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Byron-Bergen Central Schools

September 30, 2019 - 3:09pm

Photo: Rob Kaercher at the National Association for College Admissions Counselors at their annual conference in Louisville, Ky.

Submitted photo and press release:

LOUISVILLE, KY. -- On Saturday, Sept. 28, Byron-Bergen College and Career counselor Rob Kaercher accepted the Rising Star Award from the National Association for College Admissions Counselors at their annual conference in Louisville, Ky.

This national award “honors individuals and programs that exemplify excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition from high school to college."

Kaercher’s position has many aspects from exposing students to a variety of job experiences to helping them complete their college applications.

“I try to help them find a career path that matches their interests,” he said. "I have college and career assessment tools to help with this, but talking to the individual students, reflecting on what brings their interests and what they enjoy in their classes, is the best way. Each student is different. It’s all about personalized attention.”

When asked why Byron-Bergen stood out in the nationwide competition, Kaercher said, “It’s visionary for a small, rural school to have a College and Career counselor. This position is much more prevalent at private schools, public charter schools, and in some suburban and urban schools that have created a college-going culture.

"Byron-Bergen is somewhat unique in that my colleagues in the Counseling Department can focus on the social and emotional development of our students and I can focus on helping with the transition out of high school.

"I hope that we continue to see more rural schools, and schools in general, see the importance of developing a College and Career Center to enhance the school counseling department.”

Another difference between Byron-Bergen and larger districts is the variety of career paths students are interested in.

“This award highlights the transition of students from high school to college, but every year I help students transition to four-year colleges, two-year colleges, military careers, and many students enter directly into the workforce," Kaercher said. "Each of these students is valuable and I hope that I can help them leave high school ready to fulfill their goals.”

“We are extremely lucky to have Rob on our team,” said Byron-Bergen High School Principal Pat McGee. “It’s not enough just to have a College and Career Center. It needs to be in the hands of a dedicated professional counselor with the knowledge, connections, and passion for helping students map out their futures. This is a well-deserved honor.”

“I couldn’t do my job without the flexibility and enthusiasm of our amazing faculty and staff,” Kaercher said. “They meet with students, join field trips, write letters of recommendation – their support allows me to connect the dots.”

In addition to the national award, Kaercher received the Rising Star Award from the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling in August.

I think this is one of the best jobs in the world because I really enjoy working with the students, staff, and faculty,” Kaercher said. “These students have dreams and goals. They are curious and want to explore. That really keeps my job fun and interesting.”

March 25, 2019 - 5:32pm

Above, 2019 fundraising participants.

Submitted photos and press release:

On Friday, March 22, the staff of Byron-Bergen Central Schools met Genesee County Sheriff’s Office personnel on the basketball court for their annual fundraiser.

While the Sheriff’s Department ultimately scored the most points, the evening’s true goal was to raise money and awareness of programs that support the local community. The Byron-Bergen Sports Boosters organized the game, which raised $2,165.

The proceeds were divided between two causes. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department received $500 to put toward the care and training of their new K-9 -- Frankie. Frankie joined the force after the passing of K-9 Destro.

“Destro was beloved among the Byron-Bergen students and the school community has proactively embraced Deputy Frankie,” said Genesee County Sheriff Deputy Matt Butler.

Butler participated in the game as part of the Sheriff’s Office team; he is also the Student Resource officer for Byron-Bergen Central Schools.

The remaining $1,665 was donated to the Batavia hospice Crossroads House. Crossroads House is a volunteer-run end-of-life care center providing a homelike setting for terminally ill residents of Genesee and Wyoming counties.

“The Byron-Bergen Sports Boosters put together such a great event to benefit both our home and the Genesee County Sheriff’s K-9 unit,” said Crossroads House Executive Director Jeff Allen.

“We can carry out our mission because we operate in a generous community that appreciates the value of comfort care. Thank you to everyone who organized, participated and attended the Faculty/Sheriff’s Basketball Game.”

During breaks between quarters, fans enjoyed exhibition games between Gillam Grant Youth Basketball League teams, as well as a halftime three-point shootout, and a Sheriff’s Office K-9 demonstration.

Photo credits: Bob Brumsted.

Below: Gillam Grant Youth Basketball exhibition game.

Below: Byron-Bergen Superintendent Mickey Edwards takes a three-point shot during Friday's game.

Below: Halftime three-point shootout.

Below: GC Sheriff's Office demonstration with new K-9 Frankie.

Below: Courtside, fans enjoy the charity basketball game.

January 24, 2019 - 5:50pm

Press release:

Registration is now underway for the 2019-2020 school year for prekindergarten and kindergarten students in Byron-Bergen Central Schools.

Universal Prekindergarten
The Byron-Bergen School District hopes to once again offer a half day Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) program for the 2019-2020 school year. The class will be held at the Byron-Bergen Elementary School, located at 6971 W. Bergen Road, Bergen.

Students eligible for the program must turn 4 years of age by Dec. 1, 2019. If you have a child eligible and are interested in having him/her attend our UPK program, please send a letter of interest by Friday, April 5 with your child’s name, parents’ names, address, phone number, and date of birth to:

Brian Meister, Elementary School Principal, 6971 W. Bergen Road, Bergen, NY 14416.

Parents who have already contacted the Elementary School by phone will still need to send in a letter to be eligible for UPK. Please note that if we receive more than our allowed capacity, we will select students using a lottery system.

What are the Program Goals of the UPK at Byron-Bergen?

  • To meet the NYS learning standards by using a curriculum that is thematically based and supported using literature, songs, and exploration;
  • To foster an environment that promotes happy, confident children who are willing to take risks, make independent choices, and ask questions;
  • To create an inclusive community that builds upon the student’s strengths and accommodates their needs.

Philosophy of UPK

The UPK program at Byron-Bergen 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.

Kindergarten Registration Reminder

Children who will be five years of age, on or before Dec. 1, 2019, are eligible for entrance to kindergarten in September of 2019. New families in the school district should notify the school if they have a child that will enter kindergarten in September of 2019.

Parents may contact the Byron-Bergen Elementary School Office by calling 494-1220, ext. 1301. Information may also be sent to:

Byron-Bergen Elementary School, 6971 W. Bergen Road, Bergen, NY 14416.

All children registering for kindergarten will be scheduled for a screening appointment this summer. The results of this screening will be used to plan for the 2019-2020 Kindergarten Program.

The following items are necessary to complete the registration process:

  1. Your child’s Birth Certificate
  2. Certificate of Immunization – New York State law requires that every child entering school must have received a minimum of 5 doses of diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine (DPT) and 4 doses of polio (IPV) vaccine, 2 doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), 3 doses of Hepatitis B, and 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox). Those children born on or after 1/1/2008 must have 4 doses of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV). Their immunizations must be completed prior to entering school.
  3. Proof of Residency– If this is the first time you have a child entering Byron-Bergen Central School District, please bring proof of residency to your screening appointment. This can be a copy of your mortgage statement, rental/lease agreement or a copy of your tax bill.

For more information or to register your child, please contact:

Elementary School Office  -- (585) 494-1220, ext. 1301

Information may also be sent to:

Byron-Bergen Elementary School 

6971 W. Bergen Road 

Bergen, NY 14416

December 29, 2014 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen, Byron-Bergen Central Schools.

The Byron-Bergen Central School District needs to improve its online banking security, according to a NYS comptroller's audit released this month.

While the district informed the auditors that some of the report's recommendations were already being complied with or will be met, the board rejected one of the recommendations.

Auditors said that while the district has online access to all of its accounts -- including high-balance savings accounts -- such access is unnecessary.

The board countered: Actually, online banking for all district accounts is unavoidably necessary, thanks to the state.

"Due to the remote location of our school district," the district board responded, "and limited district office staff due to the ever-increasing budget constraints caused by the property tax cap, freezing of state aid and the Gap Eliminate Adjustment, we are unable to do banking transactions on a regular basis at our banking institution's branch locations due to distance and time away from other duties district office staff perform. We must be as efficient as possible in the use of our existing office staff. That efficiency is increased with the ability to our banking functions online."

The audit found that two employees were keeping their usernames and passwords on a piece of paper and while one document was locked in a filing cabinet, the other was kept in a cabinet that wasn't always locked.

Online-banking users also do not properly log out of their banking sessions and then delete their browsing history, cache and cookies, according to the audit.

The audit also knocked the district for not having copies on file of its banking agreements, but district officials said they felt the confidential information contained in these documents were best secured at the bank and not in district offices.

The district is not taking full advantage, the report states, of their bank's notification alerts for high-threshold transactions.

The district said it has instituted additional staff training in these area were best practices were not already in place.

October 4, 2012 - 10:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in school, education, byron, Byron-Bergen Central Schools, bergen.

In the Byron-Bergen School District, students aren't just learning how to read, write and solve math problems. They're also being taught the basic skills of leadership.

"We want them to be confident individuals," said Brian Meister, the elementary school principal. "We want them to be self-sufficient individuals. We want them to be able to make good choices consistently."

The leadership course is based on Stephen R. Covey's acclaimed "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Covey's company has developed "The Leader in Me," a program to teach students the seven habits in a format they can grasp.

In Byron-Bergen, the curriculum is part of a strategy to educate children in a well-rounded fashion. Yes, they learn academics, but they're also exposed to the arts and good citizenship.

At the Thursday evening board meeting (unusually packed with parents), a group of third-graders sang songs, recited their leadership pledge and showed off their leadership pictures.

"It's so important not to just teach them academics, but to teach them to be good citizens," Superintendent Casey Kosiorek said. "We can all agree that if one of these find young individuals moves next door to us, we want them to be good people and we also want them to be intelligent."

The seven habits:

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive • You’re in Charge
  • Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind • Have a Plan
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First • Work First, Then Play
  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win • Everyone Can Win
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood • Listen Before You Talk
  • Habit 6: Synergize • Together Is Better
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw • Balance Feels Best

Meister said faculty and staff are really proud at how well students are responding to the course. He said it's rewarding to hear students talk about solving conflicts with a "win-win" attitude.

It's not easy, he said, for a child in elementary school to "seek first to understand," and put themselves in the shoes of the other person before trying to meet their own needs. But he said in fact, they're seeing child trying to learn to take exactly that approach.

During the school board meeting, Kosiorek noted a recent study that showed the vast majority of new patents are filed in the United States, not China. The iPad, he noted, was invented in this country, not overseas. He said the next generation of entrepreneurs will come out of today's schools, and it's Byron-Bergen's job to prepare the next generation of business leaders.

Meister agreed and said that as students move on from elementary school, into high school and then into college or careers they will be the self-confident individuals who are followed by their peers.

"We really believe here at Byron-Bergen that it’s not only our job to teach kids the academics, but also to make sure sure we provide the leaders of tomorrow," Meister said.

October 1, 2012 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron, Byron-Bergen Central Schools, bergen.

According to online interviews Rochester resident Sean Madden has conducted over the past two years, he is as accomplished at working with troubled children as he is as an artist.

A surrealist whose work is sure to offend mainstream sensibilities, his pen-and-ink creations have been featured in books, on screen, in galleries and sought after by collectors.

It's also his artwork that may have cost him his job with the Byron-Bergen Central School District where he was employed as a counselor.

Contacted today, Superintendent Casey Kosiorek said he couldn't discuss a "confidential matter."

Madden also said he is not very interested in talking about the situation at this stage. He said it's very early in the process and he hasn't decided yet what, if any, message he wants to share with the media.

He confirmed he has spoken with attorneys from his teacher's union and the ACLU and agreed that the case is an interesting First Amendment matter.

All of the paintings and his promotion of his art were done away from the school and not during work hours, Madden confirmed.

Beyond that, he didn't want to say more until conferring further with lawyers.

In interviews with publications in Rochester and Buffalo, Madden has said he's a husband and father who was born in Buffalo, raised there in the 1970s, attended SUNY Brockport, and eventually obtained a master's degree in counselor education.

"I worked my way up the ladder in society," Madden told Rochester at Home, "from mopping floors, to serving in restaurants, to becoming a respected counselor. I’ve spent years working with the most violent, disturbed families and kids in the system.

"I’ve been in high demand throughout my career, as I’ve worked with the toughest cases. For many years, my specialty was working with emotionally disturbed kids in institutions. I’ve worked in classrooms that many people were too afraid to work in — the kids were too aggressive."

Without cooperation of the school district, it's unclear how long Madden was employed by Byron-Bergen, but according to See Through New York, his tenure goes back to at least 2008 and in 2011 he earned $59,000.

It's unknown to what degree the school district was aware of Madden's work prior to hiring him. The district has been through at least one change in superintendents since he started working there.

Unless the district issues a statement, we also don't know if there other issues, from the district's perspective, involved in the apparent dismissal of Madden.

Madden's personal Web site contains samples of his artwork, which features iconic subjects in surreal circumstances and in themes some may find distasteful.

The fact that not everybody will find his art appealing seems to be fine by Madden. He told Buffalo Rising that he isn't after the same kind of success as a guy who paints puppies.

"For a guy like me -- who does blasphemous, sexually explicit, psycho-representational work -- it's a much bigger deal," Madden said. "I'm not worried about the general public liking my work.

"After all, they haven't voted for a female president yet, so who cares what they think? The general public is stupid. However, the folks who understand my work -- weirdo intelligentsia -- them I care about."

December 12, 2011 - 3:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, Byron-Bergen Central Schools.

Press release:

Bergen, NY -- During a special meeting of the Byron-Bergen Board of Education on Saturday morning, Dec. 10, Casey Kosiorek, of LeRoy, was unanimously appointed as superintendent of schools, effective Jan. 9, 2012.

Kosiorek attended the meeting with his family and signed a three and one-half year contract.

“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Kosiorek to the Byron-Bergen learning community, and we look forward to a long and productive working relationship with him,” said Board President Ernie Haywood.

Currently, Kosiorek is Wolcott Street School principal in the Le Roy Central School District. Prior to his appointment as principal in July 2007, he served as the school’s assistant principal. He also spent nine years as a physical education and health teacher with the Royalton-Hartland Schools in Middleport.

Kosiorek is a graduate of Batavia High School. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Canisius College and a Certificate of Advanced Study in educational leadership from SUNY Brockport. He also completed the Transition to Superintendency program through the Educational Leadership Institute at SUNY Oswego.

Under Kosiorek’s leadership, the Wolcott Street School has received honorable mention as a New York State “School of Character” and was nationally recognized by the Character Education Partnership as a school of Best Character Education practices.

Earlier this year, Kosiorek was named Elementary Level Administrator of the Year for Region 12 of the School Administrators Association of New York State.

The search for a superintendent has been a time-consuming process for board of education members but well worth the effort, according to Haywood.

“We wanted someone with the capacity to forge strong partnerships and to focus the district’s efforts on higher levels of success, and we are confident Mr. Kosiorek is the right person.”

“Mr. Kosiorek’s experience with the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and his commitment to using data to drive instructional practice, in particular, were consistent with current areas of emphasis at Byron-Bergen,” Haywood added. “We feel fortunate to have had excellent candidates to interview, but Mr. Kosiorek is a great fit.”

February 26, 2011 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, Byron-Bergen Central Schools.

Today was "Winterfest" at Byron-Bergen school. It is a fundraiser for the middle school and high school featuring vendors from throughout the region.

Seated above, Kari Pardun, from Brockport, explains her business, Tastefully Simple, to Pavilion residents Cheryll Ferneays, left, and Roberta Graney.

Below, Katrina Wilkins, of Byron, drops by Reggy Pollizi's Tupperware booth.

October 20, 2010 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, Byron-Bergen Central Schools.

Lori NelsonThe Byron-Bergen education community is dealing with an unexpected loss after the Central School Board of Education Vice Presdient Lori Nelson passed away yesterday.

The school district announced the passing of Nelson, 49, today.

She served on the Byron-Bergen board since her election in 2000.

“Our community suffered a great loss yesterday with the sudden passing of Lori Nelson,” said Scott Martzloff, Ed.D, Byron-Bergen CSD superintendent of schools. “Lori served our board with distinction for 11 years, eight of which were in the role of vice president.”

The Byron-Bergen CSD community sends its deepest condolences and sympathy to Lori’s family and friends during this difficult time, including Robert, her husband, and their three children Mitchel, Bobbi Gayle and Regina, and all Byron-Bergen CSD graduates. “Lori was a passionate advocate for Byron-Bergen students and staff,” Martzloff said.  “She was well liked and respected by her board colleagues and will be sorely missed here as a leader.”

Nelson was a voting delegate on the New York State School Boards Association, a member of the Executive Board of Genesee Valley School Boards Association and active in the Boy Scouts.

(via WBTA)

UPDATE: Lori Nelson's obituary has been published.

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