Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Batavia High School

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

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 accidents, 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, Pfizer 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

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.

May 30, 2020 - 12:12pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded two $1,000 scholarships to local seniors.

The goal of the scholarship is to support students who have a strong drive to contribute to the field of Human Services. The Council was seeking applications from high school students as well as college students who were pursuing their education in a Human Services major.

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded $1,000 to Ariana Green (photo left).

Green is a Notre Dame High School senior and will be attending Niagara University in the fall to study Social Work. Her long term goal is get her Doctorate Degree in Social Work and then become a Psychiatric Social Worker where one day she hopes to have her own private practice to focus on mental health disorders. 

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded $1,000 to Jacob Humes (photo below right).

Humes is a senior at Batavia High School and will be attending Onondaga Community College in the fall to study Psychology. His goal is to become a Child Life Specialist as the work he has done with children has shown him that there is a need for more support outside of the home for many children.

Applicants had to be in a good academic standing, majoring in Human Services, Social Work, Sociology, or Psychology. Applicants needed two letters of recommendation from a guidance counselor, teacher, or other professional person. 

They also had to describe why they were deserving of this scholarship.

The mission of the Genesee County Interagency Council is to create fellowship and understanding among community human services agencies.

The council helps to identify community issues and encourages development of resolutions. 

The Council is happy to have been able to award such deserving candidates and wishes them nothing but success for their future!

May 20, 2020 - 4:39pm

The coronavirus pandemic shutdown brought many challenges for schools trying to keep their kids safe, but for Paul Kesler, principal of Batavia High School, the concerns were greater than the obvious.

Kesler wanted to make sure that all of the students in Batavia were staying connected. He knew that there were kids who would not get support at home and that other kids just needed the outreach.

“It takes effort to stay socially connected with the students, but our priority is taking care of their social well-being,” the principal said.

Keeping that in mind, district administrators and staff made it a top priority to stay connected with all students.

With virtual meetings consisting of school administration, staff, parents and student government representatives were able to convene and brainstorm what to do, and how to adjust to this new normal.

What about graduation? The ever-popular Mr. Batavia Contest? Plus learning, support, transition, and the myriad other longstanding traditions that would likely need to be cancelled or significantly altered?

Everyone shifted gears to make the most of this very unusual school year, and followed the lead of Kesler who simply had a “let’s do it” attitude.

Administrators and staff developed a plan to stay connected with the kids through check-ins with things like trivia and baby photo contests.

They started a “2 for 2 senior spotlight” video series where a pair of students talks with Kesler for two minutes. They discuss their plans for next year, a fun anecdote from their high school years, and a teacher who has had a significant impact on them. It gives every graduating senior a chance to shine while highlighting this special milestone in their lives.

Parents went in a slightly different direction...

One mother desperately wanted to ease her child’s pain and disappointment, another wanted to congratulate her child herself for being an amazing kid and student, while another just wanted to do the right thing!  

The parents of Batavia High School seniors came together and started to plan activities that would make this unusual year memorable in not so typical ways.

Kristen Fix and Lori Reinhart, both parents of seniors at BHS, took on the task of ensuring that every senior had a celebratory graduation sign in their front yard. The project was completed easily when donations came pouring in from people “who just wanted to help,” Fix said.

Local company “Vinyl Sticks” took up the challenge and quickly created signs to meet the demand, while other parents and students jumped in to help wherever they could.

Collectively signs were placed in the yards of 166 BHS graduating seniors. The group also placed congratulatory signs in the yards of more than 100 local residents who simply wanted to show the kids that they are proud of their accomplishment.

Fix noted that this has been a great project for the kids.

“At first we wanted it to be a surprise, but we realized that this pandemic has had a really negative impact on many of the kids emotionally," Fix said. "We found that it was a great way to get them involved.

"They really miss being busy, and this happened so abruptly, so they weren’t prepared for it. This has been an incredible community effort and we have all reaped the benefit!”

Another parent-initiated project was brought to the kids through the efforts of BHS moms Daisy Cervantes and Amy Mott. They set out to lighten the heartache for their daughters and the other 2020 graduates by creating the “Adopt a Batavia Senior 2020” Facebook Page.

This provided the vehicle they needed for local residents to adopt a 2020 graduating senior and shower them with whatever type of attention they chose. There was an amazing outpouring and many students were adopted multiple times.

“We cannot thank the community enough for the incredible outpouring we have received," Mott said.

The Facebook Page has been used to spread word about the community signs, conduct contests with donations from local businesses, display community support and highlight individual seniors.

Mott said that with many contributions from local businesses “we are working on some other extra special things to finish this out. We just hope that their lives get back to normal soon…and that all of this is inspiration for them to pay it forward in the future.”

May 14, 2020 - 9:30pm
posted by James Burns in Batavia High School, batavia, news, sports.


At 8:20 p.m. (20:20 on a 24-hour clock) Batavia High School faculty and coaches lined Richmond Avenue next to a lit up Van Detta Stadium to honor students of the Class of 2020.

They were also there to honor all the athletes who did not finish, or never played spring sports this truncated school year.

The scoreboard was lit up with a score of 20-20, 20 min. 20 sec. with the message “Batavia High School Celebrates the Class of 2020."

Students and their families were asked to drive by to see the scoreboard lit up in their honor. 






March 24, 2020 - 2:10pm

BHS photo: Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Molly Corey, Ed.D., Principal Paul Kesler (center), Assistant Principal Nate Korzelius.

Submitted photos and press release:

In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Batavia High staff and administrators were determined that the traditional 100 Days to Graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 would be honored, despite the school closure. The only way to do this -- while still following the safe guidelines that have been established to prevent the spread of COVID-19 -- was online.

After getting the word out through emails and social media, BHS Principal Paul Kesler, Assistant Principal Nate Korzelius and Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Molly Corey, Ed.D., “met” the seniors in the video-conferencing app Google Meet on Friday morning, March 20.

There, all students had the capability to see the administrators as well as their friends onscreen, post comments, and watch as Kesler announced the local business donors and their gift cards; Corey drew names of lucky seniors; and Korzelius kept track of the prizewinners on a board in the BHS conference room.

Each prizewinner, as announced, was also invited to temporarily unmute their log-in so they could bask in “their moment” while classmates and other staff who had logged in could offer congratulations (as well as offers to help them spend the card).

Seniors had also been invited to compete to create the best meme and emailing it to Kesler. After an intense off-screen discussion between Kesler and Korzelius, Brock Every was chosen as the winner for his “wanted” poster. 

There were more than 50 gift cards in the giveaway, and all prizewinners were able to drive through the BHS loop that day to pick up theirs, or have them mailed to them.

More than 100 people, including some teachers, signed in for the online celebration. Kesler assured the students that this 100 Day event was not intended to replace a “live” celebration, and that, once school resumes, an additional ceremony, breakfast, and prize giveaway will be planned.

March 6, 2020 - 7:10am


Batavia high and Attica high schools will be sending top athletes to compete in the New York State indoor track championships this weekend and indoor track nationals next weekend, both in New York City.

We asked what each student's goals and achievements are for these upcoming events.

Pictured from left are Batavia’s Alex Rood, Daemon Konieczny, and Rebekah Daniszewski, along with Attica High School's Emily Tait.

Alex Rood a senior who has competed in both state and national events last year is returning for both again and looking to set new records.  Alex says his personal best for shot put is 54 feet, nine and a half inches and he would like to achieve throwing 56 inches or more. His goal in nationals is to go out there and compete the best he can and end on a good mark going into the outdoor track season.

Daemon Konieczny, a senior who has qualified for the state meet for pole vault, says his personal best is jumping is 13 feet. His goal is to get over 13 feet, six inches, which would beat the school record. Daemon added that if he can get to jump 15 or more, that would qualify him for the national meet the following weekend.

Rebekah Daniszewski is a junior at BHS who is competing for her first time in the state and nationals meet. She says she attributes her success to her coach who helped pushed herself to her very best. Her personal best in shot put is 39 feet, three and a quarter inches. Her goal this weekend is to throw 40 feet. Rebekah has not achieved that yet but hopefully in states she can pull it out.

Senior Emily Tait from Attica will be joining Batavia for the state and national meets, respectively. Emily will compete in the long and triple jump this year. Her personal best for long jump is 18 feet, eight and a fourth inches, which she did at state qualifiers. For triple jump, her best is 38 feet, nine and three fourths inches and she did that at sectionals. Her goal for long jump is to break 19 feet and she wants to come in first place at states. For triple jump, she wants to be competitive with the top girls in the competition so she's shooting for a mid-39-foot jump.

Batavia’s head indoor track Coach Nicholas Burk spoke about the success of students who have competed in states and nationals over the years.

"We have had a student compete every year since I have been coaching since 1998; we have been fortunate enough to have athletes compete at the state meet," Burk said. "The cool thing about indoor is the state championship is a legitimate state championship -- there is not a separation by class size, large school, small school.

"To qualify for this meet, means that you are competing against every school regardless of school size or class. So this one is really prestigious and when you medal at this meet, it's definitely a testament to the athlete with the ability to perform at the right time and have that performance at state qualifiers.

"We attribute our success to the boys winning nine sectionals championships, eight of them have been since 2008 and first one in 1993. On the girls' side, we have 16 championships, seven consecutives in 18 years."

Burk spoke highly of his students' dedication to track and the mentoring of his coaching staff.

In all aspects of track, whether it’s throwing, distance, jumping, hurdles or vault, coaches spends countless hours training young athletes year after year, Burk said, imparting in them the ability to compete at the highest level, both in sectionals and by attending the state meet.

"(This) has separated us and led us to the longevity to be one of the top teams in section five," Burk said.

Batavia’s throwing Coach Daniel Geiger said this is the 13th consecutive year of sending a thrower to the state meet, which is a great accomplishment and he is very proud of the work that these two athletes have done this year.

"We have to compete against every school in section five to get to this meet, whether it’s a small school like ours or a large school, it’s putting in the hard work and dedication to represent our school’s success," Geiger said.  "You couldn’t ask more for a group of kids to work hard every day, give their all for the team and give their all for this program.

"This stretch started back in 2008 with Sam Yeager, Eric Williams, Chris Jones, Daemon Reeves, Devon Keopp, Anthony Ray and now Alex Rood and Rebekah Daniszewski. We have guys down the pipe that are working hard to rise to that level, too. So I am really proud of these two athletes, not of just what they have accomplished, but the legacy that they are continuing and leaving behind for the future athletes coming behind them."

February 13, 2020 - 11:54am

Press release:

The Batavia City School District winter guard will host its 20th annual Fantastic Vision winter guard competition on Saturday, Feb. 15, in the Batavia High School gymnasium. Performances begin at 5:15 p.m.

Winter guard performances consist of choreographed dance moves that typically incorporate flags or prop rifles.

This competition will include 18 guards from Western New York and Canada, ranging in skill and age level. It will include two senior guards, four guards in the cadet class that includes Batavia’s junior varsity guard, and three in the Scholastic-A level, to which Batavia’s varsity winter guard was recently elevated. Other guards from this region include two from Medina and two from Gates Chili.

In addition, the Batavia Winter Guards and Boosters in conjunction with the District’s music department,will open the competition with a brief ceremony to honor Batavia’s athletic director, Michael Bromley, for his continued support throughout the 20 years. During his tenure, the Batavia guards grew from one team in the Regional A class to two teams – one junior varsity cadet guard, and one varsity guard that won the Northeast color guard circuit last year and moved up from the A1 class to the Scholastic A class.

Admission for adults is $7, for seniors 65 and older is $6, and for children under 5 is free.

January 31, 2020 - 12:56pm


The Attica/Batavia Varsity Wrestling Team defeated Canandaigua last evening 43-36 on Senior Night at Batavia High School.

Attica/Batavia jumped ahead 29-0 to start the evening. Canandaigua battled back later to take the lead by one point 36-35. Batavia closed the gap on a win at the end by Gabe Yonkin (pictured above). The team lost a point in the 99-point class by a strap down on the mat.

Individual wins were, pins by Wyatt and Travis Kauffman, Zeshan Armstrong, Josh Barber and Gabe Yonkin. 

Casper Stewart received a forfeit at 113 pounds. Owen Strzelec won by decision. Overall it was a very tough match. 

To view or purchase photos click here.






Subscribe to




Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button