Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors


November 20, 2015 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, Wonderland of Trees, hlom.


Photo by Nicole Tamfer; info submitted by Diane Bonarigo.

Jackson Primary School students and staff decorate Jackson's Community Caring Tree for The Wonderland of Trees at HLOM. Jackson students created ornaments in Art class of many different people and organizations that help the school each year. Some of the ornaments included, firemen, police officers, volunteer readers, military personnel, bus drivers, dentists, Cornell Cooperative Extension reps,  and JAHA.

The students were reminded through this project how much the Batavia Community cares about the children. (First picture) Brock Bigsby, Nolan Wright, Connor Malone Wesley Fisher, Carleigh Miller, Ryan Bigsby, Lauren Nelson,  and Reese Koukides, Mrs. Bonarigo, Mr. Sloan, Mr. Calandra, Mrs. Mundell, Mrs. Koukides, Mrs. Nelson, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Tamfer, Mrs. Bigsby, Mrs. Torrey.

The Wonderland of Trees opens tonight with a gala starting at 7 o'clock.

November 9, 2015 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, bergen, schools, education.


Press release:

Students at Byron-Bergen Elementary School have focused their efforts on an impressive goal to benefit their school for well over a year. They have been busy planning, organizing, budgeting, working with partners, and raising needed funds. They finally saw all their hard work pay off at an outdoor ceremony at the school’s playground on Nov. 4 when Principal Brian Meister cut the ribbon and opened the new four square playing court.

The project began with the school’s Student Council. Student leaders from grades four through six recognized that a need existed for a safer location for students to play the popular playground game, four square. For years, students had played on a concrete sidewalk next to the parking lot. Errant balls often came much too close to cars and traffic. Student leaders created a proposal to build a new play area with a permanent four square court, partnering up with the community's STEP Boosters, and finding support from the Board of Education and administration leaders.

They planned and organized a number of successful fundraising events and activities. Students researched court building guidelines and rules, designed the court, managed the budget, hired contractors, and directed the work.

“This project came straight from student ideas and has been entirely executed by our students,” Meister said. “It is reality today because our students made it happen.”

The opening ceremony featured a short speech from Student Council President Elli Schelemanow, who thanked the Board of Education, the Byron-Bergen Administration, the Bergen Highway Department, The Pike Company, the Byron-Bergen Maintenance Department, Visual Impact Signs and Graphics, and the elementary school Art teacher Melissa Coniglio. Student Council Vice President Frank Hersom, Treasurer Lexi Vurraro, and Secretary Kendall Phillips were also on hand to assist in the ribbon-cutting, along with BOE President Debra List and Amy Phillips, and STEP Boosters Treasurer Carrie Baubie.

The student court design includes four courts for four square play, with additional areas for shuffleboard and hopscotch. 


November 7, 2015 - 11:09am
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, schools, education.


Assistant Principal Jon Wilson, left, and Principal Carol Messura greet students Friday during a celebration of Wolcott Street School's designation as a 2015 National School of Character. 

Call it a show of good character, featuring a cast of “good characters.”

About 700 of them, to be exact.

The Wolcott Street School community gathered along Trigon Park on Friday afternoon to celebrate — cheerfully and loudly — its designation as a 2015 National School of Character.

Principal Carol Messura and Assistant Principal Jon Wilson arrived aboard a Le Roy Fire Department ladder truck, which carried a National School of Character banner and was escorted by the fire department along Main Street to the school.

They exchanged high-fives with students, before heading indoors for an assembly in Memorial Auditorium.

The elementary school was named a National School of Character in May by (formerly the Character Education Partnership), a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for character education. School administrators traveled to Atlanta last month to accept the honor.

Messura said it’s something to share.

“This award represents every single student, every staff member, every worker here, every parent, every administrator past and present, board members, families and our fabulous community at large,” she told students.

“This award lives in all of you.”

National Schools of Character are schools and districts where character education has had a positive impact on academics, student behavior and school climate, according to Designated schools have the right to use the National School of Character name and logo for five years.

Messura said 276 schools from across the United States applied for the honor this year. Wolcott Street School was one of only 64 schools and three districts that were awarded.

For Wolcott Street School, the story actually began about 15 years ago, when a Character Education Committee was created under the direction of then-principal Jim Thompson.

After his retirement, the character education program continued under his successor, Casey Kosiorek. The school earned a “Promising Practices” award in 2010, the same year it adopted the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. 

Wolcott Street School was named a New York State School of Character in 2012.

Thompson and Kosiorek were among local dignitaries on stage for Friday’s celebration.

“You know what we’re all here for? To make a difference with kids,” said Thompson, who now directs the Instructional Coaching Service for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

The Character Education Committee was formed in light of changing times, Thompson said. It had become clear that developing good character, was a responsibility schools had to share.

“It needed to be taught and it needed to be celebrated,” Thompson said. “And not in a heavy-handed way, but in a good way.”

Highlights from the assembly:

— John Panepento and Riley Wood each spoke on behalf of the sixth grade, which was asked to describe what character education has meant to them.

— Sixth-graders also sang “Hakuna Matata,” from Disney’s “The Lion King Kids.” The class presented the musical — to rave reviews — on Thursday.

— Wilson announced that every student will receive a T-shirt to commemorate Friday’s celebration. Students chose shirts over wristbands in a school-wide vote.

Friday’s celebration capped “Character Day” at WSS. Students participated in class activities throughout the day.

“Building character in each and every classroom is really our goal,” Wilson said.

“There’s a lot going on in education right now,” he added. “But we can never lose sight of the fact that character education is the heartbeat of our school district.”







Wolcott Street School Principal Carol Messura and Assistant Principal Jon Wilson, center, are pictured Friday with former principals Jim Thompson, left, and Casey Kosiorek.

November 6, 2015 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, Bullying.


Press release (submitted photos):

For the third year, the Byron-Bergen Elementary School community of students and teachers united to celebrate their culture of diversity and anti-bullying.

The afternoon of October 27 began with a school tradition: the photograph of more than 500 students, taken from the vantage point of the school's rooftop. Their matching anti-bullying T-shirts featured the District's strategic goal for the year, "Creating leaders one student at a time."

After the photo was taken, the school gathered for its annual Anti-Bullying Assembly. Principal Brian Meister started things off with an acknowledgement of the District's recent designation by as a New York District of Character, thanking the students for making their school a shining example.

Much of the afternoon's entertainment was based on Carol McCloud's award-winning book "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" "Bucket fillers" say and do nice things and help fill people's emotional buckets with positive feelings, while "bucket dippers" treat others hurtfully and leave them feeling sad and empty. Teachers and students presented a gameshow-type skit, complete with prizes, where student contestants had to guess whether teachers were demonstrating bucket-filling or bucket-dipping behavior. 

The school recognized participants in the 2015 Empire State Games with a special video commemoration of the event and an awards presentation. The proud winners included students: Camryn Brookhart, Robbie Gaylord, John Klafehn, Draven Liles, Chelsea Vanelli, and Emily Yun.

The school's Students of the Month and the Sixth-Grade Safety Patrol also received special honors.

The assembly included music, provided by the sixth-grade choir, a great dance number illustrating beauty in diversity, and a promise from the newest Pre-K members of the Byron-Bergen school community, to support others and report bullying behavior. Older students led the assembly in reciting the Seven Habits from the school's Leader in Me Program, which along with the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program forms the foundation for Byron-Bergenís character-building success. 

For more information on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program visit HYPERLINK "" For information on The Leader in Me visit HYPERLINK ""  

November 3, 2015 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy central schools, transgender, education, schools.

A conservative Christian group based in Arizona has issued a press release challenging the Le Roy Central School District for its handling of a reportedly transgender student and the student's access to locker rooms and restrooms. In a separate letter to the district and released by Alliance Defending Freedom, the advocacy group states that some male students are uncomfortable sharing facilities with a female student who identifies as male, but gives no indication that ADF actually represents any local residents.

The press release invites any district parents concerned about the issue to commence legal proceedings against the district. The district has not issued a statement in response to the press release from ADF.

Press release (links within the press release are to third-party sites):

Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Friday to the Le Roy Central School District Board of Education that asks it to reverse a recent decision by district staff to allow students to use locker rooms and restrooms of the opposite sex. The letter provides a suggested policy that addresses the school district’s concerns about discrimination without allowing the sharing of restrooms.

The ADF letter explains that no federal law requires public schools to allow boys into girls’ restrooms or girls into boys’ restrooms. In fact, as the letter notes, the district could be exposing itself to legal liability for violating students’ right to bodily privacy.

“Protecting students from inappropriate exposure to the opposite sex is not only perfectly legal, it’s a school district’s duty,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “Letting boys into girls’ locker rooms and restrooms is an invasion of privacy and a threat to student safety.”

In December 2014, ADF sent public school districts nationwide a similar letter that it has now provided to Le Roy Central School District. All of the ADF letters cite pertinent legal precedent, including court rulings that support the ability of public schools to limit restrooms to members of the same sex for privacy and safety reasons without violating Title IX, a federal law concerning sex discrimination in public school programs and activities.

“Allowing students to use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms would seriously endanger students’ privacy and safety, undermine parental authority, prejudice religious students’ free exercise rights, and severely impair an environment conducive to learning,” the ADF letter to Le Roy Central School District explains.

“ADF’s policy allows schools to accommodate students with unique privacy needs, including transgender students, while also protecting other students’ privacy and free exercise rights, and parents’ right to educate their children.”

The ADF letter also offers to evaluate the situation and potentially offer free legal assistance if anyone files a lawsuit against the recommended policy.

“Schools can accommodate a small number of students that have different needs without compromising the rights of other children and their parents,” added ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “No child should be forced into an intimate setting – like a bathroom or a locker room – with a child of the opposite sex.”

October 22, 2015 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education.

caseybb2015_0.jpgPress release from the Hilton Central School District:

The Hilton Board of Education has selected Casey Kosiorek as the next superintendent of the Hilton Central School District pending formal appointment to the position at the next Board of Education meeting on Oct. 27. He will step into this role when David Dimbleby retires at the end of this calendar year.

“The Hilton School District Board of Education would like to sincerely thank the staff and community members who participated in the search process,” said Board President Daniel Wellington. “We have reviewed all the information given to us from the finalist interviews as well as their Day in the District. Together with our own observations and your invaluable input, we have taken great care to select our next leader and are confident that Casey will carry on the tradition of keeping our schools at the heart of the community.”

Kosiorek is currently the superintendent of the Byron-Bergen Central School District and has served in that position since 2012. Kosiorek earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Master of Science degree in Education from Canisius College. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Rochester.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as the next Superintendent of Schools for the Hilton Central School District,” Kosiorek said. “I look forward to learning and understanding the great pride, traditions, and work that has taken place and I’m excited about working with all stakeholders in the Hilton learning community to continue on the trajectory that has been set on doing what is best for our students. My family and I look forward to becoming a part of the community in the near future. I am humbled by this opportunity.”

The Board worked with Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES District Superintendent and Search Consultant Jo Anne L. Antonacci throughout the search process. Wellington stated, “The Board was very pleased with the process that Mrs. Antonacci led us through and the resulting selection of our new Superintendent.”

October 21, 2015 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in STAMP, GCEDC, oakfield-alabama, schools, education.


Before the start of the school year, John Ioge figured he was interested in a career in civil engineering, maybe mechanical engineering or perhaps the medical field or even teaching. Whatever it was, he figured he would eventually wind up in a job far from home.

Now, the sophomore at Oakfield-Alabama is honing in on a career in mechanical engineering and feeling pretty certain he will be able to find work in Genesee County.

The developments recently with WNY STAMP as well as a new course at O-A in STEM is driving much of John's change in thinking.

"I now realize there are going to be jobs in this area," John said. "At one point, I didn't think I was going to stay here because there's not any jobs, but now there will be jobs at home. So why not stay home? Why not stay where my family is?"

O-A Principal Lynn Muscarella sought to start the STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for students just like John. She realized that with STAMP coming to Alabama, she wanted to make sure Oakfield-Alabama students had a good grasp of career opportunities in STEM.

"Last year I had seniors who weren't even aware of what is happening in their own backyard," Muscarella said. "I said, I can't allow this to happen. These kids are right here, so why not get them somewhat prepared to think about what's going to be here so they can stay if they want to."

STAMP stands for Science, Technology, Advanced Manufacturing Park, a 1,340-acre parcel in Alabama that the Genesee County Economic Development Center and its economic development partners from throughout the region are marketing as an ideal location for high-tech manufacturing.

Two weeks ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in town to announce the first new development in the park, 1366 Technologies, a Massachusetts-based company that will construct a new plant to make silicon wafers for solar energy panels. The plant will employ from 600 to 1,000 people once fully operational, perhaps as soon as early 2017.

The STEM classes at O-A are part of the sophomore-year curriculum for the first time and will run throughout the school year with classroom time every other day for the participating students.

The instructors are Kathy Rushlow and David Porter, with Rushlow developing most of the course.

Seven weeks after the start of the school year, Rushlow is seeing some progress among her students, many of whom came to class without a clear understanding of what sort of degrees colleges offer and what their post-high-school educational options are.

"I think they are much more aware of what STEM is and what the different career choices are in the STEM field," Rushlow said. "I think that's been eye-opening."

The classes aren't intended to give students any kind of training that will lead them to a particular job; rather, it's an overview to expose them to the array of options available to them if they decide STEM might be something of interest.

The class also reinforces the importance of the other coursework in high school.

"It's surprising to them to see there's a second side to that coin, that even in the medical fields, they need that science and math, that background, on top of the medical information," Rushlow said.


October 15, 2015 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, agriculture, schools, education.


Hundreds of high school students from throughout the GLOW region particpated today in Genesee Community College's Fourth Annual Harvest Festival and Farmer's Market, which culiminated in a "Campus Crunch," with participants all simultaniously taking a big bite out of a locally grown apple.

The day's events included samplings of local products and presentations by local farmers and others who are part of the GLOW region agri-business community.

(Photo by Alex Feig, of our news partner WBTA.)

October 7, 2015 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, schools, education.


Maya Rademacker tries out a drunken driving simulator during a stop at Notre Dame High School of the Save a Life Tour while her classmates look on. The tour also lets students test their abilities, and learn from their failures, while driving distracted. The drunken driver simulator delays the response of the steering wheel, gas and braking to help provide students with what they might experience if driving while over the legal limit.

Here's a press release from Notre Dame that explains more about the program:

One of the most dangerous temptations our teens drivers face today is distracted driving. Whether it is a text, a call or finding a song on their phone, doing it while driving is not the right decision. Parents of Notre Dame (POND) felt strongly that the students at the school needed to know these dangers. Since this past Spring they have been working to bring in a program to educate the students about the dangers of distracted driving.

“We found the Save a Life Tour online and found they had been at another local school. After speaking with the administration at that school, they highly recommended the program,” said Arna Tygart, POND president. “Since then we have been working to raise the money and set a date to bring this important program to our school and today is the day."

The Save A Life Tour Distracted Driving and Alcohol Awareness Program starts with a general assembly for all students, then students will come down by grade level to experience the hands on exhibits and driving simulators.

“This will give them the real life experience of distracted driving, but without the danger,” Tygart added.

Principal Wade Bianco was right on board with bringing the program to Notre Dame.

“In an effort to continue to provide an emotionally and physically safe environment for our students, and help them build skills that they can use as they navigate the complex world they live in this is the right program for them," Bianco said.

POND added a couple of fundraising events specifically marked to fund this program.

“We would like to thank the community for their support of our fundraising efforts that help to bring these important programs to our students,” Tygart said.




October 5, 2015 - 1:25pm


Students with the Agri-Business Academy from the Batavia CTE assisted in a demonstration with the FFA Mobile Maple Syrup Exhibit at Alexander Elementary Schoool this morning.

About the exhibit:

The New York FFA Mobile Maple Exhibit is an interactive display depicting all facets of the maple industry. Housed in a 28-foot trailer, visitors are offered a firsthand look at: how maple syrup was discovered; how maple sap is collected from maple trees; and how the liquid sap is then processed into pure, sweet maple syrup. The presentation concludes with a sampling of pure maple syrup and/or other maple products.

The presentation is broken into five segments, with the first being a whole-group depiction of the discovery of maple syrup. Visitors are asked to imagine a time when only Native Americans inhabited our lands and how one day the sweet, clear maple liquid was discovered coming from a maple tree. Next, participants learn about tapping a tree, whittling an old-fashioned maple spout, and using a modern tubing system to collect the maple sap.

In these segments, students may have a chance to use a bit and brace to “tap” their own maple tree and install a metal maple spout. After tapping the maple tree, participants help “collect” the sap from metal buckets. In the third portion, students become a mini-forest of maple trees and learn how gravity helps collect the maple sap using a modern plastic tubing system.

As groups enter the trailer, they view an actual scene from our school’s woodlot and imagine a winter’s day in February. Here, we demonstrate how the maple sap is processed into fresh maple syrup by viewing an actual mini maple-syrup evaporator. Learn how the maple sap is transformed from a clear liquid into a sweet, golden syrup.

Our explanations include how water is removed from the sap, how the finished product is graded, filtered and packaged, and how maple syrup is used as a food and natural sweetener. Finally, sample the sweet results of hours of work with a tasting of pure maple syrup or other maple products. 

Above, Assemblyman Steve Hawley takes in the demonstration. Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer had visited the exhibit earlier.







October 2, 2015 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, City Schools, schools, education, batavia.


It was a full house at Batavia Middle School on Thursday night for the school's open house.

Above, the Houseknecht family, Mike, Jen and Ella, share a laugh with Ella's sixth-grade math teacher, Andy Reagan.






September 11, 2015 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, education, schools, batavia, business.
Craig Yunker

By the time Genesee Community College celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, the campus will have opened a new Student Success Center and an events center, President Jim Sunser told a gathering in the Stuart Steiner Forum yesterday evening.

These will help GCC continue to grow and serve students better, Sunser said.

"Colleges are constantly evolving and student success is at the core of the values that we have at Genesee," Sunser said.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring thanks in part to a successful fundraising campaign chaired by local farmer and businessman Craig Yunker.

The goal of the campaign was to raise $5 million. The committee did better than that. It was comprised of people from Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

"We're really proud that this community is a generous community and people stepped up with a smile," Yunker said. "I'm proud to be a member of this community, and I'm proud to report to you that as of 2 o'clock this afternoon, we raised $5,214,213."

The two buildings along with a new scholarship fund is a $42 million project. More than half of that money will come from state grants. The county will also back a bond to help close the gap in funding.

A total of 475 individuals, couples and businesses from throughout the GLOW Region contributed money to the campaign, called "Building Our Future Together."

The project is the largest undertaking by the college since its founding, Yunker said. 

"Fifty years ago, GCC was just talk," Yunker said. "I remember how the talk about how it would move the region forward. It took a lot of volunteer effort. It took a lot of effort to bring it about."

A big reason the campaign was successful, Yunker said, was the support of the effort by the Call family.

"It's hard to imagine how this campaign wouldn't have gotten off to a great start without the Call family, and I just want to acknowledge Dick Call's leadership, Dick Call's vision, but the whole Call family, it was really important the leadership that the Call family has shown," Yunker said.


GCC President Jim Sunser

September 8, 2015 - 12:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, batavia.


The first day of school, and the first day of a new drop-off and pick-up configuration at Jackson School, and parents so far are taking a wait and see attitude about the change.

Of the parents we talked to, everybody seems to think the new system will work, but nobody was giving it two thumbs up just yet.

It's only the first day of school, they said.

"This is going to change," said Joe Heath after dropping off his first-grader with his wife, Lisa. "Everybody walking their kids in after parking. It's not drop your kids off and go, right now. It's going to be a little different probably, within this next week."

As an observation: Today wasn't nearly the hectic, frenetic, crowded mess school drop-off seemed to be on a typical day last year.

The goal of the change is first and foremost safety, said Principal Diane Bonarigo.

Jackson School is decades old and built at a time when it was intended to serve just the immediate neighborhood and almost all children walked to school. Now, it serves the whole city, many children are bussed, some are driven by parents and only a few walk. That's created a lot more traffic around the school on streets, and the parking was not initially designed to handle that flow.

The new configuration includes a new driving lane/bus drop-off in front of the school on South Jackson Avenue, instead of behind the school. That parking lot area is now intended for parents to use for drop off and pick up, or children should be taken to the entrance at the corner of the building opposite Max Pies. It's also possible, after the buses are done, for parents to pull into the driveway and drop off kids at the main entrance.

"It is a new system, so it will take us a couple of days to get it running smooth," Bonarigo said.

Rich Schauf, Batavia PD, working at the school this morning, said he thinks the change was a good idea.

"It was a safety issue where people are exiting cars with a lot of traffic, doors are opening, cars are trying to get around, little children are exiting out of vehicles, crossing the street. Now this can all take place, the entering and exiting of cars can all take place in parking lots, which is a lot safer," Schauf said.

The parents we spoke too generally still seemed unsure of where to go or what to do, which door or parking lot or lane way to use, and felt other parents were unsure as well, but also said they believe the confusion will work itself out and everything will settle into a reliable, predictable pattern.

"Yeah, it's safer, probably, but I feel it's going to take quite awhile to get all the kinks worked out," Doug Fisher said. "It's been my experience whenever they hurry up and change something without the proper notification it seems like it takes half of the school year to get all the kinks fixed, but then it runs smoothly."




September 4, 2015 - 1:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, schools, education.


Yesterday, Le Roy Jr.-Sr. High School hosted its year-opening Pride Day. Principal Tim McArdle sent over these photos and this message:

Today (yesterday) we kicked off our Le Roy PRIDE character education program by hosting our annual school-wide assembly. Our newly named All-State Music performer, Sophie Farnholz, played the national anthem to begin the festivities!

I then reviewed highlights from last year and shared how we want to continue our momentum into this year. We talked about the importance of students honing their own character skills and how they will be vital in being career ready. Our Student Council president Kieran O’Halloran addressed our students encouraging them to rally around each other and fully support all of our teams, clubs and music groups this year.

The assembly was highlighted by national motivational speaker Zach Gowen. Zach is a professional wrestler who has overcome many obstacles in his life, one being losing his left leg when he was 8 years old. He is the first one-legged competitor in professional wrestling. His real life message was well received by our students and teachers. We hope that students really take to heart his story and the many important points he made.

I would like to thank senior Paul Elliott who originally pitched Zach as a potential speaker last spring and also our Emerging Knights Leadership Team who interviewed Zach this summer to confirm he would be a perfect fit for our assembly and, boy, was he! Please ask your child about their impressions from today’s assembly! 





August 19, 2015 - 9:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, schools, education.


Press release:

St. Joseph School (SJS) has been working toward financial self-sustainability for several years. Tuition, fundraising and other income sources can no longer be the sole funding source for Catholic schools. Due to the current economic climate, the need for long-term and strategic budget forecasting is imperative.

Lauren Humphrey, Advancement coordinator at St. Joseph School, is proud to announce that the St. Joseph School of Batavia Endowment Fund has been established and that it has been given a fantastic kick-off with two anonymous donations totaling $105,000! These wonderful donors have left a permanent mark on the school and have created a long-lasting legacy that will benefit St. Joseph School’s students for years to come.

At SJS, a team of committed volunteers, staff members, and board members have worked tirelessly to establish enhanced and relevant financial and operational plans. The All Apostles Society (AAS), an annual giving recognition program, was put into place several years ago. AAS membership continues to grow; however, the need for something with even greater effect was necessary. About three years ago the team began looking into long-term strategies, including an endowment.

Because a permanent endowment is an invested pool of money that provides a reliable source of income in perpetuity, the organization now has the ability to rely on annual distributions from the endowment for its charitable work. The endowment will also relieve some of the pressure on smaller fundraising projects and events while creating economic stability for the future.

Bryan Winters, SJS parent, board member and Advancement Committee chairperson, weighs in on what this means for our school: “The creation of the SJS endowment is our most important step in designing a self-sustaining financial model for the school. Over the long-term, this will create a steady flow of income for the school without being quite so dependent on local parishes or the diocese. The immediate impact will actually be beneficial for our donors.

"We will now have the ability to provide more complex and deferred gift arrangements such as charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and other life income types of agreements. Until now, many of our most generous donors have never considered gifting assets from various securities such as, IRAs, 401(k) plans, pensions, stocks, bonds, even old life insurance policies.

"The SJS endowment is going to have a tremendous positive impact for our community. As SJS continues to grow both the endowment and our annual giving society, the All Apostles Society, our financial outlook is the best it has ever been. Most importantly, current and future students of SJS will reap the benefits of this strategic project.”

Principal, Karen Green notes that, “The ability to find financially prudent ways to support the operation of the school is becoming more and more challenging every year. In combination with our annual giving society (The All Apostles Society), this endowment will provide school leadership with the ability to offset the annual expenses of the school and move closer to our goal of complete self-sustainability.”


Top row: Rick Suchan, executive director of Development, Diocese of Buffalo; Marcia Huber, Resurrection Parrish business manager; Lynne Houseknecht, St. Joseph School Advisory Committee president; Roger Bohn, Resurrection Parrish Council president; Seana Logsdon, St. Joseph School Advisory Council vice president; Robert Zickl, St. Joseph School Advisory Council secretary; Bryan Winters, St. Joseph School Advisory Council member, SJS parent, Advancement Committee member.

Bottom row: Norman Argulsky, Resurrection Parrish trustee and St. Joseph School Advisory Council member; Fr. Ivan Trujillo, pastor of Resurrection Parrish; Karen Green, principal, St. Joseph School; John Dwyer, Resurrection Parrish trustee.

July 31, 2015 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, education, schools, batavia, City Fire.


Earlier this week, City firefighters paid a visit to the History Heroes summer education program at the Holland Land Office Museum.

Photos submitted by Jeffrey M. Fischer, assistant director.



June 26, 2015 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, City Schools, education, schools.


It was a big day for the students at Jackson School. They moved up a grade, receiving certificates of continuation from administrators during a ceremony in the Batavia High School auditorium.





June 12, 2015 - 9:03am
posted by Traci Turner in Notre Dame, schools, education.

Notre Dame High School ranks in the Buffalo Business First's top 15 percent of all secondary high schools in Western New York for eight consecutive years.

For 2015, Notre Dame ranked 17th out of 136 secondary high schools in WNY. The school was also rated the No. 1 secondary school in Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties and No. 1 private catholic coeducational high school in WNY for eight consecutive years.

In athletics, the Fighting Irish interscholastic athletic program ranked 10th for two consecutive years and No. 1 in Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties.

"I have to stay that I'm very proud of our students," Principal Joseph Scanlan said. "They work very hard and you don't get to achieve those kind of accomplishments without hard work. I'm proud of our teachers, faculty and staff. They have high expectations and encourage our students to do the best and it's paying off."

Every year Business First ranks schools based on academic performance. All the schools are judged in areas including regents exam scores, graduation rates and levels of diplomas.

For math and science regents' scores, the school received a 5 out of 5 recognition. For English regents scores, the school received a 4 out of 5 recognition.

"The tradition has been students are going to come here and do a good job in school and their going to be leaders and give back to the community," Scanlan said. "Put all those things together and they line up with results like we got."

Notre Dame's Class of 2015 Valedictorian Abigail Bleier and Salutatorian Natalie Moulton were ranked in the top 100 academic students in WNY. Each of the 40 graduating students are headed off to college and received $4.5 million in scholarships.

Other high schools in Genesee County that were in the top 100 high school ranking included Oakfield-Alabama, Elba, Alexander, Byron-Bergen, Pavilion, Batavia and Le Roy. For a complete list of all the high school rankings, click here.

June 11, 2015 - 1:24pm
posted by Traci Turner in byron-bergen, education, schools.


 Byron-Bergen Superintendent of Schools Casey Kosiorek (left) and the WNY Video Recording Coaching Institute’s Executive Director Jim Thompson (right) at their recent presentation for the TeachLivE conference at the University of Central Florida.

Press release:

Teachers throughout the region will have a new professional development resource, thanks to a collaboration between the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) and the Byron-Bergen Central School District. The Western New York Video Recording Coaching Institute will incorporate a proven video-coaching model with a groundbreaking virtual-classroom simulator, TeachLivE™, which allows educators to develop and improve their teaching practices in a safe environment.

The new institute will be headed by Executive Director Jim Thompson, who has led the development of BBCSD’s own successful Instructional Coaching initiative since 2013. He and Byron-Bergen’s Superintendent of Schools Casey Kosiorek recently made a presentation at the National TeachLivE Conference at the University of Central Florida to educators from across the country, who were there to learn about this innovative approach to professional development.

Kosiorek credits the GVEP’s District Superintendent Kevin MacDonald for supporting the Institute’s vision.

“Mr. MacDonald has shown unwavering support for this initiative, and his support has made this a reality,” he said. “This is a great approach to support teachers in becoming the best they can be. We are very excited to be hosting it here, and helping to make these services available to teachers in our entire area. Ultimately, this is a huge benefit, not just for the teachers, but also for all of their students.” 

TeachLivE is a computer-simulated, mixed-reality classroom. Teachers step into this virtual classroom and within a minute experience immersion and suspension of disbelief, allowing them to rehearse high-leverage teaching practices related to student achievement. Much like a flight simulator for pilots, TeachLivE simulates a classroom experience for teachers to hone their skills.

The tool will be combined with individual coaching, role-playing, model lessons and videotaping of lessons. The Institute’s program is designed to guide teachers, using a style that is highly interactive, supportive, and reflective.

“Everyone can get better; this is not just for new teachers, or superstars,” Kosiorek said. “No matter where a teacher is, they can be better. We’d like to see every teacher at Byron-Bergen get involved in Instructional Coaching within the next three years.”


The new WNY Video Recording Coaching Institute will offer teachers a rich professional development experience, complete with individualized video coaching, and a safe environment for teaching improvement in TeachLivE’s simulated classroom environment.

June 10, 2015 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Special Olympics, sports, batavia, schools, education.


A group of runners, including several members of the local law enforcement community, carried the Special Olympic Torch from Elba to the Genesee ARC building on Walnut Street, Batavia, this morning. Along the way, they stopped at the Batavia School District's fourth-grade track meet on Woodward Field.

Above, Garrett Schmidt and Avelin Tomidy get ready to assist Deputy Joseph Corona in carrying the torch for a lap around the track.


Carl talks about what Special Olympics means to him and how he won three medals at a recent competition.


Dave Chua


The runners approaching Van Detta Stadium.


Completing the lap around the track.




Copyright © 2008-2014 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button