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Annual Webster High School Alumni Dinner hosted 52 graduates

19 Jun

If you were a student of Latin at the old Webster High School (now Spry Middle School) back in the mid-1940s, you might remember the day that Miss Marie Stone wore a set of wax teeth to teach her Latin III class. It was her response to some good-natured shenanigans perpetrated by her students the previous day.

Unfortunately, that happened to be the same day the superintendent decided to visit the class for a surprise observation.

That was just one of many memories shared on Sunday June 12 at the Webster High School Annual Alumni Dinner. The dinner has been held every (non-COVID) year for more than 20 years, and this year was attended by more 52 graduates (and their guests) representing 12 classes from 1948 through 1962, the school’s last graduating year.

The event has been held at several different locations, including Casey Park, Webster Park and the Knights of Columbus Hall. This year’s dinner was graciously hosted by the Webster Golf Club.

The program began with greetings from Alumni Committee Vice President Jude Beh Lancy (class of 1959) and President Linda Briggs Auer (class of 1959), followed by dinner, a short business meeting and a centerpiece raffle. Recitation of the school’s Alma Mater concluded the official event, but there was plenty of socializing before everyone left for the evening.

After the dinner concluded, Lancy also acknowledged the many people and businesses who helped make it a success, including Dave Tiberio at Webster Golf, who carved out some Sunday afternoon hours for the dinner to be held; Kittelberger Florist for donating the centerpieces; Hegedorns and Lala of Webster for donating raffle prizes; and Dave Eckler at the Weekend Printer for printing the invitations and program.

It sounds like it was a great evening, and I’m sure everyone is already looking forward to next year.

Here are a few photos, courtesy Linda Auer:

I thought you might be interested in reading the entire story about Miss Stone and her wax teeth. It came from a scrapbook which Mary “Pappy” Pantas (class of 1946) put together about her years at Webster High, and donated to the Webster Museum.

She wrote,

Anyone who has taught school knows the last period of the day is the hardest to deal with. Such was the case of Miss Stone’s Latin III class. The subject is dull, the students are restless, etc. Those of us (who haven’t always done our assigned translations) loved getting Miss Stone off the subject and often got the class laughing by cutting up.

One day Miss Stone had had enough and she said to our little circle of class clowns, “Tomorrow if you kids say anything to get the class laughing and off the subject you will suffer the consequences.” This was seen by all of us as a challenge.

Putting our impish heads together, we thought about it. “She said if we SAY anything. What if we DO SOMETHING and SAY NOTHING?” A trip to Bowman’s the next day during our lunch hour and a purchase of several sets of wax false teeth was all that was needed for our perfect prank. Eighth period came and at a pre-designed time, those of us perpetrators turned around to look at the clock and inserted our wax “CHOPPERS.” LAUGHTER ERUPTED! Miss Stone could not follow through with her threat because we did not SAY anything!

The following day we filed through the glass window-paned door. Miss Stone was seated at her desk with a hanky covering her nose and mouth. After taking our seats, she arose and, lo and behold, she had a set of wax teeth in her mouth. She proceeded to teach the class!

But that wasn’t the end of it. A figure of a rotund, bald-headed man appeared at the glass door and entered our classroom. It was none other than Mr. Rayfield, the Superintendent of Monroe County Schools who had come unannounced to observe Miss Stone and her class!

Miss Stone was flabbergasted and frantically worked at removing her teeth. We learned later that she had spent much of her free period before our class working hard to mold her “teeth” so she could speak without losing them. What an ending to our “perfect prank.”

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(posted 6/19/2022)

Webster community mailbag

17 Jun

Are you headed to the Jazz Fest this weekend?

Schroeder Jazz Ensemble is playing Saturday June 18 at 5 p.m. on the Gibbs Street Stage. Make sure to stop by if you’re nearby and cheer these young people on (and their music teachers, Mrs. Cole and Mr. Lindblom!)

A food truck rodeo and vendor fair being held on Tuesday, June 21 will benefit our Webster Girl Scouts and the great programs they offer.

The rodeo will be held at Willink Middle School, 900 Publishers Parkway, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on June 21, and feature:

  • Bay Vista Taqueria
  • Mrs. D’s Empanadas
  • Pub 235
  • Rob’s Sweet Tooth
  • Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza

Tons of vendors will also be there (check out the poster for that list), community agencies will have information booths, and live entertainment will be provided by Brian Roode. Make sure to bring some lawn chairs.

Sounds like good food, good music, and a fabulous way to help the Girl Scouts (they do so much more than sell cookies)!

This happy news, from the Webster School District, is another great illustration of all of the good things our young people are doing for our community.

The students of Spry Middle School recently presented a check for $2,107.76 to officials from Challenger Miracle Field, representing donations received through several Spirit Week events.

The Spry Student Council chooses a charity every year to benefit from various Spirit Week competitions. This year they hosted jar wars (a competition to collect loose change), restaurant nights at Panera and Bill Gray’s, and as a culminating activity, a kickball game.

The kickball game was played several weeks ago at Miracle Field itself. The game blended Spry students with Challenger players on each of Spry’s house teams. Following the game, the coveted Spirit Stick was presented to the White House team, which earned the most points from all of the week’s events.

Admission to the kickball game and concessions, added to the week’s earlier fundraising efforts, drove the final Challenger Miracle Field donation total to more than than $2,100.

And that was in just one week. Pretty cool. Nice job, Spry!

The Village of Webster’s Family Game Nights are Back!

The first Family Games & Beer Garden Night of the summer is scheduled for Friday June 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. on West Main St. There’s going to be tons for the kids (and game-loving adults) to do, including sidewalk chalk, Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four and cornhole. Chad the DJ will provide music, and Kaitlyn from TozziYoga will be there to get everyone moving.

Plus, there’s beer. Did I mention that?

For more information about this and other upcoming village events, like the Movie Nights at the Gazebo, the next Village Wine Walk, Friday Night Concerts and more, visit the Webster BID website.

Don’t forget about this Sunday’s West Webster Cemetery Tour, your chance to learn more about West Webster history, and some of the people who lived there … and are buried there.

On Sunday June 19, from 2 to 4 p.m., the Webster Museum will host an historical tour of the West Webster Cemetery, featuring a dozen reenactors portraying many of the former residents who now rest there. The characters will be hanging out by their gravestones, awaiting visitors to wander by and hear their stories.

I’ll be there, portraying Martha Cottreall, who died in 1934 at the age of 72. I’ll talk about my life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and especially about the accomplishments of my husband — who participated in a famous Arctic rescue operation — and son, who fought in WWI.

Tour visitors will also hear from Angelina Aldridge (wife of John O. Aldridge), Ebenezer Cook, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Drake, and Sylvester Brewer (who will talk about the Civil War and the Army of the Grand Republic), and many others.

It should be a fascinating way to learn more about our town’s oldest cemetery, and to hear some of the memories of West Webster’s past, spoken by voices of the present.

There’s no charge to attend the event, but donations are always gratefully accepted. Attendees are being asked to park at St. Rita’s Church, across Maple Dr. from the cemetery. NO PARKING signs will be posted along Old Ridge Rd. and Maple Dr.

If you’d like to learn more about the cemetery before Sunday’s tour, you’re invited to attend a presentation at the museum on Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m. when Peter Elder will talk about the cemetery’s history.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. It’s open 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

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(posted 6/17/2022)

Elementary schools welcome back the class of 2022

16 Jun

Earlier this week, in each of Webster’s elementary schools, a celebration took place which has always been one of my favorite end-of-school-year festivities: the graduate parade. This is an annual (non-COVID-year) event when our Webster Thomas and Schroeder seniors hop on buses and go back to visit the elementary schools where they began their Webster Schools career.

It was June of 2015 when most of these seniors last walked the halls of their elementary schools. But this week, as the class of 2022, they walked proudly through them again, and judging from the reaction of the young students who lined the halls in welcome, you’d think they were conquering heroes.

Nodding to the fact that it’s sometimes difficult to recognize these tall, mature adults for the freckle-faced young people they once were, each senior wore a sign with his or her name and post-graduation plans. As they paraded down one hall, then another, they passed hundreds of cheering and applauding kindergarten through fifth grade students. Every so often the parade was slowed when a graduate stopped to take a photo or get a long hug from a favorite teacher.

I was one of many retirees invited back to enjoy the parade of Webster Schroeder seniors at Plank Rd. North. I started working there after these kids had already gone on to middle school. But it was a real treat to see the joy on the teachers’ faces as their former students paraded by. It was especially fun to watch their eyes light up as they put a name to a face they hadn’t seen in seven years.

And the seniors? Every single one of them was grinning from ear to ear.

What a wonderful way to celebrate our seniors, congratulate them on their success, and remind them how much they have accomplished.

Here are some more photos from the morning:

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(posted 6/16/2022)

Students learn life skills at the OWL Cafe

13 Jun

A small, student-run cafe has sprung up at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School, and it’s providing a lot more than just coffee and snacks for both students and staff.

The “OWL Cafe, Coffee and More” is being operated by the students of the One Webster Learning (OWL) Center, a small program serving Webster Central School District students in grades K-12. 

The cafe, which has been operating for about a month, was first proposed for Schlegel by OWL social worker Kelly Petzing, who saw a similar venture at another school. She immediately recognized that “it would be a good opportunity for the kids to plan something, work together, and use different skills,” she said. It’d be an especially good way to reinforce the mathematics and social skills they’ve been working on all year.

So she brought the idea to OWL teacher Brennan Leva, and together they presented it to the students.

“They were all super excited about it,” Petzing said. So they started planning, working with the students to come up with a name, figuring out what kinds of jobs were required, what services to provide and what products to sell.

The cafe launched about a month ago, and the students immediately proved they were up to the challenge of operating a new business. They rotate among three jobs, Leva said: set-up, cashier and barista. Each presents a different set of learning goals.

“For set-up, students need to learn what things they need to get ready each day, and how to make a list of items that might be missing,” Leva explained. “The cashier’s job is to greet customers, count money and give change.”

The job of barista, however, is probably the most popular. This student listens for the orders, makes the coffee in the Keurig or pours the tea, and hands the drink order to the customers.

The cafe is open for an hour every morning and a half hour in the afternoon. Its menu includes hot or iced coffee, hot or iced tea, seltzer water and a variety of cookies, chips, fresh fruit and other snacks.

It’s a very professionally run business. Every employee wears a crisp blue apron, complete with name tag. Customers are immediately greeted with a polite, “Welcome to OWL Cafe, Coffee and More. How can we help you?” Orders are filled quickly, change is made accurately (albeit with some adult help) and if you need creamer or sugar, you’ll find it at the well-stocked condiment bar. There are even regular specials like half-off hot tea, or buy a drink and get a hand-made bracelet for free. They offer loyalty cards. There’s even an “Employee of the Week,” his or her photo posted next to the condiment bar.

In the short time the cafe has been open, the students have already shown great strides in self-confidence and even leadership skills, Leva said She added,

At first it was a lot of adult help but I think they can pretty much run it self-sufficiently. They’ve really taken over ownership of it. We’ve had some of the younger kids start training. So it’s nice to see that they took complete control of training them, told them everything they need to know, gave them aprons so they’re ready to go.”

A few students have even said they might like to work at Starbucks someday.

Schlegel staff members have embraced the new cafe with open arms, keeping the staff busy with orders for coffee, tea and snacks.

Consultant teacher Bill Ambler is a regular customer.

“The OWL Cafe staff greet me every morning with a smile and a fresh iced coffee,” he said. “The students are always so eager to serve and offer their recommendations. It’s wonderful to see some friends who have been very shy in the past come out of their shells when talking to staff, and a noticeable increase in self-confidence.”

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(posted 6/13/2022)

Webster community mailbag

4 Jun

Cherry Ridge concerts are back!

Events at Cherry Ridge assisted living community have been rather limited the last two years, but — finally — the free summer concert series has returned.

The series kicks off on Tuesday June 14 with the always popular GateSwingers Big Band, an impressive 19-piece band featuring music from the 40s, 50s, 60s, and present day. On Tuesday July 19, Mr. Mustard makes its Cherry Ridge debut. This four-piece Beatles tribute band plays tunes that captivated an entire generation and you’re sure to know (if you’re cool and hip).

The concerts are held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m., and food concessions begin at 5:30. You’ll want to bring your own lawn chair or blankets.

The concerts are free but registration is required. If you’d like to skip the line, pre-register at

Cherry Ridge is located at 900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., across the street from Webster Schroeder High School.

June programs at the Webster Public Library

On Tuesday June 7 from 2 to 3 p.m., join Christine Simons for a digital tour of various Normandy beaches on D-Day. The presentation will also feature some French memorial museums, an American cemetery and memorial, and the Island of Guernsey, comparing how it is now to when it was occupied by Germany in WWII.

Registration is required; click here.

This summer’s Webster Library reading program for adults is called “Oceans of Possibilities.” All summer long, participants will enjoy ocean-themed reading challenges, prizes, book discussions, crafts and movies. On Tuesday June 21, stop by the library from 1 to 4 p.m. for a preview of the program, and enjoy some tasty treats. No registration is required.

Here are two fun crafts for teens and tweens:

  • Monday June 13, 6 to 7 p.m., a yarn wall hanging. Teens grades 4-12 and adults are welcome. Register here.
  • Thursday June 30, 11 a.m. to noon, come paint an ocean scene! All materials and instruction are provided. Teens grades 4-12 are welcome. Register here.

Here’s some summer fun for children and families:

  • Tuesday June 14, 10 to 11:30 a.m., The Marina Drive-in! Start off the morning in the storyroom decorating personal boats, then take a drive over to the Boat Marina (community room) to watch a short movie. You can even bring your boat home to continue the fun. Children ages 2 to 5 are welcome. Register here.
  • Tuesday June 28, 2 to 3 p.m., bring the entire family to play Ocean BINGO and kick off the summer reading program. All ages are welcome. Register here.

This month’s make-and-take crafts:

  • Watermelon craft (for the kids)
  • Rainbow-beaded suncatcher (for teens)
  • DIY shelf decor (for adults)

Materials are available while supplies last.

The 2022 Tour de Cure, the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) premier cycling event, is returning to Webster on June 11.

This huge events draws cyclists from all over the area, riding courses ranging from 12 to 100 miles. It’s the ADA’s largest fundraising event of the year, and they could use your help.

Organizers are looking for cyclists to participate, and volunteers to help with the logistics. The event begins and ends at the Xerox campus in Webster, and is very well organized. Routes are available for all ages and abilities, and it’s not too late to sign up.

If you’d like more information about participating, click here. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here.

This notice from the school district:

All of Webster CSD’s students need to turn in their school-issued electronic devices by the end of this school year, and in August returning students will be provided a new device for the 2022-23 school year.

The district’s Transforming Learning through Technology (TLT) initiative puts a Chromebook in the hands of all One Webster students grades 3-12 and an iPad in the hands of all of our K-2 students, so they may take the devices back and forth from home to school to extend their learning beyond the traditional school day. As part of TLT, the devices are replaced every three years. All Webster CSD student devices will be replaced this year. 

Elementary students should return their devices to their classroom teachers by the end of this school year. Secondary students are asked turn in their devices according to the following schedule: 

  • Spry and Willink middle schools –  June 16 and 17 during lunch and June 21 before the Checkpoint exam. 
  • Webster Thomas High School – return devices to the WTI room: 
    • June 8, 8:00-11:00 a.m.
    • June 9, noon-3:00 p.m.
    • June 10, 8:00-11:00 a.m.
    • June 13, all day
  • Webster Schroeder High School – return devices to the cafeteria:
    • June 8, noon-3:00 p.m.
    • June 9, 8:00-11:00 a.m.
    • June 10, noon-3:00 p.m.
    • June 13, all day

New Chromebooks are being made available for pickup August 22 to 24, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and August 25 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Willink Middle School, 900 Publishers Parkway. For parents/guardians unable to attend one of these dates to pick up their child’s device, student devices will be delivered directly to the students during the first week of school. 

If you have questions, email Brian Zimmer at or call (585) 216-0099.

Lots of fun family-friendly activities are coming up later this month, including a village-wide sidewalk sale, the first Family Games and Beer Night of the summer, and the start of the Movies in the Park. Stay tuned for more details about all of these events, and stay on top of everything going on in the village at

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(posted 6/4/2022)

Thomas drama students inaugurate new outdoor stage with original one-act plays

31 May

The Webster Thomas Drama Club normally likes to stage their annual production in the fall. But this year, due to COVID restrictions, they decided to postpone it until spring in the hopes of being able to perform in front of a live audience.

Their efforts have paid off big time. Not only will the audience be treated to a live show, but will also see it performed outside on a brand new stage built by the GeoTech class in the school’s Gold House courtyard.

This inaugural Thomas Courtyard Stage production, called The Neighbors, is a collection of one-act plays written by Thomas students, all set in a townhouse complex (the two photos are from rehearsal). The show will include:

The Party, by Giuliana DiTullio:  Five college seniors wake up in their trashed apartment after a night of poor choices.  With family on the way, can they clean up their act in time?

The Will, by Kilian Laird:  A dysfunctional family comes together for the reading of Grandma’s will.  Can the estranged sisters set aside years of petty bickering?

The Heirloom, by Frank Russo:  A sibling rivalry blows up, and Dad’s precious family heirloom is caught in the cross-fire.  Can Freddy prove his innocence?

The Ghost, by Jenna Dow:  Rosalind and Charlie come home for her mother’s funeral, but strange things are afoot. 

The Mouse, by Catherine Magaw:  Moving to take care of an elderly mother is hard enough, but Christine and George weren’t planning on a little houseguest. 

The show will hit the stage on Thursday June 9 and Friday June 10 at 7:30 p.m. each evening. General admission tickets, available at the door, will be $10. Signs around the building will guide theater-goers to the new stage, but it’s easiest to park in the northeast parking lot by the Field House.

Director Mark Stoetzel and his students are very excited about the new stage. It’s been in the works for months, and is very sturdy and attractive, complete with a pergola. I’m certain the school will get a lot of use out of it in years to come. Below are a few photos from the design and construction phase.

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(posted 5/31/2022)

Mock DWI scenario taught Webster Thomas students a sobering lesson

27 May

Anyone who happened to drive by Thomas High School Wednesday morning might have been alarmed to see dozens of firefighters, police officers, EMTs and their emergency vehicles swarming around what appeared to be a horrific accident that had just occured in front of the school.

But they needn’t have worried. The realistic accident scene was actually a very carefully arranged and pre-planned mock DWI scenario. It’s organized annually by our local emergency responders as a training exercise, and hosted by the school district during prom and graduation party season as a serious, real-life lesson for our students.

The scene imagined a two-car accident occurring just down the street from the high school, at the corner of Five Mile Line Rd. and Publisher’s Parkway. About 700 juniors and seniors watched from bleachers in the parking lot as School Resource Officer David Herrle described what happened.

It was prom night, and the young driver of one of the cars had had too much to drink. The other driver, distracted by the friends riding with him, didn’t see the drunk driver bearing down on him as he made the turn. He was t-boned.

Somebody called 911, and emergency vehicles started arriving. First a police car, and then a second. Finally, after what seemed like a very long time, an ambulance, two fire trucks from West Webster, and two more from the Webster Volunteer Fire Department pulled up.

As the officers and firefighters surveyed the scene, they found that the distracted driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, had been ejected. He was lying on the sidewalk nearby, dead. Firefighters placed a sheet over him. Another student in the car suffered a broken ankle and, after getting out of the car, hobbled to the ambulance.

The drunk driver was unscathed, and with some assistance was able get out of her car. Her three passengers, however, had to be removed with the help of the Jaws of Life, an agonizingly long and fightening process if you’re trapped and hurt.

As the firefighters were removing doors and cutting the roof off the car, the young lady who was driving drunk was taken aside by a police officer, given a field sobriety test and arrested.

The whole scenario only took about 45 minutes, but for those who were taking it seriously, they might be among the most important 45 minutes of their lives.

Acerin Menough, a Thomas High junior, was especially surprised by how long it took to get everyone extracted. After the presentation, she told me,

It took a lot longer than I thought it was going to take. I thought it would take maybe like ten minutes for them to get everybody out of the cars but it took an entire block, like 45 minutes to an hour. That was pretty scary, knowing that I could be totally fine driving and then somebody could hit me, and I could end up dying because of it. But I also found it very interesting seeing how they opened the cars and how hard it was to get into the cars.

But Acerin was also bothered by how some of classmates were behaving. When I asked her if she thought everyone else would take it seriously, she said,

“Probably not. A lot of them weren’t paying attention or messing around on their phones, which is really upsetting, because this could save their lives. A lot of them just don’t care and they don’t understand the impact of that.”

Speaking as a mother, I hope the message being shared that day sunk in at least a little bit with everyone. But I know that’s wishful thinking. Young people these days tend to think they’re invincible. Bad stuff like that can happen to someone else, but never to me.

But I couldn’t help thinking back to one of these mock DWI presentations I watched many years ago when I was working at Thomas. In addition to the student actors, the school had brought in the mother of the driver who “died.” She was standing on the school’s front walk when a police officer told her that her son had not survived. As any mother would when given that news, she collapsed with grief. As I watched, I found it easy to imagine how devastated she was, to feel the searing pain of losing a child. I cried, too.

I don’t imagine many high school students read this blog. But if you have one, or know of one, perhaps you can present him or her with that perspective: you might think it’s OK to be cavalier with your life, cut corners and take chances. But think what the news of your hospitalization — or death — would do to your parents.

Thank you to all of the organizations who joined forces to stage this important demonstration: the Webster Police Department, Webster Volunteer Fire Department, West Webster Fire Department, Webster EMS, Northeast Quadrant ALS and Webster Central School District. Thanks also to Wilbert’s U-Pull It for donating the vehicles and Barth Towing for getting the vehicles to and from the accident scene.

The entire scenario will replayed at Webster Schroeder on Thursday June 2 in the back parking lot.

Here’s a slideshow of photos from the event:

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(posted 5/24/2022)

Senior Luminary Walk honored the class of 2022

16 May

Last May, when we were still hip-deep in the pandemic, the Webster Thomas PTSA, Webster Schroeder PTSA and Webster Teachers’ Association (WTA) came up with a creative, socially-distanced way to celebrate out graduating seniors: the Senior Luminary Walk.

In a year when special events had to be canceled one after the other, the PTSAs and WTA wanted to do SOMETHING to make sure our seniors felt special and celebrated for their achievements. The Luminary Walk was perfect; a stroll along the one-mile long Chiyoda Trail behind the Webster Recreation Center, which volunteers had lined with white luminary bags, each one inscribed with a senior’s name and school. 

Organizers expected it to be a one-time event, replaced this year with more traditional end-of-year activities and celebrations. But the families who came last year had other ideas. Shortly after the event had concluded, families started asking the PTSA if there were plans to do it in 2022 for the next graduating class.

So the Senior Luminary Walk returned this year, even bigger and better than before.

Like in 2021, students and family members were greeted by the Webster Schroeder and Thomas mascots as they began their walk along the Chiyoda Trail, which almost completely encircles the Recreation Center property on Chiyoda Drive. Volunteers had placed luminary bags along the entire length of the trail, 580 in all (330 for Webster Thomas seniors, and 350 for Schroeder, including GOAL students). Twinkling lights strung along the bushes here and there made the scene even more spectacular as the sun set.

Enthusiastic teachers were stationed all along the path, cheering and congratulating the students as they passed. One family after another would pause periodically for photos, and sometimes the parents’ proud smiles were even bigger than the students’.

As the students returned to the Rec Center at the end of the walk, each was handed a lawn sign to display at their home — prompting even more proud-parent photos.

Many thanks to the volunteers who worked for hours Sunday afternoon placing the bags along the path and stringing the twinkly lights, who manned the tables, or who were just there to cheer on the students.

I think it was a pretty special night for the volunteers as well. Cathy Falbo, and 8th grade teacher at Spry Middle School, helped to hand out lawn signs with her son. She said,

I think it’s a nice opportunity for families to celebrate their seniors, a nice way for the community to come together. I feel like these special moments are important to celebrate and recognize and I think it’s important to bring the community together.

I’ve seen these kids grow, known them since kindergarten. It’s really special to see them come by. I’ve had some of them as students. For me, this is a really special opportunity to recognize them, congratulate them and greet them again after many years.  

What was especially neat about the evening is how it was really and truly a One Webster event. Webster Thomas and Schroeder PTSAs worked hand-in-hand since last fall to plan it. Both mascots were there, and Webster Schroeder Principal Paul Benz, Webster Thomas Principal Glenn Widor and GOAL Director Rebecca Saiff were on hand, passing out the lawn signs.

“That’s the nice thing about Schroeder and Thomas doing it together,” Webster Schroeder PTSA vice-chair Stacie Peters said. “A lot of families really truly enjoy that because a lot of people are friends, whether they are a Warrior or a Titan.”

Judging from the number of cars filling the Rec Center parking lot and overflowing onto the shoulders and parking lot across the street, this year’s Luminary Walk was as well received as last year’s. Families started arriving well before the scheduled 7:30 start and for almost two hours, the trail and Rec Center property were swarmed by thousands of happy students, parents, grandparents and friends.

I suspect that the Senior Luminary Walk will be back again next year.

Click here for a gallery of photos from the evening.

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(posted 5/16/2022)

Dessert trucks 

Oak Tree Award winners announced

13 May

Congratulations to this year’s Webster Central School District Oak Tree Award recipients, announced earlier this week.

This year’s winners were Michele Parry, a fourth grade teacher at Plank South Elementary School, and Denise Warren, a special education teacher at Webster Thomas High School.

Parry and Warren were greeted by representatives of the Oak Tree Committee, teaching colleagues, and others with flowers and a cookie cake. Each recipient will receive a $500 stipend, a hand-lathed pen, and an acorn pin. The honorees were also congratulated by the Webster CSD Board of Education at its May 3 meeting. 

Thirty-eight educators were nominated by students, teachers, and community members for this year’s award.

The Oak Tree Award spotlights excellence in teaching at the elementary and the secondary levels and is jointly sponsored by the Webster Teachers Association and the Webster PTSA. The first Oak Tree Award was presented in 2000 and is a once-in-a-career honor.

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(posted 5/13/2022)

Webster community mailbag

10 May

I was going to put this mailbag off for a couple more days, but I just heard news of a great fundraiser happening on Friday night, and I don’t want anyone to miss out.

It’s a big kickball game hosted by Spry Middle School on Friday night May 13 at Rochester Challenger Miracle Field, located on Ridge Rd. behind Town Hall. (Parking is off of Van Ingen Drive.) Three dozen Spry students will be playing, representing the school’s three houses (red, white and blue). Each house team will also include two Challenger players.

The kickball game is the culminating event of this year’s Spirit Week at Spry. Each year the school’s Student Council chooses a charity to benefit from a Spirit Week competition. Usually the game is basketball, but Challenger Miracle Field was chosen this year, so kickball seemed more appropriate.

The game will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, and concessions will be available for just $1. There’s plenty of free parking. All proceeds from admission and concessions will benefit Challenger Miracle Field.

Make plans to stay around after the game. That’s when the Spirit Stick will be awarded to the house which has accumulated the most spirit points all week — including extra points for winning kickball!

I found out about ALL of the following events in the Webster This Week newsletter, published weekly by the Town of Webster. If you haven’t signed up for this great source of information yet, you should.

Remember that the Webster Public Library’s spring used book sale happens this Thursday through Saturday, May 12-14. Nothing is priced more than $1, and all paperbacks are just 50 cents.

Hours are Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to noon. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd. at the back of the plaza, off of Van Ingen Drive.

Got stuff to shred?

Reliant Federal Credit Union is holding a free shredding event at their Webster branch, 870 Holt Rd., on Saturday May 14 from 9 a.m. to noon.

There are no quantity limits, but everyone is asked to remove file folders, binders and plastic bags. And plan on taking your empty boxes back home with you.

While you’re there, you can take advantage of raffles and giveaways, and enjoy refreshments and entertainment.

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 131 W. Main Street in the Village of Webster, is holding a food drive this Saturday May 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Donations of non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items will be used to support the Weekend Food Backpack Program and the church’s Little Free Pantry.

Also on Saturday May 14, the Ukrainian Cultural Center of Rochester, 1040 Jackson Rd., will hold a Sunflowers for Ukraine paint and sip fundraiser event.

Artist Deanna Derhak will guide participants in painting an original sunflower composition using acrylic paint on a 12″ x 12″ canvas. All supplies are included, and yes, there will be wine available.

The event will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $40. Click here for tickets.

The Webster Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Vendor Fair and Craft Event on Sunday May 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Firemen’s Exempt building, 172 Sanford St. (on the south side of Firemen’s Field).

In addition to the great items for sale, there’ll be crafts, a raffle, 50/50 ticket sales, and a door prize of $100 worth of scratch-off tickets.

Admission is free and there’s lots of parking.

On the other side of town, the West Webster Fire Department is holding a Bike Helmet and Safety Rodeo on Saturday May 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event, designed for children ages 4 to 14, will feature a bike safety course, helmet fittings and bike safety checks. There’ll be lots of activities, and of course lots of fire trucks! Helmets will be provided on loan for anyone who needs one.

Registration is free. The West Webster Fire Dept. is located at 1051 Gravel Rd.

The Wine Walks are back!

The Village of Webster’s first Wine Walk of the season has been scheduled for Saturday May 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Glass pickup will be at Webster Interiors, 975 Ebner Dr. from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 (plus sales tax and fees) and are available here. For more information, visit the Webster BID website.

The Webster Lions Club will host a Sticky Lips BBQ fundraiser on Thursday May 26 from 3 to 6 p.m. at 1175 Ridge Rd.

Meals will be $15 each, and include a quarter charcoal-cooked chicken, smoked St. Louis ribs, mac salad, BBQ beans and cornbread. You can pay at the event of get pre-sale tickets online at

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(posted 5/10/2022)