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

Birdlebough takes home awards from Darien Lake Festival of Music

The Phoenix High School Instrumental Music Program participated in the Darien Lake Festival of Music this year. The wind ensemble won first place in the AAA competition and the varsity jazz band won first place in the AA competition under the direction of music teacher David Frateschi. The symphonic band, under the direction of music teacher Joanna Young, received second place in the AA competition. The wind ensemble also received the “Grand Champion” award for best performance by a concert band out of all the bands participating with the high score of the day, 98. 


8th Graders Honored During Assembly


President’s Awards

Outstanding Academic Achievement
Maggie-Lee Basile•Eric Betts•Madison Bird•Trent Breckenridge•Gage Breckenridge•Cole Britton•Christopher Bruno•Christopher Caltabiano•Abigail Clark•Casie Coon•Nicollette D’Arrigo•Donovan Dygert•Matthew Francis•Luke Francisco•Robert Fredericks•Brianna Gates•Hans Goodnow•Kirsten Greenleaf•Bryon Halstead•Johnna Harke•Tia Hill•Ethan Hunt•Hunter Jewell•Morgan Johnson•Ashley Carbonaro•Cole LaPine•Taylor Mattice•John Matzke V•Erin McArdell•Leo Murray Jr.•Makayla Newvine•Jacob Palmatier•Dakota Palocy•Caytlyn Prickett•Hannah Sallis•Alyssa Schafer•Payton Scruton•Natasha Zody•Mark Zogg

Outstanding Academic Excellence
Annabelle Adams•Gabriella Allen•Kearra Backus•Marcus Berube•Erika Brown•Gianna DeRoberts•Hannah Gilbert•Xander Harrison•Declan Hawthorne•Megan Hess•Emilie Hilliard•Danielle LeFebvre•Wendy Li•Ashley Margrey•Alayna Merrill•Olivia Ripley•Kristine Rowe•Mairin Sgroi•Mariah Sheirer•Joshua Smith•Crystal Stobart•Olivia Thrall•Joshua VanGorder•Garrett Watkins•Edward Zellar

As Emerson J. Dillon eighth-graders prepare to make the transition to high school, their teachers and administrators recently took time to recognize them for their accomplishments.

Hundreds of awards were presented during a morning assembly in the school cafeteria. Teachers recognized students in every area from athletics to academics. Some of the honorees were praised for their consistent marks throughout the year, some were congratulated for making significant improvement, and others were honored for their effort and perseverance.

In addition to awarding traditional certificates and trophies, the EJD Student Council and Parent Teacher Organization donated special prizes to students who had perfect attendance and/or received Gold Stars for all four years of middle school. Phoenix “Class of 2019” T-shirts were presented to perfect attendance award winners Gianna DeRoberts, Crystal Stobart and Mark Zogg.  The four-year Gold Star winners were: Annabelle Adams, Gabriella Allen, Marcus Berube, Erika Brown, Gianna DeRoberts, Hannah Gilbert, Declan Hawthorne, Megan Hess, Emilie Hilliard, Wendy Li, Ashley Margrey, Alayna Merrill, Olivia Ripley, Kristine Rowe, Mariah Sheirer, Crystal Stobart, Olivia Thrall, Joshua VanGorder, Garrett Watkins and Edward Zellar. These students were presented with Firebird fleece stadium blankets.

For the soon-to-be high school students, the ceremony was bittersweet as they reflected on their past achievements and looked forward to future success. Class president Garrett Watkins commended his classmates for making their mark on EJD.

“The things we’ve learned and the memories we’ve created will last a lifetime,” Watkins said. “I believe our time at JCB will be just as memorable.” 

JCB Valedictorian, Salutatorian Reflect on Time at PCSD

Valedictorian Olivia Uttamsingh

Phoenix senior Olivia Uttamsingh said she wants to be remembered by her classmates as someone who never wasted her time, which is one of the reasons she excelled in school and was named the valedictorian of the Class of 2015.

Olivia, the daughter of Catherine and Prakash Uttamsingh, has been involved in a bevy of activities throughout her four years at John C. Birdlebough High School. She was in several extracurricular clubs and school organizations that helped her explore the diverse opportunities available to Phoenix students.

“I would encourage the undergrads to get involved in the school and the community,” Olivia said. “There are so many options: music, drama, leadership, National Honor Society, student council. Don’t not do something and regret it later. Always take the opportunities that come your way.”

Olivia has seized many opportunities during her years of schooling and she is hoping to capitalize on even more opportunities at the University of Rochester, where she will spend her foreseeable future studying biomedical engineering. Ultimately, she said, she would like to move on to medical school and embark on a career as a pediatric surgeon.

While she is eager to begin the next chapter of her life, Olivia noted that her time in the Phoenix Central School District created memories that will linger with her forever. “The district has been really good about working with me to achieve my goals. My teachers and Mr. Hurlbutt (JCB guidance counselor) were all there to write recommendations for me during the application process,” she said. “I got to know the students and the teachers really well. It’s been a great school district to grow up in.”

Salutatorian Ashley Centner

With a strong internal drive to succeed, John C. Birdlebough High School senior Ashley Centner is not one to settle for mediocrity. Her work ethic has propelled her toward the top of her graduating class, and her 102.68 average earned her the distinction as salutatorian.

Ashley, the daughter of Rene and Christopher Centner, said her family and friends have always been there to encourage her to chase her dreams. She will go after those dreams at the University of Albany in the fall, where she will study biochemistry and molecular biology.

“I would love to work in a research lab in a hospital or go on to medical school,” Ashley said. “Maybe work with diseases and vaccinations.”

Although her passion for science will shape her career, Ashley noted that an English class at JCB was one of her most memorable experiences; not because of the subject but because of the teacher. Under the tutelage of KC Bechard, the salutatorian learned to love a class that she had previously detested. “Mrs. Bechard gave me constructive criticism and it’s something I really needed,” Ashley said.

In addition to being tested in the classroom, Ashley also took on athletic challenges and other extracurricular activities. She was a member of the basketball team and participated in school organizations such as student council, the principal’s cabinet, National Honor Society and leadership group.

As she prepares to embrace success in college and in her future, Ashley stressed the importance of having a strong sense of self and encouraged her classmates to do the same.

“Never give up on your dreams,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of what people think. Do what you want to do.”

Pictured are JCB High School valedictorian Olivia Uttamsingh (left) and salutatorian Ashley Centner.

Birdlebough juniors and seniors receive end-of-the-year awards

John C Birdlebough juniors and seniors received thousands of dollars in scholarships at their end-of-the-year awards ceremony.

Principal Gregory Molloy congratulated the students on their tremendous efforts and expressed his pride in the district in regards to the senior prank that occurred that morning; seniors surprised the teachers in the school parking lot and charged them each $1 to park their vehicle. The money raised was donated to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse.

“There is something really special about Phoenix and this community,” said Molloy. He encouraged the seniors to always remember where they came from.

The Triple “C” Award is presented on behalf of the New York State Office of the Attorney General (Eric T. Schneiderman) and recognizes commitment of a student to better himself, his school and his community; Wyatt Parker was the recipient of this year’s award.

The Herff Jones, Inc. “Believe in You” Principal’s Award exemplifies the ability to combine academic excellence and exemplary leadership in school and community activities. The student leader honored this year was Maria Musumeci.

The following financial awards were also recognized:

 St. Lawrence University Book Award – Marisa Dona; Clarkson University Leadership Award – Kellen Arnold; LeMoyne College Heights Award – Emma Discenza; University of Rochester Xerox Innovation & Information Technology Award – Sarah Hoag; Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award – Brianna Ball; RIT Computing Medal & Scholarship Awards – Mackenzi Berube and Jordan Jock; Student Sage Award Winners – Morgan Stobart and Abigail Venskus; University of Rochester Frederick Douglas & Susan B. Anthony Award – Jolene Zaia; University of Rochester Bausch & Lomb Award – Jonathan Schmidt; University of Rochester George Eastman Young Leaders Award & Scholarship – Derick White; Clarkson University Achievement Award – Michael Sadoski; Elmira College Key Awards – Christopher Nicolella and Lauren Porter; Rensselaer Medal Award – Zachary Van Gorder. 

 Principal Gregory Molloy presents phoenix student Wyatt Parker
with the Triple “C” Award on behalf of the New York State Office
of the Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman.

Maroun says goodbye to Principal Stanton at last character education ceremony

Michael A Maroun Elementary School gave a proper surprise send-off to their retiring principal, Mary Stanton, at their last path to greatness character education ceremony of the year.

Secretly, the students and staff coordinated an outdoor picture in which each grade level wore a different color of the rainbow. Each class was lined up to form the image of a rainbow for a rooftop photograph. This picture was framed, signed and presented to Stanton at the school’s last path to greatness character award ceremony.

The morning started off as any other path to greatness character award ceremony. Maddison Hart and Blake Hoyt were selected from a random drawing as winners of new bicycles for displaying the character trait of citizenship. Each time a student displayed citizenship that month, their name was entered into the drawing.

“Citizenship is what the path to greatness is all about,” said teacher Desiree Moore. “Being respectful, being safe, following rules and working to solve problems within your community.”

Moore continued to share a video created by MAM students about the “buddy bench” that was installed on the playground. Being good citizens, some of the students noticed that other kids were lonely and had no friends to play with on the playground at times. Together, they came up with the idea for a “buddy bench;” a place where kids could sit if they were looking for someone to play with. The video encouraged the students to look out for each other and told the kids that if they saw someone on the buddy bench, they should ask them if they want to play.

Just as the ceremony appeared to be over, teachers brought out the framed Michael A Maroun Elementary rainbow photograph and presented it to Stanton as the kids started to sing “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. Stanton said afterwards that she was completely stunned and taken by surprise, amazed by all of the efforts and coordination that went in to her goodbye present.

“My whole world has been with the kids,” said Stanton. “It was an honor to be their principal.” She encouraged the students to continue doing good deeds and to be a light for others.   

 Maddison Hart, Phoenix student, receives a free bicycle for displaying citizenship.  

Retiring Michael A Maroun Principal Mary Stanton receives a framed photograph of the entire school dressed in rainbow colors. 


Check out the buddy bench video made by MAM students!

Posted by Phoenix Central School District on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2015 Phoenix Seniors Class Prank

The senior class of 2015 decided to pull a classy senior prank this year! They surprised teachers in the parking lot and charged $1 to park! The money raised was donated to Golisano Children's Hospital. Click here to see the video!

Summer Food Service Program Begins July 6 at MAM

Although the school year is winding down, members of the Phoenix Central School District’s Food Service Department are gearing up for the summer feeding program. 

As part of the initiative, the district provides free lunch for all children up to 18 years old on weekdays throughout the summer. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all. Adults may purchase a meal and eat lunch with their children for $3.75.

The program will begin July 6 and wrap up August 14. Meals will be served in the Michael A. Maroun Elementary School intermediate cafeteria from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays. Participants must use the student pick up door on the intermediate side of the building.

For more information contact Patty Barber 695-1547.

7th Annual JCB’s Got Talent Show

The seventh Annual JCB’s Got Talent Show, hosted by Alexis Bowering and Clarissa Scharf, showcased the wide range of talent in the Phoenix School District. More than two dozen solo, duet and group musical and comedic acts entertained a large crowd of family and friends. As each audience member entered the auditorium they were given a ticket on which to vote for their favorite act of the night, at the end of the show, votes were tallied and winners were announced.

Beginning the evening’s event was an act with Emily Forget singing “Human” accompanied by Zach Thompson. Caitlyn Bower’s powerful vocals on “Flashlight” was an audience favorite and a Marimba Trio played “Chasing the Caribou.” The group, Nostalgic Sandwich featured Ned Greenough and Joe Brennen with musical skits “Bacon Man,” and “Text Me Back.”

Zach Thompson’s version of the Tom Jones hit “It’s Not Unusual” featured a comical “Carlton Banks” style dance routine from his Fresh Prince of Bel Air days. Thompson was accompanied by Jacob Nicolini on trumpet.

Anne Marie Fromaget sang the Becky G song “Shower” and Meghan and Hannah Lees performed a duet with the song “Lay Me Down.” The Melodica Club’s tribute to video game characters delighted the audience with their musical medley.

Following a short intermission, the duet of Sarah Hoag and Alexis Hoag on piano and guitar featured the song “Sing Me a Love Song.” The comedic skit by Catherine Barnhart used a play on words when she was introduced with a beat for her (w)rapping performance which she explained was not so much “rapping” as “wrapping.” She wrapped a present for an audience member’s birthday.

Alyssa Harrington’s poignant song “Temporary Home” tugged at the audience heartstrings, while Michael Sadowski’s puppet show, featuring a conversation between President Barack Obama and Mickey Mouse, tickled their funny bones.

The “unconventional” Pasta Syrup group’s take on classical music used some interesting instrumentation for their performance. The group featured Mike “The Hammer” Doran, Justin “Chumbawumba” Ross, Ben “Sweet Feet” Bulgrien, Joshua “Emma Brunell” Margray, and Wyatt “Gun Monkey” Parker.

Rounding out the evening’s performances was the group Happy Trees with Ben Bulgrien, Wyatt Parker, Kevin Borza, and Josh Dievendorf as they performed two popular songs: “Shadow Stabbing” and “Welcome to Paradise.”

As votes were being tabulated, a special “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” series of skits provided entertainment before the final results were announced.

Bowering and Scharf throughout the evening provided introductions and comical banter between acts and as the evening came to a close announced the winners. Second runner up for the talent showcase was the Melodica Club group with Wyatt Parker, Josh Margrey, Ben Bulgrien, Abby Venskus, Brian Breen and Derick White and runner up was Happy Trees with Ben Bulgrien, Wyatt Parker, Kevin Borza and Josh Dievendorf. In first place was the sister duet of Hannah and Meghan Lees.

Hannah and Meghan Lees won the seventh Annual JCB’s Got Talent Show at the high school. The pair received the highest number of audience votes to take home the prize.

Hannah and Meghan Lees won the 7th Annual JCB’s Got Talent Show at the high school.
The pair received the highest number of audience votes to take home the prize.

 Check out these other acts from the talented students at JCB!

Eleven new members inducted into EJD NJHS

Emerson J Dillon Middle School welcomed eleven new members into the National Junior Honor Society recently.

This year, the EJD NJHS has served its community in a variety of ways, from UNICEF trick or treating to the sending of Christmas cards to Michaud nursing home. They also helped to raise money for Toys for Tots and the ASPCA among other organizations. Collectively, they completed 1,137 hours of volunteer service.

Violet Ameele, Grace Arnold, Alexandra Galle, Caitlin George, Haylie Goudy, Allison Grabowski, Brigid Lawless, Keva Newby, Sarah Thorn, Teresa Uhl and Grace Vestigo were each congratulated by Principal Sue Anderson and pinned by a staff member, friend or family member. Two members were pinned by their older brothers.

“Middle school is full of peer pressure, and these young ladies and gentleman rose to the occasion,” said EJD NJHS Advisor Jennifer Mainville.

Ammele was pinned by her brother Dixon Ammele. She participates in jazz band, cross country, volleyball, track, dance, Robotics Club and Battle of the Books.

Arnold is a member of chorus, jazz band and the soccer and volleyball teams. She is also the treasurer of French club and a member of the anti-bullying group.

Galle is in band and chorus and competed in NYSSMA with multiple solos this year. She is also a member of the student council, a math tutor, an assistant karate instructor and a member of the varsity girl’s tennis team.

George is student council secretary, a math tutor and a member of the softball team. She volunteers at the Oswego County SPCA and at EJD orientation nights, and also is in chorus, band and jazz band.

Goudy is also in chorus, band and jazz band. She also plays on the volleyball team and was selected to be the manager for the varsity team.

Grabowski is a student council representative, a team manager for volleyball and a member of the track team, year book and robotics club. She also participated in this year’s fall drama production at the high school.

Lawless is a member of St. Mark’s youth group and girl scouts; she earned Camp Talooli’s progression awards consisting of being a tour guide canoe master and art instructor. She also plays club soccer and is currently in band and track.

Newby participates in basketball, softball, track and homework club. She has received various awards for being respectful and is also a spokesperson for her church.

Thorn is a member of the anti-bullying, video, French and robotics clubs. She is also a member of the Bridge House Brats community group and participates in volleyball, basketball, softball, chorus and band. She was pinned by her brother Conner.

Uhl has received citizenship awards, the Physical Education student of the month award and student of the year award. She is a member of the concert band, video club and student council.

Lastly, Vestigo volunteers as an advocate for special education and participates in annual Earth Day clean-ups. She is a cashier at the “Orange and Black Shack,” a member of student council and a student helper for career day.

Principal Anderson concluded the induction ceremony with a quote by Aristotle, “Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

NJHS members that were elected as officers for next year are Ashley Margrey as president, Emilie Hilliard as vice president, Olivia Ripley as secretary and Wendy Li as treasurer.

Old and new members of the EJD National Junior Honor Society pose for a photo at the end of the induction.


Phoenix students display musical talents at NYSSMA Solo Festival

Phoenix music students displayed their musical expertise in this year’s NYSSMA Solo Festival held at the Mexico middle school.

The NYSSMA Solo Festival is a state festival where students perform in front of certified music adjudicators. A written evaluation and score are given to each student that participates. Levels are given to solos based on their difficulty, ranging from one to six.

At this festival, students were also required to play a short sight reading passage as well as perform scales/rudiments. Advanced students may qualify for honor ensembles next year based on this year’s scores.

A few John C Birdlebough student highlights were: 10th grade Brian Breen who received a 100 on the marimba and a 98 on the flute, 10th grade Zachary Thompson who received a 99 on the tenor saxophone, 11th grade Mattingly Gleason who received a 99 on the oboe, 10th grade Daniel Knowlton who received a 96 on the trumpet, 12th grade Rachel Isbell who received a 96 on the clarinet, 11th grade Jacob Nicolini who received a 94 on the trumpet and ninth grade Dixon Ameele who received a 95 on the alto saxophone.

“Josh Margrey, Wyatt Parker and Ryan Luke performed marimba trio ‘Chasing the Caribou’ for comments only,” said music teacher David Frateschi. “The judge was wowed by their performance and said they had a very mature performance that was ‘amazing, brilliant, meticulously prepared and marvelous.’”



Phoenix students participate in NYSSMA Solo Festival. Front row from left to right: Wyatt Parker, Derick White, Kristen Clapp, Kaitlyn Greer, Rachel Isbell and Mattingly Gleason. Back row from left to right: Zachary Thompson, Daniel Knowlton, Dixon Ameele, Jacob Nicolini, Sean Sievers, Brian Breen, Ryan Luke and Joshua Margrey.