Couple pledges largest donation in Terra State history
Wanda and Arnold Coldiron have always been extremely generous benefactors to Terra State Community College. Their latest gift, however, is history-making.
The couple has pledged $1 million to Terra State in memory of Wanda’s brother, former professor Ron Neeley. The donation will result in the naming of the newest facility on campus – the Ronald L. Neeley Conference and Hospitality Center.
“I know it’s cliché to say that I am speechless, but there’s no better way to say it,” said Terra State president, Dr. Jerome Webster. “Generosity like this is life changing for our college and our students. We are beyond appreciative to the Coldirons for this donation, and we assure them that we will be good stewards of this gift.”
Neeley was a graduate of Fremont Ross, and proudly served in the U.S. Air Force in Korea. Using his talents as an artist, he became a “nose painter” for aircraft. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University and taught art for Fremont City Schools and Woodmore Local Schools before coming to Terra State.
He helped develop the graphics program at Terra State and taught in the program for 18 years. He also helped establish the annual art shows that continue today at the college.
A scholarship fund in Neely’s name was created shortly after his death in 2006. The Coldirons have endowed the Ronald L. Neeley Memorial Scholarship Fund in the amount of $72,000 to assure that a minimum of three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded annually for Terra State students.
Also, in 2011, the Coldirons donated $105,000 during a capital campaign for the renovation of the Bordner Arts and Health Technologies Center. The Ronald L. Neeley Performance/Exhibit Studio and the Ronald L. Neeley Art Studio were dedicated on Sept. 30, 2011.
The Neeley Conference and Hospitality Center is approximately 9,700 square feet. It serves as a culinary lab for hospitality management students and also allows the college to offer conference services to the community.
For more information, call Lisa Williams at 419-559-2355.
A favorite family photo of Ron, left, Arnold and Wanda
Eastwood Hall of Fame
Members of the newly-formed Eastwood Alumni Association are developing a Hall of Fame and are in the process of inducting a first class, which will include the Dallas Gardner family, the Doyce (Frenchy) Filiere family and the Dale Bruning family.
A banquet will be held Feb. 22, 2014 at 7 p.m. at Riverview Banquet Hall (formerly Pemberville Legion Hall). Social hour will be held from 6-7 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for youths 12 and younger and will be sold at home basketball games. For more information, call Joyce Brinker at 419-250-2669 or e-mail
Library offering early learning station
Preschoolers visiting the Harris-Elmore Public Library can enjoy an early-literacy station – a touch-screen computer loaded with educational software programs that encourage learning in areas such as math, science, social studies, music and art.
The purpose of the early literacy station is to help prepare children for school by encouraging learning through the Five Practices of Early Literacy – talking, singing, reading, writing and playing. The station, located in the computer area of the library, is available during the library's normal business hours.
The library is located at 328 Toledo St., Elmore. Call 419-862-2482 for more information.
Small Business Basics
The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College is offering free, two-hour “Small Business Basics,” that will answer questions about starting, buying or expanding a small business.
The seminar will help entrepreneurs avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary steps. Participants will learn the basics of name registration, licensing, taxes, zoning, business entities, employees, insurance, financing and business planning.
The January schedule includes;
Wednesday, Jan. 8, – 9:30-11:30 a.m., Ottawa County Improvement Corporation (conference room), 8043 W. SR. 163, Oak Harbor;
Wednesday, Jan. 29 – 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Terra State Community College (Building A, Room 314), 2830 Napoleon Rd., Fremont
To register or for more information, call Bill Auxter, director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra toll-free at 800-826-2431 or email
Public safety courses
Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers, 1306 Cedar St., Fremont, will offer public safety courses beginning in January.
Class 1 includes a Basic EMT class, which will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., starting Jan. 16.
Class 2, a Paramedic Program, will be held Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. beginning in March. (Pre-requisites are anatomy and physiology.)
A Professional Firefighter Program will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. beginning Jan. 9. Enrollment is still open.
To register for any of the classes or for more information, call 419-334-6901, ext. 2731.
Private pilot ground school
The Fremont Flight Academy will host the 6 annual Private Pilot Ground School starting Jan. 18, 2014.
In order to earn a Private Pilot's License, the Federal Aviation Administration requires a student to pass three tests; a written test, oral test and flight test.
The school's main objective is to give the instruction necessary for the student to be confident to pass the written and oral portion of their private pilot test. The FAA requires that a student receive ground training in several areas and this ground school is designed to surpass all FAA requirements.
Classes will be held at the Fremont Airport on Saturdays Jan. 18 through March 29 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Fremont Airport, located a mile south of Terra Community College on S. SR 53.
For info or to register, call Rex at 419-332-8037.
Adult morning swims set
The Oak Harbor High School pool will be open for an Adult Morning Swim beginning Jan. 13.
“While the priority for use of the pool is for B-C-S students and student athletes, the next priority is to open up the pool for use by community members to enjoy this awesome facility while breaking even on expenses,” said Benton-Carroll-Salem Superintendent Guy Parmigian. Expenses include utilities and the cost of staffing a lifeguard.
The Adult Morning Swim program will be open to community members from 8-10 a.m. Monday through Fridays with the following schedule and cost:
• Jan. 13-31–$25
• Feb. 3-28–$30
• No swim March 3-28
• March 31-April 30–$30
• May 1-30–$30
• June 2-30–$30
The pool will be closed Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 20), President’s Day (Feb. 17), Good Friday (April 18) and Memorial Day (May 26).
Mr. Parmigian went on to state that district will need at least 25 participants per month to be able to break even on expenses for operating the pool with a lifeguard: “If we cannot get at least 25 people to participate, we will have to discontinue the Adult Morning Swim because we cannot afford to run the pool in the red.”
Community members interested in signing up for the swim program should visit the Board of Education Office which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Participants will be required to pay one month in advance, and will be given a pass for the month. There will be a $5 discount for purchasing a pass for all five months (January through June, excluding March).
For more information, call 419-898-6210.
R.C. Waters earns honors
R.C. Waters Elementary School in Oak Harbor, which serves students in grades K-3 in the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District, has been named a “High Progress School of Honor” by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). R.C. Waters was the only school in Ottawa County to earn the award.
According to ODE, “High Progress Schools of Honor” score in the top 10 percent of schools as ranked by gains in reading and mathematics combined proficiency in all tested grades for the past five years. They also are in the top 10 percent for gains in graduation rate during the past five years.
The department also considers Adequate Yearly Progress, Value-Added measures of student growth and Local Report Card ratings when determining award selection.
“High Progress Schools of Honor establish an educational goal for their students and continue to pursue and exceed that goal each year,” said Richard A. Ross, state superintendent of public instruction. “The principals, teachers, parents and community members provide a high-quality education and believe that children can overcome significant challenges, and that they can learn.”
R. C. Waters was also recently named a “School of Promise.” B-C-S Schools Superintendent Guy Parmigian said, “The entire B-C-S School District community is very proud of the two recent awards earned by R.C. Waters Elementary School. The awards are proof of the extraordinary progress that can be made for students when staff, families, and community come together in a common purpose.”
Owens graduates 637
Six hundred thirty-seven candidates for graduation, including 139 from the Findlay-area Campus, received their degrees during the 33rd annual Owens Community College Fall Commencement held Dec. 13 in the Student Health and Activities Center on the College’s Toledo-area Campus.
Joseph Napoli, president and general manager, Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye served as the keynote speaker.
Maja Valusek, an office administration technology major graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors, was selected as the Owens class representative and will address the graduates during the ceremony.
The 28-year-old Toledo resident was born in Croatia and fled the war-torn eastern European country for neighboring Serbia with her family in 1991. Her journey to Owens Community College started at the University of Novi Sad in Novi Sad, Serbia, where she met her future husband, Boris. She never completed her degree in tourism management after Boris received a U.S. Green Card in 2008. The couple married and moved to the Toledo area upon entering the U.S. in March 2009.
Valusek is the first person from her immediate family to earn a college degree. She plans to continue her education and earn a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and perhaps complete a master’s degree in the future.
“It is a huge accomplishment to finally get this degree after four years of schooling in Serbia and two-and-a-half years here in Toledo,” Valusek said. “I am happy that all the hard work and sleepless nights paid off, and in such an amazing way – by being given the opportunity to represent all student graduates this fall.”