Change and persistence

FORESTVILLE – Change is something everyone encounters at some point.

The Forestville School Board spoke of change and persistence at the recent board meeting.

Resident Paul Bock presented a speech about technology and how important it is for students to understand.

“There are opportunities all around us that we can take advantage of,” he said. “… if we could only see them.”

Bock gestured to the computers in the high school library.

“Anyone can see there are 12 computers on a desk in the library for students to research topics on the internet,” he said. “I see 12 computers connected to a network, that connected with the right software can be made to work together as one big computer.”

This kind of computer is known in the technology world as a “Beowulf Cluster Super Computer” and can calculate several times faster than one computer working alone.

“I have used these kinds of computers to work on large engineering challenges at the University of Buffalo,” Bock said. “These supercomputers are also used for companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Wikipedia, and Pixar.”

Bock’s point in all of this was to present the idea of teaching students how to create their own companies like this from the technology they already have available to them at school.

“It is easy to see companies around us fail, people being unemployed, and our government struggling,” he said. “Who knows what lies in our children’s future; it is all about seeing the opportunities we do have.”

The Forestville Technology Club is already starting to get students interested in the supercomputer concept. A program called “hour of code” allows students to learn about computer programming.

“Kids love it, we nearly have to pry them away from the computers to catch the late bus,” Bock said. “The kids soak it up very fast.”

The idea is to take what is already a club and turn it into a class so that the entire student body can benefit from computer programming.

“Forestville has already taken the initiative, the expensive part has already been paid for,” Bock said. “I want to thank the board for providing this amazing opportunity to our students.”

Board President Sylvester Cleary thought this idea was outstanding and wanted to encourage the board to consider this change.

“One word I think of is change … we as a board are going forward,” he said. “We have to adapt to change and lead everyone into change.”

Superintendent Chuck Leichner spoke about what he liked about the BOCES Annual Meeting. Erie 2 BOCES District Superintendent Dr. David O’Rourke was the lead speaker.

“Dr. O’Rourke wants to help change,” Leichner said. “He talked about his vision for the future. We are very fortunate to have such a great leader.”

Leichner brought up the importance of persistence.

“Cleary was thinking of change and I was thinking of persistence,” he said. “All the things that have taken place because someone decided not to give up.”

Leichner continued by mentioning all the things each board member has done to benefit the school because they refused to give up.

“They are the result of Rodney saying this is important to me; Bruce has brought his vision of the wonderful things for our kids for years,” he said. “Amy brought up her interest of doing something with Jamestown Community College and she never quit; David brought up the idea of doing archery.”

Leichner commended everyone for bringing something special to the board.

“The consistent determination is what makes us different than any other school district,” he said.

Cleary added his love for the board.

“This is why I love working with you folks, this is why we devote our time every month,” he said. “We all care about benefiting our students and that is the most beautiful thing in the world.”

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