H’port school marks award with parade, flight

Mary Perham
Students from Glenn Curtiss Elementary School make their way to the beach at Depot Park in Hammondsport to watch Principal Michelle Sincerbox ride in a Cessna 182 plane.

Hammondsport students celebrated being Blue Ribbon students with an event Friday, June 10 that included waving as their principal hopped on a seaplane and took off over Keuka Lake.

The Glenn Curtiss Elementary School was one of 304 schools across the nation named a 2010 Blue Ribbon School last fall by the U.S. Department of Education.

More than 135,000 private and public schools were eligible for the award, which goes to schools whose students have very high academic levels or make significant progress in achievement, especially among disadvantaged and minority students.

“It’s a great thing for us,” fifth-grader Trever Welch said, watching the festivities with his classmate Jackson Cummings. “We did very good on a New York state test.”

“We were lucky,” Jackson said.

The federal recognition was “an accomplishment,” sixth-grader Edda Martinez said.

Principal Michelle Sincerbox previously said the award to the small school was due to the teachers who know their students and their families and set high expectations.

Friday she hopped on a seaplane piloted by Cameron Dunlap, of Corning, in honor of aviation pioneer Curtiss and flew overhead, as the students waved and cheered.

The celebration also included an assembly, a parade and cups of cotton candy ice cream.

“The pride shown throughout your community and your school philosophies that value all students, expresses the belief that all students can and will excel,” U.S. Department of Education representative Jacquelyn Pitta told the students before presenting Sincerbox with a commendation.

Cameron Dunlap, owner of the Cessna 182 float plane, shuts the door of the plane as principal Michelle Sincerbox looks on.