District News
Mark Twain Celebrates 40 Years of Excellence in Education

Mark Twain Elementary School celebrated its 40th anniversary on Friday afternoon, November 21, at a school assembly and open house for the community. Highlights included the dedication of a new mural in the gymnasium, the creation of a time capsule, a display of the school’s history, and tours of the building led by student leaders.


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2014-15 International Week Celebrated At Emerson Magnet School

November 17-21 marked a very special period of learning at Emerson Magnet School, for that was International Week, and the theme was, “What a Wonderful World!”  International Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education.  It celebrates both international education and cultural understanding, focusing primarily on the importance of increasing knowledge and awareness of the world’s different cultures.  At Emerson, students got the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities. 


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Alcott Food Drive Nets 3,369 Pounds of Food for WARM

Once again this year, the annual Alcott Elementary School food drive for the Westerville Area Resource Ministry (WARM) was a huge success.  Spearheaded by Mike Mazzon’s fifth grade students, the Alcott community collected 3,369 pounds of food for families in need.


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Rotary Club of Westerville Names December Students of the Month

The Rotary Club of Westerville, which sponsors a Student of the Month program, recognized recipients at a luncheon at the Medallion Club held on Thursday, December 11.  December students are:  Ladan Barnes, Westerville North High School; Ali Chaudhry, Westerville South High School; and Mackenzie Kraker, St. Francis DeSales High School.


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Book Bonanza Provides Reading Material for Students at Huber Ridge Elementary School

Westerville Partners for Education (WPE) and the Westerville Kiwanis Club brought their Book Bonanza to students at Huber Ridge Elementary School on December 4.  The two sponsoring groups collected books from local bookstores, parents, club members, and even pupils from other schools.


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“Sounds of the Season” Slated at Westerville South on December 16
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Westerville North’s Chase Brumfield to Play Softball at Wheeling Jesuit University

On Tuesday, November 18, Westerville North High School senior Chase Brumfield signed a Letter of Intent to play softball as a Lady Cardinal at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia, where she has also been accepted into the Nursing program.


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ESL Parents Learn About Community Connections

On Wednesday, December 3, ESL parents met at Westerville Central High School to learn about local resources.  The meeting’s theme was “Community Connections,” and representatives from the Delaware Area Career Center, Otterbein University, the Westerville Public Library, and WARM attended to share information about their programs.  Lisa-Marie Reinhart, enrollment coordinator of the Delaware Area Career Center, showed parents available courses of study for high school students, as well as free adult ESL and GED classes.


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Popular All Pro Dads Program Getting Rave Reviews at Huber Ridge Elementary School

Sometimes busy families get so caught up in hectic schedules that they don’t always find the time to say the things that are most important.  On Friday morning, December 5, before school began, several fathers and other positive role models brought their children to the Huber Ridge Elementary School Library to participate in the All Pro Dads group, a monthly Family First program that focuses on family topics.


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Heritage Middle School’s Patrick Acocks Receives Rotary Sunrise Service to Youth Award

The Sunrise Rotarians said Acocks devotes time and energy to students in all leadership positions he fills.  In addition to teaching and being the point person for the Social Studies Department at Heritage, he is an advisor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, track coach for Heritage, and basketball coach at Westerville North.


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Master Teachers Recognized at Board of Education Meeting

Master Teachers demonstrate excellence inside and outside the classroom through consistent leadership and focused collaboration to maximize student learning.  They strive for distinguished teaching and continued professional growth, as specified by the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession.


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Walnut Springs Assistant Principal Challenges Students to Keyboarding Contest

“Mash a Key with Mr. C” was the name of an exciting event that took place at Walnut Springs Middle School on Monday morning, December 8.  Assistant Principal Ernest Clinkscale challenged the top 25 typists in Jane Elliott’s Literacy Skills for Career Education classes to a type-off.


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Cherrington “Girls on the Run” Team Completes 5K

Girls from Cherrington, Hanby and Wilder elementary schools make up the official Cherrington team that participated in the Girls on the Run 5K Walk & Run, held on November 15 at the Columbus Commons.  After committing to 10 weeks of training every Monday and Wednesday, the girls braved the cold weather to celebrate their great accomplishment.  Throughout the process, the Girls on the Run program encouraged self-reflection and builds self-confidence meant to empower young females in grades 3-5.


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Leadership Westerville Participants Shadow Principals, Learn about School District
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140 Students Participate in Ninth Annual Elementary Leadership Summit

The 9th annual Elementary Leadership Summit took place on Friday, November 21, at Westerville South High School.  More than 140 third, fourth and fifth grade students from all Westerville elementary schools were in attendance.  Attendees were selected based on essays they submitted earlier in the school year.


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Westerville South Students Help Friends of the Shelter during annual “Howliday” Bazaar

On Saturday, November 22, Friends of the Shelter hosted its annual “Howliday Bazaar” to raise money for the urgent medical care of sick and injured dogs that arrive at the Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center.  Many holiday and dog-themed products were sold, as well as delicious baked goods for both humans and pets.  “The students from Westerville South helped us decorate Christmas trees and organize this huge project,” said Jay Rowsey, Trustee and Marketing Director for Friends of the Shelter.  “Their participation helped make our event run very smoothly and their dedication to give back to our community is inspiring.”


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GEM Award Nominations Sought by Westerville Parent Council

The deadline for GEM Award nominations is Monday, February 9, 2015.  Sponsored by Roush Honda and Westerville Parent Council, the annual GEM Awards, which stands for “Great Educator Mentors” in Westerville Schools, honors community members, volunteers, teachers and staff who consistently go above and beyond for students in Westerville schools.


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Otterbein Professor Focuses on Developing Cultural Connections for Westerville Parents

On Thursday, November 20, Professor Dee Knoblauch of Otterbein University provided an interactive workshop for Westerville City Schools community members.  Sponsored by Parent Council and the Westerville ESL Department, the evening was designed to help families build positive relationships between our diverse cultures.  As part of the school district’s strategic plan with regard to stakeholder engagement, the ESL Department is working to “build strong partnerships among schools, families, students, businesses, organizations and agencies.”


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Winter Break Draws Near

Classes in the Westerville City School District will not be held during winter break from December 22, 2014 to January 2, 2015.


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Westerville School Board Recognizes Seven A+ Award Winners

At the Westerville City Schools Board of Education meeting held November 24, seven exemplary employees received A+ Awards for actions demonstrating support of the district’s Mission Statement; willingness to go above and beyond normal expectations in support of students; and behavior consistent with one or more of the district’s values.


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BOE to Meet in December
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Cherrington Students Trade Candy to Help Others

Cherrington Elementary School’s fifth grade students organized a service project with the BuyBack Program through Copeland Mill Dental the week following “trick or Treat” night in Westerville.  It was the students’ decision to donate all proceeds to the Curt Jackowski Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will help send a student from all three Westerville high schools to college.


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Westerville North’s Mason Miller will Swim for Buffalo

Mason Miller, a senior at Westerville North High School, has signed his National Letter of Intent to swim for the State University of New York at Buffalo in the fall of 2015.


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Hawthorne Third Graders Researching History of their School

Kate Mantenieks’ third grade students at Hawthorne Elementary School decided to keep the study of local history close to home.  They are researching the history of their school.  Little has been written about the history of Hawthorne so the class has been interviewing former students and teachers, with help from Westerville historian Beth Weinhardt and Dr. Dorothy Leal.


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Westerville North Sandvik Twins will Run at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

On Thursday, November 13, Westerville North High School seniors Haley and Heather Sandvik signed National Letters of Intent to run cross country and track at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


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225 Blendon Middle School Students Lauded During Renaissance Celebration

Having qualified for the first quarter 2014-15 Renaissance Awards, 225 Blendon students celebrated their academic and community service achievements by enjoying an afternoon of bowling at Gahanna Lanes on November 6.  To participate, pupils must meet high standards in academics, community service, attendance, attitude, and school spirit.


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High School Hall of Fame Nominations Sought

Westerville North and Westerville South High Schools are now accepting nominations for their Alumni Halls of Fame.  The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee at each school coordinates this program.  The Hall of Fame is open to candidates who graduated from either high school at least 10 years ago.  Nominations are particularly sought of men and women who have achieved success in their career and made significant contributions in their field, as well as to society in general.


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Huber Ridge Students Celebrate School’s Golden Anniversary

tudents, staff and administrators gathered in the gymnasium for an assembly on Friday, November 14 to celebrate Huber Ridge Elementary School’s 50th anniversary.  Different grade levels were responsible for researching big events and trends that took place during the five decades the school has been in existence and they presented their findings through PowerPoint presentations and music.


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Westerville South Recognizes Cats with Class

hirty-six students at Westerville South High School were recognized as “Cats with Class” at a breakfast and ceremony held bright and early on Wednesday morning, November 19.  “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.


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Blendon Middle School Students Explore History through Biography Wax Museum

A lot of famous historical characters could be found at the Blendon Middle School Biography Wax Museum, held in the library on Monday afternoon, November 17.  The event was hosted by sixth grade students in the fifth period enriched Language Arts class, under the direction of “museum curator” Stephanie Sahr.


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Fouse Elementary’s Deb Ubry Receives Service to Youth Award from Rotary Sunrise

Deb Ubry, a first grade teacher at Fouse Elementary School, was surprised on November 17 when a group of Sunrise Rotarians showed up at a supposed staff meeting to present her with the Diane J. Conley Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise Service to Youth award.  She received flowers and a plaque from the club, along with a cake and a gift card donated by the Walmart Supercenter on Schrock Road. In addition, an American flag will be flown in her honor during Westerville’s Field of Heroes display.  


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Ninth Annual Warrior Way Leadership Summit Draws 200 Students

The annual Warrior Way Leadership Summit was held for the 9th year on Friday, November 14 at Westerville North High School.  Nearly 200 students self-nominated or were nominated by teachers and staff in the building to attend the event.  About half of the nominated students were chosen to attend if they had shown leadership qualities or if they have the potential to be a leader within their peer group.


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Westerville Students Featured on WOCC’s School’s Out

The show can be watched online at Otterbein.tv, under the School’s Out tab.  It can also be viewed on Time Warner cable in Westerville on channel 96-7.  U-verse subscribers can watch it on channel 99 by surfing through the menu.


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Westerville Schools Hosts Community Assembly Program Inspiring Students to Invent

On Wednesday, December 3, Westerville Schools will host a free Invention Convention Community Assembly from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the Early Learning Center.  The dynamic duo of “Captain Gadget” and “Dr. Claire” will inspire students to invent as a part of the Invention Convention program presented by Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds. All K-8 students (and their parents and siblings) are invited to attend.


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Hanby Students Learn from Erosion Experiment

Linda Pettit from the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District spent the day in Sara Thiegs’ fourth grade science classes at Hanby Elementary School on November 13 to demonstrate erosion using a simulator.


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Blendon Honor Students Participate in Craft Club with Pointview Children

Blendon Middle School National Honor Society students spread some holiday cheer on Wednesday afternoon, November 19, when they traveled to Pointview Elementary to host a Craft Club for more than 40 youngsters who stayed late after school to participate.


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Rusty Cottrel Portrays Shawnee Indian Chief Black Hoof at Hawthorne Elementary

Students learned that Black Hoof (1740-1831) was the head civil chief of the Shawnee Indians in the Ohio Country of what became the United States.  A member of the Mekoche division of the Shawnees, Black Hoof became known as a fierce warrior during the early wars between the Shawnee and Anglo-American colonists.


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Heritage Counselor Provides Personal Hygiene Boxes to Middle School Guidance Offices

For many years, Heritage Middle School Guidance Counselor Jill Ponzi helped support an all- girl’s orphanage in Ukraine through a charity she founded called “StarfishNadia,” named after a girl she met there in 2006.  A few years back her American friends in Ukraine returned to the United States, so Ponzi lost her pipeline to the orphanage. But she did not lose her desire to help others.


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Rotary Club of Westerville Names November Students of the Month

The Rotary Club of Westerville, which sponsors a Student of the Month program, recognized recipients at a luncheon at Villa Milano held on Thursday, November 6.  November students are:  Adonis Johnson, Westerville Central High School; Trevor Dilley, Westerville North High School; Alex Chapman, Westerville South High School; and Nicholas Moonis, St. Francis DeSales High School.


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NOAA’s Theresa Smith Spends the Day with Mark Twain Students

Lieutenant Junior Grade Theresa Smith, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps (NOAA), spent the day in Chris Henricksen’s fifth grade classroom at Mark Twain Elementary School on Friday, November 7.  She had an interesting tale to tell about her journey, which began as a Westerville City Schools student.


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Stellar Students at Heritage Enjoy Ice Cream Sundae Social

On Wednesday, November 5, Heritage Middle School hosted an Ice Cream Sundae Social to celebrate 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Renaissance qualifiers from the first quarter of this school year.  More than 350 students were in attendance.  Pupils enjoyed their ice cream with toppings such as chocolate or caramel drizzle, Oreo pieces, sprinkles, and whipped cream.


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Westerville North Students Take Advantage of College Application Day on November 10

Westerville North High School sponsored its first College Application Day as part of a statewide initiative through the Ohio Board of Regents, which is a state government board that oversees higher education, and Ohio’s Association of College Admissions Counselors. They have designated November as College Application Month and are asking high schools to participate by creating events to provide access for high school seniors to apply to at least one school and give them an opportunity to receive help navigating through the tedious process.


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Seven New Master Teachers to be Recognized by the Westerville Board of Education

At the December 8 Board of Education meeting, the Westerville City School District will honor seven educators for having received the Master Teacher designation from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).  They are:  Westerville North High School social studies teacher Jennifer Walpole; and Huber Ridge Elementary teachers Natalie Bentz (grade 4); Erin Berg (intervention specialist), William Britton (visual art); Chassidy Goulden (grade 2); Brian Shanks (grade 5); and Melissa Workman (grade 5).


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Boots, BBQ and the Buckeyes Event Raises Money for Challenge Day

On Saturday evening, November 8, students, parents, educators and community members gathered in the barn of Skip and Linda Weiler for Boots, BBQ and the Buckeyes, a yearly event presented by Westerville Education Challenge.  Attendees enjoyed delicious food, great company and live music as they watched the Buckeyes defeat Michigan State on a big-screen TV.


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Knights of Columbus Presents Special Education Department with Generous Donation

Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Sebastian Mauricio and Deputy Grand Knight P. Michael Brunetti visited the administrative offices of the Westerville City School District on Friday, November 7, to present a check in the amount of $4,900.27 to the Special Education Department.


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Veterans are Honored Throughout School District on November 11

Dr. John Kellogg, Superintendent of Schools, issued the following statement to his staff:  “Please let us never forget that freedom comes with a price.  To those of you who have served our country to protect our freedom, thank you.  Many of you have lost loved ones to war or have loved one(s) that have served or continue to serve our country, thank you for that sacrifice.  A successful society takes individuals who are willing to serve.  That service often translates into serving our community in positions such as teachers, business owners, and so much more.  Thank you for being a conscience to our nation and serving as a heroic example of who we are and what we can dream to be.”


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Westerville Schools Named “Readers Choice” Among Central Ohio Public School Systems

ThisWeek Community News recently announced the results of its 2014 Readers Choice Awards contest and the Westerville City School District is pleased to have earned Third Place in the “Public School” category.


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Board of Education Approves 2015-2016 School Calendar
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Financial Forecast Highlights Include Cash Balance Stretching Emergency Levy Additional Year

Westerville City School District Treasurer/CFO Bart Griffith on Monday presented Board of Education members with a revised financial forecast indicating the district will end Fiscal Year 2019 with a cash balance of $38.4 million.  Several factors, including belt-tightening measures by district officials and increased state revenue, have contributed to the district’s ability to maintain a cash balance through FY19, which is four years longer than originally projected when voters approved an emergency operating levy in March of 2012


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Westerville School District Hosts Multitude of Foreign Exchange Students

For many years, Westerville City Schools has hosted foreign exchange students hailing from practically every part of the globe.  Cumulative records were not kept prior to the 2005-2006 school year, but since then, 106 foreign exchange students have walked the hallowed halls of Westerville high schools.  This year alone, 14 pupils from various places around the world are soaking up American culture and education.


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Westerville Education Foundation Offering Sponsorships for “GAP Initiative” Website

“We’re offering local businesses a limited opportunity to become involved in this initiative by sponsoring our three new modules on the WEF website,” explained Fawaz Hamoui, chair of the WEF Development Committee.  “There are two sponsorship levels: Varsity and Junior Varsity. Only six Varsity sponsorships are available, while nine Junior Varsity sponsorships are available.”


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