education

Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 6:31 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, education, crime, Warsaw, Attica, Arcade, Perry, Castile.

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Local youths traversed the county placing neon green warning stickers on multi-packs of alcoholic beverages at grocery and convenience stores throughout the county. Project Sticker Shock serves as a reminder to adults that providing alcohol to minors is illegal. 

Partners for Prevention (P4P), a group of youth and adults working together to address issues surrounding alcohol and other drug use in Wyoming County, participate in the annual event to raise awareness about underage drinking. 

With the upcoming graduations, P4P officials reminds residents that alcohol-related deaths or injuries are all too often associated with special events or holiday seasons. The stickers remind consumers that it is illegal for any person 21 years old or older to purchase or provide alcohol to minors, and offenses are punishable with fines up to $1,000 or one year in jail.

Participating stores include: 

    • Tops Markets in Attica, Warsaw and Arcade;

    • Rite Aid and BenGos Express Mart, Attica;

    • Brass’ Shurfine, Arcade;

    • Arrow Mart, Warsaw;

    • Perry Market Place, Rite Aid, Arrow Mart, Perry; and 

    • Carney’s Market and Arrow Mart, Castile.

For more information about P4P visit http://www.wycop4p.com/

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 2:49 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, education, letchworth, news.

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Press release, photo submitted:

The Letchworth Central School District’s Board of Education (BOE) has selected D. Todd Campbell as the district’s next superintendent. Campbell is expected to begin on July 3 pending contract negotiations.

“The search process was rigorous and the Board of Education truly values the input we received from the various stakeholder groups, including staff, and community members who met with the candidates to help us make a final decision,” said Letchworth’s Board President Richard Wilcox. “We are confident that Mr. Campbell will lead our district through the issues we face in our region. With his leadership, we will work together to deliver the best education possible for our students.”

Campbell has been the principal of Wayland Elementary School in the Wayland-Cohocton School District since 2003. During his tenure as principal, Wayland Elementary has been recognized by New York state as a High Performing/Gap Closing School. Buffalo’s Business First Magazine has placed Wayland Elementary School on the Top 50 Elementary Schools in this region. 

As principal, Campbell is responsible for the education of 326 students and he supervises 60 faculty and staff members. He creates and manages the instructional budget for the school and also is responsible for all curriculum development and implementation. 

From 2000 to 2003, he served as the principal of Perry Middle School where he facilitated the opening of a new middle school. This included the move of students and staff from two separate buildings and the creation of a new middle school program. Previously, he served as the assistant principal at Perry Elementary School. 

He began his career in education in 1991 as a teacher at Letchworth Central Schools.

Campbell earned a Bachelor of Science from Houghton College, Houghton, and a master’s degree from The College at Brockport, Brockport. He also holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from Brockport.

“I am blessed and honored to have the opportunity to be the next superintendent of Letchworth Central Schools. The district has a long tradition of solid leadership and what impresses me the most are the people. They are kind, dedicated and passionate about what they do for students each day,” Campbell said. “I am excited to form new friendships and positive relationships with the students, staff and Board of Education as I begin this new journey.”

Campbell will replace Julia Reed who is retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

Friday, May 5, 2017 at 11:11 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, education, announcements, letchworth.

Press release:

The Letchworth Central School District’s Board of Education (BOE) has named two finalists for the district’s next Superintendent. 

“The search attracted a number of qualified individuals from across the state. We are confident that one of these candidates will be the best to lead our district,” said Board of Education President Richard Wilcox. “The search process garnered a pool of highly qualified individuals.”

The two finalists are Matthew Wilkins and D. Todd Campbell. 

Wilkins is currently the principal of Letchworth High School, a position he’s held since 2006. During his time as principal, he has expanded agricultural and technical programs at the high school, added Advanced Placement courses, and collaborated with the administrative team to develop a master schedule. His responsibilities as principal also include assisting with the budget planning process to develop a balanced secondary and extracurricular annual budget. As the principal he oversees 45 staff and faculty and 280 students. 

Wilkins has spent his entire career – more than 20 years in education – at Letchworth Central schools. He began teaching in 1996 as a K-12 Physical Education teacher.

He holds a bachelor of science degree, as well as a master’s degree from The College at Brockport. Wilkins also earned his Certificate of Advanced Study in School Business Administration from Brockport. He holds New York State certifications in Physical Education, School Administrator, and Supervisor and School District Administrator.

D. Todd Campbell is the principal of Wayland Elementary School in the Wayland-Cohocton School District. Campbell has served in this role since 2003. During his tenure as principal, Wayland Elementary School has been recognized by New York state as a High Performing/Gap Closing School. Buffalo’s Business First Magazine has placed Wayland Elementary School on the Top 50 Elementary Schools in the state. 

As principal, Campbell is responsible for the education of 380 students and supervises 66 faculty and staff members. He creates and manages the instructional budget for the elementary school and also is responsible for all curriculum development and implementation at this school. 

From 2000 to 2003 he served as the principal of Perry Middle School where he facilitated the opening of a new middle school. This included the move of students and staff from two separate buildings and the creation of a new Middle School Program. Previously, he served as the Assistant Principal at Perry Elementary School. 

He began his career in education in 1991 as a teacher at Letchworth Central schools.

Campbell earned a bachelor of science from Houghton College, Houghton, and a master’s degree from The College at Brockport. He also holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from Brockport.

Wilkins and Campbell will visit the district today for final interviews with stakeholder group representatives. Final interviews with the Board of Education will conclude each candidate’s visit. The anticipated start date for the new superintendent is July 3. 

The new superintendent will replace Julia Reed who is retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, who is acting as search consultant, said the Board has developed and implemented a rigorous and transparent search process.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 10:38 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, education, Warsaw, announcements.

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Students from Warsaw High School are giving back to their community. 

Kory Seewaldt, Isaac Stoddard, and James Ross, all seniors at Warsaw, were recognized recently for their efforts in designing and creating new hanging flower baskets for the village. 

The students are part of the BOCES metal trade program at the Mount Morris campus. Students from both the morning and afternoon sessions at the school were part of the project.

“The Village sent in the old baskets and the kids worked on how to make the baskets better, to last longer than the previous ones,” said Metal Trades instructor Olie Olson. 

According to Warsaw Town Supervisor Becky the hanging baskets the Village used – they had been bought two years ago – had deteriorated and new ones were needed. The Village received a grant, and part of the funding went toward the new baskets.

“The quality of the kids work is just outstanding. They are true craftsmen,” Ryan said.

The teens designed the product with round stock donated by Karl Drasgow, owner of Drasgow Inc., Gainesville, flat stock that was on hand at the school, and chain bought by the Village from Ace Hardware in Warsaw.

“Through their efforts, the baskets are going to last 30 years at least,” Ryan said.

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Monday, May 1, 2017 at 4:13 pm

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The students filed in noisily, as students do, into the bus garage. Once they were situated in their seats, the bus garage bay doors opened. The noisy students quieted at once. Before them three of their friends were involved in a car crash following a night of partying. One of their classmates was injured, one was taken away in handcuffs, and one was dead, her blood trailing down the passenger-side door, pooling onto the roadway.  

Teens in 11th and 12th grade at Letchworth High School were witness to the possible consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during a DWI crash simulation held at the school Friday afternoon.

Over the loudspeaker the students hear the call of the dispatcher. Within seconds, a siren went off. Within minutes, the first cop cruiser pulled into the parking lot, seconds later, the first ambulance.

“These are the same kids you hang with, play sports with, enjoy life with. In an instant they go from joy and laughter to pain and tears,” said Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory Rudolph. “Imagine you are a victim of this crash…this alcohol-related crash. You experience pain and anxiety caused by the metal and plastic bending and crushing around you as the vehicles collided. You are sitting in a pool of your own blood experiencing pain and suffering that no one should ever have to go through. You are sitting there helpless as you are waiting for help to arrive. Your fear turns to shock.”

As Rudolph was speaking, rescue personnel continued to arrive. The voices of the first responders are calm as they are assessing the situation. Medical responders are now on scene. A multitude of people are working feverishly to stabilize the driver who is still alive and sitting next to her now-dead friend. 

The driver in the other car is looked over for injuries and asked to step out of the vehicle, all the while the sounds of saws and extraction equipment break the seemingly chaotic scene. 

A white sheet is placed over the driver to protect her from the broken glass. Her passenger is covered with a white sheet and left alone as EMS focus their attention on the teen who is still alive.

Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began recording alcohol-related statistics in 1982, the number of persons under 21 killed in drunk driving crashes decreased 80 percent. In 1982 there were 5,215 crashes. In 2015 there were 1,021. These fatalities account for 10 percent of the drunk driving fatalities in the United States. 

“When you are talking and you are looking at them (students) there isn’t horseplay going on, they aren’t talking, they are looking past you, paying attention to the scene. You can see it in their eyes that this could happen.”

The crash simulation is made possible by Partners 4 Prevention, School Resource Officer and Wyoming County Sheriff Deputy Ivan Carrasquillo, the NYS Troopers, the Silver Springs and Castile fire departments, Mercy Flight, the Wyoming County Coroner’s Office, District Attorney Donald O’Geen, and the Letchworth Central School SADD Club members and parent volunteers. 

The event, hosted by the Gainesville Fire Department, was intended to highlight the dangers of driving under the influence during the prom season. One third of all alcohol-related teen traffic deaths occur between April and June, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with vehicle accidents ranking as the top cause of death for those between 12 and 19 years old. In fact, 1,000 young people die annually during prom and graduations celebrations, according to the National Traffic Administration.

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Monday, April 24, 2017 at 8:04 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Warsaw, education.
Event Date and Time: 
April 25, 2017 - 7:00pm

 The Warsaw Central Scholl District is hosting a Capital Project 2017 community information meeting Tuesday, at 7 pm in the elementary school, Buffalo Street, Warsaw.

Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Sports, announcements, education, Attica.

James Neary, of Attica, was among 12 Paul Smith's College athletes named to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association's All-Academic Team for success in the classroom this winter.

Neary, a sophomore majoring in integrative studies, participated in men's snowshoeing.

"Congratulations to our student athletes who are among the most successful in the classroom," said Athletic Director Jim Tucker.

Forty-nine  students earned the distinction this academic year.

To be nominated for the honor, a student athlete must be in good standing on the team, have completed at least 24 credit hours and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or greater.

Paul Smith's is the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Its programs - in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences - draw on industries and resources available in its own backyard. For more information, visit paulsmiths.edu.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 11:27 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, education, Strykersville.

Sarah Armbrust, of Strykersville, has been accepted for admission and has received an academic merit scholarship to Delaware Valley University (DelVal), Doylestown, Pa..

Delaware Valley University is an independent, comprehensive university with more than 1,000 acres in Bucks and Montgomery counties. Founded in 1896, DelVal emphasizes experiential and interdisciplinary learning and provides small class sizes. Through the innovative Experience360 Program, all DelVal students gain real world experience in their fields. The university offers more than 25 undergraduate majors in the sciences, humanities and business, more than five master's programs, a Doctor of Education and a variety of adult education courses. 

For more information about the university, visit delval.edu.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 11:24 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, education, announcements, Attca.

Thomas Finnigan, of Attica, was one of 14 students recently recognized by the Pi of New York chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Elmira College as outstanding members of the Class of 2018 and 2019.

Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most distinguished of all the academic honorary societies, promotes, recognizes, and honors scholarly achievement in the liberal arts and sciences. Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776, and the Pi of New York chapter at Elmira College was established in 1940.

Additionally, Finnigan was one of 35 students inducted into the Elmira College circle, or chapter, of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.

The Society recognizes achievement in scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social and religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and the creative and performing arts. Emphasis is placed on the development of the whole person, both as a member of the college community and as a contribution to a better society.

Omicron Delta Kappa was founded Dec. 3, 1914, at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va. The Elmira College circle was established on May 21, 1995.

Elmira College is a private, coeducational, Phi Beta Kappa college founded in 1855, located in Elmira. The college has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 1,200 full-time mostly residential students. It is also the guardian of Quarry Farms where Mark Twain summered for decades and where he wrote many of his most iconic novels. Today, it is a research center for visiting Twain scholars. 

The college has been ranked as a Best College in the Northeast by the Princeton Review and a Top Tier national liberal arts college by U.S. News & World Report, which also ranked Elmira College as a leading college, nationally, for student internships.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 11:16 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Wyoming, education.

Joshua Yuhnke, of Wyoming, recently graduated from Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, Mo.

Yuhnke graduated in December with a bachelor of science degree, cum laude.

Undergraduate students graduate with honors according to the following grade point averages: 3.850 – 4.00, summa cum laude; 3.700 – 3.849, magna cum laude; and 3.500 – 3.699, cum laude. In order to graduate with honors, students must have earned a minimum of 45 semester hours of credit at SBU prior to the semester of graduation.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 10:46 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, announcements, education, Warsaw.

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File photo.

The Genesee Community College (GCC) Board of Trustees voted earlier this month to confer an honorary degree on longtime GCC Foundation Board Member Norbert J. Fuest at the commencement ceremonies May 21.

This esteemed honor reflects Fuest's extraordinary commitment to GCC over many years, says Trustee Laurie J. Miller, chair of the Honorary Degree Selection Committee.

Fuest has served as a member of the GCC Foundation Board for almost a quarter century. He is a former president of the Foundation, and has served as a member or chair of almost all Foundation committees through the years. He currently serves as president of Genesee Community College Foundation Housing Services, the not-for-profit Foundation affiliate corporation that manages College Village and other projects.

“Beyond his formal service on the Foundation Board, he has been a tireless and enthusiastic advocate for the College,” Miller said. “He has been an active leader in Foundation fundraising campaigns, encouraged students to attend the college, promoted the college's workforce training programs to area business leaders and advocated for the college with public officials.”

Fuest served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Search Committee (2010-2011), was a recipient of the Alpha Medal of Service (2014) and was a recipient of the Benefactor Vision for Tomorrow Award of the New York State Community College Trustees Association.

The Wyoming County resident is a retired Morton Salt human resources executive, and currently provides human resources and safety consultation to area business organizations. He has served many other organizations and causes as a volunteer, including numerous years of service on the Attica School District Board of Education, Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency, Wyoming County United Way, Wyoming County Business Education Council, Family Life, Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services, New York State Workforce Investment Board and Genesee Association of Personnel Administrators.

"Norb Fuest has been totally committed to Genesee Community College for many, many years, and I can think of no finer candidate for an honorary degree than Norb," Miller said.

Friday, March 24, 2017 at 8:07 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Attica, music, education.

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An ensemble of young musicians and choral singers from Wyoming and Genesee counties will be performing at the All-County Music Festival sponsored by the Genesee-Wyoming Music Educators’ Association Inc.

The first performance begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Attica High School, Main Street, Attica. The second performance will be at 2 p.m. April 1 at Pavilion Central School, Big Tree Road, Pavilion.

Students from St. Joseph and Notre Dame, and Alexander, Attica, Batavia, Byron-Bergen, Elba, Le Roy, Oakfield-Alabama, Pavilion, Pembroke and Wyoming school districts compete for a chance to perform in the festival.

Performances include the Senior High Jazz Band Ensemble, the Elementary All-County Chorus, the Junior High All-County Band, and the Senior High All-County Chorus.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, education, library, Attica.

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In September, 10 Attica community members got together and formed a fundraising committee to help generate enough money to assist in the renovations of the Stevens Memorial Library, Main Street, Attica.

Since October, the committee has raised close to $63,000 toward the improvements, thanks in part by the Attica Lions Club’s donation of $10,000. The Lions Club money was left over from the Attica Walking Path fundraiser the club held in 2015 - 2016 to repair the damages to the path at the Attica Veterans Memorial Park on Exchange Street.

“It was a feeling of ‘so…we can really do this’ from the committee,” said Library Director Nancy Burns. “We received $300,000 each from the Library Construction and Library Community grants, $50,000 from Senator (Patrick) Gallivan, and $63,000 the library committee has raised so far.”

Between the grants and other donations, the Library has $700,000 of the $800,000 to complete the whole project.

Committee members Barbara Helik and Teresa Wright, as co-chairs; and Emma Edwards, Maggie Dadd, Linda Camp, Sandra Eck, Amy Meisner, Charles Williman, Chris Kipfer, and Linda Kruszka, began actively raising funds in October.

Renovations will begin at the back entrance to comply with the American Disabilities Act. A ramp will be installed along the left side of the entrance and a new glass door will be set in place. In addition to the ramp, a set of four steps will also be available. That is, of course, after several walls are removed.

“We will be raising the floor and taking out some walls,” Burns said. “The idea is to have a more open feel with easy access to new releases, magazines, DVDs and holds. There will be a seating area, and the computers will be relocated to run along the left of the ramp. It will have a more open feel to it than the hackneyed set up it is now. It will be a huge benefit for our older patrons.”

The new open space will also house the circulation desk, as well as two additional desks and an art wall that will showcase art from the Arts Council of Wyoming County and other artists.

“They will be a highlight as patrons walk through the door. And instead of spending the money to get a new circulation desk, we are going to repurpose the old one.”

In addition to saving money on the desk, new windows will be installed for not only light and safety concerns, but energy efficiency as well. 

The “children’s room” will remain virtually unchanged but for the addition of a “support” window so staff and parents can keep an eye on their youngest charges.

Not only is the library renovating the bathroom to be handicap accessible, it will be adding an additional one for convenience.

Once the circulation desk is moved from the library proper the open space will become the “program” space complete with a flat-screen TV for movies, games and presentations. The expanded area will also be used for story hour and more. Additionally, the stacks (bookshelves) will be rearranged for ease of use for people in wheelchairs.

And with all the moving of displays and desks, the library will feature new commercial carpet tile, for easy cleaning and replacement, as well as aesthetic purposes. 

Once the rear of the building is complete, renovations to the Main Street entrance will begin. 

“As you are facing the building from Main Street, the new entrance will be on the left of the building, closer to the parking lot, but with better safety measures for the little ones.”

The small porch – 12 by 15 feet – will be furnished in memory of Edwin Helak, who died April 7.

“When Edwin and his wife, Barbra, came in, one would often sit on the porch and wait for the other. So we are sort of looking at the seating as a ‘you go find a book, I’ll wait here until you’re done’ type of arrangement.”

Even with the new entrance, the concrete lions will remain sitting prominently at the front of the building. The statues will be moved to the front steps, however, and will be set on raised platforms to help preserve them. 

The lions had become a landmark in Attica after the children of the Pauly family and their neighbors would often be found playing on them in the early 1900s.

The lions have made their rounds in the northwest corner of the county. According to the Attica Historical Society, the carved monuments were first delivered by rail from Colorado to the home of Cordon Thomson at 193 Main St., Attica, in the 1800s. They were then sold in the 1900s to Samuel Blanch Ford at 285 Main St.. Then the property was sold to Anton Pauly in 1910, which included the lions. 

When the Main Street property was sold in 1978, the lions were not included in the sale. Instead, they were moved to the home of Karen Kell Acquard in Bennington, a relative of the Paulys. When Acquard and her husband decided to move to Florida around 1990, they donated the lions to the library.

They have had “considerable restoration,” courtesy of the Friends of Stevens Memorial Library, with “Ray Caryl and George Schmidt doing most of the work,” which included a permanent raised foundation.

Another addition to the front entrance will be both a handicap accessible door, as well as a standard door. There will also be an overhang to shelter patrons and the addition of four columns supports.

“We are trying to make the entrance blend in more with its surroundings. The committee worked hard to get the funding to make all this happen and we are excited for the project to start. Luckily, the library received the funding during the last grant cycle, as the governor (Andrew Cuomo) just proposed a $9 million cut to the public library system.”

The building which houses the library was built in 1823 and was home to the Stevens family. The last Stevens family to live in the home had no children of their own, and upon their death, the family gave the structure to the Village in 1893. The Village then turned the building into a library and funded it until the early 2000s.

According to Burns, sometime between 2001-2003, the library became a School District Library (NYS Education Department), catering to the Attica School District children and community.

“The proposed cut would be a huge impact to the library…it would take away the little grants that are inherent to getting programs and materials to expand services and programming at the library.”

In addition to the construction grant for the library’s renovations, Burns said the facility has received several grants last year that benefit its patrons.

They include:

    • Tech Grant up to $1,500 to bring in a new technology. Stevens Memorial Library was able to purchase a 3-D printer and new laptop to run this printer. The funding bought the equipment, however, the library purchased the extended tech and warranty support;

    • Play Spaces grant up to $900 to bring a new area of play for children. The library bought one Lego table complete with two chairs, and Legos and Duplo pieces ($700); and 

    • 1,000 books Before Kindergarten grant allowed the library to purchase quality paperback books for the kids to earn. For every 100 books a child 1 to 5 years old reads, the child can choose a book to take home and keep. Additionally, Wyoming County kids can earn an additional book every month from Project Read just by reading 15 minutes a day for 20 days.  

“These are wonderful ‘little assistances' to all the libraries that will be be lost if aid is cut to the systems in New York State. If the $9 million is taken away, the Library Systems will be back at 2000 spending levels and just surviving their costs. Libraries are education and while tuition is important to families, school help for all students is up to the public libraries when the school doors close at 4 p.m. Attica is hampered by no cable outside the village limits, so the library is very busy for homework online assignments, information gathering, and printing.”

The library doesn’t just function on budgets and grants and state funding alone, it also relies on the patrons that support it, too.

Recently, the Stevens Memorial Library became a benefactor in the Brownstone Book fund, a private foundation in New York City. The foundation was founded by a NYC couple who were interested in “fostering early reading, a love of books and encouraging parents and children to read together.” The couple wishes to remain anonymous and only asks the library to put a “Brownstone Books” sticker on each of the 100 titles they received. The collection caters to children and mostly contains picture books.

“One of the best gifts you can give your child is the time spent reading with them,” Burns said.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 6:31 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, education, announcements, weather.

The following are schools and businesses are closed today due to weather:

    • Attica Central School

    • Castile Christian Academy

    • Literacy West NY Warsaw location

    • Letchworth Central School

    • Perry Central School

    • Pioneer Central School

    • Warsaw Central School

    • Warsaw Head Start

    • Western NY Rural AHEC (Rural Area Health Education Center)

    • Wyoming Central School

Monday, March 13, 2017 at 9:41 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, announcements, Business, education, Perry.

A message from the Perry Central School District (PCSD): 

We would like to make our local business owners and community members aware that the Perry Central School District is not soliciting funds in support of PCSD through the All American T-shirt Company. 

Its representatives worked with the district Friday to end the solicitations.

We have asked that if businesses did purchase advertising, that any payments already made be refunded. All American T-shirt agreed to do so and we thank them for working with us to correct this situation.

We greatly appreciate the support of our local businesses and community members and apologize for the confusion. 

In instances that the District is engaged in fundraising efforts, we will inform you directly. Should you receive any calls soliciting your support in the future, you can contact the district Business Office at (585) 237-0270, ext. 1001, to verify the validity of the efforts before giving any information to the caller.

Monday, March 13, 2017 at 9:36 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, education, Attica, Warsaw, Portageville.

Medaille College has named the following students to the dean's list for the fall 2016 semester. Students that meet the requirements of a minimum of 12 credit hours and earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for all credit hours carried during that semester are placed on the Dean's List

    • Emily Fisher, of Warsaw;

    • Ashley Richley, of Attica; and

    • Lacey Wilmot, of Portageville.

Medaille is a private, four-year college four-year college with campuses in Buffalo, Rochester and online. The college offers associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in a variety of fields. To learn more visit www.medaille.edu.

Friday, March 10, 2017 at 6:09 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, heroin, opioids, education, drugs.

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The pain in Avi Israel’s voice was evident as he described his son Michael’s spiraling decent into addiction and subsequent death. 

“Michael died at 20 years old. You see, my son suffered from Crohn’s disease. It was very painful for him. When he was 18, he was prescribed narcotics to deal with the pain, the Xanax was to help him cope with anxiety issues, as well as various other drugs for depression,” Israel said. “The medical community didn’t really know too much about addiction back then… Not a day that goes by…that I don’t miss my kid.”

Students from Perry Central School – seventh through 12th grade –  sat in rapt attention earlier this week as Israel spoke of his son and his struggle with addiction. The program was sponsored by Perry Rotary Club, with the support of the Perry Police Department, and the Wyoming County District Attorney’s Office. 

“We have a safety committee and the chief (Perry PD) gave us information about the statistics of opioid use,” said Middle/High School Principal Becky Belkota. “And we’ve seen the articles and the like, and it’s something we want to get ahead of…prevention as oppose to reaction. We wanted to give an insight to addiction, not just heroin.”

The question is asked: “How many of you know someone who died because of addiction?” 

The majority of students in attendance raised their hands.

“Addiction is how you get there (dead). If you’re aware of the pitfalls; maybe you’ll be a little more cautious.

“There has been a four-fold increase in addiction since 1999. When you think of an addict or a junkie, what do you think of?… You may think of the dirty strung-out man hanging out on a street corner… Does my son look like that to you?… Addiction doesn’t discriminate.”

Opioids are a prescription form of heroin, Israel says, and “said to be more intense than heroin.”

“It’s a selfish addiction. You may be doing it to yourself, but you are hurting everyone else. There are more than 100,000 tombstones related to opioid deaths in this country.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999…From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people have died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids.”

Today, nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths nationwide involve a prescription opioid. More than 15,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2015, the most recent data available.

Between November and December Perry law enforcement has responded to four heroin/opioid overdoses. All were saved by using Narcan, which is the brand name for the generic drug naloxone, which is a medication used to block the effects of opioids, especially in overdoses. (Intravaneously, it works in two minutes and when injected into muscle, it works within five minutes.)

However, in the last year, the village has one confirmed death due to overdose, Police Chief Mike Grover says. Just recently there were three overdoses in Perry. In all three of the incidents naloxone was administered. In two of the incidents, the victim was revived. In the third incident, the victim was unable to be saved. The irony of these three victims, two of the overdoses happened to the same person in the span of a week. During the second overdose, he succumbed to the drugs.

In Warsaw, Chief of Police Pete Hoffmeister says there have been 10 overdoses in the past year, with two ending up in deaths. While naloxone was used to save eight of those who overdosed, two were dead before law enforcement arrived. Of those 10, two were in September, two in October, and two in December – as of Dec. 30. The youngest person they encountered was 17 years old and the oldest 55.

Nationwide, every 17 minutes someone dies from an opioid overdose. About two years ago, there were 100 deaths in Erie County. In 2015, it more than doubled. In 2016, that number could reach over 500. That’s about 10 per week. February alone recorded 23 overdose deaths in just one week.

In Wyoming County, between 2010 and 2014 the number of opioid-related emergency department admissions increased 47.6 percent – 42 and 62. The number of opioid-related inpatient hospital admissions rose from 61 to 91 respectively – a 49.2-percent increase. 

During that same time period, those who were admitted for treatment for any opioid in Western New York was 7,679 in 2010. By 2014, the number of people seeking treatment rose by almost a third – 10,154 – a 32-percent increase.

Across the state, those in treatment for heroin use was 55,900 in 2010; in 2014, the number was 77,647. Deaths across the state due to heroin overdose increased 163 percent (215 in 2008, and 637 in 2013) and opioid overdoses increased 30 percent (763 to 952).

Six years ago, Wyoming County didn’t see a heroin issue in the county as much as today. Deputies say they’ve dealt with the drug 30 to 35 times in 2016. The county saw five deaths related to heroin overdoses and 26 overdose incidents law enforcement knows about that are from opioids.

“If this was the flu, we’d all be under quarantine,” Israel said. “Since it’s not the flu, people look at those who are addicts as…they did it to themselves.

“When you think of the word addict, what comes to mind? Someone sleeping in the street? A loser? Those who have lost someone…did they look like losers? They are not the picture of what addiction looks like today.”

Israel says roughly 10 percent of people have an addiction. A misnomer is that to be an addict, one had to use every day. An addict is when you do use, you have difficulty controlling it.

“You don’t have to have cravings to have an addiction,” Israel said. “Addiction isn’t about how easy it is to use. It’s how easy it is to stop.”

Michael suffered with a lot of pain because of Crohn's disease, which is commonly found at the end of the small intestine where it joins the beginning of the large intestine, is when the digestive or gastrointestinal tract is chronically inflamed.The first prescription he was given for pain relief was hydrocodone – an addictive narcotic, especially to a young person, Israel says.

“In 2010, Michael told me he was addicted to his pain pills. In January 2011, we went to the doctor and he told them he was an addict. They told him they had it under control… Michael died June 4, 2011. It took six months before Michael died. That’s how quick an addiction can grab you. He couldn’t kick his habit. He couldn’t let go. I kept asking him…'Michael, why don’t you just quit?’ "

Israel cautions the students, telling them an addiction at their age is “deadly and it’s your life.” 

“Your brain is still developing…It’s like combining peanut butter and jelly and stirring it all together then trying to separate it. It doesn’t happen.”

According to officials, you may be more prone to addiction if you have a family history of addiction. But family history and genetics do not negate the company you keep. 

“Addiction robbed me of my kid,” Israel said. “I blame myself… partly because I didn’t know enough about addiction. I knew everything about Crohn’s disease. But I didn’t know about addiction… It robs you of everything you hold dear; everything you love goes away. Your friends – when you start acting like a jerk – will go away. Your family starts not inviting you to get-togethers.

“Micheal came up to me one time; he needed a hug. I found it hard because I just thought he was destroying our family. It wasn't because I didn't love him. It's because I didn't understand his addiction.”

When your brain only focuses on one thing you become incapable of making even the simplest decisions, Israel says. Once you get into this kind of addiction it doesn't let go. The only escape is to use again, but you fall deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. And sometimes, you lose the fight.

“I can't stress how important it is to not start with anything. Don't give into peer pressure. I cannot impress upon you how painful it is to lose someone you love. It is one of the worst pains I have ever experienced. And still feel.

“I miss my son so bad it keeps me up at night. The pain just cuts me like a knife. Think of that pain you'd inflict to your parents if something happened to you. My three daughters miss their brother. They don't talk very much about it. At the holidays there is always an empty seat. He will never be there anymore. 

“You have the option of saying no to heavy painkillers. You can say you are OK with taking just a Tylenol. Once you start it grabs you and pulls you down so fast; you may think you have it under control, but you really don't unless you get help.”

Israel says the fear addicts have is the fear of withdrawal. It’s akin to having the flu…”only one hundred times worse.”

“What I wanted to impress on you is what addiction does to you and your family and how severe it is today and the pain it leaves behind,” Israel said. 

“I’m a little worried about upcoming surgery and medications after,” said Perry Sophomore Chelsea Pascoe. “It definitely impacted us to just stay clear.

“We are told a lot about what would happen (if you become addicted) but we saw, sort of firsthand on what it will do… And when he found his son, I don't know how you'd cope with something like that.”

“You don't see it very often… the story (of addiction),” said Freshman Russ Johnson. “You hear about it, but you never really get to see how it affects the families and see what happens… I want to be the one that just stays clean. It's who I am. I want it to mean something to me. It's important.”

“I’m not whole because I miss someone really bad. I hope you never have to go through it,” Israel said.

For more information on Michael story and addiction, visit savethemichaels.org.

For resources on addiction and recovery in Wyoming County visit Recovery.org or Spectrum Human Services or Smart Recovery of Warsaw.

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Friday, March 10, 2017 at 10:49 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Business, education.

Press release:

For the ninth consecutive year, the Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank are calling on fans to nominate Western New York’s Hall of Fame-caliber educators for the 2017 M&T Bank Touchdown for Teachers program. The program recognizes local teachers for extraordinary service to their schools and communities.

This year, the Bills and M&T are hoping to gather the most nominations in the program’s history. To make it happen, they’re challenging each of the schools throughout the 15-county region that is eligible for the competition to nominate at least one of their outstanding teachers.

“The Touchdown for Teachers program has allowed M&T Bank and the Buffalo Bills to provide some of our region’s best educators with the recognition they deserve,” said Pegula Sports and Entertainment Executive Vice President of Business Development Erica Muhleman. “Our children rely on the hard work and dedication of local teachers to achieve their fullest potential, and it is an honor to celebrate their exceptional efforts.”

Five finalists will be selected based upon their involvement in their school and community, the significance of their positive impact and their proven commitment to the education of their students. One of the five finalists will be named the Grand Prize winner.

Educators must be nominated by the public through the application form at buffalobills.com/teachers no later than March 31. Finalists will be notified no later than April 14.

“You may not see their names next to Jim Kelly or Thurman Thomas on the Bills’ Wall of Fame, but our community is home to so many Hall of Fame-caliber educators who truly are heroes for local students and their schools,” said M&T Bank Retail Market Manager in Western New York Jim Jarosz. “As we celebrate the ninth year of the Touchdown for Teachers contest, we encourage students, parents and school officials to take a moment to nominate an educator who’s making a difference today.”

Each of the five finalists and a guest will be invited to a Bills private event where they will be honored, and the winner of the 2017 Touchdown for Teachers program will be announced. The Grand Prize winner will receive:

    • $2,000 in grant funds, payable to their school or district, to advance their efforts to improve the school community;
    • An in-class visit from a Buffalo Bills player or alumnus.

The four remaining finalists will receive $500 in grant funds, payable to their school or district to strengthen their impact.

To be eligible, educators must live in one of the eight Western New York counties, which includes Wyoming County; the Rochester area; and McKean County, Pa., or Ontario County, Ontario, Canada.

Educators qualifying for nomination to this program are defined as individuals directly involved in the instruction and education of students, including but not limited to: teachers, guidance counselors and teacher’s aides. School and district administrators are not eligible for recognition as finalists but are welcome to nominate educators for recognition.

Information and nomination forms are available at buffalobills.com/teachers. They can be submitted online, or downloaded and mailed to: Pegula Sports and Entertainment, to the attention of Sara Petrone at 199 Scott St., Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14204.

M&T Bank is the official bank of the Buffalo Bills and the exclusive provider of Bills checks and check cards. Further information about different fan contests and promotions through M&T Bank is available at www.facebook.com/mybillscard.  

About M&T Bank

Founded in 1856, M&T Bank (www.mtb.com) is one of the 20 largest U.S. commercial bank holding companies, with more than $96 billion in assets and more than 650 branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Friday, March 10, 2017 at 10:38 am

Morrisville State College, Morrisville, recently announced the students who were named to the dean's list for the fall 2016 semester. To be named to the dean's list, a student must achieve an average of 3.0 to 3.99 for the semester and complete 12 credit hours.

The list includes:

    • Sara Haggerty, Patricia Hulton, and Patricia Hulton, all of Arcade;

    • Grace Book of Bliss;

    • Emily Jurek and Patricia Hulton, both of Perry; and

    • Christopher Bush of Silver Springs.

The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2017 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2017 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.

Friday, March 10, 2017 at 10:34 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Cowlesville, education.

Nathan Wawrowski of Cowlesville, was named to the Merrimack College dean's list for fall 2016.

Each semester, Merrimack College undergraduate students earn the right to be named to the dean's list by earning a minimum 3.25 grade point average (GPA) based on a 4.0 GPA grading system.

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