It’s a busy weekend for graduating seniors and their families in the Southern Tier.
Three of Tioga County’s public high school’s will hold their graduation ceremonies on Friday night, all scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Waverly will graduate its seniors in a ceremony at the high school athletic field, Newark Valley will hold graduation in the high school auditorium and Spencer-Van Etten in the high school gymnasium. Candor has scheduled graduation for 730pm Friday.
Tioga’s largest high school, Owego Free Academy, will hold its graduation at 10am Saturday at Christy J. Valvo Stadium on the OFA campus. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Your Hometown WEBO. Tioga Central will also hold graduation on Saturday.
Other ceremonies throughout the Southern Tier include Maine-Endwell at 7 p.m. Friday at the BU Events Center, Vestal at 1 p.m. Saturday, also at Events Center, and Union-Endicott at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Arena in downtown Binghamton.
Five local high school seniors will compete at Tioga Downs Sunday in the track’s annual Scholarship Race. Each of the seniors has received a $1,700 scholarship from the track and the local horsemen’s associations. Each of the five winners will be paired with a trainer to pilot a harness racehorse around the track immediately following the day’s scheduled races. The participating seniors are Ethan Pryor from Owego, Anna Raymond from Newark Valley, Ashley Tiffany from Tioga, Alicia Cygan from Vestal, and Jacob Pylypciw from Union-Endicott. Post time for Sunday’s races is 1pm at Tioga Downs. Racing will also be held tonight and tomorrow beginning at 6:50pm.
Two local schools have been identified as “High Performing Reward Schools” by the New York State Education Department. Vestal Hills Elementary School was selected for the fourth straight year while the Maine-Endwell High School was also given recognition this year based on their high academic achievement and demonstrated student progress. Only 185 of the state’s 4,400 public schools have been recognized as reward schools by the SED.
The Syracuse men’s basketball team is back in action Saturday hosting NC State for their final home game of the regular season. Pregame coverage will begin on WEBO at 1pm.
After a thrilling Daytona 500, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is in Atlanta for a race on Sunday that will be heard live on WEBO. Coverage begins at 12pm.
The Binghamton girls and Horseheads boys won Section 4 Class AA Championships last night at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Both teams beat Elmira in the finals. The Class A Championship games are tonight at the Arena, with Vestal and Maine-Endwell girls playing at 6 and the boys teams from Union-Endicott and Johnson City playing at 7:45. We will have live updates from both games on the WEBO Facebook page and Twitter account. The Class B and C finals will be played tomorrow.
Thirty eight wrestlers from Section 4 are competing in the state championships this weekend in Albany. Preliminaries started this morning.
Several Vestal High School students have been notified that they will be receiving awards for their artwork as part of the Scholastic Art Awards. Samantha Cooper, Kristen Garrison, Emma Pierre, and Brielle Sarkaisian will all be receiving the highest possible regional award for their art, the Gold Key Award. Their artwork will now be moving on to the national stage of the competition in New York City in April.
The Tioga County District Attorney’s office has not yet decided whether a Tioga Hills Elementary School teacher will be charged in connection with the abuse of a student, that according to New York State Police yesterday. This information comes one day after Vestal Central School District Superintendent Mark LaRoach sent a letter home to parents of students who attend the elementary school addressing the allegations. In that letter, LaRoach said “Based upon this investigation, the Tioga County District Attorney’s Office has established that the accusations were unfounded and the teacher was exonerated.” State Trooper Nathan Riegal said yesterday that he reached out to the district attorney’s office, and was told that two misdemeanor charges are still possible against the teacher, and that a decision had not yet been reached.
New York State Police say they have completed an investigation into allegations that a teacher seriously injured a student at Tioga Hills Elementary. The New York State Police Child Abuse hotline was contacted on March 18, a day after the alleged incident. The mother of the 10-year-old took him to the hospital after he complained of shoulder pain.
Vestal school district officials declined to comment on the allegations, and directed questions to state police. Yesterday, state police said the decision on whether to pursue criminal charges is in the hands of the Tioga County District Attorney. Troopers said there were two possible misdemeanor charges. Later yesterday afternoon, the Vestal School District sent a letter home to parents. The letter, signed by superintendent Mark LaRoach, said the Tioga County District Attorney’s office determined the accusations were unfounded, and that the teacher has been exonerated. The boy’s mother has taken to social media to express her outrage and post a picture of her son’s injury.
The Vestal Board of Education on Tuesday night unanimously approved a new contract agreement with the Vestal Teachers’ Association, their first new deal in
five years. The teachers’ union contract had not been renewed since the end of the last agreement, which covered 2009 through 2012. Since then, the teachers
have been working under the terms of the deal reached in 2009. The new agreement is effective through 2017. The 300-member teachers association approved the contract Monday night. Details would be released at a later date. Negotiations between the teachers and the school district had been taking place for much of the past two years. The teachers’ association brought in a mediator to work with both parties.