Education news

Authorities in Brighton say they are investigating a racially motivated threat that occurred as part of an act of vandalism outside the doors of Brighton High School.

Police are investigating this as a hate crime. Officials say a threat assessment was conducted and it was determined that no immediate danger existed.

Carol Crumlish

For the second time this year, area high school students are taking part in a Student Summit on Race. The first summit was held in the Irondequoit school district in January, when approximately 180 students from 13 local high schools met to explore race, racism and privilege in our community.

This time, students are meeting in Penfield on Friday, where senior Ranita Williams characterizes race relations at her school as "okay".

Patrick Garrett /

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York education officials have announced plans to address a shortage of teachers by changing teacher preparation programs and promoting pride in the profession.

State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced the TeachNY campaign Wednesday, saying they'll solicit feedback from teachers, college faculty and administrators throughout the state.

Advocacy group High Achievement New York said the initiative will create a pipeline of trained, professional teachers for classrooms across the state.

School budgets were approved in most area districts on Tuesday. One of the exceptions was Brockport, where the budget was defeated in a vote of 625 in favor and 882 against. The budget failed even though the spending plan would have seen the tax rate drop by just over one percent compared to last year.

One factor may have been opposition from a union representing support staff in the Brockport district, which campaigned against the budget citing frustrations over contract talks. A district budget committee will meet soon to go over its options.

An historic building and campus in Rochester is in the process of being sold.

As Reverend Marvin McMickle, president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School puts it, “We'd like to get out of the real estate business and get back into the education business,” and that's why the school is ready to sell the 24 acre campus, and an 85 year old building. It's located on South Goodman Street near Highland Park.

St. John Fisher College has appointed a new dean for the School of Business.

She is Rama Yelkur, who comes to Fisher from Saginaw Valley State University where she was dean of the College of Business and Management.

Yelkur had also served as the director of that university's Center of Family Business, which supports family businesses through education, networking, and collaboration.

Ray Shady had been Fisher's interim dean for the School of Business. He had filled the position previously held by David Martin, who left for a job in Connecticut.

The University of Rochester has named a new dean for the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Wendi Heinzelman will become the Hajim School's first female dean and she's been appointed to a five-year term beginning in July.

She currently is dean of graduate studies for Arts, Sciences, and Engineering and is a professor of electrical and computer engineering. 

Heinzelman was appointed to fill the post previously held by Rob Clark, who is now becoming University Provost.

Voters head to the polls across New York State on Tuesday to vote on budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.

The polls are open at various times, some as early as 6 a.m., and others as late as noon, so check with your individual district if you are going out to vote.

Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman has another leadership title. He's now Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Rochester.

Wegman has been chairman-elect for the past year and he succeeds Ed Hajim.  Wegman will serve a five-year term. He has been a university trustee for more than 15 years.

Danny Wegman and U of R President Joel Seligman had been working together as co-chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council for several years until Seligman stepped down recently. Zlomek

As the Obama administration directs school districts around the country to make sure they protect the rights of transgender students, local education officials say that's already happening in Monroe County.

Sherry Johnson, head of the Monroe County School Boards Association, says school districts in Monroe County started adopting policies as early as 2012 to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity.