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

Open Houses held at MAM and EJD

With the 2016-2017 school year underway, parents in the Phoenix Central School District had a chance to meet their child’s teachers and tour the elementary and middle schools during recent open houses.

At Emerson J. Dillon Middle School, students led their parents around the building, stopping in different classrooms and meeting with teachers in each academic area. Parents learned about classroom expectations and discussed their child’s progress and goals for the school year.

Much like the middle school open house, the elementary school was bustling with excitement during its open house Sept. 21. Families and students filled the halls and classrooms of Michael A. Maroun Elementary, eager to meet the teachers and check out various class projects. Students in the kindergarten wing practiced writing their name while older students read stories and showed off their work.

According to Principal Brett Doody, the open house always draws a large crowd to the building and provides an opportunity for parents to be engaged in their child’s learning. “It’s great to see such a turnout,” Doody said. “We’re looking forward to a great year.”

Hurd Scholarships Provide Financial Boost for Phoenix Grads

Two Phoenix Central School District graduates began their freshmen semesters this fall with a financial boost from the Robert & Roberta Hurd Scholarship Fund.

Alex Brutcher and Morgan Stobart, members of the John C. Birdlebough Class of 2016, were the recipients of the scholarship. Brutcher received $40,000 to continue his education at Ithaca College, while Stobart was awarded $10,000 for tuition at Clarkson University.

The awards are part of a nearly $1 million bequest gift from the Hurds, alumni of Phoenix schools who wanted to give back to the community long after they passed away. Although Robert and Roberta graduated more than 70 years ago, their love of Phoenix and appreciation of their education journey left a lasting impact, which Brutcher and Stobart can attest to.

Peruvian Orphans Receive EJD Artwork

A class art project that began last year with students at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School made its impact across the globe this summer.

The Phoenix Central School District’s global reach stemmed from a project last spring spearheaded by EJD art teacher Ashley Modafferi. As part of the Memory Project, eighth-grade studio art students transformed photos of Peruvian orphans into hand-drawn portraits intended to help the children feel loved and to spread kindness throughout the world.

When the children in Peru received these portraits over the summer, a video crew was on hand to document their reactions. For Modafferi, the joy on the recipients’ faces was rewarding and heartwarming.

“I couldn't be prouder and more excited about this opportunity,” Modafferi said. “I had to share!”

JCB Hosts Freshman Orientation

John C. Birdlebough High School freshmen were accompanied by upperclassmen as they explored the school during a recent freshman orientation.

After the guided tour, the students were tasked with navigating the hallways themselves to practice their bell schedules in preparation of the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

“You’ll get used to it after a couple of weeks,” one upperclassman told a nervous freshman.

From left, JCB sophomores Olivia Thrall and Megan
Hess, join freshmen Mackenzie Gleason, Carly
Ingerson, Jazmine Butler and Lana Brown on a tour
of the high school.

Gold, Silver Stars Awarded to EJD Students

Several Emerson J. Dillon Middle School Students have earned either gold or silver star honors on their report cards for Marking Period 4.

Students who achieved a quarterly average of 90 or higher, with no failing or incomplete grades, earned a gold star. Silver stars were awarded to students who achieved a quarterly average of 85 to 89.99, with no incomplete or failing grades. Gold and silver star recipients were treated to a special activity to honor their accomplishments. The following students will receive a certificate acknowledging their accomplishments:

Fifth-grade gold star recipients include: Kathryn AuClair, Chase Bacon, Isaiah Bergman, Allenmichael Borasky, Grayson Brady, Elisabeth Caltabiano, Liam Campanino, Solomon Campbell, Courtney Carter, Meghan Clothier, Reghan Conley, Dominic Croteau, Blake Duncan, Emily Dunn-Hulett, Hayley Dygert, Mark Eusepi Jr., Michael Farrar, Madison Fatcheric, Evan Fox, Damian Fratello, Zoe Gordon, Lindsey Goudy, Mia Graham, Kenidee Grover, Mallory Hess, Jason Hilton, Blake Hoyt, Mattie Hunt, Evan Isabell, Olivia Isabella, Alan Jacques, Conor Jones, Dylan Jones, Chase Kenner-Carbonaro, Morgan Lynch, Brooke McCann, John McDonald, Peyton Nichols, Tateum Patnode, Cody Perry, Logan Petrie, Lillianne Quinn, Hannah Reilley, Thomas Rose III, Sheriden Southworth, Zoey Stone, Ryan Thompson, Alexander Whaley, Austin Wilder and Sean Wood Jr.

Fifth-grade silver star recipients include: Ethan Bruno, Aiyannah Bukowski, Donnivan Bukowski, Jonathon Burgess, Peyton Callahan, Victoria Cerullo, Isaac Chesbro, Alexis Crandall, Milani Eldred, Natalie Fay, Robert Finch Jr., Shawn Froio, Anthony Guglielmo, Chloe Harvey, Riley Huntley, Brandon Ingoldby, Joseph Karasek, Lillian Maty, Mikayla Maxam, Jenna Moore, Jason Phoenix, Edward Pitcher, Sahara Sardo, Lillie Shaffer, Celia Tangorra and Julianna Williams.

Sixth-grade gold star recipients are: Sarah Andrews, Sarah Ashby, Virginia Bednarski, Adrianna Breckheimer, Gracie Britton, Thomas Checksfield, Kaitlyn Chesbro, Chloe Coughlin, Johnathan Dion, Isaiah Gordon, Joseph Green, Madisen Guerrero, James Hagg II, Jonah Hawthorne, Bethany Hook, Tye Hughes, Autumn Kelly, Maggie LaPine, Larissa MacDonald, Hannah McArthur, Jacob Neupert, Katelyn Pyzdrowski, Ariana Richway, Kylie Russo, Taylor Smith, Daniel Stellingwerf and Sean Stevens.

Sixth-grade silver star recipients are: Landon Armstrong, Noah Bartholomew, Stephen Beal, Masson Bell, Zackery Bennett, Mathew Bernard, Alissa Bova, Conner Calkins, Jake Charleston, Mary Crandall, Matthew Files, Dominic Germain, Mariah Gilligan, Alexandra Hopps, Alaina Hubbell, Jayde Jacobson, Willyam Jolly, Nicholas Joseph, Grace Landis, Nevaeh Lando, Grace McDonald, Max Morgan, Brady Munger, McKenna Neiss, Carter Norton, Carter Pinkley, Jarvis Piscitelli, Curtis Pitcher, Kelsey Redhead, Olivia Snyder, Chastity Thomas and Austin Wagar.

Gold-star recipients in seventh-grade include: Isabella Allen, Shay Altman, Emily Babbitt, Amaya Baker, Nicholas Bartlett, Ashleigh Besaw, Haley Bowersox, Sara Brunell, Chloe Calkins, Hannah Charleston, Emma Clark, Tabitha Clark, Sophia Crandall, Brielle DeRoberts, Alicia Durst, Alivia Eusepi, Francesca Goodell, Noah Gordon, Cierra Harvey, Nathan Kosakowski, Alivia Lamphere, Miranda LaRobardiere, Jock Li, Megan Lytle, Owen Lytle, Samantha McLoughlin, Zack Mills, Garret Morrissiey, Imari Piscitelli, Andrew Quinn, Tyler Redhead, Connor Roberts, Lily Roberts, William Semanchuk-Enser, Aiden Southworth, Nathaniel Sutter, Liam Sweeney, Zoie Tracy, Melody Trask,Sophia Trinca, Aidan Trumble, Thomas Uhl, Michael VanAuken Jr. and Mason Watkins.

Silver-star recipients in seventh-grade include: Natalie Brown, Kelsie Burgess, Hailie Dailey, Alexis Dryer, Ethan Fox, Hailey Fredericks, Zachary Green, Mattison Hess, Katherine Holbrook, Patricia Lamach, Jillian Loy, Hailey Maldonado, Robert Minard, Alex Olschewske, Keaton Renfrew, Brett Sears, Garrett Strang, Benjamin Thibault and Corinne Thibault.

Eighth-grade gold star recipients are: Emma Allers, Violet Ameele, Grace Arnold, Danielle Case, Cheyenne Cook, Jeffrey Cooper, Michael Dion, Elisabeth Dona, Darren Fischel, Caitlin George, Hailey Goudy, Allison Grabowski, Cassadee Handville, Trish Harris, Samantha Harrison, Keera Hazen, Carly Ingerson, Paige Isabell, Laila Jones,  Ann Joseph, Madison Kalt, Katelyn Kenner-Carbonaro, Jena Klimaszewski, Brigid Lawless, Julianna Lewis, Tina Li, Chloe Lytle, Amaya Malambri, Christian McKay, Alexandria Mills, Caitlyn Mitchell, Joseph Murphy, Savannah Neupert, Kelise Newby, Keva Newby, Skyler Patnode, Taylor Petrie, Ethan Remington, Aubrianna Renfrew, Leah Schlachter, Jacob St. Laurent, Tamika Stobart, Sarah Thorn, Nicole Tulowiecki, Teresa Uhl, Madison VanAuken, Grace Vestigo and Madison Watkins.

Eighth-grade silver-star recipients are: Olivia Bigelow, Mason Bresett, Jadan Bruno, Brianna Buonagurio, Alexis Capenos, Conner Cole, Jacob Cooper, Christa Delaney, Samuel Guthrie, Adam Hahn, Brianna Horn, Natalie King, Zaya Koegel, Lauren Kraft, Hailey Liscomb, Bradyn Lough, Matthew Maestri, Abigail Meaker, Brooke Palmer, Madison Pelton, Love Phillips, Vanessa Rivera, Lilly Salotto, Ayden Slack, Jacob Tangorra, Nicholas Vaverchak, Seth Watkins, Paige Weldin, Destiny Whitcomb and Elijah Young.

FamilyID Makes Athletics Registration Process Easier

We are excited to announce that the Phoenix Central School District is now offering the convenience of online registration for athletics and clearance through FamilyID

FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to register for our athletic programs.  It will allow the district to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible eliminating the need for district nurses to complete, file, and store hundreds of documents. This program is replacing the current paper process.  You will no longer need to submit paperwork to the nurse or athletic office for sports signups and clearance. Everything will be completed online. 

Starting with the fall 2016 season, families must register through the FamilyID system prior to participating in any Phoenix athletic program.  Each student will need an up-to-date sports physical that parents/guardians can upload to the student’s profile. If your child has already completed their physical for the 2016-17 year with the school nurse, there is no need to have the student re-examined. However, you will have to register through the online system. Once registered, the system keeps track of your profile so you enter your information only once for multiple uses, multiple family members and multiple programs.Students not registered will not be permitted to participate. 

Registration is easy, simply visit the Athletic Registration page and follow the intructions.

Fall sports start dates:

Start Date – August 15, 2016
Registration begins/opens – July 18, 2016
***DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS August 10, 2016***
Start Date – August 29, 2016
Registration begins/opens – July 18, 2016
***DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS August 24, 2016***

PCSD Boosters to Host Golf Tournament

The Phoenix Firebirds Sports Boosters Club will host its 28th annual Gary Russell captain and crew golf tournament on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at Rose Creek Golf Course, 344County Route 33, Central Square.

The event will begin that day with an 8:30 a.m. check-in and a 9:30 a.m. shotgun start. Each player’s $75 donation includes golf, cart, food and beverages. Throughout the tournament there will be drawings and special prizes, including a $10,000 hole-in-one prize.

Men’s, women’s and mixed teams are encouraged to enter. Foursomes are limited, so reserve your team today to guarantee a spot.

Proceeds will benefit the club’s projects and scholarship fund. For more information, or to register, contact Bob Patzke via telephone at 575-3317 or via email at creasemonkey@twcny.rr.com.

Phoenix Students Recognized as High Academic Scholar Athletes

Awards were distributed to student athletes at Emerson J. Dillon (EJD) Middle School and John C. Birdlebough (JCB) High School recently, recognizing them for high academic achievement.

Students must be passing three subjects as well as physical education to participate in school sports. The Academic Achievement Awards recognize students for attaining the highest grade point averages on the team.

The EJD students honored were Miranda LaRobardiere, Liam Sweeney, Thomas Uhl, Jock Li, Caitlin George and Francesca Goodell. The JCB students recognized were Gianna DeRoberts, Garrett Watkins, Emilie Hilliard, Kellen Arnold, Natalie Hart, Kristine Rowe, Alexis Smith, Mike Sadoski, Morgan Gravlin, Josh Margrey and Spencer Evans.

Phoenix Athletic Director Stephen Musso expressed his pride in each of students, mentioning their determination and hard work. He challenged those who participated in one or two sports to continue to improve and perhaps even tackle another sport.


EJD High Academic Achievement Award recipients Thomas Uhl, Jock Li and Caitlin George receive their plaques from Stephen Musso and Principal Sue Anderson. Not photographed, Francesca Goodell also received the High Academic Scholar Athlete Award.


EJD High Academic Achievement Award recipients. From left, Athletic Director Stephen Musso, Miranda LaRobardiere, Liam Sweeney and EJD Principal Sue Anderson.

JCB High Academic Achievement Award-winners Gianna DeRoberts, Garrett Watkins, Emilie Hilliard, Kellen Arnold, Natalie Hart, Kristine Rowe, Alexis Smith, Mike Sadoski, Morgan Gravlin, Josh Margrey and Spencer Evens receive their plaques of recognition from Phoenix Athletic Director Stephen Musso (right). DeRoberts, Watkins, Hilliard and Arnold received the Highest Overall Academic Achievement Awards.

JCB Seniors Honored During Band Performance

John C. Birdlebough High School symphonic band and wind ensemble members showcased their musical talents for a packed auditorium during their recent spring concert.

Staple high school pieces and challenging arrangements were wonderfully performed by the symphonic band, while wind ensemble members beautifully executed arrangements based on popular movies. Student Emily Roberts served as guest conductor of the symphonic band for “Psalm 42,” a powerful faith-based musical adventure with a strong euphonium solo performed by Christian Johnson. Audience members also applauded and cheered for soloists Julie Yates, Bryon Halstead, Joshua Margrey and Brian Breen for their percussion skills during the challenging song, “Duelin’ Xylos.”

The wind ensemble’s take on music from “The Lion King,” “Into the Woods,” “The Incredibles,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and Guardians of the Galaxy” was well received, as several guests were humming along to the familiar tunes.

David Frateschi, director of both the symphonic band and wind ensemble, commended students for their dedication and commitment to the emotion, technicality and demands of music. Superintendent Judy Belfield, JCB Principal Gregory Molloy and several Phoenix Alumni Band and Phoenix Band and Colorguard Boosters, Inc. members joined Frateschi in honoring the 21 band members of the senior class and other accomplished high school performers.

Several students were recognized for their participation in the New York State School Music Association Solo Fest, junior high area all-state, senior high all-state band and orchestra, outstanding jazz musicians, conference all-state band, all-county band, all-county orchestra, New Hartford Jazz all-stars, instrumentalist merit, instrumentalist musicianship and the New York State Band Directors Association (NYSBDA) honor band.

Wall plaques were presented to the following students: Mattingly Gleason (Patrick Gilmore plaque), Jacob Simpson (Woody Herman plaque), Jacob Nicolini (Louie Armstrong plaque), Derick White (Leonard Bernstein plaque), Joshua Dievendorf (Quincy Jones plaque) and Jacob Nicolini (John Phillip Sousa plaque). Catherine Barnhart received the Parade Band Award and Jacob Nicolini received the Phoenix Community Band Award.

NYSBDA Most Improved awards were given to Joshua Dievendorf, Christian Johnson and Nina Lewis, while Jacob Simpson received the NYSBDA Outstanding Musician Award and Mattingly Gleason received the NYSBDA Outstanding Musician Award. Dievendorf was also awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award, while Abigail Venskus received the Music department KEY and Amanda Briggs received the Instrumental department KEY.

JCB students in ninth- through 11th- grade received the following awards: Rookie Award, Olivia Ripley; Flexibility Award, Garrett Frink; Musicianship Award, Emily Roberts; Outstanding Talent, Sean Sievers; and Outstanding dedication, Zoe Heckert. JCB awards for seniors included: Outstanding Dedication, Karly McCann; Outstanding Talent, Marisa Dona; Outstanding Talent, Jolene Zaia; Musicianship Award, Carolynn Woodside; and Outstanding Dedication, Caitlynn Cromp.

Phoenix Alumni Band Scholarships were awarded to Jacob Nicolini, Abigail Venskus, Christopher Nicolella, Joshua Dievendorf and Derick White. The Michelle Huntley-Rudy Scholarship was awarded to Ashley Johnson and the Mark Storrings Service Scholarship was presented to Joshua Dievendorf.

The Phoenix Band and Colorguard Boosters presented the following scholarships: Eileen Kinney Colorguard Award to Caitlyn Hahn, Phoenix Band and Colorguard Booster Club Scholarships to Marrisa Ellis and Derick White. Ashley Johnson received the Phoenix Firebird Colorguard/Winterguard Scholarship and Marisa Dona received the Michelle Paczos Memorial Scholarship. The Michael Hyla Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Derick White, who also received the Smokey Kizer Scholarship.

Joshua Dievendorf received the new Selfless Service Scholarship, which was presented in honor of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5540 to an awardee to demonstrated qualities found in military service members and veterans.

Principal Molloy and Superintendent Belfield also presented senior cords to senior Tri-M Music Honor Society members.

Members of the JCB wind ensemble perform during their recent concert, which also served as a salute to seniors.


30th annual Canal Days a Big Hit with MAM 4th Graders

Michael A. Maroun Elementary School fourth graders enjoyed a step back in time during the recent the 30th annual Canal Days celebration.

Students walked from MAM to the canal system in downtown Phoenix and then huddled alongside the Oswego River where they learned about life skills, recreation and craftsmanship in the 1800s and early 1900s from historians that were in period costumes. Hands-on experiences included candle making, stitching, kneading bread, churning butter and participation in old-time games with assistance from members of John C. Birdlebough High School’s Leadership Team.

The fourth graders and their guests toured Tug Seneca, a medium-sized tug boat of the New York State Canal System. “It’s amazing, isn’t it?” one student said as he walked on deck. The fourth-grade teachers and Phoenix Central School District Superintendent Judy Belfield mingled with the students during the morning event.

Teacher Rebecca Coffin said students were able to connect to the activities and information because they had been learning about the canal and its impact on trade, travel, communities and businesses throughout the state.

The New York State Canal System in Phoenix was home to the 30th annual Canal Days where Michael A.
Maroun Elementary School fourth graders learned about life during the 1800s and early 1900s.