The cast of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” prepares for a three-day run beginning March 13 in the John C. Birdlebough High School auditorium.
After months of rehearsals, members of the John C. Birdlebough Drama Club are ready to take the stage for their spring musical production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
Set in New York City in 1922, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” is about a young girl from Kansas who comes to New York in search of a new life for herself. Her plan is to find a job as a secretary for a wealthy man and then marry him. However, her plan goes completely awry. The owner of her dingy hotel kidnaps young girls to sell to the Far East; her wealthy boss is slow in proposing marriage; and the man she actually falls in love with doesn’t have a dime to his name – or so he tells her.
The performance is under the direction of JCB Drama Club Adviser Brian Logee, with the assistance of English teacher Lisa Spereno.
“These kids have worked extremely hard and have shown so much dedication,” Spereno said. “The snow days affected our rehearsal schedule, but they’ve done a great job, and I’m sure the performances will reflect that.”
The show’s three-day run will begin with a 4 p.m. performance March 13. Additional performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 14, with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday and a final show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. All performances will be held at JCB High School auditorium, 552 Main St., Phoenix.
Tickets will be sold at the door, and seating is reserved as well. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens.
Pictured are JCB students Rachel Isbell and Michael Mironti performing a solo during An Evening of Jazz, a concert held recently at EJD.
Student’s musical talents were on display Tuesday night when they took the stage at EJD. An Evening of Jazz featured the EJD Jazz Band, the Phoenix Varsity Jazz Band and special guests, All That Jazz.
The EJD Jazz Band entertained the crowd with three songs, which included “Side Slippin’,” “I Beeped When I Should Have Bopped,” and “Don’t Miss the Bus.”
Under the direction of David Frateschi, the JCB Varsity Jazz Band performed songs from artists Bruno Mars, Carlos Santana and Tito Puente. Soloists were Alto Sax players Michael Mironti and Rachel Isbell, Kaylee Waldy (Tenor Sax), Brian Breen (Alto Sax), Zach VanGorder (Trumpet) and Jacob Lawless (Trombone).
The Varsity Jazz Band performed the same three selections at the New Hartford Jazz Festival at New Hartford High School on Feb. 28. Twenty-five JCB students traveled to the Mohawk Valley to perform in front of an audience. The non-competitive festival has an emphasis on Big Band ensemble playing.
The Varsity Jazz Band was critiqued in a twenty minute clinic after the performance by two judges. Phoenix, a Class A School (the highest ability class), was given a “Gold” rating with a score of 96 out of a possible 100 points.
Students Michael Mironti (Alto Sax) and Brian Breen (Flute) were chosen as honorary All-Star Band members. Mironti and Breen received certificates and a plaque was given to each participating band.
It is the third straight year that the Varsity Jazz Band has participated in the event, and received a “Gold” rating. Phoenix was one of 13 bands that participated in this year’s festival, with students traveling from Troy, Binghamton and other areas of CNY.
The evening concluded with a 40 minute concert by sextet All That Jazz, an in-school educational performing organization. Members of the group held a scholastic jazz jam session earlier in the day with the EJD students, teaching them how to improvise.
March is Music In Our Schools Month. The EJD Music Showcase is scheduled for March 18 at 7 p.m. at the middle school.
Forty-seven students at Emerson J. Dillon (EJD) Middle School in the Phoenix Central School District were honored recently for being exemplary citizens. Citizenship Awards recognize role model students who are dependable, responsible, courteous, thoughtful of both peers and adults, congenial, friendly, and who show school spirit and pride and respect for others and their belongings.
Students earning the distinction are nominated for the honor by EJD Middle School faculty members and receive a certificate of distinction as well as a copy of the nomination letter.
Fifth grade Citizenship Award honorees are: Natalie Brown, Chloe Calkins, Tabitha Clark, Ethan Fox, Noah Gordon, Mattison Hess, Miranda LaRobardiere, Lily Roberts, and Thomas Uhl.
Sixth grade Citizenship Award honorees are: Cade Bacon, Matthew Doane, Darren Fischel, Hailey Goudy, Cassadee Handville, Trish Harris, Madison Kalt, Alexandria Mills, Savanah Neupert, Jillian Ricard, Leah Schlachter, McKenna Squier, Sarah Thorn, and Teresa Uhl.
Seventh grade Citizenship Award honorees are: Gabriella Allen, Ashley Carbonaro, Trevor Halstead, Megan Hess, Emilie Hilliard, Lawrence Karl, Raina Knapp, Cole LaPine, Wendy Li, Ashley Margrey, Ross McFarland , Alayna Merrill, and Joshua VanGorder.
Eighth grade Citizenship Award honorees are: Samantha Doupe, Veronica Gates, Morgan Gravlin, Natalie Hart, Alexandra Hoag, Joe Lacey, Breanna Mitchell, Alex Sisera, Jerrett Williams, Jordan Williams, and Julianne Yates.
Emerson J. Dillon Middle School Teach Raina Hinman presents Citizenship Awards to sixth grade student Sarah Thorn, left, and seventh grade student Trevor Halstead. Sarah and Trevor are two of the only 47 students to earn the Citizenship Award honor which recognizes students for being exemplary citizens at the school.
Fifth grade recipients of Emerson J. Dillon Middle School Citizenship Award are pictured above. First row, left to right, are: Thomas Uhl, Tabitha Clark, Miranda LaRobardiere, and Lily Roberts. Second row: Chloe Calkins, Mattison Hess, Natalie Brown, Ethan Fox, and Noah Gordon.
Sixth grade recipients of the Emerson J. Dillon Middle School Citizenship Award are pictured above. First row, left to right, are: Jillian Ricard, Madison Kalt, McKenna Squier, Savanah Neupert, Leah Schlachter, Darren Fischel, Cassadee Handville, and Cade Bacon. Second row: Trish Harris, Teresa Uhl, Hailey Goudy, Alexandria Mills, and Matthew Doane.
Seventh grade recipients of the Emerson J. Dillon Middle School Citizenship Award are pictured above. First row, left to right, are: Alayna Merrill, Joshua VanGorder, Gabriella Allen, Wendi Li, Ashley Margrey, and Lawrence Karl. Second row: Ashley Carbonaro, Emilie Hilliard, Cole LaPine, Megan Hess, Raina Knapp, and Ross McFarland.
Eighth grade recipients of the Emerson J. Dillon Middle School Citizenship Award are pictured above. First row, left to right, are: Julianne Yates, Veronica Gates, Samantha Doupe, Morgan Gravlin, Natalie Hart, and Alexa Hoag. Second row: Breanna Mitchell, Joe Lacey, Jordy Williams, Jerrett Williams, and Alex Sisera.
Pictured is JCB sophomore Abigail Venskus who recently competed in a regional Shakespeare competition.
Abigail Venskus, a sophomore at JCB, recently competed in the 26th annual Shakespeare Competition held at the Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage. The public-speaking contest, which is conducted by the Syracuse branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States (ESUUS), commemorated William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.
Venskus, a winner of her local school competition, attended a workshop for Syracuse’s competitors on Feb. 25 at Syracuse University’s Storch Theatre. There she was critiqued on her chosen monologue and sonnet.
At the regional competition, Venskus was asked to recite her monologue and sonnet in front of a panel of judges. She competed against 19 other contestants, other high school students from around Central New York.
The purpose of the competition is to develop student’s understanding of Shakespeare and his universality. Although Venskus did not place in the regional competition, she is thankful for the opportunity.
Venskus’ journey with Shakespeare does not end there. She participates in the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival theatre camp every summer at Thornden Park. Children learn old English dances, join in acting games, paint sets and are given parts in two-scene plays. Past productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream where she played the character Bottom.
Venskus is also a member of the JCB Drama Club and marching band.
Beginning Monday, March 10, Phoenix Central School District will provide transportation for middle and high school students involved in spring sports or extracurricular activities that go beyond 3:05 p.m. Students will need to have a signed pass from their coach or extracurricular adviser.
Students will be transported to their home from EJD and JCB. The bus will pick up students at EJD at 5:25 p.m. and JCB at 5:30 p.m. It is important that students know their address, as the regular after-school routes will be condensed into two to four bus routes. Drop offs at a friend or relative’s home will not be permitted.
To help us determine how many buses we need for the late run, please sign up in the main office if you are planning to ride the 5:25 p.m./5:30 p.m. bus home.
A Message from the Superintendent:
Snow, snow, snow, when will it ever stop? Our 2013-2014 school calendar had five snow days built into attendance days. On February 26 we used our sixth snow day. We will be making up a snow day on Friday, March 21, to meet the 180-day requirement for student attendance. March 21 is currently listed in our calendar as a recess day, however, it will now be a school day.
If we have snow day number seven, the Teacher Orientation Day that was held September 3, 2013, will be converted to a Superintendent’s Conference Day. New York State regulations allow us to have four Staff/Superintendent Conference Days in the school calendar. These days count as attendance days.
On the eighth snow day, we would need to use April break for our make-up days. So, if we are forced to use an eighth snow day, we would be in attendance on Monday, April 14. If a ninth snow day is used, then school would be held Tuesday, April 15.
Please remember that closures due to power failures or water main breaks are also emergency closing days and need to be made up.
The Phoenix Central School District, in conjunction with the Central New York School Boards Association and local Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) would like to invite parents, community members, educators and business leaders to the ‘Our Kids, Our Schools, Our Future!’ event on Wednesday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. at West Genesee High School.
This community forum will give constituents essential information on state aid, how to advocate for public schools to fill budget gaps, and create equal educational opportunities for all children.
The evening’s program will feature Dr. Rick Timbs, Executive Director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium. Dr. Timbs will breakdown the complexities of state-aid and illustrate how this impacts school districts, school budgets, and ultimately the students in the Phoenix Central School District.
The West Genesee High School is located at 5201 West Genesee Street, Camillus. The forum will be held in the school’s auditorium.
For more information about this important event...
Download an informational flyer: 'Our Kids, Our Schools, Our Future!'
Random acts of kindness are committed on a daily basis in the Phoenix Central School District and those efforts were recognized Thursday morning.
Ashlyn Wallace, a fifth-grader at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School, is all smiles as EJD Teacher Raina Hinman recognizes her for committing random acts of kindness.
Emerson J. Dillon fifth-grade teacher Sandy Silky nominated Ashlyn Wallace for the recognition, which is a joint initiative between the district and SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations. When students commit a random act of kindness, they receive completed Go.Do.Good cards from their classmates and/or teachers and then submit their cards to be entered into a random drawing.
The initiative at EJD piggybacked off an anti-bullying program at the beginning of February, according to Raina Hinman, the district’s dean of students.
"Students took on a Post-It initiative as part of the anti-bullying campaign. They wrote words of encouragement and nice things onto sticky notes and put them on students’ lockers,” Hinman said. “That campaign ended Feb. 7 and rolled nicely into Random Acts of Kindness Week, which was Feb. 10-14.”
While Random Acts of Kindness Week helps reinforce the message of doing good deeds for others, Hinman said that the initiative has really been ongoing since the start of the school year.
“We hand out the blank cards to students at the beginning of the year,” Hinman said. “If a student does something that meets the criteria -- and it can be anything from helping with homework to giving compliments – then they receive a completed Go.Do.Good card describing the random act of kindness.”
For this year’s honoree, a simple act of kindness grabbed her teacher’s attention when Wallace offered to lend a hand to a student who had dropped folders on the floor.
“It feels really good,” Wallace said of the recognition. “I was just doing something nice.”
After a handful of snow days altered the Phoenix Central School District’s schedule, students at Michael A. Maroun finally had a chance to celebrate the 100-day mark Thursday.
In first-grade classrooms, students rejoiced by capping off a month-long food drive to collect 100 items for the local food pantry. As students in Brenda Bailey’s class sorted and counted their donations, they celebrated the number 100 and realized they exceeded their goal by 44.
“It is very rewarding to see the kids give back,” Bailey said. “Plus they are able to practice counting and sorting items by 10 to get to 100.”
In addition to the food pantry donation, Bailey’s students had a chance to use food in other ways as they counted to 100. Students separated Froot Loops into 10 different groups of 10, and then put a string through the holes to make necklaces. Not only were they able to learn about numbers, but they were able to enjoy a tasty take-home treat too.