Ormie King: Meet stars of the Port Byron community | Story
Ormie King special for the citizen
Today’s article comes to us from Linda Townsend about some well-deserving winners. Thank you Linda!
As spring approaches each year, the Port Byron Learning Community observes a tradition of honoring students, teachers and community members through our leadership recognition event which is now called the Apex Awards. The awards are a unique celebration of our accomplishments, achievements, personal courage in the face of unusual circumstances, and a celebration of outstanding teachers.
The awards originated in 2002 under my leadership as a high school student government advisor during Shawn Bissetta’s tenure as principal. To determine how to honor members of our learning community and Port Byron Central School District, students created criteria for each award. Nominations are open for submission by any member of the school community. Current student government advisers Jeff Chaloux and Kim Kanuck have continued this tradition with high school student government.
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The selection process concludes with a school-wide assembly program, where our learning community pauses and recognizes our recipients for their accomplishments and accomplishments.
Categories for the Feature Awards are: Jerome Bell/Patrick DeVoe Courage Award, Community Service Award, Distinguished Educator Award, Distinguished Alumni, Superior Service Award, Public Service Award , the Outstanding Character Award and the Excellence Award.
Over the years, our Port Byron School District has been fortunate to be able to recognize many of the best in Port Byron. Some of our past recipients are Tyson Hubbard, who is a Harvard graduate and practicing attorney in California; Air Force Lt. Col. David Vitale, a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate who is a pilot and teaching officer; Carol Pelc, secretary to high school principal Dana L. West; Betty Thomas and Kathy Wilt, two people dedicated to school and community service, Sgt. Richard Jorolemon, Retired First Class; the Svitavsky family; Dawn Roe, Port Byron Village Historian; Ginny Vitale, a local entrepreneur and invaluable support person for the school district’s backpacking program. Our learning community has also honored a number of distinguished educators including Anna Danyluk, Maureen Burns and Cheryl Schulte and many more.
In 2022, the recipient of the Port Byron Apex Outstanding Character Award is Ashley Todd.
The criteria for this award are that the recipient be an optimistic, dependable and responsible individual who demonstrates high ideals and personal integrity. Accustomed to hard work, Ashley is an integral part of her family’s farming activities. In the summer, she works in the greenhouses and at the Todd Family Market. Ashley has also made time to complete community service for the Wreaths Across America program, the Letters to Soldiers project, the Hometown Heroes Stars project, the Schoharie County Care passion project, The Wall That Heals program and exhibit and the speech from the Ford Theater at Gettysburg. National video presentation.
Ashley has distinguished herself through her participation and leadership in extracurricular activities on campus, including the Choir, Drama Club, Student Government, Honor Society, Cheerleading, Environmental Club, and Club Dungeons and Dragoons. She was also president of the high school choir. She also got a gold medal for her scouting project.
The Senior Service Award recognizes a graduating senior who goes above and beyond in providing support to both the school and the community at large. Recipient of the year, Ashley Rooker, is a frequent volunteer with the Port Byron Fire Department, helping with pancake breakfasts, handing out Halloween candy trunks or treats and serving as a hands-on all at the village Christmas party. She assisted the local National Wild Turkey Federation chapter in many roles, including planning banquets and participating in raffles and auctions. She participated in the Gettysburg Speech delivery at the Wreaths Across America ceremony and with Dr. T’s seventh grade class for The Wall That Heals program. Ashley has also participated in a variety of academic and athletic extracurricular activities. She has served as varsity volleyball and track captain, president of the senior music and drama club, and participated in a jazz band, yearbook, environmental club, student government, and brains.
The recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award is Sara St. Pierre, who possesses extraordinary compassion, skill and dedication and loves teaching her students. The prize is given to an exceptional educator who gives everything for her students!
Through her hard work and dedication to her students over the past 16 years, Sara has had a lasting impact on the young adults she has taught. Sara has an intrinsic personal power that allows her to foster and nurture the creativity of her students. She is a wise young “Babouchka” who possesses a consummate ability to lead her students to tap into the depths of their hearts and souls to create their “artistic missions” and gain insights into their own creativity. His lessons in the classroom aren’t just about the creative process. Her lessons teach the components and elements of humanity, tolerance, empathy and acceptance as students learn to appreciate and work with their peers and critique their creations. The positive outcome is that her students engage in positive and productive discussions while practicing the “soft skills” that are essential in the workplace.
While creating their art, students engage in real-time learning opportunities as young adults in a positive holistic classroom environment. Sara has an uncanny perspective which, through her teaching, allows her to inspire her students to dream and take a risk or a chance to create a project or work with a new type of presentation or media format.
She always encourages students to accept a challenge presented by art and stretch their imaginations and use their talents to engage in creative processes. Two examples are his work with the Soup Bowl project, which was a unique way to help promote fundraising to fight food insecurity, and his inspiration for a student who created the soup-themed t-shirt. volunteers for The Wall That Heals in 2017. She is also a volunteer. his creative talents to high school drama productions. A shining testament to Sara’s ability to encourage and nurture her students is the recognition and honors students receive in local school art competitions. Sara is always ready to display student artwork in our first floor display cases to share her students’ work with the school. As an instructor, I have personally witnessed Sara’s interaction with students and through her classroom teaching and after-school student support sessions, she exudes a calm professional demeanor that has a impact on his students that each will not realize until they leave the sanctuary. halls by Dana L. West. In many ways, Sara is the “silent creative wind beneath her students’ wings.”
The recipient of the Port Byron Distinguished Alumni Award is Cody Forgham. Cody attended CCC and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2012. He was employed in the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office, working tirelessly and accomplishing many career goals. He started his career as a guard inside the prison. He served as a highway patrol officer.
Deputy Forgham believes in Port Byron’s mission statement of being a lifelong learner. He took the time to become a trained member of the Tactical Response Unit, ATV/Snowmobile Patrol, Water Navigation Patrol. He is also a field training officer and a qualified technical photographer for crime scene investigations. Perhaps Cody’s most notable achievement is that he is also the recipient of two Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office LifeSaver Awards. Cody acted using his skills, training and abilities beyond the call of duty in two situations where he responded to a call for help and successfully saved the lives of two county residents.
Community service is defined as work done without pay to help people in a community, without expecting anything in return. The recipient of the Community Service Award was Ervin Rooker. He has been a member of the Port Byron Fire Department for 61 years. Ervin has held many positions as First Responder, President, and Senior Deputy First Officer. He served as a fire police captain, helping direct traffic on various fire calls. In his spare time, he makes time to visit local cemeteries and recognizes Port Byron firefighters who have died by placing department flags of remembrance in their honor. He has been a member of the Port Byron Alumni Association for over 40 years, supporting the scholarship program. He and his wife also contribute to the Port Byron Drama Club by donating props and furniture for student productions.
Each year we present an award in honor of Port Byron graduates Jerome Bell and Patrick DeVoe. Marine Sergeant. Bell graduated from Port Byron in 1997 and Army Private First Class DeVoe graduated in 2000. Both men were tragically killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. Sergeant Bell died in September 2008 and Private First Class DeVoe died in March 2009.
Courage is the ability to keep fighting, despite the struggles that add up on a daily basis. The 2022 Courage Award is given to a family that has shown courage through a difficult time. The winners are Shantel and Jesse Dolph. The Dolph family faced one of the toughest situations any expectant parent could face with the early arrival of their baby boy. Despite this crisis, they did not lose hope and showed immense bravery. For months, they traveled back and forth to the hospital to be with their newborn, while caring for their preschooler at home. One stayed home to care for his children while the other continued to work to support his growing family.
Both of these ongoing tasks required immense strength and perseverance from both individuals; even so, they remained positive and grateful for what they had. Over the years, students have personally experienced immense positivity from these people, starting with small things ranging from a simple “hello” in passing, to bigger things like advice. or a helping hand. Even through such adversity, their attitude was unchanged. With struggle comes strength and resilience; these people showed their courage and continue to do so every day.
Ormie King’s column appears on Sundays in The Citizen and he can be reached by email at [email protected]