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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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January 26, 2016 - 2:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, ugandan water project.

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Press release:

On Jan. 25, students at Byron-Bergen Elementary School hosted representatives from the Ugandan Water Project, a humanitarian organization headquartered in Bloomfield that works with communities in Africa to provide safe, accessible drinking water.

After learning how precious water is to children and families in Uganda, students took on the challenge to help raise funds to install a rainwater collection system at a school there. The system will serve a community of almost 400 people for up to 35 years. Byron-Bergen students will change lives.

“It is just as important to us to help kids here in Byron-Bergen see how powerful they are; how every one of them is capable of changing the world, as it is to bring safe drinking water to villages in Uganda,” said Ugandan Water Project Executive Director James Harrington. “Our purpose is to help kids grow on both continents.

"The connection between Byron-Bergen and Uganda began last year with a chance meeting between Harrington and third-grade teacher Lynnette Gall. Thanks to the elementary school’s Character Education Committee, with help from educational experts at the Ugandan Water Project, teachers school-wide are incorporating the concept of water as a valuable resource into their studies of world culture, geography, and science.

Students will learn how water is used, where water comes from, about the water cycle, and the problems caused by unequal distribution of water around the world.

The Ugandan Water Project presentation began with joyful Ugandan folk music played by Harrington, and a chance for children to try out traditional dance steps. Students then experienced what it is like to try to carry a 40- to 50-pound container of water — a task faced by many Ugandan children who live over an hour from their water source.

Harrington and Ugandan Water Project Communications Lead Megan Busch then spoke about their water projects, over 250 currently, and demonstrated how something as simple as a small filter can make unsanitary water safe to drink.

The nonprofit Ugandan Water Project was founded in 2008, and works with more than 200 communities in Uganda. Their water solutions include rainwater collection systems, well repair and water purification systems. To contribute to Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s campaign visit http://ugandanwaterproject.com/product/byron-bergen/ by Feb. 12.

Top photo: Special water filters can purify otherwise undrinkable water. Byron-Bergen students and their teachers join Ugandan Water Project Executive Director James Harrington in sampling clean, safe filtered water.

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Byron-Bergen Elementary School students shake their tail feathers as part of a traditional Ugandan dance.

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Students try to imagine carrying heavy containers of water over long distances. Many Ugandan children their age face this daunting task every day. 

January 21, 2016 - 2:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education.

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Press release:

This year’s National Geographic Society Geography Bees for grades seven and eight, and grades four through six were held earlier this month at the Byron-Bergen Junior High and Elementary schools. All of the participants qualified after earning high scores on written tests taken in December.

At the Junior High, the top student performers were — Grade eight: Caitlin Ashton, Siomara Caballero, Alex Dean, Kyle Foeller, Sara Fraser, Coltin Henry, Connor Kaminski, Cambria Kinkelaar, Garrett Swinter, Justice Towne, Hannah VanSkiver, Abby Vurraro, and Grant Williams. Grade seven: Nick Baubie, Ricky Denson, Josh Fleming, Colby Leggo, John Mercovich, Isaiah Merrell, Zechariah Merrell, Andrew Parnapy, Deacon Smith, and Josh Swapceinski.

The very smartest Bees on this side of the globe were students Ricky Denson and Alex Dean, who competed in the event’s Championship Round. Denson was able to answer all three final questions correctly and was declared the Junior High School Geography Bee Champion. He was awarded a $25 Amazon.com gift card. As the runner-up, Dean received a $15 Amazon.com gift card.

The next step for Denson will be a written test. If his score is one of the 100 highest in the state, he will be invited to take part in the New York State Bee. State winners compete in the National Geography Bee in Washington, D.C., hosted by Alex Trebek from the “Jeopardy” TV show.

At the Elementary School, there were also many outstanding competitors: Jared Barnum, Dayanara Caballero, Cameron Carlson, Caris Carlson, Braedyn Chambry, Sadie Cook, Evan Cuba, Gianni Ferrara, Emily Henry, Frank Hersom, Grace Huhn, Brooke Jarkiewicz, Ryan Muscarella, Stephanie Onderdonk, Madelynn Pimm, Elizabeth Piper, Carter Prinzi, Elli Schelemanow, Grace Shepard, Ella VanValkenburg, Alexandra Vurraro, Dawson Young, Corden Zimmerman, and Nicholas Zwerka.

The new 2016 Champion Corden Zimmerman, a sixth-grader, will also be taking a written exam in hopes of qualifying for the state competition. Fifth-grader Cameron Carlson was the runner-up.

District teachers and counselors also played a part in the success of the events. At the Elementary School: Judges Craig Schroth, Erin Varley, and Liz Findlay; moderator Rick Merritt; and Bee Coordinator Ken Rogoyski. At the Jr. High School: Judges Rob Kaercher, Matt Walther, and Bryan Kavanaugh; moderator Debbie Slocum; organizer Ken Gropp; and Interim Dean of Students Aaron Clark.

Top photo: Elementary School Geogrpahy Bee Champion Corden Zimmerman.

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Byron-Bergen Junior High School participants in the National Geographic Society Geography Bee for grades seven and eight.

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Junior High Geography Bee Champion Ricky Denson, Mr. Gropp, and runner-up Alex Dean.

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Contestants from grades four through six in the 2016 National Geographic Society Geography Bee at Byron-Bergen Elementary School.

January 11, 2016 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, schools, education.

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Press release:

Sixth-grader Elli Schelemanow bested 22 other participants in the annual Robert Fowler/Byron-Bergen Grades 6-8 and Buffalo Evening News Spelling Bee held last month. Schelemanow now represents Byron-Bergen in the run for regional representation at The Scripps National Spelling Bee. Up next for her is a written test in early February to determine her eligibility for the regional spelling bee. That competition, The Western New York Oral Final, will be held on Sunday, March 13, at 1:30 p.m. at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society.

Runners-up this year are Byron-Bergen seventh-grader Joshua Swapceinski and eighth-grader Garrett Swinter. The competition put all the students through their paces, with eight challenging rounds and scores of demanding words before a champion emerged. The competition was moderated by teacher Andrew McNeil; with instructors Charlene Kelly, Laurie Penepent, and Diana Walther acting as judges. 

Byron-Bergen’s exceptional spelling contestants:

Grade 6: Corey Abdella, Madison Burke, Sadie Cook, Grace Huhn, Elli Schelemanow, Alex Toal, Ella Van Valkenburg, Hallie Wade, and Corden Zimmerman. 
Grade 7: Julietta Doyle, Josh Fleming, Gavin Lewis, John Mercovich, Alaura Rehwaldt, Sarah Streeter, and Josh Swapceinski.
Grade 8: Siomara Caballero, Alex Dean, Cambria Kinkelaar, Ethan Ray, Garrett Swinter, Justice Towne, and Grant Williams.

Byron-Bergen’s Jr./Sr. High School Interim Principal Patrick McGee congratulated Shelemanow, Swapceinski, Swinter, and all the participants.

“Our schools are proud to have Elli represent us, and I’m confident she will do a great job,” he said. “All our kids did impressive work with very difficult spelling challenges. McGee also wished to thank all the teachers at the Elementary School and Junior HS for their support, “especially Jason Blom and Elizabeth Findley and the sixth-grade team.”           

Top photo: Robert Fowler/Byron-Bergen Grades 6-8 and Buffalo Evening News Spelling Bee (l-r) runner-up Garrett Swinter, Bee champion Elli Schelemanow, and runner-up Joshua Swapceinski. 

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December 22, 2015 - 4:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education.

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Press release:

A standing-room-only audience of more than 200 filled the Elementary Cafetorium at Byron-Bergen Elementary School on Dec. 21 to hear the school’s kindergarteners greet the holiday season with music. The annual Holidays Around the World event is the culmination of the children’s study of world cultural diversity through understanding holiday customs. This year, the program featured songs and carols highlighting seasonal traditions from Germany, Mexico, Israel and England.

Teacher Melissa Chamberlain presented the program, introducing the students from her kindergarten class and the classes of fellow teachers Beth Amidon, Shana Feissner and Lori Simmons. Accompanist and former kindergarten teacher, Marsha MacConnell, who has been part of the proceedings for many years, played the piano. Dressed in their finest festive garb and wearing elf hats they made themselves, the children enthusiastically launched into their performance.

Songs included a demanding Spanish rendition of “Casca Bells,” “Oh Christmas Tree” from Germany, complete with dancing trees, and “Deck the Halls,” which celebrated the English tradition of caroling. The young performers also represented the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah with a version of “I’ve Been Lighting All the Candles.” Favorite songs were not forgotten: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Jingle Bells,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” were all part of the fun.

After the singing concluded, parents and students enjoyed punch and cookies, and had the opportunity to speak with hosts Principal Brian Meister and Assistant Principal Amanda Cook, along with the kindergarten teachers.

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December 18, 2015 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, byron-bergen, Punt Pass and Kick.

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Melissa MacCowan, an eighth-grader at Byron-Bergen, won her division of the Buffalo Bills region for the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick Championship on Dec. 6 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

MacCowan participates in varsity soccer, swimming and track at Byron-Bergen.

She was provided with hotel accommodations for the weekend, lunch in the Buffalo Bills cafeteria, tickets to the game, certificate, jersey, hat, football gloves, participated in opening ceremony/National Anthem on the field during the Dec. 6th game, and announcement of the winners on the Jumbotron as well as watching the game from the Bills' suite.

To reach the finals in Buffalo, MacCowan had to win a sectional tournament in Rochester. This year marked her third-straight year of posting a win at that event.

She is pictured with Aaron Williams of the Buffalo Bills.

Info and photo provided by Diane MacCowan.

December 9, 2015 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen.

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Press release:

Byron-Bergen Central School District continues to value that our most important priority is keeping our students and staff safe,” said District Superintendent Casey Kosiorek. To that end, the District has added the New York State Sheriff’s Association (NYSSA) Rapid Responder® Program to their crisis management and emergency preparedness plans.

The new program uses cutting-edge technology to give school personnel and all first responders immediate access to emergency response information, enabling clear communication and quick, coordinated action. 

Rapid Responder is an all-hazards site-based crisis management system that is used in schools nationwide and Canada. The system brings school officials and first responders from diverse agencies together on a single digital platform, giving everyone instant access to site-specific emergency response information, including floor plans, aerial views, hazardous material locations, utility shut-off information, evacuation plans, and live camera feeds.

Byron-Bergen CSD Director of Facilities Michael List said, “We are expanding the dialogue between the District and responders from local law enforcement, fire and medical departments. We have already found areas for improvement that will enable responders to better handle many emergency scenarios in our schools. The new Rapid Responder system helps make that possible.”

List added, “We recently completed detailed site visits and are now reviewing all the data. The next step in implementation will be training and drills with local responders based on different emergency and daily security situations to test all portions of the system.”

Implementation of the Rapid Responder Program is part of the District’s solid commitment to safety and security in the schools. Current security for the District includes a comprehensive visitor management system, Raptor®, in all three schools and the District Office, which is used for visitor background checks, as well as for generating ID badges. A large security camera system oversees buildings and grounds, and will now be tied into Rapid Responder using their capability to integrate IP-based cameras. The District also recently welcomed School Resource Officer Matt Butler to the staff.  

“In a world of seemingly increased violent incidents, we are proud to put an additional measure in place to ensure everyone’s safety,” Kosiorek said. “I want to thank our team — Mike List, Transportation coordinator Drew Doll, School Business official William Snyder, the building principals, and Deputy Butler for all their work with the overall safety of the organization, and most recently with the implementation of the NYSSA Rapid Responder Program.”

Rapid Responder (http://www.preparedresponse.com/New-York-Sheriffs-Rapid-Responder-Progra...) is currently deployed in over 16,000 facilities nationwide and is SAFETY Act Certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Caption: The administrative team at Byron-Bergen CSD begins work on implementation of the new Rapid Responder system. Standing (l-r) Jr./Sr. High School Interim Principal Patrick McGee, Superintendent Casey Kosiorek, and Elementary School Principal Brian Meister. Sitting (l-r) Transportation Director Drew Doll, School Resource Officer Matt Butler, and Director of Facilities Mike List.

December 8, 2015 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education.

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Press release:

The third-annual Reading Celebration at Byron-Bergen Elementary School got off to rollicking start with a farmyard-themed event on Nov. 20. Students were in the mood, wearing straw cowboy hats, overalls, and bandannas. Teachers dressed as cows, pigs, and singing farmhands hit the stage to build excitement for the challenge ahead: reading 25,000 books (almost 50 per student) before the end of the school year.

Students have consistently surpassed their reading goals since the challenge began in 2013; last year beating their target of 20,000 books by almost 4,000.

“Reading really is fun. We want kids to enjoy it and develop the reading habit now while they are young,” said Principal Brian Meister. “The motivation this year is the promise of a very special farm-themed reward in June. We’ll make all their hard work pay off in an event to remember.”

The assembly kicked off with Byron-Bergen parent Alyson Tardy, her backup teacher/singers and the student population singing and dancing to “Read a Book” — a special version of Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off.” Then Assistant Principal Amanda Cook played the starring role in a skit based on “Little Pig Joins the Band,” a favorite children’s book by David Hyde Costello.

Things got even more boisterous with an enthusiastic gameshow version of Pictionary, with students trying to guess which favorite books were being represented by teacher-drawn pictures. The festive atmosphere continued with a colorful quartet of Book Fairies (more enthusiastic teachers) who awarded a free book to one child from each class. 

Top photo: Reading is fun at Byron-Bergen Elementary School and a new book makes the day complete for student Mace Tyson.

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Byron-Bergen Elementary School teachers perform “Read a Book,” with a little help from the audience of young readers. 

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Assistant Principal Amanda Cook puts on a pig nose to lead the band and advance the celebration of reading at Byron-Bergen Elementary.

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The Byron-Bergen Book Fairies made sure that outstanding representatives from each class got their very own new book.

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Byron-Bergen student Gianni Ferrara is already well on the way to making sure the goal of reading 25,000 books is reached.

November 13, 2015 - 8:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, volleyball, sports.

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Byron-Bergen put themselves in a position to advance in the state tournament Thursday night, up 24-17 in the fifth set, but let the lead slip away, dropping the game 27-25 to Honeoye. The first four sets were 25-19 Byron-Bergen, 17-25 Honeoye, 25-14 Byron-Bergen and 14-25 Honeoye.

The match, played in Le Roy, was a consolidation round for the Class D1 and Class D2 champions in Section V.

Genesee County's other Section V champion, for Class C, was Le Roy, and the Oatkan Knights lost its state qualifier last night at Pioneer in Arcade to Eden, 25-15, 25-11 and 25-15.

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

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Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Press release (submitted photos):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program visit HYPERLINK "http://www.violencepreventionworks.org" http://www.violencepreventionworks.org. For information on The Leader in Me visit HYPERLINK "http://www.theleaderinme.org" www.theleaderinme.org.  

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

caseybb2015_0.jpgPress release from the Hilton Central School District:

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

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

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

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

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

October 21, 2015 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, music, arts, entertainment.

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Classic rock fans might recognize the smiling guy with the gray hair. It's Peter Frampton. Next to him is somebody a few people in Genesee County will know, Ben Sheridan, a 2008 graduate of Byron-Bergen High School. 

Sheridan, who plays keyboards, is on tour with Frampton and when the band stopped in Albany last night, a group of family members and friends traveled there to see him play.

He hooked up with Frampton after meeting Peter's son, Julian, while working at a Starbucks in Los Angeles. Julian is the man with the acoustic guitar in the photo.

Info and photos submitted by Anne Sapienza.

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September 13, 2015 - 8:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, elba, byron-bergen, Elba/Byron-Bergen.

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 Photo by Baily DeLelys

Richard Flores had 16 carries for 214 yards and three TDs plus a kickoff return of 82 yards for a touchdown. Tucker Bezon, two carries for 66 yards and two TDs. John Hochmuth was five for nine passing for 60 yards and a TD. he also had four carries for eight yards. Brendan Marsocci and Chase Toal each had rushing touchdowns.

On defense, Andrew Gotler had 15 tackels, Cody Kauffman, 14, David Castaneda, and Flores, eight.

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