Tag Archives: Webster Central Schools

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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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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It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! (And some school news)

21 Oct

IMG_2044

I want to pass along a few notes from our schools this morning, but first, this photo to give you a smile to begin your Monday.

Maureen Finn forwarded me this picture of the huge pumpkin her husband Tim grew in their back yard on La Baron Circle. Posing with the mammoth melon are his great grandchildren Emma, Ellie , Ella and Charlotte.

Do you have any fun fall photos you’d like me to share with my readers? Feel free to send them along to missyblog@gmail.com.

AND NOW to some school news.

It’s time to start your holiday shopping!

 Schlegel Elementary School will  host its annual Craft Show on Saturday Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school, 1548 Schlegel Rd.. The event will feature more than 60 vendors, sweet treats, raffles, concessions and more.

Bailando con sus amigos!

Also on Saturday Nov. 2, the Webster school district will continue its observance of Hispanic Heritage Month with an evening of salsa dancing at Willink Middle School. Entertainment will be provided by Cinco Con Swing.

The event is free and open to the public! Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with salsa and merengue dance lessons from 6:45-7:45 p.m. After the lessons, dancing will be open until 9 p.m.

Honoring our veterans

Veterans and active duty service members and their families are cordially invited to a free dinner on Friday, Nov. 8 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Spry Middle School, 119 South Avenue, Webster.

This event is sponsored by Spry Middle School Student Council, Spry Middle School Builders Club, Webster-Fairport B.P.O. Elks #2396, Webster Community Chest, Wegmans, and Hegedorns as a way of showing appreciation for servicemen and women and their families.

Reservations are appreciated; please call Ms. Ritzmann at 216-0093.

New graduation dates

The Webster Central School District has announced an important change regarding graduation ceremonies for Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas high schools’ class of 2020.

The location will remain the same as in past years (RIT’s Gordon Field House), but the previously scheduled graduation date of Sunday, June 28, 2020, HAS BEEN CHANGED.

The new dates and times for the Class of 2020 graduation are:

  • Webster Tomas High School: Thursday, June 18, 7 p.m.
  • Webster Schroeder High School: Friday, June 19, 7 p.m.

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Go on The Journey with the Webster Marching Band this Saturday

2 Oct

 

band 1

Your Webster Marching Band will be taking everyone on a spectacular “Journey” this weekend when these amazing musicians and dancers present their annual Autumn Fanfare field show and competition on Saturday Oct. 5.

band 2Seven bands from around the Rochester area will compete, including our very own Pride of Webster. Each school prepares a different, elaborate show, complete with huge set pieces. Sometimes band members will even act out part of the story being told. Webster calls their show this year “The Journey.”

The Pride of Webster Marching Band has been hosting this show for 34 years. Last year was was the first time I ‘d actually attended. I was blown away. Allow me to quote some of my thoughts from that evening:

It is an impressive sight. Almost 70 smartly-dressed kids moving in sync like a well-drilled Army unit, at the same time PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT. People who pride themselves on being able to walk and chew gum at the same time have got nothing on these kids.

And at Saturday night’s event, we got to enjoy the artistry of six other marching bands as well, from Leroy, Hilton, Orchard Park, Medina, East Irondequoit and Victor,  who together provided 90 minutes of music, pageantry and spectacle.

As I watched and snapped about a thousand photos, these are some of the thoughts I came away with:

* These bands don’t just get out there, walk around and play music. The shows are full musical productions, complete with elaborate set pieces (check out Stonehenge in one of my photos) and detailed story lines (one school even had several performers act out part of the story). The music is rich, and usually presented in a series of movements, guiding spectators through the story’s intricacies.

* Every performance by every school is completely different. One school hid behind their set pieces at the beginning of the show, so it looked like no one was on the field. Another put down their instruments a few times for some coordinated dance moves. There was a huge moon, geometric shapes, and yes, even Stonehenge.

* The shows are changed every year, which means a new story, new music, new set pieces, new choreography, and often new costumes and flags for the color guard.

* Think marching bands are all trumpets and drums? Webster’s 2018 production, “Heart Strings: Tugged and Torn” features violins, a stand-up electric bass and two flute soloists.

* Band parents are as invested in these competitions as much as — or even more than — any sports parent. They are cheerleaders, critics, coaches, and analysts. They are the roadies, helping set up the complicated sets and running out on the field after the final note to break everything down and move it out as quickly as possible. And if you’re school is hosting an event like this, if you’re not a roadie you’re still working hard selling tickets, running the raffle, manning food booths, or selling merchandise.

* And oh, by the way, while you’re competing, not only do you have to remember all your music, where to walk without running into anyone, and how to toss that heavy flag without dropping it, you have to do all of that while a judge is walking through the ranks, sometimes just feet away from you, watching you, JUDGING you, and communicating his observations with the head judge at the sideline. Talk about pressure.

I’m looking forward to going on The Journey again this year with our marching band, and I encourage everyone else to do so as well.

The show begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday night Oct. 5 at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd. (Gates open at 4:30 p.m.) Tickets are $7 in advance at Hegedorn’s, $9 at the gate. For more information, visit www.webstermarchingband.org.

Click here to see a gallery of photos from last year’s show.

band 5

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WCSD invites kindergartners to Strive for Five

27 Jul

strive for 5

August — and the start of the new school year — are just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about buying supplies and getting up early again (for some of us, REALLY early).

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 13th year, is designed for 2019/20 incoming kindergarteners. It provides children the chance to travel a short distance on a school bus with their parent(s) and to learn important safety procedures for riding the school bus.

The program will start at Willink Middle School, where the bus will pick up participants and bring them to (and from) the transportation department. The buses leave Willink at 6:00 p.m. and returns 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 5 – Plank South
August 6 – Dewitt Road and State Road
August 7 – Klem North and Plank North
August 8 – Klem South and Schlegel Road

Private and parochial schools 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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Webster community mailbag

4 Jul

mailbag iconToday’s mailbag is so packed that it’s taken me two days to pull it together.

Let’s start with a reminder from the Webster school district, which would REALLY like you to register your kindergartner, or new student,  early. Having an accurate count of how many students to expect this September will help the planning process immensely.

For details, please go to Student Registration at www.websterschools.org.

Local business updates 

The North Bee, one of our newest and cutest businesses, has some new hours: Tuesdaynorth bee 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday 11 to 3,  Friday 10 to 2 and 6 to 8, and Saturday 10 to 3. They’re closed Monday and Wednesday.

The shop will be available on Sundays for private events, and (this sounds like fun) on Tuesday nights in July and August starting on July 9, owner Amy Stringer will have a tent set up outside her shop with kids activities and free honey sticks for each child.  Remember that starting next Tuesday, the village will be starting their Movies in the Park series just across the street at Veterans Memorial Park. So stop by before the movie for some fun and honey!

The North Bee is located at 27 North Ave. in the village.

Exercise has its rewards

ROC & Soul Fitness, 44 East Main St., has a lot of cool classes this month, but one in particular jumped out at me.

unnamedThey call it “Barre in the Beer Garden,” a free, 45-minute barre class held Saturday July 13 at K2 Brewery on Empire Blvd. (21 and over please!)

It’s being held in K2’s spacious new beer garden behind the brewery. If you haven’t been to K2 yet this summer and seen this gorgeous new facility, this would be a great opportunity to check it out.

The class will begin at 10 a.m., and of course you’re invited to stick around for a beer, wine or cocktail afterwards.

July’s Webster Public Library programs are out of this world!

For starters, their galaxy-themed summer reading program is up and running, and all ages can participate.

All you have to do is complete a galaxy game board or a galaxy reading bookmark. Each complete board or bookmark earns you an entry into the weekly prize drawing plus a free book of your choice. Plus, all completed boards will also be added to the grand prize drawing at the end of the summer!

Your kids might also be interested in these two galaxy-themed programs:

  • Race Through Space With American Girls & Boys, Friday July 19 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Learn all about the history of the Space Program in America through the eyes of eight American Girl and Boy characters starting in the 1940s through 2018 where LUCIANA is featured in her real space suit from Space Camp! Don’t forget to bring your favorite doll or stuffed animal to learn right beside you! This program is for boys and girls.

All ages welcome, both boys and girls, and no registration is required.

Teens and tweens have several opportunities to make some Galaxy Crafts:

  • On Friday, July 12, make your own galaxy t-shirt. Please bring a black or very dark colored t-shirt, but all other supplies will be provided.
  • On Friday, July 26, make your own galaxy jewelry. All supplies will be provided.
  • On Friday, August 9, make you own galaxy painting. All supplies will be provided.

All three of these programs run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and all youth entering grades 6-12 welcome. Registration is required (and limited) and is going on now.

Find out more about these programs on the Webster Public Library website. The library is located at 980 Ridge Rd. at the back side of Webster Plaza.

And don’t forget to visit representatives from library when they set up shop at Webster’s Joe Obbie’s Farmers Market on Saturday July 13. They’ll have raffles, free giveaways and summer program brochures.

The market is located at Webster Towne Center on Holt Road near the gazebo, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October.

Makin’ Music at Cherry Ridge

The next (and last) concert at Cherry Ridge is this coming Tuesday July 9, Featuring Ruby Shooz, beginning at 6:30.

St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge is located at 900 Cherry Ridge Blvd. (off Ridge Road near Five Mile Line Road), Webster. Bring your lawn chairs and/or blankets, and if you need dinner, picnic fare will be available for purchase beginning at 5 p.m.

The concerts are free and open to the public. For details and rainy day information, call (585) 697-6700.

Softball clinic held

softballSome of our stand-out Webster athletes will be lending a hand when the Rochester Lady Lions hold a youth softball clinic on Tuesday July 9 from 5  to 8 p.m. at Mercy High School on Blossom Rd. in Rochester.

Webster Schroeder Varsity pitcher Sydney Bolton will be there, along with program coaches and college softball players to facilitate hitting and fielding stations. The clinic will help girls fine-tune and improve their current skills. Players attending will receive a free clinic t-shirt as well as a tasty frozen treat from Kona Ice.

Girls ages 9 to 13 of all skill levels are welcome. Cost is $20. Click here to visit their website for more information and a registration form.

More to come

I’m working on a few other blogs about upcoming events of interest, including a food truck rodeo at Webster Schroeder High School to benefit the Webster Marching Band, the Strive for 5 school bus safety event for new kindergartners, and the return of the Garlic Festival. There’s also a brand new business in town that I need to let you now about. So stay tuned!

And please drop me a line if your organization has something coming up you’d like help promoting … or even if you want to send me a photo of your kids’ lemonade stand. I’d love to hear about them!

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Spreading kindness, one locker at a time

14 May

photo

This is another great story from the schools.

Last Friday morning, every single student in all four Webster secondary schools arrived to find inspirational notes taped to their lockers. The previous evening, teams of parent volunteers had fanned out at each school — Schroeder and Thomas high schools and Willink and Spry middle schools — and taped thousands of positive, uplifting messages to students’ lockers.

The project was coordinated and implemented by the Webster Central PTSA, in conjunction with the Webster Teachers Association.

PTSA representative Stacie Peters wrote,

My co-president, Allison Fedyk Featherly and I along with WTA President Chris Wojtas and WTA/PTSA liaison Linda Law thought as the year is winding down it can be a stressful for our older students with exams, papers, homework, etc. We wanted to send some encouraging vibes to them during this time.

We are excited to surprise the students as they come in Friday morning. We did this last year as well and the smiles it brings to students/staff was awesome!

What a wonderful, simple way to bring a little sunshine into our schools during a dreary spring.

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Schroeder athlete needs our votes!

13 May

sydney 1Sydney Bolton, one of our finest high school athletes — a star on the field and in the classroom — has been nominated by the Democrat and Chronicle as their Female Athlete of the Week for May 6-11. But the only way she’ll win is with OUR help.

The D&C is now taking votes to decide who will be the the male and female athletes of the week each week. Sydney, a Webster Schroeder Varsity softball pitcher, is one of four Rochester-area athletes in the running for this week’s honors.

Sydney, a junior at Schroeder, pitched two complete games last week for the Warriors, allowing just three runs in two wins, and driving in five runs of her own. But her academic achievements are equally impressive.

Sydney…carries a 94.5 cumulative GPA while taking enriched AP courses and interesting electives. She is a member of Schroeder’s National Honor Society (and) volunteers with Link Crew. Her academics have allowed her to be on High Honor Roll every quarter, and she was recently accepted into the New Visions program at St. Ann’s. In addition to softball, Sydney plays the trumpet in the wind ensemble and symphony orchestra.

Future plans include becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner in oncology/ hematology, and coaching a youth softball team.

Sydney was also recently named the Webster Schroeder Female Athlete of the month at school (the above quote was taken from that display) and was recently inducted into Tri-M music honor society.

Sydney is an exceptional scholar-athlete who deserves to be recognized. It would be great if all of Webster could get behind her and show the entire Rochester area how proud we are of our young people.

Click here to vote for Sydney. (You don’t have to be a D&C subscriber.) You can vote once per hour, and votes will be accepted until noon on May 17.

Sydney 2

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Webster Community Mailbag

4 May

You might want to warm up your coffee before you read today’s mailbag, because it’s a pretty long one.

jakeJake Gorski, the son of one of my Plank North teaching colleagues, is working on his Eagle Scout project and is looking for some help collecting supplies. He explains in this letter:

My name is Jake Gorski and I am a senior at Fairport High School. I am also a Scout in Fairport Troop 207 in the final stages of my Eagle project. 

My Eagle project is to create and distribute packets of essential hygiene items for those in need at the Blessed Sacrament soup kitchen, where I have been volunteering for the past 12 years. They are located on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Oxford Street in the city of Rochester, and serve dinner to a large and diverse population of homeless and needy individuals five nights a week.

I am looking for donations of socks, tooth paste and tooth brushes, deodorant, baby wipes, and razors. I will accept both travel or regular size items. Blessed Sacrament serves many individuals in need, so I am trying to make around 80 packs. Any donations are greatly appreciated.

If you think you can help out, contact Jake at jwgorski22@gmail.com.

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swan lakeThe students of Willink Middle School will present their student-run production of Swan Lake on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at the school, 900 Publishers Parkway.

Two of the school’s our 8th grade students, Mayli Nitsch and Shanna Smith are directing the play, which involves nearly 40 cast and stage crew from grades 6 through 8. Their hard work has been impressive, and the show will surely be outstanding.

Tickets are only $5 and can be purchased online here. They will also be available at the door.

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Just in time for spring planting and Mother’s Day, the Webster Arboretum Association will host their annual Plant Sale on Saturday May 11 from 8 a.m. to noon.

The sale features beautiful, live, healthy plants offered by locak commerial growers and local garden clubs. Garden Club members will also share their favorite plants from their own gardens.

The sale will take place at the Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Road in Webster.

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These next items are from the schools:

The Webster Teachers Association (WTA) has secured approximately 25,000 free books for Webster schools via the First Book program. In order to get these books distributed before the end of the year, the WTA is partnering with the Webster Central PTSA to get books unpacked, sorted and organized by age group for delivery to all of our 11 schools.

Lots of volunteers are needed. The WTA is looking for a minimum of 2 adult volunteers per school, per time slot to help on Saturday, May 18 from 8 a.m. to noon in the Thomas Field House. Click here for more information and to sign up.

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Speaking of the PTSA, they’re in urgent need of sponsors for next year’s PTSA calendar. Here’s the plea:

It’s community that makes Webster so special. We’d like to thank the local businesses and organizations, past and present, who have supported WC PTSA with generous donations, sponsorships and member benefits, making our work possible.

We are asking for your support once again. Please consider sponsoring our special edition 60th Anniversary 2019-20 calendar!

Whether it’s your first year, or thirty-first year sponsoring our calendar – your support is needed and appreciated more than ever. We’ve made it even easier this year, you can do it all online if you choose! Click here to learn more.

All donations are tax-deductible, and you’ll receive a receipt along with a sample copy of the calendar by September.  Families or individuals may become sponsors too.

Your donation funds community-wide programs supporting students and their families on critical topics like mental health and substance use prevention, annual scholarships to outstanding graduating seniors, annual Oak Tree Awards for exceptional educators, and helps us support the PTSA committees in all eleven WCSD schools, so they can provide services unique to their school population.

Questions? Email SponsorHelp@websterptsa.org.

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The school district has announced the hiring of four new assistant principals:

Jill Doyle

Jill Doyle is the new assistant principal at Plank South Elementary School. Doyle is a WCSD graduate and former Plank South student herself. She is currently a fourth grade teacher at the school, a position she has held since 2016.

Matt Mietelski

Spry Middle School White House welcomes new assistant principal Matthew Mietelski, who is replacing Interim Assistant Principal Jim Vitale. Mietelski is currently assistant principal of cooperative summer school for Monroe #1 BOCES and a literacy specialist at Johanna Perrin Middle School in Fairport CSD, where he has taught since 2013.

Two new assistant principals will greet students at Willink Middle School in September: Ashley Socola in the Blue House and Jason Simoni in the Green House.

Ashley and Jason comboSocola is currently an assistant principal at Merton Williams Middle School in the Hilton Central School District, a position she has served in since 2016. She is replacing interim Blue House assistant principal Annette McCabe.

Simoni is a WCSD alum who is returning to the district from Bishop Kearney HighSchool, where he has served as principal since 2015. He replaces Jeremy McBride who will be a new assistant principal moving at Webster Thomas High School.

All four new administrators will begin their positions on July 1.

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Stay tuned for upcoming blogs I’m still working on about new developments at Knucklehead Craft Brewing; special events at the Webster Museum; May programs at the Webster Public Library; a look at the new Spiedielicious restaurant in town; this summer’s special events schedule in the Village of Webster; a big anniversary for Webster Eye Care, and OH! the village is getting BIKE RACKS!! Start thinking about where you might like to see them installed.

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Thomas student play opens Thursday

1 May

IMG_6942Laughs, love, and the kind of family drama we all have experienced all take the stage Thursday night when the students of Webster Thomas High School present the comedy Things My Mother Taught Me by Katherine Savino.

The story follows Olivia and Gabe, a young couple moving into their first apartment together. They’ve just packed up all of their belongings and driven halfway across the country to start a new life together in Chicago. Their moving day doesn’t go exactly as planned, though, and things become slightly more complicated when all of their parents show up to help! Things get a bit crazy as everyone tries to squeeze into their new two-bedroom apartment.

Things My Mother Taught Me will be presented Thursday, May 2 and Friday May 3 at 7:30 pm in the Webster Thomas auditorium, 800 Five Mile Line Rd.  Tickets are $7 and will be available at the door.

Director Chelsea Muller (12th grade) is supported by a small but mighty cast, including:

* Alexander Ramirez (9th grade) as Gabe Lawson
* Isabelle Nitsch (10th grade) as Olivia Keegan
* Nico Pantojas (12th grade) as Wyatt Lawson
* Haley Warren (10th grade) as Lydia Lawson
* Brynn Smith (10th grade) as Maxine Mirowski
* Celia Darling (11th grade) as Karen Keegan
* Tim Dudinski (10th Grade) as Carter Keegan

Here are a few photos from a recent rehearsal:

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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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