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January 18, 2020 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, Scholastic Bowl, schools, education, news.


In Thursday's Scholastic Bowl matches, Batavia and Attica picked up victories.

Batavia scored 230, while Oakfield-Alabama scored 120 and Elba 50.

In the second match, Attica beat Notre Dame 330 to 220.

January 18, 2020 - 12:36pm

Submitted photo and information from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership:

Decision Day was held Friday at the Western New York Tech Academy. It is similar to a college signing day.

A total of 10 WNY Tech Academy students were honored for officially declaring the pathways they will pursue as they complete their free applied associate degrees through Genesee Community College.

The students could choose to study Accounting, Food Processing Technology, or Supply Chain Management.

Staff, administrators, business partners and parents attended Decision Day.

The high school juniors who participated are named below, along with their high school and declared paths of study. They are in the top photo.

  • Brett Bogardus, of Perry -- Accounting
  • Dante Brent, of Attica -- Accounting
  • Cameron Durfee, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management
  • Nathan Geise, of Warsaw -- Accounting
  • Holly Grisewood, of Perry -- Accounting
  • Devon Heick, of Byron-Bergen -- Food Processing Technology
  • Trevor Pahl, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology
  • Veronica Shepherd, of Le Roy -- Accounting
  • Carl Stachura, Batavia -- Accounting

(Everett Claud, of Perry, is not pictured. He will study Supply Chain Management.)

In addition, the Tech Academy also recognized 12 seniors in Friday's program:

  • Collin Aquina, of Oakfield-Alabama -- Supply Chain Management);
  • Gabriel Bucknam, of Perry -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Stephanie Dibble, of Batavia -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Zachary Evert, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Abigail Hackett, of Pavilion -- Supply Chain Management);
  • Evan Harter, of Byron-Bergen -- Accounting;
  • Peyton Heesch, of Caledonia-Mumford -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Dylan Kipfer, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Cole Lowery, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Peyton Penders, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Alexis Jade Reed, of Batavia -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Jace Hilton Vilinsky, of Avon -- Supply Chain Management.

For more information about the WNY Tech Academy visit wnytechacademy.org

About Western New York Tech Academy

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.

January 17, 2020 - 12:52pm

Unified Vision 2020 -- the proposed capital improvement plan for Pembroke Central School District -- was "soundly defeated" by the majority of those who voted on it yesterday, according to Superintendent Matthew Calderón.

There were two propositions for consideration, with Prop. 1 having to pass in order for the second one to be viable. There were 1,543 voters who cast ballots in the high school library on them and they both failed.

The cost estimate for Prop. 1 was $38,505,000 and for Prop. 2 it was $10,915,000.

Proposition 1 had 196 "Yes" votes and 1,340 "No" votes, and seven blank ballots were turned in.

Proposition 2 had 249 "Yes" votes and 1,283 "No" votes and 11 blank ballots were turned in.

"We will analyze the results of the exit poll survey and decide what our next steps are after that," Calderón wrote in an email to The Batavian.

The huge thumbs down came despite three years of public input, planning and meetings that involved more than 1,000 people and stakeholder groups as well as 17 design concepts.

Prop. 1 called for: consolidating students into two buildings, with the reconfiguration of grades in each school -- UPK-5, 6-8, 9-12 -- and a clear separation between the middle school and the high school; building a separate gymnasium for the high school; expanding spectator seating space in the existing pool area; improvement to celebration space for performing arts; making facilities compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and up to mandated health and safety standards; replacing the bus fuel tank and adding an in-ground vehicle lift at the bus garage.​

Prop. 2 would've created an improved and expanded pool for use by students as well as the public, plus storage space and seating.

The total price tag of $49,420,000 was to be paid for with $4.9 million from the district's capital reserve and 17-year State Aid funding bonds.

For homeowners with Basic STAR, the combined cost for Prop. 1 and Prop. 2 for a home assessed at $150,000 would have been $386 a year, and $262 for homeowners with Senior STAR.

If only Prop. 1 passed -- since Prop. 2 was only passable by voters if OK'd Prop. 1 -- the cost for homeowners with property assessed at $150,000 would have been $251 annually with Basic STAR, and $170 annually with Senior STAR.

The School Tax Relief (STAR) program provides eligible homeowners in New York State whose annual income is less than $500,000 with relief on their property taxes (you receive a check in the mail from the State's Tax Department to apply to your school taxes).

Early on, the "overwhelming consensus" in the district was to consolidate three school campuses into one -- at an estimated cost of $120 million, an expensive option that was deemed unfeasible.

According to the school board, building maintenance and restoration items that were included in the proposed project are still necessary but will now have to be done "without the benefit of state financial aid."

Large asset preservation work "will need to be funded within the district's annual budget process, with local taxpayers bearing the full cost" and as a result of the mandated upgrades, envisioned improvements to the academic program, which also require funding, will have to "be postponed," according to the school board.

January 17, 2020 - 12:07pm

Press release:

The Pavilion Central School District is proud to announce that we are now able to offer students a Career and Technical Endorsement in both Agriculture and Business.

This new endorsement will encourage students to enhance their skill sets in agriculture or business.

These new programs allow students to study in a focused career pathway, partake focused internships, and attain college credits at associated colleges.

Upon completion of the Business Career Program, the students can receive college credits at GCC in Introduction to Business, Introduction to Computers, and Microcomputer Applications.

The students are also able to achieve credits in Programming and Problem Solving, and Computer Programming after passing the Advanced Placement Computer Science Placement Exam.

The students enrolled in the Agriculture program will be able to receive credit in Agriculture Business at Morrisville State University, and Animal or Plant Science at Alfred State University.

January 17, 2020 - 11:54am

Press release:

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership will hold an Open House from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, for anyone interested in learning more about upcoming classes for the Licensed Practical Nursing or Certified Nursing Assistant programs.

The Open House will be held at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Batavia Campus at 8250 State Street Road, Batavia.

LPN and CNA Instructors will be available to meet and speak with potential students.

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership School of Practical Nursing has been in existence since 1994. It is a 1,200-clock-hour program, certified by the New York State Education Department, and is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Every student who enrolls in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program receives a Chromebook computer as part of their tuition fees. This computer becomes the property of the student and it is used for many purposes. Course curricula includes a broad scope of topics including foundations of nursing, human growth and development, obstetrical and pediatric nursing, human anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and more.

The CNA Program is also offered at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. This course is no less than a 150-clock hour program, approved by the New York State Education Department, and designed to prepare graduates for immediate employment following successful mastery of the post-program certification testing.

The LPN Program is offered at three different site locations: Batavia, Rochester Tech Park in Gates, and Mount Morris. The CNA Program is offered at two different locations, Mount Morris and Batavia.

For more information or any questions, please call 585-344-7788.

About the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership

It 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.

January 16, 2020 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Scholastic Bowl, news, schools, education, pembroke.


In Wednesday's Scholastic Bowl matches, Pembroke and Alden came out on top.

In the first match, Alden scored 240 points to 230 for Le Roy and 140 for Pavilion.

In the second match, Pembroke scored 260 points to 160 for Alexander and 110 for Akron.


January 15, 2020 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, news, schools, education, batavia.


Tech is increasingly part of the learning environment in City School classrooms and at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, two teachers -- Alexander Veltz, Social Studies (photo), and Andrew Kiebala, Math -- shared how they're using Chromebooks and Google classroom tools to aid in their instruction.

Their presentions came as part of the information technology review by Director of Technology Jeff McKinney.

Veltz shared how he can use Google tools to share assignments, worksheets, handouts, and ensure that not only are they available in the classroom, but students (and their guardians) have access to the material at home. The availability of the material is helping him meet the new demands for greater reading comprehension in state exams.

With the tools, students can answer questions and get immediate feedback on their responses. 

Another tool allows students to sort through documents, which is especially helpful for a project that requires them to write an essay based on pre-assigned material that they must study, find a common theme, and then organize in order to write the essay.

"There is a shift in New York State where it's less about retention and more about argumentation based on perspective and point of view," Veltz said. "Retention is a skill New York is moving away from."

Trustee Shawn Murphy, who teaches at Genesee Community College, asked if the use of the tools was taking away from classroom engagement. Veltz said not at all.

McKinney added, "We are not switching over to where kids just sit in front of a computer. That's not the intent at all."

Kiebala shared tools that students can use to study geometric properties. 

He also shared a program that allows students to work on quizzes that he guides from his own computer and see where they need help. He said the program allows students to ask questions and make observations that he can then share with the class. The process allows students who might normally be shy about raising their hands to contribute more readily to classroom learning.

"This is my favorite thing to do," Kiebala said. "It allows them to be independent and also allows me to have control, so it's the best of both worlds for a teacher."

Kiebala shared a study published by NPR that indicated most people in the work world don't spend a lot of time doing trigonometry or geometry but they do spend a lot of time working in Excel, so his statistics class is heavy into spreadsheets.

"I tell the class, 'this is what you're going to spend your time doing because this is what you're going to use,' " Kiebala said. "You don't have to do anything by hand anymore because you either have a calculator or a spreadsheet but you still need to know what the numbers mean."

January 15, 2020 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, education, schools.


David Chua, Stephen Pribek and Ashley Elmore -- Certificate of Appreciation

Sarah Gahagan has nominated David Chua, Stephen Pribek and Ashley Elmore for a board award. Each of these individuals invested a large chunk of time mentoring and modeling the word "commitment" to the B Squad boys. They did what not everyone does....they SHOWED UP. Each week, two days a week for 20 weeks these volunteers modeled follow through and were able to showcase what "doing what you love" looks like.

Each of these volunteers had something special to offer, a love of running and showed just how important it is to continue doing what you love, even into adulthood when you are busy and "life" takes over. Chua was a soft spoken guiding force of optimism and motivation, whereas Pribek could always add a science lesson into our running and truly teach us something new every single practice. His humor was a favorite with the boys. And Elmore is a ray of light. She is positive, fun, and encouraged the boys to always be their best under any circumstance. She is a true leader who shines from the inside out.

This program is only able to be successful because of the volunteers. We need to ensure safety while running and the more adults we have, the safer we are and the more boys we can accept within this program.

Volunteering is something not many do these days and it is valuable and appreciated and for this they all deserve to be recognized.


Carlos Colon -- Certificate of Appreciation

The English as a New Language faculty nominate Carlos Colon for a Board of Education award because of his dedication to our district and students. Anyone who knows Carlos would use words like friendly, easy going, helpful, and caring to describe him. Colon's official job title is maintenance staff, however he frequently uses his time to help others outside this requirement.

Most notably, Colon has helped countless times this year alone in translating needs, concerns, and important information between teachers or administration, and parents who speak only Spanish. He does this because he knows the parents and teachers struggle to understand each other using only a translation app, and he doesn't want something important to be misconstrued due to a technical error.

He has also been called upon when our Spanish-speaking students needed a familiar face and language to calm them down. He has talked kids down from metaphorical ledges more than once, and helped the students come to a more peaceful place so that teachers could have a conversation with students. One student even shadows him as he works, as an incentive for good behavior.

Other students also look up to Carlos, as a friend, mentor, and a person they can trust. Colon embodies the phrase “above and beyond,” all in the hopes of helping our students be successful and understood. For these reasons, we believe Colon is well deserving of recognition for his work by the Board of Education.

Nominated by the ENL Department Staff.

Jenna Mrzywka (pronounced Majifka), Trina Cox, Addison Marino, Chelsea Cummings, Courtney Turcer and Shawn Chrysler.


Jim Jacobs -- Certificate of Appreciation

Jacobs recently came back out of retirement to fill in as Interim Director of Facilities. He stepped back in and it was as if he had never left. His knowledge and experience was instrumental in our schools opening smoothly and safely this year as the Capital Project created many changes to the District. Working closely with him, I saw first hand his continued dedication to make our schools the best they can be for our students and staff. It was a pleasure working with him again. Thank you, Jim!

Anonymous nomination.

Information and photos submitted by the school district.

January 15, 2020 - 11:30am

Runner-up Landon Kent, left, and winner Ryan Benstead, both Byron-Bergen seventh-graders. Photo courtesy of Terry Vick.

Submitted photos and press release:

Byron-Bergen Junior High School students participated in the National Geographic Society's Geography Bee on Thursday, Jan. 9.

Based on a written test taken in December, 21 of the students were asked to participate in the annual school-level Bee. All participants answered questions in the preliminary rounds, which were used to determine who would compete in the finals.

Congratulations to all the participants!

Seventh-graders included: Ryan Benstead, Jake Carlson, Eli Kupfer, Jackson Lundfelt, Martin MacConnell, Sam Hersom, Roman Smith, Anna McLaughlin, Jack Farner, Logan Fregoe and Landon Kent.

Eighth-graders included Carter Prinzi, Braedyn Chambry, Grayson Erion, Aurora Hiscutt, Jeff Borycki, Daniels Dawson, Gabe Vallese, Megan Zwerka-Snyder, Sawyer Zinter and Travis Shallenberger.

Students who qualified for the Final Round were Ryan Benstead, Eli Kupfer, Martin MacConnell, Sam Hersom, Landon Kent, Carter Prinzi, Daniels Dawson, Jackson Lundfelt, Roman Smith and Logan Fregoe.

The top two contestants went on to compete in the Championship Round.

After three questions, Ryan Benstead was declared the Geography Bee champion. He was given a medal from the National Geographic Society and awarded a $40 Amazon gift card. As the runner-up, Landon Kent received a $20 Amazon gift card.

Ryan will now complete a formal written test, which will be submitted to the National Geographic Society. If his score is among the highest from New York State, he will be asked to participate in the state-level bee.

The winner in each state competes in the National Geography Bee in Washington, D.C.

Below, Byron-Bergen Junior High School contestants at Thursday's Geography Bee. 

January 14, 2020 - 11:00am

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo scholarship application process for the 2020 – 2021 academic year is now open. Applications are due by May 1 and must be submitted online.

All students, including Say Yes Buffalo applicants and scholars, that meet the following eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply.

Scholarship awards typically range from $1,000 to $6,000.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a current resident of one of the eight counties of Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming);
  • Have a minimum of a “C” average or a GPA of 2.0 or greater;
  • Be admitted to a nonprofit 501(c)(3), U.S. Department of Education accredited school for full-time study beginning in the fall 2020 semester.

More than 200 individuals, families, foundations and organizations have established scholarship funds through the Community Foundation. In 2019, the Community Foundation remained as one of the region’s largest scholarship providers, awarding scholarships totaling $3.2 million to more than 3,000 Western New York students.

For more information on the Community Foundation’s scholarship program, including application instructions, please visit www.cfgbscholarships.org or text SCHOLARSHIP to (855) 213-4426*.

January 3, 2020 - 12:43pm

Submitted photo and press release:

The Ferdinand DiBartolo NYS Distinguished Foreign Language Leadership Award was presented this year to Elizabeth Slocum (inset photo, right).

The award is presented annually to the president of New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers in recognition of his/her dedication and service to that organization and the profession.

Slocum is a teacher of French and Spanish at the middle, high school and undergraduate levels.

Slocum holds permanent New York State Certification in French and Spanish, as well as certification as a School District Administrator and Supervisor.

She currently is employed by the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership as a seventh- and eighth-grade Spanish teacher and serves both the Wyoming and Pavilion Central School districts.

Slocum also works with the Genesee Region Teachers’ Center as a member of the Policy Board and coordinator of the regional World Language Teachers’ Network.

“Serving on the executive board of New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers has been an incredible experience," Slocum said. "It has been an honor to represent New York State teachers and students of World Languages at the local, state and national levels.

"I teach because I believe that languages are at the heart of the human experience. Languages will open doors and make connections for our students at home and abroad.”  

As a 25-plus year member of NYSAFLT, Slocum has been an active member of the association through her participation on various committees as well as serving on the Board of Directors. She holds the distinction of chairing not one but two Annual Conferences, including the 100th Annual Conference and Gala.

She was selected to represent NYSAFLT at American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’s (ACTFL) inaugural Leadership Initiative for Language Learning (LILL) and remains an active member of LILL Cohort 1. She will participate in a LILL panel at ACTFL 2019 in Washington, D.C., on the topic of Growing Our Leadership.

In 2017, Slocum was honored by Genesee Community College with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence as an adjunct instructor of World Languages.

About the Ferdinand DiBartolo NYS Distinguished Foreign Language Leadership Award

Ferdinand DiBartolo was a pioneer in the establishment of what was then called “The New York State Federation of Foreign Language Teachers.” He was a foreign language leader and an officer of the federation. In l967, he received the "50th Anniversary Award" of the organization.

He was at the forefront of the effort to ensure the continuance of the Modern Language Journal when ACTFL was formed.

The study of world languages fosters an appreciation and understanding of other cultures, promotes a better understanding of one’s own language and culture, supports learning and improves performance in other content areas, and cultivates the qualities of global citizens who are well-educated and prepared to compete professionally in an increasingly interconnected world.

Research has shown that early language instruction not only facilitates the language learning process, but results in more native-like pronunciation and fluency in the second language. In addition, early language instruction has been shown to strengthen students’ performance in their first language as well as in other content areas.

About the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers

NYSAFLT is a professional organization dedicated to providing the foreign language teachers of New York State with professional development opportunities and promoting the study of foreign languages and cultures.

For more information about NYSAFLT, please visit the website.

January 3, 2020 - 8:53am

Press release:

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Practical Nursing Program recently had a reaccreditation of programs by the New York State Office of Professions Division of Professional Education Program Review.

These audits occur approximately every five years and include a thorough review of curriculum, clinical sites, staff qualifications, as well as student and instructor files.

The New York State Office of Professions oversees the licensing and regulation of more than 50 professions and is guided by the New York State Board of Regents.

According to its website, “The registration of a program means that it has met the Department's standards for accreditation as provided in the Rules of the Board of Regents and the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.”

Heidi Mix is the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s coordinator of Regional Medical Programs. She oversees both Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Programs.

Audit Crucial to Continuing Success

Mix explained the extent of the audit: “This reaccreditation is crucial to the success of this program. If you do not have this approval, then you are not permitted to offer this program. We just received official notification that we received our reaccreditation. In our debriefing, the auditors praised the work that is being done in our nursing programs.

"We are moving in the right direction with our curriculum, and the use of Google classroom, an educational blackboard system, which allows students access to content at any time and it also is a great communications tool for students and instructors.”

This three-day review was completed by state auditors who visited classroom sites, met with students, staff, and administrators. Auditors reviewed instructors’ credentials and evaluations, as well as student files including admissions and graduation processes, board passing and job placement rates.

“The auditors were also impressed with the number of clinical sites that we provide," Mix said. "Clinical experiences provide opportunities for students and potential employers to work together. We have 23 sites and this includes large and small acute-care facilities, and nursing homes throughout the Rochester region as well as Genesee and Livingston counties."

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership School of Practical Nursing has been in existence since 1994. It is a 1,200-clock-hour program, certified by the New York State Education Department, and is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Chromebook and Online Learning Augment Classroom Instruction

Every student who enrolls in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program receives a Chromebook computer as part of their tuition fees. This computer becomes the property of the student and it is used for many purposes.

“Students have access to many electronic books and databases such as online lessons/modules and interactive activities that augment classroom curriculum and enhance the educational experience,” Mix said. “Each student can create their own dashboard and monitor their progress.”

Course curriculum includes a broad scope of topics including foundations of nursing, human growth and development, obstetrical and pediatric nursing, human anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and more.

The CNA Program is also offered at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. This course is no less than a 150-clock-hour program, approved by the New York State Education Department, and designed to prepare graduates for immediate employment following successful mastery of the post-program certification testing.

The LPN Program is offered at three different sites: Batavia, Rochester Tech Park in Gates, and Mount Morris. The CNA Program is offered at two different locations, Mount Morris and Batavia.

For more information or any questions, please contact 585-344-7788.

About the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership

It offers a broad scope of adult education programs including a School of Practical Nursing and a Certified Nursing Assistant program, vocational training, as well as classes for those seeking to broaden their skill sets. The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component New York school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties.

December 26, 2019 - 4:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in library, education, literacy, news, richter family foundation.

Press release:

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a set of books beginning with the children’s classic "The Little Engine That Could." Each month a new, carefully selected age-appropriate book will be mailed in your child’s name directly to your home. Best of all it is a FREE GIFT!

There is no cost to your child’s family thanks to the Alexander APPLE Committee. The committee has partnered with The Richter Family Foundation to bring the Imagination Library to Alexander’s children.

To be eligible the child must live in the Alexander Central School District and must be between the ages of birth and his/her 5th birthday.

Beginning on Jan. 1, you may register online at www.imaginationlibrary.com by clicking on the box “register my child” and then filling out the required information.

If you do not have access to the internet, you may pick up a Registration Brochure at the elementary school office, and then mail the registration form to: The Richter Family Foundation. The mailing address is included in the brochure.

Alexander’s APPLE Committee knows that you will love Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and encourages you to sign up your child or children beginning on Jan. 1. A family may register all children within the household, as long as they are age 5 or under.

December 20, 2019 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, news, education.


More than two dozen Batavia Middle School students visited offices in and around Batavia today for the school's annual "Give Back Day," when students deliver class-made presents to the people and organizations that have supported the school during the school year.

Among the stops pictured above was the State Police Batavia Barracks on West Saile Drive.

Other locations the students visited today included the Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD, the Fire Department, WBTA, DSS, and Family Court. After Family Court, they went to City Court to see Durin Rogers sworn in as the new full-time City Court judge.

December 20, 2019 - 12:20pm

Press release:

Many of the Batavia City School District’s current prekindergarten students will have the option to switch to a full-day program beginning this January. The tentative starting date for the full-day option is Jan. 28. Like the current half-day program, there is no cost to families. 

The Batavia school district, along with only 25 others in New York State, was awarded State funding to expand the prekindergarten program. Prior to applying to be considered for the funding, Molly Corey, Ed.D., the District’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, surveyed parents of the current 112 prekindergarten students and found that interest in a full-day option was very high, but not unanimous.

With that parental directive in mind, she applied for the grant and secured funding for 72 full-time slots, or four full-time classes, while still allowing for the half-day option for remaining students.

Three of the full-day classes will be housed at Jackson Primary School, and one will be provided by a community-based organization that is yet to be determined. If more than 72 of the current preschool students apply for full time, a lottery system will be used to place them. No new prekindergarten students will be registered at this time.

An important meeting for parents of current students will be held at Jackson Primary right after the schools’ winter break, on Tuesday, Jan. 7, to provide more details about the expanding program and the changes that it will entail. Two meeting times have been set in an effort to reach all parents: 12 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. If a parent cannot make either meeting, they are encouraged to call Corey’s office for an alternate meeting time (343-2480, ext. 1003).

The meeting will include more information about locations and teachers; information about the overall transition, as well as accommodating new aspects of the school day such as lunch time, rest time, and play time; a sample schedule for the school day; and time for responding to parents’ questions.

December 20, 2019 - 12:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, nursing program, education, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee Community College's Nursing Program accepted its very first class of students 50 years ago. Since then, applications, courses, curriculum and equipment have all changed following the significant evolution of healthcare overall.

The one thing that hasn't changed is the program's commitment to delivering qualified and capable nurses to the community.

Ensuring its continued progressive success, Genesee Community College's respected Nursing Program is hosting two information sessions specifically for individuals interested in entering the field. These sessions are the introductions to GCC's Traditional (non-LPNs) Nursing Associate in Applied Science degree and are being held in time to meet the program application deadline of Feb. 1.

Anyone interested in beginning a career as a nurse is encouraged to register today for one of the two information sessions. The two sessions take place in Room 214 on the second floor of the Antoinette Marchese Clancy School of Nursing in the MedTech Building, which is located across the street from GCC's Main Campus at One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

The two sessions, each providing the same information, are scheduled:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 7 from 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 21 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

"The Nursing Program Information Sessions are not only a prerequisite for anyone entering the program, but are the best way for someone who is still undecided to get a taste of what the program offers," Laurel Sanger, GCC's Nursing Program Director said.

"In just two hours, we provide a brief introduction to the profession of nursing, describe the program requirements and cover everything one needs to know to get started on the process of applying."

There are also two new elements being introduced to GCC's Nursing Program this anniversary year:

  • Beginning late this spring, The Antoinette Marchese Clancy Scholarship Fund, will be available to support several second-year GCC nursing students who are academically in the upper third of their class and have illustrated excellence in their clinical performance. The new Scholarship was established through a generous gift from the Clancy Family to recognize Antoinette Marchese Clancy, who graduated in 1974 from GCC's Nursing Program.
  • In addition, the Antoinette Marchese Clancy Excellence Award will be presented to the nursing student who demonstrates top clinical performance at the Nursing Recognition Ceremony on Saturday, May 16. Find out more about the Antoinette Marchese Clancy School of Nursing here.

GCC's Nursing Program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. To learn more about the program's admission requirements visit here.

December 19, 2019 - 1:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, news, GCC.

Submitted photos and press release:

Officials at Genesee Community College are delighted to introduce two new administrators, both coming to GCC after dynamic terms of service at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo. Vice President of Development and External Affairs Justin Johnston and Director of Student Engagement and Inclusion, Miguel Baique began their appointments on Dec. 3 and Nov. 20, respectively. 

In his new role at GCC, Johnston (inset photo, left) oversees the efforts of multiple offices and personnel who work under the Office of External Affairs umbrella including Development, the GCC Foundation, Marketing Communications, Alumni Services and Grant Services.

Together, this encompasses approximately 12 College or Foundation employees with many different areas of expertise and responsibility, from philanthropy and fundraising to public relations, advertising, social media, and an array of vibrant grant opportunities. 

At SUNY Geneseo, Johnston served as the interim vice president for College Advancement and the executive director of the Geneseo Foundation Inc. His career has centered on philanthropy for nearly a decade involving fundraising campaigns, operations and analysis, and he is vice chair of the Community Services for Every1 foundation board of directors.

Throughout his tenure, Johnston focused on delivering the results to best serve the needs of constituents. He earned his Bachelor's degree in history and government from Daemen College, his Master's degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Canisius College, and he is currently working toward a doctorate in Higher Education Administration at the University of Buffalo. He lives in Williamsville with his wife, Danielle, and their two young daughters.

Baique (inset photo, right), from Queens, joined GCC in a newly created position, the director of Student Engagement and Inclusion, which oversees many different types of student activities that happen inside the Wolcott Jay Humphrey Student Union and across campus.

He will be working closely with various student-centered departments, advising GCC's Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association, and supporting more than 40 student clubs which provide a wealth of social and cultural programming events, activities and important extracurricular opportunities.

These include but are not limited to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to the Computer Repair Club, Creative Writing to CineMagic, Global Education to the New Age Circle, as well as numerous student clubs associated with specific academic interests and careers.

Baique came to GCC after serving as the assistant program director for the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program -- one of eight federal TRIO programs.

Prior to that position he was an area director for Residential Life at Nazareth College. Throughout his experience in higher education, his focus has always been developing programs that improve student retention and enhance diversity, equity and inclusion.

Baique earned his dual bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Communication (emphasis in critical and intercultural studies) from SUNY Geneseo, and a master's degree in Public Administration (emphasis in Health Care Management) from The SUNY College at Brockport. He is currently working toward a doctorate in Higher Education Administration at the University of Rochester.

"With strong teams in both of these important areas of Genesee Community College, I believe these two new leaders will be a huge asset and are in a great position to further support student success which is the core of our mission," James M. Sunser, Ed.D., GCC president said. "We are excited about the Spring 2020 semester with these new faces who bring great experience and enthusiasm."

December 18, 2019 - 5:57pm

Above, the Byron-Bergen Varsity Club delivers food products to the District Office. Photo credit: Patricia Gunio.

Submitted photos and press release:

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

This year’s Holiday Community Service program collected toys and games, clothing items, rolls of wrapping paper, boxes for wrapping gifts, and more than 1,200 nonperishable food items. In addition, close to $6,000 was donated by the faculty, staff, and others in our learning community to purchase gifts for district families in need.

Many area businesses, churches, and community members also helped out by “adopting” local families and individuals, providing special holiday gifts.

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

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

A big part of the program’s success this year was the contribution made by the Varsity Club Holiday Food Drive.

Student athletes from the high school winter sports teams pulled together to collect almost 600 nonperishable food items. Each year, the teams take part in a friendly competition to collect the most food items. Congratulations to the Boys Basketball Team for theirgenerous contribution to this year’s Holiday Community Service Program.

Below, Byron-Bergen faculty and staff use the funds raised to shop for local families. Photo credit: Heather Hill.

Below, Byron-Bergen faculty and staff deliver food supplies and holiday presents to local families. Photo credit: Betsy Brown.

Below, Byron-Bergen faculty and staff partner with community members to pack food baskets for delivery. Photo credit: Wendy Didas.

Below, Byron-Bergen faculty and staff deliver food supplies and holiday presents to local families Photo credit: Betsy Brown.
December 18, 2019 - 2:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in beer brewing, education, GCC, news, Eli Fish.

Press release:

The BEST Center at Genesee Community College and Eli Fish Brewing Company excitedly announce a new course being offered in Batavia called "Beer Brewing -- Beyond the Basics"!

The course is scheduled on six consecutive Tuesday evenings between March 3 and April 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is limited to just 20 participants.

The program consists of four nights in the classroom on GCC's Batavia Campus, a fifth night touring the Eli Fish Brewing Company located in Downtown Batavia, and on sixth, final night the group will brew their own "class beer."

What better way to enjoy the final stretch of a WNY winter than learning to brew beer? The six-week course is a perfect gift-giving opportunity -- just in time for the holidays!

 There are now more than 1.1 million people in the United States brewing their own beer at home, and approximately 265,000 are located in the Northeast. Clearly it is a gift that will keep on giving! Think of it as Happy Hour education!

Beer Brewing -- Beyond the Basics costs $259 per participant and includes all books and materials. Participants must be 21 years of age. Registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 24.

Beer Brewing -- Beyond the Basics is open to any home brewer looking to start or improve his or her process. It also will interest entrepreneurs thinking of starting up a brewery, or simply beer enthusiasts who want to expand their knowledge base, meet other enthusiasts while becoming familiar with Batavia's iconic new brewery located at 109 Main St.

To purchase a gift certificate or reserve a seat, stop by GCC's BEST Center at One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020, or call 585-345-6868. You can also email BEST Center Program Director Alexandria Misiti directly at [email protected].

Additional BEST Center courses are also available. Check them out online at www.genesee.edu/best or www.bestcenter.org.

December 16, 2019 - 5:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Jackson School, batavia, schools, education.


Each month at Jackson Primary School, students learn about a different character trait and this month they learned about kindness.

The community member who helped them with their kindness lessons this month was Capt. Greg Ireland, Batavia Fire Department. Ireland made a video where he read a book about kindness and gave the children a tour of the fire hall.

Today, he had lunch with several of the students and talked with the children about kindness, especially how firefighters are kind. They all ate pizza. One student from each class was selected to attend the lunch based on a teacher recommendation for exemplifying kindness at school.

All of the students at the lunch received a certificate recognizing their kindness.






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