Tag Archives: Webster Schroeder

Community readers are needed!

9 Feb

booksThe Webster school district is looking for some book-loving adults who’d like to participate in a pilot reading program being led by Webster Schroeder English teacher Eileen Connelly.

The program is called Webster Community Reading. Connelly describes how it will look:

The program pairs adult readers with high school students. Each pair reads and responds to a novel over a period of about four weeks. The kids read the book in class and answer four questions in a notebook; the book and notebook are then delivered to the adult reader who completes the same task and returns it. A district courier drops off books and notebooks at central locations around the district and we have a luncheon at the end where readers get a chance to meet each other.

Readers only have to commit to four weeks of reading. Books will be provided and delivered to a location of your choosing.

Connelly said that the program has been very successful at Brighton High School.  She has chosen to pilot the program here in Webster with one of her sophomore English classes.

But to be successful, Webster Community Reading has to have readers. So far only six people have signed up for 26 open slots. If you’re interested in taking part, click here to fill out the very short registration form. If you have any questions about the program, drop Eileen Connelly an email at eileen_connelly@webstercsd.org.

What a great way to encourage literacy! I’ve already signed up.

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“Anything Goes” opens this Thursday

6 Feb

wizard of oz

Congratulations to the students of Willink Middle School for an outstanding performance of The Wizard of Oz last weekend! It was a fitting kick-off to the spring musical season, which continues this coming weekend when Webster Schroeder High School presents Anything Goes. 

The scene is a cruise ship in the late 1930s. Carefree broker Billy Crocker finds out that the woman he’s in love with is engaged to someone else and about to set sail on the luxury liner S.S. American, he sets in motion a madcap plan to stow away on the ship, win socialite Hope Harcourt’s hand, impress his boss, and evade law enforcement who anythinggoes_home400think he’s Snake Eyes Johnson, Public Enemy #1.

It’s a funny musical adventure, packed with Cole Porter songs you already love (like “Friendship” and “I Get a Kick Out of You”).  Showtimes are Feb. 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10-$15, available online at www.Showtix4u.com or at any Wegmans.

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Spring musical season is upon us

26 Jan

We’re about to face some of the coldest weather we’ve had all winter. But perhaps this news will warm your heart:

IT’S SPRING MUSICAL TIME! 

Both Willink and Spry middle schools and Thomas and Schroeder high schools will be staging their spring musical productions in the next two months.

Willink kicks off the schedule next weekend with Off to See the Wizard, presented in three shows on Friday Feb. 1 and Saturday Feb. 2.

Daniella Gibson leads a cast and crew of more than 100 sixth, seventh and eighth graders as they present the well-known story of a Kansas farm girl, her dog Toto and their adventures in Oz. Joining her as the main characters are Trevor Heaphy as the Scarecrow, Marcello Servanti as the Tinman, Ryley Norton as the Cowardly Lion, and Martina Nicolay as the Wizard of Oz.

This musical classic will be performed at Willink Middle School, 900 Publishers Parkway,  on Friday, February 1 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 2 at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9.00 per adult and $6 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased the week of January 28 through the Drama Club website .

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anythinggoes_home400

Next up is Anything Goes at Webster Schroeder the following weekend, Feb. 7 through 9.

The scene is a cruise ship in the late 1930s. Carefree broker Billy Crocker finds out that the woman he’s in love with is engaged to someone else and about to set sail on the luxury liner S.S. American, he sets in motion a madcap plan to stow away on the ship, win socialite Hope Harcourt’s hand, impress his boss, and evade law enforcement who think he’s Snake Eyes Johnson, Public Enemy #1.

It’s a funny musical adventure, packed with Cole Porter songs you already love (like “Friendship” and “I Get a Kick Out of You”).  Showtimes are Feb. 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10-$15, available online at www.Showtix4u.com or at any Wegmans.

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guys and dolls

The Spry Middle School Drama Club will present Guys and Dolls, Jr. on March 8 and 9.

In case you’re not familiar with this show, here’s a quick description from imdb.com:

All the hot gamblers are in town, and they’re all depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week’s incarnation of “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York”; the only problem is, he needs $1000 to get the place. Throw in Sarah Brown, who’s short on sinners at the mission she runs; Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan’s $1000 bet that he can’t get Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana; Miss Adelaide, who wants Nathan to marry her; Police Lieutenant Brannigan, who always seems to appear at the wrong time; and the music/lyrics of Frank Loesser, and you’ve got quite a musical.

The original 1955 movie starred Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. When it was made into a Broadway play, it was just as entertaining, and many of the songs have become embedded in our theater culture (including “Luck Be a Lady”).

I don’t have a whole lot of details yet, but it appears that Guys and Dolls will take the stage on Friday March 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday March 9 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. More details to come as I find out about them, but you can also keeps tabs on the show at the Spry Drama Club website.

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Concluding the spring musical schedule this year is Webster Thomas’ production of Cinderella from March 28-30.

This will the Rodgers & Hammerstein, Broadway version of the play, so it should be spectacular. I’m still getting details about this as well, but I do know that the shows will be March 28, 29 and 30 at 7 p.m., with a matinee on March 30. Tickets will be $12.

The cast will also be hosting a breakfast with Cinderella on Saturday, March 23 at 9 a.m., which will be a great way for your kids to get excited about the show. More details will follow about that as well.

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High schools’ fight songs update!

12 Jan

capture

A couple of days ago I posted a blog about Jason Hammersla, a 1995 Webster graduate, who has written two songs which he hoped might be adopted as alma maters for Webster Schroeder and Thomas high schools.

At the end of that blog I asked readers to let me know of any such songs exist for either or both of the schools. On Friday morning, I got an email from Webster Thomas principal Glenn Widor, who informed me that Thomas does indeed have an alma mater, which is sung at every graduation.

I further heard from Thomas music teacher Brenda Nitsch that Kyle Sackett ’08, alumnus of the Thomas vocal music program, wrote the song while studying music education and performance at Fredonia.

Here it is:

Near the shores of Lake Ontario stands a school which we hold dear.
Webster Thomas, we’ll make a promise to always keep you near.
With every teacher, staff and student our moral compass will be aligned
And together we will fight with her colors blue and white!

Live forever Titan pride!

I still haven’t heard anything about a Schroeder alma mater,  however. If I do, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, here’s the link again to my previous blog where you can see what Jason wrote.

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Webster grad proposes two new school fight songs

10 Jan

capture

Several weeks ago I received a very interesting email from one Jason Hammersla. Now a resident of Alexandria, Virginia, Jason was a 1995 Webster High School graduate. You may recognize the name since his mother, Arleen, was an elementary school reading teacher in the district for many years.

Despite having moved away from Webster, Jason remembers his high school years fondly, and believes with a passion that his years at Webster High created the successful person he is today.

He wrote,

The feverishly dedicated administration, the wildly passionate faculty and staff and even the strangely enthusiastic student government created a community whose warmth stood in direct contradiction to the surrounding weather. …

Webster High School was and is a testament to the value of a first-class public education, even in an era of a flagging local economy, surging enrollment and increasing responsibility for the most vulnerable students.

He added that when he was here, he didn’t think the school had a fight song, an alma mater so to speak. (“Or if it did, it was ill-remembered and disregarded.”)

He decided that oversight needed to be fixed. So he sat down and wrote this:

SCHROEDER

I will always be a warrior
For knowledge and the truth
I will hold on tight to the fading light
And the passion of my youth
To the ones who made me who I am
I could never say goodbye
I owe all I’ve earned to the things I learned
At my dear old Schroeder High

I will always be a warrior
For my faith and righteousness
And as I may roam I’ll remember home
And the ones who know me best
With appreciation reverent
For the wisdom you supply
With your courage and encouragement
We remember Schroeder High

I will always be a warrior
For the honest and the fair
When I search my heart for the warmest part
I will always find you there
All the principles you gave to me
These I swear will never die
For I cling to these, with the memories
Of my dear old Schroeder High

(Click here to listen to the song actually performed by Jason’s friend Jason Menkes.)

Just to be equal (the district is all about parity between the schools, after all), he also wrote one for Thomas (which you can listen to here):

THOMAS

Of all my days, my brightest days
Are lit with wonder at the ways
My mind recalls and spirit stays
With Webster Thomas High
And now no treasures can replace
No winter winds would dare erase
The lessons learned here in this place
For Titans rule the world

Of all my dreams, the sweetest dreams
Are those when I was young, it seems
And all we had were plans and schemes
At Webster Thomas High
And if my memories do err
And life was something less than fair
I still think life’s worth living there
Where Titans rule the world

Of all my friends, my closest friends
Are those for whom our love depends
On fitful starts and happy ends
At Webster Thomas High
We’ll always have the stories told
Of memories and blue and gold
Of Thomas high, and times of old
When Titans ruled the world

Jason sent his finished songs to Superintendent Gumina, who “seemed chagrined to inform me that Webster Thomas High School, at least, already has a school song….. But he also said “love the music!!” and said that he would “share with the principal and the choral director as well as with the student council advisors.”

Well, that was a while ago, and Jason hasn’t heard anything back, so the songs are probably dead in the water.

But I’m curious what you all think about them. If you’re a Schroeder or Thomas graduate — or if you have children who attend there — do you know what the school’s alma mater is? Or even if there is one? I’d love to hear from you if you can track one down!

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Webster community mailbag

21 Nov

Before I get into a pile of holiday events, here are a few feel-good stories about some great things our kids are doing for the community.

brownies 1

Back: Lucy Ellsworth, Aubrey Rugg, Sydney Herman, Molly Murphy, Addison Ball, Molly Clausen, Annabell Jacobus, Sophia Sherman, Mikayla Young. Front: Averye Rugg, Emma Kimball, Bray Dreschler. (Provided)

Webster Brownie Troop 60670, a third grade troop based at Plank South Elementary School, went to Wegmans last Wednesday to buy a meal for a Webster family in need of a Thanksgiving meal. For many of the girls, this was their third year doing this. They created a budget, learned about healthy food options and price shopped while in the store.

Jessica Ellsworth, who sent the photo, wrote,

These girls are no strangers to community service. In the past they have gone to Hope House, made toys and collected donations for animals in the shelter, made birthday bags (cake mix, frosting, candles, party hats, etc.) for the food pantry and rang the bell for Salvation Army.

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A group of 18 Webster Schroeder students got together recently to provide Thanksgiving meals to 20 families at Mt Hope Family Center (MHFC).

On Monday, several MHFC vehicles arrived at Webster Schroeder’s main office to pick up boxes and bags with all the fixings for 20 Thanksgiving meals that would be provided to at-risk children and families supported by MHFC. The groceries were purchased by Webster Schroeder students who began fundraising for these Thanksgiving meals last month.

This is the seventh year students have partnered with MHFC to raise funds to supply Thanksgiving meals for those served by the organization. They personally reached out to other Webster Schroeder High School clubs, sports teams, organizations, faculty, staff, and Webster businesses to raise more than $2,400 for the Thanksgiving meals. Extra funds raised will provide holiday gifts for children from each of the 20 families that receive a basket.

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Holiday special events are beginning to come fast and furious. The ones I’m telling you about today won’t be happening for a week or two, but I wanted to make sure you got them on your calendar.

Country Gardeners of Webster will host their annual sale Saturday December 1.

Presented jointly with the Klemwood Garden Club and the Webster Arboretum Association, the sale will take place at the Webster Parks and Recreation Center from 9 a.m. to noon.

The sale features a variety of creative wreaths, sleighs, table arrangements, cases and other unique items hand crafted from fresh, seasonal greens. It’s a great opportunity to buy a decorative piece for your home, or perhaps housewarming gift. This sale regularly sells out, so get there early. Admission is free.

The Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

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There are three upcoming dates on the Webster Village Band schedule you won’t want to miss.

First, watch for them on a float at Webster’s annual Parade of Lights along Main Street on Saturday Dec. 1. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. at Phillips Rd. and travels west along Main. The band will play Christmas favorites along the parade route.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, the band will perform a concert at Eastview Mall in Victor from 7 to 8 p.m. They’ll be in front f the J.C. Penney Store, playing Christmas favorites and other popular tunes.

Finally, on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. the band will hold their annual Christmas Concert 
at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road. It’s always the last and most spectacular concert of the season. You’ll hear plenty of holiday favorites, including a special reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” narrated by Barbara Midura. Light refreshments will follow the concert.

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The Pickled Paintbrush, one of the Village of Webster’s newest shops, will hold a Gingerbread House Workshop on Saturday, December 8.

Two classes will be offered, from 3 to 4:30 and 6 to 7:30. Bring the whole family to decorate a gingerbread house complete with all of the candy trimmings. Cost is $35 per family, which includes one gingerbread house. Additional gingerbread people cookies will be available to decorate for $5.

There will even be live holiday music, courtesy my good friends Dave and Patty Wyble.

Spaces are limited, so register early. Click here for more details and registration information. The Pickled Paintbrush is located at 36 East Main St., Webster.

By the way, the last time we heard from The Pickled Paintbrush, it didn’t even have furniture. Here’s what it looks like now, in photos I took last weekend at their opening celebration:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Since we’re talking about cookies….

The Women’s Club of Webster will hold their 26th Annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Saturday Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon (or sold out) at the Webster Public Library.

Many varieties of homemade holiday cookies will be available. The cost is $9.00 per pound. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the club’s scholarship funds and many other programs in the Webster community.

The Webster Public Library is located in the Webster Plaza at 980 Ridge Rd. Entrance is at the back of the plaza.

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Autumn Fanfare: a show like no other

8 Oct

IMG_9545Since I began this blog about ten years ago, I’ve written countless times about the Webster Marching Band. I’ve met and worked with several different band directors over the years. I traded emails with the band booster leadership team. I’m friends with people whose kids are — and were — in the band. So I thought I had a pretty good idea of the talent and commitment is takes to be a part of this prestigious group.

But then I attended my very first Autumn Fanfare and I realized that I was sorely mistaken.

It’s really rather embarrassing for me to admit that the 2018 Autumn Fanfare was the first I had ever attended. But whatever the reasons for that, I finally did make it over to Webster Schroeder stadium last Saturday night for the 33rd annual Autumn Fanfare Field Show and Competition. And I was blown away.

Until that night, most of the times I had see our Pride of Webster Marching Band was when they were, well, marching down the middle of Main Street in a parade, or standing in neat rows at Webster Rural Cemetery for the Memorial Day ceremonies. I had never actually seen them doing their thing on the football field.

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.

There were winners and losers that night (it was a competition after all). But since pretty much everybody was in a different division — and Webster was just performing for exhibition — the only real competition was in the Small School 1 division between Medina and East Irondequoit, which Medina won.

But for everyone in the stands, the entire evening was a winner. And I will definitely be back again next year.

Click here to see a whole gallery of photos from the 2018 Autumn Fanfare Field Show and Competition.

 

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Dust off those yearbooks

18 Sep

The yearbook staff at Webster Schroeder High School needs your help.

This year marks the 100th year of the Webster Schroeder/Webster High School yearbook. To commemorate the occasion, the yearbook club would like to feature all of the past yearbooks in this year’s edition.

Problem is, many of those yearbooks are missing from their collection.

That’s where you come in. They’re hoping that there are folks out there who can help them fill in the gaps, and let them borrow (or better yet, donate) the following missing volumes:  1919, 1921, 1927, 1932, 1937, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1994.

If you have any of these yearbooks and would be willing to donate or loan them to the school, please contact yearbook club advisor Stephanie Metz-Miller at stephanie_metzmiller@webstercsd.org.

Also, rumor has it that there was one year among those in which the yearbook wasn’t published. If you have that information, Mrs. Metz-Miller would love to know that as well.

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The verdict is in.

In one of my blogs last week, I mentioned that Plank North Elementary School has a new Pioneer mascot. He was introduced at the school’s Friday assembly the first week of school. He didn’t have an name, so the students were given the opportunity to propose one.

Ballots were collected all last week and principal Craig Bodensteiner announced the winning moniker yesterday on the school’s morning show.

May I officially introduce Pride the Pioneer!

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News from the schools

14 Aug

Rod DeRose temp photo - uncroppedMore good news from the schools this morning.

First, the school district has announced that Rob DeRose will be the new assistant principal at DeWitt Road Elementary School.

DeRose currently serves as Webster CSD’s extended school year coordinator and instructional specialist for humanities/literacy. He will begin his new position effective September 1.

DeRose began his career in WCSD as a special education teacher at State Road Elementary School, and also served as special education department lead teacher for four years. He lives in Macedon with his wife, Carmella, and three children, Jacob (8), Benjamin (6), and Gracie (3).

The Webster Central PTSA has announced the winners of the organization’s 2018 Student Awards.

Each year the Webster Central PTSA recognizes six outstanding seniors, chosen by high school counselors in a blind selection process from the Common Applications. For each award, one student is chosen from each high school, Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas. Each winner will receive $500.

Webster Central PTSA Pursue Your Passion Award

The Pursue Your Passion Award recognizes seniors working to make their dream a reality, who exemplify the principles of Webster Central PTSA and student CARE behaviors. This year’s winners are Brianna Jones (Schroeder) and Dominic Chiara (Thomas).

Webster Central PTSA Academic Excellence Award

This award recognizes seniors who have demonstrated excellence in academic achievement and are pursuing a college education. This year’s winners are Selena Zhang (Schroeder) and Sarah Fischer (Thomas).

Webster Central PTSA Ann Carmody Award for Outstanding Community Service

As its name suggests, this award is given to a senior who has demonstrated excellence and commitment to community service efforts in and/or outside of school, measured by volunteer hours. This year’s winners are Caitlin Glastonbury (Schroeder) and Katelyn Meredith (Thomas).

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Community Arts Day is our kids’ chance to strut their stuff

6 Apr

art

One of the incredible pieces of high school art at last year’s CAD

Community Arts Day returns to Webster Schroeder High School next weekend, on Saturday April 14.

If you’ve been a Webster resident for a while, you probably already know about this great event. But if not, please read on, especially if you 1) appreciate artwork of all kinds, 2) have children, 3) like baked goods, 4) like crafts, 5) like seeing your friends and neighbors, and/or 6) like having fun with life.

Allow me to elaborate.

  • Community Arts Day is our school district’s annual show-off day. Students from every one of our elementary, middle and high schools will have artwork on display. We’re talking sculptures, paintings, collages, sketches, you name it. Even the youngest students will be represented. These kids just love seeing their work displayed in public, and you’ll see many a proud parent snapping photos of their children in front of the displays. Especially don’t miss the incredible artwork by our high-schoolers, usually set up in the cafeteria. They’ll make your jaw drop. By the way, make sure to look at the walls as you walk by, because you’ll find written pieces posted there. (Writing is an art form all its own.) And throughout the day you can enjoy music and dance performances, and martial arts demonstrations.
  • Even if your children don’t expect to have anything on display, bring your kids anyway. There are all sorts of free activities and give-aways, there’s a bake sale and hot dogs, arts and crafts, and usually a firefighter hanging around to show off his — or her — gear.  So basically it’s a full day of free entertainment.
  • Did I mention the bake sale? Tons of great baked goods. And here’s an insider’s hint: the last hour of the day or so, everything is half price. You can walk away with whole pies for a steal.
  • Local craft-type people set up their wares in the cafeteria every year, and it’s great fun to see what they bring. This is also where you’ll find the kids’ arts & crafts area and regular live entertainers.
  • Guaranteed, within minutes of walking into the school, you’ll see someone you know — a friend, school acquaintance, a neighbor. Because Community Arts Day is THE place to be that weekend.
  • Having fun with life is what this day is all about. As soon as you walk in the door, you’ll see a dozen things you want to see or do. Around the next corner, there’s another dozen things. Basically, make sure to plan a couple of hours to wander.

Community Arts Day takes place Saturday April 14 from 10 am to 4 pm at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road. Admission is free and there’s plenty of parking. Proceeds from food, craft, and carnival booth sales will benefit cultural arts programs within the Webster Central School District. For more information, visit the Community Arts Day website.

Click here to see photos from last year.

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