Principal’s Message

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians:

Remind 101: Please see the pdf for instruction to join Remind 101. HS messages can be sent directly to your phone if you choose to sign up.

Student Board of Education Member Application: Each year a student member of the Board of Education is solicited. This is a unique opportunity for a senior student to participate in a public governing body – our BOE. If any senior is interested in serving in this position, please submit an application to the HS main office by Wed., Sept 13. Applications are available in HS main office and via pdf on this webpage.

The New York State School Counselor Association recently recognized Gowanda High School for the high school’s outstanding “Engagement in Education [BEP] Program by presenting its Outstanding Program, Practice or Project Award.

GHS STEM Program was recently recognized by the Western New York STEM Hub as a “School on the Move” at the organization’s recent meeting. Also, the district was recognized as an “Emerging School System.” Congratulations to all and thank you for the continued support.

Please find Three Keys to High School Success attached to this page. In this news brief, parents and caregivers will find helpful tips for assisting your high school manages the increasing responsibilities of being a teenager and young adult.

Bullying Incident Report: In our continuing efforts to make Gowanda High School free of bullying and harassment, please visit our website ( On the website, under the quick links, please find the bullying incident report. This report should be used by students, parents, or other concerned individuals to report incidents of bullying and/or harassment. The form is electronically submitted to each building principal as well as the SRO. The appropriate building principal will investigate the incident. This online form is another tool to assist students in reporting bullying and/or harassment but from the safety of home or other location.

Cell Phones/Electronic Devices: The use of cell phones and electronic devices is strictly prohibited during the entirety of the instructional school day. This includes the use of earbuds/headphones. Cell phones and electronic devices are only permitted in study hall and lunch or with special permission given by classroom teacher. Those using these devices when not permitted will have their cell phone or electronic device confiscated and ONLY returned to the parent/ legal guardian at their convenience; however, students will also face disciplinary consequences.

A student’s refusal to turn over a cell phone and/or electronic device is considered to be gross insubordination. If cell phones or electronic devices are brought to school, students are directed to secure the item in their assigned locker. Please note that the school is not responsible for lost or stolen cell phones or electronic devices.

Unauthorized use of an electronic device’s camera/recording function is prohibited at all times when on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity. Prohibited acts include, but are not limited to, those that violate one’s personal privacy and/or copyright laws. Furthermore, prohibited acts include those that promote violence, drug and alcohol use, and/or contribute to the disruption of the educational environment.

Eligibility Policy: Students must be eligible to participate in ALL extracurricular activities whether sports, music, dances, clubs or even attendance at events, etc. Students can become ineligible by failing two or more classes and/or having excessive absences. Please note that a parent must attend a forum (please see above) in order for their child to be eligible to participate in any extracurricular activity.


Dr. Anderson

Common Core Learning Standards: New York State was the recipient of the United States Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” grant in 2009. With this grant, NYS embarked on a rigorous reform agenda focused on the following areas: data-driven instruction (DDI), principal-teacher evaluation (APPR), assessment, and common core learning standards (CCLS), all aimed at preparing students to be college and careers ready.Many have read in the newspapers or followed the news about issues surrounding principal-teacher (APPR) evaluations that many districts across the state have experienced. There has been much fanfare about this part of the NYS reform agenda. However, what has not gained as much attention is the state’s adoption of common core learning standards (CCLS). These new standards have had immediate, direct impact on high school students, predominately in their math and English Language Arts (ELA) classes but literacy focus in all subject areas as well. Within these areas, profound shifts in instruction and assessment are taking place which directly impacted students. For example, from Spotlight on the Common Core State Standards: What Parents Need to Know?, March 2011, p.2: A sample assignment for a 9th-grade student learning reading and writing in history:

Select a case that is scheduled to come before the U.S. Supreme Court. Use the text of the U.S. Constitution and at least two other sources to support two decisions the court could make: one for the case and the other against it. Support your argument.

The response would require a student to define, research, read, and compare all aspects of the Constitutional issue. In addition, students would need to understand the difference between opinion and fact and write a conclusion, using evidence, in a convincing manner.

This is one example. I do not have enough space to adequately describe and explain the CCLS and other reform agenda items in this forum. However, I would like to encourage you to visit or to learn more about CCLS, find additional examples, and learn how you can help your student. Also, please do not hesitate to contact me (x6002), guidance (x6014), or your student’s teacher(s) with

Gowanda High School is excited to announce our STEM program at the high school. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is a national education focus designed to increase the number of students entering careers in these general fields. Currently, not enough students enter these fields to allow the United States to remain competitive in the global economy. Also, careers in these fields are growing, stable, and earn a livable wage. As an added bonus, many careers in these areas are located in Western New York (visit for specific examples).

The GHS STEM program is designed to take advantage of our new facilities (Science Wing!) and current internal capacity. Current freshmen students will have an opportunity to apply for entrance into the program this spring. Over their next three years, the students will be on an Advanced Regents Diploma track. They will select a STEM strand for further study. Their senior year will consist of a Senior STEM Project collaboratively working with a GHS faculty advisor, peers, and/or an outside agency. Students will graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma and a STEM endorsement.

For further information, please contact 532-3325 (x6014 or x6002). Also, please find below the STEM Academy Application (students can apply now), Board of Education STEM presentation (12.19.2012) and the STEM Program brochure. Brochure
If you have questions, please call 532-3325 (x6014 or x6002). Also, our fax number is 995-2108.

Parent Drug and Alcohol Forum: For students to participate in any extracurricular activities, a parent/guardian must attend a mandatory forum about drugs and alcohol. For an appointment and if there are questions, please contact the high school (x6002) or middle school (x5002) main office.
It’s not too early! Graduation Information: Class of 2018: Commencement exercises are scheduled for Friday, June 28, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at Hillis Field. Streaming Link. For additional information, please see Notes for Graduates and their Parents found on this web page, or please call extension 6002 with questions.
School Attendance: Regular attendance is crucial to a student’s academic success. Missed class time is difficult to replace in high school as the content is challenging and requires a teacher. Please submit an excuse when a student is absent from the high school main office. Also, automated attendance calls will be going out to absent students beginning November 30, 2015.

Joseph Bruening 

Interim Principal
(716) 532-3325 ext. 6002
(716) 995-2108

David Smith

Assistant Principal Grades 7-12
(716) 532-3325 ext. 6003
(716) 995-2108

Cindy Kerker

Keyboard Specialist II & Central Treasurer
(716) 532-3325 ext. 6002
(716) 995-2108

Mandy Pickering

Keyboard Specialist I
(716) 532-3325 ext. 6004
(716) 995-2108

Robbie Riehle

School Monitor & Substitute Call-In
(716) 532-3325 ext. 6005
(716) 995-2108