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Westhill High School Highlights

Westhill High School Highlights
2016-2017 Academic Year

Academic Highlights:
  • Of the students who graduated, 61% graduated with a Regents diploma with Advanced Designation, 33% graduated with a Regents Diploma, and 2% graduated with a local diploma.
  • Of the 2017 graduates, 60% enrolled in a four-year college, 27% in a two-year college, and 11% are pursuing work and/or military options.
Business/Technology Department:
  • Thirty-two students were eligible for college credit in multiple courses.
  • Students won a VEX Robotics tournament this year and participated in the Northern New York State championship.
  • PoE students participated in field trips to National Grid Power Control Center and the Syracuse Center of Excellence.CIM students participated in field trips to DARCO Manufacturing, Dannan Tool, Feldmeier Equipment, and Schneider Packaging Equipment.
  • Jim Maniccia was CNYTEEA Technology Teacher of the year and secured a $5000.00 scholarship from Haas Automation, received the Westhill Staff Recognition Award, nominated for the TACNY high school teacher of the year, elected to the Syracuse Chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers for the third consecutive year and had a biographical leadership article written about him in the Post Standard.
  • The Career & Financial Management curriculum has been re-designed over the past few years.  This year a broad range of community guest speakers was incorporated, including representatives from KeyBank, National Grid and SUNY Cortland.  The speakers brought excellent “real world” perspectives for our students on topics ranging from finances to interviewing.
English Department:
  • Staff implemented Explicit Instruction, Differentiated Instruction, and Scaffolding methods in the classroom.
  • Google Classroom was used consistently to share information and develop students' claim writing abilities.
  • Staff attended conferences at both Onondaga Community College and Syracuse University for the College Credit Now and Project Advance courses and collaborated with OCC teachers on campus to implement new class design and syllabi for the fall of 2017.
  • The Westhill Educational Foundation provided a grant to fund the Readers’ Road Trip to attend the Rochester Teen Book Fest at Nazareth College.Twenty-eight students attended and met twenty-seven different authors, who spoke to students about their writing processes and answered questions.The event also included an opportunity for students to have authors sign books.
  • The Library circulated Chromebooks to students for use during their time in the library.
LOTE Department:
  • The LOTE Peer Tutoring Program continued to successfully provide help to struggling students.
  • Outstanding results at each level with the majority of LOTE students achieving mastery on the final exams.
  • LOTE students used social media to connect with native Spanish speakers.
  • AP French students successfully completed a PBL unit, which incorporated a Science & Technology theme.
Math Department:
  • The Westhill High School Math Team had another successful year. Sixteen students competed in our math meets this year and contributed to make this a winning season.  We also had 12 students make a great showing at the county meet.  Two of our members scored high enough this season to be invited to attend the New York State math meet in New York City.
  • On April 1st, 27 students from Onondaga County high schools competed against other New York State counties at the state math team competition in Manhattan, NY. Two Westhill students scored high enough during the regular math team season to qualify for Team Onondaga. Math Team co-adviser and high school math teacher, Ms. Berger, traveled with the group, which consisted of representatives from eight different area schools. The students were exposed to new ideas in mathematics, improved their problem solving, and had fun! 
Music & Fine Arts:
  • NAMM Foundation named Westhill CSD among United States' 2017 Best Communities for Music Education.
  • Bands swept Gold at NYSSMA Major Evaluation Festival: Wind Ensemble - Level 6 Gold with Distinction, Jazz Ensemble - Level 5 Gold, Symphonic Concert Band Level 3 Gold with Distinction.
  • Six Westhill Musicians performed with the Syracuse Youth Orchestras at Carnegie Hall in June.
  • Twenty band students named to All-County Bands and more than thirty participated in other local Honor Ensembles.
  • Westhill band students performed solos for state adjudicators at NYSSMA Solo and Ensemble Festivals.
  • Studio Art classes collaborated on a large mural project for Walberta Park Elementary School.
  • Ceramics students, along with students from 25 other schools, participated in the 30th Annual Feats of Clay Competition held at Onondaga Community College in May.
  • With the generosity of the Westhill Education Foundation, ceramic students created beautiful clay totems. The totems are located in the main entrance at the high school and will be relocated to the courtyard when construction is complete.
  • Chorus students traveled to Chicago and competed in the World Strides Musical Festival.  All three choirs achieved superior ratings.
Physical Education:
  • Online surveys were used to gauge student interest and activity levels.
  • PE Curriculum was adjusted to better meet the changing needs and interests of our students.
Science Department:
  • Mrs. Pounder attended the European Geophysical Union's Annual Conference in Vienna, where she met with geoscientists from around the world to learn about their latest research. The conference hosted 80 teachers from 25 countries to build global science connections amongst classrooms around the world.
  • Mrs. Kemper used “New Visions” inquiry-based 5E learning cycle lessons that incorporated small group cooperative lessons. These lessons included short engagement, exploration and explanation activities based on the Living Environment Curriculum.
  • Ms. Weinsztok attended a Summer workshop on Onondaga Lake with the Haudenoasuanee people, which highlighted traditional versus scientific ecological knowledge.
  • Students participated in a 5th Grade/Honors Biology PBL Collaboration, where students acted as experts on topics and facilitated the development of “prototypes” on how to address various species endangerment issues. Students then visited again to see the finished products and provide feedback.  
  • Implementation of NGSS-based labs and activities acquired at STANYS conference.
  • Introduced more open-ended inquiry labs in the Regents Chemistry curriculum.
  • A Drug Enforcement Agency Agent, a former Westhill student who is a DEA agent, visited Forensics classes. He spoke to students about the path he took to obtain his position and about how DEA detectives conduct investigations.
  • Physics students went on a field trip to the Syracuse University Physics Department, where they learned about quantum computing and the efforts to build a new detector for the Large Hadron Collider.  This was followed by a tour of the labs associated with these projects, and graduate student researchers explained their work.
  • Health students engaged in multiple mindfulness activities throughout the year.  Students were encouraged throughout this time to incorporate the practice of mindfulness and meditation into their daily lives.
Social Studies Department:
  • Social Studies Department members continue to work on essay-writing skills and the use of inquiry-based learning.
  • Students achieved a higher percent mastery score on Regents in both 2016 and 2017 than the five-year average.
  • The Social Studies Department helped put together a voter registration drive.
  • A plan for implementation of an IA Writers’ World Shop for the upcoming school year was put into motion.
  • Redesigned the Economics curriculum to include more connections to real world situations and ideas to economic principles.
Athletic Highlights:
  • The Varsity Boys’ Golf team had a successful season becoming League champions, as well as Section 3 champions.
  • The Varsity Girls’ Soccer team became OHSL Liberty League champions, Section III Champions, regional champions, and State runner up.Lisa Dwyer was named coach of the year.
  • The Boys’ Varsity Soccer team was named OHSL Liberty League champions; Section III champions; regional champions and State runner up.Tom Etoll was named coach of the year.
  • The Girls’ Cross Country team had a successful season, becoming OHSL Liberty League champions, Section III champions, and placed 6th place in the Class B State finals.
  • The Girls’Volleyball team was named Liberty American League champions and Section III runner up to Cazenovia.
  • Girl’s Varsity Basketball Coach, Sue Ludwig, achieved 500 career wins.
  • Boys Indoor Track team was named Class B1 Section III Champions.
  • The Girls’ Basketball team progressed to the Section III semi-finals.
  • The Boys’ Varsity Basketball team was named Section III League Class B Champions.
  • The Boys’ Basketball team became Section III Class B Champions, as well as Class B Regional Champions.
  • The Boy’s Basketball then progressed to Class B State Semi-Final Champions and continued to become Class B State champions and finally Federation runners up.
  • The Varsity Boys’ Outdoor Track team was named Class B1 League Champions.
  • The Varsity Girls’ Outdoor Track team became Class B1 League Champions.
  • The Varsity Baseball team was named Liberty American League Champions.
  • The Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse team was named Liberty American League Champions.
  • The Varsity Softball team was named Liberty American League Champions.
  • One Indoor Track team member qualified for States in the pole vault event.
  • Two students on the Wrestling team were named Section III Wrestling Champions.
 Club and Extracurricular Highlights:
  • The Spanish Club participated in the Paint-Westvale-Purple race in April.
  • Tri-M National Honor Society for Music was formed.The first group of 66 students were inducted, and they completed more than 1200 hours of service in 2016-2017.
  • Art Club and FBLA traveled to NYC with funds raised by Art Club, where they toured museums and the financial district.
  • CARE and ECOS students volunteered at the Rescue Mission.
  • CARE organized a dodgeball tournament to raise money for Make-a-Wish.
  • The French Club traveled to Quebec. Students spent a few days in Montreal before traveling to Quebec City for the remainder of the trip.
  • Westhill Electrathon team organized a sanctioned Electrathon race at the Oswego Speedway. The team finished second at the Oswego Speedway race. In addition, the team redesigned a new front brake disk mounts and had the parts fabricated by DARCO Manufacturing and Dannan Tool, painted the car for the first time and made numerous improvements to the vehicle.

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