Batavia, New York – Two leaders in the field of education will be celebrated by their alma mater as Genesee Community College inducts the class of 2015 Alumni Hall of Fame. The new honorees will be recognized Wednesday, March 18, 2015 with the induction at 4 p.m. in room T119 of the Conable Technology Building on the Batavia campus. A reception follows in the Alumni Hallway on the second floor.
Renee Cain Garrett graduated from GCC’s teacher education program in 1993. She went on to earn Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from SUNY Geneseo and an administrative degree from the College at Brockport. She began her career in the Attica Central School District where she taught students with disabilities and first grade before becoming an elementary principal. She served as superintendent of schools in Mount Morris and Wayne Central School Districts and in January 2015 became superintendent of the Forestville Central School District in Chautauqua County.
Renee grew up in Orleans County and credits her success to the teachers who inspired her at a young age. “While I didn’t have many resources, my teachers served as great role models for me,” Renee told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, which selected her for a Women to Watch interview. “I had a few key teachers that said, ‘you are worth it, push yourself and you can get it.’”
As superintendent Renee sees herself as “a teacher, mentor, advisor and facilitator. Making sure you know and understand who you are serving is really essential in this role, as well as the ability to make tough decisions.” She is known as an innovator and top-level communicator and is committed to the value of lifelong learning for students, staff and stakeholders. She has been active in community organizations, including Rotary and Kiwanis, and is a member of a number of professional organizations.
Renee lives in Forestville with her husband, Mike, and their rescue dog, Tess. They enjoy exploring the outdoors together. Renee also enjoys quilting and is very handy with all kinds of home improvement projects from drywall to plumbing to exquisite tiling.
Dr. Roger J. Klatt is superintendent of both the Barker and Royalton Hartland (Roy-Hart) Central School Districts in Niagara County. He led the Barker district for six years before taking on leadership of Roy-Hart in 2013 in a first of its kind arrangement for the Buffalo area that has thus far proven successful. For his work in leading both districts as a shared superintendent, Klatt received the Educational Leader of the Year Award from Niagara University’s College of Education in October 2014.
A native of Albion and a 1978 graduate of Albion High, Klatt spent 15 years in that district as a teacher and coach, earning Albion’s Educator of the Year award in 1995. He has been with the Barker Central School District for 17 years and served as middle school principal, director of instructional services and assistant superintendent before being named superintendent. Under his leadership Barker ranked 17th among the 98 Western New York school districts and earned an Achievement Index ranking of 2 among 425 schools across the state.
He was nominated for the GCC’s Alumni Hall of Fame by Barker athletic director David Carson who noted that “I have known Dr. Klatt for 17 years and he often speaks of how instrumental Genesee Community College was in his career. Dr. Klatt serves as an outstanding example of the impact that the GCC experience can have on one’s career.”
While a student at GCC, Klatt played on the men’s basketball team and earned his associate degree in physical education in 1982. He continued his studies at the College at Brockport and the University at Buffalo where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
Klatt resides in Barker with his wife of 24 years, Kristen. They have two daughters: Emily is a recent graduate of Purdue University’s pharmacology program and Madeline is a junior studying business management at SUNY Oswego.
The GCC Hall of Fame is located in the Conable Technology Building of the Batavia campus on the second floor corridor, and features photos of alumni who have distinguished themselves through business and personal achievement, as well as service to the community.
For more information, contact Donna Rae Sutherland, associate director of Marketing Communications at GCC: (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also learn more by visiting GCC’s Hall of Fame website: http://www.genesee.edu/alumni/halloffame/.
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Editor’s Note: Photographs of the two Alumni Hall of Fame inductees are available at: