Penfield Central School District

PHS Students Bring Science Olympiad Team Back to Life

Just a few short years ago, the Penfield High School Science Olympiad Team didn’t exist. There had been a few attempts to form a team, but it never seemed to take hold. That is, until three determined students set out on a mission three years ago to create a team. All three had competed on the middle school science Olympiad team through 9th grade, the last year they were allowed.

As sophomores, Jonathan Aranov, Tesia Zhou and Patti Carpenter decided they didn’t want the experience to end. So they sought out an advisor, teacher Jim Hahn, and formed a new team. It was rough going at first, and they ended up finishing in 20th place. At that point, they almost disbanded the team, but decided to press on.

Junior year came along and the students were better prepared for what they were up against. Their hard work paid off, as they finished 11th overall, and took home several first and second place individual medals.

This year, as seniors, co-presidents Aranov and Zhou, knew what they had to do.  They developed a schedule and worked to prepare the team to compete in all 25 events at the competition. It was a difficult competition, but the team fared extremely well, taking home more than 30 individual medals and finishing in 3rd place overall, which qualified them for the state competition.


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  • Suzuki Program Celebrates 50th Anniversary Continue Reading »

    Penfield Central School District - Suzuki Program Celebrates 50th Anniversary

    The Penfield Central School District’s music program has gained national and international attention for many years. From general classroom music to band, orchestra, chorus, jazz choir and more, the District’s robust program allows students to explore their musical talents in many different ways. Perhaps one of the most unique opportunities offered in the District is the Suzuki Strings program, which allows students to begin string lessons in first grade. The program is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2015-16 school year.

    The Suzuki program began in Penfield in the fall of 1966 with Project SUPER. SU stood for Suzuki, P for Penfield Central School District, E for Eastman School of Music, and R for Rochester City School District. Dr. Shinichi Suzuki visited a few times each year for the first two years to work with the teachers and students in those three locations. Twenty-five first grade Penfield students started Suzuki violin during the first year. Cello was added a couple of years later, followed by viola. Over the past 50 years, the program has grown to more than 300 students.

    The Suzuki method of teaching is unique in that it requires direct parental involvement. Parents attend lessons and learn string instruments right along with their child. They provide support and work with the child on practicing between lessons. In this way, through encouragement and repetition, the children learn to play the instrument, while building upon the repertoire of music they master.

    The Suzuki program provides many opportunities for students to showcase their learning at school-based and district concerts throughout the year. In addition to these concerts, an alumni concert and a special 50th Anniversary Concert will be held in April.


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