Superintendent Updates

Picture of Superintendent


Dec. 15, 2023


Holiday greetings families,

As we approach holiday recess, it is fulfilling to see the excitement and joy bubbling across the district. Attending holiday concerts, visiting classrooms and sharing our beloved K-3 Winter Singalongs makes me smile. As good as it feels for many, we know the holidays may also bring other emotions like sadness or depression. If your child(ren) or family are experiencing hardships during this time, know that we're here for you. Please contact your child(ren)'s principal or school counselor for assistance.



Student and staff safety and welfare remain our top priority. Thanks to our partnership with Irondequoit Police, we've been working on the parts of a School Violence Prevention grant over the past three years. One leg of the grant focuses on bolstering our emergency management. This week, we conducted a large-scale functional exercise that tested our district-level incident response. Reps from local and county law enforcement, St. Paul Fire Dept. and district administration tackled a live scenario about a plausible emergency event. Everyone left feeling even more connected and better informed. We know we cannot plan for every detail, but experiences like this improve our ability to act swiftly and confidently in a coordinated way to consider all angles. Read below for additional comments from our Director of Safety & Security, Mr. Chris Shellard.



Every year, district leaders provide multiple "study sessions" to our Board of Education to keep it informed about learning in our schools. This month, Iroquois Principal Mr. Christian Zwahlen and Interim Rogers Principal Mr. Peter Hens joined forces to showcase grades 4-6 happenings. These study sessions (click to watch the 4-6 presentation) highlight major initiatives driven by our district's mission, core commitments and Strategic Plan. Board members chatted with fourth-graders about an extensive memoir writing assignment and the solving of complex mathematical word problems related to new curricula. The depth of understanding and independence reflected by these students was impressive. The principals also shared tools, such as the zone of regulation and infinity walks, to support all students in their social-emotional understanding. Next up are our K-3 buildings on Thursday, Jan. 4.



This week we announced the newest member of the Board of Education, Mrs. Melissa Bohrer, who won Tuesday's Special Election. Mrs. Bohrer joins our veteran members for her first official meeting next Thursday, Dec. 21. We're excited to add Mrs. Bohrer's diverse perspectives as a longstanding district parent, active community member, and library media specialist in the East Irondequoit CSD. Mrs. Bohrer has already begun onboarding to understand the ins and outs of school board governance and will complete mandatory training shortly after the New Year. I look forward to working alongside Mrs. Bohrer and our entire Board in service of students, staff, and community. Thank you to candidates Gary Adams, Mike Fischer and Tamara Wall for their interest and enthusiasm for our district and community.


To close, we continue to have so many reasons to celebrate. Please read below for more updates and highlights that exemplify that "Peak Performance."


  • Southlawn first-grade teacher, Mrs. Jamie Willman, was honored as a recipient of the Golden Apple Award from WROC-TV, Channel 8. Mrs. Willman is in her 13th year teaching in our district. (Watch it)
  • Senior Alex Anderson is one of 1,514 students nationwide to be a Coca-Cola Scholar Semi-Finalist. Alex was selected from a pool of more than 103,000 applicants. He and his sister, Madison (Class of 2023), are the only IHS students to ever earn this distinction in the program's 36-year history. Scholars are selected based on academics, leadership and service to their school and community.
  • Seniors Marin Penner (flute/piccolo), Ellery McClenathan (double bass) and Ella Belculfine (horn) were selected for the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra - the highest-level youth orchestra in the Hochstein School’s four-tier youth program.
  • Junior Jack Debes won the Outstanding Delegate Award at Hilton’s Model United Nations Conference, and sophomore Gabby Marshall successfully chaired her first Conference Committee with the "Press Corps."
  • Sports highlights: IHS girls volleyball won a Section V title for the second straight year and 10th time in coach Marc Callari's tenure; sophomore Brenna Scott won the Section V Class B diving championship; senior linebacker Serah Hall was named Section V Class A Co-Defensive Player of the Year; junior Aubrey Smith finished 45th in a field of 454 runners and 25th in Class A at the state cross country championships; seniors Ella Brenna (Jacksonville), Maddie Thore (Canisius), Ali Baumgartner (UMass) and Jonah Carrier (Maryland) signed national letters of intent to play lacrosse in college.

Happy holidays to you and yours,

Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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