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Northpole Fire Department
Establishes Scholarship Partnership

Pictured (L-R) are: Joe Wargo, Northpole Fire Chief; and April Fallon, Community Foundation Coordinator of Partnerships.

Posted: July 28, 2015

The Northern New York Community Foundation and Northpole Fire Company recently established a formal partnership through a transfer of the department’s scholarship fund.

The Northpole Fire Company, Inc. Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to immediate family members of the fire department. If no immediately family members or grandchildren apply in a given year, the award is offered to graduating high school seniors from General Brown Central School. This is the Community Foundation’s first official partnership with a local fire department.
“This partnership has been developed to help manage the fire department's scholarship fund as well as to leave a legacy in the community,” said Joe Wargo, Northpole Fire Chief. “The Community Foundation made the partnership extremely easy to set up. We look forward to continuing working with them for years to come while continuing to provide a service to the community. I hope other fire departments take advantage of this great opportunity.”

“We are grateful to Northpole Fire Company for allowing us to be part of perpetuating their good work. It is community partnerships such as this that provide such lasting and enduring benefit for the citizens of the region. It also provides donors with other structured options to support the causes closest to their hearts,” said Rande S. Richardson, Community Foundation executive director.
Scholarship applicants must be enrolled in college-level studies or programs in the summer or fall of the current year. Scholarships will be awarded based upon academic achievement, accomplishments and interests, as well as participation in and demonstration of leadership in both school-oriented and community activities.

The Northern New York Community Foundation makes grants to support the work of non-profit organizations and provides scholarships to individuals in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. The Foundation has been built and added to from gifts (both while living and through their legacy plans) by individuals and organizations committed to meeting the changing needs of Northern New York, as well as supporting specific charitable interests and passions.


Quest for Champions


Posted: July 28, 2015

Brian Hanlin of the Watertown Area Boxing Club won a decision against Ryan Lobdell of Premier Martial Arts of Watertown at the 7th Annual Carmen Basilio Quest for Champions at Exhibition Hall, July 25, 2015. Pictured with Brian Hanlin is Johnny Pepe, President and Head Coach of the Watertown Area Boxing Club.


Heart Association Volunteers

Members of the Nice N Easy Heart Walk team L-R: Brian Bermel, Pete Patenaude, Lori Folgers, Rita Houghtaling, Ilene Nutting, Leah Wisner.

Posted: July 28, 2015

Volunteers are the cornerstone of what makes the American Heart Association successful in funding lifesaving research, education, training, and advocacy programs in the North Country. Tuesday night, the association honored and celebrated the local “Heroes of Hearts” at an awards recognition and celebration at Maggie's on the River in Watertown.

Over the years, hundreds of community members have dedicated their time, talent and passion to volunteering for the American Heart Association. Among the awards received were top North Country Heart Walk sponsors, media partners, fundraising teams, fundraising individuals, volunteer committees, survivor honorees, and Fit-Friendly Worksites.

Among the top fundraising awards tonight included recognition for Nice N Easy. The Nice N Easy team at the North Country Heart Walk was the first ever to raise more than $50,000. The event also recognized the 2015 North Country Heart Walk Chairwoman, Pam Beyor.

“We are so thankful to the North Country community,” says Heart Walk Director Stacy Spaziani. “The generous support and dedication of our volunteers and leaders is what makes the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association possible.”


6th Annual KeithFest August 1st


Posted: July 23, 2015

The sixth Annual KeithFest will be held at the Coyote Moon Vineyard on the East Line Road in Clayton, NY on Saturday, August 1, 2015 from Noon until 8PM. Continuous music and kids activities. Admission is $10.00 for ages 12 to 65; $5.00 under 12 and over 65, with a maximum $25.00 per family. KeithFest is a designated Yellow Ribbon Event, military personnel and their families are admitted at half price fares.


Biggs Scholarship Awarded


Posted: July 23, 2015

The 1st Annual Winners of the “Andy Biggs Memorial Sports Scholarship” were given to Miss Hannah Peebles and Mr. Cole Johnson. Handing out the award is Andy’s brother Bobby Biggs. Andy was a Border Patrol Officer whom died in 2012 and was a General Brown grad.

Miss Peebles will be attending Findlay university in the fall on a Lacrosse Scholarship. Mr. Cole Johnson will be attending Manhattan University in the fall also on a Lacrosse Scholarship.


New JCC Softball Coach


Posted: July 23, 2015

Jefferson Community College (JCC) softball team has a new coach for the spring 2016 season. Chelsea R. Monroe, of Watertown, will take the helm of the Lady Cannoneers. Monroe is one of the head coaches for the NNY Bombers traveling softball team for youth 16 year olds and under.

She holds an associate’s degree from Jefferson and a bachelor’s degree from Utica College. Among her athletic accomplishments as a student athlete, Chelsea holds the Utica College home run record, was named Empire 8 Conference Player of the Year, and was National College Athletic Association Woman of the Year nominee. While a student athlete at Jefferson, Monroe earned Mid-State Athletic Conference (MSAC) All-Conference Single Season and Career Steals Record (37/49) among other MSAC awards.

Monroe is also employed at Jefferson as a retention specialist for athletes. She helps student athletes transition from high school to college and with the development of solid college level academic skills and goals.


Sackets Harbor Battlefield
American Girl Author Program


Posted: July 23, 2015

The Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site hosted American Girl author Kathleen Ernst for her War of 1812 “Smuggler’s Secrets” program about the American Girl Company ”Caroline Abbott” stories and doll. Caroline’s adventures two hundred years ago now inspire readers with her plucky action in time of need. During the event participants from five states and communities across New York State made quilt squares to display as one large group quilt. Everyone constructed American Girl “Caroline Abbott” craft projects and rolled wooden hoops across the lawn, just like Caroline did in the stories.


Contribution for Earthquake Survivors


Posted: July 12, 2015

Sherie Vora and Dr. Manoj Vora accept a check for $509 from Rev. Guy LaMothe, minister at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, and Georgette Spinelli, outgoing church president.

The funds will be given to his personal Sherpa to give to the Village of Kurima, Nepal. Dr. Vora climbed Mt. Everest in 2013 with the aid of a Sherpa from the village. Dr. Vora gave a presentation on June 7 at the church in Watertown.


Sackets Independence Day Canon Firing


Posted: July 5, 2015

A cloud of smoke marks the Independence Day noon cannon salute at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, and the cannon crew poses after the successful firing.



JCC Writers Contest


Posted: July 3, 2015

Jefferson Community College (JCC) is accepting entries for the 2015 North Country Writers Contest. There is no entry fee. Contest rules are available online at www.sunyjefferson.edu. For more information, call the JCC English department at 315-786-2328.

Pictured above are the winners of 2014 North Country Writers Contest. (l-r) Nicholas P.J. Dephtereos of Watertown, nonfiction honorable mention; Diane V. Rogers of Cape Vincent nonfiction winner; Chris L. Brock of Watertown; fiction winner; and Corey M. Pentoney of Watertown; poetry winner.

Honorees unavailable at time of photo are Jeff G. Bakkensen of New York City, fiction honorable mention, and Helen M. Ruggieri of Olean, poetry honorable mention.


Retired Teachers Donate to Library

Pictured (L-R): Burt Phillips (Friends of the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library), Yvonne Reff (LibraryDirector), Patricia Dietrich (Community Service Chair for North Central Zone of NYSRTA), and Douglas Dietrich (President of North Central Zone of NYSRTA).


Posted: June 28, 2015

The Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library received a $50 donation and award certificate as part of the
New York State Retired Teachers Association’s “Love Your Public Library” Raffle. The library was
nominated by longtime Friends’ member Burt Phillips. This is the first award NYSRTA has given to a
public library in our area.


ZooTeens Program


Posted: June 28, 2015

As the promise of summer vacation arrives for North Country teenagers, the New York State Zoo is looking for the best and brightest high schoolers to join their new ZooTeens program. This year’s program has been restructured to provide teens with real world experience in the areas of zoology, animal care, and public speaking.

ZooTeens will have a variety of duties. New this year is the opportunity to work in the Children’s Farm with the zoo’s baby goats and other domestic species. ZooTeens will also assist in the Heather A. Freeman butterfly house, engage with visitors at interpretation stations throughout the zoo, and mentor youth in the Zoofari Summer Camp. To be eligible, applicants must be entering the 9th-12th grades and be able to work two days per week. Work shifts are on Sunday afternoons, and Monday and Wednesday mornings.

“As a supervisor for the Oregon Zoo’s award-winning ZooTeens program, I saw the transformative power of programs like this,” said Dr. Matthew Holdgate, the zoo’s Executive Director. “I watched teens mature and develop, build confidence, and form friendships. I’m eager to emulate this successful program at the New York State Zoo, to inspire the next generation to conserve and protect our local plants, animals, and natural resources, while providing a unique and exciting work experience.”

Another addition to the 2015 ZooTeens program is the new ZooTeens Coordinator, Amanda Stafford. “As a teenager I discovered a passion for working with animals that has continued to grow. Now as an adult, I have found I enjoy working with teens as well, especially those that share my interest in animals,” said Stafford.

The zoo is currently seeking ZooTeens applicants and organizations that would like to support the program. Interested parties can learn more at www.nyszoo.org  or contact the ZooTeens program at 315-755-0892 or zooteens@nyszoo.org


Jefferson-Can Community Scholars


Posted: June 11, 2015

Sixty-eight area high school students have received a Jefferson-Can Community Scholars Award for their freshman year at Jefferson Community College (JCC), 2014-15, thanks to the generosity of Stephen H. Can, JCC alumnus ’80. Mr. Can, in partnership with the JCC Foundation and the Northern New York Community Foundation, has supported more than 120 JCC freshman students over their past two-year partnership.

In 2013 Mr. Can, the JCC Foundation and the Northern New York Community Foundation partnered to strengthen scholarship opportunities available to the region’s top high school students – the scholars program awards first-year tuition scholarships to students from Jefferson and Lewis counties who graduate in the top 15% of their respective classes. Since its inception in 2007 as the Jefferson-Can Scholars program, inclusive of this year’s class, over 390 students have attended JCC tuition-free for their freshman year and over $982,000 has been invested in area students. In addition, approximately 70 students will enroll this fall as Jefferson-Can Community Scholars, bringing the student total to over 460 since inception.

Mr. Can stated, “It has been a real pleasure to work with such good people at JCC, the JCC Foundation, and Northern New York Community Foundation. Most importantly, it is great for these top performing high school students to start their college studies with strong professors at a strong college, with nearby support from family and friends, and to be debt free,” he said.

In April, over 60 students gathered at the Italian American Club in Watertown, all of whom were greeted by Mr. Can and his wife, Pam. Students shared their experiences as first-year students and discussed future plans at JCC and beyond. In total, over $175,000 was invested in this year’s class thanks to the partnership of Mr. Can, the JCC Foundation and the Community Foundation. The Jefferson-Can Community Scholars program will continue to be administered by the Northern New York Community Foundation.

Mr. Can, a high school graduate of General Brown, attended JCC and later earned a bachelor degree at SUNY Plattsburgh and then a master’s of science degree in finance from the Krannert Business School at Purdue University. Mr. Can also earned his Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant and Certified Financial Manager credentials. He is currently a Senior Managing Director at The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX), and Fund Co-Head and Founder at Strategic Partners Fund Solutions, New York, New York.



Mary Angelica Prior Scholarships Awarded

(L-R): James McClusky, Rayanne Kuhner, Bruce Prior, Anna Garrabrant, Cole Carpenter.

Posted: June 11, 2015

Mary Angelica Prior Scholarship awards of 500.00 each were given to four Immaculate Heart Central seniors at their awards night on June 9, 2015.. Mary would have graduated this year from IHC. She passed away July 2008.


School Classes Visit Sackets Battlefield


Posted: June 11, 2015

The McConnellsville Elementary School second grade classes traveled from Camden to visit the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site to learn about the War of 1812. Each student made a shako hat to wear with pride.



Upstate United Wins

Pictured are: {Front row} Brayden Billman (Belleville), Sebastian Mastin (Watertown), Maxwell Belcher (Carthage); {Back row} Brandon Bast (Belleville), Joseph Longamore (Watertown), Evan Hirschey (Watertown), Jake Cavellier (Watertown), Cody Benham (Watertown), Riley Williams (South Jeff), Coach Feistel. Not pictured: Kevin Carvajal (Carthage).


Posted: June 8, 2015

A local tournament soccer team (Upstate United SC) traveled to Syracuse on June 7, 2015 and won their entire u14 division at the 10th Annual Northstars Cup, hosted by the Syracuse Men's Soccer Team. They won five games to win their bracket, and won the sixth game against a team from Dallas, PA to win the overall division. Upstate United Soccer Club combines players from several different schools in NNY to play and develop together cohesively.



Dairy Festival & Parade June 5


Posted: June 5, 2015

What happens when 4 marching bands, floats, HUGE Farm Equipment, Fire Trucks, costume characters and even farm animals get together in Watertown?

They make an exciting, fun for the family, parade celebrating Jefferson County’s enormous dairy industry! Join us on Friday June 5th!

The fun starts early in the day at the Dulles State Office Building where the Jefferson County Dairy Princess and Ag Promotion Board hosts hundreds of elementary students for the dairy festival. That lasts all day with lots of great exhibits about agriculture and there’s great food to eat as well.

Then at 7pm, we shut down Washington Street for the Jefferson County Dairy Parade!

The parade starts in front of Watertown High School on Washington St and proceeds into the City of Watertown past the Dulles State Office Building where our judging stand is located.

At 8pm the Jefferson County Dairy Princess and her court will start serving free ice cream sundaes until they run out of ice cream! Just stop in to the Dulles State Office Building for some great ice cream!

Check us out on Facebook at Jefferson-County-Dairy-Festival-and-Parade-The-Moo-Fest-and-Parade

You can still enter the parade by calling 315-782-5865 x 232 or 315-783-2251



JCC Nursing Graduates

Front row (l-r): Nakia R. Doldo, Watertown; April R. Gonzales, Fort Drum; Sierra M. Reed, Fort Drum; Mikayla K. Lyttle, Rodman; Maria A. DuBose, Fort Drum; Heidi K. Moser, Copenhagen; Kristina K. Taylor, Watertown

Second row (l-r): Tyler J. Sorrell, Chaumont; Kristin E. Navarra, Watertown; Angela M. Duque, Carthage; Donielle A. Hall, Dexter; Amber M. Lobdell, Watertown; Amanda Janee-Sikel Whitson, Watertown; Tara A. Fullam, Harrisville; Justin P. Farman, Watertown

Back row (l-r): Brandy L. Vondell, Sackets Harbor; Megan A. Ackland, Watertown; Alexandra N. Desonier, Fort Drum; Amber M. McCargar, Adams; Jamie L. Sylver, Clayton; Rachel L. Wakefield, Watertown


Posted: June 5, 2015

Jefferson Community College (JCC) held its annual Pinning Ceremony for graduates of the College’s nursing program on May 15, 2015 in the College’s Sturtz Theater. Twenty-one candidates for the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in nursing were eligible to take part in this special program.

The “Pinning Ceremony” is a time-honored tradition at all institutions of higher education that offer degrees in nursing. The ceremony is symbolic of the transition from a student to entry into nursing as a profession. The pin is designed to be unique to each school of nursing. After being “pinned”, each student recites Florence Nightingale’s pledge.

During the Pinning Ceremony, JCC nursing students were honored for their outstanding achievements with the presentation of various awards.

The Debra R. Marsala Excellence in Nursing Award, bestowed upon an individual who demonstrates dedication, excellence and passion for the profession of nursing, was awarded to Alexandra N. Desonier of Fort Drum.

The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Award, established to honor a senior nursing student who exemplifies excellence in caring and providing service to the sick, was awarded to Brandy L. Vondell, Sackets Harbor.

Mikayla K. Lyttle, Rodman, was the recipient of the Marion Brennon Personal Growth in Nursing Award, bestowed upon an individual who perseveres in the nursing program while overcoming many personal challenges along the way.

The North Country Professional Nurses Association District 6 Award, bestowed upon an individual who demonstrates commitment to the nursing profession and leadership in a professional organization, was awarded to Donielle A. Hall of Dexter.

Justin P. Farman, Watertown, was the recipient of the Samaritan Medical Center HEART Award which recognizes a student who consistently incorporates compassion and comfort measures during his/her care for patients.

The STAR Award in Memory of Dr. Walter S. Atkinson, bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated clinical and academic excellence and has consistently performed at the highest level, was awarded to Heidi K. Moser, Copenhagen.

Two nursing students recognized for being inducted into JCC’s Tau Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the official international honor society for community colleges, are Tara A. Fullam of Harrisville and Amber M. Lobdell of Watertown.



Youth Court Receives Funding


Posted: June 5, 2015

Youth court received ongoing support from Stewarts Shops, this time for their Mulligans Golf Tournament, Pictured (L-R): Jennifer Huttlemann-Kall executive director Resolution Center and Tammie Mille, director, Youth Court of Jefferson County.



Spirit of Jefferson Award Presented

Jefferson Community College EverGREEN Committee was presented the Spirit of Jefferson Award at the college’s annual Recognition Ceremony held on May 1, 2015. The Spirit of Jefferson Award was established by college president Carole A. McCoy in 2011 to recognize a campus team that demonstrates cooperative effort and achieves exemplary results.

(l-r) Matthew R. Lambert of Watertown, co-chair of the JCC EverGREEN Committee and transfer counselor at JCC; James S. Juczak of Adams Center, community member; Megan L. Pistolese of Watertown, Jefferson alumna; Tina M. Bartlett-Bearup of Redwood, administrative assistant at JCC; Bruce F. Alexander of Dexter, co-chair of the EverGREEN Committee and director of facilities at JCC; Christina Ebey of Brownville, geology instructor at JCC; Venkat Chebolu of Watertown, chemistry professor at JCC; Linda C. Dittrich of Watertown, associate vice president of the math/science, technology, health and business division at JCC.

Not available for photo: Monica G. LeClerc of Alexandria Bay, biology professor; Steven A. Porter of Grahamsville, energy program director; Robyn M. Rhyner of Sackets Harbor, assistant director of financial aid; Dana L. Willbanks of Watertown, Faculty Student Association.


Posted: May 22, 2015

This year the Jefferson Community College (JCC) Spirit of Jefferson Award was presented to the EverGREEN Committee at the college’s annual Recognition Ceremony held on May 1, 2015. The Spirit of Jefferson Award was established by college president Carole A. McCoy in 2011 to recognize a campus team that demonstrates cooperative effort and achieves exemplary results.

In 2009, the JCC EverGREEN Committee was formed to examine the array of environmental and climate issues important to the campus and community; to promote sustainability; and serve as a mentor for the JCC student Green Club. Over the past 6 years, the EverGREEN Committee has worked diligently to raise awareness of sustainability on campus and to promote sustainable activities. They developed and coordinate an annual Earth Week celebration consisting of daily activities ranging from lectures to biking and hiking, contests, and eco-action activities. The EverGREEN Committee organizes an annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony and has partnered with Tree Watertown (Watertown's street tree advisory board) for the past two years securing tree planting sites on Jefferson’s campus. The EverGREEN committee has distributed and planted 2,000 tree seedlings in Jefferson and Lewis Counties in addition to planting 40 trees of 16 varying species on Jefferson’s campus in April 2015. In addition, the EverGREEN Committee developed an Arboretum Trail to provide students and visitors with an overview of the diverse species of trees that exist on campus.

Taking into consideration the recommendation of the EverGREEN Committee and a request from the Green Club, President McCoy signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2012. The ACUPCC is an effort to address global climate disruption undertaken by a network of colleges and universities that have made institutional commitments to accelerate progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability.

In 2012, Jefferson was recognized as a Tree Campus USA college by the Arbor Day Foundation, a designation bestowed to college campuses committed to promoting healthy trees and engaging students in conservation goals.

EverGREEN Committee members are Matthew R. Lambert of Watertown, co-chair and transfer counselor at JCC; James S. Juczak of Adams Center, community member; Megan L. Pistolese of Watertown, Jefferson alumna; Tina M. Bartlett-Bearup of Redwood, administrative assistant at JCC; Bruce F. Alexander of Dexter, co-chair and director of facilities at JCC; Christina Ebey of Brownville, geology instructor at JCC; Venkat Chebolu of Watertown, chemistry professor at JCC; Linda C. Dittrich of Watertown, associate vice president of the math/science, technology, health and business division at JCC; Monica G. LeClerc of Alexandria Bay, biology professor; Steven A. Porter of Grahamsville, energy program director; Robyn M. Rhyner of Sackets Harbor, assistant director of financial aid; and Dana L. Willbanks of Watertown, Faculty Student Association.

Past recipients of the Spirit of Jefferson Award are JCC Women’s Organization (2011), Science Division (2012) for their Super Science Saturday event, Library Learning Center (2013) and JCC’s Relay for Life team (2014).



Seedcorn Gift for Van de Water Fund


Posted: May 17, 2015

Robin McClellan, right, co-founder of Seedcorn, presents a gift for $4,869 in support of the Northern New York Community Foundation's Peter Van de Water Fund for St. Lawrence County. Pictured receiving the gift on behalf of the Community Foundation is Becky Van de Water.

As Seedcorn winds down its 25 years supporting grass roots community action, they are passing their financial resources to the Peter Van de Water Fund as it prepares to support similar work in St. Lawrence County. The Peter Van de Water Fund was establishing following Mr. Van de Water's death in 2014, and is a permanent, charitable endowment to support the quality of life in St. Lawrence County. Gifts to this fund are being matched by the Community Foundation, up to $10,000, through the end of 2015. For more information, contact the Community Foundation at (315) 782-7110.



TIYLO Community Clean Up

Community members whom participated in the TIYLO Community Clean Up recently are listed left to right: Margaret Hummel, Alexandra Buduson, Sydney Aubertine, Alexis Aubertine, Eliza Aubertine, Delaney Aubertine, Alexi Cassidy, Samantha Baril, Italia Rios, Dylan Woodward, Ryan Cassidy, Rylee Babcock, Tim Baril, Terra Bach, Mark Brown, Gloria Heyman, Freddy Bach, Kadin Fox, Ashley Pastorious, Meredith Fiorentino, Morgan Fox, Alan Marceau, Emma Marceau, Lydia Cantwell, Alec Stephenson, Holly Stephenson and Sam Stephenson. Missing from the photo were Victoria Johnson and John Nuber.

Posted: May 13, 2015

The Thousand Islands Young Leaders Organization (TIYLO) celebrated the 45TH anniversary of Earth Day with its annual Community Clean up in Clayton.

The Community Clean Up took place from 9:30am to 12pm with groups of community volunteers being placed in “teams” and venturing out with group leaders to help make a difference. Teams visited Frink Park, the Village Wooden Park and Centennial Park and conducted cleanups while enjoying some fresh air. Approximately 25 community members of all ages participated in this cleanup event.

All volunteers returned to the Village Wooden Park for a free “thank you” lunch generously provided by local businesses.


Sackets Harbor Battlefield Open for Season


Posted: May 13, 2015

The Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site is open for the season Saturday, May 16 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday May 17 from 1pm to 5pm. Starting May 23, open Wednesdays through Saturdays 10-5, and Sundays 1-5.

Memorial Day - Mon. May 25 – “1812 Marine Guard” living history camp Memorial Grove, 9am – 4pm

Fri. May 29 – Second Battle of Sackets Harbor Anniversary - 2pm
Guided Tour of the Battle Route with War of 1812 Re-enactors
Approximately 1.5 miles, 1.5 hrs. – dress for the weather
Free – Donations accepted.

After June 28 open 7-days-a-week.

Starting Aug. 20 through Labor Day - open Wednesdays through Sundays.



Chancellor's Awards Given

Four Jefferson Community College faculty and staff received the State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in May. Pictured with College president Carole A. McCoy (far left) and JCC Board of Trustees member David J. Clark (far right) are (pictured left to right): Robyn M. Rhyner, assistant director of financial aid, recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; Timothy F. Grosse of Watertown, associate professor of mathematics, recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; Jack N. Donato of Watertown, associate professor of computer science, recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; and William L. McMahon of Carthage, lab technician in the lab science department, recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. Chancellor’s Award honorees received their medallions at the College’s Recognition Celebration held on May 1, 2015.

Posted: May 13, 2015

Jefferson Community College is pleased to announce that four members of the College’s faculty and staff were honored as recipients of the 2015 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The Chancellor’s Awards recognize extraordinary achievement and encourage the continuation of excellence. Jack N. Donato of Watertown, associate professor of computer science, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; Timothy F. Grosse of Watertown, associate professor of mathematics, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; William L. McMahon of Carthage, lab technician in the lab science department, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service; and, Robyn M. Rhyner of Sackets Harbor, assistant director of financial aid, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Chancellor’s Award honorees were bestowed their medallions by Jefferson president Carole A. McCoy at the College’s Recognition Celebration held on May 1, 2015.

Jack Donato began teaching at Jefferson as an adjunct instructor in 1990 and that same year joined the full-time computer science faculty. He teaches a broad range of coursework for three degree programs in a field that is given to fast-paced change. Jack instructs in the traditional classroom environment, online and in combination hybrid formats. He adapts his teaching style to reach students at all ability levels and utilizes a variety of teaching techniques that also make the most use of technology to provide his students with the best learning experience. Students find Jack engaging, knowledgeable, and committed to their success. Outside of the classroom, Jack contributes to the life of the campus through curriculum development, five-year program review committees, College governance and student activities. He is a leader on campus, serving as a department chair and also recently as president of the College’s Faculty Student Association. Jack holds an associate of applied science degree from Jefferson Community College; a bachelor in science degree from the SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome and a master’s of science in education from SUNY Potsdam.

Timothy Grosse first joined Jefferson in 1997 as an adjunct instructor and full-time learning skills specialist in math before becoming a member of Jefferson’s full-time faculty in 2004. Throughout his Jefferson tenure, Tim has taken an active role in faculty mentoring and leadership, student co-curricular activities, curriculum development and assessment, and campus governance. He has served in numerous leadership positions including department chair, Honor’s Program Coordinator, member of the President’s Advisory Council, and College Senate President. Currently, he is serving as the champion of a Title III grant initiative to assist faculty with the development of flexible format classes and course redesign. Tim’s contributions and service to education reach far beyond the classroom and campus. Among his activities, Tim has served as faculty advisor to Phi Theta Kappa, the Science Fiction Club, Student Government, FAR Outing Club and served as president of the NYS Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges. Tim holds a bachelor in arts from SUNY Oswego and a master’s of science degree in education from SUNY Potsdam.

William McMahon joined the Math/Science Division in 2003 and his work as laboratory technician in the lab science department ensures the best learning environment for Jefferson students. Responsible for four science laboratory classrooms, Bill ensures that supplies are available and stored properly, and he often assists in the lab classroom and on lab field trips, interacting with individual students to supplement instruction. He collaborates regularly with colleagues in the purchasing, facilities and instructional technology departments which also contributes to the consistent operation of each lab. Bill’s work with the Chemical Hygiene and Safety Committee, the Campus Safety Committee and the Emergency Response Team contributes greatly to the development of protocols and practices that ensure student and staff safety. In addition, Bill’s participation in campus events such as National Chemistry Week and Super Science Saturday clearly demonstrates his commitment to science education and students. Bill holds an associate in science degree from Jefferson and an associate of applied science degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Ranger School at Wanakena.

During her 15-year tenure with Jefferson, Robyn Rhyner, has assisted thousands of students and their families with making college a reality by helping them navigate through the maze of financial aid options and regulations. She manages the direct student loan program, verifying and monitoring student loan eligibility, ensuring student completion of entrance and exit counseling, and resolving default issues. Her purposeful efforts to improve student financial literacy by developing online resources, as well as by meeting one-on-one with students at admissions and new student days have benefitted many who are struggling with difficult financial circumstances. Additionally, Robyn leads the Freshman Scholarship review, the emergency loan program and is the College’s liaison for the financial aid consortium agreement program. Robyn is an active member of the NYS Financial Aid Administrators Association and the SUNY Financial Aid Professionals and remains committed to continued development of her expertise in a student service environment known for constant change. Robyn earned an associate in arts degree from Jefferson Community College, and a bachelor of arts degree and master of science degree, both from SUNY Oswego.

Each year, the State University of New York recognizes outstanding members of the faculty and staff across the entire 64-campus university system with prestigious Chancellor's Awards for Excellence. Over the years, a total of 90 Awards for Excellence have been bestowed upon members of the Jefferson Community College faculty and staff.


CHJC Staffer Wins 2015
“Promising Ability in Youth Services” Award


Posted: May 10, 2015

The Jefferson County Youth Bureau recently named Riley Keenan, Children’s Home of Jefferson County (CHJC) Article 10 Preventive Case Planner), recipient of their 2015 “Promising Ability in Youth Services” Award. Riley received his award at the Youth Bureau’s annual Youth Recognition Awards Luncheon held at the Watertown Elks Club. Riley was one of five individuals honored for showing outstanding ability and demonstrating a commitment to a career working with young people.

Riley has been with CHJC for more than three years and continues to show his dedication to the children and families in the community. He began his CHJC employment as a Direct Care Staff providing direct supervision and the monitoring of youth residing in the Residential Program. He served as a strong, confident and kind role model for at-risk youth.

In 2012, Riley was promoted to a full time Foster Care Caseworker. He worked tirelessly toward getting children safely back home with their families. He remained optimistic every day and was a great advocate for the youth in his care.

In 2014, Riley transitioned to CHJC’s Article 10 Caseworker Position allowing him to work with families to prevent out of home placement and keep children and parents together in a safe home environment.
Riley consistently conducts himself professionally and personally with the upmost integrity. He is able to manage and defuse crises effectively and is excellent at helping children regulate their emotions. He truly goes above and beyond for all his program participants, co-workers, family and friends. His work ethic can be described as determined and tenacious. Riley’s personality is generous and thoughtful. His passion and dedication are evident every day.


Watertown Elks Donate to SPCA


Posted: May 10, 2015

The April Charity of the Month at Watertown Elks Lodge #496 was the Jefferson County SPCA. Donations of needed items were made by the members of the Lodge. Pictured are Doug Marlow, Executive Director of the SPCA, and Exalted Ruler Jill Bruce Wiley of the Elks.



CNY Storm Scholarship Winner


Posted: May 10, 2015

Jordan Stauffer, Fort Drum, was awarded a $500 scholarship at the inaugural New York State All Star Alliance on Sunday, April 19, 2015. Jordan cheers for CNY Storm, an All Star Cheerleading program in Watertown where she is a member of Black Ice, a Junior Level 2 team through the program. She was selected for the scholarship based on an essay process and other qualifications including community involvement. The New York State All Star Alliance held their first showcase at the Oncenter in Syracuse hosting over 700 athletes from nine programs throughout New York State.


Retired Federal Employees
Attend State Meeting


Posted: May 10, 2015

Local leaders of National Active and Retired Federal Employees attend their state meeting on May 7 in Syracuse. l-r St. Lawrence County chapter president Mike Dugan (Massena), State President Tony Montoro, Plattsburgh chapter president Jim Forsythe, National vice-president Jim Crawford, and Jeff-Lewis County chapter president Carl Disalvatore (Cape Vincent).


Envirothon 2015

From left to right: Zach Patterson, Jordan Felicia, Brandon Davis, Alex Swanson, Dean Swanson.

Posted: May 2, 2015

Jefferson County's 22nd Annual Envirothon was held at Thompson Park on April 22 with 12 teams from 5 local high schools participating. Trophies were awarded to Alexandria's Team A as the overall winning team. They also won the Aquatics and Wildlife portions of the competition.

The current issue for 2015 is Urban & Community Forestry. Teams are scored based on a video produced prior to the competition as well as a written test during the presentation. Alexandria’s Team A won the outstanding video award while General Brown’s Team C won the written portion.

Soils & Land Use went to General Brown’s Team B. First place in the Forestry portion of the competition went to Belleville-Henderson. South Jefferson’s Team B took second place.

The NYS Envirothon will take place on May 27 and 28 at Hobart and William Smith in Geneva.

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