Girls Coding Club

Lucas Bort and Reinaldo Colon

Staff Writers

Since the Girls Who Code program started in 2012, it has reached 90,000 girls.  With these numbers increasing, the gender gap between men and women in STEM careers has been closing.  Although Jamesville-DeWitt High School is no longer affiliated with the Girls Who Code program, J-DHS has created their own version called The Girls Coding Club.

There are various reasons why girls have chosen to join the Girls Coding Club. Senior Rebecca Teitelbaum joined after taking Intro to Computer science and AP Computer Science in past years.  Teitelbaum said the club the gave her the opportunity to learn more in depth coverage of coding. Like Teitelbaum, senior Amanda Sumida joined after taking computer science classes in past years.  “I took computer science and AP Computer Science in my freshmen and sophomore years so when they started the Girls Coding club I thought it would be a good idea to be around other girls who were also doing coding,” said Sumida.

The Girls Coding Club has had a huge effect on the girls who have joined. “It has given me an opportunity to see real world applications of coding,” said Teitelbaum. Teitelbaum said one opportunity that came from her involvement in the club was when she was able to see the JD server system. The club has also helped students make new friends.  With the program being for girls in grades 7-12, the girls get to meet others of different ages who share the same interests. Freshman Alli Good has made friends with some of the seventh graders from J-DMS.

Although the Girls Coding Club has done a lot of work to get more girls interested in coding, participation has declined. This has also shown up in math teacher Jay Lang’s AP Computer Science class, which has three girls in it compared to the 17 boys in the class.  “We had a good fall semester, but the spring really dwindled down,” said librarian Mary Panek.


Although Lang’s AP Computer Science class is low on girls, his Intro to Computer Science class has one of the best boy-to-girl ratios he has ever had at 50:50.  “I think that Girls Who Code is making strides, especially since it is only a couple years old and most of the girls in my intro class are freshmen,” said Mr. Lang.  

In the past, computer science and coding had been mostly male dominated.  “I don't think it’s tougher (for a girl in coding), I just think it takes a certain personality and sometimes girls just don't have that personality,” said Sumida.  Lang, who is experienced in the career of coding, said that part of this might have been due to a lot of the curriculum being based on mostly male interests. But now, more girls are starting to join in.  Next year, J-DHS is adding a new course, AP Computer Science Principles which Mr. Lang says will be more friendly to both genders.

Mr. Lang, who worked for a consulting company for five years before becoming a teacher, said that there were hardly any female coders during his time there. “I can probably count on one hand, how many (female coders) I worked with, (but) that is hopefully, I think changing,” said Mr. Lang.

There are a few volunteers that help make the Girls Coding Club possible here at J-DHS. As the adviser, Ms. Panek does the coordination between marketing and getting the word out that the club exist. She also is in charge of setting up the time for the students and the instructors.

All three instructors of the Girls Coding Club are students at Le Moyne university.  Miranda Ryan, one of the student instructors, has been involved with coding since middle school. She is currently majoring in computer science and is in her first year of teaching the Girls Coding Club. “Our role as students instructors is to give middle and high school students fun and exciting projects,” said Ryan.

Most of the girls plan on using their coding skills in the future whether it is for future classes, college, and possibly in a career.  Then, a new wave of students will come in and join the club and help decrease the gender gap in coding. “Things are changing pretty big...we’re gonna see over the next few years a lot more girls in coding in high school and thats gonna translate to college and hopefully that translates to careers,” said Mr. Lang.

New Tech Staff


Michael Bratslavsky and Johnny Keib

Staff Writers

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 12.35.13 PM.png

Today, Jamesville-DeWitt High School students and staff all rely on the internet in school to do homework, assignments, and daily activities. There are two new people on the tech staff who are tasked with the crucial job of making sure it works. Network administrator David Birdwell Jr. and network administrator Henry Burhans III joined the faculty in April, and are already helping improve the technical issues we face here.

Mr. Birdwell and Mr. Burhans have both settled in nicely to the J-D community making their daily routines and duties much easier. Their typical day consists of a variety of different things. “There’s so many facets of what we do,” said Mr. Burhans. On any given day, they might have to check the network status making sure everything is secure and running. Also, both of them make sure everyone else that is connected to the district’s technology is communicating with them to make sure everything is working. They address any clients needs about technologies and help fix issues throughout the district making a better community.

The two new members of the tech staff here will help change the J-DHS community in a better way. They have started a list of issues they have already found. “Some enhancements will improve not only the quality of what the school district experiences, but hopefully the betterment of everyone that is here,” said Mr. Burhans. They will be installing equipment, cleaning spam filters, and fixing network crashes when they occur.

In their previous jobs, both dealt with technical issues. Mr. Burhans worked at several banks before he settled into a job at National Grid. He would work there for 22 years before coming to work in the J-D School District. Mr. Birdwell was in Ontario, NY, to work with computers and face technological issues at a nuclear station.

They both liked their jobs and worked at them up until about a month ago, but when they saw that there were job openings at J-DHS they couldn’t resist. Both of them agreed that there are many more benefits of working in a school environment, like “less stress and better people,” said Mr. Burhans. “When I saw the job posting I couldn’t submit my application fast enough. The reputation of the district is well known,” said Mr. Birdwell who also prefers this setting more than prior jobs.

When most people get a new job, getting used to their new setting is tough. But for Mr. Birdwell and Mr. Burhans, that has been easy. “We are doing quite well. Everyone has gone out of their way to make us feel welcome,” said Mr. Birdwell. “Everyone has been very accommodating and very nice, and it’s just a very nice change from the environments we were used to,” added Mr. Burhans.

In 1990, the internet became a reality. When the it came out, Mr. Birdwell struck up an interest in computers, and his future took off from there. Mr. Burhans was fascinated with communication, and loved how things could be networked together. Both would go on to work at a variety of different tech related jobs.

After deciding on the career path they wanted to follow, they needed to get the proper education to pursue what they loved. Mr. Birdwell attended SUNY Alfred. Mr. Burhans went to school at Onondaga Community College. Mr. Burhans has his degree in informational technology, while Mr. Birdwell has his degree in computer and electronics science. 

Mr. Burhans and Mr. Birdwell have only been at J-DHS for about a month, but they are already making contributions to the community. They will be here for years to come and will benefit the school in ways unimaginable.

Math Team Success

Lucas Bort, Reinaldo Colon, Michael Bratslavsky

Staff Writers

After a successful season with the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Math team, six students were selected to compete on the Onondaga County Math Team at states. There was an A team and also a B team, both consisting of 10 students from local high schools, like Baldwinsville, East Syracuse-Minoa, and Cicero-North Syracuse. Seniors Somil Aggarwal and Billy Leiker participated on the A team, and came out victorious in the state competition. Senior Kangbo Li, junior Ben Catania, junior Albert Wang, and freshman Xavier Plourde (alternate) also participated, on the B team.

The state division win came as a surprise for the J-D contestants. It was the team’s first time winning their division. “It was really nice, it definitely wasn’t expected,” said Aggarwal. Most teams at the competition lacked members who had been there before, which is something that helped  the Onondaga County team excel. “We had a lot of experienced people on our team, and it was nice to know what we were doing,” said Leiker.

Math teacher and Math Team club adviser Michael Klemperer was very pleased with the performance of the individuals that made it to states, as well as the J-DHS Math team as a whole. They won against some of the best teams in the county, like Fayetteville-Manlius High School, during the regular season. “It was really good, it was the best year we have had in a long time,” said Mr. Klemperer. The J-DHS Math Team placed second overall in the county, behind F-M.

Although not all the participants were selected to compete in the state competition, many students gained a lot of experience. “Math team helped me to learn the basics to harder math,” said freshman Colin Revercomb. Along with that, Revercomb said that he learned a lot while working alongside upperclassmen that acted as “mentors.”

Another aspect that helped the team was their ability to work together.  Plourde said that the team was very diverse this year, consisting of students from all different grades. Li said that the team’s greatest strength was that everyone could help each other out and get along well. Leiker added that everyone knew each other pretty well and it was easy to talk with teammates.     

Many of the members on the Math Team said that they will use math in college and in their careers. Plourde says he already likes to use math a lot, primarily in his computer science class.  Catania said that he will most likely use it when goes into business. Aggarwal thinks that he will go into a STEM career so math will be necessary for him. “Math is valuable in pretty much any career you go into, so we will all be using it a lot,” said Leiker.


Model UN Conference

Johnny Keib

Staff Writer


On May 12 the Model United Nations Club will be hosting their second annual conference at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. There will be several schools attending the event including Fayetteville-Manlius, East Syracuse Minoa, Manlius Pebble Hill, Christian Brothers Academy, and Baldwinsville.

At the conference there will be a wide variety of issues discussed and debated. “There are security issues, environmental issues, and everything that’s troubling the world,” said Club President senior Somil Aggarwal. These are very important and pressing issues, so it takes a lot of preparation going into the event. The students participating in the conference have to study the issues and figure out what they will say when debating. “I usually start preparing a week before,” said freshman Linda Shen.

The people who have to set up the conference also go through a lot of hard work. “Especially since we do this ourselves, a lot of the preparation and hard work comes from the students and the advisers. And for us it’s our first time doing some of this stuff. So it’s difficult for us but a rewarding experience,” Aggarwal would add.

The Model UN conferences take a lot of hard work and effort from the students and people who set it up. Hopefully this year’s conference will be as big of a success as last year’s.

Junior Prom comes amid AP testing

Meghan Evans, Zoe Potamianos, and Mara Durkin

Staff Writers

The end of the school year is approaching, bringing a stressful yet exciting couple of months for the junior class because of AP testing, college visits, the SATs and ACTs, and finally: prom.

The Junior Prom will be held on May 12, in between the weeks of AP testing. Some students are stressed and “may even have to bring their textbooks to the dance floor,” said junior Liam Kaplan. “I think that it is a horrible idea to have AP testing the same week of prom. Last year prom was the week after AP testing which was a brilliant idea because there would be no stress during prom,” said Kaplan.

This will be a first prom for many juniors so there are big expectations. “I expect it to be really fun and hope everyone gets up and dances,” said junior Fidel Martinez. Juniors who have been to prom previously have higher expectations. “Last year, I went to prom with the upperclassmen so I hope to have more friends and have more fun this year,” said junior Shannon Beaudry.

For the first time, junior prom will be held in the Main Gym rather than the Auxiliary Gym. This year's prom committee proposed the idea of the new change. “It is bigger than the Aux Gym so it will be less crowded and not as hot,” said Junior Prom Committee Member Emma Galletta.  Due to a different location, catering will also be different for this year’s prom. “The cafeteria service felt it would be slightly inconvenient for them to take everything they made downstairs because they are on the opposite end of the school. We didn't want them to go through that inconvenience,” said Galletta. This year’s prom will be catered by Taste Unlimited, which is owned by junior Aliah Mahshie’s parents.

Juniors at J-DHS will be able to bring students of any grade or from other school districts. This year the prom tickets will cost $40 for juniors and $50 for guests, whether they’re from a different school or J-DHS.

The chosen theme will be paper lanterns. Each student got to vote for what theme they would want for prom off of a paper ballot that was brought to their homeroom. Juniors got to choose from themes such as under the sea, neon lights, casino night, and paper lanterns. “We looked through prom theme magazines to get ideas and found some good ones, students seemed to like them,” said Prom Committee adviser and science teacher Amy Becker.

Many students are already preparing for prom and have their outfits ready. “I haven’t gotten my tux yet, but I will get mine soon at Men’s Wearhouse,” said junior Niko Dimkopoulos. “Boom Babies is a popular place where girls get their dresses, I got mine from there,” said Whipple. That is not the only place girls get them, though. Some have gotten theirs from David’s Bridal, or from sites online.

For students who might have a hard time affording a dress, a program was set up by physical education teacher Cara Goldberg. She thought this program would be a good idea since dresses are too expensive for some. She has about 20 students come to get dresses from her each year. If you are in need of a dress, it isn’t too late to go see Ms.Goldberg.

Syracuse Playwright Winners

Francesca Chirco, Everly Kessler, and Chloe Butler

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 11.04.54 AM.png

Staff Writers


The William Shakespeare of our time could be here at Jamesville-DeWitt High School and the Syracuse Stage Young Playwrights Festival pulls these prospective writers into the spotlight. For the 20 years this annual festival has been around, high school students with no prior experience writing plays are given the opportunity to discover their playwriting talents. This year, there were over 300 submissions into the festival and 19 of the plays submitted by J-DHS students made it to either the quarter-finals, semi-finals, or finals.

J-DHS students wrote on a wide variety of topics, from teenage struggles to fighting lords. Some of the submissions were written in the students’ free time while others were written in January in English 10 Honors classes or in Creative Writing class. From this group, 19 students were recognized by Syracuse Stage.

Sophomores Kai Gesek, Katie McPeak, and Trey Romano were selected as finalists and will have their plays publicly performed at Syracuse Stage on May 1. When the students got the call from Syracuse Stage confirming that they were finalists, they were pleasantly surprised.“I wasn’t  expecting to make it, just like I wasn’t expecting to make the semi-finals. But I was very happy with the results,” said Romano. What started out as a school assignment will now be reconfigured into a professional performance. “I am really excited for my family to see it. I can’t wait, it’s a really cool opportunity,” said McPeak.

Gesek was inspired to write his “The Airline Safety Speech of Nightmares” comedy as he was thinking about all of the things passengers would not want to hear before a plane ride. Romano drew from his own experiences to develop his play “Date With The Devil”, which is about two people on a very bad dinner date. McPeak’s view of President Trump was the inspiration for her play, “Trump’s America” which outlines how Trump is impacting the country.  

Sophomores Eva Schooler, Isabel Smith, and junior Ella Kornfeld all made it to the semi-finals. To add to J-DHS’s success in the festival, freshman Elizabeth Hughes,  sophomores Grace Feng, Josh Hillers, Justin Le, Aniket Malni, Katie Sizing, Eva Wisnieski, Olivia Harle, Angelina Smith, Ethan Jaglal and Jack Carmen, and senior Lila Benz made it to the quarter-finals. “It was really cool being picked out of the so many people that applied and to even make it as far as I did was amazing,” said Benz.

For the past five years, English 10 Honors teachers Joe DeChick and Matt Phillips have been using the festival as an assignment for their students. Honors English students are tasked with writing an original 10-minute play with very minimal guidance from their teachers. These plays were taken for a grade and were then submitted into the festival. The teachers were very pleased with their students’ accomplishments as their submissions were recognized out of such a large pool. “It was a really good showing and to have this much recognition is very good,” said Mr. Phillips.

English teacher Courtney Romeiser utilized the festival as an extra credit assignment for her students. Kornfeld was recognized in the festival last year and she was Ms. Romeiser’s only student to be recognized again this year. “I was really happy for her to show some consistency in what she was producing,” said Ms. Romeiser

Both Mr. DeChick and Mr. Phillips believe that by giving this as an assignment, the students are able to creatively express themselves as there is not that much room for creativity built in the curriculum. Throughout the years, students have found this to be a difficult assignment as many have never written plays before. Overall, this challenge was beneficial in furthering their writing skills. “I think it’s important for students to learn about how difficult it is to write an original play,” said Mr. DeChick.

The plays that get submitted are distributed among five readers at Syracuse stage, each reader selects the top 10 best plays, totaling 50 quarter-finalists. The second group of readers, who are the official festival judges then read the quarter-finalists’ plays and then select 16 to 18 semi-finalists to attend a workshop at Syracuse Stage. Here the plays are read by Syracuse University Drama students in front of a panel of judges and other contestants, including Interim Director of Education at Syracuse Stage Kate Laissle. The plays are then revised based on the feedback form the panel. The revised plays are reread by the judges and the top eight plays are selected to be performed. “We look for strong writing and a compelling story, a story that either we haven’t heard before, one that is told in a new way, or a very engaging version of the same story,” said Laissle.

J-D Students Say 'Bonjour' to Montreal

Jacob Marshall & Marcus Payne

Staff Writers


The French Club went to Montreal for their annual trip to Canada from March 23 to March 26, where they went to the church Notre-Dame Basilica, went on the tour Ghost’s From Old Montreal, took a cooking class, got tours of the city and learned tricks from Cirque du Soleil performers. The trip and activities they took part in helped them increase their knowledge of the French culture.

Over 40 students attended the trip and they all had nothing but positive comments to say about the experience. “I enjoyed hanging out with all my and friends, and seeing all the sights was really cool,” said sophomore Skylar Hardt. Likewise, senior Sydney Baum really enjoyed walking around the art district and seeing the “massive murals along the sides of the building.”

One of the first activities they did was the Ghosts From Old Montreal tour, which was on Friday night. It is a tour in which professional actors take guests on a ghost-themed tour of Old Montreal. Guests have a choice to go on a ghost tour or a ghost hunt. For this trip, the group chose the tour. Baum said that at first it was a lot of “boring history talk.” But once the tour started they began learning about murders and it got more interesting. The tour took them to places where major events unfolded and legends and stories were told about that place. “I found it very interesting because she gave some information that you don’t usually find in history books,” said French teacher and chaperone Solace Amankwah.

On Saturday night the students went to a sugar shack where they got a tour of how maple syrup is made through tapping trees. Then had a 17th century family style meal with pea soup, ham, bacon and mashed potatoes all topped with maple syrup, followed by dancing.

On Sunday, they went to an observatory and the students got a birds-eye view of the whole city. “We could see the city at different angles like the eastern part of the city, the western, the northern, and the southern. So we had a chance to look at the city from different spots,” said Mme Amankwah.

On Monday during the day, they went to a Cirque du Soleil class. During the Cirque du Soleil class the students were split up into four groups and spent 15 minutes on each event learning what that person in a Cirque du Soleil would do. They learned how to juggle, jump on trampolines, walk on the tightrope and flip around on a trapeze. “The Cirque du Soleil was really fun to just see everybody messing around,” said senior David Tyler

Also on Monday the students went to a cooking class. They used maple syrup in almost all of the food they made which included hamburgers, salad dressing and a maple syrup tart.

While the students weren’t learning how to be in a circus or taking a tour, they had two hours a day where they were allowed to walk around the town. They mostly shopped for clothes and ate food during their freetime. “I got a lot of lattes,” said Baum. Junior Emma Buck said her favorite part was shopping on St. Catherine’s street, where she bought some clothes.

The students were able to practice speaking in French when they talked to Canadians while they ordered food, talked to the tour guide, and shopped. “There were certain activities where we had to talk in French or we wouldn’t be able to participate in the activity,” said freshman Khani Cossa. She and freshmen Tyler Aitken learned how to say “it’s sick” in French: “C'est malade.”

The French teachers enjoyed the positive effects that the trip had on the students. “The students got to be immersed in the French language. They experienced Canadian and French culture, got to eat the food and took part in different activities,” said Mlle Ludovico. “I enjoyed the fact that the students have an opportunity to see a lot of French because the signs are in French, they hear people speak French and they have the opportunity to speak French,” said Mme Amankwah.

Everyone stayed in the Sandman hotel which was included in the $400 fee, which also covered all of the activities, bus and most of the meals. The entire trip was organized by Mlle Ludovico. Spanish teacher Xiomara Santos, Spanish teacher Simone Pacilio, and Mme Amankwah came and chaperoned the trip. They rotate the trip every year between Montreal and Quebec City.

Sophie Brutsaert Wins New York Times Contest

Lucas Bort, Reinaldo Colon, Michael Bratslavsky

Staff Writers

Who would have thought that today’s #MeToo movement could be compared to the Stanford Prison Experiment from 1971. Well, Jamesville-DeWitt High School sophomore Sofie Brutsaert compared these two prominent issues in a New York Times “Making Connections” writing contest and won runner-up for her essay.

Out of 1,200 entries, Brutsaert’s essay placed in the top 20. “I was happy and I was proud,” said Brutsaert when she found out about her results. The essay only took her 30 minutes to write.  English teacher Matthew Phillips was surprised when he learned Brutsaert had placed, as he only recommended the contest, it was not a class assignment. He didn’t even know that Brutsaert had submitted. “When she won, it was a total surprise to me and I was really floored because she was a tenth grader,” said Mr. Phillips and many of the winners are upperclassmen.

Brutsaert got the idea for her essay from a topic she learned about in Psychology. The Stanford Prison Experiment was a project to see how people would behave when put in the role of a prisoner or a guard. Their findings showed that prisoners became more accepting of abuse as time went on. Brutsaert related this to sexual assault by saying that when women are placed in certain roles and forced to keep quiet, over time they will be treated worse and will be placed in to worse situations. It also shows that the people that have more power, like the guards during the experiment, will make punishments worse the more the prisoners or victims act up.

After learning about the experiment in class, she decided to watch a movie made about the project outside of school to learn further about the issue. “It was really interesting, and I thought it would make a great topic,” said Brutsaert. 

Brutsaert said there was no point in not sending in the paper so she submitted it for fun. This was not the first time Brutsaert had submitted to a writing contest. She had entered papers in a few other contests but this was the first one she won an award in. She said that she did not run into any big struggles except thinking of a topic to write about but once the idea of the prison experiment came to mind, the rest of the work was fairly easy.  

Surprisingly, not many of Brusaert’s friends knew about her writing skill, or that she submits to large competitions. Sophomore Eva Schooler has been friends with Brutsaert since seventh grade but was not aware that Brutsaert had a skill for writing and did this. However, some of her friends knew that she did write. “I knew she was interested in writing, but I didn’t know what level of interest she had,” said sophomore Eva Wisniewski.


Charity Basketball Game

Johnny Keib

Staff Writer

The annual charity basketball game between the Jamesville-DeWitt School District staff and the staff of CNY Central will be on April 7. Proceeds from the game will be donated to two charities: Clear Path For Veterans and Shamrock Animal Fund. Last year the J-D staff dominated the CNY Central staff. “They do not stand a chance, we smoked them last year,” said Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach Jeff Ike, who will be playing again.

Students are encouraged to attend the game which begins at 6 p.m. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. While the game is free, fans are encouraged to donate $5 for the charies at the door. The concession stand will be open along with flags being sold in honor of the veterans. Last year, there was a big crowd of students there to see their favorite teachers play. Several students also plan on attending this year. “I will 100 percent, most definitely be there,” said junior Pat Murad.

Murad would also say that he thinks track coach and player Juan Martinez will have a great jumpshot. Several other people, like sophomore Connor Durkin, are also excited to see what Martinez has to offer. “I’m excited to see Mr. Martinez.” Other high school teachers include social studies Dave Bunyan and math teacher Mike Klemperer. Middle school teachers include gym teachers Paul Valentino and Ryan Dera along with sixth grade teacher Andrew Starowicz and social studies teacher John Barlow. Elementary school teachers include Peter Reyes and Josh Swanson.

All of the teachers have confidence in their game, but none more so than Coach Ike. This is surprising considering his lackluster performance last year. “I did not perform well last year,” said Coach Ike, (but) “I’m in better shape this year, I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight.” Ike sees himself as the LeBron of the J-D staff basketball team. “I play all the positions.” The teachers that will be participating are from all schools in the district.

The charity basketball is a great place to have a good time and raise money for a good cause. So try and make it out to raise some money for a good cause and support your teachers.


The Senior Trip to Darien Lake is Back On!

Jacob Marshall and Marcus Payne

Staff Writers


It has been three years since Jamesville-DeWitt High School seniors have had an end-of-the-year trip to Darien Lake. But now, thanks to science teacher Rich Adler, on June 8 they will be returning to the amusement park.

Originally the senior trip was never really a senior trip. It was a trip for seniors that took physics. But a few years back, Mr. Adler had an idea to make it a senior trip. Unfortunately “it didn’t pan out because not enough seniors were interested,” said Mr. Adler.

This year though, some seniors in Mr. Adler’s physics class asked him what happened to the senior trip and wondered if it could start back up again. “I asked the students ‘If it was for every senior would you go?’ And a bunch of seniors said ‘yes’ and asked if I’d give it a try again,” said Mr. Adler.

Currently they have 15 students signed up and the deadline is Friday, April 20, the day before spring break. Mr. Adler is working hard to make the trip happen. He has talked to Principal Paul Gasparini about it and to the bus garage about transporting the students. But if nobody else signs up, or if only a few more people sign up, then they won’t be able to go.

Though Mr. Adler hopes that the senior trip will be an annual event, he is uncertain on what exactly the future for the senior trip will be. When they switched from just physics students to all seniors, Mr. Adler was “shocked” that they had to end the trip because of the lack of students that wanted to go. “I don't know if year-to-year the class dynamics are different, I’d like to think that the seniors every year are going to go,” said Mr.Adler.

As of right now the only teacher chaperones going on the trip are ESL teacher Kristine Wisnieski, Chorus teacher Beth Quackenbush, and Mr. Adler. He’s still looking for more chaperones.

Most of the seniors are excited to go to Darien Lake. “I think it’s really exciting because its fun since it’s the end of the year and hopefully the weather will be good,” said senior Katie Lutz.

Senior Luke Smith said that Darien Lake is a good place to go to for a trip because it’s not too far away and it has “great rides.” Senior Parker Wing says he feels “great” about the senior trip coming back. “It didn't affect me while it was gone because I wasn’t a senior, so now I’m glad that it came back just in time,” said Wing.

Not everyone is excited about the trip. Senior Dewey Riley didn’t even know the senior trip was coming. “I’m not going,” said Riley.

The seniors are paying $30 to cover the tickets, bus and bus drivers. The students also have to bring money or food if they want to eat there, as the school will not provide lunch. Much to their dismay “every senior has to take the bus because it’s a school activity. No exceptions. You have to turn around if you show up and weren’t on the bus,” said Mr. Adler.

J-D Dominates The Scholastic Art Awards

Mara Durkin, Zoe Potamianos, and Meghan Evans

Staff Writers

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 11.05.14 AM.png


Nearly 70 Jamesville-DeWitt High School students demonstrated their skill in the arts by entering and winning gold in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. An awards ceremony was held for gold and silver key winners on Jan. 11 at Onondaga Community College.

Students may submit more than one piece to the contest, as did many students from J-DHS. Junior Arysa Lux submitted two pieces and won two gold keys for “Grace” and “Rippled Afternoon.” Sophomore Lily Dougherty also submitted two pieces, receiving an honorable mention as well as a gold key. “I made a piece using charcoal which received an honorable mention along with a piece of giraffes because they are my favorite animal,” said Dougherty.

Many of the art pieces that were submitted take over five months to make and although the process is long and can be tough, the students have teachers to help them. “It took me a little less than seven months to finish my art piece, even with the help of Mr. Wenzel,” said senior Sarina Alexander. For Lux, it took her six to eight months to create one piece with the help of Mr. Benedict, Mr. Wenzel, and Mr. Brodsky. Senior Payton Riley made a ceramic plate over the course of four months, which won a gold key.

Junior Mark Davis submitted two pieces which took over a year. After all of this hard work he earned a gold key and a silver key. “Even though I worked very hard, I was still surprised and happy that I got rewarded for my art,” said Davis.

Photos are also entered into the Scholastic competition. Freshman Scott Reeves received a silver key for his photo of a lamp “with neat shadows.” He enjoys art and will continue taking art classes. “I would like to do something involving art in the future since it runs in the family. My sister is an artist at Syracuse University,” said Reeves.

Sophomore Sophie Clinton had a special piece which took her over a year to create. Her gold key art piece was inspired by refugees. Senior Sarah Pritts was inspired by a picture of her friend to create a gold key-winning piece titled “Sprinkles and Smiles.” While many have their art pieces planned out, artists like Riley, begin not knowing if it will turn out good enough for the contest. She was originally making a ceramic plate for a friend and before she knew it she was rewarded with a gold key, she said.

Many art students have been creating art for a long time, and plan to continue in the future. Alexander has created art since she can remember and next year she will be attending The Rochester Institute of Technology to major in graphic design. “I’m really excited. I’ve wanted to be a graphic designer since middle school,” said Alexander. Others have different plans for their future. “I have been doing art for three years now, but I do not have any interest with doing it in the future,” said Lux.

Senior Malik Larkin has only been taking art for one year but got a gold key on his graphic design piece. He is going to Mica University in Baltimore, Maryland where he will pursue his career in graphic design. He created his art piece in two days at a college course at Pratt University. “I started art because I realized how fascinating, relaxing and fun it is to use all of the colors and create my own work,” said Larkin.

All students who take an art elective can create pieces to be put into this contest. The Scholastic Art Awards is a great opportunity for high school and middle school students to participate in and hopefully get an award.


Semi-formal Dance Was (Semi) Late This Year

Michael Bratslavsky, Lucas Bort, Reinaldo Colon

Staff Writers


The best place to spend the night of March 3 was the annual Jamesville-DeWitt High School semi-formal, where there was music, lights, and dancing. After being postponed earlier this year due to snowy weather, semi had to be rescheduled to early March. Even in March, attendance was still affected since many sports teams had games that weekend and there was a snow day the previous day. However, the students that went still had fun with friends.

“I hung out with my friends, danced, and had a good time,” said sophomore Eva Wisniewski. Freshman Marshall Withers also said that he danced a lot and enjoyed it. Sophomore Logan Wing said that they started a mosh pit and were fist pumping.

Although the original semi was postponed due to snow storms, there was still a good turnout at the dance. “Since (semi) was later (in the year), I think more people became aware of it,” said Wisniewski. Sophomore Kaleel Boykins agrees with Wisniewski; there were more people because there was more time for people to think about going or find out more information about the dance.

Although the turnout of around 130 students was good, senior class officer Somil Aggarwal still wanted more students to attend. “Less Fortnite, more people gotta go,” said Aggarwal. Part of the reason some people did not go was because of weather the day before. “It probably decreased the attendance because with the snow day, less people could sign up the day before,” said Boykins. Also, Wing said that some people did not attend the dance due to the girls basketball team playing in the sectional championship that night.  

This year there were many different comments on the music choice. Freshmen Caitlin McMahon said she thought some of the music was strange. Freshman Audrey Norden agreed and that they need a better variety of songs and not the same ones at every dance.  However, senior Elizabeth Sabatino said that she liked the music this year. “I think they really played a nice variety of music, which definitely helped, like more fun dance songs than they have the last three years.”

Semi raised $1,350. The dance was sponsored by the senior class officers and the J-DHS club, Bust-a-Move. The money raised from the ticket sales was distributed between them. The senior class is using their earnings for setting up their senior ball. Junior Mia Antonucci, an active member of Bust a Move, said that the money they raised went to a local breast cancer organization which makes care baskets for women taking chemotherapy.


Come Get Your Chick-fil-A! (Except on Sundays)

Harland Kissel and Julian Galletta

Staff Writers

Photo of Chick-fil-A opening courtesy of

The new Chick-fil-A in Cicero, NY is attracting many people, including Jamesville-Dewitt High School students. The food there has been a huge hit since it opened in February. Although the new Chick-fil-A is 30 minutes away from most people in the JD community, it hasn’t stopped them from trying the new restaurant for the first time, or returning based on a past experience there.

The location of the restaurant is problematic for the J-D community. It doesn’t help that only half of the students can drive themselves to get there. “It’s like 30 minutes away from here,” said freshman Faraaz Beg, “and there is tons of traffic on the way there.” Like Beg, senior Leah Netti is also disappointed with the location. “I think it’s a good idea to bring it up here but it’s just too far away,” she said. Agreeing with her and Beg is freshman Mareed Alam. “It is absolutely not a good location for people at J-D,” he said, “you have to drive all the way to Cicero to go to a Chick-fil-A. That’s crazy!”

Despite the distance, Alam had many good things to say about the food. “Everything there is great, everything is tasty,” he said. Like Alam, Beg is also a fan. “My favorite food there is the original chicken sandwich,” he said. Netti had a different opinion on what foods are good there. “My favorite is the nuggets, but I really don’t like the spicy chicken sandwich.” Freshman Abbey Clapper agrees. “The nuggets are my favorite,” she said.

Clapper complemented the service at the new Chick-fil-A. “The customer service was very good and polite, they treated me like a human being,” she said. Alam is surprised at how well the employees did their job. “It’s excellent, and since they just opened, that’s impressive.” Netti added, “it’s really nice, they’re very nice people.”

Here at J-D, the excitement for the new restaurant has been huge. The problematic location of the new establishment has been the biggest barrier for new customers to get over, but those who have gone have been only saying positive things about it. Many students have given glowing reviews of the restaurant and it looks like Chick-fil-A will not be seeing any decline in customers soon.

March Spirit Week

Momo LaClair and Paige Stepanian

Staff Writers/ Photographers

March Madness is upon us, and Corporate Communications is ready to kick off the fun and games here at Jamesville-DeWitt High School.

To start it all off, Spirit Week will be Monday, March 12 through Friday, March 16. Pajama day will be Monday, then Tourist Day on Tuesday. Wacky Wednesday will follow, then College/Jersey Day on Thursday, and on Friday students are encouraged to wear green for St. Patrick’s Day. On Tuesday, students can wear hawaiian shirts, sunglasses, or any other vacation themed outfits. On Wacky Wednesday, try and wear your craziest clothes.

March Madness is not only encouraging individual students to have some fun, but homerooms are getting involved as well. Each homeroom will be able to decorate their door for a team that they select. In order to select a team, each homeroom must raise $2, and send a representative from the homeroom to Four Corners to pick one from a hat. Two prizes will be awarded; one for best door and one for the homeroom whose team wins the tournament.

Starting Monday, March 12 students can donate $2 to participate in the Bracket Challenge. Each student will get a bracket to fill out but they must return it by noon on Thursday, March 15 to Ms. Eaton, Ms. Gallivan, or a Corporate Communications student. Each week top leaders will be listed on the TVs at Four Corners.

Green bagels and donuts will be available for purchase in the Main Entrance before school on Friday, March 16 for $2 per bagel and $1 per donut.

All proceeds will be donated to charity!

New Computers in the Library

Francesca Chirco, Everly Kessler, and Chloe Butler

Staff Writers

After 10 long years of rigorous use and countless projects and papers, the computers in the Jamesville-DeWitt High School library were in desperate need of an update. Before the start of the second semester, 19 new Windows 10 PCs were installed in the library.

J-DHS librarian Mary Panek and district computer technician Paul Krause, both agree that these updated computers will help students get their work done at a more efficient rate. “Speed, programs, everything needed to be updated. We weren’t able to maintain the computers and it helps to have more up-to-date software,” said Ms. Panek.

The computers that are now in the library were leased, according to District Technology Coordinator Phil Luckette. He said that the company leased the computers to J-D with a five-year, no return deal. Leasing is cheaper than buying the computers, but the company doesn’t want the aged computers back once the lease is up. They will continue to be used in the library when the lease expires.

The money used to lease these new computers came out of the District Technology budget, which comes from local taxpayer dollars. Mr. Luckette said that PCs are a better deal because of their longevity, lower price, and advanced programs. By leasing PCs instead of MacBooks, the District was not only able to save money but was able to begin with their plan to divert from purchasing Apple computers. Mr. Luckette, decided to stop purchasing Apple computers as in his opinion, they are much more expensive and have slower systems.

Two years ago, in the winter of 2016, a water fountain mishap in the Red Hall destroyed several of the photography room’s MacBook computers. The ruined Macs were then replaced with new PCs, which was the beginning of the school’s switch from Apple computers to PCs. Adjusting to completely new computers and software was no easy task for photography teacher Lisa Troubetaris and her students. “We all have used MacBooks for years and I felt like it was a little more work for me to get re-adjusted,” said Mrs. Troubetaris. She still thinks that PCs are harder to use and she finds herself and her students still adjusting to the change.

Mr. Luckette believes that the new computers will be better for both J-DHS students and staff, and that they will promote efficiency throughout the school.“They have faster processors, more memory, larger storage, and larger monitors with much higher resolutions,” said Mr. Luckette.


District Network Coordinator Kelly Nye used to be a “die-hard Mac fan” but has since changed her views and now holds security features in higher regard than solely the type of computer. She said the operating system doesn’t matter as much because so much is done online. She believes that it will be beneficial for J-DHS students to continue to be exposed to using different operating systems so they will be better prepared and equipped for the future. “Technology is so vast, and changes so quickly! It's wise to be flexible and open to using different operating systems and languages,” said Ms. Nye.

The Computer Teaching Assistant, Hayley Nies, at J-DHS prefers to use Macs. “I prefer Macs, because I’m more comfortable with them and they’re more user friendly than PC’s,” said Nies. An English and Corporate Communications Teacher has a similar opinion, “I prefer Macs. I’m more comfortable on all the shortcuts and commands so I can work faster on them,” said Terri Eaton.

Some Science Teachers at J-DHS have started using iPads in class as a way to display their notes instead of having students rely on just the smartboard. “Sometimes the chrome cart isn’t available and sometimes apps work better on the iPads,” said Samantha Ross.

Some students have yet to notice the updated computers, but those who have seem to have different perspectives on the change. “I prefer Apple computers because I am used to them and I think they have better software,” said sophomore Riley LaTray. Windows 10 software has also been a favorite aspect of the new computers. “I am familiar with Windows 10 which makes it easier to use. This allows me to access programs quicker than I can on Macbooks,” said junior Erik Kalantarov.

Alongside the 19 new computers, eight Macs still remain in the library. Ms. Panek has decided to keep Macs in the library as she knows how popular they are among students and wants them to be available for those who prefer to use Apple software. “I want to keep the Macs as long as possible because 90% of the kids that come in here go onto the Mac’s first and it’s the students’ preference,” said Ms. Panek.

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.