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Batavia High School

December 3, 2022 - 5:52pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, entertainment, Batavia High School.


Members of the Batavia High School choir perform a special concert Saturday at First Presbyterian Church in Batavia.




Photos by Howard Owens.

November 29, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, entertainment, Batavia High School, notify.


This week’s production of "The Trial of Robin Hood" will probably seem familiar, since most people —whether through cartoons, movies or live stage — have watched a version of the English-based character performing his obligatory duties to give to the poor.

Except for the fact that this Robin Hood must fight for his life in a court battle. And King Richard, in this case, is Queen Richelle. Oh, and there are those three witnesses who describe in conflicting detail who they believe Robin Hood to be. And, yes, another variation is that the audience gets to vote for one of three endings to the story.

So perhaps you may not be as familiar with this version of the good-deed-doer and his band of merry men. But one thing is certain, says Caryn Leigh Wood, director of the Batavia High School Drama Club’s play.

“It’s very Robin Hood in tights-esque. It’s tongue in cheek, almost poking fun at itself,” she said after rehearsals Monday evening. “Obviously, it's a well-known story. I feel like almost everybody has heard the story or concept of Robin Hood. And obviously, there's tons of different adaptations. But it's funny, it's very silly, and we don't take it too seriously at all. If people come with an open mind and be ready for some silly fun time … I think people will laugh a lot.”

The trial is set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at BHS, 260 State St., Batavia.

Funny thing is that The Batavian asked Wood how many BHS shows this makes for her, and she only happened to realize earlier in the day that it’s her 20th season. It gave her pause to reflect on the work that has gone into each and every show — from the selection process and auditions to the creation of the set, costumes, running lines, choreography and the maestro act of pulling it all together.

Throughout it all, Wood has questioned herself: am I doing everything that I need to do?

“I want to work as hard as I can for the students; they are putting in a tremendous amount of effort and time, and I want to reciprocate that for them. And so before every show every year, I'm just like, okay, mentally I've gotta prepare, gotta make sure I have my checklists. And I foresee a daunting task, and then I get to this point, and it's like, a whirlwind. And I'm like, how did I get here?" 

It’s really that "day-to-day, constant, chipping away" at the minute details that have brought her and the club members to this point. And yet, she remembers every single production, she said, and the significance of each. This winter’s show puts a cast of 25 students and a crew of six to work on the tale of Robin Hood of Nottingham, England.

“I look at a ton of material each year, I like to cast a wide net,” she said. “It comes down to what fits the kids best. When I start hearing their voices speaking the parts, I know that’s the one. And we want one that also be entertaining to the audience.”

The Drama Club voted for a comedy this year, a stark contrast to last year’s sobering “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” They got what they asked for, though it has meant three times the work.

The trial puts Robin in the hot seat, as witness accounts by Maiden Marian and the Sheriff of Nottingham widely stray from Robin’s own accounting. As each witness describes his and her version of details, a vignette of characters acts it out before the audience.

Whose version will win out? With Queen Richelle as the judge, the court must rule on what happened to a kingdom run amok. Is Robin Hood a lusty hero, a hapless romantic or truly an evil criminal? That’s where the audience comes in, to vote on a finale.

Typical for many of Wood’s shows, this will be a black box-style, putting the audience square in the eyes of actors during the performance. She likes that it really draws spectators into the action while also giving students a more intimate acting experience.

All this is to say that the cast had to rehearse three different endings and be prepared for the final decision, chosen on the spot during the show. Rest assured, Wood said, “we have a plan.”

No matter what scenario is chosen, the kids will have fun with it, she said.

“They know all three endings. They are very prepared,” the confident director said. “I think that everybody will laugh at something in the show.”

Tickets are $9 and available at showtix4u.com or $10 at the door.




Photos of dress rehearsal for "The Trial of Robin Hood" feature BHS senior Paul Daniszewski as Robin Hood, junior Cassidy Crawford as Maid Marian, senior Christina Brown as Sheriff of Nottingham, and Saniiya Santiago as Queen Richelle. Photos by Howard Owens.

June 29, 2022 - 4:17pm


The Colorado Avalanche captured the esteemed Stanley Cup on Sunday night, defeating the two-time defending National Hockey League champion Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1, to take the best-of-seven series, four games to two.

Residents of the Centennial State will be celebrating their Avs’ first NHL title since 2001 with a parade and rally in downtown Denver on Thursday morning – and among the participants will be a Batavia native who holds the title of the franchise’s Director of Video Scouting.

Mike Battaglia, a standout goaltender for the Batavia High Ice Devils from 2004-2007 who went on to play at the collegiate and professional levels, has worked for the Avalanche for the past six years.

Speaking by telephone today from his apartment in Denver, Battaglia said he has had the opportunity to scout some of the young men who led the Avalanche to the NHL crown – players such as left winger J.T. Compher, right winger Logan O’Connor, center Nico Sturm and defensemen Cale Makar and Bo Byram.

“I did quite a bit of scouting, but I must clarify that none of these players fall directly on me,” he said. “We are a team and it was a group effort. I am just a small piece to the puzzle of a Stanley Cup winning team.”

An essential piece, at that, as Battaglia has put in countless hours traveling throughout the United States and Canada evaluating potential prospects for the team and working with the analytics’ department to compile pertinent data and statistical information for management.


An All-Greater Rochester first team goaltender and New York State Second Team All-Star in high school, Battaglia went on to play club hockey at Niagara University – earning most valuable player honors – before moving on to Division III hockey at Geneseo State College.

After graduating in 2011, he took a summer internship with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets in the marketing department and also ventured into video scouting and even was used as a practice goalie on several occasions. Battaglia tried out for the Cincinnati Cyclones and signed a pro contract with that team, staying there for a short time.

While at Columbus, Battaglia actually signed an NHL contract – for one day – when star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky became ill before a game and was unable to play.

“We needed an extra goalie at that point and there was no emergency goalie then. Because I used to practice with the team every now and then – and because I was a goalie – they called me in the office in the press box and said that I needed to put my pads on,” Battaglia recalled. “And if the other guy gets hurt, you’re going in.

“So, I had my pads on, I was sitting in the locker room and I had to sign a contract. They even had a jersey all made up for me. It was definitely an interesting experience.”

When asked if he got in the game, he replied, “No. Thank God.”


In 2016, Battaglia began his full-time tenure at Colorado – finding himself on the road on the weekends scouting players and in the office during the week working with General Manager Joe Sakic and Assistant GM Chris McFarland. He said he is very close to McFarland, a Bronx native and fellow New York Yankees’ fan.

“I’m traveling to college games every weekend and do a lot of college free agency right now,” he said, adding that he attended more than 200 games this season. “Because when we're chasing the Stanley Cup, we're trading a lot of draft picks.”

Battaglia contributes to the evaluation process by communicating his thoughts on player skills and by matching the video he shoots with the “numbers” generated by the analytics staff.

“We do something called Identity Files where we're trying to capture all the players that we have interest in -- in the draft – and what they are, and what they're all about. And then when it comes to draft time, I'm the one who actually types the players’ names in a system that selects the players. It can be a little stressful.”

Colorado has one farm team, the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League – the same league that includes the Rochester Americans, who are affiliated with the Buffalo Sabres.

“We have the one farm team and many prospects that we’ve drafted who are playing college hockey or are in Europe or junior hockey in Canada,” Battaglia said. “I’m fortunate enough to touch a lot of pieces in our organization and see a lot of things. I work pretty much throughout all departments of the organization, and I am very grateful for that.”


Battaglia is youngest son of Paul and Mary Battaglia of Batavia. His brothers are Paul Jr., Mark and Tim.

He said he and his fiancé, Stephanie Dupuis, will be getting married in August at a ceremony at Stephanie’s hometown of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

“We met through work. I was scouting and she was working for a junior team in Windsor,” Battaglia said.

When talking about family, Battaglia said he owes much to what he learned from his mentors during his time as part of the Batavia High ice hockey “family.”

“I always will appreciate the coaches at Batavia,” he said, naming them all. “Paul Pedersen, Nate Korzelius, John Kirkwood, Mark Dahl, Peter Guppenberger, Jack Porter and John Zola. Those guys are really important in making it more than just hockey for me – showing how to do the little things and being a good person.”

Battaglia said there’s a chance that he will be able to transport the actual Stanley Cup to Batavia when he visits this summer.

“I haven’t heard if I get a day with the Cup yet but if I do I will bring it to Batavia if I’m allowed to,” he said. “I will keep you updated if that happens.”


Batavian native Mike Battaglia is on cloud nine as he has his moment with the NHL's Stanley Cup following the Colorado Avalanche's victory over Tampa Bay. Submitted photos.

March 19, 2022 - 5:51pm

1bba09b2-36b2-4e0e-afa7-276ea4a50067.pngBatavia High School Principal Paul Kesler


Batavia High School seniors are on the right path, Principal Paul Kesler says.

Kesler added a number along with his comment: 96. After having a graduation rate of 85 percent in 2011, fluctuating from 89 to 94 percent through 2020, seniors are at a 96 percent graduation rate, Kesler said. The increased percentage is proof that career initiatives and student attitudes are pushing kids on to greater success, he said.

“It’s a testimony of the work done in K through 12,” he said during this week’s board meeting. “We’re finding the right pathways.”

Some of those pathways include  early college opportunities with Genesee Community College and now Daemen College, which is new this year. Daemen hosted a cartooning class free of charge, with the school district paying for supplies. Students became engaged in the class, and it was a success in providing other possible avenues for them to pursue, he said.

A Leave to Learn program exposes students to various career possibilities, such as first responder, manufacturing, counseling and educational occupations. 

“Students are going to be able to select one of six buses, and on that date they’re going to have an opportunity to be with an adult and have an awesome work session,” he said.

The past two years have not only been frustrating for most, but have introduced socialization issues to district leaders, Kesler said. 

“It has caused us to realize that, not only as a district but as a nation, some of the focus needs to be on helping students be able to interact … our mental health is really important,” he said.

A post-graduation program — a Cornell University boot camp offered in collaboration with Genesee County Economic Development Center — will be available to seniors after they graduate. The camp is three days a week of concentrations in manufacturing jobs, Kesler said. Other improved partnerships include local dairy companies for hands-on learning and training, he said.

“We’re seeing more engagement of students,” he said, compared to when kids were remote due to COVID-19. 

May 2 will be “Decision Day” for graduating seniors to have the spotlight to announce their choices of college or career options. Fellow district students will be on hand to cheer them on, he said.

March 5, 2022 - 4:00pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, musical, Batavia High School, notify.


Rehearsals for Batavia High School’s production of Mamma Mia has not been without its mishaps, senior Samantha Balbi says.

The Abba tune “Money, Money, Money” features actors in lines that move across the stage for a big dance number. Except there was no stage for the last few months, and actors had to adjust during busy scenes, she said.

“I’m weaving through everybody, and it was very difficult, very cramped,” 18-year-old Balbi said during an interview with The Batavian. ”I bumped into people accidentally. It’s a good sized cast; we had to work out spacing.”

As if scheduling and rehearsing with busy student actors — during a time requiring masks and sanitizing no less — wasn’t enough for Musical Director Caryn Wood and her cast. But then “the other shoe dropped,” she said: She and her cast were left without an auditorium for rehearsals. A massive windstorm boasting 75 mph gusts on Dec. 11 last year left portions of Batavia High School’s roof severely damaged. That in turn rendered the auditorium below inoperable. Up to that point, her production of Mamma Mia was well on track for an early March debut, Wood said.

“In very early December we did auditions. We had just finished Sherlock Holmes,” she said. “All was fine, we’re just rolling onto the next show. We were starting our rehearsal process, and the windstorm happened.”

All of the air exchanges on the roof were damaged, leaving no way for air circulation in the auditorium, she said. No one was allowed to use the space until the exchanges were fixed. She and students initially and enthusiastically marched on. They learned their lines and music while seated in smaller areas, including the band and chorus rooms, and then added in hallways and sections of the gym for choreographed pieces.

Their plans for a show during the first weekend in March were eventually dashed, Wood said.

“We found out there was no way that was going to happen,” she said.

The group’s biggest space needed for choreography and blocking wasn’t going to be an option. For the next several weeks, they sought out whatever space was available for rehearsals, moved all of the chairs out of the room, and did what they could, she said.

“I’d say, ‘ok, we’re going to go on a field trip now,’ and we were going to find some space,” Wood said.

She met with Superintendent Jason Smith and Business Administrator Scott Rozanski, who were working with buildings and grounds staff about the necessary repairs. They were all “trying to move on a timeline,” she said.

In the meantime, a two- to three-week delay wasn’t just about rehearsal space, she said. Wood had to get an extension from Music Theater International for the show rights and usage of scripts and to extend costume and backdrop rental (which was shipped from Kansas) and materials from the art and hardware store.

“All of that had to be readdressed and readjusted,” she said. “It felt surreal, I didn’t know how it was all going to play out.”

The same could be said about Mamma Mia, a musical comedy about a young bride-to-be who invites three men to her upcoming wedding, with the possibility that any of them could be her father.

Wood had to make hard decisions, such as deliberately putting off the bigger choreography numbers until there was more room to move. It’s not the first time the director faced this type of dilemma, she said. Her cast had to work around a capital project for Shrek three years ago. Only she at least had a more definitive timeline, unlike the unknowns this time around.

“We were nomadic. We were going where we could go," she said. "I feel like young people handle change better than adults. All were on board, and they wanted to make a good show; they were up for the challenge. They are without a doubt super excited and thankful to come back into the auditorium.”

Rehearsals moved into the auditorium this past Monday for the first time all year. It was a “breath of relief,” said Balbi, who plays the character Donna.

Fellow actor Michael Bartz, a junior, has participated in theatrical shows since fifth grade. He is happy to be part of "a super upbeat show," and took the regular field trips with stride, he said.

“I’ve never had to move between rooms before; that was just fun, I enjoyed it,” he said, adding the downside “The space we had was not accurate to the stage. At the end for a megamix of three songs back to back, there are fun dance numbers and moving lines going back and forth. It was harder to transfer that to the stage.”

Wood explained that, after having to shrink down the dance moves to fit a hallway, there was then a challenge to expand all of that to fit across the school’s comparatively gigantic stage. She is grateful for the district administrators' assistance to get back into the auditorium, especially since the roof has not yet been completely repaired.

“We’re very fortunate, the show is only two weeks later,” she said. “There were some weeks when I was waiting with bated breath.”

The show has been postponed to run March 18-20.






Top photo: Members of Batavia High School's drama club rehearse a scene in the hallway of the State Street school. Other venues are tapped in an effort to find available space in lieu of using the auditorium due to roof damage. Photos by Howard Owens.

January 24, 2022 - 4:08pm


Batavia High School 11th-grader Charlie Kegler is carving out his niche as the “floater” for the Zing sailboat racing team that will represent the Youngstown Yacht Club in the 2021-22 IC37 Winter Series Lauderdale Cup early next month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The lone youth member of the nine-person crew, Kegler (at right in photo above) has excelled in a highly-competitive sport that demands sound judgment, quick thinking, strength and stamina.

Versatility is the key to becoming a successful floater, a position recognized as the glue that keeps the crew’s moving parts together. Going into his second year on the major regatta circuit, Kegler has proven himself worthy in competition as his numerous trophies would attest.

Kegler was introduced to the sport four years ago by his father, Charles, who serves as vice commodore of the yard at YCC.

In an interview with The Batavian (where he was joined by his father and grandfather, Bill), the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Charlie said that his participation in sailboat racing has enabled him to value teamwork and to speed up (no pun intended) his development.

“For me, sailing makes me feel like I’m in a different world,” he said. “It’s a sport that I enjoy, can be competitive in different ways and on different boats and with different people.”


Charlie’s dad got involved in the sport six years ago at the invitation of a friend, Shane Vanstrom, currently the junior sailing director at YCC.

“I sailed once and became instantly hooked,” Charles said, adding that in time he brought his only son along to experience the thrill of sailboating.

Charlie started in the junior sailing program where the goal, according to his father, is to emphasize the safety aspects of the sport while learning racing tactics and strategy. He quickly showed that he was up to the task, participating and winning in the 420 class (normally featuring two people).

This past summer, Charlie’s Zing crew competed in the Canada Cup Challenge and, although it didn’t win, plans to challenge the champion Defiant team, that includes four past Olympians, again this summer.

The Canada’s Cup, the second-oldest match race trophy in the world, started in 1896.


In the immediate future, Charlie and his team are ready to compete from Feb. 4-6 in the Fort Lauderdale regatta’s IC37 division. IC37 is the type of boat (at 37 feet) that the Zing crew and six other entrants will be racing. The other teams are from Fort Lauderdale, Newport, R.I.; New York City, Tampa, Cohasset, Mass., and Norfolk, Va.

February’s competition is the second of three legs of the Winter Series Lauderdale Cup – the first was in November, when Zing placed fourth, and the final leg is in March. The Zing crew is looking to improve its standing -- banking on the experience it gained from the first leg.

“We’re confident,” Charlie said. “We plan to go as hard as we can – max power.”

The team’s other members are in their 40s, with the strategist, Chris Doyle, in his early 60s.

Charles said that it’s rare to see someone as young as his son become part of an international crew, especially representing YCC, “which has a storied reputation from the 1970s of producing world class sailors.”


According to Zing Skipper Adam Burns, who started in the sport as a child, the Zing crew is fortunate to have Charlie as part of the team.

“He’s phenomenal,” said Burns, who recently was elected as commodore at YCC. “He’s a team player with a great attitude in a role that is very unique. Not many people can do that and it’s nice to have an agile junior sailor on board.”

Burns said sailboat racing has embraced a more diverse population in recent years, encouraging women and teens to be a part of what is considered an amateur sport.

“Two of our crew are women, plus we have Charlie, and I think that is admirable the way the sports has become more diverse,” said Burns, a wealth management consultant in Buffalo. “I didn’t have this opportunity growing up.”


To prepare for Florida trip, which could consist of up to 12 races in those three days, Charlie said he has been working out regularly at CrossFit Tsunami in Oakfield.

“It’s important to have arm strength to pull in the spinnaker (lightweight flying sail) and the retrieval line,” he said. “In my role, I have to move from position to position, help on the deck and with the mast team; whatever is needed.”

A B-plus student enrolled in the Diesel Technician course through Genesee Valley BOCES, Charlie is exploring his college options. While scholarships aren’t plentiful, there are opportunities for assistance at colleges with sailing programs.

Furthermore, someone knowledgeable in diesel engines would have a place working at boat yards as almost all of the sailboats are diesel-powered, said Charlies’ dad, who will be accompanying him on the Florida trip – cheering him on while keeping a trained eye on the team’s performance.


Charles and Charlie Kegler at the Youngstown Yacht Club.


Charlie going solo in small sailboat.


Overhead view of the Zing crew.


Charlie with some of the trophies he has earned as a top-notch sailor.

Submitted photos courtesy of Charles Kegler.

January 11, 2022 - 4:46pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, Batavia High School, concert, BHS Winter Guard.

Press Release:

The Batavia High School Scholastic Winter Guard will host an alumni concert on Sunday, January 23, at 2:00 pm in the BHS Gymnasium to raise funds for the winter guard to compete in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Winterguard Regionals and the WGI National Championships respectively. 

Led by BHS Band Director and Music Department Chair Jane Haggett, numerous Batavia City School District alumni, including new superintendent Jason Smith (Class of ‘90) on trombone, will join the BHS Alumni Jazz Ensemble. The St. Joseph’s Alumni Drum Corp will also appear at the concert. 

Members of the BCSD staff will play alongside Superintendent Smith including, BHS Principal Paul Kesler, on trumpet, and music teachers Sean Williams, Collin Murtaugh, and Stuart Mclean in the ensemble. Additional BHS alumni, including Paul Spiotta, Brandon Luce, Jackie McLean, Matt Holota, Harold McJury, Frank Panepento, Joshua Pacino, Quentin Branciforte, Mark Hoerbelt, Ross Chua, Mary Murphy, Jason Mapes, and Bob Pastecki, will also perform in the ensemble. 

Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at the door. Money raised from this event will defray the cost of winter guard trips in March and April. This will be the Scholastic Winter Guard’s first appearance at the WGI National Championships. 

November 10, 2021 - 7:49pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Batavia High School, Veterans Day Ceremony.


Roger Martin typically gets up at 9 each morning, but not this time. He had a wake-up call he couldn’t miss. 

“I got up early this morning so I could be here,” the U.S. Navy veteran said Wednesday at Batavia High School. “I think it’s great they recognize the history of the country and the veterans that serve and protect.”

This was the fifth year of the high school’s effort to recognize local veterans with a special red, white and blue ceremony of all things patriotic, from the Pledge of Allegiance and raising of the U.S. flag to heartening music and words of appreciation.

Martin served in the Navy from 1945-1946. He was a petty officer third-class electronics technician. The 95-year-old Batavia resident took part in the school’s Veterans Day ceremony, one day early to provide veterans with some pomp and circumstance by a concert band, orchestra, and uninformed participants. 

A flag-raising ceremony, a musical tribute of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and words to honor military service people filled the air on the front lawn. High School Principal Paul Kesler thanked the many veterans in attendance for their service and dedication to this country. 

“Men and women like you have protected all of us,” he said. “And we appreciate you.”

Kesler then highlighted veterans who are also on the BHS staff, and gave them a “small token of our appreciation.”

Christopher Gorton is a high school special education teacher and United States Army veteran who served from 1984 to 1992. He earned Army Achievement and Good Conduct medals, and a German shooting award. New to district staff this year, Gorton carries a Commander in Chief’s “challenge coin” that he was given when his unit was honored with its second presidential unit citation from the First Battalion Sixth Infantry Delta Company.

The United States Air Force veteran John Marat is a high school substitute teacher. He served from 1998 to 2005 and met his wife Elizabeth during active duty. Mr. Marat was discharged in 2005, while his wife continued on with military life for 22 years, eventually relocating to the Western New York area.

Don Hawkins is a retired high school special education teacher who served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to1975. He worked at BHS for 30 years and was a specialist 5 during his military service.

Gregory Ciszak is a high school counselor who served for 12 years with the 152nd Engineer Company in the Army National Guard. A staff sergeant and horizontal construction engineer, Ciszak, and his unit were activated to assist with many state emergencies, including snowstorms, floods, and the 9/11 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. 

Earth science teacher Christopher Weicher served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987 to 1991. His service included two combat deployments during Operation Just Cause in Panama and the Gulf War. He received two combat action ribbons, a Presidential Unit Citation and a Meritorious Unit Citation while serving with the Sixth Marine Regiment. 

Martin wished more people had attended, as he enjoyed the morning, he said. It’s important to honor veterans while they are still here, he said. 

“I’m proud to be an American,” he said. “There are not too many of us left.”     

Top Photo: Batavia resident Roger Martin, a U.S. Navy veteran, puts his hand to heart during a ceremony to honor military servicemen and women Wednesday at Batavia High School.

Photos by Howard Owens











June 22, 2021 - 8:19pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia High School, City Schools, blue devils.

Rebekah Daniszewski and Alex Hale received Batavia Coaches Association Athlete of the Year awards tonight at the Batavia High School Athletic Awards ceremony at Van Detta Stadium.

Athletic Director Mike Bromley presided over the event that recognized outstanding Blue Devil senior class student-athletes for their accomplishments over the four sport seasons in 2020-21.

Daniszewski, a Section V track and field champion in the shot put (indoor) and shot put and discus (outdoor), and Hale, a three-sport standout, each were given $50 and a plaque from the Coaches Association.

The Athlete of the Year award goes to a senior girl and boy for outstanding leadership, sportsmanship and athletic performance.

Daniszewski also received the Burk Family Scholarship for Excellence in Track and Community Service, a $300 award from the Batavia City School District Foundation, while Hale also was selected to receive the Daniel Van Detta Memorial Scholarship for football and baseball, a $250 award from the BCSD Foundation.

Jonah Epps III was the winner of the Thomas Ricci Memorial Scholarship for track and field and/or cross-country, a $500 check from the BCSD Foundation. He also received the Project Play WNY Multisport Athlete Award, which comes with a certificate, celebratory lawn sign and social media spotlight.

Jacob Long was named the Burk Family Scholarship for Excellence in Football and Community Service winner, earning a $300 check from the BCSD Foundation.

The Danny Lullo Memorial Football Scholarship went to Zachariah Brown, who received a $300 check from the BCSD Foundation.

Luke Rogers was selected to receive the Jason Gioia Memorial Scholarship for dedication to school and the community. The scholarship is for $500.

Other award winners are as follows:

  • Outstanding Physical Education Student Award: Alexander Childs, Mykola Bartz, Lillian Whiting.
  • Air Force Scholar Athlete: Luke Rogers, Tess Barone.
  • Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete: Cooper Mattice, Isabella Houseknecht.
  • Navy Outstanding Athlete Award: Zachary Gilebarto, Lillian Whiting.
  • Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award: Bannon Moore (who also received the Judd Gouinlocke Memorial Scholarship), Haylee Thornley.
  • Varsity Club Award: Chloe Torres Brown, Kathryn Fitzpatrick, Zachary Wagner, Natalie Clark, Evan Preston, Dallas Lama, Andresha Richardson, Chase Pangrazio, Jonah Luplow, Jianna Torcello, Elizabeth Kingston, Troy Helsdon, Stone Siverling, Tyler Kleinbach.
  • Dr. Pierce Sportsmanship Award: Sean Pies, Sadie Loria.
  • Batavia Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete Award: Kameron Kuszlyk, Sophie Beckman.
  • Project Play WNY Multisport Athlete Awards: Jonah Epps III, Bryn Wormley.
  • Batavia Lions Club Athletic Award: Jacob Long ($50).
  • 1947 Club Athletic Awards: Faraz Idrees, Mackenzie Reigle.
  • Certificates of Excellence: Zachariah Brown, Rebekah Daniszewski, Jonah Epps III, Ian Fuchs, Alex Hale, Faraz Idrees, Kameron Kuszlyk, Jacob Long, Jonah Luplow, Bannon Moorre, Chase Pangrazio, Sean Pies, Mackenzie Reigle, Bryn Wormley.

Several athletes were recognized for winning sectional titles. They were:

  • Boys Swimming: Cooper Mattice.
  • Wrestling: Cooper Stewart, Nicholas Lamkin.
  • Indoor Track and Field: Jamarion Richardson, Gavin Konieczny, Noah Burke, Rebekah Daniszewski, Jesse Reinhart.
  • Outdoor Track and Field: Fabian Vazquez, Isabella Walsh.
May 24, 2021 - 9:25am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, scanner, Batavia High School.

A possible school bus accident with a person down in the parking lot is reported at Batavia High School. City fire and Mercy medics are responding to 260 State St.

UPDATE 9:28 a.m.: A first responder says this is NOT a school bus accident; it's strictly a medical issue. He said he believes a school bus driver was the reporting party.

May 5, 2021 - 6:24pm
posted by Press Release in Mr. Batavia 2021, Batavia High School, news.

Submitted photos and press release:

Between 2013-2019, Mr. Batavia has raised more than $25,000 for local charities. It's a fun way for the students to help give back to the community. 

This year, we are going to hold the Mr. Batavia contest virtually.

The students are recording parts of the show on their own and we will be providing a link next week for the public to watch it live.

There is also a GoFundMe link here so that people can donate since we won't be having a live show. The link to the show will be available next week and will be linked to the go fund me and advertised on the schools social media. 

Here are the contestants and their chosen charitable organizations:

Contestant #1 - Ryan Bowen -- Crossroads House
Contestant #2 - Jaziel Childs -- Golisano Children's Hospital
Contestant #3 - Chase Pangrazio -- Batavia VA
Contestant #4 - Zach Gilebarto -- Genesee Cancer Assistance
Contestant #5 - Luke Rogers -- Gateway House in Attica
Contestant #6 - Alex Hale -- Ricky Palermo Foundation
Contestant #7 - Sean Pies -- Dave McCarthy Foundation
Contestant #8 - Jonah Epps -- Michael Napoleon Foundation
Contestant #9 - Faraz Idrees -- Anna’s Wish

Photos at top -- Top row, left to right, Hale, Gilebarto, Rogers; middle row, left to right, Idrees, Epps, Pies; bottom row, left to right, Childs, Pangrazio, Bowen.

May 3, 2021 - 11:58am
posted by Press Release in BCSD Foundation, scholarship, Batavia High School, news.

Press release:

Nominations are being accepted for the 2021 BCSD Foundation Inc. Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior from Batavia High School.

The nominee has been successful in his/her educational program and has sought out skills to further his/her career. In addition, he or she has exemplified our Batavia school culture and climate of “Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, Be Connected and Be Ambitious.”

Any member of the local community may nominate a Batavia HS senior who meets the above criteria. Nomination forms are available on the Batavia City School District website. You may complete the Google Form or this pdf document to nominate a deserving senior.

All nominations need to be received by May 21.

BCSD Foundation -- Our Mission:

To develop, procure, and manage resources, contributions, and educational funding and ensure that these will be used directly to support the City of Batavia School District, its population, programming, property development, and student scholarship funding.

April 26, 2021 - 1:39pm

From Caryn Leigh Wood, IT support aide, BHS Musical & Drama director:

Per several requests this morning -- VIDEO RENTAL HAS BEEN EXTENDED FOR VIEWING "SISTER ACT"!

Rent the streamed video HERE!

Also be sure to check out the SHOW PROGRAM by clicking the button in the lower left corner of the online rental portal.

The steps for rental include clicking the purple bar in the middle of the page that says rent video, then click on the Current Events tab on the next page that opens, and finally click the Rent Video button under the poster image. You have the option to do single or multiple devices as well. An access code will be emailed to you. 

Once you have begun viewing it, you will have 48 hours to complete the video. RENTAL IS NOW AVAILABLE UNTIL WEDNESDAY NIGHT!

Help support this AMAZING group of students by watching their show in the comfort of your own home! You won't be disappointed!



Previously: For BHS Production Club, the show must go on with 'Sister Act'

April 26, 2021 - 11:25am

From Kate Edwards, Advancement coordinator, DECA co-adviser, Notre Dame High School:

Notre Dame High School is pleased to announce a generous donation of $2,500 from Gerry and Carm Reinhart. This donation is given in the name of Scott D. "Fletch" Hale and will benefit Notre Dame's hockey and football programs.

Hale was a 1991 graduate of Batavia High School who excelled at hockey and football. He went on to Brockport State College graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice. He will be remembered for his larger than life personality and his kind heart.

For Hale's full obituary, click here.

January 28, 2021 - 1:52pm
posted by Press Release in education, batavia, news, Batavia High School, graduation rates.

Submitted image and press release:

Batavia High School’s graduation rate, for students who graduate within four years, increased from 85 percent in the 2011-2015 cohort to 93 percent (for June graduates) and 94 percent (for those who graduated by August of their senior year) in the 2016-2020 cohort.

The number is even higher – 97 percent for the 2016-2020 cohort -- when only those students who attend school in BHS are counted (as opposed to those who, for various reasons, had been completing their studies at alternate locations.)

In other words, 85 percent of all freshmen entering BHS in the fall of 2011 (as the Class of 2015) earned their diploma by June of 2015.

The graduation rate continued to improve over the course of the next several graduating classes, with the last group for which we have data being the Class of 2020. For that graduating class, 93 percent of all freshmen entering BHS in the fall of 2016 (as the Class of 2020) earned their diploma by June 2020 and 94 percent completed the graduation requirements by August 2020. Again, that number was higher (97 percent) for students who attend school at BHS.

Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr., in presenting the data to the Board of Education on Monday, congratulated the staff on their role in student success.

He also noted that BHS principal, Paul Kesler, and his staff will continue to work on raising the overall graduation rate and will dig deeper into the subgroups of the student population to look for patterns and to identify better ways to serve the full student population.

December 16, 2020 - 12:22pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, covid-19 vaccine, news, Batavia High School.

Submitted photo and information.

Batavia High School graduate Elliot Marino, Pharm.D, BCPS, clinical manager, pharmacy, administered the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday at Olean General Hospital. Katie Bocher, second-floor RN, was the first frontline healthcare worker at the facility to get innoculated.

The hospital received its first supply of the vaccine and began vaccinating physicians, nurses and staff who work in high-risk areas of the hospital.

Marino attended Batavia city schools from K-12 and graduated in 2008.

November 10, 2020 - 4:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia High School, news, COVID-19.

Dear Batavia Blue Devils Community:

I am writing to provide you an important update regarding COVID-19 and Batavia High School.  

I have been notified and in contact with the Genesee County Health Department and the District’s Medical Director that there has been one new positive COVID-19 case of a Batavia High School staff member. The employee was NOT in school with any symptoms and was considered asymptomatic prior to getting tested.

As a result of contact tracing, which focuses on a 48-hour window of time this has caused one additional staff member and five students who were deemed as “close contact” to quarantine for 14 days. Any student and staff member that was identified as a “close contact” has already been contacted by the Batavia High School administration. The Genesee County Health Department will also follow up with identified students and staff. 

This case does not impact our ability to continue to operate Batavia High School and the school will remain open for our in-person hybrid learning model. 

New York State has launched the “School COVID Report Card” site, where you can view COVID-19 data associated with all schools in New York. To protect the privacy of students and staff, we will never release personally identifiable information.

Please continue to be vigilant in your efforts and help us prevent the spread of COVID-19. For additional reliable information on preventing the spread of COVID-19, please go to www.cdc.gov or www.health.ny.gov

Please also don’t hesitate to contact Batavia High School or the District if you have any questions or concerns. 

Better Together… WE are Batavia!

Anibal Soler Jr., Superintendent of Schools

Batavia City Schools

(585) 343-2480


October 23, 2020 - 6:34am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Make A Difference Day, Batavia High School.

Batavia High School seniors are doing their part to “make a difference.”

Kathie Scott, the district’s public relations coordinator, said the students will be participating in the annual “Make a Difference Day” activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at various locations in Batavia and also at Genesee County Park in Bethany.

The locations and job descriptions are as follows:

  • All Babies Cherished (Prepare garage sale items. May work Outside doing yard work.)
  • Genesee ARC (Participate in activities with individuals with disabilities.)
  • Batavia Cemeteries (Yard Work. Wear close toed shoes & bring gloves. Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Ave.)
  • Batavia First United Methodist Church (Organizing and possible yard work.)
  • Genesee Cancer Assistance (Organize office inside the hospital. Contact Sue or Theresa who will meet you in the ER Parking lot.)
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension (Recording Books for kids, Soil Kits, Organizing Storeroom.)
  • Crossroads House (Organizing kitchen cupboards, general indoor cleaning and possible light yard work.)
  • Batavia First United Methodist Church (Organizing and possible yard work.)
  • Genesee County Park (Yard Work at the Outdoor Learning Center.)
  • Genesee County Youth Bureau (Decorating Halloween bags. Check in at front desk of Senior Center; they will direct you to the multi-purpose room.)
  • Genesee Orleans Art Council (Help with Artistic Mural painting, Landscaping, Cleaning, Wall Painting.)
  • Habitat for Humanity (Construction work. Location is 116 S. Swan St. (Note: At this site, a COVID attestation needs to be completed before arriving and a face covering is required). Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfbth1qSxPqca_rsLpV4Jg0BunQHJB6T_pYFMrLInqp4tl8Fw/viewform?gxids=7628
  • Holland Land Office (Yard Work. Bring Gloves. Grounds & Peace Gardens.)
  • Kiwanis Park
  • Manor House (Gardening & Landscaping.)
  • Batavia Peace Garden (Yard work, painting.)
September 5, 2020 - 12:02pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, City Schools, Batavia High School, Bulldawgs.

reigle_1.jpgLifelong Batavian John Reigle knows firsthand the importance of teamwork and communication – qualities that he says will serve him well as he takes a seat on the Batavia City School District Board of Education.

Reigle (inset photo right) was a standout wide receiver and kick returner at Batavia High School who earned a football scholarship to South Dakota Tech upon graduating in 1997. He played for three years at the Rapid City, S.D., college, studying business, before returning home.

Twenty years later, his passion for the gridiron continues as commissioner of Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football, a program that he has been involved with for the past decade.

Earlier this week, Reigle -- father of two Batavia school students and a third who graduated this year -- was appointed to the district’s board of education to replace Patrick Burk, who stepped down after 34-plus years on the board.

“I’ve been involved with the youth in the community through the Batavia Bulldogs and in youth sports with my kids growing up, but I wanted to get involved on the education side of it as well,” Reigle said. “I think it’s important for our district to have parents actively involved, everyone working together on behalf of the students and teachers.”

Reigle attempted to get on the board in June as a write-in candidate, falling short as Alice Ann Benedict (the current president), Barbara Bowman and Tanni Bromley were elected to the three open positions. Still, he garnered 489 votes – an impressive amount as a write-in.

“Superintendent (Anibal) Soler (Jr.) and Business Administrator (Scott) Rozanski reached out to me to see if I was still interested – to make sure that nothing had changed in my life – and when I told them I was, they said the board was interested in having me finish out Pat’s term (which ends in June 2021),” Reigle said.

He was sworn in at Monday’s night board meeting.

Reigle, 41, said the campaign process proved to be an eye-opening experience.

“Just talking to a lot of people – most didn’t know who was on the board or how many people sat on the board,” he recalled. “I hope I can be that connection with the community with the families that I know, to communicate to them that they can voice their opinions and bring them to the board.”

Calling it a “unique year” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes in how students are taught, Reigle praised administrators for “coming up with the best plan for our district.”

“It’s definitely a unique year with the hybrid approach. I really think our administrators did a great job of gathering the feedback from the parents,” he said. “A little over 75 percent of the parents wanted in-school and I think about 20 percent wanted the hybrid, remote learning. I think they did a great job of putting a plan together to fit what the families wanted.”

Reigle said he knows many families in the district and is familiar with a lot of the teachers.

“Knowing families with kids attending in the different (school) buildings will be good,” he said. “And I know a lot of the teachers, I think that will be helpful as well … to be a voice for the teachers as well. They’re a big part of the success at Batavia.”

He said teachers “went above and beyond” in the spring and summer to enable students at all levels to advance.

“Look at the challenges that they’ve had, having to go from no plan or expectation of having everything shut down in March, and still having to teach the kids. The way that they responded was amazing, from communicating with the kids, you saw all the events at graduation to make it special – not only for the seniors but for the eighth-graders who were graduating from middle school and the kids at Jackson School who were graduating into John Kennedy.”

Reigle said he looks forward to working with what he sees as “a great board of education that is eager to listen and do what’s best for the district” and to learn from Benedict, another lifelong Batavian who previously served on the board.

Benedict said Reigle will be a welcome addition.

“We are excited to have John Reigle on the board of education,” she said. “He is enthusiastic … and can give us a new perspective on issues that come to us. We are happy that he was willing to fill our open seat to complete a seven-member board.”

Reigle, manager of Timebuyer Auto Sales on West Main Street, and his wife, Ashlee, live in the City of Batavia. They have three children – Bryce, a 2020 BHS grad who is attending Genesee Community College; Mackenzie, a senior at BHS where she is a first-team all-league girls’ basketball player, and Jordan, a third-grader at John Kennedy Elementary School.


Burk: Time was Right to Retire

Burk, 63, said he had planned to retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year – when his term expired -- but said that he sped up the timetable as a result of his “confidence” in the leadership of Benedict and “the genuine interest” of Reigle, his replacement.

“So basically after 34-plus years it was time for me to pick me – to concentrate on my other work and opportunities,” he said. “It’s bittersweet, but I feel really good about it.”

Burk said he still has many irons in the fire, so it’s not like he riding off into the sunset.

He said he will now have more time to help establish Main Street 56 Theater at the City Centre (he’s the president of Batavia Players) and continue his role as a consultant for Lee Publications.

He also is the executive director of the Genesee Valley School Boards Association, which represents 22 school boards in Western New York.

June 17, 2020 - 1:06pm

Press release:

Ariana DeSa e Frias, a Batavia High School student entering her senior year, auditioned for the American Protege International Vocal Competition this spring and won second place in her age category for Opera Aria Repertoire.

This young accomplished vocalist is invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Dec. 19.

Last fall, Ariana was selected for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Conference All State where she performed with the Mixed Choir.

She has also submitted her application for All Nationals and NYSSMA Conference All-State for 2020.

In addition to being an asset to the Batavia Music Department, she studies privately with a teacher in Rochester and enjoys singing all types of vocal music.

Photo of Ariana DeSa e Frias courtesy of Jane Haggett.

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