CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES
BLACK LIVES MATTER COMMITTEE
This committee focuses on the celebration of diversity, encourages the practice of equity, helps to build understanding among all SOTA students, and works to actively engage our school community to create pathways to freedom and justice for all people. SOTA is dedicated to affirming the lives of black children, who represent the majority of our students, and to promote understanding that will strengthen the SOTA community as a whole.
ADVISORS: The SOTA Black Lives Matter Committee
CHESS TEAM/CLUB – Grades 7-12
SOTA students play chess with other team-mates and teams from area schools and compete in area competitions. This exciting game of skill, strategy and concentration provides an excellent opportunity for students to develop focus and academic discipline.
ADVISOR: Walter Lanik
COFFEE HOUSE READINGS – Grades 7-12
Twice a year, Creative Writing students are invited to share their written work with the public. The event is followed by refreshments.
ADVISOR: Marcy Gamzon
DANCE CONCERT – Grades 7-12
Our annual Dance Concert is the dance department’s largest extracurricular activity. The students audition their own choreography with the hopes of having their pieces chosen for the concert. It is very competitive and requires focus and hard work. Student-choreographers whose pieces are chosen audition the dancers for their piece. Additionally, dancers audition for teacher-choreographed pieces. The preparation begins in September and includes tech, spacing and dress rehearsals leading up to the Annual Dance Concert in March; audition is required.
ADVISORS: SOTA Dance Department
DIAL-A-TEACHER TUTORING - Grades 7-12
Dial-A-Teacher is a program providing tutoring services for Hillside Work Scholarship Students. Our goal is to help students by providing the necessary skills to support students with their courses (ELA, Math and Global.US-History-based Courses at the Secondary Level). We meet after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and provide late passes as necessary.
ADVISORS Colleen O’Mara
DRAMA PRODUCTIONS – Grades 7-12
You may participate in any SOTA Drama production by auditioning and being selected as a cast member. The fall and February productions are open to all grades, but are predominately cast with upper-class students. The winter musical is open to all students. The spring musical is usually comprised of upper-class students. The Middle School production takes place in late spring and is comprised solely of students in Grades 7-9. All students may audition; being a Drama major is not a requirement.
ADVISORS: SOTA Drama Department
FISHING CLUB – Grades 8-12
Learn how to fish and experience the excitement of reeling in a catch! The club will meet approximately 1-2 times a month, more frequently during fishing seasons in the spring/fall. There will be field trips, demonstrations, community service, conservation project/education, possible tournaments and ice fishing depending on weather/conditions/availability permitting. No experience needed, equipment provided. There are required fees for the Bass Nation Membership ($25) and the Fishing License ($25) for students 16 years and older, for which fundraising opportunities may be available.
ADVISOR: Wendy Underhill
GAME CLUB – Grades 7-12
The Game Club student members learn how to play strategic board games that take more use of the creative side of students. The games chosen are complex in nature, but targeted to member’s interests. The members engage in gaming and analyze the outcomes, strategies, theories and structures. The overarching goal is to develop understandings of the underlying Math, ELA, team building and conflict resolution base skills.
ADVISOR: Brian Gallagher
GAY STRAIGHT ALLIANCE – Grades 7-12
This is a support group for Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian, Transgender, and straight students. Meetings are held monthly. Each school year the group hosts a Day of Silence. This is a day observed nationally; students refrain from speaking in support of young people suffering from harassment and bullying based on their sexual orientation. Participation is optional.
ADVISOR: Ashley Perez
GREEN CREW - Grades 7 - 12
This is an Environmental Club that focuses on raising awareness and taking action steps to conserve resources at School of the Arts. This club will teach students how be active in recycling, energy conservation, composting,environmental awareness and keeping SOTA beautiful.
ADVISORS: Rob Arrendall, Jo Ann Aspenleiter
LITERARY MAGAZINE - LAMBENT – Grades 7-12
Our school’s literary magazine, Lambent, features student created short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and photography. Accepts annual submissions from students in grades 7-12. The Lambent is published in May or June.
ADVISORS: Bradley Craddock, Marcy Gamzon
MASTERMINDS – Grades 9-12
MasterMinds is the academic challenge team similar to College Bowl. The game is played with a team of four students who answer toss-up questions and then receive bonus questions if the toss-up is answered correctly. Questions cover the areas of history, literature, science, music, art, pop culture and current events. School of the Arts competes in League 2 in the Greater Rochester area. There are six monthly meets in the season, followed by the playoffs in the spring. This year we have both a varsity and junior varsity team. To follow our team standings check the Democrat and Chronicle or visit the MasterMinds website at www.newyorkrminds.com. ADVISORS: Marcy Gamzon, Heidi Breidenstein
MATH LEAGUE – Grades 9-12
The School of the Arts entry to the Monroe County Math League averages more than fifty (50) students annually. Students compete against other Rochester area schools in solving fun and very challenging math problems. These meets improve creative problem solving skills and boost student confidence in Math. Math League is held once a month from September to February; there is an All-Star meet in March. Math League practices once a month on the Wednesday before the meet. ADVISORS: Angela Fixsen
MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION – SGA – Grades 7-8
ADVISOR: Michelle Coccia
MODEL UNITED NATIONS – Grades 9-12
The Model United Nations Club is open to any student in Grades 9-12. It is customary for members to meet on designated Thursday afternoon after-school in the fall. In the winter, students prepare for conferences that are held in November and March. Students who are interested in learning about the next conference should contact the advisor, preferably during Period 1. Actual meeting dates to prepare for the March conference will be announced at a later date. The advisors may also meet privately, by prior arrangements, with any student interested in knowing what actually goes on at a Model United Nations Conference. Who is likely to join Model UN? Students who think they would enjoy learning about another country’s issues and politics are ideal. These “representatives” change from researchers to actors if they decide to make a presentation, but they can also choose a low-key “listening” and “consulting” role, as they take regular breaks to discuss the hot issues of the day with the representatives of other nations. Students who are intrigued should see one of the advisors. They can attend a meeting at SOTA and ask the veteran participants to describe the excitement found at a Model United Nations Conference, and the opportunity, as well to meet students from many other parts of New York State.
ADVISORS: James Tillotson, Carey Belair
PLAYWRIGHTS’ FESTIVAL – Grades 9-12
Students taking Playwriting in Grade 11 will have the opportunity to see their original work produced and performed on stage. This innovative program celebrates the creativity, spontaneity and talent of SOTA students.
ADVISORS: Bradley Craddock, Marcy Gamzon
READERS’ THEATRE – Grades 9-12
Reader’s Theatre is an oral interpretation performance of literature adapted into play form. Donations to the program assist the Creative Writing Department so that they may present lectures and presentations with outside authors and speakers for students.
ADVISOR: Marcy Gamzon
SOTA IMAGE MAKERS PHOTO CLUB – Grades 7-12
The objective of the Photo Club is to help the students master the art of making a picture, not just taking a picture. It is never our intention to make images that would be later repaired in Photoshop. Students learn to control each step of the creative process of exposure, composition, framing the image by cropping in-camera, point of view, point of focus, depth of field, color temperature of light and angle of view are some of the key elements covered each year.
ADVISORS: Susan Rudy, Alan Tirre
SOTA Superstars is a school-wide incentive that rewards our students for aspiring to high standards. It acknowledges academic excellence as a priority. It is also inclusive of other variables that are necessary for student success. As such, students who meet the designated criteria for SOTA Superstars will be treated to a special catered luncheon. This luncheon will occur three (3) times a year after marking Periods 1, 2, 3. ADVISOR: Brian Chandler
SOTA SPORTS -- Grades 7-12
Sign-up sheets for sports are posted in the locker rooms, gym, and around the school. You must have a 2.0 overall grade average, 90% school attendance, and good citizenship to participate. Seasonal meetings are held with students interested in participating in each season’s sports. Every student involved in a sports activity must have a physical examination within the past year on file in the nurse’s office, along with a current tetanus shot on record and orders for self-carry medications on file if needed. You can check the status of your physical at any time from the nurse. In addition to eligibility, a currently physical is required.
CONTACT: Dave Michelsen
SADD – STUDENTS AGAINST DESTRUCTIVE DECISIONS – Grades 9-12
SOTA students organize various educational activities to address the issue of student drinking and driving and the consequences they present.
ADVISOR: Lisa Kasdin
SENIOR ACTIVITIES CLUB - Grade 12
The Senior Activities Club meets on the third Thursday of the month to discuss, plan and implement activities that will take place throughout the school year for the Senior class. All Seniors are encouraged to attend these meetings so they will have active involvement in planning the year’s activities.
ADVISORS: JoAnn Aspenleiter, Nicole Robinson, Katherine Kays
SOTA SKI CLUB – Grades 7-12
Students enjoy skiing at Bristol Mountain on Friday evenings for a total of six trips, including a full day on the slopes to be determined. SOTA students will travel to and from Bristol on a bus to participate in this winter activity.
ADVISOR: Jo Ann Aspenleiter
THE SOTA YEARBOOK – ARTIS – Grades 7-12
Artis is a Latin word meaning “of the arts.” Our yearbook documents the events and happenings at School of the Arts each year.. Students are involved in designing, creating and producing the yearbook. Application for participation may be required.
ADVISOR: Susan Rudy
SPEECH AND DEBATE – FORENSICS – Grades 9-12
SOTA is a member of the Genesee Valley Forensic League (G.V.F.L.), an organization of secondary school Speech and Debate Teams in the Rochester, NY area. Through interscholastic contests in debate and in public speaking, the G.V.F.L. secondary school students to compete in tournaments and exercise their speaking skills. Member teams compete at all-day tournaments that are on Saturday approximately twice a month. There are seven different categories G.V.F.L. competitors may participate in including: Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Declamation, Original Oratory, Oral Interpretation, Extemporaneous Speaking and National Tournament. Students become eligible for state and national tournaments as well. The Speech and Debate Team welcomes students in Grades 9 – 12 throughout the year, and meet on Tuesday after-school to practice and prepare for tournaments.
ADVISOR: Marcy Gamzon
STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION – SGA – Grades 9-12
The SGA is governed entirely by high school students and works hard to improve the quality of student life at SOTA. The SGA is the student’s voice in the school community and is responsible for a variety of activities including the Talent Show, Spirit Week, SOTA T-shirt Design and First Generation College Scholarship.
ADVISORS: Michael Murphy, James Tillotson
WEIGHTLIFTING CLUB – Grades 7-12
The Weightlifting Club is an after-school activity. As part of this program of strength training and conditioning, students will have the opportunity to improve their level of fitness through a variety of weight-training exercises. The focus is on proper technique and fostering a lifetime commitment to a healthy level of fitness. ADVISOR: Brian Chandler