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News and Articles for Phoenix Central School District.

Phoenix middle school students’ artwork on display

Students from Emerson J. Dillon Middle School earned recognition for their artistic abilities as part of the Oswego County Student Art Competition.

The exhibit represents work submitted by students in grades seven through 12 within a variety of media and subject matters. Phoenix student Emma Clark earns first place overall in the junior high level, while Alivia Lamphere, Shay Altman and Nate Sutter won honorable mention for their submissions.

Other EJD students whose entries were selected include Sara Brunell, Sophie Crandall, Brielle DeRoberts, Ethan Fox, Cierra Harvey, Mattison Hess, Andrew Quinn, Zoie Tracy, Melody Trask, Sophia Trinca, Mackenzie VanAuken, Michael VanAuken, Haley Bowersox, Sarai Brown, Molly Kelly, Megan Lytle, Tabitha Clark, Noah Gordon, Jock Li and Liam Sweeney. All the work is on display at the Salmon River Fine Arts Center in Pulaski for the entire month of April.

Phoenix students receive SPARK Awards

Exceptional effort in the classroom, academic excellence and character were in focus during a SPARK Award ceremony at John C. Birdlebough High School in mid-April.

Nearly three dozen students received recognition through the awards program for the third marking period. The awards celebrate students who help ignite a path to greatness by exhibiting positive character traits, such as helping others and persevering through challenges.

Principal Thomas Bailer lauded the students for their contributions to the school community. He noted that the honorees were nominated by teachers who witnessed the students’ positive influences at JCB.

“Your teachers have recognized you for your dedication and hard work,” Bailer said. “Congratulations, you make us proud.”

The SPARK Award recipients included Breanna Mitchell, Scott Bell, Jonathan George, Wendy Li, Kurdt Coffin, Ashley Kenner-Carbonaro, Joseph Pickett, David Hull, Samuel Stellingwerf, Ryan Bower, Selena Byrne, Andrew Avery, Julianne Yates, Ethan Remington, Morgan Gravlin, Lauren Kraft, Chloe Koegel, Marissa Moore, Alexa Uttamsingh, Carolanne Switzer, Lillian Thomas, Kyle Barrington, James Balles-Clark, Kali Livingston, Cheyenne Cook, Gianna DeRoberts, Tianna Martin, Morgan Johnson, Alisa Trudell, Grace Arnold, David Burgess and Katelyn Kenner-Carbonaro.

Fourth-graders present living history museum

A month-long lesson on the American Revolution recently culminated in a living history museum at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School.

Students in Aimee Brooker’s fourth-grade class studied key figures, battles, dates and other historical events tied to the Revolutionary War. To reinforce the lessons from the textbook, the fourth-graders conducted additional research, created Powerpoint presentations and made costumes to transform into famous people from that era.

“It really makes them take ownership over what they’re learning,” Brooker said. “They did a great job.”

Dressed in full period costume, complete with wigs, students took on the persona of historical figures such as Betsy Ross, Samuel Adams, Abigail Adams, and other patriots and loyalists. The students exuded confidence as they spoke about their research subject to family members who toured the classroom.

Brooker noted that in addition to her students gaining a better understanding of the American Revolution, kindergartners also benefited from the lesson, as the fourth-graders delivered presentations to the kindergarten classes.

“Kindergartners are learning about George Washington and some of the other political figures from that period,” Brooker said. “It’s a great opportunity for the younger kids to see what they’ll be learning when they get to fourth grade.”

PCSD Earns Distinction as ‘Best Community for Music Education’

The Phoenix Central School District’s music program continues to earn national recognition, as the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) recently named the district one of the Best Communities for Music Education.

This marks the seventh consecutive year that the PCSD has been honored with the prestigious title, which takes into account the efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. The PCSD was one of 527 districts in the nation to be recognized for demonstrating a commitment and access to music education.

Throughout the school year, the PCSD offers several concerts, plays and performing arts opportunities to its students and community. A complete listing of concerts and events can be found at www.phoenixcsd.org.

EJD Students Participate in All-County Concert

Eight Emerson J. Dillon Middle School students were among the select music students who represented the Firebirds in the Oswego County All County Choral Festival this past weekend.

Elite music students from across the county performed in a combined concert under the direction of guest conductor Shawn Hebert, from Fayetteville-Manlius High School. The Phoenix Central School District was represented by Isaiah Gordon, Megan Lytle, Isabella Allen, Mackenzie Shank, Keaton Renfrew, Aiden Southworth, Garrett Strang and Summer Koegel.

MAM students’ work on display at Beaver Lake Nature Center

Five students from Michael A. Maroun Elementary School will have their artwork on display throughout April at the Beaver Lake Nature Center.

The exhibit features student-submitted work from elementary-age children representing districts across the region. Nature themes ranging from animals to landscapes will be represented in drawings, paintings, prints and collages as part of the “Student Art – Naturally” display.

MAM art teacher Kathy Lambert noted that she was proud of her students and lauded their creativity. She congratulated students Hannah Brooker, Aubrey Chesbro, Jackson Collier, Kendall Barnes and Emma Fox, whose artwork will be featured in the exhibit.

An opening reception will be held at the nature center April 9 to honor the young artists. Refreshments will be served to those in attendance.

JCB’s Thompson to attend All-Eastern Honors Ensemble in NJ

John C. Birdlebough High School senior Zachary Thompson’s extraordinary musical talent has landed him a spot in the 2017 National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Honors Ensemble.

Thompson is accompanied by Phoenix Central School District music teacher David Frateschi on this journey where Thompson will join 800 of the most musically-talented high school students in the Eastern region of the country to perform in the ensembles, April 5 to April 8 at the historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was selected to perform in the All-Eastern Honors Mixed Chorus as Tenor 1, and will be joined by about 350 other students.

At the NAfME event, Thompson will also participate in a variety of musical sessions, browse the many exhibitor booths and enjoy live music.

The accomplished singer and musician has been a staple to the Phoenix Central School District music program for several years, thanks to his dedication to improving his vocal and instrumental abilities and the support of his teachers. Brian Logee, JCB chorus teacher and director of JCB musicals, said he is extremely proud of Thompson’s accomplishments, which began several years ago in the Phoenix Central School District when Thompson joined chorus in sixth-grade. Thompson’s PCSD musical résumé also includes participation in chorus, band, drumline, marching band, jazz band, chamber singers, musicals and the pit for musical performances. He also has played the piano since he was five years old.

According to the NafME, Thompson and other students selected for the honors ensembles participated in their home all-state festivals.

While Thompson has recognized how exciting it is to perform in the NAfME All-Eastern Honors Ensemble, he said he has remained humbled by the accomplishment.

“It’s super exciting,” he said.

Thompson said he will use the NAfME opportunity to establish music connections for his future. Singing isn’t just a hobby for Thompson; he plans to sing and act professionally.




John C. Birdlebough senior earns “Mr. Phoenix” title

The Phoenix high school auditorium was abuzz with laughter, talent and excitement recently as nine John C. Birdlebough students vied for the title of “Mr. Phoenix.”

The sixth annual pageant featured contestants in ninth through 12th grades who competed in different activities. Participants demonstrated their talents, ranging from music to artistic expression and even culinary creations, as they attempted to win the judges’ votes. An evening wear segment and question-and-answer session gave the contestants another chance to impress the panel of judges before tallying the scores.

John C. Birdlebough High School senior Noah Neverette celebrates as he is crowned Mr. Phoenix.

For senior Noah Neverette, his creative song, eloquent public speaking abilities and his superhero-inspired evening wear propelled him to the top, and he was crowned “Mr. Phoenix.” Neverette edged out his classmates Michael Faber, Matt Vestigo, Cade Reed, Johnathan Garofalo, Ethan Remington, Zach Neupert, Garrett Frink and Dixon Ameele for the title.

According to JCB English teacher and senior class adviser Lisa Spereno, the event was a tremendous success and raised more than $400 for the junior class.

EJD students celebrate Music Around the World

The Emerson J. Dillon Middle School gymnasium was buzzing with excitement and tunes during its recent Music in Our Schools Month concert.

Students in fifth through seventh grades performed nearly a dozen songs to an audience of friends, family and Phoenix Central School District staff. The fifth-grade band kicked off the evening with “Land of the Rising Sun” and “Uskudar,” under the direction of Joanna Young. Following that performance, the fifth- and sixth-grade chorus sang “Tongo” (Polynesia) and “Ciranda da Lua” (Brazil) as they embraced the evening’s theme of Music Around the World.

Sixth-grade band students continued to weave the theme into their performances as they played Irish and African music, followed by the seventh- and eighth-grade chorus’ songs inspired by Korea and Zambia.

The evening wrapped up with a trifecta of songs from the seventh- and eighth-grade band, including “Around the World in 80 Measures,” “Sheherazade” and “La Virgen de la Macarena.”

In addition to the “Music Around the World,” there were other activities and artwork on display throughout the building that incorporated aspects of other cultures and countries.

Sophomores declared JCB Battle of the Classes champions

It was a hard-fought school-spirit battle, but the John C. Birdlebough High School sophomores were ultimately named Battle of the Classes champions.

While the seniors went into the championship event with the most team spirit points, it was the Class of 2019 that became victorious in the final head-to-head tug-of-war match with the Class of 2017.

Students filled the school gymnasium and flocked to their respective color-coded sections: freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Emceed by JCB Assistant Principal Patrick Fitch, the culmination school spirit event showcased Firebird pride and challenged representatives from each class to fun, physical activities such as an obstacle course and a relay race. Teachers and Principal Thomas Bailer also joined the fun and participated in their own cup-stacking, scooter-racing and egg-carrying relay.

Loud foot stomps rumbled throughout the bleachers, while students and staff members cheered for their favorites. Senior class members riled their section by banging on a drum and a gong. The Firebird mascot flapped its wings, encouraging all classes to cheer on their peers.

Battle of the Classes also featured a parade of athletes and a stellar performance from the high school’s drumline.

Battle of the Classes champions