Category Archives: Oswego News

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.


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.”


Newest Oswego High School Honor Society inductees welcomed

Oswego High School National Honor Society Owl’s Head Chapter held its induction ceremony recently. Pictured are the newest members of the National Honor Society.
Oswego High School National Honor Society Owl’s Head Chapter held its induction ceremony recently. Pictured are the newest members of the National Honor Society.

Traditionally, the first Sunday afternoon in May means that it is time for the Oswego High School National Honor Society Owl’s head Chapter induction ceremony.

As families, friends and faculty, along with some members of the Board of Education, gathered at the Robinson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts, nearly 40 Oswego High School students were inducted.

Addressing the students and audience, Oswego High School Principal Brian Hartwell said, “When I reflect upon ‘What is Right with Oswego High School and what makes us a School of Excellence’ the answer is the leadership of our best and brightest.”

Continuing he noted, “Inductees, your accomplishments, coupled with your commitment and characters makes us all very proud. I encourage you to take time to reflect upon your journey to this point. I am sure that you will recall many of the exceptional teachers that made a lasting impression on you.

“When offering thanks to shoe that have helped you along the way, be sure not to forget your parents. Your accomplishment are a compilation of many years of education and certain a proud day for all of us.

“It is vital, however, to remember that the first teachers you ever had are your parents who have devoted their lives to you. They were your first teachers and your teachers for life.”

Owl’s Head Chapter Officers had a key part in the ceremony as President Catherine Wells, Vice-President Christina Abare, along with co-secretaries Jeremy Galvin and Sarah Mancuso were joined on stage by Treasurer Brianna Favata.

The officers introduced the newest inductees.

Included as the newest members of the National Honor Society were Rana Al-Salameh, Sean Benjamin, Shane Bowman, Molly Brown, Joshua Bucher, Josh Carney, Lainey Celeste, Meredith Chesare, Nora Culeton, Marguerite Dillon, Sage Dudley, Jacob Gardner, Gracie Gilbert, Kellie Gorman, Alexandra Henderson, Shea Hewitt and Kyle Kemper.

Also inducted were Katherine Knopp, Brianah Lane, Meghan Livoti, Mayraliz Lopez, Jordan McCauley, Paul Oleyourryk, Rachael Purtell, Reilly Patrick, Nicholas Reiner, Angie Rookey, Edward Sheridan, Brenna Sherman, Allison Smith, Zachary Smolinski, Christopher Sullivan, Kayla Volkomer, Kara Weiss and Nikolas Whiteside.

Principal Hartwell praised the academic achievements of the students. He said, “While this ceremony is to honor those students that have gone above and beyond in leadership, scholarship, character and service; this is not your finale. No, the certificates, medals, and applause are merely the beginning.

“Oswego High School, our community and eventually your nation will look to you and those like you to lead us deeper into the 21st century,” he added. “The commitment and character that you have demonstrated will serve you well as you continue your journey.”

He closed by saying, “Thank you for representing your family and Oswego High in such fine fashion. One again ‘Congratulations’. You should be proud of yourselves.” 


SUNY Oswego May graduates making links to future

May graduate Cydni Williams, a double major in graphic design and marketing, will take those degrees to Ann Arbor, Mich., as a full-time account manager for Google. Like many other Oswego graduates, she credits activities inside and outside the classroom for linking with future opportunities.
May graduate Cydni Williams, a double major in graphic design and marketing, will take those degrees to Ann Arbor, Mich., as a full-time account manager for Google. Like many other Oswego graduates, she credits activities inside and outside the classroom for linking with future opportunities.

Many members of SUNY Oswego’s Class of 2013, preparing for Commencement activities on Saturday, May 18, have spent the past few years linking to their future.

Cydni Williams, a double major in graphic design and marketing, will move to Ann Arbor, Mich., to become a full-time account manager for Google.

Her job will entail working with a large number of clients in small- and medium-size businesses to help them optimize their ad space and use of media.

She had two summer internships with Google that led to this position, and said her ability to solve problems with graphic design made her stand out during this work.

Williams advises students to dream big and “don’t be afraid that things may be out of your reach.”

Williams said being the assistant director of Oswego’s Student Association Programming Board her sophomore year gave her translatable organizational and people skills.

“Student organizations are a very diverse bunch, which sort of reflects the diversity of Google because it’s such a big company and it’s always evolving,” she explained.

Tyler Edic’s new job will keep him on the SUNY Oswego campus as associate director of communication for alumni and development.

He will put his broadcasting and mass communication degree to work creating video and multimedia content, while maintaining and expanding the operation’s social media and web presence.

“I learned so much in classes about video production and public speaking, through getting involved with the college TV station WTOP and the Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit, and interning at ‘Late Night with David Letterman,’” Edic said. He advises current and future students to “do as much as you can, as fast as you can. Find something that interests you.”

Bradley Frate’s long-term plans involve medical school, but first he will spend a year as an operating room surgical technician at Rochester General Hospital.

His experiences include two international research opportunities through Oswego’s Global Laboratory program: performing cancer research at Universidad de Iberoamerica medical school in Costa Rica and helping conduct an ecological survey of Brazil’s vast Pantanal region.

Frate also earned many awards and leadership roles among campus organizations.

“I have learned through the leadership positions that I have held and currently hold at SUNY Oswego that leadership is not a genetic gift or family legacy,” he said. “Becoming a leader is an intentional process of growth that must be lived out through life experiences.”

Communication and social interaction major Kyle Jones is starting his professional sales career working for SmartWatt Energy.

He credits the college’s student success center, the Compass, with making him more proactive in his job search, helping develop his resume and showing how to work a career fair — where he came away with four interested companies and two job offers.

“Inside the classroom, I credit the presentations I have done. I prepared for them like it was ‘game day’ and I always wanted to perform my best,” Jones said. “Outside of the classroom I credit snowboard instructing, which taught me how to believe in what I am saying. A successful salesman is confident, assertive and truly believes in the product they sell.”

Lindsay Martell’s combined MBA/bachelor’s in accounting will take her in front of a classroom this summer — teaching two courses in intermediate accounting at her alma mater — then to a job with KPMG in Syracuse as an audit associate this fall.

Martell said Oswego professors who do “a superior job” helped prepare her for the next steps. “Not only do they provide an enjoyable and valuable classroom experience, but they have gone above and beyond outside the classroom to prepare me for a successful educational and professional career,” she said.

For Kyle Powlina, graduating with a history major and museum studies minor, his future will involve bringing the past to life.

He landed a coveted summer internship at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., as a reference archivist, “mainly helping the public, people who come in researching their genealogy and other projects,” he said.

Next is graduate school, where he committed to the University of Maryland for a dual degree in history and library science.

“They stress internships, hands-on work, and that’s one of the things I like about it, as well as being so close to D.C. where there are so many opportunities,” Powlina said. Internships and classes during his Oswego years prepared him by providing many research and writing opportunities, he added.

Ebony Howard and Wendy Ruiz hope to translate their graduate education degrees into teaching in high-need schools in New York City after working and learning in city classrooms under the college’s Oswego Residency Initiative for Teacher Excellence program for the past year.

“Every child should have access to and be provided with a high-quality education regardless of their socioeconomic status or where they live,” said New York City native Howard, adding a need for high-quality, passionate teachers is a key part of the equation.

“Every day I have new stories and ideas that I share with my friends and family,” said Ruiz, who comes from Fulton and also earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Oswego. “Although I grew up in a very different environment than most of the students I have encountered, I believe that I have a lot to offer for that reason. I want to teach them not only how to be successful in an academic setting but to show them how to become lifelong learners.”

For Oswego’s May Commencement, graduates of the School of Business and School of Education will participate in the morning ceremony, starting at 9 a.m. in the Campus Center arena.

The afternoon commencement, beginning at 1:30 p.m., will honor graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Communication, Media and the Arts.

More than 1,650 students, including over 1,400 undergraduates, are eligible to take part in the dual ceremonies.

A live webcast will stream from a link on the home page, with a live broadcast airing on Time Warner Cable Channel 96. 

SUNY Oswego president responds to employee e-mail

by Carol Thompson

An e-mail message sent by a SUNY Oswego student to other students in regard to a rally to be held in front of the Oswego County office complex somehow landed in the inbox of Jeff Grimshaw, the director for SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, who in turn forwarded it to Oswego County Administrator Phil Church.

In the April 30 e-mail, Grimshaw wrote to Church, “I thought you would be interested in this activity, (student) is not representing the college in this activity, he is graduating in a couple of weeks, just so you are prepared. He tried to instigate at the governor’s visit as well, don’t know to what extent this will develop or not, he had about 10 -15 students at the governor’s event. Give me a call if you need anything further.”

Church simply responded, “Thanks Jeff” on the same date.

The student’s message contained information in regard to a May 9 rally to protest the appointment of former legislature chairman Fred Beardsley to the position of county treasurer. The rally was intended to protest overall government corruption as well.

The event has been well publicized since mid-April on social media sites and blogs.

Upon learning that Grimshaw may have communicated with Church about the rally, a request was made under the Freedom of Information Law to SUNY Oswego for Grimshaw’s e-mail correspondence.

SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said Thursday that Grimshaw was not acting on behalf of the college and that the college was unaware of the message until the time of the inquiry made by The Valley News.

“Mr. Grimshaw did not communicate with Mr. Church with the knowledge of, at the direction of or on the approval of SUNY Oswego,” Stanley said. “He acted on his own and the college was unaware of the comments he sent to Mr. Church…when your inquiry brought it to our attention.”

As for what Grimshaw wrote in his message, Stanley said, “We do not agree with his characterization of our student. His use of the word ‘instigate’ was completely erroneous and inappropriate and we have advised Mr. Grimshaw accordingly.”

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of tomorrow’s paper


Class of 2012 inducted into Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame

The Buccaneer Booster sponsored Oswego High School Athletic Hall of Fame “Class of 2012” induction ceremony was held recently. Inducted were (front row) Debbie (Miller) Lyons, Howard “Howie” McCann, Sherry (Brown) McCann, Barbara Carl (accepting for her late husband Francis Carl) and Erwin “Jeep” Dewey. Hockey representatives included Derek Carr, Mike Foley, Steve Cook, Matt Vashaw, Chris Rinoldo and Ben Miller.
The Buccaneer Booster sponsored Oswego High School Athletic Hall of Fame “Class of 2012” induction ceremony was held recently. Inducted were (front row) Debbie (Miller) Lyons, Howard “Howie” McCann, Sherry (Brown) McCann, Barbara Carl (accepting for her late husband Francis Carl) and Erwin “Jeep” Dewey. Hockey representatives included Derek Carr, Mike Foley, Steve Cook, Matt Vashaw, Chris Rinoldo and Ben Miller.

Nearly 100 Oswego High School former athletes, coaches, family members, friends and Buc sports fans were on hand for the 2012 induction of Buccaneer Booster-Oswego High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Howard “Howie” McCann and his wife Sherry (Brown) McCann were joined by former Buc four letter athlete Deborah (Miller) Lyons, 50 year coach Erwin “Jeep” Dewey, the family of the late Francis “Fran” Carl and members of the 1995-96 and 1996-97 state runner up New York State hockey team as they were all inducted into the elite hall of honor.

The evening started with the induction of Fran Carl, who was a star in Oswego High School athletics in the late 1940s and was a standout in football and basketball.

His daughter Maureen accepted in honor of her father and thanked the committee for the honor. She also expressed that her father not only enjoyed playing sports, but was a coach and mentor of many youngsters as he continued his love of sports after leaving the scholastic arena.

Sherry “Brown” McCann was presented for induction by Hall of Fame member Helen Jermyn.  She was a standout in basketball and track throughout the four years at OHS. She received numerous league and school honors.

Howard “Howie” McCann joined his wife Sherry as the first married couple to be inducted.

He was a four year varsity baseball player and starred on the gridiron for three years. He also was the recipient of league and school honors during his time at OHS.

He was introduced by Mike McCrobie, who read a letter from former coach and Hall of Fame member Ted Kerley, who cited the outstanding leadership traits of McCann.

After high school he played baseball at Gulf Coast Community College and at Mississippi State. He had also been drafted by the Minnesota Twins.

Currently, he is the owner of McCann’s Windward Baseball Academy.

Howie said, “I would just like to thank everybody this is quite and honor for me and my wife.”

Debbie (Miller) Lyons was also inducted into the Hall of fame and was another recipient of the OHS Outstanding Female Athlete Award. She had earned over a dozen varsity letters in her four years and excelled in softball, volleyball, basketball and soccer.

Debbie noted, “This is a wonderful honor. Playing Oswego sports was awesome. I’ll always be a Buccaneer.”

Veteran coach Erwin “Jeep” Dewey has been at the helm of the track team for a half century. His dedication to football (33 years total) and track as well as to the student athletes has been monumental.

He not only was a three-sport athlete in school, but after college, returned to Oswego as a physical education teacher. He never left Oswego and has been an integral part of the program for over five decades.

He was brought to the podium for his induction after his son Kevin expressed the love and dedication his father continues to display to athletes and family.

“Jeep” thanked the late Joe Wilber for his support and noted, “It really is an awesome experience for me.”

The 1995-96 and 1996-97 state runner up varsity hockey teams were inducted together.

The two hockey teams consist of many players who contributed both years in the seasons which concluded as state runners up in the New York State Public High School Association Division I Championship Tournament.

In 1995-96 the team finished 21-3 and the following year was 21-7-1.

Members of both teams were Mark Donabella, Matt Vashaw, Mike Tucker, Mike Foley, Steve Cook, Phil Carroll, Chris Rinaldo, Ben Perlman, Chris Ackley, Greg Parr, Mark DeSantis, Travis Doty, Nate Elliott, and Kevin Jung

On the 1995-96 squad were Matt Von Esch, Brendan Coliver, Ben Miller, Pat DeBan, Josh Crannell, Erik Cole and Jeremy Knopp.

The 1996-97 team also included T.J. Barnes, Dan Farley, Chris Mathes, Derek Carr, Lou Iorizzo, Josh Molinari, Bob Haynes, Mike Fortier, Tris Gillen, Brian Gallagher.

Ben Miller accepted for the 95-96 team and Mike Foley for the 96-97 team.

Assistant Coach Mark Fierro expressed his thoughts about the two teams, as master of ceremony Bill Foley read the letter.

The players thanked their coaches, teammates and Buc Boosters.

However, Foley added, “I would like to also thank our parents as they trucked us all around the northeast and the Oswego community for all of their support from the squirt ranks up through the varsity.”

The Buc Booster Club sponsored Oswego High School Athletic Hall of Fame continues to grow with the addition of these outstanding athletes and coach. Nominations are being accepted as the “Class of 2013” is expected to be inducted in the fall or early winter.

Broadcast industry entrepreneur to emcee Torchlight ceremony

A new and traditional media executive, entrepreneur and industry leader, and a pioneer in cable television and broadcast production services, 1977 SUNY Oswego graduate Louis A. Borrelli Jr. will serve as master of ceremonies at the college’s Commencement Eve Dinner and Torchlight Ceremony May 17.

The Oswego Alumni Association will welcome Borrelli and all graduates of SUNY Oswego to participate in what is one of the most deep-rooted Oswego traditions the night before Commencement.

More than 75 years ago, Lida S. Penfield, a 1907 graduate and professor at Oswego, for whom Penfield Library is named, wrote “The Message of the Torch.”

The Commencement Eve dinner will take place at 6:30 p.m. following a 5 p.m. cocktail reception in the Campus Center arena and convocation hall. The Torchlight Ceremony will begin at 9 p.m. on the Campus Center north lawn.

Borrelli is currently an investor, active board member and adviser to several early-stage media companies. He is chief marketing officer of NimbleTV, board chairman of live music streaming service and board member of smart advertising platform Piiku.

Borrelli was previously president and chief executive officer of NEP Broadcasting, senior vice president at America Online, and was a founding partner, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Marcus Cable Co. He began his cable career with UA-Columbia Cablevision.

Borrelli has served on several industry boards, including the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Cable Advertising Bureau, National Academy of Cable Programming, Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing and the Metro Cable Marketing Co-Op. He is a two-time CTAM TAMI award winner (1996 and 2000), received the Pinnacle Award from CTAM Texas in 2001 and was elected to the Cable Pioneers in 2002.

Borrelli is the founder and, with fellow alumnus Al Roker of the Oswego Class of 1976, sponsor of the annual Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit.

The dinner will feature remarks by Borrelli to graduating seniors and their families. Student emcees for the dinner will be Oluwaseyi Lamidi and Audrey Hinnant. The Class of 2013 Senior Legacy Gift will be presented by Jessica Paul. Outstanding senior awards will be presented.

Senior Tyler Edic will deliver a special message to students at the Torchlight Ceremony, and Leslie Look will be the student mistress of ceremonies. The Torchbearer will be Claire Budzinski, and the Class of 2013 Inner Circle representatives will be Sarah Bernier, Kelly Corwin and Monica Saroff.

The Torchlight Ceremony is free and open to all who wish to attend, and all alumni are invited to participate in the inner circle.

Reservations for Commencement Eve events are due by May 3. Those seeking to make a reservation to attend may call 312-2258, e-mail or sign up online at

Rice Creek Field Station to open in fall

The new home of SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station will open for fall-semester classes in late August, and trails will remain open to the public as construction wraps up.

Rice Creek’s faculty and staff, along with its collections totaling 4,500 specimens, will move into the new 7,200-square-foot field station beginning July 8, in preparation for classes starting Aug. 26.

For more than 45 years, Rice Creek Field Station has enabled college and community scientists to carry out field-oriented research and academic instruction, as well as offering hiking and popular programs to educate the general public about natural sciences and the environment.

Lucina Hernandez Laundre, director of Rice Creek and associate professor of biological sciences, said anticipation is building for an October opening ceremony for the new structure, with its wet and dry labs, exhibit and collection spaces and other features — all under a signature sloping roof.

“We will use the summer to unpack and organize our collections, equipment, office supplies and so on,” Hernandez said. “Nevertheless, the grounds will be open, though we won’t offer special events during this time.”

The project ultimately will include a nearby observatory, pavilion, maintenance building and redone entry road.

The main building expands by 3,000 square feet the space SUNY Oswego students and teachers, as well as college and community researchers, will have to work with.

The space includes a large classroom and adjacent 24-seat dry lab, with a movable wall between; a 24-seat wet lab for projects requiring chemical use; a research room and an office for visiting professors; an entrance foyer with a nearly 30-foot ceiling and a bluestone feature wall; built-in display cases; and a mudroom and shower for cleanup after research forays to Rice Creek’s 400 acres.

Allen Bradberry of Facilities Design and Construction, liaison with general contractor Taylor Builders of Rochester on the $5.5 million construction project, said work on the environmentally efficient main structure is on track, the observatory foundation is in place and the pavilion and maintenance building are done.

Roof-mounted solar panels will generate 34 kilowatts of power, offsetting a portion of energy used inside the building. That use will be measured and benchmarked, and students will study the building’s efficiencies as the field station moves into service, he said.

A state-of-the-art heating and cooling system will use variable-volume refrigerant to balance the temperature in rooms whose comfort otherwise would vary.

“You can have heating and cooling going on at the same time,” Bradberry continued.

Modern foam insulation and exterior wood paneling will help shield the building from Oswego’s harsh winters, he added. Light-filtering shades will assist the large, energy-efficient windows that will help open up the field station to its natural surroundings.

Rice Creek is home to four trails spanning 7.5 miles of meadows, forest and wetlands and to species of flora and fauna in these numbers: plants (more than 500 species), birds (90), mammals (39), fish (11), amphibians (18) and reptiles (18).