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Batavia Rotary announces 2023 scholarship recipients

By Press Release
2023 Rotary Scholarship recipients. From left to right: Hannah Spencer GVEP LeRoy HS; Courtney Daniel, Notre Dame HS and Lauren Reimer, Batavia HS

Press Release:

The Rotary Club of Batavia has awarded college scholarships of up to $6,000 to each of the three local students. This year's Rotary Scholarships were awarded to: Hannah Spencer, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP), LeRoy; Courtney Daniel, Notre Dame High School and Lauren Reimer, of Batavia High School. 25 applications were received for 2023 rewards, according to Andrea Aldinger, co-chairperson of the Rotary Scholarship Committee.

“Narrowing the selection down to three was close to impossible,” Aldinger said, “after all the interviews, it still was unclear as these students were so incredibly talented.” She noted that many of the students had already achieved their Associate's Degree before graduating high school.

The Rotary Scholarship program began more than 40 years ago. Each year one student is selected from Notre Dame HS, Batavia HS, and the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, formerly known as BOCES. Rotary awards each student $1,500 per year for four consecutive years as long as the student maintains a GPA of at least 3.0.

Committee Co-chair Mike Hodgins said at any one time, as many as 12 students are receiving annual awards totaling $18,000. The program is funded by various Rotary events throughout the year. The scholarships were awarded during a regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Batavia. The students and their parents were invited to attend. 

Hannah Spencer, who attends LeRoy HS, told Rotarians that she studied with the Justice Academy at GVEP. She plans to pursue a Nursing Degree at GCC and transfer to another school for a Bachelor’s degree.

Scholarship winner Lauren Reimer of Batavia High School said she plans to pursue a medical degree at the University of Albany. She earned an unweighted cumulative high school average of 99.65%. Lauren will graduate high school with honors and has already earned an Associate’s Degree from GCC.

Courtney Daniels, Notre Dame’s awardee, is set to study Political Science at Fordham University. She was a member of the National Honor Society and attended The NY Governor’s Youth Council as a representative for Wyoming County. Her ultimate goal is to become a New York State senator.

Two previous winners attended this year's ceremony to update the club on how they were able to use their Rotary Scholarships. Carissa Kesler used her scholarship to buy a laptop computer in 2019 when the COVID pandemic hit.  She said it was her pipeline for remote learning at GCC and later at SUNY Brockport. “With the help of Rotary, I graduated with no student debt,” Carissa said.

Taylor Sanders attended Niagara University and is now pursuing her medical degree at LECOM in Bradenton, Florida.

Photos submitted by Dan Fischer


From left to right: Carissa Kesler, Hannah Spencer, Courtney Daniel, Lauren Reimer and Taylor Sanders

GV Educational Partnership donates badly needed personal protective supplies to Emergency Management

By Billie Owens

Submitted photos and press release:

When a crisis occurs, it is vital that communities collaborate. This week, the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) made a significant donation to both the Genesee and Livingston counties' Emergency Management systems.

These donations amounted to thousands of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, disposable gowns, hand sanitizer, surgical masks, N95 respirator masks, blood pressure cuffs and alcohol prep pads. 

While schools are closed, these items will be benefit local communities in the fight against COVID-19.  

“Our nation is facing a pandemic that we have never encountered before," said Matt DellaPenna, GVEP director of Safety and Security. "These supplies will help to protect the brave first responders and healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of this COVID-19 outbreak.”

Local school districts 'collaborating and communicating' daily with experts as they strategize response to COVID-19

By Billie Owens

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin MacDonald, District Superintendent -- Genesee Valley Educational Partnership

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

Genesee County Schools

  • Alexander Central School, 3314 Buffalo St., Alexander, NY  14005
  • Batavia City Schools, 260 State St., Batavia, NY  14020
  • Byron-Bergen Central School, 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen, NY  14416
  • Elba Central School, 57 S. Main St., Elba, NY 14058
  • Le Roy Central School, 2-6 Trigon Park, Le Roy, NY  14482
  • Oakfield-Alabama Central School, 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY  14125
  • Pavilion Central School, 7014 Big Tree Road, Pavilion, NY  14525
  • Pembroke Central School, P.O. Box 308, Corfu, NY  14036

New BOCES service ready to assist schools in times of crisis

By Billie Owens

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About GVEP

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

GVEP's School of Practical Nursing graduates 20 students

By Billie Owens

Heidi Mix, above left, director of Regional Medical Programs (left) with Katie Lyons, class Valedictorian. 

Submitted photos and press release:

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership recently celebrated the graduation of 20 students from its School of Practical Nursing program.

Of these 20 students, 15 students graduated with honors.

Students took part in this 12-month, 1,200-clock-hour program that is certified by the New York State Education Department. The program is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

This course is offered in three different sites located in Batavia, Rochester Tech Park in Gates, and Leicester.

For more information about this program, contact the Adult Education/School of Practical Nursing at 344-7788.


The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership 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 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. 

(Photo below: Heidi Mix, director of Regional Medical Programs (left) congratulates LPN graduate London Aylor.)

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