Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


July 19, 2017 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, City Schools, schools, education, notify.


Seniors at Batavia High School this year will not only be afforded the privilege of reserved parking spaces in the student lot, they will be able to paint their designated spot with just about any design they like.

Overall, board members for the City School District loved the idea, presented by the executive council of the Class of 2018, but requested some modifications from the original idea before approving it.

"With a personalized parking spot, the students are able to reserve their spots and then express their individuality, which is really meaningful as maturing young adults," said student Mikey Lullo.

The students said there would be three options for students. The first costs the student nothing -- they get an assigned spot that will remain black asphalt throughout the year. The second option allows them to reserve a spot for $10, but they can't personalize it. The sweet spot, painted and personalized, would be $15.

The project is a fundraiser for the Class of 2018.

The original proposal would make all options available to all students who drive to school and students paying $15 would be able to select three possible spots, which would then be assigned randomly from those choices.

Because it's the first year, the board thought painted spots should be reserved for seniors and all spots should be selected at random.

"I love this kind of stuff," Board Member Peter Cecere said. "I think the finished product looks amazing."

Then he raised concerns about how slots would be selected.

"While I'd like to give everybody at least one of their top three choices, that's just not going to work," Cecere said. "Inevitably you're going to have a kid complaining because 'hey this kid's got this and I paid the same amount of money.' "

Trustee Shawna Murphy wondered if the privilege might be tied to academic performance or attendance, but the feeling was that would add another level of complication. She also expressed concern that in this climate, the painted slots would look dingy over the course of the year.

The students said they researched schools in similar climates and found with the right paint, it hasn't been a problem. They also said the paint acts as a sealant, which helps protect the surface of the parking lot.

At the end of the year, the students would be responsible for painting over, with black paint, the customized student spots.

While students who wish to personalize parking spots must get a sketch approved by school administrators, the council said they will also help watch over the parking lot.

Cecere expressed concern about vandalism and bullying associated with customized slots. The students hope security cameras and their vigilance will help tap down these issues.

"We're going to be there and we take it upon ourselves to monitor everything, us being the executive council," said Lauren Leone. "We are there to check everyone's paint and make sure it's being respectful."

Murphy asked how the council knew this was something they knew their fellow students wanted.

Lullo said the idea has been a big hit on social media.

"This has gone around multiple times and there has been positive feedback from pretty much the majority of the school who is on social media saying 'oh we wish we have this' and 'this would be so cool,' " Lullo said. "They said, 'this is so great, we want this.' So we kind of took it and ran with it."

Top Photo: Lauren Leone.  Bottom photo: Kiara Cherry, Amand Patel and Mikey Lullo.


Video about a similar program at a high school in Lebanon, Ind.

July 18, 2017 - 5:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, Excelsior Scholarship, education, news, batavia.

Press release:

Officials at Genesee Community College would like to remind local citizens that the deadline for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship Program is this Friday, July 21, with all applications for the 2017-2018 academic year due.

Qualified students interested in taking advantage of the program for the upcoming fall semester must:

  • Be residents of New York State;
  • Plan to attend a SUNY (or CUNY) two- or four-year degree program;
  • Maintain good academic standing;
  • Complete 30 credits per year and make timely progress toward graduation;
  • Be on track to graduate with an associate degree in two years or a bachelor's degree in four years.

To apply, new or returning college students must have copies of their 2015 New York State income tax return(s), current unofficial academic transcript showing credits earned each year, and the most recent financial aid package and/or 2017-2018 Student Aid Report (SAR) available will aid in the application process.

When fully implemented, the Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other aid programs, is expected to allow 200,000 students to attend a State University of New York (SUNY) college tuition free. Tuition-free college can begin this fall 2017 semester for students whose families make up to $100,000 annually and extend to those making $125,000 annually by 2019.

To apply for the Excelsior Scholarship or obtain further information, visit

Alternatively, the new Student Success Center at GCC's Batavia Campus is now OPEN! New students can also attend a START (Student Testing Advisement Registration Tuition) Day to take care of all of the necessary steps to gain admittance to GCC. Students can meet with one of the College's new success coaches who offer assistance every step of the way! Anyone in need of assistance filing for FAFSA should bring 2015 tax information.

START Days are scheduled every Monday and Wednesday through July 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. at all GCC campus locations. To schedule an appointment, call the Student Success Center at (585) 345-6805 or the campus location nearest to you.

The fall semester at GCC officially begins on Monday, Aug. 21! The full semester of courses runs for 16 weeks, and classes are available at all of GCC's seven campus locations, as well as online.

With GCC's extensive offering of class times and locations, students of all ages can pick the right time, day or place that meets their needs and suits their schedules.

To apply online for classes at any Genesee Community College campus location, students can go to the College's Admission Web page at or call the Admissions office at 585-345-6800.

July 6, 2017 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, schools, education, news, notify.


The Batavia City School District welcomed three new members to the school board, including Zach Korzelius, appointed to replace the seat vacated by Leslie Johnson. Johnson resigned to accept a job in education in New York City.


Michal Lullo is the new student ex-officio member of the board.


Newly elected Board Member Barbara Bowman.


Newly elected Board Member Tanni Bromley.


Pat Burk was re-elected by the board to be chairman.


Pete Cecere becomes the vice-chairman.

June 28, 2017 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, schools, education, news.


Press release:

Father Ivan celebrated Mass at Resurrection Parish (St. Joseph site) to honor the 28 students who are moving on to high school in the fall.

Many of these eighth-grade students participated in their own Graduation Mass by saying the readings, reciting prayers and singing in the choir. A special moment of the Mass was when, after Communion, graduating eighth-grader Ariana deSa e Frias beautifully sang “Ave Maria” to everyone’s family and friends.

After Mass, Principal Karen Green, as well as many of the eighth-grade teachers, presented awards to honor all of these hardworking students.  Students received Honor Roll Awards, Music Awards, Excellence Awards as well as many other special Achievement Awards.

In addition, miore than $7,000 was given out in scholarships to those students attending Notre Dame High School in the fall. Congratulations to these St. Joseph Catholic School graduates!


June 24, 2017 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy hs, Le Roy, schools, education, news.


The Class of 1967 led the Class of 2017 into the auditorium Thursday for Le Roy High School's Honors Night.

More than $65,000 in awards were handed out to graduating seniors  

"We are fortunate to have many individuals and organizations in this community that dedicate efforts to raise funds for our students," Principal Tim McArdle said. "A highlight of the night was hosting members of the Class of 1967."

Jerry Howe gave a special greeting and message to the Class of 2017.

"It was awesome to have them with us last night!" McArdle said. "I would like to congratulate our seniors who received an award and were recognized for their efforts!"

Photos and info submitted by Tim McArdle.






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

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

She's also never been dismissed early.

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

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

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

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

June 14, 2017 - 12:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, schools, education, news.

Press release:

Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees set 2017-2018 tuition at $2,025 per semester for full-time students, an increase of $50 over 2016-2017 tuition. Tuition for part-time students will be $165 per credit hour, an increase of $5. Genesee's tuition and fees will remain among the lowest among all State University of New York colleges, President James M. Sunser noted.

Trustees also approved a $40.92 million operating budget for the coming fiscal year, Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018, up less than 1 percent from the current $40.54 million budget. The budget is a maintenance-of-effort budget, said Sunser and Vice President for Finance and Operations Kevin P. Hamilton.

The operating budget:

Funds all of the College's academic programs and services at current levels;

Provides for the heating, lighting and maintenance of the new Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena;

Seeks an increase of $50,000 in annual support from the Genesee County Legislature, sponsor of the College.

Anticipates New York State aid totaling $10.61 million, significantly less than the one-third funding anticipated as part of the state legislation creating the SUNY system.

Although the College has named seven success coaches as part of its innovative new success coaching program for students, the College has not increased the total number of student services staff members. With careful planning, the College reorganized many of its non-classroom functions, and created new success coach positions by reducing the number of positions in other college departments.

"Success coaching is a very efficient and productive way for us to deliver services to students, but more important, it provides students with the very important personal guidance they need to be successful in their academic careers and beyond," Sunser told trustees.

The budget will next be presented to the Genesee County Legislature. After Legislature approval, the budget will be presented to SUNY for final review and approval.

In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:

Heard Nominating Committee Chair Donna M. Ferry report that the Committee has recommended the re-election of the Board of Trustees' current officers for the 2017-2018 year: Laura J. Bohm, chair; Ms. Ferry, vice chair; and Peter R. Call, secretary. Officers will be elected at the Board's annual meeting July 10.

Heard Finance Committee Chair Peter R. Call report that the Committee had reviewed the College's third quarter financial report. Revenue and expense is meeting budget targets for the first nine months of the fiscal year, which began last Septe. 1,  Call said. Board members approved the third quarter financial report.

Heard William T. Emm report that work on the new Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena is nearing completion. Contractors are completing painting, carpeting, cabinetry and installation of various finishes. The College is awaiting delivery of the large stairwell railing in the Success Center. Rubber flooring and wall padding has been installed in the Arena. Furniture has arrived, and staff members are expected to be moving into the two new buildings over the next four to six weeks.

Heard President Sunser report that the New York State Higher Education Services Corp. has issued regulations on the new Excelsior scholarship program. He also reported that students may now apply for the new scholarships through the HESC website. Under the Excelsior program, students from families with adjusted gross income of $100,000 may receive a tuition scholarship provided students meet various academic criteria. The adjusted gross-income eligibility threshold increases to $110,000 next year and $125,000 in 2019.

Heard Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Virginia M. Taylor report that applications for summer 2017 study are up 11 percent. The College offers two summer sessions, the first running from June 5 to July 8, and the second from July 10 to Aug. 12. Taylor also said that the College has received 420 applications from area high school students for the Genesee Promise Plus program, and 260 of these students have already registered for classes. Genesee Promise Plus has been growing steadily, enrolling 185 students in 2013, and increasing each year, to 243 in 2016. Through Genesee Promise Plus, high school juniors and seniors can register for one or two courses, and have costs paid by a Genesee Community College Promise Plus scholarship. Students of any age interested in registering for summer or fall courses can view a listing of available courses on the College's web site, or call 585-345-6800 for more information.

Heard President Sunser report that the College has filled four key positions, replacing three staff members who are retiring this spring and one staff member who has moved to a different College department. They are:

  • Levi T. Olsen will join the staff as director of Buildings and Grounds, replacing Timothy M. Landers, who is retiring July 2 after 33 years of service. Olsen comes to Genesee with 15 years' experience in facilities management at the University of Rochester. He currently serves as assistant director of Utilities and Energy Management. Olson, a resident of Basom, is a graduate of Genesee Community College (Class of '98), and holds a B.S. degree from the University at Buffalo and a M.S. degree from the University of Rochester.
  • Laura J. Taylor will join the staff as instructor of Fashion Business Merchandising, replacing M. Richard Dudkowski, who is retiring after 33 years of service. Taylor is a member of the faculty of Villa Maria College in Buffalo. She holds a B.S. degree from SUNY College at Oneonta and a M.F.A. degree from the Academy of Art University in California. She is pursuing a Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University. Taylor is a resident of Akron.
  • Jessica R. Olin will join the staff as director of Library Services, replacing Nina T. Warren, who is retiring after 25 years' service. Olin has served as library director at Wesley College in Maryland, and has served as a faculty member at Hiram College (Ohio) and Landmark College (Vermont). She holds a B.A. degree from Hood College (Maryland), a M.A.E. degree from Touro University (California), and a M.L.I.S. degree from Simmons College (Massachusetts). She lives in the Rochester area.
  • Edvardo R. Pabros Jr. will fill a vacancy in the College's Institutional Research Office as Institutional Research associate. He comes to Genesee from Lockheed Martin, where he has been a software engineer and programmer for 15 years. He holds a B.S. degree from California State University and has completed advanced certificates in various information technology fields. He is a resident of Le Roy.

Heard President Sunser thank and congratulate seven members of the faculty and staff who are retiring this spring. In addition to Landers, Dudkowski, and Warren, President Sunser also thanked Margaret E. Heater, Ed.D., associate dean for Student Development, who has served GCC for the last 11 years; Mary Jo Dumuhosky, testing coordinator, who has served GCC for 31 years; Elizabeth Geuss, assistant Learning Lab and tutor coordinator who has served GCC for 30 years; and Cheryl M. Young, who has served GCC for 36 years.

Heard President Sunser report that St. John Fisher College has reserved two annual spots in its highly regarded Wegmans School of Pharmacy for Genesee Community College graduates who meet required academic criteria. Students completing the program receive a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Approved a policy requiring review and authorization of on-campus fund raising sales and events by student clubs, athletic teams and other internal groups. The policy is important because of the growing volume and complexity of laws and regulations governing fund raising, said Policy Committee Chair Benjamin J. Bonarigo Sr.

Viewed "The Human 50," a video of students, faculty, staff and trustees gathering in the form of a "50," marking the College's 50th anniversary. The video was created on May 4, and may be viewed on the anniversary home page at

June 10, 2017 - 11:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, schools, education, news.


Elba Central Schools parents and teachers organization hosted its first Muckers and Sons event -- with real Elba muck supplied by a local farmer -- at the school today.

(Apologies to the folks in Elba -- I only have one picture because I had an incorrect setting on my other camera, so all of the pictures on that camera were overexposed.)

June 7, 2017 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, batavia, news, schools, education.


Fourth-graders from John Kennedy School were at Van Detta Stadium today for the annual Fourth Grade Track Meet. A total of 180 students competed in seven events.








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


Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

June 5, 2017 - 2:48pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center is pleased to announce two summer camps for area youth in 2017: Environmental Science Career Exploration Camp and Camp Hard Hat.

Environmental Science Career Exploration Camp

Interested in a career in Environmental Science, but not sure which one? We have the summer camp for you!

Join us for Environmental Science Career Exploration Camp at Genesee County Park & Forest in East Bethany. Campers will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday, July 10-14, at the Interpretive Nature Center.

Students entering eighth through 11th grades will view presentations and do hands-on activities led by professionals in 10 different fields of Environmental Science during this weeklong experience. Careers include Forestry, Animal and Plant Regulation, Soil and Water Conservation, Environmental Planning, Wildlife Management, Environmental Education, and more.

Campers will explore two different careers each day, including the education, skills and training requirements for each job. Campers will then head outside to try their hand at “work” projects guided by professionals. Camp is $95/camper and includes a camp T-shirt, lunch, snacks and supplies. 

Explore the world of environmental conservation at New York State’s First County Forest! Registration ends Tuesday, June 27.

To register, download the registration form by clicking here.

Return completed forms with payment to:

Genesee County Parks, Recreation & Forestry

Attn: Paul Osborn
153 Cedar St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Camp Hard Hat

Students entering eighth, ninth and 10th grade will have the opportunity to build a wooden trail walkway and a bridge at Genesee County Park & Forest in East Bethany this summer!

The program is presented in partnership with the Business Education Alliance of Genesee County, the Business Education Alliance of Livingston County, the Business Education Council of Wyoming County, and GVEP Building Trades.

Camp Hard Hat will be live and in action from 9 a.m. to  4 p.m. Monday through Friday, July 31 to Aug. 4, at the Interpretive Nature Center.

Instructors Rich Monroe and Jared Radesi will teach campers the principles of design and construction, project safety, and the power of teamwork. Campers will use math, process-thinking skills, battery-powered tools (including cutting tools) to complete a walkway and a bridge in Genesee County Park & Forest.

For the Camp Hard Hat registration form, click here. (Scroll down until you see Camp Hard Hat.)

June 5, 2017 - 1:45pm

Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School hosted more than 30 colleges and organizations at the Genesee Regional College Fair for area students in grades nine through 11.

Submitted photo and press release:

With the help of the New York State Association for College Admissions Counseling (NYSACAC), Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School hosted more than 30 colleges and universities on May 18 for the new Genesee Regional College Fair.

The school’s gymnasium was filled with students from grades nine through 11 from Byron-Bergen, Oakfield-Alabama Middle-High School, Rochester Preparatory High School, Keshequa Middle-High School, and the Western New York Tech Academy. Colleges traveled to the event from all over New York State, and from as far away as the University of Alabama, University of Guelph in Canada, and Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

"Our goal is to host this event every year and continue to expose students to all of the opportunities that exist after high school," said Byron-Bergen College and Career counselor Rob Kaercher. "I know it is a busy time of year for colleges and high schools, but it would be impossible to host a large event without the support of every employee at Byron-Bergen and the NYSACAC.

"They are instrumental in providing professional development opportunities for school counselors and college admissions professionals from across the state, as well as opportunities for many college-bound students.”

Many area high school students attend the NYSACAC college fair in March at the Rochester Convention Center and in Buffalo at the First Niagara Center. Now, the Genesee Regional College Fair will give students exposure to colleges in a more intimate setting, right in their own backyard.

"Next year we plan to have even more colleges and branches of the armed services, and we will invite more high schools to experience this event," Kaercher said.

The following colleges and organizations attended the NYSACAC Regional College Fair at Byron-Bergen: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Canisius College, Daemen College, Elmira College, Genesee Community College, Hartwick College, Ithaca College, Jamestown Community College, Keuka College, La Roche College, Le Moyne College, Monroe Community College, Morrisville State College, New York State Higher Education Services Corp, Niagara University, Mercyhurst University, Quinnipiac University, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher College, SUNY - Alfred State College, SUNY Brockport, SUNY - Buffalo State College, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Delhi, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, The University of Alabama, University of Guelph, University of Rochester, the Army, and Wells College.

June 5, 2017 - 8:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, schools, education, news.


Notre Dame High School conferred diplomas on 41 students yesterday in a ceremony at Genesee Community College. 

Tyler Reese (above) was valedictorian and received several senior awards, including Man of the Year.

For the first time since 1983, the award for Woman of the Year went to two students, Hannah Bowen and Lyndsey Rowland (photo below).









June 2, 2017 - 10:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, St. Joe's, education, news.


The third- and fourth-grade students at St. Joe's got to make butter today.

Then they got to eat the butter they made on graham crackers.

Anne Marie Starowitz, representing the Holland Land Office Museum, visited the classroom today, bringing an 1800-era butter churn as well as other artifacts from the museum and talked with the students about what life was like in early Genesee County. 

She then filed two canning jars with heavy cream and had the students pass them around the room, with each student giving the canning jars 10 hard shakes before passing it to the next student. 

Before long, they had butter.

Next week the students will tour the historic Batavia Cemetery.






June 2, 2017 - 10:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, news.


One of the most memorable days of sixth grade at Batavia Middle School is the day students recreate the Silk Road, says Social Studies teacher Stephanie D’Alba.

Many of the children dress in costumes of the nations along the world's first stable trading route that connected China with Rome and started the process of global trade.

The Silk Road recreation gives students a chance to learn about history, geography, climate, culture, civilization and, of course, trade. The Silk Road put the world on the path of global trade.  

"Today kids just get on the Internet and they think it’s so easy," D'Alba said. "This shows them the very first way that things traveled from one side of the world to the other."

The name for the trade route comes from China's chief export, silk, which wasn't available in Europe before Genghis Khan established law and order and safe passage for travelers and traders along the routes the comprised the Silk Road. China managed to keep the production method secret for centuries and Rome, with only gold to trade, found its reserves becoming depleted. The Silk Road also introduced Europe to new foods and spices (though, contrary to myth, Marco Polo did not bring back pasta to Italy).

The BMS "Silk Road" covers two floors in the school, with selected classrooms acting as countries along the trade route and the hallways marked with posters and pictures simulating deserts, seas, water stops, and areas that might be filled with bandits.

"It kind of shows you how to make a bargain and see what other people have to trade in their land and see their creativity," said Aidan Anders.

"It's pretty fun," said Cody Harloff. "It's fun trading to get other stuff and we get to see how the conditions were."










June 2, 2017 - 7:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, schools, education, stem, STEAM, news, batavia.


Press release:

John Kennedy Intermediate School has received a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant to purchase "Math and Movement" materials for The JK STEAM Program.

“We had the Math and Movement day with Suzy Koontz in April and can now purchase mats of our own to have here at John Kennedy thanks to Lowes,” said Melissa Calandra, who spearheaded John Kennedy’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Program for fourth-graders this year and will take charge of the STEAM lab for all JK students, grades 2-4, next year.

During the Math and Movement day, students moved to the mathematics lessons – emphasizing patterns, stepping out calculations, and working out concepts on large mats. They were able to practice addition, subtraction, telling time, multiplication, division, fractions, place value, and geometry – and with physical movement incorporated into the brain work, the information was a lot of fun – and better retained.

Lowe’s, which seeks to approve grants that improve learning communities, noted that, “These materials will allow for a kinesthetic, multisensory approach to teaching math that incorporates physical exercise, stretching, and cross-body movements. Using the mats, students are ‘moving to the numbers.’ ” The mats will be ordered by the end of this school year to arrive in time for use next year in the STEAM lab. 

All K-12 public schools in the United States are eligible for the Toolbox for Education program.  More information is available at


June 1, 2017 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, news.


The fifth-grade students at Batavia Middle School presented their human rights projects today in the school auditorium, including Tiara Banks and Jayden Dersham, above, who portrayed Madam C.J. Walker.

Born in 1867, Walker (born Sarah Breedlove) was the first child in her family born into freedom. She eventually found a cosmetic and hair-care product company, making her the first self-made female African-American millionaire in the nation and the prominent female entrepreneurs of her era. She was also a philanthropist. 

Below, Cruise Rapone and Brendon Peterson, both as Milton Hershey, founder of the chocolate company and founder of charitable foundations.

The students also made portraits of the historical figures they studied. They also recorded their presentations (bottom photo, a recording of a student as Helen Keller on an iPad). The recordings were made in front of a green screen so historical photos could be used as a backdrop.

The projects work in several Common Core requirements for fifth-graders, including making a public presentation.

Several parents attended today's presentations.





June 1, 2017 - 10:06am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Le Roy, news, arts, education, Le Roy Junior/Senior High School.


The Le Roy Junior/Senior High School hosted its annual fine arts festival on Wednesday, showcasing students' artwork inside and holding a musical performance outside.


Senior Kearyn Sczudlo displayed her art and said each piece took her anywhere from one week to four months to complete. She will study Art at Alfred University this fall. 









May 29, 2017 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in paolo busti foundation, education, SCHOLARS, batavia, byron, bergen, news.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation Scholarship Dinner will be held at Terry Hills Restaurant and Banquet Facility beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14. There will be a cash bar followed by an Italian buffet at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available at Ben’s Appliance, VJ Gautieri Construction or from any board member.

Outstanding Italian Americans will be honored and the recipient of the Paolo Busti Scholarship will be named.

The following scholarship applicants are all high school seniors in the Class of  2017.

Alexis "Lexi" Hoerner, pictured above, attends Batavia High School where she holds an overall GPA of 95 and ranks 19th in a class of 175. Lexi is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the National Art Honor Society. She has received numerous honors and awards, including a commendation in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition NY 27th District, and the Bob Heischman Award for Excellence in Creativity in Drawing as well as various school awards for outstanding achievement in art, printmaking, portfolio, sculpture, and excellence and creativity in drawing.

Lexi is a member of the BHS varsity swim team and has volunteered with various local community organizations including the Lions Club, YWCA, Crossroads House, and Genesee County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She has also served as a BHS Link Leader and with the Art Department Stage Crew at Batavia High School.

Lexi plans to attend Canisius College in the fall where she will continue her studies in Studio Art.

Alexis is the daughter of Karen Cutitta and Michael Hoerner.

Gabrielle "Gabby" Della Pena, in photo at right, has participated in dancing, soccer, and cheerleading at Notre Dame High School. She was captain on varsity soccer team in high school, and was awarded the Leadership Award at the end of her senior season. She is a scholar athlete, and was a dancer   in the highest dance company since she was 11 years old.

She is currently employed at Olympia Sports in Batavia. This job has given her incredible communication skills, leadership qualities and patience. She volunteers at the NYS Veterans Home in Batavia. She helps in the business office with medical records and also has helped with the residents when needed.

She feels her work ethic has come from being a part of a sports team, volunteer and working with different people at Olympia. She would be a different person if she did not experience all she has, especially in her last four years at Notre Dame High School. Gabby plans on attending Niagara University in the fall and major in Biology.

Gabrielle is the daughter of Rocco and Janice Della Penna, of Batavia.

lyndsey_rowlandc2017.pngLyndsey Rowland, at left, is a senior at Notre Dame High School and will be graduating with honors. After high school she is planning on going to Genesee Community College in Batavia to study in the Health Studies program before going to a University. Lyndsey has dedicated many hours to studying for the various college and AP courses. She hopes to study Pharmacology after her two years at GCC.

Lyndsey has dedicated many hours to various activities in high school. She has participated in band, chorus, drama club, JV and varsity volleyball, track and field, DECA, business club, National Honor Society and high honor roll. She has also participated in various events outside of school, including youth group and nursery at Grace Baptist Church, Genesee Cancer Assistance fundraisers, club volleyball, teen leadership conference, youth seminars and mission trips.  

When Lyndsey is not participating in sports and various clubs at school, she works hard at home with her many chores and household work.

Lyndsey is the daughter of Scott and Karen Rowland, of Perry.

Serena Strollo-Di Censo, pictured right, is a senior at Batavia High School. After transferring from Notre Dame during her sophomore year she remained involved in sports, music, and volunteering at BHS and became actively involved in music, theater, band and community theater.

She is president of Tri-M National Music Honor Society and treasurer and historian of the Production Club. At Batavia High School she had lead roles in "Hairspray," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Mary Poppins."

As President of Tri-M, she established a sock drive in tandem with the Zonta Club to benefit the Salvation Army. This sock drive was a true high point for Serena.

Serena is attending the University at Buffalo in the fall with a double major in History and Theater with a minor in Italian. Her goal is to become an entertainment industry lawyer working with women in that industry who are historically under represented.

Serena is the daughter of Anita Strollo, of Batavia, and Joseph DiCenso, of Williamsville.

Karson Antonia Richenberg, bottom right, is a senior at Byron-Bergen High School. She plans to attend the University of Buffalo to study Psychology.

Her interests include track and field, soccer and basketball. Her hobbies are hiking, running, visiting historical places, and volunteering her time to different community activities.

She is a Scholar Athlete, and also received the Triple C Award from the New York State Attorney General for her “Character, Courage and Commitment.” She has been awarded the Human Services Scholarship for her involvement in the community and her plan to pursue a career in Psychology.

Karson prides herself on her ability to overcome adverse situations and never losing her positive outlook on life and the future. She has been able to do this through her faith in God. Karson enjoys making lifelong memories with her family and friends and never taking any moment for granted.

She is the daughter of Eric and Antonia Richenberg.

May 29, 2017 - 1:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, schools, education, news.

A math teacher a Pembroke Junior-Senior High School, Dawn Krol, died last night following an ATV accident, according to a letter sent to district parents today.

The letter does not specify where the accident occurred or provide further details about the accident. 

"Ms. Krol was an exemplary teacher in every way and we will miss her greatly," Principal Nathan Work wrote in the letter to parents. "Her commitment to teaching and love for our students can be an example to all of us."

Work said counselors will be available to meet with students this week to provide emotional support and help them cope with her death.

"Because of our close school community, this death touches everyone at school," Work wrote.


Subscribe to




Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button