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October 22, 2019 - 1:12pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Job Development Bureau would like to announce its Youth Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program.

Young adults may receive funding for in-demand career training. The program offers opportunities to out-of-school youth ages 16 to 24 years, who face barriers to education, training and employment. The goal is to make it easier for youth to find a job and a career training path. 

The program is looking to help youth -- from the young mother or father who wants to return to school, to a recent graduate that is trying to enter the workforce with no experience; to the young man or woman who left high school and now wants to finish said, Teresa Van Son, director of the Genesee County Job Development Bureau.

"Everyone has their own story and things that have gotten in their way," she said. "We want to help remove some of those obstacles. Our program is here to assist by providing support and guidance that will allow them to participate successfully in education and training opportunities to reach their fullest potential."

Young adults have the chance to participate in training for certificate and degree programs, which will assist in obtaining marketable skills for employment in their desired field of study.

Unsure what career you want? You can explore careers through paid work experience or job shadowing with a local employer.

The benefits and services can include: career counseling and support, tuition, employment-readiness training, and paid work experience. We may also help with limited supportive services including course fees and supplies, mileage reimbursement, driver's training, work clothes or uniforms.

Individuals are eligible to participate if they are between 16-24 years old, meet eligibility guidelines and possess one or more of the following barriers to employment: pregnant or parenting (mother or father), a school drop-out, homeless, foster care and/or aged out, ex-offender, or an individual with a disability.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate is much higher than average for 16 – 24 year olds at 9.1 percent. The education a person receives affects their employment status.

In 2018, among youth (ages 16–24) not enrolled in school who did not graduate from high school, only 51 percent were employed, either full- or part-time. The employment rate goes up from there with each educational milestone a person reached according to Child Trends.

"We want to help our local youth reach those milestones," Van Son said.

For more information, please contact the Genesee County Career Center, at (585) 344-2042 and speak with the youth counselor Lisa Smith or by email at [email protected]

October 18, 2019 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, GCC, fine arts, news, recognition matters.

Submitted photo and press release:

When artists of different genres come together, their combined creation inspires in new ways seldom seen at the beginning of their collaboration. Such is the case with a new exhibit opening at the Roz Steiner Art Gallery at Genesee Community College on Nov. 12.

The gallery will display a series of 52 acrylic paintings created by Professor of Fine Arts at Genesee Community College, Heather S. Jones. The paintings were created to illustrate a children's book titled "M is for Mindful," written by national award-winning journalist Robin L. Flanigan, which is being published by Good Nature Press in November as part of the exhibition.

"M is for Mindful" is a children's poetry book that cultivates self-awareness, compassion, respect for diversity, and other practices that shape the way people think and act. The story is visually represented by Jones's vibrant nature-themed paintings. The illustrations guide children through the book's concepts, empowering young readers to attain and maintain an intentional, balanced and considerate life.

On Thursday, Nov. 14, a special celebration will take place in the gallery and the entire community is invited to attend any and all parts of the day:

  • 12:30 p.m. -- Meet Jones and Flanigan and hear them talk about their project;
  • 1 p.m. -- View the exhibit, mingle and enjoy refreshments;
  • 2:30 p.m. -- Robin L. Flanigan reads from "M is for Mindful" in the gallery;
  • 5 - 8 p.m. -- Book Launch and evening reception: Purchase a copy of "M is for Mindful" and have it signed by both the illustrator and author to celebrate the project and inspire young and old readers alike.

This exhibit will be on display at GCC's Roz Steiner Gallery from Nov.12 - Dec.12.

The artist and author met through the happy coincidence of a mutual friend in central New York, where a vibrant network of artists in all media and persuasions thrive.

Jones has taught at GCC since 2008, and she is active in many creative pursuits, including but not limited to her role as collaborator with international Vida Design Studio, through which she designs clothing and products; study abroad instructor with multiple colleges; and creative director and illustrator of Good Nature Press.

Through the years, she has also taught at Geneseo State University, Empire State College, as well as public schools and she was the administrative director at Camp Stella Maris.

She earned her MFA from RIT and her BFA from Alfred University, and she received a SUNY Chancellor Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2015.

Besides painting, Jones' professional skills also involve printmaking, photography, glassblowing, metal fabrication, ceramics, textiles and organizational management. Her work can be viewed at the following online websites:

A seasoned writer with bylines covering a dynamic range of topics, Flanigan uses the name and website "The Kinetic Pen" to capture the essence of her gift as an author, observer and her 20-plus year career as a writer. Raised in Sedona, Ariz., and now settled in Rochester, she earned her BA in Language and Literature from St. Mary's College of Maryland, including one year of study at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance in Oxford, England.

Flanigan honed her craft as a newsroom beat reporter for 11 years, working for the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester and The Herald-Sun in Durham, N.C. During this period of her career she earned nearly a dozen newspaper and press awards.

Since 2005, Flanigan has been a freelance writer for numerous magazines, newspapers, literary magazines and marketing initiatives, including but not limited to People magazine, US AirwaysEducation Week, The Sun, Motherwell and Talking Writing, and her coffee-table book entitled "Rochester: High Performance for 175 Years" was published in 2009.

Among her many topics are personal profiles, education, healthcare, business, home trends, beauty, fashion and family life. "M is for Mindful" is her first children's book.

The book project is an excellent illustration of how artistry and creativity cross into different media, and when combined the result is truly an enterprising opportunity that inspires in ways that may not be as available singularly.

"I am excited to show my students how the fine arts and painting can create opportunities to be entrepreneurial impacting not only their careers, but also inspiring an audience in ways far beyond the original canvas or exhibit," Jones said. "This project and the exhibit illustrate how careers in creativity can take an artist in all kinds of directions as long as they remain open, receptive and flexible in their life's journey."

Jones's talent and hard work in creating these paintings and contributing to "M is Mindful" have earned her a place in GCC's Recognition Matters series, which highlights the accomplishments of the College's faculty, staff and students. Officials at GCC have embraced this series as a way to acknowledge not only the achievement, but the high quality of the recognized individuals who demonstrate GCC's "beyond expectations" brand.

The Roz Steiner Art Gallery is open to the public Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays - Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is also open during special events as published at www.genesee.edu/campuslife/arts. Admission is free.

For more information, contact Gallery Coordinator Mary Jo Whitman at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6490, or via email: [email protected].

October 16, 2019 - 4:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO OUT, GO ART!, news, LGTBQ, Human Rights Campaign, education.

GLOW OUT is hosting its second educational program on "Welcoming Schools" at GO ART!, located at 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

The presenter for this program is Carole Ebersole-Weis, who is the WNY coordinator for the Human Rights Campaign, which is the largest LGBTQ advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States.

There will be a Q-and-A session with Ebersole-Weis following the program.

Light refreshments will be served.

This event is FREE. All are welcome.

RSVP to Gregory Hallock at GO ART! 585-343-9313.

October 12, 2019 - 5:35pm
posted by Leslie Marino in networking, Leadership, education, Public Speaking.
Event Date and Time: 
October 22, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Do you want to be a leader in your business or organization? Do you find speaking up in meetings to be intimidating? Now is the time to make it happen! Visit Speak Up Toastmasters Open House  Tuesday, October 22, 2019 from 7 pm – 9 pm  190 Oak Street, Batavia At the Emmanuel Baptist Church, next to Bob Evans Guests are always welcome for free! Light refreshments will be provided.  
October 12, 2019 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, video, music, arts, entertainment.
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Oakfield-Alabama's open house on Thursday night was capped off by the music department's annual cabaret show, which featured some of the students' favorite show tunes.

October 9, 2019 - 11:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, video, education, schools, batavia.
Video Sponsor

Occasionally, a Batavia High School student completes their graduation requirements out of cycle with the rest of their class and receives their diploma at a Board of Education meeting. That was the case Tuesday night for Hezekia N. Burch.

October 9, 2019 - 11:09am

Submitted photo and press release:

As the fall season gets underway with brisk temperatures, mark your calendars for Genesee Community College Foundation's 2019 Encore celebration, "An Evening of Elegance" cochaired this year by Mary Blevins (above seated) and Jenna Holota (above right).

Join the entire GCC community for dinner, drinks, dancing and a holiday concert by "Nik and the Nice Guys" on Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Richard C. Call Arena at GCC's Batavia Campus. Tickets are on sale now, click here.

Since its inception, the Encore Gala has provided an opportunity for the local community to raise funds for student scholarships. In 2018, the Foundation awarded over $145,000 in scholarships. As the world and economic factors change, the need for scholarships grows -- and so does Encore!

Blevins has lived and worked in Batavia for 28 years while she raised her sons John and Matthew. In addition to being the branch manager at ESL Federal Credit Union in Batavia, Blevins is the chairman of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

"I've always believed in the work GCC does," Blevins said. "I was so honored when Rick Ensman contacted me to chair this event.

"I'm excited to bring together new elements and admired traditions to through music, dining, dancing, networking, and friendship all wrapped up in 'An Evening of Elegance' at Encore 2019. I hope everyone will come out to enjoy it and to support the scholarships that change lives for so many students."

Holota, grew up in Batavia and is now raising her 3-year old daughter, Mckenzie, in her hometown. As the assistant branch manager at ESL, Holota enjoys helping the credit union members through every financial situation they encounter. 

"When Mary asked me to cochair this event with her, I was both proud and honored," Holota said. "'ve enjoyed attending the event in the past. Knowing that I will be contributing to a scholarship program for GCC students makes it extra rewarding."

Each year, GCC offers opportunities to sponsor the Encore event. These sponsorships are critically important to the scholarships GCC provides its students and are available at several levels this year: the Holiday Chord Circle -- $1,000; the Golden Guitar Society -- $600; and the Inner Circle -- $300. Each of these levels includes tickets (six, four or two, respectively) for the event.

To become "An Evening of Elegance" sponsor, please complete the online forms here or contact the Foundation Office at (585) 345-6809, or [email protected] today.

October 8, 2019 - 2:47pm

Press release:

Le Roy  Traumatic events can directly impact a student’s ability to learn. The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence found that more than 60 percent of children surveyed experienced some form of trauma, crime, or abuse in the prior year, with some experiencing multiple traumas. This exposure often prevents students from their ability to focus in class, study or can even impair their capability to do well on a test.

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership has a new Trauma, Illness and Grief (TIG) Service to serve component school districts by delivering training and crisis support that links schools’ vision for trauma-responsive practices to processes for implementing sustainable change.

The service includes crisis training for teams in each school district, crisis response support in the event of a school tragedy, public relations/communications support and regional coordination of services to support students with mental health needs.

The TIG service brings together school districts and mental health providers to create a comprehensive support system in the Genesee Valley region.

The mission of TIG is to maintain and grow a community and school-based consortium of culturally sensitive and clinically appropriate training, support, and resource services to assist schools in responding to the emotional needs of children, teachers, and other school personnel, which arise from trauma, violence, illness, grief and loss.  

The TIG core curriculum prepares schools/districts to respond and intervene effectively during times of crisis and to support resiliency. This shared training assures that any responders are able to effectively and efficiently intervene to support their own district as well as dis­tricts throughout the network.

In the event of a district- or school-wide crisis, school districts can deploy and receive responders from both within and outside of the school in a coordinated and systematic manner through the Back Up Support Network.

Julie Donlon, assistant superintendent for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, explains why this service was launched and how it supports component districts.

“Despite our best efforts in taking a proactive approach at protecting our students, staff and communities from trauma, illness, grief and loss, life events happen that impact people in different ways," Donlon said. "The TIG service is designed to create supportive networks that encompass trained professionals to respond effectively in times of crisis.

"GVEP has partnered with Monroe County TIG to serve schools in the Genesee Valley region to ensure our students, staff and community have access to comprehensive support networks during times of tragedy. Through a regional approach, we've partnered with districts and local agencies to build a stronger, more resilient community.

"The service revolves around proactive efforts in planning, preparation and response. Together, we are stronger.”

About GVEP

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services providing shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York state.

October 6, 2019 - 3:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, schools, education, video, batavia.
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Please subscribe to The Batavian's YouTube channel.

October 1, 2019 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

Le Roy Central School is proud to announce that Jr.-Sr. High Science teacher Michael Chiulli was one of the 228 educators from across the state selected to join the New York State Master Teacher Program. He is in his 12th year teaching at Le Roy and has taught AP Biology, Living Environment, and Infectious Diseases over his years with the Oatkan Knights.

From Chiulli:

"When I learned about the NYS Master Teacher Program, I spoke with those who were involved and discovered it was the type of educational initiative that would not only enhance my pedagogy and content knowledge, but also allow me to collaborate and network with outstanding teachers.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with and learn from the master teachers in the program and share my own experiences and skills with them. The kinds of professional development offered in the program will expand upon and strengthen my teaching skills and increase my content knowledge and allow me to offer more opportunities for success for my students."

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Congratulations to Chiulli on being selected to join an elite group of educators in the New York State Master Teacher Program! His dedication to teaching, especially in the area of Science, has been a great resource for the Le Roy Central School District as he continues to encourage more students to pursue STEM studies and careers.

To join a list of 228 new members and more than 1,200 total Master Teachers across New York State is a great individual honor for Chiulli and for Le Roy Central School District students.

Merritt Holly, Le Roy Central School District Superintendent:

"This is such a deserving honor for Mike to be selected for the NYS Master Teacher Program. Mike is the ultimate dedicated professional who reaches all of his students and has created so many opportunities in and out of the classroom and, for some, has propelled them into a career in science!

"He is a very reflective teacher who has continued to evolve his practice to best prepare his students all while wearing his daily famous lab coat! Mike represents the teaching profession at its best and we congratulate him and his family for this prestigious honor!"

Tim McArdle, Le Roy Jr.-Sr. High School Principal:

This is a four-year program that Mr. Chiulli will be participating in. He is the second Le Roy Jr.-Sr. High School teacher selected, following Mrs. Taryn Nole's acceptance last year. He will be engaging in peer mentoring and intensive content-oriented professional development opportunities.

"He will work closely with pre-service and early career teachers to foster a supportive environment for the next generation of STEM teachers, attend required regional cohort meetings, and participate in and lead several professional development sessions each year.

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.”

September 27, 2019 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, schools, education, crime, Le Roy Central School District.
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While officials have declined to discuss thus far the specific nature of a threat made on Snapchat overnight that led to the closing of the schools in Le Roy today, Superintendent Merritt Holley did indicate during a press conference this morning that it was more than just the words used in the Snapchat post that caused concern.

"From my end of it right now, I think because we know what the threat was, we know who the person is, I think from that end, this is exactly -- I'm not going to use the word, there's nothing textbook when you get into these, but I think if you have a situation where we have finality to what we know -- I think that's exactly where you want to be, and I think if we could have gotten that, we think about the time frame of where we're trying to get that information and go," Holley said. "I think closing the school today looks very small in the big scheme of things."

A reporter at the press conference suggested that Holley was saying there was more context to the situation than just what was posted on Snapchat and Holley said, "you can interpret that."

Neither Holley nor Le Roy Police Sgt. Emily McNamara would discuss details about the content of the Snapchat post, nor why police and school officials determined the threat should be taken seriously and considered credible.

The school district was alerted at 5 a.m. by a service set up two years ago to field anonymous tips about safety threats at schools, and Holley said he immediately contacted Le Roy PD. By 8 a.m., the Junior-Senior High School student who made the post had been identified.

Holley said both the student and the student's family are cooperating with the police investigation.

The situation is resolved, both Holley and McNamara said, and school activities return to normal on Saturday.

"This was an isolated incident and I really want to emphasize to the community and to the students at the school that we don't believe that there's any cause for any further concerns or alarm," McNamara said.

She said this is still an open investigation and while charges are possible, it's too soon to say what those charges might be.

As a result of the Snapchat posting, both Wolcott School and Le Roy Junior-Senior HS were closed and all school activities, including tonight's football game in Avon, were canceled.

"This is far from a prank," Holley said. "I think with the investigation going on, I don't want to get specifically into what was said and what was put out, but 'credible' is the key term and with any threat in this day and age that we're in right now, any school district, not only here in Le Roy but across the state, across this country, it's our duty and responsibility to look into every possible situation, and we have to do our due diligence and I think we did that in this in this situation."

September 25, 2019 - 6:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, education, glow with your hands, video, work force development.
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Tuesday, at the fairgrounds, more than 800 students from schools throughout Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties had a chance to try out several skilled trades first hand in the region's first-ever "GLOW With Your Hands" event.

September 24, 2019 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Pembroke Intermediate School, wellness, education, video.
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Pembroke Intermediate School in Corfu is promoting community and wellness this week with a program called “Start with Hello."

On Tuesday morning students were greeted by police and firemen saying hello and handing out apples. The event today is part of a weeklong effort to promote emotional wellness at the school.

September 23, 2019 - 5:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, kindness, batavia, news, schools, education.

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Photos and information provided by Sarah Gahagan:

As part of the ongoing kindness project at Batavia Middle School (hashtag #makeKINDNESSloud), Kim Argenta, owner of Art Ah La Carte, followed suit with a random act of kindness.

Argenta volunteered her time and passion for art to help produce a set of wings that will be used as a display in the sixth-grade hallway of BMS.

The BMS kindness group wanted to create a set of wings to remind students to "lift each other up."

The girls' next step is to find inspirational quotes that fit this theme to be used with the wings as a photo background for students/teachers/support staff who participate in random acts of kindness to be displayed in the building proudly.

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September 18, 2019 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, Genesee Community College.

Submitted photos and press release:

The excitement and intrigue of the new 2019-2020 academic year is not only happening in classrooms, labs and studios across Genesee Community College's seven campus locations, but in the Board of Trustees Conference Room as well. The following new members of the College's Board of Trustees have begun to serve their terms. 

Phillip DiMartino, of Batavia. After attending Genesee Community College in 1980, he began a career with Brunswick Bowling and Billiards, a national firm that once managed more than 100 bowling centers around the world, as well as sold both commercial and personal bowling equipment and products.

During his tenure, he achieved the Ring of Excellence honor for top sales performance and was a member of the Bowling Hall Fame-Batavia.He then joined the John Deere/Sentry Insurance in 1996, earning President Club status for top sales.

Now, as an independent insurance broker for Moore Insurance Agency, he specializes in insuring equipment and auto dealerships. DiMartino served on the United Memorial Medical Center Foundation Board for six years. He is a lifelong resident of Batavia, where he and his wife, Susan, raised their two children and most recently welcomed their first grandchild.

Sarah Noble-Moag, is a co-owner and manager of Noblehurst Farms in Linwood, a multifamily, seven-generation farm corporation. Noblehurst manages a dairy herd, cultivates acreage for dairy forage, is a proud member of Craigs Station Ventures producing Craigs Creamery Cheese, and operates a methane digester and food-recycling business that generates electricity to run the farm and Creamery located in Livingston, Genesee and Wyoming counties. Noble-Moag oversees human resource and personnel management of the farm staff and the Linwood Management Group connecting personnel with key resources, professional development and training opportunities, as well as industry events.

She is the past president of the Board of Education for the Pavilion Central Schools and continues to serve on the audit committee. She also serves on the Agricultural Affiliates Board of Directors providing leadership to build a strong agriculture workforce in the Northeastern United States, as well as on the Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation and the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation. She is a strong advocate for affordable, quality public education in rural communities.

She is a graduate of Cornell University's College of Human Ecology with a BS degree in Consumer Economics and Public Policy and a graduate of Class VI of LEAD New York. Noble-Moag is an elder in the Covington Presbyterian Church and was honored in 2016 as a "Woman of Faith" by the Presbyterian Church USA for building bridges of reconciliation. She and her husband, Timothy Moag, CPA have three grown children and five young and very active grandchildren.

Mary Alice Panek began her education at Genesee Community College with a degree in Humanities in 1977, and continued on to SUNY Brockport for a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Science degree in Education. She retired from Pembroke Central School District where she began teaching secondary English and continued at the elementary level. During her career, she trained teachers in technology as well as mainstreaming students into regular classroom as well as launched the elementary level STEM program at Pembroke.

In addition, Panek has presented best practices in technology at conferences across the United States. She served on the board of the Genesee Region Teachers' Center, the Stafford Historical Society and participated in veterans outreach programs.

She is the chairman of the Town of Stafford Republican Committee and a member of the Genesee County Republican Committee. Panek resides in Stafford with her husband, Ron, and they own Stafford Nurseries, a Christmas tree farm. 

Student Trustee

Neil F. Gillotti is the new student representative on the Board of Trustees for the 2019-2020 academic year. He is majoring in Computer Information Systems and anticipates graduating with an associate degree in May 2020. He is a nontraditional student, enrolling in Genesee Community College after many dynamic life experiences.

He served in the Air Force from 2007-2011, where his military training allowed him to earn college credit.

As a GCC student, he is involved in many activities outside of the classroom including being an officer of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, a member of the Student Government Association and the Campus Activities Board and Outdoor Adventure Club.

His work experience includes being a computer technician, a driver at Nut-tos Peanut Co., a Key Bank Call Center service specialist, and most recently a seasonal landscaper at Bergman Landscaping.

He resides in Middleport, and he says he is very passionate about extreme sports.

September 17, 2019 - 12:34pm

Submitted photo and press release:

John M. McGowan, Ph.D., of Batavia,  took leadership of Genesee Community College's BEST (Business and Employee Skills Training) Center effective Sept. 1.

This is an important transition time as the former director retired and the Center completed a critical analysis of its functionality, allowing McGowan to take the reins with some strategic new direction.

"Having been part of GCC for nearly 15 years and specifically, the last five as part of The BEST Center team, I am excited about the results of our FAR (Functional Area Review) assessment," said the new director of The BEST Center.

"In my new role, I will be able to implement changes to make program registration easier, allocate resources for new program development and so much more."

McGowan intends to use his creative staff to identify continuous improvement opportunities and pull together new and exciting training topics which are the lifeblood of community and workforce development.

The BEST Center offers hundreds of training courses throughout the year to individuals looking to enter a new field. For example, it offers the Dental Assisting Program, which prepares students for entry-level administrative jobs and serves as the ideal launching point into a Dental Hygienist program. You can advance a career through a number of Career Enrichment courses, or even take a class for leisure -- like any of the Drone courses.

In addition, The BEST Center provides Custom Workforce Solutions to support any business or organization looking to bolster employee and organizational performance and improve the bottom line. Businesses can contact the BEST Center for training needs assessments and consultations, work with skilled and experienced trainers to develop customized training plans and even count on the Center's equipped locations and laptops to deliver online and on-site custom training. 

McGowan earned his Doctor of Psychology with specialization in Sport and Performance Psychology from University of the Rockies in Denver in 2018. He earned a Master of Science in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the SUNY College at Brockport in 2003 and 1994 respectively. He has an Associate Degree in Business Administration from GCC (1986). He is also a 2017 graduate of Leadership Genesee.

McGowan is a lifelong resident of Batavia and has four children (John Jr., Joseph, Michael and Jennifer) and seven grandchildren.

September 16, 2019 - 5:42pm

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The Batavia Middle School Kindness Project is an effort by fifth- through eighth-graders at the school, led by teacher Sarah Gahagan, to spread a bit of warmth and joy.

The students look for opportunities to be kind to each other. 

Friday, Gahagan's class sent letters to a fifth-grader in Tennesee who is battling leukemia. The letter-writing effort followed a schoolwide "circle up" meeting on the theme of perseverance.

Gahagan said students discussed different levels of problems we have in our lives and successful coping strategies.

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September 13, 2019 - 1:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in fashion, GCC, education, Fashion Speaker Series, news.

Press release and submitted photo:

Each semester, the Fashion Program at Genesee Community College hosts its Fashion Speaker Series, which introduces students to experts from all areas of the booming industry.

The first speaker in the 2019-2020 series will be lecturer, writer and fashion aficionado, John A. Tiffany, who presents "DAWN: The Career of Legendary Fashion Retailer Dawn Mello" at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, in room T102 on GCC's Batavia Campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

Tiffany has been called a fashion historian and expert on the history of fashion in the 20th century. But, more than anything, he is a passionate storyteller who uncovers and shares the incredible untold stories of pioneering women.

Tiffany's most recent book, "DAWN: The Career of Legendary Fashion Retailer Dawn Mello" is a lavishly illustrated biography that spans her impressive career.

In 1975, Mello was hired as the fashion director and vice president of the department store Bergdorf Goodman, and charged to turn the retailer around and remake it in the image of Ira Neimark, who was the CEO at that time.

Together, they transformed a once dowdy department store into the retail center of luxury fashion.

Mello's strategy not only redefined and repositioned Bergdorf Goodman, but in doing so, she discovered and encouraged the rise of exciting modern designers, while inaugurating an exuberant, new type of fashion show.

After leaving Bergdorf Goodman, Mello moved on to revitalize Gucci, which became a modern case study for resuscitating a luxury brand. By the time she left, Gucci was back on top.

"Our faculty and students are both very excited to have Mr. Tiffany speak at our campus," Donna Ehrhart, GCC professor of Business and Fashion Design, said. "Each year, GCC's students plan and execute their own full-scale fashion show.

"Many students use their experience to launch their own impressive careers. Being able to hear the story of Dawn Mello will be very inspiring for their work this year."

GCC's Fashion Business degree program includes four separate areas of concentration:

  • Fashion Design: covering the necessary principles and techniques of consumer and commercial fashion, apparel, accessories, and the management of fashion development projects. (A one-year certificate is also available for students who want to just hone their hands-on techniques.)
  • Fashion Merchandising Management: providing the skills needed to succeed in a global, ever-changing billion dollar business of fashion buying, display, public relations, styles and sales.
  • E-Commerce: preparing students to manage online inventories, design digital marketing plans and media, and to explore the world of online fashion retail.
  • Event Planning: teaching the principles of event management, consumer behavior, space design, culinary choices, securing entertainment contracts and endorsements, and much more.

"One of the goals of the Fashion Speaker Series is to expose the students to as many possible careers in the industry as possible and to let them hear about the many paths to success," Ehrhart added. "Tiffany's work and his breadth of experience with a variety of individuals in the fashion industry made him a great choice for the first speaker in the series this year."

Tiffany grew up in California's Santa Ynez Valley, earned a bachelor's degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu in 1988, and has been a professional speaker, writer and author since 2011.

His first book, "Eleanor Lambert: STILL HERE" recounts this extraordinary and bona fide American pioneer's incredible journey which is credited with single-handedly putting American fashion on the global stage.

In addition to the speaker series, GCC Fashion students participate in trips to New York City to experience the Fashion District, and they tackle all aspects of producing a professional fashion show: designer, scene coordinator, director, marketing, public relations, and many other responsibilities from public safety to parking.

Each year, the Fashion Show draws an audience of more than 1,500 and is also live-streamed around the world.

This experience leads many GCC fashion majors to transfer agreements with institutions such as FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and LIM (Laboratory Institute of Merchandising) in NYC, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and others.

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