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To post, go to Create Content > Blog Entry. Tag your post “milestones.”

Milestones include engagement, wedding and birth announcements as well as job promotions, military service and similar personal accomplishments of you and your family that you wish to share with the community.

May 9, 2016 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, elba.

Rochester Institute of Technologys College of Liberal Arts honored student achievement in writing with the presentation of the 2016 Henry and Mary Kearse Distinguished Lecture and Student Writing Award Ceremony.

Award winners included Matthew Anauo, of Elba, a first-year Electrical Engineering major representing the Department of Public Policy, with "Rethinking Third-Party Doctrine for the Digital Era."

"This is our big event of the year where we honor students in each of our programs who have done some outstanding writing in classes in the College of Liberal Arts," said Dean James Winebrake. "It really allows us to recognize and celebrate the good work of our students."

Winebrake also said the awards are also a good reflection of the faculty.

"There's not a prouder moment in a faculty member's career than to see one of their students win an award like this," he said.

It was the 36th year the awards have been presented. Faculty committees in each department within the College of Liberal Arts select student awardees from a variety of disciplines whose work embodies the ideals and standards of excellence, creative endeavor and scholarship.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls 18,600 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the United States.

May 9, 2016 - 12:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee County Sheriff's Office, news, Milestones.

Pictured from left: Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha, Undersheriff William A. Sheron Jr., Correction Officer Corey J. Cieszki, Correction Officer Jason M. Buck, and Jail Superintendent William A. Zipfel.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office recently filled two vacant part-time Correction Officer positions with the hiring of Jason M. Buck and Corey J. Cieszki.

These Correction Officers graduated in a class of 15 on Monday, April 25 from the Livingston County Basic Corrections six-week Academy that was held at the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.

Correction Officer Buck was captain of the class and Correction Officer Cieszki received the top academic award. The speaker at the graduation was Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty.  Training at the academy included instruction in the care and custody of inmates, inmate supervision, defensive tactics, firearms training, and other topics pertaining to corrections.

Sheriff Gary T. Maha said “Correction Officers Buck and Cieszki represented our Office well by excelling at the Corrections Academy."

April 28, 2016 - 1:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Press release:

The New York State Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (NYSMATYC) held its 49th Annual Conference earlier this month in Kingston, hosting professionals from throughout New York State for a three-day event themed, "Three Days of Peace and Math."

Among the order of business was the presentation of the organization's scholarship awards, which honor high achieving students at two-year colleges across the state. Genesee Community College is pleased to congratulate student Rebecca "Becca" Sheets, of Batavia, who was awarded the coveted Helen Siner Scholarship Award, reserved as the NYSMATYC's highest honor.

"I recommended Becca for the award because she has been one of the strongest students in Calculus III, Discrete Math and Differential Equations this year," said Phillip Pickering, GCC professor of Mathematics. "They are the three hardest mathematics courses currently offered at GCC. She has no shortage of supporters among the math and science faculty, and all of us who have had the pleasure of having her in class are equally impressed with her work ethic, attitude, personality and intelligence."

Helen Siner taught mathematics at Staten Island Community College, which later became the College of Staten Island, a four-year City University of New York (CUNY) unit. In 1975, Siner was honored by NYSMATYC for Outstanding Contributions to Mathematics Education. During the 1970s and 1980s, Siner chaired the Scholarship Committee almost continuously. After her death in the early 1990s, the top NYSMATYC Scholarship was named in her honor, which includes a $1,000 incentive.

A 2010 graduate of Batavia High School, Sheets is a double major at GCC, studying Mathematics and Chemistry. She served in the Air Force from 2011 until 2014 as an air traffic controller and spent time in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Becca was awarded the Waste Management Scholarship in the spring of 2015 and the Veterans Scholarship in the fall of 2015.

After her time at GCC, Sheets plans to move on to the University of Rochester or the State University of New York at Buffalo to continue her studies in hopes of becoming a professor or research scientist. She has already been accepted into the SUNY Geneseo Summer Engineering Research program (SURGE) and was named to the GCC President's List in the fall of 2014 and 2015 and the spring of 2014.

She is married to Jacob Sheets and has two daughters, Lillyan and Isabella. She is the daughter of Evangeline and Edward Canty and has one sister, Danielle.

April 28, 2016 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, Milestones.

Alma College, in Alma, Mich., celebrated the annual Kapp Honors Day earlier this month with student presentations of the visual and performing arts, and results of scholarly research. Marshall Argenta, of Stafford, was one of the participants.

Go here for the full story:

April 28, 2016 - 11:59am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, sports, news, Milestones.

Submitted photos and press release:

Last week, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) honored four local high school sports teams for winning championships in their respective conferences. Hawley presented Assembly proclamations, the house’s highest honor, to the Batavia Notre Dame Hockey Team, Batavia Girls Basketball Team, Batavia Boys Basketball Team and Batavia Girls’ Indoor Track and Field Team.

Hawley spoke to the teams about the value of teamwork, perseverance and strength and offered his advice and good fortune to the teams for next year. 

“Batavia is my hometown and I appreciate the strong tradition in athletics that is perpetuated by these gifted athletes,” Hawley said. “Non-professional athletics is one of the purest forms of sport out there because athletes do not have hidden agendas or are distracted by salary requirements.

"Lessons learned in high school sports such as leadership, the strength to fight through adversity and mental fortitude will have profound impacts on these young men and women and help them succeed after high school. I wish these teams the best of luck for next season.”

April 28, 2016 - 11:17am
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

Brandon Smart, 2016 graduate of Batavia High School, current undergraduate at the University of Rochester, has advanced to the finals in the Tibetan Innovation Challenge.

This is an intercollegiate social entrepreneurship business plan contest. Top universities from around the world compete in this challenge.

The ideals submitted from this contest are  meant to improve the lives of Tibetans living in refugee camps in India.

Brandon and his team, along with the other four finalists, will present their business plan to the Tibetan partners June 3 for the final round of the competition. The winner will get to meet the Dalai Lama and hopefully improve the lives of many Tibetans with their plan.

You can view the team's submission at  What a great honor to have made it this far.

April 25, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Sheriff's Office.

Upon completion of the Basic Civil School, Deputy Patrick Reeves (center) from Genesee County receives his certificate from Albany County Undersheriff William Cox (left) and Sheriffs’ Institute Executive Director Chris O’Brien (right).

Submitted photo and press release:

The New York State Sheriffs' Association Institute held a week‐long Basic School for deputy sheriffs and civilian staff of Sheriffs' civil divisions last week at the Albany County Courthouse in Albany. Deputies and other staff from Sheriffs' offices around the State attended the program, including Deputy Patrick Reeves from Genesee County.

Sponsored and organized by the Sheriffs’ Institute, the five‐day program provides participants with training in the latest advances in civil law enforcement and a forum to discuss current civil law enforcement issues and share best practices. All sheriffs have civil law enforcement functions, which include the service of process and enforcement of judgments and other court orders and mandates.

The school is required for counties seeking to earn accreditation of its civil office from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Civil Bureau is accredited.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, Inc., established in 1979, provides the only statewide training program for civil deputies. The training is provided without charge to any civil personnel nominated for the school by a sheriff. Visit

April 23, 2016 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Stafford.

Nicholas Muehlbauer, of Stafford, represented SUNY Oneonta at the second annual SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference, held at SUNY Cobleskill on Friday, April 15. The conference featured more than 200 oral, poster and performing arts presentations on a wide range of topics across academic disciplines.

"The conference highlights exceptional academic work by students across the disciplines and across our great SUNY system," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "Their great accomplishments in laboratories, and communities on and off campuses are testaments of their educational ambition and excellence."

Muehlbauer, who is majoring in Environmental Science and Biology at SUNY Oneonta, gave a poster presentation titled "Pollen Tube Growth on a Windy Day."

The SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC) is a multidisciplinary event hosted each spring semester by a different SUNY institution. This year's event brought together undergraduate student researchers and faculty mentors from across the SUNY system for a full day of activities, including student presentations, a keynote address by renowned cancer researcher Jill Bargonetti, a SUNY Graduate School and career fair, and professional development workshops.

A liberal arts institution with a strong focus on undergraduate research and service learning, SUNY Oneonta consistently gains recognition for delivering excellence and value.

April 23, 2016 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, bergen.

Michael Slack, of Bergen, was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Slack was initiated at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Slack is among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors, having at least 72 semester hours, are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. The Society has chapters on more than 300 college and university campuses in North America and the Philippines. Its mission is "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

More About Phi Kappa Phi

Since its founding, more than 1.25 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization's more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley. The Society has awarded approximately $15 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards, and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. For more information, visit

April 23, 2016 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones, news, eugene jankowski, sports.

Eugene Jankowski Jr., of Batavia, finished First Place Senior in the Tactical Division in the 2016 Colt USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals at the Desert Sportsman’s Rifle and Pistol Club, Las Vegas, held April 15-17.

A total of 301 competitors from all over the world braved 40-mph wind gusts and completed 12 stages of fire requiring the use of rifle, pistol and shotgun over three days. Paper, steel and flying clay targets were arranged anywhere from 7 to 400 yards in a unique maze of walls, hard cover and natural terrain.

USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) has more than 25,000 active members and more than 400 affiliated clubs. USPSA is the largest competitive shooting organization in the United States.

Video highlights can be seen by clicking here.

April 20, 2016 - 5:23pm

Submitted photo. Front row, from left: Kaitlin Laird, Nina Searchfield, Rebecca Reamer, Jaclyne Passage, Victoria Welka, Zoe Falsone, and Kayle MacIntyre. Back row, from left: Samantha Siple, Ashley Brady, Ashley Chapman, Nicholas Lathrop, and Stephen Gass.

Press release:

Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center students attended the New York State Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Spring Leadership Conference in Liverpool, New York on April 13-15.

Zoë Falsone (Attica) and Jaclyne Passage (Le Roy) completed their 2015-2016 terms as senior vice president, parliamentarian and Region E vice president for New York State HOSA. Zoë participated in two events, Job Seeking Skills and Home Health Aid, and earned a Bronze Medal in Home Health Aid.  

Jaclyne participated in Job Seeking Skills where she earned a Silver Medal. She also presented with Rebecca Reamer (Pavilion) in the Medical Innovations event and was awarded a Silver Medal. Their topic was Human Head Transplant. In preparation for this event, Jaclyne and Rebecca worked with the Batavia CTE Computer Information Systems (CIS) students and Maggie Poray, CIS instructor, to design and create 3-D head models to use during their presentation.

Rebecca Reamer and Ashley Chapman (Caledonia-Mumford) chose Medical Photography Rebecca focused on dentistry pictures and Ashley focused on Emergency Medical Services utilizing friends and family from her local fire department.  Ashley took the Health Issues Exam, and qualified for national competition.

Samantha Siple (Caledonia-Mumford) participated in Home Health Aid and Job Seeking Skills and earned leadership skills.

Nina Searchfield (Caledonia-Mumford) received a silver medal in Nurse Assisting. Nina also presented with her partner Ashley Brady (Attica) in Health Careers Display. Their topic of choice was midwifery. Previous to the competition, these two students spent time at United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) on the maternity floor during their clinical rotations through the Health Dimensions program. 

Victoria Welka (Byron-Bergen) and Kaylee McIntyre chose to show their artistic skills in Extemporaneous Health Poster. Kaylee earned a Bronze Medal for her artistic creation. She also created a chapter poster, which earned the New York State HOSA Chapter poster winner for 2016. Kaylee was chosen as the New York State HOSA 2016-2017 Region E vice president.

Kaitlin Laird (Batavia) competed in the Extemporaneous Writing event. She campaigned for a position as a New York HOSA State Officer, was elected and will serve as the senior vice president for the 2016-2017 term.

Stephen Gass (Pembroke) and Nicholas Lathrop (Attica) both performed well in the Personal Care category. Nicholas earned two Gold Medals in both Interviewing Skills and Speaking Skills. His topic was Innovate, Inspire, and Ignite. Nicholas was so stunned that he received two Gold Medals that his classmates needed to repeat that he had won first place again. Stephen looked at Bonny Shelby, his instructor, and said, “This makes me realize I can do anything!”

Three students, Nina Searchfield, Zoë Falsone and Kaitlin Laird, earned achievement awards at the conference. The Batavia CTE Center HOSA Chapter won the T-shirt and trading pin design contest for 2016. The submission was used for T-shirts that were provided to all participants at the Spring Leadership Conference. The design was made into a trading pin that will be distributed in June at the National Leadership Conference.

Zoë Falsone, Ashley Chapman, Jaclyne Passage, Kaylee MacIntyre, Nina Searchfield, Rebecca Reamer, Nicholas Lathrop, Stephen Gass, and Ashley Brady are eligible for participation at the HOSA National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in June.

Four students from the Batavia CTE Center have been inducted as the New York State HOSA Officers. Rebecca Reamer -- President; Kaitlin Laird -- Senior Vice President; Kaylee Mac Intyre -- Secretary; Victoria Welka -- Region E Vice President. These four young women will attend the officer Summer Leadership Academy in Albany in June.

Four students from the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership Adult Education LPN/CNA Program also attended the conference and participated in the Knowledge Tests. Jessica Newton won a gold medal in Human Growth and Development; Aimee Donohue received a Silver Medal in the Behavioral Health; Leanne King won a Silver Medal in Medical Law and Ethics and a Bronze Medal in Pathophysiology.

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State. 

April 20, 2016 - 4:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city schools, Milestones, news.

Batavia City School District Board of Education President Pat Burk, right, is congratulated by Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey for receiving an Award for Excellence from the Western New York Educational Service Council.

Submitted photo. Press release:

To say that Patrick Burk is a champion of students and school staff gives new meaning to the word “understatement.” That sentiment was recognized recently by the Western New York Educational Service Council in presenting him with a 2016 Award for Excellence in the category of Board Member.

A graduate of nearby Caledonia-Mumford Central School and resident of Batavia for more than 35 years, Burk has been a Batavia City School District Board of Education member for 30 years and served as the Board’s president 10 different times, including presently. Most recently, he was key to starting a recognition program that highlights outstanding students, staff, and community volunteers at each Board meeting, and was quintessential in establishing the Batavia City School District Education Foundation. 

“Mr. Burk is the backbone of our district,” says Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey. “He is our greatest cheerleader, advocate, and friend.”

Burk says, “I know that we have a solid District and I am extremely proud to be a part of it. I am pleased with our outcomes and see a tremendous amount of positive results from our students. I also am champion of our staff. I believe that they are excellent and I see that they work hard to obtain the positive outcomes.”

In addition to his work for the Batavia schools, Burk also has served on the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership board for the last three years, is a delegate to New York State School Boards Association, and, as he has for the past 10 of 12 years, serves as the president of the Genesee Valley School Boards Institute. He is also a longtime supporter of and volunteer for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program, and is the executive director and artistic director of the Batavia Players. Previously, he has served on the GO ART! Board of Directors and the Batavia Youth Center Board of Directors.

Though his record of community service is lengthy, his longest Board affiliation is with the Batavia City School District.

“Being a Board member allows me to contribute to the education of our young people,” says Burk. “It is the most important investment we can make. It also allows me to be a part of a successful District. I have enjoyed my involvement with the Batavia City School District and I do want to continue that involvement.”

Says Dailey, “He deserves to be recognized for his selfless dedication to public education in the Batavia City Schools."

April 20, 2016 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Kaitlyn Logsdon, of Batavia, received an award at the 2016 James J. Whalen Academic Symposium at Ithaca College.

A total of 420 students participated by giving oral presentations or displaying posters and other creative works. Award winners were selected from a pool of 60 finalists.

Logsdon's presentation was entitled, "The Paradox of Sustainability and the Global Betterment Imperative."

April 20, 2016 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, bergen, news, Milestones.

Press release:

Tonight, Byron-Bergen Central School honors the two newest inductees into its Hall of Fame. Judy (Hulburt) Holly (Class of 1976) and Amy (Seward) Stacy (Class of 1980) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates, providing young people of our district with positive adult role models, showing that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives.  This honor is in its 13th year and has become part of our school district culture and a permanent reminder to our students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

The 2016 inductees will be honored on tonight at the school at 7 o'clock. Each will briefly speak to students and receive their B-B Alumni Hall of Fame plaques at the Sr. National Honor Society induction ceremony. They spent the day visiting with Byron-Bergen students and sharing how their school experience influenced their lives.

During her years at Byron-Bergen, Judy (Hulburt) Holly (shown left) participated in National Honor Society, Student Council, Spanish Club, and Ski Club. She attended Russell-Sage College (1976-77) for Physical Therapy during 1976-77 and then transferred to SUNY Brockport and earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1980.

After college graduation, Holly was employed as a nurse at Highland Hospital (Rochester), working on a medical floor then transferring to labor and delivery. She worked there until she started her family.

Holly has stated that her greatest achievement is her family. She is married to a wonderful man; together they are parents of six children, and have two grandchildren.

She and her husband are foster parents (through Monroe County) and have fostered 50 foster babies (so far), many of whom are medically fragile infants.

Holly has dedicated herself to helping children, most of whom are unable to care for themselves and in need special attention, demonstrating the utmost compassion.

Holly is an excellent role model and source of inspiration to the youth of Byron-Bergen.

While attending Byron-Bergen, Amy (Seward) Stacy (pictured above) participated in Volleyball (MVP her senior year), Basketball, Chorale, Band, Spanish Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, Drama Club, AFS, was a Peer Counselor, First Presbyterian Church youth group, and a teacher for Vacation Bible School.

She earned several scholarships and awards upon graduation.

After high school, she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1984 from Cornell University in Nutrition, and a master’s degree from SUNY Brockport in Health Education in 1989. Stacy is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, certified dietitian/nutritionist, and certified pump trainer.

She has worked for the WIC Program, Lakeside Memorial Hospital, Strong’s Cardiac Rehab Program, and Lakeside Memorial’s Wellness Center.

Currently, Stacy works for Rochester Regional Health System (Unity Diabetes Program in Brockport) and is the sole proprietor for Innovative Nutrition by Amy.

Awards include Who’s Who in Diabetes Education and the Healthy Heart Contributor Award. She also received a New York State grant for nutrition education. Memberships include the American Diabetes Association, American Association of Diabetes Educators, Rochester Association of Diabetes Educators, American Dietetic Association/Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Genesee Dietetic Association, and Bergen Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

She is an active community member who is involved in her church (Sunday school teacher, Vacation Bible School, worship team), and numerous activities within the Bergen area. Stacy stated her greatest achievement has been to raise four wonderful children with her husband, Rick, and being grandparents.

Involved in her community and through her faith, Stacy inspires the youth of the Byron-Bergen community.

April 20, 2016 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, sports, Basom.

Press release:

Andrew Lipnicky, of Basom, from the RIT Rock Climbing Team, will compete in national competition Friday and Saturday at the Collegiate Climbing Series in San Diego, Calif.

Lipnicky is a Ph.D. student in the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology program.

Nearly 400 athletes from approximately 40 colleges will participate in various competitions, including speed, bouldering and sport climbing.

The team is coming off of a first-place overall victory in Northeast regional competition earlier this month in Albany, against teams from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

April 20, 2016 - 3:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones.

Jacquelyn Carson, of Le Roy, has received the 2015-2016 Susan Sutton Smith Award for academic excellence at SUNY Oneonta. To be eligible for the award, a student must be a freshman, sophomore or junior with a grade-point average of 3.9 or higher.

Carson, a junior majoring in Early Childhood/Childhood Ed (B-6), received a certificate, a gift card to the campus bookstore, and an invitation to attend the annual Susan Sutton Smith Lecture and reception. Susan Bernardin, Ph.D., professor of English at SUNY Oneonta, delivered this year's lecture on April 12 in the Craven Lounge of the college's Morris Conference Center. Bernardin is the 22nd recipient of the Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence, created to recognize faculty achievement outside the classroom and named in memory of the late SUNY Oneonta professor of English.

The lecture and the Susan Sutton Smith Awards for academic excellence were made possible by the generous gifts of SUNY Oneonta alumni to the 2015-2016 Fund for Oneonta. The Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence was made possible by an endowment created through the generosity of Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Mary Smith in memory of their daughter, Susan, and in honor of her commitment to academic excellence.

A liberal arts institution with a strong focus on undergraduate research and service learning, SUNY Oneonta consistently gains recognition for delivering excellence and value.

April 12, 2016 - 4:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, batavia, Milestones.

Press release:

Founding a college is no simple task. Establishing Genesee Community College in the mid-1960s involved more than a decade of planning with hundreds of community members working hard in support of the innovative idea that Genesee and surrounding counties would benefit from having a college. As GCC recognizes its 50th Anniversary, numerous historical dates are being celebrated, as are the pioneering efforts and vision of its founding citizens.

Friday, April 15, 2016 is Founding Day at GCC's Batavia Campus, which will celebrate the exact date 50 years prior that the State University of New York officially approved and recognized the interests of the Genesee County Board of Supervisors to establish and sponsor a two-year college in Genesee County. It is one of many important dates in the College's history, and also the first event in the coming 18 months where GCC will reflect on its unique past while planning ahead for the future.

At 11 a.m. on Founding Day, the College community including students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and friends will gather in the William W. Stuart Forum for a cake-cutting ceremony. In addition, a specially prepared historical photo show will run continuously until 2 p.m., and all visitors will have the chance to be part of a pending time capsule by briefly answer the inquiry: "What I found at GCC." Edited responses to this inquiry will be added to the soon to be launched 50th Anniversary Web site.

WGCC, the College's radio station will be broadcasting live, and the GCC Cougar mascot will pose for numerous photo ops. Lastly, the College will officially release the new 50th Anniversary logo featuring a creative blue and gold flame matching the College's colors that date back to the late 1960s with the insignia "The True-Blue Past – Our Golden Future." 

"This is the 'soft opening' to the College's Anniversary program," President James Sunser, Ed.D., said at a recent planning meeting. "It gives us the opportunity to publish and promote our calendar of upcoming events and the many opportunities we are looking forward to, including the new logo with a few surprises."

The next big College event is the official Groundbreaking Ceremony on Thursday, April 28, at 4 p.m. for the new Student Success Center and the Event Center. College and community leaders will gather to recognize the start of construction for these two new facilities, collectively valued at more than $21 million and totaling 75,000 square feet. In addition, the program includes the opportunity to officially kickoff GCC's 50th Anniversary Celebration, paying homage to the community leaders 50 years ago whose vision gave rise to Genesee Community College's long term success. Final plans for Groundbreaking Ceremony are in development and details will be available soon.

April 9, 2016 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, oak field.

(Submitted photo: Erin Hale, of Oakfield, enjoys the North Carolina scenery during a hike.)

Press release:

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Four homes, four families, countless smiles: that’s the sum of the hard work provided by 25 Lycoming College students, including Erin Hale, of Oakfield, and college staff during the Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge held over spring break last month.

After traveling to Winston-Salem, N.C., the Lycoming group teamed up with the Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County affiliate to lay subflooring and roofing, install vinyl siding, put up patio railing, and clean at four houses.

“Signing up on a whim for my first Habitat for Humanity trip turned out to be one of my best experiences at Lycoming,” said Hale, a senior Biology major who participated in the challenge all four years at Lycoming, and who organized the last two as a leadership development opportunity.

“The trips remind me that a lot of people are struggling with more extreme conditions than a typical college student. The new homeowners are very thankful and the other volunteers, including the construction site leaders and retired people who contribute regularly, have made a big impact on me. These role models have inspired me to continue to give back in the best way that I can."

March 31, 2016 - 4:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, byron, bergen.

Press release:

Earlier this month, 23 students from the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School were inducted as new members of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). They proudly joined the 30 standing members of the school’s NJHS.

The NJHS program highlights the well-rounded students at Byron-Bergen. Inductees are selected based on their high standards of scholarship, citizenship, service, leadership, and character. All members are required to demonstrate their achievements in each of these areas. The 2016 new members are:

7th Grade

8th Grade

Nicholas Baubie

Bianca Brumsted

  (not pictured)

Emily Chaback

Jonah Clare

Richard Denson

Joshua Fleming

Eden Goff

Sara Goodman

Hope Hersom


Kelly Ireland

Colby Leggo

Gavin Lewis

John Mercovich

Bryanne Puma

Alaura Rehwaldt

Joshua Swapceinski

Xavier Thomas

Matthew Zwerka

Elizabeth Donnelly

  (not pictured)

Kyle Foeller

Chad Green

Caleb Sharpe


9th Grade

Sabastian Pawlukewicz


NJHS President Abby Vurraro addressed the audience and told of a recent meeting with her idol Jennie Finch, the University of Arizona NCAA softball champion and Olympic gold medalist. Vurraro shared Finch’s motto of “Dream and Believe.” She challenged her fellow members to “be determined to push the limits even if no one believes you can.”

The induction ceremony featured two additional guest speakers: Byron-Bergen Math teacher Tiffany Luksch; and Social Studies teacher Bryan Kavanaugh.

Luksch shared examples of how individuals with drive and determination are “able to overcome adversity and challenging circumstances with strength and resilience.” She told the stories of several young activists, including education advocate Malala Yousafzai; 14-year-old feminist Julia Bluhm, who challenged "Seventeen" magazine to portray real women; ambitious 13-year-old Neveah Mosher, who challenged herself to read over 300 books a year; and Jack Andraka, a high school sophomore who invented a new method to detect pancreatic cancer. She then shared a personal story of a current student at Byron-Bergen who has also overcome great challenges.

Kavanaugh’s speech continued the empowering message. He shared a quote he had placed on his classroom whiteboard from one of the most powerful businesswomen in the country, NBCUniversal Cable Chairman Bonnie Hammer: “The biggest mistake to me is complacency.” Kavanaugh applauded the students for their accomplishments so far in life, but also challenged them to not become complacent and always strive to improve.

As part of the induction ceremony, each new inductee received a certificate and pin, and the distinct honor to be a part of the National Junior Honor Society. Over a million students participate in NJHS: Membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but also challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

March 31, 2016 - 11:01am
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, music education, news, Milestones.

Press release:

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has designated Le Roy Central School District as one of the 2016 Best Communities for Music Education.

This designation is awarded to district and school music education programs "for outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education par of the core curriculum."

Le Roy has been awarded this honor 10 times in the last 11 years. The Le Roy music program supports over 360 students in chorus and over 210 students in band district-wide.

According to Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director, the Best Communities designation brings "hard-won visibility to music classes, programs and departments that are keeping music education alive in our schools.

The school district congratulates the Le Roy Music Department -- Lindsay Buckel, Jessa Dechant, Dan DeLuca, Jackie McLean, Brad Meholick, Matt Nordhausen -- students, parents and school community on their hard work and dedication to music in Le Roy!


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