West Genesee Teachers' Association

Honoring John Mannion

Reclaiming the Joy of Teaching Everyday at WG

(Photos by Jennifer Mannion)

~Copyright 2023 West Genesee Teachers' Association~

In 2013, John Mannion took over as the president of the West GeneseeTeachers’ Association. Through his leadership, he was able to reorganize the WGTA into a fiscally strong organization that makes positive changes for both teachers and students. John held fast to the purpose of our organization by advancing the standards of the teaching profession and promoting the general welfare of the union.

John has been a rock for our membership over the past seven years. He has represented all of us as members of NYSUT and protected our contractual rights as employees of the West Genesee School District. We owe a great deal to John Mannion in the stability of public education in the Camillus community. We would like to thank him for his service to the teaching profession and will miss working with him. John is now onto bigger things. He will represent our entire community in Albany and continue to fight for public education.

John officially signed his oath of office on December 16th. We finally have a Senator for the 50th district! Congratulations Senator Mannion!

Reclaiming the Joy of Teaching every day in West Genesee. Photos taken at Stonehedge, East Hill, Onondaga Road and the High School. #ReclaimingTheJoy


Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - State Senator John DeFrancisco recognized more than 30 educators from Onondaga County at the Teachers of Excellence awards program Thursday. They were nominated by students, school administrators, faculty and staff for their efforts to help children learn during the 2014-15 school year.

"Teachers are instrumental in enabling our youth to succeed in life," said Senator Defrancisco. "I am very pleased to recognize those dedicated educators within my district, who consistently go above and beyond to educate, mentor and inspire their students."

Senator DeFrancisco presented each honoree with a certificate of excellence and a "Golden Apple" pin.

Congratulations to the 2015 West Genesee Teachers of Excellence honorees:

Colleen Barbra, West Genesee High School 
Susan Deegan, East Hill Elementary 
Stephen Shoults, Stonehedge Elementary 
Margaret Barbuto, Stonehedge Elementary

Debbie Quick to Receive Teacher of Excellence Award

State Senator John A. DeFrancisco will honor 20 Onondaga County teachers at his first-ever Teachers Of Excellence awards ceremony Thursday at Jordan-Elbridge High School. Among the honorees will be West Genesee teacher Debbie Quick. 

The honorees were nominated by students, faculty, staff, and family members. They will receive a New York State Senate Teacher of Excellence certificate and a"Golden Apple" pin. To read the rest of the story please click here.

Ellen Miller (CMS), won a NYSUT Award of Merit in the Best Feature Story category for her article entitled, "West Genesee music teachers: a class act," which was printed in the March/April, 2010 WGTA newsletter.

Lynn Davis (CMS), won a NYSUT Journalism First Award for the 3-part article titled "Elder Care" which was published in 2004.

The WGTA and it's membership were a recipient of NYSUT's Local Community Service Award, symbolic of the local's "collective and sustained contribution to community service."

The WGTA website has won a total of 11 national “Best Website” awards given by the American Federation of Teachers, 6 state awards from the New York State United Teachers, and 2 Union Plus Program Promotions presented by the AFL-CIO.  Lynn Davis (retired) is the webmaster

Below: WGTA Web Master Lynn Davis (center), receiving AFTCA award from Peter Boespflug (right), President of AFTCA and Gail Purkey (right), AFTCA Secretary. This award was presented at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, July 14, 2002. Peter Boespflug is also the Communications Director for NYSUT Field Services.

The WGTA Newsletter and Website Have Won Numerous Journalism Awards

WGTA President Christian and Superintendent Brown on CNN February 21, 2011 to explain to CNN and the world how they negotiated their teacher's contracts without protests. "It's all about trust."

On CNN National News

The Anti-bullying kick off was held at CMS on October 8, 2012. It was organized by the CMS Anti-Bullying Team, the following is the final activity of the morning. Eric Howes took the photograph. There are approximately 500 students and staff in the picture.

Anti-Bullying Program at CMS

Two WG Teachers Win Educator of Excellence Award

West Genesee High School science teacher Craig Dowler and West Genesee Middle School science teacher Rick Chapman earned the Greater CNY Education Consortium's Philip Martin Award as an Educator of Excellence at the 17th Annual Professional Partnerships Conference at the OnCenter in Syracuse.

Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award 

Kudos to West Genesee Middle School Physical Education Teacher Janine Corning for garnering the 2009 NYS Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NYSAHPERD) Central North Zone Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

Disney American Teacher Award

Donna Mahar, a 7th grade English teacher at West Genesee Middle School, selected as one of 33 award recipients in the Disney American Teacher Award Honorees for 2000.

Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Outstanding Music Educator of the Year in Instrumental Music-Band

Andrew Perry, instrumental music teacher at CMS and WGHS and director of the high school Wind Ensemble since 1987, was selected 2010 winner of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Outstanding Music Educator of the Year in Instrumental Music- Band.

Edward J. Gorman Award for Excellence in Counseling 

​Kay Merrick, West Genesee Director of Counseling Services, was honored at Le Moyne College with the Edward J. Gorman Award for Excellence in Counseling on September 20, 2010.This honor acknowledges Merrick's contributions as a leader in the counseling field. It also recognizes her ability to positively impact the lives of many others in a significant manner, while celebrating the entire school counseling profession.

Best Communities for Music Education" by the The National Association of Music Merchants

West Genesee was chosen as one of the "Best Communities for Music Education" by the The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. The total district-wide enrollment in music classes and performing groups is 3,669. This represents 74.1% of the entire school district population. Teachers responsible for this program are: Tony Alvaro, Christine Astafan, Greg Borsz, Tracy Cheney, Marcia DeMartini, Jill DiBattista, Kevin Dimmel, Deanna Fitzpatrick, Steve Frackenpohl, Steve Frank, Martha Grener, Leah Randall, Christy Knowlton, Bill Mercer, Maggie Mercer, Kristen Panzetta, Andrew Perry, Andrea Scerbo, Don Schuessler, Rosemarie Speich, Mike Stachnik, and Deaetta Szulis.

Teacher Excellence Award from the New York State Senate Senator John DeFrancisco

​Sandy Ladd, a speech teacher at East Hill Elementary, and Debbie Quick, Stonehedge Elementary fourth-grade teacher, received the Teacher Excellence Award from the New York State Senate in 2014. The New York State Senate Teachers of Excellence awards program is designed to recognize and honor those teachers who are making a difference in the community.​​

​​Golden Apple Award Winners From The Post-Standard

Samuel Dance (High School) and James Hunter (CMS) were the recipient of the 2012 Gold Apple Awards recognizing teachers who make creative and effective use of newspapers in the classroom. The Post-Standard honored Mr. Dance and Mr. Hunter during Newspaper in Education Week Celebration Night.

WG L.O.T.E. Department Wins Statewide Award

The West Genesee "Language Other Than English (L.O.T.E.) Department" received the James E. Allen Statewide Award from the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers on Nov. 14, 2009 at the LECNY-NYSAFLT Regional Conference. This award recognizes and honors outstanding foreign language programs throughout New York State. One school district or school within each of NYSAFLT’s ten regions can be selected annually for the award. 

Pictured at right: Abbe Guillet and Susan Barnes from NYSAFLT along with WG LOTE teachers and high school administrators: Kathleen Wagner, Paige Gardner, Aileen Pawloski, Michael Caraccio, Mary LeClerc, Marcia Ranieri, Sarah DeCapio, Robert Manipole, Theresa Mosey, Jennifer Roethel, Angela Flynn, Margaret Lerner, and Lisa Tamiso.

Over the years, numerous West Genesee teachers have won awards. Here is just a small sampling.

Award Winners

On the Sea - Home and Career teachers Carol Glor attended the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to be part of the 2014 Teacher at Sea field season.The Mission of the Program is to give teachers a clearer insight into our ocean planet, a greater understanding of maritime work and studies, and to increase their level of environmental literacy by fostering an interdisciplinary research experience.

IN SPACE -- Over the past several WG teachers have been selected and participated in the Honeywell Educators in Space Program. This program provides teachers with new and innovative teaching strategies to educate students about math and science. Teachers that have participated include Tammy Annicharico, Todd Troendle, Rick Chapman, Dan Howard, Sue Bingham, Sue Potrikus and Craig Dowler.

​On Land -- Middle School science teachers Judy Allen (WGMS) and Sue Potrikus (CMS) were accepted into the Honeywell Institute for Ecosystems Education. Honeywell teamed up with the Montezuma Audubon Center and the Onondaga Audubon Society to present the programs, which is targeted toward middle school science teachers. The intention was to immerse teachers in the history of Onondaga Lake and its impact on the environment as well as the environmental issues surrounding it.

Teachers in Space, on Land and Sea

Over the years, the teachers have organized many food drives. Donations have come from students, parents, teachers and staff. The WGTA also organized a toy drive prior to Christmas, the recipients were needy children in the WG District.

Food and Toy Drives

2010 WG Corporate Challenge Participants

The West Genesee teachers have donated over $100,000 to the WGTA Scholarship Fund. Over the years this fund has given out over 60 partial scholarships to West Genesee graduates that were majoring in education.

In addition, West Genesee teachers won the Scholastic Challenge Award for the Large School Division in the 2009 and the 2010 Corporate Challenge Run/Walk. This was an award given out to the school district with the highest percentage of their employees involved in the Corporate Challenge.In addition to a plaque, this also meant an additional $1000 scholarship and a $500 scholarship for two of our students! Participants included teachers, teacher assistants, teacher aides, administrators, office staff members and our superintendent, Dr. Brown. Each building was represented by at least one participant at the event. WGTA member Theresa Garofalo (WGM) organizes the West Genesee participation.

​West Genesee teachers have also donated in excess of $500,000 to organizations such as the United Way, Vote-Cope, the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Heart Association, the Academic Decathlon Competition, West Genesee Senior All Night After The Ball Party, St. Baldrics Foundation and many additional fine organizations.

Teachers Make HUGE Contributions To Charity

Over the years the West Genesee Teachers' Association has made a sustained and collective effort to have a positive impact in our community of the students, parents and West Genesee Staff. Please review just a few of our accomplishments to get a sense of the WGTA's dedicated efforts to enrich the lives of our community members.


WGTA Local 3106