Veronica E. Connor Middle School
Mr. John Fitzpatrick
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Middle School 50th Anniversary Celebration - September 2018
Left: Principal John Fitzpatrick. Right: 50th Anniversary event organizer Nicole Oursler.
Veronica E. Connor Middle School (formerly Grand Island Middle School), had a 50th Anniversary celebration on Monday, September 17, 2018 in the high school auditorium. It was also the birthday of its namesake "Big Red", Veronica Connor. Miss Connor started as a teacher/principal at one and two-room school houses on Grand Island in the 1930's. She retired in 1973 as Superintendent of Schools.
From left: VCMS Principal John Fitzpatrick, technology instructors Michael Nucci and David Bowman, former VCMS Principal Agnes Becker (1989-1996).
All middle school students attended the celebration, along with former teachers and administrators. Highlights of the event included school history, video of life in 1968 and current female faculty dancing in 1968 style. Event organizer and VCMS teacher Nicole Oursler gave a biography of Ms. Connor and there was a video clip from the December 1996 building naming ceremony, where Ms. Connor proved to have a humorous and enthusiastic personality.
There was a trivia question segment, a video of current teachers reflecting on their time as students at the middle school, and a slide show of current teachers as students or at the start of their careers. A video clip of the 25th anniversary in 1993 showed a faculty dance, Principal Agnes Becker and Superintendent Paul Fields.
A time capsule from 1993, that has been hanging in the school library for twenty-five years was opened. The plan is to reload it this school year and open at the 75th anniversary in 2043. There will be many activities over the year such as collecting items for the new capsule, a yearbook cover contest, "what makes VCMS special" contest, and collection of student predictions for 2043.
Veronica E. Connor Middle School 8th Grade Students Celebration - July 2018On Tuesday, June 19th, Connor Middle School 8th graders celebrated their accomplishments at an awards ceremony held in the Grand Viking Theater in Grand Island High School. Families and friends were in attendance. Opening remarks were made by Mr. Max Pikula, assistant principal, followed by a brief speech by Jackson Jones, Student Council president. Jackson's remarks were a reflection of his middle school years. Ms. Cassie Oursler was the guest speaker who shared her experiences with students of her years in the GICSD and how those years will affect her current life as a professional basketball player in Spain. Mr. John Fitzpatrick gave closing remarks encouraging students to continue on their road to success.
Several awards were given to students by teachers and administration.
Academic Gold Award recipients were: Eva Ahne, Angelo Aiello, Anthony Amato, Christina Anderson, Emily Andrews, Madison Andrews, Kalen Baaith, Thomas Banas, Ashley Battaglia, Nathan Bender, Thomas Bender, Christopher Benns, Tristan Betterelli, Sophia Black, Sophia Bobeck, Veronica Bonner, Kaylee Boyle, Kenneth Brodie, Kiersten Brown, Mikayla Bukowski, Kayla Butler, Faith Caldwell, Giana Casullo, Marcus Celano, Jordan Choboy, Aidan Cioppa, Michael Coburn, Adiana Cotroneo, Seth Cox, Olivia Crowley, Zander Crvelin, Noah DeCourcey, Izabella DeGlopper, Caitlyn DeLong, Samuele DeLorenzo, Francesca DePalma, Kayleen DiCarlo, Claire Dickinson, Renee DiLaura, Jake Dionne, Samuel Dulniak, Lucas Dunn, Jenna Duquin, Leah Dylag, Brendan Ehlenfield, Tyler Figliola, Adison Fike, Michael Foglia, Victor Fritsch, Katelyn Giambra, Arman Deep Gill, Lana Gondek, Kaci Gottler, Anna Hammond, Lily Hauer, Spencer Hecht, Joshua Henderson, Samantha Hoerner, Justin Horvath, Raistlin Huff, Alicia Hunt, Ashley James, Jacob Jayme, Gurleen Johal, Jackson Jones, Riley Joseph, Ella Koslowski, Noah Krathaus, Bethany Kulikowski, Megan Lavis, Molly Leggett, Zachary Leng, Connor Lenhard, Joseph Lewis, Noelle Linenfelser, Melanie Longo, Ethan Lysarz, Aidan MacNeil, Karli Macrides, Christopher Macro, Faith Marsala, Hannah Martinez, Madisyn Martino, Ryan McMann, Trinity Meinhart, Aidan Mingoia, Jonathan Minton, Hannah Moore, Elizabeth Morris, Alana Mosher, Arianna Nasca, Callen Neeson, Alexis Nguyen, Olivia Nucci, Alexandra Oats, Ian Pachura, Riley Patterson, Sara Pearse, Michael Percival, Ethan Person, Madison Piggot, Hayley Pizur, Lauren Ratajczak, Isaiah Reading, Caralyn Reynolds, Samar Rizek, Ryan Sander, Morgan Santorio, Ryan Saucier,Jackson Scalise, Mia Schiffmacher, Rebecca Schultz, Kira Seidel, Abishek Selvakumar, Muhammad Shabbir, Finune Shaibi, Alessandra Smith, Carmen Sokody, Tereska Sorel, Katherine Squires, Sophia Steck, John Stravino,Kimberley Swain, Alex Szczepankiewicz, Christian Taylor, Victoria Thauer, Rebekah Thompson, Ava Todaro, Lauren Tompkins, Brian Vanini, Albert Wain, Rayna Wallens, Evan Walowitz, Hailey Watches, Riley Weber, Lidya Weng, Jessica Whitfield, Aidan Zach, Graham Zorich.
Silver Award recipients were: Nicholas Aronica, Franceska Bongiovanni, Sarah Brand, Michael Burgos, Ian Cameron, Natalie Carter, Jonathan Click, Jashanjit Dhilon, Juliana Faso, Olivia Flora, Michael Greer, Leah Harper, Jacqueline Heyden, Graer Howell, Julianna Huber, Nicholas Karnath, Skylar Koschuk, Matthew Leone, Brandon Lysenko, Kyla Mack, Joshua Mallabar, Alivia Manzo, Halie Martinez, Avery Mondoux, Christian Pendola, Grace Promowicz, Joshua Przystal, Anna Pullano, Alyssa Robertson, Boaz Schuerholz, Danial Senn, Alicia Shivers, Emily Thompson, Karina VeRost, Sara Verso, Jillian Wadell, Celia Wood, Bailey Yung.
In addition, certificates were awarded for outstanding leadership in music. For chorus: Julianna Huber and Aiden Mingoia; for orchestra: Leah Dylag and Zachary Leng; and for band: Alessandra Smith and Abishek Selvakumar. Outstanding artists: Faith Marsala and Rebekah Thompson. Outstanding DECA Volunteers: Angelina Beyer, Kiersten Brown, Natalie Carter, Katie Giambra, Samantha Hoerner, Megan Lavis, Hannah Martinez, Riley Patterson, Hayley Pizur, Daniel Senn, Finune Shaibi, Katie Squires.
This year, a Chess Club was formed by Ms. Susan Szczublewski and attended by 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Eighth graders were given awards for outstanding skill. Recipients were Arianna Nasca, Abishek Selvakumar, and Evan Walowitz. Mathletes Competition also gave awards to top scorers: First place went to Zachary Leng and Arianna Nasca. Runners up were Sara Pearse and Abishek Selvakumar. Fayez M. Abdelal Scholarship winners: April James (3rd grader from Kaegebein), Gianna Karnath (6th grader from VCMS), and 8th grader, Daniel Diehl. Each was awarded a $250 scholarship.
High average certificates were also distributed:
English: Mrs. Campbell's English 8 classes: Olivia Nucci
Mrs. Campbell's English 8 Honors classes: Rebekah Thompson
Mrs. Hahn's English 8 classes: Katherine Squires
Mr. Meaney's English 8 class-Grace Promowicz
Mathematics: Mrs. Anderson's math 8 classes-Morgan Santorio
Mrs. Armitage's math 8 classes-Julianna Huber
Mrs. Armitage's algebra classes-Abishek Selvakumar, 100% on the algebra Regents exam-Abishek Selvakumar
Mrs. Murray's math 8 class-Brandon Lysenko
Science: Mrs. Balesteri's science 8 classes-Graham Zorich
Mrs. Hegarty's science 8 classes-Sophia Steck
Ms. Schaber's science 8 class-Katherine Squires
Ms. Schaber's Earth Science classes-Arianna Nasca
100% on the Earth Science Regents exam-Aiden Zach
Social Studies: Ms. Hayes' social studies 8 classes-Muhammed Shabbir
Mr. Randles' social studies 8 classes-Renee DiLaura
Mr. Randles' social studies 8 Honors classes-Megan Lavis
LOTE (foreign languages):
Spanish: Mrs. Grande's classes-Megan Lavis
Mrs. Rumsey-Malaney's classes-Haley Pizur
Mrs. Weidner's classes-Kaylee Boyle
French: Mrs. Stachnik's classes-Kiersten Brown Outstanding Achievement in Foreign Language (French)-Sam Dulniak & Alessandra Smith
There were also several special awards presented during the ceremony. First there was the NYS Comptroller’s Award. The recipient must have shown academic excellence and the potential for leadership through involvement in activities that improve the school and/or community. This was given to Megan Lavis. In addition was the Triple "C" award which is given to an individual or individuals who exhibit an exemplary character in school as shown through his or her interaction with peers, faculty, staff, and administration. A student or students must also exhibit courage in the face of personal and/or academic difficulties. Finally, a recipient or recipients exhibit a commitment to school and home communities as well as a commitment to personal excellence. This year’s awards were given to Caralyn Reynolds and Olivia Nucci.
A few years ago, the 8th grade team of teachers created an award to recognize two individuals, one boy and one girl, who exemplify the Viking Values. To receive the Viking Valor award, a student must exemplify academic excellence: A recipient must have excelled academically, having maintained an average of 90% or higher every quarter while attending middle school. Also, to be considered, an individual must have consistently displayed an exemplary character and shown responsibility through their actions and have displayed respect in their interactions with peers, staff, faculty, and administration. This year’s awards were given to Haley Pizur and Jack Stravino.
As each student's name was called and he or she crossed the stage, each was congratulated by Dr. Brian Graham, Superintendent of Schools; Mrs. Karen Cuddy-Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction; and Mrs. Lisa Pyc, Board of Education President. Following the ceremony, students, family, and friends were invited to attend a reception in honor of the students. The reception was held in the GIHS cafeteria and was sponsored by the VCMS PTA.
VCMS PTA Teacher Recognition Breakfast - July 2018
The winning team from left: teachers Deb Coram, Carrie Gordon, Lori Randles, Jill Ungaro, Camille Dalla Torre, Tracy Poole
Connor Middle School PTA held its annual Teacher Recognition Breakfast on the last school day using a Dr. Seuss theme. Tables were decorated in Dr. Seuss colors and a Cat in the Hat centerpiece.
Following the breakfast a poetry contest was held on the theme of "How I'll spend my summer." The winning team members received Tim Horton gift cards.
PTA members who arranged the event (from left): Karen Carroll, Kelly Cicero, Ann Bobeck, Jodie DeCourcey, Thera Lewis, Sarah Sander, Lee Cohen (Not pictured:: Jen Walowitz)
Connor Middle School 3rd Quarter High Honor Roll - May 2018
6th GRADE HIGH HONOR
Brianna Barr, Jack Benns, Julia Bielec, Isabella Boyle, Alma Brown, Sabrina Butcher, Victoria Caizza, Brooke Caldwell, Samuel Castner, Jacob Clark, Douglas Crowley, Kathryn Czyrny, Mariella DiCarlo, Kaitlyn Dudek, Brigid Dugan, Gianna Genovese, Giovanni Granelli, Timothy Grant, Brady Hillman, Tyler Hoock, Alexandra Jensen, Rachel Joseph, Jacob Joseph, Gianna Karnath, Brooke Kenney, Raven Khreis, Mikaela Kitchen, Patrick Kruse, Anna Kurtzhalts, Braeden Lenhard, Elijah Linenfelser, Kaleigh Lockett, Kyto Magee, Eszter Magyari, Jillian Manns, Ava Marsala, Hailey Martinez, Evan McMann, Addison McNulty, Tessa Morris, Georgiana Nowak, Kendyl Ode, Emma Oppedisano, Cameron Pachura, Sierra Palumbo, Kristina Potenza, Aleksander Pyc, Megan Rebmann, Torin Roth, Adam Schnell, Emma Schoenrock, Charlotte Steck, Ella Steinwandel, Ryan Stravino, Micaila Valle, Christian Vanini, Gabriella VeRost, Casey Walowitz, George Wenner, Brayden Willats, Luke Winarski, Alexandra Woloszyn, Catherine Zach, Ella Zaremski, Gerald Zientara
7th GRADE HIGH HONOR
Abigail Bentley, Jacob Berard, Emma Besl, Samantha Buckingham, Andrew Burke, Julia Capage, Elizabeth Carpenter, Berin Celik, Joseph Cicero, Nathaniel Cohen, Lauren Coombs, Natalyn Cordero, Anna Donlon, Caitlin Fay, Logan Fox, Jackson Frey, Lauren Geyer, Kelsie Greene, Amanda Gula, Sophia Heffley, Zoe Heider, Jenalynn Hoy, Samuel Jayme, Eden Johnson, Jessica Kam, Kathleen Krawczyk, Phillip Lepine, Patrick Lepine, Morgan Malush, Sydney Martin, Mia Moran, Maia Nowak, Alena Panepinto, Megan , Pinzel, Olivia Pratt, Matthew Rebmann, Yun Ren, Gavin Rice, Matthew Rizzo, Maelee Roach, Wynonna Roberts, Ella Rudney, Olivia Ryan, Kosmo Sarigiannis, Serenity Sikora, Ryan Smith, David Still, John Szczublewski, Kayleigh Vanderzell
8th GRADE HIGH HONOR
Angelo Aiello, Christina Anderson, Kalen Baaith, Nathan Bender, Christopher Benns, Kiersten Brown, Mikayla Bukowski, Seth Cox, Zander Crvelin, Noah DeCourcey, Francesca DePalma, Renee DiLaura, Leah Dylag, Brendan Ehlenfield, Adison Fike, Julianna Huber, Raistlin Huff, Jacob Jayme, Riley Joseph, Megan Lavis, Zachary Leng, Connor Lenhard, Noelle Linenfelser, Christopher Macro, Hannah Martinez, Arianna Nasca, Alexis Nguyen, Olivia Nucci, Ian Pachura, Riley Patterson, Ethan Person, Hayley Pizur, Caralyn Reynolds, Morgan Santorio, Rebecca Schultz, Abishek Selvakumar, Muhammad Shabbir, Finune Shaibi, Alessandra Smith, Tereska Sorel, Katherine Squires, John Stravino, Alex Szczepankiewicz, Rebekah Thompson, Rayna Wallens, Evan Walowitz, Lidya Weng, Aiden Zach, Graham Zorich .
Connor Middle School 3rd Quarter Honor Roll - May 2018
6th GRADE HONOR
Sarah Ahmed, Emily Birtz, Julianna Burgin, Gianna Burruano, Lorenzo Buscaglia, Trysten Cardin-Galeza, Emilie Carrig, Nathan Cioppa, Audrey Dickinson, Tyler Dworak, Meredith Ehlenfield, Nissa Elahi, Madison Elandt, Samantha Ennis, Samuel Fabiano, Brandon Farquharson, Gavin Firmstone, Nicole Forsey, Jenna Gorton, Katelyn Grant, Kyle Haines, Jenna Hecht, Roman Horvath, Ethan Hovey, Grace Jones, Morgan Khadra, Kailey Korkuc, Dominic Leone, Hollyn Lynch, Sarah Lysarz, Luecas Martin, Natalle Martineck, Zainab Masoodi, Olivia Mayer, LilyBeth Mazur, Madalyn Montes, Gianna Mourgas, Brett Nowocien, Kylie Okelberry, Cooper O'Leary, Aidan Pax, Nicholas Pilon, Gianna Potts, Mavis Riley, Isidora Ristic, Joseph Ruminski, Emma Santorio, Audrey Satterlee, Tucker Schoen, Pearl Sciolino-Coffey, David Squires, Hannah Susman, Sophia Todaro, Kyleigh Ulrich, Dean Urbaniak, John Vinkle, Annie Weng, Preston Whitfield, Aleena Winslow, Jaimen Wright, Mackenzie Wright
7th GRADE HONOR
Paige Bedell, Ava Brandon, Brendan Carroll, Alexandrea Caudill, Riley Chen, Gavin Cich, Riley Crosby, Riley Decker, Rebecca Dilliot, Taylor Evans, Reagan Fast, Joseph Fatta, Sara Fletcher, Aubrey Frank, Raquel Gagliardi, Sara Glose, Sarah Grover, Eric Hamm, Jason Hill, Katie Jaegers, Julia Juntunen, Jasmeen Kaur, Harmanjeet Kaur, Kendall Keller, Cameron Kitchen, Lily Koslowski, Edward Kwarciak, Aidan Maroni, Alexis Martin, Caleb Meyer, Alana Miano, Kaylee Montana, Luke O'Brien, Lindsey Olendorf, Giavana Panepinto, Christina Pietromicca, Arden Randle, Megan Reynolds, Alexis Schad, Emma Schinnagel, Madison Schneider, Jack Sharp, Alyssa Stockinger, Annabella Tippett, Marcus Tittle, Grace VanderMey, Gabrielle Vecio, Aiden Wagner
8th GRADE HONOR
Eva Ahne, Anthony Amato, Thomas Banas, Ashley Battaglia, Thomas Bender, Sophia Black, Sophia Bobeck, Kaylee Boyle, Kenneth Brodie, Kayla Butler, Faith Caldwell, Giana Casullo, Marcus Celano, Jordan Choboy, Aidan Cioppa, Adiana Cotroneo, Izabella DeGlopper, Claire Dickinson, Jake Dionne, Samuel Dulniak, Lucas Dunn, Jenna Duquin, Tyler Figliola, Michael Foglia, Katelyn Giambra, Arman Deep Gill, Lana Gondek, Kaci Gottler, Anna Hammond, Spencer Hecht, Joshua Henderson, Jacqueline Heyden, Samantha Hoerner, Justin Horvath, Alicia Hunt, Jenna Kaiser, Ella Koslowski, Noah Krathaus, Bethany Kulikowski, Melanie Longo, Brandon Lysenko, Aidan MacNeil, Alivia Manzo, Faith Marsala, Madisyn Martino, Trinity Meinhart, Aidan Mingoia, Jonathan Minton, Hannah Moore, Elizabeth Morris, Alana Mosher, Callen Neeson, Alexandra Oats, Sara Pearse, Madison Piggot, Lauren Ratajczak, Samar Rizek, Ryan Sander, Ryan Saucier, Jackson Scalise, Mia Schiffmacher, Carmen Sokody, Sophia Steck, Kimberley Swain, Christian Taylor, Victoria Thauer, Ava Todaro, Lauren Tompkins, Albert Wain, Hailey Watches, Riley Weber, Jessica Whitfield, Celia Wood.
Connor Middle School 2nd Quarter Merit Roll - May 2018
6th GRADE MERIT
Ayden Anguiano, Gurmehar Arora, Callee Bartolotta, Timothy Bentley, Tyler Boos, Owen Brockvescio, Alexia Bryant, Ella Campas, Juliet Chadima, Noah Click, Lilliana Conway, Tessa DeMartin, Haley Gangloff, Ian Greer, Kanita Hajdini, Hunter Hall, Kayla Harper, Connor Hart, Hannah Higuera, Joshua Hoover, Claire LeFevre, Tyler MacNeil, Fortune Macri, Joseph Martino, Haylie Mesmer, Nathan Meyers, Adia Porter, Dominic Pullano, Tyler Robertson, Christopher Sadkowski, Robert Simon, Dylan Simpson, Andrew Smith, Lauren Soluri, Ta'miah Wilkes. .
7th GRADE MERIT
Dylan Andrews, Raj Arumugam, Logan Beringer, Kaitlyn Burns, Kyler Butcher, Michael Christensen, Miranda DeCourcey, Kayla Donovan, Noah Farmer, Madison Flory, Anthony Fratello, Mya Genovese, Christian Giddings, Chase Harding, Tanner Hawley, William Hofmeyer, Mackenzie Ingalsbe, Brady Jones, Alannah Kaifas-Concha, Sydney Knight, Dylan Langa, Ryan Lysenko, Griffin Mahoney, Olivia Martinez, Samuel May, Sean Mesmer, Dylan Murray, Maria Novelli, Jacob Ode, Carson Page, Jacob Pangborn, Kaylin Peterson, Isabelle Pezdek, Hanna Pressley, Maria Preston, Zachary Przybyl, Kaden Smith, James Soto, Trinity Swart, Colin Wilton, Erick Wittmann, Michael Zacher, Aubrey Zdarsky.
8th GRADE MERIT
Emily Andrews, Madison Andrews, Tristan Betterelli, Veronica Bonner, Michael Burgos, Natalie Carter, Michael Coburn, Olivia Crowley, Samuele DeLorenzo, Jashanjit Dhillon, Kayleen DiCarlo, Olivia Floro, Olivia Fox, Victor Fritsch, Lily Hauer, Joseph Hinson, Graer Howell, Rebekah Jaenecke, Ashley James, Gurleen Johal, Jackson Jones, Molly Leggett, Matthew Leone, Joseph Lewis, Ethan Lysarz, Karli Macrides, Joshua Mallabar, Halie Martinez, Ryan McMann, Avery Mondoux, Michael Percival, Kyle Phillips, Joshua Przystal, Anna Pullano, Ava Racz, Isaiah Reading, Alyssa Robertson, Kira Seidel, Daniel Senn, Alicia Shivers, Jonathan Simpson, Brian Vanini, Karina VeRost, Sara Verso, Jillian Wadell, Bailey Yung.
District Art Show Opening - May 2018
Caty DeLong, 8th grade.
The Art Department of the Grand Island Schools presented their annual district-wide art show on Monday, May 14th. Students in grades K-12 participated to showcase student achievement and spotlight both cognitive and creative components inherent in creation. The display will be at the GIHS Viking Mall May 14-18th.
Kelsie Greene, 7th grade.
Riley Patterson, 8th grade.
District Art Show to be Held at GIHS - May 2018
Mia Schiffmacher with her self-portrait.
Once again, works by hundreds of student artists will fill Grand Island High School's Viking mall of Grand Island High School as the Art Department of the Grand Island Schools presents their annual district-wide art show. Students in grades K-12 have eagerly been preparing works in anticipation of the yearly event. Designed to showcase student achievement and spotlight both cognitive and creative components inherent in creation, the show will open with a reception for artists and their families on the evening of Monday, May 14th from 6:00-8:00pm. Works in a wide variety of media will be on display. The public is cordially invited to view the students' work and to share in their teachers' and families' collective pride as they view the unique artistic points of view, creative solutions, visual problem-solving and individual artistic voices on display.
Op-artist Samantha Klein.
Op-artist Kaden Smith.
Fifth Annual Viking Olympics - May 2018The Fifth Annual Viking Olympics will take place at Grand Island High School on Friday, May 18th, from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. This Veronica Connor Student Council sponsored event includes family activities, food trucks, and a basket raffle. Proceeds will go to the Special Olympics and the VCMS School Beautification program. See Flyer & Volunteer Form for complete details.
Middle School Modified Girls' Basketball, 14-0 - March 2018
Seated: G. Vecio (asst. captain), L. Koslowski, B. Kulikowski, E. Koslowski, A. Cotroneo, J. Whitfield.
Your Grand Island lovely Lady Vikings went undefeated in 14 contests this season, 12 NFL games and two non-leaguers. Besides their obvious success on the scoreboard at the end of the game, the girls improved drastically from the beginning to the end of the season as basketball players. There is a bright future ahead for GI girls' basketball.
Middle: Asst. Coach K. Boutet, J. Hoy, S. Verso, J. Kaiser, L. Gondek, S. Buckingham, F. Marsala, Coach A. Meaney
Standing: H. Moore, O. Nucci (captain), S. Sikora, L. Dylag, R. Decker.
Although we only had six seventh graders for the 2018 season, they worked very hard trying to keep up with their 8th grade counterparts. One seventh grader, Jenalynn Hoy, was injured for the whole season right before it began. This was unfortunate, but Jena made the most of it by coming to practice and being the very able scorekeeper. We are hoping she can get on the court next season. Riley Decker was a player-manager who was very active when she got on the court and was a big help at the scorer's table when she did not. Lily Koslowski (sister of the famed Ella) packed quite a punch in her tiny frame. She was tenacious on defense and is very difficult to take the ball from when dribbling. Serenity Sikora was solid in the post, scoring on numerous putbacks or designed inbounds plays ("Tree"). Samantha Buckingham played solid defense and became more comfortable on the court as the season went along. Gabi Vecio was the assistant captain and was very focused when going to the basket - often, she would not be denied. These seventh graders will be the core group moving forward next year and they have quite a pair of high tops to fill after the performance many eighth graders put forth this season. With some daily dribbling and perhaps a camp, early indications are they should be able to meet the challenge.
There were 11 eighth graders on the undefeated squad, but only six were returners. The "newbies" made themselves integral parts of the machine and are preparing themselves to help the program out next season. Sarah Verso was a dedicated player who worked hard in practice to be the best player she could be. Sarah was a team favorite and was a positive force in the locker room. Hannah Moore worked hard both on the court and in practice. Hannah was very active on defense, always alert to where the ball and her player were. Adiana Cotroneo was a big plus to the guard position. Adiana is a physical player that doesn't mind the contact. She developed quite a bit as the season moved along, increasing her skills and vision. She made a number of heads up passes that you don't often see even at the higher levels. Jenna Kaiser also developed by leaps and bounds as the season went by. Jenna is a strong post player who jumps, anticipates, and boxes out. She, too, does not mind contact and developed a great touch for putting offensive rebounds back up. Her "motor" is going to work wonders for her at the next level. And our final non-returning eighth grader is Jessica Whitfield (no relation to Walt Whitman). Jess is an unassuming player who listens and learns. Jessica was new to the game but practiced correctly and with focus. She became a Viking Centurion (player who scores 100+ points in a season) in game 12 and was a co-MVP on the season. To score over 100 points is unheard of for a first year player. Jess scored just two points in her first game, watching and learning… after that, she played like her hair was on fire. Her soccer background made her a great defender, but her greatest asset both on and off the court is her work ethic. Jess dutifully tried to improve herself every day to be the best that she could be. Coupled with her modesty, you could see why she was a team favorite.
Our six returners were certainly looking to improve on last year's record, which probably did not accurately reflect their true abilities. The returning six did their best to let everyone know how hard you have to work to be successful in this league. Leah Dylag played solid defense and contributed offensively from the dirty areas under the basket. Faith Marsala went the whole season without committing a foul to win the "Miss Congeniality" award. Faith works hard on her game in practice and any other opportunities she has to get in a gym. Lana Gondek blossomed into quite an offensive threat this season (42 pts). She was deadly between the elbows on her turnaround jumpers and was certainly a presence under the boards. She will be a strong addition to the forward corps of JV next year. Other additions will be the guard pairing known as the Krakow Kids - Bethany Kulikowski and Ella Koslowski. These two girls realized what it takes to be successful at this level and took it upon themselves to up their game between seventh grade and eighth grade. Combined they put in about 50 points, but what was most impressive was their composure on the court. Bethany stayed calm in the midst of defensive pressure and looked for open teammates. Bethany also played some tight defense that will be of much use at JV. Most impressive was Bethany's use of her left hand on left handed layups. Ella found her inside game this year as well as her outside game. Her ability to drive the lane for baskets was a show of strength and confidence that wasn’t there last season. Ella also was comfortable and smooth tossing up an occasional three, which opened things up for her teammates as the defense had to come out and respect her shooting. Both girls led by example and the JV program will be in good hands with all of these guards coming up! And finally, captain Olivia Nucci. Olivia has worked hard for two seasons. She turned it on in the last three games to reach 100 points on the season to also become a Viking Centurion! This is the only time in 25 years of GI modified basketball that there have been two Viking Centurions in one season! Olivia was also a co-MVP because of her outstanding play and determination. Olivia has done whatever was requested of her without complaint over these past two seasons (guard, forward, etc) which is a true sign of leadership. Olivia and the rest of the returning six were rewarded for all of their efforts last season with a perfect record this season.
The players and coaching staff would like to thank all of the fans and parents who made this remarkable achievement possible while putting in another sellout season. Many thanks to coach Kate Boutet, who always does a wonderful job connecting to the student/athletes. The team was exceptionally close and that only bodes well for the program moving forward. The girls improved basketball-wise over the season and are ready for upcoming camps and the rigors of JV. Being unbeaten is certainly memorable, but the friendships and lessons learned along the way that are applicable off the court are the real takeaway.
Middle School State DECA Winners - March 2018
From left: Jack Stravino, MJ Fonte, Evan Walowitz and Justin Horvath.
From left: Bethany Kulikowski, Evan Walowitz, Brendan Ehlenfield, Jack Stravino, Justin Horvath.Congratulations to our FIVE JV DECA 8th grade competitors for their notable professionalism and outstanding effort at last week's DECA States Competition in Rochester, NY. Building on the problem-solving and presentation skills learned in all of their classes, three of our students beat out Grade 9-12 graders from all over NY State. Grand Island was victorious in both Sales Demonstration AND Wholesale Selling with Jack Stravino taking FIRST IN THE STATE in Sales Demo while Justin Horvath took FIRST and Evan Walowitz took FIFTH in Wholesale!! A special thanks goes out to Superintendent, Dr. Graham and the Mini Regional Judges: Michael Fonte, Brandon Mumaw, Lauren Fonte, Brooke Chamberlain and Ryan McCarthy for the time they took preparing our students for competition.
Middle School National PTA Reflections Winners - March 2018
From left: Bailey Yung (dance choreography); Hayley Pizur (literature); Faith Marsala and Juliana Neyra (visual arts).The National PTA Reflections program gives students the opportunity to be creative and express themselves through the arts. This year students created artwork to express the theme "Within Reach." They could enter work in six different categories: dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography, or visual arts. The entry with the highest score in each category and age division received the Niagara Region PTA Award of Excellence and advanced to the state competition. Four Connor Middle School 8th graders also advanced to the state level. They are: Bailey Yung (dance choreography); Hayley Pizur (literature); Faith Marsala and Juliana Neyra (visual arts). Niagara Region PTA held an awards ceremony and reception at the Kenan Center Taylor Theater in Lockport March 4 honoring Reflections participants. All entries were displayed and awards were presented. The five New York State winners' entries will be displayed at the NYS PTA convention in Saratoga Springs in November. Next year's Reflections theme is "Heroes Around Me."
Middle School "Youth in Art Month" - March 2018
Pictured with her op-art artwork is Jessica Kam, grade seven.March is "Youth in Art Month", a national observance which recognizes and celebrates the work of school-age children, grade k-12. The annual celebration recognizes the importance and value of art education to student learning as well as encouraging community support of quality programs in our schools. Youth Art Month also provides an opportunity to recognize the unique skills and abilities that are developed by students through their involvement in the visual arts. To celebrate the annual occasion of Youth In Art month, the work of more than thirty Veronica Connor Middle School students is featured in a display at the Grand Island Memorial Library throughout the month of March.
The work on display showcases the many ways in which middle-level students use art as a form of self-expression, creatively solving problems by using a wide variety of media to express and find their unique artistic voice. Pieces on display include ceramic tile designs, pastel paintings, musical interpretations, social issue art, op-art drawings, watercolors and printmaking; all by middle school artists.
The following students have work on display:
Grade six: Sam Castner, Madison Elandt, Zainab Masoodi, Kristina Potenza Grade seven: Logan Beringer, Lauren Coombs, Miranda DeCourcey, Lauren Geyer, Jessica Kam, Aidan Maroni, Zac Przybyl, Rick Ren, Grace VanderMey; Grade eight: Anthony Amato, Kalen Baaith, Kiersten Brown, Jordan Choboy, Adiana Cotroneo, Caitlyn DeLong, Sam Dulniak, Erin Fillmore, Julianna Huber, Faith Marsala, Elizabeth Morris, Julianna Neyra, Callen Neeson, Rebecca Schultz, Sophia Steck, Rebekah Thompson, Lauren Tompkins.
Connor Middle School 2nd Quarter High Honor Roll - February 2018
6th GRADE HIGH HONOR
Jack Benns, Julia Bielec, Isabella Boyle, Alma Brown, Sabrina Butcher, Victoria Caizza, Brooke Caldwell, Samuel Castner, Jacob Clark, Douglas Crowley, Kathryn Czyrny, Mariella DiCarlo, Kaitlyn Dudek, Brigid Dugan, Gianna Genovese, Giovanni Granelli, Jenna Hecht, Brady Hillman, Tyler Hoock, Alexandra Jensen, Rachel Joseph, Jacob Joseph, Gianna Karnath, Brooke Kenney, Mikaela Kitchen, Patrick Kruse, Anna Kurtzhalts, Braeden Lenhard, Elijah Linenfelser, Kaleigh Lockett, Sarah Lysarz, Kyto Magee, Eszter Magyari, Jillian Manns, Hailey Martinez, Zainab Masoodi, Evan McMann, Addison McNulty, Tessa Morris, Georgiana Nowak, Brett Nowocien, Emma Oppedisano, Cameron Pachura, Aidan Pax, Kristina Potenza, Aleksander Pyc, Megan Rebmann, Audrey Satterlee, Adam Schnell, Emma Schoenrock, David Squires, Charlotte Steck, Ryan Stravino, Micaila Valle, Christian Vanini, Gabriella VeRost, Casey Walowitz, George Wenner, Brayden Willats, Luke Winarski, Alexandra Woloszyn, Catherine Zach, Ella Zaremski, Gerald Zientara.
7th GRADE HIGH HONOR
Jacob Berard, Emma Besl, Samantha Buckingham, Andrew Burke, Julia Capage, Elizabeth Carpenter, Berin Celik, Joseph Cicero, Nathaniel Cohen, Lauren Coombs, Natalyn Cordero, Riley Crosby, Anna Donlon, Reagan Fast, Caitlin Fay, Logan Fox, Aubrey Frank, Jackson Frey, Lauren Geyer, Amanda Gula, Sophia Heffley, Zoe Heider, Samuel Jayme, Eden Johnson, Jessica Kam, Kathleen Krawczyk, Phillip Lepine, Patrick Lepine, Morgan Malush, Sydney Martin, Mia Moran, Maia Nowak, Megan Pinzel, Olivia Pratt, Gavin Rice, Matthew Rizzo, Maelee Roach, Wynonna Roberts, Ella Rudney, Olivia Ryan, Kosmo Sarigiannis, Emma Schinnagel, Serenity Sikora, Ryan Smith, David Still, John Szczublewski, Kayleigh Vanderzell.
8th GRADE HIGH HONOR
Angelo Aiello, Christina Anderson, Nathan Bender, Thomas Bender, Christopher Benns, Kiersten Brown, Faith Caldwell, Seth Cox, Noah DeCourcey, Renee DiLaura, Samuel Dulniak, Lucas Dunn, Brendan Ehlenfield, Michael Foglia, Samantha Hoerner, Julianna Huber, Jacob Jayme, Riley Joseph, Megan Lavis, Zachary Leng, Connor Lenhard, Noelle Linenfelser, Hannah Martinez, Aidan Mingoia, Alana Mosher, Arianna Nasca, Olivia Nucci, Riley Patterson, Ethan Person, Madison Piggot, Hayley Pizur, Morgan Santorio, Abishek Selvakumar, Finune Shaibi, Alessandra Smith, Tereska Sorel, Katherine Squires, John Stravino, Rebekah Thompson, Albert Wain, Rayna Wallens, Evan Walowitz, Jessica Whitfield, Aiden Zach.
Connor Middle School 2nd Quarter Honor Roll - February 2018
6th GRADE HONOR
Brianna Barr, Emily Birtz, Owen Brockvescio, Alexia Bryant, Gianna Burruano, Lorenzo Buscaglia, Trysten Cardin-Galeza, Nathan Cioppa, Taylor Duscher, Meredith Ehlenfield, Nissa Elahi, Madison Elandt, Samuel Fabiano, Brandon Farquharson, Gavin Firmstone, Nicole Forsey, Jenna Gorton, Timothy Grant, Kyle Haines, Hannah Higuera, Joshua Hoover, Roman Horvath, Ethan Hovey, Grace Jones, Raven Khreis, Hollyn Lynch, Fortune Macri, Ava Marsala, Luecas Martin, Joseph Martino, Olivia Mayer, LilyBeth Mazur, Gianna Mourgas, Kendyl Ode, Cooper O'Leary, Sierra Palumbo, Nicholas Pilon, Mylie Porter, Gianna Potts, Mavis Riley, Isidora Ristic, Torin Roth, Joseph Ruminski, Christopher Sadkowski, Emma Santorio, Tucker Schoen, Pearl Sciolino-Coffey, Andrew Smith, Lauren Soluri, Ella Steinwandel, Hannah Susman, Sophia Todaro, Kyleigh Ulrich, Dean Urbaniak, John Vinkle, Preston Whitfield, Ta'miah Wilkes, Aleena Winslow, Jaimen Wright.
7th GRADE HONOR
Raj Arumugam, Paige Bedell, Abigail Bentley, Ava Brandon, Brendan Carroll, Alexandrea Caudill, Michael Christensen, Riley Decker, Miranda DeCourcey, Kayla Donovan, Taylor Evans, Joseph Fatta, Sara Fletcher, Raquel Gagliardi, Sara Glose, Kelsie Greene, Eric Hamm, Tanner Hawley, Jason Hill, Jenalynn Hoy, Katie Jaegers, Julia Juntunen, Alannah Kaifas-Concha, Jasmeen Kaur, Harmanjeet Kaur, Kendall Keller, Cameron Kitchen, Edward Kwarciak, Aidan Maroni, Samuel May, Caleb Meyer, Alana Miano, Kaylee Montana, Luke O'Brien, Lindsey Olendorf, Carson Page, Alena Panepinto, Christina Pietromicca, Maria Preston, Arden Randle, Matthew Rebmann, Yun Ren, Megan Reynolds, Alexis Schad, Jack Sharp, Kaden Smith, James Soto, Alyssa Stockinger, Annabella Tippett, Marcus Tittle, Grace VanderMey, Gabrielle Vecio, Patrick Whalen, Erick Wittmann.
8th GRADE HONOR
Eva Ahne, Anthony Amato, Emily Andrews, Kalen Baaith, Thomas Banas, Ashley Battaglia, Sophia Bobeck Kaylee Boyle, Mikayla Bukowski, Kayla Butler, Natalie Carter, Giana Casullo, Marcus Celano, Jordan Choboy, Aidan Cioppa, Michael Coburn, Adiana Cotroneo, Zander Crvelin, Izabella DeGlopper, Francesca DePalma, Claire Dickinson, Jake Dionne, Jenna Duquin, Leah Dylag, Tyler Figliola, Adison Fike, Katelyn Giambra, Kaci Gottler, Anna Hammond, Joshua Henderson, Justin Horvath, Raistlin Huff, Alicia Hunt, Rebekah Jaenecke, Ashley James, Gurleen Johal, Ella Koslowski, Noah Krathaus, Bethany Kulikowski, Molly Leggett, Melanie Longo, Aidan MacNeil, Christopher Macro, Alivia Manzo, Madisyn Martino, Ryan McMann, Trinity Meinhart, Hannah Moore, Elizabeth Morris, Callen Neeson, Alexis Nguyen, Alexandra Oats, Ian Pachura, Sara Pearse, Michael Percival, Lauren Ratajczak, Isaiah Reading, Caralyn Reynolds, Samar Rizek, Ryan Sander, Ryan Saucier, Jackson Scalise, Mia Schiffmacher, Rebecca Schultz, Kira Seidel, Muhammad Shabbir, Carmen Sokody, Kimberley Swain, Alex Szczepankiewicz, Victoria Thauer, Ava Todaro, Lauren Tompkins, Karina VeRost, Hailey Watches, Riley Weber, Lidya Weng, Celia Wood, Graham Zorich .
Connor Middle School 2nd Quarter Merit Roll - February 2018
6th GRADE MERIT
Sarah Ahmed, Gurmehar Arora, Callee Bartolotta, Andrew Bongiovanni, Julianna Burgin, Avery Burroughs, Caitlyn Butcher, Ella Campas, Emilie Carrig, Juliet Chadima, Noah Click, Audrey Dickinson, Bennett Dulniak, Tyler Dworak, Haley Gangloff, Hunter Hall, Kayla Harper, Perrin Huff, Averyanna Kehr, Morgan Khadra, Kailey Korkuc, Claire LeFevre, Dominic Leone, Natalle Martineck, Haylie Mesmer, Nathan Meyers, Madalyn Montes, Dylan Novak, Kylie Okelberry, Adia Porter, Dominic Pullano, Tyler Robertson, Dylan Simpson, Avery Snyder, Blake Thauer, Annie Weng, Mackenzie Wright .
7th GRADE MERIT
Dylan Andrews, Kaitlyn Burns, Riley Chen, Gavin Cich, Emmalee Currie, Rebecca Dilliot, Noah Farmer, Madison Flory, Anthony Fratello, Angelo Galoppo, Mya Genovese, Christian Giddings, Sarah Grover, William Hanlon, Chase Harding, William Hofmeyer, Mackenzie Ingalsbe, Corinne Ireland, Brady Jones, Sydney Knight, Lily Koslowski, Dylan Langa, Ryan Lysenko, Alexis Martin, Joseph Martin, Sean Mesmer, Conner Morrow, Marissa Novack, Maria Novelli, Jacob Ode, Cody Okelberry, Giavana Panepinto, Jacob Pangborn, Kaylin Peterson, Isabelle Pezdek, Madison Schneider, Justin Vazquez, Aiden Wagner, Colin Wilton, Michael Zacher.
8th GRADE MERIT
Madison Andrews, Parker Aronica, Tristan Betterelli, Sophia Black, Franceska Bongiovanni, Veronica Bonner, Kenneth Brodie, Olivia Crowley, Caitlyn DeLong, Samuele DeLorenzo, Kayleen DiCarlo, Olivia Floro, Olivia Fox, Victor Fritsch, Arman Deep Gill, Lana Gondek, Lily Hauer, Spencer Hecht, Jacqueline Heyden, Jackson Jones, Jenna Kaiser, Matthew Leone, Joseph Lewis, Natalie Lopez-Castro, Ethan Lysarz, Brandon Lysenko, Joshua Mallabar, Faith Marsala, Halie Martinez, Jonathan Minton, Avery Mondoux, Paige Moses, Nicholas Pawlak, Christian Pendola, Grace Promowicz, Joshua Przystal, Anna Pullano, Ava Racz, Alyssa Robertson, Daniel Senn, Alicia Shivers, Jonathan Simpson, Evan Steck, Sophia Steck, Christian Taylor, Emily Thompson, Brian Vanini, Sara Verso, Jillian Wadell, Kiersten Winstel, Bailey Yung .
Middle School Student is K-12 "Artist of the Month" - February 2018
Rebekah Thompson.Each year, the Art Department of the Grand Island schools recognizes many of its top artistic achievers with the "K-12 Artist of the Month" award. Presented to ten students annually, the award highlights the varied accomplishments and achievements of district students who excel artistically and who creatively solve problems by using a wide variety of media to express and find their own unique artistic voices.
The young artist selected for February, 2018 is an eighth grade student at Veronica E. Connor Middle School. Rebekah Thompson is an accelerated art student, currently enrolled in Studio In Art at the middle school where she is earning high school credit while still in eighth grade. Rebekah is a meticulous and hardworking student. Art for her is a vehicle to express her ideas and emotions as well as visually solve problems. She is facile and adept in a variety of media, excelling when drawing, designing and sculpting with clay. She is a well-rounded and thoughtful art student with a unique and perceptive artistic voice.
Rebekah's art teacher cites both her positive work ethic and her tremendous attention to detail as two of the reasons she was selected to be the recipient of this honor. She is a creative and hard-working young lady whose abilities and artistic potential mark her as truly extraordinary. The art department is proud to recognize Rebekah as their "Artist of the Month" for February, 2018.