This is a comprehensive list and description of the extracurricular activities that are currently offered at the School of the Arts. In all cases students must be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities and in some instances an audition may also be required. All offerings are subject to change.



    Students who are risk of failing a class and participate in an after school activity or sport will be assigned to Academic Eligibility until their grades have improved.

    MODERATOR: Matt Fusco


    ACADEMIC TUTORING – Grades 7-12

    School of the Arts provides Supplemental Academic Services (SAS) through Title 1 funds. These services provide additional academic support to students in grades 7-12 outside of the school day. The services include:

    STUDY CENTER – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:35 PM – 3:30 PM in the Library,

    • Students can bring work for additional tutoring in English, Math, Science and Social Studies. There will be teachers available in each core subject are to provide support. This program is for active support, not homework completion.

    ELIGIBILITY CENTER TUTORING – Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:35 PM – 3:30 PM in Room A419.

    • If students are deemed to be on probation for athletics or artistic performances, they are assigned to Eligibility Center Tutoring until grades come up to eligibility standards.

    SAT PREPARATION – Courses taught by Sylvan Learning Center

    • Fall Course for seniors preparing for November SAT.
    • Spring Course for juniors preparing for the May SAT.

    SATURDAY SCHOOL – Saturdays from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    • Students assigned by their administrator.

    COORDINATOR: Mike Murphy



    This ad-hoc 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.

    Moderators: Rob Arrendell, Adele Fico, De’Chelle Hester, Jessica Weaver


    BUDDY UP CLUB - Grades 7 and 12

    Buddy Up is a peer mentoring club designed to welcome new Grade 7 students to SOTA. Grade 12 and Grade 7 students will be“Buddied Up” and meet once per month to take part in fun activities, discuss how to navigate through SOTA, make friends. Buddy Up gives incoming Grade 7 students an upper-class person to turn to if they have questions or concerns. All seniors who have a GPA of a 2.5 or higher can volunteer to be a Buddy and will receive Community Service hours for their participation in this club.

    MODERATOR: Jo Ann Aspenleiter


    CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Grades 9-12

    This group exposes more experienced string students to the rich chamber music literature. Students explore and study various compositions, applying their knowledge of string techniques and styles. The Chamber Orchestra meets after-school and other ensembles are incorporated into the lesson rotation.

    MODERATOR: Elena Herman


    CHESS TEAM – 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.

    MODERATOR: Walter Lanik



    Twice a year, Creative Writing students are invited to share their written work with the public. The event is followed by refreshments.

    MODERATORS: Marcy Gamzon


    COMMUNITY SERVICE – Grades 10-12

    In order to graduate, all students MUST complete 20 hours of Community Service. All service hours completed should be focused on making Rochester a better place to live. Students may seek opportunities from the Community Service board, located on the Floor Three Academy Office. Any service opportunities that students wish to serve that are not posted on the Community Service board must first be discussed with the Administrator for approval.

    MODERATOR: Jo Ann Aspenleiter


    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.

    MODERATORS: SOTA Dance Department



    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.

    MODERATORS: Jeffrey Feinberg, 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.

    MODERATORS: SOTA Drama Department



    FILM FESTIVAL – Grades 9-12

    Student filmmakers showcase their original films at an evening screening which is open to the public.

    MODERATOR: Michelle Sapere


    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.

    MODERATORS: Wendy Underhill, Sherry VanderMaille


    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.

    MODERATOR: Brian Gallagher



    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.

    MODERATOR: Jeff Feinberg, 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.

    MODERATORS: Rob Arrendall, Jo Ann Aspenleiter



    This is an enrichment program open only to registered students.

    MODERATORS: Tara Cup, Tomeka Green, Sherylanne Diodato



    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 u sually published in May or June.

    MODERATORS: 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 .

    MODERATOR: 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.

    MODERATOR: Angela Fixsen


    MEDIA CLUB – Grades 9-12

    Media Club meets weekly from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM. Students in grades 9-12 create artwork in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, digital art and photography, and explore career options in the arts by networking with local colleges and professional artists and designers; students of all majors are welcome.

    MODERATOR: Stephanie Lawson



    This offering is opened to any student in Grades 7 – 8. These students will compete against other middle school students, both in Rochester and suburban area schools. Students will enjoy answering academic questions while meeting other students in the surrounding areas. MSACB meetings are held at various times throughout the month, with a final competition towards the end of the school year.

    MODERATOR: Michelle Coccia, Sarah Coe


    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.

    MODERATOR: James Tillotson



    The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is a nationally recognized program dedicated to serving students in grades 7-9, who have excelled in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, Character and Citizenship. The 2016-17 school year will be the inaugural year for SOTA’s NJHS. The main focus of the club is to build leadership skills through service-based projects. Students must apply and be approved by the faculty council before being inducted into the NJHS.

    MODERATOR: Michelle Coccia



    The National Honor Society recognizes excellence in academic, character, service and leadership. The requirements for induction are noted on page 15 of this handbook. NHS members may be inducted during their Junior or Senior high school year and may serve SOTA in several ways, most importantly as student tutors. Their membership is added to their transcript as part of their college application and identifies these students as part of a national honorary.

    MODERATORS: Lisa Kasdin, Talya Sirianni



    Students taking Playwriting course 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.

    MODERATOR : Bradley Craddock, Marcy Gamzo



    The Positive School Climate committee consists of staff members who are working to recognize the positive attributes that our students and staff contribute to School of the Arts. Throughout the year, we provide activities such as the pumpkin decorating and classroom door decorating contests, along with student and staff recognitions. Expanding this committee to parents and students is one of our goals. So if you are interested in serving, please let us know.

    Applause Committee Moderators: Melissa Fiorella



    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.

    MODERATORS: Susan Rudy and 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 and 3.

    MODERATOR: Brian Chandler


    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.

    MODERATOR: Marcy Gamzon



    SOTA students organize various educational activities to address the issue of student drinking and driving and the consequences they present.

    MODERATOR: Lisa Kasdin



    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 meeting so they will have active involvement in planning the year’s activities.

    MODERATOR: JoAnn Aspenleiter, Carey Belair and Sue Rudy


    SOTA JAZZ COMBO – Grades 7-12

    The SOTA Jazz Combo is comprised of elite members of the SOTA Jazz Ensemble. The instrumentation includes a bassist, drummer, pianist, trumpet player, trombone player and saxophone player. The group rehearses once a week after school. The Combo performs small group jazz from virtually every era of jazz history: New Orleans style, swing, bebop, hard bop, fusion and works by contemporary jazz musicians. The SOTA Jazz Combo performs at private functions, public events, jazz venues and any other opportunity that arises.



    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.

    MODERATOR: Jo Ann Aspenleiter



    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.

    MODERATOR: Marcy Gamzon


    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.

    MODERATORS: Various Coaches

    CONTACT: Dave Michelsen



    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.

    MODERATOR: 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.

    MODERATOR : Brian Chandler


    THE SOTA YEARBOOK – ARTIS – Grades 7-12

    Meetings are listed on the weekly bulletin and are usually held on Mondays, once or twice per month. Students are able to work during their study halls. Students are divided into categories to work on Artis including Sports, Foundations Academy, Commencement Academy, Drama, Music, etc. Artis is a Latin word meaning “of the art” Students take photos, write articles, or assist with layout and typing.

    MODERATOR: Susan Rudy