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Monday, June 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Two local scholars earn distinction at Clarkson University

post by Billie Owens in batavia, bergen, Milestones

Two local students were named Presidential Scholars for the Spring 2013 semester at Clarkson University:

Andrew Lichtenthal, of Batavia, a sophomore majoring in Aeronautical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

Kaley Johnson, of Bergen, a senior majoring in Engineering and Management.

Presidential Scholars must achieve a minimum 3.80 grade-point average and carry at least 14 credit hours.

Clarkson University, in Potsdam, offers 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Batavia student earns master's degree in accounting from Byrant University in Rhode Island

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones

Bryant University held its Graduate School Commencement on Thursday, May 17. Among the graduates is Sarah-Elizabeth Rindo, of Batavia, who earned a Master of Professional Accountancy degree.

Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., is a leading private university offering an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education. Founded in 1863 and recognizing its 150th anniversary in 2013.

On the Web: http://readabout.me/achievements/Sarah-Elizabeth-Rindo-Graduates-from-Br....

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Corfu student inducted into Golden Key International Honour Society

post by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones

SUNY Geneseo student Alaina Chapman, from Corfu, was recently inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society during an induction ceremony on campus. Juniors or seniors with a grade-point average that places them in the top 15 percent of their class are eligible for membership.

Golden Key International Honour Society provides academic recognition to top-performing college and university students as well as scholarships and awards, career and internship opportunities, networking, service and leadership development opportunities. The society has more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities around the world.

On the Web: http://readabout.me/achievements/SUNY-Geneseo-Student-Alaina-Chapman-fro....

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Five local students set to graduate from SUNY Oswego

post by Billie Owens in batavia, byron, darien center, Milestones, Oakfield

Several local residents are scheduled to complete their baccalaureate studies this year at SUNY Oswego.

The following local residents (with their academic degrees in parentheses) are eligible to participate in ceremonies May 18 for the college's Commencement:

Samantha L. Yager, of Richmond Avenue in Batavia (History, cum laude)

Lindsey C. Glazier, of Caswell Road in Byron (Childhood Education)

Luigi A. Parlato, of Seven Day Road in Darien Center (Public Justice)

Nikki M. Parlato, of Seven Day Road in Darien Center (Public Justice, magna cum laude)

Samantha M. Kidder, of Oak Street in Oakfield (Sociology)

A student who graduates with honors is indicated by the traditional Latin phrases summa cum laude, with highest honor (grade averages of 3.8 to 4.0); magna cum laude, with great honor (grade averages of 3.6 to 3.79); and cum laude, with honor (grade averages of 3.30 to 3.59).

A 152-year-old comprehensive college in the State University of New York system, Oswego enrolls about 8,000 students in its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Communication, Media and the Arts; and School of Education.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm

GCC associate professor of Psychology earns Paragon Award from Phi Theta Kappa

post by Billie Owens in GCC, Milestones

Press release:

Genesee Community College Associate Professor of Psychology Elise Banfield has earned the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society's Paragon Award. The award recognizes advisors for significant contributions, service and advocacy. Banfield was one of just 30 persons from across the nation to receive the award.

Banfield has been advisor to GCC's Phi Theta Kappa chapter, Alpha Iota Upsilon, since March 2011. GCC Chapter President Tom Wieszczyk accepted the award for Banfield at the Phi Theta Kappa Convention held in San Jose, Calif., in early April. Five of the six student officers from GCC's Phi Theta Kappa chapter attended the convention.

"It's exciting and humbling to receive this award," Banfield said. "Serving as advisor to GCC's Phi Theta Kappa chapter has been tremendously rewarding. It's an honor to celebrate our students' academic accomplishments and work with them to do positive things in our college community."

This academic year the chapter has been promoting Community College Completion Corps or C4, a program that encourages degree completion. The chapter also raised approximately $1,300 for breast cancer awareness/research through its "Walk for a Cure."

GCC's PTK officers nominated Banfield for the award without her knowledge. They submitted essays sharing her contributions to the chapter and the college. She received the award regionally and then was selected to be one of the 30 national winners.

Phi Theta Kappa was established in 1918 to recognize and encourage academic achievement of two year college students and to provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programming. To be eligible for induction, GCC students must have earned12 hours of college credit with an overall minimum 3.6 GPA; thereafter students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3.

GCC inducted its first members into Phi Theta Kappa in February 1985. The chapter held its 57th induction on April 18. The chapter welcomed 45 new members and continues to accept additional qualified students.

Monday, April 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Two Elba Central School teachers celebrated for outstanding achievements

post by Billie Owens in elba, Milestones

Press release:

The administration, faculty and staff of Elba Central School celebrate as they recognize two colleagues Mr. Jeremy Rath and Mrs. Tammy Plucknette for their outstanding achievements.

Mr. Jeremy Rath, K-12 Vocal and General Music instructor, is honored to be the recipient of this year’s RPO Award for Outstanding Choral Music Educator. Mr. Rath has been teaching vocal music since 2007. Mr. Rath teaches K-12 General Music and directs the Elementary Chorus and a 4-6 grade vocal ensemble. He teaches voice lessons, music class for autistic students and a Junior High Music in Our Lives course. Mr. Rath also directs High School Glee Club and Choral Ensembles. Mr. Rath has also assisted with many musicals, assemblies, and productions at all grade levels. 

In addition to teaching at Elba Central, Mr. Rath has accompanied a number of All-County choirs in and surrounding Genesee County. This year he accompanied the Genesee-Wyoming High School All-County Chorus as well as the Erie Junior High All-County Chorus. This year will mark his third year of providing piano accompaniment for the Pembroke High School musical production.

Jeremy is a founding member and accompanist for the Kendall Community Chorus. He directs the choir at Kendall Concordia Lutheran Church. Additionally, he plays organ and directs the choir at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hilton. Jeremy also enjoys being a part of the music at the Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, where he sings in the Harmonics Society and offers informal recitals on historic instruments. Mr. Rath also instructs several students privately on organ and piano.

Jeremy received his bachelor of science degree in Music Education (Organ and Voice) from Roberts Wesleyan College. He continued his studies at Roberts and received a master's of Music in Music Education in 2012, graduating summa cum laude.

Mrs. Tammy Plucknette, fourth-grade teacher, was recently named by Learn Zillion as 2013 Top Teacher selected to nationwide “Dream Team."

More than 3,000 teachers, instructional coaches and administration from across the country applied, and only 200 were chosen to the highly selective Dream Team. These teachers were chosen based on their understanding of the Common Core State Standards and their ability to create high-quality, highly conceptual lessons that are easily understood by students.

As a member of the Dream Team, Tammy will receive an all-expenses paid trip to San Francisco in May for TeachFest, through the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Teachfest is an intensive professional development conference that kicks off the Dream Team experience.

After TeachFest, Dream Team teachers will capture their proven approaches and teaching methods in concise lessons that will then be made available for free to every student, teacher and parent through LearnZillion’s online platform at LeanZillon.com. More than 100, 000 teachers are registered for the free site as well as 1.5 million students. More than 400,000 teachers and students view LearnZillion lessons each month from hundreds of countries around the world. Throughout the process Mrs. Plucknette will be motivated by the concept of “scaling her impact” beyond the walls of her own classroom and of Elba Central School. By sharing her lessons online, all students can benefit from the expertise of the Dream Team teachers.

Congratulations Mr. Rath and Mrs. Plucknette! The Elba School Community is very proud of you both.

Monday, April 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Batavia native graduates from Valencia College Criminal Justice Institute

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones

Batavia native Nathaniel Mullen graduated on Feb. 25, 2013 from the Valencia College Criminal Justice Institute located at Orlando, Fla. Nathaniel is employed as a Deputy Sheriff for the Orange County, Fla., Sheriff's Department.

Nathaniel is the son of  Eugene and Leanne Jankowski, of Batavia, and Ronald and Rene Mullen, of Oakfield. As a second-generation member of law enforcement, Lt. Eugene Jankowski of the Batavia Police Department pinned on Nathaniel's badge during the graduation ceremony.

Nathaniel is a 2007 graduate of Notre Dame High School; 2011 graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; 2013 graduate of Valencia College Criminal Justice Institute; and he also serves as 1st lieutenant in the Army.

Monday, April 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

CTE students inducted into National Tech Honor Society

Press release:

In March, the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapters inducted 119 Career and Technical students from the Charles G. May Center and Batavia Campus. Evening candlelight ceremonies took place at the May Center and Elba High School.

These students met a rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade-point average for acceptance is a 3.0. Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

Honorary memberships were presented to Michael Glover, Ph.D., district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, and David O’Geen, Precision Machining instructor at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center.

Batavia Career and Technical Education Center


William Burke                         Metal Trades

Miriah Gaudy                          Metal Trades

Christina Haniszewski            Health Careers Academy

Donald Ohlson                       Electronics & Comp Tech

Fleur Remington                    Legal Careers Academy

Matthew Szymanski               Metal Trades

Brittany Taylor                        Legal Careers Academy



Ashley Brotherton                  Health Careers Academy

Aleiah Brunner                       Animal Science

Nathan Burry                         Building Trades

Mitchell Cayea                       Metal Trades

Amber Holley                         Criminal Justice

Kellee Kibler                          Health Careers Academy

Angela LePrell                       Health Careers Academy

Nicole Strauchen                   Health Careers Academy


Tyler Kuhn                             Conservation

Rebecca Meloon                   Cosmetology

Miranda Reed                       Animal Science

Louis Scafetta                       Building Trades

Ashley Stachowski                Animal Science

McKenzie Stevens                Legal Careers Academy

Byron Bergen

Nicole Fore                            Health Careers Academy

Kara Hall                                Health Careers Academy

Andrew McKenrick                 Conservation

Blake Snyder                         Conservation

Alexandra Walker                   Health Careers Academy

Caledonia Mumford

Devan Ayers                          Metal Trades

Andrew Carpino                     Auto Technology NATEF

Nichole Essig                         Health Careers Academy

Brittany Kerr                           Animal Science

Cody McGinnis                       Metal Trades

Ryan Sickles                          Metal Trades


Viviana Gaytan                      Human Services

Le Roy

Alexandra Beswick                Computer Information Academy

Christopher DeFelice             Legal Careers Academy

Emily Morrill                           Health Dimensions

Verneda Peete                       Legal Careers Academy

Brittany Shultz                       Culinary Arts

Oakfield Alabama

Brian Borkholder                    Electronics & Comp Tech

Paige Chatt                            Legal Careers Academy

Chelsea Cleveland                 Health Careers Academy

Brittany Denton                      Health Careers Academy

Jenifer Igoe                            Health Careers Academy

Casey McVay                         Computer Information Academy

Brennan Neidrauer                 Metal Trades

Sadie Schultz                         Legal Careers Academy

Haley Woodrich                      Human Services


Nicole Forti                             Health Careers Academy

Heather Yuhnke                     Cosmetology


Mitchell Allen                          Auto Technology NATEF

Kari Ammon                           Health Careers Academy

Nick Blackwell                        Graphic Arts

Austin Blaszak                       Graphic Arts

Brooke Keller                         Cosmetology

Tyler Lang                              Conservation

Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Four local students made the dean's list at Rensselaer Polytechnic University

post by Billie Owens in batavia, east bethany, elba, Milestones

Press release:

Students have been named to the dean's list at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the Fall 2012 semester. The dean's list recognizes full-time students who maintain grade-point averages of a minimum of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 and have no grades below "C."

The following four students were granted an achievement for earning a spot on the dean's list at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:

Austin Kubiniec, of Batavia

Robert Hoy, of Batavia

Tyler Murtha, of East Bethany

Rosalie Mortellaro, of Elba

Rensselaer is America's oldest technological research university, offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in architecture, engineering, information technology and Web science, management, the sciences, and the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Rensselaer offers more than 145 programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

Students are encouraged to work in interdisciplinary programs that allow them to combine scholarly work from several departments or schools. The university provides rigorous, engaging, interactive learning environments and campus-wide opportunities for leadership, collaboration and creativity.

Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:47 am

NY Army National Guard soldier from Bergen promoted

post by Billie Owens in bergen, Milestones

Major General Patrick A. Murphy, the Adjutant General for the State of New York, announces the promotion of members of the New York Army National Guard in recognition of their capability for additional responsibility and leadership.

Charles Jensen, from Byron, serving with the Company A, 2-108th Infantry, is promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class.

Army National Guard promotions are based on overall performance, attitude, leadership ability and development potential.

These promotions additionally recognize the best qualified Soldiers and attract and retain the highest caliber Citizen Soldiers for a career in the New York Army National Guard.

For more information about the New York Army National Guard, visit www.dmna.ny.gov or www.1800goguard.com.

On the Web: http://readabout.me/achievements/Charles-Jensen-Receives-New-Rank-New-Re....

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