Tag Archives: Webster Thomas High School

Webster community mailbag

20 Jul

 

garlic festival

You’ve probably already seen this news, but in case you haven’t: the 2020 Rochester Garlic Festival, scheduled for Sept. 12-13, has been canceled.

The news, which comes on the heels of the cancellation of pretty much everything else this summer, certainly comes as no surprise. But after the festival’s strong return in 2019 after taking a year off, I was looking forward to seeing what it had in store for this year.

But we’ll have to wait until next summer.

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gazeboDid you miss out on attending the terrific, family-friendly comedy act that came to the gazebo a few Fridays ago? (Click here to read the blog I wrote about that show.)  Well, your next chance to enjoy some laughs is coming up on July 31.

Rudolph Valentino will return to the gazebo in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave. on Friday night July 31. He’ll be joined by his co-host and funny friend Kevin Markman.

There’s no admission, and water and snacks can be purchased, if this show will be anything like the last. And you’ll laugh a lot.

Bring your quad chairs and a cooler if you like, and bring a mask in case you have to sit too close to anyone or want to hit up the vendors. But it’s a spacious area, so there shouldn’t be any problem social distancing. The show is slated to start at 7 p.m. But it started late last time so don’t worry if you’re running late.

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Finally, some news from the schools.

Congratulations to my former Webster Thomas teaching colleague Carol Saladzius, who was recently hired as assistant principal at Hilton High School. Carol and I worked together for several years at Thomas — me in the library and she a Spanish teacher — and I am happy for her new adventure.

Congratulations also to the Webster Thomas Best Buddies program, which last week was named the most outstanding high school chapter in New York State for 2020.

Best Buddies is a nationwide program which matches special education students with peer buddies who have similar interests.  The peer buddy makes a commitment to reach out to their buddy once a week outside school via email or telephone, and to get together and do something outside school with their buddy once a month.

The program came to Western New York four years ago and Webster Thomas was one of the first high schools to sign up. To read more about the program here in New York State, click here.

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Have you signed your school-age child up for school yet?

Our students will be going back to school one way or another this September, and the district really needs to know how many students to expect. So if your child isn’t already registered for the 2020-21 school year, please do so ASAP.

The New York State Department of Education requires all school-age students age 5-6 (in the given school year) and older be registered in some sort of education program in the district in which they live. This includes students who will be attending public school, those who will be going to private and parochial schools, those who have moved into a new school district, and those who will be home-schooled. (These can be changed at any time, but prior registration is still required.)

If you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before December 1, that child is eligible for kindergarten enrollment. Families new to Webster CSD with children grades 1-12 may also enroll their children at this time. For more information and to download registration packets, click here.

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A day of celebration for our seniors

12 Jun

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June is packed with a lot of fun days as we celebrate the last days of school, and especially those students who are moving up to new schools. Tops on that list of fun days for me is the day our high school seniors — in their gowns — parade through the halls of their former elementary schools.

That couldn’t happen this year, but the district was able to come up with something pretty darn close.

This morning, our Webster Thomas and Schroeder seniors were invited to drive through their high schools’ bus loops, where they were cheered and congratulated by their teachers. They they spread out throughout the district to their elementary schools, where they were cheered again by their former elementary school teachers. Most of the cars were decorated to the max with streamers and balloons, and signs indicating the student’s future college or life plans.

The event is always a very touching moment for these teachers, many of whom haven’t seen these kids since they were in 5th grade.

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Plank North teachers lined the bus loop to celebrate their former students.

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Across the “street,” Plank South teachers welcomed their former students at the same time.

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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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Titans Hockey event a huge success

14 Jan

A quick update this morning from the organizers of the Webster Thomas hockey team’s recent Robert J. Smith Memorial Showcase. The event, held Saturday, featured four hockey games and benefited the American Cancer Society.

Word is, the event was “HUGELY successful.”  Through admission, raffles, a “chuck a puck” and apparel sales, the team raised thousands of dollars. 

Here are some photos from the evening, courtesy Deb Vent:

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The Robert J Smith tribute event included raffles and other contests.

The team’s next big event is its eighth annual Honor Our Heroes game to benefit CDS Monarch Warrior Salute. This will be a single game on January 31, when the Thomas Titans face Victor at 6 p.m. This event will feature a TV and gift card raffle, 50/50 and apparel sales. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens. Students, military and first responders are free with ID.

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Webster athletes well represented in AGR rankings

9 Jan
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Schroeder sophomore Sierra Doody made the AGR list in cross country. (Photo courtesy S. Webster)

The Democrat and Chronicle has just announced its 2019 All-Greater Rochester Team, and many Webster athletes have made the list.

This D&C has created this list for many years. This year, it includes 165 athletes and 12 coaches in 11 different sports.

Congratulations to these outstanding student athletes from Webster Thomas and Webster Schroeder who made the cut:

  • Football: Victor Snow, (Schroeder junior), and named to the second team, John Talen from Thomas and Travis Dear from Schroeder.
  • Boys soccer: Cameron Webb (Thomas senior)
  • Girls soccer: Anna Hewlett (Schroeder senior), and named to the second team, Emma Leonardo from Schroeder, Mikayla Morelli from Schroeder and Annika Monfort from Thomas.
  • Field Hockey: Emily Klein (Thomas senior)
  • Boys volleyball: Allister Spiegel (Thomas senior)
  • Tennis: Alexa Monrad (Schroeder junior) and Stephanie Romero (Schroeder senior)
  • Boys cross-country: Austin Schoen (Thomas junior)
  • Girls cross-country: Sierra Doody (Schroeder sophomore)
  • Girls golf: Ava Labelle (Thomas sophomore)
  • Girls swimming: Suzanne Sokolowksi and Dana Witte, both juniors.

There’s also a list of “honorable mentions” which has too many Webster athletes to include here.

The article has only been posted online so far, and can be found here. It will be published in the print edition on Sunday.

Congratulations to everyone who made the list! Keep up the good work; you make Webster proud.

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Webster Thomas to host art student summit

8 Nov

So today’s blog is not about a public event, but I wanted to feature it regardless, because it is an outstanding example of the commitment our Webster CSD teachers have for our students — and it allows me to give a shout-out to a former Webster Thomas colleague.

A few weeks ago Todd Stahl, an art teacher over at Thomas, sent me an email about an exciting program he has set up for his students.

He wrote,

For a long time, a few of my fellow art teacher friends in the area and I have lamented the loss of the art community that was cultivated through the local Scholastic Art Awards show that used to happen at RIT. About 10 years ago, they stopped hosting it, and many of us have lost touch, with our hectic schedules getting in the way of connecting – both us as teachers, but also our students.

So I got thinking about a way to start to bring people back together again – and give something even more beneficial to our students. So… an idea was born.

What Stahl came up with is the first (of many, he hope) Rochester Area Art Student Summit, scheduled for Nov. 15 from 9:15 to 1:45 at Webster Thomas. Students will be able to participate in four different presentatons and workshops run by local artists, who will speak about their artwork, art making process, their career/life journey and lead the students through some sort of sketchbook activity. It will all take place while the rest of the school day continues around them.

Stahl added,

We are hoping that this will be an extremely engaging and inspiring day for all of our students, to help them further see how process is just as important as (more important than?) product, and how our work can grow and mature over our lives and careers. We will also have a table set up with information about mental health support information, run by an alumni with experience in this area.

The event is designed for senior AP art students and art college-bound juniors. More than 200 students from 11 local high schools had already signed up when he wrote two weeks ago.

This sounds like a terrific event and could be a real life-changer for our students.

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

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