After a Four-year Hiatus, Dodgeball Tournament Returns to J-DHS

Brevin Scullion and Kaleb McCloud

Staff Writers


For the first time since 2014, the Jamesville-DeWitt High School freshman class officers will be hosting a dodgeball tournament for all grades to participate in on Thursday, Feb. 15. A team can have up to seven players and will compete against each other in a bracket-style tournament. The winners of each bracket will receive a trophy and they will face off against the faculty “all-stars”. Teams will not only compete against each other on the court; the team with the best costume will also take home a prize.

To be eligible to participate, each player must have a permission slip signed by their parent and bring in $4. A team can only have up to three baseball players. For safety purposes there are two brackets: one for a freshmen and sophomores and one for juniors and seniors. Along with that, instead of using classic dodgeballs, they are using softer, smaller foam balls to ensure that all participants stay safe.

“The last time we did it was 2014, and that was a big fundraiser for the turf,” said Student Counselor Will Hartley. This year the tournament will be used to raise money for the Freshman Class. They hope to get upwards of 20 teams, but only 14 have signed up so far. Although they have good number right now and expect plenty more teams to sign up, they are light on upperclassmen teams. “Right now we only have one or two, but I think we’ll get a couple of more, at least that is the goal,” said Freshman Class Vice President Johnny Keib.

“I'm really excited that dodgeball is back at JD. It is a cool way to raise money and it is definitely thinking outside of the box,” said sophomore Gavin McCaul, who is participating in the tournament. Freshman Class officers are confident that the tournament will help a lot with fundraising. “I think we will raise a lot of money off of it,” said Freshman Class President Marcus Payne; “it was very successful in the past so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be this year.” The Freshman Class officers hope to raise the money for future events that they want to have, such as a possible show called “JD’s Got Talent.” “We’re very confident that this will be a successful event,” said Keib.

The 2014 dodgeball tournament wasn’t new to the people at J-DHS either. “Previous to 2014 there were four or five tournaments. It was a big deal,” said Mr. Hartley. “I think we’ll definitely have a good turnout, and I think we’ll hold in in the years to come,” said Keib. The tournament is at J-DHS at 6:00 p.m. this Thursday, show up and support the Freshman Class.

Strut your Stuff at the All Sports Booster Club's Fashion Show

Lily Loewenguth and Grace Paparo

Staff Writers


This year the Jamesville-DeWitt Booster Club will hold the “All Sports Booster Club Spring Fling Fashion Show,” on Sunday March 11 at 3 p.m. at Drumlins Country Club. Students representing J-D’s athletic teams and musical department will be walking in the show as a way to raise money for all JD sports teams, since “many athletic necessities are not covered under the budget,” said Vice President of JD All Sports Booster Club Jodi Schwedes who also teaches at Moses DeWitt.

Last year a similar event was held at the NYS fairgrounds for the JD girls lacrosse program. “The committee felt that the location was inconvenient for families and that is why we chose to hold the event, within property lines, at Drumlins,” said Mrs. Schwedes. Last year alone, the girls lacrosse team raised $12,000. This year the booster club hopes to raise at least $15,000 which they will use to help all the sports teams. In addition to ticket sales there will be baskets with items from local businesses available for raffle.

Although the fashion show is designed to highlight seniors from all sports teams, there will be elementary students walking the runway. Underclassmen will be called on to participate if there is not enough senior participates. “We chose to highlight the senior athletes because they have worked so hard over the past four years,” said Mrs. Schwedes. Models will be wearing sponsored clothing from stores including Lord and Taylor, Boom Babies, Apricot Lane, David’s Bridal, Men’s Wearhouse, Eco Chic, and JD athletic clothing supplied by BSN Sports.

Tickets are $10 for students, $20 for general admission and $40 for VIP/front row runway seats. VIP tickets include front row seats and a complimentary gift. They are available for purchase from an event model or online at this link.


Check Out the Library's New Contest

Lily Loewenguth, Grace Paparo, and Jenna Vespi

Staff Writers

To celebrate the month of love, go on a blind date with a book. On the tables in front of the computers in the library, there are a variety of types of books wrapped in brown paper waiting to be hit on. Students can take the book home, unwrap it then spend at least a few minutes with it. After reading it you must “rate your date.” If the book isn’t the right choice for you, you can “ditch the date,” but you have go see Ms. Panek to explain why you didn’t like it. Once a student has completed a rating their name will be put into a raffle and they have a chance of winning a gift card of choice.

This is something Jamesville-DeWitt has never tried before. “We’ve seen it advertised in other libraries and on Pinterest,” said librarian Mary Panek. The books that were chosen to be “date” choices were either by recommendations from students or ones that Ms. Panek has read before.

Another first time event taking place is the “favorite teacher contest.” The favorite teacher contest is a contest that Barnes and Noble has been hosting for about eight years. “We found out about the contest because another teacher emailed me,” said Ms. Panek. This contest gives students the opportunity to write a 500 word or less thank you letter, poem or essay to their favorite teacher. All the pieces are submitted to Barnes and Noble for a chance to win a prize. The store picks a regional winner and a national winner. A regional winner will be rewarded with a $500 gift card. If your piece is picked nationally, your school and the teacher you wrote about will each get $5,000 and you will win a $500 gift card to Barnes and Noble and a NOOK device. Pieces must be submitted to the library by March 2.

Snowy Syracuse

Harland Kissel and Julian Galleta

Staff Writers

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Due to the recent record breaking low temperatures and heavy snowfall, schools around Central New York have had many delays and cancellations. The Jamesville-DeWitt School District had used their two built-in snow days by the first week of January.  Many sporting events and even the semi formal were cancelled because of weather, disappointing many students at J-DHS.

With the recent snow day on Feb 7., students and their families are concerned about how the third snow day, and any more potential snow days, could impact vacation time. There are 185 days where school must be in session, so the the district has to be carefully when building in snow days to the school calendar. “When you have too many snow days, you have to make them up somewhere,” said Principal Paul Gasparini, “there are some schools that have to cut into vacation time, and we are trying our best not to do that.”  So far, vacation time has not yet been effected. The district office is responsible for making the decision on whether or not to cancel school. “The district office works behind the scenes to make sure there’s as little impact as possible on instructional time and on vacation time,” said Mr. Gasparini.

“It’s kind of been up and down, it’s kind of crazy because there’s snow one day and none the next,” said freshman Jacob Cottet. Although the unexpected weather has cancelled many of his swim meets, Cottet isn’t too upset. “I ski a lot, so the snow has been nice,” he said. On the other hand, freshmen Anna Fischi and Luke Reistrom have spent their snow days relaxing and catching up on schoolwork. “I like to stay inside, with a cup of hot cocoa and my big furry blanket, which makes me look like I’m from Game Of Thrones,” said Fischi. She also added her opinion on the temperature. “I want the temperature to get warmer so we can all take our tarps off our pools and pretend like it’s Florida.”

The temperature on some days has reached the high 50s, but has then gone back down to the single digits. Sophomore Tyler Brang appreciates the snow; “when it’s snowing, it’s pretty, and you get to see the snow on the trees, but when it’s warmer, the snow has melted and it’s ugly out.” Freshman Luke Reistrom prefers the cold weather for different reasons. “I want the temperature to get colder, that way we miss more meets, and I don’t want to swim.” He also stated, “I’ve been using my snow days to relax and catch up on homework.”

Juniors Amanda Semel and Patrick Murad both drive to school everyday and have been affected by this weather. “I’ve had to drive really slow to get to school, borderline late to my classes,” said Murad. “It’s been pretty cold and icy on the roads recently so it’s been kind of scary driving some days,” said Semel. “Just be prepared and you’ll be fine,” she suggested. Senior David Tyler explained a troubled experience the icy and snowy weather caused. “I was late to school one day because my truck got stuck in the driveway and I couldn’t get it out. There was an ice patch right underneath the tires so it got stuck in a snowbank.”

The weather in Syracuse has affected many people in the J-D community. It is causing car accidents, traffic, and many more negatives around the area. But people are using this as a time to catch up on many things, and relax. Although Syracuse is considered “crummy” to the majority of people living here, it is good to stay optimistic, because things can only get better as we get closer to spring.


Midterm Exams Come Up Fast for J-D Students

Lucas Bort, Michael Bratslavsky, and Reinaldo Colon

Staff Writers

Less than seven class days remain and midterms are coming up. Students all over Jamesville-DeWitt High School are starting to prepare for the upcoming challenge. Emotions are all over the place, some students ready to ace these tests, and others dreading to take them.

Most students get nervous as the testing approaches. However, freshman Nate Rindfuss says he doesn’t mind the testing and that it is beneficial to the students and the teachers.  Sophomore Alex Pomeroy agrees; “I think midterms are a great assessment and they test what students have learned and understand halfway through the year and it lets teachers know what they will need to focus on the rest of the year.”

With the test so close students are starting to prepare. Freshman Linda Shen says she plans on making a few Quizlets to help her study. Other techniques students mentioned were studying with friends, using notes and using websites. Sophomore Aakash Yalamanchili said he will be using notes and books to study, as well. Some students, such as sophomore Janna VanVranken, will be studying with friends in a study group as well as working on her own.

Some students question whether midterms are necessary considering that there is finals and Regents as well as SATs and ACTs at the end of the year.  However, some people disagree. “They really prepare you for college because you will be having finals halfway through the year, so they’re more of a preparatory thing to help for the future,” said senior Elizabeth Sabatino. “I don’t want to take them, but they are necessary to the curriculum,’’ said freshman Maris Ryan.

One aspect of the stressful tests are the testing conditions. The hundreds of students cramped in a gym for a long test can add to the nervousness for some and can alter students capability to focus. Freshman Will Werner is expecting it to be a bit harder to take the test in the gym since it will be hotter and sweatier. “It’s pretty overwhelming at first, but after a few years you get used to it,” said Sabatino.  

Since freshmen have not yet taken midterms, some of the older students have advice to help students succeed on their first midterms. Sophomore Colby Porter said that students need to study a lot but not go too crazy because they are not that bad. “(The teachers) hype them up too much, but then you realize it’s just another test,” said junior Liam Kaplan. Some students tend to wait for the last minute to study. Senior Owen Farchione said not to walk in there without reviewing all the material first.

Midterms can be a stressful week, with lots of studying and worrying. Remembering to study and relax before will be very helpful in helping you ace the test.  


Chick-Fil-A Grand Opening

Momo LaClair and Paige Stepanian

Staff Writers

Chick-Fil-A is opening its first restaurant in Upstate New York this February. It will be located in Cicero, NY on Route 11. Construction started in late August of 2017, but was originally supposed to begin three months earlier in May. The delay was due to Chick-Fil-A’s corporate offices, according to an article on Many Upstate New Yorkers are looking forward to this new addition to restaurants in the area, especially the students here at Jamesville-DeWitt High School.

The majority of the student body here at J-DHS is aware that Chick-Fil-A is coming to a destination near them, and they’re all excited. “It’s one of my favorite fast food restaurants and the waffle fries are yummy,” said freshman Olivia Norden. “I think it’ll be a successful business because the food there is so good,” said sophomore Payton Shumpert.  The new addition will also allow customers to get different types of food. “It’ll be nice to have more options, especially since their food is high quality,” said senior Emma Prosak.

Chick-Fil-A is known for serving some of the best and freshest meat in the fast food industry. “I know that it’s not too processed, and that it’s probably the realest chicken out there,” said sophomore Janna VanVranken. Many of the students’ favorite thing to order at Chick-Fil-A are the chicken nuggets. “The nuggets taste real, and they’re just so good,” said sophomore Gabby Stickle. Freshman Emma Marks also agrees, “it’s something fresh and something different.”

Although Chick-Fil-A is coming to Upstate NY, it’ll still be about 20 minutes away. However, this won’t stop the student body from commuting to the restaurant; “100 percent I’ll go, I’ll be there three times a week,” said freshman Essex Glowaki. Freshman Kyle Shaw will do whatever it takes to get his chicken; “I’ll walk if I have to.”

Be sure to go check out the new Chick-Fil-A this February in Cicero at the grand opening!


Semi-Formal Postponed to March 3

Jamesville-DeWitt High School's Semi-Formal Dance was postponed to Saturday, March 3. Originally set for Jan. 13, the dance was rescheduled after an unexpected winter storm hit Syracuse with a foot of snow last week. 

For the 80 students that already purchased their tickets, senior class advisor Michael Keenan directs students to "hold onto their tickets until March." If you have purchased a ticket, but now cannot attend on the new date, see Mr. Keenan for a refund. Ticket sales will resume in February for $10 during the lunch pre-sale or $15 at the door.

The Bust-a-Move Club and the Class of 2018, are co-hosting J-DHS’s annual Semi-Formal Dance. This is the first dance of the year and this event is the only of its kind, as the only school dance open to all J-DHS students. Semi also serves as a fundraiser for the groups hosting it. Freshmen through seniors are invited to attend the dance on Saturday from 7 to 10 pm. Tickets are $10 and are sold during lunches this week or they are $15 at the door.

With every major school-wide event comes some conflict, and the annual Semi-Formal is no exception. Each year there are conflicts that the hosts have to consider when picking a date for the dance. Some members of the Boys' Varsity Swimming team will be at their state meet on Long Island on March 3. 

School Improvements

Johnny Keib and Tanner Burns


Staff Writers 

Jamesville-DeWitt High School has seen and will be seeing several new improvements to the building.  Some improvements that have already been made are adding more of the environmentally friendly water fountains around the school. The water fountains are meant to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles used because they are meant to fill up reusable water bottles. There has also been a new carpet added in the Main Foyer. Principal Paul Gasparini is pleased with this addition. “It dampens the sound a little bit. Also this time of year, in that hallway the floors can get very slick and when the floor gets slick, I’ve seen more than one kid go down,” said Principal Gasparini.

Even though there have been several improvements already made, there are some still to come after this school year. The auditorium will be renovated by receiving a new paint job and a new sound booth. All the bathrooms around the school are being redone. Currently some of the bathrooms in the school do not meet school standards. The Large Group Room is also being improved. “It kind of looks terrible right now,” said Principal Gasparini, “It will be very beautiful, the whole inside will be changed.” J-DHS has seen improvements over the course of the year and there are still many to come for next year.


School Security Investigation

Spencer Schultz, Jenna, Vespi, Ali Durkin, and Jillian Risavi

Editor-in-Chief and Producers

On Nov. 16, the threat of a school shooting hit home for Jamesville-DeWitt High School students. During first period, a student discovered suggestive graffiti written in the girls’ red hall bathroom insinuating that a student planned to act violently during the school day on Friday, Nov. 17. That student told the administration. “The first thing I did was call 911,” says Principal Paul Gasparini.

He then issued a “Shelter In Place” warning over the loudspeaker until the situation was thoroughly investigated by DeWitt police. “We were not afraid there was going to be a problem in the hallway. But the reason we issued the shelter in place is because we did not want any students interfering with the police,” says Mr. Gasparini.

After the DeWitt police concluded their investigation on Thursday, which included examinations of the other bathrooms and discussions with students, several officers were stationed in school on Friday, Nov. 17 to assure that the school was safe.

Despite these added precautions, approximately 450 students were absent from school that Friday. Many felt unsafe due to the threat, and several students took to Twitter to express their beliefs on the issue.

This event brought into question J-DHS’s readiness to deal with students or people who may try to inflict harm upon the school.

According to a DeWitt police officer stationed in school on Nov. 17, J-D is the only public high school in the area without a Student Resource Officer. But this doesn’t indicate we are safer than any other school. Rather, we (the editors) believe the situation on Nov. 16 should convince administration that we are just as vulnerable as any other school.

SROs serve to maintain the school’s safety and provide students with an additional outlet during times of distress and danger. The conversation over J-D having an SRO has arisen in the past, but the J-D Board of Education has neglected to consider an SRO because of the negative connotation it may create, says Mr. Gasparini. The Board of Education in the past has felt that having an armed officer would create a negative climate in the school.

Mr. Gasparini himself also questions the need for an SRO. “If you go through our halls at any given time, they’re quiet. There’s not a lot going on,” says Mr. Gasparini. He also cited the “great rapport” that assistant principals Will Dowdell and Dave Nylen have with students and our hall monitor.

Nevertheless, English teacher Kristin Gallivan emphasized her feelings that an SRO would create a more secure school environment. Though the school board felt that an SRO at J-D would send the wrong message, Gallivan says Fayetteville-Manlius was able to successfully implement an officer while still maintaining a positive atmosphere. “We would be able to look to an SRO as a person to talk to, as someone who students can go to in times of threat,” says Mrs. Gallivan, who is an F-M alumna.

Although J-DHS does have two security cameras that are monitored by Attendance Secretary Pam Breck, not all of the cameras are known to be fully-functioning. Unlike other high schools in the area, J-D currently does not have any security footage of inside the school which, if installed, would have been able to identify whoever wrote the suggestive graffitti.

Administration is currently discussing the “expansion of our surveillance footprint,” says Mr. Gasparini. As a principal, Mr. Gasparini says safety is his primary concern. “It’s why we’re in the halls. It’s why we interact with students as much as we can,” he says.

Still, Mr. Gasparini realizes there is a “fine line” between protection and over-surveillance. “That’s the conversation we’re having right now. We’re going to add more security cameras, but it’s a discussion of how we add them, where we add them, how many we add, and how they will be monitored.”

New York Times Editorial Contest Winners

Jacob Marshall and Marcus Payne

Staff Writers

On Oct. 17 English teacher Courtney Romeiser AP Language and Composition class submitted cartoons for the Cartoon and Editorial Contest sponsored by the New York Times. After waiting for a little over a month, the results of the contest came in and are posted outside the library along with all of the other cartoons created by Jamesville-DeWitt High School students. Out of 800 entries, seven students from J-DHS were recognized for their work. This was more than last year, when only three students were recognized. “I was happy,” said junior Mark Davis, one of three students in the top 8. “It only took 30 minutes to an hour to complete,” Davis said. His cartoon showed the cost of making clothes in a third world country and compared it to the cost to buy clothes in America.

Juniors Emma Kesselring and Eden Shiomos were the other two top 8 winners from J-DHS. They both said that they were surprised that they won and that they would not do it again. Shiomos said, “If I do it again my second idea would not be as good as my first.” Shiomos cartoon was a vending machine full of guns. She drew it because she felt that it was a “major issue.” Kesselring’s cartoon was two pictures of a google search of Stephen Paddock and Philando Castile.

Juniors Michael Sizing and Nancy O’Connor, both runners-up, were “happy” and “surprised” that they won. “I put a lot of thought into mine,” said O’Connor; “I knew I was not that good of an artist so I had more thought and less art.” Unlike any of the other participants, Sizing said he would do the contest again. “I almost won, I feel like if I could do it next year i’d probably win,” said Sizing.

Along with the five students listed above Michaela Fay and juniors Emma Buck and Grace Martin were recognized with an honorable mention. Buck’s cartoon was of an Earth’s grave which said “At least we tried (kinda).” Martin’s cartoon shows Trump putting a paper towel down in a pool of water in attempt to help the flooding from the hurricanes in Puerto Rico.

Fay, a sophomore, decided to do the contest when her teacher Mr. Phillips mentioned it to the class, but it was not mandatory. “I saw an article on disability rights and it gave me the inspiration for my cartoon. My grandma is blind so to me disability rights are really important,” Fay said. She learned that making a cartoon is not nearly as easy as it appears. Fay said that it takes a lot of research, composition and planning to get the article right. She is looking forward to doing the contest next year because she will have help from Ms. Romeiser and work on it with other students.

This is the second year Ms. Romeiser’s AP Language and Composition class participated in the cartoon contest. The students choose their topics based on the issue they wanted to show based on an article of the New York Times.

There are many reasons Ms. Romeiser has her students participate in this contest. It helps them with “learning terminology” and “gives the participants a broader audience, and lets them use their skills and talents in different ways,” she said. There were a lot of different cartoons on many different topics like gun violence and sports but most of them were political. “Politics, Presidents response to hurricanes, President issues, sports and North Korea,” were some of the common themes, according to Ms. Romeiser.

All 82 of Ms. Romeiser juniors participated in the editorial contest. The students were easily inspired by things happening around the world in the news that were covered. Both Sizing and Emma Galletta chose to draw political cartoons. Sizing drew a picture of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un playing tug of war over at pit of nuclear weapons. Galletta’s was one of Trump golfing. “Donald Trump is golfing on nice green grass and on his golf ball it says immigrants. He is hitting it towards the hole and where the whole is the flag is torn up and the grass is dead,” said Galletta.

Both Sizing and Galletta’s cartoons have a deeper meaning. By Sizing showing Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump playing tug of war over a pit of weapons symbolizes that “If one of them pushed (the) other just enough that one of them would basically destroy the countries.” Galleta said her cartoon represents how Donald Trump is taking immigrants from a good place (America), and kicking them out to a worse place.

Junior Sawyer Parker’s cartoon had yet another theme. Her cartoon was based on the topic of climate change. She had four different mini pictures drawn on the sheet of paper. Three of them were about the hurricanes that just had happened and the fourth one was of Trump saying that climate change was not a problem.

Junior Max Chirco’s cartoon attacked the idea of racial profiling. His cartoon was a police officer telling Martellus Bennett to get on his knees and Bennett responds by saying “I thought I was told not to take a knee?” “It plays off the stereotypes of A. racial profiling, and B. the players aren't allowed to take a knee in the NFL,” said Chirco.

The editorial contest makes an impact on people outside of Ms. Romeiser’s class. All of the issues the students drew about show people their thoughts and ideas on what’s happening in the world today. “It’ll help shed some light on the fact that things aren’t perfect in America and we’re still working to make it better for everyone who lives here,” said Chirco.


What Happened to the School Store?

Brooke Taylor and Yasmine Powers

Staff Writers


Did you know we have a school store? The store is open twice a week during activity period, on Mondays and Wednesdays.  The club meets twice a month and decides what to stock in the store.  They currently sell Gatorade, water, gum, chips, Chewy granola bars, lollipops, and candy.  

The club officers responsible for running the store are juniors Kaitlyn Gera, Kelvin Huynh, Rachel Batizfalvi, and Amandeep Kaur.  When the store is open it is run by the members of the club and it is overseen by one of the club’s officers, who are also the store’s managers, and one of the club’s advisors. “We make a calendar and when people come to the meeting they can sign up for what days they want to work,” said Gera.

The club also decides how to price these items.  In fact, this was the topic of their first meeting of this year.  “We are also taxed on anything we sell, so we also have to include taxes when considering the final prices of everything in the store,” said one of the club’s advisers, Terese Eaton. The club buys most of their items in bulk from grocery stores and then they resell them inside the store in order to make a profit.  “It’s easier to buy in bulk, so we’ll go to BJ’s or Sam’s Club and we’ll buy the items and then we exchange the receipt for money we have in the club,” said Gera.

The sales have raised some money, but not a large amount because the store has some restrictions, like it cannot be open during lunches because the students already have food available to buy from the cafeteria. Many students that are a part of the club also have different academic and athletic obligations, making it sometimes difficult to workout a proper schedule. All the money they gain from their sales, aside from taxes, goes back to the club. They haven't raised quite enough money yet to do anything with it, but this will be a topic discussed at their next club meeting.

In the future, the club would like to expand the inventory in the store to selling clothing.  “They’d like to put the money back into the store, moving forward,”  said Rice.  The officers also look to possibly open the store another day of the school week during activity period. “As the year goes by, maybe we’ll add another day because we know a lot of people stay after school, so it may be beneficial for them to buy a snack,” said Gera.

Corporate Communications established the store, but in 2016, the club took over. Last year, students became quite involved during the second half of the school year, now they run it almost entirely independently. “It was the second half of the year that they ran [the store],” said the club’s other adviser, Stephanie Rice.


Another Successful Year at ESSPA

Emaline Mason

Murphy Foss

Nick Mannion

Staff Writers

Sports Editor

On Nov. 3, Jamesville-DeWitt High School students from  Rambunctious and RamPage earned 31 awards from the Empire State School Press Association for their artistic and journalistic talents. They received the awards for a wide array of pieces, from sculptures to articles, poems to webpage designs.

Members of both clubs as well as students from the Journalism class attended the ESSPA conference, held at the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. The ceremony was held after a collection of seminars that focused on improving students writing and media skills. ESSPA has been promoting the education and development of aspiring high school journalists since 1937. Co-founded by M. Lyle Spencer and Dr. Douglass W. Miller, the organization has been holding this event for 80 years and students from Jamesville-Dewitt have been attending for over two decades.

Both J-DHS’s Rampage and Rambunctious publications took home numerous awards (listed below). “This was our third year going [to the ESSPA conference],” said Rambunctious editor, junior Sophia Liaw, “we’ve grown a lot in terms of quality and amount of awards won.” The conferences have also been helpful in giving suggestions and advice to the publications who have attended. “It has helped us a lot,” said Liaw, “since last fall we’ve added a lot of elements that we learned from ESSPA.” adviser Matt Phillips was also pleased with the publication’s experience this year, “I thought [the event] went very well,” said Mr. Phillips, “we split up and got to go to lots of different workshops.” Rampage adviser Trinity Conner added that she was “very pleased” with the publications awards at ESSPA.

RamPage Awards:

  • Honorable Mention, Feature Writing (Division B), Everett Moss and Evan Blust, (“New Faces in the Old Crowd”)

  • Honorable Mention,  Front Page Design

Rambunctious Awards:


  • Literary Magazine / All New York -- Rambunctious Winter 2017

  • Literary Magazine / All New York -- Rambunctious Spring 2017

  • Best new publication -- Rambunctious Online

  • Online / All New York -- Rambunctious Online

  • Most Improved Publication -- Rambunctious

  • Haberle Conlon, “Before the Flood” (Poetry)


  • Rambunctious Staff, “Mama and I” (Layout)

  • Sofia Liaw, “Sox: a play” (Specialized Content)


  • Michale Schueler, “Stardust” (Poetry)

Honorable Mention

  • Rambunctious Staff, “Carl Wenzel Interview” (Specialized Content)

  • Giovanni Antonucci, “Spring 2017”(Cover Design)


Artwork Awards:


  • Mona Osman, “Seksaka”

  • Mary Dorazio, “HIdden Towers”

  • Claudia Hauser, “Girl” (Photography)

  • Ailish McDevitt, “Blue Suede Shoes” (Photography)

  • Maddy Ferris, “Clown” (Sculpture)

  • Nikki Jiang, “Mice” (Sculpture)

  • Zachary Kushnir, “Keeper” (Sculpture)


  • Caelen Constantino, “Whose Men”

  • Emma Buck, “Venice” (Photography)

  • Katie Tzivanis, “Look Away” (Photography)


  • Anna Naugle, “Photograph” (Photography)

  • Clare DiGiovanni, “Doll”  (Sculpture)

J-DHS Holiday Spirit Wear Sale

Steven Baker and Tarky Lombardi

Staff Writers

The holiday season is here and for those of you looking for gifts, the Corporate Communications classes are having a Spirit Wear Sale. The sale includes long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, a quarter zip sweatshirt, and a winter hat. “ The Corporate Comm. students came up with the idea for the hat because “it’s fun, it’s winter, it’s Syracuse,” said Terri Eaton, one of the  Corporate Communications teachers. It took a lot of trial and error among the Corporate Communication classes to come up with the final designs.

Although, it’s unknown where the proceeds of the Spirit Wear Sale are going yet, Corporate Communications will give it to a good cause. Most J-DHS student athletes buy their JD apparel through the sports they play.“It’s hard for kids that aren’t involved in sports to buy JD clothing and this sale gives them an opportunity to buy some,” said Mrs. Eaton.  Make sure to show your school spirit by purchasing something from the Spirit Wear sale. See Mrs. Eaton or Kristin Gallivan for an order form or visit

Boys Basketball Play For A Great Cause

Francesca Chirco and Everly Kessler

Staff Writers

Our neighbors at Fayetteville-Manlius High School have shown their support for Camp Good Days in years past by hosting dance marathons to raise funds for the organization. This year will be different as Jamesville-DeWitt and F-M will be joining together in a charity basketball game on Friday, Dec. 8, in order to raise money and awareness for the Camp Good Days organization.

This idea of holding a charity basketball game has been something both schools have wanted to do for a couple of years now, as more people can be involved and a greater impact can be made. This year, the students of both the F-M and J-D National Honors Society have been collaborating in order to plan the “Hoops for Courage” game and the smaller fundraisers that will also be taking place. One of J-DHS’s guidance counselors, Diane Ennis, who has been on the Camp Good Days board for three years, was especially interested in hosting a charity game, and she was the one who presented the idea to the NHS officers. Mrs Ennis hopes that this will be a very successful fundraiser and she says her main goal is to “raise money and awareness while having fun in the process.”

The NHS officers from both schools have been planning the game for weeks via conference calls and over email. The officers have been promoting the charity game by putting up posters and giving students the chance to pre-order “Hoops For Courage” shirts for $15. All profits from both of the school’s shirt sales will be given to Camp Good Days. The NHS officers are also responsible for coordinating the details with Mrs. Ennis and Camp Good Days as 10 local campers are being honored at the game and will also be attending a few of the practices. “This game is our way of showing that we care for our community and will always be there to support one another,” says NHS co-vice president, Jenna Vespi.

Leading up to the game, J-DHS’s and F-MHS’s Varsity Boys Basketball teams will be holding joint practices where the campers will have the chance to meet the teams and interact with the players. The coaches are planning to make these practices more relaxed and fun so the kids can participate alongside the varsity players. Not only will these practices benefit the children, but the coaches and players will be equally as impacted.“I think that the joint practice will make the kids less intimidated by us and will be really inspirational for our team,” says J-DHS Head Coach Jeff Ike.

In addition to selling t-shirts at the game, tickets for 50/50 raffles will also be available, as will be tickets to win various baskets donated by local businesses. All revenue from the sales will be donated to Camp Good Days to be used to benefit the children attending the Camp. During the game, children who attend Camp Good Days will serve as honorary coaches and cheerleaders for both teams. These children will be escorted by the players onto the court at half-time as students and spectators alike listen as the J-D Honors Chamber Choir, which is a chorus of 24 hand-picked signers, and campers sing Fight Song, the camp’s anthem. “When I realized I would be playing in this game, I was happy that I would be a part of raising and helping out for this foundation,” says sophomore Matthew Ceiplicki.

For Coach Ike, this is his first time coaching at a charity game of this size. He plans to play this game like any other but reminds his players that “it’s more of raising money than a competitive game.” Senior captain Takuya LaClair is also motivated to give the campers the best possible experience as he knows that this game is important for the kids, their families, the organization, and even both schools. “It’s good that we’re doing this to spread awareness to make their days and make them happy,” says LaClair.

Camp Good Days Syracuse is an organization that provides free programming to kids of all ages who have been diagnosed with cancer. The purpose is to raise their spirits and to create interaction between local children with cancer, as they are the only ones who truly understand each other's struggles.This organization originated in Rochester, New York but has since spread to 22 other states. According to,1,500 kids, adults, and families are helped by the organization each year.

“It shows the kids that there is more to athletics than just winning and losing. You can use it as a platform to be helpful and I think that’s one of the big things that makes it an important game,” says Coach Ike.

Come support this great cause!

Model United Nations Rocks The Competition

Grace Paparo and Lily Loewenguth

Staff Writers

The Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s Model United Nations recently returned from two conferences, one in Rochester and one, locally, at Manlius Pebble Hill. The team did “really well, probably the best JD has done in a while,” said club president junior Alan Gao.

For the first conference of the year, MUN went to MPH on Oct. 21. When students attend conferences they talk about real world issues in the perspective of a country. “The person who stays true to the policies of the country, (the) student who speaks persuasively, and who works well with others is the person who is going to win an award,” said club adviser and social studies teacher Donna Oppedisano. Sophomore’s Josh Hillers and Eva Schooler won “outstanding delegate,” senior Somil Aggarwal won “best delegate,” and both junior Aliyah Kilpatrick and sophomore Aniket Maini won an honorable mention.


Freshman Max Mimargolu, also won “best new delegate” despite being a new member of MUN. He said he won the award by “getting out there and speaking (in front of people).” According to other members of the club, such as sophomore Pranathi Adhikari, who is the club’s treasurer, many students win awards by being an “outspoken delegate” which means “talking a lot and having good ideas.”

On Nov. 3, MUN traveled to Hilton High School in Rochester for their annual conference Brighton High School, another school who attends the conference, is known for “dominating that conference but we came very close (to winning),” said Gao; “many of our new delegates did really well.” “We did historically well in Rochester… close to 70 percent of the students at the conference won an award,” said club adviser and social studies teacher Vitaliy Yanchuk. Each committee debated, found resolutions, tried to get other people on board and finally pass those resolutions. Sophomore Wynnie Gross says that “it was shocking how well we did considering lot of our best delegates were chairs,” meaning you can’t win an award, only reward them to other delegates.

The club teaches its members how to implement research, speak in public, have an open mind and use active thinking skills. “The Model U.N club gives kids a chance to choose a country, do research, and represent their country at a conference,” said Yanchuk. It also helps create an aspect of a school community through teamwork and independent leading roles.

You may find more information about chairs and committees at


Hurricane Hits Home for Señora DeJesus

By Francesca Chirco and Everly Kessler

Natural disasters caused extreme devastation in the southern part of North America this fall.

Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, a category four hurricane, on Sep. 20, 2017, causing 51 deaths and a 40 day blackout according to Maria has provoked the longest blackout in the United States’ history, with the loss of 1.25 billion hours of electricity for the Puerto Ricans according to A majority of the residents of Puerto Rico have been displaced from their homes, due to the destruction from the hurricane.

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Mexico is also recovering from the earthquake that struck Sep. 19 and took over 200 lives and completely demolishing hundreds of buildings according to Rescuers and soldiers worked for days cleaning up and pulling people out of debris from fallen buildings and houses. Mexico also lost electricity as power poles toppled, and along with causing a power outage, blocked roads and streets, preventing transportation. Over 5 million civilians were still without electricity the next day according to


Jamesville-DeWitt High School junior class officers initiated a fundraiser in order to raise money for the people of Puerto Rico and Mexico. “My fellow officers and I saw what was going on in the news and how certain people in leadership positions weren’t taking enough initiative to do the things that would help,” said junior co-Vice President Sayaka LaClair. The officers placed boxes in all of the homerooms so that students could deposit any loose change or cash. The homeroom which collected the most money was to receive a doughnut party in reward.

Tragedy from the hurricane struck close to home as some of the J-DHS faculty members have relatives in the affected areas. Spanish teacher Señora DeJesus has family in Puerto Rico whose homes have been completely demolished. They lost all of their valuables and are still without power. This fundraiser was especially personal for Señora and she took it upon herself to motivate her homeroom students to bring in as much money as possible. In order to show the students the extreme need for aid in Puerto Rico, she displayed photos her family and friends had sent her of the destruction. “Most of my family lost everything. All but one of my family members lost the roof of their home and with that went everything in their houses,” said Sra. DeJesus.

In Sra. DeJesus’s 12 years of working at J-DHS, she has never once had a homeroom raise more than $50 for a fundraiser, but this year’s class was different. She promised the students that she would double the amount of money they brought in, as well as award them another doughnut party in addition to the one given by the junior class. The students brought in donations, and by the first week, the class had already raised $100. After DeJesus doubled that amount, the students continued to donate and support the cause that was so close to their teacher’s heart.

Many of DeJesus’s homeroom students, including freshman Inika Gajra, felt connected to her story. “She was pretty emotional about the family she hadn’t heard from yet and she showed us pictures of her family and neighbors, and we got to see how they had nothing left. I think that really encouraged us,” said Gajra. By the end of the fundraiser, DeJesus’s class was able to have collected $343.00, which was over half of the total amount of money raised by the whole school.

In total, the school raised $641.68 for the people Mexico and Puerto Rico, over the course of three weeks of funding.The junior class officers then donated the funds to the Hispanic Federation via local banks whom were accepting donations to distribute to the organization.“We wanted to do something about it. We are not a big city but we wanted to do something to spark change,” said LaClair.

Another Successful Pink Out

Zoe Potamianos, Mara Durkin, Meghan Evans

Staff Writers

This October, Jamesville-DeWitt High School students and staff participated in the annual Pink Out and other fundraisers in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Students and teachers have had parents and relatives who have been personally affected by this awful disease, so the community likes to support organizations that fight it.

One way the community supported the fight was through the monthly Red Out, which is when teachers can wear red and donate a $1 or more to that month’s chosen cause. Since October was breast cancer awareness month, teachers donated to Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer. According to Mr. DeChick, the teachers donated $97.76.    

The Pink Out is an annual sale at J-DHS that has been going on for seven years. English teachers Terri Eaton and Kristin Gallivan run the fundraiser through the Corporate Communication senior English class. The students are in charge of designing and selling the shirts, which change every year. Short sleeve shirts were $10 and long sleeve shirts were $15. This year, all 300 shirts were sold out.The Pink Out shirts were worn by students and staff on Oct.13 to school and the home football game. The class also sold other items like stickers, doughnuts and bracelets on the day of the Pink Out. All together they raised $1,000.

“I am very happy about this fundraiser because we could do something local and we donated all proceeds to Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer, which is a very good organization,” said senior Ryan Evans, who is part of the Corporate Communications class. Others were happy to contribute to this fundraiser because they could relate to this illness personally. “I feel good about this fundraiser because my mom, grandmother, great aunt, and my great grandmother all had breast cancer and it feels amazing we get to participate in this fundraiser to raise awareness,” said freshman Amelia Zumbuhl.

Ann Marie Otis, who works for Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer, came in to talk to the Corporate Communications class on Oct. 27 in order to explain where the money they raised goes once it is donated.

Every two minutes, a women is diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 in 8 women, or 12% of women in America, will get diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, however 2,470 men a year are also diagnosed. Raising awareness for this illness and donating to research organizations from our school can make a difference to the outcome of this cancer.

Welcoming New Students to the J-D Community

Lucas Bort and Reinaldo Colon                                            

Staff Writers

With the new year already nine weeks in, over 30 new students are getting used to calling Jamesville-DeWitt their district.  All of the students interviewed agreed that J-DHS has been very welcoming. 

Freshman Nasir Reynold says that he likes it here at J-DHS and that “it is really cool here.” Freshman Preston Shumpert says that he likes the longer classes and thinks that the teachers are nicer than those at his old school, Christian Brother Academy. His older brother, sophomore Payton Shumpert, agrees; “being here at J-DHS has been a good experience and there are a lot of nice people and teachers.”   

The students interviewed said that they have found it easy to find their classes already and can find their way around the school. Preston Shumpert also said that “J-DHS has been pretty easy so far.”  Junior Jordyn Hatch agrees that it has been easier than expected to find her classes and that J-DHS is better than most of her past schools.  

A lot of the new students said that they like J-DHS more than their past schools.  Payton Shumpert said that he likes the block scheduling here at J-DHS because “it gives you more time to do your work and get  stuff done.” Sophomore Jada Robinson, who came from Nottingham High School, said that “the students and teachers here are nicer and more welcoming.”  Sophomore Sofia Assuncao said that “J-DHS is a lot bigger and has a lot more students” than her past school in Brazil.  Hatch says that J-DHS is better academically and socially than her past school, General Brown.

Some of the students are also starting to get involved with J-DHS sports and extracurricular activities. Sophomore Annely Petz, who is an exchange student, played on the girls JV soccer team this past season.  Freshman Reed Jones has joined the Outdoor Pursuit club as well. Freshman Khanimambo Cossa is a member in the French club and the debate club.  Robinson also said she attended the homecoming football game against Fowler.

JUULs: The Newest Teen Addiction

Scottie/B.T. O’Bryan, Jamie Boeheim, Mia Potamianos

Editor of Production, Assistant Producer, Editor of Promotion


With numerous suspensions in surrounding Central New York districts, and even a few at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, the vaping epidemic is sweeping through the lives of teenagers across the country. The most popular being the JUUL, an electronic vape pen that is used with highly concentrated nicotine pods that come in different flavors.  Because this device creates less smoke and does not have a strong smell, it is easy to smoke a JUUL almost anywhere. Students are taking advantage of this by vaping in school bathrooms, sporting events, and even on occasion, in classrooms. Administrative officials and teachers are beginning to crack down on vaping, and the JUUL specifically.

JUULs have a small and slender body that is similar to a portable flash drive. The nicotine is contained in what is called a pod. When buying pods, they come in a variety of color-coordinated flavors; mango, cool mint, virginia tobacco, fruit medley and creme brulee. JUULs retail for $34.99, JUUL pods sell for $15.99 for a 4-pack, or $49.99 for a starter-kit which includes a JUUL device, a 4-pack of pods, and a USB charger along with a one year device warranty. JUULs are rechargeable and a single pod can last a daily user a day or two. The effects of a JUUL are similar to those of tobacco products like cigarettes: a short, head-spinning “high” along with feelings of happiness caused by the nicotine.

By law, the age restriction for purchasing a JUUL device, both in-store and online, is 21 and over. However, depending on the state and county laws, you can legally buy the JUUL pods at ages 18 or 19. In Onondaga County they can be purchased by 19 year olds. High school students are finding ways to obtain JUULs through either older siblings and friends or with the use of fake identification. Due to the high demand among the American youth, stores that sell JUULs sell out within days of restocking, and its exclusivity makes it even more sought after by its young market.


Not only is it illegal for high school students, but little is known about the health effects that come along with vaping. Some compare these JUULS to cigarettes, saying that both are extremely addictive because of nicotine or other chemical substances. “Although nicotine is in both, its the other chemicals that are in cigarettes that aren't in (JUULS),” says Health teacher Melissa Moore. Since vaping is a fairly new introduction to the market, much of the substances and manufacturing is unregulated. Mrs. Moore also says that American teens are the “guinea pigs” for vaping since so little is known about the long term health effects.  

“If you’re using a vape with nicotine, then you might as well just go outside and smoke a cigarette, same idea,” said Mrs. Moore.  Student counselor Will Hartley, who is trained in The Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention Education Program agrees, and says that teenagers are choosing the “easier” way of doing drugs rather than smoking a pack of cigarettes. “One benefit with vaping is that your aren’t inhaling smoke, but usually, one leads to the other,” said Moore.

As these highly addictive, chemically filled vaping devices are becoming increasingly popular amongst teenagers, the danger of addiction grows. If you see a student in school with a JUUL and/or a device that looks like a flashdrive, report them to Administration. All activity will be kept confidential. Help to end the vaping before it becomes an addiction that they are unable to quit.


J-DHS Introduces New Clubs

Jacob Marshall and Marcus Payne

Staff Writers

Clubs are a great way for students to get involved in the school and show school spirit. This year Jamesville-DeWitt High School has eight new clubs including Grill Club and Art and Life.

One of the clubs new to the art department is Art and Life. This club was started by senior Nikki Jaing, who is also its president, and is  advised by art teachers Jacob Brodsky and Mark McIntyre. In this club students use materials around the art room to make art. For example, one of Art and Life’s first projects was making stamps using ink and leaves. Each of the students in Art and Life is making a portfolio, which will be shown in an art show at the end of the school year.

This club is not only home to students that take art classes, but also has kids in it that do not. In fact, this is one of the things Mr. Brodsky enjoys about Art and Life. “I enjoy seeing many new faces, which means that there are a lot of kids that want to do art, but may not have room on their schedule for it,” Mr. Brodsky says.

Jaing got the idea to start this club when she found out that the school didn't have an art club. “You can't do math, computer science or coding for life. You have to do something that's fun,” said Jaing. Art and Life has had four meetings so far this school year. Thirty-five people have signed up for Art and Life. At each meeting there has been around 15 students. Jaing says that the club is planning on going to the Everson Museum and Chittenango Zoo. She hopes that by doing these activities and attending meetings, people will build relationships and by the end of the year they will have built a community. “I don't really care about the quality of art. I just want people to have fun doing art, build relationships and forget about the stress of homework and life,” said Jaing.

Both senior Paige Petrell and freshman Cassie Cappelletti  think Jaing’s goal of building a community is being met. “I've made some new friends, (Jiang) is one of them and I also hang out with some of my other friends I made this school year,” said Cappelletti. Petrell says that the art and life club is a very “chill” club with little pressure. “We work together to get projects done. We’re friends and we’re a close knit group that will welcome other people and just have fun,” said Cappelletti.

Although this is Mr. Brodsky’s first time advising a club, he has goals for it. Mr. Brodsky says that he wants the students that join this club to be self motivated to do their artwork, and be prepared for their meetings. Mr. Brodsky makes sure that the club advisers run through the exercise before the meeting. He wants them to understand it so that they are ready for any problems that may arise.

Art and Life meets every tuesday. Their next meeting will be on Oct. 30.

Grill club is one of the eight new clubs that have joined J-DHS. Grill club is a club designed to teach students how to have good grilling skills, have a good time, and most importantly, how to grill safely. Senior club leader Nico Modesti said the club will have a happy, healthy, fun grill environment. He also said the club will teach the members how to grill and “how to act like dads.”

Grill Club was started when senior Jack Underhill went to Colorado in May of 2016 to see old friends and go to his brother’s college graduation. While there, he visited his friend’s high school. He noticed that they had a grill club so he thought it would be a good idea to bring a grill club to J-DHS, and he did.

They have only had one meeting which was just for organization purposes. They didn’t grill any food during the meeting but they hopefully will next meeting thanks to the grills that were lent for use from people who support the club. The members, Underhill, Modesti, and club adviser and math teacher Mike Klemperer will be grilling the food.

The Grill Club is planning on charging money for the food they cook. “The cost depends on what we’re grilling and we’re going to mix it up event-to-event and (it) won’t cost too much,” said Underhill. This money will be going to some good causes such as efforts to help aid those affected by the recent hurricanes and earthquakes. It will also be given to different charities and the JD Booster club.

The food will most likely be sold outside the main entrance but if it’s at a sports game it might be sold down by the field. They are going to hopefully sell the food the week of Oct. 29, but it depends on how much funding they got from the PTG.

During the winter it will be freezing and snowing but the club doesn't think they will have trouble grilling. “We will have tents that don’t have walls for events that can be used to set up when it’s not frigid and we will take advantage of any nice days that do happen in the winter,” Underhill said.

The Grill Club was unsure on when the next meeting will be. He also said “We’re always accepting new members.” So if you’re not in the Grill Club but are interested then listen for their next meeting on the announcements in the coming days.