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Albion music program makes it 11 years in a row for national recognition

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Albion Marching Band performs during the Memorial Day parade last May.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 April 2018 at 11:56 am

ALBION – The Albion music program has made it 11 straight years of being recognized on a national list of schools with outstanding music programs.

The North American Music Merchants has its annual lists of school districts that are “Best Communities for Music Education.” Albion is one of 583 districts to be recognized nationally, and the only one in Orleans County.

The NAMM organization gives out the award to recognize districts that make music a priority, especially in an era of tight school budgets and packed student schedules.

“The schools and districts we recognize this year – both new and repeat honorees – represent a diverse group of urban, rural and suburban districts and demographics,” said Mary Luehrsen of The NAMM Foundation. “Along with a strong commitment to music education, there are two common traits that each program shares: consistent funding that anchors music education as part of the core curriculum and music programs that are located in communities where music education is viewed as a jewel of the school system. Parents, administrators and community members are proud of these local music programs and attend them regularly.”

Only about 4 percent of school districts in the country are on the current list, which NAMM started 19 years ago. Albion has now made it 11 straight years. Holley has previously been recognized by NAMM.

Victor Benjovsky portrays Jesus in Albion High School’s production of Godspell, which was performed March 23-24. The district does four musicals each year, with two by both the high school and middle school drama programs.

Albion runs an active music program in the elementary, middle and high schools. The high school puts on two full-scale musical and students also perform in several different instrumental and choral groups. In all, high school musicians perform numerous times during the school year. The Jazz Band Cabaret (April 21 at 6 and 8 p.m.) is next on busy schedule of music events.

The middle school puts on two musicals each year, and its students perform with the marching and jazz bands. Elementary music teachers lead students in performances throughout the year.

Research studies continue to demonstrate the physical, cognitive and social benefits of music making. Students who are involved in a school-based music program are not only more likely to graduate high school and attend college, the NAMM Foundation stated.

Students, with even only a few years of musical training early in life, also are better able to process sound, even later in life. Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills and learning how to give and receive constructive criticism, NAMM said in announcing the schools on the list.

Some upcoming music events by Albion students include:

May 12: Marching Band @ Lilac Festival Parade

May 16: 5th grade Chorus/Band Concert

May 19: Marching Band @ Seneca Falls Pageant of Bands

May 23: Grades 3 & 4 Chorus/Band Concert

May 28: Marching Band @ Albion’s Memorial Day Parade

May 31: HS Talent Showcase

June 5: MS Band/Chorus Concert

June 6: HS Band Concert

June 7: HS Chorus Concert

June 9: Marching Band @ Strawberry Festival

(All concerts are at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Auditorium unless otherwise noted)

For more on NAMM, click here.

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GO Art! will honor Lisa Roeseler, retiring Medina music teacher

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 April 2018 at 8:35 pm

Bryan DeGraw, owner of 810 Meadworks, finalist for an award

Lisa Roeseler

BATAVIA – The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council will present its first Genean Awards on April 28, and a Medina music teacher will receive the artist of the year.

Lisa Roeseler, a music teacher and director of Medina High School’s A’Cappella Choir, will be recognized with the individual artist award on April 28 during GO Art!’s celebration at its historic building, 201 East Main St.

Roeseler started at her career in Medina as a music teacher Towne Primary School in September 1986 and moved to the High School in September 1987. She has been a popular teacher at Medina, with her vocal ensembles performing in the community, especially the annual holiday concert by the A‘Capella Choir at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

When she started, she had 17 students in Mixed Chorus and 43 in A’Cappella. The Mixed Chorus now averages 85 to 90 students and A’Cappella now averages 92 to 100.

The debut Genean Awards will honor the Genesee Chorale as Organization of the Year.

An Orleans County resident is a finalist for the Supporter (of the cultural sector) of the Year. The award will go to either Bryan DeGraw, co-owner 810 Meadworks; Diana Kastenbaum, owner of Pinnacle Manufacturing in Batavia; or Brian Kemp, owner of T-Shirts Etc. in Batavia.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Bryan DeGraw, co-owner of 810 Meadworks with his wife LaRissa, is pictured in the tasting room of the business at 113 West Center St., Medina.

DeGraw and his wife LaRissa opened 810 Meadworks in downtown Medina on Nov. 30, 2014. They make mead products and have a tasting room. The DeGraws also have run a concert series at the “beegarten” in the back of the building at 113 West Center St.

GO Art! wanted to create its own unique awards “like the Oscars or Tony awards for GENesee and OrlEANs Counties, to recognize a few of the amazing people and organizations we have within our counties,” said Gregory Hallock, executive director.

The awards will be presented during a Swing Fling, April 28, from 7 to 10 p.m. For more information, click here.

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Lyndonville inducts 23 into Honor Society

Staff Reports Posted 30 March 2018 at 10:08 am

Provided photo

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville inducted 23 students into the Honor Society on Wednesday for their academic success and service to the school.

There were 12 students inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, including Morgan Austin, Connor Bell, Ethan Gardner, Amanda Garza, Shawna Grabowski, Alexis Hughes, Aasiya Huzair, Ella Lewis, Drayven Oakes, Kate O’Brien, Karlee Rounds and Jack Whipple.

There were 11 students inducted into the National Honor Society for high schoolers, including Madison Austin, Angelina Black, Mason Boyd, Faith Chaffee, Allyson Deslatte, Oskar Heinsler, Tamara Huzair, Emilee Kassey, Sage Moore, Jonathan Slingerland and Sawyer Wilson.

Alisha Schwarzott is the advisor of the National Junior Honor Society at Lyndonville, and Paula Bachman is the advisor for the NHS.

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Albion students create winning poppy posters

Posted 30 March 2018 at 8:14 am

Photo and article courtesy of Albion Central School

ALBION – Three high school art students received poppy poster recognition. Pictured holding their winning posters are, from left: Madison Dugan (first place), Kaleigh Albanese (third place), and Janae Doty (second place).

The contest is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Sheret Unit #35. Event chairperson Joyce O’Conner and Auxiliary president Donna Boyce congratulated the students and praised them for their artistic abilities.

The annual contest has very specific criteria that the students must follow in order to be considered.

The posters will advance to the State Convention in Albany where they will be judged against a whole new group of posters from other counties. The winner of that level will advance to be judged at the National Convention.

The students will be invited to a dinner hosted by the Legion Auxiliary and receive a cash prize for their efforts.

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Albion inducts new members into NHS, honors special education teacher

Posted 29 March 2018 at 5:49 pm

Photos and article courtesy of Albion Central School

ALBION – Albion High School incucted 26 students into the National Honor Society on Wednesday. These members met the criteria set forth by NHS of scholarship, service, leadership and character. The new inductees were welcomed by current members.

The new members include, front row, from left: Alexa Adams, Emma Mathes, Malory Adams, Madison Narburgh, Brylie Hapeman, Kirsten Struble, Trinity Allen and Tess Pettit.

Middle row: Gricelda Maldonado, Jace Conn, McKenna Boyer, Kaylyn Holman, Hannah VanEpps, Chantel VanDeGenachte, Emily Caldwell, Marie Reynolds, Jessica Schleede and Natalie Lathrop.

Back row:  Devin Olles, Jacob Ettinger, Matthew Kovaleski, Enoch Martin, Evan Allen, Harrison Brown, Kirk Ellison and Jessy Cruz.

Jennifer Blanchard receives the Excellence in Teaching Award from Natalie DiCureia. Mrs. Blanchard is a high school special education teacher and sophomore class advisor.

Mrs. Blanchard addressed the audience. She encouraged them to step outside of their comfort zone and to embrace their own journey, whatever and wherever it may lead. She reassured students that sometimes the path they are on may change, and there is nothing wrong with change. She told students that they are the only ones in charge of their lives and that they need to own it and make their life the best it can be.

The National Honor Society also took time to recognize staff members who exemplified the organization’s ideals. The following were recognized, from left: Nancy Wickman, Jennifer Rowe, Eric Christiansen and Gary Simboli.

• Chemistry teacher Nancy Wickman received the Character Award from NHS member Elisabeth Baker.  Elisabeth said Mrs. Wickman has a caring relationship with everyone, is understanding, and easy to talk to. She is also very dedicated to making her AP and Regents level chemistry classes a fun experience for everyone. She takes time out of her own day to make sure each and every one of her students understands the material thoroughly.

• Middle School math teacher Jennifer Rowe received the Scholarship Award from NHS member Natalie DiCureia. Natalie said Mrs. Rowe is very passionate about scholarship. She has impacted the lives of many with her outstanding ability to teach. She goes above and beyond to make sure her students know their material and truly understand the connections that they need to make. She will go the extra mile to help any student that may be struggling.

• School psychologist Eric Christiansen received the Leadership Award from NHS member Garrett Derisley. Garrett noted Mr. Christiansen has a great way of interacting with students and takes pride in being able to provide advice to a student or tell them about a program that helps change the student’s life for the better.

• Choral director Gary Simboli received the Service Award from NHS member Riley Seielstad. Riley honored Mr. Simboli for consistently taking on the role of service not just in school but in the community. She said, “He goes out of his way to spread compassion and acceptance in our school.” She also noted that the students see him as a role model because he volunteers his time and talents in the community through local benefits, events, concerts and service projects.

Victor Benjovsky and Elisabeth Baker present a National Honor Society pin to Gricelda Maldonado.

New members recite the National Honor Society pledge.

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Sportsfishing coordinator, local doctor recognized by Legislature for achievements

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 March 2018 at 9:34 am

Provided photos

ALBION – Two Orleans County residents were presented with a “Special Recognition Award” for their achievements. The top photo shows Mike Waterhouse receiving an award from County Legislator Ken DeRoller. Waterhouse is retiring after 13 years as the county’s sports fishing and tourism promotion coordinator. Dawn Borchert, left, is the county’s new tourism director.

“We do hereby acknowledge your outstanding service as our Sportsfishing and Tourism Coordinator for Orleans County for over 13 years,” according to the award from the County Legislature. “Your dedication and expertise has benefited our fishing and Tourism industries.  We appreciate your support and commitment in promoting the assets we have in Orleans County. This will forever be widespread, long lasting and extremely appreciated.”

Dr. Tom Madejski accepts a “Special Recognition Award” from County Legislator Skip Draper. Madejski on March 24 took office as President of the Medical Society of the State of New York. Madejski, an Albion resident, practices at General Physicians Medical Practice in Medina.

Madejski is an attending physician at Medina Memorial Hospital and serves on the hospital’s Medical Quality Assurance Committee. He is also a clinical instructor in medicine & pharmacy at University of Buffalo. With a specialized focus in geriatric medicine, Madejski is the medical director of The Villages of Orleans, Absolut Care of Gasport Nursing Facility and the Hospice of Orleans County.

“Your dedication to your profession is outstanding and highly beneficial to the residents of Orleans County, and beyond,” according to the certificate presented by the County Legislature.  “We appreciate your support and commitment in providing quality health and wellness care to our friends and family, as well as our community. This will forever be widespread, long lasting and extremely appreciated. The Orleans County Legislature does hereby commend you for your professionalism and allegiance to our Orleans County community.”

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Holley native receives Meritorious Service Medal for leadership in Navy

Staff Reports Posted 27 March 2018 at 9:20 pm

Travis D. Carpenter, a Holley native and the son of Skip and Cindy Carpenter, recently received a Meritorious Service Medal for his leadership in the U.S. Navy.

Carpenter, a commander, received the medal for his service as Integrated Air and Missile Defense Cell Lead and Plans and Projects Department Head on the staff of Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command from June 2013 to November 2017.

Through dedication and a comprehensive understanding of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Commander Carpenter provided expert advice and planning support to enable fleet operations, according to a citation from R.P. Breckenridge, Vice Admiral of the U.S. Navy.

“He developed an extensive concept of employment for layered ballistic missile defense to facilitate support to U.S. Sixth Fleet ships operating in the Eastern Mediterranean area of operations,” the vice admiral said. “His superb performance as Lead Integrated Air and Missile Defense Planner during Exercises VIGILANT SHIELD 2015, 2016 and 2018, enabled full operational certification of the Maritime Operations Center for homeland defense missions.”

In addition, Breckenridge said Carpenter developed a two-day training program in partnership with the Missile Defense Agency and facilitated a three-day War Fighter Prep 2017 symposium as recurrent training for 165 staff personnel.

Displaying managerial acumen, he streamlined coordination of training activities, resulting in Air Operations Federation members providing 3,860 days of direct operational support.

“Commander Carpenter’s distinctive accomplishments and selfless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service,” Breckenridge wrote in the citation for Carpenter.

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Masons honor members with many decades of service

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 March 2018 at 11:51 am

Don and Bernadine Ross lead the way with 75 years

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Don Ross (center), a member of the Medina Masonic Lodge, was honored on Saturday for 75 years to the Masons. Ross and several other long-time members of the Albion and Medina lodges were recognized during an awards program at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion.

Ross received a framed certificate and pin during the presentation. Tim McGee of Albion, the current junior warden and a past district deputy grand master, gives Ross the pin. James Sullivan, left, of Lockport is a past grand master for the Masons in New York State.

Ross, a Barre resident, ran a plumbing business for 40 years in Albion. He joined the Masons when he was 22. He was a pin boy as a kid, setting up bowling pins on two lanes owned by the Masonic Lodge. The members were always good to him, and welcomed him to join the lodge as a young adult.

Ross was praised for serving the many in many roles over the past 75 years.

“Don has been dedicated, loyal and hard-working, doing almost all of the jobs in the lodge,” said Jonathan Incho, lodge master in Medina.

Ross’s wife, Bernadine, also was recognized for 75 years of service to the Order of the Eastern Star. She receives a certificate from Brenda Busch, the worthy matron of the Canalside Order of the Eastern Star, and from Steven Pawlak, the worthy patron of the organization.

Mrs. Ross worked with her husband in the plumbing business, running the office. She also has been active in the Order of the Eastern Star.

“She has worked very hard, doing whatever has been asked of her,” Incho said.

Several other long-time members were recognized for their service to the Masons. This certificate and pin goes to Roy Salmon, who has 65 years of service to Masons.

The Albion Renovation Lodge 97 presented the following awards in honor of service on Saturday:

• 55 years to Rex Horton

• 50 years to both Dennis Smith and David M. Bertsch

• 45 years to Allen B. Lackey

• 30 years to Warren Seager

• 20 years to Keith Bane III and Neal Martin

• 15 years to Scott Kranzmann, Charlie Nesbitt, Stephen E. Coville II and Juan Morales

• 5 years to Alex Allport

Rex Horton accepts an award for his 55 years of service as a Mason in Albion. James Sullivan, the past grand master for the Masons in New York State, presents the award.

Dennis Smith was honored for his 50 years as a Mason. He was presented a white apron noting the 50 years of service.

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Roy-Hart grad makes Dean’s List at Brockport

Staff Reports Posted 22 March 2018 at 9:07 am

BROCKPORT – Nickolas Ander, a Roy-Hart graduate, is a freshman in the honors college at The College at Brockport. He is majoring in biology and made the Dean’s List with a GPA between 3.40 and 3.69.

He is the son of Scott and Michelle Ander, and the grandson of Wilson Harris of Waterport and Bob and Carol Ander of Gasport.

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GCC to induct new members of Alumni Hall of Fame

Posted 21 March 2018 at 4:36 pm

Press Release, GCC

BATAVIA – The Genesee Community College Foundation is proud to announce its 2017 and 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees. The community is invited to the induction ceremony at 4 p.m. on March 28 at the Conable Technology Building, One College Road.

Candidates for the Alumni Hall of Fame are nominated by friends, family, colleagues or other associates. Each of the selected honorees has made significant contributions to their profession and has provided distinguished service to the community and/or Genesee Community College.

The GCC Alumni Hall of Fame, which is located on the second floor of the Conable Technology Building, boasts honorees from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds.

Each of these outstanding GCC graduates has made a lasting impact on their communities and earned this honor. We are proud to welcome the following to the Alumni Hall of Fame:

2017 Inductees:

• George Walker IV, ’98, SVP of Creative Development, Dynamic Attractions

• James Branciforte, ’80, CEO Lifetime Assistance, Inc.

2018 Inductees:

• Georgann Carrubba, ’03, President and CEO, Tencar

• Scott Gardner, ’98, President and CEO, Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce

The complete list of Hall of Fame members is available at

The Alumni Hall of Fame Induction is free and open to the public. GCC welcomes all Hall of Fame members, GCC alumni, and of course, the friends and family of our newest inductees to attend this celebration.

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