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Cross country runner was a ‘preemie’ 18 years ago with grim prognosis

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 November 2017 at 10:14 am

Brook Drake shows tremendous determination on the Albion girls cross country team

Photos by Tom Rivers: Brook Drake fights off the pain in the last stretch of the Niagara-Orleans League meet on Oct. 28 at Lakeside Beach State Park in Carlton.

ALBION – Cross country meets are emotional for Tim and Kathy Drake. Their daughter, Brook, has competed the past two years for the Albion girls team.

She isn’t the fastest runner. She pushes herself through the open fields, the turns in the woods, and the steep inclines on hills along the 3.1-mile courses.

“She is amazing,” Brook’s father said. “I don’t think people realize how amazing she is. I still have to fight back the tears when I see her run.”

It was nearly 18 years ago when Brook was born 3 months premature on Dec. 1, 1999. She was a preemie that weighed 1 pound, 3 ounces. She was 10 ½ inches long.

The Drakes weren’t able to hold her because her skin was so thin and fragile. Doctors are Strong Memorial Hospital weren’t optimistic she would survive.

Mr. Drake remembers being in the hospital with about 50 other premature babies. He recalled hearing parents break down, sobbing when a son or daughter didn’t survive.

Brook could breathe on her own when she was born after 24 weeks. That was a good sign. Her amniotic fluid was infected, resulting in her early birth.

“The doctors said she would not run,” Mr. Drake recalled. “They said she would never have the lung capacity. They said to not expect too much, but too push her. She wouldn’t be like your other children.”

Brook, who has five other siblings ages 14 to 25, spent her first six months at Strong. She didn’t start walking until she was 2 ½. She had a hard time on her feet because she struggled to keep her balance.

She started talking at 4, and continues to have a stutter today. She suffered monthly grand mal seizures from when she was 4 until she was 13. Two years ago she needed significant surgery on her nose and face to correct a deviated septum.

“People have no idea what this child has been through,” her father said.

The Drakes said there were frequent trips to the emergency room due to the seizures, and the falls. With the seizures, her body would stiffen and foam would come out of her mouth.

“There have been lots of ambulance rides and hospital stays,” Mr. Drake said. “She has been through hell.”

Courtesy of the Drake family: Tim Drake’s hand is about the same size of his daughter Brook when she was born three months premature. Brook spent her first six months at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

For many years Brook needed a breathing machine in the morning and a night to help open her lungs. She did that until she was 13. She hated it.

Brook is in a 12:1:1 special education classroom at Albion. The district has an aide to work with her and her classmates.

Each year there is a meeting with Brook’s parents and her teachers and school administrators to discuss her IEP (Individualized Education Program). It was late in Brook’s freshman year when the school was working on a plan for her sophomore year when physical education teacher Liz Capacci suggested Brook run cross country.

Tim and Kathy Drake and pictured with their daughter Brook on Wednesday at their home in Albion.

The Drakes thought it was a farfetched idea. Mr. Drake, in particular, didn’t want to set Brook up for failure or disappointment.

“I didn’t see it happening,” said Mr. Drake, who is retired from General Motors in Rochester. “I didn’t think she would be able to breathe.”

Capacci was determined. “I want her run,” Drake recalled her saying. “Brook can run.”

Brook is 4 foot, 9 inches and wears size 3 ½ shoes. She had never competed in a sport. In August 2016, she joined the cross country team.

“I figured I should challenge myself and see what I’m capable of doing,” she said.

The first runs were at Mount Albion Cemetery, with lots of winding paths and hills in hot and humid weather.

“The first few months it was a challenge for me,” Brook said at her home on Wednesday at Oak Orchard Estates. “As it progressed, it was nothing for me.”

Many of the runners don’t last until the end of the season. The distances are too much for them.

Brook found many friends on the team.

“They don’t care if you have a disability,” she said about her teammates. “They take you in and we always talk. They are super nice to me.”

She also has found freedom in running.

“Cross country has changed my life for the better,” Brook said. “It has made me a better person. I have gone from never doing anything to where you’ll never see me not doing anything.”

Brook ran track last year, but didn’t enjoy it as much as the cross country. In track, the distance is shorter and the runners are confined to an oval. Brook likes the all-terrain, cross country courses.

“I just want to run more and more and more,” she said.

She was back for a second season this year, and set a personal best with 26:39 at the McQuaid meet in Rochester. She fought through a leg cramp in the league meet to finish in 28:31. Her parents could see the anguish on her face, but Brook kept going. Her father proudly notes that Brook has never dropped out of a race.

In the big races with more than 100 runners, Brook passes people throughout the race. Her parents hear her give the other runners encouraging words as she goes by them. Her father wishes she would save her breath because it takes extra effort to speak those words during a grueling race.

But that’s not Brook.

“If I’m having a bad day, she is the first one to give me a hug,” her mother said.

On Wednesday, Brook thanked her mom and dad.

“I can’t imagine my life without their support,” she said.

‘She is amazing. I don’t think people realize how amazing she is.’

Mr. Drake apologized to Brook for his reluctance in having her join the cross country team.

“I failed her in giving her the encouragement,” he said. “I didn’t think she could do it.”

Tim and Kathy Drake both praised the early intervention services Brook received at Rainbow Preschool. That helped Brook make big gains in speech and walking.

The cross country running has Brook open to trying other sports and planning for her future. Brook wants to be more involved in the school. She is trying basketball cheerleading, although she said the choreography and cheers so far are very challenging. But she is determined to learn the steps and cheers.

She is a junior and has another year of cross country. Then she wants to go to college to study photography.

“I know I can do it once I set my mind to it,” she said.

Her parents want to stop back at Strong Memorial to thank the nurses and doctors for their care when Brook was so little.

“I want to take her (running) stats to Strong to show them what she did, and show them who they helped save,” Mr. Drake said.

Brook Drake, far left, and her teammates are lined up at the start of the Orleans-Niagara League meet last month.

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7 charged with DWI, 45 tickets issued in DWI saturation patrol

Posted 23 November 2017 at 7:57 am

Press Release, Roland Nenni, Albion and Holley police chief

On Wednesday from 9 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. today the Albion Police Department hosted and supervised a multi-agency Orleans County Wide DWI Saturation Patrol.

This detail combined the law enforcement efforts from every law enforcement agency in the county along with New York State Parole, the Orleans County Probation Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The agencies involved consisted of the Albion Police, Medina Police, Holley Police, Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Orleans County Probation, New York State Parole and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The detail results are as follows:

DWI Arrests: 7 with 5 in the Village of Albion (Albion PD), 1 in the Town of Albion (State Police) and 1 in the Town of Murray (State Police)

Traffic Stops: 132

Tickets Issued: 45

Agency Breakdown:

Albion PD – 52 stops, 1 Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 2nd, 5 DWI Arrests – 18 Total Tickets Issued

Medina PD – 17 stops, 1 Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 2nd, 1 Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 3rd, 1 Unlicensed Operator, 1 Unlawful Possession of Marijuana Arrest, 1 Suspended Registration – 9 Total Tickets Issued

Holley PD – 29 stops, 2 Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 2nd – 5 Total Tickets Issued

NY State Police – 15 stops, 2 Driving While Intoxicated Arrest, 4 Total Tickets Issued

Orleans County Sheriff’s Office – 19 stops – 9 Total Tickets Issued

The Albion Police Department and the other Law Enforcement agencies are committed to making the roadways safe for all those who travel upon them.

This is the fourth year a Saturation Patrol was conducted. Compared to previous years, this year’s detail had an increase in vehicle stops but the percentage of intoxicated drivers remained comparably the same. The data from this year’s detail indicates that approximately 5 percent of the motorists stopped were intoxicated, whereas in previous years we have seen data as high as 20 percent of the motorists stopped were intoxicated.

This is positive news in our efforts to reduce accidents caused by intoxicated drivers. The reduction of DWI Arrests is a positive and motivating factor when these types of details are conducted. Many believe that law enforcement want to make more DWI arrests during these details, however we like to see the opposite. Law enforcement stopped many people and found the overwhelming majority to be responsible and not under the influence of alcohol. We also encountered several intoxicated passengers with sober designated drivers.

Intoxicated drivers do not follow jurisdictional lines, so we decided that we would not either. The Albion Police Department and its partners are planning similar details for the future. We will continue to use every resource and tool available to create a reduction in offenders and arrest those who continue to endanger others by driving while intoxicated.

The commitment and dedication by the officers, deputies and troopers who worked the detail undoubtedly saved lives in Orleans County by making arrests and sending a clear message to deter others from drinking and driving.

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Gillibrand visits Albion school to promote new technology for shop classes

Photos by Tom Rivers: U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visited the shop class at Charles D’Amico High School on Monday afternoon to promote legislation that would allow schools to seek federal funding for 3D printers, laser cutters, computerized machine tools and other new equipment. 

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 November 2017 at 10:54 am

ALBION – U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said high school graduates with skills in the trades can expect to land good-paying jobs right out of school, especially if they learn how to use 3D printers, laser cutters, and computerized machine tools.

The problem, Gillibrand said, is many schools don’t provide training on the latest equipment.

She has teamed with other senators to propose the “21st Century Strengthening Hands On Programs that Cultivate Learning Approaches for Successful Students Act.” The bipartisan legislation would make federal funding available for more equipment in Career and Technical Education programs and also boost teacher training, so instructors could teach students how to use the equipment.

Gillibrand said the program is critical to match students with the needs in the workforce. Many businesses and manufacturers are struggling to find qualified employees, she said.

“I know shop class is always a favorite because it is fun, it’s a change of pace from your everyday studies and you learn important skills that can help you in your careers,” Gillibrand said at Charles D’Amico High School in Albion. She was joined by many high school students.

Michael Bonnewell, the Albion Central School superintendent, introduces Gillibrand on Monday afternoon.

“These jobs are very important that we rely on every single day, whether it’s an engineering job, whether it’s help to repair after a hurricane like we’re seeing in Puerto Rico, whether it’s a high-tech manufacturing job here in Western New York,” Gillibrand said. “In the Senate, one of the most important responsibilities that I have is to make sure when you graduate from high school you actually have the skills you need to get that job that you want. But there are a lot of companies throughout our state and country that have job openings with good salaries for graduates in programs like this but sometimes they can’t fill those jobs. So there is a skills gap that we need to fill to make sure our students are the ones to get those jobs.”

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is a cosponsor of the bill with Gillibrand. The legislation would amend the Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act to give greater priority to funding for maker education, makerspaces, and training for teachers in the application of maker education.

“Our students should be able to take many different paths in order to get a good job and earn a good salary, and this bill would help equip more students with the skills they need to get on a path toward good-paying high-tech jobs when they graduate high school,” she said.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand meets Joe Steinmetz, director of Career and Technical Education at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES.

She was joined in Albion by Joe Steinmetz, director of CTE and adult/secondary programs for the Orleans/Niagara BOCES.

The Career and Technical Education programs at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES have grown 10 percent in the past five years, he said, with students graduating at a 98 percent rate.

“We are changing so fast,” he said. “The technology is changing so fast.”

Fourth- and fifth-graders today will likely work in careers where the technology hasn’t even been invented yet, Steinmetz said.

The Orleans/Niagara BOCES already spends about $150,000 to $200,000 a year to provide students with the latest technology. The BOCES program stresses “rigor and relevance” through buildings trades, healthcare, machining, computer technology and other programs, he said.

David Heminway of Albion said the skilled trades are always in demand.

David Heminway of Albion is a 1976 graduate of the BOCES program. He immediately went to work for Kodak. He has worked for the NY Canal Corporation the past 23 years and is currently supervisor of the skilled trades for the canal.

He said students in the CTE programs should also go to college. Today’s workforce is highly competitive and demanding, he said.

If the legislation is approved, Gillibrand said school districts and BOCES would apply for federal funding for teacher training and equipment. She said she would gladly send letters of support for schools in New York pursuing the funding.

“This bipartisan bill makes it very clear that all of our shop classrooms should have this equipment because our students need to learn how to use them so they can get the jobs that they want in the job market,” she said.

Gillibrand is pictured with high school students Harrison Brown, left, and Bryce Pritchard.

Over 377,000 students enrolled in Career and Technical Education high school and post-secondary programs in New York from 2015 to 2016, Gillibrand said.

Technical-skill jobs that require a high school diploma but not a four-year degree make up the largest part of the labor market and close to almost half of job openings in New York State through 2024. The overall number of technical-skill jobs are expected to increase by nearly 16,000 jobs in the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions by 2022.

While 50 percent of New York’s jobs are technical-skill, only 38 percent of the state’s workforce have this training, indicating a strong demand for more workers at this level, she said.

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Sen. Gillibrand will be in Albion on Monday to promote vocational education

Staff Reports Posted 19 November 2017 at 10:14 pm

ALBION – U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will be in Albion on Monday to visit Charles D’Amico High School to announce her bipartisan legislation, the 21st Century Strengthening Hands On Programs that Cultivate Learning Approaches for Successful Students Act.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

This bill would direct federal funding to high-tech training and education programs in high schools and institutions of higher education, which would give more students the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to get good-paying jobs in the high-tech manufacturing sector. U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is a cosponsor of this bill.

Technologies like 3D printers, laser cutters, and computerized machine tools are transforming American manufacturing and increasing the need for specialized training for manufacturing jobs, Gillibrand said.

To prepare our students with the skills needed for high-tech jobs, this legislation would amend the Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act to give greater priority to funding maker education, the development of makerspaces, and training for teachers in the application of maker education.

Career and Technical Education programs at the high school and community college level provide training and education for in-demand, good-paying jobs in a variety of industries from manufacturing to health care to computer programming. There were an estimated 377,000 students enrolled in CTE high school and post-secondary programs in New York State from 2015 to 2016. During this same period, close to 500 high school students in Orleans County participated in career and technical education, according to Gillibrand’s office.

This investment in vocational education would give more students the technical skills needed for good-paying jobs, offering hands-on learning experiences for students to use high-tech industrial tools to create and innovate, Gillibrand said. This approach to technical education will offer more opportunities to inspire the next generation of manufacturing workers and entrepreneurs.

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Albion Middle School play features adventures of Junie B. Jones

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 November 2017 at 9:43 am

ALBION – Mckenzie Olmstead plays Junie B. Jones in the Albion Middle School production of “The Adventures of Junie B. Jones.”

The school performed the show on Friday evening and has shows today at noon and 7 p.m. in the Middle School Auditorium. Tickets are available at the door.

Junie B. is a first grader with friendly and bright personality. A cast of 22 puts on the show that lasts more than 2 hours.

Russell Kingdollar III plays Sheldon, who provides a lot of comic relief during the show.

Olivia Miller plays May, Junie B’s rival. Myleigh Miller, right, is the teacher, “Mrs.”

Leah Kania is Lucille, Junie B’s spoiled best friend in kindergarten. Lucille is rich, beautiful and wears fancy clothes. By the first grade, Junie B. and Lucille aren’t such close friends.

Brian Kozody plays Grandpa Frank Miller. (Kozody is married to Carrie Kozody, director of the show.) Grandpa is Junie B’s favorite babysitter. She helps him with some household projects, including fixing the upstairs toilet.

Emilie Sitzer plays José, another one of Junie B’s close friends.

Natalie Baron is Grace, another close friend of Junie B. Grace is a very fast runner and wears high-top sneakers. Unlike Junie B., Grace speaks with proper grammar and is very well-behaved.

Christopher Sacco has the role of Handsome Warren.

Faith Bennett, center, plays Annabell (Pink Fluffy Girl) and Ashleigh Mowatt, right, is Herb, one of Junie B’s best friends.

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DOT increases weight limit on Allen’s Bridge Road canal bridge

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 November 2017 at 4:49 pm

ALBION – The state Department of Transportation has reposted the weight limit on the Allen’s Bridge Road canal bridge from 3 tons to 12 tons, said Michael Neidert, the Albion town highway superintendent.

When the bridge was at a 3-ton limit, the town had to close the road and bridge during the winter because plow/salt vehicles could not go over it, and other ways of removing snow were unsafe, Neidert said.

“I feel this is great news as we enter into the winter season and we have now eliminated a lengthy detour for the residents that use that route,” Neidert said.

The DOT changed the signs on Tuesday, posting a 12-ton weight limit.

Neidert said the town will be able to take a small plow/sander truck over the bridge this winter.

The town also will be working on paving the south side of the approach to the bridge next year. Neidert said the DOT two years ago ruled that canal bridge approaches – pavement, guardrails, weeds, brush – were no longer the state responsibility.

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Albion Rotary Interact students spend day at Foodlink in Rochester

Posted 16 November 2017 at 9:39 am

Provided photo: Albion Rotary Interact members spent the day at Foodlink in Rochester on Wednesday. Pictured from left: McKenna Boyer, Alanna Holman, Emily Mergler, Noah Wadhams, Cody Wilson, Aubrey Boyer and Annalise Steier.

Press Release, Albion Central School

ROCHESTER – Albion High School Rotary Interact members and Middle School service learning students are doing their part to help needy families in the area.

Interact Club students recently spent the day at Foodlink in Rochester learning the supply chain of getting ample resources into the hands of needy students and families.

The students learned that area retailers and producers, like Wegmans, provide thousands of pounds of food daily to food banks like Foodlink, one of over 200 food banks across the country.

From there, food is distributed to local providers like Community Action of Orleans and Genesee. Ultimately it is distributed to families. Students learned how vital Foodlink is to the supply line to local food pantries and soup kitchens throughout western New York.

“Each year during the holiday season we are reminded of just how blessed we are to have ample food, shelter, and clothing,” ACS Interact advisor and service learning teacher Tim Archer said. “It doesn’t take much motivation for our kids to want to give back.”

To better understand the next process in the chain Albion Middle School service learning classes will team up with  Community Action of Orleans and Genesee and help pack “holiday baskets” that will be distributed locally prior to the Christmas holiday. In assembly line fashion, the pre-teens pack boxes containing, vegetables, potatoes, desserts, drinks and other items.

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Church in Albion finds hidden roof supports, meaning million-dollar repair isn’t needed after all

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 November 2017 at 10:18 am

North Point Chapel will have grand re-opening of closed off sanctuary on Dec. 3

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Mike Outten, pastor of North Point Chapel, is pictured giving a tour of the sanctuary of the former United Methodist Church on Sunday after the North Point church service.

North Point has been holding services in former Sunday school classrooms in the building since April.

The church at 19 North Platt was the long-time home of the United Methodist Church, which now shares a building at Christ Church with the Episcopalians.

The United Methodists left their building when it faced a $1 million expense with its roof. Engineers and architects had inspected the roof and believed it needed significant structural repairs and supports.

The church was built in 1861 with an addition put on in 1914. When the addition was included, the sanctuary was reoriented. The experts who looked at the building didn’t think the trusses were properly supporting the roof. They feared the roof, without the proper supports, was causing the walls to push outward and threatening the viability of the structure.

A group from the North Point Chapel looks over the sanctuary on Sunday. The floors have been refinished and the walls painted

The building was for sale but drew little interest due to the structural issues with the roof and walls. North Point Chapel, a new church that was meeting in the Arnold Gregory Memorial Complex, bought the church site for $38,000, with the deal closing in January. North Point also agreed to assume the $22,000 contract for having wooden supports to hold up the roof, in case the walls weakened.

Mike Outten, pastor of North Point, has 35 years in the construction business. He believed he had a solution for keeping the building structurally safe for years to come. Outten was planning to run steel rods from one side of the sanctuary to the other. The rods would be up high near the roof and a turnbuckle would be used to tie them together.

In September, Outten and his son Adam were investigating the best spot to place the steel support.

Adam now runs the family construction business, Northern Exteriors. Adam removed ceiling tiles near a truss in the sanctuary. On Sept. 26, he found two steel rods were already there above the truss.

This is the spot in the ceiling where North Point made a hole, looking for a location to run steel rods to prevent the exterior walls from pushing outwards. New rods aren’t needed because two rods are already in place.

Outten called the architect who had inspected the building when the United Methodists owned it. The architect inspected the roof again and deemed it safe once the steel rods had been found. The firm had missed the steel rods in previous inspections. Those rods were obscured in thick insulation.

The congregation, in 1914, “knew exactly what they were doing,” when they reoriented the sanctuary and put on the addition, Outten said.

The architect has declared the roof safe, Outten said, and Village Code Enforcement Officer Ron Vendetti has given North Point a certificate of occupancy for the sanctuary. Vendetti had condemned the space.

The wooden support beams were removed about two weeks ago, and Outten has been working overtime to refinish the wooden floors, and paint the sanctuary interior. The off-white paint interior is now the color chrome, which is gray, blue and purple.

Outten has also met with one of the United Methodist Church leaders, to share the news. He has welcomed the congregation to return to the building and be part of the church with North Point Chapel.

Mike Outten is pictured in the sanctuary in late March. The wooden beams were in place to help support the roof. Those beams were removed about two weeks ago.

Outten said North Point bought the church as a leap of faith. North Point started two years ago with two people in a Bible study. On Sunday about 40 attended services in the Sunday school room.

This Sunday they will move from classrooms for holding their church service to the main sanctuary. Outten said they will be there for two Sundays before a grand opening service on Dec. 3. He wants the two Sundays to test the sound boards, and get the worship band ready on the new stage.

In addition to painting the inside, Outten and church volunteers have changed the sanctuary stage, adding space for the band. The organ will still be used because North Point is striving to blend traditional hymns and contemporary worship.

Outten also had to climb 26 feet high on scaffolding to replace 84 lightbulbs in the ceiling.

His son, Adam, repointed mortar for bricks on the exterior of the building.

“This is a building that was condemned,” Mike Outten said. “We are going to have a grand reopening on Dec. 3 because we want people to know that God is very much alive. This building is just a tool that God will use for a very long time to come.”

Adam Outten last month is shown putting new mortar between bricks on the exterior of the North Point Chapel in Albion.

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1,000 Albion students cheer classmates who competed in Empire Games

Posted 10 November 2017 at 11:50 am

Photos courtesy of Sue Starkweather Miller: Haden Button enters the assembly on Thursday to a cheering crowd.

Alanna Holman, left, and Lily Allison are buddies.

Press Release, Albion Central School

ALBION – The Albion Central School District’s annual Empire Games for the Physically Challenged Awards Ceremony took place on Thursday The middle school band played musical selections as student athletes entered the elementary school gym to a cheering audience of over 1,000 students, staff, and family members.

The elementary school chorus sang several musical selections.  Students watched to a video presentation of the athletes participating in the Games at SUNY Brockport. Principals distributed ribbons and medals to each student athlete. After the ceremony, the athletes and their families celebrated with cookies and milk.

The Empire Games for the Physically Challenged takes place in October at SUNY Brockport. School districts from all across the region participate in many events on the Brockport campus.

Albion student athletes participated in: long jump, club throw, precision throw, distance kick, 40 meter race, 60 meter race, 100 meter race, slalom and the soft discus. Each athlete had a high school “buddy” who attended the Games and assisted them through the day as they moved through events.

Student athletes included: Lily Allison, Asad Bacht, Morgan Brower, Hayden Button, Dejeanna Conner, Brook Drake, Ethan Ferchen, Analiah Figueroa-Fuentes, Kaitlynn Figueroa-Fuentes, Rebecca Fugate, Nick Garcia, Taneisha Jackson, Keira Lemcke, Tatiana Morales, Misty Dawn Mullins, Gabrielle Payne, Adriana Pellegrino, Emily Richardson, Shaekwon Robinson, Alannah Snitzel and Jacob Sunday

Adriana Pelligrino receives medals from Elementary School Principal Rachel Curtin.

Varsity cheerleaders and Eagle lead a cheer for the audience.

Nick Garcia receives his medals from High School Assistant Principal Katharine Waite.

The Middle School Band performs during the assembly.

Emily Richardson receives her medals from Middle School Principal Bradley Pritchard.

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Medina hospital named ‘Friend of Education’ by Albion school district

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 November 2017 at 3:55 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Wendy Jacobson (left), CEO of Orleans Community Health/Medina Memorial Hospital, accepts the “Friend of Education Award” on Monday from Margy Brown, president of the Albion Board of Education.

The healthcare organization was recognized for its participation the past three years in the district’s internship program. Albion High School students have been doing internships and observations with doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants and other staff at Medina Memorial Hospital and Orleans Community Health’s Albion healthcare site.

Those experiences convinced many students to pursue careers in healthcare, said Susan Starkweather Miller, the internship coordinator.

Jacobson has embraced the program, and given students access to professionals who work in surgeries, ultrasound, phlebotomy and other programs.

The staff finds the students invigorating, Jacobson said.

“It’s a way to pay back the educators who saw something in us all,” she said.

The district also presented monthly student recognition awards. In the elementary school, Joshua Zayac received the Leadership Award and Bryan Hillman was presented the Character Award.

Tyler Kast, a senior, was also presented with the Leadership Award at the high school. He was unable to attend last month’s board meeting and received the award last evening.

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