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

Seniors earn recognition at Phoenix farewell concert

The John C. Birdlebough symphonic band performs under the direction of Liza Grethel.The Phoenix Central School District’s Music Department celebrated its seniors during a recent farewell concert in the high school auditorium.

Embracing the theme of the evening, “On the Shoulders of those who came Before Us,” the students posthumously honored Gregory Woodruff for his contributions to the PCSD music program. Conductor Liza Grethel noted that Woodruff had a remarkable impact on Phoenix student musicians from 1980-2000.

“He touched hundreds of lives as he inspired his students with his passion for music,” Grethel said. “We honor his memory and take comfort in knowing that he will always be a part of JCB and his influence will have no end.”

With Woodruff in mind, the students performed several songs throughout the evening, interspersed with awards and recognition. The following seniors were recognized for their efforts throughout their years in the PCSD music program: Dixon Ameeele, Donovan Basile, Hali Denniston, Victoria Dievendorf, Garrett Frink, Alyssa Goudy, Trinity Green, Zoe Heckert, Nina Lewis, Christine McCarthy. Shania Meaker, Sean Sievers and Julianne Yates.


Photo caption

  1. The John C. Birdlebough symphonic band performs under the direction of Liza Grethel.
  2. Conductor Liza Grethel presents Phoenix senior Dixon Ameele with the Patrick Gilmore Band Award for his contributions to the band.

Phoenix Senior English Students Present ‘Johnny Got His Gun’

Seniors in Lisa Spereno’s English classes at John C. Birdlebough High School recently brought books and characters to life through a variety of group projects.

As part of a war in literature unit, students read “Fallen Angels,” “Fearless,” “Unbroken” and “Johnny Got His Gun,” each focusing on different eras and battles throughout history. After reading their selected title, students worked in groups to showcase what they learned.

“The students really did a great job on their presentations,” Spereno said. “The group that did ‘Johnny Got His Gun,’ thought outside the box and acted out scenes, which was awesome.”

For senior Matt Vestigo, re-enacting scenes from the book was a unique but powerful project.

“We probably spent about 10 hours creating the scenes, rehearsing and brainstorming ideas,” he said, noting that the presentation helped reinforce what he read in the book. “The beginning was hard to follow and a bit confusing at times, but I thoroughly enjoyed the book.”

Birdlebough juniors and seniors receive end-of-the-year awards

John C Birdlebough juniors and seniors received thousands of dollars in scholarships at their end-of-the-year awards ceremony.

Principal Gregory Molloy congratulated the students on their tremendous efforts and expressed his pride in the district in regards to the senior prank that occurred that morning; seniors surprised the teachers in the school parking lot and charged them each $1 to park their vehicle. The money raised was donated to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse.

“There is something really special about Phoenix and this community,” said Molloy. He encouraged the seniors to always remember where they came from.

The Triple “C” Award is presented on behalf of the New York State Office of the Attorney General (Eric T. Schneiderman) and recognizes commitment of a student to better himself, his school and his community; Wyatt Parker was the recipient of this year’s award.

The Herff Jones, Inc. “Believe in You” Principal’s Award exemplifies the ability to combine academic excellence and exemplary leadership in school and community activities. The student leader honored this year was Maria Musumeci.

The following financial awards were also recognized:

 St. Lawrence University Book Award – Marisa Dona; Clarkson University Leadership Award – Kellen Arnold; LeMoyne College Heights Award – Emma Discenza; University of Rochester Xerox Innovation & Information Technology Award – Sarah Hoag; Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award – Brianna Ball; RIT Computing Medal & Scholarship Awards – Mackenzi Berube and Jordan Jock; Student Sage Award Winners – Morgan Stobart and Abigail Venskus; University of Rochester Frederick Douglas & Susan B. Anthony Award – Jolene Zaia; University of Rochester Bausch & Lomb Award – Jonathan Schmidt; University of Rochester George Eastman Young Leaders Award & Scholarship – Derick White; Clarkson University Achievement Award – Michael Sadoski; Elmira College Key Awards – Christopher Nicolella and Lauren Porter; Rensselaer Medal Award – Zachary Van Gorder. 

 Principal Gregory Molloy presents phoenix student Wyatt Parker
with the Triple “C” Award on behalf of the New York State Office
of the Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman.

Michael A Maroun Students Send Holiday Cheer to Seniors

Michael A Maroun Elementary students present handmade cards to the police department who will hand them out to seniors in the community. 

Outstanding achievement, effort recognized during JCB ceremony

Phoenix High School students have been trailblazers in the classroom and their efforts were celebrated during a June 13 ceremony in the auditorium.

The assembly honored 42 students with Blaze Awards, which recognized ninth through 12th graders for dedication, effort, work ethic, commitment, service, discipline and communication.

“These awards are given that name because you are the Firebirds. It’s connected to the mission statement of (John C. Birdlebough High School),” said JCB Principal Greg Molloy. “A blaze is something that spreads and carries, and your actions have done that.”

In addition to the Blaze Awards, more than 400 JCB students were recognized by their teachers for excellence, improvement and other positive attributes exhibited in the classroom. For the 85 seniors who took home JCB Awards, the assembly was another indication that high school is drawing to a close.

“You won’t realize how great of an experience (high school) is until about two years after you have graduated,” Molloy said as he praised the seniors for their efforts. “I couldn’t have asked for a better example of senior leadership this school year. Your leadership has helped guide the way for the students behind you.”


Pictured: JCB Assistant Principal Patrick
Fitch presents a JCB Award to senior Kaitlyn
Clapp for her outstanding effort and
talent in art.

Seniors earn victory in JCB Battle of the Classes

John C. Birdlebough High School seniors celebrate their victory in the Battle of the Classes. In the back row (from left) are Anthony Besaw, Tyler Sahm, Codie Corso and Tyler Hanna. In the front (from left) are Destiny Teel, Gianna Garofolo and Gabrielle Esposito.

A yearlong school-wide battle for bragging rights at John C. Birdlebough High School culminated with a senior class victory in the Battle of the Classes on March 28 during Spirit Week.

Throughout the school year, each class earned points for various service projects and for displaying school spirit. Although the freshman class had the most points headed into the recent battle, the seniors scored enough points during the Battle of the Classes to propel them to the top of the leaderboard.

With much pomp and circumstances, students filed into the JCB gymnasium to root on their classmates. Divided into four groups -- with freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors each relegated to their own section -- Firebird pride was evident as students erupted in cheers throughout the multipart competition.

“The point of Spirit Week is to end our school year with a unity of the classes, coming together as a group of Firebirds and family,” said senior class adviser Lisa Spereno.

The event did just that, as students competed in events such as cup stacking, scooter races, an obstacle course and tug-of-war. For the seasoned veterans in the senior class, a common theme emerged as they tallied first-place finishes in four of the five events to edge out the freshmen. The juniors finished in third place, followed by the sophomore class.

  1. Administrators, faculty and staff joined John C. Birdlebough High School student in Spirit Week activities recently. Above, Principal Greg Molloy teams up with the senior class during a scooter race. 

Students at John C. Birdlebough High School kick off the Battle of the Classes on March 28 with a cup stacking competition.