Tag Archives: Willink Middle School

YOU need to come to the Willink play

25 Apr
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Mayli Nitsch, Olivia Freida and Alex Ramirez work on a scene during rehearsal. (Provided)

Paradise Junction is just about the most perfect small town in the world.

It’s a place where everybody gets along, the sun is always shining, and the tomatoes grow as big as beach balls. So when a TV network offers to film a reality show there, the townsfolk jump at the chance. After all, the town will receive five million dollars, while the publicity promises to turn the residents into TV stars.

But host Wink Smiley has his own agenda. Secrets are revealed, old feuds are rekindled, and the town’s annual pie-baking contest is turned into a massive food fight. Now it’s up to Joe Goode, owner of the Rise ’n’ Shine Diner, to save the town.

Find out for yourself if he’s successful when the students of Willink Middle School present the student-run play Paradise Junction on Friday May 4 at 7 p.m. and Saturday May 5 at 1 p.m.

The heartwarming comedy is inspired by the films of Frank Capra such as It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Tickets are just $5 and will be available at the door.

Willink Middle School is located at 900 Publisher’s Parkway, Webster. For more information, visit willinkstudentrunplay.club.

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Julia Maciag, Jakob Rothfuss (Technical Director) and Colby Armstrong (Performing Director) work on set pieces for Paradise Junction. (Provided) 

Thank you to Jakob Rothfuss for providing all this information and the photos!

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What I found out at Community Arts Day

16 Apr

I mentioned in a few of my previous posts how much I look forward to Community Arts Day every year, in large part because I get to check in with a lot of community agencies and visit with some people I only see once a year — at this event.

As usual, this year I came away with a whole bunch of flyers about upcoming events, most of which I will be developing into individual blogs in the near future. But for now, let me give you a teaser:

  • The Webster Public Library is sponsoring an unusual fund-raiser. Well, actually, a HAT-raiser. They’re looking for generous people to make hats, caps and head-warmers of all sorts for sale this fall to support library programming. You can knit, crochet, sew, or weave the hats (whatever!) and make them any size or design, then drop off your creations at the pubic library by October 1.
  • The Webster Library’s Spring Book Sale is scheduled for Thursday April 26-Saturday April 28. You can get more details by clicking here.

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  • Willink’s fourth annual student-run play will hit the stage on Friday May 4 and Saturday May 5. It’s called “Trouble in Paradise Junction,” which they describe as a “love letter to small town life.” Tickets go on sale Wednesday April 18. For more information visit willinkstudentrunplay.club.
  • The Friends of Webster Trails reminded me that there’s a new trail in town! The new Yellow Trail has recently been completed at Four Mile Creek Preserve, at the corner of Phillips and Lake roads. It’s an extension of an already existing trail system which itself is one of the newer jewels in Webster’s outstanding trail system. Find out more at www.webstertrails.org. And while you’re there, drop them a few bucks and become a member.

Stay tuned for more details about these and other upcoming Webster events, including the Chorus of the Genesee’s annual spring concert, which this year will welcome the Core, and the Yellow Jackets. I just got a flyer in the mail, and will tell you more about that shortly.

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Webster PTSA spreads kindness one locker at a time

29 Mar

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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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Webster mailbag (redux)

1 Mar

It always happens.

I post a mailbag one day, and the next day I find out about — or am reminded  of — several other events which I should have included. So pardon the redundancy, but here is this week’s mailbag, part 2.

Start your Friday night with dinner

spaghettiBoy Scout Troop 110 will host a spaghetti dinner on Friday March 2 at 7 p.m. at the Webster Masonic Lodge, 30 Orchard Street.

Dinner will include salad, bread, spaghetti with meatballs, ice cream, coffee and water. Tickets are $9 each and will be available at the door.

Spry vs. Willink Basketball 

After dinner,  how about taking in a friendly basketball game?

The Webster Willink and Spry Middle School Student Councils are once again sponsoring the annual benefit basketball game between Willink and Spry students, staff, and new this year, special guests Rochester Wheels wheelchair basketball team.

The game will be held Friday March 2, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gymnasium. Tickets are $5 each and will be available at the door.  Refreshments and other concessions will be available for purchase.

This year the Spry Student Council will be donating their proceeds to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; and the Willink Student Council will be donating their proceeds to the Jack Foundation.

basketball

The evening will begin with three student games, featuring Spry vs. Willink 6th, 7th and 8th graders. After those, Spry and Willink faculty members will join forces to play the Rochester Wheels. It should be some great family-friendly fun.

Webster Schroeder High School is at 875 Ridge Road, Webster.

Need more basketball? 

The 5th annual Rumble on the Ridge, Webster Thomas faculty vs. Webster Schroeder faculty basketball game, will be held Saturday March 3 at Webster Schroeder, beginning at 6 p.m.

Cost is $5 per person at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Jack Foundation, Rochester Challenger Miracle Field and the Webster United Basketball Team.

Organizers promise that “it won’t be great basketball, but it will be entertaining.”

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Ping pong and basketball news

13 Feb

Thanks to Debbie Kazimer for sending me the following information about the ping pong tournament held at Thomas High School Tuesday afternoon.

The charity tournament was organized by National Honor Society seniors Ben Kazimer, Matt Hill, David Tomer and Will Johnson to benefit Honor Flight, Rochester.

Thirty-two players participated in the tournament, including Superintendent Carmen Gumina, who challenged Ben to a match. Ben won in two very close games. Gumina and Ben each bet $20, and Ben donated his winnings to Honor Flight.

Webster Thomas principal Glenn Widor and several teachers also played in the tournament.

The boys succeeded in raising $1,000 for Honor Flight, an amazing achievement which reflected the hard work they put into organizing the tournament. Not pictured here are all of the raffle donations they collected from local businesses; they even got the trophies donated.

Our young people in Webster are something special.

 

And now, BASKETBALL!

The annual benefit basketball game sponsored by the Willink and Spry middle school student councils returns this year, but with a twist.

Or maybe a roll.

The annual game, scheduled for Friday March 2, pits students against students and (usually) staff against staff. But this year there’s an exciting new feature:  special guests the Rochester Wheels wheelchair basketball team will be joining the fun.

The sixth graders start the competition with boys versus boys followed by girls versus girls. They’re followed by the seventh and eighth graders playing together, with the boys starting and the girls finishing.

Finally, the Spry and Willink staff will team up this year to take on Rochester Wheels. That game alone will be worth the price of admission.

The two middle school student councils have raised tens of thousands of dollars over the years for an array of worthy causes. This year Spry Student Council is donating its proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Willink Student Council is donating its share to the Jack Foundation.

The game will be held on Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gym. Tickets are available for students to purchase during most lunches at both schools, and for all to buy at the door for a donation of $5 each. Refreshments and other concessions will be available for purchase. Additional donations of any amount are gladly accepted.

This is an awesome family-friendly, community event which will benefit some great community organizations. Everyone is invited to join in the fun.

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Webster Monday Mailbag

28 Jan

Happy new week! Here are some neat events coming up you might want to check out, starting with Willink Middle School’s upcoming production of Legally Blonde, Jr.

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Based on the award-winning Broadway musical and the smash hit motion picture, Legally Blonde The Musical Jr. is a fabulously fun journey of self-empowerment and expanding horizons. The show’s instantly recognizable songs are filled with humor, wit and sass – leaving cast members and audiences alike seeing pink!

Legally Blonde Jr. follows the transformation of Elle Woods (Sarah Lewandowski) as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. When Elle’s high school boyfriend, Warner, (Jacob Sukhenko) dumps her and heads to Harvard, claiming she’s not “serious” enough, Elle takes matters into her own hands, crafting a showy song-and-dance personal essay and charming her way into law school. Befriending classmate, Emmett (Jake Groff), and spunky hairdresser, Paulette (Shanna Smith), along the way, Elle finds that books and looks aren’t mutually exclusive.

An energetic case and crew numbering more than 100 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders have been working hard for months to bring this show the stage, and you’re gonna be impressed with the results.

Legally Blonde Jr. will be performed at Willink Middle School, 900 Publishers Parkway, on Friday February 2 at 7:30 and Saturday February 3rd at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, and can be purchased through the Drama Club website the week beginning this week.

Les Miz Tickets on Sale

And since we’re talking school musical productions, I should mention that tickets are now on sale for Webster Schroeder High School’s production of Les Miserables. 

The show will take the stage in four shows February 8 through 11.

Reserve tickets are $12, and can be purchased online by clicking here. You can also get them at Wegmans and at the door if it’s not sold out.

 Free Mardi Gras Pancake Supper

St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Road, will host a free Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday February 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. The menu will include sausage and applesauce, and unlimited pancakes.

You’re invited to attend this family-friendly event in your most festival Mardi Gras attire, and there will be plenty of beads for everyone. Plus, you’ll be able to make your own masks.

The dinner is free, but a free-will offering for outreach projects can be made. Call the church at 671-1899 with questions or to reserve seats.

Pancake Breakfast at Rochester Christian School

PCBF2018If you don’t get your fill of pancakes at St. Martin, make sure to visit Rochester Christian School on Saturday February 23, for their annual breakfast, which will benefit the VIP playground project.

This is the school’s 23rd annual event. Breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, fruit, milk, juice and coffee. Plus, there will be family-friendly games, so make sure to bring the kids.

Breakfast will be served from 8:30 to 11:30 am at the school, 260 Embury Road. Tickets are $6 for adults, (max $25 per family) and free for children under 2.

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Oak Tree Award winners announced

13 Apr

The 2017 Oak Tree Awards for teaching excellence have been announced, and the winners are …..

Stacy Russotti, a fifth grade teacher at Plank South Elementary School, and Dave Stacy RussottiKowalski, a seventh grade science teacher at Willink Middle School.

Stacy was nominated by parent Patty Kaptein and received letters of recommendation from Plank South Principal Scott Wilcox and fellow fifth grade teacher Ronnette West, herself a previous Oak Tree recipient.

In the nomination letter, Kaptein wrote,

One special communication that really struck me at the beginning of the school year was in September (Russotti) personally called every student’s family member to check in on how the students where adjusting to her fifth grade classroom and to address any issues happening in her classroom early on. My daughter’s fifth grade class (was introduced) to the Honor Flight Rochester program…(with) students from the fifth grade attending the Honor Flight Rochester welcome home ceremony at the Rochester International Airport.

Dave Kowalski

Dave Kowalski was nominated by Bill Ottman, WCSD director of science and technology, and Brian Zimmer, WCSD director of educational technology and information. He also received letters of recommendation from Principal Gindling and Willink seventh grade English teacher Todd Putnam, who is also a previous Oak Tree recipient.

In nominating him, Ottman said that Kowalski is a

true collaborator… with a deep understanding of the concepts and skills you teach, a love of children, and a willingness and desire to continually challenge yourself to stay current and relevant to your students.

 

Congratulations to both recipients.

SparX wins top honors

Sparx Innovation in Control award

And while we’re at it, congratulations also go out to our Webster schools SparX robotics team, which recently won the Innovation in Control Award at the F.I.R.S.T. Buckeye Regional held in Cleveland, OH, the first weekend in April.

The award is presented to the team in which their spokesperson can identify and describe the controls innovation and can trace its conception, design, manufacturing/ assembly, or deployment. The control system must be innovative and unique and integrated with the machine, human players, strategy, etc., in concept and execution. The innovation must be practical, addressing the game’s challenge (not just a cute idea), and reliable under the stress of competition.

SparX received a trophy and plaque for the honor.

I got a chance to see this group of young people demonstrating their robotic handiwork at Community Arts Day. Their accomplishments are always impressive.

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Middle schools give back to our community

24 Mar
Spry Student Council

Principal James Baehr and members of the Spry Middle School Student Council present a check to AutismUp. (Provided photo)

As you all know, I love using this blog to highlight the great things our kids do for our community. Here is another excellent example.

Willink and Spry middle schools host an annual charity basketball game each spring, at which student and staff teams challenge each other in several friendly — if not exactly competitive — games. The event always benefits two local charities, one chosen by each school’s student council.

This year’s event was held on March 3, and once again it was spectacularly successful. A few days ago, representatives from Willink and Spry presented checks totaling about $2900 each to their chosen charities: the Veterans Outreach Center and AutismUp.

On March 20, Willink Student Council officers Daniel Card, Ben Welch, Megan VanWie, and Greyson McDonnell visited the Veterans Outreach Center to present their share of the money raised from the charity game. The Veterans Outreach Center provides comprehensive resources to current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families through direct service, community collaboration, and advocacy.

Two days later, Spry Middle School Student Council officers Miles Curry, Hannah Tischner, Haley Bolton, Antonia Ciccarelli, Sophia Veltri, Sierra Doody, and Jillian Alexander welcomed a representative from AutsimUp to present her with a check. AutismUp supports individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families, by expanding and enhancing opportunities to improve quality of life.

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Willink Student Council

Representatives from the Willink Middle School Student Council present a check to the Veterans Outreach Center. (Provided photo) Enter a caption

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News from the schools

18 Mar

I received a few important announcements from the schools in the last few days.

The first is of interest to anyone who’s planning to enter this year’s Reflections Contest as part of Community Arts Day. Due to the wicked weather we had this week, the deadline for entries has been extended one week. All art work is now due by Wednesday March 22.

Click here to review the rules and instructions for entering, and good luck!

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Next is news about a very important and thought-provoking presentation coming up next Tuesday.

Community members, staff, parents, and high school students are invited to a Webster screening of the documentary, “I’m Not Racist… Am I?,” on Tuesday, March 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Willink Middle School cafetorium, 900 Publishers Parkway. Light refreshments will be served from 5:50 to 6 p.m.

Here is how the “I’m Not Racist… Am I?” website describes the movie:

“I’m Not Racist… Am I? is a feature documentary about how this next generation is going to confront racism. We asked 12 teenagers from New York City to come together for one school year to talk about race and privilege in a series of workshops and in conversations with friends and family members. We hope that by documenting their experience, the film will inspire others to recognize and interrupt racism in their own lives.
None of these teens think that the racial rules of their parents’ generation apply to them today. They know the US is not post-racial – and they don’t want it to be. They know there is no such thing as being colorblind – and they don’t want to be. But they’re also very clear that the most sought-after schools in New York have mostly white and Asian students and the neighborhoods they want to get out of are black and Hispanic. They know. They just don’t know why.

Join them as they plunge into a year-long journey to get at the heart of racism. What unfolds over the course of the year will challenge their relationships with their friends, within their own families and, most of all, within themselves. We’ll watch as they have the conversations most of us are too afraid to have and we’ll struggle right along with them as they try to make sense of it all in their daily lives. As they push through naiveté, guilt and some tears, we’ll see these remarkable young people develop deeper bonds, a stronger resolve and a bigger, more significant definition of racism than any of us ever imagined.”

There will be opportunity for small group discussion during and immediately following the movie. The documentary is NOT recommended or students in middle school or younger.

Please RSVP by clicking here.  Community members may also access this link by visiting the district website news story on the screening at websterschools.org.

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