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Webster Schroeder kicks off spring musical season

12 Jan

Rehearsals are well underChicago Graphic3 (1)way for the first Webster high school musical of the season, Chicago, presented by Webster Schroeder Musicals in four shows Feb. 6 through 10.

Set in Chicago during the Roaring ’20s, the story follows dancer Roxie Hart, who murders her lover and convinces her husband to take the rap. When he finds out he’s been duped, he turns on Roxie, who is convicted and sentenced to death row. There, she joins forces with another “Merry Murderess” in search of headlines and — ultimately — acquittal.

The high school version of the very popular movie and stage play has been adjusted slightly to be more appropriate. But have no fear; the performance will still be plenty powerful, complete with most of the songs, dances and stunning set pieces that you’ve come to know.

And c’mon, it’s a Webster Schroeder musical. These kids are blow-your-mind amazing.

Chicago will take the stage Thursday Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m., Friday Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday Feb. 8 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$15 and available online at ShowTix4U.com, and at all area Wegmans.

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(L-R) Ava Massaro and Maggie Nagar (photo courtesy S. Nagar)

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Webster athletes well represented in AGR rankings

9 Jan
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Schroeder sophomore Sierra Doody made the AGR list in cross country. (Photo courtesy S. Webster)

The Democrat and Chronicle has just announced its 2019 All-Greater Rochester Team, and many Webster athletes have made the list.

This D&C has created this list for many years. This year, it includes 165 athletes and 12 coaches in 11 different sports.

Congratulations to these outstanding student athletes from Webster Thomas and Webster Schroeder who made the cut:

  • Football: Victor Snow, (Schroeder junior), and named to the second team, John Talen from Thomas and Travis Dear from Schroeder.
  • Boys soccer: Cameron Webb (Thomas senior)
  • Girls soccer: Anna Hewlett (Schroeder senior), and named to the second team, Emma Leonardo from Schroeder, Mikayla Morelli from Schroeder and Annika Monfort from Thomas.
  • Field Hockey: Emily Klein (Thomas senior)
  • Boys volleyball: Allister Spiegel (Thomas senior)
  • Tennis: Alexa Monrad (Schroeder junior) and Stephanie Romero (Schroeder senior)
  • Boys cross-country: Austin Schoen (Thomas junior)
  • Girls cross-country: Sierra Doody (Schroeder sophomore)
  • Girls golf: Ava Labelle (Thomas sophomore)
  • Girls swimming: Suzanne Sokolowksi and Dana Witte, both juniors.

There’s also a list of “honorable mentions” which has too many Webster athletes to include here.

The article has only been posted online so far, and can be found here. It will be published in the print edition on Sunday.

Congratulations to everyone who made the list! Keep up the good work; you make Webster proud.

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Good hockey, great cause

27 Dec

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If you like hockey (or even if you don’t), and want to help support an awesome cause, I have the perfect event for you next week, on Friday Jan. 3 at the Webster Ice Arena on Publisher’s Parkway.

It’s the Webster Beats Brain Tumors benefit hockey game putting Webster Schroeder vs. West Irondequoit. The annual event has been organized for the last four years by Webster Schroeder grad Marshal Scheidt as his way of giving back to the URMC medical staff who saved his life.

Here, allow Marshal himself to tell his story:

When I was in high school at Webster Schroeder I was diagnosed with a large brain tumor my freshman year and I used my desire to play hockey again to keep my spirits high through surgery and rehabilitation. I was able to “beat the odds” and play the game I love again.

When the tumor grew back my senior year, I played the second half of the season knowing that there was a tumor on my brain and I would undergo surgery again after the year was over. The amazing doctors, nurses, and medical staff at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) saved my life and I’ve always wanted to give back. Without the game of hockey I’m not sure I would have been as motivated to go through everything that went along with surgery, rehab, and radiation.

Because of this I have created the Webster Beats Brain Tumors fundraiser (formerly Brockport Beats Brain Tumors). This is the fourth year we have hosted this event to raise money and awareness for brain tumors. … This is a perfect way to give back, and together, we can make this horrific experience a little easier for kids in the future.

After the game, everyone is invited to convene at Buntzy’s Sports Bar, 2235 Empire Blvd. for a concert by Dawgs For a Cauz, more games and prizes.

Marshal’s goal this year is to raise $7,000, which will be donated to the Brain Tumor Care Fund to support care for patients with brain tumors and their family members and caregivers during all stages of treatment.

There are several ways you can support the cause, even without attending the game:

  • Make out a check to University of Rochester Medical Center with “Webster Beats Brain Tumors” in the memo, mailed ATTN: Brooke Whowell, 300 E River Rd, Rochester, NY 14627.
  • Make a secure gift online at event.urmc.edu/braintumorcare
  • Donate a raffle item for the raffle. Email mscheidt27@yahoo.com to arrange pick up of donated item.
  • Attend the game on Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Webster Ice Arena, 865 Publishers Parkway. All proceeds from the raffle and promotional items will be donated to URMC.
  • Celebrate at Buntsy’s at 8:30 with the Dawgs For a Cauz concert
  • Volunteer: Email Marshal at mscheidt27@yahoo.com for more information.

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Sons of the American Legion step up to help our school children

20 Dec

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Here’s another nice story from our schools, but especially from one local service organization who is supporting them in a big way this holiday season.

The Sons of the American Legion Post 942 in Webster recently donated $3,000 to the Webster Central School District to completely wipe out the past-due balances of all the district’s students who owe money for free or reduced-cost lunches. About 200 students fall into that category, who since the beginning of the year have accrued about $2,600 in debt.

The district plans to use the excess funds to help a few other students who don’t qualify for reduced cost lunches but are still in  need.

Yesterday, Spectrum News visited Schlegel Rd. Elementary School to do a story on the donation. You can see that coverage here.

Also, I was honored to be on hand for the actual check presentation a week ago and will be featuring the donation in my Our Towns East Extra column this Sunday. So look for that in the D&C, or watch my East Extra Facebook page for that story.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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The kids are getting out of school early tomorrow

19 Dec

Parents, please remember that the Webster Central School District will be conducting its annual Emergency Preparedness Early Release Drill tomorrow, Dec. 20.

Early Release Drill artStudents at every one of our Webster schools will be dismissed a little early and arrive home by bus a little early.

Tomorrow (Dec. 20) only, buses will leave the schools ate these times:

  • DeWitt Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • Klem North Elementary School, 2:00 p.m.
  • Klem South Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • Plank North Elementary School, 2:00 p.m.
  • Plank South Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • Schlegel Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • State Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • Spry Middle School, 3:05 p.m.
  • Willink Middle School, 3:05 p.m.
  • Webster Schroeder High School, 3:05 p.m.
  • Webster Thomas High School, 3:05 p.m.

Also on this date, activity period at the elementary schools will run and will end 10 minutes early.

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Oak Tree Award nominations being accepted

18 Dec

oak leafDo you know a great teacher who deserves to get some extra special recognition? How about nominating him or her for an Oak Tree Award?

Co-Sponsored by the Webster Teachers’ Association (WTA) and the Webster Central PTSA, the Oak Tree Award recognition program is an annual award that is designed to recognize teacher excellence in Webster Central Schools.

Any Webster resident or district employee, current or former student, parent, teacher, or administrative colleague may nominate a teacher for the Elementary or Secondary Teacher of the Year Oak Tree Award.

Award nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently teaching in a full-time position in Webster Central School
  • Have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience in Webster Central Schools
  • Plan to continue to teach the next school year in, or retire from Webster Central Schools
  • Be a member of both the Webster Central PTSA and the Webster Teachers’ Association

Nominations must be submitted by February 2, and must include a 1-page typed narrative describing:

  • How the teacher has demonstrated expertise in the subject matter, connects well with students, engages students using a variety of teaching methods and strategies, and/or incorporates a variety of teaching approaches to best benefit all learners.
  • Special talents or commitments of this teacher, including extracurricular or school community endeavors.
  • How has the teacher touched your life or the lives of his or her students.

Click here for the nomination form. This link will also show a list of who has already won the award. (Sorry, you can only win it once!)

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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The stories are still being told

16 Dec

WAHAS_11x17_PosterIf you haven’t stopped by the Webster Public Library yet to check out the We All Have a Story: The Stories Continue photography exhibit, I highly recommend you take the time to do so in the next few weeks.

The exhibit, created by local portrait photographer and Webster Central School District employee Linda Hayes, takes a closer look at the lives and stories of 21 WCSD staff members to help illuminate the people inside the classrooms and offices who work with our children every day. The stories are thought provoking, happy and sad. But more than anything else, they’ll probably make you think, “Wow, I never realized that.”

My story is among them. I tell my story about how three simple — but powerful — words a teacher spoke to me many years ago changed my life and inspired me to become a writer.

You will probably know at least one other of the participants, which also include:

  • Joe Montemaro, WCSD Director of Technology
  • Elizabeth Livorsi, Spry math teacher
  • Elizabeth Ristow-Klem, Klem South music teacher
  • Sandy McCormack, retired Wilink special education teacher
  • Ashley Yang, Webster Thomas Social Studies teacher
  • Karen Murray, Webster Thomas administrator and Chester French, retired Buildings and Grounds
  • Kyle Suffoletto, Webster Thomas English teacher and his father Mike Suffoletto, current school board member
  • Diane Huot, Plank South literacy teacher
  • Marnie Weinmann, Plank North kindergarten teacher
  • Leslie Jones, Klem South literacy teacher
  • Julie Provenzano, Schlegel speech pathology teacher
  • Krista Lawton, Webster Schroeder English teacher
  • Hannah Formella, Webster Schroeder speech pathology teacher, with Julius, her therapy dog
  • Kelly Stevens, State Rd. art teacher
  • Leslie Hall, Webster Schroeder foreign language teacher
  • Martha Sullivan, Webster Thomas English teacher
  • Patty Cooke, Webster Schroeder guidance counselor
  • Sarah Harding, Klem North PE teacher

It’s worth a few minutes to check them all out, so next time you’re at the library, take the time to do so. Or make a point to stop by before the exhibit closes.

The exhibit runs the entire month of December, and is open to the public during the library’s normal business hours, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 10 to 6, Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 1 to 4. (The library will be closed for the holidays on December 24, 25, and 31.)

The library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., its main entrance on Van Ingen Drive at the back of the plaza.

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We all have a story — even your kids’ teachers

30 Nov

You know how sometimes children are surprised to learn that their teachers don’t live at school, don’t spend all their after-school hours in the classroom, and don’t ever have to go shopping at Wegmans?

Adults, of course, are more enlightened, but it’s still easy to assume that during the school year, teachers are almost entirely focused on their jobs and they otherwise lead rather humdrum, uninteresting lives.

WAHAS_11x17_PosterPhotographer Linda Hayes of Hayes Photography hopes to change that perception with her current exhibition, We All Have a Story: The Stories Continue. 

The exhibit, which will be on display at the Webster Public Library all next month, is a follow-up to Hayes’ first We All Have a Story exhibit in spring of 2018.

Hayes is a portrait photographer and Webster School District (WCSD) teaching assistant who has created images of 21 of her WCSD colleagues. Each staff member also submitted a narrative of his or her life story to share next to their photos.

The exhibit takes a closer look at the lives and stories of these WCSD staff members to help illuminate the people inside the classrooms and offices who work with our children every day. The stories are thought provoking, happy and sad. But more than anything else, they will probably make you think, “Wow, I never realized that.”

The exhibit, which runs the entire month of December, will be open to the public during the library’s normal business hours, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 10 to 6, Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 1 to 4. (The library will be closed for the holidays on December 24, 25, and 31.)

The public is invited to an opening reception on Tuesday Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Both the exhibit and reception are open to the public. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road.

I’ll be at the reception; I’m pleased and honored to say that I’ve been included in this project. If you come to see the exhibit, you’ll read how three simple — but powerful — words changed my life, helped me realize my passion and convinced me to become a writer.

I hope to see you there!

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Blood drive honors Colin Montesano

27 Nov

You have an opportunity on Saturday to honor a life ended too soon, while helping to save others.

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A blood drive being held Saturday Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School honors the memory of Schroeder graduate Colin Montesano, Schroeder class of 2014, who passed away suddenly two years ago at age 21.

Colin had wanted to dedicate his life to helping others by becoming a physician and studied at the University of Pittsburgh. He was also an active community volunteer and talented athlete. He was also an organ donor, so Donate Life will also be at the blood drive signing people up to be organ donors. Anyone who donates blood, signs up to be an organ donor or already is an organ donor can enter to win raffle baskets and gift cards from local businesses.

Here are the drive details:

Blood Drive in honor of Colin Montesano
Saturday, November 30, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Webster Schroeder High School library
875 Ridge Road, Webster. Walk-ins are welcome.

Aside from this being a great thing to do in Colin’s memory, this is also a critical time of year for blood donations. Donations decline significantly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as people get busy with holiday activities, so the Red Cross really needs your help.

If you can’t make today’s drive, here are a few other local opportunities coming up in the next weeks:

  • Visiting Nurse Service, 2180 Empire Blvd., Webster:  Friday Dec. 6, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd., Webster:  Tuesday Dec. 10 from 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Webster Knights of Columbus, 70 Barrett Drive:  Wednesday Dec. 11 from 1 to 7 pm.

BONUS! Anyone donating between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card by email from Suburban Propane.

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged (and help you get in and out a little faster). Call 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or log onto RedCrossBlood.org.

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Webster schools welcomes Kevin Sherry — and he’s changing lives

20 Nov

Something pretty neat happened at school yesterday which I wanted to share with you.

Earlier this week, Plank North Elementary was fortunate to host Kevin Sherry, author and illustrator of children’s books.

IMG_20191120_103417012It is hard to put into words how animated and energetic Kevin Sherry is. The three presentations he gave to the students were filled with music (he plays the guitar), puppets (he even brought a marionette), stories and much laughter. He bounded across the stage with a frenetic intensity that belied his passion for art and writing.

The kids were enthralled. Thanks in large part to weeks of preparation by Plank North librarian Gretchen Pulver, the students were already looking forward to Sherry’s visit. But by the end of the day, most of them considered him a rock star.

But Sherry’s presentations were not just entertaining. They were inspiring. That became obvious yesterday morning.

Three third-grade boys came into the library to show Pulver a book they were working on, called Blizz at Shore. It was a graphic novel, complete with bold text and large, colorful full-page illustrations. The story line was based closely on one of Sherry’s books, The Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet, complete with the same lead character, Blizz the Yeti. They had started working on it shortly after their class had seen the presentation. It was impressive.

It so happened that Sherry was still in Webster, doing presentations at State Rd. Elementary. We decided that he needed to see this book. I made three copies — one for each student — and drove over to State Rd.

Sherry was amazed by the work these third graders had done. He not only signed each of the copies, but graciously wrote an individual message on each. Then, book in hand,  he posed for a photo.

Later that afternoon, Pulver and I went down to the boys’ classroom and presented the signed copies and photos to each of the boys. As you can imagine, they just beamed. When they saw the personal messages and the photos, their eyes grew as wide as their grins. Their fellow classmates applauded.

It was a heartwarming moment, an event that will definitely be something these boys remember for a long time. But I think it may go beyond that. It’s possible that Sherry’s validation of these boys’ writing, illustrations and initiative might just be a pivotal point in their lives.

All because one very kind author took a moment in his busy schedule to pause and say “good job.” Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Who knows? Maybe 20 years from now, they too will be rock stars.

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