Head of School Dave McCusker talks about MPH's return-from-break testing plan, masks in school, and the upcoming week.
MPH Premiere of the Week
Middle School Thinks Inside the Box for Spring Play
The Middle School Drama Club will be performing BOX by Lindsey Price today, February 10, and Saturday, February 11, at the Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church across the street from campus. Seating is limited to the actors' families, but everyone is invited to watch the livestream of the Saturday, 6:30 p.m. performance (link provided above). A big thank you to MPH Light & Magic for making the livestream possible.

Below: MS actors in Box rehearse this week.
SAT Prep Offered | Starts February 27
All-ONLINE SAT Prep classes from MPH fit our students' busy schedules and feature the high-quality instruction you'd expect from our fantastic community programs to get ready for the upcoming SAT tests.
SAT Prep starts February 27 and features a Sunday Zoom class that is recorded for anyone who can't attend at that time.
The Scene Around MPH
Two MPH Musicians Take the Stage at All-State Festival
Congratulations to Isabella Bird (trumpet) and Kari Maxian (viola) for playing in the Zone 3 Senior High Area All-State Festival on Saturday, February 5, at Ithaca College. MPH was one of 35 schools that sent students to this festival.
Grade 3 Gets University-Level Physics Instruction
Syracuse University Physics Professor Duncan Brown visited Grade 3 this week to share information about the James Webb telescope and how it is used to observe the most distant stars. Professor Brown gave students diffraction glasses that split the spectrum of light and hooked up an infrared camera to the overhead projector so the students could see how the telescope will be taking pictures n space. 
Wild in the Winter
The Definitive MPH Guide to Spirit Week, Valentine's Day, and Winter Carnival
A week of winter madness (hopefully not too much think of the teachers, kids) kicks off with the opening day of Spirit Week on Monday: Pajama Day. Spirit Week is for students in Grades 5-12. The real fun comes Friday during Winter Carnival, which is for the whole school and features sled pulls, snow sculpture/target throwing, Capture the Planets, soccer, dodgeball, the famous tug o' war, and more.
Spirit Week Schedule

  • Monday is Pajama Day | wear your comfiest pajamas
  • Tuesday is Log Cabin Day | dress for a day at the cabin; flannels, cozy sweaters, and warm clothing
  • Wednesday is Sports Day | wear something to support your favorite sports team
  • Thursday is Anything But a Backpack Day | bring your things in something other than a backpack; like a basket, a box or a suitcase. Be creative but please make reasonable choices!
  • Friday is Color Day | dress in your grade’s color for the Winter Carnival activities.
Sleds Needed for Carnival
This year we’re adding a new community-building activity to our beloved Winter Carnival celebration. In the morning before competition begins, grades will be paired up across all three divisions to collaborate in snow sculpture and sled-pulling fun. All we need now are the sleds. If you have a traditional plastic sled with a rope attached to the front and are willing to lend it to us for the day, please plan to bring it to the Phoenix at drop-off in the morning any day next week (2/14-18). These sleds will be used only on fairly level terrain and only for this one part of the day. You can pick your sled up at the end of the day Friday or make other arrangements by emailing Nichole Demers at ndemers@mphschool.org.
LS Valentine's Day and Winter Carnival Plans
With Valentine's Day fast approaching we have decided to hold all Lower School Valentine’s Day celebrations Friday, February 18

Students are invited to bring in cards from home this year (store bought or homemade) to exchange with their classmates. As a reminder, please do not send in food, toys, stickers, temporary tattoos, or any other extra items with your student’s Valentine’s Day cards. If your child would like to bring in Valentine’s cards, please ensure that they make one card for each student in their class.
A special nut-free, allergy-safe snack will be provided to students Friday afternoon.

Friday, February 18, is Winter Carnival for Grades 5-12. This year, Lower School (K-5) has been invited to collaborate with Upper School on an outdoor snow-building activity.

Please be sure that your child has all the appropriate snow gear at school to participate in this activity. If you have any questions, please reach out to Amy Abdo or Alyssa Palmer. Thank you!
Strong Stretch for Hoops Capped off by Senior Night Win with Celebrity Support
Winners of four of their past five, the Trojans Varsity Basketball team has scratched and clawed its way back to an 8-9 record, good for 10th in Section III, Class D. This week featured wins over Onondaga on Senior Night at MPH, 57-36, and at Pulaski the following night in a close, 51-50. Senior Night was made even more special by a visit from Syracuse University's own Boeheim brothers, there to lend their support. Senior Jack Zizza was able to score an interview with Buddy Boeheim at halftime (see below). The Trojans play tonight at home against Fabius-Pompey at 7 p.m. and wrap up the regular season schedule on Valentine's Day at home against McGraw at 7 p.m.
Volleyball Concludes Successful Season in Sectionals
MPH's 11th-seeded Varsity Volleyball team upset 6-seed Remsen in the first round of the Section III, Class D Sectional Championships last week. MPH beat the Rams 3-1, eventually falling to 3-seed DeRuyter on Saturday.
Model UN and Light & Magic Join Forces to Thank Health and Safety Team
Grade 6 Students Develop Their Own Web-Based Games
The Grade 6 computer literacy class has been hard at work the past few weeks creating a video game in a web-based educational tool called Scratch. Scratch teaches students to write code while using a block-based visual programming language. Scratch allows students to create media of all kinds and helps students to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. A student in Thursday’s computer literacy class created a game in which participants have to "avoid the iPad" and collect a Harry Potter book to keep playing. Among the games created, this game game was voted by students to have the best game controls and their favorite character. Check out a recording of a student playing the game.
CNY Central Highlights MPH's COVID Management
Health and Safety Coordinator Shawn Tompkins made an appearance on CNYCentral.com this week discussing Governor Hochul's plans to address masks in school following the upcoming February break.
Spring Gala | Celebrating Great Teachers at MPH
This year’s Spring Gala will honor and celebrate the achievements of MPH’s educators while paying special tribute to teacher and coach Don Ridall. Don recently announced his retirement from teaching at the close of the 2021-2022 school year after 46 years at MPH. 
Plans are underway for a fabulous celebration on Friday, May 20, at Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia. Proceeds from this event will directly support strategic investments to our academic programs, facilities, expanding scholarship assistance, and enhancing resources to support our faculty and staff. 
To make this event a success we need our MPH community to join in.

Here are few ways you that can support the event:
  • Donate a live/silent auction item. Gift cards, baskets, getaways, experiences, concert tickets, etc., are always needed for the silent and live auctions. Email Karen Belgrader, associate director of philanthropy and engagement, to connect with the Philanthropy and Engagement department if you’re interested in donating.  

  • ATTEND the event | tickets to the celebration go on sale on April 1. 
  • Purchase an ad in the event program.
  • Congratulate your student on their impending graduation.
  • Gain visibility for your business or organization.
  • Send a message to our fabulous faculty thanking them for all they do for our students.
  • Congratulate Coach Ridall on his retirement.
  • To place an ad in the event program or participate as a sponsor, see our Gala sponsorship packet.
  • Send us memories or photos of the impact our faculty and staff have had on your family’s MPH experience.
We are grateful to all who have already agreed to participate this year. Many thanks to our Gala Planning Committee members for sharing their time, talent, and resources with us. If you’d like to be involved or have any questions, please contact Karen Belgrader at kbelgrader@mphshcool.org or call 315-430-3376.
MPH Gala Planning Committee:
Karen Belgrader, Associate Director of Philanthropy and Engagement
Sophia Battaglia P’25
Theresa Heath P’28
Amy Hogan P’20, P’22
Melissa Marrone P’29, P’32
Meghan McBennett ‘01
Swati Murthy ’01, P’34
Shelbi Pisciarino P’21, P’24
Jennifer Rubin P’24
Karen Trivelpiece P’22
Claire Myers-Usiatynski ’72, P’05, Former Trustee
Amy Wildhack P’22, P’23, Trustee
Katie Rey P’34
Kelly Rose P’35

Manlius Pebble Hill School | 315-446-2452mphschool.org