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.
Scenes from the performance:
Phoenix Community Band
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.
The Phoenix community united for the annual village tree lighting ceremony in the Sweet Memorial Building on Dec. 7, as Santa greeted hundreds of boys and girls to hear their Christmas wishes.
Fia Campanino hands out gifts to a boy who waited in line to see Santa on Dec. 7 at the Sweet Memorial Building.
While Kris Kringle earned much of the attention when he arrived via a Phoenix fire engine, several of his elves worked behind the scenes to ensure the event was a success. Dozens of community volunteers, village representatives, school district members and John C. Birdlebough High School students played a part in the annual ceremony. Members of the Student Leadership Program were dressed as elves as they handed out presents to each child who visited Santa. Student volunteers also manned a face painting booth and an arts and crafts table.
In addition to the activities and gifts for children, there were plenty of snacks and warm drinks for community members to enjoy while they waited in line to see Santa.
Although Santa has a full agenda this time of year, members of the Phoenix community were thrilled that he penciled them in to his calendar.
Pictured from left are JCB students Josh Margrey, Conrad Karl and Maria Musumeci.
To kick off the month of December, 37 students from John C. Birdlebough’s Student Council Leadership Team met up with senior citizen from three area nursing homes to take them shopping for the holidays.
Participating nursing homes included Michaud Residential Health Services, Syracuse Home and Loretto. Two to three students were partnered up with fourteen wheelchair-bound seniors and brought them around Great Northern Mall. Each senior citizen had a certain amount of money to spend on gifts for family or for themselves.
After an hour of shopping, the JCB students brought the seniors back to the food court, where they ate lunch with them and spent some more time together before returning back to school.
Excelling on the field of play and in the classroom, Phoenix Central School District athletes earned recognition for their achievements at the end of the fall sports season.
At the conclusion of each season, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association celebrates the accomplishments of student-athletes through the scholar athlete program. Teams that achieve an overall GPA of 90 percent or better are recognized with this honor. Phoenix teams earning recognition were the varsity golf, girls’ tennis, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, girls’ cross-country and volleyball teams.
As a result of their academic and athletic success, each qualifying athlete received a pin commemorating their achievement, while the school was given a certificate.
Santa’s helpers prepare to hand out gifts to the hundreds of youngsters who waited in line to meet the jolly elf during a communitywide tree lighting event Dec. 7 at the Sweet Memorial Building. From left are Maria Musumeci, Conrad Karl, Tyler Gabriele, Fia Campanino and Jonathan Schmidt.
With the holiday season in full swing, members of the Leadership Program in the Phoenix Central School District are doing their part to make spirits bright.
The program, spearheaded by community member and volunteer service coordinator Cathy Lee, sponsors several initiatives throughout the year to aid local residents in need and help beautify the village. Activities include summer beautification efforts to spruce up the community, a ball for senior citizens, a trip to the mall with senior citizens, and a homeless night to raise money for the Rescue Mission.
With two decades under her belt as the leadership program’s volunteer service coordinator, Lee said that there is nothing more satisfying than watching students giving back to their community.
John C. Birdlebough students (from left) Shaun Turner, Tyler Gabriele and Zach Sasera ring the bell for the Salvation Army at the Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppe on Dec. 7. The volunteer bell ringers are all members of the school district’s Leadership Program.
“Seeing kids caring and sharing is rewarding,” she said. “Our formula is motivation and caring and sharing equals a leader, and I see that happen to all of the students who are in leadership group. Once they have that experience of caring or sharing, it causes them to be motivated to do more.”
During the holiday season, the leadership group is especially active as students ring the bell for the Salvation Army every day in November and December. They help out at the tree lighting ceremony and also collect winter hats, mittens and scarves for the homeless, and pack food boxes for 200 needy Phoenix residents.
“Pay it forward,” Lee said.
That sentiment is not lost on the recipients of the donated goods, nor is it lost on the student leadership group members.
“It’s fun to help out the community and make it a better place,” said John C. Birdlebough sophomore Tyler Gabriele while ringing the Salvation Army bell recently.
Monsters invaded Desiree Moore’s third-grade classroom Oct. 29 and spread south into the Cicero North Syracuse School District as part of a distance learning initiative between Oswego County BOCES and the Phoenix Central School District.
The program, Monster Match, pairs a local class with one outside of the county, and each class creates a monster using materials from a list provided. After constructing their monster, the class writes a description of it and sends the description to their partner class via email. Each class then re-creates the monster based only on the written description. The project culminates with a videoconference that connects the two classes.
Jason Phoenix, a student in Desiree Moore’s third-grade class at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School, stands in front of a camera to show students at Lakeshore Road Elementary School the monster he and his classmates created as part of the Monster Match initiative.
On Oct. 29, that is exactly what happened when students from Moore’s class at Michael A. Maroun Elementary connected with Darci Larose’s third-graders at Lakeshore Road Elementary School to compare their re-created monsters with the original monster.
“My students loved all the details and the creativity,” Moore told the Lakeshore Road students as they compared their creations and discussed similarities and differences with each.
Overall, the Gravity Destroyer was re-created by five groups of Moore’s students, and each had a striking resemblance to the original one that their partner school made.
While the students may have viewed the activity as a recreational one, Moore noted that it was a great learning tool.
“I think this really helps teach 21st-century skills,” she said. “The students
have to collaborate on their own monster. They have to communicate and create directions that are easy to follow and they have to follow other people’s directions. They learn about other communities. It also builds on the reading and writing and gives them an outlet to be creative.”
As the videoconference drew to a close, Moore’s students were asked what they thought of the program. “I want to do it every year,” student Mackenzie Chetney said.