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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 bayvillageschools.com/hair.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
My Lovely Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve my family goes to my Aunt Debbie’s house. I see my cousins and we get matching pajamas. We eat snow ball cookies. They are cookies with walnuts. We eat brownies and sing songs in her music room and I play the piano. For dinner we have spinach quiche, grapes, and mac and cheese. The kids play house up in my cousin’s mom’s old room when she was a kid. Then we ride up and down the steps. The stairs go in circles and we slide on our bottoms down the stairs. Next we change into our matching PJs. Finally we open presents and we play with our new toys. All of us write letters to Santa and put them in my aunt’s special mailbox. We go home and I say, “Hi,” to Jingle, my Elf on the Shelf, and go to bed dreaming about the wonderful day that is coming.
by Lulu V.
My Christmas Tradition
We cut down our tree each year. Our family has gone to Wilcox Tree Farm to cut down our Christmas tree every year since I was a baby. My parents make us a big breakfast before we leave. My dad gets his saw and we all pile in the car to go find the perfect tree. Our family rides on their tractor to take us out to the trees. If we are lucky there will be snow on the ground so my brother and I can have a snowball fight! Some years my brother finds a tree and some years I find a tree but we never leave without a tree. Sometimes we struggle to get it in the door and some years we have to cut the top because it is too tall. Once we finally get it in, our dad takes a nap and my brother, my mom and I put on ornaments and candy canes and lights! I like to eat the candy canes but I also like to see the ornaments I made and have got from the past. I do this every year and I LOVE IT!!
by Aaron B.
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 Easter to the Fourth of July to Eid to Chanukah to Christmas.
My Family Tradition
My traditions are on Easter. On Easter, my family gets up and we find our baskets. We do the hot and cold clue game. When we eat pancakes and sausages, you can hear my family talking to one another. We open our baskets while we eat. After we are done eating, I open my toys and other stuff. In the afternoon, I eat my candy and sometimes I eat it in the morning, but just the pieces that spill out of my plastic Easter eggs. Of course, I do not go to school! Thank you for listening to my Easter traditions!
by Aubrie G.
Making Gingerbread Houses
After Thanksgiving four people including me, my cousin Devon, my sister Samantha, and my other cousin Kyra decorate some gingerbread houses. We use gumballs, icing and candy. I do it every year three days after Thanksgiving. It is fun doing it every year. I do two, my sister does two, and Devon does one. There are five gingerbread houses altogether. I make icing into icicles and Samantha makes a gummy gumball path. Yum! The gingerbread houses are not edible. I smell ginger and sugar! I hear talking and yelling. I love the taste of gum drops. I touch the icing and see sugar and candy on the gingerbread houses. I loved writing this story for you!
by Kaitlyn J.
Six months before receiving his high school diploma, a Westlake High School senior will receive two associate degrees and serve as commencement speaker for his college graduating class.
Aswin Bikkani, 17, was selected by the Cuyahoga Community College Joint Student Council – the college-wide student government body – to serve as the Dec. 17 commencement speaker. Aswin will graduate from Tri-C with Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees for Fall 2014 with a 4.0 GPA. He was selected from a pool of candidates to serve as commencement speaker.
The Ruth Purdy-Leslie Scholarship Fund at BAYarts was created in memory of the much-loved Bay Schools art teacher in 2011. Originally to aid students interested in taking BAYarts classes, the program was expanded to include scholarships for college-bound students.
We are seven fourth-graders from Westerly Elementary School who are interested in helping homeless people from the Greater Cleveland Family Promise shelter that are moving to their new homes. We are doing a donation drive to collect supplies for bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. The supplies can be slightly worn, and they don’t have to be new.
The donation box is at Bay Village Library, 502 Cahoon Road, and is next to the display case. The donation drive will be held from now until Sunday, Jan. 4. After Jan. 4, we will be delivering the supplies to two families’ new homes.
Neige DeAngelis, a Dover Intermediate School fifth-grade student, won a national story contest by Cricket magazine for her story about a temperamental, fire-breathing dragon named Mr. Feugo.
Neige’s story, “350 Words or Else!” chronicles the scene of Mr. Feugo, editor of “Dragonfly” magazine, being upset when readers sent in 10-page stories for publication. Neige’s story was published in the October 2014 issue of Cricket magazine.
A group of Westlake High School students joined other area schools at the Beck Center for the Arts last month to learn how to create peaceful solutions through the arts.
The Peaceful Solutions program is a one-day workshop at the Beck Center in Lakewood that includes opportunities for students to write songs, play instruments, paint, mold with clay and learn how cultural arts can have a positive impact on their lives and society.
The WHS participants were Zac Duffield, Jillian Eddy, Abigail Sperli, Paola Del Rincon Martinez, Lori Unger, Haleigh Harper and David Wanhainen, Bayanne Farraj, Sydney Chatterton, Carolyn Bedell and Andrew Sperli.
Fifty-eight Westlake High School students were part of a SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) seminar held Dec. 2 at Quicken Loans Arena to generate peer prevention ideas to take back to their schools.
About 400 SADD members from Northeast Ohio high schools attended. Nine WHS SADD and Leadership Challenge students presented a peer prevention program – pHarmingEffects – that teaches students about the dangers of using prescription medications not prescribed for them. Students used PowerPoint, videos and skits during their presentation, which they previously presented in the high school’s sophomore health classes.
Westlake Schools CFO/Treasurer Mark C. Pepera was one of six new members appointed to the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC).
Pepera will serve a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2015, and represents the Association of School Business Officials International. The appointment was made by the board of trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation, which is responsible for the oversight, administration and finances of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).