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August 22, 2017 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, sports, track and field.


Press release:

Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School sophomore Siomara Caballero travelled to Toronto in July to compete with more than 5,000 other young athletes from across the United States and Canada at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). As part of Team New York, a group of girls and boys representing the state’s Haudensaunee Confederacy, Caballero won Bronze medals in the 1200m, 2000m and the 3K cross-country races in her age group. She took the Silver Medal in the 800m race. Her team collected a total of 13 medals throughout the games.

The NAIG is the largest sporting and cultural gathering of indigenous peoples in North America. It hosts 14 sport competitions, including track and field, lacrosse, archery, baseball, basketball, and soccer, in a variety of world-class venues during the week. It is also a celebration of a rich cultural heritage, featuring indigenous artists, music, foods, and history.

“It felt good to be a part of a movement that is trying to increase awareness for indigenous youth in sports,” Caballero said. “I felt that I learned more about my family's history and culture. I enjoyed getting to know the other kids on my team, and representing the Haudensaunee people.” (Haudensaunee tribes include the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca.)

Caballero is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Wolf Clan. She became interested in NAIG in 2014, and qualified for the team in 2016.

“I put in a lot of time preparing for the games and I feel that my hard work payed off,” she said.

At Byron-Bergen, she runs varsity cross-country in the fall, plays JV basketball in the winter, and participates in varsity track and field in the spring. She has been a Genesee Region All-Star in XC and track and field for the past two years.

“My favorite memory from the games was trading pins with other athletes,” she said. “We all started with a set of team pins designed to represent the areas and tribes we were from, and we traded throughout the week. I was able to collect pins from kids from all over the U.S. and Canada. It was a great way to interact with people that I might not have otherwise spoken to. I had a lot of fun!”

She looks forward to a busy year at Byron-Bergen, with athletics and a full academic schedule. She is taking classes at Genesee Community College as part of the STEM accelerated degree program, and is in several clubs, including PageTurners, Spanish Club, and Math League.

“After I graduate from high school,” she said, “I would like to major in math or science in college. I want to be a role model for my younger sister and brother, so they can know that anything is possible with hard work.”

She hopes that her sister will join her at the next NAIG in 2020.

“I would like to thank my parents and family for their support and for spending the week in Toronto cheering me on,” she said.

August 8, 2017 - 10:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Press release:

On Sept. 21, the Byron-Bergen Central School District is bringing a capital project proposal to vote. It will enable the district to maintain facility and program standards that are vital for providing students with a meaningful and safe educational experience. The $18.4 million project will be paid for with building state aid, energy savings, and capital reserve funds. There will be no additional increase in local taxes.

“We have carefully examined a recently completed Building Condition Survey,” said BBCSD Superintendent Mickey Edwards. “There is a pressing need to update and refurbish building roofs, dehumidification system, windows, lights, and fire alarm systems, and make other safety improvements. Our elementary school has not seen major updates or renovations since opening in 1969. Some of our classroom space does not meet current state guidelines, and restrooms are not American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.”

“We are very happy to report that this project will be able to utilize State Capital Aid, accounting for almost 86 percent of the costs. The remainder will be paid for with existing district Capital Reserve funds and projected energy savings. As a result, there will be no increase for our taxpayers.”

Pending voter approval, the project is slated to begin during the summer of 2018.

Voters are invited to attend one of the informational meetings scheduled for Aug. 17 and Sept. 7. Both meetings will be held in the elementary school cafetorium at 6 p.m. The final vote is from noon to 9 p.m. Sept. 21 in the elementary school cafetorium, located at 6971 W. Bergen Road, Bergen.

For more information, visit the district website at

August 7, 2017 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.


Ava Wagoner, a student at Byron-Bergen, spent a week in Washington, D.C., for the 2017 Junior National Young Leaders Conference, sponsored by Envision.

It's a six-day conference for sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students from all over the nation, that includes workshops, simulations and visits to historically significant sites, such as Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and memorials throughout the District of Columbia.

Here's what Ava wrote about her experience:

My name is Ava Wagoner and I just returned from attending Junior National Youth Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. I was nominated by my teacher at Byron-Bergen Central School. At the conference, I learned leadership skills through focus groups, simulations, hands-on field trips and conducting a group presentation at the end of the week. My experience was very rewarding, I made life- long friends and truly feel I gained more knowledge and leadership skills. One of the best parts was the key note speaker, Anthony Robles, who with only one leg became the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Champion in the 125lb weight class. I learned that he was proud to be different and that everyone has to "wrestle" in life in some way and anything is possible if you try hard enough.

About myself: I am going into 7th grade at Byron-Bergen Central School. I was recently accepted into GCC's ACE program. I play travel soccer, travel basketball, am in All-County band and am in chorus. My love of science pushed me to obtain 151, 2nd or 3rd place in the Science Fair every year since it started when I was in 2nd grade. 

Photos and info submitted by Yvonne Ace-Wagoner.


August 4, 2017 - 5:17pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.

Students at Byron-Bergen Junior-Senior High School now have the opportunity to take a Driver’s Education course through the school, to save money.

Patrick McGee, the principal of the Junior-Senior High School, said the program costs a couple hundred dollars less than other programs.

“We’re glad we could bring a program like this to our schools,” McGee said. “Parents have already said that they are very happy that we can provide the students with this opportunity.”

The program was capped at 12 students. Four kids can fit in the car with the instructor, Keith Akres, at a time.

“Being the first year, we wanted to make sure it would be manageable,” said Mickey Edwards, the superintendent. “We wanted to cap it at a manageable number. That is something that can expand as the program continues."

Each student is required to have 24 hours of drive time and 24 hours of class time in order to receive the certification.

The program runs Monday through Thursday, in one-and-a-half-hour sessions, for driving and class time.

Driver’s Education will be offered in the fall and spring, McGee said.

“We’ve already sent the letters out to students,” McGee said. “We’re already almost filled up for the fall.”

Students that are interested can fill out an application at the guidance office, but need to have their permit at the time of registration.

August 4, 2017 - 5:16pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.

The Byron-Bergen Central School Board of Education approved the beginning phase of the nearly $18.4 million Capital Improvement project to the elementary and junior-senior high school on Thursday.

Jason Benfante, from Clark Patterson Lee, an architecture, engineering and planning firm from Rochester, presented the project that has been in the works since 2015.

“The improvements that we are proposing are much needed,” Benfante said. “I walk through the halls of the elementary school and they are well maintained, but the facilities aren’t equipped. Teaching philosophies have changed from 1968 to 2017. The way you teach has changed. We’re trying to get the building to adapt to that.”

The elementary school will get improved site circulation and parking, bus loop and parent drop-off, and a classroom addition. Inside the school, there will be envelope improvements (these include the foundation, floor systems, duct work, walls, and roof), mechanical improvements, classroom renovations and security, bathroom renovations, and kitchen equipment upgrades. 

The elementary renovations total $9,173,980.

Benfante said the last time the elementary school was renovated was the late 1960s.

Board members recalled when they attended the elementary school as students, saying that the building still looks the same.

“I can remember what it was like,” said Tammy Menzie, a board member. “I don’t think people realize that it is identical to what it used to look like.”

Debra List, the president of the board, said the elementary school needs attention that it has not received.

“After 60 years, things are old, things are worn and things need to be replaced,” List said.

The middle-high school will receive envelope improvements, mechanical improvements, theatrical upgrades, fire alarm upgrades, interior alterations, and a roof replacement. These renovations will cost $5,460,805.

The bus garage will also receive a new roof, costing $584,500. The roof blew off last spring, and they were able to get a temporary roof. Replacing the roof has now become a priority, Benfante said.

The track and stadium will also receive new bleachers that will be handicap accessible, costing $427,595. The natatorium -- the building which houses the swimming pool --will receive envelope improvements, mechanical improvements, interior alterations and roofing replacement over a storage section. Those renovations will cost $459,130.

“We looked at what we could do to better our schools, without impacting our taxes,” List said.

With each area that will be renovated, aid is available, with 85.7 percent coming from the state.

“We made a conservative effort to put as much of the projects as aidable,” Benfante said. “We want to maximize aid for this project. That was a goal of ours.”

In the fall, Benfante plans on holding public presentations to gain interest from residents. There will be a public vote from noon until 9 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the Elementary School auditorium. Provided the vote passes, construction will begin in the summer of 2018, with the hope of the project being completed in the fall of 2020.

Benfante said the construction schedule is aggressive, so it will be done in phases in order to finish on time.

“We’d be looking to get the most critical sites done as soon as possible,” Benfante said. “The bus garage would probably go first.”

August 1, 2017 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, bergen, schools, education, news.
       Zoey Shepard

Press release: 

Byron-Bergen Middle School Student Zoey Shepard will be taking part in an extraordinary leadership development experience at the 2017 Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) in Washington, D.C.

The Envision program provides a historical view of leadership and encourages young scholars to develop their own leadership skills and strategies for success in the 21st century.

Zoey was nominated by faculty and staff at Byron-Bergen Elementary School based on her achievements.

She is a leader in student government, a recently admitted into the ACE Program at Genessee Community College (SUNY), a saxophone player, basketball and both chorus (Byron-Bergen and All County). Zoey has is achiever who is capable of growing into a future leader for our country.  

“The Junior National Young Leaders Conference enables students to recognize their own leadership abilities in the context of great men and women from the past and present,” said Andrew Potter, M.A.; M.A. NEJS, the chief academic officer for Envision.

“They return home with new confidence in their ability to make a positive impact in their school and communities. Washington, D.C. , serves as the perfect backdrop for this inspiring program to generate a new generation of U.S. leaders.”

At the six-day conference, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students take part in fun and exciting workshops and participate in simulations to expand their leadership abilities.

Scholars explore historically significant sites, such as Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and memorials throughout the nation's capitol to reflect upon and learn from leaders and events of the past.

“The students gain a greater sense of themselves, their roles to preserve American democracy, and their responsibilities as tomorrow’s leaders,” Potter said.

JrNYLC prepares students to utilize their improved leadership skills to promote positive change in their schools and communities through social advocacy. The program runs from Aug. 5th- 11th. Students will work with their peers to create action plans for change to put into practice when they return home.

For more information about the Junior National Young Leaders Conference, visit

June 16, 2017 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news, bergen.

0428172052a-1.jpgKendal Phillips, a sixth-grader at Byron-Bergen Elementary school has completed the first seven years of her public education with a perfect attendance record. She's never even been late for school, according to Amy Phillips.

She's also never been dismissed early.

She is a straight-A student, a member of the safety patrol and plays in two basketball leagues. She also plays in a year-around travel soccer team, is a member of the band, chorus, jazz choir, percussion ensemble and Solo-Fest band.

In softball this season, she struck out 128 batters over 47 innings pitched.

She also volunteers in the Byron-Bergen Public Library during the summer.

"As a teacher in a different school district, I feel this is a phenomenal accomplishment," Amy said. "I also happen to be very proud of her as I am her mom!"

June 10, 2017 - 5:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, sports, track and field.


With a jump of 6' 8", Byron-Bergen's Brandon Burke became the New York State Class D2 champion in the high jump today. Burke also took second place in the triple jump and the long jump. 

Photo and info submitted by Patrick McGee.

June 6, 2017 - 5:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, news, education, bergen, byron, agriculture.


Press release:

The Byron-Bergen community’s agricultural heritage was celebrated on June 2 with the Jr./Sr. High School’s fourth annual Agriculture Appreciation Day — better known as the bring-your-tractor-to-school-day.

Brothers Garrett and Wyatt Sando were the first to arrive in their carefully restored and shining 1973 White tractor. They were soon joined by other students with their farm vehicles, large and small, including a classic 1952 Farmall.

Science teacher Jeff Parnapy is excited about the important role agriculture will be playing in education at the school next year. He is spearheading the new agriculture program, which will launch in the fall with an Intro to Ag class and a new Byron-Bergen chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA).

“We’ve been working with our Advisory Council, a wonderful group of experienced people from the community, to plan and organize the program,” he said. “Our Superintendent, Mickey Edwards, and Principal Pat McGee, recognize the interest our students have in agriculture and natural resources. We already have 22 students signed up for the first class.”

Junior Garrett Sando is one of them. His family owns 75 acres and he has had his tractor license since ninth grade.

“I’m really interested in trying the program out,” Garrett said.

Parnapy is excited to work with young people who are interested in building futures in agriculture. He taught Agriculture in Albion schools before coming to Byron-Bergen in 2000, and sees similarities between the two communities.

“My hope is to launch the program and expand it every year. The FFA chapter will be open to kids in grades nine through 12 for the first year, with plans to extend it to grades seven and eight when it is solidly established.”

Top photo: Brothers Garrett and Wyatt Sando with their 1973 White tractor.


Student drivers strike a pose on Adam Starowitz’s tractor: (l-r) Garrett Sando, Brandon Lewis, Marquis Brown, Benjamin Latham, and Starowitz with School Resource Officer Matt Butler.

May 25, 2017 - 12:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, bergen, news.


Press release:

Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School’s seventh-graders began a new tradition on May 18 with their participation in the Village of Bergen’s Community Action Day.

The entire Class of 2022, along with counselors, teachers and school administrators, rolled up their sleeves and helped plant flowers and trees in the village green spaces. Two of the new trees planted in Hickory Park were dedicated to the Class, and will grow right along with them for years into the future.

"It was such a rewarding experience for our students,” said Principal Patrick McGee. “This is the first year the school has partnered with the Village of Bergen on Community Action Day and we would like to make this a tradition. Not only in the Village of Bergen but in Byron as well.”

“We truly believe that the school-community partnership is essential for creating pride in our community. Listening to our kids talk about how much they enjoyed volunteering is what it is all about."



May 16, 2017 - 10:42pm

Batavia City School District:

Budget - $49,870,585 (increase of $5,504,146 or 12.41%: $0.00 increase in tax levy)
Yes - 374 (81.84%)
No  - 83 (18.16%)

Establish $7.5 Million 10 Year Capital Reserve 2017 -
Yes -  370 (80.96%)
No -    87 (19.04%)

Board of Education positions (2):
Two terms from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020 
Barbara Bowman, 293
Tanni Bromley, 279


Oakfield-Alabama Central School District
Proposition #1-Budget
Yes:  297
No: 53

Proposition #2-Buses
Yes: 290
No: 60

Proposition #3-Athletic Equipment
Yes:  258
No: 92

Proposition #4-Capital Reserve Fund
Yes:  288
No: 59

Board Members (Three Vacancies)
Chris Haacke, 208
Bonnie Woodward, 171
Jennifer Kirkum, 170
Tim Edgerton, 162
Andrew Merkel, 142
Bruce Pritchett      141


Elba Central School District

Proposition #1 Budget - $9,273,839
Yes: 136
No: 26

Proposition #2 – Authorization to establish the 2017 General Capital Reserve Fund 
Yes: 132
No: 29

Proposition #3 – Authorization to appropriate and expend from Transportation Vehicle and Equipment Capital Reserve to purchase one (1) 65 passenger school bus
Yes: 134
No: 28

Two Board of Education seats with two candidates running:
Travis Torrey, 149
Michael Augello, 134


Byron-Bergen Central School District

Proposition 1, Budget
Yes: 327
No: 153

Proposition 2:  Bus purchase
Yes: 340
No: 150

May 11, 2017 - 9:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, bergen, Bergen Fire, news.

Byron-Bergen High School hosted its annual DWI accident simulation for seniors in advance of their prom. The drill, staged with first responders  from the Bergen Fire Department, Mercy EMS, Mercy Flight, Sheriff's Office, the Coroner's Office, and H.E. Turner Funeral Home. The simulation comes with a strong message about the dangers of drinking and driving, including serious injuries, a fatality, and a DWI arrest.










April 29, 2017 - 9:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.


Jaden Pocock, third from left, is the winner of the 2017 Character Award at the 13th Annual Liberty Partnerships Empire Promise Youth Summit at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany. He is pictured with his brother Logan, his father Joel and Shelly Bartow, Ph.D., Conference chairperson. 

Photo and info submitted by Patrick McGee.

April 27, 2017 - 2:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, batavia, elba, pembroke, byron-bergen.

Submitted photo: Batavia CTE Center FFA members, from left: Alex Morales (Batavia), Rebecca Meyers (Batavia), MacKenzie Fox (Byron-Bergen), Melissa Keller (Pembroke), Tracy Rudgers (Attica), Stella Glosser (Warsaw), Cherie Glosser (Warsaw), Rebecca Semmel (Warsaw), Elizabeth Jurs (Elba), Allison Pajda (Attica), Rachel Smith (Churchville-Chili), and Tyler Curbelo (Batavia).

Press release:

Two Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center students will be representing the Western Region at the New York State FFA Convention in Leadership Development Events on May 11-13 at the State University of New York at Morrisville.

While competing at the FFA sub-states competition on March 18 at Pioneer High School, Allison Pajda, an Attica High School junior in the Animal Science program, placed first in the People in Agriculture Leadership Development Competition, and Melissa Keller, a Pembroke High School senior in the Agri-Business Academy, placed second in the Employment Interview Skills competition.

In the Employment Interview Skills competition, students had to complete a phone interview, an in-person interview with three evaluators, and write a follow up letter. In addition, students’ resumes, cover letters, and applications were also evaluated. The judges’ scores in all of the above areas were averaged to determine the overall placing. For the People in Agriculture competition, Allison had to research and present on five different careers in agriculture and choose one career to write an essay about. Allison interviewed a local livestock producer and wrote her essay on his career.

New York State has three different sub-state regions and the top two students in each region move on to compete at the State Convention for the Leadership Development Competitions. Prior to the sub-states competition, 12 Batavia CTE Center students competed at the district competition, which was held at Springville High School on Feb. 28. Those 12 students scored high enough to advance to the sub-states competition.

The Batavia CTE Center FFA program focuses on premier leadership, personal growth and career success. The advisors are Holly Partridge, Animal Science instructor, and Kerri Richardson, Agri-Business Academy instructor.

Sub-states Competition Results:
Employment Interview Skills -- Melissa Keller (Pembroke), second
People in Agriculture -- Allison Pajda (Attica), first
People in Agriculture -- Tyler Curbelo (Batavia), third
Parliamentary Procedure Team -- third

District Competition Results:

Prepared Public Speaking -- Melissa Keller (Pembroke), first
Prepared Public Speaking -- Rebecca Meyers (Batavia), sixth
Extemporaneous Public Speaking -- Tracy Rudgers (Attica), fifth
Extemporaneous Public Speaking -- Cherie Glosser (Warsaw), ninth
FFA Creed -- Liz Jurs (Elba), third
FFA Creed -- Alex Morales (Batavia), fourth
Employment Interview -- Tracy Rudgers (Attica), second
Employment Interview -- Melissa Keller (Pembroke), third
Employment Interview -- Stella Glosser (Warsaw), fifth

People in Agriculture -- Allison Pajda (Attica), first
People in Agriculture -- Tyler Curbelo (Batavia), second
Agricultural Issues – MacKenzie Fox (Byron-Bergen), Rachel Smith (Churchville-Chili, and Rebecca Myers (Batavia), second
Parliamentary Procedure -- Rebecca Semmel (Warsaw), Melissa Keller (Pembroke), Tracy Rudgers (Attica), Cherie Glosser (Warsaw), Elizabeth Jurs (Elba), and Stella Glosser (Warsaw), second

About the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center

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

April 26, 2017 - 5:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, track and field, byron-bergen, alexander.

In track and field yesterday, Alexander beat Byron-Bergen 83 2/3 to 57 1/3 in boys and 72-69 in girls.

Boy's results:

Long Jump


Brandon Burke


Triple Jump


Brandon Burke


Shot Put


Paul McDermott




Zach Jasen


Pole Vault


Justin Hannan


High Jump


Brandon Burke




Anderson Bradshaw,

Ben Slenker,

Bryce Davis,

Trevor Zauner








Terrez Smith




Trevor Zauner




Chris McClinic,

Terrez Smith,

Job Smith,

Tyler Cook




Job Smith












Tyler Cook




Trevor Zauner




Phelps, Gardner, Swaps, Burke


Girls results:

Long Jump


Olivia George


Triple Jump


Kelsey Mauer


Shot Put


Olivia George




Nicole Hume


Pole Vault


Reanne Dressler


High Jump


Lauren Hume




Dressler, Fuller, Gonyea, Caballero




Hailee Lowe




Olivia George




Lauren Hume




Hailee Lowe, Hannah Cline, Macie Riggs, Lauren Schmieder




Olivia George




Morgan Fuller




Siomara Caballero




Miriam Tardy




Katie Rebmann




Caballero, Dressler, Rehwaldt, Gonyea


April 21, 2017 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.
Dr. Paul Brill
Barry Miller

Press release:

Byron-Bergen Central Schools has named two alumni to the district’s Hall of Fame for 2017. Dr. Paul Brill (class of 1982) and the late Barry Miller (class of 1983) 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 Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates, providing young people with positive adult role models and showing that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives. This honor is in its 14th 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.

While at Byron-Bergen, Dr. Brill was involved in junior varsity and varsity baseball and track, along with Boys’ State. He also participated in peer counseling, yearbook planning and the Campus Life Club. After graduation, he attended Roberts Wesleyan College for two years prior to transferring to The College at Brockport where he graduated summa cum laude in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

He obtained his medical degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine, graduating magna cum laude in 1991. Dr. Brill served an internship in internal medicine at Allegheny General Hospital and residency training in diagnostic radiology at the University of Cincinnati. He switched career paths in 1994, and returned to at Allegheny General for his neurology residency. An additional fellowship year of training in neuromuscular was done at Duke University.

In 1998, he joined Anderson Neurological Associates (a group practice in Anderson, South Carolina), and has worked there as a neurologist ever since. Dr. Brill serves as the Neurology Clinical Director for the Medical University of South Carolina – AnMed Campus. He also has a teaching responsibility at The Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In 2014, Dr. Brill received the Patients’ Choice award, the Compassionate Doctor Recognition award, and was selected as one of the Top 10 Doctors in the State of South Carolina. Dr. Brill and his wife have two children, and are active in their local church and home school association.

In consideration of his civic duty and his dedication to healthcare and human services, Dr. Paul Brill serves as an inspirational role model to the youth of Byron-Bergen.

Barry Miller was Byron-Bergen’s senior class president in 1983, and worked with the lighting and sound crews for school musicals. He attended Genesee Community College and, in 1985, earned an Associate of Applied Science in computer repair technology. Three years later, he received a Bachelor of Science in organizational management. Miller was part of the graduating class of Leadership Genesee in 2008.


From 1986 through 1995, he worked at Business Methods, Inc., working his way up to the position of vice president of customer support. In 1996, he started Miller Millworks, Inc., his own company that provided cabinet and finish carpentry in Bergen. Additionally, he was one of the proprietors of the Beaver River Lodge in Stillwater, New York.

Miller served as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) for Bergen Volunteer Fire Department from 1983 to 2015, having held the position of president, secretary, and a member of the Board of Directors. A dedicated member of the rescue squad, he served as lieutenant, captain, and assistant chief. Miller also started the Bergen Fire Department EMT Explorer program, where he mentored members and provided training for becoming an emergency medical technician.

He served as one of the Genesee County coroners and was a member of the Bergen Town Board, Bergen Business and Civic Association, and Bergen United Methodist Church.

Miller was killed in 2015 while responding to an emergency call with the Bergen Fire Department. In 2016, through legislation proposed by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, Congressman  Chris Collins, and signed by then-President Obama, the Bergen Post Office was renamed the “Barry G. Miller Post Office.” Miller was posthumously awarded the Liberty Medal, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an individual by the New York State Senate. The award is given to individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts on behalf of fellow New Yorkers.

Miller continues to inspire the youth of the Byron-Bergen learning community through the legacy of his love, service, and support for the people in his hometown of Bergen and his passion and dedication to helping others.

The 2017 Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame inductees will be honored on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at 7 p.m. in the Byron-Bergen High School Auditorium. Dr. Brill and a member of the Miller family will briefly speak to students and receive their Alumni Hall of Fame plaques during the school’s National Senior Honor Society induction ceremony. Dr. Brill will spend the day visiting with Byron-Bergen students and sharing how his school experience influenced his life.

April 7, 2017 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.


Press release:

Almost a decade ago, Gerald Sheridan made a single visit to Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Technology Education teacher Jay Wolcott’s classroom. A member of the Finger Lakes Woodturners (FLWT), he was there to demonstrate the art of woodturning to a new generation of artisans.

Now, many years and many visits later, committed FLWT volunteers like Sheridan and Michael Hachey are on campus almost daily for six weeks every spring. They’ve added woodturning to the wide range of skills, including construction, metal work, and parts making, that young men and women learn in the school’s manufacturing systems class.        

“We would never have been able to give our students this rich experience without the help of these volunteers,” Wolcott said. “They are able to give each student personalized instruction on the wood lathe.

"With their one-on-one attention, all our students get comfortable with the equipment and learn to operate it correctly and safely. Their passion for the art is something that our kids can really relate to.”

In the beginning, Sheridan, Hachey, and other FLWT members like David Harp and David Leupold brought their own home equipment into the classroom. The group applied for, and was awarded, a grant from the American Association of Woodturners several years ago, which the district matched. Wolcott was able to purchase two new woodturning equipment stations for the school.

Woodturning instruction begins with two introductory projects: turning handcrafted pens and small spinning tops. Each employs the wood lathe plus one or two additional tools.

“We begin with demos,” Sheridan said. “But Michael (Hachey) instituted step-by-step instructional photos that have been a huge help to kids trying to follow the process after the demo. They are a great teaching aid!”

After completion of the two beginner’s projects, students choose a personal project, like a bowl or a birdhouse. One student even combined woodturning and metalwork to create a wedding ring.

“You can see students working on the lathes almost every day,” Wolcott said. “They are very creative. A lot of their work goes far beyond craft into art.”

The Finger Lakes Woodturners (FLWT) Association Inc. is a nonprofit organization with more than 75 members of all skill levels operating in the Rochester area. They are active volunteers in many parts of the community. Visit


April 1, 2017 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Here are the results of yesterday's vote in the Byron-Bergen Central School District:

  • Proposition #1 -- Capital Improvements/Renovations/Repairs and use of Capital Reserve Funds -- YES: 233, NO: 239
  • Proposition #2 -- 10-percent Building Aid Incentive from NYSED for Energy Performance Contract -- YES: 271, NO: 194
March 31, 2017 - 2:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.


Press release:

Families with students attending Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School gathered in the school’s auditorium for College Readiness Night on March 29. The presentation, by College and Career Counselor Robert Kaercher, was an informational overview of the college admissions process.

Topics included SAT and ACT testing, the Common Application Form, recommendation letters, deadlines, scholarships, grants, and financial aid. Although geared toward sophomore and junior students and their families, the presentation was open to all, and several families of eighth-graders took advantage of the evening.

“It’s never too early to begin planning,” Kaercher said.

“Choosing a college can be daunting,” said Principal Patrick McGee. “Researching, narrowing the field, visiting, applying, getting financial aid — there is so much involved at every step.

"That’s why our district is committed to helping students and their families negotiate the process. This is the second year for our dedicated College and Career Counseling Center. This outreach event is another way to increase awareness of the assistance available. Don’t do it alone. We are here to help.”

The Center is a busy place and its resources are growing. In the fall, it hosts a full schedule of visits and special presentations from a wide range of regional and national two- and four-year colleges, trade schools, and military branches. In the spring, the focus is on ensuring all seniors have a plan and have taken the steps needed to be successful after graduation.

Kaercher helps them apply for scholarships and financial aid.

“There are over 50 scholarships available right from our own community,” he said, adding that he can also help job seekers improve their interview skills and write better resumes.

“This is also the time to help juniors get serious,” Kaercher said. “I like to meet with each student to help them find their path. If they plan on college, I can give them personalized lists of college recommendations for them to start researching.

"Spring is a great time to plan college visits. Colleges all have preview days, tours, and open houses.”

The Center is planning a College Fair in May that will bring students together with representatives from a number of regional colleges.

Top photo: Families of college-bound students were welcomed to Byron-Bergen’s College Readiness Night by (l-r) College and Career counselor Robert Kaercher, School counselor Andrea Feeney, and Principal Patrick McGee.


Byron-Bergen HS College and Career counselor Robert Kaercher helped families begin the journey of preparing and applying for college.

March 31, 2017 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.


Press release:

On March 13, representatives from the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Girls’ Soccer Team visited the University of Rochester Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute. Seniors Olivia Audsley, Karson Richenberg, and Kelsey Mauer were there to present a check for $3,200 to help combat head and neck cancer.

The team, led by Coach Wayne Hill, has been raising funds to support cancer awareness for many years. This is the third year they have focused on head and neck cancer, in honor of Richenberg’s mother, Toni, who has throat cancer.

This year’s fundraiser, which raised $1,800 more than last year, was held in September. It was supported by many local businesses, including Sloat Tire Shop, Fullerino’s Pizzeria, and NAPA Auto Parts in Bergen. Donated products and services filled gift baskets that were raffled auction-style during halftime at one of the team’s games.

Principal Patrick McGee said, “I am so proud of our girls’ efforts. They have showed over the past few years a true commitment to fighting cancer. I would also like to thank everyone in our community for their extraordinary generosity and for supporting our students and all of their hard work.”

UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute is the Finger Lakes region’s leader for cancer care and research. To learn more, visit

Photo: Byron-Bergen Girls’ Soccer Team members with Wilmot Cancer Institute staff. (front, l-r) Principal Patrick McGee, Coach Wayne Hill, teammates Olivia Audsley, Karson Richenberg, and Kelsey Mauer, and mother Toni Richenberg.


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