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November 20, 2015 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, Wonderland of Trees, hlom.


Photo by Nicole Tamfer; info submitted by Diane Bonarigo.

Jackson Primary School students and staff decorate Jackson's Community Caring Tree for The Wonderland of Trees at HLOM. Jackson students created ornaments in Art class of many different people and organizations that help the school each year. Some of the ornaments included, firemen, police officers, volunteer readers, military personnel, bus drivers, dentists, Cornell Cooperative Extension reps,  and JAHA.

The students were reminded through this project how much the Batavia Community cares about the children. (First picture) Brock Bigsby, Nolan Wright, Connor Malone Wesley Fisher, Carleigh Miller, Ryan Bigsby, Lauren Nelson,  and Reese Koukides, Mrs. Bonarigo, Mr. Sloan, Mr. Calandra, Mrs. Mundell, Mrs. Koukides, Mrs. Nelson, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Tamfer, Mrs. Bigsby, Mrs. Torrey.

The Wonderland of Trees opens tonight with a gala starting at 7 o'clock.

November 13, 2015 - 2:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, education, Announcements, CTE.

Submitted photo. Will, Penny and Bill Kennett listen as Scott Henahan, Building Trades instructor at the Batavia CTE Center, gives a brief overview of the course offerings taught explains some of the Building Trades curriculum.  

Press release:

A record turnout at the Open Houses held at both the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center and the Charles G. May Center in Mt. Morris gave students the opportunity to learn the educational pathways to a career in the trades. During the open house, students and their families toured classrooms, and spoke with skilled trades professionals who were on hand to discuss employment opportunities.

Will Kennett, a 10th-grader from Byron-Bergen High School, visited the Batavia CTE Center Open House with his parents, Penny and Bill. They toured the center with hopes of learning more about the programs offered. Will noted that he’s looking at his options.

“I want to pursue a trade and hope to attend this center next school year,” Will said.

Penny added, “The programs here have a wide range of opportunities. You can have a successful career in the trades.”

Alex Jones is a Criminal Justice student from Batavia High School. He brought his parents, Joyce and Edward, to learn more about what their son is studying. 

“It’s really interesting to learn about court cases and how our prison system operates,” Alex said. “I plan on pursuing a career as a police officer.”

Alex’s mom Joyce also noted, “The college credits that he earns in this program are a bonus for when he enters college.”

Past, present and perspective students visited the Animal Science Program at the May Center said Jon English, Animal Science instructor. 

“We had a large number students and their families who were interested in learning more about our Animal Science program,” English said.  “So many people commented that they did not know the extent of our programs.”

The Mt. Morris and Batavia Career and Technical Education Centers are programs of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York state. 

November 11, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
November 11, 2015 -
9:00am to 12:00pm

Genesee Community College will hold its annual Veterans Day Academic Open House on Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
As the biggest recruitment event of the year, visitors have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with professors and instructors at the Academic Fair which runs from 9 to 9:45 a.m., gaining inside knowledge about GCC’s many majors and some long-term career projections.

November 11, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, Western New York Tech Academy, business, education.

Press release:

The public is invited to a special event on the campus of the Western New York Tech Academy (WNYTA) at Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School (6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18th. At this time, a new, no-cost, two-year degree pathway program will be announced for participating school districts in Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties.

"Our goal for this event is to reignite the excitement created throughout the region two years ago when we received a $2.5 million State P-TECH grant to serve students within the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership schools," according to WNYTA Principal Tom Schulte.

"Building off Governor Cuomo's visit to Batavia on October 7th to announce the commitment of 1366 Technologies at STAMP (Science-Technology-Advanced Manufacturing Park) in the Town of Alabama, we have plans to tie into our successful high school-to-college-to employment chain with information about a new career pathway."

Schulte credits the coordinated efforts of WNYTA with its partners in government, private industry and public education. He anticipates that elected officials, business leaders, members of boards of education, school superintendents, faculty, parents and students will attend the November 18th program. Following a brief formal presentation, guests will tour the WNYTA facilities and can view student demonstrations and presentations in classrooms.

Refreshments will be served. There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested no later than Friday, Nov. 13th by e-mailing: [email protected]

For more information about WNYTA, go to the Web site:

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


Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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


November 7, 2015 - 11:09am
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, schools, education.


Assistant Principal Jon Wilson, left, and Principal Carol Messura greet students Friday during a celebration of Wolcott Street School's designation as a 2015 National School of Character. 

Call it a show of good character, featuring a cast of “good characters.”

About 700 of them, to be exact.

The Wolcott Street School community gathered along Trigon Park on Friday afternoon to celebrate — cheerfully and loudly — its designation as a 2015 National School of Character.

Principal Carol Messura and Assistant Principal Jon Wilson arrived aboard a Le Roy Fire Department ladder truck, which carried a National School of Character banner and was escorted by the fire department along Main Street to the school.

They exchanged high-fives with students, before heading indoors for an assembly in Memorial Auditorium.

The elementary school was named a National School of Character in May by (formerly the Character Education Partnership), a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for character education. School administrators traveled to Atlanta last month to accept the honor.

Messura said it’s something to share.

“This award represents every single student, every staff member, every worker here, every parent, every administrator past and present, board members, families and our fabulous community at large,” she told students.

“This award lives in all of you.”

National Schools of Character are schools and districts where character education has had a positive impact on academics, student behavior and school climate, according to Designated schools have the right to use the National School of Character name and logo for five years.

Messura said 276 schools from across the United States applied for the honor this year. Wolcott Street School was one of only 64 schools and three districts that were awarded.

For Wolcott Street School, the story actually began about 15 years ago, when a Character Education Committee was created under the direction of then-principal Jim Thompson.

After his retirement, the character education program continued under his successor, Casey Kosiorek. The school earned a “Promising Practices” award in 2010, the same year it adopted the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. 

Wolcott Street School was named a New York State School of Character in 2012.

Thompson and Kosiorek were among local dignitaries on stage for Friday’s celebration.

“You know what we’re all here for? To make a difference with kids,” said Thompson, who now directs the Instructional Coaching Service for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

The Character Education Committee was formed in light of changing times, Thompson said. It had become clear that developing good character, was a responsibility schools had to share.

“It needed to be taught and it needed to be celebrated,” Thompson said. “And not in a heavy-handed way, but in a good way.”

Highlights from the assembly:

— John Panepento and Riley Wood each spoke on behalf of the sixth grade, which was asked to describe what character education has meant to them.

— Sixth-graders also sang “Hakuna Matata,” from Disney’s “The Lion King Kids.” The class presented the musical — to rave reviews — on Thursday.

— Wilson announced that every student will receive a T-shirt to commemorate Friday’s celebration. Students chose shirts over wristbands in a school-wide vote.

Friday’s celebration capped “Character Day” at WSS. Students participated in class activities throughout the day.

“Building character in each and every classroom is really our goal,” Wilson said.

“There’s a lot going on in education right now,” he added. “But we can never lose sight of the fact that character education is the heartbeat of our school district.”







Wolcott Street School Principal Carol Messura and Assistant Principal Jon Wilson, center, are pictured Friday with former principals Jim Thompson, left, and Casey Kosiorek.

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


Press release (submitted photos):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program visit HYPERLINK "" For information on The Leader in Me visit HYPERLINK ""  

November 3, 2015 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy central schools, transgender, education, schools.

A conservative Christian group based in Arizona has issued a press release challenging the Le Roy Central School District for its handling of a reportedly transgender student and the student's access to locker rooms and restrooms. In a separate letter to the district and released by Alliance Defending Freedom, the advocacy group states that some male students are uncomfortable sharing facilities with a female student who identifies as male, but gives no indication that ADF actually represents any local residents.

The press release invites any district parents concerned about the issue to commence legal proceedings against the district. The district has not issued a statement in response to the press release from ADF.

Press release (links within the press release are to third-party sites):

Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Friday to the Le Roy Central School District Board of Education that asks it to reverse a recent decision by district staff to allow students to use locker rooms and restrooms of the opposite sex. The letter provides a suggested policy that addresses the school district’s concerns about discrimination without allowing the sharing of restrooms.

The ADF letter explains that no federal law requires public schools to allow boys into girls’ restrooms or girls into boys’ restrooms. In fact, as the letter notes, the district could be exposing itself to legal liability for violating students’ right to bodily privacy.

“Protecting students from inappropriate exposure to the opposite sex is not only perfectly legal, it’s a school district’s duty,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “Letting boys into girls’ locker rooms and restrooms is an invasion of privacy and a threat to student safety.”

In December 2014, ADF sent public school districts nationwide a similar letter that it has now provided to Le Roy Central School District. All of the ADF letters cite pertinent legal precedent, including court rulings that support the ability of public schools to limit restrooms to members of the same sex for privacy and safety reasons without violating Title IX, a federal law concerning sex discrimination in public school programs and activities.

“Allowing students to use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms would seriously endanger students’ privacy and safety, undermine parental authority, prejudice religious students’ free exercise rights, and severely impair an environment conducive to learning,” the ADF letter to Le Roy Central School District explains.

“ADF’s policy allows schools to accommodate students with unique privacy needs, including transgender students, while also protecting other students’ privacy and free exercise rights, and parents’ right to educate their children.”

The ADF letter also offers to evaluate the situation and potentially offer free legal assistance if anyone files a lawsuit against the recommended policy.

“Schools can accommodate a small number of students that have different needs without compromising the rights of other children and their parents,” added ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “No child should be forced into an intimate setting – like a bathroom or a locker room – with a child of the opposite sex.”

October 28, 2015 - 5:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
October 28, 2015 -
8:30am to 10:30am

The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will once again offer a Human Resources workshop by Paychex.
It includes prevalent topics for businesses big and small. The presenter is Jessica Davis, Paychex Human Resources Specialist, who will focus on such important topics as importance of job descriptions, what to ask and what not to ask in an interview, documentation for progressive disciplinary action, what to consider before termination as well as the following:
· Forms I-9
· Employee Classifications

October 28, 2015 - 4:09pm

(Submitted photo: Kathy Coyne, LPN instructor, caps LPN Graduate Eileen Fugle.)

(Submitted photo: LPN graduates Brandon Hilyard, Ajanee Hill, Emma Greenman, Rima Gebrimariam, Amanda Gath and Eileen Fugle.)

Press release:

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s School of Practical Nursing celebrated its graduation Oct. 16 at Pavilion Central School. Twenty-five practical nursing graduates were capped and pinned during the ceremony. The majority of this high-ranking class achieved a 90 percent or above average.

These students completed the 12-month, 1,200-clock-hour program, which is certified by the New York State Education Department and designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure.

Applications are currently being accepted for this 12-month program that is offered in three locations, Batavia, Greece and Leicester. All of the Adult Education Programs offered by the Partnership are eligible for GI bill ® funding for qualified applicants.

For more information about this program, contact the Adult Education/School of Practical Nursing at (585) 344-7788.


The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership offers a broad scope of adult education programs including a School of Practical Nursing and a Certified Nursing Assistant program, vocational training as well as classes for those seeking to broaden their skill sets. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York state.

October 28, 2015 - 2:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, alexander, Announcements.

Press release:

The Buffalo Sabres, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), and the National Hockey League (NHL®) have announced the launch of a new hockey-themed educational course as part of the NHL & NHLPA Future Goals Program. Since its launch in September 2014, Future Goals™ has reached over 375,000 students across the United States and Canada in 3,500 schools and yielded over 1.5 million hours of STEM learning.

The Hockey Scholar™ course takes students on an exciting educational journey with a goal of winning the Stanley Cup. As they guide their team, students complete twelve learning modules that educate them and test their knowledge on core STEM concepts covering data analysis, geometry, life science and physical science topics. These topics come to life through real hockey examples that include the dynamics of the ice surface, equipment design, athletic performance, and geometric and energy considerations to how the game is played.

Hockey Scholar™ maps to state and provincial math and science standards as well as the national NGSS and CCSS Math standards. The course was developed by Washington, D.C.-based EverFi, the critical skills education leader that has certified more than 12 million learners.

“The level of engagement in this program from the league, the players, and their clubs is unprecedented in the sports world,” said EverFi Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Jon Chapman. “What’s most important is how this partnership is making a difference for thousands of students and teachers across North America.”

Heather Cummings, sixth-grade Science Teacher at Alexander Central School District will begin using this program today, Oct. 28, with approximately 62 students. This summer, Shannon Whitcombe, Middle and High School Principal and avid Buffalo Sabres fan learned about the program during a meeting with EverFi, Inc. After this First Day Start, there will be over 3,000 students taking part in the Future Goals program locally in Buffalo-Niagara Region. Alexander will be the first Science department in Genesee County to begin utilizing this resource which is provided by the NHL, NHLPA and Buffalo Sabres at no cost to all area schools.

More information on Future Goals™ can be found at or feel free to contact your local Schools Manager, Colleen Schafer at (716) 748-6860 or [email protected]

October 26, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
October 31, 2015 -
8:30am to 3:15pm

GCC will host a continuing education seminar for licensed veterinary technicians and teterinarians from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31.
It is sponsored by the New York State Association of Veterinary Technicians (NYSAVT).

October 26, 2015 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, Announcements, GCC.

Press release:

GCC will host a continuing education seminar for licensed veterinary technicians and teterinarians from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31.

It is sponsored by the New York State Association of Veterinary Technicians (NYSAVT) and will take place in the Conable Technology Building.

Cost is $150 for NYSAVT and NYS Veterinary Medical Society (NYSVMS) members for the day, which includes breakfast snacks and lunch at Subway. Advance registration is strongly encouraged by going to or calling 518-779-0775. Sessions will end by 3:15, so participants will be home in time for Trick-or-Treating!

This is the second year GCC has hosted the seminar. New York State requires 24 hours of continuing education through each three year period for LVTs to continue to maintain their license, and 45 hours for veterinarians over a three year period. Six hours of CE credit will be offered through the following 11 different sessions that participants can choose from.

•    The Changing Face of Shelter Medicine, Kathleen Makolinski, DVM

•    TNVR: A Strategy to Humanely Manage Community Cats, Kathleen Makolinski, DVM

•    Ready, Set, Stop! Establishing and Implementing Checklists and Timeouts, Karen Basher, LVT

•    Patient Monitors: Friend, Foe or Something In Between, Karen Basher, LVT

•    Communication, Stress and Compassion Fatigue, Aggie Kiefer, LVT

•    Your Dog Ate What? Common Pet Poisons You Need to Know, Carrie Caccamise, DVM

•    The flu's plight to "get you my pretty and your little dog, too!" Canine Influenza, Heidi Pecoraro, DVM

•    Nutrition: A Cornerstone of Pet Health, Cynthia Farrell, DVM

•    An Introduction to Alternative and Complementary Therapies and Their Use in Vet Medicine,

Richard Mathis, DVM

•    Avian Influenza: Why Are My Eggs So Expensive?, Cricket Johnson, DVM

•    Basic Nutrition and Clinical Tool, Veronica Whiteside, DVM

October 26, 2015 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Announcements, education, Nursing.

Press release:

The University of Rochester School of Nursing is offering 50-percent tuition support in scholarships for its Care Manager Education, RN-to-BS completion and Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs to meet the educational needs of health care employees in the Finger Lakes region.

Infusing the region with graduates from the three programs will directly fill gaps in care to help patients achieve better health outcomes.

Currently, there’s a rising demand for nurses resulting from a transformation of the region’s Medicaid health care delivery system, through the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, regionally organized by the Finger Lakes Performing Provider System (FLPPS).  New York State is using the DSRIP reform model to improve clinical outcomes and reduce avoidable ED use and hospitalizations by 25 percent over five years.

FLPPS — a not-for-profit organization representing a network of 28 hospitals, 3,000 health care providers and more than 600 health care and community-based organizations in a 13 county region — aims to address current shortfalls in the health care system, including the role of behavioral health in primary care and skilled nursing facilities, patient care transitions, chronic disease management, and integrating health care services across multiple care settings. The FLPPS region covers Allegany, Cayuga, Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties.
For more information, visit the School of Nursing’s Web site at

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

caseybb2015_0.jpgPress release from the Hilton Central School District:

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

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

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

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

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

October 21, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
November 5, 2015 -
5:00pm to 7:00pm

Crime scene analysis, 3-D printing processes, welding applications, animal care methods, and the newest cosmetology trends are just a few of the practices students learn at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center (CTE). The Batavia CTE Center will hold an Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5.

October 21, 2015 - 3:47pm

Press release:

Crime scene analysis, 3-D printing processes, welding applications, animal care methods, and the newest cosmetology trends are just a few of the practices students learn at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center (CTE). The Batavia CTE Center will hold an Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Students, parents and community members are invited to tour the center and discover the many skilled trades opportunities available at this facility. This event is open to the public. The Batavia CTE Center is located at 8250 State Street Road, Batavia. Please call (585) 344-7711 with any questions.


The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services providing shared programs and services to 22 component New York State school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties.

October 21, 2015 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in STAMP, GCEDC, oakfield-alabama, schools, education.


Before the start of the school year, John Ioge figured he was interested in a career in civil engineering, maybe mechanical engineering or perhaps the medical field or even teaching. Whatever it was, he figured he would eventually wind up in a job far from home.

Now, the sophomore at Oakfield-Alabama is honing in on a career in mechanical engineering and feeling pretty certain he will be able to find work in Genesee County.

The developments recently with WNY STAMP as well as a new course at O-A in STEM is driving much of John's change in thinking.

"I now realize there are going to be jobs in this area," John said. "At one point, I didn't think I was going to stay here because there's not any jobs, but now there will be jobs at home. So why not stay home? Why not stay where my family is?"

O-A Principal Lynn Muscarella sought to start the STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for students just like John. She realized that with STAMP coming to Alabama, she wanted to make sure Oakfield-Alabama students had a good grasp of career opportunities in STEM.

"Last year I had seniors who weren't even aware of what is happening in their own backyard," Muscarella said. "I said, I can't allow this to happen. These kids are right here, so why not get them somewhat prepared to think about what's going to be here so they can stay if they want to."

STAMP stands for Science, Technology, Advanced Manufacturing Park, a 1,340-acre parcel in Alabama that the Genesee County Economic Development Center and its economic development partners from throughout the region are marketing as an ideal location for high-tech manufacturing.

Two weeks ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in town to announce the first new development in the park, 1366 Technologies, a Massachusetts-based company that will construct a new plant to make silicon wafers for solar energy panels. The plant will employ from 600 to 1,000 people once fully operational, perhaps as soon as early 2017.

The STEM classes at O-A are part of the sophomore-year curriculum for the first time and will run throughout the school year with classroom time every other day for the participating students.

The instructors are Kathy Rushlow and David Porter, with Rushlow developing most of the course.

Seven weeks after the start of the school year, Rushlow is seeing some progress among her students, many of whom came to class without a clear understanding of what sort of degrees colleges offer and what their post-high-school educational options are.

"I think they are much more aware of what STEM is and what the different career choices are in the STEM field," Rushlow said. "I think that's been eye-opening."

The classes aren't intended to give students any kind of training that will lead them to a particular job; rather, it's an overview to expose them to the array of options available to them if they decide STEM might be something of interest.

The class also reinforces the importance of the other coursework in high school.

"It's surprising to them to see there's a second side to that coin, that even in the medical fields, they need that science and math, that background, on top of the medical information," Rushlow said.


October 20, 2015 - 5:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
October 20, 2015 -
1:00pm to 4:00pm

Family members and professional health care providers who provide care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia are encouraged to attend a free Dementia Care Conference in Genesee County in October.
The Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is sponsoring the seminar on the afternoon of Oct. 20. The Genesee County Nursing Home at 278 Bank St. in Batavia will host the seminar from 1-4 p.m. Topics will include:
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Relationship Changes
Behavior & Communication

October 19, 2015 - 7:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
October 19, 2015 -
12:30pm to 2:00pm

Genesee Community College invites the public to enjoy a stimulating and entertaining introduction to author and journalist Ken Wheaton on Monday, Oct. 19, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in room T102 of the Batavia Campus.
Though by day he is the managing editor of Advertising Age, a firm he has worked with since 2000, he is also a prolific writer of fiction with two books published this past year, “Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears” and “Bacon and Egg Man.” His first novel, “The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival” was published in 2010.
Books will be available for purchase.




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