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byron-bergen

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.

September 6, 2015 - 6:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, byron-bergen, Elba/Byron-Bergen, football, sports.

Saturday night at Byron-Bergen, the Elba Byron-Bergen Lancers beat the Pembroke Dragons, 28-6.

For the Lancers, John Hochmuth was nine for 14 passing for 74 yards, and had a 10-yard carry for a TD. Richard Flores rushed for 226 yards on 17 carries, scored one TD through the air and one on the ground. Tucker Bezon had nine carries for 57 yards and a TD. Robert Stevens, three carries, 24 yards and a TD. Dakota Dillon hauled in three receptions for 41 yards and was 4-4 for point after attempts.

On defense, Flores had nine tackles, a fumble recover and blocked punt. Andrew Gottler had 12 tackles. Rider Farnsworth, eight tackles and Brendon Marsocci, six with a fumble recover.

On offense for Pembroke, Reid Miano, 12-29 passing for 195 yards and a TD. Zach Von Kramer, four receptions for 83 yards, Dakota Dieter, four catches for 53 yards and a TD, Zack Swant, four receptions for 60 yards and Jake Jasinksi, 18 carries for 61 yards.

Defensive stats for Pembroke are not available.

September 1, 2015 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, byron-bergen, football, sports.

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Some key starters from the 2014 edition of the Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers have graduated and moved on, but Head Coach Mike Cintorino is confident in the squad he will put on the field in 2015.

"This is the most veteran group we've ever had," Cintorino said. "We have a lot of guys who played with us as freshman and sophomores and we've got 15 seniors returning, mostly starters, so we lost some names such as (Steele) Truax, (Mike) Shanley and (Garrett) Chapell, and guys like that, but in all reality, we had guys with us last year already ready to fill those roles who have been with us for a couple of years."

John Hockmuth, a standout at tight end last season, has been waiting his turn to lead the offense and is ready to step in as QB-1, Cintorino said. Richard Flores, perhaps the fastest running back in the Genesee Region, returns as half-back and there are younger guys ready to contribute at receiver and tight end.

Size and experience will benefit the offensive and defensive lines.

"They've been playing together actually since they were in seventh or eighth grade, so this line is probably the most experienced line that we've ever had in terms of them playing together and having that continuity," Cintorino said.

There are no pushovers in the GR this year, Cintorino said, so preperation for each game is going to be a key to a successful 2015 for the Lancers.

"It's that old cliche, one week at a time," Cintorino said. "We don't want to look ahead. Right now, our number-one focus is Pembroke. In a league like this, you can't take any team for granted."

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

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 3, 2015 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen.
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Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s Celebration of Reading Challenge proves that Principal Brian Meister and Assistant Principal Amanda Cook, along with the entire student population, are “stuck” on reading.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s Celebration of Reading Challenge began on Dec. 5 — students pledged to read 20,000 books before the school year ended. On May 28, the entire school population gathered to hear the results, delivered by teacher Debbie Slocum: just over 510 motivated young readers had exceeded their goal, reading a total of 23,473 books.

And the students’ reward for all that reading? Inspired by the book “Stuck” by Oliver Jeffers, about an impossible tree where everything thrown into it gets stuck, Principal Brian Meister and Assistant Principal Amanda Cook promised to allow themselves to be duct taped to chairs during the assembly, and to wear clothes made of duct tape the next day.

“It’s a fun way to get students 'stuck' on reading,” Meister said. “It keeps them excited and wanting to read more, while the duct tape event itself is something they will always remember.”           

The Celebration of Reading is the brainchild of Byron-Bergen’s English Language Arts (ELA) Committee, which began the challenge in 2013 with a goal of reading 10,000 books (a target also exceeded by more than 8,000). The assembly included guest speaker Nancy Bailey from the Bergen Public Library who invited the children to visit the library and to keep reading over the summer. Selected readers from each grade level received new books to jumpstart their summers, some of which were signed by the authors or illustrators.

Teachers read selections from a few favorite books, complete with comic flourishes. Craig Schroth read from Mo Willems’ “Knuffle Bunny”; Taylor Farruggia read from “Strega Nona” by Tomie DePaola; Heather Young entertained with “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz; and Daneen Williams read from “Miss Nelson is Missing” by Harry G. Allard Jr. and James Marshall. Many other teachers participated in the event, including Nicole Newton, Mariah LaSpina and Karen Tischer.

A highlight of the readings was a hip-hop version of the Dr. Seuss classic “Green Eggs and Ham” by teachers Ken Rogoyski and Megan Wahl, assisted by student Katherine Rogoyski as “Fox I Am.” Students were also treated to a showing of the school’s video “Read a Book” (based on Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off”), which was produced at the beginning of the school year.

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Byron-Bergen student Katherine Rogoyski and teacher Mrs. Wahl make Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” come alive.

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Mrs. Cook and Mr. Meister sport their custom-tailored duct tape regalia to celebrate Byron-Bergen Elementary students reading 23,473 books.

May 18, 2015 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen.

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Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District’s emphasis on educating the whole student recently earned it a place on Character.org’s annual list of State Schools and Districts of Character. These 80 schools and four districts from around the United States demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development that has a true positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate.

“This is a great honor for everyone in our district — from the students and parents to the teachers and administrators. They have all been united in their efforts to make our schools places where students can learn to be both intelligent and good citizens,” said BBCSD Superintendent Casey Kosiorek. “I am so proud to see our school community recognized for their dedication and hard work.”

BBCSD adopted a district-wide framework for character education in 2012 that teaches students about leadership, ethics, decision making, and respect. It centered on the district’s core values, "Challenge, Engage, Nurture." The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (www.violencepreventionworks.org) has since become an integral part of the education experience at all grade levels. “The Leader in Me” (www.theleaderinme.org), a whole-school transformational model that uses Steven Covey’s Seven Habits and gives students self-confidence and life skills, was also adopted in 2012.

The extensive School of Character application process was navigated by Amanda Cook and Patrick McGee, assistant principals at the elementary and Jr./Sr. high schools. “The process offered us the chance to reflect on our character education initiatives and identify areas of strength as well as opportunity,” Cook said. “Their reviewers gave us feedback that will help us strengthen current practices using the 11 Principles of Character Education framed by Character.org.”

The character education movement is a proactive effort to help students recognize, and then do, what’s right. In schools of character, teachers work together as professionals, with parents and community members as partners. They positively shape the social, emotional, and character development of their students. Children in these schools feel safe, respected, and connected to those around them, allowing them to thrive academically and socially and be motivated to give back to their communities.

Character.org (www.character.org), is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that works with schools to inspire, educate, and empower young people to be ethical and engaged citizens.

Caption: Character education is built into daily life at all grade levels at Byron-Bergen Schools. (l-r) Students Clare Fraser and Grace Pulcini; assistant principals Patrick McGee and Amanda Cook; students Pearl Jolliff and Rayna Brew.

May 15, 2015 - 9:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Business Education Alliance, BEA, business, batavia, byron-bergen.

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The Genesee County Business/Education Alliance held its annual meeting this morning at Terry Hills. The event featured presentations by students who have been through BEA programs, awards and election of officers.

Jay Wolcott, a teacher with Byron-Bergen High School, received an APPLE Award, as did Ed Shaver (second picture), a teacher with Elba High School.

Other awards: Business Partner of the Year, Dan Harvey, formerly of Graham Manufacturing; and partner in education awards to Graham Manufacturing and Amada Tool America.

Wolcott and Shaver are pictured with Eve Hens, director of BEA.

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Nick Corsivo

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 Students from Alexander Central School who attended BEA Camps last summer. Lauren Young, Nick Allen, Andrew Young.

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Heather Dries and Chrstine Stevens, students at Byron-Bergen, in Wolcott's manufacturing systems classes.

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