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byron-bergen central school district

July 13, 2020 - 3:41pm

Press release:

The Salvation Army in partnership with The United Way, City Church, Byron-Bergen Central School District, Oakfield-Alabama Central School District and Foodlink would like to announce the schedule for the upcoming drive-thru food distributions.

When participating in this distribution please have your trunk/hatch/backseat cleared out to receive three to four boxes of food. Volunteers are not permitted to move your property due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Should you need to pick up for a friend or neighbor you may do so by providing their photo ID showing a separate address. Please wear a mask. 

You will remain in your car and volunteers will load the food.

Should you have any questions about a specific distribution contact that organization directly.

JULY

July 15 at 9 a.m. -- Northgate Free Methodist Church -- 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia (585) 343-6284

July 22 at 9 a.m. -- Oakfield-Alabama CSD -- 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield (585) 948-5211

July 29 at 3 p.m. -- Byron-Bergen High School -- 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen (585) 343-6284

AUGUST

Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. -- City Church (St. Anthony’s)— 14 Liberty St., Batavia, (585) 343-6895

Aug. 12 at 9 a.m. -- Oakfield-Alabama CSD -- 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield (585) 948-5211

Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. -- Byron-Bergen High School -- 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen (585) 343-6284

Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. -- Northgate Free Methodist Church -- 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia (585) 343-6284

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 2 at 9 a.m. -- City Church (St. Anthony’s)— 114 Liberty St., Batavia (585) 343-6895

June 16, 2020 - 11:05pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, byron-bergen central school district.

Voting on Byron-Bergen Central School's $24,599,800 budget, bus purchase and board of education election:

Proposition #1 – Budget
Yes – 751
No – 396

Proposition #2 – Bus Purchase
Yes – 758
No – 397

School Board (Two Open Seats)
Tammy Menzie – 793
Amy Phillips – 737
Lynn Smith – 553

June 3, 2020 - 9:45am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, byron-bergen central school district.

The Batavian has reached out to school board candidates in Genesee County to get their answers to five questions prior to voting on June 9.

At Byron-Bergen Central School, three people are running for two open trustee positions – incumbents Tammy Menzie and Amy Phillips and challenger Lynn Smith. The terms are for three years, beginning on July 1.

The questions are as follows:

1 -- What is your position on your school district’s proposed budget for 2020-21? What parts do you support? What parts would you change if you could?

2 -- Are teachers in your district compensated adequately?

3 -- With what we know now about COVID-19, should schools reopen in the fall?

4 -- Are you satisfied that your district responds to parents’ complaints and concerns in a way that ensures the parents know they have been heard?

5 -- What two books published since The Enlightenment have influenced you the most?

TAMMY MENZIE

1 -- I support our proposed budget. I support our strong educational program. In 2020 we were ranked among the Best High Schools. I support student involvement in extracurricular activities. We want to produce college and career ready graduates that are involved in our community. I also support the school bus proposition because we receive approx. 90 percent state transportation aid on the purchase. The part I would change is to be able to provide our community members with a long-term fiscal idea about the level of state aid that actually will be granted by our governor to each district.

2 -- Yes. Compensating our teachers adequately is important. If we want high quality educators for our students, we must offer them appropriate compensation. If we do not, we may lose them to other districts.

3 -- I think we will return. However, "school" might not look the same. First and foremost, we have a responsibility to student and faculty safety and we should follow all of the health guidelines recommended. There will be more health and sanitation measures. I do worry about students' learning gaps and their social and emotional well-being from several weeks of remote learning.

4 -- The lines of communication between our district and our families is always open. This pandemic has really shown what our district and community are made of. They have come together in true partnership and our students are the focus.

5 -- I enjoy reading about strong women. Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton and I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb are among my favorites.

AMY PHILLIPS

1 -- Given all the circumstances and constraints that the school district is under I believe the budget that was developed and presented to the community is a very good option. I fully support the budget as presented. If I could change one thing it would be the guarantee of aid that we would be receiving from the state. This is the first year that there will be periodic checks by the Governor at which time aid can be adjusted, which makes budgeting for a year very difficult.

2 -- I believe we have had positive interactions and great success in negotiations with all our constituent groups.

3 -- Realistically, we will have to wait and see what this summer holds and what the recommendations of the CDC and governing bodies are. Personally and professionally, I would like to see students and teachers back in the classroom. I have been teaching middle school science for 22 years and miss being in school with my students and feel schools offer so much more than an education. They offer opportunities for connections and opportunities that are not easily replicated in remote learning. That being said safety is my number one concern.

4 -- I believe parents are given a fair and ample opportunity to express concerns and be heard. As in any case there is always room from growth and improvement as different situations arise.

5 -- The two books that jump out to me immediately are books that I had the opportunity to read with my children and include Bud, Not Buddy by Christian Paul Curtis and Restart by Gordon Korman. While the books are fantastic, the chance to read them with my children and share in the emotion of the book and share the message the books send make them very influential to me.

LYNN SMITH

1 -- After reviewing the budget presentation on the Byron Bergen School District website, it appears the district is moving forward a thoughtful and reasonable budget. I am in support of the goals the district has outlined, particularly the health & safety of students, providing support/training for staff and the continuation of the district’s capital improvement project which started in 2017. I wish I could change the financial forecast for our district to one that is certain and reliable. While it appears the district has proposed a solid budget for 2020-21, the impact beyond this next school year is yet unknown. Additionally, what adds to the uncertainty is the governor’s spending reduction plan which could potentially remove state aid from districts if the state’s revenue and expenditures exceed 1 percent.

2 -- When it comes to compensation, most families probably wish they had a little extra in their pocket, particularly during these recent times when many families are experiencing a loss of income, jobs, etc. Teachers work hard to plan, instruct, support, manage, and tend to children’s whole health in school. Because the district and teachers’ union have agreed to the teacher’s contract and salaries, we can only assume teachers are being adequately compensated. I cannot speak to whether or not teachers feel compensated adequately however I would think that districts benchmark teacher salaries and adjust for salary increases appropriately/fairly.

3 -- What we know now and what we may know two to three months from now will look different. These are uncertain times and while districts/schools have begun thinking about what school will look like in the fall, the decision whether schools will open is one that is made by the governor and still remains unknown until we know the path this virus takes over the next several weeks.

4 -- I can speak to my experience as a parent of a 5th grade Bee in the district. I feel fortunate to have built relationships with staff and teachers in the elementary building. This collaboration has been vital to supporting my child during his school years and will be just as important as he continues into 6th grade and beyond. I do feel as though lines of communication are open and have been able to work collaboratively with his teachers at supporting his learning and expressing what is working and any concerns that I might have. In fact, kudos to the district/administration and teachers, during these last several weeks! Communication has been consistent in informing parents of updates, expectations and opportunities for students.

5 -- It’s hard to pick just two! The first that comes to mind quickly is: Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten, these “Golden Rules” about sharing, taking turns, being fair and nice, being respectful and aware of others are critical when we teach and model these for young children and they are the foundation of what makes us well-rounded adults!

The other, a colleague recently gave to me this past Christmas and is titled A Sloth’s Guide to Mindfulness. This book came to mind as I am writing this because during these last several weeks this “pause” during the pandemic has forced families to stop, take time, be in the present and balance this new way of being at home, finding fun in simple things and connecting.

May 20, 2020 - 1:42pm

As Genesee County school districts gear up for 2020-21 budget voting and school board elections, The Batavian is providing the following capsule summaries to keep residents informed about key dates, propositions and candidates.

Per Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order, all school districts in New York State will hold annual budget voting and board elections on June 9 through absentee balloting.

Absentee ballots will be mailed to eligible voters and must be returned to the district offices by 5 p.m. on June 9 or they will not be considered or counted – no exceptions.

It is essential to remember that additional state aid cuts could be coming and would affect districts’ budgets going forward.

Details about the schools’ budgets and candidates as well as contact information can be found on their respective websites.

ALEXANDER CENTRAL

Budget by the numbers -- The proposed budget is $18,540,258, an increase of $315,497 from the 2019-20 plan, with no increase in the tax levy. The budget (virtual) hearing is set for 7 p.m. on May 26 via Zoom using the log-in details posted on the district website, and will be available for viewing on the website’s BOE link starting on May 27.

School board election – One position is up for election for a term of five years commencing July 1, 2020 and expiring on June 30, 2025 to succeed Richard Guarino, whose term expires on June 30, 2020. Candidates are Christopher Mullen and Diane Steel.

Websitewww.alexandercsd.org

BATAVIA CITY SCHOOLS

Budget by the numbers – The board approved a $51,470,725 spending plan with cuts in staffing and other items but no property tax increase. The public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on June 2.

Additional propositions – Richmond Memorial Library trustee voting, with Kristi Evans the only candidate at this time for a five-year term starting on July 1, 2020. As two seats are open, the other will be filled via the write-in candidate process. Jackson Primary playground, a $618,000 capital project to construct an age-appropriate playground at Jackson Primary School.

School board election – Incumbents Barbara Bowman and Tanni Bromley along with recent appointee Alice Ann Benedict are running for three board seats. The candidates receiving the most votes will serve from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023, while the third-place candidate’s term will be June 9, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Website – www.bataviacsd.org

BYRON-BERGEN CENTRAL

Budget by the numbers – The board adopted a proposed budget of $24,599,800, including a tax levy of $9,024,961 – an increase in the property tax rate of 1.99 percent. The public hearing on the budget is set for 5 p.m. on May 28, and will be recorded and placed on the district website.

Additional propositionsBus purchase, proposal is for two 70-passenger school buses at a maximum cost of $246,000, with 90 percent covered by state aid. The tax income is estimated at $2 per year on a house assessed at $100,000, according to Superintendent Mickey Edwards.

School board election – Three people are running for two open trustee positions – incumbents Tammy Menzie and Amy Phillips and challenger Lynn Smith. The terms are for three years, beginning on July 1.

Websitewww.bbschools.org

ELBA CENTRAL

Budget by the numbers – The board is meeting tonight via Zoom to consider the $10,269,322 spending plan that calls for a slight tax increase that equates to an increase of $39 for the entire year based on a house assessed at $150,000. The public hearing is set for 6:30 p.m. on May 27, also via Zoom.

Additional propositionRe-establish a vehicle and transportation reserve and school bus purchase. Superintendent Ned Dale reporting that the district wishes use existing reserve funds to purchase a 65-passenger bus and a 24-passenger bus with a handicap lift.

School board election – Incumbent Michael Riner is the only slated candidate for his seat, which expires this year.

Website www.elbacsd.org

LE ROY CENTRAL

Budget by the numbers – The board approved a $26,334,488 budget that includes a 1.99 percent property tax increase (which is below the district’s tax cap of 2.8 percent) and does not add new positions or programs. The budget hearing presentation will be posted on the district's website at www.leroycsd.org on June 2.

School board election – Incumbents Richard Lawrence and Jacalyn Whiting are running for the two three-year terms.

Website – www.leroycsd.org

OAKFIELD-ALABAMA CENTRAL

Budget by the numbers – The board approved a $21,123,746 budget, up 1.4 percent from last year, with a zero percent property tax increase. Superintendent John Fisgus reported that the budget preserves all educational programs and extracurricular activities, adding that tiered plans are in place if the state makes additional cuts in aid. The public hearing on the budget is set for 10 a.m. on June 1 and will be considered “adjourned” as it will be conducted remotely.

Additional propositions – Capital improvement project, $15.3 million, with no impact upon taxpayers. Major goals of the project include safety/security measures, code and handicap accessible updates, building repairs, infrastructure upgrades and landscaping. School bus purchase, $135,000, to be financed.

School board election – Five candidates are running for three open positions – Jackie Yunker Davis, Daniel N. Groth, Douglas Russo, Shanda Spink and Pete Zeliff. The candidate receiving the most votes will begin serving on June 10 with the term ending on June 30, 2023. The terms of the two candidates with the second and third most votes will be July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023.

Website – www.oahornets.org

PAVILION CENTRAL

Budget by the numbers – The board adopted a $17,684,182 budget with no change in the tax levy and no major changes beyond contractual increases and expected costs related to the coronavirus. The public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 26 via Zoom. Links will be provided in the district newsletter and on our web page once they are created. 

Additional propositions – Change of board of education term, with the proposal calling for making all seven seats five-year terms – an increase of two years from the current term.

School board election -- Incumbents Margaret Gaston and Callin Ayers-Tillotson are running for re-election.

Website – www.pavilioncsd.org

PEMBROKE CENTRAL

Budget by the numbers – The board adopted a $23,679,522 budget with a zero percent tax levy increase and no property tax increase. The budget hearing will be held remotely on May 26, and the adjourned budget hearing will be available to view on the district website BoardDocs link beginning on May 27. The district's Dragon Tales publication will be mailed next week with all the details.

Additional propositions – Purchase of buses, with no impact upon taxes.

School board election – Dan Lang is running for a one-year unexpired term and Heather Wood is running for a new five-year term. Additionally, an election to fill three seats on the Corfu Public Library is scheduled. Kristie Miller, Julie Hengenius and Tony Kutter are up for election for three-year terms.

Websitewww.pembrokecsd.org

April 16, 2020 - 3:31pm

Above, Byron-Bergen STEAM Lab teacher Craig Schroth with printed mask in his home print shop.

Submitted photo and images and press release:

If a healthcare worker puts on a face shield inscribed with the words “Heroes wear scrubs, not capes,” it might have been designed by a Byron-Bergen fifth- or sixth-grader.

STEAM -- Science, Technology, Engineering And Math -- Lab Teacher Craig Schroth recently dropped off 100 face shields designed and donated by students to Face Shields ROC, an organization collecting face shields to distribute to medical facilities and first responders in the Rochester area.

Before Byron-Bergen Elementary School closed its doors in March, Schroth was granted permission to move the District’s three 3-D printers to his home with the idea of avoiding a backlog of printing student work when school recommenced. Three weeks later, he proposed a new project to his students.

“Many healthcare workers are short on personal protective equipment at hospitals and healthcare facilities,” Schroth said. “One thing that people are doing to help is using 3-D printers to print face shields. I wanted to give our students an opportunity to get involved with this project.”

Schroth invited students to add a positive message to the basic face shield design. Using the skills they gained while designing keychains and jack-o-lanterns in class, and guidance from Schroth via email, students worked on their designs from their homes.

They submitted their finished files electronically and Schroth printed them on the 3-D printers now in his basement.

Fifth-grade student Rena Wilson has submitted 55 designs with a goal of designing 100.

"I was glad to have the chance to thank these health workers by giving them a nice message that would brighten their day," Rena said.

“I’m very proud of our students for their enthusiasm in this project,” said Byron-Bergen Elementary Principal Brian Meister. “Mr. Schroth has shown amazing initiative in not only stepping up to produce needed resources for the medical community but creating a meaningful experience for his students.

"They will not forget this. Neither will the recipients of these unique face shields.”

As more designs are submitted, Schroth will continue to print and deliver the face shields on behalf of his students.

April 3, 2020 - 6:15pm

Above: Byron-Bergen Central School District staff at food distribution site. Photo courtesy of Mickey Edwards.

Submitted photos and information from Byron-Bergen Central School District:

BERGEN -- In the wake of school closings, mandatory social distancing, and the economic downturn, food insecurity is a rising concern. Byron-Bergen Central School District has organized meal pickups to provide breakfast and lunch to school-aged children five days a week, but some local farmers decided to take it a step further.

On Thursday (April 2) a trailer piled with potatoes, onions, carrots, and cabbage pulled into the Byron-Bergen High School parking lot -- a gift to the community from five farms in Genesee County: Mortellaro Farms, Star Growers, Stymus Farms, Torrey Farms, and Triple G Farms.

The produce was distributed directly to community members during their regular school meal pickups for about 300 students at the High School bus loop.

The drop-off was organized with the help of Byron-Bergen Central School District's kitchen manager Rozanne Klycek, who got the idea from a family member at Star Growers in Elba, Barbara "Barbie" Starowitz.

The Byron-Bergen alumna has been in contact with other local farmers, eager to help in these uncertain times. Since the District was already distributing food, the farmers thought it was the perfect way to reach community members in need.

"It's just all of us farmers helping each other out," Starowitz told The Batavian this evening. "We always help out the community in times like this. It's not unusual. It's what we do."

In the space of a mere week, hundreds of pounds of produce has been donated by the farmers help people fight food insecurity -- at the giveways at Northgate Church in Batavia, to help stock Harrington's Market and local food pantries, which many seniors increasingly rely on. They plan on donating to Elba Central School on Monday.

“This community never ceases to amaze me,” said Byron-Bergen Superintendent Mickey Edwards. “I am truly humbled by the generosity of these farmers. It was an honor to help carry 10-pound bags of potatoes out to cars, knowing the relief it will provide to our families.”

Below, produce donated by local farmers being prepared for distribution. Photo courtesy of Susan Kuszlyk.

Bottom: Byron-Bergen kitchen manager Rozanne Klycek and Adam Starowitz from Star Growers during produce drop off. Photo courtesy of Susan Kuszlyk.

December 5, 2019 - 3:06pm

Photo: Byron-Bergen Player of the Year honorees (l-r) Bryce Yockel, Maddie Farnsworth, Kelsey Fuller and Sam Pringle.

Submitted photo and press release from Gretchen Spittler, Byron-Bergen Communications Specialist.

BERGEN -- Congratulations to our Genesee Region and Section V Class C Players of the Year. Four Byron-Bergen athletes were selected by sport-specific committees of coaches and league officials from a pool of all of the players on all of the teams within these divisions.

“These are incredible honors,” said Athletic Director Rich Hannan. “These athletes were chosen fromhundreds of candidates. They stood out for their talent, hard work, and unending dedication.”

  • Bryce Yockel was voted Offensive Football Player of the Year for Section V Class C;
  • Kelsey Fuller was voted Genesee Region and Section V Class C1 Girls Soccer Player of the Year;
  • Sam Pringle was voted Genesee Region Boys Soccer Player of the Year;
  • Maddie Farnsworth voted Genesee Region and Section V Class C Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.

Congratulations also to Coach Kenneth Rogoyski, who was named Genesee Region Boys Soccer Coach of the Year; Coach Wayne Hill, who was named Genesee Region and Section V Class C Girls Soccer Coach of the Year; and Coach Cindy D’Errico, who was named Genesee Region and Section V Class C Volleyball Coach of the Year.

November 18, 2019 - 2:35pm

Above, Tonia Galban teaches weaving.

Submitted photos and press release from Gretchen Spittler, Byron-Bergen Central School District:

BERGEN -- Alyson Tardy’s fourth-grade class has been studying Haudenosaunee culture. Their studies included a special classroom guest -- Tonia Galban, who is a member of the Mohawk Bear Clan and a celebrated basket maker.

Today (Nov. 18), Galban is teaching the students how to make a woven, decorative, sunflower bookmark out of strips of black ash wood and raffia.

Galban and Tardy came together as part of a workshop called Culture, Community, and the Classroom, offered through Genesee Valley Educational Partnership by Local Learning: The National Network of Folk Arts. The workshop paired artists with classroom teachers to explore the mutually beneficial aspects of collaborating.

Today was the second, and last, of Galban’s visits. On her first visit she discussed ties between arts and Haudenosaunee culture. During the final visit, she chose to teach the hands-on activity in a traditional way. Galban gathered the students around the front table where she taught, not the students, but Tardy and her two teacher aides how to weave the bookmark.

“Children will watch the adults working,” Galban said. “Sometimes they won’t even realize that theyhave learned the skill – just by watching. All people have to develop patience. Calm insides and calm minds. Use your senses first, listen, and follow directions.”

After the demonstration, each student returned to their own desk to try weaving. As they worked, the adults helped them until, at some point, they began to help each other.

“Not everyone is a basket maker,” Galban said to the class. “You might be a singer or a dancer. Some sunflowers are big, some are small. You have your family to depend on – your friends can help.”

After some hard work and concentration, each student held up their completed sunflower.

“You have taken part in an in-depth dialogue with your teachers and me on big concepts,” said Galban as the lesson concluded. “The basket weaving is an analogy for how to be in your mind and in your heart. Patience and cooperation. Being a balanced human being. Kudos to you guys – you learned more than I could have even hoped for.”

“Niá:wen,” the students thanked Galban in Haudenosaunee. “Io, you’re welcome” she replied.

In addition to Galban’s visit, the students’ study of Native American culture included a field trip to Ganondagan State Historic Site. Also known as Boughton Hill, it is a Native American historic site in the present-day Town of Victor in Ontario County. It was the largest Seneca village of the 17th century.

During the field trip, the children experienced song, dance, storytelling, traditional arts, and culture during the annual Haudenosaunee Day celebration. They also presented their Haudenosaunee cultural artifact projects to other students.

Below, Tonia Galban working with student.

Below, students help each other with a weaving project.

Below, the class displays their finished projects.

November 5, 2019 - 11:54am

Submitted photos and press release:

Bergen -- Byron-Bergen Elementary School received some very special guests on Nov. 1. Representatives from the American Heart Association and Bonduelle USA kicked off Eat Smart Month by visiting every classroom and delivering vegetable seeds and a message about the importance of eating and living healthily.

Marc Natale and Robin Swan from the American Heart Association were joined by Janette Bonstead, Diane Cholowsky, Kortney Connell, April Fox, Michelle Hoffman, and Beth Scroger from Bonduelle USA to greet the elementary students as they entered the school. Each child went home with vegetable seeds and an informational brochure about eating healthy including a recipe for Simple Chicken Pot Pie.

“It’s important for us to be involved in the community,” said one of the Bonduelle participants. “We are located right here and it’s exciting to share information on healthy eating with our families and neighbors.”

As the guests visited classrooms, students became very excited to grow their own vegetables to eat.

“We want to inspire families and kids to talk about what it means to eat healthy, offer healthy meal options and seeds to start their own garden,” said Lorri Harkins, IT Service desk manager, Bonduelle Americas Long Life.

The message of eating healthy was reinforced in the lunchroom where Friday’s lunches included a special side dish.

“We are serving peas and carrots in the cafeteria today,” said Byron-Bergen Food Service Director Mary Della Penna. “This is a very nice community outreach project and we’re happy to participate.”

Byron-Bergen was one of three districts chosen for a November visit. Bonduelle provided more than 1,500 seed packets of peas and carrots for distribution

 during the first week of November to Byron-Bergen, and two Rochester elementary schools -- Fyle and Lakeshore.

October 29, 2019 - 1:25pm

Photos and information from Gretchen Spittler, Byron-Bergen Communications Specialist.

BERGEN -- Craig Schroth’s fifth- and sixth-grade STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) Lab classes are carving pumpkins. But, there are no pumpkins in the room.

Students sit at their computers and each one builds and carves their own virtual pumpkin in a three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) program. When they are complete, Schroth will print them on a 3-D printer.

“It takes a long time, but it’s cool,” said one student.

“Cool” is the word most students use to describe the project.

The pumpkins start to take shape. Students “group” repeated elliptical spheres to create scalloped edges, then add a cylindrical stem. On each screen, orange shapes come together to form what is, unmistakably, a pumpkin.

To hollow out the pumpkin, students place a sphere in the middle. It does not affect the surface design but “it makes printing more efficient,” Schroth explains. “I have two printers and many students and I want to fill the display case with as many projects as possible.”

The students have been following instructions up to this point, but now they get creative. Students add jack-o-lantern faces using various shapes and designs. Eyes appear as stars and hearts. One pumpkin has sunglasses and a mustache.

When compared with traditional pumpkin carving, one students argues that she doesn’t like getting pumpkin guts on her hands. Another argues that virtual pumpkins have no seeds, a favorite snack of hers. When asked if he would like to continue working in 3-D design in high school, another student simply blurts, “Yes!”

“This project has been a great way for students to explore the use of computer-aided design programs in 3-D modeling and prototyping,” Schroth said. “Students are applying skills that they have learned in math class through angles, measurement, and geometry to design a model they can actually hold on to with 3-D printing.”

In the front hallway of the Elementary School, a large display case holds a tractor and wagon, both built by third-grade students. The tractor is driven by the STEAM Lab robot mascot, named Byron, and the tractor displays rows of 3-D printed jack-o-lanterns. Picked fresh daily. Well, printed fresh daily.

June 7, 2019 - 6:54pm

Elizabeth Mundell was not pleased to find out her daughter will ride the school bus four times each day next year. And she let a reporter from The Batavian know it in no uncertain terms at the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School on Thursday night.

Her sixth-grader will take the bus to Byron-Bergen Elementary, then go to the high school, back to the elementary school again, and head home after that.

Mundell worries her daughter and other sixth-grade students will be missing valuable learning due to extra transportation time.

The reason for all the busing back-and-forth? To accommodate the ongoing $20.5 million Capital Improvement Project, which began last summer and concludes next year.

The project is largely state-funded, and it aims to increase long-term school safety, energy efficiency and educational opportunities for students.

Yet in the short-term, until it is completed, sixth-graders will apparently bear the brunt of the transitions prompted by it.

Mundell, along with other parents, only recently received information about changes to sixth-graders' schedules for the upcoming academic year.

The central focus of the project is the elementary school classrooms.

For the past half century, since the summer NASA astronauts landed on the moon, they have not been updated to meet the NYS Education Department’s codes and regulations.

The sheer scope of the long-overdue renovations means they'll still be at it once school resumes in the fall.

As a result, it is the sixth-grade classrooms that will be relocated to the Jr./Sr. High School for the 2019–20 academic year.

Sixth-graders will be shuttled about between the elementary and high schools for different classes and activities at the beginning and end of each day.

Parents are learning more details about the poor conditions that necessitated the project as it moves along.

Classrooms were significantly smaller than the recommended size. According to an informational handout produced by the district, students have been receiving instruction in cramped spaces as narrow as closets and hallways.

Other district-wide improvements will include fire alarm and kitchen equipment replacements, removal of deadly asbestos, roof repair and ADA-compliant toilet facilities that will be wide enough for children's wheelchairs to access them for the first time. (The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990.)

The Capital Building Project was voted down on March 31, 2017, and did not receive enough support until the next vote on Sept. 21, 2017.

But many parents now say they were poorly informed about how the capital improvements, though badly needed, would impact their children's schedule when they cast their votes.

“We’ve been given so little information about what else was explored,” Mundell said. “Personally, I never would have voted for this capital project if I had known it would mean kids spending a year being bused back and forth.”

Parents also wonder if all the time spent on the road will interfere with daily instruction in classrooms.

Mundell said sixth-grade students may not be emotionally prepared for the turbulent schedule, and changes in learning environments may be particularly difficult for students with special needs.

“I recognize this is an easy solution, it’s convenient,” Mundell said. “I just don’t feel it’s in the best interest of these kids.”

In the midst of the changes, Jr./Sr. High School Principal Pat McGee and Assistant Principal Scott Bradley said sixth-grade supervision and administrative responsibilities will remain the same. Sixth-graders will be accompanied by teacher aides throughout each transition period, and students and teachers will still follow the elementary schedule.

In reference to the temporary, separate sixth-grade wing at the high school, McGee said, “What’s nice about that is it does keep them out of the way, they’re not caught up in the middle of the junior high area. They’re away from most of the high school activities.”

Mundell said parents seek more communication and transparency from the school board, administration and families.

School administrators intend to discuss the project with parents, answer questions and receive feedback before the next Board of Education meeting on Thursday, June 20.

March 25, 2019 - 2:01pm

Press release and submitted photos:

Byron-Bergen Central School District has named two alumni to its Hall of Fame for 2019. Kenneth Hay (Class of 1966) and Dennis DeVelder (Class of 2001) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Alumni Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates, providing young people with positive adult role models and showing that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives.

This honor is in its 16th year and has become part of the school district culture. It is a permanent reminder to students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

The 2019 Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, in the Byron-Bergen High School Auditorium.

The two inductees will spend the day visiting with Byron-Bergen students and will be sharing how their school experience influenced their lives. The inductees will briefly speak to students and receive their Alumni Hall of Fame plaques during the school’s National Senior Honor Society induction ceremony.

Kenneth Hay – Class of 1966

While attending Byron-Bergen, Hay participated in Concert Band, Concert Choir, Yearbook Club, and Wrestling. After graduating high school, Hay received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Fredonia State College, after which he continued with graduate work at Fredonia, Brockport and Geneseo state colleges, and the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

He taught music at East Irondequoit, Alexander and Batavia school districts. He started working as Batavia City High School band director from 1982 until his retirement in 2003, being named Music Department chairman in 1991. Hay was instrumental in Batavia’s concert and marching bands, jazz ensemble, and the musical pit orchestra.

For many years, he organized the Pageant of Bands in Batavia to show the musical talents of high school bands. He directed the pit orchestra for Batavia Rotary Club productions for many years.

Hay served as president of the Genesee-Wyoming Music Educators’ Association and was a member of the New York State School Music Association. Accolades include Paul Harris Fellowship (awarded by the Rotary Club), University of Rochester’s Teaching in Secondary Schools Award (1995), and recognition by Warner School of Education as being a Teacher of Excellence (2003).

Hay shared his musical passion inspiring students to "make music, not just play music," and serves as a positive role model for the youth of Byron-Bergen.

Dennis DeVelder (Class of 2001)

While at Byron-Bergen, DeVelder participated in Baseball and Golf. After graduation, DeVelder worked for his family’s lawn care business until July 2008 when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. After recovering from brain surgery, DeVelder began taking classes online at Monroe Community College. He eventually earned his associate degree and went on to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Finance at SUNY Brockport.

DeVelder was inducted into Tau Sigma Honor Society and underwent a second brain surgery prior to graduation in May 2012. Following radiation treatment in the summer of 2012, DeVelder was hired at The Villa of Hope, an organization that provides trauma-informed care for youth and families in Rochester. DeVelder remains employed there as a senior accountant.

He is passionate about raising money for cancer research at Wilmot Cancer Institute, co-chairing “The Coop Cup for Brain Cancer Research” (a golf tournament raising money for brain cancer research and a scholarship at Byron-Bergen in Clint Cooper’s name – another Byron-Bergen alumnus) and participating in the Annual Wilmot Warrior Walk with his family.

Living life to the fullest, DeVelder is an inspiration to the youth of Byron-Bergen.

February 28, 2018 - 12:06pm

Press release:

Bergen, NY ~ The Byron-Bergen Central School District is proud to recognize the following students who have been named to the Honor Roll for the second 10-week marking period of the 2017-18 school year:

GRADE 12

  • HIGH HONOR ROLL—Larissa Ashton, Cameron Brumsted, Lauren Burke, Benjamin Chaback, Brionna DeMichel, Jean Denson, Morgan Fuller, Margaret Graney, Ethan Green, Edgardo Guzman, Tyler Henry, Alyssa Hing, Brian Ireland, Daniel Jensen, Brendon Kendall, Nathan Knickerbocker, Melanie Kulikowski, Shaun LoVerdi, Peyton Mackey, Julia Menzie, Lily Mercovich, Dillon Montgomery, Makenzie Muoio, Joshua Phelps, Garrett Sando, Austin Sharpe, Dana VanValkenburg, Catherine Weaver, Riley White. 
  • HONOR ROLL—Jerra Amesbury, Megan Brown, Jacob Burlingame, Kylar Chambry, Quinn Chapell, Shayla Dearring, Justin Hannan, Brandon Kropf, Benjamin Lathan, Paul McDermott, Ryan Niemi, Riley Sadler, Cameron Shenk, Jonathan Stumpf, Nicole Welka, Esther Wilkins, Emma Wride. 
  • EFFORT ROLL—Larissa Ashton, Lauren Burke, Benjamin Chaback, Quinn Chapell, Brionna DeMichel, Jean Denson, Morgan Fuller, Margaret Graney, Ethan Green, Justin Hannan, Tyler Henry, Alyssa Hing, Brian Ireland, Daniel Jensen, Brendon Kendall, Nathan Knickerbocker, Melanie Kulikowski, Shaun LoVerdi, Peyton Mackey, Julia Menzie, Lily Mercovich, Makenzie Muoio, Joshua Phelps, Garrett Sando, Austin Sharpe, Leah Thompson, Chaderic Toal, Dana VanValkenburg.

GRADE 11

  • HIGH HONOR ROLL—Benjamin Bowman, Adam Drake, Jared Fregoe, Annaliese Hersom, William Johnson, Hunter Leach, Janae Meister, Erin Parnapy, MacKenzie Rosse, Wade Thompson, Kyong-ae Yun.
  • HONOR ROLL—Aaron Barnum, Sarah Bleiler, Nicholas Brown, Lydia Campbell, Cole Carlson, Alissa Countryman, Anthony DiQuattro, Tabitha Fuller, Leah Gale, Emma Goodman, Jason Hoehn, Isaac Ladley, Danielle Mason, Sabastian Pawlukewicz, James Roggow, Brianna Shade, Emma Smith, Lucas Stucchio, Colby Taylor.
  • EFFORT ROLL—Sarah Bleiler, Benjamin Bowman, Lydia Campbell, Anthony DiQuattro, Adam Drake, Jared Fregoe, Leah Gale, Emma Goodman, Annaliese Hersom, William Johnson, Hunter Leach, Janae Meister, Erin Parnapy, Sabastian Pawlukewicz, MacKenzie Rosse, Colby Taylor, Wade Thompson.

GRADE 10 

  • HIGH HONOR ROLL—Caitlin Ashton, Justine Bloom, Alexander Brumsted, Siomara Caballero, Alexander Dean, Madison Farnsworth, Sara Fraser, Emily Gonyea, Amaya Gunther, Zachary Hannan, Evan Harter, Rick Hubbard, Mikaela Hubler, Cambria Kinkelaar, Chad Kupfer, Jillian Menzie, Auburn Schwartzmeyer, Caleb Sharpe, Chloe Shuskey, Isabelle Stevens, Garrett Swinter, Annabella Vurraro, Grant Williams, Nathan Zwerka.
  • HONOR ROLL—Julianna Amesbury, Ariana Bobzien, Hannah Catalino, Jacey Donahue, Elizabeth Donnelly, Kelsey Fuller, Chad Green, Rose Hubbard, Travis Lambert, Samuel Pringle, Wyatt Sando, Kevin Smith, Brandon Stefanski, Cameron Sweet, Miriam Tardy, Hannah VanSkiver. 
  • EFFORT ROLL—Julianna Amesbury, Caitlin Ashton, Justine Bloom, Alexander Brumsted, Siomara Caballero, Alexander Dean, Jacey Donahue, Elizabeth Donnelly, Madison Farnsworth, Sara Fraser, Kelsey Fuller, Chad Green, Zachary Hannan, Rick Hubbard, Cambria Kinkelaar, Melissa MacCowan, Jillian Menzie, Auburn Schwartzmeyer, Caleb Sharpe, Chloe Shuskey, Isabelle Stevens, Miriam Tardy, Annabella Vurraro, Grant Williams, Nathan Zwerka.

GRADE 9 

  • HIGH HONOR ROLL—Nicholas Baubie, Bianca Brumsted, Emily Chaback, Richard Denson, Julietta Doyle, Veronica Duell, Joshua Fleming, Eden Goff, Sara Goodman, Hope Hersom, Kelly Ireland, Carli Kirkwood, Aiden Kulikowski, Colby Leggo, John Mercovich, Alaura Rehwaldt, Skylar Sharpe, Deacon Smith, Sarah Streeter, Xavier Thomas.
  • HONOR ROLL—Carleigh Buell, Hallie Calhoun, Zoey Chambry, Jonah Clare, Tylor Coats, Matthew Gonyea, Adriana Guzman, Logan Lewis, Andrew Parnapy, Bryanne Puma, Matthew Rada, Seth Sharp, Devon Zinter.
  • EFFORT ROLL—Mya-Lyn Albanese, Nicholas Baubie, Bianca Brumsted, Carleigh Buell, Emily Chaback, Richard Denson, Veronica Duell, Joshua Fleming, Sara Goodman, Hope Hersom, Kelly Ireland, Carli Kirkwood, Colby Leggo, Logan Lewis, John Mercovich, Bryanne Puma, Alaura Rehwaldt, Skylar Sharpe, Deacon Smith, Sarah Sue Streeter, Xavier Thomas.

GRADE 8 

  • HIGH HONOR ROLL—Corin Abdella, Rachel Best, Madison Burke, Caleb Calhoun, Caleb Carlson, Aidan Clark, Sadie Cook, Leanna Curts, Makenzie Eccleston, Angelique Heick, Grace Huhn, Brooke Jarkiewicz, Johnathon Klafehn, Madelynn Pimm, Elli Schelemanow, Grace Shepard, Alayna Streeter, Ella VanValkenburg, Alexandra Vurraro, Kaitlyn Windhauser, Emily Zastrow, Corden Zimmerman.
  • HONOR ROLL—Jared Barnum, Camryn Brookhart, Destiny Colon, Alexander Donnelly, Connor Gale, Christian Haller, Sarah Hanel, Meghan Kendall, Danyel Nowatchik, Aleigha Shallenberger, Kaden Sheard, Jorie Strzelecki, Ashley Weit, Emma Will, Claire Williams, Kaitlyn Zastrocky, Joshua Zittel. 
  • EFFORT ROLL—Corin Abdella, Rachel Best, Madison Burke, Payton Buzzell, Caleb Calhoun, Caleb Carlson, Aidan Clark, Sadie Cook, Leanna Curts, Angelique Heick, Grace Huhn, Brooke Jarkiewicz, Meghan Kendall, Johnathon Klafehn, Danyel Nowatchik, Madelynn Pimm, Elli Schelemanow, Aleigha Shallenberger, Grace Shepard, Alayna Streeter, Ella VanValkenburg, Alexandra Vurraro, Kaitlyn Windhauser, Emily Zastrow, Corden Zimmerman, Joshua Zittel.

GRADE 7

  • HIGH HONOR ROLL—Cassidy Ball, Olivia Best, Jason Bleiler, David Brumsted, Fiona Burke, Dayanara Caballero, Cameron Carlson, Caris Carlson, Evan Cuba, Emma Dormann, Kendan Dressler, Frank Hersom, Sage Johnson, Alec Kulikowski, Ryan Muscarella, Matthew Olander, Victoria-Pearl Parnell, Valerie Pastore, Kendall Phillips, Elizabeth Piper, Austin Salmonds, Brianna Salmonds, Emily Salmonds, Alexandria Schuck, MacKenzie Senf, Zoey Shepard, McKenna Shuskey, Matthew Tanner, Joshua Tardy, Ava Wagoner, Lillian Walker, Leyna Wheeler, Hannah Wies, Kaya Wildschutz, Nicholas Zwerka.
  • HONOR ROLL—Alyssa Ball, Molly Belknap, Hailey Canfield, Grace Capostagno, Elizabeth Cramer, Jonny Fooks, Kailee Gurtler, Sege Kalmbacher, Ethan Lewis, Autumn Mathisen, Andrew Rimmerman, Aidan Townsend, Julia Will, Emily Yun. 
  • EFFORT ROLL—Alyssa Ball, Cassidy Ball, David Brumsted, Fiona Burke, Dayanara Caballero, Cameron Carlson, Caris Carlson, Evan Cuba, Kendan Dressler, Frank Hersom, Alec Kulikowski, Ryan Muscarella, Matthew Olander, Victoria-Pearl Parnell, Valerie Pastore, Kendall Phillips, Elizabeth Piper, Austin Salmonds, Brianna Salmonds, Emily Salmonds, MacKenzie Senf, Zoey Shepard, McKenna Shuskey, Matthew Tanner, Joshua Tardy, Ava Wagoner, Lillian Walker, Leyna Wheeler, Hannah Wies, Kaya Wildschutz, Emily Yun, Nicholas Zwerka.
December 18, 2017 - 3:11pm

(Photo: Volunteers packed more than 100 food baskets and delivered them throughout the community during the weekend of Dec. 16.)

Submitted photos and press release:

Members of the Byron-Bergen Central School District’s learning community can always be counted on to provide assistance to neighbors in need during the holidays. For many years, district students, teachers, staff, and administrators have worked together with local partners to make the season happier for everyone in the Byron-Bergen area.

This year’s Holiday Community Service program collected toys and games, clothing items, rolls of wrapping paper, boxes for wrapping gifts, and more than 1,200 non-perishable food items.

In addition, close to $4,000 was donated by the faculty, staff, and others in our learning community to purchase gifts for district families in need. Many area businesses also helped out by “adopting” local families and individuals, providing special holiday gifts.

The district partnered with the local Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons, where donated items were taken for sorting and packing. Organized by Dick Sands, the Masons, and employees from both the Byron-Bergen Elementary and Jr./Sr. High schools, Board of Education members, and community volunteers pitched in to help. More school volunteers help deliver over 100 food baskets and gifts before the holidays.

“The magic of this special season is the community spirit it inspires in so many of us,” said District Superintendent Mickey Edwards. “I am so proud of the generosity shown by all of our students and by everyone in our schools.”=

A big part of the program’s success this year was the contribution made by the Varsity Club Holiday Food Drive. Student athletes from the high school pulled together to collect more than 850 food items—a record amount.

The drive was organized by student officers Leah Thompson, president; MaKenzie Muoio, vice-president; Morgan Fuller, secretary and Lucas Stucchio, treasurer, and the hard work was provided by the girls and boys basketball and swim teams, and the cheerleading team. Team members pooled their competitive spirit to make the challenge more fun: it became a contest, won by the Cheer Team who collected more than 300 items.

Varsity team members from all three seasons of sport at Byron-Bergen perform community service throughout the school year, with projects like the annual Lift-a-thon, the Retro Apparel Sale, and the spring Blood Drive.

(Photo below: Varsity Club members with a few of the hundreds of donated items collected for the Holiday Food Drive.)

January 3, 2017 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, byron, bergen, byron-bergen central school district.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District is in the process of developing the 2017‑2018 school budget and we welcome, appreciate, and value your input. The Board would like to extend an invitation to members of the Byron-Bergen School District to participate in a survey that will help the Board to determine priorities for next year’s budget.

Please take a moment to complete the online survey by visiting our website www.bbschools.org and clicking on the “2017-18 Budget Development Survey” link. If you prefer a hard copy of the survey, please contact Mrs. Gunio at (585) 494-1220, ext. 2329, and she will be happy to mail you a copy, through Jan. 31.

Budget information will be updated on our website www.bbschools.org and discussed at our regularly scheduled Board of Education Meetings. Our meetings start at 7 p.m. and take place in the Professional Development Room (former Jr. High Library).

Please note that the public is invited to provide budget input at the Thursday, Feb. 2, Board meeting, which will take place in the Jr./Sr. High School Cafeteria to accommodate the community at 7 p.m.

March 17, 2016 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron-bergen central school district, news.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District’s Board of Education (BOE), has named three finalists for the district’s next Superintendent. They are Karri Schiavone, Stephen E. “Ned” Dale, and Mickey Edwards.

Debra List, president of the District’s BOE, said she is pleased with the high-quality candidate pool and is enthused about the potential the three finalists have to offer.

“Choosing the best superintendent for our district is the board’s main priority,” List said. “The field of candidates was diverse, which made narrowing the field to three very difficult. We are confident that one of these candidates will be the best candidate for our school district and community.”

Stakeholder groups and the BOE will conduct the final round of interviews with the three candidates beginning on April 11 at the Byron-Bergen Central School District. The anticipated start date for the new superintendent is July 1.

Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, who is acting as search consultant, said the Board has developed and implemented a process that will help determine the best candidate.

“This is a rigorous search process,” MacDonald said. “Finalists will visit the Byron-Bergen Central School District to meet with staff and the BOE to go though another round of interviews. The process concludes with the Board meeting to make a final decision.”

About the finalists

Karri Schiavone is currently the principal of Holley Elementary School, a position she has held since 2012. From 2002 until 2012, she served as the director of instruction and special programs for Holley Central Schools (HCS). Prior to that, she served as elementary principal of the Warren P. Towne School in Medina. From 1995 until 1999, Schiavone served as an intermediate teacher and in many supervisory roles at HCS, including elementary Science coordinator and district Social Studies curriculum writer.

Schiavone began her career in education in 1994 as a teacher for the Bethel Head Start in Buffalo. Throughout her career she has served in many leadership capacities. She currently oversees a number of committees at HCS, including the district’s Technology; Safety and Health/Wellness committees as well as the APPR Committee. She has a broad scope of fiscal management at HCS, including developing and managing budgets and grants for a multitude of district programs and services. She holds a Bachelor of Science from SUNY Buffalo, and a master’s degree in Education from The College at Brockport.

Schiavone earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from The College at Brockport and also holds a New York State School Administrator Certificate.

Ned Dale is the principal of Cosgrove Middle School where he has served since 2007. Dale began at the Spencerport Central School (SCS) District in 2000 as a school counselor/teacher leader at Spencerport High School. He served as the coordinator of the counseling department and developed the Career Development and Occupational Studies curriculum for grades K-12. From 2004 until 2007 he served as assistant principal at Cosgrove Middle School where he facilitated the Instructional Support Team in accordance with the Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) model. In his role as assistant principal, Dale obtained and published a grant titled “Career Exploration: Preparing for the Future Today.” His list of endeavors is varied and includes many accomplishments. Under his leadership, Cosgrove Middle School earned top rankings for academics in Buffalo Business First Schools’ List for 2015.

As president of the Spencerport Administrators and Supervisors Association, Dale has collaboratively established an approved APPR for principals, which was approved by the New York State Education Department. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. John Fisher College, a master’s degree from the Warner Graduate School at the University of Rochester. He holds a certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from the College at Brockport and has also completed the New York State Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego.

Mickey Edwards is the superintendent of Wyoming Central Schools, a position he has held since 2014. As superintendent, Edwards has led extensive curriculum work in English Language Arts and literacy with alignment to the Common Core. He implemented a comprehensive literacy program including Reading Recovery that resulted in an increase of students reading at grade level.

Edwards’ role at Wyoming Central Schools includes a broad scope of responsibilities including facilities management, fiscal and instructional leadership, and community and regional involvement. Edwards initiated two capital projects focused on camera/security upgrades and redesign of building entrances. He also developed transportation consolidations programs to provide additional fiscal stability. Previously, Edwards served as the coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction for Orleans/Niagara BOCES, a position he held since 2009.

Edwards began teaching in 1996 as an Art/Technology teacher for the Albion Central School District. He continued his career at Albion Central Schools serving as the elementary school dean of students, middle school assistant principal and high school principal. Edwards earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Roberts Wesleyan College, and a master’s degree, as well as a School District Administrator certificate, from The College at Brockport.

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