Superintendent Shawn Bissetta

Shawn Bissetta Superintendent

I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season with family and friends.  The beginning of the new year is always a great time to contemplate our growth and progress in endeavors that are important to us, and to refocus our attention on our most significant goals and priorities.  As we begin 2018, I would suggest that we contemplate the many ways that the experiences that we have in various compartments of our daily lives can help to positively shape other aspects of our life.  A perfect example of this are the lessons learned from participation in sports and athletic competition.  We often hear about the value of teamwork, sportsmanship and a host of other benefits of participation in athletics.  One benefit that cannot be overlooked is the value of learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable.  Sports participation teaches us that to get better, we have to push beyond our current boundaries.  Without pushing beyond our comfort zone, improvement doesn’t occur, or at least not at the necessary pace to be successful.  In any athletic pursuit, intentionally reaching beyond our comfort zone in a planned and responsible fashion is the key ingredient in recipe for improvement. 

The lessons learned from pushing beyond our comfort zone certainly can apply to how we view the educational process as well.  If we are feeling completely comfortable, it may be because we’ve taken the easiest path as opposed to the more rewarding path - we may need to think about challenging ourselves to a greater degree to maintain positive momentum.  After all, most people do not look back at their life experiences and say, “I wish I didn’t set the bar so high” – regret usually results from selling ourselves short from realizing our full potential.  Focused and intentional discomfort is therefore something that we should not avoid, but actually embrace. 

In an attempt to stretch out of our comfort zone, Oxford Academy and Central School with be hosting an internationally recognized academic competition in 2018.  Mark your calendar because RoboRave, an international robotics competition, will be held in Oxford on April 7, 2018.  This is our school’s attempt to stretch beyond the typical and reach for something extraordinary.  Not only is RoboRave an internationally renowned robotics competition, but it presents a unique opportunity for the school community.  As an official RoboRave competition site, we are the only school that can host the competition in the entire state of New York.  That’s right, if you live in New York City, you have to come to Oxford to compete in our state! 

Not only does RoboRave provide our students the opportunity to test their knowledge and skills in the context of a team competition, it allows them to compete against teams from around the state, county and even the world.  One of the many terrific aspects of the competition is that it encourages curiosity, learning and teamwork from students and adults (we will have multiple teams from the primary, middle and high schools competing).  Teams will be competing from age 8 to adult.  In fact, multiple businesses from our region have entered teams consisting of adults, and many more will likely do so.  If you are looking for a challenge, check out our website and consider competing in Oxford RoboRave 2018!   

In order to make the event truly special, in the coming weeks we will be announcing several events that will be happening leading up to the competition on April 7th.  It’s safe to say that Oxford will be the place to be this April!  I look forward to updating you as we progress through RoboRave and many other initiatives currently underway.  I’ve always believed that creating high expectations is a key component of success.  By challenging everyone in our community, students and adults, to step out of their comfort zone at events like RoboRave, we ensure that we keep the bar high when it comes to expectations.  As always, the best is yet to come. 

Shawn Bissetta


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