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achievements

GCASA announces scholarship award recipients, including 2 from Orleans

Photo courtesy of GCASA: These three were all awarded scholarships by the GCASA Foundation. They include, from left: Shelby Restivo of Albion, Hannah Bowen of Notre Dame High School, and Keara Pitts of Medina.

Posted 7 June 2017 at 12:28 pm

Press Release, GCASA

Each year, the GCASA Foundation awards two $1,000 scholarships – one to a Genesee County student and one to an Orleans County student.

The GCASA Foundation Scholarship was established to support the work of the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

The foundation board is committed to the scholarship program, created to help students who will study human services, counseling, or health services. This year, the selection committee decided to add a Director’s Choice scholarship award in the amount of $500 due to the exceptional applications received.

The committee selected Hannah Bowen, a senior at Notre Dame High School, as the award recipient for a Genesee County student and Shelby Restivo, a senior at Albion Central School, as the Orleans County recipient.

Hannah plans to study psychology at Clarkson University.  Shelby plans to study psychology at Monroe Community College, with the goal of furthering her education to become a counselor.

The Director’s Choice scholarship was awarded to Medina Central School senior, Keara Pitts. Keara plans to study Human Services at Genesee Community College and then further her education to pursue a degree in school psychology.

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Alison O’Hearn graduates from Grove City College

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 June 2017 at 3:55 pm

GROVE CITY, PA – Alison O’Hearn is one of 606 seniors to earn their degree from Grove City College on May 20, 2017. O’Hearn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and is from Albion.

Grove City College is a highly ranked, nationally recognized private liberal arts and sciences college that equips students to pursue their unique callings through an academically excellent and Christ-centered learning and living experience distinguished by a commitment to affordability and promotion of the Christian worldview, the foundations of a free society and the love of neighbor.

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BOCES sending 14 to National SkillsUSA Competition

Provided photo: Top row (L to R) – Marisol Cabrera, Andrew Carrigan, Cameron Cooper, Christian DiRamio and Benjamin Gordon. Middle Row: Joseph Hecko, Lexi McCoy, Noah Rocklein, Brendan Schyve and Eliza Serth.  Bottom Row: Kyle Sharkey, Kennedy Smelski, Derek Soluri and Robert Wagner.

Posted 5 June 2017 at 4:28 pm

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Fourteen students from the Orleans and Niagara Careers and Technical Education Centers are getting ready to head to Louisville, Kentucky for the 53rd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

The event is a showcase of career and technical education students and anticipates more than 16,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners to participate in the weeklong event from June 19th-23rd.  The contest highlights the best career and technical education students in the country.

Marisol Cabrera (Esthetics/Barker), Andrew Carrigan (Automated Manufacturing Team/Lewiston-Porter), Cameron Cooper (Criminal Justice/Starpoint), Christian DiRamio (Technical Drafting/Niagara Wheatfield), Benjamin Gordon (Automated Manufacturing Team/Lewiston-Porter), Joseph Hecko (Welding Fabrication Team /Wilson), Lexi McCoy (Automated Manufacturing Team/Niagara Falls), Noah Rocklein (Welding/Barker), Brendan Schyve (Electronics Technology/Royalton Hartland), Eliza Serth (Esthetics Model/Newfane), Kyle Sharkey (Diesel Equipment Tech/Wilson), Kennedy Smelski (Health Occupations Portfolio/Lyndonville), Derek Soluri (Welding Fabrication Team/Niagara Falls) and Robert Wagner (Welding Fabrication Team/Starpoint) took first place in their competitions and will represent New York State at those competitions.

Orleans/Niagara BOCES is incredibly proud of all our students and wishes them the best of luck at competition!

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Lake Plains Players award 3 scholarships

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 June 2017 at 7:09 am

Natalie Allen, center, of Lyndonville starred as Belle in Lyndonville-Medina’s production of Beauty and the Beast in March.

Allen received one of three $250 scholarships from the Lake Plains Players, a community theater group. The Players awarded the scholarships to students who plan to continue their studies in the performing arts (Theater Arts, Dance, Musical Training, etc.) after high school.

Allen will be attending Nazareth College in Rochester to study music education.

Evan Steier also received a scholarship. He is pictured Friday at Albion High School with a display board highlighting his internship experience with Albion music teachers, Karen Conn in the elementary school and Carrie Kozody in the middle school.

He will be attending Nazareth College to study music therapy.

Shannon Broda, a drum major in the Albion marching band, leads the group during the Memorial Day parade. She received a $250 scholarship. She will be attending SUNY Fredonia to study music.

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Medina student raises $2K-plus by ‘Goin’ Bald for Bucks’

Posted 1 June 2017 at 9:49 am

Provided photo: Ayden Amrhein raised $2,180 for cancer research and patient care at the Roswell Institute in Buffalo.

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – Clifford Wise Middle School student Ayden Amrhein set a goal of $800 for cancer research in Roswell’s Goin’ Bald for Bucks campaign.

After sharing his story about how his aunt’s battle with thyroid cancer inspired him, Ayden reached out to his classmates and the community to help him reach his goal. He was thrilled to go well beyond his goal – raising $2,180 for the charity.

Ayden headed to Shear Elegance in Medina on May 27 to meet his end of the bargain and get his head shaved.

“We are very proud of him,” says Principal Elaine Wendt.

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Albion Rotary Club gives 3 scholarships

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 May 2017 at 10:50 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Albion Rotary Club awarded $2,750 in scholarships to graduating seniors this year. Pictured, from left, include Karina Rosario, Clara Stilwell and Vivian Rivers. The scholarship winners attended last week’s Rotary Club meeting at The Village Inn.

Vivian Rivers won the Dick Eddy “Service Above Self” Scholarship, a $1,250 award that is given to a student committed to community service and leadership, and who displays high potential for future accomplishment. Vivian has been active as a class officer, the FFA, Interact, marching band, chorus and other activities. She also topped more than 100 hours of community service and attended a church mission trip to Peru.

Clara Stilwell won the $1,250 Edward Archbald Memorial Scholarship, given to a senior who shares Archbald’s love of sports, recreational activities, community service and work experience. Clara has been active in sports – golf, swimming, tennis, cross country and track – and also has been in the band, chorus, marching band, select chorus, and many service clubs, including the FFA, Interact, Spanish Club and Honor Society.

Karina Rosario was awarded the $250 Rotary Career Advancement Prize for a senior committed to community service, school activities and work experience. Karina is active in school organizations and the community, while also working at Kast Farms and being dedicated to community service, including tutoring elementary school students.

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Busy community volunteer honored by Office for the Aging

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 May 2017 at 1:12 pm

Mary Ann Tillman recognized locally and in Albany for contributions to many local efforts

Provided photo: Mary Ann Tillman, right, accepts an award on May 12 from Melissa Blanar, director of the Office for the Aging in Orleans County. Tillman was recognized during a program at the Trolley Building at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

KNOWLESVILLE – A long-time community volunteer was recently recognized in Orleans County and at the State Capitol.

Mary Ann Tillman traveled to Albany on May 9 and was recognized there, joining senior ctiizens who were honored throughout the state for making a difference in their communities.

Tillman then on May 12 was honored during the Office for the Aging’s annual Spring Jubilee at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Tillman is the former owner of the Carlton Grill for 12 years. She also worked as executive director of the American Cancer Society in Orleans County.

Since she retired, she has been active in many organizations, including:

• Hospice of Orleans with nursing/indirect care/companionship/promotional activities/fundraising

• Office for the Aging with newsletter/special event support

• Holy Family Parish with fundraising, as a eucharistic minister delivering communion to homebound members, the local soup kitchen, President of Ladies of Charity, and director of the support group for her church’s bereavement committee.

She also volunteers with the American Red Cross, local libraries, St. Joseph’s School, the VA in Batavia, Catholic Daughters, Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association, the Garden Club, Carlton Ladies Auxiliary, Knights of Columbus, Board of Public Health office and at her exercise class.

“She is a prime example of what a volunteer is,” said Melissa Blanar, Office for the Aging director. “She is active in her community and making a difference. She is staying active in life which is very important for older adults.”

Mary Ann Tillman wears an apron about her “Famous Polish Bread,” which makes each year at the annual Lawn Fete to benefit the Holy Family Parish in Albion. This photo is from August 2015.

Tillman, a  Kent resident, and her late husband Robert raised two children, Richard and Patricia. Mary Ann has two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Tillman in 2016 also was named “Volunteer of the Year” by Hospice of Orleans. She said there are numerous ways to get involved in the community.

“She does not like to hear peple say there is nothing to do,” Blanar said. “There is a world full of possibilities if someone wants to help.”

Tillman said she has made many friends by volunteering. She urges others to find ways to give of their time and help local organizations.

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Lyndonville resident, nursing professor at NCCC, earns SUNY distinguished teaching award

Staff Reports Posted 20 May 2017 at 9:51 am

Dr. Julie Woodworth one of 21 honored with distinction in NY

Dr. Julie Woodworth

A Lyndonville resident who teaches nursing at Niagara County Community College is the first professor from NCCC to receive the SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professorship.

The state recognizes 21 professors throughout the SUNY system with the distinction and Dr. Julie Woodworth was among the honored group.

“Each year it is an honor to review the collective work of SUNY’s outstanding faculty, and to recognize the sheer academic strength within our walls that inspires our students,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “The standards of our distinguished ranks are rigorous, with high demands set for leadership and innovation. Congratulations to all of today’s honorees, who have led our students by an excellent example, created new research opportunities, and challenged those around them to reach higher levels of achievement.”

Dr. Woodworth is a member of the Department of Nursing and Allied Health at Niagara County Community College and has implemented evidence-based teaching techniques that support student engagement and learning. She received the SUNY Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008 and the Professional Nurses Association of Western New York’s Ruth T. McGrorey Award in June 2017. She also maintains her nursing practice at Medina Memorial Hospital in the surgery area.

Woodworth has completed recent research within the nursing education field and has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals to add to the evidence-based literature in the nursing education field. She is generous with her personal time, easily accessible, and demonstrates a continual concern with the intellectual growth of individual students.

She maintains high standards of care and knowledge level attainment for patient care delivery in the very rigorous nursing program. She is also involved in the promotion of curricular reform at Niagara County Community College to advance the nursing curriculum to an up-to-date, rigorous student centered program with above average NCLEX-RN pass rates.

“I love working with nursing students and help them to succeed,” she said. “NCCC’s pass rates for 2016 on the NCLEX testing for licensure is a 94%. This is a great pass rate and notably one of the highest in the area.”

Kendall, Medina make U.S. News list of top high schools

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 May 2017 at 5:17 pm

Kendall and Medina both earned “Silver Medals” and made the list of high-performing high schools in the latest ranking by U.S. News and World Report.

The news publication posted its annual ranking of the 22,000 high schools in the country, and Kendall placed 2,295th and Medina 2,468th, which puts them near the top 10 percent.

In New York, Kendall was ranked 181st and Medina, 195th. The U.S. News’ Best High Schools List is compiled by first analyzing how well students performed on qualifying high school state assessments such as Regents Exams in Algebra 1 and ELA.

The high schools identified as over performing were then ranked nationally in terms of college readiness, using participation and success in the Advanced Placement program. U.S. News then awarded more than 6,040 gold, silver, and bronze medals to the top-performing schools.

“This is great validation at how well our staff does in preparing our students for post-secondary education and careers,” said Mark Kruzynski, the Medina school district superintendent. “We are very proud to once again receive this honor and be able to recognize the dedication of our students, staff and the community to make Medina High School one of the best high schools in the country.  This award is truly an achievement that the entire district can celebrate, as the success we have in the high school builds upon the foundations our students have received at Oak Orchard and Clifford Wise Intermediate Middle School. Congratulations to the entire Medina Central School District.”

Kendall is also a repeat winner.

“This honor respects the hard work and commitment by the entire staff and community of Kendall,” Julie Christensen, Kendall Central School superintendent, said when Kendall was recognized last year.

To see the breakdowns, visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

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Albion 4th grader wins WNY spelling bee

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 May 2017 at 8:19 am

Provided photos: Adam Burlison, 10, of Albion holds his trophy after winning a spelling bee on Saturday in Grand Island.

ALBION — An Albion fourth-grader won a spelling bee on Saturday that featured 46 of the top spellers in Western New York from grades 4 and 5.

Adam Burlison, 10, was perfect as the field of spellers was winnowed from 46 to 1. The second-place finisher misspelled “heritage.” After Adam spelled it right, he sealed his victory with the word, “sentimental.”

It was a heart-pounding 2 1/2 hour event for many in the Albion community. Adam’s mother Lisa, an Albion elementary school teacher, posted the competition on Facebook live. When Adam won, the bus for the Albion marching band burst into cheers and applause. The band was coming home from the Lilac Festival in Rochester.

Adam’s father is the late Wayne Burlison, the assistant marching band director and elementary school band teacher. Wayne was 36 when he died from colon cancer on March 26, 2014.

The announcer at the spelling bee used each of the words in the contest in sentence. For “sentimental,” the announcer said: “Sentimental. She gave her father a sentimental card for Father’s Day. Sentimental.”

Adam was like a machine as he spelled his words – geothermal, successful, voluntary, stockade, fantastic, dilute, ventricle and many others.

Adam Burlison competed against 45 other top spellers. His winning word: “sentimental.”

He was one of three Albion students at the competition in Grand Island. Madison Banker and Sawyer Brigham also competed. All three students are in Meghan Kania’s class. Sawyer also finished in the top 10.

The final three in the spelling bee made it through all of “expert” words on the fourth grade list. Then the judges asked words from a fifth grade list that contestants didn’t study.

Adam has honed his spelling skills by reading lots of books, his mother said. His favorite books are fiction/fantasy, which Mrs. Burlison said have a lot of unusual words.

The closed captioning also is on the TV in the Burlison home because Lisa has a slight hearing loss.

“I realized at an early age that he was learning to read from that as well,” she said about the words on TV.

She thanked his friends at school for helping prepare him for the spelling bee. They asked him words over lunch in the cafeteria.

“It really was a community effort,” Lisa said.

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