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May 19, 2018 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Tech Academy, byron-bergen, schools, education, news, business.

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The Western New York Tech Academy, at Byron-Bergen High School, hosted its first mentor's breakfast Friday morning and handed out three significant awards for the first time.

Isaac Ladley, a junior in the program, received the first-ever Professional of the Year award. Pictured with Ladley are faculty members Miranda Wharram-Santillo, Thomas Schulte (principal), Mariah LaSpina, Kathryn Beaumont, and Sean Madden.

The breakfast was followed by a business fair and mock employment interviews.

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Liberty Pumps was selected as Business Partner of the Year. Pictured are Jeff Cook, David Williams, Robyn Brookhart, Dennis Burke, and Thomas Schulte.

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The Mentor of the Year is Gina Lathan. Pictured with Lathan, a student she mentored, Rebecca Haniscewski, and Thomas Schulte.

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May 16, 2018 - 1:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Ruger Starowitz for his science fair project at Byron-Bergen Elementary School made maple syrup. His father said he had ot use hand tools just like his grandfather would have done.

The science fair and an art show were part of an open house at the school last night. The student art show featured a unique black light art display.

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May 14, 2018 - 7:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

The Batavian emailed candidate questions to all 17 candidates in Genesee County's eight school districts that are holding elections on Tuesday. Only four returned completed questionnaires. 

This is the response from Amy Mathisen, a candidate in the Byron-Bergen Central School District. Neither of the other two candidates, Deb List or Bill Forsyth, responded.

1. What is your position on your school district’s proposed budget for 2018-19? What parts do you support? What parts would you change if you could?

I support Byron Bergen's budget. I would change the constant decrease in aid for schools. Unfortunately, there are some variables that can not be changed, such as retirement, and teaching salaries. I was not involved in determining the budget, as I did not attend the meetings they had, mostly because I did not know they were occurring.

2. Are teachers in your district compensated adequately?

That is a loaded question and I an split on this topic. I think there are some that are under-compensated and others that are over-compensated. In my opinion there needs to be a way to determine an effective teacher, through confidential peer reviews, student reviews, and teacher reviews. I always reviewd my kids teachers thru elementary school by sending a letter to the superintendent. I do encourage other parents to do the same, not just in the bad years, but on the good years as well.

3. Parents are more nervous than ever about school safety. Is your district’s communication to parents about school safety policies and procedures adequate? Should parents and the community be informed when a student makes a threat of violence against the school?

Yes, I feel our school is safe. As far violent threats by a student there is a fine line there. I would hope our board would be notified and they would handle the situation appropriately. 

4. Are you satisfied that your district responds to parents’ complaints and concerns in a way that ensures the parents know they have been heard?

Personally, yes I am satisfied with how complaints are handled at the district level. The superintendent is always very receptive to feedback and the board members I have brought issues to have taken steps to make changes, based on the complaints.

5. What two books published since The Enlightenment have influenced you the most?

I really am not a book reader. I am a here and now person; however, I am a quote girl and love Albert Einstein.

April 28, 2018 - 10:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, arts, education, news.

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Morgan Fuller, a senior at Byron-Bergen High School, was among the dozens of students at the school last night who showcased their artistic and musical talent in the school's annual "Buzzin Bistro," a celebration of the arts.

Besides the art show, vocal and music students performed in the cafeteria to a packed house, including songs such as the B-52s' "Love Shack" and the Guys and Dolls/Frank Sinatra hit "Luck Be A Lady."

As for Fuller, as much as she loves art, especially drawing either with graphite or charcoal on black paper, she is thinking of pursuing a career in photojournalism.

"I still like drawing but I don't know if I'll do it that much professionally because, you know, moneywise, and stuff like that, but I'll always do it as a hobby," she said.

She doesn't go much for abstract art. She likes realism but she likes pictures that tell a story and can get a reaction from people rather than just a depiction of a realistic subject.

"I like pictures that are very awkward," She said. "The fish one is my favorite because it’s so awkward and it makes people feel uncomfortable. I also like the mysterious look of black and white and graphite."

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April 26, 2018 - 11:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Tech Academy, byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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A group of students in the WNY Tech Academy at Byron-Bergen High School can now be called entrepreneurs.

They've researched a business idea, wrote a business plan, built financial projections and stepped into their own version of the Shark Tank and walked out with a guaranteed $125,000 in financing for their planned business.

The business, Academy Greens, will grow spinach and tilapia in a greenhouse on the Byron-Bergen campus that will be equipped with an aquaponics system.

They will sell the spinach to the cafeteria at Byron-Bergen and to the culinary arts program at BOCES. 

"There is an unlimited opportunity for success and there is so much to learn within the business itself," said student Kyle Goloskey. "I'm excited about the project because we’re able to provide food for local schools and it’s organic so it’s a clean project we don’t have to worry about contamination."

The students haven't quite figured out what to do with the tilapia yet, and under questioning from the "sharks" during their hour-long pitch, acknowleged that they didn't account for the preparation costs associated with selling fish.

The "sharks" were: Genesee County Economic Development Center CEO Steve Hyde, who was asked to represent the vegetable-processing company Bonduelle, which has a plant in Oakfield, for the purpose of the pitch review; and Paul Gister, manager of customer and community management at National Grid; Michael Gardinier, VP of operations at Farm Fresh First; and Thomas Schulte, principal of the WNY Tech Academy.

Hyde said Bonduelle will make an in-kind contribution of coaching and food-processing expertise to assist the students with their startup. Gister and Gardinier said they will take back recommendations for funding to their bosses and board of directors.

At the end of the presentation, Schulte announced that the budget for the WNY Tech Academy, which is funded through grants, has been rewritten for next year to make $125,000 available for the project. Any financial contribution from National Grid or Farm Fresh will backfill the WNY Tech contribution.

Hyde said he found the whole project exciting.

"Food is such a heartland for us," Hyde said. "We've got three industrial parks across the county that are being developed around food. On the entrepreneurial side, that is such a critical piece. We have the Med-Tech Center and the entrepreneurial zone for startups. That is an accelerator for businesses. Things like this help plant the seeds that spark things."

He praised the project-based learning experience.

Gardinier said the project is going to give the students a real hands-on experience in the world and in business that will benefit them when they start their careers. It is a bridge for them to connect their class work to the work environment.

And starting and running a business isn't easy, so the students will learn from the mistakes they make and the challenges they encounter.

"I fully expect them to hit problems," Gardinier said. "It’s important they get their network built around them. They’ve got some very key players with them now that have offered time and offered expertise to the project to help them get over those hurdles, so build your network and use it."

Noah Toal, 11th grade, said he likes the project because he gets to learn how businesses start and the sharks who asked challenging questions gave him an idea of what it takes to put a business together.

He plans to enter into accounting but might want to own his own business someday.

"I might think about starting my own business once I get out there more and start getting cash flow in, and I get more understanding of how this world goes," Noah said. 

The primary goal of the project, Schulte said, is to provide a learning experience and bring together the three disciplines of the tech academy -- food-processing technology, supply chain management, and accounting -- into a single effort.

"From very early on we tried to talk about ourselves as a startup company and how important for every person on our team, staff, students, to play a role in making it become what the vision of it was from the very beginning," Schulte said. "I think the greenhouse is just going to be another example of -- to make it work, we’ve got to work to make it work."

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April 2, 2018 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

Since winning the statewide Be the Change for Kids Innovation Award in 2016, Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s Inquiry-Based Learning Lab has been busy growing, and increasing opportunities for students. The award is given by the New York State School Boards Association.

The Learning Lab, which focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) activities, has moved from special interest class to an integral part of the K-6 curriculum at the school.

“The NYSSBA award of $5,000 helped us jumpstart the Learning Lab,” said Principal Brian Meister. “We were able to fully commit to the project-based learning program, purchase our first robotics and other materials, and offer the class to all of our students.”

“The Lab is very student-driven,” Meister said. “Our young people are thoroughly and deeply engaged in learning; we are finding that the curriculum is evolving based on student ideas.”

In September 2017, the district was awarded $85,000 in educational funding with the help of State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer. The funding will be used to further develop the Lab into a cutting-edge center for STEAM, and to explore expanding the program to the Jr./Sr. High School.

Learning Lab teacher Craig Schroth is excited about the enthusiasm students have shown for the program. He can usually be found in the classroom, working with inquiring minds — helping fourth-graders learn block programming with Dash™ robots, or guiding sixth-graders in using a CAD program and LEGOs™ to design and build model wind turbines.

Schroth said: “All of our students, boys and girls, kindergarten through sixth grade, have the same level of excitement about the projects,” “Our little ones begin by learning basic math and science, logic, and collaboration skills with simple tools, like Bee-Bots®.

"Older students quickly progress to more involved projects like designing video games, satellites, or energy efficiency systems. They use teamwork, design trials, geometry, environmental science, and programming in JavaScript. Recent additions, like our 3D printers, are opening new avenues of exploration.

“We are excited about the new resources we have been able to secure thanks to the new grant. In the first year of this program, we used materials like cereal boxes, popsicle sticks, and tape. Now, students are able to create more sophisticated prototypes.”

“My favorite part of the class, however, is that the focus remains on facilitating ‘design thinking’ that is not device specific. The most important resource for us lies in student ideas and creativity.”

As students use the engineering design process of data gathering and collaboration to continually improve their results, they learn lifelong problem-solving skills that will help them in whatever fields they may find themselves.

“They learn how to work together, how to think creatively and embrace change, how to trial-and-fail until they find solutions,” Meister said.

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March 30, 2018 - 9:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

The Byron-Bergen chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) welcomed 14 new student members to their distinguished company on March 28. The ceremony also honored the three latest inductees to the Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame: Jacqueline Mullen (1972), Michael List (1978), and Kimberly (Thompson) McLean (2000).

The event began with music from the school’s vocal group, the Singing Silhouettes; welcome and congratulations from District Superintendent Mickey Edwards and Principal Patrick McGee; then short addresses from all three alumni.

McLean, currently an award-winning math teacher, class advisor, and coach at Spencerport High School, challenged students to work hard and go places. She referenced the famous Dr. Seuss quote, “The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

Former BBCSD Director of Facilities and active community member List spoke of the importance of family and faith, and the support students will find in them as they face hard times through their lives. He recently received certification as a Biblical Counselor and has four children and several grandchildren.

“Byron-Bergen was a very special place for me,” Mullen said. “I’m proud to say that it continues to offer wonderful opportunities and very special teachers, that you, too, will remember all your lives.”

Mullen has lived and worked in Puerto Rico for more than 39 years. She currently serves as vice chancellor of sponsored research and programs for Universidad del Turabo.

All of the honored alumni serve as inspirational role models to the youth of Byron-Bergen and epitomize the purpose of the Alumni Hall of Fame.

The traditional National Honor Society candle-lighting ceremony followed. It acknowledges the high standards students in NHS must exhibit in knowledge, character, leadership, service and scholarship and was performed by NHS Vice President Lauren Burke and Member Brendon Kendall.

New members were introduced by Lauren Burke, Jean Denson and Margaret Graney. They took the NHS pledge and were presented with their honor cords and certificates.

The celebration concluded with final words from NHS President Ben Chaback, and the Byron-Bergen Alma Mater, sung by the Singing Silhouettes with help from an enthusiastic audience.

2018 Inductees to the Byron-Bergen National Honor Society are: Justine Bloom, Alexander Brumsted, Siomara Caballero, Alexander Dean, Sara Fraser, Leah Gale, Cambria Kinkelaar, Jillian Menzie, MacKenzie Rosse, Chloe Shuskey, Garrett Swinter, Annabella Vurraro, Isabella Wilder and Nathan Zwerka.

Current Members of the Byron-Bergen National Honor Society are: Benjamin Chaback, president; Lauren Burke, vice-president; Leah Thompson, treasurer; Larissa Ashton, Sarah Bleiler, Cameron Brumsted, Lydia Campbell, Brionna DeMichel, Jean Denson, Adam Drake, Jared Fregoe, Emma Goodman, Margaret Graney, Justin Hannan, Annaliese Hersom, Brian Ireland, Daniel Jensen, William Johnson, Brendon Kendall, Hunter Leach, Payton Mackey, Makenzie Muoio, Erin Parnapy, Sabastian Pawlukewicz, Joshua Phelps, Brianna Shade and Dana VanValkenburg.

National Honor Society membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments but also challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service. The organization has chapters in all 50 states, Canada and beyond.

Top photo: Byron-Bergen senior Brendon Kendall lights the candles representing knowledge, character, leadership, service and scholarship.

Submitted photos.

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Former BBCSD Director of Facilities and new Alumni Hall of Fame inductee Mike List (center) was welcomed back for the evening by friends and colleagues.

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Class of 1972 graduate Jacqueline Mullen visited with former teachers and classmates before her induction to the Alumni Hall of Fame.

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Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee Kimberly (Thompson) McLean (2000) with Principal Patrick McGee and District Superintendent Mickey Edwards.

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Former BBCSD Director of Facilities and new Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee Mike List (center) was welcomed back for the evening by friends and colleagues.

March 27, 2018 - 4:08pm

Inductees in the 2018 Batavia Career and Technical Center's National Technical Honor Society.

Submitted photo and press release:

This month, the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapters inducted 49 career and technical students from Batavia Career and Technical Education Center.

Evening candlelight ceremonies took place at Elba High School.

These students met the rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade point average for acceptance is a 3.0. Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

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. 

The 2018 Batavia Career and Technical Education Center NTHS Inductees:

Agri-Business Academy

Almadelia Salinas Guzman          Pavilion

Jade Vogel                                   Pavilion

Animal Science

Sarah Murray                               Caledonia-Mumford

Auto Technology

Hannah Tiede                              Batavia

Building Trades

Nicholas Bonamici                      Attica

Christian Bradt                            Oakfield-Alabama

Zachary Heaton                          Attica

Dylan Lang                                 Pembroke

Anthony Leitten                          Le Roy

Eric Lewis                                   Pavilion

Jordon Ludwig                            Pembroke

Breanna Montford                       Attica

Julius Ohlson                              Oakfield-Alabama

Karl Steffenilla                            Pavilion

Lucas Stucchio                           Byron-Bergen

Cosmetology

Hayle Conte                                Le Roy

Kayla Heinlein                            Pembroke

Emma Hopfinger                        Attica

Elizabeth Kowalski                     Elba

Shelby Ulm                                 Attica

Criminal Justice

Shawn Busch                              Attica

Cyle Felski                                  Pembroke

Amanda Knauss                         Pembroke

Electronics

Cole Ackert                                 Attica

Benjamin Bowman                     Byron-Bergen

Dwight Czworka                         Attica

Dominic Donley                          Batavia

Seth George                               Alexander

Thomas Pattridge                       Alexander

Chase Roth                                Alexander

Joshua Schulik                           Caledonia-Mumford

Mary Snyder                               Pavilion

Graphic Arts

Caleb Cottone                            Pembroke

Hannah Stockschlaeder             Attica

Health Careers Academy

Kaitlin Ange                               Batavia

Brionna DeMichel                      Byron-Bergen

Kaitlyn Freeman                        Pembroke

Melissa Jarnot                           Attica

Health Dimensions

Summer Anderson                    Caledonia-Mumford

Taylore Dorman                        Pembroke

Samantha Feldmann                Alexander

Nicole Welka                             Byron-Bergen

Justice Academy

Tyler Wood                               Pembroke

Metal Trades

Matthew Kurowski                    Attica

Anthony McMaster                   Batavia

Andrey Musiyevich                   Caledonia-Mumford

Anthony True                            Pavilion

Programming and Interactive Media

Donovan Kelley                        Caledonia-Mumford

Taylor Tyczka                           Attica​

March 26, 2018 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District is one of 152 school districts and Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in New York State to receive the Utica National lnsurance Group's School Safety Excellence Award for 2018.

District Superintendent Mickey Edwards, Jr./Sr. High School Principal Patrick McGee, and Elementary School Principal Brian Meister accepted the top “Titanium with Honors” level award and a $500 prize, to be used to further safety efforts, on March 22.

“Our district has continued to take action in making our school safe and secure,” Edwards said. “We were one of the first in our area to bring in a school resource officer. Over the past few years, he has become an integral part of our schools and our culture, forming personal connections and relationships at all grade levels.

"Our character education program and anti-bullying activities are making measurable impacts on a daily basis. We also continue to use and improve security measures like the New York State Sheriff’s Association (NYSSA) Rapid Responder® Program, an all-hazards site-based crisis management system; our security camera system that oversees buildings and grounds; and our comprehensive visitor management system.”

“Providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students, teachers, staff, and visitors is our first priority,” he said. “We are honored to receive this recognition.”

The School Safety Excellence Award Program has three levels  —Titanium, Platinum and Gold — and annual awards are given based on quantifiable measurements of excellence in categories that include bullying prevention programs, playground safety, and other areas.

Utica National has kept children and school staff safe for more than 40 years, and currently insures more than 300 school districts in Upstate New York alone.

"Safety and health concerns continue to be a priority in our school districts," said Brian Saville, resident senior vice president in Utica National's Educational Institutions Unit. "Districts that go above and beyond to provide a safe, healthy and focused culture for learning are to be applauded, and we're pleased to count Byron-Bergen Central School District among them."

Saville noted that, beyond the recognition itself, an added benefit of following the safety program is the chance to pinpoint specific threats to safety.

“The time to address those threats is before a loss happens, which really helps contribute to the safety culture that districts are working toward,” Saville said.

March 21, 2018 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.

Press release:

Byron-Bergen Central School District has named three alumni to the district’s Hall of Fame for 2018. Jacqueline Mullen (1972), Michael List (1978), and Kimberly (Thompson) McLean (2000) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Alumni Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the Byron-Bergen High School Auditorium.

The Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates. It provides young people with positive adult role models and shows that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives. This honor is in its 15th year and has become part of the school district culture. It is a permanent reminder to students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

mullenjacqueline2018.jpgJacqueline A. Mullen (Class of 1972)

Editor of the school newspaper, member of National Honor Society/Student Council, and American Field Service (AFS) exchange student, Mullen was active in sports and music activities at Byron-Bergen HS. She received her bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Hartwick College and her master’s degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

Mullen has lived and worked in Puerto Rico for more than 39 years. She currently serves as vice chancellor of Sponsored Research and Programs for Universidad del Turabo, and is active as a consultant in organizational development and fundraising. She was the executive director at the Puerto Rico Farm Bureau (1991-95) and the community economic development director at Progressa (1996-2000). She has never stopped learning and holds numerous certifications and affiliations with professional organizations. Her family includes husband Eladio, daughter Natalena, four stepchildren, and 14 grandchildren.

Mullen says she is proud of the educational opportunities she received at Byron-Bergen that served as a foundation for all her endeavors. Her dedication to family, friends, community, and profession make her an excellent role model for the students of Byron-Bergen.

listmike2018.jpgMichael List (Class of 1978)

While attending Byron-Bergen, List participated in National Honor Society, the AFS Exchange Program, chorus, Jr. Olympics, JV and Varsity wrestling, 4-H and several other clubs and organizations.

After graduating, he worked for the Bergen Canning Factory, Edward O’Ingerick Inc. of RIT Housing Developments, and Victor Furniture. He joined the staff of Byron-Bergen CSD in the Maintenance/Buildings and Grounds Department in 1984, working his way up to the leadership role of director of facilities. He retired from the District in 2017.

List is an active community member. He has held many volunteer positions in Victory Baptist Church, and taken several mission trips, including one to Haiti. After many class hours and counseling, he received certification as a Biblical Counselor in 2013. He has raised four children with his wife Marsha, and has several grandchildren.

List sets a wonderful example for students as someone who always lends a hand, gives 110% to his alma mater, church and community, and remains true to faith and family.

mcleanthompsonkimberly2018.jpgKimberly (Thompson) McLean (Class of 2000)

During her time at Byron-Bergen, McLean was her class’s Salutatorian. She participated in track, volleyball, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Future Teachers of America, and many other activities. She was a Genesee County Fair Queen contestant and a cheerleader.

McLean graduated from Geneseo State College in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Mathematics. She received her master’s degree from Geneseo in 2008. She has volunteered with several local organizations and received many scholarships and accolades including membership in Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma, and the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Currently teaching math at Spencerport High School, McLean was awarded Teacher of the Year (2010), received The Golden Apple Award (2016), been class advisor, coached Jr. FLL Robotics, been an intern advisor for National Honor Society, coached Powder Puff Football, and taught summer school.

McLean’s passion for teaching, dedication and hard work make her an excellent role model for our youth.

All three inductees will spend the day of March 28 visiting with Byron-Bergen students and sharing how their school experience influenced their lives. Inductees will receive their Alumni Hall of Fame plaques during the school’s National Senior Honor Society induction ceremony that evening.

March 12, 2018 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Press release:

image002.jpg“The growth mindset of this district was what really attracted me to Byron-Bergen,” said Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s new Assistant Principal Betsy Brown. “The approach to education is innovative and forward-thinking. I’m so impressed with the opportunities our students have here.”

“We’re fortunate to have an administrator with Betsy’s depth and experience,” said Elementary School Principal Brian Meister. “She is a great addition to our team, and I think she will bring a wonderful combination of commitment, caring, innovation, and humor to her role.”

Brown has 15 years of experience in elementary education. She came to the district from Avon Central Schools, where she supported students and staff as a literacy coach for three years. Prior to that, she taught third and fourth grade, and kindergarten.

Brown holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and a Master of Education degree in literacy, earned at the State University of New York at Geneseo. Her administrative coursework was completed at the University of Rochester.

Getting to know the students has been Brown’s first priority. She has been meeting them all, one classroom at a time.

“I don’t want them to be nervous around me,” she said. “It’s important that students know that I am always here to help them.”

“I’m particularly excited about the Character Education program here,” she said "I love the enthusiasm our students have for supporting one another and keeping their school safe. From classroom visits, I can see that the teachers do an amazing job of teaching students in ways that are fun and engaging."

“I really am passionate about English Language Arts (ELA),” she said, “and Byron-Bergen has a great Reading Recovery program for early intervention. I’m looking forward to supporting our teachers with that and helping them continue to build a strong ELA program that incorporates the latest standards."

Brown was an active member of the video coaching professional development team at Avon, and will continue her activity as a coach at Byron-Bergen.

“Byron-Bergen has been the regional leader in offering video coaching as a way for teachers to grow and to improve their teaching methods,” she said. “Teachers here have embraced the technology, and students are benefitting from the results.”

Open communication, Brown believes, is an essential part of any school. She is looking forward to meeting families and parents and working with them to ensure an exceptional school experience for their students. She encourages parents to call or stop in.

“We have an active social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, too,” she said. “They provide a window into all the activities students are doing in the classroom.”

The community can follow the assistant principal on Twitter @MrsBetsyMBrown.

March 9, 2018 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news, arts.

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Press release:

Renowned ballerina Aesha Ash encourages Byron-Bergen students to dream bigger.

Ballet star Aesha Ash told the hundreds of students at Byron-Bergen Elementary School that when she was growing up in Rochester, “there were no princesses or fairies that looked like me. There were no magical creatures, unicorns or swans that looked like me.”

When she dreamed of being a ballerina, she was told that there were no black ballerinas and that she would never succeed. She dreamed anyway, and she did succeed. She was accepted to the legendary School of American Ballet where she was chosen to join the New York City Ballet when she was 18 — one of the first black dancers in the corps.

How did this world-famous dancer and winner of the National Women’s History Museum's 2016 Women Making History Award, come to be in Byron-Bergen? Fourth-grade teacher Alyson Tardy heard about Ash’s Swan Dreams Project, which was founded in 2011. This project uses powerful imagery to counter negative stereotypes of race and socio-economic background and inspire children to dream bigger.

Tardy thought that Ash’s message would be a great tie-in to the school’s character education program. She invited Ash and coordinated the special visit. Students surprised their visitor with a hallway lined with artwork featuring swans of many shapes and colors.

“The art is so beautiful,” Ash said. “I’m honored that the kids welcomed me this way.”

At the crowded assembly, Ash shared her story with attentive students, beginning with her passion for dance and her determination to become a ballerina.

She explained how she was part of Rochester’s Urban Suburban program, and constantly faced questions and misunderstanding from peers about her background and city neighborhood. Her family was not rich; she told the story of borrowing toe shoes for her first tryout. Even when Ash became a professional ballet dancer, she felt a sense of not belonging, of being different.

“All my life, I’ve fought to change perceptions and dispel myths — for myself, my family and my Rochester community,” she said. “The more that people told me that I couldn’t do something, the more I wanted to do it.”

Ash’s professional dance career lasted 13 years. It included eight years with the NYC Ballet along with performing in the Bejart Ballet in Switzerland and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, and with many other companies as a freelance artist.

She and her family currently live in California where she is working to make the Swan Dreams Project an afterschool program. She hopes to open a studio where she can teach ballet to children who are not able to afford lessons.

The Swan Dreams Project video she shared with Byron-Bergen students can be found here.

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February 8, 2018 - 3:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, schools, education, arts, news.

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Students from Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School who are participating in Sandy Auer's pottery classes traveled to Rochester today for the class's annual visit to the Flower City Arts Center, where they could experience throwing pottery for a first time on a pottery wheel. The students then work with Mrs. Auer one-on-one in class throwing their own pottery pieces. 

"It's a great experience for the students," Mrs. Auer said.

Photos and info provided by Byron-Bergen High School.

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February 1, 2018 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, sports, basketball, alexander, byron, bergen.

The Byron-Bergen Lady Bees came back from a sluggish first half to beat Alexander 55-53 in girls basketball Wednesday night.

VanValkenburg scored 22 points, with 17 in the second half, to lead B-B.

For Alexander, Macie Riggs scored 15 points.

January 20, 2018 - 1:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, sports, basketball, byron-bergen.

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Nicholas Conley, Earl Roth, and Charlie O’Geen, Elba's 2018 Hall of Fame inductees, were introduced during halftime at the Elba vs. Byron-Bergen basketball game Friday night.

The trio will be inducted tonight during a dinner at Batavia Downs.

Following the introduction, some of Elba's basketball alumni played a four-minute basketball game.

In the boys game, the Lancers beat the Bees 50-42.

For Elba, Colton Dillon scored 22 points, hitting four three-pointers, and Jonathan Boyce scored 14.

For Byron-Bergen, Cameron Shank scored 13. Joshua Hohn and Lucas Stucchio scored seven apiece.

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January 19, 2018 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, byron-bergen, elba.

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Elba improved to 10-1 on the season with a decisive victory over Byron-Bergen in girls basketball by a score of 48-18.

The loss drops the Lady Bees to 7-4 and ends a seven-game winning streak.

Emily Reynolds scored 14 points for Elba. Leah Bezon added 13 and Brynn Walczak scored eight, with two three-pointers.

For B-B, Dana VanValkenburg scored six points.

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January 19, 2018 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sean Madden, byron-bergen, art, news, GO ART!.

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An opening reception was held at GO Art! last night for a show by artist Sean Madden.

Madden's work is recognized throughout Western New York. He is a teacher at Byron-Bergen High School.

Madden's early influences were Ernst Fuchs and Salvador Dali. He as also influenced by the psychedelic-era work of Robert Crumb, Robert Williams, and S. Clay Wilson.

In the paintings on display, Madden mixes well-executed realism with surrealism and his wild imagination and love of color.

The show runs through March 2.

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January 17, 2018 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, sports, basketball.

Dana VanValkenburg hit five three-pointers to help lead Byron-Bergen to a 53-31 win over Lyndonville on Tuesday night. 

It was the seventh-straight win for the Lady Bees, who are now 7-3.

VanValkenburg finished with 23 points.

Julianna Amesbury scored 14.

Byron-Bergen hosts Elba on Thursday and then faces Le Roy and Notre Dame on the road next week.

December 29, 2017 - 9:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, sports, basketball, byron, bergen.

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The Byron-Bergen Lady Bees beat Greece Odyssey on Thursday night to capture, for the second year in a row, the Sports Boosters Tournament championship.

The Bees came back from a 29-23 half-time deficit to win 56-48.  

After starting the season with three losses, Byron-Bergen has won five in a row.

On Thursday, Juliana Amesbury had 19 points, Kelsey Fuller 14 and Miriam Tardy with 12. Odyssey Shyasia McCullough had 16 points.

Byron-Bergen's Kelsey Fuller was named tournament MVP. The rest of the all-tournament team is Lydia Borrelli from Le Roy, Shyasia McCullough and Abby Wilson from Odyssey and Juliana Amesbury.

Information submitted by Kathryn Krzewinski. Photos by Tammy Fuller.

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December 27, 2017 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Le Roy, byron-bergen, bergen, byron.

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Byron-Bergen's Lady Bees beat Le Roy in a girls basketball game Tuesday night at Byron-Bergen, 58-34.

The two teams were tied at the half, but the Bees outscored the Knights in the third and fourth quarter, 21-11 and 16-2.

For Byron-Bergen, Kelsey Fuller scored 16 points, Miriam Tardy, 14, Juliana Amesburg, 12, and Emily Kaczmarek, 8.

For Le Roy, Erin Cappotelli had 12 points, Bryn Luckey, 7, and Ava Horgan, 6.

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