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November 30, 2022 - 8:26pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, BOCES, news.

Press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center Auto Body program, for the last three months, has been restoring two Bells that used to hang at the  Batavia Middle School.    The bells will be presented at the Centennial Ceremony at Batavia Middle School.  The Auto Body students, with help from Conservation Students, made platforms for the newly renovated bells to sit on.  Going forward, the bells will be mobile and will be around for a long time.  

One of the bells is made of cast iron, and one is made of brass bronze. The brass bronze bell was made at the McNeeley Foundry in Troy, NY.  The bell arrived in Batavia back in 1873, likely by horse and buggy. The bell will be 150 years old next year. The other bell was made in the early 1900s in West Seneca, NY.  

Auto Body Teacher Jeffrey Fronk received an email  From Rachel Slobert about the bells, and immediately knew this would be the perfect project for his students.  Fronk said he knew how valuable these bells were and didn’t want them falling into the wrong hands.  He knew how important it was to restore them and learned the rich history behind them.  He wanted the students to get a chance to restore something different, especially with this much history in the community.  The last time the bells rang was Likely in the 1930s.  

To restore the bells they had to go through two different processes since one is cast iron and one is brass bronze.  The project was completed by 15 students who tore them apart, disassembled, sanded, primed, painted, and hand-polished them.  During the bell restoration, students argued over who went to work on it because they all wanted to be able to help.  

On an average year, the students fully restore 15 cars and 25 smaller jobs.  By restoring something other than a car, the students are getting other hands-on experience in restorations.  This shows students that they have other avenues to learn and make money.   You will never hear an Auto Body student say they don’t have anything to do.  They continue to learn and work on several projects throughout the year.  

“I had a mentor when I was young, Rick Hoffman, who in my opinion, was the best of the best, and I only wish I could be as good as he was and pay what he taught me forward.  I absolutely love watching these kids grow to not knowing what they're doing to dive into this bell and wanting to be a part of something so cool,” stated Fronk.   Fronk is looking forward to hearing the bells ring on stage at the Centennial Ceremony.  All of the students and teachers have been invited to this ceremony. 

Special thanks to Ryan Ditacchio, Bernie Harwood and Ed Swain for the guidance and instruction of these great students.

November 30, 2022 - 8:14pm


Press release:

Noblehurst Farms recently directed a $5,000 Bayer Fund America’s Farmers Grow Communities donation to Pavilion Central School. The school will use the funds to purchase mountain bikes for outdoor physical education opportunities.

“The funds from this donation will help us in our goal of providing students with opportunities and skills to support a healthy lifestyle. Mountain bikes are just the start. We are planning a walking trail around the school property that will double as a mountain bike path. We hope to create a place that supports both our students and the community of Pavilion. We are grateful that Noblehurst Farms directed this funding to the district for this project. The generosity and support in this community for our school is inspiring.” said Superintendent Kate Hoffman.

Since 2010, America’s Farmers programs have awarded more than $65 million to nonprofits, aspiring ag students, and public schools across rural America. Farmers are leaders in their communities, which is why America’s Farmers programs rely on them to help identify the most worthy causes.

Dedicated to making a difference in rural farming communities, the Grow Communities program asks farmers across the country to participate by nominating nonprofit organizations with resources to strengthen their local communities. Last August, farmers entered for the chance to direct a $5,000 Grow Communities donation to a local eligible nonprofit of their choice. Farmers have directed donations to food banks, emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs and many others that reflect the spirit and support the vibrancy of rural America.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, including those in rural regions, and farmers play a critical role in helping communities overcome challenges, like the ones we’re currently facing,” said Al Mitchell, Bayer Fund president. “Bayer Fund is proud to work side-by-side with farmers to identify local eligible nonprofit organizations that are able to provide their residents with solutions that leave a lasting impact.”

To learn more about how America’s Farmers programs are making an impact, visit www.AmericasFarmers.com

Photo: Submitted photo.

November 15, 2022 - 2:41pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, City Schools, education, schools.


Ninety to 120 every day.

That’s a goal that Batavia Middle School has set for students: to do purposeful reading, writing and interactive talking for 90 to 120 minutes each weekday. Principal Nate Korzelius introduced that as one part of the middle school’s strategic plan.

“So we've spent a lot of time this year looking at and reflecting on our vision and mission, as well as our strategic plan and empowering students, and within the vision statement, working with the community, creating a nurturing environment for our students,” he said during a presentation to the school board Monday evening. “So that was our starting point, as we were looking at our middle school goals for the year. And then, in the past year, establishing the strategic plan: create and maintain a safe and orderly school environment, collaborative culture theory, accessible curriculum, and effective teaching in every classroom.”

A leadership team activity during the summer led middle school staff “to come up with tangible things to meet our students where they are, trying to adjust for some gaps that have occurred as a result of COVID.”

“And also just find ways that we can creatively build a culture of learning and also try to break down some barriers for students,’ he said. “So, beginning this school year, this was the goal that I outlined for the staff on day one. Our goal is to promote authentic literacy practices by increasing purposeful reading, writing and discussion as moments of both learning content and critical thinking. 

A daily dose of literacy
"So specifically, what we've worked on the most so far this year are ways we can ensure that students will participate in 90 to 120 minutes of purposeful reading, writing and discussion every day,” he said.

That’s likely good practice for anyone. A quick online search produces several articles about the benefits of reading, such as Healthline’s claim — using MRI scan results — that reading involves a complex network of circuits and signals in the brain. As one’s reading ability matures, “those networks also get stronger and more sophisticated,” the site states. 

Teachers will introduce various methods for kids to accomplish the daily goal, such as having guest readers, creating reading quizzes, writing letters or a daily diary, hosting debates and asking open-ended questions.

“We have data meetings every couple of months. But then we want, now especially that we have more access to data post-COVID, to focus on those, and establish the needs for our students to make sure that we can individualize things as much as possible to meet students where they are,” Korzelius said. “Those teams are focused on the individual needs of students and customizing the approach for students within their teams.”

Beginning Tuesday (Nov. 15), students will have a task during Lunch Learning Lab, which means at the beginning of the second marking period, each student “is to drop everything and read” a book for 20 minutes. District officials contacted each household to notify parents of this initiative, and to encourage them to find out what might engage their child.

“Half the battle is to find something that they’ll enjoy reading,” he said.

Teaching strategies
The focus isn’t just on students, though. A shared Google Classroom will begin in the next month for all middle school faculty. It will provide a list of various strategies for teachers to try — one at a time for a month — and then report back on how it went and offer suggestions for improvement before selecting another strategy the next month.

leone.jpegA key piece that has become more prevalent since the pandemic is SEL: social-emotional learning. That piece includes providing useful resources for students to help manage their emotions, set positive goals, work on proper attitudes and behaviors, have healthy relationships, be able to feel and show empathy, make responsible decisions, plus an ideal academic correlation to each student’s SEL success, Assistant Principal Lindsey Leone said.

“And really, what I found through all my experiences, if you don't have that SEL piece, it's going to be really hard to get that academic piece. And I think in general, we've all learned that from COVID times, and so we've spent the last year or so really establishing our SEL committee,” she said.

Circle Up Fridays happens on the first Friday of every month, and includes an extended homeroom time so that students and staff can literally “circle up” to engage in meaningful conversations, she said.

This work is about “creating connections at school,” she said, amongst students and teachers. Two years of COVID, isolation and social distancing seem to be ebbing away.

“I really think they're excited that it feels a little bit more, a little back to normal for them like they have loved the opportunity to have dances again … and options to look at trips and those types of things. So I think it's a lot for them on an energy level, you know, it's a much different day coming every day to school versus some of what we were doing in a hybrid setting,” she said. “I think every day that we're getting better and more comfortable.”

Data — a huge component amongst school districts — has been part of the strategic plan, Korzelius said. Pulling people together through regular faculty meetings of about 80 people has also been a positive step, he said.

“We really try hard to focus on our strategic plan,” he said. “Where our goal of mission and vision is 90 to 120 minutes for every student throughout the school day.”

The mission is to empower students to achieve their maximum potential, and the vision includes providing a safe and nurturing environment. The targeted end result is to help students become socially responsible citizens who are able to successfully meet life’s challenges.

School board member Alice Benedict wanted to know if and how data would be collected to show how well the SEL lessons were working. Yes, it will be collected through DESSA, a social-emotional learning measuring tool, and student surveys, Korzelius said.

“It's something that I want us to build on, and just continue to find new and better ideas. I mean, this is a great idea, which is our first time,” he said. “We have to take a look at it at the end instead of just gauging success.”

November 10, 2022 - 12:53pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in John Kennedy School, news, schools, education, City Fire.


A surprise ride to school on Ladder 15

Madelyn Alford, the second-place winner from John Kennedy School in Group 2 (2-3rd grade) of the City Fire, Fire Prevention Coloring Contest, had a big surprise today.

Alford received a ride to school on City Ladder 15 on Thursday morning.

First-place winner, Kylie Lutey of St. Joseph's School, who had won previously,  decided to defer her ride to the second-place winner.

Photo: Lt. Bob Tedford, Madelyn Alford, and Firefighter Brian Fix. Photo by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.


November 7, 2022 - 10:23pm
posted by Press Release in pembroke, Pembroke Intermediate School, news, schools, education.


Press release:

Sixth Grade students at Pembroke Intermediate School participated in the Korman Challenge Reading Contest during the month of October.

Students were challenged to read a book written by author Gordon Korman during the month to be invited to the Korman Party, which was held on Nov. 4.

By the end of the month, 24 students completed the challenge!

Students were invited to a special party where they watched a special video message from Gordon Korman himself! Students then received a special certificate recognizing their achievement.

To wrap up the special day, students enjoyed pizza generously donated by Homeslice Pizzeria 33! 

Submitted photos.




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


Press release:

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

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

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

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

Photos by Gretchen Spittler.





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


Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

October 28, 2022 - 3:55pm
posted by Press Release in FFA, Pavilion, schools, education, news, agriculture.


Press release:

Evan Sidhu and Evelyn Northrup of Pavilion ranked seventh in the nation among Future Farmers of America for their agricultural science research project in the field of natural resources and environmental science.

The two students spent countless hours researching the effects of roadway pollution shown through the dissolved solids in snow.

Evan and Evelyn designed, organized, and executed their research project last winter. They placed first at the New York State FFA Convention in May 2022 and earned a spot in the Top 10 in the nation.

This fall the team competed in an intense interview regarding their research and conclusions. This earned them the seventh spot in the nation. 

"This is a great honor for the Pavilion FFA and Pavilion School Community," said teacher Kylie DeBerardinis


October 27, 2022 - 5:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in STEAM, Le Roy, schools, education, news, Le Roy Central Schools.


Students at Le Roy Schools are getting broad exposure to STEAM skills and trades (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), STEAM teacher Luke Weaver told the Board of Education on Tuesday during a meeting.

Rube Goldberg Machines, computer coding, food sciences, robotics and drones, and environmental sciences are all getting covered with one class or another, Weaver said.

Superintendent Merritt Holly emphasized what Weaver illustrated during his introduction of Weaver to the board.

"We offer STEAM Club," Holly said. "We offer things in the library. We offer things in the summer. The kids have a ton of opportunities, so there's no like, I'll try this and then I don't care about it again for another year. It's a really a continuing program, which I think is really powerful."

Currently, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders are working on Rube Goldberg Machines and they're excited by the projects, he said.

For those who might not be familiar with a Rube Goldberg Machine, Weaver explained that it is an "unbelievably complicated machine to do an unbelievably simple task. So you would build something with pulleys, levers, catapults, dominoes knocking each other over to do something you could easily do by yourself."

(For an entertaining example of a Rube Goldberg Machine, see the music video below.)

He said when he first introduced the concept to students, they looked at him like he was crazy.

"They went from that mindset to kids coming in in the morning, before homeroom, coming in and start working because they want that extra half hour to work on their project, which is just awesome."

There are 46 students currently enrolled in a coding class. They're starting with blocks of code that fit together to make a working program.

"I've got two kids who are already done," Weaver said. "That is fascinating to me, to see kids who've never done this before, pick this up and be so cohesive going through the process."

The block program will move the students into coding languages commonly used in the business world, such as Python and C++, Weaver said.

The programming experience also moves the students into working in robotics and with drones.

Already this year the school has held a Manufacturing Day, which included a field trip to visit Orcon, Bonduelle, and U.S. Gypsum.

"The kids had an opportunity to see different careers and how many different types of jobs that can happen in one place, which I think is mind-blowing," Weaver said. "I mean, you had electrical engineers, you had manufacturing people, you had artists, anything you could think of at all of these different plants."

The stop at Bonduelle in Oakfield was interesting because spinach was being delivered from a farm owned by one of the student's father.

"So we got to like watch that and see how they go through that whole freeze-drying process and things like that," Weaver said.

An area of expansion for the program that Weaver is working on is aquaponics, he said. 

"Aquaponics is basically a huge fish tank that is fully cyclical," Weaver said. "The plants provide the nutrients for the fish and the fish provide nutrients for the plants. You don't have to clean the fish tank. You can grow vegetables, or fruit and grow flowers. They actually have huge systems where people grow or raise tilapia and actually have harvestable fish. We're going to take baby steps and start with a goldfish that are at my house, bring those in. But we're just trying to pull in other kids that might not have that engineering mindset, they might not only want to be tech-savvy, but they might like some natural science stuff."

Weaver also went through some of the entry-level STEAM projects being introduced at Wolcott Street School.

 "It's fun," Weaver said. "I love this stuff. I love seeing their faces just confused and excited at the same time. That's exactly what you're looking for."

Photo: Luke Weaver. Photo by Howard Owens.

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


Press Release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos: Gretchen Spittler.

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



October 6, 2022 - 12:30am
posted by Press Release in Batavia HS, batavia, schools, education, news.
jackpickardbhs2022.jpg laurenreimerbhs2022.jpg
Jack Pickard Lauren Reimer Nathan Canale

Press release:

Three Batavia City School District students have earned academic honors from the College Board National Recognition Programs. These National Recognition Programs grant underrepresented students with academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications and connect students with universities across the country to stand out during the admissions process. Only 62,000 students across the country have received this recognition.

  • Jack Pickard, Senior: National Rural and Small Town Award
  • Lauren Reimer, Senior: National Rural and Small Town Award
  • Nathan Canale, Senior: National Rural and Small Town Award

“We couldn’t be more proud of Jack, Lauren, and Nathan for receiving this tremendous honor,” said Superintendent Jason Smith. “Their hard work throughout their time at BCSD has certainly paid off. I know this recognition will help bolster their college applications and make them truly stand out.”

“Bravo to these three exceptional BHS students,” said to Batavia High School Principal Paul Kesler. “Jack, Lauren, and Nathan exemplify the values and work ethic that we strive for at BHS, and we congratulate them on this wonderful achievement.” 

Eligible students have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams. Award categories include: National African American Recognition Program, National Hispanic Recognition Program, National Indigenous Recognition Program, and National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program.

Students are invited to apply during their sophomore or junior year and, after determining eligibility, will be awarded at the beginning of the next school year. Students will receive their awards in time to include them on their college and scholarship applications. 

September 21, 2022 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, education, schools, Le Roy, le roy hs.

Le Roy High School has long taken pride in its marching band and color guard but putting on a great performance takes dedication and hard work.

Video courtesy Le Roy Central School District.

September 21, 2022 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, wolcott street school, schools, education, news.

Video courtesy the Le Roy Central School District

Previously: Le Roy's numeracy coach finds creative ways to get students thinking about numbers

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

August 23, 2022 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, City Schools, schools, education, notify, batavia.

dr._molly_corey.jpegAfter more than 18 months with three “key phases,” and input from dozens of administrators, teachers, staff, parents, students and community members, Batavia City School District is ready to launch its five-year strategic plan.

Such a plan isn’t required by New York State, but is a recommended “best practice” for any school district, said Dr. Molly Corey, director of curriculum and instruction.

“Our intention is to bring parents, community members, students, and staff together to plan and prioritize student success in every classroom,” Corey said in a press release Monday. “We’re still evaluating and discovering the depths of learning loss our students experienced due to the pandemic. A Strategic Plan like this will be a beacon grounding us during uncertain times, and it will allow us to comprehensively think, discuss, and prioritize the needs of our students.” 

A main portion of the report, referred to by staff as “a curriculum and instructional roadmap” for reaching each student’s goals, involves a family component, which undoubtedly is a valuable piece. That part of the plan is to ensure “Our families will: make education a priority in the household, support the school in promoting a good work ethic and personal responsibility, as well as encouraging health and wellness and provide the necessary time, space, and supplies at home for homework and studies to be completed.”

The Batavian asked Superintendent Jason Smith how the district plans to get families on board with the wellness aspect, given their busy lives, technology and such easy access to fast meals and sedentary lifestyles. Smith said that promoting health and wellness has become even more important post-COVID.

2022_jason_smith_bcsd_headshot.png“And we learned that loud and clear coming out of this pandemic,” he said. “We have Social Emotional Learning teams at each school that promote health and wellness among both our students and staff. Good nutrition and exercise are reinforced in our Phys Ed and health curriculum, and is a key part of the New York State learning standards.”

He also emphasized that family engagement will continue to be “an integral part of our mission at BCSD.” Therefore, two-way communication between schools and families is critical, he said.

“We encourage our families to reach out to us with comments, suggestions, and questions as we implement this plan,” Smith said. “Additionally, each school partners with our parent groups, and just this year we have added a parent representative component to our newly formed shared-decision making teams at each school.  We will also consider tools such as surveys and other feedback mechanisms.”

Even before COVID — about 26 years prior, to be exact — Smith said that he focused his teaching on individual ownership in one’s own behavior and contributions.

“Since I first began teaching in 1994, teaching students personal responsibility and work ethic has been a core mission of schools,” he said. “While it may be explicitly taught at times, teachers, coaches, and advisors continually reinforce this important message through high expectations and accountability, coupled with support and guidance.”

That’s how he expects to reach families, and therefore equip students to fulfill plan goals to: contribute to creating a safe and respectful environment; put forth their best effort; and be independent learners and competent problem-solvers who seek help when needed.

Four components of the plan include:

  • A safe and orderly school environment
  • A collaborative culture
  • Clear and accessible curriculum
  • Effective teaching in every classroom

There are benchmarks for every objective, such as planning for communication across all district groups, developing a schedule for progress checks, and creating an efficacy report by asking “how are buildings in the district doing?”

The Board of Education has approved the plan, which will begin to unfold this fall. While BCSD developed this plan to cover a five-year period from 2022-2027, school staff will continue to review and refine it to “achieve success for years to come.”

Even though Smith began in January at the tail end of the planning process, he has enjoyed the catch-up process of all that has been done, he said.

“I’ve been thrilled at the work Dr. Corey and all of our stakeholders have done in preparing this guide,” he said. “It shows a solid understanding of our students’ diverse needs and will certainly set every child up for success going forward.” 

Newly elected Board President John Marucci concurred, adding that Corey and her team “have been well ahead of the curve” by initiating the strategic plan in 2019.

“The Board of Education has been actively discussing learning loss with the administration since the height of the pandemic,” Marucci said. “We’re confident that they’re addressing the concerns that parents have expressed and will continue to evaluate their systems going forward to ensure BCSD continues to strive for academic excellence in every grade and every classroom.” 

The complete Strategic Plan, which runs from 2022 to 2027,  can be found on the Batavia City School District website here

August 18, 2022 - 7:14pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, education, news.

Press release:

Today's competitive workforce is in a constant state of evolution. The introduction of new systems, products and services, and the drive for improved efficiencies in an ever-challenging marketplace require employers to evaluate, update and realign teams to best meet the changing demands of their industry. To help employees build their skill sets and keep up, Genesee Community College is excited to offer enrollment for its Business and Commerce Micro-credential programs available this fall semester, which begins September 6, 2022.

Micro-credentials are academic programs, similar to degree programs, that have been dramatically trimmed to just 9 to 15 credit hours that include only core courses relevant to specific skills, training, and knowledge in that discipline. Designed to be earned in as quickly as one semester, a Micro-credential is the ideal way to build a resume to take advantage of career advancement opportunities, get started in a new industry or even to explore a career path without the commitment of an expensive or time-consuming four-year degree.

GCC's Micro-Credential programs offer students a high-quality education in a reduced time frame and limited cost - only course tuition plus course-related books and fees. Business and Commerce micro-credential programs available for enrollment for the Fall 2022 semester are:

  • The Human Resource Management Micro-credential focuses on human resources including legal compliance, diversity and inclusion, succession planning, recruitment, retention, and much more!
  • The Event Management Micro-credential provides value to anyone wanting to start a career in event planning, advance their career, or change careers and enter the event planning field.
  • The Professional Sales Micro-credential provides up-and-coming as well as seasoned sales professionals across industry lines with a skill set that starts and actively advances professional careers in sales.
  • The Entrepreneurship Micro-credential is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in new venture creation and operation. Micro-credential earners will be able to identify new business opportunities, research markets, understand costs, set prices and launch a new business or help an existing business to expand their product/service lines. Understanding entrepreneurship will provide earners with the power to expand their personal wealth or build their career as a key leader of an existing organization.
  • The Supply Chain Management Micro-credential is designed to provide individuals with a broad understanding of the primary functions and coordination of areas ranging from purchasing, inventory control, warehouse management, operations, production and transportation.
  • The Medical Office Assistant Micro-credential is designed to provide students with a firm foundation for the medical office environment, focused on development of a strong foundation of terminology, forms and billing, and medical office procedures.
  • The Accounting Fundamentals Micro-credential is designed to teach individuals introductory financial, managerial and income tax skills with a focus on the use of computer technology for accounting applications.

"While none of us can predict the changes that will affect our industry, organization or jobs, the best way to "future proof" our careers is to consistently sharpen our skills and expand our capacity. As an example, GCC's HRM Micro-credential could prove to be very valuable to individuals working in a management capacity since it includes topics like how to building strong teams, how to motivate employees, how to think creatively and solve difficult problems in the workplace, and so much more. I would encourage you to take a moment and explore our offerings. We would love to help you grow your future!" Said Dr. Lina LaMattina, director of Business Programs.

The online learning component of micro-credentials is another way the programs enable student success, particularly for those who may be juggling the responsibility of family, healthcare needs, transportation issues or jobs. Upon completion of a micro-credential program, students receive an official college transcript that documents their earned academic credit as well as a specific digital badge that highlights those core skills and competencies that employers search for on resumes, LinkedIn pages and other social media channels. The digital badge, representing the earned micro-credential, sets a GCC candidate apart from the rest.

Additionally, earned micro-credentials generate SUNY academic college credits which are transferable and can be applied toward additional academic degrees in the future including:

  • GCC associate degrees and certificates
  • SUNY to SUNY Pathways and Seamless Transfer programs
  • GCC's many (200+) transfer agreements with baccalaureate institutions
  • Most colleges and universities nationwide

Tuition assistance is available through SUNY's Reimagine Workforce grant. For eligibility requirements, please contact Tish Williams, Project Coordinator, Stay Near, Go Far, Reimagine Workforce Grant at [email protected], 585-343-0055 Ext. 6318. Stay Near, Go Far is funded by a sub-award from the NYS Department of Labor through a U.S. Department of Education Stabilization Fund Reimagine Workforce Preparation grant, administered by SUNY RF.

For more information on GCC's Business and Commerce Micro-credentials, please contact Dr. Lina LaMattina, Director of Business programs at [email protected], 585-343-0055 Ext. 6319.

August 1, 2022 - 10:36pm
posted by Session Placeholder in GCC, education, news, batavia.

By Khilna Samat

As an international student from Tanzania, Africa, attending Genesee Community College, I remember vividly how Cliff Scutella, the Director of Student Activities, constantly integrated international and domestic student populations to enhance mutual understanding and awareness.

Cliff’s office was in the Student Union. It was where people from different walks of life amalgamated so seamlessly because that was the environment that Cliff envisioned and created. He was naturally an affable person and as such, he taught us that nothing was impossible when we unified. It was the essence of the Student Union. Cliff was the epitome of hard work and fun! One day he was dressed in his professional attire and on another, he was wearing a tiara. Cliff often said he never worked a day in his life because being the student activities director allowed him to be a kid still and have fun coupled with his strong leadership capabilities. 

Cliff’s leadership skills were contagious as made evident by Lorraine Briggs, “Cliff Scutella was the man who inspired generations of college students. During my time at GCC, Cliff was the head of Student Activities. Before I joined the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Student Government, I knew Cliff as the funny guy who dressed up for events and loved his hot dogs. He was a family man, too. He was open-minded and welcoming. Most appropriately, he was a simple man that loved his students. After several years of working side by side with Cliff, many trips to APCA, and lots of hours dedicated to event plans I interviewed for a position within the Student Activities Office. For another five years, I got to know Cliff even more. He inspired me to take on leadership roles and to JUST GO FOR IT. He taught me so much in the 10 years I was on the GCC grounds. I will always be grateful to have had the honor to work with Cliff. The world is a more inspiring place because of him.”

Cliff never spoke to anyone in a demeaning manner. He offered infinite kindness and was always positive with a “you can do it” attitude. His altruistic character and selflessness confirmed that it was all about the students and he immensely cared for them. It’s a sentiment that Molly Cole, Class of 2010, can relate to very well. “When I first met Cliff, I was a new student at GCC. His energy and joy reminded me of my dad, and he made me feel right at home. His joy was contagious! Cliff always went above and beyond for all his students, and I’ll never forget what he did for me. While I was a student at GCC, I suddenly lost a family member. I was devastated and lost. I could hardly function because I was heartbroken. Cliff saw that and made an extended effort to be there with me as I grieved. He checked in with me every day for almost two months. He even enlisted the whole office to support me during that time. That was the man he was. He was mine and so many others ‘Campus Dad’. My life has been forever changed by him. His life will be celebrated, and he will be truly missed.”

Cliff openly exhibited to all students how much we meant to him and encouraged us to take chances - that to make a mistake was not the end of the world, and he gave us confidence that we were valued as human beings. I graduated from GCC in May 2011, and I never saw Cliff again but never forgot him. I learned Cliff retired from GCC in the summer of 2019 and prematurely went to see his creator on Sunday, July 17, 2022. I hope that everyone, when such people cross their paths, never takes people like Cliff for granted. we certainly never did, and never will.

July 14, 2022 - 8:26pm


Press release:

On Tuesday, July 12, 2022, the Le Roy Board of Education unanimously approved Matt Davis as the new Jr/Sr High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director. Mr. Davis will start officially on Monday, August 1, 2022.

Mr. Davis is currently a physical education teacher at Brockport Central School District, a position he has held since 2007. During the 2021 summer, Mr. Davis also gained valuable experience at Monroe 2 BOCES as a Regional Summer School Vice Principal. Since 2018 at Brockport Middle and High School, Mr. Davis has served as a substitute assistant principal and completed his internship with the Director of Physical Education, Health, and Athletics in 2021.

“Throughout the search process, it was evident that Mr. Davis had a bold vision for both our academic and athletic programs. He values teamwork, and cares above all about the success and development of his students, teachers, and staff,” said Merritt Holly, Superintendent of Schools. “Mr. Davis’ coaching experience in both boys and girls varsity sports (soccer and baseball) at Brockport Central Schools was viewed as a huge plus by our committee. We look forward to Mr. Davis leading our Knights as we continue to provide high-level extra-curricular offerings for all students.”

Mr. Davis earned both a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and a Master of Science in Athletic Administration from SUNY Brockport. Along with his physical education certification, Mr. Davis also holds New York State certifications as a School Building and School District Leader.

  • The district posted the position on May 11, 2022, and 17 candidates applied.
  • First-round interviews with six applicants were held on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
  • An 11-member committee consisting of teachers, parents, administration, and board members
  • narrowed the field to two finalists.
  • Second-round interviews took place on Tuesday, June 28, and Tuesday, July 5, 2022.
  • A final interview with the superintendent was conducted on Thursday, July 7, 2022.

Mr. Davis will have the opportunity to transition into his new role with Dr. David Russell and Mrs. Lynda Lowe (who will be retiring in November 2022). The district would also like to thank Mrs. Beth Luckey, who has been interim athletic director since October 2022. 

June 30, 2022 - 2:32pm
posted by Press Release in Notre Dame, schools, education, news.

Press release:

Notre Dame is pleased to announce the following teaching and staff positions for the 2022-2023 school year.

We are pleased to announce that Kristen Gomez will have an enhanced role on our Administrative Team. In addition to her role as the Director of Academic Advisement and Learning Center teacher, Mrs. Gomez will become our Registrar and take on responsibilities specific to administrative leadership.

Amanda Coggiola has accepted the position of Administrative Assistant to the Office of Academic Advisement. Mrs. Coggiola comes to us with enthusiasm and we are pleased to welcome her to this position at ND. We thank Karen Rapone for her many years of service and wish her well upon her retirement.

Karina Treleaven has accepted the position of part-time Spanish teacher for our Junior High. In addition to her teaching duties, she is a proud parent of an upcoming senior and freshman at Notre Dame. We look forward to having her share her skills with our students and staff.

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