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Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Joshua Thomas
From left, St. Johnsville students Georgia Schaffer, 8th grade; Brooke Baker, 9th grade; Michaela Macvilla, 9th grade; and Bethany Joslin, 8th grade.

Joshua Thomas
On Friday, the full Oppenheim-Ephratah and St. Johnsville central school districts met at the St. Johnsville Junior/Senior High School to celebrate the merged district. Here, students of both districts gather, dressed in the new school colors with shirts bearing the mascot, the "Wolfpack".

Joshua Thomas
From left, Abigail Swank, 9th grade, St. Johnsville; Lauren Fitzpatrick, 9th grade, St. Johnsville; Gillian Perry, 9th grade, Oppenheim-Ephratah; Rachael Graepel, 9th grade, St. Johnsville; and Brianna Miller, 9th grade, Oppenheim-Ephratah.

Joshua Thomas
12th grade St. Johnsville student Brandon Campione plays a game during Friday's ice cream social. Pictured in the background is 12th grade St. Johnsville student Dakota Mereness.

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Students celebrate merger with ice cream, music and a mascot

Saturday, May 04, 2013 - Updated: 4:23 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

ST. JOHNSVILLE — On Friday afternoon, all students from the St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah central school districts gathered at the St. Johnsville Jr./Sr. High School for a two hour merger celebration featuring an ice cream social and a concert by Flame.

The afternoon festivities began outside the school in the cordoned off parking lot, where over 700 students gathered -- laughing, socializing over ice cream, playing games and getting to know one another -- all adorned in brand new, bright red and dark black "Wolfpack Nation" t-shirts, signifying unity and officially celebrating the merger in the name of the new district's mascot, the "Wolfpack".

Including staff members, there were 889 t-shirts given out between the two districts, with staff paying for theirs and student shirts provided for free, sponsored by a variety of local businesses and organizations.

Following the hour-long outdoor festivities, the students were summoned into the auditorium by grade, starting with kindergarteners, for a concert by Flame, whose lead singer Michelle King kicked the show into high gear only seconds after stepping on stage, announcing that the band would begin with an Adele cover, "Rolling In The Deep."

The students were on their feet from the moment the band started to play, as were faculty members, with district Superintendent Laura Campione-Lawrence encouraging the students to dance, moving about the room and interacting with every grade level.

As students formed hand-to-shoulder trains long enough to wrap around, and up and down the aisles of the auditorium, the spirit in the room was celebratory, excited and truly infectious.

Social Studies Teacher Phoebe Sitterly said the purpose of the celebration was to "bring the students together, wear our new school colors and show that we are all going to mesh and get along great."

She said that the students have been largely open minded and accepting of the merger, commenting, "the kids are awesome."

Oppenheim Ephratah Principal Brett Barr noted,"I think this is a great show of unity with the red shirts, and also having the kids interact in the ice cream social," agreeing with Sitterly's assessment that the event had been a resounding success.

Joshua Thomas - Students laugh and converse during Friday's meeting of St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah.

Joshua Thomas - Students laugh and converse as they enter the building to see Flame during Friday's meeting of St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah.

Joshua Thomas - From left, Oppenheim-Ephratah sophomores Andrew Ortliev, Robert Madsen (upside down), Nate Lawrence and Adam Rogers mess around during Friday's ice cream social

Joshua Thomas - Students enter the St. Johnsville Junior/Senior High School auditorium to see Flame Friday.

Joshua Thomas - Flame opens their set at St. Johnsville Junior/Senior High School Friday with Adele's "Rolling In The Deep".

Joshua Thomas - Michelle King, of Flame, sings Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" in the St. Johnsville Junior/Senior High auditorium Friday.

Joshua Thomas - David LaGrange plays drums in Flame Friday.

Joshua Thomas - Nick Robinson, bass player for Flame.

Joshua Thomas - Young students dance and clap during Friday's performance by Flame.

Joshua Thomas - Kindergarten students rock out to Flame on Friday afternoon.

Joshua Thomas - A spirited kindergartener does a flying leap in the name of fun during Flame's performance Friday.

Joshua Thomas - Students dance during Flame's performance Friday at the St. Johnsville Junior/Senior High School.

Joshua Thomas - Students and faculty from St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah central school districts form a train during Flame's Friday afternoon performance in the St. Johnsville Junior/Senior High School.

Joshua Thomas - Students and faculty from St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah central school districts form a train during Flame's Friday afternoon performance in the St. Johnsville Junior/Senior High School.

Joshua Thomas - Students and faculty from St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah central school districts form a train during Flame's Friday afternoon performance in the St. Johnsville Junior/Senior High School.

Joshua Thomas - Students and faculty from St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah central school districts form a train during Flame's Friday afternoon performance in the St. Johnsville Junior/Senior High School.

     

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