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GCC recognizes outstanding fall students, instructors in Albion, Medina

Posted 11 December 2018 at 4:25 pm

Press Release, GCC

Genesee Community College’s Albion and Medina Campus Centers have announced the Fall 2018 Instructors and Students of the Semester.

Each semester, one instructor and one student from each campus center are recognized for their outstanding instructional and/or academic performances. For several weeks, the campus centers collect nominations from fellow teachers, colleagues and students and a small committee led by James Simon, associate dean at Medina and Albion Campus Centers, determines the winners.

Albion Campus Center

Mike Raisch

Mike Raisch has been selected as the GCC Albion Campus Center Fall 2018 Instructor of the Semester. New to GCC faculty this semester, Raisch was nominated by several students who credit him with bringing out their “creative side” by introducing an inspiring learning environment and a willingness to “help students be successful.”

One student noted, “I think Professor Raisch deserves to be Instructor of the Semester because he pushes his students to do their best, and he’s just a cool guy all around.”

Raisch graduated from North Tonawanda High School, continued his education at SUNY Fredonia, where he earned a BA in Halloween Entertainment Business, and then a Master of Science degree in Creative Studies from Buffalo State College. He currently teaches Creative Problem Solving at GCC.

In his insights on the Albion Campus Center he shared: “As an expert in creativity, I’d say GCC Albion Campus nails the creative physical and psychosocial environments with clean and tidy spaces, top-notch technology, and compassionate/intelligent faculty and staff.”

Michelle Stupnick

It’s easy to see the creativity connection in Mike’s hobbies, which include art, music, board games, theme parks, photography and business creation. His most rewarding endeavor is teaching, however. “Being nominated for this award is a humbling milestone. I just love teaching and I’m passionate about creativity. I’m honored to be recognized for my first semester doing what I love!” said Raisch, who resides in North Tonawanda.

Michelle Stupnick of Middleport has been selected as the GCC Albion Campus Center Fall 2018 Student of the Semester. Michelle is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with expected graduation in Fall 2020. She has a long-term goal of starting her own business. Michele says that the thing she most enjoys about college is learning something new each and every day. She also enjoys meeting new people and feels “the possibilities are endless.” She credits paying attention in class and making time to study as key to her success, and she advises others to “show up, study and pay attention – it will make a difference.”

Major influences in her life are: “Mom, always guiding me to do the right thing” and the support of great teachers at GCC. Her nominating instructor says she can always count on Michelle to participate in class discussions, hand in assignments on time and act as an example to others in the class. “Michelle has returned [to GCC] and has found her place as a leader in class.” Outside of school, Michelle enjoys acquiring and selling antiques in her spare time.

Medina Campus Center

Tracy Ford

Tracy Ford was selected as the Fall 2018 Instructor of the Semester at the Medina Campus Center. He has taught Composition Natural & Social Sciences for the last 10 years in Medina and at the Batavia Campus and the Albion Campus Center. The student who nominated Ford stated, “There has not been one day where I regret taking his English class.” Another student said “His enthusiasm and passion while teaching really adds to the overall class. He makes you think and question everything!”

When asked about one piece of advice he would give to new instructors, Ford said “Smile when you want to scream and never take yourself too seriously.” When asked about his feelings regarding GCC Medina Campus Center, he said, “I feel amazingly lucky to be allowed to teach at the Medina Campus. Best place! Best people!”

Ford earned his BA in English, MA in Literature, and Master’s degree in the Teaching of Writing from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. He enjoys photography, genealogy, reading, kayaking, fishing and bird watching. Recently, Ford tapped into his “inner actor” and he began working in tandem with GCC History Professor Derek Maxfield to showcase an historic Civil War era meeting in a unique program entitled, “Now we stand by each other always; A conversation between Gens. Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman.” Ford plays the convincing role of General Sherman. In the past, he monitored and banded spotted owls in old-growth forests of Oregon. He is married and has two children, as well as a spoiled kitty named Poly, all residing in Albion.

Erin McDonnell

Erin McDonnell has been selected as the Student of the Semester at the Medina Campus Center for the fall 2018 semester. Erin is a full-time student majoring in Liberal Arts and Science: General Studies and pursuing an Associate in Science degree. She anticipates graduating in May 2020. After she completes her degree, she plans to transfer to SUNY Brockport to major in Special Education and minor in Business.

Instructors who nominated Erin expressed that she is prepared, dedicated and enthusiastic. She also consistently volunteers for classroom activities and positively contributes to class discussions.

When asked why she decided to attend college, she stated that she wanted to better herself and provide a life for her daughter. Erin also shared that her father, her daughter and her GCC advisor, Mrs. Karen Krieger, have been major influences in her life. As a full-time mom and student, she finds she doesn’t have a lot of spare time! When asked what advice she had for new students, she said “Be yourself, never be afraid to ask questions or lend a hand.”

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State extends real property tax exemption on farm buildings

Posted 4 December 2018 at 11:44 am

Tax exemptions will continue for 10 years on buildings critical to farming and horticulture

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

File photo from December 2013: A barn is the background and cattails are in the foreground in this photo taken from near Transit Road in the mucklands.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the extension of the state’s Real Property Tax Law exemption on farm buildings, which will provide continued tax relief for New York farmers and growers.

The Real Property Tax Law exempts agricultural producers from paying real property tax on buildings that are essential to the production of agricultural or horticultural products, such as temporary greenhouses, dairy barns and exercise arenas for horse-boarding operations.

“New York’s agricultural industry is a major sector of our economy, and it’s critical that we continue to support local farmers and growers,” Governor Cuomo said. “This tax exemption will help New York’s hard-working agricultural producers invest in their farms and grow their businesses, and as a result increase competitiveness and productivity for years to come.”

The Real Property Tax Law exemption was extended for the next 10 years and applies to newly constructed and re-constructed agricultural buildings through January 1, 2029. Since it was last renewed in 2008, the exemption for farm structures is estimated to have saved New York farmers more than $112.8 million.

The exemption has helped support the growth of New York’s agricultural industry by allowing farmers and growers to use the money saved to invest in their operations, purchase new equipment and modernize facilities, which increases the farms’ competitiveness and profitability.

Agricultural buildings have been exempt from state taxation for decades, but the law granting the exemption was set to expire on New Year’s Day 2019. The new law, sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Magee and Senator Patty Ritchie, amends New York State’s Real Property Tax Law to extend the tax break and ensure it will remain in effect for the next decade.

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, “This law, which keeps new farm buildings off the tax rolls for 10 years, is essential to encourage new farm investment, and it will make it more economical to grow family farm businesses. The tax savings is especially important in today’s tough agricultural economy.”

The law prohibits tax increases based on the value of construction or improvement of structures that are used for essential agricultural operations. That includes the cultivation, harvest and storage of commodities; the feeding, breeding and management of livestock; and housing for farm employees. Housing for immediate family members is not covered by the exemption unless the family members are non-owners and critical to the commercial operation of the farm.

A complete list of rules regarding the exemption can be found by clicking here.

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GCC Medina student awarded $2,500 Scholarship

Posted 1 December 2018 at 8:51 pm

Press Release, Genesee Community College

Theresa Gray

MEDINA – A Genesee Community College student, Theresa Gray of Medina, has been awarded a special one-time scholarship for $2,500 from the National Association of State Procurement Officers.

After graduating from Medina Central Schools in 2008, Theresa Gray (then Albone) worked for several years in early childhood education until she accepted an entry level position with Baxter Healthcare in 2010. She realized the significant career potential with the large, international company and decided to pursue an associate degree in Business Administration from Genesee Community College. Once she was in the program and taking classes at both the Medina and Albion Campus Centers, she was introduced to the online Supply Chain Management concentration and discovered that it would align perfectly with her interests in business forecasting and planning.

“My experience with Genesee Community College has been great,” Gray said. “The night classes at both the Medina and Albion Campus Centers, as well as online classes, made it easy for me as a working mother to attend college while maintaining my family and life. Working with my advisor, I’ve laid out a class plan that doesn’t take me out of work or away from my kids’ activities. I’ll graduate in the Spring of 2020 with my associate degree.”

One of the other benefits of Genesee Community College is the small class sizes with professors and instructors who know their students, appreciate their interests, and understand their unique challenges. When Dr. Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, GCC’s dean of the Math, Science and Career Education Division, and Dr. Lina LaMattina, assistant professor and director of the Business Programs, learned of the $2,500 NASPO scholarship they actively promoted the opportunity with their students. As a working adult student who was also juggling family responsibilities, Gray was an ideal candidate.

Established in Chicago in 1947, NASPO is a non-profit association comprised of the directors of the central purchasing offices in each of the 50 United States of America, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. NASPO helps members achieve success as public procurement leaders through promotion of best practices, education, professional development, research and innovative procurement strategies.

“Theresa’s experience at Genesee exemplifies the professional yet personal connections that our faculty members make with their students each and every day,” Dr. Alicea-Maldonado said. “First, we developed the online Supply Chain Management program which readily supports working adults as they advance in their careers. Second, we know our students and understand their personal challenges. Third, we stay current on industry trends and opportunities – sharing specific opportunities that our students can benefit from. It is truly a pleasure to help our students, people from all walks of life, achieve their dreams. Theresa is a perfect example of this.”

Gray’s scholarship award is part of GCC’s Recognition Matters series which highlights the accomplishments of GCC’s faculty, staff and students. Officials at GCC have embraced this series as a way to acknowledge not only the achievement, but the high quality of individuals who demonstrate GCC’s “beyond expectations” brand.

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John Anstey of Holley re-enlists in New York Army National Guard

Staff Reports Posted 23 November 2018 at 11:53 am

Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of the New York National Guard, announces the recent re-enlistment of members of the State National Guard in recognition of their continuing commitment to serve community, state and nation as part of the Army National Guard.

First Sergeant John Anstey from Holley has re-enlisted to continue service with the 222nd Military Police Company.

“It’s great to see soldiers staying in the Army and continuing to serve their state and nation in the New York Army National Guard,” Shields said. “The most important Army asset we have is the individual soldier. The dedication, skills, and leadership traits they bring to our community and their employers are invaluable.”

“By choosing to stay in the Army National Guard they directly contribute to our nation’s security and to the governor’s ability to respond to disasters, all while building a bright future for their family through the Guard’s retirement, education, and health insurance programs,” Shields said.

Holley native wins age group in NYC Marathon, raises $5,500 for Leukemia and Lymphona Society

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 November 2018 at 8:21 am

Provided photo: Patti Galleher is shown in Sunday’s New York City Marathon.

A Holley native won her age group on Sunday at the New York City Marathon. Patti Sue (DeFilipps) Galleher also raised $5,500 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Galleher, a 1975 Holley graduate, was the fastest woman in the 60-64 age group. She ran the 26.2-mile course in 3:28:02, more than 11 minutes faster than the second-place woman in that age group.

Galleher, 61, ran the race with her daughter Sophie, who completed the race in 3:03:14.

Galleher lives in Denver, Colorado. She ran the race in honor of her daughter Lucy who was diagnosed with Lymphoma Leukemia while she was pregnant with her first child, Watson.

More than 52,000 runners finished the race on Sunday.

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Stephanie McGee of Medina receives merit award at SUNY Oswego

Staff Reports Posted 5 November 2018 at 5:04 pm

OSWEGO – Stephanie McGee of Medina, a psychology major, was awarded a Transfer Achievement Scholarship as a new transfer student at SUNY Oswego.

SUNY Oswego’s merit awards recognize students’ past academic achievements and potential for success. A select group among the more than 700 transfer students received the awards.

The awards are part of about $7 million in merit scholarship money offered at SUNY Oswego. These funds are in addition to approximately $80 million in need-based grants, loans, work-study and scholarship awards that SUNY Oswego students receive annually.

45 Orleans Career and Tech Ed students inducted into National Technical Honor Society

Posted 5 November 2018 at 11:22 am

Press Release and photo from Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Congratulations to the 45 students from the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center who were recently inducted into the National Technical Honor Society.

Out of all the high school students in the United States, the National Technical Honor Society students who receive this honor comprise 1.6 percent of that population. For staff at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES center, they represent the four pillars of the National Technical Honor Society: Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character.

The students were honored at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ technical education center in front of their teachers, families and school district representatives. The students had to maintain an 89.5 average in their career and technical education programs and an 84.5 average at their high schools, have superior attendance, exemplary behavior, be a member in good standing with SkillsUSA and have a recommendation from a faculty member.

Congratulations go to:

From Barker: Noah Costich (Welding), Dasha Crenshaw (Early Childhood Education), Michael Dalton (Welding), Gary Gow III (Welding), Anthony Hanel (Security and Law Enforcement), Alexander Israel (Electricty/Electronics), Dale Jones (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering) and Noel Vasquez (Electricity/Electronics).

From Lockport: Samantha Chilcott (Cosmetology), Jared McFall (Security and Law Enforcement), Nathan Platte (Electricty/Electronics), Alyssa Scheib (Early Childhood Education) and Amanda Sprung (Health Occupations Technician).  From Lyndonville: Stacy Buckland (Early Childhood Education) and Justin Corser (Computer Technology).

From Medina: Judiah Barnum (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering), Alissa Blount (Allied Health) and Alexis Greco (Allied Health).

From Newfane: Alexis Cevaer (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering), Ryan Hnat (Diesel Technology), Nathan Lee (Computer Technology), Jacob Meyers (Computer Technology), Matthew Miller (Diesel Technology), Madison Slattery (Health Occupations Technician) and Mark Zeitz (Building Trades).

From Royalton-Hartland: Blake Bartholomew (Graphic Communications), Taylor Bobzien (Cosmetology), Jamie Bower (Allied Health), Ella Brown (Cosmetology), Kristina Burdick (Cosmetology), Jeffrey Chapman (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering), Kelsey Ciemny (Cosmetology), Alexa Gilbert (Cosmetology), Raymond Gorski (Automotive Technology), Jenna Heiser (Allied Health), Jason Keleher (Computer Technology), Michael Kuchey (Building Trades), Jacob McKernan (Culinary Arts), Chloe Pilc (Security and Law Enforcement), Gillian Schyve (Graphic Communications), Haley Storms (Early Childhood Education), Miranda Vilardo (Cosmetology), Lexus Waite (Cosmetology), Abigail Wolf (Graphic Communications) and Cayla Yageric (Early Childhood Education).

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Waterport woman to be honored as outstanding educator in Rochester

Staff Reports Posted 16 October 2018 at 8:28 pm

Kelly Follman

ROCHESTER – A Waterport woman who is a music teacher in the Rochester City School District will be honored on Wednesday as one of two outstanding educators for the district.

Kelly Follman is a music teacher at the Rise Community School No. 106. Follman has served students at several Rochester city schools, including Nathaniel Rochester Community School No. 3, George Mather Forbes School No. 4, Roberto Clemente School No. 8, Francis Parker School No. 23, Pinnacle School No. 35, and Kodak Park School No. 41.

Two of her former colleagues at School No. 23 nominated her for the Outstanding Educator Award. A graduate of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, with a Master’s degree from SUNY Brockport, Follman has produced musicals at her home school as well as helping direct the district-wide musical.

She also serves as a liaison between the Eastman Pathways program and the District. Outside of her time in the classroom, Follman keeps busy as a semi-professional musician in local orchestras.

The Outstanding Educator Award recognizes Rochester educators who are strong partners of Rochester students, making a positive impact on their lives.

The Rochester Education Foundation will recognize staff and students on Wednesday at the Annual Partnership Awards Event. That event is at the Wintergarden by Monroe’s in Rochester.

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Albion native wins writing awards for articles in Western Horseman

Staff Reports Posted 2 October 2018 at 10:54 am

Provided photo: Albion native Katie Navarra recently won two writing awards for article in a magazine about the horse industry and lifestyle.

MECHANICVILLE – Equestrian journalist Kathryn “Katie” Navarra and her award-winning portrayals of East Coast families choosing American Western lifestyles are rewriting expectations about regions, riders and rodeos.

Two articles published in Western Horseman magazine, “Green Mountain Grown,” published in April 2018, and “Where the Pavement Ends,” published in July 2017, have both earned Navarra first-place recognition as a journalist from judges who praise her work as “masterful,” “informative,” and “reflecting skilled interviewing.” Navarra is a 1999 Albion graduate and daughter of Jim and Barb Navarra of Albion. She now lives in the Albany area.

“Green Mountain Grown,” about a multi-generation Vermont family whose 900 horses and weekly summer rodeos have made them the largest ranch east of the Mississippi, placed first in Human Interest at the AAEA-Ag Communicators Network Awards.

“Where the Pavement Ends” profiled a northeast family’s rodeo and stock company, its nationally-renowned livestock, and series of East Coast and twice-weekly summer rodeos, placed first among Farm/Ranch/Producer Profiles in the Livestock Publications Council Awards and third in the Freelance category of the American Horse Publications (AHP) Conference and Excellence in Media Awards, where Navarra also earned Honorable Mention in Single-Instructional Article for “The Creaky Performance Horse,” published in 2017 in The Horse.

In June, Navarra – who sits on the AHP board, chairs AHP membership development committee and contributes to the AHP marketing committee – completed the Empire State Association for Association Executives (ESSAE) Leadership Academy (ALA).

Navarra is a professional writer and photographer working in the equine industry since 2001. For more on her work, click here.

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Lyndonville native named Air Force flying group superintendent

Posted 1 October 2018 at 10:22 am

Press Release, 340th Flying Training Group Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Scott A. Goetze

JOINT-BASE SAN ANTONIO-Randolph, Texas – Chief Master Sgt. Scott A. Goetze has been selected as the group superintendent for the 340th Flying Training Group. As the superintendent, he will advise the commander on all issues pertaining to the group enlisted force, including health, morale, welfare and personal and professional development.

The 340th Flying Training Group supports Air Education and Training Command’s specialized undergraduate pilot training, joint primary pilot training, pilot instructor training, introduction to fighter fundamentals, Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training, basic military training and the United States Air Force Academy airmanship programs.

The 340th is the largest flying group in the Air Force, consisting of 425 instructor pilots and 125 enlisted members assigned to six squadrons at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph and JBSA-Lackland, Texas; Columbus AFB, Mississippi; Laughlin AFB and Sheppard AFB, Texas; and USAF Academy in Colorado.

Goetze is a native of Lyndonville, New York. He entered the Air Force in July 1986, serving as an aircraft technician on the F-4 Phantom, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-117 Nighthawk, C-141B Starlifter, C-17 Globemaster and C-130 Hercules aircraft.

He separated from active duty in June 1997, transferring to the Air Force Reserve, serving as a traditional Reserve, while working as a NASA product support engineer in Seattle, Washington. He accepted an Air Reserve Technician program position in 2004.

He has served in various operational and strategic level leadership roles, and deployed multiple times to Al Udeid AB, Qatar, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and Djibouti, Africa, in support of the war on terrorism. Previous assignments include bases in Germany, Korea, Nevada, Washington, New York and Texas. Most recently, the chief was the Reserve Military Training Leader Liaison Superintendent at Sheppard AFB.

Goetze and his wife, Jeanne (also from Lyndonville), have two sons: Justin, employed by Mid-Western State University, and Thomas, a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

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