116 Volney St.
Phoenix, NY 13135
FAX: (315) 695-1201 (315) 695-1573 E -mail: info@phoenixcsd.org




News and Articles for Phoenix Central School District.

Phoenix elementary students embrace positivity

Students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School kicked off the school year with an assembly that promoted positive behavioral traits.

The Show of Love, presented by Joe Trionfero, was an infusion of music with kindness as the overarching theme.  Teachers, students and administrators joined forces during the character education program as they listened to songs and learned about respect, responsibility and friendship.

“This sets the stage for the entire year,” said MAM Principal Mary Stanton. “We renamed our hallways this year to reflect these important traits. It reinforces the idea of perseverance, respect, character and so many other important qualities.”


The cafeteria at Michael A. Maroun Elementary
 School was abuzz with music, positivity and laughter
during Joe Trionfero’s recent character education
assembly. Above, students raise their hands to answer
questions about the behavioral expectations within
the school building.

College representatives to visit JCB

Dozens of college representatives will be visiting John C. Birdlebough High School this fall to pitch their institutions to interested senior classmen.

The Guidance Department recently released a schedule of visits, and students will have an array of higher education officials to talk to during the coming months. According to JCB guidance counselors, the visits provide seniors with an opportunity to ask questions about a particular college or university. During the visit, representatives from each school will discuss the academic offerings, extracurricular activities, the admissions process and other important topics that may influence a student’s decision to attend a particular college.

Students are encouraged to view the schedule here and visit the guidance office to obtain a pass for the day of the visit. 

Phoenix Central School District Staff Recognized for Years of Service

Many teachers and staff were recognized for their 15 to 40 years of service with the Phoenix Central School District (PCSD) on Faculty and Staff Opening Day, Sept. 2.

Superintendent Judy Belfield awarded pins of recognition to each of the 53 employees as they approached the front of the auditorium. If all the years of dedication from these staff members were added together, it would equal 995 years.

The following are recognized for their years of service with the PCSD:

15 Years of Service:

Robyn Abbott                                    Teacher Aide, MAM

Jennifer Astafan                                Teaching Assistant, EJD

Alice Benjamin                                  Physical Ed. Teacher, MAM

Amy Bonnier                                      5th Grade Science Teacher, EJD

Heather Cannella                             2nd Grade Teacher, MAM

James Demauro                                Music Teacher, EJD

Ron Falise                                          Teaching Assistant, EJD

Patrick Fitch                                       Assistant Principal, JCB

Tracey Ford                                        French Teacher, EJD

Bob Halstead                                     Head Custodian, EJD

Janelle Matlock                                 5th Grade ELA Teacher, EJD

Lynn McCaffrey                                5th Grade ELA Teacher, EJD

Gail Middleton                                  Teaching Assistant, JCB

Gene Mills                                          Physical Ed. Teacher, JCB

Cathy Nelson                                     Teacher Aide (MAM) / Bus Aide

Sandra North                                     Teaching Assistant, MAM

Jill Pitcher                                            Math Teacher, JCB

Andrew Robertson                           Kindergarten Teacher, MAM

Christi Sharkey                                  Teaching Assistant, EJD

Susan Sharp                                       Science Teacher, JCB

Laura Swan                                         Teacher Aide, MAM

Tom Tommarello                              English Teacher, JCB

Denise Walberger                            Math Teacher, EJD

Keith Walberger                               Physical Ed. Teacher, EJD

Ruth Whorral                                     Custodian, JCB

Ellen Wilson                                      Senior Food Svc. Helper, JCB

20 Years of Service:

Vanda Allen                                        Custodian, EJD

Brenda Alvarado                              Senior Food Svc. Helper, MAM

K.C. Bechard                                      English Teacher, JCB

Bill Carvell                                          Maintenance Worker

Joan Clark                                         Teaching Assistant, MAM

Catherine Dilorenzo                        Special Ed. Teacher, EJD

Lisa Gaudreau                                   Guidance Counselor, JCB

Debbie Gerace                                  Bus Drive, Transportation

Michelle Rudy                                   Clerical, JCB Main Office

Nora Germain                                   Guidance Counselor, MAM

Sarah Lamanna                                 Special Ed. Teacher, JCB

Joan Martin                                        Social Studies Teacher, JCB

Donna McArthur                              Teaching Assistant, EJD

Roseanne Miller                               Bus Driver

Joseph Ventura                                Social Studies Teacher, JCB

Patty Weber                                             Clerical, MAM Main Office

25 Years of Service:

Bonnie Coleman                               Clerical, EJD Guidance

Dave Frateschi                                  Music Teacher, JCB

Emily Giraudin                                   Special Education Teacher, JCB

Kathie Hetko                                      5th Grade Math Teacher, EJD

Sally Karkuff                                       Bus Driver, Transportation

William Karl                                         6th Grade Science Teacher, EJD

Nancy Sorrendino                            Teaching Assistant, MAM 

30 Years of Service:

Melinda Garrett                               2nd Grade Teacher, MAM

Lucille Mercer                                    Kindergarten Teacher, MAM     

Tammy Woodard                             Clerical, JCB Guidance

35 Years of Service:

Ron Spencer                                      Custodian  

40 Years of Service:

Sue Anderson                                   Principal, EJD

Emerson J. Dillon Welcomes New Fifth-Graders with Hot Dog Roast

Emerson J. Dillon Middle School welcomed the new fifth-grade class at an orientation Aug. 27.

Incoming fifth-graders were greeted with a trail of colorful balloons that lead to the cafeteria for a short presentation given by teachers and staff to assist with the transition to middle school. Teachers kept a positive and encouraging tone as they spoke about lockers, block scheduling, lunches, homework and more.

Guidance Counselor Katherine Barber said, “You have a phenomenal group of teachers this year. They know what it’s like to be new. They are awesome; please call them or me anytime you have a question.”

All of the teachers and staff participated in the presentation of what to expect in the fifth-grade and how to keep organized. They have implemented a binder system that keeps students’ schedules clearly displayed on the front, homework that is due in the front pocket and homework that is completed and graded in the back pocket. Each student will be provided an agenda to use for the year that also acts as a hall pass as well as a communication system between parents and teachers.

Teacher Matthew Westerlund and Guidance Counselor Andrew Quirk grilled hot dogs for the roast that was offered to all families in attendance following the presentation.


Photo caption: Katie Alfano (left) and daughter Ariana wait in line for a hot dog at Emerson J. Dillon fifth-grade orientation.     


Phoenix Central School District Welcomes New Teachers

Phoenix Central Schools welcomed seven new teachers to the district on Aug. 25.

After a morning of breakfast and conversation, Superintendent Judy Belfield launched new teacher orientation with a big welcome saying, “I want to welcome you and wish you the best year ever.”

Orientation included introductions to several department heads and staff, school building tours and overviews of technologies used by the District such as SchoolTool, MyLearning Plan and Sharepoint. These programs allow documents, resources and schedules to be posted online for convenient access by all teachers at any time. They also assist in professional development.

Executive Director of Instruction, Personnel and Educational Services Chris Byrne said, “I am very confident we have a great group of teachers in this room . . . I am very excited about all of you being here.” Byrne’s pride in the district was displayed when he spoke of the district’s “wonderful students” and the gratification of knowing that many teachers choose to stay within the district for their entire careers.


Photo caption: New educators of the Phoenix Central School District at the New Teacher Orientation from (from left to right): Kim Clements (4th grade), Aimee Brooker (4th grade), Kristen Jeffries (4th grade), Sara Stempowski (EJD Special Education), Lauren Porrino (JCB Special Education), Melissa Dougher (Art), Michael Fitzgerald (Science)   

Michael A. Maroun Stuff-A-Bus Huge Success

Michael A. Maroun Elementary School’s pick-up date for Stuff-A-Bus School supplies Aug. 22 was a huge success.

Students in the Phoenix Central School District and their families lined the hallway waiting to enter the cafeteria full of backpacks, glue sticks, pencils, crayons, folders and more. Teacher Assistant Marla Leitner, who helped coordinate the event, signed people in at the head of the line.

“We try to help families as much as we can,” said Leitner. “We had lots of cash donations this year; I was out until 10:30 p.m. shopping for supplies.”

The Stuff-A-Bus program is sponsored by United Way, which also gave $100 toward the purchase of supplies for this event. The United Way partners with more than 20 businesses and organizations as well as Oswego County school districts to stuff eight school buses with supplies to distribute to families, so that each student has the tools they need for academic success. These supplies were offered to all students in kindergarten through the 12th grade.

A special donation was received from the Phoenix First Congregational United Church of Christ and the First United Methodist Church of Phoenix this year. More than 320 items were collected by children who attended the churches’ Vacation Bible School over the summer.

“Each year we work systematically with a program,” said United Methodist Lay Leader Judy Craigmile. “The kids got so excited; some donated their own birthday money.”


Photo caption: Teacher Assistant Marla Leitner (right) signs in Nicole Williams (left) and second-graders Julianna and Ryan at the Stuff-A-Bus pick-up Aug. 22.  

JCB upperclassmen can meet with college representatives this fall

The first quarter of the school year will provide John C. Birdlebough High School juniors and seniors with several opportunities to learn more about area colleges and universities.

Representatives from eight colleges will be on hand in September and October to talk to students about the admission process, financial aid, course offerings, requirements and college-specific information. Students who are interested in meeting with a representative from any of the colleges are required to get a pass from the Guidance Office. All meetings will  take place in the Guidance Office Conference Room.

Schedule for College Visits

University of Buffalo  Wednesday, September 17 at 1:00 p.m. 
St. Lawrence University       
Tuesday, September 23 at 1:00 p.m.
Alfred University  Thursday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m.
SUNY Oswego Friday, October 3 at 9:30 a.m.
Cazenovia College Tuesday, October 21 at 9:30 a.m.
Elmira College Wednesday, October 22 at 8:15 a.m.
SUNY Oneonta Friday, October 24 at 11:30 a.m.
Alfred State  Tuesday, October 28 at 10:15 a.m.





New meal prices in effect for 2014-2015

As part of our district’s ongoing effort to ensure all students receive a complete and healthy meal in our school buildings and to cover costs associated with serving these meals, there will be a change in breakfast and lunch prices beginning in September.

Breakfast will now cost $1.45 in all buildings. Lunch prices will be $2.55 at Michael A. Maroun and $2.65 at both the middle school and high school.

Parents and the community may have questions about the change in prices. To better understand the reasoning behind the new meal prices, please click here. This document outlines how much government funding is allocated to the program: 28 cents for breakfast (which costs $2.44 to make) and 40 cents for lunch (which costs $3.48 to make); what factors contribute to meal prices; and other important information.

If your child is eligible for free or reduced lunch, please complete a 2014-2015 application and submit it to the Food Service Office as soon as possible. Applications may be completed at any time during the school year. Parents are responsible for the cost of meals until the application is processed.

Phoenix teachers ready to use new technology in classrooms

Thirteen teachers in the Phoenix Central School District will have a new learning tool at their disposal when classes resume in September.

To align with the district’s vision and maintain its forward-thinking strategies, educators from each building recently participated in a five-day Flipped Learning Boot Camp, which incorporated Android tablets as supplemental learning devices. The boot camp was coordinated through Oswego County BOCES’ Instructional Support Services and led by computer education coordinator Jennifer Laubscher.

The Flipped Learning model allows teachers to create podcasts, videos and lectures that correspond with their lesson plan. Teachers compile the material electronically and make it available to students as an additional resource.
Joelle Hendry, a second-grade teacher at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School, uses a tablet to create a lesson plan for her students. Hendry was one of 13 teachers in the Phoenix Central School District who recently received training on the use of Android tablets in the classroom. The professional development opportunity was provided by Oswego County BOCES’ Instructional Support Services staff.

“In the Flipped Learning model, you are handing over that instruction piece to the individual,” Laubscher said. “It’s more of a self-guided lecture, so they can pause, take notes and process the information individually rather than the whole group.”

To better understand the new technology and the Flipped Learning Model, the boot camp taught teachers how to produce videos, where to find content, and how to use the content to spark students’ interests.

At the lower grade levels, students will rotate through stations to reinforce the content in a variety of ways, Laubscher said. For second-grade teacher Joelle Hendry, incorporating technology into the classroom keeps the students actively involved in learning.

“It’s much more engaging,” Hendry said of the Flipped Learning model. “The kids have more control over their own learning. They can access different apps and utilize other resources to make learning fun.”

Science teacher Rick Heffernan said the tablets will be a great tool for older students as well. “This is the kind of technology that kids are using on a regular basis outside of the classroom, so it’s nice to have that offered in school too,” he said. “The video tutorials will help reinforce the material covered during the lecture part of the class. It’s another piece of technology that will benefit our students.”

To ensure that students are getting the most out of the Flipped Learning model, teachers will continue their collaboration with personnel from OCB’s Instructional Support Services throughout the school year. They will meet periodically to plan, consult and co-teach different lessons.

Read! Read! Read!

It's SUMMERTIME, the perfect time to enjoy a good book! Teachers at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School have compiled a list of books to spark the interest of all readers in the incoming fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes!

Find the reading lists on the EJD webpage or visit: http://www.phoenixcsd.org/Schools/EJD

Happy Reading!


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