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March 23, 2018 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, Le Roy, le roy hs.


Statement and photos by Le Roy HS Principal Tim McArdle:

On Thursday we inducted 32 new members into National Honor Society. This is a wonderful honor and accomplishment for our students and their families. These students have maintained an overall GPA of 90% and possess the five qualities that make a model student: scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. Sr. High ELA teacher Mr. Crowe was the guest speaker and shared wonderful advice to our Knights including; “No matter what job you choose, choose it because it will touch lives; it will make a difference not just to yourself but to others around you.” Current members participated in the evening by running the ceremony and reading the new inductees’ biographies. I would like to thank rookie advisor Mrs. Curtis and the NHS officers for organizing a quality program for our students. I challenge these students to use their talents and reach out to other students who need a boost or support to make our school the best it can be! We would like to congratulate the families of our new members. We all know it takes a team to be successful!





March 22, 2018 - 5:16pm

(The Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School 2018 National Junior Honor Society.)

Submitted photos and press release: 

Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School celebrated the new membership of two dozen middle school students to the school’s National Junior Honor Society in a ceremony on March 21.

The inductees are:

  • Eighth-grade: Aidan Clark, Leanna Curts, Angelique Heick;
  • Seventh-grade: Cassidy Ball, David Brumsted, Dayanara Caballero, Cameron Carlson, Caris Carlson, Evan Cuba, Kendan Dressler, Frank Hersom, Ryan Muscarella, Valerie Pastore, Kendall Phillips, Austin Salmonds, Emily Salmonds, MacKenzie Senf, Zoey Shepard, Ava Wagoner, Lillian Walker, Leyna Wheeler, Hannah Wies, Nicholas Zwerka. 

The NJHS program highlights the well-rounded students at Byron-Bergen. Inductees are selected based on their high standards of scholarship, citizenship, service, leadership, and character. All members are required to demonstrate their achievements in each of these areas. New members join 40 standing members to round out the Byron-Bergen chapter

The evening began with a welcome from faculty advisors Ken Gropp and Kerri Smith. NJHS Vice President Alayna Streeter led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The ceremony continued with opening remarks from Superintendent Mickey Edwards and Principal Patrick McGee.

(The traditional lighting of the candles symbolizing the tenets of the NJHS: character, service, leadership, scholarship and citizenship.)

Students Hope Hersom and Kelly Ireland led the traditional candle-lighting ceremony, that centers on the five qualities all members work to embody. Alaura Rehwaldt lit the candle symbolizing Character; Elli Schelemanow, Leadership; Grace Huhn, Service; Colby Leggo, Scholarship; and Corden Zimmerman ended with Citizenship.  

NJHS President Sarah Sue Streeter spoke about working hard for everything you want. She shared her story of not qualifying for membership in the society when she expected that she would. She was extremely disappointed, and determined to do better the next year.

“I worked and worked and worked,” she said. “And all the hard work paid off. When you really want something, you have to be willing to work hard to get it.”

The induction ceremony featured two guest speakers who were chosen by NJHS members: Byron-Bergen teachers Roxanne Wood and Peter Spence. They each spoke about the five qualities NJHS members must embody and how they are part of a successful life.

Wood challenged students to “set your goals higher than you think you can reach.”

As part of the induction ceremony, each new inductee received a certificate and pin, and the distinct honor to be a part of the National Junior Honor Society.

More than a million students participate in NJHS: Membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but also challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

(All new inductees received a certificate and pin, and were acknowledged by the school’s administrators. Below, Ava Wagoner is congratulated by Ken Gropp.)

March 22, 2018 - 1:50pm

Press release:

The Attica Central School District will offer a free Prekindergarten program for the 2018-2019 school year. The northern tip of the district is in Genesee County.

The Universal Prekindergarten is a preschool program established by the State Education Department. The Prekindergarten program is taught by a NYS certified teacher and aide.

Prekindergarten Registration for the Attica Central School District

Children who are residents of the Attica Central School District and who will be 4 years old on or before Dec. 1, 2018 are eligible to register for the Prekindergarten half-day program. There is no cost to families. Transportation is the responsibility of the parent.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the program will be held five days per week (Monday-Friday) following the Instructional School Calendar. There will be a morning and afternoon session with a limit of 18 students per session.

If you would like your child to participate in the program, please apply by completing the Attica Central School District Registration Form and accompanying paperwork. Registration materials are available on the District website or by contacting Ann Marie loranty at 585-591-0400, ext. 1408.

All registration forms need to be submitted no later than March 29.

Please bring your completed form and ALL required documents to the Attica High School Main Office, 3338 E. Main Street Road, Attica, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

For your information, the Wyoming County YMCA operates an after-school program at the Attica Elementary school. This program is available to preschool parents who participate in the afternoon prekindergarten session. Please contact the YMCA at 585-786-2880 for details on the program and to receive a registration form.

We strive to continue to offer this opportunity to residents of the Attica Central School District and hope that you are able to take advantage of this valuable educational opportunity for your child. If you have any questions please contact Mrs. Beitz, Elementary Principal, at (585) 591-0400, ext. 2235.

March 21, 2018 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.

Press release:

Byron-Bergen Central School District has named three alumni to the district’s Hall of Fame for 2018. Jacqueline Mullen (1972), Michael List (1978), and Kimberly (Thompson) McLean (2000) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Alumni Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the Byron-Bergen High School Auditorium.

The Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates. It provides young people with positive adult role models and shows that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives. This honor is in its 15th year and has become part of the school district culture. It is a permanent reminder to students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

mullenjacqueline2018.jpgJacqueline A. Mullen (Class of 1972)

Editor of the school newspaper, member of National Honor Society/Student Council, and American Field Service (AFS) exchange student, Mullen was active in sports and music activities at Byron-Bergen HS. She received her bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Hartwick College and her master’s degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

Mullen has lived and worked in Puerto Rico for more than 39 years. She currently serves as vice chancellor of Sponsored Research and Programs for Universidad del Turabo, and is active as a consultant in organizational development and fundraising. She was the executive director at the Puerto Rico Farm Bureau (1991-95) and the community economic development director at Progressa (1996-2000). She has never stopped learning and holds numerous certifications and affiliations with professional organizations. Her family includes husband Eladio, daughter Natalena, four stepchildren, and 14 grandchildren.

Mullen says she is proud of the educational opportunities she received at Byron-Bergen that served as a foundation for all her endeavors. Her dedication to family, friends, community, and profession make her an excellent role model for the students of Byron-Bergen.

listmike2018.jpgMichael List (Class of 1978)

While attending Byron-Bergen, List participated in National Honor Society, the AFS Exchange Program, chorus, Jr. Olympics, JV and Varsity wrestling, 4-H and several other clubs and organizations.

After graduating, he worked for the Bergen Canning Factory, Edward O’Ingerick Inc. of RIT Housing Developments, and Victor Furniture. He joined the staff of Byron-Bergen CSD in the Maintenance/Buildings and Grounds Department in 1984, working his way up to the leadership role of director of facilities. He retired from the District in 2017.

List is an active community member. He has held many volunteer positions in Victory Baptist Church, and taken several mission trips, including one to Haiti. After many class hours and counseling, he received certification as a Biblical Counselor in 2013. He has raised four children with his wife Marsha, and has several grandchildren.

List sets a wonderful example for students as someone who always lends a hand, gives 110% to his alma mater, church and community, and remains true to faith and family.

mcleanthompsonkimberly2018.jpgKimberly (Thompson) McLean (Class of 2000)

During her time at Byron-Bergen, McLean was her class’s Salutatorian. She participated in track, volleyball, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Future Teachers of America, and many other activities. She was a Genesee County Fair Queen contestant and a cheerleader.

McLean graduated from Geneseo State College in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Mathematics. She received her master’s degree from Geneseo in 2008. She has volunteered with several local organizations and received many scholarships and accolades including membership in Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma, and the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Currently teaching math at Spencerport High School, McLean was awarded Teacher of the Year (2010), received The Golden Apple Award (2016), been class advisor, coached Jr. FLL Robotics, been an intern advisor for National Honor Society, coached Powder Puff Football, and taught summer school.

McLean’s passion for teaching, dedication and hard work make her an excellent role model for our youth.

All three inductees will spend the day of March 28 visiting with Byron-Bergen students and sharing how their school experience influenced their lives. Inductees will receive their Alumni Hall of Fame plaques during the school’s National Senior Honor Society induction ceremony that evening.

March 20, 2018 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, Scholars' Symposium, education, news, batavia.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (CURCA) Committee is excited to invite the entire college community to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our students at the third annual Scholars' Symposium -- a celebration of inquiry and scholarship.

GCC students and faculty pour countless hours and precise attention to their work. As a result, our academic year is full of achievement. On Thursday, March 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., students, faculty, staff, community leaders and friends, will gather at the symposium to educate and demonstrate their scholarly achievements which transcend all disciplines.

The presentations, poster exhibits and performances provide an opportunity to expand horizons, hone presentation skills and engage our collective brain power for all to enjoy and to appreciate. The entire event is free and open to the public.

The full schedule of events for GCC's Third Annual Scholars' Symposium is as follows:

  • 8:15 - 9 a.m.: Judges' Meeting with Karen Wicka and Charles Scruggs (T104)
  • 8:30 - 11 a.m.: Registration (William W. Stuart Forum)
  • 9 - 10 a.m.: Oral Presentation Session A (Conable Technology Building, T102, T122, T121, T119 A & B)
  • 10 - 11 a.m.: Oral Presentation Session B (Conable Technology Building, T102, T122, T121, T119 A & B)
  • 11 a.m. - Noon: Poster Session (William W. Stuart Forum)
  • Noon - 1 p.m.: Symposium attendees are invited to purchase lunch in the Cafeteria or Subway located in the Wolcott J. Humphrey III Student Union)
  • Noon - 1 p.m.: Symposium participants, judges and mentors will enjoy a private lunch in T119A/B (RSVP required).
  • Noon - 1 p.m.: Guests are invited to visit various art exhibits in the Steiner Theatre Lobby; Media Center of the Alfred C. O'Connell Library; and Penumbra Exhibition Space -- second floor hallway between B205 and B207.
  • 1 - 2 p.m.: Dr. Deborah Nawoczenski, Keynote Address, "Curiosity Does Not (Always) Kill the Cat -- Extending Discovery Beyond "OK, Google" (Stuart Steiner Theatre)
  • 2 - 2:30 p.m.: Award Ceremony & Reception (Stuart Steiner Theatre)

The symposium will include keynote speaker, Deborah Nawoczenski PT, Ph.D., to address the benefits of being involved in research. Nawoczenski received her BS in Physical Therapy and Master's in Education from Temple University in Philadelphia. She completed her PhD work at the University of Iowa with a specialization in Exercise Science and Biomechanics. Nawoczenski was a full-time faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy at Ithaca College's Rochester Center for 21 years.

She cofounded (with Dr. Judy Baumhauer from the University of Rochester) the Center for Foot and Ankle Research at Ithaca's Rochester Center, and also was codirector of the Movement Analysis Laboratory. Throughout her career, Nawoczenski's research focus was directed to the study of foot and ankle pathologies and to the analysis of shoulder pain in people with spinal cord injuries.

This work was funded through a number of different organizations including the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, the National Institutes of Health, the Arthritis Foundation and the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation and has led to more than 60 publications in major peer-reviewed journals.

Nawoczenski considers herself privileged to volunteer as a Physical Therapist in this country as well as in Jamaica and Poland. She recently served as a visiting professor in Kenya, India and Brazil. Her presentation at the Scholars Symposium will center on her own path to research and publishing and how others can enrich their lives through scholarly endeavor.

"We are so proud of the hard work and learning our participants have accomplished," says Director of English, Communications and Media Arts JoNelle Toriseva. "And we are very grateful for the support we received from the President's Innovation Award (PIA) in our initial launch of this program.

"The Scholar Symposium has become a legacy celebration of the collaboration between students, faculty and administration at GCC."

The Symposium will feature GCC's student Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects in Photographic Exhibitions on display in the Alfred C. O'Connell Library, the Penumbra Exhibition Space (second floor hallway between B205 and B207), and the lobby of the Stuart Steiner Theatre.

Under the leadership of the COIL Center, the Latin American Academy (LAA) has developed and implemented course-based partnerships between SUNY GCC and universities in Latin America, which are members of the growing Global Partnership Network (GPN).

The team-taught courses use technology to expose students in different countries to each other's cultures resulting in an enriched intercultural learning experience. The course-based partnerships emphasize experiential and collaborative student learning and help sustain long-term international teaching and learning partnerships. 

The 2019 Scholars' Symposium has been scheduled for April 11, 2019.

For further information on the Scholars' Symposium, visit: and please contact Director of English, Communications and Media Arts JoNelle Toriseva at [email protected] or at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6627 with any questions.

March 20, 2018 - 1:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, GCC, news.

Press release:

The best way to get over the end-of-winter slump is to plan something for the summer! Genesee Community College reminds students of all ages that registering for a summer class is the best kind of spring seedling to plant.

Higher education is like putting money in the bank with lifelong interest. And because GCC serves such a wide age range of students, the summer course listing has something for everyone.

The full 12-week session begins May 29, so now is the time to register to ensure your seat. Go to:

Among the many classes to consider is Female Role in Film (CIN242) taught by John Reich. Over the winter, the major social movement, #MeToo started in Hollywood. Learn how American films have depicted women in a variety of genres: melodrama, romance, comedy, film noir and more. In this online course students will study how societal changes affected the way women were presented by Hollywood from 1920 through to today.

Other interesting coursework dovetails with GCC's beautiful new 64,000-square-foot sports complex, the Richard C. Call Arena -- home of the 2017 NJCAA Champion Men's Soccer Team. The Arena houses health and athletic classrooms, coach's offices, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

All these facilities are available to GCC's students studying healthy living, fitness and bodying conditioning. Beginning Personal Fitness (PED259) covers fitness theory, training and conditioning techniques, as well as nutrition, flexibility, injury prevention and the dangers to health and fitness such as smoking and alcohol all in the online learning modality.

"Students enrolled in Beginning Personal Fitness establish individual fitness goals and apply the course teachings to work towards those goals throughout the summer semester," said Rebecca Dziekan, director of Health and Physical Education.

"Students use our brand new training facility to learn the proper use of free weights and a variety of exercise machines. However, as an online course, students can choose any training facility or even chose to do the workouts at home."

Intro to Healthy Living (HED204) focuses on healthy lifestyles, examining influential factors such as stress, drug, alcohol and tobacco use and abuse, nutrition and weight control, healthy relationships and sexuality, and much more. Students will learn to identify dangerous environments and prevent child abduction, fire and arson and communication skills all leading to a Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Legislation Certification. This course is offered online during the full summer session and also at the Dansville and Albion Campus Centers during the five-week session starting July 9, 2018.

Another online course, Community Health and Safety (HED115) teaches the four major requirements for the New York State Education Department's Certification under SAVE Legislation that covers identifying and reporting child abuse; alcohol, tobacco and sign of drug use, as well as preventing fire and arson. 

Many other fascinating GCC course options are designed to accelerate the path to higher education. Some of those other courses, which are all available online include:

  • Principles of Business (BUS101)
  • Introduction to Computers (CIS102)
  • Microcomputer Applications (CIS116)
  • Intro to Criminal Justice (CRJ101)

To apply to GCC or to register for a summer session class, please visit or contact one of our dedicated student success coaches at [email protected] or call (585) 345-6805 today!

About Genesee Community College:

Genesee Community College serves over 6,000 students through more than 70 hands-on and high-tech academic degrees and certificates. GCC operates its main campus at One College Road in Batavia and campus centers in Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw.

Visit the new Student Success Center for admissions, registration, financial aid, student counseling and more. Mark your calendars for upcoming events in both the Stuart Steiner Theatre and Roz Steiner Art Gallery.

Genesee Community College is a student-centered college committed to providing the educational experiences which promote intellectual and social growth, workforce and economic development and global citizenship.

March 20, 2018 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, notify.

The County Legislature is likely to support a state bill to provide funding to local school districts for school resource officers.

Yesterday, the Public Service Committee voted unanimously to forward a resolution to the full legislature for approval to express support for such a bill.

Currently, Assemblyman Steve Hawley is backing a bill that would provide $50,000 to each school district in the state to help fund a school resource officer.

The New York Association of Counties is proposing state funding of $100,000 per year.

That would cost state taxpayers more than $2 billion a year.

Sheriff William Sheron supports paying resource officers in schools.

Currently, there are deputies working at the BOCES campus and Byron-Bergen High School and a Le Roy police officer at Le Roy High School.

Sheron said a deputy assigned to a school would cost $111,000 a year, excluding a vehicle, for 10 months assigned as a resource officer. The price climbs above $120,000 for an officer employed for a full 12 months.

The county could be on the hook for additional costs, but legislators yesterday made it clear they expected school districts to cover any unreimbursed costs for resource officers.

School resource officers are armed and sworn law enforcement officers who can provide security at the school but also interact with students and assist them with life issues.

One issue constraining the ability of the county to cover the expense is the property tax cap. If the county exceeds the tax cap, the state won't reimburse the county for expenses related to Raise the Age adjustments in courts and incarceration for 16- and 17-year-olds.

March 17, 2018 - 12:21pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, City Schools, schools, education, art.


Batavia City school administrators and teachers presented art awards Friday evening to students at the Richmond Memorial Library in the district's annual art show. The student art will be on display at the library for the remainder of the month.






March 16, 2018 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, news, batavia.


Batavia City Schools Superintendent Chris Dailey reads to students at Jackson Primary School on Thursday night during the school's reading night, part of its annual Parents as Reading Partners Program.

This year's theme is "Wild About Reading at the Jackson Primary Zoo."



Molly Corey reading.


Linda Conway reading.


Students and parents playing Zoo Bingo.

March 14, 2018 - 8:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, batavia, news, education, reality check.


Press release:

Why did you join Reality Check? That’s the question Reality Check coordinator Brittany Bozzer asks each student when they join the tobacco-free advocacy group and attend their first meeting.

There is simply no right or wrong answer. But it’s always inspiring to find out why our youth advocates join us and what it means to them to be a part of the group.

Here’s what Reality Check members from St. Joseph School in Batavia have to say:

Seventh-grader Maylee joined Reality Check so that she could make a difference to smokers.

“I want to learn about the dangers of tobacco and other products so that I can educate peers and those who smoke,” Maylee said.

 “I am anti-smoking smoking and think it is a bad habit or addiction for people to get involved with,” said James, also a seventh-grader, on why he got involved. “I also want to help out in the community.”

Amelia joined Reality Check to gain “knowledge, power, strength and confidence.”

And Paige joined to get “a good education on tobacco use and other drugs so that I can tell people about what I learned.”

Each young student has his or her own unique reason for joining, but there is one common thread. Each one has been affected by tobacco products in some way and they are choosing to help make a difference in their community.

What is Reality Check? Reality Check is a youth-based, adult-mentored, statewide youth program operated by the New York State Department of Health in Albany as well as Roswell Park Comprehensive Center.

The goal of Reality Check is to educate teens about the manipulative marketing practices used by the tobacco industry as well as to teach them how to advocate in the community for themselves and their peers. 

What do we do? Reality Check exposes the truths about tobacco marketing through point of sale and smoking in movies.

Through various activities led by youth, they are able to gather facts and statistics to show the reality that tobacco use among youth is very prevalent in their community and that it needs to be stopped. This tobacco is not exclusive to cigarette use; it also includes e-cigarettes and vaping as these also contain nicotine.

Most youth begin to get involved in Reality Check between seventh and eighth grades and continue on through high school, bringing awareness to the community and advocating for change!

March 13, 2018 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, news, batavia.


Press release:

Jackson Primary’s Parents As Reading Partners (PARP) program was introduced with the traditional and always-entertaining play by staff for the students. This year’s theme is Wild About Reading and, in the opening performance, the students were confronted with a lot of confused behavior among the residents of Jackson Zoo.

With monkeys eating potato chips, giraffes roaring about their prowess at protecting the zoo while lions are playfully dancing nearby, and polar bears mistakenly caught in a warm exhibit area while elephants are freezing in theirs – there is a lot of craziness at the Zoo.

But there is hope! Between now and March 29, Jackson students can read with a partner at home for 15 minutes or more each day, and that will bring some facts – and order – back to the Zoo, helping the animals return to their proper foods, activities and habitats.

While this year’s goal is to restore order to the Zoo, the goal every year is to build excitement for and a love of reading that not only contributes to academic success but also enriches students’ (and their reading partners') lives immeasurably.


March 12, 2018 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Press release:

image002.jpg“The growth mindset of this district was what really attracted me to Byron-Bergen,” said Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s new Assistant Principal Betsy Brown. “The approach to education is innovative and forward-thinking. I’m so impressed with the opportunities our students have here.”

“We’re fortunate to have an administrator with Betsy’s depth and experience,” said Elementary School Principal Brian Meister. “She is a great addition to our team, and I think she will bring a wonderful combination of commitment, caring, innovation, and humor to her role.”

Brown has 15 years of experience in elementary education. She came to the district from Avon Central Schools, where she supported students and staff as a literacy coach for three years. Prior to that, she taught third and fourth grade, and kindergarten.

Brown holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and a Master of Education degree in literacy, earned at the State University of New York at Geneseo. Her administrative coursework was completed at the University of Rochester.

Getting to know the students has been Brown’s first priority. She has been meeting them all, one classroom at a time.

“I don’t want them to be nervous around me,” she said. “It’s important that students know that I am always here to help them.”

“I’m particularly excited about the Character Education program here,” she said "I love the enthusiasm our students have for supporting one another and keeping their school safe. From classroom visits, I can see that the teachers do an amazing job of teaching students in ways that are fun and engaging."

“I really am passionate about English Language Arts (ELA),” she said, “and Byron-Bergen has a great Reading Recovery program for early intervention. I’m looking forward to supporting our teachers with that and helping them continue to build a strong ELA program that incorporates the latest standards."

Brown was an active member of the video coaching professional development team at Avon, and will continue her activity as a coach at Byron-Bergen.

“Byron-Bergen has been the regional leader in offering video coaching as a way for teachers to grow and to improve their teaching methods,” she said. “Teachers here have embraced the technology, and students are benefitting from the results.”

Open communication, Brown believes, is an essential part of any school. She is looking forward to meeting families and parents and working with them to ensure an exceptional school experience for their students. She encourages parents to call or stop in.

“We have an active social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, too,” she said. “They provide a window into all the activities students are doing in the classroom.”

The community can follow the assistant principal on Twitter @MrsBetsyMBrown.

March 9, 2018 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news, arts.


Press release:

Renowned ballerina Aesha Ash encourages Byron-Bergen students to dream bigger.

Ballet star Aesha Ash told the hundreds of students at Byron-Bergen Elementary School that when she was growing up in Rochester, “there were no princesses or fairies that looked like me. There were no magical creatures, unicorns or swans that looked like me.”

When she dreamed of being a ballerina, she was told that there were no black ballerinas and that she would never succeed. She dreamed anyway, and she did succeed. She was accepted to the legendary School of American Ballet where she was chosen to join the New York City Ballet when she was 18 — one of the first black dancers in the corps.

How did this world-famous dancer and winner of the National Women’s History Museum's 2016 Women Making History Award, come to be in Byron-Bergen? Fourth-grade teacher Alyson Tardy heard about Ash’s Swan Dreams Project, which was founded in 2011. This project uses powerful imagery to counter negative stereotypes of race and socio-economic background and inspire children to dream bigger.

Tardy thought that Ash’s message would be a great tie-in to the school’s character education program. She invited Ash and coordinated the special visit. Students surprised their visitor with a hallway lined with artwork featuring swans of many shapes and colors.

“The art is so beautiful,” Ash said. “I’m honored that the kids welcomed me this way.”

At the crowded assembly, Ash shared her story with attentive students, beginning with her passion for dance and her determination to become a ballerina.

She explained how she was part of Rochester’s Urban Suburban program, and constantly faced questions and misunderstanding from peers about her background and city neighborhood. Her family was not rich; she told the story of borrowing toe shoes for her first tryout. Even when Ash became a professional ballet dancer, she felt a sense of not belonging, of being different.

“All my life, I’ve fought to change perceptions and dispel myths — for myself, my family and my Rochester community,” she said. “The more that people told me that I couldn’t do something, the more I wanted to do it.”

Ash’s professional dance career lasted 13 years. It included eight years with the NYC Ballet along with performing in the Bejart Ballet in Switzerland and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, and with many other companies as a freelance artist.

She and her family currently live in California where she is working to make the Swan Dreams Project an afterschool program. She hopes to open a studio where she can teach ballet to children who are not able to afford lessons.

The Swan Dreams Project video she shared with Byron-Bergen students can be found here.




March 7, 2018 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, Sheriff's Office, news, notify.


Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. hosted a meeting last week with Genesee County school superintendents, local police officials, local government representatives, along with state representatives Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, to discuss school safety concerns and the viability of having School Resource officers within each school district.

"School Resource officers can play an important role in our school districts, from helping to resolve conflict to preventing tragedies," said Senator Ranzenhofer.

"I fully support placing these officers in our local school districts, and I have been working to secure state funding to expand School Resource officers in Genesee County and across New York State. I commend Sheriff Sheron for his leadership on this issue, and I will continue to work with him to keep our children safe."

While it was the consensus of most of those in attendance that there should be a School Resource Officer in each school within the county, concerns were expressed of how to fund the position and identifying the source of this funding.

The attendees discussed a variety of possible federal, state and local options and agreed to explore funding sources to offset the cost of the potential School Resource officers.

“I was pleased to meet with Sheriff Sheron, local educators and community stakeholders to discuss how we can increase school safety," said Assemblyman Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia). "The state needs to take action to help our schools become the most secure and comfortable environments they can be.

"We need to look at working with retired law enforcement and veterans in our schools because our children’s safety should be our number one priority.”

Currently, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has School Resource officers at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s (BOCES) Batavia Campus (for the past 15 years) and in the Byron-Bergen Central School District (for the past three years).

Additionally, the Village of Le Roy Police Department provides a School Resource Officer to the Le Roy School District, and the Batavia City School District has security aides within its facilities.

During the meeting, representatives from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s (BOCES) Batavia Campus and the Byron-Bergen School District spoke highly about the advantages of having a School Resource Officer.

They explained that it not only provides a safe environment for the students and faculty but also provides for direct interaction and guidance with the students.

Both officials agreed that the benefits of having a School Resource Officer far outweigh the expense associated with the position.

“When we started our SRO Program 15 years ago, the prevailing question was, 'Why?' " said Christopher Hayward, Le Roy Police Chief. “With everything that has happened in the last 15 years, and sadly will continue to happen, the question has to be, ‘Why not?' "

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch stated, “the City Police Department remains dedicated to the safety and security of all schools within its district. The time has come for the lawmakers in this state to step up and allow school districts to utilize their aid in establishing programs that make sense on a local level.

"This type of flexibility would go a long way to allowing each district in Genesee County to partner with local law enforcement to provide a School Resource Officer.”

Sheriff Sheron stated that it his goal to establish a School Resource Officer in all county schools to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty.

“Although the cost associated with placing a School Resource Officer in the schools is significant, I believe the safety and security of our children should be of the utmost precedence,” the sheriff said.

Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies will be visiting schools on a regular basis and assist during school safety drills. This will aid in familiarizing Deputies with the school’s faculty and students along with the layout and procedures of each school.

Submitted photos. Top photo, Deputy Matt Butler, resource officer for Byron-Bergen, discusses his job with officials.


Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, left, Sheriff William Sheron, right.


Assemblyman Steve Hawley

March 1, 2018 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, batavia, City Schools.


The Batavia City School District continues to adopt technology as part of the learning process and coursework, IT Coordinator Jeff McKinney told the school board during its meeting Tuesday night.

His presentation was followed by demonstrations of some of the robots and programming projects students have been working on this year.

McKinney said 2,000 Chromebooks have been deployed to students. Students have visited more than one million websites. There are 266 active Google classrooms and students are creating 50,000 new documents each month.

Internet access has become so critical to the educational process that McKinney has come up with a plan for a backup bandwidth provider so that if the primary provider goes offline, teachers and students don't lose access.

"I'm really proud of where we're going and what we've done," McKinney said.

He said a key advantage of the STEM program currently in place is it helps students learn through discovery and studies show students retain new knowledge better when it comes through discovery.

It isn't always the teacher teaching anymore, either, said Melissa Calandra, a STEM teacher at John Kennedy Elementary School.

"It's kind of hard as a teacher not to know all of the answers but that's the world we live in now," she said.

Other faculty participating in the presentation, Katelin LaGreca, JK Library Media Specialist, Karen Shuskey, JK ACE Teacher, and Marie Martell, JK Computer Literacy/Math AIS Teacher.

Top photo: Phoebe Beal, grade 3; Brock Bigsby, grade 3; Ryan Bigsby, grade 3; Ella Shamp, grade 4; Landon Hamilton, grade 4;Tosh Spilberg, grade 4.


March 1, 2018 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, news, schools, education.


The Batavia City School District Board of Trustees honored several people at the start of Tuesday's meeting with certificates of appreciation for the difference they're making at the Batavia schools.

Above, Board President Pat Burk with Lucy Lefevre.


Amelia Tripp


Luca Garland


Landon Minuto


Ottoniel Ramirez-Garcia


Camden Reimer


Members of the STAR staff.


Detective Richard Schauff

February 18, 2018 - 12:52pm
posted by The Batavian in schools, education, news.


Article by Drew Muehlig. Photo by Dan Carnevale​.

High school graduation rates increased slightly across New York in 2017 -- to 80.2 percent, up from 79.7 percent in 2016, according to data released Wednesday by the New York State Department of Education.

And some Genesee Region schools had a lot to do with that.

Elba, Lyndonville and Pembroke high schools all boasted 97-percent graduation rates last year, while Attica (94 percent), Pavilion (93 percent), Le Roy (93 percent), Alexander (91 percent), Batavia (91 percent), Byron-Bergen (91 percent), Holley (91 percent) and Kendall (90 percent) all came in with more than 90-percent commencement numbers.

Elba saw the biggest increase in graduation rates, climbing from 89 percent in 2016.

Elba’s superintendent, Keith Palmer, attributes the results to the school’s size and the teacher-student relationship building over time.

“Given our small size and low student to staff ratio, the faculty is better able to work with students one-on-one or in small groups,” Palmer said. “This allows for knowing and responding to individual student needs as well as developing meaningful relationships.”

For a complete list of 2017 graduation rates click here

February 12, 2018 - 2:10pm

Anyone who is looking for some help in enrolling in college will get that opportunity at two upcoming College Entry Help Sessions, offered free of charge at Genesee Community College.

The first one scheduled is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Room T121 of the Conable Technology Building at the Batavia Campus, One College Road. The second one will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, at the same location.

Both appointment and walk-in sessions will be available on both dates. Appointments are also available on additional dates by request. To schedule any appointment, please email [email protected] or contact Adult Education Director Kate Trombley, M.S. at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6285.

This is a continuation of the Adult Educational Opportunity Center's yearlong schedule of open monthly sessions designed to get anyone started on their way to a college degree.

During these sessions, the AEOC's outreach specialists will help potential college applicants with a variety of services, including:

  • Financial Aid Counseling: help completing the FAFSA, understanding various financial aid options including student loans and Pell grants, retrieving transcripts, and assistance with special circumstance applications.
  • Enrollment Assistance: completing college applications or enrollment forms, ACT Test registration and completing Entrance Exam Prep through Accuplacer. 
  • Veterans Services: AEOC outreach specialists are trained to assist any veteran in navigating services available for higher education.

It is important to note that these College Entry Point Sessions are not limited to students attending or planning to attend GCC. Anyone interested in attending ANY college or in need of assistance in getting started can participate. Information regarding GCC and all other area colleges will be available at these sessions. 

Additional details and a list of the session dates for all of 2018 is available here.

February 9, 2018 - 5:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in BEST Center, business, GCC, education, healthcare, news.

Press release:

With a projected 18 percent growth in job opportunities in the next five years, it is an exciting time to be in or entering the medical profession. To meet the workforce demand, The BEST Center at Genesee Community College is offering three exciting professional training opportunities with tuition scholarships available! With registration deadlines just two weeks away, interested applicants should apply today! 

Patient Access & Registration Professional -- This 90-hour comprehensive program prepares students for patient intake and healthcare experience coordination including patient confidentiality, medical ethics and law, medical terminology, insurance billing and coding basics, appointment scheduling, medical records management and much more! This course costs $1,950 which includes required textbooks. Registration deadline is Feb. 26 and the course runs Mondays and Wednesdays, March 5 through May 14!

Clinical Medical Assistant -- This 140-hour course includes an optional 160-hour clinical externship. During the course, students will train to assist physicians by preparing patients for exams and treatments, routine laboratory procedures and diagnostic testing. Students will review technical aspects of phlebotomy, pharmacology, the proper use and administration of medications, taking and documenting vital signs, cardiology including proper lead placements and the legal aspects of healthcare. This course costs $2,599 which includes required textbooks. The optional externship costs an additional $350 which includes CPR Certification, background check, immunizations, drug screening, uniforms and more. Registration deadline is February 26, 2018, and the course runs March 5 through June 11, 2018!

Phlebotomy Technician -- This 90-hour hands-on program prepares students to collect blood specimens for laboratory analysis. Classroom and lab work includes coverage of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, blood collection procedures, and skills and techniques for performing puncture methods. This course costs $1,799 which includes required textbooks. Registration deadline is Feb. 27 and the course runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 6 through May 6!

All of these training programs take place at GCC's Batavia Campus located at One College Road in Batavia. Registration for these programs requires a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.

Additional information on each of these programs is available at All participants can register under "View our classes now" at

Those who are underemployed, unemployed and under skilled may be eligible for tuition scholarships through NY INSPIRE. GCC is part of the statewide program that focuses on training qualified candidates for high demand growing industries in the areas healthcare, advanced manufacturing and information technology.

The $20,000 grant to GCC will help offset tuition costs qualified recipients in this year's healthcare training programs. Scholarships are designated for those who are over 17 years of age and do not exceed the income threshold of $40,000 per year.

Don't delay! Contact The BEST Center at (585) 343-6868 or visit to find out if you are eligible!

February 9, 2018 - 5:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, education, business.

Press release:

The BEST Center at Genesee Community College is constantly developing new certificate programs and training opportunities to support the ever-changing needs of the local and global workforce. With the explosion of online marketplaces many have found themselves in supply-chain management roles. 

The BEST Center's Supply Chain for Managers Certificate program has been geared specifically to take the seasoned supply-chain manager to the next level.

The 30-hour program is taught by experienced instructors with a detailed, working knowledge of the entire supply chain management process which impacts every industry-from healthcare to agriculture, manufacturing to the military, IT to retail and beyond.

The course costs $995 and takes place on 10 Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., March 1 through May 3, at GCC's Batavia Campus. Registration deadline is Feb. 22!

The "Supply Chain for Managers Certificate Program" will focus on various key aspects of the supply-chain manager's responsibilities:

  • Logistics -- This module will encompass warehousing, transportation management, organizational and managerial issues and information technology systems.
  • Inventory and Purchasing -- Focused on inventory control, forecasting, international purchasing, vendor management and product seasonality, this module builds on the manager's knowledge and experience.
  • Operations -- In addition to product and purchasing, the supply-chain manager needs to manage his or her team. This module covers making changes, staff and production performance measurement, and employee motivation.
  • Quality -- This module covers the necessary quality-control measures including LEAN, Six Sigma and TQM.
  • Strategic Management -- Critical to the supply-chain manager's role is the ability to manage through changes. This module covers communication and project management for change, customer service, sustainability and more.

The certificate program concludes with a capstone project designed to demonstrate the application of the skills, techniques and practices learned during the course. This project could be connected to an actual workplace challenge. 

There are no prerequisites for this course, however, it is recommended for seasoned supply-chain managers. Additional information is available at All participants can register under "View our classes now" at


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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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