Category Archives: Our Schools

Kindergarten, Pre-K registration begins

The Fulton city school district invites families to register children for universal pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

Pre-kindergarten registration is open to children who will turn 4 by Dec. 1; kindergarten registration is open to those who will be 5 by Dec. 1.

Families are asked to come to the central registrar’s office from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to register.

Families will be required to bring the child’s birth certificate with a raised seal, a current immunization record and proof of residency.

For additional information and to download a registration packet, visit Call the central registrar at 593-5513 with questions.

Kearns named to SU dean’s list

Kali C. Kearns was named to the dean’s list at Syracuse University for both the fall and spring semesters.

Her overall grade point average for the past two years is 3.91. Majoring in public health, she is also a member of the Renee Crown University Honors Program.

In addition, she is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and is the chair for Syracuse University/State University of New York School of Environmental Science and Forestry Relay for Life.

She is the daughter of John and Michelle Kearns and has two sisters, Kassidy and Karly. Her grandparents are Tom Marshall and the late Katie Marshall, and John and Carol Kearns.

Students graduated from Ithaca College

Three local residents were among 1,371 students from Ithaca College who received degrees during the college’s commencement ceremony held in May 2013.

Aileen Razey, a resident of Pennellville, graduated from Ithaca College’s School of Music with a major in music education.

Lucy Hall, a resident of Mexico, graduated from Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications with a major in television-radio.

Chelsea Burnham, a resident of Fulton, graduated from Ithaca College’s School of Health Sciences and Human Performance with a major in health sciences.

Cianfarano earns dean’s award at Colgate

Elyse Cianfarano was a recipient of the dean’s award for academic excellence during the 2013 spring term at Colgate University, where Cianfarano is a member of the Class of 2015 and studies sociology and anthropology.

To be eligible for the award, a Colgate student must achieve higher than a 3.30 average while enrolled in at least four courses.

Cianfarano is a graduate of G Ray Bodley High School and lives in Fulton.

Fairgrieve Elementary School holds sixth grade moving-up ceremony

Fairgrieve Elementary School recently held a moving up ceremony where sixth grade students were presented with moving up certificates and other awards.

Fairgrieve Principal Jean Ciesla welcomed parents, family and friends as the students were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements.

Student representatives Kaylee Waugh and Keara Patterson spoke to their fellow students and reflected on the momentous occasion.

Keara said, “This may be the end of elementary school, but it’s a whole new beginning,” while Kaylee reflected on the many teachers and others at the school that helped shape their personalities and helped them grow as individuals throughout their elementary years.

Awards given during the ceremony included recognition for academic excellence with the Presidential Awards for Educational Achievement and Excellence.

The following students received the award for Achievement: Paige Efaw, Lindsay McCraith, Taylor Minor, Makaylee Schmeer, Allison Collins, Katelin Matthews, Dakota Schmeer, Christopher Schreck, Jonathan Simpson, Alice Allen, Alessandro Berner, Evan Kistner, Kincaid Pollock, Isaac Crandall, Nariah Holden, and Connor Viau.

The following students received the award for Excellence: Ryan Michaels, Charles Mitchell, Kaylee Waugh, Haley Bort, Nathaniel Lindsey, Brendan Todt, Selene Belrad, Nicholas Cary, Keara Patterson, Aidan Percival, Shaylee Cealie, Justin Hatch, Leah Hulett, Luke Kimball, Jacquline Knoblock, and Madeline Williams. Each student recognized received a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama for their achievement.

Other recognitions included the Comptroller’s Achievement Award to Haley Bort and Jacquline Knoblock for demonstrating academic leadership; the Triple “C” Award was presented to Kaylee Waugh and Keara Patterson for demonstrating outstanding character, courage and commitment to education; and the Robert and Alice Jonas Award was presented to Brendan Todt for his love of learning.

Cayuga County Legislature okays CCC budget, tuition increase

The Cayuga County Legislature approved Cayuga Community College’s 2013-2014 budget Tuesday night. The budget includes a tuition increase of $140 for students this fall. Cayuga Community College has a campus in Fulton.

The 2013-14 annual tuition will be $4,090 for full-time students and the part-time rate will be $165 per credit. The $30.32 million budget represents a 6.3-percent decrease over last year’s $32.36 million budget and is based on an enrollment goal of 2,900 full-time equivalents, which represents an approximately 7.5 percent decrease in the actual FTE number of 3,137 in 2012-13. It maintains the county’s direct contribution at $2.9 million.

“The college and the board of trustees invested a lot of time and thought in the development of this fiscally conservative budget,” said President Daniel P. Larson. “We’re pleased that the Legislature supported the budget, and we expect that this budget will enable the college to restore a sound financial footing.”

In creating this year’s budget, college leaders asked budget managers to work from a zero-based budgeting model, requiring justification and approval of every expenditure and making no assumptions of a baseline budget based on previous years’ expenditures, said Larson.

SUNY community colleges were created on the model of one-third funding each from New York State, the local sponsor, and students. Last year, the state restored $150 per full-time equivalent in funding, increasing the rate from $2,122 to $2,272 per FTE. This year, SUNY requested $37.3 million for a base aid increase of $260 per FTE in support of SUNY’s Five-Year Plan to return State funding to one third of applicable Community College operating costs.

In its 2013-14 enacted budget, the state restored an additional $150 per FTE for a total of $2,422 per FTE. In April, the board approved slight increases to several student fees, which are as follows:

• Fitness Center Fee $15 per course

• Nursing Fee $20 per credit hour

• Records Fee (12 or more credit hours) $10 per semester

• Records Fee (1-11 credit hours) $4 per semester

• Science lab fee $25 per course with an accompanying lab

• Technology Fee (over 19 credit hours) $100 per semester

• Technology Fee (12-19 credit hours) $90 per semester

• Technology Fee (1-11 credit hours) $9 per credit hour

• SUNY Learning Network Fee $10 per credit hour

The budget will now be sent on to the State University of New York.

Tschudy resigns from the Oswego Board of Education

Oswego Board of Education member James Tschudy has announced his resignation. Tschudy delivered his resignation notice to District Clerk William Foley and indicted that it would be effective Wednesday morning, July 24. “

Ending board involvement is owing to a desire for more time with family (five grandchildren) and other professional interests in teaching, chaplaincy and pastoral work,” he said, noting that he has grandchildren in Hamilton, Mass., Ridgefield, Conn., and Aiken, S.C. Continuing he noted, “Throughout six years of board involvement, working with colleagues on the board, administrators, faculty, district Staff, as well as families, parents and children in the district has been extraordinarily rewarding, but not without challenges. It has been a privilege to serve at the board table, supporting district initiatives.”

Board of Education President Kathleen Allen said, “I am saddened to see Jim resign, but certainly understand his desire to spend more time with his family and other opportunities that have come his way.”

Continuing she stated, “He has faithfully served as a coard member for the past six years. With his tenure with the Oswego City School District as an administrator with special education, he brought valuable insight to the table in various situations. I will miss his gentle spirit and kind heart and wish him the best.”

Tschudy has a long career with the school district as he was hired in 1980 as a school psychologist for the Oswego High School. He was appointed the Director of Special Programs in 2000, retired in 2006 and then served as the Interim Principal at Charles E. Riley Elementary School for the 2006-07 School Year.

He was elected to serve on the board of education in May of 2007 and to a second term in 2010. Recently, he was re-elected to the one year remaining on the vacated term of Bill Myer. The new school year will bring a new educational experience for the former board member as he will be teaching two sections of History of Education in the United States since 1865 during the fall semester at SUNY Oswego.

Tschudy also said, “Simultaneous to my resignation from the Board of Education, I’ve also tendered my resignation as a member of the board of directors of Oswego Health, having been elected to that board of trustees of the Oswego Hospital in 1979.”

The school board will discuss the vacant seat at the next regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13. As a Small City School District, the Board members can decide to conduct a special election, continue with six members, or appoint a person to fill the remaining 11 months of the term.

In and Around Hannibal: Schools in Hannibal

by Rita Hooper

There’s an old adage that if you don’t know what to write about – just keep writing and it will come. That’s sort of my predicament tonight except I want to share some info provided me my Mary Pawlenko Phillips on when she was a student at North Hannibal School. However, I know many of my readers will say, “Huh, never heard of North Hannibal School,” so I think it best if I do a little background work.

This may just turn into a series on schools of Hannibal.Once again, I’m indebted to the Hannibal Historical Society’s Hannibal History in “pictures and prose,” as compiled by Lowell Newvine for much of my information.

Hannibal Central Schools became centralized into one district in 1949 by a vote of 767 to 318. This new district encompassed approximately 90 square miles and included the Town of Hannibal and portions of the towns of Oswego, Granby and Sterling. The student body that first year was about 670 with teachers and staff numbering 38.

Let me imagine the discussions around the kitchen tables and at the local hangout back then: “Why we’ve been running this school for over a 100 years and we dun just fine.” “All those kids will have to be bussed – whose going to pay for all those busses?” “But the children will have more options in a bigger school – like sports and music.” “The kids will have a more uniform education – one that meets higher standards…following the guidelines of the NYS Board of Regents.” “While it will cost more in the beginning, it will be more economical in the long run.” “The children learn just fine, because all the students are in the same room. Younger students have the advantage of also listening to the lessons taught to their older peers. In a similar manner, the upper level students could coach their younger counterparts.”

By the way, the first school session was held in Hannibal Center in 1810. Laura Kent was the first teacher, a daughter of one of Hannibal’s earliest families having moved here from Vermont. Just think Mayor Kent could have been a Green Mountain Boy!

Before centralization, there were 15 school houses in the area. They were one-room structures most of them made of wood. Student desks would be in rows and the building was heated by a pot-bellied stove in the middle of the room. Those near the stove roasted and those far from it shivered. Usually one teacher taught all the children in grades 1-8 and they also did the custodial work.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe by calling 598-6397