Category Archives: Our Schools

Zoo to You brings hands-on experiences to Lanigan Elementary

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Zoo to You visited Lanigan Elementary School in Fulton recently to present an educational program and deliver adoption certificates.

Each fourth-grade class adopted an animal from the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. The money was raised from a math-fact-a-thon held earlier in the year during which students studied multiplication facts and collected pledges.

The animals adopted by Lanigan students included a Red Panda, Reticulated Python, Bald Eagle and Snow Leopard.

There are two bald eagles and four snow leopards at the Syracuse zoo.

As a token of the zoos appreciation, each of the four classes received a gift bag filled with fact sheets, adoption certificates, colored photos and a stuffed animal.

Students will take turns bringing the plush animal home with them. Their adventures will be recorded in a traveling journal.

Zoo to You’s goal is to increase awareness of the animal kingdom and encourage students to be environmentally conscious. Each program includes live animals such as birds, reptiles and invertebrates.

Professional Zoo Educator Ashley brought along a Ball Python, Chilean rose hair tarantula and a screech owl.

Students were able to pet Namari the python, and feel how its skin is smooth, not slimy. Namari eats a meal of two dead mice once weekly. He smells with his forked tongue and swallows its prey by unhooking its jaw.

Gerty the tarantula was kept safe in a plastic enclosure. Her job is to eat bugs, and the zoo mimics the diet she would have in the wild.

The Eastern screech owl Pigwidgeon was born in Cato, and was tragically involved in a car accident. Pigwidgeon was blinded in one eye, and experienced some brain damage. For this reason, Pigwidgeon is kept safe behind the scenes at the zoo, and makes frequent classroom visits.

Students learned screech owls live in Central New York. They can be found wherever trees are, and camouflage themselves during the day. The bird of prey is nocturnal, and catches food with its feet.

The fourth-graders also were given a quick math lesson that just so happened to fit into their unit on fractions.

Pigwidegeon can turn his head 270 degrees, or three-fourths around. Humans can only rotate their heads 180 degrees.

 

Big changes in store for Oswego County BOCES CTE program

By Ashley M. Casey

With a $35 million renovation of the Oswego County BOCES complex on the agenda for this summer and some new programs on the way, the Career and Technical Education branch of BOCES is undergoing some big changes for the 2014-15 school year.

CTE Principal Marla Berlin, who took the helm in September 2013, presented an update on the programs’ progress at the Feb. 11 Fulton Board of Education meeting. This academic year, 123 of the county’s 704 CTE students come from the Fulton district.

Berlin, who previously taught business at Mexico High School, said CTE is introducing a STEM academy, two business education programs and “Career Connections,” an effort aimed at disengaged 10th graders.

Career Connections is a half-day exploratory career program that lets 10th graders who are in danger of dropping out of high school experience the various programs CTE has to offer. Berlin said the program’s goal is to “try to hook them into learning” and “bring back that joy of learning.” Although enrollment numbers are not yet final, Berlin said she expects up to 40 students to participate.

Next year, CTE will also eliminate the Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology programs.

“It really was not self-sustaining and not supported by local labor markets,” Berlin told the Fulton school board.

Berlin told The Valley News that current 11th-graders in those programs can continue in different CTE programs next year. She said one student who is interested in opening a floral shop one day may take the new business program, and another botany-minded student may continue in the new STEM academy.

The STEM academy will use scientific inquiry to solve real world problems. Berlin said BOCES has acquired 3-D printers for use in the digital media, STEM and motor sports fabrication programs. Students are using the 3-D printers to design and create objects. She said one of BOCES’ non-3-D printers has a broken component that is no longer made by the printer’s manufacturer.

“Our students are working with CAD and 3-D printers to design … and replicate that part,” Berlin said.

She said BOCES is also looking into buying a 3-D printer that uses chocolate and hard candy for the culinary arts students to create their own confections.

“The kids here think out of the box,” Berlin said. She recalled one student who suggested that BOCES build a mini-fire station for CTE public safety students to practice. “It says a lot about the innovative and creative thinking that kids are inspired to do while they’re here.”

CTE’s programs align with New York state’s new Common Core Learning Standards, which have an emphasis on hands-on, project-based learning and real-world application.

“That’s how they learn, that’s what excites them, and that’s what keeps them in school so they graduate,” Berlin said.

Students in CTE programs are held to industry standards and participate in internships with local companies.

“The success of our internship placement really depends on community support,” Berlin said. “We have excellent rapport (and we’re) making sure our students are knowledgeable, prepared and appropriate for those placements.”

CTE works with Oswego County and the state Department of Labor to keep a finger on the pulse of the county’s job market and place students in fields in which they can find jobs upon graduation.

“It’s not just about placing students just to place them somewhere,” Berlin said. “We truly want to help them move forward in their career path.”

Recently, Oswego’s CTE students won 32 awards in the regional SkillsUSA competition at Morrisville State College. Oswego took the top three spots in collision repair. Many students will go on to the state conference in April at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.

Despite the whirlwind five months of hard work her new position has brought, Berlin said it has been rewarding.

“It’s all about the kids, watching them learn and their experiences the instructors give them,” she said. “Whenever I get bogged down with paperwork, I walk through the programs. That just makes me smile. They’re looking at their future.”

Fulton wrestlers compete today to go to New York State Tourney

By Dan Farfaglia

All wrestlers in Section 3 today (Saturday, Feb. 15) are competing at Onondaga Community College for the right to represent their weight class at the New York State Tournament,  which will be held in Albany Feb. 28 and March 1.

In order to take part in today’s event, they had to place in the top five in their Class tournament.

Last Saturday at Indian River High School, the Fulton Red Raider wrestling team finished in first place in the Section 3 Class As.

Overall they accumulated 264.5 points and 16 of their wrestlers earned the right to participate in today’s state qualifiers.

Mitch Woodworth (120 pounds), Travis Race (160 pounds) and Jonathan Earl (132 pounds) finished the day as champions in their individual weight classes.

Joe Abelgore (106 pounds) and Collin Flynn (145 pounds) came in second place.

Finishing in third were Kevin Tucker (113 pounds), Tim Holden (138 pounds), Kyle Ware (also at 145 pounds), Aaron Yablonski (152 pounds), James Bailey (170 pounds), Noah Gates (182 pounds) and Matt Marshall (220 pounds).

Coming in fourth place were Nick Noel (99 pounds), Mitch LaBeef (126 pounds) and Malachi Manford (285 pounds).

Jacob Bailey (152 pounds) won the fith place prize.

Hannibal, Phoenix compete in track championships

By Rob Tetro

The Hannibal and Phoenix boys’ and girls’ varsity indoor track teams took part in The Class B, Section 3 Championships Feb. 6 at SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College.

Hannibal’s girls’ varsity indoor track team earned a fifth place overall finish. The Warriors boys’ varsity indoor track team finished in seventh place overall.

The Phoenix girl’s varsity indoor track team placed seventh overall while the boys’ from Phoenix came in with a fourth place overall finish.

Hannibal girls

In the Girls 55 Meter Dash, Hannibal’s Tayler Dence placed third at 7.69 seconds. Dence had another successful showing in the 300 Meter Dash, where she placed fourth at 45.67 seconds.

In the Girls 100 Meter Run, eighth-grader Reilly Harris finished second with a time of 3:24.5 while Kristen D’Angelo came in seventh at 3:29.56. Harris was also impressive in the Girls 1500 Meter Run where she placed eighth with a time of 5:20.42.

In the Girls 300 Meter Run, Michaela Sheldon placed sixth at 12:02.89.

Perhaps one of most memorable moments for Hannibal’s Tayler Dence was still yet to come. Her time of 9.75 seconds earned her The Class B, Section 3 Championship in the Girls 55 Meters Hurdles event.

Led by Paige LaFurney, Katherine Martinez, Rebekah Mills and Kasi Blanchard, the Lady Warriors earned an eighth place finish in the Girls 4 x 200 Relay with a time of 2:17.32.

In the Girls 4 x 400 Meter Relay, Kasi Blanchard, Paige LaFurney, Rebekah Mills and Michaela Sheldon led Hannibal to seventh place at 5:17.49.

Led by Reilly Harris, Kristen D’Angelo, Rebekah Mills and Michaela Sheldon, the Lady Warriors clinched fourth in the 4 x 800 Meter Relay at 11:12.60. Kristen D’Angelo placed fifth with a distance of 14-08.75 in the Girls Long Jump.

Phoenix girls

The Phoenix girls’ varsity indoor track team had its fair share of success as well.

In the Girls 600 Meter Run, Haylie Virginia finished fourth at 1:48.73. Destiny Teel placed 12th with a time of 10.59 seconds the Girls 55 Meter Hurdles.

Led by Brandi Ashley, Destiny Maybe, Amanda Deryke and Alexis Gabrielle, the Lady Firebirds placed seventh in the Girls 4 x 2000 Meter Relay with a time of 2:15.50. In the Girls 4 x 800 Meter Relay, Meghan Lantz, Brianna Ball, Emma Brunell and Emilie Schneider led Phoenix to eighth with a time of 12:58.01.

In the Girls High Jump, Haylie Virginia placed fifth with a distance of 4-08.00. Destiny Teel placed second in the Girls Pole Vault at 8-06.00.

It seems Haylie Virginia saved her best for last. With a distance of 16-04.00, Virginia earned the Sectional Championship in The Girls Long Jump Event.

Hannibal boys

It was another stellar effort by the Hannibal boys’ varsity indoor track team.

In the Boys 600 Meter Run, Ben Slate placed seventh at 1:34.73. Slate later won the Sectional Championship in the Boys 1000 Meters with a time of 2:44.12.

In the Boys 1600 Meter Run, Jason McFarland finished sixth at 5:12.07. McFarland was also solid in the Boys 3200 Meter Run, finishing third at 10:29.36.

In the Boys 55 Meter Hurdles Event, Sean Lange earned ninth place with a time of 9.86 seconds. Led by Ben Raymond, Jared Mason, Austin Cooper and John Motell, the Warriors took fifth in the Boys 4 x 200 Meter Relay with a time of 1:46.70.

In The 4 x 400 Meter Relay, Ben Raymond, Blake Farnham, Austin Cooper and Sean Lange led Hannibal to seventh place at 4:04.93. The Warriors capped off the event by taking third in the Boys 4 x 800 Meter Relay, with Austin Baker, Jason Mc Farland, John Motell and Ben Slate posting a time of 9:14.94.

Phoenix boys

It was also a very impressive day for The Phoenix boys indoor track team.

In the Boys 600 Meter Run, Mike Leach placed fifth at 1:33.55. Following Leach was Anthony Brienza who finished eighth at 1:36.76.

With a time of 3:00.96, Eric Hillpot came in fifth in the Boys 1000 Meter Run.

In the Boys 3200 Meter Run, Mike Girard placed sixth at 11:30.91. Dylan Switzer placed sixth in the Boys 55 Meter Hurdles with a time of 9.41 seconds.

The team of Mike Leach, Anthony Brienza, Sean Madden and Dylan Switzer took third in the Boys 4 x 400 Meter Relay with a time of 3:44.60. The Firebirds were also stellar in the Boys 4 x 600 Meter Relay with Mike Leach, Eric Leach, Mike Girard and Anthony Brienza placing second in a time of 9:14.86.

Eric Hillpot won the Sectional Champions in the Boys High Jump with jump of  5-08.00. In the pole vault, Andy Padula came in second with a height of 12-00.00.

The Firebirds also had a decent showing in the Boys Long Jump, with Andy Padula in second with a distance of 18-11.00. Teammate Sean Madden came in fourth with a jump of 18-06.00 and Dylan Switzer placed eighth with a distance of 17-08.50.

The day concluded with another Sectional Championship for a Phoenix athlete, as Andy Padula won the Sectional Championship in the Boys Triple Jump with a distance of 41-02.50.

Hannibal girls’ hoops close season strongly

By Rob Tetro

The Hannibal girls’ varsity basketball team won 3 out of its last 4 games of the regular season, finishing a 11-6 campaign.

On Feb. 1, Hannibal knocked off Solvay, 44-35. The Lady Warriors rolled past Jordan-Elbridge, 60-27 on Feb. 3.

On Feb. 7, Hannibal fell to county rival, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, 50-38. The wrapped up  the year with a win over Cazenovia, 46-41 on Feb. 11.

Hannibal and Solvay were tied at 9 after the first quarter of their game. Solvay pulled ahead in the second and took a 4-point lead at the half.

The Lady Warriors then took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring  Solvay by 15 points to take an 11-point lead. Solvay couldn’t overtake the lead Hannibal had put on the board so the Lady Warriors won by 9 points.

Leading the way for the Lady Warriors was Devin Sorell with 20 points, followed by Spencer Kenney with 9, Sydney Alton with 7, McKenzie Mattison with 5 and Rachel Shute with 3.

The Lady Warriors pounded Jordan-Elbridge Feb. 3, with Devin Sorell scoring 22 points. Gabby Griffin scored 13, followed by McKenzie Mattison with 11 and Sarah Otis with 6.

A-P-W was trailing Hannibal after the first quarter of its game and then Hannibal doubled its lead for a score of 22-16 at the half.

But then, A-P-W began pouring it on, outscoring he Lady Warriors by 8 points in the third quarter and 10 points in the fourth quarter for the 50-38 win.

Leading the way for A-P-W were Devin Jones and Kylee Bartlett, who scored 11 points each against Hannibal. Following Jones and Bartlett was Katie Palmer with 9, Alexis Stevens with 8 and Erin Stever with 7.

Hannibal was led by Devin Sorell with 17 points, followed by Sydney Alton, Spencer Kenney and McKenzie Mattison with 5 points each. Gabby Griffin added 4 points.

Hannibal stormed past Cazenovia in the season finale, but the two teams were tied at 13 after the first quarter.

Caz pulled ahead during the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Warriors by 2 points to take a 24-22 lead into halftime.

Hannibal took care of business during the second half, outscoring Caz by 4 points in the third quarter and 3 points in the fourth quarter to win 46-41.

Leading the way for Hannibal was Devin Sorell with 24 points, followed by Spencer Kenney with 9, McKenzie Mattison with 6, Sydney Alton with 3 and Gabby Griffin added 3.

Fulton varsity hockey finishes season on a sour note

By Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity hockey team went 1-4 during its last 5 games of the season.

The team finished the season with a 2-18-1 overall record.

On Jan. 26, Lake Placid rolled past Fulton, 6-2. The Red Raiders knocked off Ontario Bay, 6-4 on Jan. 29. On Jan. 30, Watertown-IHC held off Fulton, 4-3. Watertown-IHC also won the Feb. 3 rematch with the Red Raiders, 5-1.

Syracuse (a team consisting of several Syracuse-area players) cruised past Fulton, 5-1 on Feb. 4.

Lake Placid jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over Fulton in th first period and carried the 3-goal advantage into the half.

The Red Raiders were unable to get any closer during the game, as Lake Placid outscored Fulton by a goal during the third period en route to the 6-2 win.

The Red Raiders were led by Bryce Knight and Austin Vashaw with a goal each. Following Knight and Vashaw were Seth DeLisle and Stan Kubis with an assist each. Goalies Spencer Evans and Brandon Ladd combined to save 35 shots.

After a hard-fought first period in the Ontario Bay game, the teams were tied at 1-1.

Fulton stormed ahead during the second period, outscoring Ontario Bay by 2 goals to take a 4-2 lead. Both teams scored 2 goals during the third period as the Red Raiders came away with a 6-4 win.

Leading for Fulton was Bryce Knight with 4 goals and an assist. Trae Sheldon had a goal and an assist. Seth DeLisle is credited with 3 assists and Ross Ryan tallied an assist. Goalie Brandon Ladd saved 21 shots Ontario Bay sent his way.

Watertown-IHC escaped with a hard fought win over the Red Raiders. the game was tied at 1-1 following the first period and then Fulton built a lead in the second to take a 3-2 lead into intermission.

Watertown-IHC made the most of the third period, putting the puck in the net to tie the game at 3 and force overtime. Watertown-IHC then scored the game winning goal in overtime.

Fulton was led by Bryce Knight wiht a goal and an assist. Seth DeLisle and Rocco Cannata had a goal each while Trae Sheldon is credited with 2 assists. Matt Billion also tallied an assist. Goalie Brandon Ladd saved 41 shots.

In the rematch with Watertown-IHC, Watertown jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first period. Both teams scored a goal in the second period and then Watertown-IHC scored again in the third period and held Fulton scoreless to win 5-1.

Leading the way for Fulton was Seth DeLisle with a goal assisted by Trae Sheldon. Goalie Brandon Ladd is credited with 31 saves.

In the Syracuse game, the Red Raiders trailed 1-0 after the first period. In the second, both teams scored one goal as Syracuse took a 2-1 lead into intermission.

Syracuse pulled away during the third period, outscoring Fulton by 3 goals to secure a 5-1 win.

The Red Raiders were led by Seth Cooney with one goal. Eric Forderkonz and Kris Grow had an assist each. Goalies Brandon Ladd and Landon VanAlstine combined to save 40 shots.

Fitzhugh Park elementary evacuated due to smoke

UPDATE from the police and fire departments:

At about 11:41 a.m., Oswego City Fire and Police crews were called to the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School (195 East Bridge Street Oswego, NY) in regard to a small fire
isolated in a trash can.
The school was evacuated as emergency crews arrived on scene. Upon arrival, the fire had already been extinguished by a school district employee.
The scene was evaluated by the Oswego Fire Department and deemed safe to allow reentry.
There were no injuries reported as a result of the incident, and Oswego Fire and Police personnel remain on scene investigating the cause of the fire in cooperation with Oswego City School District personnel.

Students at the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School in Oswego were evacuated from the building for a short time this morning as smoke was reported on the second floor.

Upon further investigation the source of the smoke was a fire in a waste basket.

The Oswego Fire Department and district personnel have been on the scene. 

There were no injuries.

Officials have allowed the students to return to their classrooms.

District officials are continuing their investigation  into the cause of the fire.

2 Mexico grads perform with SU band at Super Bowl

By Ashley M. Casey

They didn’t get to stay for the game, but two Syracuse University students from Mexico, N.Y., played in the school’s marching band at Super Bowl XLVIII.

Anthony Veiga, a junior music education major, and Shaun Kinney, a sophomore music industry major, are alumni of Mexico High School. They boarded a bus at 4 a.m. Feb. 2, arriving in New Jersey five hours later to rehearse with the Rutgers University marching band.

“The NFL was looking for a band to represent what they considered the New York Super Bowl,” said Veiga, who plays the baritone.

But New Jersey governor Chris Christie pointed out that MetLife Stadium, while it is the home of the New York Giants, is located in East Rutherford, N.J.

“We had to ask Rutgers to join us,” Veiga said.

In 2013, SU’s marching band, led by Justin Mertz, played in Montreal for a Buffalo Bills game and Houston, Texas, for the Pinstripe Bowl. The band also plays for SU football’s home games and may travel to away games in the future.

“We went to the Heisman Gala, which is the dinner for the Heisman Trophy,” Veiga said.

Despite the miles the band has racked up, they had never been to the Super Bowl before.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Veiga said.

The band members had to keep the news of the performance under wraps.

“When we were first told, we went nuts,” Veiga said. “We had to keep it a secret until the NFL let it go public.”

Kinney, a tuba player, said the band members complained somewhat about the rehearsal schedule, but “everybody thought the rehearsals were worth it when we got there.”

“It was amazing. It was just cool to be part of the production,” Kinney said.

The band spotted a few celebrities while waiting to run onto the field for the pre-game performance.

“Kevin Bacon walked by,” Kinney said. “Being around all these people you see on TV that are famous … (was) pretty crazy.”

“We got to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and they mingled with the band,” Veiga said. There was no sight of halftime headliner Bruno Mars, however.

Kinney said he remembered little of the performance because it was so brief.

“Being right about to run on the field — that’s where it really hit me that we were at the Super Bowl,” he said. “It went like a flash.”

“It was about just doing the show, and less focusing on the environment,” Veiga said. “I never thought I’d be able to do that.”

Veiga said performing with Rutgers was a unique part of the Super Bowl experience as well.

“We got to meet a different band. You double in size — it’s really loud and really cool,” he said.

Unfortunately, the musicians did not get to see the game. They loaded their equipment to head back to Syracuse during performance by opera singer Renee Fleming (grad of SUNY Postman’s Crane School of Music) of the national anthem.

Fireworks went off and helicopters buzzed overhead.

“Some of the (seniors) were actually crying … because it was their last marching band event,” Kinney said. “What a way to go out!”

Veiga said he didn’t think SU would get to play the Super Bowl again, but he joked with the band director, “What are you going to do next year to match this?”