Weston Schools Deal with Change

By: Brock Bergey
By: Brock Bergey

Weston School leaders are trying to put Friday's tragedy behind them and move forward.

A sign outside Cazenovia's only gas station reads, "Forever Changed: 9-29-06."

The small farming community starts its first week without Principal John Klang.

Several students and staff returned to the site of last Friday's shooting. Not for class, but for support.

"I just can't believe all the offers and help we're getting," says Superintendent Terry Milfred.

More than 30 counselors from 15 agencies are available to students, their parents, and their teachers.

"What we're talking about is how do we bring the staff into this using their expertise and help the kids get back to normal," says Milfred.

Milfred says some people are still visibly shaken up. Others he says are doing remarkably well. Making people feel safe again inside these walls is the challenge the school now faces.

"I've never been through this before, and I don't know what to expect," he says.

And that's why Milfred asked the Madison School District for help.

"Hopefully we can share some of the experiences we've had and we can help people here learn from our experiences and there's will work out as well," says Ted Balistreri, Madison's Security Coordinator.

He's working with Weston school leaders on a security plan.

"They need to know that the school is safe. They need to know there are people there who can offer them help if they need to talk to someone," Balistreri adds.

Classes resume Thursday with counselors on hand. Students will notice one major addition--a uniformed officer will patrol the school. Other security measures may be added.

Milfred is encouraging everyone to try to put the shooting behind them... and move forward. He says that's what John Klang would want.

Current Dean of Students Melissa Ny will serve as Weston's acting principal.

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