Kendall sixth-graders move up to the high school in style

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 June 2021 at 10:20 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Caleb Opalecky, a Kendall sixth-grader, is in a cloud of color powder during a color splash as part of the sixth-graders moving up ceremony this evening outside the Kendall Elementary School.

Brayden Steffen  is blasted with color powder in the not-so-stuffy moving up ceremony.

The event had been the junior-senior high school auditorium in years past, until last year when there was a drive-through outdoor ceremony due to Covid restrictions. Students a year hopped out of their cars for a splash of color in a quick moving up presentation.

This year, with Covid restrictions eased, the ceremony stayed outside and the 51 students in the class sat in chairs in the parking lot with their families.

Jacob Abrams makes a dramatic entrance. Each student walked through a decorated doorway along the sidewalk, and Middle School Principal Kevin Watson shared some of their highlights from school, as well as a favorite quote from the student, a favorite memory, a favorite teacher and their future dreams.

The sidewalk was decorated with messages from parents, congratulating the students on their success in the elementary school and wishing them well in the junior-senior high school.

Parker Denning, a Kendall sixth-grader, is doused with color from Kendall sixth grade teachers as part of a moving up celebration. The sixth graders next school year will be in the junior-senior high school. The six grade teachers include Meghan Dill and Erin Coughlin, left, and Gaby Watson and Amy Bateman, right.

Adriana Schiavone is all smiles after running through the cloud of powder.

Brayden Mack takes several shots of color powder from the sixth grade teachers.

Aliie Wietz takes some direct hits from the teachers, who delighted in their role.

Preston Manners disappears in a fog of color.

C.J. D’Agostino emerges from the cloud of color powder. The ceremony was about an hour and half and was high-energy, like many of the students. Kevin Watson, the principal, as was DJ and played a range of music from “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang to “Back in Black” by ACDC.

Kaitlyn Hinman takes her turn through the color splash.

Lucas Ogden closes his eyes and soaks up the color.

Olivia Sawyer runs through the color splash zone on a sidewalk next to the elementary school.

Devin Derosia leaves a trail of color powder after darting past the teachers.

After the students all went through the color splash, they enjoyed a hay ride on a flat bed truck, courtesy of Kludt Farms. The ride went from the elementary to the high school.

Dana Longrod (right) is retiring after 35 years as a Kendall elementary school teacher. He is currently teaching fifth grade. Each student presented him with his favorite drink, a can of Mountain Dew, or his favorite snack, a glazed donut. Here he accepts a can of Mountain Dew from sixth-grader Conner Millard.

Mr. Longrod took up the challenge from the students and was doused with color powder from the teachers.

14-year-old from Kendall and his mom both complete Sehgahunda trail marathon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 May 2021 at 7:04 pm

Photos courtesy of Brundage family

Ben and his mother Sarah are congratulated on their finish by Ben’s dad and Sarah’s husband Dan Brundage, who also has run the Sehgahunda before.

LETCHWORTH STATE PARK – Ben Brundage, 14, of Kendall was the youngest to finish a trail marathon, the Sehgahunda, on Saturday at Letchworth State Park. He was the only finisher in the 19 and under age group.

The Sehgahunda is considered one of the most difficult trail marathons in the east coast. It has over 3,000 feet of elevation change.

Participants have 8 hours to complete the course which is 26.3 miles, an extra tenth of a mile on a traditional marathon course.

Ben, a Kendall ninth-grader, beat the cutoff, finishing in 7 hours, 46 minutes and 47 seconds.

His mother, Sarah Brundage, also finished the challenging course in 7:48:37. It was the third time Mrs. Brundage, 38, has completed the Sehgahunda.

“Ben wanted to run a marathon before graduating high school,” Mrs. Brundage said. “He chose this one because my husband Dan and I have run it before and he knew it would challenge him.”

Ben trained for the race by running 420 miles in the past 4 ½ months. He also ran cross country for Kendall in the fall, and is on Kendall’s track team, running the distance events – the 1 and 2 mile.

Kendall approves school budget, elects Warren to BOE

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 May 2021 at 10:13 pm

KENDALL – School district residents approved a school budget for $19,980,729 budget today in a 171 to 70 vote.

The budget raises property taxes by 1 percent and preserves the district’s programs.

• Proposition No. 2 Transportation Bus Reserve Fund, which authorizes up to $250,000, passed with a vote of 196 to 45.

• Board of Election (1 position for 5-year term) – David Warren was elected with 121 votes, over incumbent Charles Patt with 106 and Robert McGregor with 13.

Community shows love for Tom Drennan in fight against cancer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 May 2021 at 9:49 pm

‘He has a great heart and he would help anyone’

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – About 200 T-shirts were distributed this evening to show support for Tom Drennan, a retired chief deputy of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office and longtime Kendall firefighter.

Drennan was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma and has completed two rounds of chemotherapy. He is awaiting a stem cell transplant and then faces more chemotherapy.

His friends – Steve Cooley, left, and Chris and Stacey Seefeldt – handed out the T-shirts this evening from the Kendall Elementary School parking lot.

Drennan is well-liked, especially in the Kendall community.

“Tom has been a great guy with the Fire Department and he was a great cop,” said Nathan Loescher, who was among the crowd who paid for a shirt as a fundraiser. “He has a great heart and he would help anyone.”

Loescher said he appreciated when the Kendall community rallied for his mother, when she had pancreatic cancer about five years ago. About 500 chicken barbecue dinners were sold to help her with her medical bills. “It was a huge help,” he said.

Kristen Ferris of Carlton also has felt the community support when there was cancer in her family. She wanted to help the Drennan family, and said Drennan has been a family friend her entire life.

The T-shirts include Drennan’s badge number of 145 on the front and the message “Team Drennan – You got this” on the back.

Besides the T-shirts, there was a basket raffle with the items sold with an auction through Facebook.

Chris and Stacey Seefeldt led the fundraising efforts, and managed to keep it a secret from the Drennans through a closed Facebook group.

The two families often go camping together, but that has been put off this year.

Photo courtesy of Debbie Prest

About 50 people walked from the school to Drennan’s home and surprised Tom and his wife Terri. They were presented with a check for about $11,000. A Kendall fire truck led the processional to the Drennan home.

People were eager to help the family while Drennan is off from working with Ludwick Paving & Concrete.

Terri Drennan, who works as the crime victims unit coordinator in Orleans County, posted on Facebook, thanking everyone for sending love, prayers and positivity.

“Finding out ALL OF YOU are supporting Tom’s journey means more than you can ever imagine…shirts, donations, baskets, cards, kind words…there is no way saying thank you can begin to capture how overwhelmed we are and how full our hearts are,” she said.

Kendall school budget increases taxes 1%

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 May 2021 at 9:15 am

KENDALL – The Kendall school district is proposing a $19,980,729 budget for 2021-22 that would increase taxes by 1 percent.

The budget represents a 13.5 percent increase in spending or by $2,377,133, up from $17,603,596 in 2020-21. Of that increase, $1,550,762 is due to the debt service for a capital project and that payment is covered with state building aid, Julie Christensen, the district superintendent, stated in Kendall’s school newsletter.

The other $751,371 is an increase in operational funding for a district with 200 employees.

Kendall’s budget raises taxes by $49,155, from $4,915,501 to $4,964,656. Kendall is projecting a tax rate of $16.07 per $1,000 of assessed property for property owners. That is down from $16.48 in 2020-21.

“We anticipate all programs and services, extracurricular activities, funds for 1:1 devices and staffing ratios will remain consistent with pre-COVID-19 patterns,” Christensen wrote in the district newsletter. “We are very pleased to provide the opportunity for five days of instruction and no budgetary reductions during such uncertain times.”

Kendall’s budget is 74 percent funded through state aid. The district is receiving a $237,034 boost from the state in operating aid or Foundation Aid, which Christensen said is the first increase in that category in several years.

Kendall district residents will vote on the budget from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 18 at the Kendall Elementary School Gym, 1932 Kendall Rd. Eligible voters need to be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and a resident of the district for at least 30 days immediately prior to the vote.

Besides the budget, residents will vote on Proposition No. 2 – Transportation Bus Reserve Fund Usage. Kendall is asking for permission to purchase transportation vehicles to replace existing vehicles in the transportation program of the district, at a sum not to exceed $250,000. The district said there will be no additional taxes with this proposal.

Proposition 3 is the election of a five-year term board member. There are three candidates for one five-year term. Charles Patt, the incumbent, is seeking re-election. He works at the Kendall Town Highway Department and owns Patt Bros. Farm.

The other candidates include David Warren, a parts manager for Auto Zone and retired manufacturing engineering manager, and Bob McGregor, a retired state corrections officer.

For more information on the Board of Education candidates, click here.

Kendall keeps up community cleanup effort

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 April 2021 at 12:30 pm

Photos courtesy of Kendall Lions Club

KENDALL – The Kendall Lions Club and other community members held their annual cleanup day on Saturday. The top photo shows John Patt, a Kendall Boy Scout at left, and other volunteers.

About 30 volunteers picked up trash along Kendall roadways. Eric Maxon of the Lions Club chaired the event.

Lions Bob Slocum and Gary Crawford drop off the trash they collected.

Pictured from left include some of the volunteers: Stacey Baker, Stacey Lynaugh and Lion Zina Cappatelli

Lions Bob Furness and Bill Ingham cook hotdogs for the volunteers.

Ken Spohr is leader of the Kendall Scout troop. Several scouts and their families participated.

On Friday, Lions Club member Mike Cusimano visited fourth grade classrooms and gave each student a tree, which has been a club tradition the day before the cleanup day.

5 school districts in Orleans will get $12.5 million in new stimulus package

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 March 2021 at 12:25 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Kendall Central School is slated for $1,274,000 in federal funding as part of the newly approved American Rescue Plan.

The newly passed American Rescue Plan will bring $12.5 million to the five districts in Orleans County, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said today.

The breakdown for the five districts in Orleans County includes:

  • Albion, $4,265,000
  • Holley, $2,304,000
  • Kendall, $1,233,000
  • Lyndonville, $1,274,000
  • Medina, $3,411,000

The funding is part of $2.5 billion in federal money headed to school districts in Upstate New York, Schumer said.

The Senator said the Covid crisis forced schools to close, with safely reopening them costing districts tens of thousands of dollars. The federal funding allocated for schools in the American Rescue Plan will help bring students back to their desks when New York recovers from the pandemic.

“Everyone wants schools to reopen completely and for our children to be able to return to the classroom, but it needs to be done in a way that is safe for students, families, educators, and learning institutions,” Schumer said. “Covid brought unprecedented challenges that have cost a year of learning and development for students—challenges disproportionately felt by students of color, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, and more. As Majority Leader, I was proud to make funding for our schools a priority, and the American Rescue Plan will deliver this much needed aid to get Upstate students back in school. Help is on the way for Upstate New York’s schools put behind the curve by the pandemic.”

The federal aid will help districts fill budget gaps, address learning loss, meet the needs of students with disabilities, assist students experiencing homelessness, provide summer enrichment and afterschool programs, and other services.

“Without this funding, districts would continue to be forced to redirect resources for many of the unanticipated costs related to the pandemic,” said Sherry Johnson, executive director of Monroe County School Boards Association. “Now, our districts can focus on getting students and staff back safely, make determinations on how best to meet student needs moving forward and begin to focus on helping our communities see the opportunities for education beyond the pandemic.”

Display recognizes 200 acts of kindness at Kendall Elementary

Staff Reports Posted 4 March 2021 at 8:29 pm

Provided photos: Pictured in front of the Kindness Display are Elementary Honor Society members Emily Brundage (left) and Adrianna Schiavone (right), holding signs they created to encourage kind behavior.

KENDALL – During the month of February, Honor Society members at Kendall Elementary School organized and implemented a Kindness Campaign.

The theme was “Throw Kindness Like Confetti” and about 200 acts of kindness were recognized on the display.

Students, faculty, staff and administrators were encouraged to look for acts of kindness. When one was spotted, a description of the act and participants were written on colored paper.

Those colored pieces of paper became the kindness confetti and were hung on the display.

The display is outside the cafeteria covering a portion of the wall. Honor Society members also created signs to hang around the school to remind students of ways to be kind.

Kendall Faculty trying new pancake fundraiser to raise money for scholarships

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 March 2021 at 10:28 am

Covid has wiped out other events

KENDALL – The Kendall Faculty Association is planning a drive-through pancake breakfast for March 20, a new fundraiser after so many of the KFA events have been cancelled due to Covid.

The breakfasts will help the Faculty Association offer scholarships. The organization offers 6 scholarships in honor of former teachers. They usually range from $500 to $1,000. Once those scholarships are awarded, the KFA has other scholarships that are usually $100 to $200 depending on how much money the KFA was able to raise that year.

The past 12 months has been a challenge for the organization to raise money. In previous years, the Faculty Association held a basket raffle at homecoming, two roller-skating parties, and a movie night.

“All of those events were cancelled due to Covid,” said Heather Tomasino, KFA president and a special education teacher. “The only fundraiser that we have been able to hold this year is the Christmas Sale, which will solely fund our scholarships. This means that we will be forced to award fewer and for smaller amounts.”

Tomasino said the pancake breakfast, if it’s a success, could become an annual fundraiser. There aren’t presale tickets for the event. It’s first come, first serve until sold out. Adult meals are $10 and kid meals are $5 and it includes pancakes, sausage and eggs. The event will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at the high school.

Kendall students in grades 5-8 celebrate first WinterFest

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 February 2021 at 8:09 am

Provided photos

KENDALL – Students in grades 5 through 8 in Kendall celebrated the first WinterFest at the school on Friday.

Students played dodgeball, kickball, hockey, Capture the Flag, and sledding in the snow. 

“Thanks to the generosity of Brockport Schools, we were able to borrow skis and snowboards so that our students could try new activities,” said Kevin Watson, Kendall grades 5-8 principal. “Add in donuts from Millers in Medina and plenty of hot chocolate, and Middle School WinterFest became an instant classic – something we hope our middle school continues to offer students each winter.”

Kendall has about 200 students in grades 5 through 8. Nearly 90 percent decided to go outside and brave the elements. The students who stayed inside had the option of reading a book or drawing. Some of the remote-only students attended the event at the school campus.

Watson and Lindsay Hammer, the middle school counselor, have been brainstorming ways to make the middle-school experience uniquely special for the 5th through 8th graders. 

“We know now more than ever that students need to unplug and unwind,” Watson said. “Middle-level students love to play outside in the winter, so we decided to ask student representatives from each grade level to help us envision a special Middle School day outside in the middle of winter.”

Students met virtually the past two months each week to plan the types of experiences that they wanted to participate in. It started with a simple question: If you were able to plan a fun day outside in the snow, what would you want to do? 

The Kendall parents were extremely supportive of this idea, and school staff  not only helped with the planning, but they have also helped to secure winter items for many of our students, Watson said. 

“This has been a true team effort, and I am very proud of how this day unfolded,” Watson said. “I love the fact that our middle level students can feel special about having a day that celebrates them! I also love that our students were the driving force behind the day’s activities!” 

Kendall Lions present proceeds of chicken barbecue to school aide battling cancer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 February 2021 at 7:47 pm

Provided photos

KENDALL – Leaders of the Kendall Lions Cub today presented a check to Stacy Lynaugh, third from left, to help with some of the financial challenges while she fights ovarian cancer. Lynaugh is a teacher’s aide at Kendall Central School.

Bob Ryan, left, is the Kendall Lions Club president and Phil D’Agostino is the chairman of an annual chicken barbecue that was last Saturday. The Lions Club served about 1,272 dinners at the annual club tradition the Saturday before the Super Bowl. Zina Cappotelli, right, is a close friend of Lynaugh’s and she also sold the most tickets for the dinners.

“When I heard the word ‘cancer’ for the first time I felt so alone, but when you live in a small town filled with the most amazing people, you do not feel alone – you feel loved,” Lynaugh said in a statement. “I would like to thank the Kendall Lions Club members, students and community members for all the hard work that went into this barbecue fundraiser. I am humbled by the generosity of this gift.

“Saying thank you never seems powerful enough words to me. How can I express how much not only this fundraiser, but every act of kindness has meant to me? I thank this small town for the all the love it has shown me.”

The Lions Club cooks the dinners last Saturday. They were served as take-outs in a drive-through line at the Kendall United Methodist Church.

Some members of the Kendall Leos Club assisted with the dinner. Phil D’Agostino was happy to have their help. The Leos from the high school volunteered 44 hours with 216 hours served by the Lions Club and community members.

This group includes Phil D’Agostino, Zina Cappotelli, Stacy Lynaugh, Bob Ryan, Mike Cusimano and Julie Bunn. The Lions Cub presented the money at the school library.

“My mom said to me that she is comforted knowing that I live in a community that continually is there for me,” Lynaugh said. “Every day a card, homemade meal, an encouraging word, and most of all prayers to lift me up and give me strength to fight this horrific disease.

“I am fortunate to work at a job that I love with people who I am honored to call family. Working at Kendall Central School and Partyka Farms has allowed me to meet so many caring people. I am proud to call Kendall home. I feel blessed to have family, friends, co-workers and community members that never cease to amaze me with how they are always there for me.”

Kendall Lions served 1,250 chicken dinners on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 February 2021 at 10:08 am

Photos courtesy of Kendall Lions Club

KENDALL – The Kendall Lions Club cooks chicken halves on Saturday during the club’s annual winter chicken barbecue.

The club served about 1,250 dinners. The event was take-out and drive-through only at the Kendall United Methodist Church.

Proceeds from the dinner will go to Stacy Lynaugh, a local resident battling cancer. The Lions Club does that every year with the dinner, using the funds to help a local resident with medical bills or another unexpected crisis.

Kendall Lions and members of the Leos Club at the high school package the meals, which were delivered to vehicles who lined up at the church entrance off Crandall Avenue.

The Lions Club also prepped food for the big meal on Friday.

Kendall Leos assisted with the big effort on Saturday.

Kids stuck in quarantine get visit from Santa in Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 December 2020 at 8:31 am

Provided photos

KENDALL – Santa makes a connection with a Kendall child during a visit on Tuesday evening. Santa made 31 stops in the Kendall community on Tuesday, visiting homes of children who are housebound due to a Covid-19 quarantine.

Kristen Ostrander, who has two children in the district, said she felt bad for kids in mandatory or precautionary quarantine during the holiday season.

“Hearing that these kids were missing out on the best time of the year, broke my heart,” she said. “Being in quarantine stinks in general but to be in quarantine during Christmas is terrible.”

Santa delivers a gift bag and a friendly greeting to this boy.

Ostrander last Friday posted in a  Facebook group for Kendall parents. She asked if anyone wanted to me with a project for the students that are in quarantine this holiday season.

“Never did I think I would get such a huge response from our community,” Ostrander said. “Not only did I have people contacting me from Kendall but other counties and even from another state. Everyone wanted to help make Christmas a little brighter for the students in quarantine.”

Ostrander received gift bags, snack items, craft items, coupons for free ice cream cones from Circle R Farms, monetary donations towards Redbox codes and McDonald’s gift certificates.

“I’m so thankful for everyone that helped me,” Ostrander said.

Ostrander also reached out to Santa to see if he would stop by the homes. Santa was able to give nearly four hours Tuesday, going house to house for the kids in quarantine.

“It was not your normal visit from Santa, but we made it work,” Ostrander said. “The kids were just as happy to see Santa through a window or door.”

Nate Smith, a Kendall ninth-grader, smiles when Santa stopped by.

The Hardenbrook family was happy to see Santa on Tuesday.

“It was an awesome time,” Ostrander said. “Many times I was fighting back tears. The joy the kids had when they saw Santa was priceless.”

Kristen Ostrander and Santa spread some holiday joy on Tuesday in Kendall.

Fire destroys garage in Kendall, with blaze stopped from spreading to house

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2020 at 12:57 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – A Hamlin firefighter walks through a garage that was destroyed by a fire this morning. Firefighters were dispatched at about 11 a.m. to 1759 Kendall Rd.

The garage is owned by William Ireland. No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters spray water on the smoldering fire. Firefighters kept the blaze from spreading to the family’s residence.

Kendall was assisted in responding to the fire by Carlton, Hamlin, Holley and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray.

Albion also filled in and was sent to a call on Center Road for the Kendall FD.

No information on the cause is available. Fire investigators were called to the scene.

Fire Chief Jason Hardenbrook communicates to other firefighters by radio. Several tankers carrying water were needed to help douse the fire at the garage, which was set back far from the road.

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Covid doesn’t stop Kendall senior interviews, which go virtual

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 November 2020 at 3:39 pm

Community members give job interviews through Zoom

Provided photos: Waylon Peet, a Kendall student, is interviewed through Zoom by Jason Hardenbrook about a career in operating heavy equipment.

KENDALL – High school seniors at Kendall today were interviewed by community members in the annual senior interview day. Normally the interviews are face-to-face at the school, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced the district to try a different format.

Kendall opted to do the interviews through Zoom video conferencing. The interviews were 20-30 meetings and are intended to help prepare students for a job or college interview.

Eric Woodams, a Kendall senior, is interviewed by Jeff Conte, an electrician.

The 49 students were given feedback on attitude, poise, voice, eye contact, pacing and ability to answer questions.

Students submitted resumes and cover letters.

“We are attempting to prepare out students to be self-directed learners, responsible citizens and educated employees,” High School Principal Carol D’Agostino wrote in a letter to the community members who interviewed students.

Lauren Miller is interviewed by Tom Rivers, the Orleans Hub editor.

Ethan Kuhn, a  Kendall senior, uses Zoom to be interviewed by Kelly Peterson (Professor of Criminal Investigation at SUNY Canton).

Kari Harrier, a Kendall student, answers questions from Brandi Kurzowski about a possible career as a veterinary technician.

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