By Ashley M. Casey
Longtime Valley News sales consultant Allyson McManus will receive the Sales and Marketing Excellence Award (SMEA) at the Central New York Sales and Marketing Executives’ Crystal Ball banquet in April.
McManus, a lifelong Fultonian, has been with The Valley News for 21 years and is the publication’s senior salesperson. She is one of 12 SMEA recipients from across the region.
SMEA awardees are nominated by their respective places of employment and must meet criteria that include understanding the customer and the market, representing a company in a positive light and getting involved in the community. A Central New York Sales and Marketing Executives (CNYSME) committee carefully reviews each nominees’ credentials to ensure that the chosen winners are experts in their field.
“Not only has Allyson exhibited a very high level of professionalism and steadfast tenacity, she has been a true team player,” said Rich Westover, associate publisher of sales for the Scotsman Media Group, which owns The Valley News.
Westover said McManus has been instrumental in training new sales staff members and generating “new ways for The Valley News to better serve its readers.” McManus originated the idea of the newspaper’s monthly Fulton Families series, which highlights prominent families from around the city.
“We’re very proud of Allyson,” Westover added. “Her award underscores the quality of specialists working at The Valley News and Scotsman Media Group.”
McManus will accept her award at the 38th annual Crystal Ball, held April 10 at the Syracuse/Liverpool Holiday Inn.
The banquet will also honor 2014 Crystal Ball recipient Howard Dolgon, who is owner, president, CEO and team governor of the Syracuse Crunch hockey team.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the Crystal Ball, call 876-1868 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cisco Networking Academy recently presented Oswego County BOCES Career and Technical Education Instructor Mark Ellis with the Instructor Excellence Award.
Presented to him by Cisco Networking Academy Vice President Harbrinder S. Kang, the award recognizes Ellis as an Advanced Level Instructor and acknowledges his achievements as one of the top 25 percent of instructors globally.
Ellis has been part of Oswego County BOCES’s Career and Technical Education team since 2001, teaching the Computer Systems and Networking A+ and Computer Systems and Networking Cisco programs.
Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
After nonstop training, which included running 36 miles per week, Hannibal indoor track star Ben Slate thought he had finished his senior season just shy of his goal: a state qualifying time.
However, thanks to a twist of fate, he found himself lacing up a borrowed pair of spikes for one final race with a state berth in his sights, and he made the most of his opportunity.
Slate said he was in the right place at the right time when he got his second chance.
Dressed in street clothes, the team captain was cheering on a teammate during the state qualifying meet at Onondaga Community College when race officials asked if anyone wanted to run in the 1,000-meter event to fill out the field since an athlete was ill.
Without spikes, a jersey or other gear, Slate improvised. He borrowed a teammate’s jersey, a pair of spandex from a friend and spikes – two sizes too small – from a Jordan-Elbridge athlete.
Although the spikes weren’t ruby slippers, they were magic for Slate, who crushed his personal best in the 1,000-meter by six seconds and qualified for the state meet in the process.
“I just had a great race,” Slate said. “I worked hard in cross country, did everything my coach wanted me to and it paid off.”
With the qualifying time under his belt, Slate joined other Section 3 athletes to form a team in the 1,000-meter relay. In the state tournament March 1, they finished 10th in the intersectional relay.
Now, with the indoor track season completed, Slate, son of Stacy and Jerry Slate of Hannibal, will turn his focus to outdoor track — his final sports season of his high school career — before making the transition into college athletics and, more importantly to him, academics.
“I haven’t decided which college yet, I know I’ll definitely be running,” Slate said. “I want to focus on my academics and continue my running, but I’m looking more for academics.”
The standout runner noted Hannibal Coaches Dom Pike and Dan Pawlewicz helped mold him into the person he is today.
“Mr. Pike and Mr. Pawlewicz, they both pushed me and helped shape my work ethic,” Slate said. “They said, ‘You can be the best runner, but you have to have the grades too.’ And ever since I heard that I’ve been working hard.”
That hard work has translated into an 88 average and two academic scholarships, which Slate hopes to take to either Niagara University or Utica College.
He is planning on pursuing a degree in biology before moving on to medical school.
If Slate continues his hard work at the next level, he would become the first person in his family to graduate from college. From there, he would add the initials “M.D.” after his name.
“Everyone in my family is just supporting me,” Slate said. “They have encouraged me to do what I want to do and have told me to not let anyone change my mind. That’s how I see it.”
For Coach Pike, Slate’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.
“He’s just a great kid and a great representative of the Hannibal community,” Pike said. “He works hard and it’s nice to see him have the success he’s experienced.”
Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
Months of dedicated efforts among the Hannibal Central School District’s technology department, administrators and staff have culminated with the successful launch of a new website.
The site, which can still be found at www.hannibalcsd.org, experienced a significant overhaul and was unveiled recently.
It addresses some of the flaws that users ran into with the previous version. It also is much more user-friendly, said district director of technology, Matt Dean.
“From what I’ve gathered from the people who have provided feedback, (the new site provides) ease of access, it’s cleaner, all the information is centrally located,” Dean said.
In addition to being streamlined and easier to navigate, Dean said that instead of stock photos, the website creates a feeling of Purple Pride, as district students are featured prominently throughout the site.
“We’ll do what we can to make sure you have updated information and pictures right at your fingertips,” he said.
With access to information and school news at the top of the priority list, the district has also added a YouTube channel and joined Twitter as other communication tools.
To follow the district on Twitter, search for the handle “HannibalSchools,” or click on the Twitter icon at the top of the district’s home page.
Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
Students in the Hannibal Central School District are not the only ones who are subject to testing, as the Food Service Department recently passed its semiannual inspection.
The department, under the leadership of manager Debbie Richardson, receives a full examination from the Oswego County Health Department twice a year.
Each school undergoes a comprehensive inspection that checks for sanitation problems, safety violations, storage issues and a plethora of other potential hazards.
“They come in and they inspect Part 14 of the health code, which entails a little bit of everything,” Richardson said. “They check the temperatures of the foods and make sure everything is sanitary.”
Richardson said cold foods must be kept below 45 degrees while hot foods must be held at 140 degrees. Anything in between the 45 degree and 140 degree range is known as a danger zone and food can’t be in that zone for more than two hours.
“But we are stricter than that, we’re extra careful with what we do,” Richardson said. “We have a driver and we temp the food before the driver takes it and again when it arrives at the other site.”
For Richardson, the fact that the district received no major violations during its inspections speaks to the efficiency and commitment of her employees.
“We have a head cook in each building who ensures day-to-day operations run smoothly and on time. We have a driver and other food service employees who all work together and make our operations successful,” Richardson said.
“My staff here is so unique; yes they come for a paycheck, but that’s not the only reason,” she said. “They really care about the students. They want to make sure we are giving the students what they want within the regulations and that they are happy with it.
“We’ve got some good foundation as far as years of experience and dedication,” Richardson said.
The food service department is much more than workers dishing up meals to the district’s students each day, Richardson said. She noted the department is responsible for “anything and everything” that needs to be done with food service, from ordering and preparing food to ensuring sanitation guidelines are met on a daily basis.
Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
Fairley Elementary School transformed into a massive health fair on March 3 as dozens of local health care agencies, businesses and organizations set up shop in the gymnasium for the first-ever Healthy Family Night.
The event was a huge collaborative effort and a significant undertaking, according to organizer and school psychologist Geri Seward. However, Seward noted that months of planning paid off as hundreds of people packed the school’s two gymnasiums.
“It was a lot of work but really was a fabulous event and successful in every way,” Seward said. “The presenters were amazing; the donations were amazing; the families and kids were amazing. The feedback from all participants was amazing. What else could you ask for?”
Vendors were on hand from Oswego Health to provide information about their services and display X-ray images of bones. Businesses like Ontario Orchards also participated and gave out free bottles of apple cider. Representatives from police and fire agencies were on hand as well, discussing safety and even issuing child identification tags. Even youth development organizations, such as Boy Scouts, provided demonstrations.
“It was such a great bridge-building (effort) between home and school and community and school,” Seward said. “We all had a chance to learn, have fun and be together.”
In addition to holding raffles and hosting different vendors, Healthy Family Night focused on physical fitness as well. Students had an opportunity to show their parents what they learned in physical education class by using some of the equipment in the small gym.
Although the inaugural event just wrapped up, organizers are already looking toward the future.
“We hope it will be the first of many Healthy Family Nights,” Seward said.
Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
At Hannibal’s Dennis M. Kenney Middle School, student achievement has soared this school year while disciplinary referrals have plummeted, creating a cause for celebration among faculty and pupils alike.
During a recent school board meeting, DMK Principal Dee Froio, DMK counselor Meg Jaworski and school psychologist Meredith Furlong discussed the reinvigorated Character Education Program. The program has gained traction since the beginning of the school year, when members of the building leadership team first got together to discuss their goals for the year. That team has evolved into a separate subcommittee and developed various initiatives to help boost student achievement while also addressing student disciplinary issues.
“We are looking to infuse character education within the culture and climate of the school,” Froio said.
The principal noted that the eight-person character education subcommittee meets monthly to decide on a particular trait that they want to see reinforced in the school community. However, rather than simply expecting students to know what respect is, there is an educational process that teaches students exactly what respect looks like.
“The focus of the committee is to take those traits and make them a focus every month so students can see these things in action, being practiced. “We have different activities for each trait that really helps reinforce everything.”
Morning announcements typically incorporate a word of the day that correlates with that month’s character trait, which also helps emphasize the trait. Respect, citizenship, kindness, caring and other qualities have been the focus of the initiative so far this school year, with announcements, incentives and activities held in conjunction with each. Activities include a free breakfast pizza event, an ice cream social, prize drawings and other celebratory happenings.
“We are trying to couple each character trait with academics and expectations and help our kids grow into (well-rounded) individuals,” Furlong said.
So far, mission accomplished. Teachers, counselors and faculty members have reported a noticeable change among the students. According to Jaworski, students are going out of their way to exhibit the character trait of the month. In addition to positive feedback from staff members, disciplinary data also confirms the strides students have taken to exhibit good behavior.
“We’re holding the students accountable and we’re also asking the staff to enforce those expectations,” Froio said. “If you compare the total referrals from September to December last year, we had 529 for that period; this year we’re at 435. We are trending in the right direction.”
With the district placing an emphasis on character education, Froio said she expects that trend to continue into the next marking period, the next school year and beyond. Judging by the 20 percent increase in students who earned recognition during a recent character education breakfast, the principal’s vision is becoming a reality.