Wednesday, July 2, 2025

Welcome to Education Matters

Welcome to Education Matters the official blog of  Dr. Anael Alston, Superintendent of Schools for the Hamilton Central School DistrictIn this area of the website, I discuss a variety of educational matters and concerns and provide information that I hope will be helpful to the Hamilton staff, parents, students, and community members. To suggest topics, please email me at

 I look forward to hearing from you!

Anael Alston, Ed.D.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Strategic Planning Update 10.17.17

Dear HCS Community,

On October 17th Mr. Dan Rains and I facilitated one of the final workshops with our Strategic Planning Core Team. We are at the point where we are finalizing the mission and core beliefs of our learning community. As always, portions of the workshop was video taped to keep you informed. Below is the video of the introduction of the workshop.

A HUGE thank you to Mr. Rains and all of the Core Team members who came out and worked diligently to help frame our future.

For additional information regarding the inclusive and transparent process that we've used, please visit the dedicated Strategic Planning Page on the link below.

Your Partner in Education,

Dr. A

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

From Success to Significance-Our Best Year Ever (is a choice)

Dear HCS Community,

This year our mantra is "from success to significance". By any standard, HCS is a successful school. But what exactly is success? In our great land, each person can set their own bar and measure success. What I am asking each person to do is to look into the mirror and see if they are making the the educational journey or experience at HCS "significant" for our students. Below is my opening day speech to the HCS faculty and staff.

Dr. A

Friday, September 15, 2017

Reflection: A Review of the 2016/2017 HCS Superintendent's Goals

Dear HCS Community,

As we move from success to significance, I am putting together my goals for this year. Before I do, I think it is important to update you on what WE have accomplished last year. I recognize that so much of what school and district leaders do is in the open, but we spend an equal amount of time behind the scenes working with and through people. Take a look at what WE are doing at HCS. I sincerely hope that we add value to each student each day. I'll see you in the neighborhood.

Your Partner in Education,

Dr. A

2016/2017 HCS Superintendent Goals                   

Superintendent's Vision Statement

Through the efforts of home, school, and community the Hamilton Central School provides a wide range of traditional and innovative learning opportunities in a safe, caring, and challenging environment for all students. In addition, we expect our children to consider important ideas, to master basic skills, to develop into highly literate, numerate, articulate critical thinkers who can identify and solve complex problems in an ethical and just manner.

I.          Target Area:  Student Achievement

Goal 1: Provide leadership for implementing high quality curriculum and instruction to promote improved student success.


1.  Finalize the APPR teacher/principal evaluations as outlined in education law 3012-d. (STATUS: COMPLETE)
2.   Implement NWEA, a pilot screener for math and ELA to accurately assess and monitor students who receive Rtl services.
3.   Continue to maximize professional development opportunities for staff by bringing in
Columbia University as partners in our literacy efforts.
4.   Finalize, codify and disseminate Response to Intervention (Rtl) processes and instruments.
(STATUS: COMPLETE full staff training begins in the FALL 2017)
5.   Recommend a revision of the HCS Rti/AIS plan.
6.   Recommend hiring a special education expert to remediate areas identified as
"opportunities for forward growth" in our special education department.

II.         Target Area:  Organizational Capacity

Goal 2: Provide leadership to ensure that our school/district leaders and support staff are maximizing their impact of student learning and well being.

1.  Through the secondary principal, work with the School Counseling Department to create a College Guide for HCS families and seniors. (STATUS: COMPLETE)

2.   Facilitate mastermind study groups on The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership with the
Board of Education. (STATUS: COMPLETE)

3.   Facilitate mastermind study groups on The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership with the
HCS leadership team. (STATUS: COMPLETE)

III.       Target Area: Budget

Goal 3:  Provide leadership to promote equitable and increased access to state-driven and local funding and align resources within current budget to maintain high quality academic and co­ curricular programs for all students.

1.  Collaborate with Board of Education to develop strategies that promote community engagement and garner support from local officials.  (STATUS: COMPLETE and ONGOING)
2.   Convene HISP steering committee. (STATUS: COMPLETE)
3.   Convene a budget advisory committee. (STATUS: NOT COMPLETE – No volunteers)

IV.       Target Area: Communication & Community Engagement

Goal 4: Provide leadership to promote effective communication and community engagement.

1.  Interview, screen, and solicit proposals to provide a strategic plan for HCS. (STATUS: COMPLETE)
2.   Cultivate new relationships with surrounding agencies and leaders. (STATUS: COMPLETE)
3.   Maintain a Superintendent's Blog. (STATUS: COMPLETE and ONGOING)
4.   Continue to engage in public events in and around the school community. (STATUS: COMPLETE and ONGOING)
5.   Provide more opportunities for staff to engage with me. (STATUS: COMPLETE and ONGOING)
6.   Continue the work on the Hamilton International Student Proposal by convening the steering committee. (STATUS: COMPLETE and ONGOING)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

"Welcome Back" was a SUCCESS!

Dear Parents/Community Members,

Thank you for your well wishes and support of our faculty, students, and staff at our Welcome Back rally this morning.  Our focus this year is “From Success to Significance.”  As a school community, my wish is that we create the environment to have the best year ever at HCS.

Courtesy Carolyn Godfrey/Mid-York Weekly

Your Partner in Education,

Dr. A

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Strategic Planning Update and Progress Report

August 31, 2017

This is an abbreviated communication that went out to our CORE Team and TASK Forces.

Dear Colleagues,

            First and foremost, thank you all for your work on the Task Forces.  I truly believe that creating a strategic plan will serve this district well for many years to come. My wish is that we are complete and ready to report to the HCS Board of Education in October.

As a reminder, both the Strategic Planning Core Team and Task Forces will meet on Monday, September 11th @ 6:00 p.m. in the High School Library.  The purpose of this meeting is to view the work in progress of the committees, offer guidance and share resources as we move closer to the end of the strategic planning process.

            To reiterate, the Core Team’s role is to build the overarching framework of the strategic plan through the creation of Vision, Mission, Beliefs and Parameters. The Core Team also establishes the five (5) year Strategic Intents. Tasks Forces offer input on the Intents as they embrace their specific work and have the very critical task of detailing how we reach our goals by designing high-leverage Strategies and Action Plans. These areas align perfectly, giving us the global context, clear goals and precise strategies for reaching our intended outcomes.

Please remember, we are building our blueprint for how this district moves forward – very exciting! And, having this be such a great collective undertaking will make all the difference as we implement.


                                                           Dr. Anael Alston