District News

Westerville Education Foundation Honors, Celebrates Educators during Annual Breakfast

District employees, community members, business leaders, service organization representatives, government officials and special guests joined members of the Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) Board of Trustees on April 22 for the WEF’s second annual Celebration of Education, Innovation and Inspiration.

Westerville South High School Inducts Three into Alumni Hall of Fame

Westerville South High School inducted three alumni into its Hall of Fame at a luncheon and ceremony held April 22 – Rick Rano, Cindy Straub and Jonathon Strickland.  The school’s Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee selected those honored from a pool of applicants who graduated at least 10 years ago, have demonstrated success in their career, and have made significant contributions to their community.

John and Betsey Krause are Honored by Board of Education and Superintendent

John and Betsey Krause were recognized at the Westerville City Schools Board of Education meeting on April 25 for establishing the Sarah Krause Memorial Science Grant program in memory of their daughter Sarah, a Westerville North junior who passed away in September of 2004.  Over the years, more than $30,000 from that fund has been given directly to students.

Westerville Central’s Noah Martin is Recognized for Second Place Poetry Out Loud Finish

Noah Martin, a sophomore at Westerville Central High School, was honored by the Board and Superintendent on April 25 for having placed second in the State of Ohio Poetry Out Loud contest, which was held on Saturday, March 19 at COSI.  He won a cash prize as well as money for the purchase of poetry books at the Westerville Central library.  Martin recited a poem for the crowd, and received a Resolution of Commendation for having represented Central and the Westerville School District with “honor and distinction.”  Also recognized were Martin’s advisors – Amy Farris, Scott Paynter, and Jim Grannis. 

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Seeking Westerville Student as Patient Champion for 5th Annual Great Columbus Duck Race and Run

The Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital is proud to partner with Westerville City Schools in an effort to raise awareness and funds for pediatric research.  The 5th Annual Great Columbus Duck Race and Run is a fundraising event put on by the Development Board at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  The money raised from the event supports The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Eight Stellar Employees Earn A+ Awards

A+ Awards honor outstanding school employees whose actions demonstrate support of the district’s Mission Statement; willingness to go above and beyond normal expectations; and behavior consistent with one or more of the district’s values. 

Career Experiences Offered to Students in Health-Related Science Courses

Faculty and staff at Columbus State Community College (CSCC) recently facilitated two opportunities for Westerville students to explore careers in health-related professionals.  Juniors in Human Body Systems and Medical Interventions (both courses in the Project Lead the Way Health Pathway) attended a Health Sciences Career Fair on April 22.  Students toured the campus and nursing labs, and spoke with representatives at more than 20 booths representing a range of departments in CSCC’s Health and Medical program.

Whittier Students Shine during their Evening of Jazz

Fourth grade students at Whittier Elementary presented an upbeat recorder and choral showcase titled An Evening of Jazz on Wednesday, April 27.  Part of the performance included pieces from the Recorder Karate curriculum, featuring songs inspired by jazz and the musicians who made it great.

BOE to meet in May

The Westerville City Schools Board of Education will meet on Monday, May 9, and Monday, May 23, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Retirement Recognition) at the Early Learning Center.

District Art Shows Celebrate Student Creativity

Families gathered at the Westerville Community Center and Westerville Public Library on Sunday afternoon, April 24, to see student artwork on display.  They were welcomed by Phyllis Self from the Arts Council of Westerville (pictured) and Dr. Jan Fedorenko, retired principal of Hanby Arts Magnet School.

Annehurst First Graders, Now All Grown Up, Gather for Fond Farewell

They certainly don’t look like first graders anymore, but students who used to be in the classrooms of retired teacher Jane Wonnell and current Annehurst 1st grade teachers Julie Pierron and Erica Layne have fond memories of Annehurst Elementary School.

Longfellow Playground Spruced Up Thanks to Eagle Scout, Volunteers, and WEF Funding

Longfellow Kindergarten students are very excited about their new outdoor play activities.  On April 16, Justin Baker, an Eagle Scout candidate from Troop 560, completed his Eagle Scout project on the play space at Longfellow.

Westerville Drivers Walk Away with Top Honors at Central Ohio School Bus Road-E-O

School Transportation Professionals from across the Central Ohio region gathered at Reynoldsburg Elementary on Saturday, April 23, to sharpen their knowledge and behind-the-wheel driving/maneuvering skills at the Central Region School Bus Safety Road-E-O.  At the conclusion of the competition, Westerville City Schools bus drivers walked away with top honors.

Walnut Springs Writing Center Coaches Saluted at Luncheon

An end-of-the-year celebration for student writing coaches at Walnut Springs Middle School was held on Thursday, April 28.   The Writing Center at Walnut Springs was a pilot this year funded by the Westerville Education Foundation, with added support provided by Principal Becca Yanni and Media Specialist Jean Trimble.  Eighth grade student writing coaches were trained to help peers by writing coaches from The Ohio State University.

Columbus Children’s Theatre to Perform Plays Written by Hanby Students

Stories written by Hanby Elementary fifth grade students Caleb Piatt and Lydia Moore have been selected to be performed by The Columbus Children’s Theatre as part of 2016 The Child Writing Project.  This year’s theme is You Are What You Eat.  The children are students in Tara Norling’s English Language Arts class.  Piatt’s play is called Origin of the Potato; Moore’s is titled Slice Pizza.

10TV Feature Highlights Westerville Education Foundation Crowdsourcing for WCSD Teachers, Staff

10TV Anchor Kristyn Hartman recently spent the morning at Westerville North High School to learn how teachers and students have benefited from the WEF's Adopt-a-Classroom and Fund-a-Project initiatives.

Westerville Kiwanis Honors Central Scholars at 54th Academic Varsity Awards Banquet

The Westerville Kiwanis Club held its 54th annual Academic Varsity Awards Banquet on Wednesday evening, April 13, when the top 30 senior scholars from Westerville high schools were honored.

Westerville Kiwanis Honors North Scholars at 54th Academic Varsity Awards Banquet

The Westerville Kiwanis Club held its 54th annual Academic Varsity Awards Banquet on Wednesday evening, April 13, when the top 30 senior scholars from Westerville high schools were honored.

Westerville Kiwanis Honors South Scholars at 54th Academic Varsity Awards Banquet

The Westerville Kiwanis Club held its 54th annual Academic Varsity Awards Banquet on Wednesday evening, April 13, when the top 30 senior scholars from Westerville high schools were honored.

Westerville North High School Inducts Three into Alumni Hall of Fame

Westerville North High School inducted three alumni into its Hall of Fame at a luncheon and ceremony held April 8 – Jeff Cashman, Jeannette Giamarco Frashier and Lori Peters.  The school’s Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee selected those honored from a pool of applicants who graduated at least 10 years ago, have demonstrated success in their career, and have made significant contributions to their community.

Fouse Student Wins Top Honors at District’s 10th Annual Lego Competition

Fourth grade Fouse Elementary School student Finn Mitchell was named Overall Grand Winner at the 10th annual Westerville City Schools Lego Competition held April 9 at Heritage Middle School.  Dr. Scott Ebbrecht, facilitator of the annual event, proclaimed to the nearly 125 student participants and their family members that “Perseverance has paid off!”

Board Recognizes South’s State Basketball Champions; Names Court for Coach Calo

The Westerville South High School varsity basketball team was honored April 11 by the Westerville City Schools Board of Education for becoming State Champions by defeating Lima Senior in a thrilling 57 - 55 victory at Value City Arena on March 19.

Westerville City Schools Students Afforded the Opportunity to Study Abroad

Westerville high school students have an amazing opportunity to embark on a number of upcoming educational travel experiences. Any pupil attending Westerville Central, Westerville North, or Westerville South is eligible to participate.

Debbie Imhoff is Westerville Sunrise Rotary’s Service to Youth Recipient

Debbie Imhoff, Custodial Services secretary for Westerville City Schools, was surprised on April 6 when a group of Sunrise Rotarians showed up to present her with the Diane J. Conley Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise Service to Youth award.

GEM Award Recipients Honored on April 18

Westerville Parent Council, Roush Honda, the Deputy Superintendent of Schools, the Treasurer and the Westerville City Schools Board of Education recognized Great Educator and Mentor (GEM) award winners at a reception and special ceremony held at Westerville North High School on Monday evening, April 18.  GEM awards are given to individuals who make a difference in the lives of the students in the Westerville School District.

Westerville City Schools High School Delegates Chosen for Buckeye Boys and Girls State

Since its inception in 1935, the Boys and Girls State Programs of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary have helped to educate high school students about politics, current events and the workings of government through a week of hands-on activities.  All but one state hosts these programs and Ohio is known to have one of the most outstanding events in the nation, known as Buckeye Boys State and Buckeye Girls State.    

Westerville Central High School Inducts Two into its First Alumni Hall of Fame

Westerville Central High School inducted two graduates into its first Alumni Hall of Fame at a luncheon and ceremony held April 15 – Dr. Robert J. Fresch and James “JD” Pisula.  Both men received their diplomas from Central in 2006.  The school’s Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee selected those honored from a pool of applicants who graduated at least 10 years ago, have demonstrated success in their career, and have made significant contributions to their community.

School Board Recognizes Students who Competed in Ohio PTA State Reflections Contest

Locally, Westerville Parent Council hosted the contest which celebrates student achievement in literature, music, dance, film/video production, photography and visual arts.  This year’s theme was “Let Your Imagination Fly.”  Volunteer Lisa Wood organized the event, along with co-chairs Jill French and Sarah Strauss.  This year, 355 students from 15 Westerville schools participated, with 57 district winners advancing to the State finals. 

Westerville Education Foundation Minigolf Fundraiser is Saturday, May 21

The 8th annual Westerville Education Foundation Minigolf Fundraiser will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, at Westerville Mini-Golf & Batting Cages, 450 West Schrock Road.  Mark your calendars now and don’t miss this fun, family-friendly community event!

Westerville South High School Athletes Sign Letters of Intent on April 13

Friends, teammates, family members, staff and coaches gathered in the Westerville South High School auditorium on April 13 to watch and celebrate as a number student athletes signed Letters of Intent to pursue sports and educational endeavors at the college level.

Families Enjoy Wilder’s Spring Fling

Wilder Elementary was the place to be on Thursday, March 24.  The school’s PTA sponsored Spring Fling, which featured a number of learning stations like making oobleck (a slimy concoction), riding an energy bike, making original creations in LEGOLAND and visiting the book fair.

Genoa Police Department Encourages Central Students to Stay Safe during Prom

Genoa Township police officers greeted Westerville Central High School students bright and early on Thursday morning, April 21, with an important message about staying safe during the upcoming prom.  Students were asked to sign a pledge agreeing to make good decisions, avoid alcohol and drugs, wear a seat belt, and never drive under the influence or ride with an impaired driver.

Westerville Middle School Students Place in 2016 Laws of Life Contest

The Central Ohio BBB Laws of Life Essay Contest is a competition of the best Laws of Life essays written by middle grade students in the 22 county Central Ohio service area and is facilitated at the middle school level through the Westerville Gifted Education, Art, and English Language Arts Departments.

Genoa Jaguars Gather to Remember Thomas Knox and Don Manley

On Tuesday, April 12, a crowd gathered at Genoa Middle School in memory of Thomas Knox, a former student, and Don Manley, a retired educator and coach.  Knox, a hockey player at St. Charles, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 14.  Manley was 63 when he died from health complications. 

Hawthorne’s Trash to Fashion Event Brings out the Creativity

Hawthorne Elementary School children participated in a Trash to Fashion event on Wednesday, March 23.  Ten teams presented a number of unique fashions which were judged by School Board member Tracy Davidson, volunteer Linda Ferguson and representatives from Ohio Reading Corps.

Blendon Middle School Wins Eighth Grade Battle of the Books Competition

The 8th annual Central Ohio 8th Grade Battle of the Books Competition, hosted by Heritage Middle School, took place at Westerville North High School on Tuesday, March 22.  Each of Westerville’s four middle schools competed, along with other Central Ohio teams from Olentangy, Gahanna, and Teays Valley.

Community Members Enjoy Hanby Elementary School’s Spring Bazaar

The Hanby Elementary School Spring Bazaar took place on Sunday, April 17, attracting hundreds of community members.

Crowds Pack Westerville North High School for Family-Friendly Starry Night Event

On Sunday, April 10, families packed Westerville North High School for the 4th annual Starry Night learning festival, sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Westerville Partners for Education.  The festival offered dynamic learning experiences with experts from Columbus’ premier educational, business, and community organizations.  Geared toward students in preschool through grade 8, along with their caregivers and families, the event highlighted the connection between arts and science.  The theme this year was, Art and Science – Fueling Imagination.

Walnut Springs Center for Inspiration Earns Outstanding Project Award

Learning by Design has released its much-anticipated Spring 2016 edition, showcasing the nation’s best education design and construction projects, from pre-K to 12 to college and university facilities.  The spring 2016 awards program was comprised of 58 projects, each impartially judged and independently scored by a multidisciplinary and geographically diverse group of five jurors.  When the dust settled, it was announced that the Walnut Springs Middle School Center for Inspiration, designed by TRIAD Architects, earned a prestigious Outstanding Project award.

Westerville Educators Spend a Weekend in New York Studying Shakespeare

Three Westerville English Language Arts teachers – Blair Gabalis, Cat Stathulis and Kirsten Allen – spent last weekend in New York at a Shakespeare workshop.  They traveled with a large group of Central Ohio teachers, MFA grad students, and undergrad students via OSU charter bus to New York City.  There, they had the opportunity to see four of Shakespeare's histories – Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, and Henry V.  Before a weekend of viewing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music took place, they had a chance to attend a Q & A session with some of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s actors and directors, who gave them a better idea of what it takes to both rehearse and direct a play.

34 Pallets of Books are Headed to Liberia, thanks to Westerville’s Zuulu Cooper

Thirty-four pallets (2,040 boxes) of reading material and textbooks, along with 12 computer systems, are on their way to the Liberian Girls Guides headquarters in Paynesville, Liberia, thanks to the ongoing efforts of Westerville City Schools technology technician Zuulu Cooper.  The material will benefit about 3,500 students in six urban and two rural schools.

Westerville City Schools Once Again Earns Auditor of State Award with Distinction
Westerville Central’s Noah Martin Takes Second in State Poetry Out Loud Contest

Noah Martin, a sophomore at Westerville Central High School, placed second in the State of Ohio Poetry Out Loud contest held on Saturday, March 19.  Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest.  Martin competed in the state finals at COSI, reciting In Flanders Fields by John McCrae in round 1.  In round 2, he recited John Straley’s poem Every Single Day.

Middle School Students Advance to National History Day Statewide Competition

A number of Westerville middle school students participated in the District 6 History Day Competition on March 12 at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.  Research and projects were created following the theme, “Exploration, Exchange, Encounter.”  Moving on to the state competition April 30 at Ohio Wesleyan are, according to information provided by the buildings...

Irish Jig Tradition Continues at Mark Twain Elementary School

Every year on or around St. Patrick’s Day, students and staff at Mark Twain Elementary School can be seen dancing an Irish Jig, a beloved tradition which began way back in 1980 – 36 years ago.

Key Club District Leadership Conference Yields Top Awards for Westerville Students

Students from the Westerville City School District attended the Key Club District Leadership Conference at Dublin Embassy Suites from March 11-13, and many walked away with awards and important assignments.

Westerville City Schools Posts 2014-2015 Annual Report

Westerville City Schools has posted its 2014-2015 annual report, titled Where You Belong, on its website.  It features a building directory plus highlights and photos of the 2014-2015 school year, along with school calendars and information about human resources, district departments, and school finances.

Junior Achievement Builds Future Entrepreneurs at Emerson Elementary

Pupils at Emerson Elementary School got to explore the ins and outs of starting one’s own business through lessons provided by Junior Achievement (JA).  Many people are familiar with the great experiences students receive in fifth grade from participating in Biz Town, but fewer people know about the other programs JA has to offer elementary students.

Blendon Middle School Geography Bee Winners Announced

Supported by the Westerville City Schools Gifted Education and Social Studies departments, 36 students from all three grade levels at Blendon Middle School participated in a Geography Bee recently, after passing a qualifying test.  Eighth grade student Anthony Vilardo took first place and was the overall 8th grade winner.  Taking second place was 8th grader Samuel Woldesmait. Third place and overall 6th grade winner was Ben Moseley, with 6th grade pupil Miriam Abdulkadir coming in fourth.  The building’s top 7th grader was Britton Berk.

Westerville Student Musicians Meet with Success at OMEA Solo & Ensemble Contest

A number of Westerville students traveled last month to Reynoldsburg High School to perform in the 2016 OMEA District 15 Solo & Ensemble event.  At the event, each student performs either a solo (with or without accompaniment) or with an ensemble before an OMEA judge for a final rating.   Results that follow were provided by each high school....

Central Students Work to Keep School Grounds Clean and Safe for Wildlife

Westerville Central Science Teacher Erik Ekis and 17 key club students, along with National Honor Society members, spent an hour and a half helping to clean four areas surrounding the school recently – the baseball fence line, the restoration area (woods area, grassland recovery, split rail fence line), the north facing parking lot ditches, and the front side of the building (green space). 

Wilder Students and Teachers are Wild about Visit from Columbus Zoo Animals

Representatives from the Columbus Zoo visited Wilder Elementary on Monday, March 21.  They brought a variety of animals including a sloth, echidna, hissing cockroaches, a lesser anteater, and a screech owl.  The students learned about different adaptations the animals have to help them survive, in which part of the world they can be found, and how they communicate with other animals.

Dr. Lisa Huelskamp to Receive Distinguished Service Award from OATE

The Ohio Association of Teacher Educators (OATE) has announced that this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award is Lisa Huelskamp, PhD.  Dr. Huelskamp has taught at Westerville City Schools for 18 years as a science teacher, administrator, and is currently a middle school gifted facilitator.  This award is designed to formally recognize members of OATE for outstanding service to the organization and to teacher education.

Good Night, Whittier

Kindergarten and first grade students at Whittier Elementary School presented a bedtime musical titled Pajama Party! on Wednesday, March 23.  The school performance took place at 2:00 p.m. and the family performance was held at 7:00 p.m. in the gymnasium. The show was a creative telling of the bedtime routine from picking up toys and taking a bath to snuggling with a cozy stuffed animal and listening to a lullaby.

South Grad Andrew Gulick Inducted into Columbus State Athletics Hall of Fame

Andrew Gulick was recently inducted into the inaugural class of the Columbus State Athletics Hall of Fame. The class consists of 10 members including players, teams, and coaches. Gulick was the 2003 individual national champion at the NJCAA DIII Men’s Golf Championships.

State Champions!

Community members gathered in the Westerville South High School gymnasium on Tuesday evening, March 22, to celebrate the varsity boys’ basketball team which, under the direction of Coach Ed Calo, became State Champions after defeating Lima Senior on March 19.

Heritage Drama Club Captivates Audiences with Ambitious Hairspray Performance

Under the direction of Kellie Sheely and Kimberly Marcum, the Heritage Middle School Drama Club presented Hairspray Jr. at 7:30 p.m. on March 17, 18, and 19.  The event is taking place in the Westerville North High School auditorium, which is located at 950 County Line Road.

Hawthorne Students Collect Water for Residents of Flint, Michigan

Last week Hawthorne Elementary students collected 77,029 ounces of water, which was delivered to The College of Social Work at The Ohio State University.  There, it was combined with donations from pupils on campus and then driven up to Flint, Michigan, where drinking water has made headlines after it was found to be contaminated.

Moving Up Nights to Focus on Incoming Sixth Grade Students

Westerville City Schools invites incoming sixth grade students and their parents to attend Moving Up Night, an evening of orientation focused on the transition from elementary to middle school. 

Westerville South Theatre Troupe 513 Sweeps at State Thespian Conference

Troupe 513 reports that Westerville South High School was well represented at the Ohio State Thespian Conference held at Dublin Scioto High School March 11-13.  Of the 1,600 delegates from across the state, 52 were from South.

Genoa’s McDaniel Selected as a National History Day Behring Teacher Ambassador

Deanna McDaniel, a media specialist at Genoa Middle School, was among 23 educators selected to be a Behring Teacher Ambassador for National History Day® during the 2016-2017 school year.

Emerson Students Celebrate Pi Day

Emerson Elementary School held its annual Pi Day Celebration with a Pi Day Memorization contest.  More than 50 students participated representing all grades from 1st through 5th.  Top winners from each grade level received a special Pi Day t-shirt provided by the Emerson PTA. This year’s winners included:  Alicia Deng (5th grade), Sammy Gurgiolo (4th grade), Devin Eby (3rd grade), Avamarie Hedrick (2nd grade), and Olivia Hillberry (1st grade).  Alicia Deng memorized 160 digits of Pi making her the school wide winner.

Dave O’Bryan is Westerville Sunrise Rotary’s Service to Youth Recipient

Dave O’Bryan, a mechanic in the Westerville City Schools Transportation Department, was surprised on March 16 when a group of Sunrise Rotarians showed up to present him with the Diane J. Conley Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise Service to Youth award.

Westerville Students Succeed at State Reflections Contest; Five Advance to Nationals

Fifteen Westerville City Schools students earned honors at the Ohio PTA State Reflections Competition, and five who received Awards of Excellence will advance to the national contest.  Results were announced by Westerville Parent Council, which hosted the 2015-2016 challenge in the Westerville district.  Students submit original work in literature, music, dance, film/video production, photography and visual arts.  This year’s theme was “Let Your Imagination Fly.”

Students at Blendon Middle School are All Smiles

March 10 was Shine Your Smile Day at Blendon Middle School, which hosted a Mobile Dentists/Smile Program.  The team set up a mini dental office in the building to provide dental examinations, cleanings, fluoride treatments, x-rays and sealants (if necessary) for children whose families opted to participate.  Blendon has two days reserved for March 2017 so more students’ dental needs can be served.

Renowned Artist David Catrow Talks Shop with Fouse Elementary Students

In preparation for a visit from David Catrow, students at Fouse Elementary School have been reading many of his books and discussing his art.  He spent the day there on March 15 focusing on his belief that “we are all artists.”  He said there is an “art history” contained in everyone.  “For thousands of years, we humans have used our natural ability to communicate very complex visual ideas; through manipulations of voice, body, and the reshaping of our physical environments to create record,” he explained.

Time to Nominate Your Favorite School Bus Driver for a Ferdie Award

Each year the Westerville City Schools Transportation Department bestows a “Ferdie Award” to honor the Bus Driver of the Year.  Please consider nominating your favorite driver.

Annehurst Art Show Aids Students in Need

Annehurst Elementary families enjoyed hundreds of pieces of student artwork that were on display throughout the school on Wednesday evening, March 16.  In addition, by purchasing bake sale items and participating in a silent art auction, attendees were able to aid underprivileged children throughout the world as proceeds earned benefited Free the Children.

Four Westerville Middle School Students Earn Be WISE Camp Scholarships

The Westerville Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW; http://www.aauw.org), in cooperation with the Westerville City Schools Gifted Education Department, has awarded four $300 scholarships to the Be WISE Camp at Denison University this summer.  Founded in 1881 and with nearly 1,000 branches across the country, AAUW is a national organization promoting equity and education for women and girls.

Walnut Springs Students Complete Pi Day Chain Challenge

Math teachers at Walnut Springs Middle School hosted a Pi Day competition on Friday, March 11.  Teams of students were given 10, 15, or 20 minutes to create a paper chain that represented the digits of Pi and each digit was assigned a color.  At the end of the given time frame, teams calculated their speed per hour.  Additionally, a class average was calculated.  The fastest team was a group of 8th graders with a speed of 603 links/hour.  The highest class average was again eighth grade with 550 links/hour.  Winning teams celebrated on Monday, March 14, by eating – what else – pie.  

Fouse Elementary Families Embrace SUPER Literacy Activities

Fouse Elementary School was the safest place in town on Thursday evening, March 3, because it was crawling with superheroes. Teachers there hosted an evening of SUPER literacy activities, focusing on reading, sight words, punctuation, action words, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and alphabetizing.

It’s a Zoo at Westerville Central High School – Literally!

Usually when a “cheetah” is applauded in a high school gymnasium, it’s the nickname of a school team.  Not so at Westerville Central High School.  On Monday morning, March 7, representatives from the Columbus Zoo brought a variety of animals to discuss with Biology and AP Environmental Science students.

Student Journalists Lauded by OCC Academic League

Four Westerville North students and three Westerville Central pupils were honored by the OCC Academic League on March 2, when they received the Jim McCann Award for Excellence in Journalism at Thomas Worthington High School.  Each received a certificate of accomplishment and a book that included samples of their work, as well as pieces from students representing the other OCC schools.

Westerville Central’s Noah Martin Advances to Poetry Out Loud State Final

Noah Martin, a sophomore at Westerville Central High School, has moved on to the state final competition for the national poetry recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud.  Martin competed at the state semifinals on March 5 at The Ohio Historical Center, reciting In Flanders Fields by John McCrae in round 1.  In round 2, he recited John Straley’s poem, Every Single Day.

Westerville North Celebrates Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, Westerville North High School has established a building-wide initiative inviting all teachers in all disciplines to find a way to honor important women in their classes.

Board Approves Westerville Educator Days; School Starts August 18

The Westerville City Schools Board of Education, at its meeting on Monday, March 7, approved two District Professional Development Days for the next school year – Monday, August 15, 2016 and Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  Classes will not be held on these days. As a result, school will begin for students in grades 1-12 on Thursday, August 18.  Kindergarten will begin on Tuesday, August 23, following three days of “gentle start.” 

Westerville South High School Recognizes Cats with Class

Forty students at Westerville South High School were recognized as “Cats with Class” at a breakfast and ceremony held bright and early on Wednesday morning, March 9.  “Cats with Class” honors pupils who have demonstrated acts of kindness, good school citizenship, or service, which help make South a wonderful place for learning and teaching.

Health and Activity Nights Enjoyed by Families at Mark Twain and Robert Frost

Otterbein University students in Patti Wilson’s Leadership DYAD class, along with 3rd grade students from Jenn Bichsel and Alyssa Burkhart’s classes at Mark Twain Elementary and 4th grade students from Kari Tucker’s class at Robert Frost Elementary, joined together to plan Health and Activity nights for their respective schools on March 8 and 10.  The evenings included fun fitness stations and health information booths prepared by Otterbein and Westerville Best of Both Worlds students.

Read Across America Day Inspires Special Activities at Wilder Elementary School

The week of February 29 - March 4 was a fun one at Wilder Elementary School, as they celebrated Read Across America. The Cat in the Hat visited; Drop Everything and Read took place every day; a skit called The King’s Pudding was performed by teachers; guest readers showed up to share books; and children got to wear something different and special each day.

Genoa Students Invited to Speak at Ohio Statehood Day

Eighth grade students from Genoa Middle School were invited to speak at this year’s Ohio Statehood Day celebration at the Ohio Statehouse on March 1.  These pupils have a bill pending in the Ohio House of Representatives, House Bill 143, which proposes making the barn the historical architectural structure of the State of Ohio.  The girls were invited to share information about their bill with the attendees as well as make the centerpieces for the event to educate and promote awareness about their bill.

The Cat in the Hat Welcomed at Fouse Elementary School

Katie Paolini’s students from Genoa Middle School’s Junior National Honor Society stopped over to visit some Fouse first graders on March 2 in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  Lucy West dressed up as The Cat in the Hat.  The Genoa students read Dr. Seuss books for 45 minutes and did some rhyming activities with the younger children.  The first graders loved their reading buddies.  “Fouse is lucky to have such a great resource of students next door,” said Fouse teacher Deb Ubry.

Genoa’s Future City Champions Honored by Board of Education

Ten students from Genoa Middle School, along with teacher/advisor Debbie Pellington and engineer Dino Torlone, were recognized for having won the State DiscoverE’s Future City Competition in January. Their creation, called Baradwysdon, was set in futuristic Wales.  At that event they also earned first place for Best Use of Transportation, Best Use of Recreation, and Best Use of Ceramics, along with honorable mentions for Best Computer City Design and Best Essay.

2015-2016 GEM Award Recipients Announced

Sponsors Westerville Parent Council and Roush Honda are pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s GEM Awards.  Now in its thirteenth year, the GEM Awards program, which stands for “Great Educator Mentor,” recognizes volunteers and district staff who go above and beyond for students in Westerville schools.

Genoa 8th Grade Students Testify about Barn Bill at the Ohio Statehouse

On February 24, Genoa Middle School 8th graders Anna Borders, Sarah Gellner, Danielle Ingram, Rachel Kaufman, and Adriane Thompson traveled to the Ohio Statehouse to give testimony before the State Government Committee in support of a bill they proposed and have pending in the Ohio House of Representatives.  House Bill 143, which proposes making the barn the official historical architectural structure of the State of Ohio, was created when the girls were 7th graders and introduced to the House by Representative Anne Gonzales.

Westerville City School District Selected to Join National Equity Initiative

Westerville City Schools was recently accepted to the Lead Higher Initiative, a national effort spearheaded by the non-profit Equal Opportunity Schools, with support from the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the U.S. Department of Education, International Baccalaureate and the College Board.  Lead Higher is also backed by generous contributions from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Tableau, and Google.

Notre Dame Legend “Rudy” Ruettiger Imparts Words of Wisdom at Westerville Central

Against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Indiana, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, in 27 seconds, carved his name into history books as perhaps the most famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame.  And on February 26, out of the goodness of his heart, the beloved football hero dropped by Westerville Central High School to impart some very well received words of wisdom on members of the football team. 

Genoa Middle School Team Excels at National Future City Competition

Students from the Genoa Middle School Future City Team, who took first place in the State of Ohio at this year’s Ohio Future City Competition, traveled to Washington D.C. from February 13 – 17 to compete in the National Future City Competition, where they placed 10th.  They were also selected as one of the teams to have their presentation broadcast in more than 43 languages world-wide.  The theme of this year’s contest, “Waste Not, Want Not,” challenged pupils to design a city that provided unique and innovative solutions to waste management challenges.

Winter Art Show Draws Massive Crowds at Whittier Elementary School

Whittier Elementary School’s Winter Art show, featuring two and three dimensional artwork created by students in grades K-5, took place on Friday evening, February 26.  Crowds who gathered in the building to enjoy the vast exhibit also got the opportunity to engage in hands-on art activities at several different stations, including mask-making and a collaborative painting.

Ronald McDonald Brings his Friendship Adventure to Annehurst Elementary School

First and second graders at Annehurst Elementary School enjoyed a special visit from Ronald McDonald on Thursday afternoon, February 25.  He brought his Friendship Adventure program to the school, which encourages children to lead happy, active lives.

Blendon Students Put the Fun in Fund Raising

Student members of Builder’s Club and Student Council at Blendon Middle School collected more than $800 this year for the Pennies for Patients program, sponsored by the Lymphoma and Leukemia Association.  This included a penny war that was won by the 8th grade class. 

Westerville North Students Spread the Word to End the Word

This year marks the five year anniversary of an amazing event at Westerville North High School.  Spread the Word to End the Word is a nationwide campaign to bring acceptance to all people and end the use of the derogatory R-word.

Westerville South Students Perform at Black History Month Assemblies

Black History Month assemblies themed “Divided We Fall” were performed at Westerville South High School last week featuring student-created pieces including skits, songs, spoken words and dance.  Director Ashley Miller said her student leaders have been meeting since July to create the theme and pieces for the show, with the hope of making the program both educational and inspirational.

Huber Ridge Families Enjoy a “Journey through the Genres”

Families gathered at Huber Ridge Elementary School on Wednesday evening, March 2, to experience a “Journey through the Genres” celebration of literacy.  Stations were set up to explore throughout the building with names like Mystery, Science Fiction, Realistic, Poetry, Biography, Fairy Tales, and Historical.  Free books were earned by youngsters for visiting each station and getting a stamp on their passport.

Meteorologist Phil Kelly Talks Weather with Cherrington Fifth Graders

Phil Kelly, weekend morning meteorologist at WSYX ABC 6, dropped in to talk about weather with fifth grade students on Wednesday afternoon, March 2.  The children enjoyed his enthusiastic presentation, which included sharing information and conducting weather-related experiments.

Leadership Westerville Participants Get a Reality Check about Westerville Schools

What’s it really like to work in a school district the size of Westerville, where more than 15,000 students are educated each and every day?  Sixteen Leadership Westerville participants got the chance to experience some of the inner-workings of the school district on Wednesday, March 2, when they spent the morning shadowing principals at Central, North, the Early Learning Center Preschool, Fouse, Cherrington, Huber Ridge, Mark Twain and Whittier.

Walnut Springs Students Spread the Word to End the Word

The 6th grade Boys to Mentors and Girls to Mentors groups at Walnut Springs Middle School, led by guidance counselor Tom Markle, made posters, shirts and banners in honor of Spread the Word to End the Word Day.

Pancakes are Enjoyed by Alcott Families at Annual Breakfast Gathering

On Saturday morning, February 20, the Alcott Elementary School PTA hosted its annual Family Pancake Breakfast at Westerville Central High School.  Chris Cakes was back to serve hot, fresh pancakes in their own unique way.  As part of the event, STEM stations were available so families could participate in various science, technology, engineering, and/or math activities.

Family Literacy Night Draws Enthusiastic Crowd of Readers at Cherrington

Crowds gathered at Cherrington Elementary School on Thursday evening, February 18, for the Family Literacy Night and Book Fair.  Pupils and their parents were invited to wear costumes as they made their way through the building visiting literacy stations to give parents strategies and activities they can use at home to improve reading.

Westerville Schools’ FabLab Showcased at Otterbein’s STEAM Innovation Center Event

Westerville City Schools was excited to showcase the district’s Mobile FabLab and highlight a partnership with Otterbein University last Friday at Otterbein’s STEAM Center announcement event. Otterbein University is partnering with leading organizations from the private and public sectors in Central Ohio to create a new science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) Innovation Center that will combine academics with the business and manufacturing needs of the Westerville community.

Westerville North Grad Jack Gibbs Featured in Sports Illustrated

Jack Gibbs, a 2013 Westerville North High School graduate who was recruited to play basketball at Davidson College in North Carolina, is featured in the February 23 edition of Sports Illustrated.  In a Campus Rush article written by Zac Ellis, Gibbs is reported to average 25.3 points per game, is tops in the Atlantic-10, and is ranked third nationally.

Westerville Education Foundation Names Teachers of the Month for February

The Westerville Education Foundation has named three educators Teacher of the Month for February – Teresa Momeni, Alcott Elementary: Karen Lee, Early Learning Center; and Summer Hale, Westerville South High School.

Westerville North’s Vicki Saunders is Athletic Director of the Year

Vicki Saunders was named Athletic Director of the Year by the Central District Wrestling Officials Association.  She was honored by the group on Tuesday evening, February 16, at the 94th Aerosquadron restaurant.  She received a plaque in appreciation of her “cooperation and commitment.”   

It’s Kindness Week at Westerville Central High School

Westerville Central High School is always a nice place to be, but especially this past week.  Students and staff were buying treats for each other and attaching uplifting messages of appreciation.  They also wore same colored clothing each day to commemorate positive thoughts.  Monday was pink for kindness; Tuesday red for love; Wednesday yellow for hope; Thursday green for friendship; and Friday blue for unity.  “Caught you being kind” notes were placed in a “Random Acts of Kindness” box and some were read during announcements.

Wilder’s K-Kids Support Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House

Wilder Elementary School’s K-Kids (Kiwanis Club) took a field trip on Saturday, February 20, to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.  They donated a box of 75 books to each place and were then given a tour of the Ronald McDonald House.  It was a great experience for the students to see firsthand how some children and families live when faced with a sick child.  Although the Ronald McDonald House offers many fun amenities, the children also had time to reflect on why the families were living there.  It was a thought-provoking experience for everyone involved.

Community Bowl-a-thon Raises Money to Support Education Initiatives of Local Organizations

Approximately 540 community members filled the lanes at the Columbus Square Bowling Palace on Saturday, February 13, to raise more than $40,000 for the Westerville Chamber Foundation, the Westerville Education Foundation, and the Westerville Symphony. Event proceeds fund scholarships, provide grants and bring musical performances and programs to the classroom for students.

Westerville Parent Council Sponsors Assessment Literacy Night for Parents on March 15

The Westerville Parent Council is sponsoring a parent workshop entitled, Assessment Literacy Night for Parents.  The session will be presented by Dr. Scott Ebbrecht, director of assessment and alternative education for Westerville City Schools.  The free event will take place from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, in the Westerville Central High School auditorium.

High School Athletic Trainers Organize Toiletry Drive to Benefit WARM

Athletic trainers from all three Westerville high schools worked together over a period of three weeks recently to organize their annual toiletries drive to benefit WARM.  The drive began January 19 and ran through February 5, with many students and faculty members donating items.

Minority Scholars Program Hosts Career Conversations

On Wednesday, February 10, the Minority Scholars Program hosted Career Conversations with guest speakers Dr. Cassandra Grenade, Oncologist/Hematologist with OSU Medical Center; and Dr. Fareeda Griffith, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Denison University. Both women shared personal stories of their journey from high school to their current career.

Robert Frost Students Collaborate on Valentine’s Day STEM Activity

Students in Cindy Campbell’s fifth grade class and Katie Carter’s first grade class at Robert Frost Elementary School put their heads together on Friday, February 12, when they met to work on a STEM activity.  The pupils were asked to create small boxes out of toothpicks and gum drops, then see how many conversation hearts would fit inside.  They were charged with collaborating on a plan to solve the challenge.

Don Ogle is Westerville Sunrise Rotary’s Service to Youth Recipient

Don Ogle, a Government teacher at Westerville Central High School, was surprised on February 18 when a group of Sunrise Rotarians showed up to present him with the Diane J. Conley Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise Service to Youth award.  He received a plaque from the club, along with a cake and a gift card donated by the Walmart Supercenter on Schrock Road.

Marschall McPeek Generates Interest in Weather among Second Graders at Robert Frost

Second grade students at Robert Frost Elementary School have been studying weather in Science class.  On Thursday, February 18, they were treated to a special visit from ABC6/FOX28 journalist Marschall McPeek, a longtime Columbus meteorologist who first joined the First Warning weather team and Good Day Columbus in September 2013.

Wilder Students Dance to Raise Money for the PTA

Wilder Elementary School hosted a dance-a-thon on February 11 to raise money for the PTA.  The students “boogied their hearts out” for 30 minutes and had a great time following dance moves from a Zumba teacher as many parents and teachers joined in the fun.

Mark Twain Service Club Works to Support the Troops

On Friday evening, February 12, several members from the Mark Twain Elementary School Service Club and their parents joined Marine Corp Family Support Community (MCFSC) members to help pack 120 boxes for men and women who are deployed in service to our country.

Westerville Electric Division Hosts Engineer for a Day

On Monday, February 8, 15 local high school students met at the Westerville Electric Division to participate in Engineer for a Day.  They were selected because they have expressed an interest in pursuing a career in engineering.  Electric Utility Manager Andrew Boatright, who organized the event, welcomed the pupils, who were paired up to shadow representatives from the City of Westerville’s Service, Planning & Development, Information Systems, Parks Maintenance and Electric Departments.

School Board Celebrates Winter High School Graduates

At the Regular Session on Monday evening, February 8, the Westerville City Schools Board of Education approved 38 student candidates for winter graduation who completed all local and state requirements.

Sixty at Westerville Middle School Science Fair Advance to District Competition

The Westerville Middle School Science Fair was held on Saturday morning, February 6, at Walnut Springs Middle School.  The contest featured 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from Walnut Springs, Blendon, Heritage, Genoa and Emerson in the Westerville City School District.  One hundred and thirty two participants enthusiastically shared their passion for science with nearly 30 judges.

Westerville North’s Taylor Crumrine Cast in OSU’s She Kills Monsters

Westerville North High School senior Taylor Crumrine has been cast in a role for the All Ohio State Thespian show, She Kills Monsters.  Crumrine will play Vera, a foul mouthed guidance counselor who thinks she is better than she actually is at her job.  She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition, by Qui Nguyen, is the story of Average Agnes, who is finally leaving her childhood home following the death of her sister, Tilly.  When going through Tilly’s belongings, she stumbles upon her Dungeons & Dragons notebook and Agnes embarks on an action-packed adventure to discover more about her geeky sibling than she previously cared to know.  This show is a heartwarming comedy about loss, bullies, and dragons.

Pointview Elementary Students Get Excited About Joining Leadership Teams

On Friday, February 5, the staff at Pointview Elementary School kicked off a Leadership Teams project as part of their adoption of the Seven Habits for Highly Effective Kids initiative.  Teachers presented their Leadership Team choices to the excited students in pep rally format.

Wilder Family Movie Night Draws Big Crowd

Family Movie Night at Wilder Elementary, hosted by the PTA, is becoming a popular tradition, and this year was no exception.  The Minions movie was shown in the Commons; games were played in the gym; popcorn was popped and pizza was delivered for families to enjoy.  Wilder K-Kids sold baked goods, prepared by families, to fund school and community projects.  Twenty students practiced their entrepreneurial skills, raising $200.

History Comes to Life through Oral Interviews at Genoa Middle School

Students in Tracy Jados’ sixth grade English Language Arts class at Genoa Middle School are learning about the value of firsthand knowledge by embarking on an oral history project designed to hone their interviewing and reporting skills. 

Westerville Central’s Zach Gonzalez Ends the Bowling Season on a Perfect Note

On Tuesday, February 9, in a very tight and competitive match, Westerville Central High School student Zach Gonzalez bowled a 300 game.  The conditions were perfect and the Columbus Square Bowling Palace was packed.  This was the last match of the year for Central’s senior bowlers, and even though Gonzalez is only a 9th grade student, he felt the pressure to make this a very memorable day for those bowlers who have given so much to the program.

Westerville South’s IB History Students Touch, Interact with Civil War History

On Friday, January 29, junior students in IB History of the Americas class at Westerville South High School got the opportunity to hear stories, hold authentic artifacts, and imagine the tales that might have gone with those relics as teacher Rich Schell and School Resource Office Corey Baker took them through an engaging tour of the Civil War time period.

It’s Energy Fair Season for Fifth Graders in Westerville

It is Energy Fair season for 5th graders in Westerville and every elementary school will be participating in a science day of discovery and learning.  Pupils learn about light, sound, sources of energy, heat, electricity, and more.  More than 375 students from all the high schools and middle schools in Westerville have trained to be part of an Energy Leadership Team. 

Hawthorne Students Help “Lost Boy” Fund Buckeye Clinic in Sudan

Life has been a long and harrowing journey for artist Bol Aweng, but he has come a long way, as evidenced by his visit to Hawthorne Elementary School this week. 

One School, One Book Brings out the Hamster in Everyone at McVay

McVay Elementary School is embarking on a very special project, an all school book club called One School, One Book.  Thanks to a generous gift from the PTA, each student there has received a copy of the same paperback, The World According to Humphrey by Betty Birney.

Thoroughly Modern Millie is Coming to Westerville North High School

Thoroughly Modern Millie, the high-spirited musical romp that has all of New York dancing the Charleston, is coming to Westerville North High School March 3 - 6.  Performances will take place at 7:00 p.m., and tickets cost $10.  The show is based on a book written by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan.

Educators Learn about Multi-Sensory Reading Instruction

Intervention specialists, teachers, ESL staff, reading specialists, instructional coaches and paraprofessionals from across the Westerville City School District are learning about multi-sensory reading instruction as they participate in a 30-hour professional development workshop sponsored by the Pupil Services Department.

Mark Twain Students Stand Up for Learning

Thanks to a generous grant from the Westerville Education Foundation in the amount of $5,984.23, thirty new desks and stools were purchased to help incorporate healthier habits into young people’s daily routines, and to evaluate the efficacy and effects of standing-bias desks versus the typical desk-and-chair configuration.  So far, the trial seems to be yielding rave reviews.

McVay Elementary Celebrates its Terrific Kids

A new “Terrific Kids” recognition program at McVay Elementary School kicked off on January 29 when parents were invited to attend breakfast and applaud as their students were honored for exemplifying Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive and Capable behavior.

Westerville North’s Antonio Shelton to Play Football at Penn State

On Wednesday, February 3, National Signing Day, Westerville North High School football great Antonio Shelton signed a Letter of Intent to play at Penn State University (PSU). 

Westerville High Schools Commemorate Black History Month

A number of activities are planned at Westerville high schools in celebration of Black History Month.

High School Course Description Guide Now Available for Review Online

In preparation for upcoming high school registration, the 2016-2017 High School Course Description Guide is now available on the Westerville City School District’s website, www.wcsoh.org.  Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors will begin registering the week of January 25.  Please check out the latest guide and Superintendent John Kellogg’s message regarding educational opportunities for high school students.

2016 Meeting Calendar Approved by Westerville City Schools Board of Education