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October 13, 2021 - 6:00pm


For more than three decades, the Knights of Columbus, Msgr. Kirby Council No. 325 has been a strong supporter of St. Joseph Regional School and Notre Dame High School.

The council’s many contributions have gone toward building improvements, classroom and technology upgrades, beautification of both campuses, and tuition support scholarships.

“The scholarships provided by the Knights support our mission of advancing Catholic school education in Batavia,” said council trustee Steve Ognibene. “Many families throughout the region -- regardless of their financial position -- have been granted funds that have helped complete their education at St. Joseph’s and then graduate from Notre Dame.”

Ognibene said that hundreds of students have benefited from K of C sponsorship, especially when Notre Dame expanded to grades seven through 12 in 2020 and the council agreed to include students across all grade levels.

The council’s recent sponsorship allocated $4,000 to each school.

Notre Dame High Business Manager Tom Rapone applauded the council for its commitment to the schools.

“St. Joseph School and Notre Dame take pride in being top-ranked schools in the entire GLOW Region for the past two decades, and we have equal pride in our longstanding relationship with the Knights of Columbus,” Rapone said.

Photo above: Karen Green, principal of St. Joseph Regional School, receives a check from Knights of Columbus scholarship committee members, from left, Grand Knight Tom Trescott, Rocco Pellegrino, Sam LaBarbera and Chuck Mahler. Photo below: Tom Rapone accepts the check from the committee. Submitted photos.


October 11, 2021 - 11:14am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, notre dame high school, Ricky Mancuso Jr..


The memory of a beloved Notre Dame High graduate lives on in the hearts and minds of his family and friends – and in a tree planted in his name in front of the Union Street school's main entrance. 


ND Principal Wade Bianco and Deacon Walter Szczesny presided over a ceremony dedicating a tree in honor of Ricky Mancuso Jr. (Class of 2005) on the front steps of the school before Saturday’s Alexander at Notre Dame “Homecoming” football game.

Ricky, (photo at right), son of Rick and Julie Mancuso of Batavia, passed away on Dec. 27, 2020 at the age of 33.

“This was an unbelievable testimony to the Mancuso family who have meant so much to Batavia and especially Notre Dame High School,” Bianco said. “The turnout was fantastic; the front lawn was full of people.”

Bianco said the ND teachers and staff contributed to the purchase of the tree.

Submitted photo. Members of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team were among a large gathering Saturday that honored Ricky Mancuso Jr.

October 9, 2021 - 4:37pm


Anyone even vaguely familiar with Notre Dame High School’s athletic and academic excellence over the past six decades surely has heard of Bill “Sudsy” Sutherland, a graduate of the Union Street school who went on to become one of the area’s finest coaches and educators.

The legacy of “Sudsy,” as he was affectionally known, grew to new heights this afternoon when the Notre Dame community named its football field as Bill Sutherland Field.

Speaking before a large crowd at halftime of the Section V Class D game between the Fighting Irish and visiting Alexander Trojans, ND Athletic Director Mike Rapone called it a “fitting tribute.”

“… The Notre Dame Board of Trustees, administration, athletic department and, most importantly, our Notre Dame school community and alumni recognize that the naming of our football field is a fitting tribute to Bill Sutherland, who dedicated so much of his life to Notre Dame and its students – and much of that time was spent on this field,” Rapone said.

He then presented a plaque commemorating the occasion to Sutherland’s wife, Melanie, a 1970 ND graduate, and his children, Billy (1996) and Jennifer (2000), who were supported by the coach’s brothers, sisters, grandchildren and many members of the Sutherland family (photo at top).

Sutherland compiled a tremendous record as a coach – not just in football, but also in baseball and golf, a record so impressive that he made it into the Section V Hall of Fame. A star athlete at ND, he also is the only person inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a player and coach.

He passed away on Aug. 23, 2020 at the age of 71.

“The name Bill Sutherland and his famous nickname, Sudsy, was synonymous with Notre Dame for 41 years and he was recognized by the Genesee Region, Section V and the Monsignor Martin Association for his coaching prowess, the preparation of his teams and the way his teams competed,” Rapone said.

His teams won seven Genesee Region football titles, 13 baseball titles, two Bishop Smith baseball championships, four Section V titles in football, seven in baseball and three consecutive golf championships. In 16 championship game appearances, his teams won 14 times.

Rapone said Sutherland “helped shape the hearts and minds of Notre Dame students as a coach, teacher and administrator.”

“As a coach, Bill was known for his love of players and desire to see them excel on the field, in the classroom and, most importantly, in life,” he stated. “Coach Sutherland would be known for his fiery intensity and his ability to motivate his players like few coaches could.”

Off the field, Sutherland was an excellent teacher and mentor, Rapone said, with a special gift in “in identifying where his students were struggling and (finding) ways to help and understand to improve their performance level.”

ND Principal Wade Bianco thanked the school’s Class of 1967 for its “relentless effort” to make this dedication possible.

“Their (Sutherland’s classmates) tenacity and their passion to get this done almost matched Bill’s,” he quipped.

A reception was hosted by the Sutherland family after the game at T.F. Brown’s Restaurant in Batavia.



From left, Notre Dame High School Principal Wade Bianco, Athletic Director Mike Rapone, Billy Sutherland, Jennifer Sutherland Forsyth, Melanie Sutherland, Pat Becker (Class of 1967) and David O'Connor (Class of 1967).

Photos by Howard Owens.

September 24, 2021 - 11:54am


Sometimes one good deed earns another. 

And 10-year-old Maddie Casey and her St. Joseph’s School summer camp peers learned that lesson this week for a project they donated to Batavia Peace Garden. The students, including four who served as leaders from Notre Dame High School, were honored with Certificates of Appreciation Thursday at the Summit Street elementary school.

“We do crafts every day, and we painted some rocks. I used lots of bright colors so they’d stand out,” Maddie, a fifth-grader, said. “Knowing that you’re doing something for someone else, it just feels really good.”

Last month school students and officials heard that several Peace Garden stones had been stolen from the garden property next to Holland Land Office Museum. Project coordinator Stephanie King  said that the group members were talking about it and “they were very concerned.”

St. Josephs’s Principal Karen Green read about the theft and “it just struck a chord with me,” she said. Green knew she and her students could help out, especially since they had recently finished a stone decorating project at the elementary school’s summer camp. She and King gathered 30 leftover stones and tasked students to get busy.

“I loved the words they used … one stone said Peace, and another Kindness, and Faith,” Green said. “I’m so glad we touched their hearts. I think a little act of kindness goes a long way.”

It was heart-warming news, International Peace Garden founder Paula Savage said. The original stones were the result of a two-month project completed by Savage and Peace Garden Committee member Dona Tiberio. 

“This idea was intended to draw interest for children to visit and enjoy the garden. The very day after we placed the stones, they disappeared. We were devastated,” Savage said. “When we received the phone call from Karen Green it brought tears to our eyes. We could hardly believe these children were so inspired by our story. The children placed their artwork in the garden and it is there for visitors to enjoy.”

First-grader Maggie Spencer helps her mom in the garden at home, and wanted to contribute to the Peace Garden project "because those people felt sad," she said. Maggie painted one of her stones purple and added yellow and blue dots. Receiving a thank-you and knowing she made a difference made it all the better, she said.

“I’m very, very happy,” the six-year-old said.

Batavia Town Historian Berneda Scoins presented the certificates, along with Peace Garden pins. She had previously walked through the garden to see the children’s handiwork and knew “they were created with love,” she said.

“They made me smile, knowing these students added a blessing to the garden,” Scoins said. “We need to embrace our youth and encourage them to continue to be kind and loving. Genesee County and St. Joe’s can be very proud of these young people.”

Garden committee members are celebrating the site’s 10th anniversary.  They decorated it for fall and hope the community will continue to enjoy the West Main Street site with each changing season, Savage said. 




Photos by Howard Owens


Submitted photo.

August 24, 2021 - 9:16am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, notre dame high school.

Update, 2 p.m. -- The school/county health department meeting set for today has been postponed, pending potential guidance from New York State.


Notre Dame High School Principal Wade Bianco this morning said that students, faculty and staff will not be required to wear masks during the 2021-22 school year, but the proposed guidelines are subject to change depending upon New York State and/or local mandates.

“There’s a meeting today at 3 o’clock – a Zoom meeting with the county (health department) – and whatever we’ve decided, based on previous information, could be different at 4 o’clock,” Bianco said. “But, we wanted to get it out to the parents that we were going to give the least restrictive environment and a safe environment …”

The ND reopening plan, distributed to students’ families on Monday, recommends that students, staff and faculty wear masks while in classrooms during instruction and learning, and also in the hallways and in the cafeteria, but it stops short of requiring face coverings – regardless of vaccination status.

“We’re also going to keep the desks a minimum of 3 feet apart – we’re going to keep 6 feet when we can,” the principal said. “If we have a class with 16 kids in it, we’re not going to put the desks 3 feet apart. But if we have a class with 20, the desks might be 3 ½ or 4 feet apart.”

Bianco said that school leaders are hoping to do everything in their plan, but believed the best course was to give people a “personal choice” on wearing a mask. He said that he, although fully vaccinated, is inclined to wearing the mask when in the hallway.

“Everything is subject to change; we’ve got to flex according to the circumstances,” he said. “The number one priority is safety. Number two is safety in the least restrictive environment as possible.”

He said a school administrative meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday and "if we have to adjust, we'll adjust."

The school’s reopening plan is as follows:

  • Students, staff and faculty are highly recommended to wear masks while in classrooms during instruction and learning, in the hallways and in the cafeteria, but it is not required, regardless of vaccination status.
  • People will maintain 3-6 feet of social distance at all times, with some classrooms at 6 feet apart if possible. Seating charts and use of classroom cohorts will continue.
  • Cafeteria seating will remain at 6 feet apart.
  • Staggered bell schedules will continue and use of a backpack for changing classrooms will continue.
  • Notre Dame will continue with sanitation and cleaning each day.
  • The school will continue to ask parents to monitor their students at home in the mornings to check for any signs of illness and ask them to keep their child home if ill.
  • If a student becomes ill during the school day, the parent will be called. If the student exhibits signs of COVID, the parent will be given the option of having a non-invasive COVID test done at the school or take his or her child to the child’s primary care provider.
  • Per state Department of Health, CDC and GO Health guidelines, students that have been a close contact to a positive case of COVID will be quarantined.

Additionally, the guidelines define close contact as someone who was within 3 to 6 feet of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes. Close contacts, along with the infected individual, will need to quarantine for 10 days. In the classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students if both the infected individual and exposed student(s) were wearing a mask.

  • Fully vaccinated students and teachers are not required to quarantine, however, they are recommended be tested three to five days after exposure, even if asymptomatic, and to wear a mask until their test result is negative. This also applies to those previously diagnosed with COVID with in the last 90 days.
  • Masking protocols for busing will follow the students’ home district. At this time, all districts are requiring masks for the duration of the bus ride. Refer to your home districts’ transportation center for more information.
August 13, 2021 - 1:18pm

johnfisguselba2018.jpgWhile considering recommendations from the New York State Education Department, Center for Disease Controls and incoming Governor Kathy Hochul, the superintendent at Oakfield-Alabama Central School said the district’s reopening plan released today primarily reflects the wishes of its staff and its residents.

The plan formulated by John Fisgus calls for five days of in-person learning when classes resume on Sept. 8, with the wearing of masks or face coverings for students and staff while in classrooms left up to the individual’s personal choice.

Per the document, “Students and District staff are ‘highly recommended” to wear masks while in classrooms during instruction and learning, but it is NOT REQUIRED regardless of vaccination status. This is a personal choice and decision.”

The protocols do, however, require mask wearing on school buses, entering the school buildings and reporting to classrooms, and while traveling in the hallways between classes and/or to different locations within the buildings.

Fisgus (photo at right) said results of a survey he sent out on Aug. 5 separately to district staff and separately to residents is at the heart of the directive.

“We were looking to get a feel for their thoughts on masking -- thinking that there could be quite a difference in philosophies as, obviously, the teachers and the district staff can have a difference in opinion from that of the community,” Fisgus said.

What he found, however, was that both groups – staff and residents – were “right in line with each other,” he said.


“Overwhelmingly, in summary, they (staff and residents) want the personal choice to wear a mask or not. It was 75 or 80 percent in favor of that,” he reported.

The O-A survey featured seven questions about masks, with respondents asked to rate their choices from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Fisgus said he received more than 400 responses.

The questions were as follows:

  • Students age 4-11 years old who cannot be vaccinated at this time should be required to wear masks at school at all times.
  • Students age 12 and older who can be vaccinated and are not should be required to wear masks at school at all times while indoors.
  • Students age 12 and older who can be vaccinated and are vaccinated should be required to wear masks at school at all times.
  • Adults who are not vaccinated should be required to wear a mask.
  • Adults who are vaccinated should be required to wear a mask.
  • The O-A district should require that all staff and students wear masks at all times while in school.
  • The O-A district should leave mask wearing for staff and students as a personal choice and decision.

“Knowing what our local community wants and what our district staff is favoring, that is what we’re going to base our decisions on at this time,” he said. “But also know that we will have flexibility as we will be watching the seven-day rolling average. If something comes down that we’re having an increase in spread or whatever, certainly these protocols can change.”


Other key points of the O-A reopening plan are as follows:

  • While we will try to maintain 3-6 feet of social distance, some classrooms and learning activities will return to group work with close collaboration among students and our teachers.
  • Physical Education classes, Band and Chorus Ensembles and lessons, will return to normal operations in their regular classroom environments.
  • Cafeteria operations will return to normal. Students will be seated at our original tables as assigned within each of our buildings.
  • If anyone prefers to wear a mask while on campus, they will have the ability to do so with the respect of all students and staff members.
  • The District will continue its high levels of ventilation, sanitation, and cleaning each day.
  • We ask that each student and District staff member continue the practice of good hygiene by washing hands frequently and maintaining the proper social distance from one another, whenever possible.
  • We ask that your child(ren) and our District staff members stay home when ill and  contact the appropriate school nurse.
  • It is NOT REQUIRED for families and District employees to fill out the daily health screening form in ParentSquare this year.
  • In the absence of any future school mandates regarding interscholastic sport competitions from NYSPHSAA, masks are *highly recommended* but NOT REQUIRED during practices and competitions. Players and coaches have the personal choice and right to wear a mask if desired.
  • Our extracurricular activities and events at school will take place throughout the year and the wearing of masks is *highly recommended* but NOT REQUIRED by students and advisors. Any outside visitors to our campus for school events are *highly recommended* to wear masks, but it is NOT REQUIRED, regardless of vaccination status. This is a personal choice and decision.

*Please be advised of the following regulations regarding “close contacts” and “quarantining”:

  •  A Close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes. Close contacts, along with the infected individual, will need to quarantine if identified in contact tracing efforts. In the classroom setting, the close contact definition EXCLUDES students who were within 6 feet of an infected individual if BOTH the infected individual and exposed student(s) were wearing a mask.
  • Fully vaccinated students and teachers ARE NOT required to quarantine, however, they should be tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if asymptomatic, and wear a mask until their test result is negative.
  • Quarantine period is 10 days.


The District will continue each day to monitor the health and wellness of our students and District staff, along with the localized spread rate of COVID-19 and the Delta variant in Genesee County and our surrounding towns and villages.

Please be advised that the above protocols and procedures could change within 1-12 hours if the District feels it necessary for the health and protection of our students and District staff. Decisions will be based upon our current health status within our buildings and may be based upon the 7-day rolling average of transmission in our area. As well, any future mandates from the NYSDOH or NYSED may alter these plans.

Fisgus said the district’s board of education signed off on the reopening plan and he met with the teachers’ union earlier today to share the guidelines. On Thursday, he participated along with other superintendents in a Zoom meeting with Genesee Valley BOCES District Superintendent Kevin MacDonald.

“We’re all working together to try to figure out what is best for our region but, more importantly, what’s best for our local school districts,” he said.

Fisgus expects that the reopening document “will be fiercely circulated around the area,” and decided to release it despite receiving NYSED’s guidance late yesterday afternoon. Also, on Thursday, Hochul came out in favor of universal mask wearing in schools.


MacDonald, speaking for the 22 schools affiliated with Genesee Valley BOCES, said most districts are in “a bit of a holding pattern” as recommendations continue to come out.

“We’ve heard now that incoming Governor Hochul is in favor of school masks, so I guess, right now, there’s not a rush. We know we have to communicate with our communities what’s happening, but in terms of a mask mandate, I don’t think we’re there yet,” he said.

MacDonald said he plans to touch base with other administrators on a weekly basis until the first week of September, with the overarching goal of ensuring “we get all kids in school every day in the safest way possible for students and staff.”

“Each superintendent has the best feel and bead on their community and what they think is best, and in the end that’s what we all have to do – what we think is best,” he said.

Notre Dame High School Principal Wade Bianco said the private school’s plan is to follow the guidelines set by the state and the county in order to comply.

“We’re going to try to give the kids the least restrictive environment as possible, based on those guidelines,” he said, adding that he has scheduled a staff meeting for next Wednesday and expects a reopening plan decision to be made at that time.

April 26, 2021 - 11:25am

From Kate Edwards, Advancement coordinator, DECA co-adviser, Notre Dame High School:

Notre Dame High School is pleased to announce a generous donation of $2,500 from Gerry and Carm Reinhart. This donation is given in the name of Scott D. "Fletch" Hale and will benefit Notre Dame's hockey and football programs.

Hale was a 1991 graduate of Batavia High School who excelled at hockey and football. He went on to Brockport State College graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice. He will be remembered for his larger than life personality and his kind heart.

For Hale's full obituary, click here.

March 25, 2021 - 4:10pm
posted by David Reilly in Vietnam Memorial, notre dame high school, news.

Thanks to the Class of 1964, the three Notre Dame High School graduates who died in the Vietnam War finally got a plaque memorializing them placed in the foyer of the school more than 50 years later.

Fashioned by VP Graphics, the display remembering Donald Judd ('61) , and Daniel Bermingham and Thomas Welker ('64) can now be seen immediately as you go in the main entrance of the school at 73 Union St. in the City of Batavia.

The story of how the memorial came to be evolved over the past several years.

Dave Reilly and Jim Heatherman, who had attended Saint Mary's Elementary School, Notre Dame ('64) and Saint John Fisher College together reconnected after not seeing each other for almost 50 years. Heatherman had become a lieutenant in the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam while Reilly had gone on to a long teaching career.

Over the course of a number of conversations, Heatherman expressed regret that he had survived Vietnam and had gotten to have a large and loving family, but his classmates Bermingham and Welker did not. Reilly, who had been writing nostalgic articles about growing up locally for The Batavian, encouraged Heatherman to express his feelings by writing his own story.

Heatherman's article* appeared in The Batavian in August 2019. It was read with interest by another '64 classmate, Jim Fix. For many years, Fix had led local tour groups on tours of Washington, D.C., for First Choice Travel, which always included a trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. At "the Wall," designed by Maya Ying Lin, Fix would highlight his classmates and include Judd, too, who also was killed in the Southeast Asian war.

A highlight of the group's time at the Wall was when Fix would have the tour members make stenciled grave rubbings of the names of Judd, Bermingham and Welker as keepsakes to remember them by.

So when Heatherman's article appeared the proverbial light went on in Fix's head. His thoughts were that his classmates and Judd had long deserved to be remembered at their high school (There had been a Donald Judd Memorial Trophy that Notre Dame and Le Roy played for in football in the late 1960s and early 1970s.). So, combining the idea of a plaque with the design of the rubbings from the Vietnam Wall, Jim Fix put a plan in motion.

In the meantime, last Memorial Day Reilly carried out a request by Heatherman, who lives in Oklahoma, to place a Marine Flag on Welker's grave in Attica -- even though Welker was a Navy Corpsman, he was caring for Marines as their beloved “Doc” when he was killed -- and a Navy flag on Bermingham's grave in Batavia. He wrote an article detailing this with photos for The Batavian. This further made up Fix's mind to get the plaque project accomplished.

After consulting with Heatherman (who asked only that “Doc” be placed by Welker's name), Fix sent out an email to his 1964 former classmates asking for donations. As you might expect, the response was overwhelming and more than enough funds were raised.

Working with VP Graphics utilizing his grave rubbing stencils and photos and descriptions from the Notre Dame Mater Dei yearbooks, Fix persevered through the COVID-19 roadblocks and completed his “mission,” so to speak, with full cooperation from the current Notre Dame administration.

It took a very long time, but thanks to some hard work and dedication by their schoolmates the three Notre Dame graduates who in the words of Abraham Lincoln,”...gave the last full measure of their devotion,” will now be remembered by those who visit Notre Dame High School.

Photos courtesy of Dave Reilly.

Previously: Memorial Day 2020: Belated thanks to a Seabee and a 'Doc'

Previously: Marine vet wishes he had 'do-over' to get to know two fallen comrades who were Notre Dame schoolmates

Below, Dave Reilly drove to Batavia Tuesday (March 23) to check out the new Vietnam Memorial for fallen members of Notre Dame High School's classes of '61 and '64.

March 18, 2021 - 9:00am
posted by Press Release in notre dame high school, news, 70th Anniversary, raffle.

Submitted photo and press release:

Notre Dame High School is celebrating their 70th Anniversary on May 6 with a day full of special events!

The celebration will start with re-enactment of the ground breaking followed by an anniversary mass at the school including an alumni from each decade speaking at mass. The mission club will hold a May crowing celebration at the grotto and the day will close with a “reception” celebrating 70 years.

The Advancement Committee is having a cash raffle fundraiser with a top prize of $20,000 to be drawn at the reception. More information on the 70th Anniversary Day of Celebration events will be coming in the next few weeks. Tickets for the cash raffle are on sale now.

Important in-person fundraisers, like the annual trip night event, that raise monies used for financial aid and scholarships for students are still not able to happen. The Advancement Committee is trying to come up with creative ways to still raise money and the 70th Anniversary presented an opportunity to do so.

Notre Dame Events coordinator, Kathy Antinore, says “After the success of the Ca$h for Christmas Reverse Raffle, we decided to give an even bigger cash prize correlating with our 70th Anniversary.” The school is hoping to sell 1,000 raffle tickets.

Tickets are $70 each or two for $100 for a chance to win $20,000 or one of 10 $500 cash prizes. The drawing will be held “Live” on the Notre Dame Facebook page and YouTube page on Thursday, May 6th at 6:30 p.m. during the anniversary reception. More information can be found on the school’s website and social media pages.

Interested in purchasing tickets, please contact Notre Dame at (585) 343-2783, ext. 106.

Notre Dame High School, located at 73 Union St. in Batavia, is a private co-educational Jr./Sr. high school. Recognized for the 16th consecutive year as the number one secondary school in Genesee, Wyoming, and Orleans counties by Buffalo Business First.

Notre Dame is a diverse learning community dedicated to academic excellence and rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition. For more information, please visit www.ndhsbatavia.com

March 4, 2021 - 10:56pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Sports, notify, notre dame high school, hockey.

Following a frustrating 3-2 loss to Brockport this afternoon at the Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex in Rochester, Notre Dame Coach Marc Staley reflected upon what otherwise has been a successful ice hockey season thus far for the Fighting Irish, who will play a final regular season game on Saturday before hosting a Section 5 Class A Tournament next Tuesday.

“If you would have said to me five weeks ago that we were going to have a season, I would have been thrilled,” Staley said. “If you said to me five weeks ago that we were going to be 7-2-1 and be the No. 1 seed in Class A, I would have said you’re crazy.”

Both the No. 1 overall seed in Class A and the Section V Division 3 championship are in reach for Notre Dame.

A victory over division rival Irondequoit, 8-2-1, on Saturday (7 p.m. at Lakeshore Hockey Arena and Sports Center in Rochester) will give the Fighting Irish the league title while a win or a tie will enable them to retain their current place as the top seed in Class A.

“We’re playing in the highest class in New York State hockey against teams (from large schools) like Webster Schroeder and Hilton,” Staley said. “I think they (Section V officials) looked at our scores early in the season when we won big (and placed us there). But I don’t care where they put us. There’s not a lot of difference between Class A and Class B.”

Today’s game showed that as Brockport, a Class B entry, burst out of the gate, peppering ND’s freshman goaltender Frank Falleti with 13 shots in the first 10 minutes and cashing in on two of them – a goal by Jeremiah Rausch at 6:54 and a power play goal by Henry Schultz at 9:58 (assisted by Rausch).

Notre Dame had a couple of great chances late in the period but the team’s leading scorers, Gavin Schrader and Vin DiRisio, were stymied by Brockport goalie Joseph Volpe. Brockport outshot Batavia 18-8 in the period.

It didn’t take long for the Irish to cut the lead in half as Schrader flipped a backhand shot past Volpe just 33 seconds into the second period for his 17th goal of the season. Vin DiRisio assisted on the goal. ND tied the score about six minutes later when freshman Joe DiRisio made a nifty move to get past the defenseman and found the back of the net.

Brockport, now 7-3-1, responded, however, tallying what proved to be the game’s final goal with 48 seconds left in the period as Tyler Henshaw put away the loose puck in a 4-on-3 power play after Falleti had turned away shots by Rausch and Jonathan LoMonaco.

In the third period, ND drew a couple of early penalties, including a four-minute major, but was unable to capitalize. For the game, they were 1 for 9 on the power play.

Notre Dame kept the pressure on in the final seven minutes, turning a 32-27 deficit in shots on goal to a 37-32 advantage, but Volpe was equal to the task. In the end, Volpe stopped 37 shots while Falleti had 31 saves.

“It was two different games, right,” Staley said. “We were very flat to start the game and, to their credit, they’re up after the first and we had to reassess the situation. What kids are struggling with is that we can’t sneak up on anybody anymore. When you start the season 6-0, 7-1, everyone is looking for you; they’re going to give you their best games and kids are getting up to play us.”

Staley gave the team credit for clawing back from the 2-0 deficit.

“We bounced back and found some energy down the stretch, but we didn’t execute on the power play as well as we needed to,” he said. “We had chances, but their goalie played great and their defense did a nice job of clearing pucks and winning face-offs.

“We got beat on face-offs most of the night and that is a huge stat. Every face-off is eight seconds of possession in hockey. You win 20 draws a game, you’re talking about an extra three minutes of puck possession.”

He singled out the two freshman, goalie Falleti – “in a year or two he’s going to be something,” he said -- and Joe DiRisio, who has 11 goals this season.

“We have so many good players – and they're young,” Staley said. “We only lose five players (after this season).”

February 13, 2021 - 6:03pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, notre dame high school, basketball.

Sophomore guard Amelia McCulley scored eight straight points in a three-minute stretch late in the fourth quarter this afternoon to lead Notre Dame to a 34-24 nonleague girls’ basketball victory over host Batavia High.

With the score tied at 24 with about 4 ½ minutes remaining, McCulley drove to the hoop for two points, and followed that with a running shot in the lane, another strong drive for two more points and a pair of free throws to put the Lady Irish in front, 32-24.

Two free throws by Emma Sisson closed out the scoring in a contest marked by numerous turnovers and poor shooting from both sides.

McCulley tallied 18 points while Sisson chipped in with nine. Lindsey Weidman added four and Maylee Green sank a three-point shot – the only three-pointer of the game – for ND.

Batavia’s top scorers of Mackenzie Reigle and Bryn Wormley were held to 10 and five points, respectively, while Haylee Thornley had three points and Tianna Rhim, Tess Barone and Rachel Wright scored two points apiece.

The Lady Devils controlled the pace of the game for the first 12 minutes, forging a 12-7 lead, before Notre Dame closed out the second quarter on a 10-1 run. McCulley scored eight in the period.

The teams combined for only 11 points in the third quarter, which ended with the Lady Irish on top, 22-19.

A basket by Sisson made it 24-19 before two free throws by Reigle, Wright’s basket and a free throw by Thornley pulled Batavia into the 24-24 tie.

Notre Dame improves to 2-1 while Batavia is 0-3.


Photo: The 12th-graders on the Batavia High varsity girls' basketball team were honored by their families and coaches on "Senior Day" prior to their game against visiting Notre Dame.

From left are: Tess Barone, Haylee Thornley, Bryn Wormley, Mackenzie Reigle, Kennedy Kolb, Bella Houseknecht and Rachel Wright.

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

December 11, 2020 - 4:32pm
posted by Press Release in notre dame high school, batavia, catholic education.

Press release:

The Notre Dame High School Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of the following new members to the 2019-2020 Board: Dawn Daniels, Marty Macdonald, James Sutherland and Katie Wujcik.

Daniels, D.C., is a chiropractor at Daniels Family Chiropractic in Warsaw, where she is in partnership with her husband Terry, D.C. They are proud parents of a daughter at Notre Dame.

Macdonald is the pastor of City Church and resides in Batavia with his wife, Karen. He is a proud grandfather of a Notre Dame grad and several current students.

Sutherland, graduated from NDHS and is an employee of Crickler Vending. He resides in Batavia with wife, Tracey, and they are proud parents of two Notre Dame graduates.

Wujcik is a recruitment director at Nixon Peabody, Rochester. She resides in Le Roy with husband, Jim, and looks forward to her children attending Notre Dame.

November 24, 2020 - 4:30pm

Notre Dame High School is having a virtual fundraiser, Ca$h for Christmas Reverse Raffle, with a chance to win up to $10,000! NYS mandates and restrictions on attendance numbers, due to COVID-19, prevent the school from holding in-person fundraising events.

The Advancement Committee was challenged with getting creative to find ways to raise mone. A reverse raffle is held as part of the annual Trip Night event and is a lot of fun and always sells out, so they decided to put together a virtual reverse raffle on a bigger scale.

Notre Dame Events coordinator Kathy Antinore says “ticket sales are going well as everyone could use $10,000 right before Christmas.”

The Notre Dame Foundation raises funds to use for financial aid and scholarships for students. Those needs are greater now than ever, yet the important fundraising events can’t be held. The object of a “Reverse” raffle is to be the last number drawn.

That lucky person wins $10,000. Between the immense need and the great cash prize, the school is hoping to sell 1,000 tickets.

Tickets are $25 each and there is 20 chances to win at least your money back. Any tickets not winning a cash prize go into a second chance drawing for gift cards and other prizes.

The drawing for the last 50 numbers and all second chance winners will be “Live” on the Notre Dame Facebook page and YouTube page on Thursday, Dec. 3rd. More information can be found on the school’s Facebook page.

Interested in purchasing tickets, please contact Notre Dame at (585) 343-2783 or email events coordinator Kathy Antinore at: [email protected]

Notre Dame High School, located at 73 Union St. in Batavia, is a private co-educational Jr/Sr high school. Recognized for the sixteenth consecutive year as the number one secondary school in Genesee, Wyoming, and Orleans counties by Buffalo Business First. Notre Dame is a diverse learning community dedicated to academic excellence and rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition. For more information, please visit www.ndhsbatavia.com.

November 4, 2020 - 12:56pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notre dame high school, COVID-19.

Notre Dame High School Principal Wade Bianco today reported that a teacher is under quarantine until Nov. 14 after being exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 on Oct. 31.

In the email to ND staff, students’ families and directors, Bianco wrote that “the Genesee/Orleans County Health Department determined on Nov. 4 that this teacher be tested for COVID-19 and quarantined until Nov. 14.”

“This teacher will continue to lead the learning for their students long distance and we will assign a substitute teacher to assist and supervise the students. Please contact me if you have any questions,” he added.

Bianco said the email was issued as part of the school’s standard operating procedure.

May 30, 2020 - 12:12pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded two $1,000 scholarships to local seniors.

The goal of the scholarship is to support students who have a strong drive to contribute to the field of Human Services. The Council was seeking applications from high school students as well as college students who were pursuing their education in a Human Services major.

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded $1,000 to Ariana Green (photo left).

Green is a Notre Dame High School senior and will be attending Niagara University in the fall to study Social Work. Her long term goal is get her Doctorate Degree in Social Work and then become a Psychiatric Social Worker where one day she hopes to have her own private practice to focus on mental health disorders. 

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded $1,000 to Jacob Humes (photo below right).

Humes is a senior at Batavia High School and will be attending Onondaga Community College in the fall to study Psychology. His goal is to become a Child Life Specialist as the work he has done with children has shown him that there is a need for more support outside of the home for many children.

Applicants had to be in a good academic standing, majoring in Human Services, Social Work, Sociology, or Psychology. Applicants needed two letters of recommendation from a guidance counselor, teacher, or other professional person. 

They also had to describe why they were deserving of this scholarship.

The mission of the Genesee County Interagency Council is to create fellowship and understanding among community human services agencies.

The council helps to identify community issues and encourages development of resolutions. 

The Council is happy to have been able to award such deserving candidates and wishes them nothing but success for their future!

February 13, 2020 - 2:33pm

Press release:

The Notre Dame High School family will be honoring the legacy of excellence of Notre Dame Basketball Coach Mike Rapone (Class of ’71) with a reception in the school cafeteria following the boys Section V playoff game on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Coach Rapone currently has 697 career victories as he coaches in his 40th season here at Notre Dame. The 697 wins make him the all-time leader in Section V coaching victories with the second place coach more than 150 wins behind.  

He began his coaching career at his grade school alma mater, Holy Family School in Le Roy in the 1972-73 season. During his four years at Holy Family, he guided the team to four straight Parochial School League championships.

Hired as the JV coach at Notre Dame at the beginning 1976-77 season, he led his teams to three winning seasons including the only undefeated season ever produced during our time in the Bishop Smith League in Buffalo.

Rapone took over the varsity team for the 1981-82 season and promptly won the first of his record nine Section V Titles in his opening year.

As impressive as Rapone’s coaching resume is, what is even more impressive is his love for Notre Dame and all its students. This is evident through his daily commitment to our school, and his constant effort to ensure that each student has the best possible high school experience.

We hope that you can all join in the celebration on Feb. 25 at Notre Dame, 73 Union St. in Batavia.

Highlights of Mike Rapone's 40-year Varsity Basketball Career:

  • #1 in NYS active coaching victories – 697;
  • #1 in Section V coaching victories – 697;
  • #1 in Section V coaching championships – 9;
  • Has guided ND to the highest winning percentage in all classification of Section V since 1975;
  • Only coach in Section V history to win championships in 4 different classifications;
  • 2 New York State Championships 1992 & 2001;
  • 31 Genesee Region League Championships;
  • 18 Section V title game appearances with 9 championships;
  • Section V Tournament #1 seed 17 times;
  • 5 NYS Far West Regional Championships;
  • 81 percent career winning percentage;
  • Averaging 17.5 per year wins over 40 seasons;
  • 18 of 20 teams have earned NYS Scholar Athlete recognition;
  • Has coached 21 of the Top 25 Scorers in ND history;
  • 2013 Team was Board 60 Sportsmanship Award Winner;
  • 1996 Inducted into Notre Dame High School Athletic Hall of Fame;
  • 2016 Inducted into Section V Basketball Hall of Fame.

Basketball Coaching Timeline of Mike Rapone                   

  • 12/05/1980                  First Coaching Victory vs. Attica
  • 03/07/1981                  First Section V Championship vs. Romulus
  • 01/07/1986                  Victory #100 vs. Holley
  • 01/15/1992                  Victory #200 vs. Pembroke
  • 03/21/1992                  First New York State Championship vs. Bishop Grimes
  • 03/16/1996                  Inducted into Notre Dame High School Hall of Fame
  • 12/18/1996                  Victory #300 vs. Kendall
  • 03/17/2001                  Second New York State Championship vs. Hamilton
  • 04/06/2001                  Named Section V All-Greater Rochester Coach of the Year
  • 12/19/2001                  Victory #400 vs. Elba
  • 01/14/2008                  Victory #500 vs. Kendall
  • 03/03/2010                  Victory #546 Breaking Section V Record vs. Arkport.
  • 01/29/2013                  Victory #600 vs. Kendall
  • 11/05/2016                  Inducted into Section V Basketball Hall of Fame
  • ??/??/2020                  Victory #700

(File photo of Notre Dame Coach Mike Rapone taken in January 2017 by Jim Burns.)

February 11, 2020 - 4:54pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Tobacco-Free Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties (TF-GOW) and Reality Check youth champions from Notre Dame High School were at the New York Capitol on Feb. 4, talking with lawmakers about the success of the state’s Tobacco Control Program.

Notre Dame freshman Morgan Wahl, junior Benjamin Streeter, and senior Maddie Payton joined a pair of Reality Check peers from Warsaw High School in the Albany rally, Shelby Pietron and Katie Pietron. Brittany Bozzer, Reality Check coordinator at TF-GOW attended, too.

They focused their messaging on lowering the average smoking rate to 12.8 percent and about the unmet needs in tobacco control efforts, particularly among youth and certain communities. They met with Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and Assemblyman David DiPietro.

During legislative meetings, the youth stressed that cigarette smoking among high school youth statewide declined 82 percent between 2000 and 2018, but e-cigarette use by high schoolers continues to rise, now at 27 percent. In contrast, only 3.8 percent of adult New Yorkers use e-cigarettes. Additionally, nearly 40 percent 12th-graders use e-cigarettes statewide.

Research shows that youth who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely to start smoking conventional cigarettes than their peers who do not vape.

“Successfully reducing the average adult smoking rate to 12.8 percent in New York State is a significant achievement, but new and emerging nicotine products—like e-cigarettes—could reverse the substantial gains we’ve made in reducing smoking,” Bozzer said.

“We know that marketing attracts youth to e-cigarettes, and flavors are what gets them to try them. Nicotine is what keeps them addicted.”

Higher smoking rates among certain communities

New Yorkers with low education, low income and reporting frequent mental distress smoke at higher rates than the state average.

“Although the average smoking rate is down, cigarette smoking rates among certain communities are considerably higher than average," Bozzer said. "For example, throughout New York State, 25.5 percent of adults reporting frequent mental distress smoke cigarettes, as do 20 percent of those with less than a high school education and nearly 20 percent of those with an annual household income of less than $25,000.

“Income, education, and mental health status shouldn’t determine smoking rates, but they do, and our program has a local and statewide program in place to further tobacco-free norms."

While at the Capitol, the Notre Dame youth talked with lawmakers about work being done in their communities and provided an interactive display in The Well of the Legislative Office Building, revealing the true facts behind Big Tobacco’s misleading marketing.

More Facts: The Costs of Tobacco Use in New York State

  • Annual health care costs directly caused by smoking in the state are $10.39 billion;
  • This expense results in a tax burden of $1,410 for each household every year;
  • There are 28,200 deaths in New York State each year due to smoking, and thousands who are living with illnesses related to tobacco use;
  • The CDC recommends a $203 million annual investment in New York State’s Tobacco Control Program; the state’s investment is $39 million.

Reality Check New York empowers youth to become leaders in their community in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry.

The organization’s members produce change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education. Reality Check in this area is affiliated with Tobacco-Free Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties (TF-GOW) program managed by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The NYS Tobacco Control Program is made up of a network of statewide contractors who work on Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities, which includes Community Engagement and Reality Check, the Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York, the NYS Smokers’ Quitline and Surveillance and Research.

Their efforts are leading the way toward a tobacco-free society. For more information, visit:

Photo: Back row (from left) Maddie Payton, Benjamin Streeter, as well as Notre Dame freshman Morgan Wahl (kneeling in front) took in the grandeur of the New York State Senate Chambers on their recent trip to educate lawmakers at the NYS Capitol. Earlier that day, they talked with Assemblyman David DiPietro, right, about tobacco control work being done in their communities and revealed the true facts behind Big Tobacco’s misleading marketing. Also pictured (middle row, from left) are Warsaw High School students Shelby Pietron, Katie Pietron, and Brittany Bozzer, Reality Check coordinator at TF-GOW.

January 30, 2020 - 2:06pm

Genesee County residents Jason and Nancy Kota lost their son Matthew in 2008 who died at the age of 17 due to complications from brain surgery.

Twelve years later, they’re still keeping his memory and spirit alive.

On Saturday, Feb. 1, Jason and Nancy Kota along with their children Sean, Sara and Tyler will host the 12th annual Matthew Kota Memorial Blood Drive in his honor at Notre Dame High School.

Time is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is located at 73 Union St. in the City of Batavia.

The family gathers every year, with many family members, friends and the general public, to make this blood drive a big community event and scholarships are raised for Notre Dame and Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School.

The Kota family has collected 625 units in their first 11 years of hosting the blood drive in memory of their late son and brother, Matthew.

The public is invited to donate blood for this worthy cause. Proper ID is required. Walk-ins are welcome. For an appointment, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org

There will be a bake sale, too, and donations are accepted to benefit the Matthew Kota Scholarship Fund.

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

November 13, 2019 - 5:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in notre dame high school, batavia, Sports.

Notre Dame High School held its 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame dinner and awards ceremony on Saturday (Nov. 9).

Above, from left, are Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Dick O'Connor -- Class of '64, John Dwyer*, Christopher Sabato -- Class of '97, Maureen Del Plato Braunscheidel -- Class of '98, Lou Cinquino** -- Class of '80, and Jennifer Sutherland Forsyth -- Class of '00.

*[John Dwyer represented his father Edward Dwyer, who was inducted as a Contributor, and John's daughter Amy Dwyer -- Class of '83, who was unable to attend.]

**[Lou Cinquino represented Sacramento Kings NBA Assistant Coach Bob Beyer -- Class of '80.]

Above are Notre Dame High School 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame Service Award recipients, from left, Patty Daansen, Dan Coughlin and Kris Coughlin.

Above are members of Notre Dame Wrestling Teams [1967 - 1968 - 1969] inductees.

Front row, from left: Rick Tepedino, John Sorenson, Tony Peca, Dave O'Connor, Bob Balbick, Mike Cinquino and Sal Cintorino.

Back row, from left: Dan O'Connor, Dave Jamalkowski, Tony Forti, Don Linsey, Tony Cinquino, Charlie Mullen, Ron Kelly and Bob Cline.

Not pictured: Dennis O'Connor, Bruce Briggs, Mike Carragher, Joe Chimino, Bill Fava, Bill Gear, Bill Johnson, Tim Lippold, Tom Murray, John Yanilk [Mgr.], Don Kelly* and Dave Dudek* [Deceased *].

Notre Dame Father -- Daughter Hall of Fame members Bill Sutherland -- Class of '67 [HOF 1995] and daughter Jennifer Sutherland Forsyth -- Class of '00, who was inducted into this year's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Bill and Jennifer are the first father - daughter inductee combo in the history of ND's Hall of Fame Inductions!

The four Darien Center O'Connor brothers are now ND Athletic Hall of Fame Members!

Congrats to brothers (from left) Dick -- Class of '64 [HOF '19], David -- Class of '67 [HOF '17], Dan -- Class of '69 [HOF '16], and Dennis -- Class of '72 [HOF '96] O'Connor!

For more information about the inductees, including school photos, bios and their achievements, click on the previous story here.

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