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

Students Lend a Hand to the Phoenix Lion’s Club

 Courtnery Guzelak (left) askes PE Teacher Angie Neiss how to divvy up the brownie mix while volunteering for the Lion's Club.

The week before Christmas, students at JCB High School volunteered to pack boxes of food at the Fire Station on Elm Street.

Students at Maroun, EJD and JCB held a food drive in the month of December to benefit the Phoenix Lion’s Club. Each year around Christmas, the Phoenix Lion’s gives away packed boxes of nonperishable food to those that qualify for the program.

The Maintenance Department for the Phoenix Central School District transports the collection to the Phoenix Fire Station.

Students with permission slips left from study hall and Angie Neiss’s class to help out. Food items were sorted first by category; pasta, soup, canned meats, vegetables, fruits and breakfast items.

Then the girls formed an assembly line, placing an item from each category into a cardboard box until the tables of food were cleared.

JCB students packed a total of 142 boxes for people in the community. The Lions Club was able to pack the remaining 80 plus boxes with the help of more donations.

From left are Kimberly Holbrook, Alexandra Wilson, Alyssa Mulderig, Courtney Guzelak, Amanda Ramsey, Brooke Ensby, Bryn Demong and Jessica Jones. 

Phoenix Concert Lights Up the Season

From left are clarinet players Alexis Gamborcoto, Alexis Dryer and Emma Clark just before the school's holiday concert.

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, students at Emerson J. Dillon paused to perform holiday songs during their winter concert.

Under the direction of Liza Grethel, the Emerson J. Dillon fifth grade band opened the evening on Dec. 11 with folk songs and traditional carols.

The evening continued with performances by the fifth and sixth grade chorus, under the direction of Shirley Kelly, singing “Nutcracker Jingles,” “Secrets of Snow,” and “Sing Noel, Noel!” Student Garrett Strang was given a roar of applause after his solo in the last song.

To round out the night, the sixth grade band performed under Kim Gould. They played to their captive audience, “A Christmas Proclamation,” “Christmas Concerto #3,” “Dark Odyssey,” and “Christmas Stomp.”

The fifth and sixth grade chorus performed Dec. 11 at JCB's holiday concert.

EJD Students Perform at Great Northern Mall

Holiday music filled the air for shoppers on Dec. 18 when EJD students performed at Great Northern Mall. Students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade performed for over an hour, to the delight of onlookers

Pictured are Sixth grade band members Alex Galle, Hailey Goudy and Julianna Lewis outside of Macy’s.

The sixth grade band performed “A Christmas Proclamation,” a number they had been working on since September. The seventh and eighth grade band played the popular “Carol of the Bells,” and “Cyclone,” a song that featured a thunder sheet.

The afternoon of talent was concluded with the eighth grade chorus, singing “Jingle Bells,” with a second verse, “Winter Wonderland,” and a duet of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Before they were bused back to school to resume their classes, middle school students had time to eat lunch at the mall. 

Singing a duet of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” are EJD eighth grade students Crysania Gilbert and Rebecca Burdick.


JCB Students provide a full evening of entertainment

 Holiday music surrounds all those who listen at JCB on Dec. 18 as the Chamber Singers sang "And Suddenly."

On Dec. 18, John C. Birdlebough High School auditorium was bright with musical delight as students and directors presented a joint holiday concert featuring both band and vocal ensembles.

The percussion ensemble, symphonic band, and wind ensemble performed, as well as the chamber singers, concert chorus and combined choirs.

Chamber Singers performed a beautiful rendition of “Mary Had a Baby,” directed by Brian Logee and accompanied by Tonette Orlando.

The combined bands and choirs rounded out the evening with “Together at Christmas,” arranged by Carl Strommen and Paul Halliday.

Polar Express makes pit stop at EJD

The Polar Express rolled into the Phoenix Central School District on Friday, bringing with it plenty of Christmas cheer.

Students at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School had the opportunity to shop for family members as they perused a wide selection of gifts that were donated by staff and community members. The annual event, which began more than a decade ago by the school nurse and school psychologist, has transformed into a gift-giving extravaganza, according to EJD school psychologist Jill Lunn.

"It started out with just a few kids who came down and teachers had brought a few things in for those couple of kids to wrap and take home to give to family members," Lunn said. "(Since then) they have expanded it and asked for donations from all the staff. Each team nominates children to come down to shop. Every year it gets a little bit bigger and we get more and more and more (donations), which is wonderful."

Emerson J. Dillon school psychologist Jill Lunn helps student Bradyn Lough wrap gifts for his relatives during Polar Express on Friday at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School.

Leah Green (left) and Love Phillips browse a wide selection of gifts to give to family members as part of Polar Express at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School.

Although the donations were a bit scarce at the beginning of December, Lunn said a final push helped send the donations over the top, guaranteeing at least 205 students would be able to bring a gift home for their family members.

“Monday there wasn't nearly as much stuff, so I sent out an email to staff and said that we have more kids than ever ... and they rallied and they brought in so many things,” Lunn said. “We have a lot of community members who donate. What's incredible too is some of our families who could probably use a little help around the holidays also give.”

For student Love Phillips, Polar Express was a chance to provide a good Christmas for her three brothers and parents. That feeling of giving, according to Lunn, was what the initiative was all about.

“We wanted to do something a little different and let the kids know what it feels like to be able to give, and very rarely do we get a student who asks for something for themselves,” Lunn said.

While the shopping part was a major part of the event, faculty and community members were also on hand to wrap each gift.

“Certainly we couldn’t do it without the community volunteers, district administrators (and) the teachers that donate. They give up their planning periods and their lunches to help wrap. It's teamwork. It takes everybody,” Lunn said.

8th Grade Orientation and Parent Information Night

Mark your calendars...

On Wednesday, January 8 the eighth grade students at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School will attend an orientation at John C. Birdlebough High School. The event marks the beginning process of the transition to high school and current eighth grade students will meet JCB staff and students and attend five informational sessions during their visit.

In conjunction with this student orientation, parents/guardians are encouraged to join JCB staff on the evening of January 8 for a Parent Information Night. Parents will be provided with an overview of what they can expect for their child entering high school in the fall. The informational meeting will be held in the auditorium starting at 6:30 p.m.  

EJD band, chorus perform holiday concert

The John C. Birdlebough High School auditorium was filled to capacity on Dec. 10 as the middle school musicians performed holiday songs during the winter concert.


Holiday music fills the air inside the John C. Birdlebough High school auditorium on Dec. 10 as the middle school jazz band performs “O Holy Night” under the direction of James DeMauro.

Under the direction of James DeMauro, the Emerson J. Dillon jazz band opened the evening with “Ye Jazzy Gentlemen” and “O Holy Night,” bringing the crowd to its feet with the festive music.

The evening continued with performances by the seventh and eighth grade chorus, under the direction of Shirley Kelly, singing “Ding-a- Ding-a Ding,” “White Christmas” and “Do You Hear What I Hear.”

To cap off the concert, the middle school band performed “Of Castles and Kings,” “And all the Bells Shall Ring,” “Carol of the Bell,” “Cyclone” and “Jingle Jive.”

The Phoenix Central School District is on the list of Best Communities for Music Education, as determined by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit organization geared toward advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.

Phoenix Community Band Performs at JCB High School

The Phoenix Community Band, under the direction of Director David Frateschi performed their much anticipated annual Winter Concert series on December 16. The community’s featured musicians, decked out in holiday attire, performed several seasonal favorites including “Blue Christmas,” How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and “A Mariah Carey Christmas.”

The Phoenix Community Band offers membership to all adult players who wish to come together as one to share the joy of instrumental music. The Band is supported by its members, corporate sponsors and friends of the band. If you are interested in joining the band or supporting the band through a monetary, visit www.PhoenixCommunityBand.org

Scenes from the performance:

Phoenix Community Band

Festive Hats

Festive Instruments

Festive Attire

Phoenix CTE students join Oswego County’s Holiday Farmers’ Market

Austin Williams, an Oswego County BOCES Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology student from the Phoenix Central School demonstrates to an attendee at the Oswego County Holiday Farmers’ Market how to create a festive holiday carnation boutonniere. Joining Williams for the Holiday Market was classmates Kaela Jarvis, left, from the Fulton City School District, Bethany Gregory, right, from the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District, and Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology Instructor Margaret Rice, not pictured.

Firebirds outduel Mustangs in season opener

The Phoenix Firebirds varsity wrestling team opened the 2013 season with a 38-28 win at home over Marcellus on Dec. 10.

Phoenix’s Tyler Worden tallied a quick win in the 195-pund weight class, pinning his opponent in 1:34. In the 106-pound weight class, Firebird wrestler Ryan Dolbear pinned his opponent in 2:37.

In addition to the two decisive victories by pin, Phoenix wrestler Tim Gandino won by forfeit and four others outdueled their opponents during the match. Phoenix matmen who also earned wins were Brad Dietz (126 pounds, 12-6 decision); Zach Carlson (132 pounds, 12-1 decision); Adam Pinzer (152 pounds, 9-3 decision); and Kyle Demo (160 pounds, 10-1 decision).

A Firebird wrestler works to pin his opponent during the team's season-opening win against Marcellus on Dec. 10.