JHS winter guard team recognized

JOHNSTOWN – The champion 2013 Amethyst Gold Varsity Winter Guard Team was honored by the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education Thursday night at Johnstown High School.

Superintendent Robert DeLilli read the names of team members, who were led this season by Director Christine VanValkenburgh.

He noted the varsity winterguard team did very well in the Winterguard International World Championships last month in Dayton, Ohio.

“They were finalists in that competition,” DeLilli said.

VanValkenburgh told the board that among the top 15 winterguards in the world competing in the world championship in Dayton, Johnstown’s team came in 12th.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of these kids,” she said. “We finished 12th. That’s just amazing.”

At a March 2 competition at Mohonasen High School in Rotterdam, the JHS Amethyst Gold Varsity Winter Guard Team captured first place.

Using flags and other props, winter guard is an indoor musical color guard activity derived from marching band or drum corps activities. JHS is one of the few schools in the area with such a team.

VanValkenburgh and these team members were honored by the board: Rachel DeFrancis, Erin Glover, Andrea Harris, Kaylee Hulsaver, Shayla Keba, Travis Munson, Carissa O’Brien, Ashley Ostrander, Hannah Putman, Alexis Randolph, Tatyana Rosario, Josh Scarpa, Tamara Thomas, Breanna VanValkenburgh, Casey VanValkenburgh and Haylee VanValkenburgh.

In other board presentations:

-?JHS seniors Alyssa Henry and Elizabeth VanDenburgh were recognized by DeLilli as recipients of $1,000 scholarships granted by the Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce. They were among six students in the region receiving the scholarship May 1 at the Perthshire for their success in academics and in the community.

“It’s an important [honor] in our region,” DeLilli said.

Board President Paul VanDenburgh – the father of one of the honorees – noted there were 81 applicants for the awards.

-?Pleasant Avenue Elementary School library and computer teaching assistant Debra Ammann gave a presentation on the success of an arts-and-crafts program at her school that was funded this school year by a mini-grant provided by the Johnstown Teachers Association.

Ammann told the board the “play and creative time” programs are used when the weather outside is bad. She said the school is “excited” about the program, which offers students an opportunity to do arts and crafts and work creatively with paper, crayons, pipe cleaners and other items.

“Remember, kids need to be kids,” she told the board.

Music teacher and JTA representative James Morton explained that every school year, each school building is encouraged to submit applications to the JTA for the mini-grants. He said the union has given out over $14,000 in mini-grants for projects at all the district’s school buildings over the years.

Morton noted the JTA will hold a program outside JHS on Tuesday night, when the board election and budget vote will be held inside.

At this “Evening for Education,” he said, the JTA will have tables set up showcasing student academic and art projects. Free ice cream cones will be offered. Some groups also have donated raffle items, he said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.