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News and Articles for Phoenix Central School District.

PCSD Lauded for Safety Efforts; Earns Top Honors

In recognition of its ongoing commitment to students, staff and visitors, the Phoenix Central School District recently received top honors for safety measures on school grounds.

The titanium-level School Safety Excellence Award was presented by the Utica National Insurance Group during the 37th annual School Safety Seminar. The yearly event honors school communities that meet strict criteria in a range of areas related to safety and security. Schools are measured in areas such as transportation, playground safety and bullying prevention programs.

Phoenix Central School District representatives celebrate the district’s recent titanium-level School Safety Award. From left are Keith Watkins (director of facilities); Diana Cook (board of education vice president); Earl Rudy (board of education president); Christopher Byrne (superintendent of schools); and Karl Seckner (assistant superintendent of finance and educational services).

For the PCSD, this year marked the first as titanium-level status – Utica National’s highest distinction -- which required documentation supporting the implemented safety measures. The award also earned the district a $500 check to be used for safety initiatives.

"Safety is the No. 1 priority in our school district,” said PCSD Superintendent of Schools Christopher Byrne. “I would personally like to thank Director of Facilities Keith Watkins, our Operations & Maintenance Department, our Transportation Department and our entire faculty and staff for helping us win this award. Our team continuously goes above and beyond to provide us with safe, secure and healthy learning environments for all children, staff, families and visitors.”

Watkins echoed those sentiments and stressed the team effort that was involved in receiving such a prestigious award.

“It was absolutely a group effort by all departments and staff to pull this together and identify what great lengths we go to as a district to provide a safe and clean environment for all students, staff and the community,” Watkins said.

Phoenix students combine for 10,000-plus hours of volunteer service

Nearly two dozen John C. Birdlebough High School students were honored recently for their leadership and volunteerism during the President’s Youth Service Awards ceremony.

The 21st annual event, held at the Phoenix Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5540, recognizes students who have dedicated their time to serve the community. Honorees were lauded for their volunteerism through various activities such as community cleanup efforts, Salvation Army bell ringing, working in soup kitchens, and helping the elderly in local nursing homes.

“What you have done in such a short amount of time is truly remarkable,” said Phoenix Central School District Superintendent Christopher Byrne. “Please do not change who you are. You’re a representative of yourself, your school district and your community. We are so proud.”

School district officials, elected government representatives and family members congratulated the honorees, who received pins and certificates based on their hours of service. Silver Awards were presented to those who tallied 300 or more hours of volunteer service, while Gold Awards went to students who performed 500-plus hours of service, and Gold Medallion Awards recognized those who spent more than 1,000 hours serving their community.

Silver Award recipients included Morgan Bajish, Natalie Hart, Chloe Koegel, Sean Sievers, Kristen Clapp, Brook Jones, Cade Reed and Haley Stellingwerf. Gold Awards went to Breanna Bakus, Madison Doane, Nicole Hetko, Catherine Musumeci, Dylan Blumer, Johnathan Garofalo, Daniel Knowlton and Alisa Trudell. Gold Medallion Award winners were Jordan Cole, James Lynch, Zachariah Neupert, Brooke Ensby and Teona Draper.

“Every one of you has made a difference in your community,” said Assemblyman Will Barclay. “Thank you for all that you do.”

In addition to the gold and silver awards, two students received special recognition as Youth of the Year. The recipients, Kea Corey and Joshua Margrey, were congratulated by Principal Thomas Bailer.

“Your volunteer service should inspire all of us to do more,” Bailer said. “You are students who have taken advantage of the high school experience beyond the classroom. You’re the model of a JCB student … and the model of a good citizen.”

EJD Students Earn Gold & Silver Star Honors

Emerson J. Dillon Middle School students were honored with Gold and Silver Star awards for academic excellence during the third quarter. Gold Star recognition went to students who achieved a quarterly average of 90 or higher, while Silver Star recipients earned an average of 85-89.99.

Grade 5 Gold Stars
Peyton Aller, Lyla Barrow, Emma Bova, Avery Bowman, Savannah Brown, Myah Burnham, Noah Bushnoe, Dakoda Capozzi, Madalyn Carter, Owen Champion, Zoey Coleman, Ty Corey, Landon Crandall, Amelie Creighton, Gabriella Dates, Caitlin Dean, Sophie Delahunt, Anthony DeMarchi, Rylee Denslow, Marra DiGiovanni, Erika Dygert, Mackenzie Fatcheric, Abrielle Fayette, Savannah Felix, Leland Frantz, Matthew Froio, Nathan Gaylord, Harleigh Greenleaf, Joshua Gullen Jr., Cody Hager, Haley Hammond, Sabrina Haynes, Donald Hook, Julia Kazmark, Lincoln Kersey, Cameron Kreis, Ava Kuropatwinski, Kaylen Lamphere, Beth Landers, Emily LaPine, Brycen LaRobardiere, Lillian MacDonald, Lia McBurnie, Chase McElyea, Cayden McKay, Jordyn Meyers, Claire Minney, Austin Moore, Alyssa Murphy, Caedance Myer, Degan Parker, Macray Pelton, Alexis Phoenix, Margo Pritting, Charles Quaco, Nathaniel Quaco, Mason Renfrew, Ethan  Reynolds, Nicholas Root, Sara Ruetsch, Arlin Russo, Lucas Stellingwerf, Alaina Sutter and Chloe Thomas.

Grade 5 Silver Stars
Shane Byrne, Marissa Cacciola, Carielys Calderon, Alana Clough, Charles Crandall, Juliahana Dennis, Hunter Eldred, Gianna Ende, Mason Gollaher, Parker Hall, Caleb Jolly, Brandon Kimball, Koby Kitts, Jason LaRonde, Zachary Lindsley, Mariyah Metot, Hannah Morrison, Alissa Newman, Gerald Nolan III,  Chloe Paoletti, Ellie Peterson, Gaige Pitre, Hunter Potts, Madison Quaco, Jayden Rawson, Hayleigh Ryan, Logan Smallman, Landen Thatcher, Lukas Wooding, Nathan Worden and Miranda Young.

Grade 6 Gold Stars
Chase Bacon, Isaiah Bergman, Allenmichael Borasky, Elisabeth Caltabiano, Courtney Carter, Hayley Dygert, Michael  Farrar, Evan Fox, Lindsey Goudy, Mia Graham, Blake Hoyt, Evan Isabell, Olivia Isabella, Conor Jones, Brooke McCann, Peyton Nichols, Tateum Patnode, Cody Perry, Logan Petrie, Lillianne Quinn, Sheriden Southworth, Celia Tangorra, Ryan Thompson and Alexander Whaley.

Grade 6 Silver Stars
Grayson Brady, Aiyannah Bukowski, Donnivan Bukowski, Peyton Callahan, Liam Campanino, Victoria Cerullo, Isaac Chesbro, Mackenzie Chetney, Christopher Clarke II, Meghan Clothier, Reghan Conley, Madison Coutchure, Blake Duncan, Emily Dunn-Hulett, Mark Eusepi Jr., Robert Finch Jr., Damian Fratello, Shawn Froio, Zoe Gordon, Mallory Hess, Mattie Hunt, Brandon Ingoldby, Alan Jacques, Chase Kenner-Carbonaro, Alyssa Lantry, John McDonald, Jenna Moore, Hannah Reilley, Hope Smith and Austin Wilder.

Grade 7 Gold Stars
Sarah Andrews, Sarah Ashby, Virginia Bednarski, Adrianna Breckheimer, Conner Calkins, Thomas Checksfield, Mary Crandall, Johnathan Dion, Isaiah Gordon, James Hagg II, Jonah Hawthorne, Bethany Hook, Alexandra Hopps, Alaina Hubbell, Tye Hughes, Daren Jackson, Lee Ketaily, Grace Landis, Nevaeh Lando, Larissa MacDonald, Erick Moreira,Weston Murphy, Jacob Neupert, Kelsey Redhead, Kylie Russo, Taylor Smith, Daniel Stellingwerf, Sean Stevens and Chastity Thomas.

Grade 7 Silver Stars
Landon Armstrong, Stephen Beal, Mathew Bernard, Alissa Bova, Ian Burgett, Jared Charleston, Kaitlyn Chesbro, Chloe Coughlin, Breannah Demo, Charity Frantz, Dominic Germain, Brian Gibbs, Mariah Gilligan, Jalyn Henry, Zackary Hunter, Jayde Jacobson, Autumn Kelly, Karson Kimball, Dominick Mason, Hannah McArthur, Nicholas McCann, Grace McDonald, Max Morgan, McKenna Neiss, Carter Pinkley, Jarvis Piscitelli, Katelyn Pyzdrowski, Ariana Richway, Jacob Smallman, Olivia Snyder, Gaven Sutter, Ella Tangorra and John Wallace.

Grade 8 Gold Stars
Isabella Allen, Shay Altman, Nicholas Bartlett, Natalie Brown, Sara Brunell, Chloe  Calkins, Hannah Charleston, Emma Clark, Tabitha Clark, Sophia Crandall, Brielle DeRoberts, Francesca Goodell, Noah Gordon, Cierra Harvey, Mattison Hess, Katherine Holbrook, Nathan Kosakowski, Patricia Lamach, Alivia Lamphere, Miranda LaRobardiere, Jock Li, Megan Lytle, Zack Mills, Imari Piscitelli, Andrew Quinn, Tyler Redhead, Connor Roberts, Lily Roberts, William Semanchuk-Enser, Mackenzie Shank, Aiden Southworth, Nathaniel Sutter, Liam Sweeney, Corinne Thibault, Zoie Tracy, MelodyTrask, Sophia Trinca, Aidan Trumble, Thomas Uhl, Michael VanAuken Jr. and Ashlyn Wallace.

Grade 8 Silver Stars
Ashleigh Besaw, Haley Bowersox, Kaelyn Cartwright, Hailie Dailey, Alexis Dryer, Alicia Durst, Alivia Eusepi, Ethan Fox, Hailey Fredericks, Amanda Justian, Lillyan Kingsbury, Tori-Lenn Loosen, Danielle Loy, Jillian Loy, Owen Lytle, Robert Minard, Alex Olschewske, Holt Reed, Keaton Renfrew, Roemello Rondinello, Caitlyn Sutkus, Benjamin Thibault and Mason Watkins.

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.