Category Archives: Oswego News

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Students enjoy limousine ride to school as part of in-school banking program

Students from all five Oswego public elementary schools and Oswego Middle School enjoyed becoming “millionaires for a day” recently after their names were drawn from a hat as part of Compass Credit Union’s in-school banking program. Riley Elementary School riders Olivia Powers, Kathleen Winchek, Sophia Babcock, Jordan Ferlito, Tatum Winchek and Grace Tolley enjoy the smooth ride of the limousine.
Students from all five Oswego public elementary schools and Oswego Middle School enjoyed becoming “millionaires for a day” recently after their names were drawn from a hat as part of Compass Credit Union’s in-school banking program. Riley Elementary School riders Olivia Powers, Kathleen Winchek, Sophia Babcock, Jordan Ferlito, Tatum Winchek and Grace Tolley enjoy the smooth ride of the limousine.

Students from all five Oswego public elementary schools and Oswego Middle School enjoyed becoming “millionaires for a day” recently after their names were drawn from a hat as part of Compass Credit Union’s in-school banking program.

A part of the prize, the winning students enjoyed a high-class limousine ride to school with a handful of classmates, siblings and friends.

Later, Compass also provided a free pizza party for the winner’s classmates.

The six winners were Sofia Loayza of Leighton Elementary School, Josh Sterio of Kingsford Park Elementary School, Sophia Babcock of Riley Elementary School, Alexander Loomis of Fitzhugh Park Elementary School, Kasey Wells of Minetto Elementary School, and Nathaniel Ahart of Oswego Middle School.

“Students in our school banking program are really starting to understand the power of saving money and how rewarding it can be,” said Jackie Wiegand, marketing administrator for Compass. “For our grand-prize winners and their friends, the limousine ride to school is something they will always remember.”

Compass launched its first “Bank at School” program four years ago at Riley Elementary School and has since expanded the program to Leighton, Kingsford, Fitzhugh and Minetto, as well as Oswego Middle School.

Students who participate open savings accounts at the credit union, receive a free piggy bank and get small prizes for making deposits once a month during lunchtime.

Every time a student makes a deposit, he or she also gets their name put into a hat to win a prize at the end of the year. In May and June, Compass picked winners for Walmart gift cards, ice cream coupons from Bev’s in Oswego, Compass string backpacks and plastic “mood” cups with straws.

The grand prize was called “millionaire for a day,” which included the limo ride, the classroom pizza party and a special T-shirt. The limo was provided by G&G Limousine in Oswego.

Gary Mix chosen as Oswego interim superintendent of schools

Gary Mix has been appointed as the Oswego City School District interim superintendent of schools

The Oswego Board of Education unanimously approved the appointment at the June 18 regular meeting.

Mix said, “I am very pleased and excited to become a part of the Oswego City School District educational community. My approach to my responsibilities will not be to be a ‘placeholder” or to keep the superintendent’s seat ‘warm’ for the next superintendent. I want to contribute to implementation of effective practices that enhance outstanding student performance as well as a common vision for the future of our district.”

In his previous positions, Mix has provided the momentum for improvement.

He said, “During the course of my tenure as superintendent of schools in Pembroke, we were successful in establishing a team approach that allowed our students performance to consistently and significantly improve. With everyone working together we were able to move from being in the bottom third of Genesee County to be ranked as the highest performing school district in our three-county area.”

Continuing he noted, “As an educational team we were able to establish a tight and consistent focus on our prioritized action plan that resulted in success being earned and celebrated by students, parents, faculty, staff, administration, Board of Education and community members.”

There will be priorities that Mix will be focusing on.

He explained, “I will be seeking input to ensure that we have correctly identified the most urgent needs. I believe that well intentioned people, working together can develop solutions to most challenges and issues.”

He also noted, “After reviewing considerable data on the district, some areas that I anticipate having discussions about would be academic procedures that might have an impact on four-year graduation rates and sub-group categories on state assessments. But to be clear these are topics that most school districts review and discuss on an annual basis. We want a mindset that we are never satisfied and that we are continually striving for excellence.”

Christopher Todd, Oswego BOCES district superintendent, has been assisting the Oswego Board of Education with a search for a new superintendent.

The effort is currently underway to proceed with seeking a replacement for current Superintendent of Schools William Crist.

It is anticipated that the applications will be submitted by August 30th and the board will move forward.

Todd has worked with Mix in the past and has the utmost respect for his colleague.

He said, “Gary has had great successes and his focus will be on academics. In conversation and decision-making Gary will always have the students first. What is best for the students will be his focus point.”

Oswego Board of Education member Lynda Sereno is looking forward to the continued search for a new superintendent. However, she is extremely satisfied with the new interim who will be leading the district.

“We are fortunate to have Gary Mix, a retired superintendent, still involved at various levels in public education, and who throughout his career has demonstrated transformational leadership skills to support our on-going efforts to bring Oswego back to a district of excellence,” she said.

Sereno noted that the process is moving forward.

“By hiring an interim superintendent, it allows the board of education and stakeholders time to seek out an outstanding educational leader to fill the position of Superintendent of Schools here in Oswego.”

Most recently, Mix has been involved in professional project work involving the New York State Professional Performance Review for Superintendents and principals of the 22 component school districts for Genesee Valley Project Partnership.

Previously he served for 10 years as superintendent of schools for the Pembroke Central School District in Corfu, was principal at Albion High School, a junior-senior high school principal at Mt. Morris as well several other educational positions.

Mix will commence his duties in the Oswego City School District Tuesday, July 2.

Oswego schools and YMCA team up for free summer food service

The Oswego City School District will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program.

Meals will be offered at Fitzhugh Park Elementary, Oswego High School, and through the YMCA and will be provided to all children 18 years and under without charge.

Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be available free of charge throughout the summer.

The Fitzhugh Park School program will run from July 1 through Aug. 9. The Oswego High School program will run from July 8 through Aug. 14. The weeks of July 8 and Aug. 15 will be five day weeks; all the rest of the weeks will be four days, with the last week of Aug. 12  being only three days. The YMCA program will run from Aug. 8 through Aug. 16.

Meals will be provided at the following times:

At Fitzhugh Park Elementary School, breakfast will be from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to noon.

Meanwhile, at the Oswego High School, breakfast will be served between 7 to 8 a.m. with lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. while at the YMCA Armory, lunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with a snack from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. At the Y Skate Park, lunch is set for 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and snack from 4 to 4:30 p.m.

Persons interested in receiving more information may contact the Oswego City School Food Services Department at 341-2022.

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Minetto Elementary School recognizes sixth graders

Minetto Elementary School recently conducted its sixth grade honors program. Winning the Principal’s American Citizenship Award and the New York State Attorney General’s Triple “C” Award were Jack Dodds and Keegan Thompson (Principal Awards) and Triple “C” recipients Nicholas Brown, Alyssa Lapetino, Alyssa Adner and President Award recipient Taylor LaDue. ALso pictured are former Minetto students and Oswego High Class of 2013 members Brianna Favata and Cameron Caruso.
Minetto Elementary School recently conducted its sixth grade honors program. Winning the Principal’s American Citizenship Award and the New York State Attorney General’s Triple “C” Award were Jack Dodds and Keegan Thompson (Principal Awards) and Triple “C” recipients Nicholas Brown, Alyssa Lapetino, Alyssa Adner and President Award recipient Taylor LaDue. ALso pictured are former Minetto students and Oswego High Class of 2013 members Brianna Favata and Cameron Caruso.

Minetto Elementary School sixth graders were in the spotlight at the annual honors program conducted before a cafeteria-packed with parents, friends, family and staff members.

Principal Dean Goewey presented certificates to each sixth grader and also recognized several other students with special awards.

The “Principal’s American Citizenship Award” was presented to Keegan Thompson, Jack Dodds and Taylor LaDue while the New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman Triple “C” Award  for “character, courage and commitment” was given to Nicholas Brown, Alyssa Adner and Alyssa Lapetino.

Former Minetto alumni Cameron Caruso and Brianna Favata, who are members of the Oswego High School Class of 2013, addressed the students and provided them with some information that will benefit them in their academic journey through middle school and high school.

Caruso will continue his education at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. while Favata will major in biology at SUNY Oswego.

Several students were presented the “President Award for Educational Excellence” as they excelled academically and have exceeded proficiency on the New York State Test in English Language Arts and Math.

The recognized students included Jea Adams, Alyssa Adner, Nicholas Brown, Allison Choate, Jack Dodds, Maria Foti, Alyssa Lapetino, Julie May and Nicholas Victory.

The “President Award for Academic Achievement” was also presented for outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment and intellectual development.

The honored students included Tia Bevacqua, Christian Clary, Joshua Clyne, Kyle Decker, Donald Ditton, Alexa Fadden, Samuel Waldron, Mikayla Hardesty, Kieran Henrie, Hayleigh Hough, Taylor LaDue, Alex Myers, Kelly Lizotte, Connor Pratt, Jacob Sharkey, Tessa Smith, Christopher Sugar, Keegan Thompson and Isabella Thorpe.

Students also received awards for band, orchestra, vocal music, art, physical education, science, social studies, reading, writing and mathematics.

Joining Goewey for the presentation of certificates to the students were teachers Tracy Anderson, Sara Adydan, David Gaffey and Tanya Wadsworth.

Minetto sixth graders moving on to the Oswego Middle School in September include, from Anderson’s class, Alyssa Beckwith, Olivia Bivens, Nicholas Brown, Maddison Dashnau, Donald Ditton, Jack Dodds, Alexa Fadden, Colby Ferguson, Maria Foti, Mikayla Hardesty, Kelly Lizotte, Margaret McSweeney, Dieonte Parker, Trinity Perry, Connor Pratt, Ethan Proud, Jacob Sharkey, Tessa Smith and Kyle Stewart.

From  Wadsworth’s class are  Alyssa Adner, Tia Bevacqua, Joshua Clyne, Kyle Decker, Savanna DeLong, Zachary Griffin, Jordan Hare, Hayleigh Hugh, Matthew Ingersoll, Julia May, Alex Myers, Benjamin Stevens, Christopher Sugar, Keegan Thompson, Nicholas Victory, Shawn Victory, Samuel Waldron and Shelby Wallace.

The remaining sixth graders, in  Gaffey and Adydan’s class, moving on to OMS are Jea Adams, Allison Choate, Christian Clary, Michael Crouch, Colin Dowling, Evan Giocondo, Jacob Harrington, Kieran Henrie, Johnathan King, Taylor LaDue,  Alyssa Lapetino, Breonna Parrott, Isabella Thorpe, Skylar Wallace, Alexander Wetzel and Bailey Whalen. 

Oswego High School Top 100 students receive recognition

The Oswego High School Top 100 students were recognized for the 24th consecutive year.

Several hundred people packed the Oswego High School Dining Hall for the annual “Top 100” dinner. This year, Oswego Rotary, PathFinder Bank, NBT Bank, and the Oswego City School District hosted the event with the Oswego City School District Food Service Department supplying a buffet extravaganza.

The ceremony became a reality in Oswego due to the efforts of Rotarian and former Oswego City School District administrator Ed Caraccioli. Over two decades ago, while on a visit to another club he was present for a very special event, which brought together the top students from that district.

He returned to Oswego and presented the concept to the local Rotarians. They not only adopted it, but have continued to support it and host the students at the annual event.

Rotary President Tom Ingram welcomed and congratulated the members of the Top 100 and noted the importance of being academic leaders within their school community.

As Oswego High School Principal Brian Hartwell announced each individual member the “Top 25,” each student received a recognition certificate from  Superintendent of Schools Bill Crist, Executive High School Principal Brian Hartwell and Oswego Board of Education members President John Dunsmoor and Vice President Kathleen Allen.

Crist said, “As our highest achieving academic students, your personal achievements are to be lauded and heralded. This milestone shows great persistence, determination and, of course, intelligence. It is truly a great setting to share with family, friends and loved ones an acknowledgement of our Top 100 students at the Oswego High School.”

He added, “You represent the academic leadership in our school. As the future leaders of our communities and presently of our schools we applaud you in your thirds for leading with this academic status.”

Several members of the “Class of 2013” were in attendance for their fourth consecutive year. All are bound to continue their education at campuses throughout the nation.

The students who were in attendance each of their years Dylan Currier (Rochester Institute of Technology), Vincent DeBiase (SUNY Oswego), Jeremy Galvin (LeMoyne College), Tess Gordon (St. John Fisher), Tory Jaskula (Skidmore College), Travis Kearns (Clemson University), Dylan Lavner (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Sarah Mancuso (SUNY Geneseo), Emilea Reiner (Georgia Institute of Technology), Grant Richmond (SUNY Stony Brook) , Leah Weiss (Western New England University School of Pharmacy), and Catherine Wells (Ithaca College).

Danielle Benigno (SUNY Oswego) is a senior who completed her academic work to graduate in three years.

Other seniors recognized for their accomplishments included  Jacob Annal (Rochester Institute of  Technology), Erin Chetney (LeMoyne College), David Culeton (St. Vincent College), Lisette Dufore (SUNY Fredonia), Alexa Healy (Edinboro University),  Frederick Johnson (Rochester Institute of Technology),  Courtney Kelly (Albany College of Pharmacy), Elisabeth Michaud (SUNY Geneseo), Mackenzie Palmer (SUNY Potsdam), Gordon Pan (University of Rochester), Jonah Restuccio (Ithaca College), and Robert Zeigler (Grove City College).

Eleventh graders recognized at this year’s dinner included  Nina Alcasid, Erica Atkins, Elizabeth Baker, Katelyn Cary, Kyle Collins, Madison Collins, Kerrigan Cummins, Evan Davis, Samantha Davis, Holly Gilbert, Mallory Gordon, Sarah Hoefer, Cassandra Hondro, Emily Hurlbutt, Courtney Johnson, Bo Yang Li, Shannon McIntosh, Michaela Moran, Allison Moshier, Jacob Oleyourryk, Zachary Salvador, Mitchell Schrader, Elizabeth Scott, Tory Welsch and Meggie Zhang.

The “Top 25” from the sophomore class included Sean Benjamin, Molly Brown, Joshua Bucher, Alaina Celeste, Nora Culeton, Zachary Gillard, Taylor Hamer, Allie Henderson, Shea Hewitt, Katherine Knopp, Brianah Lane, Mayraliz Lopez, Reilly Patrick, Rachael Purtell, Nicholas Reiner, Connor Sheffield, Edward Sheridan, Brenna Sherman, Thomas Simmonds, Allison Smith, Zachary Smolinski, Rebecca Victory, Kayla Volkomer, Kara Weiss and Nikolas Whiteside.

The ninth graders invited to the dinner included Brynn Adner, Ana Alcasid, Victoria Armet, Jenna Ballard, Katie Bradshaw, Trevor Bradshaw, Ayla Busch, Alexander Bush, Michaela Callen, Maia Delaney, Clare Donovan, Olivia Dowdle, Brianna Fernandez, Mark Forger, Jacob Gerber, Alexander Haessig, Evan James, John Khamis, Roman Danilo Madlangbayan, Natasha Mezza, Kyra O’Gorman, Chase Pelton, Claire Richardson, Kelly Skinner and Christopher Van Gorder.

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Flag Day event to include 1,000 elementary students

Children will learn the history behind the many flags displayed at Fort Ontario State Historic Site at the June 14 Flag Day observance. Nearly 1,000 elementary school students are expected to participate.
Children will learn the history behind the many flags displayed at Fort Ontario State Historic Site at the June 14 Flag Day observance. Nearly 1,000 elementary school students are expected to participate.

Nearly 1,000 elementary school students are expected to participate in an official observation of the national Flag Day holiday at Fort Ontario State Historic Site at 10 a.m. Friday, June 14.

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from across central New York will participate in ceremonies commemorating the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States of America June 14, 1777.

Fort Ontario was the site of two French and Indian War and two War of 1812 battles. The official Flag Day event will feature a recreation of the British turning Fort Ontario over to the United States in 1796, a hands-on history of the origin of the American flag by the Oswego Elks with participation by students, a history of flags that flew at Fort Ontario by Americorps volunteers, living history and musket demonstrations by members of the Continental Arms Collectors Association, World War II re-enactors, historic games, and self-guided tours of the fort.

The fort will be open to the public during the Flag Day with a special admission price.  School groups must register in advance to participate. Those looking to register may e-mail Ian Mumpton at imumpton@gmail.com.

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen will lead visitors in the Pledge of Allegiance. Fort Ontario Superintendent Paul Lear will provide historical background for the event.

“This year marks the beginning of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, a war in which New York State and Oswego played a prominent role,” said Lear.  “Warehouses were built at Oswego during the war to store vast amounts of vital military supplies and equipment was forwarded to military operations along the Niagara frontier and Sacket’s Harbor.”

During the War of 1812 Fort Ontario guarded the supplies stored at and moving through Oswego; one British attack on Oswego in 1813 was driven off.  In May 1814 a larger and more powerful British fleet, intent on crippling American ship construction at Sacket’s Harbor, took Fort Ontario after a two-day amphibious assault.

The 1814 Battle of Oswego-Fort Ontario ended with a stubborn defense of the US flag which had been nailed to the flagpole; it resides in the ancestral castle of the British land commander during the battle.

The 444th Engineer Company, 479th Engineer Battalion, USAR, now deployed to Afghanistan, maintains a reserve center on the old Fort Ontario Military Reservation.

“The members of the 444th proudly carry on a 258-year history of military occupation of the old army post,” said Lear.  “A Corps of Engineers and US flag carried with the 444th during their 2007-08 service in Iraq will be displayed at the fort during the Flag Day event.”

Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego.  

Memorial Day service to beheld at Rural Cemetery

As has been tradition for many years, Oswego Town will present a special Memorial Day service at the town’s Rural Cemetery Monday, May 27 at 10 a.m.

The Reverend Richard Sivers, an Oswego Town native and now of the Dryden United Methodist Church, will be the guest speaker.

His topic will be “Echoes Through the Smokes of War. The names of many of the town’s deceased war veterans will be read.  Wreaths will be placed by the Walker-Spencer Tent Daughters of Union Veterans on the graves of Dr. Mary E,Walker, Elmina Spencer and Captain James Lee.

Both Walker and Lee are recipients of the Medal of Honor.

Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs. The cemetery is located off Route 104 West on Cemetery Road in Fruit Valley or off County Route 20 near Oswego Center.

The service is sponsored by the Oswego Town Historical Society.

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Middle school ceremony inducts 30 Junior Honor Society members

The newest members of the OMS National Junior Honor Society were recognized recently at induction ceremonies at the Richardson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts.
The newest members of the OMS National Junior Honor Society were recognized recently at induction ceremonies at the Richardson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The Oswego Middle School National Junior Honor Society conducted its annual induction ceremony recently as 30 students signed the membership book and took the oath.

The NJHS was formed a year ago with two separate ceremonies for the seventh and eighth graders. However, the newest inductees were honored at ceremonies in the Oswego High School Robinson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts.

“Scholarship, leadership, service, character and citizenship” are the pillars of the National Junior Honor Society.

The formation of the OMS National Junior Honor Society was the culmination of a dream of Principal Mary Beth Fierro.

She said, “When I began as principal at OMS, I had many ideas for the school for raising as well as recognizing student achievement. One of those has become a reality in starting a chapter of the NJHS. I approached Sue Roik and Danielle Rombough about volunteering as co-advisors for this year and additionally five other faculty members volunteered to be part of the required NJHS Faculty Council.”

Oswego High School National Honor Society President Catherine Wells spoke to the students.

She said, “Selection into this organization is not merely based on grades, but on four pillars: Leadership, Character, Scholarship, and Service. Combined, these four pillars form a student of excellence; which is always the goal in our schools of excellence.

“When you are accepted as a member of the NHS or NJHS, you are held to a higher standard than your peers and hopefully rise to meet those heightened expectations,” she added. “I commend all of you for your hard work, I’m happy to see so many students invested in their academics and you are all becoming leaders in your school.”

Inducted as the latest members to the OMS NJHS were Adeline Benjamin, Liam Benjamin, Emily Bradshaw, Grace Bruns, Claudia Chetney, Danielle DelConte, Abby Donahue, Abigail Douglas, Morgan Familo, Laurin Furlong, Samantha Gardner, Kaitlyn Grant, Nicklas Holland, Rose Huang and Dain Jerred.

Also inducted were Lauren Jones, Eleanor Lisec, Matthew Mace, Margo McBrearty, Alaina McMahon, Ben McPherson, Alex Osetek, Allison Pasco, Laurel Plunkett, Leanna Restani, Dakota Sinclair, Kristen Skinner, Zachary Sova, Maddie Swan and Neel Tripathi.

Assisting in the ceremony were Chapter President Ben Dafoe, Vice President Patrick Dowdle, Secretary Lisa Kanbur and Treasurer Brandon Meyers, along with Oswego High School National Honor Society President Catherine Wells.

Fierro addressed the inductees saying, “Congratulations! This is only the beginning for you. You are leaders amongst your peers and with that leadership comes great responsibility to make well thought out decisions at all times.”

In closing, she told her students, “We will watch you with pride as you continue your career at the Oswego Middle School, Oswego High School and beyond.  Please take a moment to thank your parents, grandparents and teachers for the support and encouragement they have given you.”

Wells summed up the meaning of  being a member of the National Honor Society by saying, “As my senior year of high school draws to a close, I’ve found myself looking back on my academic career with nostalgia. I am very glad I joined the National Honor Society two years ago, as its numerous benefits have positively impacted me as a student.”

Continuing she said, “As cheesy as it sounds, being a member and later the president of the National Honor Society helped me become a better person. To the inductees, good luck with the rest of middle school, high school, and beyond.”