Category Archives: Our Schools

Literacy Volunteers hold annual picnic to recognize students and tutors

More than 80 people gathered at Breitbeck Park in Oswego Thursday, July 11 for Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County’s annual picnic and awards ceremony.

The evening began with Sarah Irland, deputy executive director of Oswego County Opportunities, welcoming all attendees. The picnic was an occasion for everyone to share their stories and have a good time.

“This event gives the organization an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of its outstanding students and tutors and to express appreciation to all of our supporters,” said Beth Kazel, education director of OCO. “The highlight of the evening was the enthusiasm of student Andrei Gunin and tutor Nancy DeGilormo whose speeches reminded us of what LVOC is all about.

“In the United States, the ability to read, write and speak in English are the most important skills needed in daily life, something many of us take for granted,” Kazel added. “Our students recognize the significance of these skills.”

This affair acknowledges the courage and determination of all of the students in pursuing the ability to read and the generosity of the volunteers for their time and dedication.

Over the past year, the program has grown serving almost triple the number of people compared to last year at this time.

From July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 volunteers tutored over 2,600 hours.

“It was extremely difficult selecting our award recipients this year,” said Meg Henderson, LVOC Program coordinator. “The program has expanded. We serve both Basic Literacy Learners and English Language Learners. We have greatly increased the number of students we provide literacy services to including people residing in rural areas of Oswego County.

“Many students made progress and educational gains,” Henderson added. “All of our tutors and students worked very hard and accomplished numerous goals.  Besides improving their reading, math, computer or communication skills; many gained or retained employment, were promoted, became actively involved in their child’s literacy activities and education, entered a secondary education program, obtained a driver’s license, and much more.” Henderson noted, “All of our tutors are devoted to their students and rejoice in their progress. We have recruited many new tutors this year to meet our growing demand. It is through everyone’s hard work and dedication that we have accomplished so much this past year.

“Everyone here is driven by their love of literacy, need to help, and desire to learn,” she continued. “We continue to learn and aspire to improve throughout our lifetimes. I am proud of every one of our students and I am very grateful to all of our tutors. Our annual picnic is a good time to honor all of them (students and tutors).”

Awards were presented by Henderson and Kazel. Award winners were presented with a commendation from Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Will Barclay.

The Citizenship Award was given to student Cindy Jiang. Students recognized for completing the program were Mike Kemp and Yin Yin Sim-Fellows.

The top three BLL Students of the Year were Eric Lance, David Loftus, and Jennifer Pickard.  The top three ELL Students of the Year were Andrei Gunin, Jung Ha Lee, and Carlos Rodriguez.

The Spirit of Literacy recipients were students Steve Kirby, Patricia Mazzoli and Ndomba Tshiwabwa.

Tutors Vivian Anderson, Laurie Wood and Dianne Woods were given the Outstanding Dedication Award.

Tutors of the Year were awarded to Laura Bishop, Kathy Boutelle, and Bridgette Sequin.

Volunteers of the Year were tutors Nancy DeGilormo and Mary Stancampiano.

Fulton school board reorganizes for 2013-2014 school year

The Fulton City School District Board of Education held its reorganization meeting July 9.

The Fulton Board of Education re-elected David Cordone as president, Dan Pawlewicz as vice president and Barbara Hubbard as board clerk.

The board of education further made the following appointments: banks, Community Bank to collect taxes, school attorney: Ferrara Law Firm, internal auditor: Dermody, Burke and Brown, and claims auditor: Ronald Woodward

The board set the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month for meetings with the regular meeting to start at 7:30 p.m., preceded by Executive Session at 6:30 p.m.

The board also decided to hold one regular meeting a month in one of the schools. This schedule will be developed and advertised in the media.

At the regular meeting following the reorganization meeting, the board of education set the dates to tour district facilities the evenings of Aug. 28 and 29.

Betsy Conners, executive director of instruction and assessment, presented the district’s School Improvement Plan Goals, which are aligned and support the District Comprehensive Education Plan.

Agendas for Regular Meetings and additional documents pertaining to those meetings are posted on the District website at prior to the meeting.

The board of education scheduled a special meeting to be held Tuesday, July 30 starting at 6:30 p.m.

CCC Board of Trustees declares financial exigency

During its monthly meeting on July 17, the Cayuga Community College Board of Trustees passed a resolution in an 8 to 1 vote declaring financial exigency.

The declaration follows the board’s approval of a conservative budget of $30.32 million last month. That budget goes before Cayuga County Legislature for approval July 23.

In declaring financial exigency, the college may lay off employees to close the gap between projected revenues and projected expenditures.

“After all the cuts and reductions made thus far, we must turn to our personnel costs in order to balance the budget,” said President Daniel P. Larson. “Depending upon enrollment, we’ll know how much needs to be done.”

Personnel costs represent nearly 80 percent of college expenditures. In order to find sufficient budgetary reductions, the college will have to decrease expenditures in that area.

Some savings can be found in retirements, attrition, and modifications of part-time hours. For example, if the college has fewer students, it will not need to hire as many adjunct professors. Layoffs are another possibility.

With seven weeks before the start of the fall semester, enrollment data indicates that the college is currently at 80.9 percent of fall 2012 final full-time equivalent and 1.16 percent below where enrollment was at the same time last year.

These numbers will continue to change until the final fall FTE numbers are recorded for late-start courses.

“We will keep our students and our educational mission at the heart of our decisions,” Larson said. “Our goal remains to deliver the highest quality education and support to our diverse student body population as we move forward in righting the fiscal challenges facing the college.”

Earlier this year, the college announced it needed to reduce expenditures of its $32.36 million operating budget by approximately $1.5 million before the end of the fiscal year on Aug. 31 to help make up for an unexpected five percent enrollment decrease.

Approximately 90 percent of college revenue is tied to student enrollment, so dramatic fluctuations in enrollment have a significant impact on the budget.

Last fall, senior leaders and budget managers identified more than $778,000 in savings through employee retirements, operating budget reductions, cuts to travel, and reductions in part-time employee hours.

In spring, three of the four bargaining units at the College as well as managerial and confidential employees, executive staff, and the president accepted furlough days and helped close the budget gap for this year. While gains have been made in closing the budgetary gap for 2012-13, there is still a gap of approximately $400,000.

The college will honor the agreements that they reached with three of the bargaining units: Maintenance and Custodial Group, Educational Support Professionals, and the Administrative Professionals Group.

Those agreements guarantee no layoffs of the groups’ employees through Dec. 31.


Oswego school board prepares for New Year

Kathleen Allen and Samuel Tripp were elected as Oswego Board of Education officers for the upcoming year.

During the annual reorganizational meeting, Allen became the new president of the board while Tripp will serve as the vice president for the 2013-2014 year.

Other appointments during the reorganizational portion of the meeting were approved for King & King P.C. (Architect of Records), William Foley (Clerk of the Board of Education, Clerk of the School District, Records Retention and Disposition Officer, Records Access Officer), John Edwards (District Treasurer), and Joyce Galletta (Deputy District Treasurer and Tax Collector).

Also, Michael Riley (Reserve Internal Claims Auditor), Peter Myles (School District Purchasing Agent and Title 9 Compliance Officer), Benefit Consulting Group (Health Insurance Consultant Services), Dermody, Burke & Brown CPA, LLC (Internal Auditor), Syracuse Newspapers (Official District Newspaper), Oswego Daily News (Official Media Website) and official bank depositories J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank, Key Bank, Community Bank and NBT Bank.

Raymond Wager CPA, P.C. was named the independent auditor for the district and the law firm of Ferrara, Fiorenza, Larrison, Barrett and Reitz P.C. was named as the attorney for the Oswego City School District Board of Education as well as for the school district.

During the regular meeting the board acted on several resolutions relating to school district business.

Approval was given for six to twelve Oswego Middle School seventh graders to participate in the Baja California Sur Island Ecology Program at Espirtu Santo Island, off LaPaz, Mexico during Spring break.

The board also approved the posting o several positions including a regular substitute English teacher, registered substitute Mathematics teacher, school bus driver, part-time school bus attendant, custodians, custodial workers and girls’ junior varsity soccer coach.

Christine Babcock was appointed as a temporary part-time typist while Marilyn Rhinewald was approved as a Data Processing Department typist.

Under finance the Board of Education approved a series of cooperative bids will Oswego County BOCES.

During the “Items from the Board” portion of the meeting board member Lynda Sereno announced she was resigning from the board. However, she retracted that decision and will continue to serve.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Oswego Board of Education will be Tuesday, July 23 with the public portion of the session slated to be conducted beginning at 6 p.m.

Chad Rowe promoted to Phoenix head football coach

by Rob Tetro

Chad Rowe’s fifth season with the Phoenix varsity football team will be a little bit different than his four previous seasons.

This season, the longtime defensive coordinator has been promoted to head coach of the Firebirds.

Rowe takes over for Jeff Charles. Both coaches began at Phoenix in 2009. In light of Charles’ departure, Rowe credits Charles for getting the Phoenix football program moving in the right direction.

Rowe is no stranger to Football. He grew up in Cazenovia while playing football in the local Pop Warner leagues. He continued playing football in college, too. He attended Morrisville College before transferring to SUNY Cortland.

His coaching career began when he was hired as an assistant coach at Morrisville College.

Before making his way to Phoenix, Rowe served as the defensive coordinator at Baldwinsville High School for one season.

From top to bottom, Rowe said he is pleased with the group of coaches who are helping him pick up where Charles left off.


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Fulton High School Class of 1963 to hold 50th reunion

The Fulton High School Class of 1963 will hold its 50th class reunion Aug. 9, 10 and 11.

Friday, Aug. 9, there will be a meet and greet at the Fulton Elks Lodge beginning at 6 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10, there will be a tour of the Pratt House from 10 a.m. until noon and there will be a meeting at the “old” Fulton High School at 1 p..m for a tour of the home of the Red Raiders.

The “main event” will be held Saturday evening at the Fulton Polish Home, beginning with a no-host social hour at 5 p.m., followed by a buffet meal catered by “Fricken Chicken” including various salads, choice of beef, pork or chicken, salt potatoes, baked beans and fruit salad. There is a cost for the meal. Entertainment will be provided by local DJ Ken Harms.

There will be a Sunday morning meet at the Riverside Inn for a no-host breakfast buffet and farewell. Over 50 classmates have already registered for the reunion.

Those seeking more information may contact Ted Butler Romas at or 541-860-5846 or Class President Bonnie Ives at or 593-2282. Romas said, “Our 45th reunion was great and our 50th will be even better. Don’t miss it.”


Leighton sixth graders recognized for academic achievements

Special awards – Frederick Leighton Elementary School sixth graders received the New York State Awards from the Comptroller’s and Attorney General’s Office.Triple “C” Awards as Jillian Dowdle (left) and Lara Kanbur) while Huckabee Fitzgerald received the Attorney General recognition. They were joined by Principal Julie Burger.
Special awards – Frederick Leighton Elementary School sixth graders received the New York State Awards from the Comptroller’s and Attorney General’s Office.Triple “C” Awards as Jillian Dowdle (left) and Lara Kanbur) while Huckabee Fitzgerald received the Attorney General recognition. They were joined by Principal Julie Burger.

As the school year wound down, the Frederick Leighton Elementary School recognized numerous students, including all of the sixth graders who advanced to continue their academic career at the Oswego Middle School.

Annually, School Principal Julie Burger distributed numerous awards as the students prepare for the next step of their education.

This year, the New York State Comptroller’s Award was presented to Huckabee Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, the Triple “C” Awards, from the New York State Attorney General, recognizing character, courage and commitments were presented to Lara Kanbur and Jillian Dowdle.

Several students were recognized for their dedication to education and as a result earned recognition from the President’s Education Awards Program. Students earning “Outstanding Academic Excellence” certificates included Shae Carter, Melissa Chun, Dakota Contryman, Jillian Dowdle, Sofia Loayza, Andrew Mosbo, Austin Mason, Caitlyn Murphy and Dylan Reitz. Receiving “Outstanding Academic Achievement” certificates were Samuel Allen, Janie Brooks, Alyssa Cheeley, Kaitlyn Kelly, Lara Kanbur and Thomas Wallace.

Burger congratulated all students for their accomplishments and wished them well on their continuing education years in the Oswego City School District.

Sixth graders from Laurel Artz’ class included Samuel Allen, Mitchell Barton, Joey Caron, Alyssa Cheeley, Robert Clark, Dylan Czuprynski, Hayley Domicolo, Jillian Dowdle, Huckabee Fitzgerald, Daniel Gosselin, Lara Kanbur, Corey McHenry, Heavenly Noel, Kay-Lee O’Brien, Madison Roach and Thomas Wallace.

From Carolyn Dehm’s class were Dakota Brown, Christopher Fox, Katrina Green, Stephen Greene, Amber Hammond, Matthew Hibbert, Austin Mason, Caitlyn Murphy, Nicholas Neider, Dylan Reitz, Nickolas Smith, Scott Sullivan, Christion Valazquez, Taylor Vickery and Drew Youngman.

Catherine Kelly’s sixth graders advancing included Janie Brooks, Griffin Calabro, Alexzandra Conzone, Mariah Cooper, Benny Derosa, Cameron Garafolo, Kaitlyn Kelly, Crystal King, Sofia Loayza, Katelinn McGuinness, Andrew Mosbo, Daniel Murphy, Javen Syke, Dylan Sobrino, Liam Tovey and Alexander Whiteside.

Moving on from Heather Lewis’ class were Marcus Barton, Joseph Burton, Melissa Chun, Dakota Contryman, Dominick Cullen, Bailey Elkin, Mackenzie Endres, Jacob Gibbs, Mary Guynup, Tatyana Jimenez, Aaliyah Moldonado-Cappetta, Sarah Marino, Carson Martin, Evan Reitz and Emily Sanders.


UConn Huskies star visits Fulton basketball summer camp

Cicero-North Syracuse High School graduate and Connecticut Huskies forward Brianna Stewart visited the Fulton basketball summer camp June 27. From left are Fulton boys varsity basketball coach Matt Kimpland, Stewart, and Fulton girls varsity basketball coach Derek Lyons.
Cicero-North Syracuse High School graduate and Connecticut Huskies forward Brianna Stewart visited the Fulton basketball summer camp June 27. From left are Fulton boys varsity basketball coach Matt Kimpland, Stewart, and Fulton girls varsity basketball coach Derek Lyons.

by Rob Tetro

Cicero-North Syracuse High School graduate and Connecticut Huskies forward Brianna Stewart visited the Fulton basketball summer camp June 27.

Fulton’s summer basketball camp is in its fourth year and is operated by boys and girls varsity basketball coaches Matt Kimpland and Derek Lyons.

Assisting Kimpland and Lyons with the camp is modified and junior varsity basketball coaches and current players in each of the basketball programs.

According to Lyons, the camp has grown in the four years since it began. This year, 60 campers between the fourth and eighth grades attended the camp.

Lyons suggested that current players in the program play a key role in the camp. He considers players on modified to varsity teams to be camp counselors because of their previous participation in the camp.

Serving as camp counselors also allow the current players to help develop the family atmosphere the Fulton coaches are trying to establish.

Lyons said that the camp is an eye opening experience for every player in the program.

Modified and junior varsity players watch the varsity teams play Friday nights during the season and see where they could end up.

Coaches believe that it’s a benefit to both programs that the camp allows varsity players to help junior varsity and modified players while they are helping the campers.

Campers rotated to and from five stations that aim to develop  fundamental abilities. Though the coaches hoped to touch on as many fundamental skills as possible, campers took part in stations that aimed to develop ball handling, shooting, defensive slides, rebounding and footwork skills.

Stewart took part in a station that allowed players to try to score on her in a one-on-one situation. Given her length, the players faced next to impossible odds of scoring against her.

Lyons said Stewart is an incredible basketball player whose presence left everyone in awe with how helpful and caring she was towards the campers.

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