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

Demon Fest planned to add international flair to WHS hallways

A group of Westlake High School students are organizing a Demon Fest rock/acoustic concert with pop music to raise money to adorn the hallways of the high school with international flags.

Leadership Challenge’s Diversity group was working on the international flag installation the past two years, but the project stalled. Junior Austin Goetz, an International Baccalaureate (IB) student from Avon Lake, revived the project as part of his IB Creativity, Activity, Services project.

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

Westlake school board selects new superintendent

At its Feb. 22 meeting, the Westlake Board of Education approved the hiring of Scott Goggin, superintendent of Midview Local Schools, as its next superintendent effective Aug. 1. Goggin was given a three-year contract.

The Board began its search for the next superintendent in December 2015 with the assistance of a consulting firm. After developing a superintendent profile that was based on information provided by parents, teachers, administrators, support staff, senior citizens, major stakeholders and students, the Board reviewed 22 highly qualified individuals.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:28 AM, 03.01.2016

Bay High presents 'The Wizard of Oz' musical March 17-20

Bay High students present the wonderful "Wizard of Oz" musical Thursday through Saturday, March 17-19, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, March 20, at 2 p.m. at Bay High Auditorium.

Audiences will join Dorothy (Stephanie Jordon) after she finds herself in the Land of Oz following a Kansas twister. She and her new friends, the Scarecrow (CJ Hyland), the Tin Man (Phil Lally) and the Cowardly Lion (Matthew Szekely), enlist the help of Glinda the Good Witch (Kerry O’Brien) to get Dorothy back home. They appeal to the Wizard himself (Brad Beverly), who demands the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West (Salem Stacey) in exchange for his help.

From the dainty presentation of the Lullaby League, to the brusque welcome of the Lollipop Guild, to the scary Monkeys controlled by the Wicked Witch, the talented cast performs the roles and songs that everyone knows from this much-loved musical. It is sure to captivate every age group.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.01.2016

Bassett students plan spirit week fundraiser for cancer research

Bassett Elementary School fourth-grade students Ireland Shea and Halle Stephens saw a need and decided to take action.

Saddened by news of victims of childhood cancers, Halle and Ireland decided to do something about it. They chose to plan a spirit week to raise money for cancer research and to plant a tree in honor of all sick children in conjunction with their International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) exhibition project. The project focused on self-expression and the national parks.

With the support and encouragement of their teacher Pam Hughes, IB coordinator Deb Wadden and their parents, the girls researched organizations and navigated the process of planning their event, including a presentation of their detailed plan to Principal Jim Sanfilippo for approval.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:28 AM, 03.01.2016

Safe boating class for 6th-8th grade students

Bay Village Schools and the Spirit of America Foundation will provide a hands-on boating safety education program this summer for sixth- through eighth-grade students. The nationally recognized program, known as Spirit of America (SOA), provides students both classroom and on-the-water sessions to teach safe boating skills.

Participants will take the Ohio Boating Education Course on two Saturdays in May. This meets the Ohio law that requires "any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, to show proof they have completed an approved boating course if they are operating a power boat over 10 horsepower." This OBEC class is mandatory and students must attend both days and pass an exam. Boy Scouts can earn their small boat sailing, canoeing, and motor boating merit badges by completing the course and some additional requirements.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:36 AM, 03.01.2016

Public invited to meet Westlake superintendent finalists

The Westlake Board of Education has narrowed down two finalists for the superintendent position from a slate of eight professionals.

Scott Goggin, superintendent of Midview Local Schools, and Roxann Ramsey-Caserio, assistant superintendent of Lakewood City Schools, are Westlake’s two superintendent finalist candidates.

The Board of Education invites the public to two “Meet the Finalist” nights on Wednesday, Feb. 17, and Friday, Feb. 19, at 4:30 p.m. at Parkside, 24525 Hilliard Blvd. Ramsey-Caserio will present on Feb. 17, and Goggin will present on Feb. 19. After meeting with the community, both candidates will have a final interview with the Board of Education, which anticipates hiring a new superintendent before the end of February.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:31 AM, 02.16.2016

Bay, Westlake seniors make list for prestigious honor

Bay High senior Alana Bernys and Westlake High senior Alex Ikezawa have been named as Presidential Scholar candidates in the first round of the highly selective national academic honor.

The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. The selection of approximately 4,000 original program candidates generally is made based on SAT and ACT scores. Approximately 800 candidates are named semifinalists and forwarded to a Commission on Presidential Scholars for further review. The commission will select up to 161 Presidential Scholars finalists.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:12 AM, 02.16.2016

Getting fashion-ready for the prom

Seniors modeled the latest gowns and tuxedos at the annual Westlake High School PTSA prom assembly on Feb. 10. Safe driving and responsible behavior during prom and graduation season are the main messages of the assembly, but the prom fashion show is always the highlight.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:33 AM, 02.16.2016

Bay Village Foundation announces scholarship

The Bay Village Foundation is accepting applications for a $2,000 scholarship towards tuition for students enrolled in a full-time college or trade school program. Multiple scholarships may be awarded.

The application form is available in the high school guidance office or it may be downloaded from Completed applications should be submitted back to the high school guidance office by Wednesday, March 2.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:05 AM, 02.16.2016

WCA graduate returns as teacher

After several years of being homeschooled, Emily Billings entered Westside Christian Academy in Westlake as a third-grade student and graduated five years later. This academic year she returned to WCA, now a K-12 school, to teach third grade.

“When I returned to WCA in the fall, I felt as if I was coming home. I always felt cared for and genuinely loved by my teachers,” said Billings.

Their love and care extended beyond her time at WCA. One teacher in particular, Kathy Foldesy, now the Director of Curriculum and Instruction and an Upper School teacher, was Billings’ “go-to” person in high school and college. When her father became sick during her college years, Foldesy was a consistent presence, becoming her life coach with a healing touch. Now as colleagues, Billings knows she can draw on Foldesy’s teaching experience at WCA. In addition, Billings was recently married. Now the women and their husbands have become close friends outside of the school.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:28 AM, 02.16.2016

Montessori students explore the solar system

The kindergarten students at Westshore Montessori in Westlake recently completed a science activity in brain building with STEM. The students naturally have many questions and were taught to ask beyond the "why" question, but ask a "what" question too. "What" questions focus on what is happening, what are you noticing and what are you doing.

Those answers were right in front of the students recently when we explored the solar system. The planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are in an ellipitical alignment and can be see in the very early morning until Feb. 20. The students were able to make observations and apply problem solving by using variety of materials to create their understanding of the planets in our solar system.  

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:51 AM, 02.02.2016

St. Raphael students travel the world

On Monday, Jan. 11, students from St. Raphael School traveled to far away places like Congo, Mount Rushmore and the Great Barrier Reef. But they never left Bay Village. Thanks to staff members Amy Allen and Libby Mason, Google selected St. Raphael as one of only a few schools in the state of Ohio to be part of a Google pilot called the Expeditions Pioneer Program.

Using just a Google Cardboard viewfinder equipped with a smart phone, and guided by their teacher using a tablet, students were able to experience field trips across the globe that school buses certainly couldn't take them. Many students had the chance to get up close and personal with a gorilla.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:54 AM, 01.19.2016

Bay Village Board of Education seeks applicants for school board member position

The Bay Village Board of Education is accepting applications from Bay Village residents who are interested in serving on the school board. Board member Michael Caputo announced that he will resign his position effective Jan. 14, citing his increasing career responsibilities.

The newly appointed board member will complete Caputo's current term, which expires Dec. 31, 2017, and could run for election to an additional four-year term on the November 2017 election ballot.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:00 AM, 01.05.2016

St. Raphael girls win holiday basketball tournament

The Saint Raphael's seventh-grade girls basketball team showed heart, grit and resilience as they pulled out a victory in the finals of the annual St. Mark Athletic Association holiday tournament at the end of December. The champions, from left: Elizabeth Koeth, Ellen Lloyd, Anna Godlewski, Adele Frain, Reegan O'Leary, Carys Vargas, Natalie Leszcz. Not pictured are Stephanie Laraway, coach Jenna and Leo Godlewski, and Coleman O'Leary.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:59 AM, 01.05.2016

Westlake students share family traditions

The holiday season has arrived, a time for rejoicing, connecting with loved ones and creating memories that will last a lifetime. For the Observer's annual last-issue-of-the-year feature, Mrs. Pam DeAnna of Bassett Elementary School in Westlake asked her third-grade students to share favorite family traditions. Their varied responses recall special moments throughout the year, from Christmas to Halloween to Eid to the Fourth of July.

Christmas Morning
by Ben M., Bassett
My favorite holiday is Christmas, because we do fun things to celebrate it. I wake up very early every December 25th morning to see the gifts Santa Claus has brought. After I look, I go back upstairs and go back to sleep. I fall asleep again and the next thing I know, I hear voices saying: “Wake up Ben, it’s Christmas!” I roll out of bed and rush downstairs and we look in our stockings and open our presents. We also have breakfast. After we are all done with that, we play with our new toys and other stuff. We have a lot of fun! That is how my family spends their Christmas morning.

Gingerbread Houses
by Ashley S., Bassett
One of my favorite family traditions is making gingerbread houses. I love to listen to Christmas music and talk with my family as I decorate my gingerbread house. It is fun to sing along with the Christmas carols while decorating my house. I love to decorate my gingerbread house with lots of candy and icing. Candy canes, gumdrops, and Tootsie Rolls are some of my favorites to decorate with. I love the smell of the gingerbread and the candy. It smells so good that sometimes I sneak a little piece of candy and pop it into my mouth. I love decorating gingerbread houses and I think that it is a very fun way to get ready for the holidays!

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:45 AM, 12.15.2015

Bay Village students share family traditions

The holiday season has arrived, a time for rejoicing, connecting with loved ones and creating memories that will last a lifetime. For the Observer's annual last-issue-of-the-year feature, Mrs. Martha Fisher of Westerly Elementary School in Bay Village asked her third-grade students to share favorite family traditions from this time of year.

A Very Merry Christmas!
by Suresh V., Westerly
I am always excited that Christmas is on the way. Are you? My family decorates for Christmas Eve on Thanksgiving Day. We decorate a six-foot tree with ornaments. We have about 45 ornaments. We put up about 35 ornaments. We leave the rest in the boxes. After we put up the Christmas tree we enjoy a wonderful meal. We eat turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, apple pie, green bean casserole, stuffing and carrots. Before we eat we take pictures of our family, including the turkey. On Christmas Eve we collect our Christmas books. My mom reads the books to our family. We decide which one to read first. My favorite story is about Santa Claus not delivering toys and he is on a beach in California. I hope that the story is not true!

by Adrianna P., Westerly
Going to my grandma’s house is always very special. First, we go to my grandma’s house. Her house is like a museum and she likes to cook. The house is like a museum because she has lots of old things and her house is really big and fancy. She has pretty glass vases, a fireplace and a basement with lots of toys. She also has big couches and lots of plants, of course. She has tomatoes and cucumbers and green beans and eggplants with lettuce. The special thing at my grandma’s house is we celebrate, take pictures, drink hot chocolate, and roast marshmallows. We also eat cake and cupcakes. Even when I am a grown up I will still remember the fun I’ve had when I was little at my grandma’s.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:45 AM, 12.15.2015

Westlake students give back

There is a lot of giving going on in the Westlake Schools this holiday season. Along with the traditional hat and mitten trees at the elementary schools to supply needy children with winter clothing needs, Westlake students have organized a variety of community service projects.

The Lee Burneson Middle School Builder’s Club donated a van full of canned food for Thanksgiving to the Westlake Assistance program. The club also will use its own funds to adopt a family this holiday season. Students will shop for gifts, wrap them and drop them off for the family at the Westlake Community Services Department.

Dover Intermediate School students, led by sixth-grade science teacher John Gast, collected and donated toiletries and other necessities for the Homeless Outreach Program at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. The Outreach Program also helps with job placement services for veterans, so students also collected lightly worn ties and new dress shirts/interview attire.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:35 AM, 12.15.2015

St Raphael Builders Club collecting pillowcases

The St. Raphael School Builders Club, with the help of the Bay Village Kiwanis Club, is collecting new pillowcases as part of an international program, Little Dresses for Africa. This organization is active in all 50 states, Canada, Australia, the UK and Singapore.

The non-profit organization uses pillowcases to make dresses for girls living in orphanages in the underdeveloped countries in Africa. The donated pillowcases are sent to missions that will cut and sew them into simple dresses. The AIDS pandemic has left many young girls in the care of their older siblings, who are unable to provide even the minimum necessities of life, like their own little dress.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:39 AM, 12.15.2015

Holly Lane student places 2nd in coloring contest

Holly Lane third-grader Paige Bammerlin won second place in the North Eastern Ohio Fire Protection Association’s fire safety coloring contest. This year's theme was “Earl says, ‘Hear my beep where you sleep!’ Have a grown up install photoelectric smoke alarms in and outside of your bedroom,” featuring the association's smoke alarm character, Earl Lee Warning. Paige's entry featured Earl exclaiming, "Smoke is no joke! Drop to the floor and crawl to the door!"

On Dec. 2, local and regional firefighters presented Paige with a plaque during the school’s monthly Wise Owl Wednesday assembly.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:36 AM, 12.15.2015

Bay Village groups announce annual grants for innovative classroom programs

The Bay Village Education Foundation (BVEF) awarded nine grants totaling $15,135 for its 2015 classroom grants award program. In partnership with the BVEF, the Bay Village Kiwanis funded three additional grants totaling $2,125.

Grant applications were submitted this fall by Bay Village City School District teachers and other staff members to enrich classroom education. All four Bay Village City School District K-12 buildings received grants.

“I am especially pleased that our collaborations with the Bay Village City School District will result not only in these wonderful classroom enrichment projects, but in alternative funding for other projects as well, based on the district’s goals and budget,” said Ellie Bricmont, chair of the BVEF grants committee. “The grants process has truly become a catalyst for moving the innovative ideas of our educators forward.”

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:52 AM, 12.01.2015

Bay High’s Laura Colagiovanni is new Ohio leader for Key Club

Bay High junior Laura Colagiovanni is barely into her term as International Key Club's Ohio Division Governor, yet the 16-year-old is already leading the state's Executive Board, overseeing 25 Lieutenant Governors, and mulling over a possible five-year strategic plan for the success of future Ohio Key Club boards.

“It’s truly a pre-professional experience,” said Laura. “I campaigned hard and was elected to the position. I’m running meetings using parliamentary procedure. I’m actually doing things that I’m studying about in AP Government.”

Laura didn’t foresee the leadership opportunities available to her when she signed up for Bay High’s Key Club as a busy freshman cheerleader. She just wanted to help people. She was recruited to become the club’s freshman representative. Once she had the experience of attending leadership meetings and working on projects with upperclassmen, Laura said she had found her niche.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:49 AM, 12.01.2015

Teens learn leadership tools

The 2015/16 Westshore Young Leaders Network continues to flourish as they spice up their Leadership Training by welcoming their new partner, Flo Brett, founder and executive director of Effective Leadership Academy, a Beachwood-based nonprofit. ELA partners with schools and youth groups to provide programs that help improve personal and organizational results through action-based team-building strategies, goal achievement, and positive attitude development.

Westlake Recreation Center was the site for the Annual Leadership Training where 100 middle/high school students from the six western suburbs and their school representatives put on their “Leadership Tool Belts” to become better equipped as leaders. Some of the tools in their belts included: putting on a leadership mindset, knowing yourself and your team, tuning up your personality, tackling team challenges and creating a web of influence.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:51 AM, 12.01.2015

Bay Village students honor, learn from veterans

Bay Village Schools students, from kindergarten to seniors in high school, continued the district's fine tradition of honoring our veterans on Veterans Day.

Normandy Elementary students brought in their veteran dads, moms, aunts, uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers for a ceremony and parade honoring them all. This followed weeks of activities where students in kindergarten through second grade learned about the tremendous service and sacrifice of our military heroes.

Students in third and fourth grade at Westerly Elementary brought in photos and stories about their family veterans to create a “Wall of Stars” honoring the fight for freedom.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:08 AM, 11.17.2015

Westlake High School to present 'Anything Goes'

Westlake High School’s Center Stage Players have put on amazing musicals every other year that typically incorporate a children’s chorus from Westlake’s grade schools, which was exemplified in last year’s wonderfully successful production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." This year, Westlake aims for a more classic musical with their production of "Anything Goes."

The age-old tale of boy-meets-girl takes place on an ocean liner, the S.S. American, bound from New York to London in the 1930s. Billy Crocker (played by Alex Lathem) is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt (Anna Renkel), who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Justin Godfrey). Evangelist-turned-nightclub-singer Reno Sweeney (Anna Parchem), Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin (Jacob Kraft) and Bonnie Letour (Emma Beekman) aid Billy in his quest to win Hope. Throw in Hope’s meddlesome mother (Cass Penegor), Billy’s bull-dog of a boss (Alex Kuhn), and a dozen of Cole Porter’s greatest hits and you’ve got a rambunctious musical comedy for the ages.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:16 AM, 11.17.2015

WHS Academic Challenge team begins season with wins

Westlake High School’s Academic Challenge Team began the competition season with top finishes in the first tournament, held Oct. 31 at South Range High School in Mahoning County.

Team A – Anna Craven, Justin Krantz, Alex Lathem, Patrick Lee and Kyle Yu – finished first out of 16 competing teams from 11 different schools. Team B – Nico DiGiullio, Ryan Karpuszka, Akhilesh Reddy, Jack Wu and Talia Zheng – took home a fourth-place finish. Team C – Akshya Dhinakaran, Ella Gray, Nate Gray, Esther Park and Albert Zhou – is comprised of all freshmen and won several matches.

Team advisors are John and Sandy Packis.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:06 AM, 11.17.2015

USDA notice for Parkside Preschool & Child Care Center

Parkside Preschool & Child Care Center at 23600 Hilliard Blvd., Westlake, Ohio 44145 announces sponsorship of the USDA funded Child and Adult Care Food Program. Meals are available to all enrolled participants without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability and will be served at no separate charge §226.23(d). The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 1:47 PM, 10.28.2015