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Carl Friedrichs, left, from Germany and Zdenek Vhynis from the Czech Republic are the first two foreign students to attend Indian Lake Central School. The two met the Board of Education Tuesday, Sept. 17, and are well on their way to fitting in by playing on the boys' varsity soccer team. (Photo/Pete Klein)


IL school welcomes foreign students

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - Updated: 10:27 PM


Express News Staff

INDIAN LAKE - The Indian Lake Central School Board of Education welcomed the school's first two foreign students Tuesday, Sept. 17.

The students, Carl Friedrichs from Germany and Zdenek Vhynis from the Czech Republic, are spending their year here with Robert and Julia Gundel. The young men were soft-spoken and a bit shy in answering questions from the board.

English teacher Nora Harrington said, "Their English is very good and they are reading in English. Sometimes they need to pause and think of what word they want to use."

Julie Gundel commented, "They are eating well and fitting right in."

In addition to settling in to school life, both boys have caught up with required soccer practice and will now be contributing to the school's boys' varsity soccer team.


There was some discussion about the new Common Core standards.

Board Member Michelle Hutchins said, "I'm seeing parents complain about it on Facebook. Parents don't understand it."

President Jon Voorhees said, "The way it was dropped in is making it difficult for the kids. I hope we don't lose a generation as we adjust to it."

Principal David Snide acknowledged the difficulties for students, teachers and parents, and said he plans to schedule some workshops for parents.

Snide added, "The willingness of our teachers to implement something new is phenomenal."

The intent behind Common Core is to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help students learn.

Information about Common Core can be found at


Superintendent Mark Brand said local school districts are starting to plan as a group to advocate for funding from the state.

"We at least want to hold on to the funding we have and don't want to wait for the state budget to come out like we did last year, when we found ourselves fighting for what we lost," he said.

Representatives of local schools will meet Oct. 22 in Queensbury. Brand asked board members to attend the meeting with him if at all possible.

He also hopes to meet with the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors sometime this year to discuss what needs to be done to preserve local schools.


-- Security cameras have arrived and will be installed in the near future.

-- There was some discussion about updating the policy on student use of personal electronic devices such as cell phones. The board agreed to study a suggested policy from Erie BOCES.

The school board will next meet Tuesday, Oct. 15, starting at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria.


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