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WNYMCS History

The School

Western New York Maritime Charter School is a four year Public High School chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2004. The school was commissioned and "got underway" with its first class of Freshmen in September 2004. Our first class of Seniors commenced classes in September 2004 and graduated in June, 2008. 

All of the students attending Maritime are also Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Cadets. NJROTC stresses leadership and citizenship and instills the Navy Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Cadets wear Navy-provided NJROTC uniforms and earn rank through demonstration of leadership ability and participation in advancement exams. All cadets are expected to adhere to a Cadet Honor Code which is summed up in the statement; a cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do. NJROTC extra-curricular activities include Color Guard, Armed and Unarmed Drill Teams, Orienteering, Marksmanship and Academic Teams. The school competes in Drill and Field meets with other JROTC programs throughout the region, state and country.



While numerous graduates have chosen to serve their country, 2016 was a special year which saw the first Maritime graduates earn commissions as officers in the United States military including two Naval officers, one Marine Corps officer and one Army officer.




Albert Scott 

The first President of Western New York Maritime Charter School Board of Trustees was Mr. Albert Scott who passed away in July of 2007. This school is the product of Mr. Scott's vision to provide a school for young adults which also teaches discipline, responsibility, and self-reliance.


Phillip Elia 

Mr. Phillip A. Elia was a founding father of the Maritime Charter School.  His vision that he shared with Mr. Albert Scott led to the creation of our school.  He was a U.S. Navy veteran and New York Army National Guard retiree who served in Iraq and earned the Bronze Star. Phil passed away on April 19th, 2015.  He will be missed by all who knew him. 

   Angelo Conorozzo

Another founding father of the school, Mr. Conorozzo was employed at Buffalo State College's Research Foundations as a grant developer for the School of Professions where he also taught in the Graduate School. He served as the Treasurer, Vice President and the President of the Board of Trustees of WNYMCS from July 2008-June 2016. Mr. Conorozzo was a lifelong resident of Buffalo.  He passed away in June of 2016 and his steadfast  and prudent leadership has been sorely missed by the school community.

   Lawrence Astyk

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Lawrence Astyk retired from the Marine Corps after 28 years of active service and returned to his native Buffalo in 2003 to start the next chapter in his life.  In December of 2004 he accepted the position of Senior Naval Science Instructor for what was at the time the new WNY Maritime Charter School.  The early years of the school were rife with many challenges and during this time he ensured that the NJROTC program took hold in order to act as an anchor for the school.  During the 2006-2007 school year, LtCol Astyk was asked to bring his leadership to the entire school as Commandant, a position he held until October of 2016.  During his tenure his transformative leadership changed the culture of the school resulting in nationally recognized academic success, multiple charter renewals, a stellar image in the community, and a charter revision resulting in an expansion to add a middle school to the now persistently successful high school.  His decision to retire in October of 2016 to focus on his family left a school ready to continue to move forward in his absence and his work will ensure that Maritime will stand poised to meet and exceed its mission for years to come.