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February 1, 2023 - 6:43pm
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.


Press release:

Byron-Bergen Elementary School proudly announces that the Genesee Valley School Board Association awarded Byron-Bergen Central Schools the Excellence in Student Services Award for the 3rd Grade Digital Citizenship Program. This program, which is led by 3rd-grade teacher Colleen Hardenbrook, is a year-long initiative to develop online and computer skills in the areas of digital citizenship, digital literacy, and keyboarding. All 59 3rd-grade students from three classrooms participate in the Digital Citizenship Program.

Before beginning the program, Hardenbrook surveyed elementary school teachers for desired student outcomes. The common themes were computer troubleshooting, appropriate use of technology, critical thinking skills, and independence.

“Our teachers spend a great deal of classroom time instructing students on how to use tablets and laptops,” said Hardenbrook. “This takes time away from time spent on content. I felt that by making specific time to teach these skills, it would benefit both our children and instructors.”

“This is a valuable program for our district,” said Superintendent Pat McGee. “Our 3rd graders are learning life skills that will benefit them through their education and beyond. I am extremely proud that the Genesee Valley School Board Association recognized the crucial importance of digital citizenship.”

Each third-grade class receives 40 to 80 minutes of Digital Citizenship per week. The curriculum is provided by Common Sense Media and focuses on safety, accountability, responsibility, and respectful use of digital media. This is broken down into themes, including media balance, privacy and security, digital footprint, relationships and communication, and media literacy. Students participate in independent work and group projects, including a PSA (public service announcement) about digital literacy. The video was scripted and performed by the students (embedded below)

“The overwhelming power and reach that the internet has in our student's lives, both while in school and not, is a challenge that we are just beginning to understand and it is constantly changing faster than we can keep up with,” said Hardenbrook. “I would like this program to provide young students with tools they will need to be successful digital citizens while at school and in their personal lives.” 


January 22, 2023 - 3:23pm
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, schools, news.

Press release:

Registration is now available for kindergarten and prekindergarten students in the Byron- Bergen School District.

The District plans to once again offer a half-day universal prekindergarten (UPK) program at the Byron- Bergen Elementary School. The UPK program is focused on socialization, learning through play, and self-exploration. Children learn through a hands-on learning environment that includes activities, learning centers, concrete materials, and manipulatives. Students learn through a nurturing environment that is enriching, challenging, and developmentally appropriate.

Students must turn four years of age by Dec.1 to be eligible for the program. If you have a child eligible and are interested in having him/her attend our UPK program, please complete this Google form which is also available on the Student Registration page of the Byron-Bergen website. The form requires the student’s name, parents’ name, address, phone number, email address, and date of birth. This electronic Google form is due by Thursday, February 23, 2023. Parents that have already contacted the Elementary School by phone will still need to complete the form. If you are having difficulty completing the form, please call the Elementary School office for support.

Please note that if the District receives more applications than the allowed capacity, a lottery will be held to select students. This year's lottery drawing will be held on Friday, March 3, via Zoom. Student-specific lottery numbers and the Zoom link will be shared with everyone who completes the form before the February 23 deadline. Once the lottery is complete, if your child was selected, you need to complete the full registration packet, which can be found on the Byron-Bergen website and submit it to the Elementary School Office.

Children who will be five years of age, on or before Dec. 1 are eligible for entrance to Kindergarten in September of 2023. New families in the school district should notify the school if they have a child that will enter Kindergarten in September of 2023. Parents may contact the Byron-Bergen Elementary School Office by calling 494-1220, ext. 1301. Information may also be sent to the Byron-Bergen Elementary School, 6971 West Bergen Road, Bergen, New York 14416.

All children registered for kindergarten will be scheduled for a screening appointment this summer. The results of this screening will be used to plan for the 2023-2024 kindergarten program. The following items are necessary to complete the registration process: the child’s birth certificate; certificate of immunization; proof of residency; and completed registration packet.

Additional information and registration packets are available at http://www.bbschools.org/StudentRegistration.aspx

January 16, 2023 - 11:54am
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.


Press release:

Byron-Bergen Agriculture Teacher Jeffrey Parnapy was awarded a $1,700 grant through New York FFA’s Incentive Grant Funding Program to support agriculture education and the local FFA chapter. The Byron-Bergen agriculture initiative was designated by the Cornell University affiliated program as a “high-quality growing program”. Agricultural education at Byron-Bergen was spear-headed by Parnapy in 2017 after being removed from the curriculum in the 1980s. He is certified in Agriculture Education and received support to launch agriculture classes and the local FFA chapter by then Jr./Sr. High School Principal Pat McGee.

Now as Superintendent, McGee continues to support agriculture education. “Byron-Bergen is a rural community,” said McGee. “It is a testament to Parnapy’s enthusiasm for the subject and the community support that in just six years, Byron-Bergen has developed a thriving agriculture program.”

Since its launch six years ago, Parnapy has been awarded multiple grants totaling over $30k to support agriculture and science education, the Byron-Bergen FFA chapter, and hands-on agricultural learning experiences. The latest grant will be used to pay annual FFA dues, fund Parnapy’s participation in the NYAAE conference at Cornell, and update classroom lab technology such as data loggers. 

Photo by Gretchen Spittler 


December 21, 2022 - 12:51am
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, Christmas, news, schools.


Press release:

On Dec. 13, eight Byron-Bergen staff “elves” loaded shopping carts with one goal: Help ease the holiday stress for members of the Byron-Bergen community. These holiday helpers filled over 40 shopping carts with $8,500 worth of merchandise to assist more than 100 kids from 42 local families in need.

For many years, District teachers, staff, and administrators have worked together with local partners to make the season brighter in the Byron-Bergen area. This year’s Holiday Community Service Project collected over $8,500 in donations from faculty, staff, and individual community members.

“As we continue the important tradition of the Holiday Giving Project at Byron-Bergen, I would like to acknowledge that it is a community effort involving faculty, staff, administration, and community groups,” said Byron-Bergen Faculty Association President Ken Gropp. “I hope we are brightening the holidays for many families in our district.”

The holiday items were each wrapped and labeled by Byron-Bergen staff volunteers. It took four days of hard work, but on Saturday, December 17th, staff members delivered black contractor bags filled with brightly wrapped presents to individual cars in the High School bus loop. In addition to the gift items, the High School Student Council collected funds and non-perishable foods so that each family will also receive a holiday meal.

“I am thankful to work in a district that prioritizes supporting students and families,” said Superintendent Pat McGee. “Thank you to everyone who participated in the Holiday Giving Project, and a very happy holidays to our entire community.”

Submitted photos.

Top photo: Byron-Bergen staff shopping for Byron-Bergen community members 



Byron-Bergen Athletic Director Rich Hannan wraps gifts for the Holiday Giving Project Photo credit: Gretchen Spittler 

December 14, 2022 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, basketball, byron-bergen, Notre Dame.

Byron-Bergen is now 2-0 and Notre Dame drops to 2-1 after the Bees secured a 46-43 win in Girls Basketball on Tuesday.

No stats are available for Byron-Bergen.

For Notre Dame, Amelia McCulley scored 20 points, hitting five of 11 three-point attempts. Nina Bartz scored six points and Emma Sisson scored five.

December 10, 2022 - 12:03am
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, Sports, schools, education.


Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Senior High School proudly announces that every fall varsity Byron-Bergen sports team achieved the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Scholar-Athlete Team award. The fall sports teams are boys cross-country, girls cross-country, football, gymnastics, boys soccer, girls soccer, and girls volleyball.

“The District is very proud of these athletes for not only shining on the field or court, but working hard in the classroom,” said Byron-Bergen Athletic Director Rich Hannan. “It is phenomenal to have every sports team achieve a Scholar-Athlete Team award. Keep up the great work, Bees!”

The Scholar-Athlete program recognizes athletes for their academic success. NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team awards go to teams whose average GPA of 75% of the athletic team equals 90 or above.

Scholar-Athlete Team award recipients:

Cross Country – Boys
Cameron Carlson, Frank Henrsom, Samuel Hersom, Jackson Lundfelt, Lincoln McGrath, Bradley Pocock, Travis Shallenberg, Roman Smith, Solomon Smith, Gabriel Vallese

Cross Country – Girls
Cassidy Ball, Katelyn Ball, Dayanara Caballero, Hanna Loewke, Stephanie Onderdonk, Katherine Rogoyski, Zoey Shepard

David Brumsted, Brendin Galves, Connor Moran, Malachi Smith, James Starowitz, Ruger Starowitz

Samantha Copani Emily Salmonds

Soccer – Boys
Brody Baubie, Noah Clare, Kendan Dressler, Jack Farner, Colin Martin, Nathan Parsons, Haydin Perez, Brendan Pimm, Carter Prinzi, Colin Rea, Travis Shallenberg, Trent Sheard

Soccer – Girls
Grace Capostagno, Grace DiQuattro, Lea Donofrio, Gabrielle Graff, Ava Gray, Mia Gray, Mackenzie Hagen, Megan Jarkiwicz, Tori LaMar, Kendall Phillips, Novalee Pocock, Natalie Prinzi, Victoria Rogoyski, Elizabeth Starowitz, Emma Starowitz, Ashley Schlenker-Stephens Ava Wagoner, Julia Will, Rose Wilson, Megan Zwerka

Volleyball – Girls
Emma Balduf, Carlee Barons, Deborah Catalino, Chloe Gilbert, Makala Hoopengar, Ella Lewis, Lily Stalica, LIllian Walker







December 1, 2022 - 4:26pm
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, Announcements.

Press release:

The 1st quarter High Honor and Honor Rolls have been released for Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School by Principal Ashley John Grillo. Grillo and the Byron-Bergen Central School District staff offer their congratulations to these students. 


HIGH HONOR ROLL – Peyton Alejandro, Evan Bannister, Miguel Caballero, Eala Coniglio, Samantha Copani, Brooklynn Culmo, Emily Diehl, William Duell, Mason Farner, Zachary Gay, Cambria Goodenbery, Lila Graff, Annabelle Haywood, Josiah Hiscutt, Ainsley Kent, Ruth Kuipers, Alexander Kuszlyk, Isabella Lewis, Taylor Louis, Annabella Madera, Levi McGrath, Lillian Meier, Parker Moore, Liliana Moore, Olivia Mundell, Evan Phillips, Alexandra Pocock, Natalie Randall, Lucy Rea, Jenna Redick, Roy Rich, Audrey Rimmerman, Michael Rogoyski, Cooper Sandow, Genevieve Smith, Miley Stalica, Xavier Vargas, Carson Wells, Willow Wilder, Paige Winkler

HONOR ROLL - Stryker Emrich, Colton Erion, Aurora Ladiges, Laney Niedzwiecki, Brook Pagels, Owen Sinclair, Madeline Smith, Joshua Valderama, Jillian Weaver


HIGH HONOR ROLL - Nataly Barrera Zuniga, Zoey Bower, Rylee Burch, Emalyn Canfield, Cody Carlson, Gianna Cicatelli, Ryann Culmo, Eric Dickson, Lauren Gartz, Kai Gilbert, Gavin Kinkelaar, Wyatt Lewis, Taylor Lundfelt, Logan Marou, Emma Matthews, Lucia Mueller, Seth Prefontaine, Hannah Riedmiller, Christopher Roffe, Theodore Schelemanow, Mabel Schwartzmeyer, Eden Seppe, Kyle Smith, Elliana Tanner, Ramonita Vargas, Rena Wilson

HONOR ROLL - Alexander Baker, Joseph Brumsted, Leah Cramer, Sophia Davidson, Audrey Dorman, Pearl Dykstra-Culver, Abigail Esparza, Brayden Gelsomino, Isabella Gifford, Samantha Hamilton, Gabriella Ivison, Blake Liles, Leah Mielke, Brandon Schuck, Riley Shallenberger, Bradley Tatar, Jack Walker, Lily Whitney


HIGH HONOR ROLL - Katelyn Ball, Liam Boyle, Sarah Campbell, Adam Cardenas, Gianna Clark, Connor Copani, Laura Curts, Justin Deleo, Grace DiQuattro, Gary Donofrio, Gianna Graff, Mia Gray, Megan Jarkiewicz, Pearl Jolliff, Carter Kuipers, Malacai McGrath, Maryn Meier, Grace Mundell, Paige O'Brien, Evan Orto, Bradley Pocock, Colin Rea, Allison Rimmerman, Katherine Rogoyski, Rayne Sheard, Solomon Smith, Hayden Starkweather, Elizabeth Starowitz, Aubrey Stein, Andrea White, Emma Wolfe

HONOR ROLL - Sara Bishop, David Chapman, Addison Cummings, Estelle Dumuhosky, Richar Godoy Olivares, Ava Goff, Hayleigh Griffin, Nial Johnson, Joel Lamb, Kendall Pape, Simone Scharvogel, Evan Williams


HIGH HONOR ROLL - Ryan Benstead, Jake Carlson, Deborah Catalino, Kendall Chase, Abigail Cook, Craig DiQuattro, Lea Donofrio, Teagan Finucane, Logan Fregoe, Chesney Fregoe, Brendin Galves, Peyton Goodenbery, Ava Gray, Rachel Hanel, Samuel Hersom, Eli Kupfer, Ella Lewis, Jackson Lundfelt, Martin Mac Connell, Anna McLaughlin, Connor Moran, Kasey Pagels, Adam Piper, Natalie Prinzi, Ian Pulcini, Sydney Salmonds, Ashley Schlenker-Stephens, Trent Sheard, Roman Smith, Lily Stalica, Ruger Starowitz, James Starowitz, Rose Wilson

HONOR ROLL - Aiden Barberio, Samantha Beale, Isabelle Best, Zachary Brookhart, Jeremiah Cicatelli, Noah Clare, Isabella Davidson, Jack Farner, Haylee Gartz, Landon Kent, Arianne McLaughlin, Tyler Mielke, Meghan Muscarella, Olivia Senf, Andrew Smith, Hannah Wittman, Jade Wolff, Mikayla Yohon


HIGH HONOR ROLL - Emma Balduf, Carlee Barons, Brody Baubie, Jeffrey Borycki, Tyler Chapman, Chloe Gilbert, Gabrielle Graff, Makala Hoopengardner, Callista Kinkelaar, Tori LaMar, Hanna Loewke, Colin Martin, Lincoln McGrath, Dru Nowatchik, Stephanie Onderdonk, Jillian Peters, Novalee Pocock, Carter Prinzi, Victoria Rogoyski, Travis Shallenberger, Riley Sharpe, Malachi Smith, Emma Starowitz, Lukas Volkmar

HONOR ROLL - HannahRae Amador, Trevor Beale, Mackenzie Hagen, Aurora Hiscutt, Kaidance Kimble, Nathan Parsons, Brendan Pimm, Quintin Rich, Gabriel Vallese, Liliana Vanegas, Lydia Zaffrann, Megan Zwerka


HIGH HONOR ROLL - Alyssa Ball, Cassidy Ball, Molly Belknap, David Brumsted, Dayanara Caballero, Cameron Carlson, Caris Carlson, Kendan Dressler, Grayson Erion, Robert Gaylord, Emily Henry, Frank Hersom, Caleb Holmes, Alec Kulikowski, Ryan Muscarella, Valerie Pastore, Kendall Phillips, Elizabeth Piper, Emily Salmonds, Brianna Salmonds, Austin Salmonds, Alexandria Schuck, Zoey Shepard, Matthew Tanner, Ava Wagoner, Lillian Walker, Hannah Wies, Julia Will, Sydney Zastrocky

HONOR ROLL - Jack Benstead, Jason Bleiler, Elizabeth Cramer, Sage Johnson, Alexis Kunkel, Ethan Lewis, Haydin Perez, MacKenzie Senf, Gianna Trigilio, Leyna Wheeler, Emily Yun, Christopher Zastrocky

November 13, 2022 - 6:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, Sports, soccer.


The Byron-Bergen Bees went into Saturday's state championship semifinals in girls soccer with a track record of dominating opponents to the point of a more than 125-point differential on the season.

But they ran into a Sauquoit Valley team ready to play defense, rarely giving clear space to Mia Gray and Mackenzie Haegen, who each scored more than 40 points this season.

With 10 minutes left in the game, the Indians' Addison Lazarek scored her team's second goal, which held up to give Sauquoit Valley a 2-1 win in a game played at Cortland High School.

The Indians also struck first in the first half on a goal by Olivia Kalil.

A few minutes later, Emma Starowitz scored Byron-Bergen's only goal.

Sauquoit entered the game with two losses, while the Bees were undefeated.

For more on the game, visit UticaOD.com.

Photos by Kevin Smith/Cortland Voice







November 7, 2022 - 8:41pm
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.


Press release:

On Thursday, Nov. 3, Byron-Bergen Elementary students took part in the Turkey Trot.

The annual run through the district’s scenic nature trail is designed to promote physical health, life-long fitness habits, and community service. The run is just under 1 mile and takes place during Physical Education class time. It is the culmination of a unit in which students train on the track and on the trails to prepare for the event.

“I love this event,” said Physical Education Teacher Danielle Carson. “I hope it helps the students realize that, if they work hard, they can do hard things. I also hope they understand that when we work together, we can help our community.”

In addition to taking part in the run, students were invited to donate wrapping paper or ribbon to the Byron-Bergen School District Holiday Gift Drive. The annual community service project provides holiday gift items to local families in need. Students have the rest of November to bring in their donations, but Carson has already collected over 100 items. 

Photos by Gretchen Spittler.





November 5, 2022 - 5:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, Sports, soccer.

Byron-Bergen remains invincible in girls soccer, winning the Far West Regional Championship over Frewsburg today 6-2.

The win sends the Bees to the state semifinals next week.


  • Mackenzie Hagen, asisted by Emma Starowitz
  • Emma Starowitz, assisted by Mackenzie Hagen
  • Mackenzie Hagen, assisted by Kendall Phillips
  • Mackenzie Hagen, assisted by Ava Gray
  • Emma Starowitz, assisted by Mackenzie Hagen
  • Mia Gray, assisted by Grace Diquattro.

The Bees are now 22-0 on the season.  The state semifinal is Saturday at Cortland High School at 12:30 p.m.  The Class C state final is the following day in Cortland (location TBD) at 10 a.m.

November 3, 2022 - 12:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, soccer, byron-bergen.

Two undefeated teams but only one winner in the Section V Class C crossover game in Webster on Monday with Byron-Bergen beating Gananda in overtime 3-2.

Mia Gray, with an assist from Elizabeth Starowitz, scored with winning goal at minute 25 in overtime.

During regulation time, Mackenzie Hagen and Emma Starowitz, with an assist from Hagen, scored goals.

Goalie Novalee Pocock blocked 10 shots while giving up two goals for the first time this season.

The Bees are now 21-0 and will play in the Far West Regional Championship for Class C at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Niagara Wheatfield.

November 2, 2022 - 11:53pm
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.


Press release:

Three Byron-Bergen students have earned academic honors from the College Board National Recognition Programs. These National Recognition Programs connect underrepresented students who excelled in College Board assessments and schoolwork with universities across the country, helping them meaningfully connect to colleges and stand out during the admissions process.

Ava Wagoner was awarded the National African American Recognition Award. “I’m really excited about the award because with AP (Advanced Placement classes) you have to work hard,” said Wagoner, who plans to study engineering after graduation. “It feels good to get the recognition.”

“I’m really proud,” said Zoey Shepard who was awarded the National Rural and Small Town Award. She plans to study chemical engineering after graduation.

Dayanara Caballero was awarded the National Hispanic Recognition Award, National Rural and Small Town Award, and the National Indigenous Award. “Receiving these awards was really exciting for me,” said Caballero. “I’m looking to apply to college to study mathematics or government.”

To qualify for recognition, students have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams; and are African American or Black, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous, and/or attend school in a rural area or small town.

“Congratulations to these students,” said Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Principal Ashley John Grillo. “They are dedicated to their studies and push themselves to be the best they can be. They should be very proud of this recognition.” 

November 2, 2022 - 11:50pm
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.


Press release:

The week of Oct. 17th was Digital Citizenship week. Digital citizenship is defined as using technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate. This year, all Byron-Bergen 3rd-grade students participated in a digital citizenship and digital literacy class taught by 3rd Grade Teacher Colleen Hardenbrook. The goal of the lesson was for students to use technology correctly and fluently, and included a group video PSA project.

“The class is based on Common Sense Media's curriculum,” said Hardenbrook. “It introduces fun characters that help teach students the essentials to being a good digital citizen.”

The characters are each named after a part of the human body. For example, “Head” teaches how to consume media in a critical way and “Legs” encourages students to stand up to bullies online. Each character embodies a key idea of digital citizenship.

In addition to the digital citizenship curriculum, students are learning digital fluency by practicing efficient computer use. This includes improving typing skills with a program called Keyboarding without Tears.

The students then created a group project to encompass the first unit on Media Balance. The students wrote the script, directed, and starred in the PSA-style video. “The goal of this program is to help teach young Byron-Bergen students how to participate in a digital world in a way that is safe, secure, and healthy,” said Hardenbrook. “Hopefully this video makes a lasting impression for our students and gets the message out for others.” 

October 30, 2022 - 12:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, soccer, byron-bergen.


The 20th win of the season for the Byron-Bergen Girls Soccer team may not have been the team's largest margin of victory but it was still their biggest win.

It gave them the Class C2 title on Section V.

They beat Wheatland-Chili 2-0.

"All the girls played great tonight," Head Coach Wayne Hill said. "We've had a great year, but a huge shout out to Wheatland-Chili. They've given us three fantastic games this year. They are a really, really good team. We earned this one. They put us through our tests. So we're happy to come out on top."

Mia Gray scored the Bees' first goal at 27 minutes in the first half, unassisted.  Gray got the assist on the second goal, a shot by Elizabeth Starowitz at four minutes in the second half.

"I think we'll remember this as an intense game and how much of a relief we had after the two goals," Gray said after the game.

Wheatland-Chili managed only five shots on goal, all saves for goalie Novalee Pocock.  Byron-Bergen took 16 shots. 

The undefeated Bees have outscored opponents this year by 128 points and notched 19 shutouts this season.

"It's been really great and the team has great chemistry," Ava Wagner said. "We have a lot of fun at practice and during games, so it's been great."

Now the Bees face what may be their biggest challenge of the season, the Class C crossover game against Gananda.  

Gananda is also 20-0.

The game will be played at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Webster Schroeder.

Photos by Kristin Smith. To view more photos, click here.








October 26, 2022 - 3:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, Sports, soccer.


With a 6-0 Section V semi-final win at Cal-Mum on Tuesday over Warsaw, the Byron Bergen Bees continued the team's Class C2 dominance in Girls Soccer.

The 19-0 Bees have outscored opponents this year by 126 points and notched 17 shutouts.

Scoring Summary against Warsaw (14-4):

  • Mackenzie Hagen (Emma Starowitz)
  • Mia Gray (Elizabeth Starowitz )
  • Emma Starowitz (Mackenzie Hagen)
  • Mia Gray (Emma Starowitz)
  • Grace Capostagno (Ava Gray)
  • Mackenzie Hagen (Emma Starowitz)

Warsaw managed only five shots on goal, all blocked by Novalee Pocock.

The Class C2 championship will pit Byron-Bergen against Wheatland (15-2-2) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Cal-Mum.

Photos by Howard Owens. Top photo: Mia Gray after a kick that hit the back of the net for the team's second goal of the game.


MacKenzie Hagen battles for the ball.


Elizabeth Starowitz


Elizabeth Starowitz


Julia Will


MacKenzie Hagen


MacKenzie Hagen


Mia Gray


Elizabeth Starowitz


MacKenzie Hagen

October 12, 2022 - 12:42pm
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.


Press Release:

On Oct. 7, the Byron-Bergen faculty participated in a professional development exercise designed to raise awareness of the added stress community members experience when living near the poverty line. The training was provided by the Genesee Region Teachers Center. The goal of the exercise was to simulate the challenges associated with poverty.

Juanita Henry, Director of the Genesee Region Teacher Center and Pat Mullikan, Director of the Tri-County Teacher Center opened the training by sharing national and regional statistics. In the U.S., over 17% of people under 18 years old live in poverty. In the Byron-Bergen community, the poverty rate has risen 10% since 2013.

"This learning experience brings both our Elementary and Jr./Sr. High School staff together to gain awareness of the changing challenges our students and families face,” said Byron-Bergen Superintendent Pat McGee. “Hopefully, the poverty simulation brought to light the empathy and compassion needed to meet our students and families where they are."

The activity began with participants being assigned roles, either as members of a “family” or providing a community service. “Families” were given different resources and responsibilities and community agencies had set rules to follow with limited resources. Each “family” was tasked with balancing their financial resources, childcare, school, employment, and health care. By the end of the “month”, some “family” groups faced eviction, “students” had begun skipping school, and trying to navigate social services had become a major point of stress.

“I liken it to working with the foster care system,” said Byron-Bergen Art Teacher Sandy Auer. “Working within a public system is frustrating. Sometimes you can’t get the help you need and deserve. Students are coming from that place of frustration.”

Part of the training is to provide a heightened awareness of the stress students may be under at home. In the simulation, some of the “students” took on major responsibilities in their family group including providing childcare, shopping for food, and attempting to find employment.

While administering this simulation throughout the region, Henry noted that it is usually the stress level that teachers comment on most. “The expectation teachers sometimes have is that parents should be home helping their kids with homework and in reality, they’re holding the family together by making sure they have a house and food and the basics. They may feel education is very important but it’s not a priority on the needs list.”

“Children had roles and responsibilities we would not necessarily associate with their age group,” said Mullikan during the debrief after the simulation. The participants agreed that expectations for adult supervision were completely

October 12, 2022 Contact: Gretchen Spittler Byron-Bergen Communications Specialist (585) 794-6340 different. Some children had very adult jobs when they got home and, while at school, students were preoccupied with stresses at home.

In closing, the group was asked, “As educators, what is our role? Are we going to add to that stress?”

“When a student doesn’t have their work done, because of circumstances they can’t control, a little empathy may mean they can enjoy coming to school knowing that they are not always in trouble,” said Henry.

“The poverty rate in this district is currently at 43%,” said McGee. “We are committed to providing an equitable education for all our students. To meet that commitment and support the whole child, our team needs to understand that education isn't one-size-fits-all and consider the resources available to students outside of school hours.” 

Photos: Gretchen Spittler.

Top photo:  Pat Mullikan, Director of the Tri-County Teacher Center gives instructions at the poverty simulation 



September 11, 2022 - 4:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, batavia, byron-bergen, Batavia HS, soccer.


The Byron-Bergen Bees beat the Batavia Blue Devils at Van Detta Stadium in boys soccer on Saturday, 4-2.

Goals for Byron-Bergen: 

  • Gianni Ferrara to Jack Farner
  • Colin Martin
  • Jack Farner to Colin Martin
  • Colin Martin to Jack Farner

Goals for Batavia: 

  • Owen Halpin assisted by Quintin Cummings
  • Matt Wittmeyer

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.








August 28, 2022 - 8:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, Sports.


On Friday, Byron-Bergen High School held its annual Bonfire Night, when the school's fall sports' teams present themselves to the community and participate in some fun and games before breaking into team meetings. 

The Bergen Fire Department and Byron-Bergen Sports Boosters, along with Mr. Hannan and Miss Ireland, assisted with the event.

Photos by Gretchen Spittler, who also provided information on the event.




August 26, 2022 - 10:57am
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, schools, news, education.

Press release:

On Monday, Aug. 22, the Byron-Bergen Board of Education approved the appointment of Carol Stehm as Interim Elementary School Principal. Stehm will serve as Interim Principal from August 23rd to December 22nd during which time the District will conduct a thorough search for a permanent replacement.

“I am excited to welcome Mrs. Stehm to Byron-Bergen,” said Superintendent Pat McGee. “She brings decades of experience as a leader and an educator. I am fully confident that she will guide the Elementary School smoothly through this time of transition.”

Stehm retired from the Gates Chili Central School District in July of 2021 where she was the Associate Superintendent for Instruction. She served as Interim Principal of Northwood Elementary School in the Hilton School District during the 2021-22 academic year. In her 36-year career, she has served as an Interim Superintendent, Middle School Principal, and High School Assistant Principal. She has taught elementary and gifted education and currently teaches for SUNY Brockport as an Adjunct Professor in the Educational Leadership Department.

“I began my career in an elementary building so it will be fun to back with the younger students again,” said Stehm. “I have heard great things about the District and am excited to get started.” 

June 1, 2022 - 4:31pm
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, news, schools.


Press release:

The Students Against Destructive Decisions Club sold yellow and blue ribbons for $1.00 each. A total of $450.00 was collected.  All donations were sent to ROCmaidan, a nonprofit organization providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine, based in Rochester, NY.  Thank you to all who donated.

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