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

Sophomore Career Exploration

Rather than hosting a traditional career day at the high school, JCB sends their students out to various job sites of their interests. Check out this career exploration video!


Emerson J. Dillon star students earn recognition

Phoenix middle school students recently earned recognition for academic achievement during the third marking period.  Students who posted a quarterly average of 90 or higher with no failing grades or incompletes earned a Gold Star. Silver Star awards were presented to those who averaged between an 85 and 89.99 with no failing grades or incompletes. The recipients, listed below, will be rewarded with a trip to a Syracuse Chiefs baseball game.

Grade 5 Gold Stars
Sarah Andrews, Sarah Ashby, Noah Bartholomew, Stephen Beal, Virginia Bednarski, Masson Bell, Mathew Bernard, Brayden Biondolillo, Alissa Bova, Adrianna Breckheimer, Gracie Britton, Ian Burgett, Conner Calkins, Brendan Champion, Thomas Checksfield, Chloe Coughlin, Mary Crandall, Madelyn Davern, Johnathan Dion, Logann Galle, Mariah Gilligan, Isaiah Gordon, Joseph Green, James Hagg II, Nicholas Hanson, Jonah Hawthorne, Bethany Hook, Alexandra Hopps, Alaina Hubbell, Alyiah Huff, Tye Hughes, Zackary Hunter, Jayde Jacobson, Autumn Kelly, Karson Kimball, Grace Landis, Nevaeh Lando, Maggie LaPine, Larissa MacDonald, Hannah McArthur, Grace McDonald, Brady Munger, Weston Murphy, McKenna Neiss, Jacob Neupert, Gabriella Payne, Carter Pinkley, Jarvis Piscitelli, Curtis Pitcher, Katelyn Pyzdrowski, Kelsey Redhead, Ariana Richway, Kylie Russo, Jacob Smallman, Taylor Smith, Olivia Snyder, Daniel Stellingwerf, Sean Stevens, Austin Wagar, John Wallace, Michael Williams III

Grade 5 Silver Stars
Zachary Ashby, Angelei Barker, Skyla Brown, Mackenzie Burrows-Horn, Cody Calkins, Cameron Carrington, Jacob Carter, Kaitlyn Chesbro, Breannah Demo, Lyndsey Devine, Matthew Files, Dominic Germain, Brian Gibbs, Jacob Grassman, Madisen Guerrero, Jeffrey Horner, Hannah Iannuzzi, Shane Jacobson, Willyam Jolly, Lee Ketaily, Dominick Mason, Cody McFall, Madeline Mills, Erick Moreira, Carson Newvine, Carter Norton, Cole Rinaldi, Hanadi Sardo, Hayden Sherman, Nicholas Sisera, Ella Tangorra, Chastity Thomas, Hannah Turner-Lenway              

Grade 6 Gold Stars

Isabella Allen, Shay Altman, Amaya Baker, Nicholas Bartlett, Haley Bowersox, Natalie Brown, Sara Brunell, Kelsie Burgess, Chloe Calkins, Cameron Cerul, Hannah Charleston, Emma Clark, Tabitha Clark, Sophia Crandall, Faith DeAnthony, Brielle  DeRoberts, Ethan Fox, Francesca Goodell, Noah Gordon, Cierra Harvey, Mattison Hess, Patricia Lamach, Alivia Lamphere, Miranda LaRobardiere, Jock Li, Owen Lytle, Garret Morrissiey, Andrew Quinn, Lily Roberts, William Semanchuk-Enser, Aiden Southworth, Isabella Stacy, Liam Sweeney, Benjamin Thibault, Corinne Thibault, Zoie Tracey, Melody Trask, Sophia Trinca, Aidan Trumble, Thomas Uhl

Grade 6 Silver Stars
Chase Altman, Gracie Altman, Shayna Applebee, Emily Babbitt, Ashleigh Besaw, Tylor Blair, Sarai Brown, Zackary Byrne, Kaelyn Cartwright, Jedidiah Chesbro, Alexander Coons, Hailie Dailey, Alexis Dryer, Emma Fatcheric, Hailey Fredericks, Ella Heckert, Kaleb Hunt, Amanda Justian, Nathan Kosakowski, Nathan McCarthy, Zack Mills, Robert Minard, Joslyn Mintonye, Victoria O’Connor, Alex Olschewski, Imari Piscitelli, Tyler Redhead, Holt Reed, Keaton Renfrew, Connor Roberts, Ashlyn Wallace, Mason Watkins

Grade 7 Gold Stars
Violet Ameele, Grace Arnold, Cade Bacon, Rachel Blake, Jadan Bruno, Elisabeth Dona, Darren Fischel,  Alexandra Galle, Caitlin George, Hailey Goudy, Allison Grabowski, Samuel Guthrie, Adam Hahn, Cassadee Handville, Samantha Harrison, Keera Hazen, Madison Kalt, Katelyn Carbonaro, Jena Klimaszewski, Brigid Lawless, Tina Li, Chloe Lytle, Alexandria Mills, Joseph Murphy, Savanah Neupert, Keva Newby, Skyler Patnode, Aubrianna Renfrew, Lilly Salotto, Leah Schlachter, Alan Seever, Tamika Stobart, Sarah Thorn, Nicole Tulowiecki, Teresa Uhl, Nicholas Vaverchak, Grace Vestigo

Grade 7 Silver Stars
Emma Allers, Riley Belknap, Olivia Bigelow, Mason Bresett, Jazmine Butler, Alexis Capenos, Danielle Case, Cheyenne Cook, Jeffrey Cooper, Michael Dion, Camron Fordyce, Julia Francisco, Trish Harris, Carly Ingerson, Laila Jones, Kaylee King, Zaya Koegel, Lauren Kraft, Julianna Lewis, Hailey Liscomb, Bradyn Lough, Amaya Malambri, Caitlyn Mitchell, Kelise Newby, Brooke Palmer, Love Phillips, Ethan Remington, Vanessa Rivera, Ayden Slack, Jacob St. Laurent, Andrew Stellingwerf

Grade 8 Gold Stars
Gabriella Allen, Kearra Backus, Maggie-Lee Basile, Marcus Berube, Erika Brown, Casie Coon, Gianna DeRoberts, Hannah Gilbert, Caroline Harrington, Xander Harrison, Declan Hawthorne, Megan Hess, Emilie Hilliard, Ashley Carbonaro, Danielle LeFebvre, Wendy Li, Ashley Margrey, Alayna Merrill, Jacob Palmatier, Olivia Ripley, Kristine Rowe, Mariah Sheirer, Crystal Stobart, Olivia Thrall, Joshua VanGorder, Garrett Watkins, Edward Zellar

Grade 8 Silver Stars
Jason Alberici, Madison Bird, Abigail Clark, Matthew Francis, Robert Fredericks, Brianna Gates, Hans Goodnow, Johnna Harke, Courtney Holland, David Hull, Ethan Hunt, Morgan Johnson, Johnathan King, Taylor Mattice, Erin McArdell, Michaela Murdie, Leo Murray Jr., Makayla Newvine, Dakota Palocy, Gabriel Rebensky, Hannah Root, Hannah Rounds, Hannah Sallis, Alyssa Schafer, Mairin Sgroi, Joshua Smith, Mark Zogg

Phoenix teachers explore the Core with educational program representatives

In an ongoing effort to bring innovative thinking and state-of-the-art technology into classrooms, teachers at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School recently welcomed representatives from the Core Knowledge Language Arts Program.

The program was designed to help educators and students succeed based on the theory that knowledge builds on knowledge. Its digital and print products have been incorporated into the curriculum for Phoenix students in kindergarten through second grades and focuses on English language arts.

Since being implemented last year, teachers have already seen their students’ literacy skills improve and progress. They were able to share their thoughts during the recent meeting with the Core Knowledge team members.

“The domains (lessons) start off with really good practices and help lay a foundation for students,” said teacher Patty Lazarz. “But some of the vocabulary is so intense. Students need a visual. They can’t relate to some of the vocabulary words.”

In addition to providing feedback, teachers also worked with several project managers, software developers and designers to discuss future developments. According to Dai Lin, product owner for eReader Program, developers are constantly seeking ways to enhance the learning experience through differentiation and assessments. However, the program representatives stressed that no matter how innovative certain strategies may be, a key factor in a student’s success is the educator.

“There’s nothing that can ever replace a really good teacher,” said Jim Liu, product owner for K-2 Adaptive Curriculum. “We don’t deliver the content in the classroom, but we give you the resources to develop engaged learners.”

The teachers echoed Liu’s sentiments and noted they are always seeking professional development and training opportunities to broaden their knowledge and bring new ideas into the classroom. And, if early results are any indication, then MAM truly has “really good teachers,” Principal Mary Stanton said.

The program representatives also conducted classroom observations and engaged in small group activities targeted at specific grade levels. The group shared their thoughts over a lunch sponsored by the Parent Faculty Organization and provided by Mama T’s in Phoenix.

Representatives from the Core Knowledge Language Arts Program meet with Michael A. Maroun Elementary School teachers to discuss the program and best practices in education.

Phoenix Central School District Named Best Community for Music for the Fifth Consecutive Year

For the fifth 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).

Now in its 16th year, BCME affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of schools’ core curriculum. The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Center for Public Partnerships and Research, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

New York State dominated the list, accounting for just under a third of the 388 award-winning districts in 2015. Phoenix is one of two districts in Oswego County to earn the distinction.

Community music programs have been drawing increased attention this school year because of a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists. These researchers found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading. Beyond the Northwestern study, other reports indicate that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, such as processing math and learning to cooperate in group settings.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its nearly 9,200 members around the world. The Foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.

The John C Birdlebough wind ensemble performs at their recent spring concert.

MAM students awarded for dedication to physical education

Students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School were recently awarded the Golden Sneaker Award for continually improving their cardiovascular endurance during physical education class.

According to physical education teacher Alice Benjamin, the awards recognition is part of the Pinnie of Pride program, which is designed to get students’ hearts pumping and their competitive spirits flowing during the beginning of class.

The Golden Sneaker Award was for the second quarter of the school year was presented to Aimee Brooker’s class, Joelle Hendry’s class and Renee Acuff’s class.

Pictured from left, students EriK LaMay, Mackenzie Chetney,Grayson Trinca,
Nicholas Cleary, Peyton Aller and Arlin Russo proudly accept the awards.

Board approves next year's school calendar

The Phoenix Central School District Board of Education recently approved the instructional calendar for next year. For your convenience, we have uploaded the calendar file so you may review key dates such as testing, the first day of school, staff development days and recess days.

> 2015-2016 calendar [pdf]

JCB students usher in spring with upbeat concert

After a long, dreary winter, Phoenix student musicians ushered in the spring season with an upbeat concert featuring several solo performances that brought the crowd to its feet.

The John C. Birdlebough High School symphonic band, under the direction of Joanna Young, kicked things off with four songs that delighted the audience. Student musicians played “Earth and Sky,” “Wind,” and “Sun Cycles,” before concluding with “On Cloud Nine!” -- a fast-paced, energetic song that set the tone for the wind ensemble’s performance to cap off the evening.

Members of the wind ensemble played the part and even dressed the part during the song “Mambo Greats.” The playful rendition featured soloists Brian Breen (flute); Wyatt Parker (xylophone); Rachel Isbell (clarinet); and Jacob Nicolini (trumpet). Some students wore sombreros, sunglasses and ponchos as they played the upbeat song.

In addition to the evening of music, wind ensemble director Dave Frateschi also recognized two students who participated in the All-County Orchestra Festival in March. He presented Mattingly Gleason and Rachel Isbell with certificates honoring them for their achievement.

  1. The JCB wind ensemble plays and dresses the part during a medley of mambo songs at the spring concert.

Summer Robotics Opportunity

Click here to download a brochure on a free summer robotics opportunity!

Phoenix freshmen showcase research on climate change

Climate change was in the spotlight recently as nearly two dozen Phoenix high school freshmen showcased their research during an annual symposium.

The event, held at John C. Birdlebough High School, highlighted students’ scientific findings regarding global warming. Each student in Susan Sharp’s ninth-grade earth science honors course created a trifold display and presented their research to a panel of judges.

“The symposium and presentation are requirements for the class, and the students put a lot of work into their projects,” Sharp said.

That hard work translated into accolades for several of the students. Gold medals were presented to Alisa Trudell, Julie Yates, Catherine Musumeci and Haley Stellingwerf for exhibiting exceptional quality and superior effort. Taking home silver medals were Zoe Heckert, Gabrielle Crandall, Morgan Gravlin and Emily McDonald. Bronze medalists included Alexis Smith, Ben Vienneau, Jordan Cole and Lauren Schmidt.

In addition to the first, second and third-place medals, three special awards were handed out to students who excelled in different aspects of the project. The Principal’s Award went to Catherine Musumeci for all-out effort, presentation and best of show. Hannah Grabowski earned the Scientific Method Award, which recognized her for science literacy, strong knowledge and use of the scientific method; and Zoe Heckert rounded out the winners by gaining the public’s vote for best poster.

While some students took home awards, all walked away with a greater understanding and appreciation for the planet, Sharp noted. She said that the students must realize they are the future caretakers of our planet.

“Climate change is a major issue that kids need to know about for the future,” Sharp said. “The symposium allows them to examine, study and learn how things happen, why things happen. They are really learning what science is all about.”

  1. John C. Birdlebough earth science honors students gather for a group photo after presenting their research findings on climate change during a recent symposium.

Behind-the-scenes work translates into on-stage success at JCB

When the John C. Birdlebough High School Drama Club recently presented “Guys and Dolls,” the successful performance was the culminating act after months of hard work.

According to Brian Logee, the director of the musical, countless students, staff members and volunteers work tirelessly behind the scenes leading up to the actual show. However, when the curtains open for the debut performance, all that effort pays off, and this year’s show was no exception.

“The performance is always exceptional, but the work that goes into the production is what makes the show a success,” Logee said. “Usually when people come to see a musical they sit down and are entertained for two-and-one-half hours without understanding all the pieces that came together to make it happen.”

Some of the different components include selecting the play, choosing a cast, learning music and choreography, building the set, developing the props, making costumes, determining lighting schemes, doing sound checks and dozens of other behind-the-scenes tasks.

“All of these different elements come together and the audience sees a seamless production, and that’s all we can ask for,” Logee said.

For the student actors, the constant rehearsals and the workload can be daunting. Lead actors Ben Bulgrien and Sarah Hoag noted that like many of the other drama club members, they are involved in several extracurricular activities and it can be challenging to find time to juggle everything.

“It’s really hard to find a balance between sports, school, the musical and everything else,” Hoag said. “In the weeks leading up to the play I would find myself immersed in my character. I would think, ‘what would Adelaide do in this situation.’ It’s a major commitment.”

Bulgrien echoed Hoag’s sentiments and said the hard work is worth its weight in gold when the show brings the audience to its feet.

“It’s a load of fun, a lot of hard work and you’re surrounded by the best people,” Bulgrien said. “Everyone in drama club is so supportive and encouraging and we spend so much time together, it really is like a family.”

John C. Birdlebough High School students take the stage for their recent “Guys and Dolls” performance.