Record year for Destination Imagination at Bay Village Schools

Three Bay Village Schools teams will compete at the Destination Imagination (DI) Global Finals at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, May 20-23. Their outstanding performances at DI's Ohio state tournament in Mount Vernon advanced the teams from Westerly Elementary, Bay Middle School and Bay High School to the international level. These three teams will be competing against teams from 45 states and 14 countries at the Global Finals. Over 16,000 attendees are anticipated to participate in this event, the world's largest celebration of creativity.

In all, 20 teams from the Bay Village Schools competed in this year's DI competition, beginning at the regional tournament held at Beachwood High School. This is a record number of teams sent by the district to this competition requiring innovative and creative problem solving, using skills from both the arts and sciences.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:43 AM, 05.19.2015

Buddy Benches at Normandy Elementary promote recess friendships

Students at Normandy Elementary School in Bay Village care about the feelings of all their fellow students. That is why members of the school's Students of Character Club (SOCC), a leadership group promoting good character traits and positive behaviors, figured out a way to help children who were feeling left out and lonely at recess.

The club of first- and second-grade children has been working all year to bring Buddy Benches to their school. The polished wood benches with colorful handprints painted on the backs have now been installed on the school playground. If a child is feeling lonely or doesn't have a friend to play with at recess, he or she can sit on a Buddy Bench. This is a signal to others on the playground to reach out and include that student in their recess fun.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:39 AM, 05.19.2015

Adapting to state tests

Bay Village forum covers struggles, hopes in transition to new education mandates

Bay Village Schools Superintendent Clint Keener made clear that he is committed to giving his district’s students their best chance at success, whatever the challenges that Ohio legislators send their way.

He told an audience at the April 28 State Testing Forum, sponsored by Bay Village PTAs, that testing, some kind of testing, is here to stay.

“Testing has always existed,” said Keener. “Testing always will exist. The question is, how much, when, what the test is … and does it measure what we think it measures?”

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:13 AM, 05.05.2015

Boosters fundraiser serves up the sweet sound of music

Want to enjoy a fun-filled day while supporting the music programs of Westlake City Schools? Come dig in to cake and ice cream and celebrate the musical ability of Westlake’s students at Music a la Mode on Saturday, May 9, in the Westlake Performing Arts Center.

The main fundraiser of Westlake Schools Music Boosters, this year's Music a la Mode marks the 60th anniversary of this daylong event, in which grades five through 12 show off their talent in choir, band and orchestra from 10:55 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:28 AM, 05.05.2015

WHS assistant principal tabbed to head Dover Intermediate

Westlake High School Assistant Principal David J. Schindler was appointed as the new principal at Dover Intermediate School by the Board of Education at the April 27 meeting.

Schindler was hired as a high school assistant principal in 2013 after spending 18 years with Positive Education Program (PEP), a specialized school in Cleveland for students with special needs.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:11 AM, 05.05.2015

Westlake math teams participate in national contest

Westlake’s middle and high school math teams placed among the Top 100 schools in the inaugural Math Madness  online contest sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America.

Math Madness featured live, team-based, online academic competition between almost 21,000 students from schools across the country. The contest included League Play with a round robin competition based on skill level, geography and common time availability. It concluded with the Bracket Challenge.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:12 AM, 05.05.2015

Bay Village fourth-graders use Skype to visit Statehouse observance of Lincolnís funeral

A 150-year anniversary observance took place last week commemorating the stop in Columbus of President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train as it made its way from Washington, D.C., to Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois. Fourth-graders at Bay Village’s Westerly Elementary School had a front-seat view of it all thanks to Skype and the district’s curriculum director, Char Shryock.

“I had to be in Columbus for another reason, and I saw that the observance was taking place,” said Shryock. “Our fourth-grade students have been studying the Civil War through the lens of Ohio history, and as it happens, I was able to leave early for my meeting so that I could Skype everything back to Westerly. Many of those funeral events were recreated, including a replica casket placed in the Statehouse rotunda. Historical interpreters were dressed in period clothing as part of a Civil War encampment on the Statehouse grounds.”

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:17 AM, 05.05.2015

WHS hosts first-ever Demon Football Lift-A-Thon

The Westlake High School football team and coaches geared up for the start of the 2015 season with a first-ever lift-a-thon fundraiser on Sunday, April 19, in the weight room at WHS. 

New WHS head football coach Jason Hall and his coaching staff, assisted by the new Westlake Football Backers, organized this event to showcase the work the team has been putting in all winter and early spring. 

“We want to motivate our student athletes to become bigger, stronger, faster and less susceptible to injury though strength training, stretching and agility work,” said Coach Hall.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:32 AM, 04.21.2015

Demons tennis team overcomes court plague

It seemed all the "elements" for a special Westlake men’s tennis season had aligned. Newly constructed courts, the return of a top player, an experienced, senior-laden lineup with a track record of success on-court and in the classroom, and a schedule of challenging opponents.

However problems with the newly reconstructed high school courts forced the Demons men’s tennis team to return to the home courts of the last few seasons at the Westlake Rec Center. The first match of the spring on March 31 welcomed the netters back with bitter cold.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:46 AM, 04.21.2015

Holly Lane named Hall of Fame School

The Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators announced that Holly Lane Elementary in Westlake has been selected as a 2015 Hall of Fame School. Principal Mimi Verdone and her staff will be presented with the award, including $1,000 to be used at the principal’s discretion. OAESA will recognize 10 winners of the Hall of Fame Award during an awards luncheon to be held June 12, in Columbus.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:35 AM, 04.21.2015

St. Raphael students collect over 8,000 items for food drive

St. Raphael students rallied behind their “March the Madness Out of Hunger” food drive, and collected 8,120 non-perishable food items. The amount collected was well over the school’s goal of 4,000 items, and far surpassed last year’s total of 5,500 items. 

“We are so appreciative of the students and parents who sorted, loaded and drove the food to area locations," said Ann Miller, St. Raphael School’s principal. "It went very smoothly, and everyone at the food pantries was so grateful for the food.”

All food collected was distributed to St. Malachi’s, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Jerome’s and St. Joseph Center in Lorain.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 10:06 AM, 04.07.2015

Bay High junior Alana Bernys earns top ACT score of 36

Bay High junior Alana Bernys earned the highest possible composite score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam she took in February. On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2014, only 1,407 of nearly 1.85 million students earned a composite score of 36.

Alana is a member of Bay High's National Honor Society, a Bay High Rockette, and a team leader for the school's Team Africa. She has been a serious student of ballet and is currently a member of the ballet company at Beck Center, putting as much as 11 hours per week into her pre-professional training.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:57 AM, 04.07.2015

These bunnies got a jump start on spring!

Mrs. Therese Laskey's class at Westshore Montessori Class studied germination of the grass seed under a grow light to help these bunnies get a jump start on spring. These bunnies don't have to rely on it being nice outside. They grow their own grass and take it with them wherever they go!

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:58 AM, 04.07.2015

Westlake students named semi-finalists in letter writing contest

A Lee Burneson Middle School student’s letter was named among the top 20 percent in Ohio to be a finalist in the Library of Congress’ Letters About Literature 2015 Contest.

Ameen Zayad, an eighth-grader at LBMS, had his letter chosen from among 165 semi-finalist letters from across the state as a finalist in the contest. In December, Deb Schrembeck’s eighth-grade language arts students, and Katie Beachler and Jessica Dye’s sixth-grade classes at Dover Intermediate School, entered the writing contest, which asks students in grades four to 12 to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author about how the book affected them personally. In Ohio, 1,784 letters were received. The top 20 percent were selected as state finalists. Nationally, about 8,000 letters make it to state-level judging.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:49 AM, 04.07.2015

Westlake superintendent hosts coffee talks

Whether you are a long-time resident or a new addition to the community, we invite you to enjoy Coffee with the Superintendent on the first Monday of the month, April through June, at Panera Bread in Westlake.

Westlake Schools Superintendent Geoff Palmer invites community members for coffee and an opportunity to discuss important school issues during a series of informal sessions planned for the remainder of the school year.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:48 AM, 03.17.2015

Attorney General Mike DeWine visits Bay High

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine described the work done by his office and the path he traveled in his political career when he visited Bay High School students on Thursday, March 5. Then he encouraged the students to become involved in politics on any number of levels.

DeWine provided many examples of how the Office of the Ohio Attorney General operates and areas of its responsibilities. His experience as a prosecutor laid the foundation for the investigative knowledge he brings to the job. One of his first priorities in taking office was to make the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), the state crime lab, faster and more efficient. That improvement, along with a new law that requires collection of DNA at all felony arrests, resulted in many cold cases, such as rapes, being solved.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.17.2015

Westlake students head to state geographic bee

Lee Burneson Middle School seventh-grader Christopher Haddad and Dover Intermediate School sixth-grader Logan Evans are heading to Columbus to represent their schools in the state Geographic Bee and to compete for the chance to represent Ohio at the National Geographic Bee in May in Washington, D.C.

School-level winners took a qualifying test and the top 100 scores were named semifinalists and eligible to compete at the state Bee. State qualifiers compete in an oral competition, to be held March 27 at the Ohio Dominican University in Columbus. Each state champion will receive $100, the National Geographic Atlas of the World, a medal and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state May 11-13 at the National Geographic Bee Championship.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:47 AM, 03.17.2015

Hilliard launches One School, One Book program

Hilliard Elementary School students embarked on an all-school book club on March 2 – One School, One Book. Every family received a copy of “The World According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney and was encouraged to read it as a family over the next three weeks.

The school kicked off the family literacy program with a school assembly that featured Humphrey himself. To prepare for the event, students watched video clues about the book and made predictions about the book plot and title.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:46 AM, 03.17.2015

Bay High students raise $21,000 for fight against childhood cancer

Bay High School students challenged themselves and the community to once again, as they did last year, hit the $20,000 mark in fundraising for St. Baldrick's Foundation. Thirteen students and staff members volunteered to have their heads shaved as the dollars piled in over just four days, hitting $21,358.27 by the time their hair hit the floor.

Bay High students and brothers Will and Connor Huntington chaired the event, which pooled the efforts of the school's Student Council, Key Club and Youth Philanthropy Fellowship (YPF). In addition to the Huntington brothers, other students getting shaved were Alex Bennett, Michael Clark, Connor Flynn, Tim Garner, Megan Hughes, Kyle McPhillips, Sarah O'Hare, and Olivia Risch. Staff members shaved this year were coach Dave Adams, teacher Scott Stelter, and security staff member Jeff Nemeth.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:45 AM, 03.17.2015

Westlake fair showcases young inventors

Here’s your chance to see just how creative our youth of today can be when it comes to solving problems and inventing solutions to them.

The Westlake City School District will holds its Invention Convention Fair at Dover Intermediate School on March 21 from 8 a.m. to noon. Invention Convention is a process of solving a problem, developing the invention idea to solve the problem, and designing a prototype of the solution.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:47 AM, 03.17.2015

Kindergarten students discover Morocco

The kindergarten children at Westshore Montessori School learned about a place in the world where deserts and mountains meet and where a child might easily find a camel to ride. A parent in the class of Mrs. Laskey and Miss Monica came to share her handicrafts and customs and of her cultural heritage. We explored the geography and traditions of this country of northern Africa. Everyone had a delicious mandarin orange, the biggest crop of Morocco!

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.17.2015

WHS seniors named Presidential Scholar candidates

Three Westlake High School seniors were named U.S. Presidential Scholar candidates.

Aswin Bikkani, Nicholas Craven and Kartik Dhinakaran are among 98 students from Ohio named candidates for this prestigious award. Each year, up to 141 students nationwide are named Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Application for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only. Students must score exceptionally well on either the SAT or ACT and submit candidacy materials, including essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts. Candidates are evaluated on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and an analysis of their essay.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:36 AM, 03.03.2015

Westlake High School prom assembly

On Feb. 23, Westlake High School hosted its annual Prom Assembly for the graduating seniors. The purpose of this event is to promote safe driving and responsible behavior during the many activities that take place during prom and graduation season.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:37 AM, 03.03.2015

5 WHS students recognized in career-tech programs

Three Westlake High School seniors will receive the Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary Outstanding Student Award for exceptional accomplishments in their West Shore Career-Technical District programs.

Eric Van Keuls will receive the award for service occupations training, Megan Knott for early childhood education/senior services and Colin Murphy for community-based training.

The award recognizes students who are the top performers in their career-technical programs. These students will be acknowledged at the Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary recognition luncheon on March 16.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:32 AM, 03.03.2015

Sponsor a Bay High student or staff member for March 12 St. Baldrick's fundraiser

Bay High students and staff members will have their heads shaved in the school's gymnasium on Thursday, March 12, to support St. Baldrick’s annual fundraising effort to fight childhood cancer.

Contributions to the effort can be made by visiting

This is the second consecutive year that the school’s students and staff members will have succumbed to the barber’s clippers in support of St. Baldrick’s. The school raised $20,000 last year.

The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a vounteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:37 AM, 03.03.2015

Westlake elementary schools closer to IB World School status

Westlake’s four elementary schools are closer to authorization as International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools after receiving preliminary feedback from the International Baccalaureate Organization Americans (IBA).

Based on candidacy consultant reports, observations by the verification team and the schools’ applications for authorization, all four schools – Bassett, Dover, Hilliard and Holly Lane – met 115 of the 116 practices in the six standard areas required to become IB World Schools.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:32 AM, 03.03.2015

Green & White Revue to be held March 21, 22

The Westlake High School PTSA will present the 30th Annual Green & White Revue on Saturday, March 21, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 22, at 2 p.m. at Westlake School’s Performing Arts Center, 27830 Hilliard Blvd.

The emcees for this year’s show are WHS seniors Danny Phillip, Emily Lanning and Adam Othman. The Green & White Revue provides an opportunity for students throughout the district to showcase their many talents for the community.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:06 AM, 02.17.2015

Grant to help fund Bay Village safe boating class

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft recently announced that the Bay Village City School District has been awarded a grant of $2,155.37 as part of the Boating Safety Education Grant Program. The Division of Watercraft is awarding more than $364,000 to political subdivisions and non-profit organizations for boating education programs. Bay Village Schools is one of 34 organizations across the state to receive funding.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:11 AM, 02.17.2015

Westshore Montessori students celebrate 100 days of school

The pre-K and kindergarten classroom of Mrs. Michelle and Mrs. Nancy celebrated the 100th day of school on Jan. 26. The morning was full of fun activities focusing on the number 100. We made "100 days smarter" hats, strung 100 Cheerios for necklaces, dotted 100 gumballs on gumball machines and used our painted handprints to count by 5's to 100. We are now officially 100 days smarter.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:14 AM, 02.17.2015

One School One Book brings students and adults together for reading

Children at Normandy and Westerly elementary schools in Bay Village will gather at Bay High auditorium the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 4, to watch a variety of popular characters take the stage with a performance designed to leave them happy and filled with delight.

No, it isn't a rock concert, a celebrity appearance by television stars, or a game show host giving away lovely cars and vacation prizes. It is, in fact, all about a book. A book! This week is the kick-off of the One School One Book program that began at Normandy Elementary in Bay Village last year and has spread to Westerly Elementary this year.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:34 AM, 02.04.2015

Westlake Schools to try different angle with May levy

The Westlake city school district is hoping that, with a new approach, the third time will be the charm. Following the defeat of two operating levies in 2013, the Westlake Board of Education voted Jan. 26 to place a 1 mill permanent improvement levy on the May ballot. The move came after research and a recommendation by members Thomas Mays and John Finucane, who serve on the board’s audit/finance subcommittee.

The vote was announced by Superintendent Geoff Palmer during the district’s State of the Schools presentation on Jan. 27.

“Our permanent improvement levy is one that we think takes some steps in addressing our long-range needs,” Palmer told the audience of parents, residents and school employees in the Parkside auditorium. “This is a way for us to steady the ship. We need to look at things longer term.”

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:14 AM, 02.03.2015

Administrators discuss state of Bay schools

The Bay Village Kiwanis hosted Bay Village Schools administrators for the district’s annual State of the Schools presentation Jan. 20 in the middle school cafeteria. The program offers the public an overview of the past year’s achievements, as well as a look at plans for the coming year.

In a departure from the standard lecture format, the evening featured Superintendent Clint Keener interviewing coaches, principals and department heads on topics ranging from athletics to curriculum to infrastructure. Selected highlights follow; a video of the entire program will be available on the Bay Schools website.

Bay High School football coach Ron Rutt and soccer coach Bob Dougherty discussed their teams’ successes this past season. Matt Spellman, activities/athletics director, lauded student participation, with 70 percent of students involved in sports and 60 percent in music. The district will join the Great Lakes Conference in the fall.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:15 AM, 02.03.2015

New technology at St. Paul Lutheran School

Westlake’s St. Paul Lutheran School is upgrading their technology by offering a new initiative to some of their students this February. Chromebooks will be given to each fifth- and sixth-grade student to be used through the eighth grade. Upon graduation, the laptops will be theirs to keep.

Each year going forward, Chromebooks will be issued to each student upon entering the fifth grade. The Chromebooks will be used to access the latest education curriculum, applications and textbooks. Teachers and students can collaborate on homework and learning after the last bell.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:43 AM, 02.03.2015

WHS students recognized for art, writing

Eleven Westlake High School artists and writers were recently selected for special recognition through the Cleveland Clinic eXpressions art and writing programs.

WHS senior Madeline Lee won Best of Show and a Blue Ribbon for her artwork. Junior Brittany Donna also won a Blue Ribbon.

For art, seniors Lucia Del Rincon Martinez, Jennifer Juhas and Veronica Pulling, and junior Sarah Meleragno, earned Red Ribbon awards. Seniors Caitlin O’Meara and Merlena Ward, and junior Abbey Kay earned White Ribbons. Senior Jessica Birkhimer earned an Honorable Mention.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:40 AM, 02.03.2015

Westlake Academic Challenge teams headed to nationals

Westlake City Schools’ middle and high school Academic Challenge teams finished in the Top 5 in the nation in an online quiz competition, qualifying them for the national competition.

The Westlake High School team finished second in the nation out of 140 competing schools in the high school 3-2-1 Questions Unlimited online quiz competition. The high school team ranks first in Ohio.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:41 AM, 02.03.2015

Westlake High named IB World School

Westlake High School has been approved as an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, adopting the Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum through the International Baccalaureate Organization.

WHS joins schools worldwide that share a common philosophy – a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education with a focus on rigor and inquiry. The Diploma Programme is for juniors and seniors and will offer students the opportunity to graduate with an IB Diploma Certificate. 

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:51 AM, 01.20.2015

Westlake schools host kindergarten information night

Learn more about the Westlake City Schools’ kindergarten experience for 2015-2016 by attending an information night on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 6:30 p.m.

Each neighborhood elementary school will host an informational session:

  • Bassett Elementary School, 2155 Bassett Road
  • Dover Elementary School, 2300 Dover Center Road
  • Hilliard Elementary School, 24365 Hilliard Blvd.
  • Holly Lane Elementary School, 3057 Holly Lane
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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:51 AM, 01.20.2015

LBMS geography bee winner

Christopher Haddad, a seventh-grader, won the 2015 Lee Burneson Middle School Geography Bee and will take a written test in hopes of advancing to the state Geography Bee for the chance to represent Ohio in the National Geography Bee.

Advisor Anne Dill will work with Christopher to prepare him for a written qualifying test. The top 100 ranked students in each state will qualify to represent their school in the state Bee on March 27. The state champions attend the national championship in Washington, D.C., in May.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:51 AM, 01.20.2015

New Yearís comes early for Westshore Young Leaders

The Lakewood High School Westshore Young Leaders planned an early New Year’s themed ice skating party on Sunday, Dec. 28. This is the third year for the ice skating party that was held at Serpentini Arena @ Winterhurst Ice Skating Rink in Lakewood. More than 40 middle and high school students from the Westshore school districts (Bay Village, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake) enjoyed an afternoon of music, skating and excitement. The students celebrated the upcoming year with party favors and delicious cupcakes.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 9:54 AM, 01.06.2015

Westlake's young astronauts

Students from Westlake High School and Lee Burneson Middle School science classes spent the day recently as scientists and astronauts during NASA’s 22nd Annual Young Astronaut Day at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Westlake’s 25 students from WHS Honors physical science classes and LBMS general science classes were among the more than 350 students from 27 Northeast Ohio schools who worked in teams on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) activities demonstrating their logic and problem-solving skills through hands-on projects. Activities included Commander Missions of Rocket Balloon Propulsion, Laser Communications, Rover Entry Aero Drag and Rover Traction Robots.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:39 AM, 12.09.2014