Tag Archives: Webster Thomas

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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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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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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Thomas swimmer wins Section V scholarship

12 Feb

Zoe

Zoe Masters (photo courtesy sectionv.org)

And the accolades for our amazing Webster athletes just keep on coming.

Section V Athletics recently announced its fall 2019 scholarship recipients, and Webster Thomas swimmer/diver Zoe Masters was among the winners.

According to the Section V website,

Zoe started swimming on the modified team in seventh grade and has been swimming ever since. She shared that “my family says I’m happiest when I’m in the water and I have the great opportunity to be able to swim year round. Swim is my only sport.”

Her highlight of the season was being “a co-captain this season. Having that opportunity allowed me to interact with everyone on the team and not just the varsity girls.” After high school she is planning to study Mechanical Engineering at RIT, where she also plans to continue swimming. One word that best describes her is “intentional.”

Winners were chosen based on a letter of recommendation from their coach, their high school transcript and activities sheet, and their responses to application questions. More than 80 athletes applied for this season’s scholarships, and only 13 were chosen across the entire Section V.

Winners in each sport receive a $250 scholarship for each sport to be used toward future academic endeavors. To read about all of the other scholarship winners, click here

Congratulations, Zoe!

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Spry and Thomas to present Fiddler and The Music Man

10 Feb

Congratulations to the Webster Schroeder Drama Club for their outstanding production of Chicago over the weekend! The incredible talent that takes the stage every spring for Schroeder musicals continues to astound me.

SMS Fiddler on the Roof Poster V4Next up for theater lovers, Spry Middle School’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof, which will be presented Friday, March 6 and Saturday March 7 at 7:30, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Because of construction at Spry, the performances will be held at Willink Middle School. Stay tuned to websterschools.org for ticket pricing and purchase information. These Spry shows always sell out, so make sure to get your tickets as soon as you can.

The Webster Thomas Players will present the beloved classic The Music Man Thursday, March 26 through Saturday, March 28 nightly at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased by visiting  www.websterthomasplayers.com.

2020-Music-Man-Large-Color

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

21 Oct

IMG_2044

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

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

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

AND NOW to some school news.

It’s time to start your holiday shopping!

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

Bailando con sus amigos!

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

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

Honoring our veterans

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

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

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

New graduation dates

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

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

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

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

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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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