At each regular Board of Education meeting, the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District Board of Education recognizes the contributions and achievements of its outstanding students and staff. Click the links below for the students and staff who have been recognized and the information that was read about them at the Board of Education meeting.
Kim Reidell-Maczka, Kenmore West High School Teacher
"Over the years, Mrs. Reidell has maintained a challenging and diverse teaching schedule, and currently teaches Global History Honors, AP World History, a Holocaust elective, and IB History. She continues to develop new instructional strategies and consistently finds ways of engaging students through technology integration."
Patricia Gallagher, Kenmore West High School Teacher Aide
"Mrs. Gallagher is a bundle of energy. It is not uncommon for her to ask what else she can do when parts of her day might slow down. She volunteers to cover extra classes and is always in the halls greeting all of our students and helping them with whatever they need."
Kyle Ross-Pierce, Kenmore West High School Student
"Kyle goes above and beyond each day and continually demonstrates his ability to overcome challenges. He has seized all of the opportunities that he has been offered here in Ken-Ton and has truly made the most of his high school experience."
Jill Dempsey, Hoover Middle School Library Media Specialist
" Knowing that students search for books by genre, like readers in a bookstore, she voluntarily re-shelved and catalogued the entire fiction section of the school library by genre."
Julie Holt, Hoover Middle School Teacher Aide
"Julie is appreciated across the building for her always-positive "can-do" attitude for any duty, assignment, last-minute task, or long-term project with which she is presented."
Sydney Pratt. Hoover Middle School Student
"Syd always has a smile on his face and displays a positive attitude. He is wise beyond his years in his ability to be aware of, and responsive to, others and their needs."
Tyler Baum, Big Picture Program Student
"He shows a true passion for learning. As a person, Tyler has shown even more growth. As an 8th grader, Tyler struggled to fit in socially and connect with peers."
Daniel Litz, Big Picture Program 401 Advisor
"Dan is an exemplar for other Advisors in the Big Picture Learning international network of schools to follow. He is dedicated, hard-working, patient, caring, and fun to work with."
Andra Fik, Big Picture Program Senior Clerk Typist
"Her positivity has made every person she comes into contact with at Big Picture feel like they are part of the family. She gives her all to the students, parents, teachers, and staff every single day."
Brice Mobus, Edison Elementary School Student
"Staff are quick to note that Brice is polite, helpful, and supportive. He cares about everyone in the class and would do anything to make someone feel loved."
Community Connection Award Recipients
Lisa Susko is the owner of Championship Martial Arts (formerly Jindo Martial Arts), a martial arts training center located in Tonawanda. Lisa has been active in elementary schools and routinely participates in school events. She regularly donates proceeds from new membership sign-ups back to the schools. Lisa has volunteered to run Character Education martial arts classes which students have greatly enjoyed. The money she raises through her activities goes back to the school.
Timothy & Patricia Hirschbeck
Since 1991, Tim and Tricia Hirschbeck have operated KidsPlay of WNY, which offers a multitude of sports programs for school-age students. KidsPlay has been a trusted and valued member of the Ken-Ton Community Education program for more than 25 years. Countless Ken-Ton athletes first got started in one of the KidsPlay programs or could credit KidsPlay for much of their future athletic success. The Hirschbecks have been a reliable partner offering sports programming year-round for hundreds of youth annually
Dawn Stinner is a district parent who has devoted countless hours in support of students and families over the years. Dawn has 4 students enrolled in Ken-Ton Schools and another who graduated last June. Dawn founded the Special Education Parent Teacher Organization (SEPTO) and currently serves as Director. SEPTO maintains a close partnership with the Special Education Department and its mission is to provide a support network for parents of students with special needs.
Kiwanis is an international volunteer-led organization that is dedicated to improving the world “one child and one community at a time." The Ken-Ton chapter, which is now in its 86th year, is a prime example of how this organization is living up to its mission. Ken-Ton Kiwanis is active throughout the year supporting numerous events and activities for children and families such as the Halloween Bash, Kentoberfest, National Night Out, Town 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, and the Holiday Gala, just to name a few.
Art Traver serves on the Audit Committee. He has served in this capacity for many years, including as its chairperson. The Audit Committee plays a very important role. It is responsible for oversight of the financial reporting and audit process which ensures that school district spending is in compliance with all laws and regulations. Mr. Traver volunteers his time for this position. He is known for his attention to detail and his extensive knowledge of accounting standards, which is a highly specialized field.
Eric Napoli is the driving force behind the Sheridan Parkside Life Center, an extremely important resource for families of the Sheridan Parkside neighborhood who attend Holmes Elementary. Located near the Sheridan Parkside Community Center, this community resource provides numerous services for families in the neighborhood such as a free laundromat, clothing closet, community meeting place, cooking and kitchen classes, other life skills training, and everyday support for residents.
Kate Allen is the gym manager for WNY MMA & Fitness. The gym is an internship site for students at the Big Picture Program. Thanks to Kate, WNY MMA & Fitness is one of the Big Picture Program's longest-serving internship sites. She has had three interns so far over the past five years. Kate remains a big supporter of the Big Picture Program. Big Picture depends on businesses like Kate's to provide internship opportunities for students since internships are such a major part of the program.
Ever since he moved to Kenmore following his retirement approximately 10 years ago, Florian Mendal has devoted his time and resources as a volunteer photographer for multiple Kenmore West High School sports including Football, Baseball, Boys Basketball and Girls Basketball. Mr. Mendal is a familiar face on the sidelines and has a great relationship with players, coaches, and the Athletics Department. He never misses a game. He uses his own equipment to document the season.
Walter "Wally" Byers
Wally Byers, a graduate of Kenmore East, has served with the Brighton Fire Company since 1968. Wally has served many positions in the department, but one of his most important responsibilities has been teaching fire safety to countless children in the Ken-Ton community. Four schools are located within the Brighton fire district as well as many pre-school and daycare programs. For all of these locations, Wally is the fire department’s go-to person to teach fire prevention and safety.
As an integral part of the Academy Advisory Boards, which include business and industry representatives like him, David has helped guide these programs and continues to provide invaluable technology, business, and industry experience. He is always ready to do whatever it takes to support the Academies and other high school programs. David has been a phenomenal mentor for our students, providing internship opportunities for those interested in getting hands-on real-world experience.
Karen Whitelaw has been one of the most active members of our school district community for many, many years. Her dedication to our students and families is unmatched. She never hesitates to do whatever she can to support our schools and programs, advocate on behalf of students, and promote family and community participation. Over the years, Karen has held numerous parent leadership positions including President of the District Parent/Teacher/Student Association as well as the Kenmore East and Franklin Middle PTAs.
Alicia Matesic was actively involved in the Edison Elementary School PTA ever since her oldest child was in kindergarten more than five years ago. She quickly joined the PTA Board and took on the position of President at the start of the 2018-19 school year. She served as PTA President for three years and made countless contributions to the Edison community including promoting parent participation, facilitating new student activities, helping to design new safer arrival and dismissal procedures, and bringing the immensely successful Fun Run to Edison.
Elizabeth Kerr and her children have been among the most dedicated supporters of the Edison Community Garden, which has become the centerpiece of the Edison campus and an amazing resource for students, staff and families. The Garden wouldn't have been possible without the tireless support and dedication of community members like Elizabeth. She and her two children can be seen frequently attending to the Garden, planting, watering, and weeding.
Throughout the pandemic, remote learning has presented many challenges for families, students, and educators. Before the first day of school, Mrs. Denton and her husband Brandon anticipated some of the difficulties that families would soon be facing, especially those with multiple children. They reached out to District administrators in the spirit of collaboration and provided suggestions on how remote learning could be improved even more. (Click the link to continue reading.)
Joe Catalano may be one of the most recognizable people in the Ken-Ton community. Joe has coached athletics in the Ken-Ton School District for more than 30 years, primarily at Kenmore West but at Kenmore East as well. Sports he has coached include softball, football, basketball, volleyball, and cross country. The success of many of our teams has been due in large part to the summer and off-season teams that Joe has worked with that eventually fed into our school programs. (Click the link to continue reading.)
Paul Spors has served the Ken-Ton School District community as a parent leader, volunteer and advocate for many years. Most recently, his son Daniel graduated from Kenmore East High School in 2018, but Paul remains actively involved at the school and district level. He has served as a volunteer coach for the Kenmore East Baseball Team and has been a youth baseball coach in the Town of Tonawanda for many years. (Click the link to continue reading.)
Jennifer Hayes is a very active Ken-Ton School District parent and volunteer, who was independently nominated by two different individuals in our community. Jennifer’s two children have been enrolled at different schools including Holmes Elementary, Hoover Middle, and Kenmore West, and she has been actively involved in each of those schools. (Click the link to continue reading.)
Gennie Vitko is an amazing advocate, parent, community member, and district leader. Gennie has been actively involved in the leadership of numerous groups including the Kenmore East Music Boosters and parent/teacher organizations at several different schools. Gennie has five children who have attended Kenmore East, Franklin, Hoover, and Edison, and she has been actively involved in the leadership of parent groups at each of those schools. (Click the link to continue reading.)
Dr. Ramona Santa Maria
Dr. Ramona Santa Maria is a professor in the Computer Information Systems Department at Buffalo State College who has been actively involved in the development of our high school Career Academies and fostering a college-bound culture. Dr. Santa Maria has won several awards for excellence in teaching, and she has presented research at the regional and national level. (Click the link to continue reading.)
Board Recognitions (September 2016 - June 2018):
Michelle Phillips, Big Picture Program Teacher Aide
Karen Monaco, Big Picture Program ELA Teacher & 401 Advisor
Emily Smiraglia, Big Picture Program Student
Abby Borkowski & Helen Huang, Student Representatives on the Board of Education
Kathy Kightlinger, Human Resources Benefits Specialist
Cathy Miller, Lindbergh Elementary School Counselor
Kellan Graham, Edison Elementary School Student
Linda Sternin, Edison Elementary School Speech Pathologist
Joanne Cascio, Edison Elementary School Nurse
Bettymarie Sullivan & Joseph Lorentz, Kenmore West High School Counselors
Terri Lucinski, Clerk Typist – Attendance Office
Bethany Coates & Helen Huang, Kenmore East High School Students
Peggy Ptak, Kenmore East High School Senior Library Clerk
Ralph Critelli, Kenmore East High School Science Teacher
Paul Wright, Hoover Elementary School Student
Tammy Notto, Hoover Elementary School Support Staff
Michelle Washington, Hoover Elementary School Counselor
Tuyana Dehima, Holmes Elementary School Student
Susan Aitken, Holmes Elementary School Teacher
Jody Muscarella, Holmes Elementary School Support Staff
Jackson Mangone, Lindbergh Elementary School Student
Christy Englert, Lindbergh Elementary School Support Staff
Laura Waggoner, Lindbergh Elementary School Teacher
Michael Hunter, Franklin Elementary School Student
Barb LaCroix, Franklin Elementary School Support Staff
Larissa Gramza, Franklin Elementary School Teacher
Alice Budzich, Franklin Middle School 7th Grader
Angela Jaworski, Franklin Middle School Teacher Aide
Diane Hyzy, Franklin Middle School Special Education Teacher & Jeanette Yoder, Franklin Middle School Reading Teacher
Jadyn D’Alimonte, Hoover Middle School 7th Grader
Joy Burgio, Hoover Middle School Teacher Aide
Penny DePasquale, Hoover Middle School Reading Teacher & Tom Schwob, Hoover Middle School Counselor
Gina Santa Maria, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent & District Clerk
Brett Wilkinson & Colin Lynch, Student Representatives on the Board of Education
Samantha Leggett, Edison Elementary School Student
Kim Moser, Edison Elementary School Monitor
Ron Bordinaro, Edison Elementary School Music Teacher
Donna Krause, Kenmore West High School Cook Manager
Lynn Whitworth, Staff Development Center Policy Board Chairperson
Kathy Ticco, Staff Development Center Policy Board Member
Richard Pates, Big Picture Program Student
Michael Kollmar, Support Staff
William Dockstader, Bus Driver
Lynn Taylor, Franklin Elementary School Support Staff
Mary Russell, Franklin Elementary School Teacher
Abigail Banaszak, Franklin Elementary School Student
Ilana Yurka, Buildings & Grounds Department
Gary Giglia, Kenmore West High School Teacher Aide/School Security
Bruce Zeller, Senior Microcomputer Repair Technician
Kenmore West High School Link Crew Advisors
Patty Delaney, Kenmore East High School Teacher Aide
Jill Neuhaus, Kenmore East High School Choral Director & Students
Charlotte Brach, Hoover Elementary School Student
Rosanne Urbanski, Hoover Elementary School Nurse
Michelle Gorman, Hoover Elementary School Special Education Teacher
Michael Gailie, Transportation Department Auto Mechanic
Will Harbin, Franklin Middle School Crisis Aide
Kim Leggett, Franklin Middle School Physical Education Teacher
Ava Incorvaia and Andrew Roland, Franlin Middle School Students
Katie Burd, Buildings & Grounds Department
Michael Cerami, Lindbergh Elementary School Student
Sheila Babbitt, Lindbergh Elementary School Teacher Aide
Chris Zimmer, Lindbergh Elementary School Substitute Teacher/Retired Teacher
Tom Cavarello, Transportation Department Bus Driver
Candy Nelson, Hoover Middle School Support Staff
Molly Halt, Hoover Middle School Teacher
Julia Cipolla, Hoover Middle School Student
Tom Fitzgerald, Holmes Elementary School Head Custodian
Karen Harter, Holmes Elementary School Special Education Teacher