Tag Archives: Webster Thomas High School

Make this weekend “family” time

10 Oct

snaps

They’re creepy and they’re kooky
Mysterious and spooky
They’re all together ooky
The Addams Family!

C’mon, admit it. You didn’t just read that last passage. You sang it, because you remember watching the Addams Family television show. And if that’s the case, you definitely want to grab your ticket soon to this weekend’s Webster Theatre Guild production of The Addams Family.

Like the television show, the show is a comedy about a ghoulish American family that enjoys the most macabre things in life and death. Unlike the television show, it’s also a musical, which adds to the fun.

The show originally debuted on Broadway in 2010 with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in the lead roles of Gomez and Morticia Addams.

The show will take the stage this Friday Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Webster High School auditorium, 800 Five Mile Line Rd. And then it returns NEXT weekend, Oct. 18 and 19.

Tickets can be purchased online in advance (click here), in person the day of the show. Reserve tickets are $15, wit discounts available for groups of 10 or more.

For more information, visit the Webster Theatre Guild website.

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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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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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Webster Thomas grad in the news

18 Mar

sutera

Proud momma Maria Sutera sent me this update on one of Webster’s own, Phil Sutera, who is making his mark in the field of science.

Phil, a 2010 Webster Thomas grad, is the first author of a cancer-focused research study, which was published in the January edition of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

Maria reported in her email that the study focused on “findings regarding stereotatic radiation therapy for oligometastic cancer (one to five metastases).” The clinical trial indicated that “a newer, more aggressive form of radiation therapy – stereotactic radiation – can extend long-term survival for some patients with stage-IV cancers while maintaining their quality of life.”

At least a half dozen news outlets have reported on the findings (you’ll see a few of those links below).  In addition to his recent publication, Phil recently received American Society of Radiation Oncology’s “Best of Astro” award for this research, chosen from more than 2,000 entries.

After graduating from Webster Thomas, Phil attended the University of Rochester, where he received dual Bachelor of Science degrees with highest distinction, in chemistry and neuroscience. He is currently studying at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and will graduate in May. Philip hopes to match into a radiation oncology residency program.

“WCSD played an important role in Philip’s success,” Maria wrote, adding,

The teachers and staff at Webster laid a strong educational foundation, helped foster his scientific curiosity, advised him regarding his educational future, reinforced strong character traits, such as the desire to aid others (staff at Willink encouraged/recognized this with their annual Make a Difference Award, circa 2005), as well as awarded him various academic scholarships, which helped alleviate some educational expenses. We are extremely grateful and fortunate Phil had his start at Webster Central.

Click here to see the whole article, “Initial Results of a Multicenter Phase 2 Trial of Stereotactic Ablative Radiation Therapy for Oligometastatic Cancer.” And here are a few links to some news reports about their findings:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-02-stereotactic-feasible-oligometastatic-cancer.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190131101051.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6349603/

https://appliedradiationoncology.com/articles/study-high-dose-radiation-therapy-improves-long-term-survival-in-patients-with-stage-iv-cancers

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Edit This

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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Notes from the schools

13 Nov

I’d like to pass along three reminders from the schools today, starting with the Webster Thomas High School fall play.

the-admirable-crichton-eshhk4cp.luzThis year’s production is The Admirable Crichton by Sir J.M. Barrie.

When an aristocratic family and their servants are trapped on a deserted island with no hope of rescue, they try to rebuild their rigid Edwardian society. Will the same people be servants? Will the same person be master? The play, from the writer of Peter Pan, is a whimsically funny, and sometimes tragic. exploration of the role of social classes.

The Admirable Crichton will be performed this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road. Tickets will be available at the door.

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Know a great teacher? It’s now time to begin your Oak Tree Award submission. The Oak Tree Award recognizes teaching excellence in Webster schools. Two winners (one elementary and one secondary) are recognized annually and each receives a $500 award. Learn  more and get your submission started by clicking here.

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unnamedPTSA calendars are still available, and they’re still just $5 each!

This is a great way to stay in the loop for all of the district’s special events. It’s filled with student artwork and has lots of space for you to add your own events and reminders.

The calendars are available at Hegedorn’s Market, and at school events all through the fall. If you purchase your calendar at your school event, all proceeds benefit your school’s PTSA.

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Run, walk or roll with me next weekend

21 Sep

run walk

OK, my friends, here’s something to get you up and moving Sunday morning Sept. 30. It’s great exercise with a lot of new friends, doesn’t cost too much AND will benefit a great cause.

It the 4th annual Run, Walk & Roll 5K and 1 mile stroll to benefit Challenger Miracle Field. I’ve run this race every year since it began, and so I can attest to how fun it is. And I’ll be there again this Sunday.

Great progress has already been made on Challenger Miracle Field, which is located behind Town Hall on Ridge Road. Games are already being played there, and work is being completed on the restrooms and concession building. The inclusive field and accompanying Play With Possibilities playground will provide people with developmental, physical, or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

Run, Walk and Roll is an all-inclusive family-friendly event which invites participants to run or walk, push a wheelchair, push themselves in a wheelchair, or participate with other assistive devices including adaptive bicycles and tricycles.

The courses start and end at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road. Registration is open at 8 a.m. The 5K, including wheelchair athletes, will kick off at 9:30. The 1-mile stroll will begin at 9:35. Packet pick-up and in-person registration will take place that morning. Prizes will be awarded, and the first 200 registrants get a free t-shirt, which you can wear proudly to show what a good person you are.

Cost is $20 for the 5K and $17 for the one-mile stroll, if you register online by Friday night. After that, in-person registration at the race will cost $30/$22.

The 4th Annual Run, Walk & Roll tales place Sunday Sept. 30 at Webster Thomas High School. Click here to register, and I’ll see you there!

run walk and roll

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News from the schools

4 Aug

back-to-school-school-clipart

It’s August. We can officially start talking about school again.

First, if you’re new to the district, or if you have an incoming kindergarten student, make sure to remember to register your children. School starts on September 4, so It’s important to do that right away.

Children who will be 5 years old on or before December 1 are eligible to enter school. Students are assigned to schools based on their primary residence. If predetermined class sizes have been reached, a new entrant or an existing student whose family has moved to a new address within the district may be assigned to an alternate Webster school for the school year. (That’s another reason to register early!)

Registrations are taken by appointment at Webster Central School District’s Central Registration Office, located on the third floor of Spry Middle School, 119 South Avenue. Call (585) 216-0029 to schedule an appointment. A completed registration packet, along with all required documents, must be provided during the meeting. Packets are available at all WCSD school buildings and here on the district website.

Remember, children will not be able to start school in the fall without being registered.

And if your new student is a kindergartner, don’t forget to attend the Strive for Five for School Bus Safety Program next week to help your young’un get used to riding a school bus. For more information, check out my blog here.

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Changes are happening at Webster Thomas High School

Clark-Susan web photo

Dr. Susan Clark

Dr. Susan Clark, a former Thomas math teacher and most recently one of the school’s assistant principals, is moving on. She’s been appointed the new Webster Central School District Director of Mathematics and Business. She’s taking over the position vacated by Eric Blask.

Replacing Dr. Clark at Thomas as new assistant principal is Kylene

Anson-Kylene-9411

Kylene Anson

Anson. Anson is currently assistant principal for Willink Middle School’s Blue House. Before coming to Webster, she was a special education teacher in East Irondequoit, and then assistant principal at Victor Senior High School.

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Finally, I snapped this photo yesterday at Plank Road North Elementary School, where it looks like the new playground is almost complete. All of our elementary schools are getting playground upgrades this summer, which will make the start of the school year even more exciting for the kids.

IMG_20180803_093525283

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Thank you, Webster Thomas GeoTech team!

2 Jun
IMG_20180531_125753670

GeoTech teachers Kurt Mangos and Mike Tuchrello with the new bookshelf.

I’d like to give a shout-out today to the GeoTech team at Webster Thomas High School. The students in this project-based class did an amazing job building a rolling book shelf for the Schlegel Elementary library, where I work.

Librarian Jamie Palmer and I had heard about some of the projects the GeoTech students had completed, including a shed and raised gardening beds for the Schlegel courtyard. So a few months ago, when we started dreaming about a new bookshelf, we approached them with our idea.

I made a pseudo-architectural drawing of our idea, handed it off to GeoTech teachers Mike Tuchrello and Kurt Mangos, and they ran with it. Last week,  much to our surprise,  they wheeled the brand new bookshelf into the library.

The GeoTech team has been busy this year. Mangos said,

We’ve built sheds, raised accessible planter beds, ADA compliant ramps, cornhole game boards, ladder golf games, WTI Chromebook charging stations, many shelving units, walls for sets, etc….

That includes new planter beds at Plank North Elementary, the OTHER school I work at.

GeoTech students receive a technology, local math, and English credit through the project-based learning class.

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Webster PTSA spreads kindness one locker at a time

29 Mar

message 6

I love stories like this one.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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