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John Kennedy

BPD participating in Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, fundraising goal of $1k

By Press Release
Jan 24, 2023, 4:59pm


Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department has accepted the challenge to support Special Olympics New York by participating in the Polar Plunge located at John Kennedy Intermediate on Feb. 10, and has set a goal to raise at least $1,000!

Children and adults with intellectual differences that participate in Special Olympics New York pledge an oath, "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt". Today, the oath has never been truer, and Special Olympics New York athletes need our help!

How can you help? Please take a moment to visit our personal fundraising page and make a donation to help us reach our fundraising goal!

Your donation will help Special Olympics New York continue to provide year-round sports training, athletic competition and healthy living programs. Giving every athlete to experience physical fitness, learn to be courageous, experience joy and meet new friends with Special Olympics New York athletes.

Thank you for considering a donation to this fundraiser! We will continue to update our progress to reaching our fundraising goal and we appreciate the support!

Be on the lookout for our School Resource Officers, Officer Borchert and Officer Stevens on February 10th participating in this event!

If you wish to donate or register yourself to join our team and participate (Batavia Blue Devils), you can click this link.

Thank you for your support!

Remembering John Kennedy, educator who shaped Batavia's school system

By Anne Marie Starowitz
Jan 3, 2023, 8:00am


John Kennedy was born in England on September 17, 1846. He was one of a family of 14 brothers and sisters. He moved to a farm in Iowa in 1875.  John served in the Civil War; after the war, he became superintendent of an Iowa school district.

In 1890 the Batavia School District asked Mr. Kennedy to come to Batavia and serve as superintendent for the village school system. He served as superintendent for 23 years. His system for the village school was known as the Batavia System. He believed that if children were stimulated, they could educate themselves. 

John Kennedy was also a famous author and had many books to his name. His book, The Genesee Country, was published in 1895, during his time as superintendent from 1893 to 1913.

John was a writer with quite a descriptive flair. The chapter I found very interesting was called "Patriot-Not Financier." In this chapter, John Kennedy was distraught. He did not want Robert Morris to be remembered as a financier of the American Revolution. In John Kennedy's eyes, Robert Morris was a patriot who wanted America to be independent. He wanted the American government to stand with the firmest foundation. To achieve this, Robert Morris put everything in jeopardy: his good name, his life, and his fortune. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He rescued George Washington's troops in 1777 and prevented the army's dispersion by raising $50,000 of his own money for the war.

In Kennedy's opinion, if Morris had not appeared on the scene or had died during the struggle, the revolution would have collapsed.   It is upsetting to read that Robert Morris died in debtor's prison in the United States of America within a few years after the adoption of the Constitution, which he helped frame.    

We have a Constitution and a Union primarily because George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert Morris sat in the convention that devised our great document.

As John Kennedy ended his chapter on Robert Morris, he said, "We are living here on his beautiful farm, the famous Holland Land purchase, and more famous still by having had for its first owner the patriot Robert Morris." 

John Kennedy and Robert Morris are still remembered today, with the John Kennedy Intermediate School on Vine Street and the  Robert Morris Primary School on Union Street. What is impressive is that John Kennedy had the foresight in the 1800s to write about Robert Morris' legacy in the hopes that he would be remembered as a true patriot.  

John Kennedy has to be acknowledged not only for the many books to his name but for his outstanding reputation as the school superintendent for the Village of Batavia. His system emphasized individual instruction of students, which was copied by school districts nationwide.


City School officials review procedures after John Kennedy student left school building

By Howard B. Owens
Sep 28, 2018, 5:30pm

Press release:

On Thursday, Sept. 27, at Jackson Primary School, a first-grade student left the building and started walking home. School officials immediately instituted their Emergency Procedures and contacted the police.

The child was located shortly thereafter and was returned safely to school.

The District immediately reviewed its procedures to determine how this incident occurred and have made the necessary changes. Student safety is the top priority in The Batavia City School District and will always take the appropriate measures to protect them.

John Kennedy: Number 24 in "What Made Genesee County Famous"

By Philip Anselmo
Jun 20, 2008, 3:34pm

Last week, the Holland Land Office Museum announced the first "thing" to make the list of the "Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous," a six-month countdown of the oddities, happenings, dudes, dames, places and episodes in history that put our lovely county on the map — and you thought a cartographer did that, ha ha ha.

Some of us were a little surprised to find that the New York State Thruway eked its way onto the list, even if it was onto the bottom rung of the ladder. I don't know about the rest of you, but whenever I hear "thruway," I tend to cringe. I remember that it costs about a buck and a quarter to get from Henrietta to Batavia on that gum-stained stretch of barren road that has about as much of a personality as a sleeping Parisian. But even the not-so-pretty things sometimes warrant a niche in our collective history. Take Louis XIV, for example.

So... what is Number 24, you ask? Or should we say who?

Why, it's none other than Mr. John Kennedy, that paragon of pedagogy, that eponymous father to Batavia's grade school, that Englishman turned Midwestern calvaryman who came to Batavia in 1890 to take over as superintendent of schools.

As HLOM Director Patrick Weissend writes of Kennedy: "Visitors to Genesee County often think the elementary school on Vine Street in the City of Batavia is named after the 35th President of the United States, but even the kindergarteners attending the school will correct you and tell you its “JK” not JFK."

Be sure to visit the Holland Land Office Museum Web site to keep up with the other 23 "things" forthcoming. And be sure to check back with The Batavian next Friday to hear about Number 23.

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