Tag Archives: Webster Central Schools

Webster community mailbag

19 Oct

Get your flu shot HERE! TODAY!

The Webster Public Library is hosting a flu shot clinic TODAY, Tuesday Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the library, 980 Ridge Rd. All vaccinations will be administered by a registered nurse, and no appointment is necessary. Please remember to bring your insurance card!

Registration is not necessary.

Pumpkins on Parade is this weekend!

The Webster Recreation Center’s second annual Pumpkins on Parade is this Saturday night.

This is an amazing, family-friendly Halloween-time event, when the Chiyoda Trail is lined with creative, scary, and downright funny Jack-o-lanterns. Community members and businesses are invited — no, encouraged — to carve up some pumpkins, and then bring the family that evening after dark to look for them along the mile-long trail which winds around the Rec Center. Afterwards, everyone gets free donuts and cider.

Community members are invited to come and walk the trail from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This year there’s also a shortened path option for seniors and small children.

There’s still time to carve a pumpkin (or several pumpkins) for the trail. The more the merrier! Drop your finished creations off at the Rec Center Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or Saturday between noon and 2 p.m. For every pumpkin you deliver, you get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a fun prize.

The Rec Center is at 1350 Chiyoda Drive (right off of Phillips Rd.).

UPK-5 Parent-Teacher Conferences to Span Four Days

A reminder to parents that Webster’s UPK to grade 5 students will have parent-teacher conferences this week and next.

All seven elementary schools will host conferences over four days: Thursday Oct. 21, Friday Oct. 22, Thursday Oct. 28 and Friday Oct. 29. This means a half-day schedule for UPK-5 students. Students in grades 6-12 have their normal, full-day schedule.

Elementary parents/guardians, please watch your school newsletters for the bus schedules. UPK families, individual schedules will be communicated by your child’s teacher.

Got drugs?

It’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of all of those expired and unused pharmaceuticals that have been hanging around for years. You especially want to do this if you still have children at home; the statistics about children abusing prescription drugs and overdosing are frightening, and much of that is happening because they can often easily find these drugs in their own bathrooms.

WHEN, the Webster Health and Education Network, is joining forces with the Webster Police Dept. to sponsor an event this weekend to make it easy for you to clean out your cabinets. It’s the Fall Drug Drop-off on Saturday Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Webster Wastewater Treatment Facility, 226 Phillips Rd.

Please note that needles, sharps, syringes, and biohazards CANNOT be accepted; only pills, liquids, and ointments. No appointment is necessary. Registration is not required, but it will allow the organizers to email you a reminder in advance of the event.

To sign up, click here.

And remember, there’s a pharmaceutical drop-box at Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Rd., just inside the doors to the police station, where you can drop off your unused pharmaceuticals any weekday during regular business hours.   

Visit the Village Quilt Shoppe yet?

If not, here’s a great excuse to do so.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 E. Main St. in the Village of Webster, has announced they’ll be hosting their Holiday Open House on Friday Nov. 12. They’ll be demonstrating how to craft a quick and easy holiday ornament, will have their famous Hot Chocolate Bar set up, and have cookies and gift ideas for all.

The Open House will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the demo will take place on the hour, every hour.

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One Webster community comes together to help others

17 Oct

The Webster Central PTSA and the Webster Teachers Association (WTA) will be joining forces this year for the 2021 Concert Apparel and Winter Coat Drive.

Organizers are asking for donations of gently used concert attire (white dress tops, black dress bottoms and black ties) and gently used winter coats of any size, which will then be offered to other families who could really use them. This is a great chance to clean out your closets, get rid of that old concert stuff you bought for the kids two years ago, and make room for some new winter gear.

The PTSA has placed large bags in the main office of every school in the district, where families can drop their donations. WTA president Chris Wojtas has gotten the teachers on board as well, asking them to donate winter coats. This is the fourth year the PTSA has held this drive, and with the additional help from the teachers, they expect it to be the best one yet.

Donated items will be available free to anyone who needs them, on the “shopping day,” Saturday Oct. 23. PTSA will have tables set up at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Look for the tables outside (weather permitting) or just inside the lobby doors.

You do NOT have to donate an item to take an item (did I mention they’re FREE?) Any leftover items will be taken to the clothes closet at Schlegel Elementary School and/or to HOPE House in Webster.

Families have until Friday Oct. 22 to donate their items, or you can even bring them to the “shopping” day.

In years past, this event was greatly appreciated by many, who were grateful to go home with some free concert clothes or winter jackets. This year especially, with so many families facing financial harships due to COVID, this is a heartwarming way for the greater One Webster community to come together in support.

FOOTNOTE: The “shopping” day is the same day that Webster Parks and Rec is accepting jack-o-lanterns for their Pumpkins on Parade luminary event that evening. So make a pumpkin, drop it off, and do some shopping, all at the same time!

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

14 Oct

Some news from the Webster Public Library to start out this week’s mailbag.

The Artist’s Wall display this month highlights the Greater Rochester Peep Show, an annual fund-raising event which benefits the Webster Community Chest and other participating charities.

The event features hundreds of whimsical and creative works of art made almost entirely of Peeps marshmallow candies. Next time you’re at the library, stop by the wall to read more about the event and see photos of some of the entries from previous years.

Two very interesting programs are coming up just for adults:

On Tuesday Oct. 19, Webster resident Rosemarie Cook-Manley will present a travelogue from her recent trip to Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks. The program will run from 2 to 3 p.m. Click here to register.

Then on Wednesday Oct. 20 from 3 to 4 p.m., Webster Museum president Tom Pellett will present a program on Civil War Veterans of the Five Webster Cemeteries. Click here to register for that one. Space is limited.

Other events coming up this month at the library:

  • Monday Oct. 18: Make it Monday, from 6 to 7 p.m., a craft night for adults and kids grades 4 and up. This month’s craft is a DIY Sharpie mug.
  • Tuesday Oct. 26: Spooky Storytime from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Feel free to wear your Halloween costume.
  • Friday Oct. 29: After-hours Halloween Party for grades 4 to 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Features snacks, crafts, games, a costume contest and more.
  • Sunday Oct, 31: Library Trick-or Treat Night, for the whole family. Slots are available between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to trick-or-treat through the library.

For more information about all the programs and to register, visit the “Library Events” tab at the library website. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back side of the plaza.


One last reminder about this Saturday’s Webster Village Family Games Night/Beer Garden.

This time the evening will have an Oktoberfest theme, featuring The Krazy Firemen Oktoberfest band. The event begins at 5 p.m. on West Main, with the live music all evening, street games, a dance party with Dancing With Denise, crafts, food and games, and more. It should be a great night to get together with family and friends. There’ll be something for everyone.


St. Martin Lutheran Church on Bay Rd. will host a pulled pork drive-through BBQ on Saturday Oct. 23, from 4:30 until they sell out.

The take-out dinner includes pulled pork, roll, salt potatoes, cole slaw and cookie for just $10. Proceeds will support the church’s annual Christmas Stocking Project reaching over 500 children and teens in Monroe and Wayne counties.

Pull into the parking lot, place your order using exact payment, and the dinner will be delivered to you as you drive up in your car.

St. Martin Lutheran Church is located at 813 Bay Rd.


Here’s a fun note that came from the schools.

Last Friday, Webster Thomas High School Assistant Principal Jeremy McBride and students Jacob Loveland and Jacob Bieg went “Bald for Bucks.” The trio had their heads shaved tor raise money to fight cancer.

Each of the newly bald men has had at least one person they care about affected by cancer, so they decided to raise funds in the fight to eradicate the disease. The donations they collected will be donated to 13thirty Cancer of Rochester and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Here’s a sneak peek at at few things I’m working on (stay tuned!):

  • Yoga at the greehouse
  • Pumpkins on the path
  • A very Irish anniversary
  • Ghouls in the streets
  • Leaves at the curbs

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

WCSD invites kindergartners to Strive for Five

1 Aug

The start of the new school year is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about buying supplies, getting up early again, and catching the bus.

For our youngest students, getting on a big school bus on that first day of school can be a little bit scary. A great program called Strive for Five for School Bus Safety helps allay some of those fears.

The program, now it is 15th year, is designed for 2021/22 incoming kindergarteners. It provides children the chance to travel a short distance on a school bus with their parent(s)/guardians and to learn important safety procedures for riding a bus.

The program will start at Willink Middle School on Publisher’s Parkway, where the bus will pick up participants and bring them to (and from) the transportation department. The buses leave Willink at 6 p.m. and return about an hour later.

While at the transportation department, students will rotate through five stations teaching them the following safety elements:

  • Loading and unloading the bus
  • Proper crossing procedures
  • Danger zones surrounding the bus
  • Appropriate behavior on the bus
  • Emergency equipment/evacuation

Incoming kindergartners and their parents (no additional children, please) should attend as follows, if at all possible. IF you can’t make your assigned evening, you can come on another, but they district really likes to spread everyone out as much as possible.

August 2 – Plank South
August 3 – Plank North and Schlegel Rd.
August 4 – Klem South and Dewitt Rd.
August 5 – Klem North and State Road

Private and parochial students residing in the Webster Central School District can attend any one of the four dates.

For more information on the program, please contact the transportation department at 265-3840.

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A shout-out for some great teachers (part 3)

22 Jun

Today I present the third — and final — installment of my teacher shout-out series, highlighting some great teachers and the amazing job they did this year. (Scroll down the page a bit or click here to see Part 1, and here to see Part 2.)

Thank you to everyone who sent in submissions. I’ve gotten some very nice emails from some of the teachers who’ve been recognized, and I can’t put into words how much your comments mean to them. One teacher wrote, “During a very challenging marathon of a school year, your blog … hugged and resuscitated my fatigued heart.”  

She was very kind to say that. But really, it’s YOUR sentiments and YOUR gratitude that are making the difference to these fine educators.

Teaching more than just the ABCs

We would like to recognize a huge asset to WCSD, Teresa Johnston. She was my son’s AMAZING remote kindergarten teacher, and constantly showed her commitment to and for 5 and 6-year old students through her loving nature. She filled the screen to engage students and teach foundational life-long practices that go beyond phonics and adding (though she did this too!). We are forever grateful to her for the big and little lessons that she taught, and hope that she knows what a big impact she has made!

— Jen Liberatore

A “Broadway performance”

Due to medical reasons within our family we made the decision of remote learning for our first grader. To be honest, we went into the start of school not expecting much learning and the first day was filled with tears of regret…. until we met his teacher.

Mrs. Wagner is a once-in-a-lifetime teacher. Her personality absolutely beamed through the screen. She took on one of the hardest positions a teacher could have…remote teaching. She had the kids engaged and excited to learn every day! My son Blake LOVED remote learning! Each day I was in awe of her and how she was able to keep the attention of such a young age group.

He was also receiving the remote support of literacy specialist Mrs. Zieser. I was in awe of how Mrs. Zeiser could not only keep Blake’s attention but had him excited for his extra reading learning time. Our son was thriving beyond our wildest dreams and on the last remote day there were tears of absolute gratitude.

When school changed to full-time we were given the medical clearance to send our first grader to in-person learning. While excited to be back in school, our son was very nervous for his first day. Until he got off the bus and one of his “superheroes” was there to greet him.

Klem North P. E. teacher Mr. Carpenter is also a once-in-a-lifetime teacher. He was standing outside of Blake’s bus as it pulled into Klem North and greeted our son with a loud and excited “HI BLAKE, WELCOME BACK!” He said his fears were gone and Mr. Carpenter even showed him how to get to his new classroom.

I could send you many more stories highlighting not only the teachers but the staff there as well. From the secretaries Mrs. Pixley and Mrs. Cucchiara and Nurse Peters checking on him his first few days, to his new teacher Mrs. Bourchard welcoming him to the in-person learning experience and supporting him on the experience of being in school. I would often ask how he was doing and she would always respond with how “he” as a child was doing, not just the benchmarks of learning.

There were lunch staff members who came over on his first day of school when “his leg couldn’t stop shaking” and made him feel better. Per Blake, “the custodial staff members were always waving and making the kids feel safe vs. scared.”

Klem North is known as Klem North Stars and that’s truly what these teachers and staff members are. I could take up your entire article with the many stories that Blake would come home and tell me about the teachers and staff members creating an environment of fun. Never once did he say that someone looked frustrated or upset. This year was like a Broadway performance and they all deserve a standing ovation because when that curtain went up each day, they stepped into the spotlight with a smile and excitement and that these kids so deserved. We are forever grateful.

— Jaime Richey

P.S. Music class became a family bonding opportunity. Every time Blake’s little brothers heard it was music time they would run to the computer and join along. Sometimes hidden in the background and sometimes full face in the screen. Instead of it feeling stressful and “inappropriate,” Plank North music teacher Sarah Mossey would greet them with a big smile and hello and make them feel welcomed. They listened, they learned and they got to experience some musical magic! 

This last submission, from Penfield, is a long one. But the story is one that many of us have experienced, and it captures the essence of the amazing job our teachers are doing with our kids, and why we are honoring them.

A thanks to Ms. Heinsler from a grateful grandparent

On Monday, my six-year old grandson, Finn, kicked his teacher. On Tuesday, he did it again. On Wednesday, his parents thought it best if he take a break from school so he spent the day with me, his grandfather. Finn is a beautiful boy; bright blue eyes, with long eyelashes a brilliant smile, even if he’s missing a front tooth, and a curiosity that is boundless. He’s very smart, intuitive, and creative. He has a hard time controlling his outbursts of emotion. Finn is a behavioral health needs child. On that Wednesday I asked him, who are the most important people in the world?

“The presidents,” he said.

“No,” I answered.

“The firemen?”

“No, not the firemen, not the policemen, not the doctors or the nurses, the most important people in the world are the teachers.”

Finn said nothing, but I could see he was mulling this over.

“Without teachers, there would be no firemen or policemen or even the president. Everyone of them had teachers.”

Finn has history. He’s been removed from four day cares and two summer camps. He bit around fifty children in three months. At home he could be very difficult. He kicked out the screen on his bedroom window and went out onto the roof. He emptied shampoo bottles and toothpaste for no apparent reason, and stuffed things in the bathroom drain. He’s knocked the thermostat off the wall twice. If you have a special needs child, then I understand the permanent knot in your stomach. I have it too.

Enter Nichole Heinsler, kindergarten teacher, Scribner Road Elementary School. If you are lucky enough to find a teacher like her for your child, you weep with relief. Yes, she is the same one that he’s kicked, but he loves her, and she loves him. She could have given up on him throughout this very difficult pandemic year. (He’s pulled over bookshelves, and stood on his desk, refusing to do any work he didn’t want to.)

She could have said he’s beyond the scope of her ability or willingness. We’ve heard that before. She could have used any excuse at all and no one would have found fault. She didn’t.

Nichole Heinsler’s positive attitude, her professionalism, and her love for her children make her a miracle to our Finn. She sent home daily reports on Finn. They were honest, both the good and bad. She has become an integral part of Finn’s “team.” And now, one school year later, Finn has an excellent grasp of math, and he’s sounding out words. He now plays restaurant with me and on his pad, he sounds out my order. It’s astonishing to me. Yes, he still has special needs and the work will continue, but thanks to Ms. Heinsler he has a good start, and he’s on par with his peers academically. From a boy who had no interest in learning schoolwork, he now tells me about symbols.

“Did you know, Grandpa, that the eagle is a symbol of strength?”

“Yes, I knew that.”

“And the White House is a symbol of the president?”

“Yes,” I said,” I know that too.” I had to turn away so he wouldn’t see the water in my eyes.

Thanks you Ms. Heinsler. May you live forever.

— Grandpa Joe

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

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At the final bell, a shout-out for some great teachers

20 Jun

I think you’ll agree with me that our teachers are superheroes.

I mean, recall that a year ago March, on a week’s notice, they were asked to finish up the year by going completely online. Then came this school year, and they’ve had to juggle Covid restrictions, remote lessons, and half days or half weeks, all while doing their best to deliver as much learning and critical socialization as possible. And despite all those challenges, they’ve persevered and done an amazing job.

There’s been so much noise and bluster on social media recently about how our teachers have been sliding by. But most of us know the truth. Webster teachers are the best. So I wanted to counter all that noise with some of our own making. That’s why I asked parents to send me stories about some great teachers who have touched their childrens’ lives.

I’m pleased to present the first installment of that list today, and will post a second tomorrow. Feel free to continue to send me your stories (with a photo of the teacher if possible) and I’ll add them to the list!

(By the way, these passages have been edited only slightly for punctuation and grammar. The sentiments are otherwise unfiltered, and straight from the heart.)


Remote teaching excellence

Due to remote learning, I was able to see firsthand how awesome the Klem North music and band teachers are. 

Tiffany Polino has more passion and more energy than any teacher I’ve ever known. Her music classes are engaging, encouraging, and full of student participation. She states her CARE expectations in positive ways, always with a smile on her face. During one fifth grade session she asked the kids to name some topics they were interested in exploring. My son mentioned he was interested in learning how to play the guitar. So, Tiffany dedicated one session a week to the small “guitar cohort.” I was amazed she was willing to put aside her original plans to tailor lessons to student interest. 

Diana Mee eats, breathes, and sleeps her love of band instruments. She makes amazing assignments that go above and beyond the normal “practice your instrument for 20 minutes a day.” She also assigned songs based on student interest. My son learned how to play Disney songs for his little sister and Taps to commemorate Memorial Day.

Diana encourages students to email her with questions and responds to the emails right away. She always speaks positively and sought ways to engage her band students even though they could not play together in person during remote learning. 

Both of these teachers are doing an amazing job at promoting a love of the arts in Webster. 

— Courtney King

A heartfelt mid-year welcome

Barbara Sykut is my twins’ third grade teacher at Plank South! We bought a house here in November and they joined her class in the midst of the year. She was so happy to have them and has been absolutely amazing! She is retiring after this year and we feel so lucky to have had her before she leaves.

Thanks for everything Ms. Sykut!

— Skylar Bethany

Making kids the priority

I have a son who attends fifth grade at State Rd. During the pandemic he was remote. When Webster announced schools would be opening we got word he may have to attend a different school. My son Richy was scared and wanted to stay remote if that was to happen. The principal (Christine Noeth-Abele) said she was trying to get all the kids back and would do her best. She’s awesome.

Then I found out that a teacher was coming back from retirement just to help out. Mrs. Feeley. She is amazing. She came back just for the kids and to make sure they were able to attend their home school. I am so grateful and so is Richy. She has been awesome making sure they get what they need and making sure the extra things they were missing being remote were taken care of. She makes snacks for the kids and is always kind and Richy tells me he wished he had her since day one.

That’s a great teacher to come back from retirement to just help out the kids.

— Nikki Johnson

One classroom, two great teachers

My son Tanner is in kindergarten at Schlegel in Miss Eckert’s class.

Miss Eckert

Miss Eckert and Miss Goodness, the TA, have been absolutely amazing.Tanner has had a hard time adjusting to school and has had a really hard time managing his emotions and understanding what is appropriate at school. Both of these incredible women have gone above and beyond to help Tanner and make his kindergarten experience positive.

All school year, Miss Eckert and Miss Goodness supported Tanner in his journey and tried many different things to help with his behaviors. It takes a very strong, companionate, determined, and patient person to work with these small children and help them learn new routines and manage emotions and just show them how to feel good about themselves and the people around them. We were so lucky to have two of those people this year. They never gave up on Tanner and I am so grateful for them.

— Caira Kinnear

Providing stability during a difficult year

I would like to recognize Brianne Cipura at Klem North who chose to teach a grade level she never taught before in order to loop to first grade with her kindergarteners. By volunteering to stay with these kids, she gave parents peace of mind entering this bizarre school year. Regardless of what choices administration made, we knew her class would be a welcoming and safe place for our kids.

My family is very grateful for her.

— Kelly Prato

Over and above during shutdown

My daughter Gabriella wants to send a shout out to her fourth grade teacher from last year (at Klem South).

Elizabeth Karlof Coene was able to build and sustain relationships with her students that transcended the COVID-19 school closure, and certainly went above and beyond to ensure that my daughter felt that connection before, during, and after the shutdown. She is a treasure!

(The photo is Mrs. Coene with Gabriella at the beginning of fourth grade.)

— JoAnna Joy

Finally, this submission from a student

Mrs. Dupont is the best teacher. She lives near me and she plays with us at school. I like seeing her at soccer. I like that she teaches me everything.

-Raelyn (plank north kindergartener)


Part 2 of my teacher shout-out series will be posted tomorrow. Please continue to send me your submissions (with pictures if possible), and I will keep posting them as long as I get them!

Email me at missyblog@gmail.com

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

16 Jun

A few of the items in today’s mailbag are reminders about events happening this weekend. But first, a note that the Joe Obbie Farmers’ Market is officially open for business for the summer.

This early in the season, you’ll mostly find specialty items like syrups and honey, flowers and crafts. There were a couple of fresh produce stalls last weekend — opening weekend — with some beautiful strawberries. But the number of vendors and selection will expand every week, so make sure to check back regularly. And there was a food truck as well, which organizers have said will be a regular feature.

The market is located in Webster Towne Center plaza, in front of Old Navy and near the gazebo. It’s open every Saturday through November from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd., will hold a huge garage sale this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday (June 17-19). Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. All proceeds will benefit the church’s local missions and neighbors in need.

The Webster Thomas Players will present their spring musical, Cabaret live and in person this year at the Penfield Amphitheater, 3100 Atlantic Ave., in three shows June 17 to 19.

The production will be PG-13, but the subject matter is most appropriate for mature audiences, addressing issues around anti-Semitism and political fanaticism. Audiences will recognize many legendary musical numbers including “Willkommen,” “Don’t Tell Mama,” “Maybe this Time,” “Money,” and of course, “Cabaret.”

Cabaret will be presented in three shows:

● Thursday, June 17, 7:30 p.m.
● Friday, June 18, 7:30 p.m.
● Saturday, June 19, 7:30 p.m.

The rain date for all shows will be Sunday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Reserved seating tickets are available for $12 in advance, and can be purchased online here. On the day of the show, reserve tickets will be $15 (if available). General admission “bring your own” lawn chair ($10) or blanket ($25) options are also available. You can see more details about these options on the website (websterthomasplayers.com).


It’s Sidewalk Sale Weekend in the Village of Webster.

Five village shops will be setting up some tables outside their stores this Friday and Saturday and offering some great bargains both outside and in.

At Yesterday’s Muse Books for example, all items outside will be 50% off, and inside everything is buy two get one free. The Village Quilt Shoppe will have lots of fabric, patterns and kits for 40% off. You’ll also find some great deals at Nest Things, The North Bee and Lala of Webster.

So take a stroll downtown this Friday and Saturday and meet some of our very friendly small business owners.


Webster doesn’t have an Independence Day parade, but you don’t have to go very far to enjoy one.

Penfield’s Independence Day Parade will be held Saturday July 3, beginning at 10 a.m. It steps off at Penfield High School, proceeds south on Five Mile Line Road to Route 441, east on Route 441 to Baird Rd., and north on Baird Rd. to end at the Penfield Community Center.

The town is dedicating the parade to all the people who helped the town’s resisdents make it through a very difficult 2020, and who may still be helping them cope. Help came in many forms during the pandemic: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, financial and more.

Penfield residents who wish to contribute a name, or names, to the banner may submit them on the Town of Penfield website at www.penfield.org. Names may also be submitted via phone at (585) 340-8655, option 0. The audience at Penfield’s Independence Day will also have the opportunity to add their heroes’ names to the banner as it is walked through the parade.

The banner will be displayed in a prominent location after the Independence Day festivities, so the heroes can be recognized beyond the holiday.


Here’s this month’s Webster Museum History Bit:

Now and Then: Webster Baseball

Today’s baseball in Webster differs from the early days in so many ways.

Ball fields are all over town now. There are school fields and town fields and park field and fields owned by philanthropic organizations and pick-up games in empty spaces. There are many varieties of bats, balls, mitts, caps, helmets, uniforms and protective equipment, many of them tossed on grassy fields while players wait their turns.

Nineteenth century Webster baseball teams were loosely organized, equipped with one homemade bat and one hard rubber ball (that’s it!) and used the underhand swift pitch. Games were played on borrowed private property for at least ten years before the first organized high school game was played in 1888. Since then, Webster has fielded many excellent school teams and a number of players who went on to careers in professional baseball.

In the 1890s local businessmen organized teams and rented land now bounded by Lapham Park, Park Ave., Dunning Ave. and Elm Street. They fenced it and added a grandstand and ticket office. Uniformed and equipped, the teams from the town and from Nine Mile Point played teams from Rochester, Brockport, Parma and Penfield.

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Tell me about your kids’ best teachers, and I’ll spread the word

4 Jun

Boy, has this been a weird school year.

With only a few weeks left in the 2020/21 year, I got to reminiscing about school years past. It’s been a long time since I’ve had kids in the Webster schools; my youngest graduated from Schroeder in 2012. But I still think about some of the most influential teachers my three children had, and all the ways those elementary, middle school and high school educators helped guide them through some difficult years and shape the adults they are today.

Some of those great teachers are still in Webster classrooms today, while others have long since retired or moved onto other careers. But I’m certain that for every one who’s moved on, another amazing teacher filled the gap.

But if you spend much time on social media, you might think that dedicated, inspirational teachers are a thing of the past. This year, our teachers have been taking a beating in some corners of our community, especially on Facebook. Apparently some people believe, for example, that holding half-day classes or remote classes meant that teachers were basically taking a vacation.

But I suspect that’s a very vocal minority, and most people realize the exact opposite is true. Navigating through the constantly-changing challenges of a COVID school year has been a very difficult task. Our teachers should be hailed as heroes for everything they’ve done this year for our students, delivering an outstanding education while supporting their daily social and emotional needs.

If you also believe that, here’s your chance to show your love.

Tell me about a teacher who has made a difference in your child’s life. Someone who has gone above and beyond to make sure this unusual school year was the best it could be. Perhaps it’s the science teacher who spent an extra hour after school to help your daughter finish a tough lab. Or the fourth grade teacher who has a knack for getting to know each student in his class on a personal level. How about that remote teacher who somehow made virtual learning FUN?

Ask your kids who they think their best teachers are, and why. Or better yet, have your kids write to me themselves. It doesn’t even have to be a teacher they had this year. I’d love to hear from seniors who remember their favorite elementary school teachers.

You can email me your thoughts at missyblog@gmail.com. I’ll post your comments in my blog the last week of classes. If you have a photo, send that along as well.

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Willkommen and bienvenue to the (outdoor) Cabaret!

13 May

All around us we can see that life is finally returning to normal, albeit slowly. The latest — and greatest — indication of that is .. LIVE THEATER IS BACK!

The Webster Thomas Players will present their spring musical, Cabaret live and in person this year at the Penfield Amphitheater, 3100 Atlantic Ave., in three shows June 17 to 19.

The decision to hold the performance at the amphitheater was made several months ago, very early in the planning stages. It was a brilliant choice. Not only does the venue offer plenty of space for social distancing, but will make for a unique theater experience for cast members and audience members alike. In deference to Covid, the cast and orchestra will be smaller than in normal years. But thanks to the vaccine, the cast will be able to perform without masks.

You’re probably familiar with the story of Cabaret.

Set in 1929 to 1930 Berlin as the Nazis are gaining power, the musical focuses on the hedonistic nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around a relationship between American writer Cliff Bradshaw (Cole Weisensel) and English cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Isabelle Nitsch). A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider (Brynn Smith) and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz (Jake Groff), a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Kit Kat Klub’s Emcee (Tessa DeGrace), and the club itself serves as a metaphor for the ominous political developments in Germany at the time.

The production will be PG-13, but the subject matter is most appropriate for mature audiences, addressing issues around anti-Semitism and political fanaticism. Audiences will recognize many legendary musical numbers including “Willkommen,” “Don’t Tell Mama,” “Maybe this Time,” “Money,” and of course, “Cabaret.”

Cabaret will be presented in three shows:

● Thursday, June 17, 7:30 p.m.
● Friday, June 18, 7:30 p.m.
● Saturday, June 19, 7:30 p.m.

The rain date for all shows will be Sunday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Reserved seating tickets are available for $12 in advance, and can be purchased online here (websterthomasplayers.com). On the day of the show, reserve tickets will be $15 (if available). General admission “bring your own” lawn chair ($10) or blanket ($25) options are also available. You can see more details about these options on the website.

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Thanks for the love, PTSA!

4 May

When I arrived at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School yesterday morning, I found a scene that just made my whole being smile.

Colorful pinwheels and hand-lettered thank-you signs lined the walkways into school, and half a dozen thank-you messages were scrawled on the walls. The messages were almost certainly the work of the Schlegel Elementary School PTSA, no doubt assisted by students, and they marked the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week.

I’m certain this scene was duplicated at every elementary school in the district yesterday morning, and that we at Schlegel were not the only ones treated to danish, donut holes and coffee in the faculty lounge.

This has been an especially difficult year, and there are a lot of people out there who actually think it’s been a cake walk for teachers because kids were only attending half days. When you’re on the front lines like I am, it’s easy to see how off-base that perception is.

Our teachers and staff members are doing an amazing job, especially given the hoops they’ve all had to jump through. They know that. But it’s always nice when others recognize that, too. Because our schools are chock full of superheroes.

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.