Spartan Spotlight: Vol. 1, No. 2

A message from our superintendent

Senior athletes pose for photo in gymnasium

In January, we adopted our new mission, vision, core values, and our Blueprint for Excellence. This strategic plan will serve as a guide on the path to the future for the Florida Union Free School District.  

We have already started implementing aspects of this plan. We piloted i-Ready, a K-8 diagnostic and benchmark assessment in reading and math, and are working on a guidance audit and enhancing the use of Naviance for our students to support college and career readiness.  

Some physical changes were completed, and additional improvements are coming. We built the sidewalk and blacktop for the Golden Hill playground and are looking at redesigning the pre-K playground. At S.S. Seward, enhancements to the weight room are being made.  

Divisional leaders have been hard at work on the “One Thing Initiative,” each choosing one thing they can do that supports all other efforts: the office of instructional services is developing a cybersecurity response plan, the business office is formulating a five-year financial plan, Golden Hill is working on ELA curriculum, S.S. Seward is concentrating on attendance, and pupil personnel services is focusing on Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).  

Students participated in assemblies outside the classroom, including “Breaking the Cycle” at S.S. Seward, which focused on the power of forgiveness, and “Mad Science at Golden Hill,” which offered a hands-on science experience.  

I am proud of all that students have accomplished recently, including winning the Times-Herald Student of the Week, having student artwork recognized at the Galleria Mall in Middletown regional showcase, and giving back by creating valentines for local veterans. 

Coming up, there is much I am looking forward to, and I know students and families are as well. This includes grade-level field trips, the cheerleading state championships, the spring play – “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” and much more.  

I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming February recess and returns well-rested and enthusiastic for what’s to come. 

 — Dr. Lisamarie Spindler

In our schools

Seen at Seward

Club Fair

The High School Student Council hosted the second annual club fair at SS Seward.  The club fair ran during all lunch periods, and students across all grade levels were invited to see the wonderful extracurricular offerings that Seward offers.

The various clubs created amazing displays and informational materials for the students to learn about their clubs.  Many club members volunteered to give up their free periods to represent their clubs and answer any students’ questions.

Students pose in front of poster board

“Seward hosts s many incredible clubs, ranging from Youth In Government, Debate Club, Art Club, Drama, honor societies, and so much more! For a small school, we strive to offer our students many options that would pique any student’s interest,” said HS Student Council advisor Dom Pascullo.  “The student council wanted to promote these opportunities for our students and encourage our learners to get involved.” 

Any questions about the extracurricular offerings at Seward should be directed to the main office or check out the district website: 

Teacher and student pose in front of poster board

6th Grade Students Authors

In a journey of dedication and creativity, our sixth-grade students at the Florida Union Free School District have achieved a milestone—they are now published authors! Over the past few weeks, these writers placed themselves in the world of fiction picture books, crafting tales that show off their imagination.

This project served as a learning experience for the students to paint stories with plots and details. It was not just a writing exercise but a journey of patience and attention to detail. This project taught them valuable life skills and enhanced their writing abilities.

These books are more than just pages filled with words—they showcase the dedication, creativity, and hard work each student puts into their stories. The variety of genres and themes in these books reflects the creative voices of our students. From mystery adventure, each creation offers a distinct perspective and narrative flair.

The Sixth-Grade Picture Book Showcase celebrates literary accomplishments, individuality, and talent within our student body. We will continue to recognize this project’s lasting impact on their growth as writers.

The Florida Union Free School District takes pride in fostering creativity and nurturing a love for learning.

books and students

Read more from S.S. Seward Institute MS/HS here:

Golden Hill happenings


Golden Hill’s Purr-fect “Kitty Cat Capers” performance

Golden Hill first, second and third graders put on a purr-fect performance of “Kitty Cat Capers” on Feb. 15. Led by music teacher Kristin Risedorph, the students sang five songs centered on this playful theme. Students took on the role of cats, wearing colorful cat ears and making sure to meow, lick their paws, and play with their loofahs like balls of yarn, all while singing with big smiles on their faces. 

“We’ve been working on this since Thanksgiving break since it was five songs to learn, with a lot of words for our littlest friends,” said Risedorph. “I’m glad that they were so into it. They really took ownership of it.”

Students standing performing a musical

This daytime concert brought a large crowd of families to support the young students.

“I thought the concert was fantastic,” shared parent Larie Olejniczak. “I’m so happy that the school is providing opportunities for the parents to come and watch the children perform.”

Olejniczak’s son, Conrad, shared that he enjoyed singing in the concert. His favorite song to learn and perform was “Itty Bitty Kitty Cats.”

The concert might just be remembered as one of the best in Golden Hill hiss-story.

Golden Hill Elementary Raises Money for American Cancer Society at No Shave November Event

Golden Hill Elementary School in partnership with the Golden Hill PTA, held a “No Shave November” event where five teachers volunteered to have a special beard design shaved onto their faces. Students were able to donate to vote for their favorite design. The event raised a total of $216 to be donated to the American Cancer Society.

  • Students in cheering in bleachers

A  Look into the World of Illustration

Students at Golden Hill watched art teacher and published illustrator Nick Camia do a live demonstration of how he creates artwork on his iPad. Mr. Camia took the students along his illustration journey from when he was a kid drawing wrestlers to becoming a published illustrator. After taking students down the path of his career in creating books, students watched Mr. Camia illustrate on his iPad. He showed them the tools and tricks the program he uses has available to help him create his best work. After quickly drawing a wrestling version of SpongeBob, students could ask questions about his career path and his artwork in general.

  • Teacher posing in front of presentation

Read more from Golden Hill Elementary here:

Athletics update

Winter Sports Rec.

  • Seniors and their families pose for a photo

Boys Soccer Wins 2023 Silver Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award

The High School Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award recognizes teams for exhibiting fair play, sporting behavior, and adherence to the game’s laws, as the United Soccer Coaches noted in a news release sent out last week. Of the 72 teams awarded, S. S. Seward’s Boys Soccer team takes home a plaque for Silver. This means they completed 17 games with only 5 yellow cards. You can see this award in Seward’s Gym Lobby along aside the bronze award, which they won in 2021. Team of soccer players wearing blue uniforms posing for photo

Winter Sports Winding Down

  • Varsity cheerleaders are headed to states on 3/2 in Binghamton
  • Boys Varsity Basketball hosting Semi-Finals at S.S. Seward on 2/26
  • Spring Sports Registration Available at this link:

Read more from athletics here: