Bay Village Schools recognized as Purple Star District

The Powers, a military-connected family within the Bay Village City School District, serve on the district's Purple Star Committee. Left to right: Madeline, Mike, Bernadette and Thomas Power. Madeline and Thomas are students at Bay Middle School and dad Mike is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard. Photo courtesy Bay Village Schools

On Monday, April 11, the Ohio Department of Education announced its Class of 2022 Purple Star Schools, which included all four of Bay Village City School District’s schools: Normandy Elementary School (grades K-2); Westerly Elementary School (grades 3-4); Bay Middle School (grades 5-8); and Bay High School (grades 9-12). This is the first year the district has applied for and received this distinction, and Bay Village Schools is the only district in Cuyahoga County to earn this distinction this year. The designation is for 2022-2025.

The Ohio Department of Education announced that only 94 schools received the esteemed award for the first time. Overall, 263 Ohio schools received Purple Star designations. Purple Star schools show a significant commitment to serving students and families connected to our nation’s armed forces.

Bay Village Schools started the Purple Star initiative this school year under Interim Superintendent Char Shryock, who saw the need after personally meeting with stakeholders and realizing how many military-connected families live in Bay Village.

“I was surprised at the depth of experience we have within our many military-connected families, both active and retired,” said Shryock. “I am beyond pleased that our team was able to share with the Ohio Department of Education how important our military families are to our district. Earning this distinction for all four of our school buildings on our first attempt is beyond what I had hoped for.”

In November, the Bay Village Board of Education passed a Resolution in Support of Military-connected Children and Families. The district created a webpage for military families that provides resources and information, celebrated Veterans Day and Military Family Month in November with activities at each school and the mailing of care packages to alumni who are serving, and has been celebrating Month of the Military Child in April by sharing family photos on social media and during daily announcements within each building. These military-connected students will also be honored later this month with a special certificate and T-shirt to thank them for their own sacrifices.

The Bay Village Schools’ Purple Star Committee consists of: Interim Superintendent Char Shryock; Board of Education member Dr. Scott Schulz; Mike and Bernadette Power; Dave Shah; Walter Topp; and April and Walter Harper.

Committee member Bernadette Power, a current parent with two students in the district, is appreciative for all the work Shryock has put into this initiative. Her family knows first-hand what it’s like to move from coast to coast for her husband Mike’s career as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard.

“As a military family, we know how important community support and resources are when moving to a new area,” Power said. “Superintendent Shryock has worked tirelessly to bring this Purple Star designation to Bay Village Schools.”

The district’s Internal Military Points of Contact Team includes: Registrar Pat Reitz; Care Coordinator Megan Basel; Normandy Elementary School teacher Anne Hart; Westerly Elementary School teacher Patrick Kelly; Bay Middle School teacher Mark Kevesdy; and Bay High School teachers Rob Grossman and Helen Petro. Each of these team members went through special training to qualify for this team.

Karen Uthe Semancik

Karen Uthe Semancik is the communications director for Bay Village Schools.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 9:27 AM, 04.19.2022