Tag Archives: Webster Schroeder

Webster community mailbag

2 May

Grab a cup of coffee and settle in. This is a long one.

Webster Arboretum Plant Sale returns

The Webster Arboretum Association, together with local growers and local garden clubs will host the 2021 Webster Arboretum Plant Sale on Saturday May 8 from 8 a.m. to noon.

A tremendous variety of beautiful, healthy plants from standard to uncommon will be available including annuals, dwarf conifers, hostas, geraniums, tomatoes, and more. It’s a great way to celebrate spring and get some live plants perfectly suited for your garden. And don’t forget … Mother’s Day is Sunday!

The sale will be held at the Webster Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Rd. Webster.

Museum’s Websterscapes Gallery needs you!

The Webster Museum’s Websterscapes Gallery is looking for photos of skyscapes, landscapes, waterscapes or artwork depicting the many beautiful places in Webster. Your photos will be featured on the museum website alongside other works of photographic art from your Webster neighbors.

The gallery is getting everyone’s art appreciation juices flowing for the Ward Mann exhibit, being readied for when the museum can safely open again.

Send your photos to the gallery by email to photos@webstermuseum.org or upload directly on the museum website.


Speaking of art…

The Webster Art Club’s Spring Art Show is now on display at the Webster Public Library through May 27. Stop in during the library’s normal business hours to view the nice variety of artwork created by your fellow Webster community members.

Pop-up Book Sales

Also coming soon to the Webster Public Library, the Friends of the Library will be holding Pop-up Book Sales in the parking lot beginning next week and running for several weeks this summer and even into the fall, weather permitting.

These sales are full of surprises and unexpected treasures. Hardcover books are $1, and paperback books are 2/$1. Cash and checks will be accepted, and please bring your own bags.

The first pop-up sales will be Thursday May 13 and Saturday May 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, masks and social distancing will be required. All monies raised will be used to support library programs and initiatives.

Brighten your mood, borrow a lamp

The Webster Public Library never ceases to amaze with the variety of things you can borrow. They now have portable light therapy lamps available for borrowing for up to three weeks.

The Verilux light therapy lamps (or “Happy Lights”) imitate outdoor natural light and are intended to improve mood and overall sense of well-being. It’s amazing what a little bit of light can do. Sunlight improves our mood, makes us feel more optimistic, gives us energy, and promotes better sleep. And we all know how little sunlight we get here in Rochester.

Ask for the lights at the circulation desk, and borrow a little sunshine.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of the plaza.

Absentee Ballot Applications Available for Budget Vote, BOE Election


The Webster CSD’s Annual Budget Vote and Election of Board of Education Candidates is slated for Tuesday, May 18. All voting is scheduled to take place in-person, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gynmasium, Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road.

Qualified voters of the district who will be unable to attend the polls on the day of the vote may wish to use an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the district clerk at least seven days before the vote (if the ballot is being mailed to the voter) or the day before the vote if it’s being picked up in person.

Absentee ballot applications are available online at or from District Clerk Cynthia Cushman, 119 South Avenue (third floor of the Spry Middle School), Webster.

Spry Student Council Donates to Dream Factory of Rochester

The Spry Student Council recently made an impressive donation to the Dream Factory of Rochester.

COVID didn’t stop these middle school go-getters from hosting two fundraisers to benefit the local non-profit. They tapped into people’s taste buds by having a fundraiser at Chipotle, netting $1,123.41. Then they challenged their peers and the Spry faculty and staff to take part in a fun Jar Wars competition during Spirit Week. Participants put coins (and larger bills) in jars to earn points for their team or take away points from another team. The spirited competition raised another $1,505.41.

Student Council representatives Jack Frenzel (co-president), Maya Pascuzzi (co-president), Lauren Roberts, Sarah Hellems, and Jayna Zimmerman presented an oversized check (and a real one) in the amount of $2,628.82 to Laura Walitsky, area director of the Dream Factory of Rochester. Also on hand were Michelle and Brian Schilling with their children Ella, a Dream recipient, Matt, a Spry seventh grader, and Nathan, a Webster Schroeder freshman.

The Spry Student Council donation is enough to enable one child to have her entire dream fulfilled.

Webster Marching Band seeks members


The Webster Central School District’s highly respected marching band will begin its 36th year competing in the New York State Field Band Conference during the summer and fall of the 2021-22 school year. The Pride of Webster is currently recruiting dedicated 7-11 th grade WCSD students who play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. The band is also looking for dancers and color guard members.

Interested students and their parents/guardians are invited to attend a new member night on Monday May 3 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Webster Schroeder High School auditorium. Current 7-11th graders can sign up by scanning QR codes that can be found on posters in all four middle and high schools or by emailing Jerbrel Bowens, Webster Marching Band Director, at jerbrel_bowens@webstercsd.org.

For more information about the Webster Marching Band, click here.

Webster CSD Updates School Calendars


The Webster CSD has made several changes to the calendars for the current school year and next year.

For the 2020-21 (this year’s) school calendar:

  • Regents exams will take place June 17, 22-24 but there will be changes in attendance on these days. On June 7, 21, and 22 ALL secondary students will have school, be it in-person, asynchronous, or remotely depending on the choice parents/guardians previously made for them. On June 23 and 24, students will attend according to their individual Regents exam schedules.
  • The last day of classes for ALL students (grades UPK-12) will be Tuesday, June 22. This is a change for secondary students and UPK students.
  • Graduation ceremony dates have been set. The Webster Schroeder Class of 2021 will graduate Wednesday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Schroeder Stadium. Rain date is June 17 at 7:30 p.m. The Webster Thomas Class of 2021 will graduate Thursday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Thomas Stadium. Rain date is June 25 at 7:30 p.m.

For the 2021-22 school year (next school year), only one change has been made. The start of the school year will be Wednesday, September 8. The full calendars are available on the district calendar web page found here .

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A colorful way to celebrate our seniors

27 Mar

Our Webster Thomas and Webster Schroeder seniors this week were given a colorful surprise this week. Each one received a bag of Skittles with a note attached reading, “Hey Senior! There is a rainbow of possibilities in your future! Shine on!”

The recognition is part of an ongoing program designed by the Schroeder and Thomas PTSAs. Once a month through June, the PTSAs are surprising each senior with a fun gift or special event, planned for on or around the 21st of each month (in honor of 2021). The idea, wrote Webster Thomas PTSA representative Denise Warren, is “to show students that they are cared about so very much!”

Every 2021 graduate at Webster Thomas and Schroeder high schools, whether remote, hybrid, GOAL or other, is included. The program began in January, when each senior was presented with a small baggie of Hershey’s kisses, complete with an inspsirational message. You can read more about that special delivery in my blog here.

Judging from these photos from Ms. Castro’s and Mr. Hardy’s classes at Thomas, the effort was very well received.

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More about the Thomas radio play, and a preview of the upcoming school musicals

11 Feb

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being in the very small audience for The Webster Thomas Radio Hour, a collection of short, very humorous plays written and acted by students.

Given the restrictions caused by the pandemic, not a whole lot of people could see the play live. But DO NOT DESPAIR. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you too can now enjoy this very clever walk back through memory lane.

The Webster Thomas Radio Hour is now on YouTube, and you can access it by clicking on this link.


If you love live theater, then you’ll be excited to know that all four of our secondary schools are preparing right now to stage plays this spring. Here are the details:

Students in the Spry Drama Club rehearsing Pajama Party

Spry Drama Club will be presenting its first-ever One Act Play Festival from March 18 to 20. Four plays will be performed, including “Pajama Party,” “Four Little Words,” “Goldilocks on Trial” and “Not so Grimm Tales.” Each play features between 10 and 14 cast members and accommodating them all for rehearsals has been quite a trick.

Artistic director Bill Ambler explained, “Rehearsal days coincide with the students’ cohort days. Each play has its own rehearsal day during the week. The kids have been amazing about social distancing and wearing masks while rehearsing.” Several soloists and small group ensembles will entertain the audience during the intermission.

Each play will give two performances for a intimate audience. The plays will also be streamed on the internet. More details to come about that.


Willink Middle School is preparing a Disney musical review, featuring selections from many of the shows the school has performed in previous years, with a mix of singing, acting and dancing. Shows will be scheduled for May 14 and 15. They’re hoping they can host small audiences, but even if not, the production will be shared online.


Webster Schroeder High School is currently rehearsing for their spring production of The Addams Family. They’re planning two shows, on April 23 and April 24.

They’re hoping to accommodate small audiences at these performances, but most patrons will be able to see the production live through a professional streaming service. Details about that haven’t been hammered out yet, but I’ll let you know when they do.

Some of the accommodations Schroeder Drama has made for their musical this year include a smaller cast; having no permanent on-stage set, which will allow for social distancing; and having the orchestra perform from the band room. More adjustments may have to be made if the currect restrictions aren’t lifted soon. .


The Webster Thomas Players have come up a creative way to beat the Covid: they’re taking their musical outdoors.

Webster Thomas will be presenting Cabaret at the Penfield Amphitheatre from June 17 to 19, with June 20 as a rain date. All shows will begin at 7:30 and tickets will be $12. Tickets will go on sale the beginning of May.

Director Brenda Nitsch writes,

The show will be more about the issues surrounding racism and political fanaticism and less around the unorthodox liberal lifestyles of the time. The show will be appropriate for all ages. The music is by the amazing John Kander and includes such greats as “Cabaret,” “Money Makes the World Go Around,” “Perfectly Marvelous” and “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”

Stay tuned for more information about each one of these productions as it becomes available.

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Celebrating our 2021 senior class

25 Jan

You may recall that last year, after the pandemic shuttered the schools in March, our seniors lost out on a lot of the fanfare and celebration normally marking the end of high school. Even though things still aren’t back to normal, everyone is hoping the experience for this year’s seniors will be much more positive.

Our Webster Central PTSA has plans to make sure that’s the case.

Once a month through June, the PTSA will be surprising each senior with a fun gift or special event, planned for on or around the 21st of each month (in honor of 2021 of course). Every student at Webster Thomas and Schroeder high schools, whether remote, hybrid, GOAL or other, will be included.

According to Webster Central PTSA programming co-chair Stacie Peters, the effort is part of a movement happening all around the country, where PTSAs are celebrating the senior class of 2021. She first heard about it from Schroeder parent Amy Peterson. From there, Peters, Schroeder High School PTSA/WTA liaison Linda Law, Thomas PTSA/WTA liaison Denise Warren, and Thomas PTSA Chair Bridget Ziskind organized a team of parents to brainstorm ideas.

Each senior received a baggie like this one (S. Peters)

The PTSA got things rolling last Thursday and Friday, handing out small bags of Hershey’s Kisses, complete with inspirational messages, to almost 360 Schroeder seniors and 335 Thomas seniors. They included in-school and 100% remote students, EMCC students, early senior graduates, early-graduating juniors, and a dozen GOAL students.

The whole undertaking was “more complex than we thought,” Peters wrote.

“Since most every senior has to take a social studies and English class, we used those teachers to pass Kisses out,” she wrote. “We had them bagged up and dropped off to teachers with senior names on them. … The awesome secretaries in both buildings broke lists down for us” to help with the distribution.

“(Schroeder principal) Mr. Benz, (Thomas principal) Mr. Widor, and all the teachers in the buildings have been supportive in helping us with this effort,” Peters added.

The whole idea is to do something special for the class of 2021, and inject some excitement into their final year of schooling. Judging by the smiling eyes you see in these pictures, the effort so far has been a success. (Thank you to Jen Calus for the student photos.)

Stay tuned in the next several weeks to find out what the next senior surprise will be.

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Webster seniors host successful Thanksgiving food drive

4 Dec

I love hearing about it when otherwise ordinary people do extra-ordinary things. Especially when those “ordinary” people are young people.

Such is the case with three Webster Schroeder students — seniors Rachel Kucewicz, Giuliana Zane and Eve Kowalczyk — who took it upon themselves recently to make sure the school’s annual Thanksgiving food drive was not canceled by the pandemic.

Traditionally, a small group of Webster Schroeder High School students runs a food drive in the fall to provide Thanksgiving meals to families assisted by Mt. Hope Family Center. The pandemic looked to put a damper on this year’s collection,. But these three young ladies, with help from their advisor Elizabeth Gefell, came up with an alternative.

Driven by the goal to feed as many Rochester families as possible, they asked students, staff, family, and friends for tax-deductible contributions made out directly to Mt. Hope Family Center Thanksgiving Basket Fundraiser. The trio hoped to raise $1,700, enough to feed 20 families. By their deadline on Friday, Nov. 20, they had easily surpassed that goal, bringing in $1,844.

Well done, ladies!

Mt. Hope Family Center, located on Edinburgh St. in Rochester, is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect, or trauma. For more information, visit their website.

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News from the schools

11 May

It’s a really weird school year, but some things remain the same: it’s time to start looking forward to September.

If you have a child who will be entering kindergarten, NOW is the time to register. It’s especially important to help your schools know how many students to expect this fall, so they can determine class sizes and work out any other logistics as they prepare for an unusual new year.

Kindergarten registration is under way right now. If you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before December 1, 2020, that child is eligible for kindergarten enrollment for the 2020-21 school year. Parents can download a kindergarten registration packet by visiting WCSD’s Student Registration web page at www.websterschools.org/registration.

School registration is based on residency. Webster students attend the school assigned to their home address. Use the School Locator Tool on the Student Registration website for placement information.

The safest method to submit registration paperwork is online, however, the district understands this is not possible for all parents/guardians. Therefore, completed kindergarten registration forms (along with all grade levels) will be accepted at Webster CSD’s Buildings and Grounds facility, 110 Sanford Street, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Social distancing requirements will be followed in order to ensure the health and safety of all parents, guardians, and staff members. Registration forms are located on WCSD’s Student Registration web page.

Please do not drop off any original documentation; copies will only be accepted. Student Registration staff members will reach out via email or telephone with any follow-up questions regarding submitted registration paperwork. Email Carla Watkins, District Registrar, with any questions: carla_watkins@webstercsd.org.

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Alexandra TasberWebster Schroeder High School has a new assistant principal.

Welcome to Alexandra Tasber, who has accepted the position as Schroeder AP (alpha E-K), effective July 1. She is replacing current interim assistant principal Jim Vitale.

For the past 11 years, Tasber has worked with the West Irondequoit Central School District as an English Language Arts (ELA) contact and classroom teacher at Dake Junior High School. During summer 2019, she served as WICSD’s 7-12 summer school principal and worked for many years as a summer school ELA teacher.

Tasber lives in Rochester with her husband, Dave, and two children, Lydia and Kellen.

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Seniors are getting celebrated in a big way

1 May

senior 1

Webster Schroeder senior Anya Swinson with her lawn sign.

If you’ve been on Facebook at all today, guaranteed you’ve seen some videos of a great event that’s happening all over town today.

Webster School District representatives are driving all around town today in a mini-parade led by a loudly-honking school bus, handing out lawn signs recognizing every single one of our high school seniors — more than 700 of them.

The school bus is being followed by Webster Schroeder teachers/staff, Webster Thomas teachers/staff, and PTSA volunteers in their cars. The parade is expected to continue until about 3:30, so keep an eye out in your neighborhood!

Click here to see video of the delivery to the home of Webster Schroeder senior Anya Swinson, who will be attending Mercyhurst in the fall. The Webster Central PTSA purchased the signs.

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Seniors, show your signs!

19 Apr

I  love this story, which I saw this week in the Webster Herald.

The Webster Central PTSA has purchased a lawn sign for every graduating senior in our district, from both Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas high schools.

This from the PTSA:

The Webster Central PTSA believes this is an opportunity to show our students the power of community in these unprecedented times and unify our youth across the district. We hope the signs will bring smiles to the faces of seniors, their families, and neighbors, as well as encourage our high school seniors to reflect on their accomplishments and journey through Webster Central Schools.

The principals of each high school will be reaching out to to students to arrange for the sign pick-up.

It’s a simple way for our schools, and our community, to show how proud we are of our young people, and to give the Class of 2020 some recognition in these difficult times. Watch for them as they start sprouting up in our neighborhoods.

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Hot chocolate in the morning, courtesy Webster Schroeder PTSA

7 Mar

hot cocoa #1

So how great would it be for someone to welcome you to work in the morning with a cup of hot chocolate?

That’s exactly what happened Thursday morning at Webster Schroeder High School when the school’s PTSA surprised students by offering them hot cocoa as they entered the building.

Schroeder PTSA Chair Stacie Peters explained in an email that the event was meant to be a kind of “pick-me-up” during what can be a dreary time of year for students.

“This time of year we are dealing with cold weather and very little sunshine,” Stacie wrote. “We thought this timing would be good for the students because it’s in between the Winter and Spring break.”

Stacie continued in her email,

There is nothing that says love like the inviting, comforting scent of hot cocoa with marshmallows on a cold winter morning! We had music playing and as soon as kids started coming in they were greeted with smiles and a cup of hot cocoa! They all loved it and with the music and fun vibe it was just a feel-good start of the day for all the students, many staff came to have a cup as well.

Schroeder PTSA wants to let our students/staff know we care about them and we are so happy to do these little pick me ups throughout the year. We feel if the students are happy, teachers are happy and that can be a ripple effect as their day goes on spreading happiness. Events like this make it possible for secondary parents to still feel a part of their child’s school, that connection is invaluable.

While sponsored by the PTSA, the event had wonderful support from Webster Schroeder principal Paul Benz and a dedicated team of parent volunteers.

Webster Thomas High School PTSA held a similar event for Thomas students in February, and word it it was a tremendous success. Photos from that below:

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Bowling tournament to benefit scholarships

8 Feb

bowlingDust off those bowling balls and shoes and save the date for an enjoyable afternoon of bowling, all for a great cause!

On Sunday, April 26, Webster’s Special Education Parent-Teacher Association (SEPTA) will hold its annual bowling fundraiser to raise scholarship funds for graduating Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas High School seniors who are part of the district’s special education family.

The event takes place at AMF Empire Lanes, 2400 Empire Blvd., Webster. Check-in and lane assignment will be 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. with squad time from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Details are still coming together, but right now organizers are looking for teams to show off their hidden bowling talents. This is always a hugely fun event where teams dress up in theme costumes to win some awesome prizes. Cost is only $30 per person (teams of four or five), which includes two hours of bowling, shoe and equipment rental, pizza, unlimited soft drinks, two raffle tickets toward prizes, gratuity for AMG Empire staff, and (of course) money toward the scholarships.

For more information and/or to reserve a spot for your team, email Christine Schotthoefer at Christine_Schotthoefer@webstercsd.org. Registration ends April 15.  To sponsor or donate prizes, email Dina Malboeuf at Dina_Malboeuf@webstercsd.org.

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