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.

The Inside Scoop with the Lunch Ladies

Katie Cappelletti and Tracey Edson

Staff Writers

Many people don't recognize the effort that the Jamesville-DeWitt High School cafeteria staff puts in, because all their hard work is done behind the scenes. While the students sit in classes learning about various things, the lunch ladies are working to prepare a good lunch for those who choose to buy.


Most cafeteria staff members arrive between 8:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., but for Mrs. Jo-Anne Cacchionne, her day begins around 7:30 a.m. Cacchionne arrives early because she helps prepare the food for all of the meals the staff serves. After the staff gets to the school, they set up their specific area to get ready for the kids to come through. Between lunches, they restock their areas of work in order to be prepared for the next group of students.


The ladies’ favorite part of the day is when the kids come through the line.  “I like working with the kids because I have grandkids myself and I enjoy talking to them,” said Mrs. Claire Shalloum, who has been a part of the staff for seven years.    


Many of the students don’t realize the impact that they have on the ladies, but they brighten the ladies’ days just by coming through their lines. “I can come in here not too happy, but I always leave happier because the students lift my spirits,” said Mrs. Lynn Kemp, who has worked at J-D for nine years and is currently serving sandwiches and salads.


It is important for everyone to recognize and appreciate what the lunch ladies do for students. They work hard to provide students with meals, and and students should remember to say “please” and “thank you” when the go through the lines. “I love when the kids come down and I get to talk to them because they always brighten my day,” said Cacchionne.

Mr. Wenzel Says His Goodbyes

Sofie Brutseart and Lucy Falso

Staff Writers

Beloved drawing and painting teacher Carl Wenzel will be retiring at the end of this year, after 39 years of teaching at Jamesville- DeWitt High School.


Mr. Wenzel enjoyed his many years of teaching and is going to miss many things about being a part of the J-DHS community. “I love the students, I love the faculty, I love everything about this school,” said Mr. Wenzel. Mr. Wenzel then stated that the parents and administration all support the art program which, has helped to make a great experience while working at J-DHS. “ My predecessor really set up the art program so that it is a really strong program,” said Mr. Wenzel.


The J-DHS student body will miss Mr. Wenzel’s humor, which he brings into the art room every day. “ We always have art but in an entertaining way,” said junior Aastha Thakar. Freshman Brian Hulburt thinks that Mr. Wenzel is really fun and a good teacher at the same time. “ He’s been at J-D such a long time that he knows what he is teaching,” said freshmen Josh Hillers.


In his free time Mr. Wenzel hopes to spend more time working on his children’s book illustrations. He originally went to Syracuse University to become an illustrator, and but it wasn’t until much later in life that he got his chance. He was sixty years old when he was contacted by an author who wanted to write and publish a children's book with him as an illustrator. Two of the books he’s illustrated so far are Scarecrow Finds a Friend by Rifken and Blume, and The Moosey Ate my Peas by Marilee Gordon. Although so far he has only illustrated three books, he hopes to use his retirement to continue that passion.“ It’s such an exciting thing to do because it's what I’ve wanted to do all my life,” said Mr. Wenzel. He’s planning on finding an agent to help him promote his work. “To create these characters in the book and to work with the author, it’s a really nice thing to do,” said Mr. Wenzel.


Mr. Wenzel does not actually have a college degree in teaching. He has both a Master's degree and a BA in Illustration, as well as  49 years of art teaching experience. He worked for two years in the Jordan Elbridge Central School District, six years at Eagle Hill Middle School and two years in the Westhill Central School District before beginning his career at J-DHS.

Mr. and Mrs. Molesso Retiring

Editors of Promotion

Mia Potamianos and Jenna Vespi

Two beloved teachers, each of whom has spent more than 30 years making the Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District a better place, will be retiring this June. Christopher Molesso, J-D Middle School 7th and 8th grade technology teacher, and Lisa Molesso, J-D High School resource teacher, have decided that it is time for them to retire at the end of the 2016-2017 school year and “do something different.” The married couple met as undergraduate students at SUNY Buffalo State and have been together ever since. Together they attended Johns Hopkins University for graduate degrees. Mr. and Mrs. Molesso share a strong love for the students they have taught over the years, as well as their coworkers and the relationships they have built with each of them.

Mr. Molesso has worked as a tech teacher at J-DMS for 36 years. “My favorite thing about teaching here would have to be the kids, they're really good,” said Mr. Molesso. At J-DMS there are two tech teachers. The other current tech teacher is Mr. Keith Bryant. “We’ve worked together for 16 years, and we’ve shared a lot of laughs and a lot of memories,” said Mr. Bryant, who has looked up to Mr. Molesso for advice over the many years. “I’ll miss his humor, because he keeps me entertained throughout the day,” said Mr. Bryant. Many students, including sophomore Shannon Beaudry, really looked up to Mr. Molesso and the advice he gave them. “My father travels a lot, so Mr. Mo was like a father figure to me and helped me through a lot in middle school.” said Beaudry.

Mrs. Molesso loves her job at J-DHS and is so thankful for her many years here; however, she is ready for something new. “I've had a lot of very amazing students over the last 35 years,” said Mrs. Molesso, who still keeps in touch with a lot of the students she has taught and guided over the years. J-DHS Principal Paul Gasparini, along with the J-DHS faculty, is sad to see Mrs. Molesso go. “She is extremely good with the kids and knows her job inside and out,” said Mr. Gasparini. He continued, saying, “She has always been all about the kids and given them the best instruction and resources she can.” Sophomore Turner Pomeroy, who currently has Mrs. Molesso as a teacher, said, “She knows what she’s talking about and she’s very funny.” “She’s just a very good teacher,” said Pomeroy, who is really going to miss having her around.

As the Molessos continue their journey together, they aren’t sure yet where they will end up. “I want to do something totally different -- Mr. Molesso and I want to travel,” said Mrs. Molesso. Both agreed that no one should do something for more than 40 years and that they are very ready to move on. “We haven't decided what to do, but we do wanna move, maybe buy a house,” said Mr. Molesso. As for Mrs. Molesso, she doesn’t know if she wants to continue to work, but said that if she does, she would maybe get a job at a greenhouse where she can plant flowers. Mr. and Mrs. Molesso are very excited to start this next chapter of their lives, though the J-D community is sad to see them go.

The New Craze At J-DHS

Nick Mannion, Tim Skeval and Steven Baker

Staff Writers

Fidget spinners have been taking over schools all around America, and now they are the latest craze at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Some people are calling it the new silly bandz craze, which were rubber bracelets that were different shapes. Spinners come in all different colors, sizes and even shapes. Some spinners only have two ends and tend to be “not as fun to spin,” said freshman Luke Hobika, but the main spinners you will see have three sides. Spinners are usually made of plastic or metal, with a bearing in the center and prongs that spin around it.

When it comes to the classroom there are many different opinions among teachers about the role of fidget spinners. Fidget spinners were originally meant for students with disorders, like anxiety, autism and ADHD, but now almost all students are using them. In some schools the toy has been banned due to it’s distraction to other students and teachers. “They can be beneficial, but some students abuse the privilege,” said English teacher Theresa Eaton. Science teacher Samantha Ross agreed with Mrs. Eaton, “I know they’re meant to help kids to pay attention in class, but I find that a lot of times they are more of a distraction,” said Mrs. Ross.

Students’ opinions on fidget spinners differed from teachers’. “I think that they are extremely beneficial to help students concentrate in class,” said junior Ryan Evans. Sophomore Max Schulman agreed with Evans, “I use my fidget spinners in class every day and find that they help me to concentrate,” said Schulman.

Outside of the classroom, fidget spinners are used in many ways. “I love to use mine to calm myself down when I get stressed out about things,” said sophomore Cece Hatem. Along with Hatem, senior Jake Harron said that he likes to use his at home when he is bored or “in need of a break from homework.” On the other hand, some students don’t use them because of the distraction factor. “I don’t like them, they always get me off task,” said freshman Kelli Wright.

Many students believe they will stay relevant because they are “just plain addicting,” said senior Jake Risavi. Other students, like junior Parker Wing are relating it to “Pokemon Go”, which is an iPhone and Android app where you go outside and try to catch virtual Pokemon.“‘Pokemon Go’ only lasted for like 3 months, I think this will be the same,” said Wing.

Whether fidget spinners stay relevant or not, they seem to be very hot right now and will probably stay that way until the end of the school year.


Summer Movies

Steven Baker, Nick Mannion and Tim Skeval

Staff Writers

As April comes to a close, the school year is winding down and with summer on the horizon, many new blockbuster movies are coming out. There are plenty of new movies coming out this year, like “Wonder Woman,” “Captain Underpants” and “The House.” Along with that, there are many fan favorite movie sequels coming out, like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Cars 3,” “Despicable Me 3” and “Smurfs: The Lost Village.” “The movies coming out this summer are going to be awesome. I can’t wait to watch the new ‘Guardians of The Galaxy’,” said junior Markos Petkopoulos.   

“Fate of the Furious” is the eighth movie in the Fast and Furious Franchise. It is the first full movie released without former star actor Paul Walker, who died during the filming of the seventh movie. The movie was released on Friday, April 14 and set global box office records, earning an estimated $532.5 million worldwide in its first weekend to set a new high-water mark for an opening weekend. However, in the US the movie’s opening weekend earned $47 million less than the previous Fast and Furious movie. J-D students had mixed emotions about the movie, “It just wasn’t the same without Paul Walker in the movie,” said junior Carlena Torrens. Senior Mikey Yonta agreed with Torrens, “The movie wasn’t as good because Paul Walker wasn’t in it,” said Yonta. Other J-D students, like freshman Tyler Brang disagreed with Yonta and Torrens. “The movie didn’t seem any different without Paul Walker,” said Brang. “Overall I think the movie was good, but not as good as the last one,” said freshman Kelli Wright.

Another movie many students are excited for is “Wonder Woman”. “I can’t wait to see a superhero movie with a girl as the lead role,” said sophomore Haleigh Summers. Though this is the first “Wonder Woman” movie, this isn’t the first time lead actress Gal Gadot has acted as Wonder Woman on the big screen. Gadot stole the show in “ Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice,” a movie that critics were hard on. Gal Gadot also played  a minor role as “Gisele” in the Fast and the Furious franchise. Wonder Woman will be released on June 2.

Along with “Wonder Woman” another superhero movie students are excited for is “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Similar to “Wonder Woman” “Spider-Man” will have a new lead role, played by Tom Holland. “Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man ever,” said freshman James Richards. Alike Gadot this is not Holland's first time playing Spiderman. Holland had a minor role as the web slinger in “Captain America Civil War.”  

This summer is full of great comedy movies coming out. Two that people are particularly excited for the are “Despicable Me 3” and “The House.” “Despicable Me 3” was extremely popular among students, “I love this movie because it brings out my childish sense of humour,” said senior Emily Pomeroy. Sophomore Ryan Blair agreed with Pomeroy, “I love the minions, they are so funny,” said Blair. The Minions were almost every student's favorite character, “The Minions are awesome because they look so cute and are so nice and funny,” said sophomore Cece Hatem. “The House,” starring Will Ferrell and “Parks and Recreation” star Amy Poehler has also had high expectations among students. “I’m excited to see this movie, I love Will Ferrell,” said Blair. On the other side, Hatem said that she is “excited” to watch Amy Poehler because she is her favorite actress. “Despicable Me 3” and “The House” will both be released in theaters on June 30.

“Cars 3 will be very fun to watch,” said junior Eric Antosh. After racking up over $400 million with the first two movies, released in 2006 and 2011, the Pixar company looks to extend the tradition of Cars movies. Cars the movie has been all over the place from toys to actual rides in Disneyland. “I rode it when I went to Disney, everything looked exactly like the movie,” said Summers.

“Transformers: The Last Knight” will be: released on June 23. “I thought that Mark Wahlberg did a great job in the last Transformers movie (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”),” said sophomore Nolan Kinahan. Wahlberg will be returning in “The Last Knight,” which may be a shock to some Transformer fans. “ It feels like they change the cast for each Transformers movie,” stated junior David Tyler. Tyler is referring to the new cast that was in “Age of Extinction,” that did not include any human characters from previous movies. The original series starred Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.    

No matter your movie preference, there's plenty of exciting releases to look forward to in theaters this summer.

Señora DeJesus Returns

Thomas Edson

Editor in Chief

Jamesville-DeWitt High School students are being treated to a familiar face in the Green Hall. J-DHS Spanish teacher Maria DeJesus made her return to the classroom just before students and staff broke out for spring break.

DeJesus, who suffered a brain aneurysm this past summer, had been out of school all year up until April 21, 2017. For the past couple of months, DeJesus had been attending occupational and physical therapy weekly in order to help her recovery process. “Up until November or December, I couldn’t walk up the stairs unassisted,” recalled DeJesus.

DeJesus’ schedule includes Spanish levels 3 Honors and 4 Regents, as well as a senior homeroom. She says that her students, both current and former, as well as her fellow staff members have been very supportive of her the whole way, and that the students and staff were what she missed most in her time away from J-DHS.

“I saw my department regularly. I’d say once a week someone from the department stopped by to visit. I use the Remind 101 app for my classes and I got a lot of texts from students through that app checking in on me,” said DeJesus.

“It’s nice to have her back. She is always smiling and encouraging us and we definitely missed having her around, even if it was just the 10 minutes we had her in homeroom,” said J-DHS Alex Frank.

While DeJesus has made her return to school, she says that she is definitely not completely healthy. “I’m very sensitive to light and sound, so if you see me in the hallways wearing those pink tinted glasses, that’s why I am wearing them,” said DeJesus.

One thing DeJesus says she deals with on a daily basis is migraines, and these have made readjusting to school more difficult, but DeJesus believes that she will be readjusted to life as a teacher soon.

Even though her battle with her brain aneurysm is winding down, DeJesus continues to be active in raising awareness about brain aneurysms. “Before any of this happened, I don’t think I had heard of brain aneurisms,” DeJesus admitted. “I made it my mission to help raise awareness.”

School Olympics

Jillian Risavi and Ali Durkin

Assistant Producers

Jamesville-DeWitt High School is striving towards more school unity by hosting a school wide Olympics. Each grade had collaborated teams that competed against one another from Mar. 20 to Mar. 31 in events such as Minute to Win It, a scavenger hunt, a relay race, and in trivia. All the events took place during activity period except the final event that will take place at the spring pep-rally.

The first event consisted of the relay races during activity period on Mar. 20, where each team worked through obstacles and raced for first place. The relays included racing on scooters, spinning around baseball bats causing players to get dizzy, rock paper scissors, and many more obstacles. Junior Sophia Foti had lots of fun both participating and watching her teammates and opponents. “Watching people get dizzy then try to finish the relay was really fun since most people had a hard time,” says Foti. Sophomore Ana Dieroff helped to organize the events, as she also participated in and enjoyed the relays. The freshmen class came out with a win over a close second sophomores, 37-28.

During activity period on Mar. 27, trivia was the next event in the Olympics. Each grade had separate topic such as sports, pop culture, history, and others. One of the participants in this event was junior Emma Prosak. “The variation of questions made it pretty fun,” said Prosak who believed the event to be quite competitive. The sophomores won this event coming out with a solid 40 points, defeating every other class by at least ten points.

On April 3, students from the three grades participated in the friendly competition such as Minute to Win it champions juniors Nico Modesti, John Bridge, and Ryan Evans. “Though there was no prize, I could see how the school was becoming more united,” said Modesti. Some of the activities in minute to win it consisted of pulling tissues out of a box as fast as you can, stacking brownies on your head, and using your mouth to bring bags from one table to another. “It was a lot of fun especially since our team won, I would definitely do it again if they do it next year,” says Evans. The junior class came out with the win for the second to last event, shutting out the rest of the classes by another ten points.

“The whole point of the olympics is for everyone to have fun and to enjoy themselves,” says the school olympics advisor and history teacher Donna Oppedisano. Mrs. Oppedisano had a blast helping to organize the special events, as the whole point of the Olympics was to “unite as a school and simply have fun.” As of now, those who ran the olympics are unsure if it will become an annual event. “I would love to do it again next year, but I would need help from other teachers,” says Mrs. Oppedisano who had to put an extreme amount of time and effort into helping organize it. The intended prize was to have fun and earn bragging rights, but ceramics teacher Mark McIntyre created a ram head that will be awarded to the winning grade.

As of right now, the sophomore class holds the lead in the school wide Olympics. However, the final event is the scavenger hunt that has been rescheduled to occur after school following spring break on April 26 after school, which will be followed by the final challenge on May 19.

J-D's Award Winning Teacher

Marissia Potamianos and Jamie Beoheim

Staff Writer and Editor of Promotion

On Friday, March 24, Jamesville-DeWitt High School social studies teacher Andrew Cottet attended the NYS Council of Social Studies in Albany where he received the Susan Wasserman Young Professional Memorial Award.


This award commemorates his hard work and dedication to teaching, something his colleagues have already recognized. He is “extremely energetic, involved, and an intelligent professional who is totally committed to teaching to his students,” said J-DHS Principal Paul Gasparini. Mr. Cottet was humbled by recieving this award and gives the credit to his department. “I work with incredible people in the social studies department and they are the biggest and greatest asset I have,” said Mr. Cottet. Mr. Cottet believes that he didn’t deserve the award any more than any teacher in his department.


Even though Mr. Cottet has been at J-D for five years, fellow social studies teacher, Donna Oppedisano nominated him for this award. “He really stands out to me,” said Ms. Oppedisano. “When he first came (to J-D) he hit the ground running and knew what to do and worked hard at his craft. He is dedicated to his kids and to the school,” she adds. “Mr. Cottet is one of those teachers with incredible intelligence, incredible instincts about kids, with a love of history and social studies,” said Ms. Oppedisano.


Students agree with Ms. Oppedisano and believe that Mr. Cottet is an outstanding teacher in the J-D community. “He knows how to engage the class very well and he’s funny,” said senior Zac Ripich, who has had Mr. Cottet for two years in a row. “He’s a very good balance between a nice guy and a nice teacher,” said junior Marissa DiGennaro. DiGennaro adds that he’s relaxed but he’s strict enough so “he commands his respect.” Mr. Cottet deep passion for his classes and his students is very evident to them through class conversations. “You can tell that he really cares about his students and what he’s doing which makes it easier for us to excel in his class,” said senior Alex Catanzarite.


“I’ve always had a passion for history and took many courses in college because of it, but did not realize that I wanted to teach until the end of my college career,” said Mr. Cottet. The thing that pushed him the most was having “great experiences with special professors” that made him pursue becoming a teacher. “I love the story that history tells, I love that it can help us to understand how we got here and where we are going,” said Mr. Cottet.


“This award is one further piece of evidence that we have the best teachers around,” said Mr. Gasparini. He also added that the J-DHS students are very blessed with the quality of construction in the classrooms and parents should be reassured that their children are in the best hands. Mr. Cottet couldn’t have been nominated for this award without his supportive family and co-workers.