Tag Archives: Spry Middle School

Webster PTSA spreads kindness one locker at a time

29 Mar

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I love stories like this one.

Thursday morning, every single student in all four Webster secondary schools arrived to find inspirational notes taped to their lockers.

The project was coordinated and implemented by the Webster Central PTSA, several of whose members fanned out Wednesday night to affix about 6,000 positive messages.

The project was enthusiastically embraced by Superintendent Carm Gumina and principals at all four schools — Spry and Willink middle schools and Thomas and Schroeder high schools.

 

PTSA co-president Stacie Peters wrote, “We are so proud of our students and how they handled themselves on March 14th that we thought it was perfect timing to follow up with the uplifting messages.” It was on the 14th that Webster students came together as one to show their support for the students in Parkland, Florida.

Kindness is so simple to spread, and is the best way I know of to solve the serious problems our country is facing right now. We can only hope that this next generation learns that lesson and will lead the way and start the healing process — and that reasonable, rational adults will start listening to them.

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Webster mailbag (redux)

1 Mar

It always happens.

I post a mailbag one day, and the next day I find out about — or am reminded  of — several other events which I should have included. So pardon the redundancy, but here is this week’s mailbag, part 2.

Start your Friday night with dinner

spaghettiBoy Scout Troop 110 will host a spaghetti dinner on Friday March 2 at 7 p.m. at the Webster Masonic Lodge, 30 Orchard Street.

Dinner will include salad, bread, spaghetti with meatballs, ice cream, coffee and water. Tickets are $9 each and will be available at the door.

Spry vs. Willink Basketball 

After dinner,  how about taking in a friendly basketball game?

The Webster Willink and Spry Middle School Student Councils are once again sponsoring the annual benefit basketball game between Willink and Spry students, staff, and new this year, special guests Rochester Wheels wheelchair basketball team.

The game will be held Friday March 2, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gymnasium. Tickets are $5 each and will be available at the door.  Refreshments and other concessions will be available for purchase.

This year the Spry Student Council will be donating their proceeds to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; and the Willink Student Council will be donating their proceeds to the Jack Foundation.

basketball

The evening will begin with three student games, featuring Spry vs. Willink 6th, 7th and 8th graders. After those, Spry and Willink faculty members will join forces to play the Rochester Wheels. It should be some great family-friendly fun.

Webster Schroeder High School is at 875 Ridge Road, Webster.

Need more basketball? 

The 5th annual Rumble on the Ridge, Webster Thomas faculty vs. Webster Schroeder faculty basketball game, will be held Saturday March 3 at Webster Schroeder, beginning at 6 p.m.

Cost is $5 per person at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Jack Foundation, Rochester Challenger Miracle Field and the Webster United Basketball Team.

Organizers promise that “it won’t be great basketball, but it will be entertaining.”

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She’s baaaaack!

22 Feb

You would think, with a week off of school, I would be taking advantage of all the free time I have to be writing up a storm.

Turns out, that has not quite been the case.

I did, indeed have a long list of things I wanted to accomplish this week. It included buy a dishwasher, buy a printer, clean off computer files, clean out crawl space, finish column, start new column, make gig bag, finish EPK, work on bowling program, buy socks…. and tucked somewhere in there was the word “blog.” In large part because the column was on deadline and the “clean off computer files” task took more than 3 days, I never quite got around to updating this blog in the last week.

Today I try to correct that oversight.

I’ve already blogged about Spry Middle School’s production of Bye Bye Birdie Jr., which will take the stage for three performances March 9 at 7:30, and March 10 at 2:30 and 7:30. Tickets are $7 each and will be available beginning Monday February 26 by clicking here.

Spry Middle School is at 119 South Avenue in the village of Webster.

Just a few weeks later, Webster Thomas High School will present their spring musical, Pippin.

pippinPippin is the story of a young prince, told by a traveling troupe of actors led by the cunning and charming Leading Player. The prince is heir to the throne, searching for his own “corner of the sky.” Pippin returns from university certain that he will find a fulfilling purpose in life. As encouraged by the Leading Player, Pippin dabbles in bloody battle, temptations of the flesh, and savvy political maneuvers, only to discover that true happiness is more complicated than he thought.

The show is peppered with infectious tunes by Stephen Schwartz and classic choreography from Bob Fosse, and promises to be a humorous, exciting adventure.

Pippin will be presented on Thursday March 22, Friday March 23 and Saturday March 24 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Tickets are $12.00, available online now by clicking here. They’ll also be available at the door.

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Help out puppies in need next week

16 Feb

A couple of fun events coming up I want to throw out there today.

I just saw this notice on Facebook from Knucklehead Craft Brewing in West Webster:

Did you know Friday February 23 is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day? To celebrate, stop in to Knucklehead on Wednesday, 2/21/18 and bring a pre-packed dog biscuit treat for your chance to Spin The Wheel and win a prize. No cost needed other than your donation of a pre-packed dog biscuit treat. We will donate all packages to Lollypop Farm to share with their dogs!

Remember that you’ll only be able to spin the wheel if you bring in your dog biscuits on Wednesday February 21. But it’s OK if you want to bring them on International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day on Friday as well. I mean, you gotta celebrate, right? And I’m sure they’ll go to a good home.

Knucklehead Craft Brewing is located at 426 Ridge Road in West Webster (at the corner of Bay).

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Some of the cast: (Front) Ryan Parody and Carenza Glastonbury. (Back) Anna Holley, Lizzy Clark, Cameron Stone, Madeleine Tischner, Analiesse Brown, and Lily Ippolito. 

Rock & roll comes to the Spry Middle School Stage on March 9 and 10 when the Spry Drama Club presents Bye Bye Birdie Jr.

Broadway audiences have been long familiar with this family-friendly, upbeat comedy about rock & roll idol Conrad Birdie and his star-struck fans. The dancing is fun, the music is infectious and the laughs are plentiful.

Bye Bye Birdie Jr. will be staged in three performances on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 10 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Spry Middle School Auditorium, 119 South Avenue.  Advance tickets are $7 each, and the shows are expected to sell out (it’s a small auditorium). Tickets go on sale February 26. Click here to get yours. If any remain, they will be sold at the door.

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Ping pong and basketball news

13 Feb

Thanks to Debbie Kazimer for sending me the following information about the ping pong tournament held at Thomas High School Tuesday afternoon.

The charity tournament was organized by National Honor Society seniors Ben Kazimer, Matt Hill, David Tomer and Will Johnson to benefit Honor Flight, Rochester.

Thirty-two players participated in the tournament, including Superintendent Carmen Gumina, who challenged Ben to a match. Ben won in two very close games. Gumina and Ben each bet $20, and Ben donated his winnings to Honor Flight.

Webster Thomas principal Glenn Widor and several teachers also played in the tournament.

The boys succeeded in raising $1,000 for Honor Flight, an amazing achievement which reflected the hard work they put into organizing the tournament. Not pictured here are all of the raffle donations they collected from local businesses; they even got the trophies donated.

Our young people in Webster are something special.

 

And now, BASKETBALL!

The annual benefit basketball game sponsored by the Willink and Spry middle school student councils returns this year, but with a twist.

Or maybe a roll.

The annual game, scheduled for Friday March 2, pits students against students and (usually) staff against staff. But this year there’s an exciting new feature:  special guests the Rochester Wheels wheelchair basketball team will be joining the fun.

The sixth graders start the competition with boys versus boys followed by girls versus girls. They’re followed by the seventh and eighth graders playing together, with the boys starting and the girls finishing.

Finally, the Spry and Willink staff will team up this year to take on Rochester Wheels. That game alone will be worth the price of admission.

The two middle school student councils have raised tens of thousands of dollars over the years for an array of worthy causes. This year Spry Student Council is donating its proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Willink Student Council is donating its share to the Jack Foundation.

The game will be held on Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gym. Tickets are available for students to purchase during most lunches at both schools, and for all to buy at the door for a donation of $5 each. Refreshments and other concessions will be available for purchase. Additional donations of any amount are gladly accepted.

This is an awesome family-friendly, community event which will benefit some great community organizations. Everyone is invited to join in the fun.

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School 17 says Thank you, Webster

31 Dec

Here’s a very nice end-of-the-year feel-good fuzzie, which I received in my email this morning. It’s a video thank-you to the Webster community from School 17 for helping bring Christmas to the children, many whom wouldn’t otherwise get even one present, let alone anything else resembling Christmas.

Click on the image to see the video. May the new year continue to bring more instances of people helping people, every day and in both big and little ways.

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Webster CSD to study school start times

28 Dec

If you’ve ever had to cajole, whine, plead, yell at, or pour water on your high-school aged child to extract him or her from bed in time for school, you’ll be interested in this news: the Webster school district is going to take a serious look at changing the high school start times to something more reasonable.

To that end, I share with you this column written by Webster Supervisor Carm Gumina:

“I think it’s time.” Those are words I shared with the Webster CSD Board of Education during its November 2 meeting. I had just returned from a conference on mindfulness and neuroscience, and the topic of school start times came up once again in a forum filled with scientists, educators, and most importantly, individuals who really care about the overall health and wellness of young people.

As a district, we strive to educate the whole child in all that we do both inside and outside the classroom. There is an abundance of undeniable scientific evidence supporting the fact that our middle and high schools start too early for teens whose changing biological sleep patterns require them to sleep later in order to maximize their ability to learn. Medical studies also show that a lack of sleep for older students can negatively impact their physical and their mental health. That fact alone got my attention and the attention of so many of us in the district who care for your children.

The possibility of later start times for secondary students in our district is a critical one that deserves a mindful, in-depth study. The science is convincing regarding sleep research and the biological and neurochemical effects that adequate rest has on the physical and emotional states of our teens. That said, Webster CSD, along with other districts throughout our region, state, and country, still grapple with the challenges of changing school start times. This will be a year-long process of exploration, study, and problem-solving, and it involves all of us in the One Webster community.

During that November 2 meeting, the board of education asked me to design a process and gather feedback that would explore this important issue. I invite any of you who are interested in learning more to attend an initial Webster CSD Start-Time Study Group meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. at the Spry Middle School auditorium, 2nd floor, 119 South Avenue, Webster. We’ll hear from a University of Rochester researcher, local pediatrician, and district administrators during that initial meeting so you can begin to learn more. If you would be interested in attending, please RSVP by e-mailing Larry_Wahl@webstercsd.org. Mr. Wahl is WCSD’s coordinator of strategic initiatives and will be leading the group’s work.

In all honesty, I have no idea what conclusions and solutions will come from this study group’s formation; I can tell you this is not a short-term study. If the group determines that changes in our district are necessary and possible, those changes wouldn’t take place until fall 2019 or 2020, however, it is important that we begin to research this critical issue.

Again, I do think it’s time.

Once again, that informational meeting is Tuesday January 9 at 4 p.m. at Spry Middle School, 119 South Avenue.

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Webster Monday Mailbag

9 Oct

Let’s start today with some news from the library.

book sale flyerThe Friends of the Webster Public Library will sponsor their annual Fall Book Sale this week, starting Wednesday, Oct 11.

This is a new start day for the Friends, who traditionally had opened up the sale to members on Tuesday night. This year, members are invited to kick off the sale on Wednesday from 5 to 8:30 p.m., when the best of the best books are available for browsing and purchasing. Don’t fear — if you’re not a member but want to attend this special evening, you can purchase your membership on the spot.

The sale will be open to the general public on Thursday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and continues Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Then on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can grab a whole bag filled with book goodies for only $4.

The Webster Public Library will also be hosting a “get rid of your stuff” fundraiser on Saturday October 21. Drop off your no-longer-needed items at Savers in Webster between 9 a.m. and noon, at the thrift store’s donation drive-up at the west side of the building. Library volunteers will help to unload items.

​​The items that will be accepted include: clothes,​ ​bedding,​ ​towels,​ ​curtains, ​small​ ​electrical​ ​items​ ​and appliances,​ ​toys,​ ​games,​ ​stuffed​ ​animals,​ ​dishes, ​puzzles,​ ​sports​ ​equipment,​ ​jewelry,​ ​cutlery, baskets,​ ​ornaments,​ ​hand​ ​tools,​ ​and pots​ and pans.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road. The entrance is at the rear of the plaza. Savers is located in the same plaza.

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The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s next Saturday Community Flapjack Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday October 21.

In recognition of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the church will donate alal proceeds from this month’s breakfast to Resolve of Greater Rochester, a group dedicated to intervening and preventing domestic and sexual violence against women.

The breakfast will run from 8 to 10 a.m. at the church, 1862 Penfield Road. It includes pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more, all for just $5.00 per person.

For more information, log onto www.fbpenfield.org.

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The Friends of Webster Trails Hot Cocoa Hike will be on Saturday, November 4th at the Whiting Road Nature Preserve. The hot chocolate will be free, the moon will be full, and there will be a lot of new friends to meet.

Pre-registration is requested. For more information and to sign up, click here. You can also find information under the events section of the Friends of Webster Trails website.

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The annual Schlegel Elementary School Craft Show will take place Saturday November 4, form 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school, 1548 Schlegel Road.

This annual event will feature more than 60 vendors, sweet treats, concessions, and lots more. It’s a great way to kick off the upcoming holiday season.

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Veterans and active duty service members and their families are cordially invited to a complimentary dinner on Thursday, November 9 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Spry Middle School, 119 South Avenue, in the village of Webster.

Spry Middle School Student Council, Builders Club, and the Webster-Fairport B.P.O. Elks #2396 are sponsoring the dinner as a way of showing their appreciation.

Reservations are appreciated. Please call Ms. Ritzmann at Spry Middle School at 216-0093 to reserve a spot.

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I’ll be talking a little more about this event at a later date, since it’s still almost a month away, but I did want to let everyone know about the Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser to benefit Edward Shuman Fight against Cancer.

Aside from some delicious pasta, the evening will include a 50/50 and gift basket raffle.

The event is being held at the Webster Assembly of God Church, 708 Hard Road, on Saturday November 11 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Cost is $10 for adults, $4 kids (3-12), and kids under 3 are free. Walk-ins are welcomed but RSVP’s are appreciated, so they can plan accordingly. For more information and to let them know you’re coming, log onto the event’s Facebook page.

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Coonan and Heary earn RPO honors

24 Apr

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve praised the tremendous music educators in our school district. Our music program regularly wins top honors for its quality, and today it was announced that two of its finest teachers have earned special recognition from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Every year on their Music Educators’ Awards Night, RPO musicians honor several local music teachers, in an effort to strengthen the relationship between area music educators and the musicians of the RPO.

This year, two Webster music teachers were among the award winners: Jeanne Coonan of Spry Middle School won the Instrumental Music Award for K-12 Band, and Al Heary of Dewitt Elementary School won the Classroom Music Specialist Award.

Jeanne CoonanJeanne Coonan holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Ithaca College, and has taught Instrumental Music for 35 years (24 years in Webster Central School District). Her experience includes teaching elementary, middle, and high school bands. Her elementary bands received Superior ratings at the Annapolis, MD Music Festival in 1996, 1998, and 2007, performing original commissioned compositions each time.

Coonan is co-founder of the Hochstein Junior Wind Symphony and Hochstein Youth Wind Symphony, both created to give motivated middle and high school students an in-depth performing experience. In addition to teaching, she performs as bassoonist and contrabassoonist for the University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, Roberts Wesleyan College-Community Orchestra, and the Penfield Symphony.

Al HearyAl Heary has been teaching vocal/general music for 30 years, and currently teaches K-5 music at DeWitt Road Elementary School. He received a B.S. in Music Education/ Performance from Ithaca College and a M.M. in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia. He has completed three levels of Orff-Schulwerk teacher training at Eastman School of Music, three levels of Kodály teacher training at Nazareth College, and studied at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria.

The award winners were selected from nominations submitted by administrators, educators, parents and students, which are then reviewed by a committee comprised of community educators and RPO musicians. The three other winners were:

  • M. David Shemancik of Pittsford Sutherland High School — Instrumental Music Award, Band (K-12)
  • Douglas Steves of Oliver Middle School in Brockport — Choral Director Award (K-12)
  • Beverly Smoker, Professor and Department Chair at Nazareth College — Special Award

Congratulations to Jeanne and Al. You are two of the reasons Webster’s music program in one of the best anywhere.

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Middle schools give back to our community

24 Mar
Spry Student Council

Principal James Baehr and members of the Spry Middle School Student Council present a check to AutismUp. (Provided photo)

As you all know, I love using this blog to highlight the great things our kids do for our community. Here is another excellent example.

Willink and Spry middle schools host an annual charity basketball game each spring, at which student and staff teams challenge each other in several friendly — if not exactly competitive — games. The event always benefits two local charities, one chosen by each school’s student council.

This year’s event was held on March 3, and once again it was spectacularly successful. A few days ago, representatives from Willink and Spry presented checks totaling about $2900 each to their chosen charities: the Veterans Outreach Center and AutismUp.

On March 20, Willink Student Council officers Daniel Card, Ben Welch, Megan VanWie, and Greyson McDonnell visited the Veterans Outreach Center to present their share of the money raised from the charity game. The Veterans Outreach Center provides comprehensive resources to current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families through direct service, community collaboration, and advocacy.

Two days later, Spry Middle School Student Council officers Miles Curry, Hannah Tischner, Haley Bolton, Antonia Ciccarelli, Sophia Veltri, Sierra Doody, and Jillian Alexander welcomed a representative from AutsimUp to present her with a check. AutismUp supports individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families, by expanding and enhancing opportunities to improve quality of life.

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Willink Student Council

Representatives from the Willink Middle School Student Council present a check to the Veterans Outreach Center. (Provided photo) Enter a caption

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