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Byron Bergen Central School District

Byron-Bergen receives Excellence in Student Service award

By Press Release
Submitted photo of (from left to right): Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes, Gregg Torrey, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, B-B Director of Instructional Services Betsy Brown with therapy dog Dottie, B-B High School Counselor Kristie Holler with therapy dog Stew, B-B Superintendent Pat McGee. Photo courtesy of Amanda Dedie.

Press Release:

On Saturday, Jan. 20, the Genesee Valley School Board Association (GVSBA) met for their annual breakfast hosted by the Byron-Bergen Central School District. 

The event included superintendents and representatives from districts throughout the GLOW region as well as Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, and Gregg Torrey representing Senator George Borrello. The gathering served as an opportunity for the school administrators and school board members to discuss issues with their state representatives and
honor the 2024 recipients of the Excellence in Student Service awards.

“I was very pleased with the nominations as they came in this year and the wide range of programs,” said GVSBA Coordinator Pat Burk. “It shows that schools are thinking outside of the box to make what they do much more accessible as well as entertaining and really, really special.”

Twenty school districts and Genesee Valley BOCES received Excellence in Student Service awards. Byron-Bergen was honored for the district-wide therapy dog program which launched in 2021 through the efforts of district staff and retired Byron-Bergen teacher Jen Faro. The program began with one therapy dog, Pinot, owned by Faro, and has quickly expanded to include six dogs and additional visiting dogs from the Rochester-based not-for-profit, RocDogs.

Pinot, Maya, Dottie, Stew, Hula, and Daisy are valuable members of our team,” said Byron-Bergen Superintendent Pat McGee. “These therapy dogs are boots on the ground, in the district supporting student and staff mental health. I am extremely proud of this program and believe that they deserve this recognition.”

The award was presented by Burk and GVSBA and Byron-Bergen School Board President Deb List. The award was accepted by McGee, Director of Instructional Services Betsy Brown with her therapy dog Dottie, and Byron-Bergen High School Counselor Kristie Holler with her therapy dog Stew.

“The therapy dogs are here for all of our students as well as the staff,” said Brown. “There are students who specifically visit the office just to see Dottie and receive some love and attention. Research shows that interacting with therapy dogs reduces stress and anxiety and I’m thrilled that Dottie and I can be active participants in the program.”

The event also included a performance by the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Jazz Ensemble led HS Band Director Kevin Bleiler, breakfast catered by the Byron-Bergen Food Service Department, and discussion sessions in which school and elected officials discussed rural education.

Submitted photo of Byron-Bergen therapy dog Maya. Photo courtesy of Gretchen Spittler.
Submitted photo of two Byron-Bergen students spending time with therapy dog Daisy Sweet Potato. Photo courtesy of Katie Grattan.
Submitted photo of Byron-Bergen therapy dogs (from left to right) Hula and Pinot. Photo courtesy of Gretchen Spittler.

GV School Boards Association announces 2024 Excellence in Student Service Award recipients

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee Valley School Boards Association (GVSBA) is pleased to announce the Excellence in Student Services Awards Recipients for 2024. The awards will be presented on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 9 a.m. at Byron-Bergen Central School. Award recipients are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP for this event to by Thursday at noon. School staff are also invited to attend this program.

Congratulations To:

  • Alexander Central School Student Leadership Conference
  • Attica Central School Elementary Steam Ahead
  • Avon Central School Peer Mentoring & Buddies Program
  • Batavia City School District Tilly Time – Therapy Dog Program
  • Byron- Bergen Central School Therapy Dog Program
  • Caledonia-Mumford Central School Outdoor Classroom
  • Dansville Central School Entrepreneurship Program
  • Genesee Valley BOCES TIG Program
  • Geneseo Central School Varsity Blue Devil Bowling (With Mt. Morris Central School)
  • Keshequa Central School History Adventure Room
  • LeRoy Central School Community Service Project
  • Letchworth Central School Transportation Department
  • Livonia Central School Choices Program
  • Mt. Morris Central School Varsity Blue Devil Bowling (With Geneseo Central School)
  • Pavilion Central School Child Success Team at D. B. Bunce Elementary
  • Pembroke Central School SHIELD Program
  • Perry Central School Youth Mental Health First Aid
  • Warsaw Central School FFA Program
  • Wayland-Cohocton Central School Middle School Summer Enrichment Program
  • York Central School Middle/High School STEAM Education

Stehm returns to Byron-Bergen as Interim Principal for 2023-24 school year

By Press Release

Press Release:

Submitted photo of 
Carol Stehm

On Monday, August 7, Carol Stehm returned to Byron-Bergen as Interim Jr./Sr. High School Principal. Stehm will serve through the end of the 2023 calendar year. During this time, the District will conduct a thorough search for a permanent replacement. Stehm also served as Interim Principal at the Byron-Bergen Elementary School for the first half of the 2022-23 school year.

“I am excited to welcome Mrs. Stehm back to Byron-Bergen,” said Superintendent Pat McGee. “She expertly facilitated the smooth and successful transition to Principal Kristin Loftus at the Elementary School in December, and I am confident that she is the ideal person to lead the Jr./Sr. High School during the search process.”

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

“I am genuinely thrilled to return to Byron-Bergen,” said Stehm. “I had a wonderful experience at the Elementary School last year and look forward to getting to know the older students and seeing some familiar faces.”

Byron-Bergen student represents at clay target national championship

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Kyle Smith

Press Release:

The Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) held their National Championship shoot at Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio July 4 - 15. This year brought a record setting number of youth athletes with a combined total of over 4,000 competitors from all over the country!

New York was well represented and Kyle Smith a 9th grader at Byron Bergen CSD from Bergen, participated along with others on the A & B Clay Busters team from Rochester Brooks Gun Club. For his first time participating and competing at the SCTP National competition Kyle did very well, placing 3rd in both doubles trap with a score of 182 (out of 200) and singles trap with a score of 194 (out of 200).

SCTP exposes youth to all clay target disciplines including: sporting clays, skeet, trap as well as Olympic disciplines of bunker trap and international skeet. For more information on SCTP visit:

Byron-Bergen Teacher Joins Great Lakes Research Voyage

By Press Release
Participants on Lake Guardian research voyage.
Pete Spence is 5th from right.

Press Release:

On July 6, Byron-Bergen Secondary Science Teacher Pete Spence boarded the U.S. EPA Lake Guardian for a seven-day voyage to conduct research on Lake Ontario. Spence was one of 15 participating teachers taking part in the annual expedition which collected data in several locations looking at algae, zooplankton, and benthic organisms.

“I was interested in doing research on the Great Lakes, so I applied and was accepted,” said Spence. He requested and was assigned to the team examining differences in zooplankton populations from the east to the west end of the lake. “We also used acoustic (sonar) techniques to locate migratory shrimp species that stay on the bottom of the lake during the day and move toward the surface at night.”

Spence also assisted in research teams collecting blue-green algae levels at depths up to 40 meters and quagga mussel populations from 60 to 120 meters deep. The Lake Guardian docked in Youngstown and the participants toured the Niagara Falls gorge, an experience which many of the out-of-state teachers had never had. They then set out to collect a series of samples starting from the Welland Canal and crossing the lake to Toronto.

During one memorable experiment, the crew submerged Styrofoam cups in one of the deepest parts of Lake Ontario to observe how pressure impacts volume. The water pressure compressed them to approximately half of their original size. “I plan to have my students write their names on Styrofoam cups which I will send to the EPA for this experiment,” said Spence. “After they have been submerged in Lake Superior and returned to us, the students can measure the changes.”

Seven days after setting out on Lake Ontario, the crew disembarked at Port Rochester on July 12. “One of the things that I’m bringing back to Byron-Bergen is using the Great Lakes in my Environmental AP class,” said Spence. “The Great Lakes have always been of interest to me, being that we live so near them, I think it’s a great opportunity for students to see the bigger picture.”

Spence examines map with researchers
Spence and colleagues collect samples, Pete Spence is on right.
Lake Guardian research participants, Pete Spence is back right 

Byron-Bergen HS teacher receives recognition from BEA

By Press Release

Press Release:

2023 Allan Davis Memorial Apple award recipient Jay Wolcott

Byron-Bergen Teacher Jay Wolcott received the 2023 Allan Davis Memorial Apple Award On Friday, May 5 at the Terry Hills Country Club. Award recipients are chosen by the Genesee County Business Education Alliance Board of Directors.

“Mr. Wolcott’s years of hard work and dedication to promoting technology and industry with students and involvement in the GV BOCES Tech Teacher Cohort Group and GLOW Tech Wars makes him the perfect recipient of this honor,” said Genesee County Business/Education Alliance Director Karyn Winters.

Wolcott has taught Technology at Byron-Bergen for 21 years. In addition to teaching technology, he is the Steppin' Up Club and Technology Club advisor.

“Jay is an incredible educator and role model for our students,” said Byron-Bergen Superintendent Pat McGee. “He is also a valuable mentor for other teachers, and it is my privilege to call him a friend and colleague. Congratulations, Jay.”

“I was very honored to be recognized for the work I do for my students and for fellow Technology teachers in the region,” said Wolcott. “I feel it is so important that students see the many opportunities for careers in our area. Karyn Winters at BEA is a great asset for any teacher to help gain access to local companies. Best of all, my wife, daughter, son, and grandson were present at the ceremony to hear the humble introduction speech by Karyn.”

Photo submitted by Gretchen Spittler

GCEDC board of directors advance 5 MW community solar project

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors accepted a final resolution for GSPP Route 262, LLC’s 5-megawatt (MW) community solar project at its board meeting on Thursday. The project’s total capital investment is estimated at $13 million and will be located in the town of Byron.

Agreements negotiated for GSPP Route 262, LLC’s project PILOT would generate $4,000/MW (AC) + a 2% annual escalator of revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Byron, and Byron-Bergen Central School District. 

This project is estimated to generate a $627,303 increase in property-tax type revenues to host municipalities resulting in $5.14 in revenue for every $1 generated from the property’s current use.

GSPP Route 262, LLC requested a sales tax exemption of $1.056 million, a mortgage tax exemption of $70,993, and a property tax exemption of $778,344.

B-B senior Kendall Phillips signs with SUNY Brockport

By Press Release
Byron-Bergen Senior Kendall Phillips signs letter of intent with parents and brother as witnesses.

Press Release: 

Byron-Bergen Central School District proudly announces that on Tuesday, May 9, senior Kendall Phillips signed a letter of intent to attend SUNY Brockport as a member of its softball team. At SUNY Brockport, Phillips plans to study Childhood Inclusive Education. Her commitment to SUNY Brockport was witnessed by her parents and brother. 

Phillips is a six-year Varsity Softball player, a three-time Genesee Region All-Star, and was named 5th team Class C All-State. In 2022, she was entered into the NYSPHSAA and Section V record book for 20 strikeouts in one game. 

In the 2022 season, Phillips had a .583 batting average and pitched 84 innings with 159 strikeouts. She also did not give up a walk in the first 67 batters faced. So far in the 2023 season, she holds a .410 batting average and has pitched 61 innings with 124 strikeouts. 

“I am extremely happy for Kendall Phillips and her prospects for the future,” said Byron-Bergen Athletic Director Rich Hannan. “She is a fantastic example of what a student athlete should be. She is a great softball player and an even better person. She works extremely hard for her academic and athletic success. I know she will do great things at SUNY Brockport both in the classroom and on the softball field. We are all proud of Kendall and wish her the best of luck in the future!”

In addition to softball, Philipps is Student Council Senior Class President, a member of National Honor Society, Scholastic Bowl, Varsity Club, Yearbook Club, and is Steppin’ Up Club President. She volunteers at the Elementary School in kindergarten daily. She participates in soccer, basketball, and softball where she earned all-star status in basketball for 1 year and softball for 3 years. She has also been a captain of each sport for multiple years. The travel softball teams she participates on include Edge and Smash It Sports.

“I would like to thank my parents for always supporting me and pushing me to be my best as well as all of my coaches who have helped me become the player and person I am today,” said Phillips. “Without their encouragement and support, I couldn't have earned valedictorian honors and furthered my academic and athletic career at SUNY Brockport.”

Photo submitted by Gretchen Spittler.

Black History Month celebrated at Byron-Bergen schools with hip-hop demo, movie and special guests

By Billie Owens


Press release:

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, the fourth through sixth grades in the Byron-Bergen Central School District hosted special guests as part of their Black History Month celebration.

Olivia Kim, adjunct professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, shared her experience with the Frederick Douglass sculpture project and “Discover Douglass” self-guided walking tour.

Kim sculpted the 6’7” monument of Douglass out of more than 200 pounds of clay to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of Douglass’ chosen birthday, Feb. 14, 1818. From her mold, 13 statues were completed and placed around Rochester.

The students learned about the complex process to create each of the statues as well as the significance Douglass holds in the Rochester community.

Community educator and choreographer Marcus Bowens shared the history and global influence of hip-hop. Hip-hop originated in New York City in the 1970s and has since spread around the world influencing diverse cultures. Bowens is a Master hip-hop dancer.

“Dance is a form of celebration and expression,” Bowens told the students. “Dance is contagious.

He then led the students in a celebration of hip-hop through a choreographed danced in which everyone participated.

Miriam Tardy, Siomara Caballero, and Hannah Catalino, all Byron-Bergen Senior High School students, introduced the students to the real life characters portrayed in the movie "Hidden Figures."

Their introduction included an overview of segregation and an interactive activity. Students and staff shared something that they were proud of and noted that "Hidden Figures" features real people who were not credited for the vital role they played at NASA until many decades later.

“Don’t let your accomplishments be hidden,” the three presenters concluded.

The day ended with a special screening of "Hidden Figures."

Photos and video courtesy of Gretchen Spittler, Byron-Bergen Communications specialist.

Above, Olivia Kim, Marcus Bowen, Miriam Tardy, Siomara Caballero and Hannah Catalino.
Above, Olivia Kim.
Above, Byron-Bergen Senior High students provide background for the movie "Hidden Figures."
Above, Byron-Bergen senior high students discuss segregation with elementary school students.
Above, Marcus Bowen with Byron-Bergen students.

Byron-Bergen Central School District will offer free summer breakfast and lunch for all children ages 3-18

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District announces its participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Free meals will be provided to all children between the ages of 3 and 18 Monday through Friday, from July 10 through Aug. 11.

Byron Bergen Elementary School will be serving free breakfast from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and free lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.. The school is located at 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen.

Lunch only (not breakfast) will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Byron Town Park on McElver Road, Byron.

Call 585-494-1220, ext. 4234, if you have questions.

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