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2018 Spirit of Frankfort-Schuyler Bios

Gary Caiola

Mr. Gary Caiola, a member of the class of 1975.

Mr. Caiola graduated from Mohawk Valley Community College and is currently employed by Beaton Industrial as an outside sales consultant.

Mr. Caiola has a long and accomplished record of community service. He has served for many years as the BYO basketball and little league baseball coach. Since 1980, Mr. Caiola has been a member of the Knights of Columbus and since 1996, he has also been a member of the St. Francis DiPaola Society. He served as a trustee for the Village of Frankfort from 1996 to 2002.

He is a member of the Frankfort Kiwanis Club and has been involved with the Kiwanis since 1988 and past president and Board of Directors member of the Kiwanis.  He was twice selected as Kiwanian of the Year and has been responsible for coordinating the annual Kiwanis Junior/Senior-Faculty Basketball Game, the proceeds of which are donated to charitable causes. Mr. Caiola continues to participate in many other Kiwanis projects including:

  • Camp Kiwanis Program
  • Youth of the Month Recognition
  • Annual Pancake Breakfast
  • Annual Christmas Clothing and Toy Drive

All of these projects, and so many others, serve to assist the children and families of our community.


Charles Conigliaro

Mr. Conigliaro was a 60-year resident of Frankfort and a 1974 graduate of Frankfort-Schuyler. After graduation, Mr. Conigliaro joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves and served for 28 years. He is a military veteran, who has served during Operation Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. In 2002 he retired at the rank of Master Sargent. He is a graduate of the Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy. Mr. Conigliaro has been awarded many military service awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Mr. Conigliaro was employed for 33 years as a high voltage lineperson with both Frankfort and Ilion Municipal Power and Light Departments.

Mr. Conigliaro is an Eagle Scout and served for many years on the scouting committee for Boy Scout Troop 1.  He actively served for 42 years with the Frankfort Volunteer Fire Department. In 2002, in collaboration with Frankfort and Schuyler Fire Departments’ personnel, with the New York State, he accomplished the installation of 3,100 free smoke alarms in 680 homes.

Mr. Conigliaro served as a New York State certified emergency medical technician who volunteered with the Frankfort Fire Department Ambulance for over 30 years, developing and implementing the “Frankfort Fire Department School Credit Firefighter Program.”

Throughout Mr. Conigliaro’s career he has been recognized and received many accolades for his efforts from the emergency service community, government agencies and civic organizations, for his efforts involving his dedication and support involving the fire service.


Carmelina Lore-Cooper

Mrs. Carmelina Lore-Cooper is a graduate of the class of 1977.

After graduation, she earned an A.A.S. Degree in Legal Secretarial from Herkimer County Community College, Bachelor’s Degree in Distributive Education and Retailing from Syracuse University, and Master’s Degree in Vocational Education from SUNY Oswego.

She taught for more than 30 years at Frankfort-Schuyler as a business education and teen leadership teacher. Ms. Lore-Cooper served as class advisor, student council advisor, Builder’s Club advisor and yearbook advisor.

She was also a peer mediator for Catholic Charities, taught religious education for Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Church and served as a mentor for the Capturing Kids Hearts Program.

Mrs. Lore-Cooper Received the following awards:

  • Kiwanis Outstanding Leader Award
  • Genesis Group “Outstanding Educator Award”
  • Frankfort-Schuyler Teachers’ Association Outstanding Service Award

She continues to be a pillar within the Frankfort-Schuyler School District and Community. She is always willing to put in extra efforts for the district and former students. Her relationship with parents, teachers, students and administrators is something special.


Scott Grates

Scott Grates graduated from Frankfort-Schuyler in 1995.

After high school, Mr. Grates attended St. John Fisher College and earned a degree in communications and journalism. He is the owner of the Scott Grates State Farm Insurance Agency, which has been recognized in the top 3% of all State Farm Agencies in the country. Mr. Grates annually volunteers hundreds of hours and makes personal donations in support of our community. He has coached Frankfort youth sports for more than 10 years and is a member of the Frankfort Kiwanis Club, where he was recognized as Kiwanian of the Year in 2012.  In 2012, he was also named as the Hunger Coalition Outstanding Citizen.

As a member of the Kiwanis Club, Mr. Grates coordinated the annual Punt, Pass and Kick contest. He participates in the annual Kiwanis Junior/Senior-Faculty Basketball Game, which raises funds for the Hunger Coalition.  He attends the K-Kids and Builder’s Clubs meetings and assists with the activities sponsored by those student groups. He also serves as a volunteer for the annual Christmas clothing and toy drive.

When notified about his selection for a Spirit of Frankfort-Schuyler recognition, Mr. Grates said, “Regardless of what credentials are on my resume, the one I’ve always been most proud of is being a Frankfort-Schuyler alumni.”

Lucille Hand

Mrs. Lucile Hand graduated from Frankfort-Schuyler Central School in 1962. She graduated with her Associate’s Degree from Cobleskill Tech, then continued on to earn Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Brockport and her Master’s Degree from SUNY Upstate NY.

Mrs. Hand taught 2nd and 3rd grade at Frankfort-Schuyler for 33 years. While teaching, she was involved in numerous committees including PARP, talent show, spelling bee, brunch with Santa, journal writing, building concerns, arts in education and morning program.

Mrs. Hand has been recognized for numerous awards over the years.  She was recognized as Educator of the Week in 2000. Some other awards she was recognized for include Distinguished Service Award by Kiwanis, Hearts for Others by Catholic Charities, Everyday Hero Award by Kiwanis, Asset Builder Award by Herkimer County Cares Campaign and lastly, the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2017 by the Hunger Coalition

In 2000, she introduced the America Reads Program for the elementary students.  She currently serves as the coordinator and mentor for this program. Other programs that Mrs. Hand coordinates are Gram Lorraine Christmas Clothing Program for the elementary students, Uncle Frank Back to School Program for students in need at Frankfort-Schuyler and food drives for the Food Banks of the Valley sponsored by the Hunger Coalition.  She also spearheads collections for Operation Candy Cane and sending Christmas cards to vets. At Christmas time, Mrs. Hand takes a class of students to the Mohawk Valley Nursing Home to spread holiday cheer. She has been continuing this tradition since 1998. She is an active member of the PTO and has done so since 1967.


Mike Jacopelle

Mr. Michael Jacopelle was a true friend of Frankfort-Schuyler. For more than 40 years, Mr. Jacopelle volunteered to help with the Frankfort-Schuyler athletic teams. He, seemingly, attended every football, basketball, soccer, baseball and wrestling athletic contest. Mr. Jacopelle volunteered to assist with the equipment and supplies. He rode the team bus to away games and sat with the student-athletes and coaches on the team bench during the games.

A true fan of Frankfort-Schuyler athletics, Mr. Jacopelle could tell you all about the athletes who set school records in their respective sports, or who scored the most points, or who had the most yards-rushed in football.

He could always be seen wearing his favorite Frankfort-Schuyler baseball cap, letter jacket, t-shirt or sweatshirt. Mr. Jacopelle was one of the kindest, most gentle people in our community. He was loved by everyone.

Mr. Jacopelle passed away in 2011. He will remain, forever, in the hearts and minds of the Frankfort-Schuyler School District community. He will forever be a Maroon Knight and he truly is an example of the Spirit of Frankfort-Schuyler.

Ann Marie Congdon, Mr. Jacopelle’s niece, accepted this recognition in his honor.


Brad Vivacqua

Mr. Brad Vivacqua is a graduate of the Frankfort-Schuyler class of 1999.

He later attended and graduated from Herkimer County Community College, as well as the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. Currently he is a general assignment reporter and news anchor at Spectrum News in Syracuse with more than 15 years of experience of news and sports reporting.

Mr. Vivacqua has covered big interviews including Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to Philadelphia, appearances at Syracuse University N.C.A.A. Men’s Final Four, President Obama’s visit to Cooperstown, two Pinstripe Bowl Games at Yankee Stadium and tragedies such as fires and homicides. He serves as an adjunct journalism professor at both Syracuse University and Utica College.

Mr. Vivacqua is the “voice” of the Frankfort-Schuyler football team, volunteering as the public address announcer for our home games. He volunteers with the Frankfort Kiwanis Club and announces at the Club’s annual student-faculty Kiwanis basketball game, which raises funds for the area food bank. He is a member of the Saint Francis Society and volunteers his time for the Society’s programs and activities.