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New method for Youth Political Activism

The following was submitted to The Odessa File by Watkins Glen High School senior Kathleen Clifford, who is interning with this website. It is one of a series of columns she is writing.

By Kathleen Clifford

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Oct. 8, 2018 -- If you go to any of the various state parks in the summer months, the ice cream shops, or restaurants, chances are you will see teenagers. Many of these teenagers are not there for a day off or a night out like yourself. Instead they are working. Why do teenagers work? To make money. What do teenagers do with money? Spend it!

Teenagers are a major market for many businesses and corporations, as they spend significant amounts of money, and can work and begin legally making money in New York State at age 14. Local businesses as well as international companies such as Nike all benefit from the money that teenagers spend on their products.

What is the goal for many teenagers when they give their money to a business in exchange for a product or a service? Their goal is to receive that product or service. But what if teenagers changed their method of consumerism in order to expand that goal? What if the new goal was to receive the product while supporting a cause or ideology that they believed in?

Teenagers have the ability to use their discretionary spending to influence corporations. On average, if you assume that teenagers are working 10 hours a week for 10 weeks over the summer at minimum wage, then they have at least $1,000 each of disposable income. They spend this money on various things, and in many cases, they are supporting major companies, and these companies do have ties to politics -- whether with political issues, such as Nike using Colin Kaepernick as part of the face of the 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, or by supporting various politicians through donations as they run for office (1.) An example of these companies: Apple, historically donating to Democrats running for office.

Teenagers who are spending their money can have a significant impact and allow their political opinions to be heard in two ways: boycotting or buycotting. Boycotting would be not buying a product because of a decision that the company that manufactures the product is making. For example, David Hogg, who was a student enrolled at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida during the shooting that claimed 17 lives, was using the social media hashtag #BoycottNRA. He was calling for companies to sever ties with the NRA, and a boycott of the NRA (2). However, when people boycott a product, they are not only denying a company their money, they are also denying themselves of that product. Thus, the option of buycotting. When someone buycotts, they are buying a product from a company because they believe in the company's message and product, and it is more of a mutually beneficial arrangement. Boycotting is a form of negative reinforcement, while buycotting is a form of positive reinforcement. Teenagers have the ability to do both, and therefore allow their voices to be heard.

Although one teenager doing this may not have a major impact, what if all teenagers practiced conscientious consumerism? Teenagers (ages 13-18) spend an average of about 9 hours a day on entertainment media use, according to a study that Common Sense Media published. Over an hour of that time is spent using social media (3). What if instead, they were researching what political affiliations Netflix had before they paid their monthly bill, or investigating what country the clothes that they were wearing were made in? What if instead of sharing memes or selfies, they shared information and worked together using hashtags such as #BoycottNRA? A large difference could be made, especially considering that according to a U.S. Census, there are 17 million teenagers ages 14-17 in this country. Youth do have the power to make a difference, and if made aware of their buying power, they could have the ability to have major political sway, despite not even being old enough to vote.

1. Franck, Thomas. “Nike's Kaepernick Campaign 'a Stroke of Genius,' Says Analyst, Upgrading Stock to Buy." CNBC, CNBC, 11 Sept. 2018,

2. Sanders, Linley. “FedEx Finally Responded to Calls for NRA Boycott, but Won't End Their Discount Program." Teen Vogue,,

3. Shapiro, Jordan. “Teenagers In The U.S. Spend About Nine Hours A Day In Front Of A Screen." Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 3 Nov. 2015,

Water aerobics classes offered at Odessa

Special to The Odessa File

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Oct. 8, 2018 -- The Odessa-Montour School District is again offering water classes, starting Thursday, Nov. 1 and Monday, Nov. 5.

All classes are subject to a minium enrollment of eight.

There are six Monday sessions and seven Thursday sessions, each for one hour, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the school pool.

If interested, call BOCES at 739-4296 soon.

Local teens learn skills to combat drug use

Special to The Odessa File

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Aug. 2, 2018 -- Representatives from the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs (SCCUDD) recently returned from Orlando, Florida where they joined nearly 2,000 substance use prevention and treatment specialists from around the world for CADCA’s (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) 17th annula Mid-Year Training Institute.

The week-long training, held at the Gaylord Palms, taught participants how to address one of our nation’s biggest public health challenges: drug use. CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute is a one-of-a-kind intensive training opportunity, offering more than 95 ninety-minute and half-day courses geared toward helping participants find solutions to their community’s toughest substance use problems.

SCCUDD said two of the coalition’s youth members participated in CADCA’s Youth Leadership training at the event to help them become strong community leaders and change agents.

“I enjoyed meeting youth from all over the country and hearing about the issues in their communities,” said Aidan Thurston, a local ninth grader who attended the training.

 SCCUDD was formed in response to the Schuyler County Public Health Department’s Community Health Assessment showing concerning youth outcomes. Part of this Assessment included a public opinion survey that showed the number one health concern of Schuyler County residents was the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. The mission of SCCUDD is to prevent, reduce and delay the onset of substance use among Schuyler County youth by collaborating with community partners, promoting prevention education and substance-free activities and implementing environmental strategies.

SCCUDD’s vision is a connected community where youth have education, resources, and drug-free options to help their journey to become happy, healthy adults. For more information, or to become involved with SCCUDD, visit SCCUDD online at, or follow SCCUDD on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo in text: SCCUDD representatives Aidan Thurston, left, and Gabriel Grover at the CADCA Mid-Year Training Institute in Orlando, Florida. (Photo provided)

Why schools need to educate their
students on becoming involved citizens

The following was submitted to The Odessa File by Watkins Glen High School senior Kathleen Clifford, who is interning with this website. It is an outgrowth of her recent attendance at the Empire Girls State program at SUNY Brockport.

By Kathleen Clifford

SCHUYLER COUNTY, July 13, 2018 -- Last week, another Watkins Glen High School student and I were given the opportunity to attend Empire Girls State. This week-long leadership conference, run by the American Legion Auxiliary, gives female rising seniors the opportunity to learn about politics and the government.

The program took place at SUNY Brockport, and was attended by about 360 girls. The girls were separated into 11 counties, as well as two political parties, and spent the week running for office and writing bills about their fictional states. Empire Girls State gives these girls the opportunity to learn about how the government works, and gain the hands-on experience of running a mock government that mirrors the government of New York State and the United States. In my time there I learned a lot about our government, but I also realized how much I didn’t know before I went, and I was not alone in this realization.

Educating youth about the way the government currently functions is frequently absent from school curricula. History classes take priority from a young age, and while they describe the structure of our government, they do not educate youth on current events. Youth are expected to be educated by their parents or keep up on current events by themselves, rather than being taught in school. Because of this, not all youth are receiving an equal education regarding current events, political affairs, and international events.

This needs to change. Possibly the reason that many schools would find it difficult to teach a class on current events is simply this: bias in our heated, politically divisive time. However, there are two readily available solutions to this. One is a student-led class, in which a teacher would not be giving students his or her personal opinion; a statement of facts would be its basis. Another option would be to give an instructional class on government structure and how to find information on current events, directing students to credible sources.

A common phrase is that "today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders." In order for the leaders of our country to help our country progress, those youths need to be educated.Beyond that, while it is important to have educated leaders, in a democratic form of government it is also important to have an educated population. High schools are responsible for the most basic form of education of the citizens, and they should be educating them in how to remain educated, rather than teaching simple rote facts -- facts that are forgotten as soon as the student finishes the final exam.

Politics and current events are not something that you can learn once and never have to follow up. Current events are just that -- current. They require constant monitoring, but the monitoring needs to be done correctly. Students need to learn early which websites and sources are reliable, and how to separate opinion and bias from facts in order to form their own opinions, learn about their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and embrace the challenges and rewards that citizenship offers. As students learn these skills, they will increase their odds of becoming active members of the U.S. -- whether through the most basic level of voting or through something more.

In order for the youth of the United States to become good and involved citizens, they need to be educated on how to get involved and stay informed. By implementing such a curriculum in schools across the nation, the U.S. could create a more educated population, and begin to solve problems such as low voter turnout among the younger generations.

And with more citizens getting involved, maybe ... just maybe ... the result would be a more unified country.

Photo in text: Kathleen Clifford

Ladies Club awards scholarships to 3

Special to The Odessa File

SCHUYLER COUNTY, July 2, 2018 -- The Ladies Wednesday Afternoon Club has awarded scholarships of $150 each to three 2018 Schuyler County high school graduates: Nicole Moffe of Bradford Central School, Jacob Lyon of Odessa-Montour, and Amanda Armstrong of Watkins Glen..

Moffe, the club said, "has made great strides in her education and has done very well with her College Composition Class." She plans on attending Corning Community College with a major in Early Education.

Lyon, it said, "has greatly improved his grades and also is involved in many activities." He plans on entering Corning Community College with an undeclared major.

Armstrong, it added, "has improved her grades since 9th grade and is very strong academically." She plans on entering SUNY Brockport and hopes to enter the medical field.

The Ladies Wednesday Afternoon Club (which was organized in 1895) meets the second Wednesday of the month and says it "is very interested in obtaining knowledge and staying current with everyday society. We encourage anyone who may be interested in joining our group to contact our president, Lois Carter, at 742-0301."

4 O-M students at Villanova University for Explore STEM development experience

Mackenzie Cannon, Gabriel Grover, Madison Moss, and Aidan Thurston taking part

Special to The Odessa File

PHILADELPHA, Pa., July 1, 2018 -- Odessa-Montour school district students Mackenzie Cannon, Gabriel Grover, Madison Moss, and Aidan Thurston joined outstanding Middle School students from across the nation in a unique academic and career-oriented development experience, NYLF Explore STEM, this past week at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

The program, which opened Sunday and ran to Friday, is one of the Envision family of programs ( that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom. The students were nominated by local teachers and staff for the trip, and participated in fund-raising to help finance it.

Mackenzie Cannon is President of the Student Council and involved in National Junior Honor Society, Interact Club, and three sports. Her interests include focusing on her education, farming, and taking care of her animals. Her current projects include helping her grandfather with the cows and working in her grandmother’s cheese store, the Sunset View Creamery. In addition, she serves as a cashier for Sunset View Creamery and works at the Finger Lakes Cheese Festival. In looking ahead to NYLF Explore STEM Program, she said she was excited to participate in fun labs and learn more about science, technology, engineering and math.

Gabriel Grover is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and belongs to SCCUDD (a coalition whose aim is to prevent under-age drinking and substance abuse among Schuyler County youth, through education and community teamwork.) His main interests include mountain biking, weight lifting, Tae Kwon Do, computers, baseball, and performing with O-M’s Junior High Chorus. Areas of study that interest him are History and Physics. He said he is grateful to everyone who helped give him this chance. The parts of the NYLF Explore STEM Program which most excited him were real-life scenarios that he thought would help him gain a better understanding of how his future job might really look.

Madison Moss is active in sports and performs with O-M’s Junior High Band. Outside school, she is a member of the Watkins Glen Gators swim team and the American Heritage Girls. She has amassed many hours of community service and freely volunteers her time for the benefit of others. She also enjoys spending time with animals she raises, and plans to enter the field of Marine Biology. She says she is grateful to have been nominated for the STEM experience and appreciates her parents' help. She believes this whole experience will help her in reaching her goal of pursuing Marine Biology.

Aidan Thurston is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, Student Council, and Junior High Chorus. Outside school, he is a member of SCCUDD and STAND (Schuyler Teens Against Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drugs.) He plays bagpipes with the Caledonian Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band and is a Star Scout with Boy Scout Troop 2674. He is interested in becoming a profiler for the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. He said he feels that the Villanova week marked a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The parts of the NYLF Explore STEM Program which most excited him were all of the research and lab activities involving Forensics that would give him experience.

The trip was financed with the help of almost $10,000 in fund-raising through such means as donations and cashing in returnable bottles and cans. Organizers said a similar STEM experience is possible in the future as Odessa's STEM-inclined students continue as a club.

"NYLF Explore STEM is an opportunity for high-achieving scholars to get outside the classroom and see, through hands-on interactive learning, how to innovate and think creatively,” said Andrew Potter, the Chief Academic Officer for Envision. “These students, who have already proven themselves academically, are now challenged to work on real-world, student-created projects."

Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students in more than 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape.

Photo in text: From left, O-M STEM students Madison Moss, Aidan Thurston, Mackenzie Cannon and Gabriel Grover. (Photo provided)

Elliott receives Arc's Hayes scholarship

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, June 26, 2018 -- The Arc of Schuyler awarded its Joanne S. Hayes Memorial Scholarship to Watkins Glen High School graduate Hanley Elliott at the June 23 commencement ceremony.

This $1,000 scholarship honors Joanne Hayes, former board member and president of The Arc of Schuyler’s board of directors, who passed away in 1987. The award is given annually to a graduating senior pursuing an education in human services, special education, or a related field for a career providing supports to people with developmental disabilities.

Elliott, daughter of Kirra Franzese, will enroll at Ithaca College this fall to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in clinical health studies and a doctorate in physical therapy, specializing in pediatrics. In her application essay, Elliott expressed her desire to “impact the lives of children with disabilities, empowering them to feel stronger and live a high-quality life.”

Elliott has been involved with numerous service clubs, volunteer experiences, and sports throughout her years in high school and, in addition, has held part-time jobs at local businesses. She was also a member f the New Visions Honors Academy Health Career Exploration program in which she excelled.

Elliott’s New Visions instructor, Elizabeth Woodard, commented: “Hanley has always requested to work with children and adults who have physical and developmental disabilities. Getting to work with this population is such a great fit for Hanley, who stated her first medical shadow with children with disabilities was ‘the best day of her life’.”

The Joanne S. Hayes Memorial Scholarship is made possible through donations to The Arc of Schuyler, a not-for-profit organization providing supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. For more information, visit

Photo in text: Hanley Elliott (Photo provided)

Douglas to retire as CCC President in '19

Special to The Odessa File

CORNING, June 21, 2018 -- Embarking on eight years in office, Dr. Katherine P. Douglas, President of SUNY Corning Community College, has announced her decision to retire, effective June 30, 2019. The College’s sixth president, her tenure is marked by expansion and public/private partnerships.

In a statement to employees, Douglas said, “It has been my professional honor and a privilege to serve as SUNY Corning Community College’s sixth President. My goal has been to support the power of learning to improve the quality of life for students, their families, and our communities. Maintaining a focus on this positions the College for a future relevant in today’s fast changing society.”

Under Douglas’ leadership, the College has completed a number of initiatives, including the following:

--In 2012, founding the Presidential Scholars scholarship program, which guarantees students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class in Chemung, Steuben, and Schuyler counties a SUNY CCC associate’s degree with no tuition debt.

--Opened a three-story $16.8 million residence in 2013, dedicating it to the College’s first President -- William Perry. The suite-style building was underwritten by the Corning Community College Development Foundation using no public funds.

--In 2014 a successful capital campaign leveraged $23 million for campus renewal projects, including the re-imagination of the Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. Library, renovation of the Commons, renewal of the Gymnasium, and construction of a new turf field.

--In 2015, SUNY CCC held the ribbon-cutting for its state-of-the-art welding facility in the Academic and Workforce Development Center in Elmira for its non-credit Welding Technology Program.

--In 2016, SUNY CCC welcomed the first class of students to the Southern Tier STEM Academy.

--In 2017, the College opened the Health Education Center, a new state-of-the-art complex that serves the educational needs of aspiring healthcare professionals and positions the College to educate a larger class of nursing students. The facility was funded through Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council’s (STREDC) Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process in partnership with Reidman-Purcell’s $30 million redevelopment of the former hospital site.

--In 2018 SUNY CCC signed a partnership with Siemens, Inc. to retrofit academic buildings to 21st century energy standards while renaming those buildings Chemung Hall, Steuben Hall, and Schuyler Hall.

“Dr. Katherine Douglas has served Corning Community College exceptionally well, leading some of the College’s most character-defining changes in its history,” said Carl Blowers, Chairman of the Regional Board of Trustees. “During her time in office, she transformed the campus into a residential community, responded to changing workforce needs with new academic programs, facilitated partnerships that will bear fruit for decades, and fostered an award-winning athletic program. We are grateful for the talent and forward-thinking vision Kate brought to Corning and wish her the best on her decision to begin this new chapter of her life.”

Photo in text: Dr. Katherine P. Douglas. (File photo)

Left: Retiree Becky Sue Bianco with Superintendent Greg Kelahan at Monday's Watkins Glen School Board meeting. Right: Retiree Rob Michel.

Sports awards presented; retirees lauded

WATKINS GLEN, June 18, 2018 -- Watkins Glen High School athletes who won sectional titles or qualified for State competition in the spring were given Outstanding Athletic Achievement Award certificates Monday evening at a meeting of the Watkins Glen School Board.

Four retirees were also recognized by the board, with the two present receiving Don Maas art prints -- a traditional farewell gift from the district.

Athletes honored included golfers Hanley Elliott and Gabi Decker, who both qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Golf Championships at Bethpage on Long Island; Gabe Planty, who was the Section IV, Class C 1600 Meter Champion; and Isobel Scheffey, the Section IV, Class C 200 Meter and 400 Meter champion.

The retirees included two who were unable to attend the meeting: Peg Cleary, a Special Education teacher with 19 years experience, and Amy Lakomy, with 22 years at the school, most recently as Librarian.

Present and receiving Maas prints were Becky Sue Bianco, with 37 years of teaching in the district; and Rob Michel, retiring after 36 years.

Superintendent Greg Kelahan praised the dedication of the retirees.

Said Bianco to the School Board: "Thank you for a wonderful career."

Added Michel: "It's been an honor."

In other business, the School Board:

-- Heard from Student Council President Kai Sutterby, who urged its members to consider adding a student representative to the board. She said it would help "open the line of communication" between students and board.

-- Heard from student Kathleen Clifford, who urged the board to reconsider its plan to reduce the number of periods in the day from eight (plus lunch) to seven (plus lunch). She said the move would reduce the number of options and opportunities for students.

Photos in text:

Top: Track's Isobel Scheffey flanked by coaches Kelly Sterner and Travis Durfee.
Middle: Runner Gabe Planty and golfer Hanley Elliott.
Bottom: Student Kai Sutterby confers with Superintendent Greg Kelahan.

Watkins Glen High lists 89 graduates

WATKINS GLEN, June 13, 2018 -- Watkins Glen High School has released a list of graduates that contains 89 names.

The graduation ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 23 in the WGHS auditorium.

The listed graduates: Elise Allington, Amanda Armstrong, Rees Avery, Kristopher Ayers, Patrick Bannon, Jarrod Beardsley, Makenzi Bellows, Amber Benjamin, Arnaz Bharucha, Brandon Blim, Kali Bond, Emilia Bond, Garrett Bower, Dylan Bradley, Steven Bradley, Calvin Buckley, Liza Carnes, Ashley Caslin, Alexis Castellaneta, Clara Chedzoy, Rebecca Chiacchiarini, Kari Coates, Brandy Cornish, Kendra Cornish, Tyler Couch, Dalton Cummings, Gabriella Decker, Michael Doane, Daniel Dunham, Chase Edwards, Hanley Elliott, Ray Forker, Makenna Fraboni, Ethan Franklin, Jacob Grey, Corey Hancharik, Meghan Hayes, Megan Hazlitt, Torie Hill, Sean Holland, Hannah Hornby, Jazsmine Hudson, Dayne Hughey, Jakob Johnson, Katlyn Kernan, Elizabeth Kilcoyne, Ryanna LaMoreaux, Kendra Larson, Joseph LaTorre, Kevin LeRoux Jr., Cody MacDonald, Shianna Mattison, Hannah Matusicky, Sara McManus, Thomas Nelson IV, Daniel Paradiso, Aaron Planty, Nicole Price, Jared Prien, Johnathan Reed, Julia Reilly, Paige Robbins, Tanner Ryan, Hannah St. Julien, Jared Sandritter, Isobel Scheffey, Alex Schimizzi, Jonathan Seaman, Alexis Shea, Jazmin Shea, Conner Smith, Kayla Smith, Emily Sonner, Alan Specchio Jr., Kiersten Stiles, Kathleen Swinnerton, Seth Swinnerton, Reese Tague, Julian Thornton, Trevor Thurston, Joshua Updyke, Kaitlyn Valla, Gavin VanDerEems, Yessenia Vargas, Ethan Voorheis, Simon Wigmore, Phillip Wise, Conlin Wysocki, Tristan Yuhasz.

Photo in text: WGHS Valedictorian Clara Chedzoy. (Photo provided)

O-M Academic Award winners announced

ODESSA, June 13, 2018 -- Academic Awards were presented recently at Odessa-Montour High School during an awards assembly.

Among the winners were:

Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award -- Olivia Grover
Connie Torpy Jones Memorial Award -- Hailey Hoose
USMC Scholastic Excellence Award -- Hailey Perraut
USMC Distinguished Athlete Award -- Nakiaha Robinson, William Tague
Elmira Key Award -- Mckenzie Barrett, Hannah Rosier
NYS Office of Attorney General Triple C Award -- Jacqulyn Vincent, Noah Brewster
Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award -- Kennedey Heichel
Univ. of Rochester Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award -- William Yeater
University of Rochester George Eastman Leadership Award -- Nadia Simpson
Celebrate Excellence Awards -- Megan Adams, Grace Vondracek, Noah Brewster
Roch. Institute of Technology Computing Medal -- Kennedey Heichel, Noah Brewster
Roch. Institute of Technology Innovation-Creativity Medal -- Maria Scata, Tyler Carson
University of Rochester Xerox Award -- Donald Roberts
Russell Sage College Student Sage Award -- Jacqulyn Vincent and Hailey Ferguson
Keuka College George H. Ball Community Achievement Award -- Rowan Hollenbeck, Emma Lodge, McKennah Lott, Jacy Knapp, Alexis Saunders
NYS Comptroller Award -- Hailey Perraut
President’s Award for Educational Excellence -- Hailey Perraut, Colin Marsh

Schuyler Scholars from Odessa-Montour: From left: Syria Tague, Hailey Perraut, Gillian Clark, Colin Marsh and Nakiaha Robinson.

Schuyler Scholars honored at hotel dinner

WATKINS GLEN, June 12, 2018 -- Nineteen seniors from three Schuyler County schools were honored Tuesday as Schuyler Scholars at a dinner in the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.

The Schuyler Scholars program, in its 11th year, honors students for placing in the top 10% of their class at Bradford, Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen High Schools.

Speakers at Tuesday's gathering included a former Schuyler Scholar, Dr. Katie Ray, a physical therapist at Schuyler Hospital; and Schuyler County Administrator Tim O'Hearn, who noted that he had also spoken at the inaugural Scholars dinner 10 years ago.

Dr. Ray told the honorees that there will be days in the future when things go wrong -- "days when you want to give up" -- but said they should embrace such experiences and learn to deal with them because they will "make you a better person."

Everyone should make their mistakes, learn from them, and keep moving forward toward their goals. Those people who are "not courageous enough to take chances," she said, will "accomplish nothing."

O'Hearn praised the Schuyler Scholars program and said "tonight we celebrate your success, and rightfully so," and called it "testament to your hard work and perseverance."

"I'm lookng at the future," he said, scanning the honorees seated in front of him. "I'm happily looking at the future."

The Bradford High School honorees were introduced first, and presented plaques: Emily Wagner, Alexis Nowicki, and Rhiannon Machuga.

Next came the Odessa-Montour scholars: Hailey Perraut, Gillian Clark, Syria Tague, Nakiaha Robinson and Colin Marsh.

Then the Watkins honorees received their plaques: Emmie Bond, Clara Chedzoy, Gabi Decker, Hanley Elliott, Meghan Hayes, Ryanna LaMoreaux, Tanner Ryan, Trevor Thurston, and Kaitlyn Valla.

Not present were O-M honorees Cheyenne Barrett, rehearsing for this weekend's Lake Country Players production of "Peter Pan Jr." (in which she will be flying); and Carly Smith.

In introducing the Odessa scholars, Superintendent Chris Wood -- who served as the evening's emcee --said the O-M senior class, and in particular its seven Scholar honorees, had "left their mark deep in our school. They are great students, great role models, and great people."

Introductory remarks were also made by Bradford School Superintendent John Marshall, Odessa-Montour High School Principal Skip McCarty, Watkins Glen School Superintendent Greg Kelahan and WGHS Principal Kai D'Alleva.

Photos in text:

Top: WGHS honoree Gabi Decker, flanked by WGHS Principal Kai D'Alleva, left, and Superintendent Greg Kelahan.
Middle: O-M honoree Hailey Perraut with Superintendent Chris Wood.
Bottom: Bradford honorees (from left) Rhiannon Machuga, Alexis Nowicki and Emily Wagner.

Left: Dr. Katie Ray presents her speech as O-M Superintendent Chris Wood listens.
Right: Speaker Tim O'Hearn, the Schuyler County Administrator.

The Watkins Glen High School Schuyler Scholars. From left: Tanner Ryan, Ryanna LaMoreaux, Clara Chedzoy, Gabi Decker, Hanley Elliott, Emmie Bond, Meghan Hayes, Kaitlyn Valla and Trevor Thurston.

Fitzsimmons on SUNY Geneseo Dean's List

GENESEO, NY, June 11, 2018 -- Watkins Glen High School graduate William Fitzsimmons has been named to the Dean's List for the spring semester at SUNY Geneseo.

Fitzsimmons graduated from WGHS in 2017.

To be on the list, a student must have achieved at least a 3.5 grade-point average while taking a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Eight of the nine WGHS seniors honored this year as Rotary Students of the Month. From left: Tanner Ryan, Kayla Smith, Hanley Elliott, Amber Benjamin, Jared Prien, Meghan Hayes, Jackson Dunham and Kaitlyn Valla. Not present: Clara Chedzoy.

WGHS distributes awards at assembly

WATKINS GLEN, May 31, 2018 -- Watkins Glen High School presented awards for academic and athletic achievement at an awards assembly Wednesday night in the school auditorium.

The school-generated athletic awards are presented in a separate article below this one.

Rotary Students of the Month were presented:
September -- Tanner Ryan
October -- Kayla Smith
November -- Meghan Hayes
December -- Jackson Dunham
January -- Kaitlyn Valla
February -- Jared Prien
March -- Hanley Elliott
April -- Amber Benjamin
May -- Clara Chedzoy
June -- TBA

TIES Volunteer Awards: Sara McManus, Shannon Ervay, Amanda Armstrong, and Jordyn Barrett

Varsity Academic Marathon: Emilia Bond, Clara Chedzoy, Gabriella Decker, Meghan Hayes, Hanley Elliott, Tori Hill, Ryanna LaMoreaux, Kendra Larson, Paige Robbins, Tanner Ryan, Jazmin Shea, Trevor Thurston, and Simon Wigmore

University of Rochester:
Bausch & Lomb Science Honorary Award: Kai Sutterby
Fredrick Douglas & Susan B. Anthony Award for Social Sciences & Humanities:
Kathleen Clifford
George Eastman Young Leaders Award: Joseph Chedzoy
Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology: Jonathan Lokken

Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award: Kathleen Clifford and Isabella Fazzary

Clarkson University Leadership Award: Casen Weeden

Clarkson University Achievement Award: Kishan Patel

Rochester Institute of Technology Junior Awards:
Innovation & Creativity Award: Dylan Markley
Computing Medal and Scholarship Program: H. Nathaniel Rose

Hobart and William Smith Colleges:

Finger Lakes Scholarship: Joseph Chedzoy, Kathleen Clifford, Kai Sutterby, Casen Weeden, H. Nathaniel Rose, Dylan Markley, Emilee Stephani, Jon Lokken, and Isabella Fazzary

Alfred University Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering Award for Academic Excellence:
H. Nathaniel Rose

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medal:
Joseph Chedzoy

Sage Colleges Student Scholarship: Emilee Stephani

Boy’s State Recognition Awards: Joseph Chedzoy

Math Recognition Awards:
Algebra Regents Award: Cale Sutterby
Geometry Regents Award: Josiah Wysocki
Algebra II Regents Award: Kai Sutterby and H. Nathaniel Rose

Ruth Warner Math Awards: Kristina Wormley and Collin Ector

The Pulitzer Prize of Schuyler County:

Excellence in Scholastic Journalism: Amber Benjamin and Jared Prien

FOWL Library Service Award:
Amanda Armstrong

Ryan Pruitt Awareness 24 Achievement Award: Alexis Castellaneta

Barb Hughey Physical Education Award: Ryanna LaMoreaux and Conlin Wysocki

Water Safety Award: Kaitlyn Valla and Meghan Hayes

Chemistry Regents Award: H. Nathaniel Rose

Gerald Loughlin Biology Regents Award (Living Environment): Peter Sandritter

Physics Regents Award: Kayla Smith

Earth Science Regents Award: Austin Voorhees

AP Achievement Award: Tanner Ryan

English Regents Award: Clara Chedzoy

Kate LaMoreaux Lover of Lit Award:
Amanda Armstrong

Dugo-Bahns U.S. History Regents Award: Clara Chedzoy and Meghan Hayes

Bahns-Dugo Global History Regents Award: Elizabeth Kilcoyne and Kai Sutterby

Marie Fitzsimmons Student Humanitarian Award: Jared Prien

National Honor Society Awards:
NHS Service Award: Emmie Bond
NHS Leadership Award: Tanner Ryan
NHS Scholarship Award: Clara Chedzoy
NHS Character Award: Daniel Paradiso

Valedictorian -- Clara Chedzoy
Salutatorian -- Trevor Thurston

Photos from top: Amber Benjamin and Jared Prien with journalism award presented by teacher Kelly Muir; Kai Sutterby; Amanda Armstrong (left) and Shannon Ervay with TIES Awards; H. Nathaniel Rose.

WGHS distributes athletic awards

WATKINS GLEN, May 31 -- Watkins Glen High School handed out various sports awards as part of an evening assembly Wednesday in the school auditorium. Academilc and service awards are presented above.

The recipients' names will appear on the corresponding plaques on display in the Field House. The awards and recipients:

Senecas Football Award -- Recipient selected by the football coaching staff for overall contributions to the football program -- Alex Schimizzi.

James Angelo Sr. Basketball Award -- Recipient selected by the boys basketball coaching staff for the outstanding basketball player -- Michael Doane and Dayne Hughey.

TJ O'Rourke Award -- Recipient selected by the Athletic Council for athletic excellence, contribution to the athletic program, leadership and sportsmanship -- Ryanna LaMoreaux.

Coach Joseph J. Lemak Award -- Goes to one boy and one girl as Outstanding Senior Athletes. Selected by the Athletic Council -- Emmie Bond and Josh Updyke.

Dr. Arthur J. Jackson Award -- Goes to one boy and one girl for academic and athletic excellence. Selected by the Athletic Council -- Clara Chedzoy & Simon Wigmore.

Athletic Service Award -- For the non-athlete (in a specific sport) who assisted/contributed to the athletic program. Selected by the Athletic Council -- Scott Brubaker.

Track & Field Award -- For overall contributions to the track and field program. Recipients selected by the track & field coaching staff -- Isobel Scheffey & Aaron Planty.

Francis W. Blake Sportsmanship Award -- Recipients selected from a list that the Physical Education Department sent to the entire high school staff for a vote. The award goes to one girl and one boy -- Paige Robbins and Michael Doane.

Melissa B. Wilson Basketball Award: -- Presented annually by the Wilson family -- Makenna Fraboni

Photos from top: Athletic awards were presented by High School Principal Kai D'Alleva to Alex Schimizzi, Ryanna LaMoreaux and Josh Updyke.

WGHS awards go to 7th, 8th graders

WATKINS GLEN, June 1, 2018 -- The following awards were presented to the Watkins Glen High School 7th and 8th grade students at an awards assembly on May 30.

7th Grade High Honor Roll Award
Carly Arnold, Ava Barber, Hannah Berry, Dominic Craven, Kendall Gascon, Otto Hohle, Lois Hosley, Dallas Johnson, Maia Kamakawiwoole, Skylar Lagramada, Han Shun Liu, Alyssa Miller, Shane Miller, Faye Mooney, Jason Murphy, Mark Niederhofer, Ross Pentz, Isabella Samuel, Sarah Schaffner, Samantha Seaman, Deven Searle, Jonah Sisel, Jenna Solomon, Julia Thorsland, Emmalise Updyke, Kayla Wood.

7th Grade Honor Roll
Alyiah Clink-Bentley, Macy Fitzgerald, Thomas Goltry-Coots, Abigal Grebleski, Alexis Hatch, Jared Jilson, Aubrey Kellogg, Cadin Knapp, Kaden LaBar, Ryan Maslinski, Andrue Mathews, Erin McKenzie, Braiden Merrill Ventra, Aaliyah Miller, Peiyton Pangallo, Gabriel Santos, Rebecca Scholtisek, Joseph Sutterby, Ryan Thompson, Jacob VanDerEems, Jacob Yontz, Shea Young

Achievement Awards -- 7th Grade:
ELA Faye Mooney, Jenna Solomon Health Samantha Seaman Math Samantha Seaman Science Jenna Solomon Social Studies Ross Pentz Spanish Faye Mooney
Technology Han Shun Liu

PE Awards:
Ava Barber, Aliyah Clink-Bentley, Domonic Craven, Otto Hohle, Dallas Johnson, Maia Kamakawiwoole, Gregory Mason, Shane Miller, Jason Murphy, Isabella Samuel, Gabriel Santos, Deven Searle, Jenna Solomon.

Dallas Johnson, Jonah Sissel. Dignity Kendall Gascon, Mark Niederhofer Ingenuity Erin McKenzie, Jason Murphy.

Alexis Hatch, Shea Young.

Junior Honor Society Inductees:
Nicholas Bonsignore, Malina Butler, Ava Cowan, Alannah Klemann, Giuseppe La Face, Thalia Marquez, Dylan Nguyen, Brenna Pierce, Maisie Robertson, Nathan Triner, Ashlyn Karius, Jade Scaptura, Robin Zimba.

8th Grade High Honor Roll Award:
Carlie Baker, Bailey Beaumont, Gavin Bond, Kaylynn Burke, Breanna Carl, Douglas DiGregorio, Molly Dunham, Daniel Ely, Noah Gardner, Abigail Gibson, Andrew Hayes, Cameron Holland, Madelynn Jones, Ashlyn Karius, Isabella La Face, Mason Lampman-Roisen, Kellie Memoli, Sierra Morris, Matthew Sandritter, Jade Scaptura, Owen Scholtisek, Kara Sheesley, Anya Simpson, Jordannmarie Simpson, Brandon Smith, Maya Somerville, Benjamin Swinnerton, Colby Thurston, Kade Westervelt, Melanie Wysocki, Robin Zimba.

8th Grade Honor Roll:
Owen Bingham, Daine Butler, Haley Carl, Ashlyn Castillo, Chloe Gouin, Zachary Naylor, Mitchell Pike, Emily Rhoads, Charlie Samuel, Luke Spahalski, Matthew Swarthout, Christa Taber, Gaetono Williams, Cloey Wratten.

All-Star Award:
Ashlyn Castillo, Christa Taber, Jade Williams.

Peter Galatis Award:
Luke Spahalski

PE Awards:
Daine Butler, Abigail Gibson, Travon Jones, Kellie Memoli, Owen Scholtisek, Brandon Smith, Jayden Smith, Luke Spahalski, Christa Taber, Melanie Wysocki, Robin Zimba.

Achievement Awards:
ELA: Matthew Sandritter Science Robin Zimba Social Studies Matthew Sandritter Spanish Douglas DiGregorio, Andrew Hayes, Matthew Sandritter
Perseverance: Isabella La Face Dignity Melanie Wysocki Ingenuity Kellie Memoli
Collaboration: Mason Lampman-Roisen

Triple C Award:
Douglas DiGregorio, Robin Zimba

Comptroller Award:
Cameron Holland

The Watkins Glen High School Chorus performed four songs at Tuesday's concert.

Watkins Glen High holds its Spring Concert

WATKINS GLEN, May 15 -- Students in grades 7 through 12 at Watkins Glen High School performed an array of choral and instrumental music Tuesday night at the school's Spring Concert in the high school auditorium.

The 7th and 8th Grade Chorus sang "Lullaby of Birdland," "Magical Kingdom," "Over the Rainbow" and "Let Me Fly."

The High School Chorus followed with "It Don't Mean a Thing," "Come, Ye Disconsolate," "Closer to the Flame" and "Sisi Ni Moja." The Combined District Choirs then sang "The Gift to Sing."

The 7th and 8th Grade Band performed "Mystic Legend," "Of Time and Change" and "Dynamo." The 7/8 Band and High School Concert Band then teamed for "March of the Belgian Paratroopers."

The High School Concert Band concluded with "Okeanos," a pair of Cajun Folksongs and "My Shot" from the musical Hamilton.

Photo in text: Members of the 7th and 8th grade Chorus.

At the concert: Members of the 7th and 8th Grade Band perform.

Student art was on display in the hallways outside the concert auditorium Tuesday night. Among the many pieces were the two above -- by Melanie Wysocki (left) and Kai Pittman.

O-M's Robinson wins Chamber scholarship

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, May 14, 2018 -- Odessa-Montour High School senior Nakiaha Robinson has been named winner of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Business and Education Committee's annual $1,000 scholarship.

The award is presented each year to a graduating senior who is a resident of Schuyler County or attends Bradford, Odessa-Montour, or Watkins Glen high school.

Robinson is a member of the National Honor Society, Interact Club, and Yearbook. She has also served as Student Council President and as a member of the Superintendent’s Leadership Group. She is also captain of the varsity basketball team. She was the recipient of the Rotary Student of the Month award in September 2017.

For her application, Robinson selected the essay prompt “Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?” She wrote about her adoptive mother, Polly Garrison, saying, “This is a tribute to a woman who constantly inspires me, motivates me, is there for a hug on my down days, and has shown me unconditional love even before she took me in.”

Robinson’s plans for the future include attending St. John Fisher College in Rochester, where she will major in pre-law with a minor in sociology.

Photo in text: Nakiaha Robinson (File photo)

Rotary to sponsor Fazzary at Empire State

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, May 14, 2018 -- The Watkins-Montour Rotary Club is sponsoring a student for Empire Girls State -- the first time Schuyler County has sent a representative in 20 years.

Watkins Glen High School junior Isabella Fazzary will attend Empire Girls State in Brockport this summer. The program is scheduled from July 1-7.

"When we heard that Isabella was interested in and eligible for Girls State, our Board was excited to support her," said Rich Greenberger, Watkins-Montour Rotary President. "Supporting Isabella aligns with Rotary's goals of supporting education and promoting peace. We look forward to hearing about her experience."

Empire Girls State is a hands-on week-long educational workshop, focusing on Americanism and the political process, sponsored by the New York State American Legion Auxiliary. The goal of the program is to help students to better understand democratic ideals and the part we as individuals play in carrying out these ideals.

Photo in text: Isabella Fazzary (Photo provided)

All of the Schuyler County participants -- from the Odessa-Montour and Bradford Central Schools -- at the 2018 Southern Tier Regional Envirothon. (Photo provided)

O-M captures Schuyler Envirothon title

Special to The Odessa File

OWEGO, May 1, 2018 -- The Odessa-Montour Central School "Otters" was the Schuyler County winning team Monday at the Southern Tier Envirothon held at the Tioga County Sportsmen's Center in Owego, defeating nine other Schuyler teams and finishing second overall out of the 36 squads on hand from around the region.

The Otters squad, coached by high school science teacher, Doug Chapman, thus will represent Schuyler County at the 2018 New York State Envirothon at the Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva later this month. The winning team at the statewide competition will compete at the Canon National Envirothon at Idaho State University in July.

Schuyler, Chemung, Broome, Tioga and Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation Districts combine efforts each year to provide high schools in the five counties with this regional, Southern Tier Envirothon to determine county champions.

Battling for the chance to represent their county at the statewide event, the students’ knowledge was put to the test as the teams completed tough exams in Aquatics, Soils, Forestry, Wildlife, and this year’s Current Issue: "Western Rangeland Management: Balancing Diverse Views.”

Two schools, 10 teams, and 50 students from Schuyler County participated in the event, which saw participation by 12 regional schools. Odessa-Montour had five teams, and Bradford Central School had five. One other Schuyler County student, Dezirae Minnier, from Odessa, was on the winning Chemung County team, the "Vicious Voles" from Greater Southern Tier (GST) BOCES.

Besides the "Otters," another O-M team, the "Mayflies," came in second among Schuyler teams, while a Bradford team, "Adios Amigos," was third. Rebecca Schrader is the coach for the Bradford teams.

The Soil and Water Conservation Districts help to organize the Envirothon, and essential support is provided by the school science teachers, the school districts and also local businesses and service organizations who donate funds for financial support. Donors this year include The Watkins Glen Fire Company, The Watkins Glen Elks Lodge #1546, The Montour Falls Moose Lodge #426, Cotton Hanlon, Inc., Seneca Lodge, Reisinger’s Apple Country LLC., David L. Sidle Insurance Agency, Kimball Realty, and the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association.

The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District provides programs and services to help residents and communities manage and protect the natural resources of Schuyler County.

Photo in text: The Odessa-Montour "Otters," the Schuyler County winning Envirothon team. From left: Taylor Grover, Billy Tague, Andy Ink, Gillian Clark and Colin Marsh. (Photo provided)

A time for youth to stand up and be heard

The following was submitted to The Odessa File by Watkins Glen High School junior Kathleen Clifford, who is interning with this website. It recounts her experience at the recent March for Our Lives in Ithaca.

By Kathleen Clifford

SCHUYLER COUNTY, April 28, 2018 -- On March 24, 2018, hundreds of thousands of people around the nation marched in the March for Our Lives, which protested the persistence of gun violence in the USA. Although the largest march was held in Washington D.C. with around 800,000 people, local marches were held as well, including in Ithaca, which drew a crowd of about 1,000.

In schools alone, there have been at least 17 instances of shootings in 2018. The majority of a school’s population is made up of students, increasing the importance for students to take a stand against gun violence in the U.S.

Because youth are being directly affected by this problem, they are actively participating in protests such as March for Our Lives. The U.S. has a government that allows participation and influence from civilians, but to vote you must be at least 18 years of age. Due to this restriction, many of those being affected by mass instances of gun violence cannot have their voice heard in the typical way of many Americans, by voting.

Instead, students are allowing their voices to be heard by creating their own forums, and protesting and marching across the country. The key is that youth across the country are speaking out, not just in the major cities. In order for the youth to make a change, there must be a huge movement, and local students in the Finger Lakes Region were provided with the valuable opportunity to participate. Students from surrounding schools in Ithaca, Watkins Glen and Trumansburg all participated in this event.

The event, taking place on March 24, 2018, involved students and adults from surrounding areas meeting up on the Ithaca Commons, and holding signs up while listening to various speakers. Speakers included local students, parents, and community leaders. Speeches were about changes that need to be made on both national and state levels; issues such as the gun violence against blacks were brought up, as well.

The movement against gun violence is gaining momentum, and now is the time for the youth in the U.S. to begin to take a stand against the very problem that could end their lives or that of their friends. The problem of gun violence is not exclusive to large schools or big cities, and must be solved before the issue grows.

With a local platform for their voices to be heard, many attending the protest hoped for change to take place in New York State in the future. Young people are the future of the U.S., and it is important that their voices be heard.

Local movements build to create national movements, and the pieces must all come together to create a larger opportunity for change. With many local youth participating in this student-led movement, we are creating an active generation that will fight to have its voices heard, and fight to create change for the better.

Photos in text: Scenes from the Ithaca March for Our Lives. (Photos provided by Kathleeen Clifford)

Palmesano meets with WG fourth-graders

Special to
The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, April 26 -- Assemblyman Phil Palmesano spoke with an inquisitive and energetic group of about 80 fourth-grade students at Watkins Glen Elementary School recently.

He delivered a presentation on state government. Palmesano outlined the respective roles each of the three branches of government play in serving New Yorkers and explained the process by which a bill becomes a law. Additionally, he detailed his role as an assemblyman.

“It was a true pleasure to speak to the students at Watkins Glen Elementary School,” said Palmesano. “They were a great group of kids and they asked really insightful questions. I know they have bright futures ahead of them, and I want to thank all of the faculty and staff for hosting me.”

In addition to meeting with the fourth-graders, Palmesano met with a group of Watkins Glen High School freshmen and eighth-grade students later in the day.

Photo in text: Asemblyman Palmesano speaks to 4th-graders at WGES. (Photo provided)

Auxiliary offers Health Care scholarships

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALLS, April 25, 2018 -- The Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary is offering scholarships to students who plan to enter the health care field.

$1,000 scholarships will be awarded to graduating high school students who are residents of Schuyler County, and to hospital employees wishing to further their education in the health care field. 

Applications may be found on-line at Applications may also be picked up at high school guidance offices, or the Hospital’s Human Resources office -- located inside the Main Entrance of the Hospital.

Applications must be postmarked by May 29, 2018.

For more information, email, or contact Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary member Joan Argetsinger at (607) 535-6622.

Dunn named BOCES Student of Month

ODESSA, April 25, 2018 -- Trevor Dunn, an Odessa-Montour High School senior in the Welding and Metal Fabrication program, has been selected as the Career and Technical Education Program Student of the Month for March at the GST BOCES Bush Education Center.

“Trevor is a hard worker who mentors other students in the shop and the classroom,” said Instructor Mike Lederman. “He is the type of student who all teachers want to have in their class.” Trevor plans to attend college to study mechanical engineering.

The Student of the Month is selected by a committee of CTE staff based on nominations.

Photo in text: Trevor Dunn (center), a senior in the Welding and Metal Fabrication program, accepts the Student of the Month award from Instructor Mike Lederman (left) and CTE Assistant Principal Jared Kennedy (right). (Photo provided)

Watkins Library budget vote is May 9

WATKINS GLEN, April 5, 2018 -- The Watkins Glen Public Library's proposed 2018-19 budget of $190,888 will be voted upon by Watkins Glen School District residents on Wednesday, May 9 from 1-8 p.m. at the library, 610 S. Decatur St.

A public hearing on the budget, which is up from the current year's $186,622, will be held from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 at the library.

Members of the library board outlined the budget at the April 3 Watkins Glen School Board meeting. The school district collects the needed tax money for library operational expenses. Specifically, a total of $135,942 of the library budget is slated to come from taxes. Other sources of income are gifts and donations, fines, fees, grants, and rental income.

Library Board President Judy Phillips explained the budget to the School Board, with library board members Maggie Field and Duke Argetsinger also on hand.

Patrons checked out 37,266 print books from the Watkins Glen Public Library in 2017, along with Ebooks, audio books, and DVDs. A total of 195 programs were offered for children and adults, with total attendance of 3,249 children and 461 adults.

The conference room and library meeting spaces were used 162 times by 29 different community organizations.

Photo in text: Watkins Glen Public Library Board president Judy Phillips, right, at the School Board meeting. In the background is School Board president Gloria Brubaker.

Quasimodo (Wyatt Brower, right) throws Archdeacon Frollo (H. Nathaniel Rose) from the cathedral tower to his death.

'Hunchback' ends its 3-day run at WGHS

WATKINS GLEN, March 24, 2018 -- The Watkins Glen High School Class of 2018 presented its dramatic spring musical, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” for the third and final time Sunday afternoon in the WGHS auditorium.

The play opened Friday night and was performed again Saturday night, leading to the matinee finale.

Based on songs from the Disney film and on the plot of the Victor Hugo novel, the show follows Esmeralda and her fellow gypsies as they fight against the prejudices of Archdeacon Frollo.

Raised in seclusion by Frollo, Quasimodo longs to be among the people he watches from the towers of the Notre Dame cathedral, and eventually gains the courage to break out and save Esmeralda, who has shown him kindness. Soldier Phoebus and Queen of the Gypsies Clopin also help the people rise up against oppression. The show carries many timely themes.

In all, over 20 students from 7th to 12th grades rehearsed since January, immersing themselves in the challenging music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. The book is by Peter Parnell. Memorable songs include "Someday,” “God Help the Outcasts,” “Out There,” and “Heaven’s Light.”

Michelle and Tim Benjamin of Montour Falls directed (their 14th show for Watkins Glen High School), with Sarah Matthews as Music Director. Costume Director was Tammy Cole, and Choreographers included Michelle Benjamin, student Grace Wickham, and alum Kelsey Johnson.

H. Nathaniel Rose played Frollo, with Wyatt Brower as Quasimodo. Grace Wickham was Esmeralda, and Conlin Wysocki was Captain Phoebus. Amanda Armstrong played Clopin.

Other featured actors included Alix Matthews as Jehan Frollo, Jack Muir as Lt. Frederic, Claudia Parker as Florika and Kelsey Kernan as Saint Aphrodisius.

The statues and gargoyles who befriend the lonely Quasimodo were Maria Brubaker, Scott Brubaker, Douglas DiGregorio, Elliott Holland, Ashlyn Karius, Kathryn Losey, and Nikole VanDyke.

Rounding out the cast and playing multiple roles were: Macy Fitzgerald, Hannah Jitomer-Rowland, Iris Elaina Rodriguez, Sarah Shaffner, Anya Simpson, and Sarai Wynkoop.

The pit band included Matthews, Tom Bloodgood, Pam Cicconi, Kim Laursen, Bernie Riley, Sam Riley, and Simon Wigmore.

Hair was by Shear Elegance. The producer was Sam Brubaker, and the show was presented by the WGHS Class of 2018, in cooperation with Music Theatre International.


Photos in text:

Top: Captain Phoebus (Conlin Wysocki) and Esmeralda (Grace Wickham) sing a duet.

Esmeralda (Grace Wickham) is held by Quasimodo (Wyatt Brower) as she nears death.

Quasimodo and Captain Phoebus grieve the passing of Esmeralda.

Left: Kelsey Kernan as Saint Aphrodisius sings to Quasimodo. Right: Elliott Holland narrates at the end of the play.

Members of the chorus sing during an Act 2 musical number.

Left: Claudia Parker and Alix Matthews as the spirits of Quasimodo's parents (seen early in the play) reappear in Act. 2. Right: Archdeacon Frollo (H. Nathaniel Rose) and Esmeralda (Grace Wickham) argue late in the play.

Left: Kathryn Losey sings in Act 2. Right: Macy Fitzgerald, left, and Sarai Wynkoop.

And on opening night:

Wyatt Brower as the title character, Quasimodo, performs a first-act song.

Grace Wickham as Esmeralda performs a dance in the play's first act.

Jack Muir and Maria Brubaker maneuver during a cast dance number.

A swordfight breaks out as Captain Phoebus (Conlin Wysocki, center) resists an order issued by Frollo (H. Nathaniel Rose), who is grabbing him. Phoebus is wounded, but escapes with the help of Esmeralda (Grace Wickham, foreground).

Esmeralda (Grace Wickham) and Quasimodo (Wyatt Brower) become friends.

Left: Conlin Wysocki as Captain Phoebus. Right: H. Nathaniel Rose as Frollo.

Left: Kelsey Kernan. Right: Claudia Parker (on left) and Kathryn Losey during a musical number, one of many in the first act.

Left: Bernie Riley and daughter Samantha (background) were members of the pit band. Right: Tom Bloodgood played the cello in the pit band.

Left: Amanda Armstrong portrayed the gypsy Clopin. Right: Douglas DiGregorio was a soldier; he also portrayed a gargoyle.

From left: Scott Brubaker, Maria Brubaker and Wyatt Brower in "Hunchback."

And before the performance:

From left: Amanda Armstrong, Iris Elaina Rodriguez and Elliott Holland.

From left: Nikole VanDyke, Director Michelle Benjamin, and H. Nathaniel Rose.

And at dress rehearsal earlier in the week:

Wyatt Brower, as Quasimodo, belts out a song in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Left: Music Director Sarah Matthews. Right: Amanda Armstrong as the gypsy Clopin.

Left: Maria Brubaker as one of the statues who befriend Quasimodo. Right: Conlin Wysocki and Grace Wickham as two of the lead characters.

The conclusion of a song in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Watkins Glen High School students sat silently during the 17 minutes at a table displaying photos of the Parkland school shooting victims.

O-M, WGHS students stage 17-minute walkouts in step with national movement

SCHUYLER COUNTY, March 14, 2018 -- Some students at the Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen school districts staged 17-minute walkouts from their classrooms Wednesday on the day of a nationwide movement created in reaction to the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

That February massacre, during which 17 people died, was remembered in walkouts around the nation Wednesday, many of the movements political in nature as students protested the lack of Congressional action to tighten gun laws, especially regarding the easy access to assault weapons.

Officials at Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen schools said the movement at their facilities was student motivated, and that instead of politically-charged rhetoric, silent vigils ruled the day. There was no sign here of the gun law protests elsewhere in the country.

At O-M, about 120 students gathered in the Fetter-Brown Auditorium before the designated 10 a.m. walkout time, and did so for 17 minutes, from 8:13 to 8:30 a.m. "It was designed by students with administrative collaboration," said Superintendent Chris Wood, who noted that holding the event indoors was better than outdoors from a safety standpoint.

The gathering, said Wood, involved 17 minutes of silence from students who ranged in age from elementary school through high school. Only those students who wished to participate did so.

The event was followed by meetings through the day -- scheduled before the auditorium event had evolved -- with high school classes to impress upon students the need to be "good people" and "digital citizens, trying to be positive," said Wood. These were an offshoot of a recent incident involving the removal of a student from school following a "non-specific threat" toward the school and a specific threat toward another student.

At Watkins Glen, the national event's 10 a.m. starting time was observed, with at least three groups of students gathering -- including more than a dozen in the lobby near the high school office. There, students Wrett and Wyatt Brower were playing a power-point presentation showing photos of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting, which occurred last month.

Nearby -- in the school courtyard -- about 90 students gathered in the falling snow for a silent vigil organized by junior Claudia Parker and senior Ashley Caslin. When they were done, Parker thanked the group for coming and said: "Every minute here represented one life ... taken way too soon."

Watkins Glen school officials said the gatherings -- which also included a group of students outside the Elementary School -- were student-orchestrated. "We're just following the kids' lead," said Superintendent Greg Kelahan.

Classes continued in session during the vigils, minus the walkout participants.

Photos in text:

Top: The silent vigil in the WGHS courtyard proved emotional for some of the students.
Bottom: Students also gathered outside the WGHS Elementary School. (Photo provided)

Watkins Glen High School students Claudia Parker, left, and Ashley Caslin, right, led the silent vigil in the WGHS courtyard.

Wood: We'll employ robocalls in future following incidents involving safety

ODESSA, March 9, 2018 -- Odessa-Montour School Superintendent Chris Wood said it was "a learning experience."

He was referring to the decision recently made -- following a student-generated threat that led to a police presence at the school -- to notify parents by letter rather than a faster option known as robocalls, or automatically generated phone calls with the same message.

Wood's comment came Thursday night at a meeting of the O-M School Board, following a suggestion by one parent that the district needs to notify parents faster than it did in the recent case, which Wood says involved "a non-specific threat toward the school and a specific threat toward a student" by another student in the district. Law enforcement was notified and in turn handled it. Wood could not divulge either the school or the age of the student.

The parent, Niki Turnmyre, a first responder with emergency response and firefighting on her resume, thanked the district "for handling the recent threat" quickly, but added that "the means of notification" was slow. "A more timely" notification "would be more appropriate. I sent my kids to school for 2 1/2 days not knowing."

Parents receive robocalls after bus accidents and other incidents, she said, "so why not after a threat? I'd appreciate knowing sooner rather than later."

Wood agreed with her, explaining that among his reports to the board that night was one on school safety -- which under the circumstances he moved from last to first on his presentation list.

He said the decision to send a letter had been made on the advice of school counsel, but that feedback has convinced him that robocalls would have been preferable and will be utilized in similar situations going forward. "It was a learning experience for myself," he said. "That's what we'll do in the future."

He described various protocols currently in place at O-M regarding school entrances, lockdowns, and interactions with state police and firefighters and said plans are constantly being adopted and improved in anticipation of possible disruptions created by threats or by "a shooter, explosions or gas leaks."

The district is also considering measures it might install at after-school events such as plays and sports contests. There is little in the way of existing programs in other districts to help guide the development of such an O-M plan, he said.

He outlined steps taken when there is a threat -- such as the recent one, which occurred shortly after the deadly shooting rampage in Parkland, Florida. Police are called in such a circumstance, he said, and the investigation is handed to them. Also possibly present are representatives from the Probation Department, Youth Court or other agencies.

He said privacy rights prohibited specific explanation to parents or the public at large about the recently accused student -- a situation further affected by age. "We have to look at the age of the kid," he said, and whether he's a 4th grader or enrolled in the high school.

"We take these things very seriously," he said. "We take due diligence to keep students safe." And with that he pointed to a number of administrators, himself included, who have children in local schools and trust the district with their safety.

He also said meetings are planned with 9th through 12th graders next week to impress upon them "what happens if they make a threat, even jokingly."

Photo in text: O-M Superintendent Chris Wood, right, with School Board President Rob Halpin at Thursday night's meeting.

Elaina Rodriguez sings "Part of That World." Katie McShane is accompanying on piano.

WGHS students display their talents
at annual Artists in Rcsidence concerts

WATKINS GLEN, March 7, 2018 -- More than a dozen Watkins Glen High School students showed the culmination of two-and-a-half weeks of work with resident professional artists Wednesday afternoon and evening by performing at concerts in the school auditorium.

The first concert, at a high school-wide assembly, drew a large crowd; a public concert in the evening drew far fewer people. At each, vocalists and instrumentalists performed while accompanied by professional musicians Katie McShane, Rosie Newton and Jesse Heasly. McShane and Newton have now participated in this program for six years; and Heasly, who lives with McShane in Brooklyn, has been here three times.

The program, which was begun in 1993 under the auspices of then-Middle School teacher Jim Murphy, featured Ithaca-based and world renowned bassist Hank Roberts for many years before he handed it off to McShane and Newton. They, like Roberts, presented the concerts in the Middle School for their first two years here, and since then-- with the closing of the Middle School -- in the high school auditorium ever since.

The three musicians said they find satisfaction in helping students develop performance skills, and are hoping to expand their interaction by starting similar programs elsewhere, possibly at Trumansburg's high school next year. Newton -- who like McShane and Heasly tours frequently, is a resident of Trumansburg.

The afternoon assembly offered 16 acts, while the evening concert featured the same acts plus several others. Performing in the afternoon were the following students:

--Gaaetano Williams and Lexi Shea, singing a duet of Ed Sheeran's "Perfect." Williams also played piano.
--Miranda Rodriguez, singing "Waving Through a Window."
--Claudia Parker, performing 21 Pilots' "Goner" on piano. McShane said Parker and the three pros improvised some of the music at the outset.
--Sarah Schaffner, singing "Not About Angels."
--Alex Burke, singing "Satellite."
--Jack Muir, singing an original titled "Best Friends" while playing the guitar. He composed it collaboratively with the Artists in Residence.
--Alexis Lepp, singing "Stitches."
--Nate Farnsworth, singing Ed Sheeran's "Hearts Don't Break Around Here."
--Sarah Joslin, singing "Beneath Your Beautiful."
--John Reed, singing an original song titled "Shame." He composed it collaboratively with the Artists in Residence.
--Kayla Palmer, performing on piano "I Need My Girl" by The National, with her own arrangement.
--Wyatt and Wrett Brower performing "100 Ways," with Wyatt on vocals and Wrett playing electric guitar.
--Erin McKenzie, singing "Never Enough" from The Greatest Showman.
--Conlin Wysocki, singing a song he composed titled "Bittersweet," and playing guitar.
--Elaina Rodriguez, singing "Part of That World" from The Little Mermaid.

The evening program featured those artists plus the following students:

--Caleb Rosell, singing Thomas Rhett's "Marry Me" and playing guitar.
--Lexi Shea, singing "Issues" by Julia Michaels.
--Enqi Lin, singing Ruth B's "Lost Boy."
--Scott Brubaker, singing "Stars" from Les Miserables.
--Alix Matthews, singing Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
--Katie Losey, singing, and playing percussion on, "We Are Young."
--Sierra Morris, singing "Tightrope" from The Greatest Showman.

The evening show concluded with the performers gathering to sing "We Are The World" by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.

McShane, Newton and Heasly, who worked during the past two-and-a-half weeks one-on-one with the young performers, accompanied each person on stage. McShane plays the guitar, cello, keyboard and piano, and sings on tour. Newton plays the fiddle, viola, guitar and accordion. Heasly plays mostly bass, along with piano.

When asked which they liked better -- the process of developing the students' acts or the performances -- McShane and Newton answered in tandem: "Both."

"The performance is a big part of the process," said Newton.

Added Heasly: "The performance is the payoff."

With the Artist in Residence program now at the quarter-century mark, will they be returning next year? They all nodded yes.

"We've worked with some of these students for six years, others for four," said McShane, noting that they mentor 7th through 12th graders. There was a least one 7th grader, Erin McKenzie, in the concert.

"We've built relationships," added McShane

There's a point each time, said Newton, when the whole thing comes together. After starting from scratch on the musical selections -- with the students selecting what they want to work on -- a rag-tag first week hits its stride in the second week.

"It all melds," Newton said. "In that second week, it comes together and becomes a performance."

Photos in text:

Top: Gaetano Williams sings "Perfect" while playing the piano.
Second: Wyatt Brower, with his brother accompanying in the background, sings "100 Ways."
Third: Conlin Wysocki sings a song he created called "Bittersweet."
Fourth: Rosie Newton accompanying one of the performers.
Fifth: Artist in Residence Jesse Heasly on bass.

7th grader Erin McKenzie sings "Never Enough" from the film The Greatest Showman.

Left: Student Jack Muir performs an original song, "Best Friend." Right: Artist in Residence Katie McShane on the keyboard.

Left: Nate Farnsworth sings "Hearts Don't Break Around Here." Right: Claudia Parker performs "Goner" on the piano.

Alex Burke sings "Satellite." Katie McShane accompanies at left, and Jesse Heasly at right.

Left: Alexis Lepp sings "Stitches." Right: Sarah Joslin sings "Beneath Your Beautiful."

Teachers Kim Suddaby, left, and Kelsey Melvin play flutes in a show-opening duet.

Left: Lexi Shea sings "Perfect." Right: John Reed sings an original titled "Shame."

Left: Sarah Schaffner sings "Not About Angels." Right: Miranda Rodriguez sings "Waving Through a Window."

Arc of Schuyler offers $1,000 scholarship

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, March 1, 2018 -- The Arc of Schuyler is offering a $1,000 scholarship in honor of past board member Joanne S. Hayes. Seniors at Watkins Glen, Odessa-Montour and Bradford Central Schools or seniors residing in Schuyler County who attend school in a different district are eligible to apply for the award.

“This scholarship program focuses on informing students, parents, schools and the community at large that there are a variety of rewarding careers available working with people with developmental disabilities,” said Jeannette Frank, executive director of The Arc of Schuyler.

The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior continuing his or her education in special education, human services or a related clinical area, which will be used in a career providing supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism.

Applications are due May 18, 2018. For more information, visit or call 607-535-6934.

High School Principal Kai D'Alleva addresses students at the assembly Tuesday morning.

Student assembly at WGHS offers forum on issues of school shootings and safety

To read student Amber Benjamin's speech, click here.

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 27 , 2018 -- The Watkins Glen 7th through 12th graders gathered early Tuesday morning in the high school auditorium to air their thoughts, fears and ideas about school safety in the wake of the slaughter on Valentine's Day at a school in South Florida.

The shootings by a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was front and center Tuesday thanks to an article in the school newspaper written by the assembly moderators, seniors Amber Benjamin and Jared Prien. It dealt with interviews with three students on the subject, and triggered a request by Superintendent Greg Kelahan and High School Principal Kai D'Alleva for Benjamin and Prien to oversee the assembly, offering remarks of their own before soliciting those of fellow students.

Prien spoke relatively briefly from notes, saying he was "a bit undecided" on which side carries more weight in the ongoing argument between those who say tighter gun controls are needed versus those who argue that mental illness instead of guns is to blame. But he noted that "banning guns might not be the right move." He suggested that alertness, and letting a teacher or "someone you trust" know if something seems amiss, can go a long way toward short-circuiting a potentially dangerous situation.

Benjamin presented a prepared text. To read it, click here.

After they spoke, almost two dozen students followed suit, touching on a number of issues, with ideas such as:

--Students should consider attending a March For Our Lives in Ithaca on March 24, one of various "things in our area to prevent" incidents like the Parkland shooting.

--Fund-raising can provide money to better afford greater security at the school.

--There should be greater restrictions on gun raffles.

--Be sensitive and kinder to fellow students. Eliminate bullying and cyber-bullying.

--Install metal detectors at school entrances.

--The school -- and other schools in the area -- should consider participating in a nationwide "walkout" for 17 minutes on March 17 in honor of the 17 people slain at the Florida school.

--Tighten security after school at the Field House, where anyone can walk in during after-school activities.

--There should be more preventative measures like lockdown drills currently part of the school's safety protocols.

--Training for students should include an understanding of warning signs they might look for.

--More money should go into mental health, and an effort should be made on the part of students to not look down on any students seeking such help.

--Don't allow teachers to carry guns, because "it would just create more fear."

--Get to know fellow students better. One said he didn't know a lot of the students there in the auditiorium, a common problem that limits communication -- and "communication is a key" in seeking out and preventing possible tragedies.

School Resource Officer David Waite said that if a student -- say one just leaving a rest room -- finds himself or herself in a hallway as a shooting incident begins, he or she should get to a classroom as quickly as possible, because a lockdown means just that: the room is being locked and lights turned off in the hope of dissuading a shooter from entering. Once locked, the door should not be unlocked again -- leaving a student wandering the hallway in a difficult situation.

In addition, he said, students should not respond to a fire alarm once a lockdown is initiated since some shooters -- such as the one in Florida -- set them off to draw targets out of the classrooms. "Do the safest thing you can," he said, including going out a window if the situation warrants.

Principal D'Alleva said afterward that the forum generated some good ideas and will lead to further discussions in small groups, with the hope of adding to safety protocols now in effect. Some of those are by nature best kept out of the public eye. Others are obvious, such as designated teachers walking designated routes at the outset of the school day to make sure that nothing seems out of the ordinary.

But nothing, he said, is taken for granted. And since an attack is never expected and yet could happen at any time, both caution and awareness, not to mention a proactive mindset, are necessary.

That, and plenty of discussion and planning. For if something happens, there would be little time to think, since-- noted Waite -- attacks generally take only about five minutes and are "a fluid situation." Not to mention chaotic and terrifying.

Photos in text:

Top: Moderators Jared Prien, left, and Amber Benjamin speak to Superintendent Greg Kelahan before the start of the assembly.

Second: Students pay attention to the comments of one of the more than 20 students who addressed the assembly.

Third: School Resource Officer David Waite speaks to the students.

Bottom: Student Kelsey Kernan was among those who spoke.

Ideas offered by students were jotted on large sheets of paper and posted. They will become part of the ongoing discussion going forward.

Left: Student Amanda Wilbur was among the speakers. Right: Teacher Sam Brubaker peruses some of the assembly-generated ideas that were written down.

DeNardo on Dean's List at Penn State

Special to The Odessa File

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Feb. 18, 2018 -- Haley DeNardo, daughter of Mike and Betty DeNardo of Montour Falls, NY, attained Dean's List with 3.72 GPA in the fall of 2017 at Penn State University.

She is completing a Bachelor of Architecture program and will graduate on May 5, 2018. This is five-year program. She has also acted as a leader in The American Institute of Architecture Students, National Architectural Accrediting Board, and dance marathon "Thon" to raise funds against pediatric cancer.

She plans to work in the Washington, D.C. area after graduation.

O'Mara-Lupardo bill seeks expanded Student Journalist publication rights

Special to The Odessa File

ALBANY, Feb. 16, 2018 -- A new bill filed by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Tom O’Mara would expand First Amendment rights for high school and college journalists by creating the “Student Journalist Free Speech Act.”

The proposed legislation, stemming from the "New Voices" movement, would give student journalists editorial control over their publications; currently in New York State, school administrators have final say in what is published.

“Student reporters are the next generation of journalists,” said Lupardo (D-Endwell). “It’s a difficult time to be a journalist as media across the country have come under attack. Having more control over what they publish will support journalistic integrity and independence which is what we need in a democratic society. I look forward to constructive debate as this legislation advances.”

"The role and the responsibility of a free press in American democracy is one of the most timely and serious examinations taking place in our society today,” said O’Mara (R, C, I-Big Flats). “I'm hopeful that the introduction of this legislation will constructively and instructively contribute to the discussion and, especially for aspiring journalists and their instructors and mentors, help heighten their appreciation and understanding of the First Amendment, the working press, and the protection and preservation of this ideal moving forward into the 21st century. I have appreciated the enthusiasm and input we've received from administrators, instructors, and students at the Corning Painted-Post High School."

The Student Journalist Free Speech Act (A9801/S7721) is the result of a grassroots movement known as "New Voices" which was initiated by student journalists and their academic supervisors. The New York legislation (A8333/S7355) was first proposed by Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and O’Mara, whose bill provided free speech protections to public high school students. The expanded O’Mara-Lupardo legislation affords protections to journalists at the high school and collegiate level, both public and private.

The Supreme Court’s 1988 Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier decision gave school administrators the ability to review, and ultimately censor, student publications. The Lupardo-O’Mara bill would still protect schools by exempting speech that is “libelous, an invasion of privacy, or incites students to commit an unlawful act, violate school policies, or to materially and substantially disrupt the orderly operation of the school.” Currently eight states have enacted legislation to protect journalists at public and private high schools and colleges; six more have protections in place for just high school reporters. Read more about New Voices at

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara (File photo)

O-M district gauging 3 Pre-K interest

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALLS, Feb. 13, 2018 -- The Odessa-Montour Central School District wishes to identify families with children eligible to attend a full-day three-year-old Pre-Kindergarten program this September.

If your child resides in the Odessa-Montour Central School District and will be three years old on or before December 1, 2018, he/she is eligible for this program. Transportation will be the responsibility of the parent.

To express your interest in the full-day three-year-old Pre-Kindergarten program, please call the school at 535-7267, ext. 3780 by Friday, March 23, 2018.

Schuyler HeadStart also holds its own three-year-old program, which you may want to express interest in as well. Please call HeadStart at 535-6814.

O-M district is gauging Pre-K interest

Special to The Odessa File

ODESSA Feb. 13, 2018 -- The Odessa-Montour Central School District wishes to identify families with children eligible to attend a full-day Universal Pre-Kindergarten program this September.

If your child resides in the Odessa-Montour Central School District and will be four years old on or before December 1, 2018, he/she is eligible for this program.

To express your interest in the full-day Universal Pre-Kindergarten program, please call the school at 535-7267, ext. 3780 by Friday, March 23, 2018.

Schuyler HeadStart also holds their own four-year-old program, which you may want to express interest in as well. Please call HeadStart at 535-6814.

B.C. Cate sets kindergarten registration

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALLS, Feb. 13, 2018 --The Odessa-Montour Central School District wishes to identify families with children eligible to begin Kindergarten in September 2018. Your child is eligible if he/she will be five years old on or before December 1, 2018.

Kindergarten registration is scheduled for May 3-7. Parents will need to bring their child, child’s birth certificate, proof of residency and proof of child’s immunizations.

Please call the B C. Cate office at 535-7267, ext. 3780 by Friday, March 23, 2018 to schedule an appointment for your child’s kindergarten screening.

Chamber announces scholarship topics

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 5, 2018 -- As it has for many years, the Business and Education Committee of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any graduating senior who is a resident of Schuyler County or attends Bradford, Odessa-Montour, or Watkins Glen Central School Districts.

To apply, students must complete an application and submit a response by March 30 to one of the three topics selected by the committee. These topics are:

1. If you were to open a business in Schuyler County, what would it be? Why? Where would it be located? How would you cover the expenses of the business?

2. Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

3. What are your thoughts on the evolution of the cell phone and/or social media?

Applicants may use one of three options to answer the topic questions: a 500-1500 word essay, a 3-to-5-minute video, and/or a slideshow (using Prezi or PowerPoint) of at least 12 slides.

Completed applications and accompanying responses must be submitted by March 30 to the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, 214 North Franklin Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891. For additional information, contact Rebekah Carroll at the Chamber at (607) 535-4300 or email:

WGHS's Amber Updike earns STEM honor

Special to
The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN Jan. 11, 2018 -- Amber Updike, a 10th-grade student from the Watkins Glen Central School District, has been selected as the Student of the Month for November at the Greater Southern Tier STEM Academy.

“Amber strives for excellence and is always asking questions to better understand the material,” said teacher Melissa Houck. “She puts herself out there in order to learn from any mistakes and to embrace her failures to make a better product. She is a great example of work ethic and determination for the STEM Academy.”

The Student of the Month is selected by a committee of STEM Academy staff based on nominations.

The Greater Southern Tier STEM Academy is a Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH). P-TECH is a new model for secondary education that brings together the best elements of high school, college and the professional world. Students take the lead role in their learning, choosing pathways to their careers and taking college-level, credit-bearing courses from their first year.

Photo in text: Amber Updike is presented the Student of the Month award by STEM Academy Principal Rob Sherburne. (Photo provided)

The Ugliest Sweater contestants: From left, Hanlon Elementary School Principal Rob Francischelli, O-M High School Principal Skip McCarty, B.C. Cate Elementary School Principal Veronica Lewis, and O-M Superintendent Chris Wood.

Board decides who has the Ugliest Sweater

ODESSA, Dec. 15, 2017 -- It fell to the Odessa-Montour School Board at its meeting Thursday night to render judgment as to which of its administrators was adorned in the worst clothing of the evening -- more specifically, which one was wearing the Ugliest Sweater.

Ghastly outfits were on display by Hanlon Elementary School Principal Rob Francischelli, O-M High School Principal Skip McCarty, B.C. Cate Elementary School Principal Veronica Lewis, and O-M Superintendent Chris Wood.

They were wearing nightmarish holiday sweaters made, in the cases of Francischelli, McCarty and Lewis, by their teaching staffs; and in the case of Wood, by the district office staff. It was an idea born at B.C. Cate by Lewis's teaching team, no stranger itself to Ugly Sweater contests. But this time, Lewis said, the teachers thought a truly Ugliest Sweater contest involving administrators -- with sweaters devised by the most twisted staff minds available -- could be adjudged by the School Board.

The teachers who created the winning (or was it losing?) sweater selected by the board were to receive a breakfast in the faculty room prepared by Principal Lewis. If she had won, she would have fed her own staff. But she didn't. She was to fix it for the Hanlon staff.

For the Ugliest Sweater was worn, the Board decided, by none other than Hanlon's Francischelli, who looked like a walking fir tree, or perhaps an explosion of holiday roping.

He received half of the Board's half-dozen votes, and seemed pleased with the honor.

And why not? It was, after all, an award worth, ummm, savoring. Sort of like Christmas eggnog.

Well ... maybe not.

Anyway ... Will this contest become an annual event?

"We're thinking so," said Wood.

Members of the Watkins Glen 7th-8th Grade Band perform at Wednesday's concert.

O-M, Watkins Glen hold Winter Concerts

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Dec. 14 -- The Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen High Schools were the sites Wednesday evening of a seasonal staple: Winter Concerts featuring 7th through 12 grade choruses and bands.

At O-M, in the Fetter-Brown Auditorium, the Junior High Band performed "Christmas at the Movies" and "Swahili Folk Hymn." Soloists included Kyleigh Bates, Paiton Bailey and Sarah Barr.

The Odessa-Montour Junior High Chorus sang "Pompeii" and "A Winter Song," and the Senior High Band followed with "Satiric Dances" (with solos by Kayla Dundas and Casey Underdown), "Sleep" (with solos by Meagan Terry, Hannah Rosier and Jacob Zimmer), and "Christmas Declaration."

The O-M Senior High Chorus then sang "Shalom, Pacem, Peace," "Seven Bridges Road," and Mozart's "Lacrymosa" before an Alumni and Faculty Combined Chorus sang "Carol of the Bells."

Jennifer Kraemer is director of the O-M bands. The chorus director is Ian MacDonald. Alex MacDonald served as accompanist.

At Watkins Glen, in the high school auditorium, the 7th-8th Grade Chorus sang "What a Wonderful World," "Loch Lomond" and "African Noel," the latter accompanied by Senior High Band percussionist Simon Wigmore on the bongos.

The 7th-8th Grade Band then played "America The Beautiful on Parade," "Chant, Chorale and Dance," and "Jingle Bell Rock" before the High School Chorus sang "How Can I Keep from Singing?" along with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (with soloists Jordyn Barrett and Jena Slater) and "Go, Tell It on the Mountain."

The High School Band then performed a "Trilogy: In Changing Times, Lament and The Final Journey," "Greensleeves" and "Carol of the Bells."

The Watkins Glen band director is Kelsey Melvin, while Matthew Craig directs the choruses. Renee Riley served as accompanist.

Photos in text:

From top: Members of the Odessa-Montour Senior High Chorus; the O-M Senior High Band; and the Watkins Glen 7th-8th Grade Chorus.

WGHS Principal Kai D'Alleva records a performance by the 7th-8th Grade Chorus.

New members of the O-M chapter of the National Honor Society pose after the ceremony. (Photo provided)

O-M inducts 10 into National Honor Society

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Dec. 7, 2017 -- The Odessa-Montour High School chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 10 new members Wednesday evening in a ceremony in the high school auditorium.

Eight members of the sophomore class were inducted: Samantha Dudgeon, Tassia Garrison, Ryan Griswold, Paden Grover, Derrick Lewis, Caleb Thomas, Grace Vondracek and Brett Walters. Two members of the junior class were also inducted: Tori Reese and William Yeater.

The students were inducted during a candlelight ceremony conducted by incumbent members of the chapter, and overseen by advisers Holly Campbell and Sadye Halpin. Principal Almon McCarty was on hand to share some words of wisdom with the inductees, and all attendees were invited to a reception afterward.

Bench donated

Members of the Watkins Glen High School Class of 1982 stand behind a bench the class has donated to the Watkins Glen Elementary School Playground. The photo was taken during the class reunion on Saturday, July 29, 2017. (Photo by Frank Spena, Jr.)

2 Glen students attend Training Institute as SCCUDD reps in battle against drug use

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Aug. 5, 2017 -- Representatives from the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs, including two Schuyler County teens, attended CADCA’s (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's) 16th Annual Mid-Year Training Institute in Atlanta, Georgia recently.

“It was so exciting for us to be training with coalitions from all over the world and learning how to become strong leaders and change agents for our community,” said Kelsey Kernan, a student at Watkins Glen High School.

Amber Updike, another WGHS student, agreed. “I learned so many new things at this year’s Mid-Year Training Institute that we can bring back to Schuyler County," she said.

The week-long training, held at the Marriott Marquis, taught participants how to address one of our nation’s biggest public health challenges: drug use. CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute offers a number of courses geared toward helping participants find solutions to their community’s toughest substance use problems.

"The Mid-Year is a unique professional development opportunity for anyone trying to prevent and reduce drug use, and its related problems, in their community,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA's Chairman and CEO. “After four days of intensive training, participants return to their communities with new skills and strategies, and a clearer roadmap to create environments where young people can thrive.”

For more information about CADCA visit

SCCUDD was formed in response to the Schuyler County Public Health Department’s Community Health Assessment concerning youth outcomes. Part of this Assessment included a public opinion survey that showed the number one health concern of Schuyler County residents was the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. The mission of SCCUDD is to prevent, reduce and delay the onset of substance use among Schuyler County youth by collaborating with community partners, promoting prevention education and substance-free activities and implementing environmental strategies.

For more information, or to become involved with SCCUDD, visit it online at, or follow SCCUDD on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo in text: Schuyler representatives Kelsey Kernan, left, and Amber Updike. (Photo provided)

O'Mara: Don't forget online reading program

Special to The Odessa File

ELMIRA, Aug. 1, 2017 -- At the start of the final month of summer vacation for area students, State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I--Big Flats) Tuesday issued a reminder that he is sponsoring an online summer reading program.

The program is promoted by the New York State Senate in partnership with the New York State Library and public libraries across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide.

“It’s the start of the final month of summer vacation and I’m glad to join so many local public libraries and other groups and organizations to encourage summer reading,” said O’Mara. “The Senate’s online summer reading program offers a convenient opportunity for students and their parents to enjoy the benefits and the rewards of summer reading together.
Our region is incredibly fortunate to have such an outstanding network of public libraries providing access to books and other reading activities, materials and opportunities.”

To participate in the Senate’s online program, students and parents can visit O’Mara’s Senate website,, and click on the “Summer Reading Program” logo on the home page. Among other features, the site includes a recording journal, opportunities to share books with other family members and friends, and a series of popular summer reading lists.

At the end of the program, participants will receive formal recognition from O’Mara for their reading achievement.

Numerous studies have shown that children who engage in summer reading make greater academic gains than children who do not.

According to New York State Library officials, last year’s summer reading program featured the participation of nearly 2 million young people statewide. Program coordinators at the New York State Library, Senate and Assembly hope that increased attention on the benefits of summer reading will result in expanded participation this year, said O'Mara..

More information on the “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” program, and on the importance of summer reading, is available on

Visit the website of the Southern Tier Library System,, for links to member libraries in Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yate counties. The members of the Finger Lakes Library System, including Tompkins County, are online at

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara (File photo)

Local youths attend Reality Check summit

Special to The Odessa File

CAZENOVIA, NY, July 27, 2017 -- Seven teen leaders from Elmira and Watkins Glen High School recently returned from the annual Reality Check of New York Youth Summit at Cazenovia College in Central New York.

Along with 150 other youths from around the state, they made plans for #SeenEnoughTobacco Day in October, to fight against what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and their influence on youth tobacco use in their communities.

Watkins Glen High School students attending were freshmen Savannah Ayers and Hannah Hoose, and junior Amber Updyke.

Elmira High School students attending were junior Lee Dennery, and seniors Jahleea Dennery, Unique Hooks and Kendra Davis.

“The average age of a new smoker is just 13,” said Sunnie Smith, Reality Check Coordinator. “And, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, the advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies cause the start and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults. That’s why we are fighting against the tobacco industry’s influence on youth in our region.”

“A number of New York communities have taken action to protect youth from tobacco marketing, but we’ve got more work to do -- and we’ve got the power to do it,” said Smith.

“In addition to areas around schools, tobacco companies market more heavily in low income areas," said Stacy Hills, Director of the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition. "So, it’s no coincidence that one of the highest smoking rates in the state is among people making less than $25,000 a year. The tobacco industry’s aggressive marketing in certain targeted communities is a social injustice, and it has to stop.”

#SeenEnoughTobacco Day on October 13, 2017 is the statewide day of action hosted by Reality Check of New York, a group of youth advocates who raise awareness of what they consider the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. RC youth will host tobacco-free community activities and lead an online campaign to engage and educate community members and leaders about the importance of reducing youth exposure to tobacco marketing in order to be the first tobacco-free generation.

“As young people, we are vulnerable, and tobacco industry marketing takes advantage of that," said Jahleea Dennery of Elmira High School. "For example, stores near schools have almost three times the amount of tobacco ads than stores in other areas. We’ve seen enough tobacco promotions and smoking. The solution is to change our community so that tobacco and tobacco use is not the norm.”

Reality Check of New York empowers youth to become leaders in their community by exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The organization’s members produce change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education. Reality Check in this area is associated with the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition.

#SeenEnoughTobacco is an online campaign with the goal of safeguarding children from the billions of dollars of hard-hitting tobacco promotions in places where children see them. Parents, community leaders and others interested in protecting youth are encouraged to learn more at

Photo in text: Watkins Glen and Elmira high school students at Cazenovia College, site of the Reality Check youth summit. (Photo provided)

Hospital Auxiliary awards 3 scholarships

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALLS, July 24, 2017 -- The Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary has awarded $1,000 scholarships to two high school graduates who are planning to enter the healthcare field, and one Schuyler Hospital employee furthering her healthcare education.

Jacob Carocci, son of Val and Jerry Carocci of Burdett, graduated as salutatorian from Watkins Glen High School. He will attend the University of Vermont to start his education toward becoming a physician.

Paxtyn Marie Brown, daughter of Jolene Horton of Odessa, graduated from Odessa-Montour High School. She will attend Daemen College to start her education toward becoming a physical therapist.

Clara Smith, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at Schuyler Hospital’s Montour Falls Primary Care Center, plans to attend Tompkins-Cortland Community College to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Smith has been an employee at the hospital for over 5 years.

Scholarship awards are presented each year to graduating high school seniors who live or attend school in Schuyler County and plan to enter careers in the healthcare field, as well as Schuyler Hospital employees looking to continue their education in healthcare.

Awards are based on academic achievement, volunteerism, and personal essays. Previous recipients have been in such diverse fields as orthopedics, dentistry, physical therapy, optometry, speech therapy, and pharmacy.

The Auxiliary awarded its first scholarship of $250 in 1990. Over the next 20 years it grew to three $1,000 scholarships. Funds for the awards are raised through the Auxiliary’s hospital gift shop and other fundraising events.

For more information about the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary, call (607) 535-7121 or email

Photo in text: The Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary recently awarded $1,000 healthcare scholarships to (left to right) Clara Smith, Paxtyn Brown and Jacob Carocci. (Photo provided)

Arc awards $1,000 scholarship to Decker

WATKINS GLEN, June 30 -- The Arc of Schuyler awarded its Joanne S. Hayes Memorial Scholarship to Bradford Central School graduate Destiny Decker at its Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony on June 15 at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.

This $1,000 scholarship honors Joanne Hayes, former board member and president of The Arc of Schuyler’s board of directors who passed away in 1987. The award is given annually to a graduating senior pursuing an education in human services, special education, or a related field for a career providing supports to people with developmental disabilities.

Destiny Decker, daughter of Harold Decker, will enroll at Elmira College this fall to study biochemistry. In her application essay, Decker expressed her aspiration to become an OB/GYN to advocate for prenatal care and good health for all women.

Decker is valedictorian of her class. She has received many academic and athletic awards and honors, including the Elmira College Key Award. She has demonstrated leadership skills through her participation in National Honor Society, Student Council, and Academic All-Stars. In addition to her academic achievements, she also works at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Decker’s school counselor, Sarah Baker, commented, “Destiny is very much an advocate for people with developmental disabilities and makes a stand for equal treatment for everyone.”

The Joanne S. Hayes Memorial Scholarship is made possible through donations to The Arc of Schuyler, a not-for-profit organization providing supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. For more information, visit

The bleachers were full, as were rows of chairs between the stands and football field.

Hundreds gather for memorial service
at WGHS football field for Ryan Pruitt

WATKINS GLEN, June 11, 2017 -- They gathered by the hundreds Sunday afternoon in the hot sun beside the Watkins Glen High School football field to honor the memory of Ryan Pruitt, a standout student-athlete at the school who died the previous Monday.

The bleachers on the east side of the field were filled, as were rows of chairs between the stands and the athletic field -- the field where Pruitt once excelled, in one football game amassing 337 yards rushing.

There were onlookers standing on either side of the full bleachers, too, listening to the speeches in Ryan's honor.

Pruitt, a senior who was also an exceptional track athlete as well as a dynamic cheerleader, was remembered by close friends, coaches, an administrator, a cousin and a pastor.

High School prinicipal Kai D'Alleva opened the ceremony with words about Ryan -- how he was "a model student athlete, and that's not an exaggeration, not hyperbole. He was truly a pleasure to be around each and every day, and he is sorely missed in the hallways of WGHS."

D'Alleva said that in reaction to Pruitt's death, an organization has been formed by teacher Ward Brower called "24" -- the number Ryan proudly wore on the football field.

"It has three tenets," said D'Alleva, for students in emotional need.

"Know that things will be better in 24 hours," D'Alleva said. "Second, there are at least 24 people available to talk to. And third, there are at least 24 people who love you and would be devastated to lose you ... Consider joining 24. Honor Ryan by trying to prevent another tragedy such as this."

A speech was then presented by close friend Amanda Pike, who said Ryan "had a heart of gold ... that guy who someone (else) will be compared to." His passing, she said, "is heartbreaking."

Coaches from his cheerleading team praised Ryan for his work ethic, his dedication, his determination, his smile, "and oh, that laugh." Members of the team performed an aerial maneuver on the football field in Ryan's honor.

Teacher and Senior Class Advisor Sam Brubaker said Ryan "was always willing to give his all in class" and to help others, and that "watching him compete" on the playing field "was inspiring." He said Ryan had "a big heart, a contagious laugh" ... and that with his death "there is a void in my heart."

Football coaches Trevor Holland, who coached Ryan this past season, and Lou Condon Jr., who coached him in seasons past, praised Ryan the player and person. Holland said Ryan "wore the number 24 proudly," and that "the things he did for us" on the football field "were memorable." He also told a TV reporter beforehand that Ryan was "a wonderful young man who other students looked up to."

Condon said Ryan showed "determination, reliability, dignity and respect" every day, and that his "speed and strength set him apart," but that he was an MVP because he made those around him better. "He helped other people realize how valuable they were or could be."

A cousin, John Wagner, called Ryan "an amazing young man" with "a shining personality" and "a spirit within that knew no boundaries." With his death, Wagner said, "there is a huge hole in our hearts and our souls."

And Pastor Micheal Spencer of His Tabernacle Family Church in Horseheads wondered, in the wake of this tragedy, "What happened? What happened to the one with the smile, the one with the laugh? One of the things we have to guard more than anything else is hope."

While "we can't understand why these things happen," Spencer said, he was sure that if Ryan "could stand here now, he would say 'Never lose hope.''' The pastor added that the 24 program organized by Brower will "let you know" in times of emotional distress "that there are people around you" willing to provide love and support.

After the speeches, 24 helium balloons were released to the sky in Ryan Pruitt's memory, and a long line formed for attendees to express their condolences to his family under a shelter at midfield.

Photos in text:

Top: A table near the reception tent at midfield.
Middle: The athletic field scoreboard carried Ryan's uniform number: 24.
Bottom: Members of the cheerleading team to which Ryan belonged performed an aerial maneuver in his honor.

Helium balloons were released skyward, from a point midway along the football field.

O-M presents its academic awards

ODESSA, June 6, 2017 -- Academic awards were presented to students at the Odessa-Montour High School during an assembly on June 5.

They were as follows:



This award is presented to students who have been on the Honor Roll (84.5 average) the first five marking periods this school year.

Micah Brewster
Hannah Chapman
Ryan Griswold
Noah Hollenbeck
Deshawn Johnson
Lydia Lynch
Rhys Stermer

Hannah Bruno
Hunter Daugherty
Olivia Grover
Dylan Houseknecht
Tori Reese
Hannah Rosier
Nadia Simpson

Taylor Alton
Noah Austin
Alec Betts
Noelle Chamberlain
Kayla Dundas
Mia Force-Russell
Curtis Harris
Erin Kleist
Shaunalynn Maddox
Nakiaha Robinson
Anna Ross
Bronwyn Stermer
William Tague
Meagan Terry

Breeana Bentley
Tyler Bump
Alyssa Crout
Kyle Frasier
Andrew Fudala
Alexander Grady
Dasia Herrmann
Mitchell Scata
Nicholas Sgrecci
Kyle States
Taylor States
Britney Visscher

Highest Algebra Regents Award -- Kennedey Heichel
Highest Geometry Regents Award -- Noah Brewster
Highest Algebra II Regents Award -- Cameron Bryington
Highest 4 Year Math Award -- Nicholas Sgrecci

Excellence in Technology -- Alex Grady, Cameron Bryington, Tyler Bump and Kyle States

Excellence in Government -- Kyle States and Madison Morse
Excellence in Economics -- Cameron Bryington
Joseph Lemak Global Studies Award -- Nakiaha Robinson
Highest Global II Average -- Noah Brewster
Edward Banfi U. S. History Award -- Emelia Paulisczak
Highest Average in U.S. Histroy -- Colin Marsh

PHYSICAL EDUCATION BABE RUTH AWARDS -- Alyssa Crout and Nicholas Sgrecci

Grade 11 -- Hailey Perraut and Almon McCarty
Grade 10 -- Jacqulyn Vincent and Noah Brewster
Grade 9 -- JoLynn Minnier and Caleb Thomas

USMC Scholastic Excellence Award -- Emelia Paulisczak

NYS ATTORNEY GENERAL TRIPLE C AWARD -- Nakiaha Robinson and Trey McCarty

English 9 Award -- Grace Vondracek
English 10 Award -- Noah Brewster
English 11 Academic Excellence Award -- Gillian Clark
English 12 Academic Excellence Award -- Madison Morse
ACE English Academic Award -- Sage Garrison

Spanish II Achievement Awards -- Grace Vondracek and Derrick Lewis
Spanish III Achievement Awards -- McKennah Lott and Noah Brewster
Spanish IV Achievement Award -- Cheyenne Barrett and Colin Marsh
ACE Spanish Achievement Award -- Breeana Bentley
5 Year Spanish Awards -- Breeana Bentley, Emelia Paulisczak, Ethan Fellwock, Dasia Herrmann and Ashley Stewart

Grade 9 -- Emily Ross
Grade 10 -- Noah Brewster
Grade 11 -- Colin Marsh


BOYS STATE AWARDS -- Taylor Grover


Earth Science -- Jacqulyn Vincent
Living Environment -- Emily Ross
Chemistry -- Hailey Perraut


KEUKA COLLEGE GEORGE H. BALL COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD -- Taylor Grover, Cameron Adams, Kayla Dundas, Taylor Alton, and Trey McCarty

ELMIRA COLLEGE KEY AWARD -- Hailey Perraut and Curtis Harris

9th Grade -- Marisa Alton, Sara Gardner, Preston Harris, John Jelliff, Julia Paulisczak, Johnathan Sanders, and Cheianne Webster
10th Grade -- Tyler Carson, Olivia Grover, Jadyn Lauper, Dezirae Minnier, Jonah Thompson, and Jacqulyn Vincent
11th Grade -- Cameron Adams, Taylor Alton, Cheyenne Barrett, Alec Betts, Michael Carson, and Trevor Dunn

This award is presented to students who have been on the High Honor Roll (89.5 average) the first five marking period this school year.

Samantha Dudgeon
Sara Gardner
Tassia Garrison
Paden Grover
Preston Harris
Derrick Lewis
Julia Paulisczak
Kara Reese
Emily Ross
Caleb Thomas
Grace Vondracek
Brett Walters

McKenzie Barrett
Noah Brewster
Tyler Carson
Hailey Ferguson
Kennedey Heichel
Jacy Knapp
McKennah Lott
Madison Randall
Maria Scata
Syria Tague
Jaqulynn Vincent
Kacie Wood

Cheyenne Barrett
Heidi Casselberry
Gillian Clark
Kendra Heffner
Alyssa Lindsley
Colin Marsh
Almon McCarty
Hailey Perraut
Jaylin Rumsey
Carly Smith

Cameron Bryington
Simonne DeWalt
Angelika Friis
Sage Garrison
Amanda Jones
Madison Morse
Emelia Paulisczak
Andrew Stevenson







PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE (Must have 90 average and College Entrance Exam Scores at or above the 85th Percentile) -- Emelia Paulisczak, Nicholas Sgrecci, Cameron Bryington and Ethan Fellwock

(Seniors who have a 3-5/6 year average of 85 or above)

Jonathan Andrews
Breeana Bentley
Paxtyn Brown
Tyler Bump
Cameron Bryington
Alyssa Crout
Simonne DeWalt
Ethan Fellwock
Kyle Frasier
Andrew Fudala
Sage Garrison
Alexander Grady
Dasia Herrmann
Angela Hess
Amanda Jones
Kayla Loney
Madison Morse
Emelia Paulisczak
Collin Povoski
Mitchell Scata
Nicholas Sgrecci
Andrew Stevenson
Taylor Sykes
Britney Visscher

WGHS presents 7th, 8th grade awards

WATKINS GLEN, June 5 -- The following awards were presented to the Watkins Glen High School 7th and 8th grade students at an awards assembly on May 31, 2017.

7th Grade High Honor Roll Award:
Bailey Beaumont, Owen Bingham, Gavin Bond, Kaylynn Burke, Haley Carl, Douglas DiGregorio, Noah Gardner, Andrew Hayes, Zachary Hines, Cameron Holland, Madelynn Jones, Ashlyn Karius, Isabella LaFace, Mason Lampman-Roisen, Kellie Memoli, Sierra Morris, Kaylana Rekczis, Matthew Sandritter, Jade Scaptura, Owen Scholtisek, Jordannmarie Simpson, Maya Somerville, Benjamin Swinnerton, Kade Westervelt, Gaetono Williams, Melanie Wysocki, Robin Zimba.

7th Grade Honor Roll Award:
Breanna Carl, Ethan Day, Molly Dunham, Talon Elliott, Georgio Fazzary, Abigail Gibson, Kaila Hammond, Hannah Jitomir-Rowland, Katherine Larson, Zachary Naylor, Braden Pesco, Jacob Pierce, Mitchell Pike, Gwendolyn Reynolds, Emily Rhoads, Raeline Rider, Charlie Samuel, Kara Sheesley, Anya Simpson, Brandon Smith, Caleb Smith, Matthew Swarthout, Christa Taber, Jade Williams, Cloey Wratten, Ashley Youmans.

7th Grade ELA
Haley Carl, Zachary Hines, Isabella LaFace, Mason Lampman-Roisen, Gwendolyn Reynolds, Matthew Sandritter, Brandon Smith.

7th Grade Most Improved Math
Molly Dunham, Madelynn Jones, Ashlyn Karius, Katherine Larson, Kellie Memoli, Mitchell Pike, Anya Simpson.

Excellence in Pre Algebra 7
Douglas DiGregorio, Cameron Holland, Sierra Morris, Matthew Sandritter.

Excellence in Math 7
Brandon Smith

Perseverance in Math
Colby Thurston

7th Grade Science - EO Wilson Award
Gavin Bond, Brandon Smith.

Jane Goodall Award (Science)
Ashlyn Karius, Robin Zimba.

Alfred Russell Wallace (Science)
Douglas DiGregorio, Kellie Memoli.

Rachel Carson Award (Science)
Jade Scaptura, Owen Scholtisek.

Charles Darwin Award (Science)
Mason Lampman-Roisen
Matthew Sandritter

7th Grade Physical Education
Donner Bean, Michael Gee, Abigail Gibson, Kaila Hammond, Andrew Hayes, Cameron Holland, Hannah Jitomar-Rowland, Madelynn Jones, Travon Jones, Mason Lampman-Roisen, Kellie Memoli, Sierra Morris , Adam Pastore, Owen Scholtisek, Anya Simpson, Caleb Smith, Luke Spahalski, Colby Thurston, Melanie Wysocki.

7th Grade Social Studies
Owen Bingham, Douglas DiGregorio, Andrew Hayes, Cameron Holland, Ashlyn Karius, Mason Lampman-Roisen, Matthew Sandritter, Maya Somerville, Kade Westervelt, Robin Zimba.

7th Grade Technology
Daine Butler, Isabella LaFace, Mason Lampman-Roisen, Kellie Memoli, Brandon Smith, Robin Zimba.

Junior Honor Society Inductees
Carly Arnold, Kendall Gascon, Dallas Johnson, Maia Kamakawiwoole, Skylar Lagramada, Han Shun Liu, Faye Mooney, Sarah Schaffner, Jonah Sissel, Jenna Solmon, Joseph Sutterby, Julia Thorsland, Emmalise Updyke, Kayla Wood.

Health (7th Grade)
Owen Bingham, Gavin Bond, Molly Dunham, Georgio Fazzary, Abigail Gibson, Andrew Hayes, Cameron Holland, Raeline Rider, Benjamin Swinnerton, Gaetono Williams.

Rotary/Interact Service Above Self Award
Andrew Hayes, Matthew Sandritter.

8th Grade High Honor Roll Award
Christopher Berry, Maria Brubaker, Steven Cinelli, Jr., Timothy Clifford, Abby Congdon, Kelsey DeMillo, Natalie Edmister, Shannon Ervay, Maxwell Evans, Heidi Gardner, Brianna Hayes, Vanessa Heim, Mikayla Holmes, Bryce Kelly, Aislinn Klemann, Seamus Mooney, Dylan Morse, Genevieve Osborne, Kayla Palmer, Jasmine Searle, David Strait, Cale Sutterby, Brooke Usher, Amanda Wilbur.

8th Grade Honor Roll Award
Kaitlin Asbury, Savannah Ayers, Boyd Barber, Jack Chen, Devon Cummings, Taylor Cummings, Tanner Dunham, Silas Farrell, Jon Havel, III, Conner Novinsky, Nolan Ormsbee, Ava VanDusen, Nicholas Wilston, Nicholas Yaw.

Peter Galatis Award
Seamus Mooney

8th Grade Science Attitude Award
Amanda Wilbur

Science Leadership Award
Shannon Ervay

Science Out of the Box Award
Nicholas Wilston

8th Grade Math/or Algebra Award
Kelsey DeMillo, Vanessa Heim, Aislinn KIemann, Dylan Morse, Kayla Palmer, David Strait, Brooke Usher, Nicholas Yaw.

Mr. Michel’s Physical Education Class
Maria Brubaker, Abby Congdon, Devon Cummings, Aislinn Klemann, Seamus Mooney, Connor Novinsky, Kayla Palmer Ava VanDusen.

Mr. Brubaker’s Physical Education Class
Natalie Edmister, Matthew Irwin, Dylan Morse, Justin Rappleye, Amanda Wilbur.

Home and Careers
Maria Brubaker, Jack Chen, Brianna Hayes, Kayla Palmer.

8th Grade History
Shannon Ervay, Tim Clifford, Brianna Hayes, Bryce Kelly, Kayla Palmer, Amanda Wilbur.

8th Grade ELA
Highest Average
Tim Clifford, Kayla Palmer
Outstanding Work Ethic
David Strait, Amanda Wilbur.
Love of Literature
Shannon Ervay, Briana Hayes.
Triple C Award
Shannon Ervay, Bryce Kelly.
Comptroller Award
Jon Havel, III

8th Grade Spanish
Shannon Ervay, Briana Hayes, Mikayla Holmes, Dylan Morse, Kayla Palmer.

7th Grade Students Elected to 8th Grade Class Officers (Class of 2022)
President -- Cameron Holland
Vice-President -- Matthew Sandritter
Secretary -- Robin Zimba
Treasurer -- Mason Lampman-Roisen

WGHS presents awards at assembly

WATKINS GLEN, June 1, 2017 -- Watkins Glen High School presented various academic and athletic awards this week.

The awards and their recipients included:

Student Council Recognition:
Aidan DeBolt, Alexis Bingham, Courtney Irwin, Abigail Miller, Alyssa Arcangeli

Rotary Students of the Month Recognition: September - Jacob Carocci; October - Ruthe Gardner; November - Jacob Lokken; December - Courtney Irwin; January - Phebe Wickham; February - Rong Hang Lin; March - Patrick Hazlitt[ April - Aidan DeBolt; May - Brendan Neira; June - Angel Hamm

Interact/Rotary Service Awards:
President: Sara McManus
Vice President: Elise Allington
Secretary: Emilee Stephani

“Service Above Self” Award:
Seniors: Amanda Armstrong, Jacob Carocci, Nicholas Crosby, Patrick Hazlitt, Sara Morrissette, Samuel Hanley, and Moeko Oshima.
Juniors: Makenna Fraboni, Meghan Hayes, Daniel Paradiso, Hannah St. Julien, Jared Sandritter, Tanner Ryan, and Torie Hill.
Sophomores: Dylan Markley, Isabella Fazzary, and Joseph Chedzoy.
Freshman: Julia Delong and Peter Sandritter.

TIES Volunteer Awards: Courtney Irwin, Liza Carnes, and Sara McManus

Technology Awards Certificates: Alexander Gibson, Ashton Hill, and Jacob Lokken

Varsity Academic Marathon: Jacob Carocci, Alexander Gibson, Rong Hang Lin, Brienna Solomon, Cambria Weeden, and Phebe Wickham

University of Rochester:
Bausch & Lomb Science Honorary Award: Tanner Ryan
Fredrick Douglas & Susan B. Anthony Award for Social Sciences & Humanities: Gabriella Decker
George Eastman Young Leaders Award: Hanley Elliott
Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology: Meghan Hayes

Elmira College Key Award: Kendra Larson and Torie Hill

Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award: Clara Chedzoy and Meghan Hayes

Clarkson University Leadership Award: Kaitlyn Valla

Clarkson University Achievement Award: Daniel Paradiso

Rochester Institute of Technology Junior Awards:
Innovation & Creativity Award: Clara Chedzoy and Trevor Thurston
Computing Medal and Scholarship Program: Hanley Elliott and Tanner Ryan

Hobart and William Smith Colleges:
Finger Lakes Scholarship: Clara Chedzoy, Meghan Hayes, Tanner Ryan, Gabriella Decker, Trevor Thurston, Kaitlyn Valla, Hanley Elliott, and Emilia Bond

Sage College Merit Scholarship: Clara Chedzoy and Meghan Hayes

Keuka College:
The George H. Ball Community Achievement Award: Clara Chedzoy, Trevor Thurston, Torie Hill, Kendra Larson, and Jared Sandritter

Alfred University Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering Award for Academic Excellence: Kaitlyn Valla

Top Ten Recognition: Jacob Carocci, Ruthe Gardner, Sara Gardner, Alexander Gibson,
Rong Hang Lin, Jacob Lokken, Brienna Solomon, Payton Watson, Cambria Weeden, and Phebe Wickham

Boy’s State Recognition Awards: Tanner Ryan, Daniel Paradiso, Tyler Couch, Sean Holland, and Jackson Dunham

Math Recognition Awards:
Algebra Regents Award: Alexander Pesco
Geometry Regents Award: Joseph Chedzoy
Algebra II Regents Award: Clara Chedzoy

Ruth Warner Math Awards: Derrian Shepherd and Jazsmine Hudson

The Pulitzer Prize of Schuyler County, Excellence in Scholastic Journalism: Brianna Smith