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March 19, 2020 - 5:52pm

Press release:

COVID-19 Response Update – March 19, 2020

In response to the March 14, 2020 Declaration of a State of Emergency by the Genesee County Department of Health (DOH) and the DOH recommendation that all schools close immediately and until further notice; in response to guidance documents received from the NYS Education Department (NYSED); and in response to the Governor’s Executive Orders No. 202.4 and NO. 202.5; the Pembroke Central School District closed for students starting on March 15, 2020 and engaged its employees in necessary planning.

All Pembroke students K-12 were provided hard copy learning materials, Chromebooks, and access to online learning platforms. Families enrolled in the Free and Reduced Meals program, as well as additional families experiencing financial hardship while school is closed, have been provided the opportunity to receive free breakfasts and lunches to cover Monday through Friday.

The District is doing its due diligence to identify and secure childcare services for Pembroke parents who work in the health care field.

The Superintendent and Board of Education expresses heartfelt gratitude to the following:

  • To Students: Thank you for your resiliency and your flexibility.
  • To Parents: Thank you for your cooperation and trust. Thank you to those of you who offered to help however you could.

  • To Support Staff: Thank you for your willingness to jump right in to help the teachers and administration so many ways.

  • To Teachers and other PTF members: Thank you for preparing meaningful learning activities in short order and setting up our students for continued success.

  • To Cafeteria Staff: Thank you for meeting essential needs for those most in need through your food service.

  • To the Transportation Department: Thank you for delivery learning materials and being ready to roll when called upon.

  • To Administration, District Office Staff, Union Representatives and our SRO: Thank you for your leadership and the hours you invested this past weekend and each night after school hours.

  • To Kevin MacDonald and the Genesee Valley Superintendents: Thank you for your collaboration and guidance. We know the people in your organizations are responding the same way as ours.

    Despite all the current challenges, we will get through this together. All Pembroke updates are posted on the District website.

March 17, 2020 - 1:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in CTE Center, welding, AWS, news, education.

Submitted photo and press release:

When Batavia High School senior Tyler Murphy heard about a logo contest offered by the Rochester chapter of the American Welding Society, he thought he would create a design that reflects his style but also create something that reflects the work of the industry group.

AWS is a national organization with local and regional chapters, that promotes and encourages the welding trade.

Tyler is a Welding student at the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center. His inspiration for his drawing is his love of tattoos, and he wanted to incorporate something that portrayed America, hence the use of America's symbolic bird, the bald eagle.

Tyler has Andrew Geye to thank -- the Welding instructor at the Batavia CTE Center shared contest information with Tyler.

“(He) encouraged me to enter the contest," Tyler said. "He knows how much I enjoy drawing."

And Geye says he immediately thought of Tyler when he learned about the logo design competition for students.

“Tyler has a desire and ability to create art with metal and other mediums," Geye said. "Tyler’s drawing for the new AWS T-shirt logo showcases his ability but represents all types of talent here at the Batavia CTE Center.

"The metal trades not only promote the welding industry but advocates for students' success and achievement by cultivating students' confidence and ability through projects such as a logo design competition. I’m extremely proud of Tyler and the efforts he has demonstrated.”

Tyler’s design was selected as the first-place winner of this AWS logo contest and his efforts were recently recognized by Geyer, Paul Kesler, Batavia HS principal; Joe Hussar, Batavia HS counselor; Catherine Bennett, Batavia CTE Center assistant principal; and Matt Wolff, AWS Rochester section chairman.

“The AWS Rochester board voted on all designs submitted from local area schools, and Tyler Murphy is the winner," Wolff said. "The American Welding Society Rochester Section presented Tyler with a $500 award for a new T-shirt design."

Tyler was surprised by this award and when asked how he will use the $500, he replied, “I’m ecstatic that my design was chosen. I’m going to buy welding tools.”

The mission of the America Welding Society is to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying. With many local and region chapters, this national nonprofit organization, strives to advance the welding industry through many initiatives including membership, certification, education and research as well as publications and events.

Photo, from left: Joe Hussar, Batavia High School counselor; Catherine Bennett, Batavia CTE Center assistant principal; Matt Wolff, AWS Rochester section chairman; Tyler Murphy; Paul Kesler, Batavia HS principal; Andrew Geyer and Tim Gleba, Precision Machining instructor.

March 17, 2020 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in live stream, Le Roy, schools, education, corvid-19, coronavirus, news.
Video Sponsor

We interviewed Merritt Holly, superintendent of the Le Roy Central School District, live and this video is a replay of that stream.

We'll get an update on how the district is dealing with the closure, what's available for students, and families, and how things are going in Le Roy.

If you're unable to view the stream on our home page, click here.  Also, if you follow that link, there is a live chat on YouTube where you can ask questions that I will try to incorporate into the interview.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, and I don't know why, the interview cuts off a minute or so early, a problem on YouTube's end I imagine.

March 14, 2020 - 8:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, schools, education, news, notify.

Press release:

“Over the past week, COVID-19 has evolved rapidly. While Genesee County has no confirmed cases, there are confirmed cases in neighboring counties and increased local testing. I believe it is inevitable we will see cases here in Genesee County,” said Rochelle Stein, chair of the Genesee County Legislature.

“With this in mind and after discussion with Paul Pettit, director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, I am declaring a state of emergency for Genesee County. This declaration allows us to procure goods and services as well as required and available assistance to municipalities and school districts. I am recommending that all schools in Genesee County close to students effective immediately for an undetermined amount of time.”

“We want to remind people the risk in our community still remains relatively low and these decisions are based on the need to slow transmission in our communities,” Pettit said. “Through ongoing discussions with all 10 school districts and county administration, this unified decision is based on the increased activity in our county and has led to these preventive measures.”

A statement from Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership: “In collaboration with the New York State and local Departments of Health, the component districts of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership will be closed to students effective Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. Component districts will be sharing messages to their respective communities regarding details of their closures. We ask all our community members to take care of each other as we navigate this public health matter.”

March 14, 2020 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, news, video, schools, education.
Video Sponsor

Batavia Middle School hosted a Health and Wellness Day for students at the school yesterday. The event was the brainchild of Assistant Principal Brian Sutton.

If you enjoy community news, please support The Batavian.

March 13, 2020 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, novel coronavirus, news, education, GVEP.

Press release:

Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) school districts are collaborating and communicating on a daily basis to review best practices and guidance in order to strategize the best path forward in our response to the COVID-19 situation.

Our local health departments and medical professionals are essential partners in our collaboration and decision-making process.  

Even though information related to the situation is changing rapidly, all GVEP districts count student safety as our top priority. Our district teams are acting based on the latest guidance from local, regional, and New York State Departments of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the New York State Education Department in addition to reviewing their local emergency response plans.

Our collaboration on a regional level informs the decision-making on the district level. Each district may make decisions related to events and school trips based on factors unique to their schools and community yet all districts have student health and safety as our top priority.

We appreciate your continuous support and patience as we navigate this situation.

Kevin MacDonald, District Superintendent -- Genesee Valley Educational Partnership

Ken Ellison, Chairman -- Genesee Valley Chief School Officers Association            

Genesee County Schools

  • Alexander Central School, 3314 Buffalo St., Alexander, NY  14005
  • Batavia City Schools, 260 State St., Batavia, NY  14020
  • Byron-Bergen Central School, 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen, NY  14416
  • Elba Central School, 57 S. Main St., Elba, NY 14058
  • Le Roy Central School, 2-6 Trigon Park, Le Roy, NY  14482
  • Oakfield-Alabama Central School, 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY  14125
  • Pavilion Central School, 7014 Big Tree Road, Pavilion, NY  14525
  • Pembroke Central School, P.O. Box 308, Corfu, NY  14036
March 11, 2020 - 4:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Health Studies, education, news, GCC.

Press release:

Careers in healthcare have always ranked among the most rewarding in terms of salaries, job security, career advancement and overall employee satisfaction. Coupled with the continued shortage in qualified, credentialed healthcare workers in Western and Central New York, this is a great time to consider a career in compassion.

Genesee Community College has officially opened enrollment for its newest program, the Health Studies Associate in Science. Requiring a total of 62 credit hours, this program is designed to be completed in as little as two years and offers flexibility with up to 50 percent of its coursework available through online learning.

"The Health Studies associate degree was meticulously designed to meet the demands of our region," said Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, Ph.D., dean of Math, Science and Career Education. "Students who graduate from this program are fully prepared to transfer to a four-year institution under SUNY's Health Education Transfer Path for a bachelor's degree that leads to a variety of career options."

GCC Health Studies degree students fulfill their General Education requirements and focus on industry-specific information such as medical terminology, nutrition and the many issues revolving around health insurance.

This combination saves GCC students thousands of dollars in tuition, offers small classes with plenty of hands-on learning and one-to-one instruction. It also provides valuable exposure to the many different career paths in healthcare and the coursework includes all of the pre-requisite courses for GCC's other healthcare programs.

Upon graduation, GCC students are uniquely positioned to transfer and earn bachelor's degrees that can lead to high-demand and lucrative health-related employment opportunities.

Additionally, GCC also offers a Health Studies Certificate option where credit hours can be fully applied toward the associate degree and five additional healthcare degree programs including; Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant, Polysomnographic Technology, Respiratory Care and Veterinary Technology.

Details on all programs can be found here

Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Marirose Ethington, GCC's director of Science at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6389, or email: [email protected] or Deborah Erion, student success coach dedicated to the Health Studies program at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6423, or email: [email protected].

March 10, 2020 - 12:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, education, Genesee Promise Plus, scholarships.

Press release:

Applications are now being accepted at Genesee Community College for Genesee Promise Plus (GPP) Summer 2020 Scholarships!

The GPP scholarship program helps remove financial barriers to higher education for citizens in the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) counties by paying tuition costs for up to two courses this summer.

With more than 70 courses available over three summer session start dates, combined with the flexibility of courses being both online and at GCC's seven campus locations, the only challenge is finding a reason not to get started!

GP Scholarship eligibility is simple. Anyone in the following categories is encouraged to apply:

  • High School Juniors (aka "rising seniors") and qualifying Homeschool Students are eligible for scholarship funding to take one summer 2020 course. 
  • Graduating High School Seniors are eligible for scholarship funding to take one or two summer 2020 courses
  • Adults who have never attended college are eligible for scholarship funding to take one course. This includes adults who have received a GED prior to May 1, 2020 or graduated from a GLOW area high school on or before December 2019. GCC will require a copy of high school transcripts.

GPP scholarship applications are available online at www.genesee.edu/promiseplus and will be accepted now through June 19 for the 2020 summer sessions which will run from:

  • Full Session runs May 26 - Aug. 7
  • Session 1 runs May 26 - June 26
  • Session 2 runs July 6 - Aug. 7

"Summer is a perfect time for students to get a head start on their college coursework or explore possible career options," Lindsay Gerhardt, assistant dean for Recruitment and Admissions said. "The GPP program provides a wonderful opportunity to cost effectively earn up to eight transferrable credits before their first full semester even begins!"

GCC's summer session course list includes general education courses and prerequisites for a variety of programs to give students a head start. In addition, there are a wide array of introductory courses available for individuals looking to explore a new field or wanting to start on their academic degree program during the quieter summer session.

To view the complete list of courses being offered, visit here.

Applications, qualification criteria and additional information are available here

All interested individuals are encouraged to contact the office of admissions at [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6805 today!

February 22, 2020 - 12:43pm

Press release:

Registration is now open for the 2020 Genesee County Incubation and Embryology Program.

The program is open to classrooms and school groups throughout Genesee County.

Students and teachers that participate in this hands-on program will learn all about the process of hatching a chick.

To register or receive more information, please contact the Genesee County 4-H Office at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040, ext. 101.

More information about the program is also available here.

February 21, 2020 - 6:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, st. paul lutheran school, history, hlom, news.

Fourth- and fifth-graders at St. Paul Lutheran School are proudly displaying their projects on "Early Colonial Settlements" at the Holland Land Office Museum.

They are the culmination of all they learned on the topic during the two-week lesson plan, which they began before National Lutheran Schools Week, Jan. 26-Feb. 1.

There was no America as we know it now, their teacher Jennifer Dunn explained to them.

Native Americans lived throughout the land. There were settlements by Puritans and Pilgrams from England, and by the Dutch, French and Spanish. Think Roanoke, Jamestown, Cooperstown, Plymouth.

Travel was difficult. Conditions primitive. Why did they take such risks to come here?  How did they live day to day? What did they eat, or wear? What rules governed them?

Besides history, the studies emcompassed English Language Arts, social studies and geography.

Between the drears of winter and the sheer scope of written/verbal information, it seemed to Dunn that her students were getting sort of "overwhelmed" and bogged down by it all, including niggling details: at least four of the key people of the time had the first name John.

So she decided to have students do some research on their own and put their knowlege into the tangible form of displays with essays accompanying them.

"They did their own research themselves and they are proud of it," Dunn said. "It made history come alive."

Their fact-finding also helped clarify some confusing points.

And they created labels for the models -- made of stuff like wooden sticks, twigs, tempera paint, plastic barnyard animals, craft paper, even Rice Krispies -- with references to the essays they wrote.

Each child presented their work in front of their parents and the whole school.

It was a lot for 9- and 10-year-olds to master and their mastery is on display tomorrow Feb. 22 through Thursday, March 5, when the St. Paul students will retrieve their projects after a field trip to the museum.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The location is 131 W. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

February 18, 2020 - 5:14pm

Photo and information from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

Step inside Doug Russo’s classroom at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center and you will see a plethora of computers, all outfitted with the latest graphic design software.

It is a point of pride for him after spending the last six years at his alma mater (Class of '88) revamping the Graphic Arts curriculum and upgrading the equipment.

Prior to that, his career path after high school graduation took him many places -- as owner of a printing company, and also a partner in a pizzeria where he was responsible for the marketing and advertising.

Russo also served on the Advisory Board for the Graphic Arts Program. When a colleague told with him that longtime Batavia CTE Center Graphic Arts instructor Joe Burnett was set to retire, Russo decided teaching was the next step to further his professional goals.

After he successfully went through the hiring process and landed the job, he got busy making improvements so juniors and seniors can learn cutting-edge skills for an ever-evolving workforce.

The two-year Graphic Arts Program, like the majority of those at CTE, is project-based.

“The framework of the Graphic Arts curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and foundational skills to continue their journey into higher education and explore, as well as, pursue career opportunities," Russo said.

Students also learn marketing and business principles in the class.

“My goals are for students to enter a safe environment, not only to obtain graphic art skills but also have the ability to gain self-confidence, problem-solve, be creative and innovative, and learn to collaborate with others,” Russo said.

“Ultimately, I want to guide students towards building a foundation for higher-order thinking, and my curriculum strives to promote lifelong learning of highly transferrable skills.”

Inspiring students is one of Russo’s strengths. Recently, two of his students were recognized as winners of logo contests.

“Chloe Schnitter won a logo contest for GLOW Woman Rise organization and Fanny Venegas's cover design was selected for the Rochester International Auto Show publication that will be held in Rochester...in March of this year,” Russo said. 

Russo is proud of his students’ successes; one student's success is particularly extraordinary.

“A few years back we had a student who had limited eyesight and was legally visually impaired," Russo said. "His name was Thomas Buboltz and he attended the New York State School for the Blind. Thomas came to class every day, worked hard, and did not let his disability defeat him.

"Due to his hard work and his accomplishments, Thomas was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society. A great day for Thomas occurred when he was interviewed by Doug Emblidge, news anchor from WHAM TV13, about his successes in the Graphic Arts Program.”

Russo’s commitment to helping his students succeed is evident not just in the awards and recognition they receive, but in his promise to them.

“The most important thing I want students to learn, regardless of their background, is that education is an investment in their future and learning never stops,” he said. “Learning and hard work will pay dividends. It's a way to overcome those challenges they face and a way to accomplish their goals.”

In January, Russo was recognized at the Genesee Valley School Boards Association’s (GVSBA) annual Legislative Breakfast for his dedication and commitment to his students.

“This award was designed to highlight programs that are unique and beneficial for students that go above and beyond what is required and provide a service that is needed,” said Patrick Burk, GVSBA executive director.

Photo: Doug Russo, Batavia CTE Center Graphic Arts instructor (center) surrounded by his afternoon class.

About the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center

It is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

February 18, 2020 - 12:39pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Ariana and Tom Sylvester (photo above) are the quintessential entrepreneurs: Creative; funny; hard working; authors; speakers; designers; open to change; jugglers of life encounters; self-employed; parents; husband and wife; college sweethearts; athletes; and maybe just a little crazy -- proudly so. They are also the perfect pair to kick off Genesee Community College's third annual Business Idea Pitch Competition.

They will make their presentation on Thursday, March 19, at 11 a.m. at the Batavia Campus in the Conable Technology Building room T102.

With a program entitled, "Becoming a Lifestyle Builder: Your Guide to Creating an Aligned and Amazing Life," Tom and Ariana will cover the first three sections of their successful book, "Life Builders, Build Your Business, Quit Your Job and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle."

In a one-hour program, they intend to cover the basics of their inspirational message, and give the flavor of chapter one -- "Planning with Purpose"; chapter two -- "Finding Your Freedom"; and chapter three -- "Concept to Cash."

Their program is free and open to the public. Limited seating is first-come, first-served and a book signing opportunity will follow their program.

The Sylvesters currently live in Gates and have two young children. They met at Oswego State College where they earned degrees in Computer Science and Zoology, respectively, and both played on the college's soccer teams.

They graduated in 2006, married in 2008, started their family in 2012, and have gone on to establish three different businesses all while still in their 30s.

Sylvester Enterprises is a residential and commercial real estate firm is based in Warsaw and Perry, and they owned a retail liquor store in Warsaw for approximately seven years.

Since 2015 however, they have been living their dream come true with Lifestyle Builders, a firm they founded to help others secure their dream careers by building upon individual passions while also balancing life's competing priorities. Their 285-page book also includes chapters on "Setup and Scale Your Systems," "Quit Your Cubicle" and "Stop Self Sabotage."

As self-described "family entrepreneurs," the couple has many speaking engagements, and a robust variety of podcasts available on their website, under seven different headings: Lifestyle; Start A Business; Grow A Business; Marketing; Sales; Operations; and Finance.

The diverse selection of podcast titles include: "Organic Marketing Before Paid Marketing"; "Automate Before You Delegate"; "The Hiccups with Hiring -- How to Build Your Team"; and the "FIRE Movement -- Financial Independence"; "Retire with Entrepreneurship:; and let's not overlook "The Danger of Mom-Guilt."

From their podcasts to their book, their website and their speaking engagements, Lifestyle Builders look beyond the financial details of starting a business by helping entrepreneurs consider and prepare their personal lives and goals as well.

"It rarely is a straight and narrow path," Ariana said. "And we wouldn't want it any other way."

Genesee Community College offers both degree and certificate programs in Entrepreneurship preparing emerging business owners and investors for success. The Sylvesters' presentation will help expand the learning opportunity and kick off GCC's third annual Business Idea Pitch Competition, which is cosponsored by Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC).

The Business Idea Pitch Competition will be held Thursday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (check-in starting at 8:15 a.m.) in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building at the Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus.

To support participants' efforts and help prepare their first entrepreneurial steps, GCC is hosting the following preparation workshops all held in room T121:

  • Tuesday, March 31, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. -- "Starting a Business" presented by Sam Campanella
  • Tuesday, April 14, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. -- "Writing a Business Plan" presented by Sam Campanella
  • Tuesday, April 21, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. -- "Developing Your Pitch" presented by Lina LaMattina, Ph.D.

The workshops are free and open to anyone participating in the Business Idea Pitch Competition. To sign up for a workshop, please contact LaMattina at [email protected].

February 12, 2020 - 5:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in GLOW Tech Wars, STEAM, GCC, education, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

The 13th GLOW Region Tech Wars will be held Thursday, March 12, at Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus. The annual Tech Wars brings middle and high school students from all 24 of the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) region's school districts together in teams to work collaboratively to demonstrate their technical expertise through innovative, mind-expanding competitions.

Each year, with a forward vision and new developments in technology, Tech Wars introduces new events. 2020 is no different. This year's competitors (students) have chosen from close to 30 available competitions to showcase -- and put to the test -- some basic and some extremely intricate and innovative technology. Regardless of the event, all of the students enjoy the opportunity to see their hard work come to fruition.

Tech Wars event details, rules and competition descriptions are available at techwarsgccny.org.

Tech Wars 2020 events brings back some favorites such as: Battlebot Soccer; the Regatta; Bridge; CO2 Cars; King of the Hill; Logo Design; Sculpture; Onsite CAD Drawing and Reverse Engineering CAD; Skimmer Cars; Sumo Bots; Tractor Pull and Trebuchet; and will introduce the all new, Lumber Labyrinth.

In addition to Lumber Labyrinth, Tech Wars 2020 also introduces Skimmer Cars and Technical Drawing for the middle schoolers as well as other legacy events such as Catapult; Paper Airplane; Rube Goldberg; and Sculpture. Back by popular demand for all participants is the Mystery Event, which allows students to use their creativity and skills in an on-demand, timed situation.

For the second year, Tech Wars also features STEAM Jam @ Tech Wars, an event held simultaneously for third- to fifth-grade students from GLOW region schools. More than 100 students will participate in various team building and mind-stimulating activities that foster skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). As an educational precursor to a future in technology, STEAM Jam participants will have the opportunity to observe the fun and exciting Tech Wars 2020 competitions.

Educational support for Tech Wars and STEAM Jam comes from the dedication, state-of-the art facilities and quality instruction in the GLOW region schools. Teachers share ideas and explore new technology and developments through both a Regional STEAM Teachers' cohort and a Regional Tech Teachers' Cohort.

Focused on local economic development, the newly established Regional Tech Teachers' Cohort collaboratively cultivates relationships between the schools and local professionals to provide information sessions, field trips, school to work opportunities, and more to enhance student learning experiences. Through these experiences and relationships students begin to form goals and a vision for their own futures.

The efforts of programs like Tech Wars, STEAM Jam and the Cohorts are already making a difference with many thanks to community support. Tech Wars 2020 has been presented with a record number of sponsors Gold Sponsors: Liberty Pumps, Northeast Industrial Tech Inc., Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning, Graham Corporation, Amada Tool America Inc., and Glow with Your Hands. Silver and Bronze Sponsors: LandPro Equipment, Oxbo International, Takeform, DWB Enterprises and the Varysburg Lions Club.

"The support of local businesses and organizations in this region is second to none," Ann Valento, ACE program specialist said. "Without these organizations and other generous local donors, Tech Wars would not be possible.

"Our local sponsors also serve as volunteers, judges, and spend their valuable time talking with students and inspiring entrepreneurial spirit. In addition, the businesses that participate in these events get an exclusive opportunity to meet and network with the future workforce in our community."

Tech Wars is also proudly sponsored and hosted by Genesee Community College and its ACE (Accelerated College Enrollment) program. The ACE team and the entire GCC community work diligently to provide a safe and appropriately-equipped environment to showcase the students' technological skills and creativity.

Tech Wars is among several dynamic programs giving students the opportunity to learn hands-on, often in business settings and with industry professionals. The ACE Program's Career Pathways is committed to helping students explore career options and make a smooth transition from high school to further education and/or a career.

For more information about the Career Pathways programs, please contact Ann Valento, Genesee Community College Career Pathways Specialist at 585-3430055, ext. 6316, or [email protected].

February 5, 2020 - 1:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, education, news.

Press release:

According to Punxsutawney Phil (the beloved groundhog from neighboring Pennsylvania), warmer weather is on its way and Genesee Community College is taking full advantage of an early spring by offering a calendar full of opportunities.

Explore the many different degrees and certificates offered by GCC that increase earning potential and even start a whole new career path.

On Saturday, March 28, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. GCC's Batavia Campus will host an Open House event for students of all ages. Learn why thousands of people across the nation are now choosing community colleges to avoid the crushing student loan debt often incurred at four-year institutions.

GCC's Open House covers the admission and financial aid processes and provides campus-wide tours including College Village and the new communal living with private bedrooms in the recently renovated Birch Hall.

Registration is encouraged and available online here to ensure a spot for GCC's Open House event, which will include:

  • 8 a.m. -- Early Registration in Stuart Steiner Theatre
  • 8:15 a.m. -- Early Bird Campus Tours
  • 8:30 a.m. -- Registration
  • 9 a.m. -- Hear from College Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Success Center and Student Activities Representatives*
  • 10:15 a.m. -- 11:15 a.m. Academic Fair in the Forum with program faculty
  • 10:30 a.m. -- 12 p.m. -- Campus Tours -- including College Village (residence halls)
  • 11 a.m. -- 12 p.m. -- Nursing Information Session (optional)

*Presentations will be live-streamed here.

In addition to the Open House event, the College is also hosting specialized Major Exploration Days where attendees will meet with program faculty and dedicated student success coaches specialized to each major, and representatives from Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Activities. Attendees will also be given a tour of the campus and College Village.

Click on the links below to register online.

  • March 6 -- Business Administration, Fashion, Science, Engineering, Tourism and Hospitality, and Food Processing Technology
  • March 20 -- Law/Paralegal, Criminal Justice, Human Services, Teacher Education
  • April 24 -- Healthcare programs including: Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant, Sleep Technologist, Respiratory Care, Veterinary Technology and the NEW Health Studies, A.S. 
  • May 8 -- Learn about the flexibility of a Liberal Arts degree: Creative and Fine Arts, Digital Arts and Physical Education

Major Exploration Days are scheduled on Fridays from 12 - 3:30 p.m. and start in the Conable Technology Building on GCC's Batavia Campus. These sessions fill up fast, so registration is recommended and available online here under "Major Exploration Days."

Genesee Community College serves over 5,000 students with more than 65 academic programs and certificates. Among the many options are the Marketing and Social Media concentration within the Business Administration program, Food Processing Technology, Theatre Arts and six different healthcare programs including the new Health Studies, A.S. 

Each GCC student is assigned a success coach at the College's Student Success Center, who provides academic and career guidance from the first steps of the admissions process through to graduation including transferring credits to other institutions. The College's robust athletic program is housed in the state-of-the-art Richard C. Call Arena featuring a fieldhouse, fitness center, Human Performance Lab, press box, as well as coaches' offices and classrooms. 

GCC operates a significant online program and student housing is available at College Village, just a three-minute walk from the Batavia Campus. With small class sizes and innovative technology inside and out of the classroom, SUNY GCC is known for being "high-tech" and "high touch."

GCC also offers classes and training through its Campus Centers located throughout Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties at:

  • Albion Campus Center -- 456 West Ave., Albion
  • Arcade Campus Center -- 25 Edward St., Arcade
  • Dansville Campus Center -- 31 Clara Barton St., Dansville
  • Lima Campus Center -- 7285 Gale Road, Lima
  • Medina Campus Center -- 11470 Maple Ridge Road, Medina
  • Warsaw Campus Center -- 115 Linwood Ave., Warsaw
January 31, 2020 - 4:39pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Earlier this week, James M. Sunser, Ed.D., president of Genesee Community College (inset photo), was elected chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The announcement came with a full roster of the Commission's Executive Committee and officers, as well as its standing and advisory committee chairs and vice chairs for this year's term Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

MSCHE's Executive Committee is comprised of seven members elected by the Commission annually, including the Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer and its composition must include administrative, faculty and public representatives.

Sunser (a MSCHE Administrative Representative), has been President of Genesee Community College since August 2011.

He was elected Chair of the MSCHE Commission after serving as Vice Chair in 2019 and he began his service in 2017 as one of 26 commissioners.

During his service, he has helped MSCHE review its accreditation standards and recommended changes to the Commission's accreditation processes and cycle.

He has also served on the MSCHE Rebranding Committee that created a new messaging platform for the Commission.

The Executive Committee also includes Vice Chair Davie Jane Gilmour, Ph.D., (Administrative Representative), president of Pennsylvania College of Technology since 1998; Treasurer David E. Hollowell (Public Representative), who was appointed to the Commission in 2013 and is in his second term as a public member; and Secretary Alan D. Mathios, Ph.D., (Faculty Representative), professor at Cornell University. 

The Non-Officer Executive Committee members include: Katherine Conway-Turner, Ph.D., president of SUNY Buffalo State College; Carl Person, Ph.D., formerly a director at NASA; and Lloyd Ricketts, vice president and treasurer at The College of New Jersey.

In total, eight first-term and four second-term Commissioners were welcomed to the MSCHE. Additional details and photos of each are available on the MSCHE website.

MSCHE is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation to accredit degree-granting institutions which offer one or more post-secondary educational programs of at least one academic year. To earn and retain accreditation through MSCHE, each institution of higher education undergoes a multi-stage accreditation review process that begins with an intensive self-study with a specially appointed steering committee and many working groups. Institutions usually engage campus-wide discussions to prepare the comprehensive Self-Study Report which focuses on specific accreditation standards.

This Report then frames a three-day site visit by an assigned evaluation team made up of members from peer institutions who compile an Evaluation Report to summarize findings and recommend any follow-up action for continued accreditation. GCC was successfully re-accredited by Middle States in 2018. 

Sunser joins the team of academic leaders who help define, maintain and promote educational excellence across many institutions with diverse missions, student populations and resources. Prior to his appointment as a commissioner and an officer, he also chaired or was a member of evaluation teams within the peer-review process on more than a dozen occasions in the past 20 years.

"It is my honor to continue serving Middle States in this new capacity," Sunser said. "The important work of this body impacts thousands of people every day, while continuing to refine and improve higher education in the Mid-Atlantic States."

January 30, 2020 - 1:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, NAMM, education, music industry.


Submitted photo and press release:

Cameron Bontrager, of Batavia, was one of 40 SUNY Oneonta music industry students who got to attend the world's largest music products trade show, The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show, from Jan. 16-19 in Anaheim, Calif.

The NAMM Show is an annual event that brings together leaders of the music products, pro audio and event technology industries for four days of product introductions, business opportunities, networking and inspiration.

The students got to preview and test new products from more than 7,000 brands; enjoyed special events, live music and celebrity appearances; and attended dozens of educational sessions tied to today's trends.

Bontrager is studying Music Industry at SUNY Oneonta.

Students also got to hear interviews with the music world's top innovators, artists and professionals, including musician/producer Finneas O'Connell, who took home Grammys for record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, non-classical engineered album and non-classical producer of the year at the 62nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 26. O'Connell is superstar Billie Eilish's brother.

SUNY Oneonta students also got to watch 1970s R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire perform and hear artist, songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff speak.

NAMM gave SUNY Oneonta students a first-hand look at how music retail and music business go hand-in-hand. They were able to test out the latest products, see lots of live performances, and attend cutting-edge demonstrations as well as panel discussions about upcoming technologies and marketing techniques. A group of students also got to volunteer at NAMM's She Rocks Awards show, which pays tribute to women in the music industry.

While in California, the students also visited Paradigm Talent Agency, where SUNY Oneonta music industry students have completed internships.

The NAMM trip is a long-running SUNY Oneonta tradition. Music Department faculty have been taking students to the event for more than 25 years.

Lecturer Nancy Tarr, who has accompanied Oneonta students on the trip for the past five years, said it's a wonderful opportunity for students to meet and learn from people who have been in their shoes. It shows students that they, too, can be successful someday.

This trip was made possible, in part, by support from the Caroline ('67) and David D'Antonio Student Travel for Excellence Fund.

SUNY Oneonta is a public, four-year college in Central New York, enrolling about 6,000 students in a wide variety of bachelor's degree programs and several graduate certificate and degree programs. The college is known as both an exemplary residential campus that values inclusion, service and sustainability, and a nurturing community where students grow intellectually, thrive socially and live purposefully. Visit https://suny.oneonta.edu/

January 28, 2020 - 12:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, Ebullition, education, annual fashion show.

Press release:

The Fashion Program students at Genesee Community College announced the 39th Annual Fashion Show will take over the Richard C. Call Arena on Saturday, May 2, at 7 p.m. and no one should miss this "Ebullition" in Fashion!

Earlier in the semester, GCC's Fashion Program student Yuuka Sano unveiled the 39th Annual Fashion Show theme as "Ebullition!" (A sudden violent outburst or display; the act, process, or state of boiling or bubbling up. -- Merriam-Webster Dictionary.)

As the theme dictates, this show will be an eruption of emotion expressed through fashion.

Each scene in the show will be connected through a series of introspective garment selections with specific colors and textures to reflect authentic emotions consistent with the Japanese representation "ki do ai raku" meaning happiness, anger, sadness and joy in English.

With an exciting and powerful theme to guide their selections, the students have already begun to audition scene coordinators, marketing, advertising, sponsorships and scene garments. In the coming months, GCC students will build and coordinate more than a dozen scenes for the fast-paced, professionally produced show.

In addition, the Fashion Show student committees are holding Model Tryouts for all ages in GCC's Batavia Campus Forum on:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 13, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Anyone interested in becoming a GCC Fashion Show Model should email Fashion Show Marketing Committee Member Jess Piper at [email protected] to schedule a tryout timeslot.

Taking full advantage of the 24,000 square foot indoor field house in the Richard C. Call Arena, "Ebullition" will accommodate up to 2,000 guests and offer ample parking.

This year's students are planning a fully immersive production, which includes preshow interviews and photo ops featuring the coordinators of each scene, and a post-show party and vendor market. Currently, students are seeking vendors to participate in this portion of the program.

There are industry-exclusive sponsorship opportunities available that include public recognition and promotional value. Any business, organization, or individual interested in supporting this year's Fashion Show should contact Debbie Mancuso at (585) 345-6830 or via email at [email protected] today.

Tickets to the show will go on sale in February -- watch here for details.

The show is also live-streamed around the world.

The Fashion Program at GCC has always been a flagship for the college. The knowledge and experience of the faculty and their dedication to their students has produced quality and professional workplace candidates and well-prepared transfer students since the program's inception more than 40 years ago.

Recently, GCC renewed its articulation agreement with LIM for students in the Fashion Business: Merchandising A.A.S. program. Students who complete the track and degree can seamlessly transfer to LIM to complete their B.B.A. in Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing or Management.

In addition, GCC is very excited to announce a new articulation agreement with Cazenovia College. This agreement provides a seamless transfer opportunity for GCC's Fashion Business: Merchandising A.A.S. students to Cazenovia's Fashion Merchandising B.P.S. and for GCC's Fashion Business: Fashion Design A.A.S. students to Cazenovia's Fashion Design B.F.A. degree program.

Anyone interested in taking advantage of these transfer opportunities through GCC is encouraged to contact GCC's Student Success Center at (585) 345-6805 or via email at [email protected].

January 27, 2020 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, schools, education, video, batavia.
Video Sponsor

As part of Catholic Schools Week on Sunday, St. Joe's held it's third annual "Slime Off."

January 25, 2020 - 12:44pm

Submitted photo and press release:

AUCTION! St. Paul Lutheran School will host its annual Live Auction and Basket Raffle at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Doors will open at 3:30. Auction will feature new items, gift certificates, baked goods, handcrafted items, themed baskets, and much more! Refreshments will also be available.

For more information or to donate an item, contact (585) 343-0488. St. Paul Lutheran School is located at 31 Washington Ave. in the City of Batavia.

January 23, 2020 - 2:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, news, notre dame high school.

Press release:

Have you seen the new Notre Dame High School? Notre Dame High School will be holding an open house for new and prospective students from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30th.

Come see what the #1-rated high school in the GLOW region has to offer!

Hear about our academic program, fine arts, athletics and inclusive education, meet our staff and tour our newly renovated school.

All eighth- through 12th-grade students and parents/guardians are welcome!

The school was founded in 1951. It a private, Roman Catholic high school within the Diocese of Buffalo. It is located at 73 Union St. in the City of Batavia.

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