Wheatland-Chili Central School District

Farm Girl Reaches for the Stars

“I built a great foundation in math and science while at Wheatland-Chili,” said Karon Woods, crew survival & operations specialist in the NASA Johnson Space Center. “I also had great English teachers. Without the ability to communicate, you cannot share ideas.”

Woods is a crew survivability lead analyst for human spaceflight and the senior technical specialists on failure investigations. 

“Dream big, then bigger. I was a farm kid, far from where I am now. I influence decisions on America’s space program. I work with astronauts, engineers, scientists, medical specialists, machinists, and mechanics. It takes a team to design, build, launch, and maintain spacecraft.”

Related Wheatland-Chili Central School District News Stories

  • T. J. Connor Students and Staff Honor Veterans Continue Reading »

    Wheatland-Chili Central School District - T. J. Connor Students and Staff Honor Veterans

    The annual Veterans Day Assembly at T. J. Connor Elementary School in Wheatland-Chili is to honor and thank veterans for their service. Student ambassadors welcomed each of the 28 veterans related to students and staff.

    Veterans, their families, and the students and staff said the Pledge of Allegiance. Fifth-graders sang, On Veterans Day. Each veteran was recognized by name and branch of service. Teacher Alison Hughes read a poem by former T. J Connor teacher Mrs. Meyer:

    Very special people with

    Exceptional courage and

    Tremendous patriotism

    Each one a hero to be

    Respected and admired for

    Always giving their best and

    Never to be forgotten

    “Being in the military changed my life,” said veteran Sharyl Frohe, US Marine and mother of Izaiah and Alexa, “having my kids honor me this way is fantastic.”

    “I was touched by the singing. It was very nice,” said Marc Maynard, Army National Guard and uncle to Catie and Derek.

    At the conclusion of the event, all T. J Connor students in grades K-5 and staff lined the hallways to thank each veteran.

    The Wheatland-Chili Parent Teacher Association provided the welcome breakfast for the veterans.


    Caption: Marc Maynard, Army National Guard, is thanked by T. J. Connor students for his service.

  • High School Senior Caps Off Volunteer Work on a 366 Foot High Note Continue Reading »

    Wheatland-Chili Central School District - High School Senior Caps Off Volunteer Work on a 366 Foot High Note

    In 1912, construction began on the iconic 366 foot Kodak Tower in downtown Rochester. On May 17, one hundred and six years later, Corey Ingham stepped off the top and rappelled all the way down to the pavement below. This extraordinary feat was simply training for the volunteer work he would do the following day.

    Ingham is no stranger to volunteer work. For four years, he donned a fuzzy Easter Bunny costume at the American Legion in Scottsville to the delight of the community children. “I passed it on to my brother, he’s an eighth grader, because I was too tall for the costume,” Ingham explained.

    Ingham also completed an Eagle Scout volunteering project at the American Legion. “I maintain the memorial garden for fallen sheriff deputies for the county – they go back to 1911, I think.” The bench and signs were already in place, but Ingham built a retaining wall, planted shrubs and flowers, and installed a paver pad surrounding the bench. Ingham and his family just power washed and oiled the bench and put down fresh mulch in preparation for the Memorial Day parade, which ends right at the American Legion on Main Street. Ingham’s father is a Sheriff’s Deputy so this project has special meaning to him.

    The day after Ingham’s rappel, he and his father acted as bottom belayers for the 21 Stories for Scouts 2018 event, which raised over $150,000 for outreach programs for Rochester’s urban youth. Ingham’s job was to make sure participants had a smooth landing. He was one of 15 ropes volunteers, together with the 96 participants and 10 members of the press, 121 people repelled down the Kodak Tower on Thursday and Friday.

    “It was the single largest fundraising event in the history of the Seneca Waterways Council,” said Tony Vogl, Director of Development for the Seneca Waterways Council, BSA.

    “It was a great way to finish off the week after the APs (advanced placement exams),” Ingham laughed.

    In response to the building’s stature, Ingham said, “It wasn’t really all that bad. I don’t really have any fear of heights. It’s mostly making sure you know how to use all the equipment, hooking yourself in, and they check it. So, you just hop up over the edge and it’s a really cool view. You can see everything.”

    Ingham is the valedictorian and recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the Wheatland-Chili Class of 2018. He will attend Alfred State in the fall to study Surveying and Geomatics Engineering.

  • PTA holds congratulatory breakfast for State Championship Girls Varsity Soccer Team Continue Reading »

    Wheatland-Chili Central School District - PTA holds congratulatory breakfast for State Championship Girls Varsity Soccer Team

    The PTA hosted a congratulatory breakfast for the State Championship Girls Varsity Soccer team along with head coach Gary Ward and Assistant Coach Jenn Quinn on Tuesday, April 17. PTA president Lisa Hitchings welcomed the group by saying, “The community is so proud of you girls. I represent the community when I say congratulations.” Hitchings then presented the players and coaches with commemorative championship key chains.

    This season was the team’s second state championship in a row and marked over 500 varsity wins for Coach Ward in his 36-year career. As the event ended, Coach Ward commented that this team “laid claim to his greatest team of all time. I hope to keep it going next year.”

    Next year’s team will see big changes as eight student-athletes graduate in June. All of the graduates will be continuing their education, and in some cases their soccer careers, in college.

    Photo caption: Head Coach Gary Ward, Assistant Coach Jenn Quinn, PTA President Lisa Hitchings, and Principal Eric Windover with the Varsity Girls Soccer Team

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