Phoenix Central School District teachers opened their classroom doors and welcomed families and students during recent open houses.
Emerson J. Dillon Middle School kicked off the open house events Sept. 13 as teachers and faculty members met with families and answered questions. Students showcased their work and gave their parents a tour of the building as well.
Following a successful open house at EJD, pre-K through fourth-grade students had a chance to show off their class projects at Michael A. Maroun Elementary on Sept. 20.
Hundreds of students and their parents and siblings gathered at the elementary school for the event. The hallways featured artwork, poetry, mathematics problems and other student projects. As students eagerly displayed their work, teachers noted they were looking forward to seeing the students’ progress throughout the year.
At the high school, open house was held Oct. 5, and students took their parents from classroom to classroom following their daily bell schedule. Guidance counselors, building administrators and teachers were on hand to answer questions and provide information regarding the extracurricular activities available to students.
The Phoenix Central School District recently named Michael Aiken its new director of facilities.
Aiken has been serving school districts for 16 years in different capacities. This year, he will work closely with a variety of stakeholders to ensure the capital project moves along efficiently and on schedule.
“I’ll work with our architects, engineers and construction management teams in the planning of our current capital project,” Aiken said. “Throughout the process, I want to make sure we’re maintaining our buildings and grounds at their highest levels.”
Aiken noted that his goals also include supporting the vision, mission and core values of the district. He said he is seeking to support employees through staff development and would like to implement new programs to further the district’s mission.
For Aiken, he said he has been impressed by the teamwork and the overall atmosphere of the district staff. “The people; they are so supportive and eager to help out,” Aiken said.
With more than a decade of experience as a coach and physical education teacher, John Jeffries is leading the Phoenix Central School District’s athletic program as its new director of health, physical education and athletics.
Jeffries is no stranger to Oswego County interscholastic sports. He was previously employed as a physical education teacher and multisport coach in Central Square, where he also served as the athletics intern. He noted that his experience and familiarity with the local interscholastic sports scene will be beneficial to the PCSD community – a community that has welcomed him with open arms.
“What I like most so far are the people at Phoenix,” Jeffries said. “From other administrators to coaches, teachers, clerical, and operations and maintenance people. Everything they do is about the kids and providing the kids with the best experience possible. It is a top-notch school district.”
Jeffries said he shares the district’s vision and aims to foster positive relationships with all stakeholders. In addition to becoming acclimated with the PCSD community, Jeffries has several goals he would like to accomplish during his first year.
“I want to celebrate accomplishments in athletics, physical education and health, get more participation in athletics and help increase school spirit and a positive atmosphere,” Jeffries said.
After nearly 15 years as a social studies teacher for the Phoenix Central School District, longtime teacher Helen Abbott is getting acclimated to a different role this year.
Abbott began a position as the academic dean at John C. Birdlebough High School for the 2017-2018 year. Her familiarity with the students and faculty, combined with her passion for the greater Phoenix area, has made the transition a seamless one, Abbott said.
“I like working with the students and staff,” she said. “Phoenix is an amazing community, and I love being part of this community.”
Abbott noted that there have been changes to the Response to Intervention and Information and Communication Technologies initiatives provided at the high school. These changes, she said, will require additional support from a variety of personnel, but that is a challenge she is ready to tackle.
“I am looking forward to working with and supporting students and teachers in these areas,” Abbott said.
Following an administrative internship that was completed last April, Jessica Ariola dove right in to her duties as assistant principal at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School. She said she is approaching the 2017-2018 school year with the same excitement and enthusiasm.
“It’s been welcoming and so rewarding to work with the great staff in this school district,” Ariola said. “It is also wonderful to see all of the opportunities and supports students have for their education.”
During Ariola’s 10 years in education she has served as assistant principal intern in the Hannibal Central School District and as a teacher, department coordinator and blended learning leader at Mexico Academy and Central Schools. She said those experiences have been invaluable in her career.
As for the 2017-2018 school year, Ariola said she hopes to continue to build relationships with the greater school community. “I want to support and collaborate with staff, students and the community to see continued growth and student achievement,” she said.
As a member of the Phoenix Central School District community, you can make a difference in the lives of local high school students. Phoenix Dollars for Scholars is proud of its tradition of providing financial assistance to our high school seniors. With almost all of our dollars raised going directly to scholarship funds, your contribution is vital to the ongoing success of Phoenix DFS.
In 2017, the Phoenix Dollars for Scholars awarded scholarships to more than 40 students totaling almost $50,000. This was possible thanks to generous contributions from community members like you. DFS Scholarship recipients are ambitious young adults who have demonstrated an ability to strike a balance between academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, family and social obligations, and community service involvement, among many other personal attributes. With the Class of 2017 launched, DFS is eager to focus on the upcoming graduating class.
The fundraising campaign for the Class of 2018 scholarships is now underway. Your tax-deductible contributions will allow us to recognize local students for their past achievements and support them in their future educational endeavors. Phoenix Dollars for Scholars is in their 31st year of this volunteer-driven organization dedicated to supporting deserving Phoenix students in their collegiate pursuits
A robotics opportunity is available for Phoenix Central School District students in grades seven through 12. The team, Firebird Sprockets, will meet twice per week from September through February. Students will build robots and compete against other teams as part of the First Tech Challenge.
For more information, or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Join us in celebrating literacy as part of the annual READ event!
In partnership with county schools and the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County, the PCSD is gearing up to host the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 21 at MAM. There will be plenty of activities and resources available to connect families with agencies that support health, safety and education.
For more information, please contact Carri Waloven at 315.593.5782.
The Michael A. Maroun Elementary intermediate cafeteria recently transformed into a mini school supply shopping center so Phoenix Central School District students could collect free materials to start the 2017-2018 school year.
The annual school supply distribution event welcomed over 50 elementary, middle and high school families to browse an array of pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, glue sticks and bottles, crayons, markers, colored pencils, highlighters, Post-It notes, index cards, spiral notebooks, composition notebooks, loose leaf paper, folders and binders. Students were also able to select their own backpacks.
Donations were collected by teachers, administrators and community members in collaboration with the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Stuff-a-Bus event. About one dozen PCSD staff members volunteered at the recent event, which took place in the evening to reach more families.
Emerson J. Dillon incoming seventh-grader Grace Calkins shows
off her new backpack she picked out at the Phoenix Central School
District’s annual school supply distribution event.
The 2017 John C. Birdlebough High School commencement ceremony marked a milestone for all graduates and it served as an especially memorable experience for Ryan Luke and Breanna Backus.
Seated among their classmates during the ceremony, their names were announced as the recipients of the Robert & Roberta Hurd Scholarship. Luke received a $40,000 award, while Backus earned a $10,000 secondary scholarship.
The awards were part of a nearly $1 million bequest gift from the Hurds, alumni of Phoenix schools who wanted to give back to the community after they passed away.
“The Hurds were amazing people,” said Wyatt Parker, a JCB graduate who was the recipient of the inaugural scholarship in 2015. “They lived in a community that they loved, and that loved them back. (This scholarship) will hopefully inspire future recipients to reach for the dreams they may not have been able to grasp otherwise.”
Award recipients must fall within the top 15 percent scholastic rating of his or her class. The recipient should also demonstrate some level of financial need and show moral values reflected by personal action and respect for family members, fellow students, teachers and the community. Each scholarship will be paid in equal yearly installments over four years if the students remain enrolled in college and in good standing.