GOWANDA – The Gowanda High School has a newly named pool.
Following a dedication ceremony held during a Gowanda Board of Educa-tion workshop, the natatorium is now the Stefanena Kysor Natatorium.
Kysor became an employee of the district in 1968 and started coaching gymnastics in 1977. She has been involved in morning lap swim, water aerobics, toddler swim, family night swim and summer swimming programs. She is also a certified lifeguard and teaches a lifeguard course.
Superintendent Charles Rinaldi said Kysor is well- deserving of the honor. Long-time participant of the swim program and Perrysburg resident Cheryl Calhoun nominated Kysor for the honor. Calhoun said Kysor has been a longtime friend and inspiration.
“(Kysor’s) days will start at 5 a.m., … she’ll be there until 7. She’ll lifeguard at the pool until two o’clock in the afternoon, she’ll go home and she’ll come back at five o’clock. She’ll be here until nine o’clock,” Calhoun said.
Kysor, who is a cancer survivor, suffers from arthritis and has had a heart valve replaced, still competes in races. She has even trained three local triathletes with one going on to compete in an IRONMAN race. Calhoun noted Kysor is a woman parents want their children to aspire to become.
“… I feel as if this award belongs to all of us, everyone in this room. I say this because many of you have been part of my life this past 40 or so years,” said Kysor. “I always tell the children I have never worked a day in my life and I never will. This is my life.”
Over the years, Kysor said she has taught many children, grandparents and great-grandparents to swim or improve their swimming skills.
Many community members use the swimming programs for rehabilitation for their injuries. Kysor even said herself she has used the swimming programs for rehabilitation for her personal injuries.
“If you have any ills, especially if you’re stressed or you need repair, come down to the pool. We’ll help you,” Kysor said.
Sue Rebmann and Carol Denny met Kysor six years ago when they took over the adult education program at Gowanda. Rebmann agreed Kysor does have a busy schedule and said it’s “a fitting tribute and honor” to name the pool after her. Kysor was given a jacket as a gift from the special education, business and district offices. The Gowanda Wave-Runners swim team, which has grown to 45 members, also presented Kysor with a gift.
Senior Jenna Grainer, who also is a student representative on the board of education, presented Kysor with flowers for being an inspiration. She said she has known Kysor for at least five years.
“She means the world to me. Without her, I would not be a lifeguard or an awesome swimmer. I’m so thankful for her,” she said.
Kysor thanked everyone who submitted her name for the dedication and those in attendance during the ceremony.
A reception followed, with light refreshments courtesy of School Lunch Manager Jason Whipple and food services.
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