Every school day, in school buildings throughout Northwest Ohio, amazing students are doing phenomenal things under the guidance of dedicated teachers.
Following are just a few of 2011 highlights from local school districts. More information about the local districts, and their individual buildings, visit their websites.
• For the second year in a row, B-C-S earned a state designation of “Excellent.” For the first time ever, the district met all 26 out of 26 academic indicators, which include achievement on the Ohio Achievement Assessments, Ohio Graduation Test, attendance and graduation rates.
| Artist Cassie Williams, a volunteer from Home Depot, paints a
logo on the wall of the chemistry lab as Father Eric Schild and
Home Depot Manager, John Smith look on. Home Depot
brought a crew of 30 team members into Cardinal Stritch High
School to renovate the chemistry and physics lab. (Press photo
by Ken Grosjean)
• Students, alumni, staff and members of the community attended a farewell celebration for Rocky Ridge Elementary School, which closed its doors at the end of the school year after 95 years. In December, the school board approved a resolution to close Carroll and Graytown schools for the 2012-13 school year.
• Oak Harbor Middle School teacher, Kelly Croy, was selected by Apple Corporation as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE). There are fewer than 1,600 ADEs worldwide and less than 400 in the U.S.
• The district expanded the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program to the high school. The program, designed to help restructure the existing school environment in order to reduce opportunities for bullying, was already implemented at B-C-S elementary schools and Oak Harbor Middle School.
• School improvements included installation of smartboards throughout the district, a partial roof replacement at the high school, parking lot replacement on the west side of the high school, installation of a master kill switch at R.C. Waters Elementary, and building of the new high school soccer field.
• All staff and students have been trained in the nationally acclaimed Olweus Bullying Program.
• The district is in the process of looking into a 1:1 technology program where students would have access to an electronic device for research, homework, classroom assessment and communication. The program options range from a “bring your own device,” where students can use any device they own to support their work at school, to a district-purchased laptop, netbook or tablet. Plans are to make a recommendation to the Board in May and to look at implementation for the 2013-14 school-year.
• All of Eastwood’s buildings now have complete wireless environments, allowing students to take their lessons anywhere, anyplace, and anytime.
• Students are encouraged to follow “The Eagle Way” – “We want them to Do What’s Right, Do the Best You Can, and to Treat Others as You Want to be Treated,” Superintendent Brent Welker said. Students have the chance to earn t-shirts for demonstrating the tenets of the Eagle Way.
• A new district webpage – www.eastwoodschools.org –features news events and district information for all schools.
Genoa Area Local Schools
• A dedication ceremony for the new state-of-the-art K-5 elementary building was held Aug. 14.
• New seats, carpeting and a sound system were installed in the high school auditorium.
• Genoa High School had all lights replaced and new windows installed, and Genoa Middle School had all lights replaced as part of HB 264.
• Genoa High School Leadership Board sponsored a Box City to promote homelessness awareness; a Pay It Forward event to help local families during the holidays, and a Trick or Trunk for elementary students at Halloween.
• The annual Stella Bertz Memorial Cheer for a Cure raised $35,000 through the cheerleading competition, donations, and shirt sales.
• Genoa Middle School started a Mix It Up Day where students all changed seats at lunch to raise awareness of diversity
• The 6th Annual Achievement Breakfast honored 185 middle school students along with their parents for making the Honor Roll two times
Gibsonburg Exempted Village Schools
• Rated as an “Excellent” district by Ohio Department of Education. Hilfiker Elementary was “Excellent” for the fourth straight year
• Teachers returned from summer break to find classrooms outfitted with Front Row Sound Distribution Systems for amplification, Epson short throw projectors, and computers with mimio software, which enables the projector to turn a regular whiteboard into an interactive teaching tool. Missing were televisions, as the projector serves as a television and media player. Student Response Systems were placed in HS/MS classrooms.
• The district began year two of a comprehensive staff development program titled “Gibsonburg Schools 21st Century Learning Project.” This program features direct instruction on 21st Century Tools, cooperative learning, peer coaching, and is facilitated utilizing summer courses and workshops, full in-service days, two-hour delays and after-school remediation.
• Athletic teams began conference play in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference in the fall of 2011.
Kateri Catholic Schools
• In May, Cardinal Stritch High School commemorated its 50th year in existence as an educational institution at a celebration attended by about 800 people. The celebration also marked the first anniversary of Kateri Catholic Academy. New logos for both Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School and Kateri Catholic Academy were introduced.
• George Tschann, a longtime supporter of Stritch and Kateri schools, donated 15 acres of land that borders Pickle, Worden Schmidlin and Coy roads.
• Complete updates have been finished in the school chapel, cafeteria and gym.
• Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School and Kateri Catholic Academy’s new Academic Achievement Program, initiated in November 2011, offers students free academic help from peer and professional tutors after school Tuesdays through Thursdays. Many students are taking advantage of this free tutoring program.
• Cardinal Stritch and Kateri Catholic Academy have partnered up with the local business community to offer a rich academic experience that promotes an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) fields.
• Cardinal Stritch will offer the region’s only STEMM program in 2012-13, complete will a STEMM corridor – a space renovated to enhance the learning experience in the classroom.
• Kateri Schools announced that in the 2012-2013 school year, Catholic Academy Students will have access to iPads in the classroom and all incoming freshmen will receive an iPad 2 as part of the school’s commitment to providing students with one of the region’s most progressive technology programs.
• Larry and Susie Davenport are donating The Serengeti assessment process for use by seniors. The Davenports, together with their son, Adam, president of Gorillas and Gazelles LLC, a professional services firm based in Perrysburg, are underwriting the assessment program that helps to determine an individual’s preferences and motivations, designed to help students find their best-fit college, major, and degree program.
• Space is being created at Cardinal Stritch to house four Optishot Infrared Golf Simulators, state-of-the-art technology designed to advance golfers to a higher level.
• Forty-three Cardinal Stritch students went to Washington, D.C., to participate in March for Life, an annual pro-life rally held in Washington, D.C. on or around the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion.
Lake Local Schools
• Construction continues on the new high school building, which is on schedule to open for the 2012-13 school year.
• Lake High School’s Students In Action Club attended and was recognized at the National Jefferson Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
• Superintendent and Board President gave several presentations on “Recovering From a Natural Disaster.”
• Art Department teachers presented at the State Art Conference in Dayton to a standing room only audience.
• The district saw increased enrollment in kindergarten.
• Interactive white boards in all kindergarten and first grade classrooms are used in daily lessons. Numerous SMART boards (interactive boards) were installed at Lake Elementary.
• The district improved school safety by installing room numbers on classroom windows and numbering all outside doors to assist Emergency Responders.
• Suburban Lakes League All-Sports Champions.
Northwood Local Schools
“Much of the change at Northwood Schools over the last several years has been the result of efforts to provide high quality educational opportunities for our students in an economically efficient manner,” Superintendent Greg Clark said. “A few years ago the district employed 116 people. That has been reduced to 98.” Other highlights include:
• Northwood Schools are ranked “Excellent with Distinction” by the Ohio Department of Education.
• Northwood Schools continues to increase the number of students enrolled in the district through open enrollment, reducing the burden financial on local taxpayers.
• The district closed Lark Elementary School at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. All elementary students in the district are served on the Lemoyne Road campus.
• The administration office behind Olney Elementary was closed and administrative offices moved into the Northwood Elementary School.
• Renovations in the elementary building allowed the school office to be relocated inside the door near the parking lot, improving security in the building.
• A renovation of two spaces at the high school provided classroom space so that grades seven through 12 could be served in the building. A new media center was also accommodated.
Oregon City Schools
• More than 400 people attended a Farewell Open House May 22 at Wynn Elementary School, reminiscing over memorabilia that included a display of past school t-shirts, photos and more. The Wynn building, renamed the “Wynn Center,” is now a multi-functional facility that will provide space for a number of district programs and operations.
• Oregon Schools became a leader in the renewable energy industry with the approval and pending installation of two 100kw wind turbines at Eisenhower Middle School and one 750kw wind turbine at Clay High School. Future renewable energy projects include solar heating units at other school locations. These projects are economically cost effective, demonstrate environmental stewardship and are educationally beneficial to students through curricular activities.
• The district was selected to participate in an E-Tech Ohio grant for 21st Century Education that provided classroom sets of iPads to selected teachers and staff members at Clay High School. The grant also provided funding for additional laptops and the installation of a wireless network on the high school campus.
• Clay High School Language Arts teacher Marcia Punsalan was selected by BCSN in a highly competitive process as their “Teacher of the Month.”
• All elementary schools participated in fundraising activities and letter writing campaigns supporting the Northwest Ohio Honor Flight program that sends World War II veterans to Washington D.C. to visit and tour their new monument.
• The students, parents and staff at Coy Elementary School staged a production of the “Wizard of Oz” that was attended by standing-room-only crowds from the community.
Penta Career Center
• Penta Career Center students in the Public Safety/Criminal Justice program received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for Families and Groups – one of the highest honors bestowed upon members of SkillsUSA, a national student leadership organization. The award is presented annually through the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of President Barack Obama. The students earned the award for volunteering more than 1,200 hours over a 12-month period for various community service activities by assisting local school districts and law enforcement agencies in Lucas, Wood and Ottawa counties. Penta was only one of three schools in the United States to be a recipient of this award.
• Nick McCullough, from Eastwood High School, who is studying Public Safety/Criminal Justice at Penta Career Center, was elected in April 2011 as president of Ohio SkillsUSA, a career-technical student organization. This is the first time a student from Penta was elected as president of Ohio SkillsUSA.
Josh Graber, of Oak Harbor High School, a member of the Penta/Oak Harbor DECA student organization, was elected president of Ohio DECA. He is the second state DECA president in the last three years to come from a Marketing Education program through Penta Career Center.
• In 2011, students enrolled in Penta Adult & Continuing Education programs spent eight months refurbishing an older model recreational vehicle to become a modern mobile emergency command post for the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.
• A team of Penta students worked on a research and development project to assist H2 Engine Systems, LLC improve the fuel efficiency in diesel engines by using hydrogen. Students were able to experience the project from conception to development to manufacturing.
• Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary of the United States Department of Education, visited Penta Career Center on Sept. 6, 2011 as part of the department’s “Education and the Economy: Investing in our Future 2011 Bus Tour.”
Toledo Public Schools
• Renovations continue at Waite High School - updates include new technology, HVAC system, etc. Work should be complete by the end of this school year. A rededication ceremony will be scheduled.
• Waite received a grant from the NFL for new turf for their football stadium.
• The new Birmingham Elementary School opened on the first day of school Aug. 29.
• For the 80th consecutive year, Waite High School students delivered holiday gift and food baskets to needy families in East Toledo. This year, more than 60 baskets containing items for a holiday dinner, along with seasonal treats, were presented. The elementary schools in the Waite learning community held food drives in support of this event.
• The school district initiated a transition plan and now all elementary schools service students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Part of the transition also included adding distance learning labs in the high schools, which allows students at one high school to enroll in classes that might only be offered at another school. Also, seventh- and eighth-grade students are now able to take high school classes through the Early High School Option program. The students travel from their home elementary school to their high school each afternoon and they take two classes. Credit for these classes will be applied to the students’ high school GPA.
Woodmore Local Schools
• The district achieved an “Excellent with Distinction” rating, the highest ranking the state offers on the Report Card. “This is the result of very hard and focused work by our staff, students who really cooperated and worked hard, and parents who worked hard with their children to keep them focused,” said Superintendent John Fernbaugh.
• State Rep. Rex Damschroder attended a football game and presented the district with a proclamation from the House of Representatives.
• Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was very well received by the 7-12 student body when he visited and talked about the merits and responsibilities of voters getting to the polls.
• The district achieved huge gains in technology, using Permanent Improvement Money to install Smartboards in every classroom at a cost of approximately $90,000 dollars. Title II-A money was used to provide in-service on the Smartboards, including monthly visits to our district to help our teachers. New telephone switches were also installed because of continuous problems with the phone system. These were installed at a cost of approximately $50,000, but can be moved to our new building when we build.
• The musical “Happy Days,” presented under the direction of Mary Lowry, was a huge success and was performed to a full house all four nights.
• The board had the opportunity to purchase a building in Elmore for $150,000 to house the board offices in what is characterized by the superintendent as “a great business decision.” The board calculates the building and fiber optics will be paid for in less than six years.
• C.A.G.E. partnered with the board of education to build a “first-class structure” to serve as a concession stand, restroom facility and storage facility. The board also installed a new bleacher system with 850 seats on the north side of the football field. This is presently the visitors section.
• On March 19, 2011, the Woodmore High School Symphonic Chorale, Women’s Chorus, and Men’s Chorus participated in the Ohio Music Education Association District Large Group Adjudicated Event held at Oak Harbor High School. The Men’s Chorus earned an “Excellent” rating. Both the Women’s Chorus and symphonic Chorale earned a “Superior” rating qualifying them for the State Large Group Adjudicated Event. On May 7, 2011, both the Women’s Chorus and Symphonic Chorale earned a “Superior” rating, the highest rating awarded by the Ohio Music Education Association, at the State Large Group Adjudicated Event.