South Colonie welcomes Jonathan Buhner

While Buhner said he will miss the Walton District, he was eager to come to South Colonie, due mostly, he said, to its reputation. "This district is known for excellence," he said.

According to Buhner, one of the things about South Colonie that drew him in the most was its high focus on character education, or education about certain personality traits. Buhner said that even though the Walton school district is in the southern tier of New York, he was still able to learn of South Colonie's "tremendous" qualities.

So, after hearing of the open position vacated by Marcelle, who had planned to retire, Buhner, his wife, Mercedes Flores-Buhner, 14-year-old son, Jon, and 11-year-old daughter, Mercita, relocated to South Colonie and started a new life last month.

Buhner said his son will be attending Shaker High School as a freshman, while his daughter will be entering the sixth grade at Lisha Kill Middle School.

In between setting up his home and settling into his new office, Buhner's first task was to arrange the schedule for the upcoming school year. "We're trying to bring a lot of programs and events in," he said.

The schedule will reflect many of Buhner's objectives as a superintendent, which will include events to familiarize himself with faculty members, students and parents, as well as making sure students stay involved. "As a superintendent, I've always felt that was critical," he said.

Buhner also said he hopes to continue the district's tradition of excellence, and maintain a school culture that is safe.

But one of the most important objectives, Buhner said, is to "develop not only smart kids, but positive smart citizens."

The South Colonie Central School District will be holding a "Hello/Goodbye" party for Marcelle and Buhner on Friday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Fuller Road Firehouse. The event is open to the entire South Colonie community, and a free buffet and music will be provided. In lieu of gifts, attendees may make donations to the Mr. and Mrs. Louis J. Marcelle Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o South Colonie Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 12413, Albany 12212. ""

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