Phoenicia students win state contest for "green" project

By Jay Braman Jr.
Students from the Phoenicia Elementary School in the Onteora School District have won first place in their division in the state senate’s 17th annual I*MA*GREEN*NATION contest.
Phoenicia music teacher David Laks in collaboration with fourth-grade teacher Sharon McInerney and her talented class showed its true colors – green – this week when it won the award, a statewide competition sponsored by Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope), that focuses on environmental problems and solutions.
The competition was open to New York State students in grades one through eight who submitted proposals, in the form of group projects, on how to address the need to reduce solid waste and improve recycling.
“With a clever news spoof concept and a rousing rendition of “Go Phoenicia,” sung to the tune of “Grease Lightning” (from “Grease”), McInerney’s class bested hundreds of other fourth- and fifth-grade entries from schools across New York State, to take first prize in the video division of the competition,” Laks said Tuesday.
Entries were judged on the grounds of imagination, subject matter and creativity.
“Our local winners competed against hundreds of students from throughout New York State, and their imaginative ideas and displays were judged to be among the best in this year’s contest,” Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, said in a prepared statement.
The winning students, led by teacher Sharon McInerny, are: Joshua Andre, Dale Berryann, Morgan Booth, Kristin Broccio, Christel Buckholz, Kiara Cruickshank, Laurel Detufo, Jacklyn Ford, Makayia Foster, Brooke Harrison, Dana Lamonda, Lucia Legnini, Jameson Morton, Patrick Pfeiffer, Cecelia Ramos, Sophia Ricci, Rianna Schneider, Nikolas Terwilliger, Ivan Traeger-Payne, Sjafo Traeger-Payne and Robert Warren.
The class went to a celebration in Albany yesterday to receive their award and attend a luncheon reception with the senator. They also had the opportunity to meet fellow winning students from around the state, view other submissions, and tour the historic state capitol.
To see the students’ winning video, go to