Super Bowl LII

Harland Kissel and Julian Galleta

Staff Writers


The Super Bowl made history this year for two reasons: The Philadelphia Eagles beat the favored New England Patriots, and it was the first Super Bowl held in Minnesota’s new stadium. Freshman Tyler Aitken was excited that the Eagles won their first Super Bowl, after losing to the Patriots in 2005. “It was such an exciting game, and Nick Foles led his team to victory. He deserved the MVP and he got it,” said Aitken

Many students wanted the Eagles to win because they like the team, or they just don’t like the Patriots. Aitken predicted an Eagles win “because they have a better set of options of offense.” Senior Lexi Gambacorto agreed with Aitken, citing rumors of cheating associated with the Patriots. “The Patriots are little cheaters, like is the ball deflated? I don’t know,” she said.

However, freshman Samson Myshrall predicted a New England win; “the Patriots are gonna destroy the Eagles because they have Tom Brady,” he said. He also joked in his prediction of the score: “70-0 Pats.”

The Eagles demolished the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game, winning 38-7. The Patriots were heavily favored to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship game, but the Jags played their hearts out and nearly beat the Patriots, as they were up 20-10 in the fourth quarter. But in the end, the Pats pulled off yet another comeback victory and shocked the country, winning the game with a final score of 24-20. Finally, the Patriots somewhat “magical” run ended after being defeated by the Eagles 41-33 in the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl LII was one of the most intense yet, as both teams shattered records in front of 67,000 fans. Some of the records included 1,151 total yards combined, and the most yards by a quarterback in a postseason game, which was set by Tom Brady with 505 yards. The Eagles took the lead early on, and were still leading by half time. The real action started in the second half. The Patriots outscored the Eagles 14-7 in the third quarter, and cut the lead to 3, trailing 29-26. They then went up 33-32 after a touchdown catch by tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Eagles took the lead back after a controversial touchdown catch by tight end Zach Ertz, and went up 38-33.

The Pats went scoreless the rest of the fourth quarter, and the Eagles made a field goal. Tom Brady looked poised for another one of his last minute comebacks after the Eagles gave the Patriots the ball back with just over 2 minutes left in the game. However a game-saving strip sack by Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham made the Eagles the 2018 Super Bowl Champs with a score of 41-33.

Justin Timberlake performed at halftime, singing a medley of his seven most popular songs from the last few years: “Cry Me A River,” “Suit and Tie,” his most popular song “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” and many more. Many students felt disappointed this year with the performances. “I really just don’t like Justin Timberlake,” said Myshrall.

Myshrall remained positive after the Patriots’ loss. “They’ll come back and win the next year, like they do every year,” he said. Even though his team lost, he enjoyed other parts of the Super Bowl, such as the commercials. “I liked the Eli Manning and Odell Beckham one, and the Mountain Dew and Doritos one,” he said. Aitken had a different opinion on his favorite commercial. “I liked the Tide commercials,” he said. In the end, the Super Bowl was watched by many people here at J-D, and it was definitely one to remember.


Winter Olympics

Tim Skeval, Murphy Foss, Tarky Lombardi

Staff Writers

Currently, the very best athletes on the planet are in Pyeongchang, South Korea to compete against one another in the XXIII Winter Olympic Games. Just over 200 countries will participate in over 100 different events, in what is the most globally celebrated sporting tradition in history. The sporting events in Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Cross Country Skiing, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Ice Hockey, Nordic Combine, Short Track Speed Skating, Skeleton, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding and Speed Skating started on Feb. 8. The United States sent 198 of its best athletes to compete for gold.

The entire Winter Olympics span from Feb. 8 to Feb. 25. Even though the opening ceremony is on the night of Feb. 9, the first event, curling, begins on Feb. 8. “I find curling to be very entertaining and it is something I will definitely watch more this Olympics,” said sophomore Sam Fetchner.  Last year the US curling team finished second to last, only ahead of Germany. “I think they’ll be able to get the job done this year,” said junior Nolan Kinahan; “I really enjoy watching the hockey team though.” This year the U.S. hockey team doesn’t have any NHL players on the roster, only college students, “I think it’s pretty cool, we get to see who the new faces of the sport will be,” said junior Turner Pomeroy.  One of the more popular sports among Americans is figure skating, “I really enjoy watching the skaters’ new routines and jumps,” said freshman Avery Young. This year all eyes are on American phenom and first-time olympian Nathan Chen; “he’s my favorite skater,” said Young.

“I’m very excited to watch the games this year,” said junior Josh Greenway. Some of the school-wide favorite events include Ski Jump and Bobsleigh. “I got the chance to meet to Jamaican Bobsleigh team, so I will be cheering for them in Bobsleigh, but in all other events I will continue to cheer for my country,” said senior Alex Payne. Both the U.S. and Jamaican Bobsleigh teams will begin their strive for gold starting Feb. 18.

There has been some controversy over sending American athletes to the games this year due to high tensions with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). The games are being held roughly 50 miles from the Demilitarized Zone, which is a heavily guarded border separating North and South Korea. Tensions have been high between the U.S. and North Korea after an exchange of insults between President Donald Trump and the Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. “I’m glad we decided to send athletes,” said Kinahan, “I don’t think that they’re in danger over there.” In the recent weeks tensions have cooled between North Korea and South Korea after they agreed to combine women’s ice hockey teams for the games and march together during the opening ceremony. “I think it’s cool,” said junior Adam Honis, “hopefully that means nothing bad will happen to the athletes.”

In the XXII Winter Olympic Games (2014), The United States won 28 medals, placing first overall in medal count, but third in gold medals behind Norway and Canada. Norway holds the the record for most winter olympic medals with 329, the U.S. is a close second with 282. “I think it would be fun if we could beat [Norway],” said Computer Technician Hayley Nies. In anticipation of the Games, Ms. Nies decorated the Mac Lab in an Olympic theme, “I love the Olympics,” said Ms. Nies, “I like the athletes’ stories and the hardships that they’ve overcome.”

Spend some break time watching the Olympics, which will be broadcasted on NBC, to cheer on our country. Click here to see the full schedule for the Games.  


Meeting Mr. Goodson

Tanner Burns and Johnny Keib

Staff Writers


Jamesville-DeWitt High School Athletic Director John Goodson spends most of his day scheduling athletic events and attending meetings with coaches and teachers. However, what Mr.Goodson likes the most about his job is helping kids achieve their athletic goals. “I like setting up a plan in place and trying to work through it and make it happen,” said Mr. Goodson.

Mr. Goodson’s daily routine consists of going into his office around 8 a.m. and getting a project done right away. Then, after completing his project he usually has a couple of meetings. “You’re in and out of meetings all day, and usually wrapping the evening around 10 at night with my last scheduled meeting.” said Mr. Goodson. He follows a very structured schedule to better the school. Mr. Goodson always wants to be organized and two seasons ahead of what the actual sports season is right now in terms of scheduling.

Since Mr. Goodson first came to J-DHS eight years ago, the sports programs have taken off. There have been nine state championships in the past 10 years in boys lacrosse, girls basketball, and boys basketball. He contributes part of the success to the structures within the school. “This is a place that really has a lot of structures, from code of conducts to academic ineligibility and all these things that help students be successful,” said Mr. Goodson. Another reason that Mr. Goodson believes J-DHS has successful sports programs is that he works closely with the Booster Club in order to fundraise.

With such a significant job within a school there are going to be people who think Mr. Goodson is great, but also some people who question his decisions. Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach Jeff Ike thinks very highly of him. “I think he’s one of the top in this area, if not one of the best in the state,” said Coach Ike. Senior varsity football and baseball player Anthony Ciccone agrees with Coach Ike. “I think he’s a pretty good guy overall,” said Ciccone. However, some students question whether he supports all of the sports programs equally or favors the boy programs more.

Mr. Goodson hopes to make many improvements to the sports teams this year. He looks at it this way: “every sport is always at a different level. So like right now baseball last year made it to the sectionals but didn’t win the sectionals. So the goal this year is to try and repeat and get back to sectionals and win,” said Mr. Goodson.  

Mr. Goodson was born and raised in Clinton, NY and grew up playing sports, which made him want to be involved in sports when he was older. But he didn’t always want to be an athletic director. At first he wanted to be a football coach. Mr. Goodson played two years of Junior Varsity football at Ithaca College. After playing he was brought on to be the coach of the J-V football team as a student assistant. When his years at Ithaca were over, he headed out to the University of Northern Colorado for his graduate degree. Finally, he went to SUNY Cortland so he could become an athletic director. Mr. Goodson would then go on to be a physical education teacher at Geneva High School before becoming the athletic director at J-DHS.

There is no doubt that the sports programs at J-DHS have been very successful with him at the helm. However, there are some people who disagree with how he runs things. But as long as the sports teams are winning, it is tough to doubt his ways.


College Freshman Advice

Tim Skeval and AJ Ortega

Staff Writers


As Jamesville-DeWitt High School says goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018, seniors are beginning to see the end of their high school careers. The J-DHS class of 2018 will soon be embarking on the next step in their lives: college. As the 2017-2018 J-DHS school year reaches the halfway mark, seniors are beginning to look past high school to college.

The J-DHS class of 2017, who graduated last year, now have a full semester of college under their belts and are back for holiday break. Who better to help future college kids prepare for college other than those who are currently going through it?

The best piece of advice J-DHS graduate and college freshman Thomas Edson, who attends Ithaca College, has to offer is to “get the unlimited meal plan.”

The jump from high school to college is arguably one of the most difficult adjustments for teenagers to make. “Academically, JD prepared me really well for college since teachers expect what college professors expect,” said Edson.

College is different than high school in that college students experience more freedoms then high schoolers do. That is J-DHS graduate and college freshman Matt Cappelletti’s favorite part about being in college. “All the freedoms I didn’t have in high school, like making my own choices (in regards to classes and everyday activities outside of school), I now have in college,” said Cappelletti, who attends Hamilton College. J-DHS graduates and college freshman Casey Kretsch, who attends Le Moyne College, and Ian Crawford agree with Cappelletti. “Having more freedoms is the best part, I think,” said Crawford, who attends Wells College.

Another freedom college freshman experience is making their own schedule. For the first time freshman rely completely on themselves to plan out their days and class schedules. “There’s a lot more freedom and I’m able to create my schedule so that I can take more classes that interest me,” said J-DHS graduate and college freshman Maddie Scullion, who attends SUNY Geneseo.  

Another big difference J-DHS seniors will have to adjust to in college is the living arrangements. In college, dorm life is a new and different reality for many incoming freshman. “Dorm life is a lot different compared to high school life,” said Edson, “you will more than likely share a space with at least one other person.” This is something that could be new to incoming freshman and can take a bit of time to adjust to. Freshman have to be prepared to make some sacrifices and adjustments while getting used to the college life. “You have to be comfortable around other people and be able to change a few things about how you live,” said Kretsch, “but you also have to be able to just go about your daily activities.”

With all these newfound freedoms come immense responsibility. “For the first time you’re on your own,” said Scullion, “you have to be responsible or else you won’t do well.” College adjustment can be difficult but many freshman catch on quickly with a little time and effort. “My adjustment to college life just sort of happened.” said Scullion, “As the weeks went on I got into the swing of things.”

Branching out is one way that can help freshmen adjust to life in college. “Don’t be afraid to talk to people,” said Edson. There are many activities and events at the start of freshman year that are encouraged by the colleges that are aimed to get freshman out there, meet new people, and help them feel more comfort in college. “I was able to adjust pretty quickly,” said Edson, “ I was part of a program where I moved in three days early and did activities with other freshman so I was able to get used to college living before everyone poured onto campus.”

College is a new experience that could frighten many current seniors looking to expand their wings in college next year. With everything colleges and current college students offer to help future college freshman, college is set up to be what every current senior looks forward to heading into next year and possibly even more.  

Paige Petrell: Top Ski Racer

Jamie Boeheim 

Assistant Producer 

Every year, skiers around the world look forward to winter. Most ski for fun, but there are also people who take it to the next level and ski competitively, which includes traveling around the country for competitions. At Jamesville-DeWitt High School, senior Paige Petrell has been skiing since she was 2 years old and has been racing on Toggenburg Mountain’s ski team since she was 4. Petrell has traveled to Maine, Vermont, and all over New York for different national competitions with the best young skiers in the country.

There are a variety of events within ski racing and each requires different equipment to fit the needs of the race style. Petrell competes in three different events. One is slalom, which is, “where people wear a bunch of guards and it looks like they’re punching the gates (poles), but their body is brought through the gate due to edge angle of the ski,” said Petrell. Her second event is giant slalom (GS), where longer skies are used to make longer turns to go around two gates (poles) with flags set up. Lastly, her third event is super giant slalom (Super G), which is similar to GS, but turns are elongated and racers are going at much higher speeds.

Traveling is one of Petrell's most valued parts of competitive skiing because she gets to ski on new slopes, in places she has never been. Because she trains all year round, she has to travel during the off-season. She’s gone to many places around the country, like when she went to Copper Mountain, Colorado, during a couple weeks of her freshman year. “I used to go to Mt. Hood, Oregon, to train during the summer, which was awesome because the mountain is cold enough for snow but as soon as you leave the high altitudes you’re back in the high 80 degree summer weather. So a majority of the time I would ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon,” said Petrell.

Petrell’s favorite ski area is Alta Ski Resort in Utah because “it has some awesome double diamond terrain, really steep ski bowl, and is really pretty because it is on the mountain so you’re able to overlook Utah,” said Petrell. Her favorite hill she’s raced on is Gore Hill, on the trail called Echo, which is in the Adirondacks. Gore Hill is her favorite because it is the perfect hill for her events since there are a lot of ups and downs, which increases her speed greatly.

Petrell has been to multiple large racing events with the best racers in the country. In her eighth grade year, she went to the Can-Ams, which consists of the best skiers in Canada and the Northeast of American for United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) skiing. Also, her freshman and sophomore year, she went to the Eastern U16 Championships. Some of her biggest successes as a skier were when she competed as a first-year U19. She competed against skiers three years older than her, but still won both the New York State GS State Championship titles and came in second place for the slalom event. Then, Petrell moved to the U19 Eastern Finals and finished second place in the slalom event and sixth in the GS.

Although she enjoys traveling, she does have to make sacrifices, such as missing school. “Sometimes I miss a Friday or a Monday for a travel day,” said Petrell. Last year, she was gone the entire month of December, training with the New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSSEF), which is a program attached to Northwood Boarding school in Lake Placid. “This year, I’m leaving for most of January to ski with Mount Snow academy to be able to ski more FIS races without it affecting my schooling,” said Petrell. FIS goes through March, so Petrell said she will be leaving often throughout the rest of the school year, since she is trying to lower her points to increase her ranking. At Mount Snow, Petrell will attend a full day of school on Mondays, then will have half days from Tuesday to Thursday. “We train six days a week when we aren’t racing and then depending on the type of race we have, we could miss two to five days,” said Petrell.

“This year, I’m taking a big step and starting to ski in the International Ski Federation (FIS), which is another level (up) from the USSA races that I’ve skied in my entire life,” said Petrell. FSI consists of the best of the best; “about 60 percent of the competition are girls racing for Division I colleges, so it’s a very high intensity and high competitive,” added Petrell.

The next step in Petrell’s path of her ski career is selecting a college. “I really want to ski Division I in college, somewhere in the Northeast,” said Petrell. Her top schools include, but are not limited to, St. Michael’s College in Vermont, University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State in New Hampshire, and possibly Boston College. However, she is debating whether or not attend Waterville Valley, in Maine, a post-graduation program for skiers, in order to lower her FIS points so she will be more heavily recruited. The way a skier is evaluated is through being awarded points by the USSA. This starts their first year as a U16 USSA skier which is during their freshman year of high school. They start with 999.0 points and every race their points are lowered, which is considered better. This ranking system is the exact same for FSI skiers, except most people don’t start FIS until sophomore or junior year, but still start with 999.0 points. “Many Division I schools look at recruits with 20-50 points.” said Petrell.

There are many different aspects and commitments when it comes to being a ski racer. For the future of her skiing career, Petrell said, “my biggest dream is to one day make the US development team and possibly go to the Olympics.” Good luck to Paige this year and her following career!


Senior Spotlight: John Bridge

Tracey Edson and Katie Cappelletti

Staff Writers

When you were a 3-year-old child, were you riding down the slide with your parents, or were you inside on your computer learning about the glories of computer science like Jamesville-DeWitt High School senior John Bridge was. Bridge developed an interest in computers at a very young age and started programing in fifth grade. His passion for computers has continued throughout his high school career and he plans on continuing it in his future.

As a freshman, Bridge took AP Computer Science with Jay Lang, who also teaches in the math department. “It taught me a lot of java skills and a lot of fundamentals and complexities,” said Bridge on the course. The things he learned about programming have been applied to his later projects, and have helped him in the long run. “I really liked the research based learning (in AP Computer Science), we learned a lot through labs and applied our knowledge as opposed to learning it in a lecture-based setting,” said Bridge.

Bridge did a lot of work with Mr. Lang that year, and now, in his senior year, Bridge is being advised by Mr. Lang while working on an independent study. “He’s a one of a kind… His computer skills, programming skills and just his general computer knowledge that he had coming in was better than any student I’ve had in 14 years,” said Mr. Lang.

During the summer after his freshman year, Bridge did an internship at a StartFast development center. Along with the internship Bridge worked on a wifi switching project which was an app for an Android phone. He also had the opportunity to work with students from Cornell on another app, and although it was never published, it still helped him improve his skills and experiences. The AP Computer Science course, the internship, as well as the independent study that he is currently working on, are helping him prepare to go into the computer science field in college. His most recent project was creating the J-D Page website.

A decision about where to attend college will have to be made soon for Bridge. He has applied to the University of Rochester, Cornell, Stony Brook, Binghamton, RPI, RIT, and Penn State. He hopes to attend University of Rochester or Cornell. “I really liked the education offered there. Rochester was very research-based school which means I would be doing a lot of learning by doing, rather than learning by listening, and that’s something I look forward to in college,” said Bridge

Although Bridge still has to attend college, he has thought about his future job. “I would like a job that varies day-to-day and brings new challenges each time I go into work, but something in the computer field, possibly computer programming.” said Bridge. Bridge is set to graduate in June from J-D.


Dressember At J-DHS

Francesca Chirco and Everly Kessler

Staff Writers

The month of December is a time for giving thanks for what you have and for helping those who are less fortunate. We tend to show more compassion for others in December and throughout the holiday season. Going along with this trend, students and faculty at Jamesville-DeWitt High School are standing up to modern-day human trafficking, by taking part in a movement known as Dressember. Each week day of the month, people will be wearing dresses and/or ties in protest of the global problem of human trafficking.

This year, J-DHS students and staff members alike are taking part in Dressember. Social studies teacher Donna Oppedisano, a first year participant, has helped spread awareness by not only wearing a dress each day, but by talking to her classes about the movement and what it stands for. Mrs. Oppedisano’s influence has caused curious students to approach her with questions as to how they can also impact the movement. “Making sure people get the dignity, respect, and humanity they deserve is really what makes me tick,” said Mrs. Oppedisano.   

Senior Lauren Westfall has also been a very prominent contributor to this movement as she was the one who started Dressember at J-DHS this year and has influenced others to join the cause. By both talking to friends and giving presentations to various classes, such as Mrs. Oppedisano’s Women Studies class, Westfall has gained many supporters.“The past year, I’ve really felt a need to do this and I tried to get as many people on board as I could,” said Westfall.

Sophomore Sophie Clinton has also been a critical advocate for Dressember, raising $1,066.75, the most money so far out of the J-D participants. Clinton worked hard to convince friends and family members to join the movement. Additionally, she has spread awareness in the process, as many people are unaware of this cause and its purpose. Even Clinton herself was originally oblivious to this cause. She was informed by Westfall about how she could serve as the voice for all the women and children being sold around the world, who cannot advocate for themselves.“Nobody knows about this movement and people will eventually ask why I’m wearing a dress every day and (so then) learn and spread awareness about this problem,” said Clinton.

Other J-DHS staff and students are also taking part in this month-long movement. Senior Elizabeth Sabatino was influenced by Westfall to support this movement and has since raised $251.75 for the cause. Sabatino felt empowered to take a stand and wanted to do her part in helping all the women and children who are involved and affected by human trafficking. “Thirty percent of women and 30 percent of children are involved. It’s even happening in our own backyard,” said Sabatino. Fellow participant, junior Alan Gao wants to show his support as well and is wearing ties at least once a week for the month of December. J-D advocates such as, English teacher Mrs. Myers-Kelly, sophomore Allia Mitchell, and freshman, Max Mimaroglu are also dressing up and actively funding for the cause.

All of the J-DHS Dressember participants are fundraising along with dressing up. Each advocate has a page in which anyone can donate in order to help that person reach their desired goal. As a whole, the J-DHS Dressember participants have been able to raise a total of $2,630.28,  exceeding their original goal of $2,000.

“Dressember is an opportunity to reclaim and reappropriate the dress as a symbol of freedom and power; a flag for the inherent dignity of all people,” said the Dressember Foundation.

Go donate to this great cause at:

What you don't know about the teachers at J-DHS

Lucas Bort, Reinaldo Colon, and Michael Bratslavsky

Staff Writers

There are over a hundred teachers at Jamesville-DeWitt High School that we see everyday. But, do we really know them? Hidden within these teachers are special talents not many would expect them to have. There are teachers that dance, play table tennis, cook and clean, participate in volleyball leagues, make soap, do magic, and much more.

Student Counselor Will Hartley says that his hidden talent is his dancing.  He said he has been a good dancer ever since he was little. “I was born with the talent, ever since I was in the crib I was moving to music,” said Mr. Hartley. He said that he likes to dance as much as he can and he tries to dance daily.

However, Mr. Hartley isn’t the only one that has the moves. Librarian Mary Panek dances as well but in the form of ballet. She started ballet when she was 7, but started tap dancing at 5. Ms. Panek said she has been in somewhat of a slump recently but she usually dances about once a week.

Sports are also a big activity that teachers pursue. Social studies teacher Vitaliy Yanchuk plays table tennis with his family and friends. When his father bought a table for him about 10 years ago, he learned to play and still enjoys it today. “Every time you play is interesting,” said Mr. Yanchuk.

Music teacher Daniel Blumenthal has been playing in a beach volleyball league with some of his friends for the last two years. “When I started I wasn’t that good but after a couple months of playing we got better and moved up to more advanced leagues,” said Mr. Blumenthal. Only a few of his students are familiar with his talent since he talks about it occasionally in class.

Many teachers’ talents take place in the home. Special education teacher Juan Martinez enjoys cooking at home for himself and his family, as does math teacher Dawn Janicki, who cooks French cuisine. Mr. Martinez says that he learned his talent of cooking from his mother, who he used to cook with, while Mrs. Janicki learned via cookbooks and videos.

One of the special education teacher Mike Melfi has the ability to clean. Cleaning played a big role in his life, ever since his mom taught him to keep everything tidy. Lots of helpful things have come out of it, too, including getting closer to a girl he was dating, who would later become his wife.  

Physics teacher Rich Adler makes soap in his spare time. Instead of wasting grease from his dinner, he has been using it to make soap. He hasn’t bought a bar of soap in over five years and will be displaying them in the Faculty Arts and Crafts sale.   

Art teacher Mark McIntyre likes to do magic tricks for his students and even used to perform for the students at the elementary schools where he was before coming to the the high school.  He taught himself how to do these using websites and magic books, and also bought objects for magic. A previous student once told their mother who then told Mr. McIntyre the following: “Mom, I know three people in this world that are magic, Santa Claus, God, and Mr. McIntyre.”

Teachers have many interesting talents that students do not know about. There are many things that we don’t know about the staff at the J-DHS community. Teachers are only a title but on the inside they have another identity.    

Mrs. Groman's Eclipse Journey

Mara Durkin, Meghan Evans, and Zoe Potamianos

Staff Writers

Teachers also have lives outside of teaching, including chemistry teacher Theresa Groman. As a science teacher as well as a photographer, she has a lot of interest in astronomy. Mrs. Groman travels to many places during breaks, weekends, and the summer to capture amazing moments using her Nikon d5500.

This past summer, Mrs. Groman and her 11-year-old son, Max, planned on traveling to see the solar eclipse in the direct path of its totality. “Everything I read about it said totality was the coolest part,” said Mrs. Groman. After some research, she discovered the best place to watch the eclipse was in Wyoming, which was predicted to have an 88 percent chance of sunny skies on the day of the eclipse, Aug. 21. They traveled to Fort Collins, Colo. on Aug. 17 and then drove to Guernsey Park, Wyo. to watch the solar eclipse.

The eclipse lasted two to three minutes and was extremely significant because the last time the solar eclipse totality crossed the U.S. was in February 1979. “It was the coolest thing ever,” said Max Groman. Mrs. Groman wanted to record the eclipse with her phone, but dropped it in awe.  “I love that I have video of this moment, because it was so emotional for both of us because it really was amazing to experience,” said Mrs. Groman.


She also enjoys taking pictures of star trails at night. She has traveled to Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, and many other places to capture these beautiful photos. She spends two hours taking them on clear and cold fall and winter nights at her camp because that is when the startrails show up the best on camera. Her goal is to capture a picture of the star trails around the North Pole reflected off Ontario Lake. However this hobby has unusual risks. “I’m always afraid a skunk is going to spray me so I am going to bring my son with me to check for skunks,” said Mrs. Groman.

To make her pictures, she uses a program to combine all the photos she takes in the moment into one to show the movement of the stars across the sky over that period of time. The pictures are made up of seconds-long exposures taken over minutes to hours.

Mrs. Groman also enjoys taking pictures and videos of foxes on her property. Every year there is a fox den in which she places trail cameras around so she can capture moments with foxes and their pups.


J-D Band Students Tour Europe

Paige Stepanian and Momo LaClair


Staff Writers

This past summer, select students from Jamesville- DeWitt High School traveled all around Europe to perform concerts. J-D Middle School band teacher Anthony Greene chose four students based on their previous musical achievements to join him in Europe. He chose four sophomores: Sabina Muradova, brothers Caleb and Colby Porter and Margaret Frank. They were sent by the American Music Abroad program to five different countries.

The purpose of the trip was to perform concerts in each country they visited. The J-D group went to Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany and Austria. Muradova’s favorite country to visit was Italy. “The cities were just really beautiful and I really liked the architecture, the Leaning Tower (of Pisa)  especially.” she said. Colby Porter also enjoyed Italy the most; “the food was really good.” However, his brother Caleb liked Austria the best; “I really liked the mountains and landscape.” Frank also like Austria the best because they got to visit Mozart’s birthplace. Although they liked different places, “each place was unique in its own way, like they all had cool things about them,” said Muradova..

The band performed seven concerts total: two performances in Germany, two in Austria, two in Italy and one in France. The concerts weren’t performed with just the J-D band, they were with the AMA band, chorus, and orchestra. Many townspeople attended and appreciated the concerts.

It wasn’t all concerts and music, they also spent a lot of time exploring the cities. The students were given freedom to roam and explore each city with friends, as long as they were back in time for their concerts.  When they visited northern Italy they got to ride gondolas, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, go shopping and visit the Statue of David. Since they were able to travel to so many places, they got to do a variety of different things. After arriving in Austria, the group took three ski lifts to the top of a snowy mountain. There, they were able to go sledding and tubing. “The funny thing about that is, I remember recalling that the day before that we were swimming in Italy but then the next day we were wearing coats and sledding down mountains,” says Muradova.

This trip was Mr.Greene’s first AMA tour. His two children performed in the band along with the students, and he and his wife were both band directors. This year, the tour consisted of 150 students who were recruited from New England, New York, and Ohio regions. All four sophomores were recommended by Mr.Greene. However, all the students were required to send in audition tapes for the purpose of seating and music selection. Since it was his first time in mainland Europe, Greene loved seeing the famous landmarks and buildings in person. Visiting five different countries, the group experienced a trip they’ll never forget. ,,,,,,,,,,

“Standing in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or walking in the valleys of Venice, isn’t something found in books or on the internet,” said Greene. Mr. Greene will be attending the tour again in 2018 and hopes to bring along more J-D students.

Two of J-D's 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 Jiang. 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. Jiang 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 Jiang.

Both senior Paige Petrell and freshman Cassie Cappelletti  think Jiang’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.




Traveling Senior: Joey Armenta

Brevin Scullion, Parker Cote, and Kaleb McCloud

Staff Writers

This past summer, senior Joey Armenta traveled to La Manga, Spain, a city on the southeast coast of Spain, on a foreign exchange trip for four weeks. He went through a short term foreign exhange program called Rotary International. Armenta traveled through this program in hopes of improving his Spanish language in and out of school. “It would be cool to be fluent in two different languages.” Armenta said. “He wanted to travel outside of the US to experience a different culture than ours,” said senior Joe DiDomenico.

In Spain, Armenta stayed with a host family that was provided by the Rotary International Program. “They welcomed me with open arms,” said Armenta. He spent most of his time with the son and daughter of the host family, who are around his age. During his stay in Spain, he met many friends that he still stays in contact today via social media.

Armenta said that our way of life in America differs from life in Spain. Armenta was able to experience the Spanish culture first hand. “We would stay up late and party at night,” said Armenta. Parties would consist of singing and dancing to cultural songs. During the day Armenta and his host family would sleep during the siestas, which are short naps taken during the afternoon. This is a common tradition in the Spanish culture. “Joey described the food as boring and plain. He enjoyed the food much better here,” said DiDomenico. Armenta learned a lot by living through his host family’s life and doing things that they would do on a normal day.

“He came back a different person, in a good way,” said DiDomenico; “he enjoyed his experience there and would love to go back.”  Armenta has plans to return to La Manga, Murcia, Spain this upcoming summer.

Wouldn’t one miss home you might ask? Armenta did miss his friends, family and the way of life back home, but he got to experience something that the average person may never do in a lifetime. “He kept in touch with us as best as he could while away,” said DiDomenico. Joey returned with gifts for his friends John Bridge and Joe.

During the four weeks that he spent in La Manga, Murcia, Armenta witnessed a whole new way of life. He not only got to experience the culture, but live through the culture with friends that he will remember for the rest of his life. “He came back a better man,” DiDomenico said.

Welcome These New Faces to the Same Place

Jacob Marshall and Marcus Payne

Staff Writer

Every year there are changes to the faculty at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Though Michael Melfi, Erin Sullivan, and Tong Fu Mei are all new to J-DHS and they have different teaching techniques, all three of them want to prepare their students for college and the real world.

Out of all of these new teachers, Mr. Melfi has the most experience. Mr. Melfi attended Marist from 1994-1999 where he got his undergraduate degree.  Then he started teaching at Lincoln Middle School in 1999 while also getting his master's at Syracuse University. He taught at Lincoln for five years, and then started teaching at J-D Middle School in the fall of 2004. This year, after more than 12 years at the middle school, Mr. Melfi moved to the High School.


Having worked in both places, Mr. Melfi jokes that the only difference is up here everyone is “much taller” than the middle school.  Mr. Melfi’s’ favorite part about the high school is that he gets to see kids that he has worked with in the past and how they have grown and matured. “It's been good to see them develop and grow both academically and physically,” said Mr. Melfi. He also said, the students and teachers gave him a warm welcome on his first few days. After he learned how the students schedules worked and how to get around the school, he said his transition into the the high school went pretty smoothly.

Not only is this Mr. Melfi’s first year at JD High School, it is also his first year coaching track and cross country at SUNY ESF. Mr. Melfi wants to have his athletes do well in the classroom and set personal records on the cross country course.”

Ms. Sullivan joined the math department this year. She has taught at three different schools over the course of 7 years. After graduating from Le Moyne in 2010, she worked at Baldwinsville for a year. Then from 2012 to 2014 she taught at Port Byron, and then she taught at Solvay from 2014 to the spring of this year. She teaches Algebra 1, Algebra Applied, and Pre-Calculus Honors. Her pre-calculus class has gone very smoothly, even though she has never taught pre-calculus before. She said she really put in the extra effort to make sure she knew that her topic was correct. The Algebra Applied class is also her first time co-teaching. Because there are so many students in this class, both her and Mr. Clinton teach.

“Kids are so nice and they seem to be really involved in the school,” said Ms. Sullivan about what she likes about J-DHS. She also joked that she didn’t like how hot the first few weeks were. Ms. Sullivan says that the hardest part of becoming a new teacher at this school was remembering names. However, most teachers say that remembering names is extremely hard at the beginning of the year.

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Ms. Sullivan’s goal in the classroom is to find new ways to do a task that other people think is boring and bring life to it. She really wants to make the 82 minute periods interesting; she wants to make students interested in what she’s teaching so the students can have a better takeaway from her teaching so they can be successful in life.

Making a real life impact on her students is also important to her during her time teaching here. Ms. Sullivan not only wants her students to succeed in her class but also wants them to learn real life lessons. She hopes they come back in 20 years and say that they learned a lot from her.

The newest teacher in the language department, Tong Fu Mei, replaced Hsiao Lao Shi. Tong Fu Mei or Tong Lao Shi, as her students call her, graduated college in Taiwan at National Taiwan Normal University in 1991. Before teaching at our school she taught for more than 15 years in Taiwan. Then when she moved to New York she subbed in other parts of Syracuse. Since Fu Mei came from Taiwan she noticed big differences between the students here and the students in Taiwan. “In Taiwan the teachers teach and the students receive. But the students here not only receive what what is taught but they also give feedback.”


The teachers were very helpful and allowed Fu Mei’s assimilation into our school to happen easily. But she still had to get used to the students. “I was nervous in my first classes, meeting the new kids. But all of the students are very polite, responsive and respectful.”  Fu Mei hopes to get her students interested in the Chinese culture and make them want to learn about chinese. Her goal over her time at the school is to make more students be excited and want to take Chinese.

All three of these new teachers have prior teaching experience, whether it be in a country halfway around the world or subbing in a local school. Mr. Melfi, Ms. Childers, Tong Fu Mei, Ms. Brodbeck  and Ms. Sullivan each bring something special to the table in helping their students learn. They want to use their enthusiasm, and skills to help all of their students succeed and do what they want after high school.

New Faces in the Creative World

Jacob Marshall and Marcus Payne

Staff Writers

In Jamesville-DeWitt High School there are two new faces in the elective classes. Ashlee Childers is the new teacher for the Drawing and Painting classes. Sara Brodbeck is teaching the DDP, Architecture and Creative Woodworking classes. Both are joining very successful programs and have big shoes to fill.

Ms. Brodbeck graduated from SUNY Oswego in  may of 2016. After graduating she became a long term sub at West Genesee from December of 2016 to June 2017. So although this is her first official teaching job, she has almost taught for a full year.


Ms. Brodbeck was “super excited” to hear about the job opportunity here at J-DHS. “There were five different job opportunities including the one I was working at but I was excited to be in this district,” said Ms. Brodbeck.

Ms. Brodbeck knows exactly what she wants to bring to the high school: an expanded program. “I was hoping to be able to come up with more content so right now I’m also teaching at the fifth grade level. That’s why I’m not here in the afternoon. We’re starting coding and hoping to grow our computer science program through that.” She’s hoping that since she’s teaching at the fifth grade level more people will take the class in high school.

Even though two of the courses she’s teaching are new to her and she’s never taught for 82 minute periods, she hopes her students learn a lot in her classes.

Ms. Childers is replacing the beloved Mr. Wenzel. Ms. Childers got her bachelor's degree from Hamilton College in 2007 and then her masters from Tufts University Affiliation of Museum of Fine Arts in 2009.

Before coming to the high school Ms. Childers taught in many small schools. She started teaching at Waterville which is in Oneida County, then started teaching at Onondaga in 2013 and then she was part time in Onondaga and Marcellus from 2014-2015. From there she went to Red Creek Jr./Sr. High School, which is near Fair Haven until this year when she came to J-DHS.  


Ms. Childers enjoys the diversity of our school. “When I taught at Onondaga I really liked the diversity of the school. They had kids from tons of different backgrounds and different interests.”  At other schools she thought the kids were very similar but here it is very diverse. She also enjoys how big our school is because it reminds her of her high school, East Syracuse-Minoa. Ms. Childers was very nervous to start. “I think anytime you start in a new place you're nervous. Like when you guys started here from middle school. So there is always some nervousness and some anxiety.” Luckily the J-D high school community made her feel very welcome. She was “shocked” at how nice and helpful everyone was.

Ms. Childers hopes to use her experience teaching a variety of positions to help her students. “I've taught middle school, I've taught photography, I've taught graphic design, I've taught ceramics. So I'm very interested to use all that experience to help kids with their portfolios for college,” said Ms. Childers. Her goal for her time teaching at our school to help the students find voice in their art, express themselves and find their style. 

"Take a Book, Leave a Book"

Tracey Edson and Katie Cappelletti

Staff Writers

While many people spent their summer watching Netflix or hanging out by the pool, the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Book Club spent their summer constructing a Little Free Library and figuring out the logistics of maintaining it. They built, filled and kept watch on the LFL this summer with help from our school’s library media specialist, Mary Panek. The LFL offers people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy reading at no cost.

The LFL is about the size of a two story birdhouse, that holds books for all ages. There are many around Syracuse, some in neighborhoods around the Syracuse area as well as in the local parks. The LFL put in by the J-DHS Book Club is in Ryder Park, off Butternut Drive in East Syracuse.

The idea of the LFL came from the students involved in the Book Club  “One of the students wanted the club to do a community project and she came up with the idea of putting a Little Free Library together,” said Ms. Panek. The Book Club had to go in front of the DeWitt town board and present this idea. The town board decided to put it in the children’s playground area. This gives parents the choice of reading a book while their kids play, as well as reading to their children.

President of the Book Club, senior Emily Ashe, and vice president, sophomore Sophie Stokoe, have helped keep the LFL enjoyable for everyone through the fall, along with the other Book Club members. “Every week or so we go there and check to see whether there are enough books in the actual container,” said Stokoe.

The LFL is used frequently by visitors at the park. “When I stopped to see it over the summer, I saw little kids pulling out books, (and) adults sitting under trees reading,” said Ashe. So far this LFL in Ryder Park has had a great impact on the visitors that go to Ryder.

As the weather gets colder the Book Club will be taking the books out of the LFL in Ryder Park and will be keeping them in the library at J-DHS. The Book Club plans to return the books in the spring as the weather starts to get nicer.


Freshmen Reactions to the High School

Scottie/B.T. O'Bryan and Jamie Boeheim

Editor of Production, Assistant Producer 


A wave of fresh faces appeared in the hallways on Sept. 5 as the class of 2021 began their first days at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Assistant Principal Dave Nylen said that they are the “best freshmen class ever,” and hopes they will have a great first year. The freshman who were in the cafeteria had various opinions about the atmosphere of the high school, along with the transfer from the middle school to a new building.

Becoming a freshman means facing new obstacles such as learning the ways around a new building, having new teachers, new rules and going from being the oldest students in the middle school to being the youngest in the high school. “There is a lot more people in the hallways...and everyone is a lot bigger,” says freshman Amber Hamernik. The new, more mature atmosphere takes a little of time to adjust to, but once settled in, students learn to fit right into J-DHS.

As freshman adjust to J-DHS during the first few weeks, they all are having different thoughts and experiences. “I like lunch better because people in each grade are there,” says freshman Corey Kretsch who likes to talk to his upperclassmen friends and neighbors in his lunch period. Kretsch also says that he likes the block scheduling better, “the day goes by faster and you don’t feel so rushed in class,” says Kretsch.  In the high school, many students such as freshman Emma Marks, agrees that the transition is better because there is “more freedom.” Although freshman Mo El-Hindi does not like high school, he likes it more than the middle school because there is more freedom.  Unlike El-Hindi, freshman Emmett Folett says that he “misses middle school,” because of the amount of homework at the high school.


The freshman will soon learn the halls of the high school with help from the more experienced J-DHS students, teachers and principals. Guidance counselors also have major roles in encouraging the freshman during Freshman Seminars that take place one out of the four letter days. Counselor Denise Becher says Freshman Seminars are mainly for “(the counselors) to get to know the students, and them to get to know (them).” She also said that all the students go to the computer lab to take online career tests and learn more about what classes they should take in the future. The last piece of advice that she has for this freshman class is to “definitely do your homework every night, study for tests and exams, join clubs to meet people, and be well-rounded.”

If you see a freshman in the hallway, make sure to say hi!


Tuck Returns

Murphy Foss

Staff Writer


Jim Tuck is a beloved figure in the halls of Jamesville-DeWitt High School. So his absence last year was very noticeable. Although many students missed Tuck, they did not know what had caused his absence.

In the summer of 2016, Tuck was visiting St. John in the US Virgin Islands. “I was volunteering at an eco resort,” said Tuck. He was one of 60 people selected out of hundreds of applicants for the summer exchange program. “I was doing various tasks, from housecleaning to carpentry to landscaping.”    

Tuck enjoys being in nature and participating in activities like hiking, which is why he is involved in J-DHS’s Outdoor Pursuits club. Unfortunately, hiking is what led to Tuck’s injury. He was hiking on an island trail that he had become very familiar with during his stay. “I had already hiked the trail twice that day, and on the way back I stepped and the trail slipped out from underneath me and I fell about six feet and broke my leg in two places,” said Tuck.

Tuck was then taken to another island where surgery was performed to fix the leg and a protective plate was inserted to stabilize it. This prevented him from being able travel home for weeks and when he was able to return, the plate had broken and infected his leg. Once back in the states, doctors replaced the plate and took muscle from his abdomen and put it over the injury. Then they grafted skin from his hip to cover up the plate and muscle.

Being away from school for so long took a toll on Tuck. “I missed the people,” said Tuck, “at times it was kind of gloomy but I had many people call and text me, come and visit me, which kept me going.” As a hall monitor and coach, he gets to talk to and interact with students a lot. “I missed the interactions with students,” said Tuck. Tuck is also an assistant coach for the J-DHS Junior Varsity football coach, so he also missed being on the sideline very much. “The first couple weeks were tough, but the other coaches would check in with me, telling me about the kids, telling me about the program,” said Tuck.

Mr. Tuck has gone through a tremendous struggle in order to get back here and so he does not take it for granted. Welcome back, Tuck!



Ms. Hsiao Says Her Farewells

Alex Pomeroy and Connor Ball

Staff Writers

Jamesville-DeWitt High and Middle School Chinese teacher Ching Hsiao has made a surprise announcement to retire after eight years working at J-D, but, will continue to work at SUNY Oswego.

On May 15, Ms. Hsiao announced her retirement with a school email sent to the faculty of J-DHS reflecting on her years at J-D and her hopes for the continuation of the Chinese program. “I was surprised, it seemed like she had a couple more years left in the tank,” said freshman Ben Oppedisano.

Ms. Hsiao recently received a grant from the National Security Agency (NSA), one of only 28 grants awarded to new foreign-language programs across the USA. Ms. Hsiao’s program is a three-week full day class that includes grades 3-12 with the purpose of trying to promote the Chinese language at a young age. “We should help people develop their awareness that learning the Chinese language is not that hard, as long as you can have a leap of faith,” said Ms. Hsiao.

In addition to receiving a grant, Ms. Hsiao is known to many as hard-working teacher. “Her hard work and passion for spreading the culture of Chinese is really motivating,” said junior Owen Farchione. Oppedisano calls her a strict teacher, but explains that a strict teacher is just what their class needed due to the difficulty of the Chinese language.

A majority of the students will most miss the funny moments they shared in her class. “She has taught us some very funny stuff in Chinese, some of it I can’t mention but it was a lot of fun,” said Oppedisano. Freshman Kenny Hildreth says his fondest moment is when they were making dumplings and were able to go outside and play games.

For Ms. Hsiao, she will miss the people the most. “I have great students, and when I think I’m not going to see them on a daily basis, I’m sad.” She adds that she loves working with the parents who really support the teaching, and her colleagues who helped her grow and learn.

Students are questioning the future of the Chinese program. “I hope it continues, it has had some tough years, and there have been fewer people joining Chinese, but I just want it to grow,” said Oppedisano.

“I hope that parents can encourage their kids knowing that this is a language is beneficial for their children’s future,” said Ms. Hsiao. Oppedisano says that it’s important because it is growing rapidly and there are many jobs offered as a business worker or a translator in China.

In response to her retirement, J-D has put out a call for a new Chinese teacher.

The J-D Rampage staff wishes Ms. Hsiao the best of luck on the next chapter of her life.

J-D English Teacher Recognized

Tyra Carter

Staff Writer

English, Drama,and Reading Films teacher Joseph Goldberg has been named Kappa Delta Pi Teacher Of Honor by the International Honor Society in Education. The Teacher of Honor award was established in 2008 and is only given to a very select group of educators. It can be awarded to educators in any field, but they must have a certain amount of experience.To qualify, the recipient must have completed a number of tasks, such as an online program, attending a conference and submitting a portfolio.

The Kappa Delta Pi Teacher of Honor award recognizes an educator's commitment to integrity and high standards in the classroom. Goldberg received a one-year membership, a framed certificate, recognition and more. In 2013, Goldberg was also awarded with the National Board Certification for Professional Teaching Standards.

“I think any experience in life that extends your learning is inherently worthwhile regardless of whether it is recognized, and that drives me to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible.” says Joseph Goldberg.

Goldberg has been teaching at Jamesville-Dewitt High School for nearly 12 years, where he has taught English, Mythology, Academic Intervention Services, Drama, and Reading Films. Junior Rachel Setek had Goldberg as her English teacher her sophomore year. “I personally loved his class, he’s good at getting you to participate and I learned a lot,” says Setek.

Senior Gerry Wason agrees. Wason had Goldberg as her Drama teacher and admires his work, “During the drama show I felt he was very understanding,” says Wason. “ I feel he works really hard and deserves it.” she adds.

Principal Paul Gasparini is also pleased for Goldberg, stating, “He has worked hard and he is very deserving for the award.” says Gasparini. “He’s creative and really wants his students to have a positive experience.”

English as a New Language: J-DHS Edition


Olivia Byrnes

Every year, Jamesville-DeWitt High School seniors are required to do 15 hours of volunteer work as a requirement for their Participation in Government course. Typically, seniors would have to find a place to volunteer outside of school. However, this year’s seniors found a new opportunity within the walls of J-DHS.

A few J-D seniors have spent their time volunteering in the English as a New Language (ENL) classroom, working with students who are learning English while working toward their high school diploma. According to J-DHS Participation in Government teacher Donna Oppedisano, the idea began with a discussion with Lydia Schooler, the J-DHS senior who helped connect J-D students with a local refugee organization, Hopeprint. “We talked about that there are actually kids here, who are English language learners, who are immigrants and refugee students. [Lydia] recommended that we offer the option to work with these students as volunteer work,” said Oppedisano.

A few students started volunteering, fulfilling just a few hours as a trial for the idea. After those first few students completed their time, Mrs. Oppedisano and Lydia Schooler met with ENL teacher Lori Dotterer to see how things had gone. Mrs. Dotterer believes that the students who volunteered in the program benefited from the experience as much as the students in the classes that they worked 1-on-1 with.

Senior Eric Antosh spent his study halls in Mrs. Dotterer’s room and helped the students with their homework and classwork that they struggled to understand. Adding to that, senior Tommy Bonaccio said that beyond the academic help, the students bonded socially. “It’s exciting for me to see my students waving to these ‘cool’ seniors as they pass each other in the halls,” said Mrs. Dotterer. Senior Benny Wilson, who was at first nervous about joining the program, said, “it was very enlightening, I got to speak with kids who don't speak english, which is really hard, but they actually taught me alot.”

Besides working in the classroom, the group played soccer games and watched movies together. Senior Ben Picone said that playing soccer with the kids was the best part. “Soccer was a language that we all had in common so it was fun to get competitive and play together,” said Picone.

“I wanted to connect with the J-D community and thought this would be a great opportunity to do that,” said Wilson.

Mrs. Dotterer has been teaching as the J-DHS ENL teacher for the past two years, but next year is going on to explore something new, as the permanent J-DHS ENL teacher is returning from maternity leave. With the success of this year’s test run, Mrs. Oppedisano and Mrs. Dotterer hope for the program to continue in years to come.