Attica Correctional Facility Superintendent Recognized as Champion of Education

Jim Conway, Superintendent of Attica Correctional Facility, is the recipient of a Champion of Education Award. The award, presented by Genesee Valley BOCES, recognizes Conway’s involvement with the Legal Careers Academies, which are partnership programs between Genesee Community College’s College Tech Prep program and Genesee Valley BOCES.

The Champion of Education Award recognizes an individual who makes a significant difference to students. Once a nomination is received, it is reviewed through the strategic planning process at Genesee Valley BOCES. Nominations should be supported by a school administrator, a teacher, and a student to qualify for the award.

Marilyn Gross, Enrichment Programs Principal at Genesee Valley BOCES, Karen Wicka, Criminal Justice Instructor at Genesee Valley BOCES, and Lindsay Chmielowiec, a Legal Careers Academy student from Batavia, nominated Jim Conway for the award. Jim helped organize a panel of correctional officers to contribute curriculum ideas during the program’s initial development and once the class was underway, he continued to offer assistance in many ways.

Superintendent Conway allows Legal Careers Academy students to go on a complete tour of the Attica Correctional Facility each year. He greets the students before the tour and then they are escorted throughout the facility including the inmates’ cells, the mess halls, the manufacturing area, and the medical facilities. Upon completion of the tour, the students return for a question and answer session with the Superintendent and other staff members.

“Superintendent Conway contributes knowledge, time, and invaluable life experiences to the students in the Legal Careers Academy,” Wicka said. “He has willingly and enthusiastically contributed his own time to make the students’ learning experience at the Legal Careers Academy unique.”

Conway sends an officer to the classroom later in the semester to assign case studies for the Legal Careers students. Each group is given files for a particular inmate and the students follow that individual through the legal system including arraignment, pre-trial hearings, and the trial. Superintendent Conway also provides guest speakers for the students and allows them to job shadow with counselors at the Attica Correctional Facility, where they attend group counseling sessions, inmate intake, and pre-release evaluations.

“Students have found these experiences extremely productive in helping them determine a course of further college study,” Wicka said.

Jim Conway officially became the Superintendent at Attica Correctional Facility in March 2003. He began working at the facility in 1972 as a maintenance worker and was promoted to Correction Officer after successfully completing the required Training Academy and on-the-job requirements. He has also worked at the Correctional Facilities in Albion, NY and Groveland, NY.

“I’m excited that Genesee Valley BOCES chose to honor Jim as a Champion of Education,” Debbie Dunlevy, Project Director-College Tech Prep at Genesee Community College said. “He has been supportive of the partnership program at every turn, from its inception through everyday practice. He is very deserving.”

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Editor’s Note: A photograph of Jim Conway is available by going to:

Pictured left to right are:
• Debbie Dunlevy, Project Director – College Tech Prep at Genesee Community College
• Jim Conway, Superintendent at Attica Correctional Facility
• Karen Wicka, Legal Careers Academy Instructor at Genesee Valley BOCES Batavia Campus
• Marilyn Gross, Enrichment Programs Principal at Genesee Valley BOCES