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

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At the Jr./Sr. High School (Front, l-r) National Geographic Bee winner Andrew Parnapy and runner-up Richard Denson, with (Back, l-r) social studies teachers Aaron Clark, Nick Muhlenkamp, and Ken Gropp.

Press release:

The local levels of the National Geographic Society's Geographic Bee were held in Byron-Bergen schools on Jan. 5, 2017. At the Jr./Sr. High School, 25 Byron-Bergen seventh-and-eighth-grade students were invited to participate, based on the results of a written test taken in December. They all took part in the preliminary rounds, with the winners—Sadie Cook, Richard Denson, Josh Flemming, Colby Leggo, Andrew Parnapy, Josh Swapceinski, Corden Zimmerman, and Matthew Zwerka—competing in the finals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

 

January 10, 2017 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, news, schools, education.

chaya_patty.jpgPress release:

Genesee Community College has appointed its next dean of Student Services, a familiar face with years of experience working with students, faculty and staff, and service to the College. Patricia "Patty" Chaya emerged as the top choice from a lengthy search of many qualified candidates, and will assume the responsibilities of dean of students, transitioning from her previous role of associate dean of the GCC Warsaw and Lima campus centers.

Chaya joined the College in 2002 as associate dean of the Warsaw campus, and inherited the same role with the Lima campus in 2012. Handling multiple duties, she was charged with leading, directing, team building and administrative oversight for all operations at both campus centers. In 2013, Chaya was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service, an award given to recognize consistent superior professional achievement.

"Her familiarity with the GCC community and experience working with our students will make her an invaluable asset to our team," said Virginia "Ginny" Taylor, Ph.D., vice president for Student and Enrollment Services. "We are excited for the students, faculty and staff at the Batavia campus to begin working with Patty, whose passion for helping others has always been evident."

Chaya holds a bachelor's in Sociology from SUNY Fredonia and a master's in Student Personnel Administration from the University at Buffalo. She was a resident assistant while attending SUNY Fredonia and became residence hall director after earning her bachelor's degree.

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to take on a new professional challenge," Chaya said. "There is great potential with the dean of Student Services position, and new initiatives are important for moving forward. Not only do I hope to cultivate new programs such as those relating to wellness, but I plan on expanding the delivery and availability of these programs using our current technology, making them more accessible for our students."

Prior to working at GCC, Patty was the associate director at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, and also worked for the Genesee County YWCA as the director of the Domestic Violence Program. She is heavily involved in the GLOW community, serving as the vice president of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Business Education Alliance (BEA) Board of Directors in Livingston County.

"I live in the community and am familiar with local issues," Chaya explained. "I have a strong commitment to GCC and am confident I can be a strong ambassador for the College."

As the dean of student services, Chaya will work closely with College administration to enhance its current leadership program and expanding innovative student development programs. Among numerous other areas, she will focus on student retention and degree completion, as well as handling student conduct and discipline.

Chaya officially began her new role on Jan. 3rd. Patty and husband, Ray, a former GCC BEST Center staff member, currently reside in Batavia.

January 10, 2017 - 2:37pm

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

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

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

The full press release about the contest is here.

All of the videos that won and placed are here.

January 3, 2017 - 12:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
January 30, 2017 - 6:00pm

Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia is presenting “Don’t Live for Your (Student) Loans” on Monday, January 30 at 6:00 pm. This free program is for teens and adults. The average college student graduates with approximately $27,000 in student loan debt. This session will equip you with the knowledge and power to handle your student loans like a pro! Worksheets and handouts included. Presented by Consumer Credit Counseling of Rochester. Please call 585-343-9550 to register or register online at www.batavialibrary.org.

January 3, 2017 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, schools, education, news.

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December was Kindness Month at John Kennedy School and throughout the month, the "Kindness Elf" went around spreading kindness. Just before Christmas, the Elf helped arrange a visit by members of the Batavia FD and Batavia PD.

The firefighters and police officers shared cookies with the second-grade class of Mrs. Marsh and Mrs. Lebeau. The teachers then helped the students write thank you notes to the police and fire departments. The students not only thanked them for coming to the school but thanked them for all they do on a daily basis to help our community and to keep us safe.

Photo and info submitted by Courtney Marsh.

December 31, 2016 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, news.

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Peter Beuler, a teacher at Oakfield-Alabama, shared with us today this photo and information about students from O-A going to Albany on Dec. 19 to witness electors casting their votes.

Oakfield-Alabama teacher Peter Beuler’s Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics class was selected by the Governor’s office to represent the Great Lakes region on December 19th to witness New York State’s Electoral College vote for the 45th President of the United States.

The voting was conducted at noon in the Senate Chamber at the State Capitol building in Albany.

This was a prestigious honor for Oakfield-Alabama because only one-hundred high school students state-wide were chosen by the Governor’s office to observe this historic event.

The twelve students had a busy day as they left at 4:45 in the morning and didn’t get back until eight at night.

While in Albany the students were able to visit the offices of their state legislative representatives; State Senator Ranzenhofer and State Assemblyman Hawley.  During the hour-long Electoral College vote, the twelve students got to view and hear from Former President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, Buffalo’s Mayor Byron Brown, Rochester’s Mayor Lovely Warren, and other New York State public officials.

Before departing Albany, the AP class received a guided tour of the capitol building where they ran into and got a second to speak to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

The AP class and Mr. Beuler are very grateful to the community members and school’s administrative team who helped make this trip possible.

In the photo: Emily Staniszewski, Ryan Missel, Joshua Larmon, Ciera Baker, Hannah Newton, Mr. Peter Beuler. Clayton Smith, Sara Voltura, Hope Kollarik, Olivia Carroll, Jonah Schnettler, Jacob Houseknecht, Haily Davis.

December 28, 2016 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, news.

Press release:

In sports, it's the MVP or most valuable player. In journalism and the arts, it's a Pulitzer Prize. Film has its Oscars and Academy Awards, and television has the Emmy Awards. But in the serious business of higher education, standards of excellence and adherence to quality are gauged by the Commission on Higher Education, a voluntary, non-government, regional membership association that assures institutional accountability, improvement and innovation through a rigorous application of standards within a peer reviewed process.

James M. Sunser, Ed.D., president of Genesee Community College, was recently appointed as one of 26 commissioners (board members) of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), which oversees 530 colleges and universities within New York State, as well as Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He was selected from 85 nominations for just three open seats, and he is one of the few community college presidents to serve as commissioner.

MSCHE is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation to accredit degree-granting institutions which offer one or more post-secondary educational programs of at least one academic year. Sunser joins the team of academic leaders who help define, maintain and promote educational excellence across many institutions with diverse missions, student populations and resources. Prior to his appointment as a commissioner, he served as a chairman or a member of an evaluation team within the peer-review process on more than a dozen occasions over the past 20 years.

To earn and retain accreditation through MSCHE, each institution of higher education undergoes a multi-stage accreditation review process every 10 years that begins with an intensive self study. The institution appoints a steering committee and working groups, and organizes campus-wide discussions to prepare a comprehensive Self-Study Report focused on specific accreditation standards. The Report also helps frame the three-day site visit by an assigned evaluation team made up of members from peer institutions.

After careful review of the Self-Study Report and numerous on-campus interviews, the evaluation team chair compiles an Evaluation Report summarizing the team's overall findings. In the end, the commissioners of MSCHE can affirm accreditation, require follow-up action, or remove accreditation.

Ironically, Genesee Community College is currently undergoing its decennial evaluation and is in the final stages of completing its 150+ page Self-Study Report with its MSCHE site visit scheduled April 2-5. (To avoid all conflicts of interest, the commissioners recuse themselves from all discussions involving their own institutions of employment.)

President Sunser is a native of Syracuse and has spent the majority of his professional career in higher education. He is a graduate of Onondaga Community College, earned his BS degree from Syracuse University, an MS from SUNY College at Brockport, and a Certificate of Advanced Study and his Ed.D. Degree from the University of Rochester. He came to GCC in 2011, after working at Onondaga Community College in several capacities including as the bursar and vice president for finance, and vice president for continuing and extended learning.

"I am truly honored to be a part of such an important organization within higher education," President Sunser said of his new appointment. "Accreditation is the lynch pin that holds higher education together. From setting policy to the self-assessments, team reviews during on-site visits, Middle States has imparted leadership in higher ed throughout its nearly 100-year history."

December 26, 2016 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news.

Today, we look back on 2016 to celebrate the accomplishments of the young people in our community in three of the most important aspects of life: Academics, the Arts and Athletics.

To purchase prints of any of these photos, click here.

December 23, 2016 - 8:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia MS, schools, education, batavia, news.

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Students, along with teachers and staff, from Batavia Middle School, made their annual field trip today, visiting some of the local organizations and businesses that supported the school over the past year.

The students handed out gift bags with presents that they made.

The photo above is from their visit to Batavia PD, and below, at WBTA with Jerry Warner.

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December 23, 2016 - 5:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Batavia City School District’s Jackson Primary School teacher, Melissa Mattice, was presented with an Outstanding Employee Award by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the Dec. 20 Board meeting.

She was nominated by Jackson Principal Diane Bonarigo, who wrote, “Mrs. Mattice is a kindergarten teacher at Jackson School. She is a teacher leader and serves Jackson Primary School in many different ways year after year. She has volunteered her time on the School Improvement Team, PARP (Parents as Reading Partners) Committee, Parent Home School events and works closely with administration and staff to promote a positive and collaborative culture in the building as well as on the APPR District committee.

"Mrs. Mattice sets high academic standards and builds strong relationships with her students. She has earned a great deal of respect in the community as evidenced by the number of parent requests we receive each year, asking for Mrs. Mattice to be their child’s teacher.”

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Batavia City School District’s Jackson Primary School teacher, Marie Bigsby, was presented with an Outstanding Employee Award by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the Dec. 20 Board meeting.

She was nominated by Jackson Principal Diane Bonarigo, who wrote, “Mrs. Bigsby continues to serve the students and families of Jackson Primary with great enthusiasm and dedication. Mrs. Bigsby is a standing volunteer member on many Jackson committees. Over the past several years, however, she has also dedicated a great deal of her time as a Jackson Teacher Representative and meets monthly with our parent group volunteers and the Parent Co-Presidents to support the school with evening and weekend events.

"You can always find Mrs. Bigsby volunteering to get the school ready for Fall Carnival, Breakfast with Santa, and Family Learning Nights. She works closely with staff to create a strong partnership with our families and is able to initiate great school support throughout the year. We appreciate her hard work and am thankful for her continued contribution to Jackson School.”

Photos and info submitted by Kathy Scott, Batavia City Schools.

December 23, 2016 - 10:48am

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As students at Oakfield-Alabama Elementary left school yesterday, they were given a "High-Five Goodbye" from six NYS Troopers and K-9 "Paris."

Photo and info submitted by Lynn Gehlert.

December 22, 2016 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

A sell-out crowd of 320 guests enjoyed a celebratory night at Encore 2016 last week, Genesee Community College Foundation's annual holiday fundraising event featuring a holiday concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The Dec. 13th celebration continued the long-standing tradition of a fun and festive evening with new and old friends coming together in the spirit of raising funds for the College's numerous scholarship programs. More than $50,000 was raised.

Following the theme, "A Star Shines On," the event recognized both the 25th anniversary of Encore together with the Genesee Community College's 50th anniversary. This year, Encore was organized by a chairing committee featuring the two sisters who organized the first of the Encore events in 1991, and their multigenerational families. The co-chairs included Glenn and Rosalie Maguire Simon, joined by Rosalie's sister, Lucy Barnett and her husband, Timothy; daughter Jessica Maguire Tomidy and her husband, Alan; as well as son, Andrew Maguire and his fiancée, Jamie Beswick. In addition, Encore included special programming just for children the first time this year, allowing the children and grandchildren to attend as well.

"Planning the first Encore is a very fond memory for me and my sister Lucy. We were delighted to bring in the next generation for this significant milestone and also give children a chance to experience the arts and this incredible event," Rosalie Maguire Simon said. "We specifically revisited the theme from 25 years ago, 'A Star Shines,' and featured the star logo and artwork designed by GCC's late art instructor, Michael Powers from many years ago."

The evening featured four segments: the Prelude in the Genesee Center for the Arts; Dinner with numerous food stations set up in the central William W. Stuart Forum; the BPO concert in the Stuart Steiner Theatre featuring soprano soloist Emily Helenbrook; and finally desserts in the Wolcott J. Humphrey III Student Union.

The Genesee Community College Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to providing volunteer and philanthropic support to Genesee Community College. Formed in 1986, the Foundation has been instrumental in providing thousands of scholarships over the last decade, and assisting with the funding of numerous capital projects including the Student Success Center and the Richard C. Call Arena currently under construction and scheduled to open in the summer at GCC's Batavia Campus. The Foundation also supported the construction of the Conable Technology Building, the Humphrey Student Union, and the expansion of College Village, Genesee's student residence.

Top photo: The event's co-chairs; bottom photo: Roseann and James Sunser, and Emily Helenbrook.

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December 21, 2016 - 12:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia MS, schools, education, news, batavia.

In an effort to help students who are falling far behind in their studies, to the point where the students start to lose hope of catching up, principals Scott Wilson, Batavia High School, and Ashley John Grillo, Batavia Middle School, have developed an innovative new afterschool program to help the students make up for lost time.

Wilson described the program as "creative" at Tuesday's meeting of the City Schools Board of Trustees.

The board unanimously approved implementation of the program after Wilson's presentation.

The program will be held at the high school on Mondays through Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Wilson said he would anticipate from five to 15 students participating in each five-week segment.  

There would be a rotating group of teachers running the sessions each day and the program uses online courses designed to help students with makeup work as well as group learning.

"The goal is to have enough progress for the students to recover," Wilson said.

Students fall behind for a variety of reasons, from home life, to illness to other distractions and they often would like to keep up with their school work, Wilson said. That's hard to do when each day is filled with the current day's schoolwork.

During the course of the academic year, students get grades that are really just progress markers, Wilson explained, but the most important grade comes at the end of the school year, so the goal of the program is to provide midyear course correction for those who "go off-roading," Wilson said.

Wilson hopes to implement the new program starting in January.

December 21, 2016 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, batavia, news.

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During Tuesday's City Schools board meeting, held at Jackson School, students and their teachers did a show-and-tell on some of the skills they've been learning through innovative classroom activities.

Above, kindergarteners count in increments of two to start a demonstration that included jumping in increments of two on a floor map, and then on a second trip through the map, picking up building blocks, which provides a lesson in groups and multiplication. Their teacher is Melissa Mattice.

Bottom photos, teacher Jessica Torrey works with her students in first grade on a demonstration of their writing and storytelling abilities.

During her presentation about progress at the school, Principal Diane Bonarigo said teachers and staff are very aware that the study skills and attitudes toward learning developed in kindergarten and first grade will have a big impact on a student's ability to eventually graduate from high school. 

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December 19, 2016 - 8:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's School, schools, education, batavia, news.

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Press release:

Miss Zambito’s first-grade class at St. Joe’s Catholic School spent the first few weeks of December raising their own money for a very special cause. These first-graders generously collected $160 of their chore, birthday and tooth-fairy money to purchase gifts for the girls and boys at Golisano Children’s Hospital.  

December 15, 2016 - 10:00am
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
January 11, 2017 -
7:00pm to 10:00pm

SNOWMOBILE SAFETY COURSE
NYS Snowmobile Safety course will be taught at Darien Fire Dept. Hall, January 11 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Part 2 January 14 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The Fire hall is located on Rt. 77 Darien, NY

December 15, 2016 - 10:00am
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
January 14, 2017 -
9:00am to 3:00pm

SNOWMOBILE SAFETY COURSE
NYS Snowmobile Safety course will be taught at Darien Fire Dept. Hall, January 11 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Part 2 January 14 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The Fire hall is located on Rt. 77 Darien, NY

December 11, 2016 - 2:51pm
posted by James Burns in Jackson School, education, schools, batavia, news.

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Saturday morning Jackson Primary School hosted a Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Breakfast was bagels and donuts. The children attending had the opportunity to play games and build some art and crafts. There was a basket raffle for the adults and kids. There was a book giveaway, too. Of curse any child who wanted was able to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus and get their picture taken with them. (Follow this link to see all of the pictures.) After visiting with Santa, every child was given a toy donated by Dollar General of Batavia. 

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Photos provided by www.jimburns.org

December 10, 2016 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elba Central School, elba, schools, education, news.

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Article and photo submitted by Drew Muehlig.

President-elect Donald Trump isn’t the only one putting a transition team together. Elba Central School has worked diligently over the last year and a half to get its administrative team together. Friday night, the school hosted a “Meet the Principal’s Night,” giving the community an opportunity to meet the new “team” face-to-face.

First there was new Superintendent Keith Palmer who came over from his post as high school principal at Pembroke Central School. Palmer was hired prior to the 2015-16 school year.

“As a fairly new superintendent, it is fortunate to be in a position to hire your administrative team,” Palmer said.

That team is made up of Elementary Principal Carol Bush and Junior-Senior High School Principal Mike Langridge.

“Both bring unique strengths to the District that will have a direct and immediate impact on learning,” Palmer continued. “Carol’s knowledge and experience with literacy along with her ability to speak Spanish has already benefited our most needy students at the elementary level. As an Elba alumnus, Mike brings established relationships and credibility with the faculty and community. His focus on rigorous and challenging coursework for all students will continue to prepare our high-schoolers for both college and career.”

Bush, former coordinator of the Center for School Improvement and Professional Development at Orleans/Niagara BOCES, boasts 14 years in the field of education with time as a Spanish teacher, literacy specialist and coordinator of student services and curriculum. Providing ECS students with the best possible learning experience is her top priority.

“Creating an environment that is conducive to learning and meets the needs of all students is critical,” Bush explained. Each day, teachers and students enter our school building with an array of personalities, interests, expectations, skills and talents. As the instructional leader, it is my job to recognize these unique attributes and nurture them so they may grow to their full potential.”

Langridge, former principal at the O’Connor Academy at Monroe #1 BOCES, plans to continue that same effort at the high school level.

“We will provide the opportunities and support for all students to be ready to take on their post-secondary life with the skills, abilities and character necessary to find success,” Langridge said.

Those opportunities that Langridge speaks of are far more numerous than they were when he graduated from Elba Central School in 1998.

“Students have greater access to Advanced Placement courses, ACE (Genesee Community) courses, BOCES, small class sizes, a family atmosphere in which we take care of one another, and, thanks to mergers with local districts, extracurricular options my friends and I only dreamt of as students,” Langridge added.

Many of those former students now make up the core community in Elba, fueling the growth and success of the school.

“There is a great sense of pride that exists in Elba, not only as a strong school community but also as a family,” Bush said. “Everyone is truly invested in the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students and provide a remarkable support system for one another. I continue to be amazed by their dedication and commitment.”

It seems that with their respective backgrounds and skills, Palmer, Bush and Langridge are poised to lead Elba Central School into the future.

“Carol and Mike are strong leaders and I look forward to the progress we will make in providing our students with the best education in Western New York,” Palmer said.

Photo: Mike Langridge,Carol Bush and Keith Palmer (photo credit, Michael Augello).

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