Class News

Click on the links below for important information for our Class of 2018 Centaurs!




The CHS Student Council would like you to know that Cardinal Craze Week 2017 is here! Cardinal Week is October 2-6. Cardinal Craze week celebrates the spirit of CHS and each class at CHS.

Here is the line-up of theme days:

America Monday (10/2): wear your red, white, and blue!!!

-Hallway decorating begins

Tropical Tuesday (10/3): get out your leis and Hawaiian shirts!

School Spirit Day Wednesday (10/4): break out the City Honors gear! Cardinal Red

and silver!!!
-Assembly in the school auditorium to view the senior skit and learn more about the rest of the week.

Sporty Thursday (10/5): wear your favorite team apparel and jerseys!

-hot dog sale during lunch periods

Friday Class Color Day (10/6): put on your special class tees!!! (colors below)

-school wide lip dub filming

-pep rally in the gym where the winner of the rock is announced!

-high school dance from 7:00pm-9:30pm (tickets $10 each. For sale during lunch periods. 300 student limit, first come, first serve. No ticket will be sold without signed parent/student agreement)

Class Colors (For Class Color Day and Hallway Decorations!)

5th – white
6th – purple
7th – orange
8th – pink

9th – yellow
10th – green
11th – blue
12th – red

2017 class color t-shirts will be on sale during lunch periods starting Monday and are $5.00 each. (Shirts are sold on a first come, first serve basis. Buy early and get your size while it lasts!)

Points System- Ways to help your class win ‘The Rock’!!!

(Don’t know what ‘The Rock’ is? See the bottom of this email

-1 point per canned good or nonperishable (put in homeroom box. All items go to benefit the Macedonia Food Pantry across from CHS on North Street)

-3 points for each student who dresses up for each theme day

-5 points for each student who attends sporting events (list of events that qualify below)

-100 points to best decorated hallway, 50 to second place, 25 points to third place

(decided by secret faulty judges)

Sports Calendar:

Monday (10/2):

-Varsity Volleyball Game at 4:30pm (City Honors Gym)

-Varsity Boys Soccer Game (time and place TBD, check board outside Mr. Hingston’s


Tuesday (10/3):

-Varsity Girls Soccer Game at 5pm (All-High)

Wednesday (10/4):

-Varsity Boys Cross-Country at 5pm (Delaware Park Rose Garden)

-Varsity Girls Swim Meet at 5pm (City Honors Natatorium)

-Varsity Boys Soccer Game at 6pm (All High)

Thursday (10/5):

-Varsity Girls Cross-Country at 5pm (Delaware Park Rose Garden)

Story of “The Rock”

City Honors School at Fosdick-Masten Park


The story of “The Rock”, more formally “The Rock of Mount Pelion”, begins with Dr. Amelia Trant in 1912. Dr. Trant was a member of the faculty of Masten Park High School from its founding in 1897 until she retired in 1925. Dr. Trant was a remarkable individual. Not only was she an English and Psychology teacher, she was a medical doctor. She was beloved by the students of the school for her calm mentoring and the way in which she gently but persistently challenged each of them to grow and arrive at their full potential. When a few of the crankier Masten teachers complained that some of the students entering their nationally prestigious public school did not have the skills or motivation to succeed, she rejected these complaints and famously commented, “Well why am I here if all the children come to us as perfect packages?” There is a moving tribute to Dr. Trant located outside room 118 cast in bronze that was placed there by the students of the school.

After Masten Park High School burned to the ground in the great fire of 1912, Dr. Trant decided she needed to take a vacation to get her mind off the tragedy. Dr. Trant was a life-long learner of anything and everything so her vacation was not sitting on a beach. She travelled to Italy and Greece to study the ancient empires and mythologies of those lands. While travelling through Greece she was encouraged on one her stops to visit Mt. Pelion, the mythical home to Chiron the Centaur: teacher to the great heroes of Greek myth. Although remote, rugged and rural, Dr. Trant made the trip up Mt. Pelion. While there, locals shared with her the location of a rock formation said to have special powers. Dr. Trant not only visited this out cropping, she spent several days camping there. During this time, she found a unique sense of physical and spiritual renewal. This renewal may have been one of the reasons that by the time of her retirement, Dr. Trant had managed to teach for fifty years, a full 20 years beyond the average teacher these days!

Arrival on The Hilltop

One of the things Dr. Trant did before she left Greece was to have one of the rocks from that special formation at Mt. Pelion shipped back to Buffalo at great expense. Dr. Trant presented the rock to a confused principal, Pop Fosdick, upon her return. She assured him that if the “Rock of Mt. Pelion” remained a part of Masten Park High School, the school would be protected and they would never again face a fire or tragedy as they had in 1912. Pop Fosdick did this and indeed good fortune followed for the school and school community. Not only was the school free from future fires, it seemed to have an extraordinary effect on all who came in contact with it. Examples include teachers claiming that after touching the rock they were more patient with their students and knowledgeable about their subject matter. Students noticed after touching the rock, their grades improved, discipline referrals diminished, the sports teams were victorious and their acne cleared. The Rock of Mt. Pelion, or simply “The Rock” as it became known, was held with such reverence that each year a different grade level was assigned as its guardians.


The Rock of Mt. Pelion was a fixture at the school until 1977 when it was brought out at a school disco dance for students to view and celebrate. Somehow, amidst the glow of twirling lights from the mirror ball and multicolor dance floor illuminated from below, it disappeared never to be seen again. In a strange coincidence, a few months later, the school lost its playing field out front and had a street run through the campus. A few years later, the school suffered the misfortune of being closed and then abandoned. The loss of the rock clearly led to tough times. The City Honors program took over the abandoned building in the early 1980’s. Although the founders of City Honors did not have the rock of Mt. Pelion, they knew of it and how it had kept the school safe and helped its students. In tribute to the legend of the rock, they selected Chiron the Centaur as their mascot. As the years passed, only a few knew of the legend of the rock.


On August 28, 2014, Dr. Kresse was in our school’s massive attic with some CHS student leaders trying to locate our trusty popcorn machine for school activities this year. The summer heat made it boiling hot in the dark attic and frustration grew as the popcorn machine was not to be found. The group worked their way into a remote back section of the attic in hopes of finding the elusive corn popper. Eventually, they made their way into a narrow passage between two walls when the usually surefooted senior, Ben Reading, took a tumble to the ground. Dr. Kresse and the students picked him up, dusted him off the best they could in the dark and sarcastically poked at him for his clumsiness, but he insisted he had fallen over something. In searching with their hands, they found an opening along the floor and a small object protruding from that opening. With great effort, they were able to extract the full object and drag it to one of the only windows in the attic. There, in the dim light, they brushed an inch of dust and soot off the object and could just make out an inscription that confirmed what had been found was what had been lost for decades. On the object, it said “The Rock of Mt. Pelion” with the initials A.T. for Amelia Trant and the year 1912. All present sat quietly in amazement while other wept with joy for the lost treasure that had been found.

Strange Happenings

Since that August day in 2014, the Rock of Mt. Pelion has been safeguarded in a very special fashion. It spent time in the school vault and then was transported by school security officers to the labs of Mr. Mueckl and Mr. Minervino where these CHS geologists worked late evenings to analyze its composition. The very best of their efforts have yielded no match with the make-up of any other rock known to this earth. Since the rock has come back into the school’s possession, Dr. Kresse attests to some strange things happening. He claims he is able to climb the massive staircases of our building without being winded or the pain to the knees he might usually experience. For the first time in his life, he has been able to complete the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in a day’s time. He has beaten Mr. Krause four times in a row during weekly meetings of the Faculty Arm Wrestling Club. And, although disputed by many students, he claims some of the hair on his head has been growing back.


In the fall of 2014, for this first time in decades, the school resumed the tradition of assigning a grade level of students to be the guardian of the Rock of Mt. Pelion for the year. This is not a task to be taken lightly as the rock holds great symbolic and literal powers. Therefore administration, faculty and students determined to use the week of Cardinal Craze to select the class most worthy of serving as guardian through a series of challenges and tests. The class that accumulates the most points through these challenges is named “the guardians of the rock” for the upcoming year at a ceremony that culminates the week. The Rock has become a sort of Stanley Cup at CHS if you will. Each class is asked to use all their skills of ingenuity, team work and good sportsmanship to determine if they have what it takes to be the guardian of this one-of-a-kind Hilltop treasure. Since the tradition was reinstated, all agree that the quest itself, whether their class wins The Rock or not, brings us closer together and highlights all that we have to offer each other and our beloved school.

The 2017 Back-to-School Mailing is on its way to you.  But there’s no need to wait. Everything you need to know about the start of school at City Honors can be found right here!

Artwork by Ms. Tandy Hamilton

In October of 2016, the Buffalo Public Schools and the Buffalo Teacher Federation settled a new three-year
contract. As a part of this agreement, twenty-five minutes were added to the students’ school day at each
building. We received final confirmation this week regarding the impact of these changes to City Honors (if you
have students at other Buffalo Schools as well, you should expect a unique letter from them).

Click here to view the July 10, 2017 letter from Dr. Kresse.


City Honors School held its 41st commencement at Kleinhans Music Hall on Thursday, June 22, 2017.

The keynote speaker was the The Honorable Byron W. Brown, Mayor of the City of Buffalo.

The school’s Alma Mater and the musical selection “Until We Sing Again” was sung by City Honors Chorale.

Ms. Cassandra Cammarata ’04 inducted the Class of 2017 into City Honors Alumni Association.

“Since the year 1897, young men and women have climbed these steps to enter the hallowed halls of learning upon this hilltop.  Advance your intellect.  Empower yourself with empathy and compassion.  Prepare yourself to lead and innovate.  Give rise to progress in the great city of Buffalo and around the world.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!


All alumni (21 and over) are invited to the Kick-Off Party for Alumni Weekend on Friday, July 21, 2017 from 7-9 p.m.  Come hang out at City Honors with alumni from other years before heading to your Class Reunion event(s) during the weekend! (Individual class-only events *may* be organized by each reunion class.)

The cost is $20/person and beer, wine, and heavy appetizers will be served.

Special Guests: Reunion Classes of 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012!

If you are planning reunion activities for your class, please email us at: so we can get your contact information and help publicize your event in addition to our own!

Dr. Kresse joins Susan Wu ’17 Ariana DeJesus-Rodriguez ’17 and Jessica Collins ’17 who were honored on May 18, 2017 as elite scholars at the WNY Superintendent’s Assoc. Scholastic Achievement Dinner. Congrats to these remarkable City Honors Centaurs!


Click on the links below for important details, deadlines and forms for the June 1-4 8th grade trip to Camp Pathfinder.

Class of 2021 May Newsletter

Class of 2021 – Information Packet for 8th Grade Trip to Pathfinder

A signing ceremony took place on Tuesday, April 25th at 9 am in the Museum Room of City Honors School for three of four seniors who will be playing NCAA-level athletics in college next year.

Jenna Szopinski has committed to playing Division 1 Soccer at the University of Evansville, Indiana, where she plans to double major in criminology and sociology. Szopinski has been playing soccer since she was four-years-old. She started at City Honors as a 7th grader, joining the varsity soccer team that year, and is currently finishing her second year as a Diploma Candidate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Szopinski has been a leader in points in the Section VI division, racking up 334 points during her six years on varsity. She is currently ranked number 13 in New York State in points, and number 133 in the United States. She also holds the #1 spot for assists throughout all of New York for the 2012, 2014, and 2016 seasons and is currently ranked #1 for career assists in New York State. Szopinski has received numerous player of the week awards, including the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Maxpreps State Player of the Week during the 2016 season.

Emily Pyne, Szopinski’s teammate, has been recruited to play Division 3 Soccer at SUNY Cortland next year and plans to major in Conservation Biology. Pyne has attended City Honors since 5th grade and is also an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Candidate. Pyne also began her soccer career at age four and has been on the City Honors varsity soccer team since 7th grade.  In 2016, she received Honorable Mention for the Section 6 Scholar Athlete Award.

In addition to being teammates on the City Honors varsity soccer team, where they were captains of the team in 2016, Szopinski and Pyne played together with the Delaware Soccer Club and four years ago went on to play premier level soccer with GPS-NY. Pyne served as captain of her GPS team the last two seasons.

Alexandra “Allie” Banas will be playing Division 3 Women’s Ice Hockey at SUNY Potsdam next fall. Banas was offered, and accepted, placement in Potsdam’s Honors Program. This program only offers admission to applicants in the top 5% of each admission class. She will be majoring in Exercise Science/Physical Therapy. Like Pyne and Szopinski, Banas is also an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Candidate. She has been playing hockey since age five for the Buffalo Bisons organization and has played for City Honors Club teams since 6th grade. She has been a member of two Girls Tier 1 New York State Championship teams that went on to compete at the USA Hockey Nationals in Boston in 2012 and Minneapolis in 2016. Banas has played for the City Honors Varsity Club Hockey team, a member of the WNY High School Club Hockey League (WNYHSCHL), since 10th grade. Banas was the only girl in the traditionally male league this season and was the only member of her team to be named as a WNYHSCHL First Team All Star for the 2016-2017 season – becoming the first female skater to receive this honor from the league.

A signing ceremony was held in the fall for varsity softball standout, Jenna Balducci. Balducci, a 2016 All WNY Small Schools team member and recipient of six tournament MVP awards committed to playing Division 2 softball at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA.








Pictured L to R: Balducci, Szopinski, Pyne, Banas
















Just Some Reminders Before Walking Across The Stage…

Dear Senior Class of 2017,

Congratulations! We’re almost halfway there! Even though there are less than six months before graduation, please keep in mind some reminders that should be reiterated so that you can begin the calendar year on the right track. January is the start of a busy new year for all with events underway immediately after we come back to school such as yearbook deadlines, endless deadlines for IB students and preparation for college life in the upcoming fall.

First and foremost, the yearbook committee would like to remind seniors with any siblings at City Honors to make an appointment for a legacy photo. Please supply your alliteration to the yearbook e-mail at or see Ms. Moda in Room 109 if you have any questions. Also, if you or your parent(s) would like to buy a dedication page in the yearbook, please do so by January 13th. See Ms. Moda for more details. If you would like to help create a yearbook to remember, there is still room for new members to join us Thursdays afterschool from 2:30-3:30.

Since half of us are considered “full IB”, I’m sure that we are fully aware of what’s to come (and dreading it!). From the TOK essay and the many IA’s to the lengthy Extended Essay, we will be swamped by the end of this year. However, as Dr. Kresse paraphrased, this is not the time to slack off and give up after what we have accomplished so far. Instead, we should continue to stay organized and focused on our goals without overwhelming ourselves. Use your planner or phone to record imperative deadlines, go to work, take 30 minutes out of your day to exercise, take a break to do what you love to do, then get back to work. Whatever method you use to maintain balance in your life, continue through and you will feel better in the end and more prepared to tackle priorities more efficiently.

As we finish our college applications and receive our letters of acceptance from our desired schools, we should not slack off because colleges DO look at grades after the second marking period (it’s true!). Unfortunately, a main concern that could deprive one from going to their top choice school is money. If you are looking for ways to pay for those expenses, stop at the guidance office for local and national scholarships offered specifically for high school seniors. It is a wonderful opportunity to stir clear from taking out hefty loans that will eventually add up. The more scholarships you apply for and the more time you take to follow directions, the more of a chance you have to win! If you need assistance with essay writing, you can come down to the Writing Center on Mondays and Thursdays.

In closing, I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and will maintain the strength to finish the year strong. As I said, we have less than six months left and it will be over before we know it, so don’t give up. We’ve made it this far, so why stop now?

Submitted by:  Morgan I. Morris, ‘17, The CHS View Student Reporter

  • Box Tops Homeroom Contest – Now through 2/16/18!

    Box Tops for Education Loyalty Program Coupons
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  • Events at a Glance

    Feb 9: Sports Day to Benefit Conti Children
    Feb 9: 2nd Camp Pathfinder Deposit Due
    Feb 9: Middle School Dance, 6:30-8:30p
    Feb 10: Last Chance to Purchase Yearbook
    Feb 13: IB Parent Night, 5:30-7p
    Feb 19: President’s Day (No School)
    Feb 20: BoxTops Clip Party @ 279 Northampton, 6-8p
    Feb 20-23: Mid-Winter Recess (No School)
    Feb 26: Classes Resume
    Mar 15-18: CHS Spring Musical: “Anything Goes!”
    Mar 30-Apr 6: Spring Recess (No School)
    Apr 9: Classes Resume
    Apr 11-13: Gr 3-8 NYS ELA Testing
    Apr 17: I See IB Night, 6-8p
    Apr 18: Early Release Day
    Apr 19: Superintendent’s Conference Day (No School)
    Apr 20: Talent Show
    Apr 25: Spring Vocal Concert, 6:30p
    Apr 26: UNYTS Blood Drive
    Apr 26: Spring Instrumental Concert, 6:30p
    May 8-9: Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Trip
    May 11: Senior Service Learning Initiative (SLI) Begins
    May 22: Senior Dinner @ Riverworks
    Jun 3: CHS Performance @ Kleinhans
    Jun 11: Senior Service Learning Initiative (SLI) Ends
    Jun 15: Strawberry Social, 3:30-6:30p
    May 31-Jun 3: Gr 8 Camp Pathfinder Trip
    Jun 20: Gr 8 Moving Up Day, 9a
    Jun 21: Senior Graduation @ Kleinhans

    Looking for sports-related event dates? Click on the link to the master calendar: Open CHS Master Calendar

    Click here to view or download the 2017-2018 BPS District Calendar.

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