116 Volney St.
Phoenix, NY 13135
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News and Articles for Phoenix Central School District.

Phoenix student musicians delight crowd during spring concert

Songs filled the air in the John C. Birdlebough High School auditorium recently as the spring choral concert took center stage.

The Firebird Concert Chorus performed seven songs, with the final number, “The Argument,” bringing the audience to its feet. Divided between male singers and females, the vocalists sang about the dynamic between the genders and the sources of contention that arise. The back-and-forth battle was a favorite among the students, according to director Brian Logee.

During the spring choral concert at Phoenix’s John C. Birdlebough High School recently, Meghan Lees belts out “Only in New York,” a song from “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” 

“They’ve been working on this for a while and they couldn’t wait to perform it for all of you,” Logee said after the thunderous applause.

In addition to the concert chorus, the chamber singers also belted out seven songs ranging from “Chili Con Carne” to “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” The two ensembles wrapped up the program with a combined performance of “Set Me as a Seal.”

The spring concert also included featured soloists Meghan Lees and Maggie Balles, who each sang a song from the school’s spring musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

An Evening at the 15th Annual Senior Citizen Ball

John C. Birdlebough High School students and senior citizens in the Phoenix and surrounding communities enjoyed an evening out at the 15th Annual Senior Citizen Ball. Hosted by the school’s Student Council Leadership Team, over 100 senior citizens turned out for the elegant affair. Students and senior citizens enjoyed dinner, live music and dancing. The disc jockey played a mix of favorites from “The Electric Slide” to “New York New York.”

Senior citizens in attendance at the ball also learned about a new program that was recently launched by the Village of Phoenix Police Department. The program is called CHOOSE (Cops Helping Our Own Seniors in Emergencies) and was established to protect senior citizens and special needs persons residing within the Village of Phoenix.

Seniors can opt to complete a confidential informational sheet with the police department. The sheet contains vital health information, a list of current medications, known allergies, and emergency contacts. Police and first responders can access this information quickly in the event of an emergency situation involving the senior.

A second component of CHOOSE is an option to sign up for regular checks. Seniors requesting this will be checked on routinely by a member of the police department. Seniors can determine this check schedule – weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.

For more information about CHOOSE, Village of Phoenix residents can contact the Village Clerk at 695-1307.

Scenes from 'The Ball'

JCB student-athlete commits to Canisius

Hard work, training and dedication have helped propel John C. Birdlebough High School senior Haylie Virginia to the next level, as she recently signed her letter of intent to attend Canisius College in the fall.

The standout runner, who specializes in the pentathlon, noted that she has put in countless hours of training and overcome several injuries to get to where she is today. “I ran about 350 miles over the summer,” she said. “I worked really hard this past season.”

Cross-country standout Haylie Virginia and coach Andy Lewis are all smiles as Virginia signs her letter of intent to attend Canisius College.
That hard work paid off with an all-state selection, a third-place finish at the state meet, and the respect of her coach and peers, who selected her as team captain for the cross-country and track and field teams.

“She is pretty disciplined and very dedicated,” said coach Andy Lewis. “She has a good head on her shoulders and she is a role model for some of the younger kids on the team.”

In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Virginia has also excelled in the classroom where she is consistently on the honor roll. She maintains a 92 percent average while balancing sports, DECA and a part-time job at the YMCA.

With a broad range of interests, Virginia said she is considering taking business courses, although she is undecided if she will major in business or another subject that piques her interest.

Virginia is the daughter of Matt and Michelle Virginia.

Junior and Senior Winter Guard earn medals for EJD and JCB


The Junior and Senior Winter Guard had a very successful showing at the MidYork Circuit Championships held March 29 in Clifton Park.

The Junior Guard, made up of two JCB and 19 EJD students, earned gold medals, making them the MYCGC SRA Class Champions. Lots of hard work, dedication and over 252 hours of rehearsal earned them this honor.

To top off the evening, the Senior Guard earned a silver medal, achieving a score of 87.17. The Senior Guard is comprised of three EJD students and 11 JCB students.

Out of 52 teams, Phoenix’s Senior Guard was selected to receive the prestigious George O. Cowburn “Esprit De Corps” award. The New York Federation of Contest Judges (NYFCI) gives the memorial award to a guard in each competing season in memory of George C. Cowburn, former vice-president of the NYFCI.

Judges felt that the Phoenix Senior Guard’s members showed a willingness to learn, exemplified a can do attitude and improved consistently and dramatically throughout the competitive season.

The Senior Guard will go on to compete in the Winter Guard International World Championships this week (end) in Dayton, Ohio.

Update: The Phoenix Senior Guard competed alongside 122 other Winter Guards in the Scholastic A Class of Winter Guard Internationals World Championships.

They performed April 3 and were among the Top 48 to advance to the semi-finals on April 4. Only two other Scholastic A Guards from New York State achieved this honor. Phoenix did not advance to the finals competition.

Phoenix has a lot to be proud of. The Senior Guard progressed even further this year in the competition, and a lot of camaraderie was had between teams.


Elementary students ready to be put to the test

With state examinations taking place this week, students and staff at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School looked to reduce test-related stress by hosting a pep rally on Monday.

During a motivational pep rally on Monday at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School, the Phoenix Firebird gets students “fired up” to take statewide exams this week. 

According to Principal Mary Stanton, the event was a motivational tool to get the entire school community to rally behind its test-takers. “We wanted to motivate students to perform their best on the New York state English language arts and math tests,” Stanton said.

In addition to the pep rally, the school held an indoor parade where pre-kindergarten through second-grade students voiced their support and cheered on the older students who are taking exams throughout the week. The younger students even created signs with words of encouragement for the third- and fourth-graders.

Stanton said that seeing the school community unite and motivate the test-takers was touching and that she believes the students are poised for a successful week of testing.

Seniors earn victory in JCB Battle of the Classes

John C. Birdlebough High School seniors celebrate their victory in the Battle of the Classes. In the back row (from left) are Anthony Besaw, Tyler Sahm, Codie Corso and Tyler Hanna. In the front (from left) are Destiny Teel, Gianna Garofolo and Gabrielle Esposito.

A yearlong school-wide battle for bragging rights at John C. Birdlebough High School culminated with a senior class victory in the Battle of the Classes on March 28 during Spirit Week.

Throughout the school year, each class earned points for various service projects and for displaying school spirit. Although the freshman class had the most points headed into the recent battle, the seniors scored enough points during the Battle of the Classes to propel them to the top of the leaderboard.

With much pomp and circumstances, students filed into the JCB gymnasium to root on their classmates. Divided into four groups -- with freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors each relegated to their own section -- Firebird pride was evident as students erupted in cheers throughout the multipart competition.

“The point of Spirit Week is to end our school year with a unity of the classes, coming together as a group of Firebirds and family,” said senior class adviser Lisa Spereno.

The event did just that, as students competed in events such as cup stacking, scooter races, an obstacle course and tug-of-war. For the seasoned veterans in the senior class, a common theme emerged as they tallied first-place finishes in four of the five events to edge out the freshmen. The juniors finished in third place, followed by the sophomore class.

  1. Administrators, faculty and staff joined John C. Birdlebough High School student in Spirit Week activities recently. Above, Principal Greg Molloy teams up with the senior class during a scooter race. 

Students at John C. Birdlebough High School kick off the Battle of the Classes on March 28 with a cup stacking competition.


MAM students showcase science knowledge

Physics, chemistry, robotics and biology projects lined the Michael A. Maroun Elementary School gymnasium March 28 as student scientists showcased their research.

The annual science fair was a school-wide collaboration designed to spur critical thinking in all scientific areas. More than 50 students developed hypotheses, conducted experiments and charted their findings, eventually culminating with tabletop displays at the fair.

Fourth-grader Isaiah Gordon highlights his findings of an experiment he conducted titled "If I Can be Colorblind, Can my Dog Be?" The project was on display during MAM's recent science fair.

“I am very pleased with the students’ work,” MAM Principal Mary Stanton said. “The kids all did a great job.”

As part of the event, each project was examined by a panel of judges and winners were selected by grade level. The future Einsteins and Edisons who earned recognition were kindergartners Liam MacDonald (first place) and Aurora Rose (honorable mention); first-grader Ryan Andrews (first place); second-graders Tyler D’Arcy (first place) and Lincoln Kersey (honorable mention); third-graders Camryn Richard (first place) and Katy AuClair (honorable mention); and fourth-graders Joseph Green and Jonathan Dion (first-place tie) and Neveah Lando (honorable mention). In the team category, Breanna Demo and Logann Galle earned a first-place finish.

The science fair was sponsored by the MAM Parent-Faculty Organization.

Students, staff at MAM support teacher’s St. Baldrick’s Day efforts

For the eighth time in his 17 years of teaching in the Phoenix Central School District, Matt Wieczorek is sporting a shaved head in support of childhood cancer research.

The fourth-grade teacher has been participating in the annual St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser for nearly a decade to help fund life-saving studies in childhood cancer treatment. With a lofty goal of $5,000, Wieczorek reached out to friends, family, the school district and the Phoenix community, and the results were overwhelming, he said.

  1. A kindergarten student at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School wears a patriotic hat as she donates money to fourth-grade teacher Matt Wieczorek on Friday afternoon for Bald is Beautiful Day. The event helped raise funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

“I was blown away by the outpouring of tremendous support I received last year when everyone helped me crush my goal of raising $3,500,” Wieczorek said, noting that the support was even stronger in 2014. “

I don’t know if people think it’s just me using a phrase that ‘you can’t thank people enough,’ but between the support I’ve received from friends outside of the district and the people within the district … it’s pretty wonderful.”

Students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School even got in on the fundraising action with Bald is Beautiful Day, resulting in an extra $660 for childhood cancer research. The youngsters were encouraged to donate to the fundraising efforts and, in return, they could wear a hat during the school day. Decked out in all types of hats, from traditional baseball caps to whacky winter hats, students showed their support in any way they could to push the teacher closer to his goal.

When it was Wieczorek’s turn to have his head shaved March 30, he had nearly reached his goal by collecting $4,720.

“All I do is lose hair, but everyone else hands over money,” he said. “I don’t think they realize that they are the ones actually doing the work. I just show up and get my head shaved. Without them I’d just be some goofy-looking bald guy.”

The teacher wasn’t the only one with Phoenix ties who received the bald treatment March 30. Wieczorek’s former student Mary Bergman joined him in the head-shaving fundraiser.

“It’s great to see so many people help this cause,” Wieczorek said. “It’s even better when I see former students being so selfless and donating their time, money and efforts.”

MAM BOGO Book Fair Starts April 4

Books are BUY ONE GET ONE at the Michael A. Maroun Elementary School Spring Book Fair taking place April 4 through 11.  Stop by during school hours to check out an amazing selection of books for children and adults.

The Book Fair is sponsored by the school's Parent-Faculty Organization and more information can be found at: http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/mampfo

Hope to see you at the book fair and HAPPY READING!

Phoenix Central School District Named Best Community for Music Education

For the fourth consecutive year, the Phoenix Central School District (PCSD) has been recognized by the National Association of Music Merchandizers (NAMM) as one of the country’s Best Communities for Music Education (BCME).

The distinction acknowledges schools and districts across the United States for their commitment to and support for music education.

This year, the NAMM Foundation designated 376 districts as Best Communities for Music Education.  More applications were received than in years prior and only 56.7 percent of those applications were selected.

New York State dominated the list, accounting for 102 of the 376 award-winning districts in 2014. Phoenix is one of three districts in Oswego County to earn the distinction.

The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service used nine criteria to calculate the BCME; music for all, support from administrators, scheduling, opportunity, qualified faculty, standards, community, funding and technology.

Music programs throughout the country are extraordinarily diverse, but all of the BCME districts share a common thread. These are communities that support music in their schools, and offer the opportunity to take individual instruction.

In the PCSD, students have many options to grow as musicians beyond what is provided during the school day. The district offers several extracurricular music programs including the middle school jazz band, high school jazz band, marching band, parade band and winter drumline. The drama club also performs a fall drama production and a spring musical each and every school year.


vote Career Day E.J. Dillon 9/11 EJD Remember Bruce Coville Phoenix Elementary Oct. 10 author visit Phoenix Monster Match Desiree Moore Michael Maroun leadership group Cathy Lee community scholar athletes fall 2013 academic success team award Student Council Leadership Team Community Christmas JCB Sweet Memorial Santa Tree Lighting varsity wrestling team Phoenix Firebirds Marcellus Win John C. Birdlebough Career and Technical Educaiton EJD band performance holiday concert DeMauro Kelly Chorus Music Phoenix Community Band Polar Express Jill Lunn Holiday Shopping EJD Chamber Singers MAM Mary Stanton Lois Luber United Way Phoenix Donations Annual Campaign Faculty Staff Holiday songs concert Michael A. Maroun Food Service Nutrition Honor Society Ceremony Scholarship Leadership Student Service Character Belfield Molloy Neiss Emerson J. Dillon Maroun third-grade Rotary dictionary students Stanton Fulton Sunrise Joe Adams OCO SAF Girl Scouts Megan Bittel Colleen Saxby Stereotypes Relationships JCB College Scholarships Dollars For Scholars JCB News club after-school Fredenburg TV sro safety officer Alyssa Harley Swim Fulton Silver Stars Gold Stars Financial Aid McMonagle Puppets for Safety Billie Brady jazz band Percussion Ensemble Michael Mironti Regents Leadership Council Team athletics Softball Michael A. Maroun Elementary Back to the Future Phoenix Central School District Emerson J. Dillon Middle School John C. Birdlebough High School School Budget Board of Education Budget aid funding school Ritchie Barclay reduction GEA proposals red heart healthy Feburary Honor Roll Gold Star Silver Star 100 days Brenda Bailey BOCES snow days break late bus transportation extracurricular EJD Jazz Band Phoenix Varsity Jazz Band Ashlyn Wallace Sandy Silky Raina Hinman Random Acts of Kindness Modern Millie Maggie Balles Logee spring Musical videoconference fourth-grade Faulkner Texas Read Around the Planet donation lottery tree traffic safety board Rani Jha artist Mithila Phoenix Community Band Agricultural Literacy Week Cornell Cooperative Extension Showcase students band Elementary School Transportation Department Music In Our Schools MIOSM John C Birdlebough district instructional calendar 2014 2015 approved Mr. Phoenix 2014 Ben Bulgrien winner contest earth science honors symposium susan sharp Best Communities for Music Education National Association of Music Merchandizers Wieczorek Hat Day Fundraiser Cancer St. Balrick's seniors juniors sophomores freshmen battle classes winners state testing pep rally science fair PFO Haylie Virginia Canisius Letter of intent Andy Lewis Cross-Country Running Wintergaurd vocal concert