Class of 1952
George Pancio was born in Olean in a family of five brothers and five sisters from parents of Austrian descent. After graduating from Olean High in 1952, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Master’s Degree in School Administration from the State University of New York at Brockport.
Mr. Pancio served as principal in several Olean Schools, and later was named assistant superintendent of schools. He was also very active in the community, serving on several different boards and many youth oriented activities, including Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, United Way, American Red Cross, Hospital Hall of Roses, Miss America Pageant, Soap Box Derby and the Jaycees, who recognized him as an outstanding educator. The Exchange Club of Olean also recognized Mr. Pancio with the Golden Deeds Award.
Mr. Pancio and his wife, Marcia Ives Pancio, have six children: Paul, Steven, George II, Dawn, Marce Lynn and Paula. Together, Mr. Pancio and his wife have 14 grandchildren. The entire Pancio family played a significant role in bringing joyful experiences to children by playing Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Mr. Pancio spent 50 nights on his Main St. roof with a sleigh and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer each winter. His Santa experience took him to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for 11 years, and Mr. Pancio also appeared on Good Morning America, the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and Gene Rayburn’s “Hell of a Town.”
In 1990, the Pancios were recognized as “Family of the Year.”