Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville school budgets approved by voters

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 May 2022 at 10:05 pm

Voters in Holley, Kendall and Lyndonville approved their school budgets today.

Holley’s proposed $26,982,000 budget passed with a 235-130 vote.

The budget increases taxes by 1.95 percent. The budget maintains all current educational programs and represents a 3.18 percent budget-to-budget increase.

Other Holley propositions also were approved by voters:

  • Capital improvements reserve fund at a maximum of $6 million – 233 yes votes, 138 no votes
  • Proposition to purchase new school buses as a maximum of $334,000 – 232 yes votes, 139 no votes
  • Proposition to collect $194,966 for Community Free Library – 274 yes votes, 100 no votes

Two candidates for two three-year terms on the Board of Education were elected. Tracy Van Ameron received 287 votes and Anne Winkley was backed by 281 voters.

In Kendall, the $19,822,921 budget was approved with a 123-26 vote.

The budget keeps the tax levy at $4,964,656, and decreases spending by $157,808 to $19,822,921.

Other propositions include:

  • Authorize $250,000 from a Transportation Bus Reserve Fund to replace transportation vehicles of the district – 130 yes votes, 19 no votes
  • Establish a capital reserve fund for up to $5 million for a future capital project – 129 yes votes, 19 no votes
  • Lisa Levett, current president of the Board of Education, received 137 votes for another five-year term. She was unopposed.

In Lyndonville, the $15,704,953 budget passed, 226-76. That’s 74.8 percent in favor.

The budget calls for a 2 percent tax increase, or by $90,564 to $4,618,740 for the tax levy. The budget maintains all current programs, including music, athletics and extracurriculars, and also keeps a school resource officer and on-campus space for a mental health counselor.

The district had a very close four-way battle for three seats on the Board of Education. The incumbents all won with Vern Fonda at 185 votes, Harold Suhr at 178, Kristin Nicholson at 171, and James Houseman at 168. The positions are for three-year terms that start July 1.

Other propositions include:

  • Collecting $119,183 for the Yates Community Free Library – 199 yes votes, 104 no votes
  • Authorization to spend up to $145,000 for a 64-seat passenger bus – 248 yes votes, 57 no votes.

Kendall Lions treat high school seniors to breakfast

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2022 at 4:33 pm

Photos courtesy of Kendall Lions Club

HAMLIN – Soon-to-graduate Kendall seniors were retaed to breakfast on Friday at the Hamlin VFW.

The annual tradition by the Lions used to be held at The Village inn. With that restaurant now closed, the breakfast moved to the Hamlin VFW.

Kendall Lion Tony Cammarata served as MC for the morning. He is shown with Chet Fery of Brockport, a retired school administrator known as “The Bread Man.” Fery baked a loaf of bread for each student and shared a message about the importance of kindness. Fwery shared about 100 loaves of bread, enough for the students and other guests.

About 60 Kendall seniors attended the breakfast. The event returned last year after being cancelled in 2020 due to Covid restrictions.

The breakfast buffet was catered by The Farmers Table Restaurant in Hamlin.  Pictured from left include Zina Cappotelli, Lora Partyka and Jeff Partyka from The Farmers Table.

The Senior Recognition Banquet at The Hamlin VFW was hosted by VFW President Willie Weir and Event Planner Patty Urquhart.

Kendall Lions donate $6K to school district to help students pay for activities

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2022 at 8:43 am

Provided photo

KENDALL – Kendall Lions Club member Gary Crawford presents a check for $6,000 to Kendall Central School. He is giving the check to Nick Picardo, the district superintendent.

The money is from the proceeds of a chicken barbecue. The funds will assist students to more fully participate in special events and activities at both school buildings, covering costs for students in financial stress. The money could be used for field trips and any other area deemed appropriate by the district.

Picardo and Chris Nasella, the district’s business administrator, attended the Lions Club meeting to go over Kendall’s proposed budget which will be voted on by residents on May 17.

Kendall 8th-graders visit DC, Gettysburg for first time since 2019

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2022 at 8:19 am

Photos courtesy of Kevin Watson, Kendall Middle School principal

A group of about 50 Kendall eighth-graders, teachers and chaperones have been visiting Gettysburg and Washington, DC.

The group is shown in the top photo in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The class departed by bus on Tuesday morning in the return of the eighth-grade trip. The outing was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions and concerns. The trip was reduced from four days and two overnights to three days and overnight stays.

Kendall students applaud and give a standing ovation for a veteran who was on the Honor Flight on Wednesday, visiting memorials in the nation’s capital.

Kendall students high five this veteran. The Honor Flight included 86 veterans from the Vietnam War, one from World War II and two women who served as Rosie the Riveters, working in manufacturing plants.

The Kendall students on Wednesday night visited the memorial for Martin Luther King Jr., the famed civil rights leader.

The students also saw the Supreme Court, White House, Capitol, Jefferson Memorial, World War I Memorial and other national landmarks in Washington, DC. Today the group is headed to Arlington National Cemetery.

The students visited the Civil War battlefield sites at Gettysburg, including Little Round Top on a rocky hill. This is the spot where Union soldiers pushed back an assault by Confederate troops on July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Kevin Watson, the Kendall Middle School principal, said he is grateful the middle school trips have resumed after being cancelled the previous two years.

Next week, Kendall seventh graders will take a day-long trip to Howe Caverns followed by a tour of Albany and the Governor’s Building. The fifth grade team also has brought back its annual trip to Old Fort Niagara.

Kendall Lions pick up trash, give out trees

Posted 26 April 2022 at 1:30 pm

Photos and information from Kendall Lions Club

KENDALL – The Kendall Lions Club picked up trash along the roadsides on Saturday for the annual Environmental Cleanup Day.

The top photo shows Lion Club member Steve Giverson in the foreground and Lion President Gary Crawford in the background on the right.

Lion Club members and other residents met at the town highway department and received a safety vest, trash bags and a route for area roadways to clean. They collected 3 cubic yards of trash. Lion Eric Maxon chaired the event for the Lions.

Community member Lisa Zittel joined Kendall Lion Jim Rayburn in the trash pickup.

Kendall Lions distributed trees to fourth-grade students on Monday. Lion Club President Gary Crawford, left, and Lion Mike Cusimano speak to the students as part of an Earth Day celebration.

Each student was presented with a tree for planting. Trees were donated by Flower City Tree.

The Lions Club has been participating in the 4th grade Foresters program for over 12 years.

Crawford and Cusimano shared that one of Lions International global areas of service is the environment. Sharing trees with the students is one of the club’s ways to improve our environment.

The presentation of trees enhances the ecology lessons and activities done in the classroom. The Lions Club look forward to the students’ notes sharing their plans for the trees.

Scout builds rabbit barn at Fairgrounds for Eagle project

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 25 April 2022 at 4:11 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Michael Clark saws a board under the watchful eye of his father, Jason Clark, on Saturday morning. Jason and other helpers, including a crane operator, an electrician and several other workers were recruited by Michael to help him complete his Eagle Scout project.

KNOWLESVILLE – Michael Clark, 17, has had two favorite activities since he was a small boy – Scouting and 4-H.

Michael, a son of Jason and Christina Clark of Kendall and a senior at Kendall High School, started as a Cub Scout at the age of 5 and joined 4-H when he was 7. So when it was time to work on a project for his Eagle Scout badge, Michael knew just what he wanted to do – build a 24’ by 40’ pavilion next to the rabbit and poultry barn.

Michael Clark poses on a ladder leading up to the roof of the pavilion family and friends helped him build on Saturday at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. A member of Troop 94 in Kendall, Michael’s project will fulfill his requirements to become an Eagle Scout. The project will serve two of his favorite activities – Scouting and 4-H.

Last fall he attended a meeting at the fairgrounds and presented his idea to the property committee and fair board, said Robert Batt, director of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

“Michael used to show rabbits in the tent we had to put up every year,” Batt said. “This pavilion will save us the time and trouble of putting up a tent, and it won’t blow away. The tent was never a good thing.”

Batt said about 50 exhibitors are involved in the pavilion, which is used for rabbits and poultry, so this permanent structure will be a great addition to the fairgrounds for years to come.

Michael then had to raise the money for materials. Initially, the estimate was $10,000, but with increasing prices, it was closer to $12,000. In the end, with Stockham Lumber in Holley giving him materials at cost, donation of the 6 x 6s and Keeler Construction donating the stone, his final cost was back to $10,000. He is currently about $3,000 short, which will pay for the metal roof.

“This was a difficult time to raise $11,000, with rising costs and Covid,” Jason Clark said.

On Saturday morning, Michael’s dad and other helpers dug the holes for the poles and completed building the frame and trusses. One volunteer was Mike Markel, who works in construction and had his boys in Scouts.

Michael’s project will not only fulfill his Eagle Scout requirements, but will give back to his 4-H family, he said.

His goal was to have the pavilion completed by the beginning of June, but they got it nearly completed on Saturday and planned to return to finish it up Sunday, except for the tin roof, which will be done professionally.

Kendall school budget holds the line on taxes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 April 2022 at 4:28 pm

KENDALL – The Board of Education and school administrators have put together a $19,822,921 budget for 2022-23 that doesn’t increase taxes.

The budget goes before voters on May 17 with a public hearing on at 6:30 p.m. on May 4 at the Kendall Junior-Senior High School Library.

The budget keeps the tax levy at $4,964,656. The budget decreases spending by $157,808 to $19,822,921.

There will be four propositions on the ballot on May 17. The budget is proposition one.

Proposition two is to spend up to $250,000 from a Transportation Bus Reserve Fund to replace transportation vehicles of the district.

Proposition three establish a Capital Reserve Fund for up to $5 million for a future capital project.

Proposition four is electing a member to the Board of Education for a five-year term. Current board member Lisa Levett, who is the board president, is running unopposed.

Carlton, Kendall will delay town-wide reassessments for a year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 April 2022 at 10:53 am

The towns of Carlton ad Kendall will wait a year for town-wide reassessments to see if the market settles down and the impact of inflation.

Lisa Hewitt, the assessor for both towns, made the announcement about the postponement.

“It has been decided that additional time is needed to responsibly inform property owners of assessment changes and the potential impact to taxes,” Hewitt said in a public notice. “Both towns have agreed, that given the recent rise in inflation across the area, that they do not want the changes in assessment adding extra stress to property owners.”

Many towns in Orleans County and in the region are doing reassessments and the numbers have been a shock to property owners with a wild real estate market pushing housing values up significantly.

In Clarendon, for example, the average assessment for the 1,000 properties in the town increased 25 percent since the last reassessment in 2019.

The median price for homes in Orleans County is up 68.5 percent in four years, jumping from $81,000 in 2017 to $136,500 in 2021, according to data from the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors.

Tony Cammarata, the Kendall town supervisor, said he supports olding off on a town-wide reassessment for a year.

“To do a re-val this year would create a lot of uncertainty and that’s not the objective of the town,” Cammarata said. “We want to work with factual data and the factual data we don’t have.”

Cammarata said he expects the real estate prices will come down now that interest rates are going up.

“Let’s see how the market changes,” Cammarata said. “And it’s changes. In order to do a fair assessment of the situation, it is in the best interest to hold off and see how the market levels off. Hopefully the market will calm itself down and hopefully it will be better to residents.”

Cammarata said he expects the Town Board will approve a resolution of support of the assessor’s decision during its meeting on Tuesday.

IJC taking comments on Lake Ontario water management plan in response to flooding from 2017, 2019

Posted 18 February 2022 at 8:50 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from May 2017 shows sandbags stacked by the shoreline in Kendall.

Press Release, International Joint Commission

The International Joint Commission released for public comment the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Committee’s (GLAM Committee) report “ Expedited Review of Plan 2014, Phase 1: Informing Plan 2014 Deviation Decisions Under Extreme Conditions.”

Comments can be submitted online until Monday, April 18.

The IJC directed the GLAM Committee to conduct the Expedited Review of Plan 2014, the plan for regulating Lake Ontario outflows, in response to public concerns over Plan 2014 following the extreme wet conditions that caused record floods in 2017 and in 2019. The purpose of this two-phased review is to investigate possible improvements that could be made to Lake Ontario outflow regulation activities.

The GLAM Committee has concluded Phase 1 of the Expedited Review of Plan 2014 which focused on providing additional information to help inform the critical decisions made by the IJC’s International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) to best manage Lake Ontario outflows under extreme conditions.

Phase 1 also focused on collecting and analyzing data on high-water impacts on interests, including but not limited to shoreline homes, marinas and commercial shippers. This research led to creation of a decision support tool that informs the Board about the real-world impacts of its decisions and provides insight into how different deviations would perform under various future water supply conditions.

Phase 2 of the Expedited Review will look at how Plan 2014 addresses extreme high and low water levels and explore possible adjustments to the regulation plan. Currently underway, Phase 2 is tentatively scheduled to conclude in late 2024.

The GLAM Committee’s report on the Phase 1 of the Expedited Review of Plan 2014 is available for public comment until Monday, April 18, 2022.

The feedback received during the public comment period will be considered by the IJC and will inform its own findings that will be submitted to the governments of Canada and the United States.

Tuskegee Airman from Kendall honored by Allegany County Office for the Aging

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 January 2022 at 1:19 pm

After service in WWII, ‘Wally’ Higgins worked as professor at Alfred University and was advocate for senior citizens in his retirement

File photo: Wallace “Wally” Higgins addresses the Kendall Lions Club in June 2015. He was a member of the Alfred Lions Club for more than 50 years.

ALFRED – A Kendall native who served during World War II with the Tuskegee Airman has been honored by the Allegany County Office for the Aging for his advocacy on behalf of senior citizens in his retirement.

Wallace “Wally” Higgins was born in Kendall. He joined the U.S. Army on Dec. 10, 1943, before finishing high school. He served until March of 1947. He was assigned to the Army Air Corps and trained with the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

During a presentation to the Kendall Lions Club in June 2015, Higgins talked about encountering racial segregation and discrimination for the first time after entering the service and training in Pre-Flight at the Tuskegee Institute.

As soon as he turned 18, Higgins enlisted in the Air Corps. Having already attended Civil Air Patrol classes in Rochester during his senior year of high school, Higgins was interested in pursuing aviation.

After initially reporting to Fort Dix, New Jersey, Higgins was sent to Biloxi, Mississippi for basic training and aptitude testing. As a result of his skin color and proficiencies, Higgins was selected to be part of the Tuskegee Airmen experiment in Alabama, where he trained in Pre-Flight and Primary Flight training, including solo runs in the P-17 Stearman.

Following 11 months at Tuskegee, a downturn in the war in Europe resulted in less pilot training and Higgins was transferred to the 1909th Engineers Aviation Battalion. Severe illness also prevented him from completing his training and with the conclusion of the war in Europe, he was transferred to the Pacific Theatre.

A sergeant in charge of an all-black, 30-man platoon, Higgins served in Saipan and Okinawa building roads, airfields and ammunition storage buildings.

After being honorably discharged on March 17, 1947, attended the NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University. While a student there, he met and married Norma Miller. They were married 64 years and raised four children. She passed away on Dec. 24, 2015.

The husband and wife stayed in Alfred. Mr. Higgins went on to become an Associate Professor at the university, retiring in 1985.

Higgins passed away on Aug. 22, 2018 at age 92.

Higgins was active with the Alfred community. He served in the Alfred Lions Club for more than 50 years.

In 2003 he helped found the Allegany Senior Foundation to raise funding for the Office for Aging. That group has raised more $500,000 in nearly 20 years to support Meals on Wheels and other programming for seniors.

Higgins helped develop the Foundation’s mission: “Our mission is to identify gaps in services, find programs to fill those gaps and fund those programs. We want to be sure that Allegany County remains a wonderful place to grow up and grow old.”

The OFA on Wednesday dedicated “Wally’s Wall” in the entrance of the Allegany County Office for the Aging at Crossroads in Belmont. That wall includes many memorial bricks. Allegany County officials on Wednesday said Higgins was instrumental in the site and was a strong advocate for local senior citizens.

Big goal for Kendall officials in 2022: new sewer project and water district

Photos courtesy of Barb Flow: Kendall Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata takes the oath of office on Tuesday. Deputy Town Supervisor Lynn Szozda stands next to him holding the Bible while Town Justice Debra Kluth administers the oath.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 January 2022 at 2:06 pm

KENDALL – Town officials who are starting new terms take the oath of office on Tuesday.

Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata is starting his ninth year as town supervisor after being elected to a fifth two-year term.

The town has completed four water districts since Cammarata became supervisor. He is pushing for another district. The boundaries or roads haven’t been determined yet.

The town will work with LaBella Associates to identify possible roads for the district. Cammarata said the roads don’t need to be adjacent or connect to others in the water district.

The engineering firm will be tasked to look at all areas of the town without public water and put together a water district proposal “that gives us the biggest bang for our buck,” Cammarata said today.

The water district will be subject to a public hearing and residents will have opportunities to provide feedback on the project.

Paul Jennings, a new member of the Town Board, takes the oath. He replaces Bruce Newell, who remains a Kendall town official serving as chairman of Planning Board.

The biggest public works project for Kendall will be a new sewer system to serve about 125 residences along the lakeshore.

The state committed to paying 95 percent of a $9,053,000 project as part of the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. However, the project now could top $14 million and the state hasn’t been willing to pay 95 percent of the cost beyond the $9 million.

The cost is up due to supply-chain issues and the higher cost of materials, Cammarata said.

He is working with local state legislators and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s Office to line up additional grants for the project.

The project would solve the problems for lakeside residences with septic issues west of West Kendall Drive, including along Lomond Shore West, Edrose Shore, Knapp Shore, Thompson Drive, and near Lakeland Beach Road and Bald Eagle Drive in the Town of Kendall, plus residences near Beachwood Park Road in the Town of Hamlin. This project will connect these areas to a sanitary sewer and convey wastewater to a treatment facility.

“This is the single largest project the town has ever put its arms around,” Cammarata said.

Wayne Martin takes the oath for another four-year term on the Town Board.

Town Clerk Amy Richardson is sworn in for another term as town clerk.

Retiring Kendall school superintendent praised at last Board of Education meeting

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 December 2021 at 10:23 am

Julie Christensen has led district past 15 years

Photos by Tom Rivers: Julie Christensen hugs Linda Rak, a retired reading teacher at Kendall. Rak was among current and former teachers and staff who celebrated Christensen during a retirement reception on Wednesday evening at the school.

KENDALL – Julie Christensen said she has attended 500 Board of Education meetings in the past 20 years, which includes 15 years as Kendall’s school district superintendent and five years as an assistant superintendent at gates-Chili.

Wednesday was her final meeting as school superintendent at Kendall. She is retiring on Dec. 31. She was honored during a retirement reception prior to Wednesday’s board meeting.

“She has done a phenomenal job for us,” said Lisa Levett, the Board of Education president.

She praised Christensen for leading the district through major capital projects, curriculum and technology changes, and the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic the past two years. Kendall was able to offer in-person education all five days for all students during the 2020-21 school year when many other districts were on a hybrid or remote schedule.

Kaitlyn Catone, a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher at Kendall, chats with Julie Christensen at the retirement reception.

Catone is a Kendall graduate and returned to teach in her hometown.

“I have nothing but good things to say about her,” Catone said. “She is always warm and welcoming. She made it easy to come back home.”

Christensen is holding a book with 200 suggestions on how to spend retirement. The book includes ideas from students, teachers and staff.

Christensen also was given a wooden artwork display made by teacher Jeff Decker and student Evan Levett. It was made using wood from the old school bleachers.

Julie Christensen laughs with teachers and staff at the reception.

Heather Tomasino, the Kendall faculty Association president, praised Christensen for steady leadership and pushing student achievement.

Tomasino said Christensen led the district for deep state aid cuts in 2010, and was able to maintain programs for students. Christensen was able to reduce taxes for the community while spearheading technology upgrades and overhaul of the school campus.

“She has kept the tax rate low for community members and still provided opportunities for our students,” said Tomasino, a middle school special education teacher. “All of our students are on 1 to 1 devices and many rural schools have that.”

Christensen led the district through $40 million of capital construction projects in the past decade, as well as lofty academic standing. Kendall is routinely recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for its academic performance and the district typically has a 100 percent graduation rate.

Teachers and staff stand and applaud Julie Christensen for her service to the Kendall community.

Nick Picardo will take over superintendent on Jan. 1. He started at Kendall 16 years ago as a social studies teacher and boys soccer coach. Christensen encouraged him as he became a school administrator, first as the coordinator of Student Services and chairman of the Committee on Special Education at Kendall. He is currently the executive director for Student Services and Athletic Director.

“She has provided me with an opportunity and had faith in me,” Picardo said.

He praised her for mentoring other administrators, including former Kendall Elementary Principal Sharon Smith who is becoming Lyndonville’s interim school superintendent and Elba Superintendent Gretchen Rosales, who was Kendall’s instructional support specialist and middle school department chair.

Picardo said Christensen leaves the Kendall district in great shape with strong support from the community.

“I want to just continue with what’s been built here,” he said. “We have great staff and kids.”

Lisa Levett, the BOE president, thanked Christensen for a “phenomenal job” at Kendall.

Christensen, in her remarks at the reception, said she has hired the majority of Kendall’s current staff. They have proven to be student-focused.

She thanked the community, teachers and staff for a joint effort in creating a caring and successful school district.

She said she won’t miss the frequent red tape and often changing guidelines from the State Education Department, Health Department and government agencies.

“The people and the kids, that’s what matters at the end of the day,” she said.

Kendall faculty bring back Supper with Santa

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2021 at 9:50 am

KENDALL – The Kendall Faculty Association is bringing back Supper with Santa on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.

The KFA also will have its annual Christmas Sale during the school day and then again from 5 to 7 p.m. Both events raise money for the KFA scholarship fund.

Last year’s Supper with Santa was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. It’s back this year and organizers will be following Covid protocols to keep families safe, said Heather Tomasino, KFA president.

Supper with Santa is at the elementary school cafeteria and costs $5 per person or $20 max for a family and includes pizza, a cookie and drink as well as a a visit with Santa.

“We will have a little craft for each child as well as a little game that they can play while waiting for their turn to see the big guy,” Tomasino said.

The Christmas Sale will be held in the elementary school auditorium. It has been a long-standing event put on the KFA. Students can shop during the day to purchase gifts for their family members. Items cost between 25 cents and $3 and the KFA donates $1 to each student so nobody is left out.

“This is the first year that we are opening it in the evening so that families can bring their littlest ones in to shop as well,” Tomasino said.

Kendall cancels school for Monday due to widespread power outages

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 December 2021 at 5:07 pm

KENDALL – The Kendall school district will be closed on Monday due to widespread power outages in the community. National Grid doesn’t expect to have the electricity restored until Monday evening or near midnight tomorrow.

Kendall staff also shouldn’t report to school, said Julie Christensen, the district superintendent.

The Kendall Town Hall also is opening as a warming center for residents, said Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata.

National Grid is reporting 1,855 customers in the Kendall community are without power, which is most of the town.

There are currently 4,644 National Grid customers in Orleans County without electricity, out of 19,601.

In Genesee there 3,991 Grid customers without electricity out of 27,109 customers. In Niagara, 4,992 Grid customers are without power out of 83,165 customers.

Kendall students compete in American Legion oratorical contest

Provided photos: Pictured front row, from left: Carol D’Agostino, Toby Passer, Lily Lavacca, Layne Pearson, Katie Driesel and Charles Eberhardt. Back row: Christine Hunt, John Kenney, Sharon Bennett, Donna McGee and Joe Sidonio. Passer finished in first, Lavacca was second and Pearson was third.

Posted 10 December 2021 at 4:21 pm

Press Release, Kendall Central School

KENDALL – Students at Kendall Junior/Senior High School once again competed in the American Legion Oratorical Contest sponsored by the Social Studies Department.

The purpose of the contest is to provide high school students with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. Students gave a prepared 8 to 10-minute oration on the United States Constitution. This year’s participants were Advanced Placement United States History students taught by Katie Driesel.

The local round of the contest was held at Kendall on Nov. 19. Students competed in front of a panel of American Legion judges in the JSHS Auditorium. These students included Taigan Guerrero, Lily Lavacca, Toby Passer, Layne Pearson, Lauren Pilon and Emma Quintern. Toby took first place in the competition, Lily took second place and Layne placed third.

The adults were impressed with the students’ speeches. American Legion member Chuck Eberhardt told students, “I am confident in your class because you know the Constitution. We thank you in advance for the decisions and actions you will make in the future based on this knowledge.”

The first and second place winners advance to the Orleans County Competition on Dec. 11 at Kendall.

This contest was an excellent opportunity for Kendall students to study the Constitution and develop public speaking skills which are essential to future success.

Participants in the contest include, front row: Toby Passer, Lauren Pilon, Lily Lavacca, Emma Quintern, Taigan Guerrero and Layne Pearson. Middle row, from left, Carol D’Agostino, Christine Hunt, Sharon Bennett, Charles Eberhardt and Katie Driesel. Back row, from left, Scott Galliford, Alfred Pulcino III, John Kenney, Terry Probst, Donna McGee, Maxine Shening and Joe Sidonio.