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February 17, 2017 - 2:45pm
posted by Destin Danser in byron-bergen, Le Roy, swimming, sports.

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Last night 15 teams from Section V, Class C gathered at Victor High School for sectional finals. Byron-Bergen-Le Roy represented Genesee County, placing 13th overall. 

Combined Team Rankings:

  1. Avon
  2. Marcus Whitman
  3. Dansville
  4. Wayland-Cohocton
  5. Bath-Haverling
  6. Addison
  7. Attica
  8. Gananda
  9. Midlakes
  10. Letchworth-Perry
  11. Cuba-Rushford
  12. North Rose-Wolcott-Red Creek
  13. Byron-Bergen-Le Roy
  14. Williamson-Sodus
  15. Warsaw

The Section V swimming sectionals wrap up tonight in Bath-Haverling with the Section D finals, where Genesee County will be represented by Pembroke and Alexander. 

Photos by Destin Danser Photography. Click Here to view more or purchase prints. 

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February 11, 2017 - 8:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, byron-bergen, bergen, byron.

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Byron-Bergen's Brandon Burke scored his 1,000th point last night, becoming the first player at the school to hit that milestone in boys basketball. In a submitted photo, Burke is pictured with his family.

February 8, 2017 - 8:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District is one of 433 school districts in the United States and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll.

To be included on the Honor Roll, Byron-Bergen had to demonstrate an increase in the number of students participating in the Advanced Placement (AP) program since 2014, as well as increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

“We are exceptionally proud of our students for taking advantage of the Advanced Placement courses available at our high school,” said Superintendent Mickey Edwards. “They recognize the importance of preparing for life after graduation, and are working hard towards their goals every day. I’d also like to thank our entire educational community for their commitment to AP and student success.”

National data from 2016 show that among black/African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be equitably opened. Byron-Bergen CSD is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.

“Congratulations to all the teachers and administrators in this district who have worked so tirelessly to both expand access to AP and to help students succeed on the AP exams,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s head of AP and Instruction. “These teachers and administrators are delivering real opportunity in their schools and classrooms, and students are rising to the challenge.”

Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.

In 2016, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admission process.

Inclusion on the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2014 to 2016, looking across 37 AP exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.

Districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking exams; and increase or maintain the percentage of those students scoring 3+ on at least one AP exam;
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2016 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2014 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students earn a 3 or higher;
  • Achieve these outcomes among an AP student population in which 30 percent or more are underrepresented minority students (black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or 30 percent or more are low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch).
February 6, 2017 - 2:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, the Byron-Bergen Central School District began a formal School Safety Audit. The purpose of this audit was to examine the overall safety within the district, and if needed, make recommendations for improvements. The safety audit used student and faculty surveys, a walk-through inspection using a 466-point inspection checklist that focused on both the exterior and interior of the buildings, and personal interviews with students, faculty, and administrators.

The school’s resource officer, Deputy Matt Butler, who was tasked with conducting the audit said, “School safety is the responsibility of everyone — faculty, students, parents, and the community. The audit is a proactive process that helps ensure that students achieve their learning potential within a safe and secure environment.”

Butler compiled the data and presented findings to school administrators and the Board of Education on Feb. 2. The report includes practical recommendations for expanding security, but found a high level of safety currently exists in the schools. It also shows a steady growth in attendance and decrease in infractions and disciplinary problems over the past three years.

Assisting with the audit were Byron-Bergen faculty, parents, local EMS personnel, a Byron-Bergen Board of Education member, and a representative from the mayor’s office at the Village of Bergen. “This was a great opportunity to get the community involved in our school district,” Butler said.

In recognition of the district’s appreciation, special certificates of thanks were awarded during the board meeting to: Scott Bradley, Michelle Caballero, Kim Carlson, Amanda Cook, Andrew Doll, John Durand, Mickey Edwards, Bob Fedele, Paula Hohn, Mike List, Jeff Parnapy, Vicky Shallenberger, Faline Tyler and Jay Wolcott.

Photo: Superintendent Mickey Edwards, BOE President Debbie List, Michelle Caballero, Deputy Matt Butler, John Durand, Mike List. In front are Kim Carlson, left, and Bob Fedele.

February 5, 2017 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, wrestling, alexander, byron-bergen, news.

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Alexander's Dane Heberlein will have a chance to advance toward a third state title after beating Chase Runfola, of Letchworth, 8-6 in the 132-pound division of Class BB of Section V championship wrestling yesterday.

Heberlein was one of a dozen wrestlers from Genesee County to win sectional titles yesterday at the tournament hosted by Byron-Bergen, including four from Byron-Bergen and two others from Alexander.  

Below, after photos of Heberlein's match, Alexander's Nicholas Young defeated Canisteo-Greenwood’s Zach Flaitz, 7-3, and Byron-Bergen’s Chad Toal pinned Le Roy’s Andrew Englerth.

For more results, visit Batavia's Best.

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To purchase prints, click here.

January 18, 2017 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Pictured at the Jr./Sr. High School (front, l-r) National Geographic Bee are winner Andrew Parnapy and runner-up Richard Denson, with (back, l-r) Social Studies teachers Aaron Clark, Nick Muhlenkamp and Ken Gropp.

Press release:

The local levels of the National Geographic Society's Geographic Bee were held in Byron-Bergen schools on Jan. 5. At the Jr./Sr. High School, 25 Byron-Bergen seventh- and eighth-grade students were invited to participate, based on the results of a written test taken in December. They all took part in the preliminary rounds, with the winners — Sadie Cook, Richard Denson, Josh Flemming, Colby Leggo, Andrew Parnapy, Josh Swapceinski, Corden Zimmerman, and Matthew Zwerka — competing in the finals.

The top two contestants, eighth-graders Andrew Parnapy and last year’s winner Richard Denson, went on to match wits in the Championship Round. After answering three challenging questions correctly, Parnapy was declared the 2017 National Geographic Bee champion. He received a medal and a $35 Amazon.com gift card. Runner-up Denson also received a $20 gift card.

The next step for geography expert Parnapy is another written test. If his score is among the highest in the State, he will be invited to the New York State-level Bee. The winner from each state competes in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., hosted by Alex Trebek.

At the Elementary School, students from grades 4-6 qualified for the Bee by achieving the highest scores on a written test taken in December. Student participants were: Jack Benstead, Dayanara Caballero, Cameron Carlson, Caris Carlson, Braedyn Chambry, Noah Clare, Evan Cuba, Kendan Dressler, Gianni Ferrara, Emily Henry, Frank Hersom, Eli Kupfer, Jackson Lundfelt, Stephanie Onderdonk, Elizabeth Piper, Brilyn Rebisz, Quintin Rich, Zoey Shepard, Andrew Zimmerman and Nicholas Zwerka.

The Elementary School’s 2017 National Geographic Bee champion is sixth-grader Nicholas Zwerka. The runner-up is fellow sixth-grader Cameron Carlson. Zwerka, like Parnapy, also moves forward in the competition.

The National Geographic Bee is an annual competition organized by the National Geographic Society, designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world. Each year, thousands of schools across the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee, competing for college scholarships and the glory of being the National Geographic Bee Champion.

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National Geographic Bee champion at the Elementary School is Nicholas Zwerka, with runner-up Cameron Carlson.

January 18, 2017 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

Seven recent graduates returned to the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School in January to give current seniors a glimpse of life beyond graduation. The alumni met with school administrators and favorite teachers, but the greater portion of their day was spent speaking directly with students to help them prepare for the future.

Graduates Kristen Bailey (2014), Celeste Brownell (2016), Bethany Ezard (2016), Allison Kropf (2016), Ashley Montgomery (2016), Brittany Merrell (2014), and Jake Prospero (2016) were honored guests at a special luncheon, and then took part in an Alumni Panel presentation. The panel faced questions about their first year at college and away from home: how to adapt; the perils of being independent; and how to balance college and a job. Students wondered what alumni wished they had learned in high school, like managing time and money, study skills, and balancing work with play.

The visitors all agreed that the first year after high school was a reality check that made them appreciate their parents more. They advised students to learn the requirements for their career majors, and to listen to teachers “because they actually know what they are talking about.” They encouraged students to really put themselves out there, using all the support opportunities and participating in all the activities their colleges have to offer.

They credited AP classes, along with many of their teachers and counselors, with helping them prepare for life after high school. They also agreed strongly that the District’s expansion of technology and business courses will be a great benefit to future grads.

At the conclusion of the presentation, High School Principal Patrick McGee announced a new Byron-Bergen tradition: The Commitment to Graduation Gown. Each senior signed the maroon graduation gown as a promise to graduate. At the end of the year, students will choose the teacher who had the strongest influence on helping them graduate and will present the gown to that teacher.

January 10, 2017 - 2:37pm

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Farash Foundation, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Rochester Area Community Foundation sponsored a contest for high school students and last night Byron-Bergen learned the videos it produced for the contest grabbed Second Place and Third Place.

The contest challenged students to make public service announcements for in-demand jobs of the future.

Students in Byron-Bergen's tech academy made two videos about food processing.

The full press release about the contest is here.

All of the videos that won and placed are here.

December 23, 2016 - 8:15pm
posted by Rick Franclemont in sports, alexander, basketball, byron-bergen.

Alexander Boys Varsity took down Byron-Bergen 53 to 40.


Standout sophmore Chris McClinic led Alexander with 21 points, three rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

Adding points for Alexander with strong games:

Matt Genaway -- 12 points, five rebounds
Erik Scharlau -- nine points, 10 rebounds, six blocks
Dustin Schmieder -- nine points

Leading Byron Bergen:
Brandon Burke -- 16 points, seven rebounds
Colin Noeth -- 11 points, eight rebounds


Alexander Coach Josh Bender said "I thought tonight my guys played great disciplined defense. These guys stepped up to the challenge and it was a great team win for us. We are starting to hit our stride and will look to continue to keep improving."

Current records:

Alexander 3-3 overall
Byron-Bergen 3-3 overall

More pictures from this game and other Alexander Varsity games can be found http://francletography.photoshelter.com/gallery-collection/Basketball/C0000f.aPItX_A7o

December 15, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, news, schools.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District community has been doing an amazing job of providing assistance to our families during the holidays for years.  The B-B community members, administrators, faculty, staff and students donated toys and games, clothing items, rolls of wrapping paper, boxes for wrapping gifts, and more than 1,000 non-perishable food items.

In addition to the items above, close to $3,500 was donated by the community, administrators, faculty, and staff so we could purchase gifts for families in need from our school district. Other area businesses helped out by “adopting” families/individuals to get gifts for.

All the food items will be picked up by the local Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons for sorting and packing into close to 100 food baskets for local families (as they have done for many, many years), with several community, Board of Education, and school district employees pitching in to help.  Sponsors of this holiday good will were organized by Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons and coordinated by Dick Sands; and include the faculty, staff, and students of Byron-Bergen CSD; the Byron-Bergen community members, and area businesses.

Food baskets and gifts will be delivered on Saturday, Dec. 17, by the Masons and school volunteers. All involved truly believe in the magic of the holiday season!

December 14, 2016 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, pembroke, basketball, sports.

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Pembroke beat Byron-Bergen in a home game for the Bees last night, 55-46.

Olivia Kohurst scored 14 points for the Lady Dragons, with six coming off a pair of three-pointers. Mackenzie Jurek had 11 and Mackenzie Johnson, who also had a pair of three-point buckets, had 10.

For Byron-Bergen, Karson Richenberg had 11 points, Dana VanValkenberg, nine, Jenna Amesburg, nine, Hailey Hubbard, eight, and Kelsey Fuller, seven. VanValkenberg and Amesburg each hit three-point shots.

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November 16, 2016 - 7:18pm

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Pictured: Instructional coaches of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership with Jim Knight, director of the Kansas Coaching Project. (Courtesy of Jim Thompson.)

A new program for the improvement of teaching techniques has begun to take root in the Genesee Valley Boces school districts. The new program connects educators with trained coaches who review video footage of teaching sessions and provide commentary and advice to improve quality and effectiveness.

Jim Thompson, director of Instructional Coaching Services at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, began installing the program during the 2014 school year. The program has since grown from 10 teachers in its first year, to being used in over nine districts in the area. Jim has worked as the primary coach since its inception, and is currently working on training educators in each district to become coaches themselves.

“We strive for excellent instruction, every day, in every classroom, for every student. That is our true north.” Thompson said, quoting his mentor Jim Knight, director of the Kansas Coaching Project at the University of Kansas.

The program itself involves several stages. First, teachers will meet with coaches, in order to establish goals and develop a positive relationship between them. Next, the teacher submits a 15-20 minute video clip from a teaching session. The coach will then review the video multiple times, implementing time-stamped commentary, concluding with a meeting and review session with both the educator and coach in person.

Thompson emphasized the importance of the teacher-coach relationship in the program, as well as the program’s non-evaluative nature, confidentiality and volunteer basis.

“The program is built on strong relationships and trust. We set up a relationship with teachers which not only generates trust, but also promotes a willingness on the part of both the teacher and coach to reflect on instruction and help improvement.”

One school in which the program has found a receptive home is in the Byron-Bergen district, where superintendent Mickey Edwards has instituted it in both the secondary and elementary levels. As of now, 40 percent of teachers in the school have participated in video coaching, and the school has begun training its own coaches.

“We offer it to teachers to help them improve on their craft and delivery,” Edwards said. “At Byron-Bergen, teachers are not done learning yet.”

Edwards compared the program to the model presented by sports film study, saying that watching yourself teach and seeing what you do well and what you need to improve on – terms which the program refers to as “glows and grows” – is an eye-opening experience.

Diana Walther, an eighth-grade English teacher from the school, is currently being trained as a coach for the district. As an educator who has seen the program from the perspective of a teacher as well as a coach, she claims that it was one of the most effective professional development programs she has been a part of.

“It draws your attention to things you’ve never thought of before,” she said. “Personally, I speak very quickly, so slowing down was something I needed to improve a lot.”

Walther also echoed Jim Thompson’s emphasis on the teacher-coach relationship. “Each session begins by getting to know each other,” Walther said, “in order to identify goals.”

Deborah Slocum, another coach from the Byron-Bergen district, says that her experience in the program also led to her desire to get involved.

“I had an epiphany, it was the most valuable professional reflection I’ve had over the past 24 years of teaching.”

The school has enjoyed the benefits of the program, so much as to implement it into their quarterly evaluation process. Each teacher goes through four annual evaluations, which often include a supervisor sitting in on a class. This option allows teachers to present a video session with a coach as one of their four evaluations.

“This ties into a growth model, where teachers can hone their craft,” Edwards said.

In the future, Edwards hopes to increase the size of the program to include many more coaches within the district.

“I’d like to see one in each content area, and a few at the elementary level.”

The program is in what Edwards referred to as a “fledgling stage,” and it will be evaluated at the end of the school year.

November 15, 2016 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, news, schools, education, business.

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Press release:

Students from the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School got a close look inside several of Genesee County’s leading advanced manufacturing facilities recently. Teacher Jay Wolcott’s Manufacturing Systems class visited four companies to assess the local job market, learn about pay and benefits, see potential job opportunities, and hear about the skills employers are looking for. Host companies included Bergen’s Liberty Pumps, along with Le Roy businesses Aluminum Injection Mold (AIM), PCORE Electric Company, and Orcon Industries.

Company representatives explained the varied career opportunities available at manufacturing companies like these, including jobs in assembly, engineering, sales, marketing, and management. Students came away with the understanding that successful job applicants must have strong skills in basic math, problem-solving, and communication, along with, at minimum, a high school diploma or GED. Each company visited stressed their support for job-specific training and college course work.

Students toured the Liberty Pumps facility, experiencing the machining of pump housings, powder coat finishing, assembly, inspection, packaging, and finally, the global shipping process. At AIM, they followed the prototype manufacturing process from the initial customer design requirements to machining of the aluminum injection mold and molding of plastic parts.

PCORE manufactures bushings for the high voltage electric transformer units used by power companies. Students observed a demonstration using electricity to check for defects that took place in a completely dark lab that concluded with electrical humming and flying sparks. At Orcon, a custom industrial packaging company, students observed firsthand the need for problem-solving skills in all areas of the operation.

Using their experiences with the participating companies, students completed a technical report assessing the job opportunities at each company, concluding with their opinion on the best job fit for them.

The career exploration trip was arranged with the help of the Genesee County Business Education Alliance (BEA).

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May 16, 2016 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education.

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Press release:

Horrifying. Terrible. Stressful. Horrible.

Emotions ran high as Cady Glor spoke to Byron-Bergen juniors and seniors on May 10 to share the long-lasting effects of how a drunk driver changed her life.

Glor was smitten with Chris Blake, her high school sweetheart and boyfriend of eight years. In 2014, Blake was a passenger in a vehicle and his friend behind the wheel was intoxicated. An accident occurred which put Blake into the hospital with a broken neck.

“I remember the moment my mom called me to tell me that Chris was in the hospital,” said Glor. “It was like what you see in a movie. I fell on the floor. I was screaming and crying.”

“Seeing someone lying in a hospital bed with a breathing machine, someone who was so strong, is just devastating,” added Glor. “I still see it in my nightmares today.”

Blake spent months in the hospital but was confined to a wheelchair, was a quadriplegic, and had a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe. His body deteriorated from the strong physique he once had.

Talks of Blake going home began to happen as the summer ended and Blake knew that he wanted to share his story with schools, and help students understand the impact their decisions could have. Unfortunately, Blake ended up passing away in Aug. 22, 2014, after an infection entered his blood. Glor has since taken on the task of carrying out his wish and speaking to schools.

Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Principal Patrick McGee invited Cady in to speak to students because he knew that her message would resonate with students.

“Cady is such a courageous woman,” McGee said. “She told a story that is unfortunately all too familiar in our society and did it in a way that hit home with our students. There were very few dry eyes in our auditorium.”

Glor told the students that while she doesn’t know any of them, she cares about all of them. She encouraged the students to not drive drunk, to not get into a car with someone who is drunk, and to call someone for a ride no matter what the time or circumstance.

“Knowing that his death was preventable makes it a thousand times worse,” Glor said. “He chose to get into the car with a drunk driver and he paid the ultimate price.”

April 28, 2016 - 9:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

The halls at Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School were full of colorful and imaginative artwork and pottery, and the cafeteria was filled with music as hundreds of community members, parents, teachers and students got their creative buzz on. The school’s third-annual Buzzin’ Bistro event showcased a wide range of talent and drew a huge, enthusiastic crowd on April 22.

The Buzzin’ Bistro began with the opening of the District Art Show, which featured visual arts from the elementary and jr./sr. high schools. Participating art teachers Melissa Coniglio, Sandy Auer and Justine Fritz displayed the best work from their classes in a variety of media, including several exceptional student portfolios.

The main event, however, was the music. The Buzzin’ Bistro is an opportunity for students from grades five through 12 to perform with each other in front of a community audience. They are also able to sing and play as equals alongside their music teachers and talented musicians from the Bergen community. This year, guest artist Johnny Cummings, talented songwriter and Byron-Bergen alumnus (2000), and his band entertained and inspired the young artists.

The musical portion of the evening began with the fifth- and sixth-grade Jazz Band and Jazz Choir, directed by teachers Robert Lancia and Karen Tischer, with impressive solos from students Cameron Carlson and Angel Heick. Teacher Kevin Bleiler directed both the jr. and sr. high jazz bands in several numbers that had the younger members of the audience on their feet dancing. The Singing Silhouettes, a select group of high school chorus members, led by teacher Laurence Tallman, swung a wonderful version of the classic “In the Mood.”

Students took a breather to let staff members Amanda Cook, Alyson Tardy, Amber Taylor-Burns, Jodie Vandelay and Megan Wahl, along with community musicians Steve Keenan, Chris DeValder and Bob Wilkins, join the music department to perform a few numbers. Johnny Cummings and his band, Something Else, followed with a showstopping 30-minute set that had all the students up and dancing. The evening concluded with a rendition of “Twist and Shout” involving the jr. high band, sr. high band and community members.

Buzzin’ Bistro was sponsored and supported by the Byron-Bergen Music Boosters, Todd Sloat from T.S. Lighting, LLC, Ralph Marsocci from McCullagh Coffee Roasters, Ralph & Rosie’s Delicatessen, and Greg’ry’s Bakery.

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April 26, 2016 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen, news.

mickeyedwardsapril2016.jpgPress release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District’s Board of Education has named Mickey Edwards as the district’s next Superintendent. Edwards’ start date is July 1.

“The search process was rigorous and the Board of Education truly values the input we received from the various stakeholder groups, including staff, and community members who met with the candidates to help us make a final decision,” said Board President Debi List.

“With his dedication, enthusiasm, and professional background, along with a deep understanding of many aspects of educational leadership, our board feels that Mr. Edwards is an excellent fit for the students, faculty and staff of the district."

Edwards currently serves as the superintendent of Wyoming Central Schools located in Wyoming, NY. Previously, he served as the coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction for Orleans/Niagara BOCES, a position he held from 2009 until 2014.

Edwards began teaching in 1995 as an art teacher for the Hilton Central School District. In 1996, he began teaching at Albion Central Schools as an Art/Technology instructor. He continued his career at Albion Central Schools serving as the elementary school dean of students, middle school assistant principal and high school principal. Edwards is a veteran of the Marine Corp.

Edwards earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Roberts Wesleyan College, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from The College at Brockport. He holds a School District Administrator certificate from The College at Brockport.

“I am very excited to join the Byron-Bergen Central School District team and meet the staff, students, and the community members of Byron and Bergen. Byron-Bergen Central School District should be proud of its many accomplishments and strengths. I look forward to continuing this tradition of excellence as we work together to ensure that our students are successful and prepared for tomorrow,” Edwards said.

Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, acted as search consultant. MacDonald said the Board developed and implemented a process that helped to determine the best candidate.

“Mr. Edwards understands the challenges and issues the districts in our region face. His breadth of experience, and educational leadership will greatly benefit this district as he works with the Board of Education, staff and community to provide a quality education for the children of this community,” MacDonald said.

April 25, 2016 - 9:37am
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 15 new student members to their distinguished company on April 20.

The service included congratulations from Interim Superintendent Jon Hunter, Ph.D., along with the time-honored candle-lighting ceremony that acknowledges the high standards students in NHS must exhibit in knowledge, character, leadership, service and scholarship.

Inductees each received a yellow rose, which they shared with family members, and were presented with their traditional honor cords and certificates.

Jr./Sr. High School Principal Patrick McGee asked students to consider the question posed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers”: Why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? He challenged students to work hard and use every opportunity they can find to fulfill their promising futures.

Students also heard from two inspiring guest speakers, Amy (Seward) Stacy (Class of 1980), and Helen Hulburt, the mother of Judy (Hulburt) Holly (Class of 1976). Stacy and Holly were this year’s Alumni Hall of Fame honorees.

The 2016 inductees to the Byron-Bergen National Honor Society are: Cameron Brumsted, Catherine Brumsted, Lauren Burke, Benjamin Chaback, Quinn Chapell, Brionna DeMichel, Margaret Graney, Justin Hannan, Hayley Hoehn, Brian Ireland, Daniel Jensen, Peyton Mackey, Makenzie Muoio, Leah Thompson and Dana VanValkenburg.

Current Members of the Byron-Bergen National Honor Society are: Olivia Audsley, Merrisa Bohn, Rose Bower, Bethany Ezard, Rider Farnsworth, Chase Felton, Clare Fraser, Brittany Goebel, Lauren Graney, Kaitlyn Harder, Ana Hubbard, Cora Ivison, Kelsey Maurer, Taylor McPherson, Celia Mercovich, Ashley Montgomery, Esther Musiyevich, Grace Pulcini, Brittany Rada, Brandon Reiner, Alexandria Rosse, Colby Savage, Adam Walter and Michael Zwerka.

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.

March 11, 2016 - 7:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, news, sports.

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Press release:

On March 4, the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong Hospital received a check for $1,277 to help combat head and neck cancer. The money was raised by the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School’s girls’ soccer team. The team, led by Coach Wayne Hill, hosted a fundraising event in October. This is the second year the team has focused their efforts on head and neck cancer. Teammate Karson Richenberg’s mother, Toni, has throat cancer.

Many local businesses supported the school’s fundraiser, including Sloat Tire Shop in Batavia, Fullerino’s Pizzeria, and NAPA Auto Parts in Bergen. They donated products and services to fill baskets that were raffled during halftime at one of the team’s games.

“We are very grateful to the many individuals and businesses in the community who donated,” said Jr./Sr. High School Interim Principal Patrick McGee. “We are so proud that our students are learning that they have the power to drive change in the world and give back to their community.”

The Byron-Bergen girls’ soccer team is no stranger to fundraising to beat cancer. Earlier years’ efforts supported breast cancer awareness. The girls' soccer team plans to expand their endeavors next year by encouraging additional athletic teams to participate.

Photo: Representatives from the Byron-Bergen girls’ soccer team presented a check for $1,277 to the doctors and medical team at Strong Hospital’s Wilmot Cancer Center. Center, holding check, is junior Karson Richenberg. Then (l-r) Toni Richenberg, junior Olivia Audsley, senior Alex Rosse, Interim Principal Patrick McGee and (far right) Coach Wayne Hill.

February 20, 2016 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County 4-H, byron-bergen, education, news.

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Above, Sydney Reilly gives a cookie baking demonstration during Genesee County 4-H Club's annual public presentation day at Byron-Bergen High School. 

At the event, students ages 5 to 18  give presentations in front of their peers and a panel of volunteer judges.

Presentations include everything from illustrated talks using posters, PowerPoint slideshows, to live demonstrations and even impromptu topics.

The event is designed to help students improve their public speaking skills while developing self-confidence, poise, self-esteem, stage presence and knowledge.

Sydney's judges were Bob and Ester Leadley.

Below, Clare Mathes during her presentation and then talking with judges Denise Chatt and Karleigh Chatt. Also presenting, Teegan Mathes.

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February 2, 2016 - 8:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, sports, Harlem Globetrotters.

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Press release:

The special student/teacher jazz quintet played the familiar theme song “Sweet Georgia Brown.” As Harlem Globetrotter Zeus McClurkin entered Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s packed gymnasium on Jan. 28, hundreds of excited students burst into ground-shaking applause. The basketball superstar surprised everyone, including the band members, by skillfully taking over the drums to bring the Globetrotters’ song to a show-stopping finale.

“In my two years with the Harlem Globetrotters, this is the very first time I’ve had 'Sweet Georgia Brown' played live,” said an impressed McClurkin. “I had to be part of it.”

It was the first of many surprises during the visit. McClurkin visited the school to talk about CHEER™ for Character, the Globetrotters’ character education program. The program targets young people and focuses on the character traits of cooperation, healthy mind and body, effort, enthusiasm and responsibility. It was a perfect tie-in to the Byron-Bergen Central School District’s own emphasis on character building.

McClurkin shared a little of the Harlem Globetrotters' 90-year history and his own personal story. Perseverance finally earned him a spot on his high school basketball team, after being passed over for years. He advised his youthful fans to never give up on their dreams. He shared that people often told him that he “smiled too much” and was “just too nice to succeed.” Not so, he told his audience. Now he works for an organization that is all about helping people and promoting good humor and character, and he travels around the world doing it.

Students were treated to a demonstration of classic Globetrotters' ball handling and slam dunks by McClurkin, who actually holds the Guinness World Record for most slam dunks in one minute (15!). He invited volunteers to try a few signature moves, and in the process, proved they are not easy by any means.

The Elementary School Student Council, the Byron-Bergen STEP Boosters, and teacher Ken Rogoyski arranged the Globetrotter's visit, with the support of the whole community. The band, directed by music teacher Bob Lancia, included students Angelique Heick and Corden Zimmerman, along with elementary school teacher Amber Taylor-Burns and high school teacher Kevin Bleiler. The Harlem Globetrotters will be performing at the Rochester Blue Cross Arena on Saturday, Feb. 6.

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