Ready, Set, Attendance!

Fourth and fifth grade students at RDW are excited to share an informational video to promote attendance. In a lesson with Mrs. Germani, students worked in groups to answer attendance-related questions. These answers then became the “lines” for the movie. Some of the students were even dressed up for Halloween during the recording! Click the link below to hear what they have to say and to see which of our students are on their way to becoming movie stars!

FBLA Members Attend Regional Leadership Conference

The FBLA Region 22 Leadership Conference was held on January 10 and 11 at the University of Scranton. Fifty-one members of the Western Wayne FBLA chapter placed in the top five and 38 of those members are eligible to attend the State Leadership Conference in Hershey this April.

First place winners include: Adrian Agnello and Weston Nugent, Business Ethics; Madelyn Vinton, Intro to Parliamentary Procedure; Rhayni Carroll, Alex Chapman, Jenna Kwiatkowski, Taylor Maiocco, and Emily Romanowski, Parliamentary Procedure; Skylar Long and Alaina Maiocco, Social Media Strategies; and Allie Pauler in Word Processing.

Second place winners include: Xenia Gauvain, Accounting I; Marshall Davis and Bernie Roedel, Broadcast Journalism; Gavin Toy, Client Service; Alex Enslin and Lucius Richner, Entrepreneurship; Raegan Palmer and Colette Schmitt, Intro to Business Presentation; Angelina Correa and Lauren Dramisino, Intro to Event Planning; Maggie Kotchessa, Intro to FBLA; Ryan Schane, Intro to Public Speaking; Connor Bryant and Tony Donnini, Sales Presentation; and Jamie Chapman, Word Processing.

Third place winners include: Hailey Wasman, Agribusiness; Kylie Merring, Business Calculations; Olivia Gries, Intro to Business Concepts; Audrey Agnello and Phoebe Schmitt, Intro to Business Presentation; Khloe Mistishin, Intro to FBLA; Michael Durso, Ethan Lamberton, and Timothy Roberts, Intro to Social Media Strategies; Zoe Albitz, Public Speaking; and Carter Mistishin, Sports and Entertainment Management.

Fourth place winners include: Laynee Nugent, Accounting I; Xenia Vivona, Client Service; Mackenzie Adams, Ally Irvine, and Grace Lidy, Graphic Design; Cyrah Bihler and Dustin Ferraro, Hospitality and Event Management; and Theo Black, Jared Goldman and Lance Maiocco, Intro to Social Media Strategies.

Fifth place winners include: Nicholas Hrosovsky, Banking and Financial Systems; Mia Gifford, Intro to Event Planning; Logan Pauler, Intro to Financial Math; and Raeleigh Kromko, Intro to Parliamentary Procedure.

In addition, Lia Hartman, Julia Wehrmann, and Jade Wetherington were notified that they have qualified to compete in the State Only event of Public Service Announcement.

Western Wayne Drama Club Hosts Alumni Cabaret Night

This past January the Drama Club hosted an Alumni Cabaret Night as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration for the Western Wayne School District. Both current Drama Club members and alumni were able to participate in the event and sang to entertain their family, friends, and community members in attendance.
Alumni who participated included: Allison King, class of 2020, stage crew; Frisk Lopez, class of 2021, stage crew; Haley Strocchia, class of 2022, performer; Branda Angel, class of 2011, stage crew and performer; Kaitlyn Black, class of 2015 , performer; Joanna Regalbuto,class of 2022, performer; Brandyn Black, class of 2013, stage crew and performer; Damon Martzen, class of 2020, stage crew; and Nick DeCandis, class of 2022, performer. The Press family even brought their dog Daisy to join in the alumni fun. Daisy was Sandy in Western Wayne’s production of Annie in 2019.
Alumni Allison King and Frisk Lopez served as the lighting and sound directors for the evening. They both worked to organize and plan the event with Mrs. McLaughlin since this past spring. Current students Nate Conway and Bobby Scramuzza served as masters of ceremonies.
“It was awesome to be able to do lights and sound one more time for a show at Western Wayne,” Allison said. “It was very disappointing to miss that chance for my senior musical in 2020, and I was so happy to have this opportunity now. It was so great to be back working with all of my friends.”
Frisk was also thrilled to get the chance to work with a former classmate and friend to run the show behind the scenes.
“It was very stressful to do the show my senior year for Cinderella with so many COVID regulations,” Frisk said. “It felt great to return for this event under less stressful circumstances and to have so much fun creating the lighting and sound for it.”
Fellow stage crew alumni Damon Martzen was also happy to return to help out for the cabaret.
“I’m just so excited to be here now,” Damon said. “My favorite memory was sharing my ideas with others in the stage crew, even though the musical didn’t actually happen in 2020. I was very grateful that I got to enjoy helping out and being a part of the stage crew before I had to leave high school. I have not forgotten about this place, or the musical program, and I am proud to see that it is still as huge and supportive as it was back then.”
Alumni participant Branda Angel, class of 2011, participated in both the stage crew and as a performer in high school. She was in the ensemble for Anything Goes and Into the Woods. For Once Upon a Mattress she was a part of stage crew, set design, and played the role of the Minstrel. In addition, she was in choir for 15 years and was in her first musical in 5th grade called “Rodeo Time”.
“I love ALL memories I have from high school,” Branda said. “Being around such beautiful and loving people and teachers made high school worthwhile. The Sherman Awards was probably the most fun I had my senior year!”
Alumni Haley Strocchia, class of 2022, also has special memories from her time in Western Wayne musical theater especially because she did shows with the group during COVID times. Her past roles include: July in Annie; Lady Lucille in Once Upon a Mattress; Queen Maisie in Cinderella; and the interviewer in Little Shop of Horrors, along with being a dance captain for all shows she participated in.
“Although this isn’t my all-time favorite memory, it’s definitely one that helped shape my love for theater and drive my passion to continue performing: my first in-person rehearsal during Cinderella,” Haley recalled. “I had been quarantining the majority of my junior year and had only been able to attend online rehearsals, so I had to work on all of my blocking, choreo, lines, and songs primarily on my own. It was a struggle with the small space I had to work with at home and with the uncertainty that my parents would allow me to follow through with the role with COVID continually affecting our lives. The first time I was able to attend an in-person rehearsal, it was a little more than a month before the show. I just have to say that even though I hadn’t been able to step on that stage in a year’s time, the joy that moment brought me was amazing; I felt this major piece of me I had been missing had been restored to my soul. It was so natural to translate everything I had been working on in my bedroom to that stage, almost like I had been there all along. Although I wouldn’t realize until years later, that one rehearsal would completely change the course I wanted to take in my life because I wanted to be able to feel the sense of purpose, belonging, and accomplishment those stage lights gave me that Saturday afternoon.”
Fellow alumni who participated in shows during the time frame that Haley did also feel like their time on stage was even more meaningful due to the year they missed their musical performance in 2020.
One such alumni is Joanna Regalbuto, class of 2022. Joanna was a three-year member of the Drama Club. She was an ensemble member and featured dancer for Once Upon a Mattress and Cinderella. In addition, for her senior year she played the lead role of Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.
“I loved my experience with theater at Western Wayne,” Joanna said. “I also was able to serve as a student director my senior year and really enjoyed collaborating with my friends to create our final production as students.”
Fellow classmate Nick DeCandis, class of 2022, was thrilled to join past classmates and alumni he worked with on Little Shop for the cabaret. Nick was a part of the musical program for one year by playing Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors. He wishes he joined the program sooner but was thrilled to play a role for his senior year that kept him on stage for almost the entire duration of the performance in addition to having the opportunity to join his friends for the cabaret.
“I love getting to sing and act on stage with my friends and be silly both in and out of character,” Nick said. “I really enjoy entertaining people.”
Another couple who enjoy entertaining others on the Western Wayne stage are Kaitlyn and Brandyn Black. They both entertained the audience at cabaret night and even did a special short dance for everyone along with singing. In past shows, Kaitlyn played Gloria in Thoroughly Modern Millie; a silly girl and salt shaker in Beauty and the Beast; and Agatha in Guys and Dolls. Brandyn also played a plethora of roles in his high school career, most notably Monsieur D’Arque in Beauty and the Beast, along with also participating in the stage crew. Brandyn also played a minor, yet very important, role in the opener of Beauty and the Beast of the bookkeeper that led to him meeting Kaitlyn during the production and going on to marry her years later.
Kaitlyn enjoys telling the story of how they met.
“Back in 2013 when we just started practices for Beauty and the Beast, the directors were talking about how every character is important, especially in big, busy group numbers like the opening scene,” she explained. “Everyone made up their own character stories such as ‘I’m the baker’s wife’ or ‘I’m the crazy woman who really needs six eggs’. At the time, the bookkeeper character pointed at me as I walked across the stage saying ‘I need a wife. You’re going to be my wife’. That bookkeeper and I have been together now for almost 10 years and have been married since September 2021. He predicted the future, and I became his wife! Without the WW musical, I would have never met Brandyn. I am eternally grateful for the memories I have made in all of the productions, but that one is especially special.”
All of the alumni and students who participated in cabaret night were excited to have the unique experience of performing and working together along with sharing many memories while making new ones. The Western Wayne musical directors hope to put on another Alumni Cabaret for Western Wayne’s 55th anniversary year.

High School SADD Members Promote Wellness in the Middle School

High School SADD members Jaden Gregory, McKenzie Laity, Analise DeLeon-Bello, Braelyn Davis, 6th grade;  Emily Borowski, 6th grade; Aliyah Gregory, 8th grade; along with additional high school SADD members Alyson Buchinski, Rylee Reynolds, and Julie Bryan.

The Western Wayne SADD Team from the high school came to the middle school lunches the week of February 6 to talk to middle schoolers about the dangers of vaping, smoking, alcohol, and self harm. They shared information on how these choices could affect the rest of their lives and health.  They then invited middle school students to sign a banner, showing that they are committed to staying away from those dangers. The banner is pictured. After hearing the information, students were able to enter to win one of three baskets in a raffle. The baskets included a lot of goodies, as well as a $25 gift card in each. The drawing was held at the end of the middle school lunches that week.  

Science Students Raise Rainbow Trout

For the second year Dr. Mark Nebzydoski and his students are raising rainbow trout through the Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom Program. PATIC is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on connecting students with Pennsylvania’s Coldwater resources. The program offers students and teachers the opportunity to observe the life cycle of trout firsthand while raising them in the classroom from eggs to fingerlings.

The program is partnered with the Local Trout Unlimited Club Pike – Wayne Trout Unlimited Chapter #462 Trout Unlimited has chapters throughout the state. The PATIC program offers educational connections not only related to the trout life cycle, but also a wealth of additional topics related to PA’s Coldwater resources. The topics can include: aquatic ecology, management practices concerning conservation and preservation, current and historical ecological threats, enhancement opportunities and strategies, and recreational opportunities.

The students in Nebzydoski’s general science classes have been working to raise the fish this school year. They feed them and document and analyze their environment which is a large tank kept at a temperature of 52 degrees in the classroom which the students also work to keep clean.  Nebzydoski explained that the fish cannot digest their food unless they are very cold. The program would not have been possible without funding for a chiller to keep the tank at this temperature.  The Wayne County Community Foundation approved a grant for the purchase of a chiller.

“Our students are studying the life cycle of trout,” he said.

To start the project, he received the fish tank and the trout in a bag in the form of eggs (about 150 of them) that had not hatched yet.  By the spring, the trout will have grown anywhere from one to three inches long and will be ready for release in their natural environment.  The students will also participate in a webinar with the Pennsylvania Trout Commission in the spring before letting them go.

Nebzydoski will then take the classes on a field trip to Varden to release the fish they raised throughout the school year.

“It’s great to give our students hands-on real-life experience with the subject they are studying,” he said.  “The students really enjoyed this project last year, and I look forward to giving this year’s general science students the same experience.”

Trauma and Uncertainty

Trauma and Uncertainty – We will discuss how uncertainty can create feelings of fear in us and how fear takes on different forms such as anxiety, worry, and even panic. Participants will learn about the different types of safety and how to create a plan for emotional safety during a crisis.

For more details, please download the full flyer below.

Band Attends Disney Music Clinic

The Western Wayne High School Band took a field trip to Walt Disney World this past January. The band and color guard had the opportunity to participate in a music clinic at a soundstage on Disney property with professional musician Mr. Allen Grey. Grey owns a music publishing company and teaches workshops at Disney among many other accomplishments in the professional music industry.
For about three hours, the students worked with Grey as professional musicians would. Grey explained to the students that as high school students they sometimes take three to four months to perfect a series of songs but as a professional musician you have to achieve the same quality of sound in very little time. He explained how as a professional he has attended rehearsals and gone over a song once and then done the final recording immediately following.
Grey challenged the students to learn Disney songs on the spot at the clinic and worked to enhance their quality through his instruction. The students also had the benefit of having a Disney sound technician at the clinic who would record their music and then play it back for them so that the students and Grey could critique their work throughout the session.
“As a professional, you have to perform your music at performance level the first time you play,” Grey said. “Time is money.”
He explained to students that if a professional rehearsal goes over time into the next hour by even a minute that everyone gets paid for the extra hour. He helped the students have confidence in themselves as musicians to be able to work through and perfect a piece of music in a short period of time by putting their best effort in.
The students also had the chance to work with Lake Ariel native Erin Yunker. Erin works as a guest talent coordinator for Disney. She was thrilled to see Western Wayne scheduled to do the music clinic and jumped at the chance to work with students from her hometown.
The Western Wayne Band students along with their teachers Mrs. Elaine Ort, band director, and Mrs. Maria Arneil, assistant band director, played their instruments for the clinic session. The students in the color guard had the unique opportunity to work with the percussion section during the experience and enjoyed it so much that they might become permanent guest players in the percussion section during our upcoming football season.
“It was so fun to learn how to play an instrument at the clinic,” Izzy O’Donnell, one of this year’s color guard captains, said. “It was great to keep the beat of the music just like I would do during the season through our choreography just in a different way.”
Fellow student leader Evan Peirce, one of this year’s drum majors, agreed.
“It was really an exceptional experience to have the opportunity to play and learn music the way professionals do.”

Alumni Participate in Winter Concert

Earlier this January the Western Wayne High School Band and Chorus held their holiday concert that had been rescheduled three times due to weather conditions, and it was well worth the wait! To open the evening the sixth grade band under the direction of Mrs. Maria Arneil set the stage for a wonderful night of music. Next, the High School Chorus under the direction of Mr. Taber Starnes and the High School Band under the direction of Mrs. Elaine Ort entertained the audience with many holiday classics. As an added treat, the closing numbers of the show included band and chorus alumni who were invited to the stage and welcomed to join the current students in making music in honor of the Western Wayne School District’s 50th Anniversary celebration. First, band alumni joined in for a Western Wayne favorite “Sleigh Ride.” Then chorus alumni were also invited to the stage and the whole group ended the show with a rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Mrs. Ort told the crowd she hopes to invite alumni to perform a song in the holiday concert as a yearly tradition. Alumni in attendance to perform included: Lisa Eldred, class of 1987, chorus alumni; Shelley Robinson, class of 1987, chorus alumni; Hope Jezorwski, class of 1997, band alumni; Kathy Schaffer, class of 1974, band alumni; Erica Arre, class of 2004, band alumni; Alana Lamberton, class of 2022, band alumni; Becca Boots, class of 2022, band alumni; Hailey Felicetta, class of 2019, band alumni; John Kear, class of 2018, band alumni; Kristin Shandor, class of 2015, band alumni; Noah Shandor, class of 2015, band alumni; Jacob Slomian, class of 2016, band alumni; Molly Nagle, class of 2017, band alumni and former drum major; B. Flannery, class of 2022, band alumni, Seth Lamberton, class of 2018, band alumni; and Jeff Wilson, class of 1969, band alumni. Chorus alumni Lisa Eldred and Shelley Robinson were thrilled to be back on the Western Wayne Stage. “I just love the new curtains,” Lisa said about the upgrades made to the curtains on stage in the last few years. Lisa and her friend Shelley remember when the stage looked very different in the 1980s when they performed in a Western Wayne production of the show Guys and Dolls in 1986. “ We got to perform in the show with Tom Lopatofsky in the role of Nicely Nicely Johnson,” Shelley reminisced about her experience with Western Wayne retiree Mr. Lopatofsky who taught music in both the middle and high school along with directing numerous Western Wayne musical productions. The band alumni also had many fond memories of their time at Western Wayne. “It’s like a family getting back together,” Noah Shandor, class of 2015, explained. “I don’t know many of the kids in the band now but a picture of me is still on one of the band lockers, so a lot of them recognized me when I met them.” Noah performed in the concert with his new bride Kristin Shandor, class of 2015. The two were married this past October. “We met in Kindergarten,” Kristin said. “It’s such an awesome experience to get to perform on the Western Wayne stage again with my husband. It’s like we never left.”

High School Students Enjoy Cookie Decorating

Michael Morcom, 10th grade, the winner of the cookie decorating contest.

Western Wayne High School Students enjoyed a treat of activities with their classmates including a cookie decorating contest on Friday, Jan. 27, as a part of the school PBIS initiative. The PBIS initiative involves successfully creating a proactive positive school environment in which students are demonstrating their Wildcat PRIDE daily. 
PBIS is an ongoing effort of the Western Wayne School District to guide students in behaving and interacting with others in such a way as to promote an effective learning community.

FiGPiN Interview Hosted by Anime Club

By: Joey Regalbuto, WWSD Anime Club PR

The WWSD Anime Club was granted an interview with graphic designer Miles McMahon who works for FiGPiN–a company that makes collector pins based on a variety of video games, movies, comics, TV shows, and, of course, anime. During the interview, students got to ask McMahon questions about certain aspects of his job including how FiGPiNs are made, how exactly to get into a successful art career, and what it’s like working for a remote-based company.

McMahon makes the designs for the backdrop of the figures’ containers making sure that each is unique to their respective franchises. Members were given the run down of the process of how to make the backgrounds, what applications are used, and how McMahon comes up with the ideas for said backdrops.

Since many of the students in the WWSD Anime Club are skilled when it comes to art, members were especially interested in careers in the art field. McMahon explained the role of his professional Instagram and Etsy accounts. He also noted the importance of building a professional portfolio and credited Susquehanna University’s graphic design program for his success.

McMahon noted it is a delight working for FiGPiN; he enjoys what he does because he uses his passion and he can get revenue for doing what he loves.

At the end of the interview, three students in the club were randomly selected for a free FiGPiN as a token of the company’s generosity. The FiGPiNs issued were from two very popular franchises: Demon Slayer and Avatar.

Overall, the interview with McMahon was a great experience for the WWSD Anime Club, especially for students looking to pursue art careers stemming from their appreciation for anime.