day something to look forward to.  We have a great Board of Education who places our District mission at the core of every decision they make.  Our school community is not perfect but we are pretty great!    

I look forward to seeing everyone again for the start of the school year.  Our Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, August 29th at 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm.  We use this evening as an opportunity for students and parents to meet teachers, tour the building, and visit the cafeteria to buy spirit wear, sign up for community and sports opportunities, enroll in MySchoolBucks, get class schedules, and socialize as our wonderful Parent Teacher Organization provides refreshments.      

Enjoy the remaining days of summer!



Your Partner in Education,



Jennifer Gaffney

Superintendent of Schools

Sackets Harbor Central School District













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