LWV awards Good Citizen scholarships

The Bay Village Chapter of the League of Women Voters Greater Cleveland has named two 2016 Bay High School graduates as outstanding “Good Citizens” of the school and community. Irini Kazanas and Jacob Melaragno were each awarded a $1,000 college scholarship at the Kiwanis Awards Night in May. Irini and Jacob were chosen for their superior qualities of character, scholarship and leadership.

Irini will attend Ashland University and major in early childhood education. While at Bay High Irini was involved in Key Club, National Honor Society, Treble Choir and the golf team. She was also active in the Greek Orthodox Youth Association, working with children in the community.

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Volume 8, Issue 15, Posted 9:09 AM, 08.02.2016

Westside Christian Academy launches pre-kindergarten

What exactly should a parent look for in a pre-kindergarten program? It was the question Kourtney Sladek, Westside Christian Academy’s new pre-kindergarten teacher, knew parents would be asking and it guided her in designing the program. The answer also was meaningful because she too is the parent of a preschooler.

“Was it more important to me that they be able to recite letter sounds? To name an octagon? To make cute crafts for holidays?” Sladek asked. “But what if my goal for my child was not to compete with the world but to lay a strong, meaningful foundation for education? What if I desired to have my children learn truths about God and themselves?”

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Volume 8, Issue 15, Posted 9:05 AM, 08.02.2016

Westlake teachers' contract is adopted

At a special meeting of the Westlake Board of Education on July 19, the Board voted to adopt the newly negotiated contract with the Westlake Teachers Association (WTA).  After more than a year of negotiations, both parties have reached a three-year agreement for the 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 school years. On Monday, July 18, WTA members voted to accept the agreement reached by the negotiating committee.

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Volume 8, Issue 15, Posted 5:39 PM, 07.19.2016

Bay Village Board of Education approves levy request for November ballot

The Bay Village Board of Education has voted unanimously to put a 5.9 mill operating levy on the Nov. 8 election ballot. The request reflects careful fiscal management that stretched a 2010 levy two years beyond its original four-year projection.

Homeowners would see a tax increase of approximately $17.21 per month (about $207 annually) for each $100,000 of home valuation if the levy passes. It would generate an estimated $3.1 million in additional revenue annually for the school district.

The 5.9 mill levy is to cover increasing costs for utilities, supplies, salaries, transportation, etc. The millage level also reflects the addition of increased instructional technology support and foreign language instruction starting at the elementary school level.

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Volume 8, Issue 14, Posted 9:48 AM, 07.19.2016

Westside Christian Academy adds grade levels, new principal

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Westside Christian Academy in Westlake is on its way to providing an education to students from pre-kindergarten through high school graduation. They launched the Upper School in fall 2015, combining the existing grades 7 and 8 with a new grade 9. Grade 10 and a pre-kindergarten class will start this fall. Plans are to add grades 11 and 12 in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

To lead the Upper School, WCA announced the hiring of Dr. Bernard J. Mauser, an assistant professor at San Diego Christian College. Dr. Mauser will be teaching and developing the curriculum in his role as principal.

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Volume 8, Issue 14, Posted 9:43 AM, 07.19.2016

Westlake selects new treasurer, DIS principal

At a special board meeting on June 22, the Westlake City Schools Board of Education unanimously selected Todd Hopkins as the district treasurer and Alexander Fleming as principal of Dover Intermediate School.

Mr. Hopkins is currently the treasurer at Brooklyn City Schools and previously served as the assistant treasurer and computer network manager. He also worked in the banking industry. His contract begins Aug. 1 and he will begin working with the district on an interim basis during the month of July while he finalizes work with the Brooklyn City Schools. Mark Pepera, the district’s outgoing treasurer will remain on contract through July 16.

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Volume 8, Issue 13, Posted 9:23 AM, 07.06.2016

Safe boating program graduates 36 students

The Bay Village Safe Boating class ended on June 27 with the final class of the summer being held at Whiskey Island Marina on Lake Erie. Thirty–six middle school students completed the class and were awarded certificates for their success in completing the Ohio Boating Education Course in May and three Mondays on the water during June.

Ohio Law requires any person born after Jan. 1, 1982, to complete a boating education course in order to operate a power boat with a motor of more than 10 horsepower. Students spent 35 hours learning how to boat safely and have fun on the water. The course follows the curriculum of the Spirit of America Foundation which is a national youth boating education program.  Students were required to take the Ohio Boating Education Class (OBEC) and pass the exam.

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Volume 8, Issue 13, Posted 9:22 AM, 07.06.2016

WHS Academic Challenge team finishes 3rd in nation

The Westlake High School Academic Challenge team took third place (with a record of 8-1) out of 41 teams from across the country in the recent Question Unlimited’s National Academic Championship in Chicago. The team qualified by performing well in earlier tournaments. Team members, pictured from left: Justin Krantz, Anna Craven, Patrick Lee, Ryan Karpuszka, Nico DiGiulio and Kyle Yu. (Not pictured: Alex Lathem.)

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Volume 8, Issue 13, Posted 9:23 AM, 07.06.2016

Bay Village Schools conducting community survey

The Bay Village City School District is conducting a survey of its residents to collect opinions on how the schools are managing academic offerings, finances and other district responsibilities.

“We engage with our residents in many ways, whether through formal groups and meetings, or just through consistent responses to phone calls and emails,” said Amy Huntley, president of the Bay Village Board of Education. “This random sample and survey is one way to reach out to people we seldom hear from.”

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:30 AM, 06.21.2016

Bay Middle School Destination Imagination team is first in the world

Bay Village Schools Destination Imagination advisor, Marian Harmount, reported from the Destination Imagination Global Finals, held May 25-28 in Knoxville, Tennessee, that out of 1,464 teams, from 21 countries, totaling more than 8,000 students, there was a first-place team from Bay Village, Ohio.

The Crew, a team of fifth-graders from Bay Middle School, placed first in the world at the elementary level in their challenge, The Meme Event. Members of The Crew are Iain Ray, Finn Meadows, Maeve Ransom, Annie Davenport, James Chilton, James Fowles and Patrick Lehane. The students were required to complete a service project and then make a presentation about it. First, the team raised money to donate to refugee families living in Lakewood. Then, they arrived at the Destination Imagination Global Finals and made their presentation. One reason their presentation was memorable was because the students rhymed the entire script.

A total of four teams from the Bay Village Schools qualified at district and state level competitions to complete at Destination Imagination's Global Finals.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:41 AM, 06.07.2016

BMS students recognized for drug prevention awareness posters

Bay Middle School students particated in the school's annual Drug Prevention Awareness Poster Contest, coordinated by both the science and art teachers in conjunction with the spring drug education unit and our state's drug awareness month. The first, second and third place winners and judges' choice award winners received gift certificates supported once again this year by Bay Kiwanis.

"Kiwanis is proud to support this program," said Kiwanis member, Foster McMasters. Coordinators of the program added: "We are glad the students and teachers take time to discuss and do projects around this important issue."

Approximately 60 students participated in the contest.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:47 AM, 06.07.2016

LBMS students sprint to top of competition

Lee Burneson Middle School seventh-grade pre-engineering students brought home three top awards in the Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) race at Cleveland State University on May 18.

The team of Makki Al-Saffar and Evan Wrightsman took home the title of Fastest Car from a field of 70 competing cars. Chloe Howlett and Brianna Ware’s car won the Most Innovative award, which was judged by NASA engineers and CSU students. LBMS also brought home the Most Spirit Award.

The JSS is a national event that challenges middle school students to design, test and race model solar cars within specific engineering constraints. This STEM activity was the second annual JSS race in Northeast Ohio and included students from Brecksville, Lake Middle School in Hartville, North Olmsted and Westlake.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:43 AM, 06.07.2016

New Bay High video studio lets students build production skills, showcase creativity

The countdown begins, “10, 9, 8 ...” A globe spins behind a launching rocket (a Bay Rocket, of course). The new Bay High School news and announcement video program, “Ground Control,” begins with impeccably dressed student co-anchors delivering school news, even lunch menus, in a way that is entertaining, interesting and fun.

The program is the result of a new video production studio at the school, funded by the Bay Village Education Foundation (BVEF). Creation of the studio also drove the adoption of a new course offering, “Video Production.”

“The days we tape the news are by far my favorite days of school, even if I’m not the anchor that day," said senior Jake Waffen. "I might be the switcher, or the camera operator, or the lighting person. We have boom mikes, we have the lavalier mikes, we have all kinds of different sound lines. Everything we put on is in full HD [high definition]. It’s really a great production.”

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:41 AM, 06.07.2016

21 WHS students inducted into National Spanish Honor Society

A group of Westlake High Spanish students became the newest members of the National Spanish Honor Society last month. Pictured are: (front row, from left) Diana Kalash, Rachel Cuellar, Madeline Dornon, Katherine Pavilonis, Leah Choban, Riya Desai, Christine Hughes; (second row) Catherine Frerman, Bushra Altabba, Nicole Korczak, Maura Ryan; (third row) Jeremy Schwochow, Mark Sargent, Bradley Katcher, Aris Jhaveri, Justin Krantz; (fourth row) Mohammad Alsi, Youseff Al-Shinnawi, Carter Hoon, Hong Liang and Alexander Lathem.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:42 AM, 06.07.2016

Students write about Immigration Trunk Day

My third-graders at Westerly School in Bay Village learn about immigrants during the period that Ellis Island was open. Students get a chance to compare life today with life in the past. Throughout this integrated unit, the students learn about immigrants from fiction and nonfiction texts as well as going on a virtual tour of Ellis Island. They learn to write letters and poems related to immigration.

As a culminating activity, the students participate in "trunk day." Each student is assigned a country and they learn about real immigrant families that settled in the Cleveland area. Each group has a chance to explore trunks or suitcases with artifacts, journals, logs and more. Here are two summary paragraphs written by two of my students.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:50 AM, 05.17.2016

Contracts approved for Bay Village Schools teachers and support staff

The Bay Village Board of Education approved new, three-year contracts with the district’s teachers and support staff members at its Monday, May 9, regular board meeting.

Both the Bay Teachers Association and the district’s OAPSE employees (including custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, maintenance staff and school secretaries) agreed to salary increases of 2 percent for the first year of their new contracts, with increases of 1.75 percent for each of the following two years.

"Thanks to the collaborative relationships between our administration, our teachers and our support staff, we can continue to offer a high-quality education to our students while maintaining sound fiscal management for our community," said Amy Huntley, president of the school board. "This stability is so important. It lets our board plan ahead to offer the best programs in the most cost-efficient ways. I know I speak for our board in saying how proud we all are of our staff members and their dedication to our children and to our community."

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.17.2016

Bay student is Honorable Finalist in Library of Congress contest

Bay Middle School fifth-grader Annabella Mayer was recognized as an Ohio Level 1 Honorable Finalist in the Library of Congress' Letters About Literature 2016 Contest.

Students entering the contest write letters to the author of a book that has made a difference in their lives. Annabella wrote her letter to author Jerry Spinelli about his book, "Stargirl."

Annabella explained that Mr. Spinelli's book helped her realize that she didn't need to fit in with the crowd. "I, like everyone, am not perfect. I don’t always fit in," she wrote.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.17.2016

WHS student named Jefferson Scholar

Westlake High School senior Bradley Katcher was named a Jefferson Scholar for the University of Virginia.

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation award is intended to cover the entire cost of attendance for four years at the University of Virginia, plus coverage of the supplemental enrichment experiences. Those opportunities include Team Challenge Program, Institute for Leadership and Citizenship, foreign travel studies, Alumni Connections Program, career counseling, public service fellows, and enrichment dinners and receptions.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:41 AM, 05.17.2016

Bay High’s Alana Bernys adds National Merit Finalist to list of honors

Bay High senior Alana Bernys has been named a National Merit Finalist. She is among less than one percent of U.S. graduating seniors who qualified for the distinction based on scores of the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) college entrance exam taken during their junior year.

Alana has previously been recognized for earning a top score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. She was also named a Presidential Scholar candidate earlier this year. She plans to pursue a double major in biochemistry and art history when she enters Darmouth College this fall to prepare for a career as a medical researcher in the field of genetics.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:46 AM, 05.17.2016

Westlake school board adopts strategic plan

The Westlake Board of Education adopted the outline presented by Westlake City Schools’ Strategic Planning Committee at its April 25 meeting. The committee is a cross-representational group of over 50 residents including business, nonprofit, civic, mental health, higher education, clergy, parent and neighborhood leaders.

“We want to thank the Strategic Planning Committee members for being forward thinking and sharing their input and ideas to help ensure our school district’s priorities are aligned with the needs of the community and the skills required to compete in today’s society,” said Board President Carol Winter. “Their commitment to this process demonstrates the importance of strong schools and a strong community.”

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.03.2016

Bay, Westlake earn silver medals in high school ranking

Bay and Westlake high schools have been designated Silver Medal Schools in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 ranking of America's Best High Schools. Bay High ranked No. 24 in Ohio (out of 890 high schools), and No. 583 nationally (out of 19,908 public high schools). Westlake High ranked No. 41 in the state, No. 968 in the country. Bay narrowly missed the Gold Medal designation, which is awarded to the nation's top 500 rated schools.

U.S. News and World Report considers a number of factors in its ranking. First, they determined whether each school's students were performing much better than statistically expected for the average student in the state, factoring in the percentage of the school's economically disadvantaged students, on math and reading proficiency tests.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:46 AM, 05.03.2016

Westlake Board of Education begins search for new CFO/treasurer

The Westlake Board of Education has begun the search process for a new chief financial officer/treasurer after Mark C. Pepera announced that he accepted a similar position with the Brunswick City School District. Pepera has been with Westlake City Schools since 1998 and received numerous national and state accommodations and accolades for excellence in financial reporting, a focus on transparency and superior audit results.

Pepera and his staff recently earned the district its 23rd consecutive national Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award, the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.03.2016

WHS ensembles perform well in state contest

Five Westlake High School vocal and instrumental ensembles received top ratings in their categories at the Ohio Music Education Association High School State Large Group contests last month in Medina and North Royalton.

Symphonic Band received a Superior rating with straight 1s in Class AA. Chorale also received a Superior rating with straight 1s in Class AA and was the only AA choir to achieve that rating.

Men’s Chorus received straight 1s in Class C – one of only two schools to achieve that rating. Women’s Ensemble received an overall Excellent rating/2 in Class B. Concert Band received an overall Excellent rating/2 in Class C.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.03.2016

Incoming superintendent addresses Westlake Kiwanis

Scott Goggin, the current superintendent of Midview Schools and soon-to-be superintendent of Westlake Schools, addressed the Westlake Kiwanis at a recent meeting. Scott is originally from North Olmsted and attended St. Edward in Lakewood. He has a degree in special education from Bowling Green State University and a graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling from Kent State University. He is currently working on a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Ashland University, which he expects to receive in August.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.03.2016

WHS students earn honors in national German exam

Westlake High School sophomore Kimaya Bakhle, a German 2 Honors student, reached the Gold level for scoring in the 92nd percentile on the 2016 National German Exam sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German. Her score made her eligible to apply for a free study travel award to Germany.

The National German Exam is given online each year to nearly 22,000 high school students. Each exam is comprised of 100 questions in listening and viewing, and reading.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.03.2016

Two Bay Village Schools administrators win top Ohio PTA honors

Ohio PTA presented its top honors to two of Bay Village Schools' own at its state conference on Sunday, April 12.

Normandy Elementary School Principal Dan Sebring was named the Ohio PTA District 12 Outstanding Educator. He was also named Ohio PTA's Outstanding Educator for the entire state. In addition, the district's Director of Curriculum, Char Shryock, was presented the prestigious Ohio PTA Oak Tree Award for her advocacy work on behalf of all Ohio's children.

Ohio PTA presented its top honors to two of Bay Village Schools' own at its state conference on Sunday, April 12.

Normandy Elementary School Principal Dan Sebring was named the Ohio PTA District 12 Outstanding Educator. He was also named Ohio PTA's Outstanding Educator for the entire state.

In addition, the district's Director of Curriculum, Char Shryock, was presented the prestigious Ohio PTA Oak Tree Award for her advocacy work on behalf of all Ohio's children.

Sebring shared credit for the awards with his staff. ""Our students are at the heart of everything we do," he said. "I am extremely honored to accept this award on behalf of the tremendous work we do as a team at Normandy. Although my name is on the award, truly it is representative of and attributed to everything we do as a highly collaborative staff who supports and cares for our students and each other. The recognition goes to all of Normandy School and the culture we have all worked to establish and maintain."

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:44 AM, 04.19.2016

WHS math team ranks 8th in Ohio

Westlake High School’s Math Club Team placed first at the 2016 Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM) Tournament at Lorain High School recently. The win ranks the team eighth in Ohio out of 80 teams from across the state.

Sophomore Ryan Karpuszka and junior Justin Krantz will advance to the Ohio High School Mathematics Invitational Olympiad in Columbus.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:40 AM, 04.19.2016

Bay school district nears end of levy cycle

The Bay Village City School District held its annual State of the Schools event at the Board of Education office on April 7. The theme of the presentation was “fiscal responsibility” as the district approaches the limit of how far it can stretch the 2010 operating levy. The main topics in Superintendent Clint Keener’s address were Bay Schools’ strong performance indicators and stable financial management, but the prospect of a new levy request is looming.

Bay Schools has undertaken a number of measures to control costs – like using in-house labor for construction projects and buying gently used textbooks on eBay. The district has been aided by historically low natural gas prices and favorable collective bargaining agreements. Despite these efforts, treasurer Kevin Robertson forecasts the district’s reserve fund will be depleted after 2019 if revenue remains flat and expenditures rise with inflation.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:08 AM, 04.19.2016

Bay High students address Syrian refugee problem at Model UN conference

Close to a half-million Syrians are now refugees fleeing their civil war-torn country where more than a quarter-million have been killed. The numbers are sure to climb, with another 6.5 million still inside Syria forced from their homes. The world must decide how to respond.

Bay High students explored the intricacies of this human catastrophe by adopting the roles of 15 different countries. They conducted deep and extensive research into each nation’s past positions on opening borders to refugees. They estimated potential costs of providing asylum. When the debates about how to help the refugees began in the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center meeting room on Friday, April 15, passions flared and the students learned there are no easy solutions.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:40 AM, 04.19.2016

LBMS class supports Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Lee Burneson Middle School intervention specialist Erin Blahnik and her special needs students recently presented a check for $1,000 to Guiding Eyes for the Blind to cover expenses of training guide dogs.

The students – Natalie Menta, Kevin Spieth, Jacob Blood and Mikey George – raised funds earlier this year through the sale of dog biscuits to the community. Guiding Eyes will use the $1,000 to cover the following expenses:

  • A guide dog’s annual vaccinations
  • Mobility training in urban areas
  • Meals for one month for one guide dog
  • Home-cooked meals and housing for a blind student in training
  • Costs toward raising a puppy in the foster family program
  • Special home training when needed
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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:43 AM, 04.19.2016

Westlake student's artwork on display in Columbus

Westlake High School junior Sara Massa’s collage art work was selected for the 2016 Ohio House of Representatives Student Art Exhibition. Her art will hang in the Verne Riffe Center for Government and the Arts for one year.

Sara’s piece was the only art chosen from District 16. The exhibition represents all 99 House districts in the state and recognizes the talents, creativity and innovations of students who receive high quality arts education instruction as part of their academic experience.

The exhibition is open to the public at the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts lower level Statehouse connector through Dec. 30.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:41 AM, 04.19.2016

Strategic planning committee to present goals for Westlake Schools

On Monday, April 11, at 6 p.m. at Lee Burneson Middle School, a group of parents, teachers and community leaders from Westlake City Schools’ Strategic Planning Committee will present their goals and initiatives for the district at the Board of Education meeting.

Westlake City Schools brought together a cross representational group of over 50 residents including business, nonprofit, civic, mental health, higher education, clergy, parent and neighborhood leaders in a six-part planning session. The purpose of the Strategic Planning Committee was to gather input, strategies and ideas to help set the course for the district’s future.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:02 AM, 04.05.2016

Our Heroes of Ohio

A mysterious man came to Westerly Elementary School on March 4. He had a white beard, a green shirt, red suspenders, black pants, and played the recorder. It was Rick Sowash, author of "Heroes of Ohio: Critters, Flitters & Spitters" and "The Boy Who Would Be Famous."

All the students learned about some of the greatest heroes of Ohio. Mr. Sowash taught us how to walk like a hero. You must have your chin up, walk straight, and be proud.

Thirty students practiced their parts for the assembly during the lunch and recess times. When the big day came, they all dressed up in costumes. I am betting that you want to know some of the heroes’ names. Emma Gatewood walked the entire Appalachian Trail at 68 years old and did it alone. Elizabeth Hauser wanted all the people of America to be able to vote because America belonged to all the people not just men. Last we learned about Jesse Owens who won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:11 AM, 04.05.2016

Bay Village Schools named one of nation's best music education communities

Despite increasing standards required for inclusion on the NAMM Foundation's Best Communities for Music Education list, the Bay Village City School District has once again been so honored for its exemplary music program. It is among just 476 districts nationwide to achieve the designation recognizing an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education. The district has been named to the list each year since 2003.

The designation takes on added significance with new research showing strong ties between music education and overall student success. A new body of evidence, released last year by Northwestern University brain researcher Dr. Nina Kraus, shows that participation in music education programs helps improve brain function and sparks language development. The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio highlighted the new research.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:05 AM, 04.05.2016

WHS students win Hyland showdown

Westlake High School's Computer Science Principles class team of Nick Irwin, Steve Columbro, Jack Bogart and Sneha Ramachandran took first place at the Hyland Software Innovation Showdown, held at their headquarters in Westlake on March 19.

Their entry, titled "Suitable," was selected as the winner among 16 entries from all over Northeast Ohio. "Suitable" is a virtual online apparel shopping experience, where customers can see how different clothes will look on them without having to go to a store, using their home computer or mobile device. It uses a 3D model able to be viewed from 360 degrees.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:02 AM, 04.05.2016

Active shooter training exercise at Bay High plans for the unthinkable

Bay High staff members and students collaborated with Bay Village police officers to prepare for the possibility of an armed intruder at the school. The training exercise took place Friday, March 11 – a day off school for students and a professional development day for faculty.

The morning began as a relaxed gathering in the cafeteria to enjoy coffee and donuts. Unexpected gunshots soon rang out, and two armed attackers had students running for their lives. Most students quickly escaped, but several were left injured by gunfire and screaming for help. Police officers killed or subdued the attackers before tending to the bleeding students, using tourniquets or other first aid for a variety of gunshot wounds.

The bullets were blanks, of course, and the injured students were playing roles. Teachers who tried to help the injured get away were asked to leave them there, as they were an important part of the officers’ training.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 9:57 AM, 03.15.2016

WHS freshman's film debuts at Cleveland festival

Westlake High School freshman Katie Cirincione's animated short film, "Checkers the Cat," was accepted and is part of this year's Cleveland International Film Festival, which runs March 30-April 10 at Tower City Cinemas.

Her stop-motion animation film is about a drawn cat named Checkers who comes to life. The piece was created when Katie was in pre-engineering teacher Kurt Thonnings' Electronic Communications class.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 9:57 AM, 03.15.2016

Westlake preschoolers follow Avon Lake eagles

A pair of eagles nesting outside an Avon Lake elementary school became a lesson for Kathy Nash’s Hilliard Elementary School preschool class.

Since the students were beginning a unit on national symbols, Nash incorporated the eagles into an International Baccalaureate unit of inquiry. The lesson helped her preschoolers develop questions and research skills, while incorporating math, science, social studies, language arts and social skills into the lessons.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 9:56 AM, 03.15.2016

LBMS student earns presidential honor

Lee Burneson Middle School eighth-grader Lauren Havelka was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award by the Corporation for National and Community Service, recognizing her for achieving 250 service hours.

Lauren was nominated for the award by her school. She is involved in a number of programs and organizations, including Builders Club (where she serves as president) at the middle school, Girl Scouts, Coats for Kids, Mutt Hutt and Second Hand Mutts.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.15.2016

WHS speech and debate team attends state tournament

The Westlake High School speech and debate team enjoyed a successful state tournament at Cincinnati Princeton. Over 1,000 students from 106 schools participated in the competition this year.

Bradley Katcher, Allyson Simon and Avi Kirpekar qualified for the state tournament after an excellent season with a winning record at the district tournament.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 9:58 AM, 03.15.2016