Donation to Seneca White Deer

After a year of learning about the Seneca White Deer herd, the South Seneca Middle and High School community were able to donate $665.00 to the Seneca White Deer Organizations.

Here is a breakdown of our fundraising:

Trick or Treat for White Deer:  $64.85

White Deer Bake Sale:  $32.00

Penny Wars during Spirit Week: $319.15

White Deer Dance: $249.00


Way to go!


Bakesale to Benefit the White Deer!

On April 14, 2016, three eighth graders practiced their baking skills and set out cookies, brownies, and cupcakes for parents to purchase during Parent Teacher Conferences.  Sam Dawson, Tangalean Kio, and Skylar Dawson have been planning this Bakesale for quite a few weeks; coordinating who was making what and creating a great poster to advertise their cause.  Everything came together very well on the afternoon of April 14, and when all was said and done the girls raised $31.62 to send over to the Seneca White Deer organization.  The girls had a great time raising money for this great cause!007

Students write Letters to the Editor

Recently, Mrs. Parsons eighth grade ELA students wrote letters to the editor of the Fingerlakes Times regarding their position on the White Deer and the Depot land.  Students were given access to several recent newspaper articles outlining both the pros and cons of the White Deer and the Depot, and were instructed to write a letter to the editor expressing their opinion using facts and details from the articles to back up their opinion.  The result was awesome!  Mike from the Fingerlakes Times was very generous in publishing several of the submitted letters in the Sunday, March 20, 2016 newspaper.  See the link below to see our students work!

Fingerlakes Times Letters to the Editor

Students Start Working on Community Projects!

With our project based learning experience well underway, students in ELA classes have started to determine which part of the community they would like to focus on and what their project for the community might be.  We have many, many excited students with some really awesome project ideas.  Here are the criteria:  The project must be linked to something in our community and the final product of the project must help our community in some way.

Here are some projects that the kids are starting on:

  • Planning a community clean up day (in the spring, but education about littering and it’s impact on our community in the winter)
  • Creating excitement for the Four Town Sports Program
  • Creating a flower garden at the Three Bears that will educate people about the Three Bears
  • A guide to local waterfalls of interest (website/social media)
  • Planning and creating a school garden
  • Creating an informative poster about the wine making process to distribute as an informational guide to local wineries
  • Poster and Pamphlets about the old Willard Asylum to place in the community (possibly the bank at Willard)
  • Raise money for a local veteran and family who have fallen on hard times
  • Informative poster/pamphlets on the Amish way of life to place at local libraries.
  • Poster and pamphlets about the history of Sampson and the Seneca Army Depot to place at the Sampson State Park Camping Registration office.
  • Informative model of Taughannock Falls to display in the community.

The kids are so excited to create these REAL life projects that the community will see.  They will be interacting with the community and gaining life long skills that will help them become better, more educated members of our community.  Check back for updates on projects!

Crown of Serpents Author Visits South Seneca

On October 15, 2015, Mr. Michael Karpovage, author of Crown of Serpents, visited middle and high school classes at South Seneca. English Language Arts 7, 8, and 9A students, led by Patricia Parsons, Kimberly deCoudres, and Victoria Calarco, are embarking on a year-long study of what makes our community unique. One thing that makes our community unique is the Seneca White Deer herd that resides at the former Seneca Army Depot. The organizing teachers ran across Mr. Karpovage’s novel, which is set in the former Seneca Army Depot. The novel, Crown of Serpents, is an edutainment novel (the author described this as a novel that entertains and educates).   In the novel, the main character, Jake Tununda, happens upon some discoveries that lead him to the mystery of the missing Crown. Many of the scenes in this story take place in our own area: the former Depot, Romulus Historical Society, State Trooper Barracks, and even the Three Bears. The White Deer are also involved in this novel, in the form of a White Deer Society, a group of Seneca’s that guard the secrets of the Crown.

Mr. Karpovage gave several presentations on October 15, to many grade levels. He discussed his main profession, as a graphic artist and cartographer. He shared several examples of his work, including some local logos that he has completed for St. John Fisher College and TC3 and some wonderful maps that he has completed for Seneca County and Savannah, GA. He spoke with the students about going after their passions and not giving up until they have met their goals. Mr. Karpovage went on to talk about how he became and author and what kind of work was required to author a novel.

Mr. Karpovage chose to write a novel based at the Depot because it was a well-known place in our area, yet a place of great mystery. He conducted many interviews to make his book as realistic as possible. He also included many well-known sights in the area to build an interest in the novel. Students were shown some pictures that Mr. Karpovage took when he was granted a 1 hour tour of the Depot many years ago. It was very interesting to see the Depot through an author’s perspective, and how Mr. Karpovage was able to build on things that he saw during his visit.

At the end of the presentation students were able to ask the author questions. Questions ranged from “Would you want your book turned into a movie?” (The answer was yes! He has actually gotten offers from producers, but at this time nothing is in the works.) to “What are some things on your bucket list? (To which he responded, definitely not sky-diving!)

We thank Mr. Karpovage for spending time with us at South Seneca Middle and High School. The students enjoyed the visit and took away some great information! If you would like to know more about Mr. Karpovage, his work as a graphic designer, cartographer, or author, please visit his website at Mr. Karpovage currently lives in Georgia with his family.


Trick-or-Treat for the Seneca White Deer!

ELA 7, 8, and 9A classes are joining together to raise money for our very own Seneca White Deer! Our Project Based Learning yearlong unit is all about “Our DEER Community,” and the deer are just one unique part of our area that makes Southern Seneca county a great place to live!

Students will be bringing home envelopes during the month of October to collect money in for helping the White Deer. How will we be helping the deer? By raising awareness about the White Deer and the future of their home, and by getting our students involved in a local cause and concern.

ALL proceeds will go directly to the not-for-profit organization: Seneca White Deer to help them in their mission to preserve this herd.


Visiting Author-Michael Karpovage

Visiting Author-Michael Karpovage

We are proud to announce our first guest speaker coming in to meet with the students will be October 15. Our guest is Michael Karpovage the author of the Jake Tununda series. The first book in the series Crown of Serpents is special to our community. It is set primarily, right here in; Ovid, Lodi, Interlaken, Romulus, and other nearby cities.

Here is a brief synopsis of this book:

With the discovery of a campaign journal from an American Revolutionary War officer who fought against the Iroquois Indians, the U.S. Army calls in their top field historian to assess its contents. Jake Tununda, combat vet and half-Seneca Indian, is stunned when he gleans from the journal’s cryptic Masonic passages clues to the location of an ancient shaman’s crown once protected by the White Deer Society, a secret cult of his forefathers. Jake soon realizes why his ancestors’ history was best kept buried. And why peaceful, rural central New York’s Finger Lakes region can be deadlier than any battlefield he had ever faced. Crown of Serpents, a mystery thriller set in the former heartland of the Iroquois Empire, takes Jake on a fast-paced hunt to find the elusive crown – and protect it. He teams up with Rae Hart, an alluring state police investigator, as they snake their way across a politically turbulent landscape marked with murder, arson, lies, and deceit. Deciphering codes, digging up war loot, and fending off the henchmen of billionaire Alex Nero, a ruthless Indian casino magnate, Jake and Rae’s survival skills are put to the test. The clues to the crown ultimately lead them deep within sacred Indian caves hidden under the abandoned Seneca Army Depot where the magnitude of the crown’s power is revealed.

While the story is fictitious it is steeped in local history, legend and geographical accuracy. Michael Karpovage is not only an astounding author, he is a cartographer by trade! As a guest he will speak about both his writing and his profession as a map maker.