District News
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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Cherrington Winterfest & Craft Show is Saturday, December 6

It’s back and better than ever!  The Cherrington Winterfest & Craft Show will be held Saturday, December 6, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  Admission is free.  Come out for a few hours of fun and browse one-of-a-kind items and unique gift shopping from various vendors and crafters.


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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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Gingerbread Cottage Craft Show Slated for December 6 at Westerville South High School

The 17th annual Gingerbread Cottage Craft Show will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 6 at Westerville South High School.


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ESL Students at Westerville North Enjoy Lunch Bunch Game Day

Going to high school isn’t always fun and games, but sometimes it actually is!  Westerville North High School’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Department hosts a Lunch Bunch game day twice a month on Fridays.  ESL teacher Amal Doom and ESL Paraprofessional Rhonda Letterio open up a classroom during the fourth period lunch break when students who have been working hard and performing well in their classes are invited to socialize and play board games.


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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 South’s Parker Williams is the Face of Scouting for Food in Central Ohio

Westerville South High School sophomore Parker Williams has become for many the face of Scouting for Food in Central Ohio.  He was featured on a recent Facebook post from the Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America for his steadfast help in hauling food donations for all five years of the Council’s media partnership with ABC 6/Fox 28 in celebration of Scouting for Food.


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Westerville North Theatre Boosters Present Senior-Directed One-Acts December 4 & 5

Westerville North High School Theatre Boosters will present Westerville North Senior Directed One-Acts at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 4 and Friday, December 5.  Tickets, which will be sold at the door, cost $5 for general admission seating.


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Genoa Police Officer Warns Students about the Dangers of Drug Use

Sergeant Shane Frye, a former narcotics agent who now serves as a Genoa Township police officer, visited Westerville Central High School recently to speak with Brent Morrison’s social studies classes about the dangers of drug use and how widespread drug trafficking is in Columbus and the surrounding suburbs.


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Collaborative STEAMHub Comes to Hanby

Westerville Partners for Education hosted a special STEAMHub session at Hanby Elementary on November 5 and has plans for a Hub at Emerson on December 4.  These Hubs are opportunities for businesses and organizations to meet and collaborate with teachers about upcoming projects for the year, field trip opportunities, resource sharing, and are a chance for organization leaders to learn more about Westerville Schools.


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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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December 3 ESL Parent Meeting Will Cover Variety of Topics

All English as a Second Language (ESL) parents and families are invited to attend a meeting on December 3 called “Community Connections,” which will focus on resources in the Westerville Schools community.  The event will take place in the Westerville Central High School library from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening, December 3.


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Westerville Partners Brings Tutoring Program to Pointview

In partnership with Columbus Tutoring Initiative, Westerville Partners for Education kicked off a new lunchtime tutoring program for second grade students at Pointview Elementary.  Nine tutors attended training in August and September and began working with students for 40 minute sessions in October.


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North/South Cross Town Rivalry is a Cherished Community Tradition

For the past 37 years, the Westerville North vs. Westerville South varsity football game has become a cherished community tradition that has drawn thousands of spectators and created lifelong memories for those who come to cheer on their team.  The game played on Friday, October 31, was no exception.  What some may not know is that much more happens at this event than football.


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“Cultural Connections for Westerville Parents” Slated for November 20

Otterbein University Professor Dee Knoblauch will present a program called “Cultural Connections for Westerville Parents” on Thursday evening, November 20.  Professor Knoblauch will lead a discussion on ways positive relationships can be built within the community’s diverse cultural groups.  The event will take place from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Board Room on the second floor of the Early Learning Center.


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Spooky Read Night Enchants McVay Students and Parents Alike

On Wednesday evening, October 29, McVay Elementary School hosted its second annual Spooky Read Night.  In addition to teachers reading out loud in their classrooms, children and parents enjoyed a Woods Art Walk and performance.


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Hanby and McVay Chosen for Adaption, Integration and the Arts Residency Program

VSA Ohio, the state organization on arts and disability, has revealed the names of 21 schools selected for the Adaptation, Integration and the Arts (AIA) residency program during the 2014-2015 school year.  Included on the list are Hanby Magnet Elementary and McVay Elementary in Westerville


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Huber Ridge Celebrates 50 Years of Learning, Family and Fun

Students, staff and administrators will gather in the gymnasium for an assembly at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, November 14 to celebrate Huber Ridge Elementary School’s 50th anniversary.


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Seven to Receive Westerville City Schools A+ Awards

A+ Awards honor outstanding school employees whose actions demonstrate support of the district’s Mission Statement, which is “To prepare students to contribute to the competitive and changing world in which we live;” willingness to go above and beyond normal expectations in support of students; and behavior consistent with one or more of the district’s values, including respect, inclusiveness, community, communication, collaboration, innovation, nurturing, trust and accountability.


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Westerville Christian’s “Friday Fare” Feeds Hungry Families throughout School District

In 2008, as part of Westerville Christian Church’s 40th anniversary celebration, “Friday Fare” began as a ministry to reach out and help the Westerville community.  A small group of volunteers provided weekend meals for six hungry families in two schools.  Six years later, the Friday Fare program has mushroomed.  They now serve 82 families in 15 schools, 13 of which are in the Westerville City School District.


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Westerville Preschoolers Trick or Treat Upstairs in the Early Learning Center

October 30 was a fun day at the Early Learning Center, both upstairs and downstairs.  Approximately 270 preschool students, dressed in festive costumes, trick-or-treated in the Westerville City Schools administrative offices, which were decorated specifically for the little ones.


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Schools Close for Thanksgiving Break

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, classes in the Westerville City School District will not be held on Wednesday, November 26; Thursday, November 27; or Friday, November 28.  Offices will be closed November 27 and November 28.


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Westerville Staff Learns How to Motivate Students

Adjunct instructor for Ashland University and Alcott Elementary School Principal Joseph Uher facilitates a graduate level course for 20 staff members in the Westerville City School District.  Participants represent a wide range of employees, including support personal and future retirees.


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Alcott Raises $13,000+; Celebrates 100 Percent Attendance for Third Grade OAA’s

The Alcott Elementary School Walk-A-Thon was held at Westerville Central High School’s track on September 26.  Students from all grade levels walked and ran to raise $13,355.20 for the Alcott PTA to fund projects such as Chromebooks, books for the library, and special events.


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Club Donates American Girl Doll and Books to Hawthorne Elementary School

On Monday morning, October 27, Brenda Doughty, representing the Olentangy Valley Doll Club of Ohio, made a special delivery to Hawthorne Elementary School where she donated an American Girl doll – Marie-Grace Gardner – for students to enjoy in the media center.


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Cherrington Principal Takes on New Persona for Daily Announcements

Cherrington Elementary School students surpassed their fundraising goal this year of $10,500, so Principal Andy Heck kept his part of the bargain and treated pupils to daily singing of their announcements.


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Westerville South Presents Annual Scholarship Show November 15 – Through the Decades

Westerville South High School thespians will present their annual scholarship show at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 15.  Tickets cost $5 at the door for this year’s program, Through the Decades.


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Bette Marschall Grant Recipients Announced

The Bette Marschall Memorial Education Fund of The Columbus Foundation has announced the recipients of 12 grant awards totaling $3,344 to Westerville City Schools personnel for applications submitted this fall.


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Kohl’s Volunteer Grant Makes Pointview’s “Trunk or Treat” Extra Special This Year

Pointview Elementary School’s annual Trunk or Treat party was a smashing success this year, made even more special thanks to volunteers from Kohl’s.  As part of the company’s Associates in Action program, Kohl’s employees joined PTA and parent/teacher volunteers in manning game stations, operating a maze and helping with food and festivities.


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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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BOE to Meet in November
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Wilder Elementary School’s Oktoberfest Draws Large Crowd

The Wilder Elementary School PTA hosted its annual Oktoberfest on Thursday evening, October 16.  Families packed the building to partake in carnival-type games, where they earned points to redeem for prizes.  Activities were manned by parent volunteers and Otterbein students.


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Important Information to Know about Ohio’s Next Generation Assessments

Westerville City School District personnel and students continue to prepare for Ohio’s new state tests, known as Next Generation Assessments.  These assessments will be given in the areas of English Language Arts (Reading), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.  Parents and community members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the following key points about these new state assessments:


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Forget Waldo, Where’s Mr. Uher?

Alcott Elementary School’s Student Council wanted to come up with a project to promote unity and they also wanted to introduce everyone to their new principal, Joseph Uher.  So, the “Where’s Mr. Uher?” board was created.


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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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Educators Gather to Learn from Westerville’s Successful EOS Program

After 14 years and more than 1,000 graduates, the Westerville City Schools Educational Options for Success (EOS) program had the distinct opportunity to host and offer assistance to other Ohio districts interested in developing or improving an alternative educational program.  On Friday, September 26, the Ohio Department of Education held a professional workshop at the Academic Enrichment Center for alternative education.  Administrators, teachers, and counselors from around Ohio came together to learn more about the award-winning success of Westerville’s EOS program, its history, programmatic strengths, and day-to-day operations.


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Big Crowds Turn Out for School Daze, Westerville’s Final 4th Friday of the Season

Crowds turned out en masse for School Daze on September 26, Westerville’s last 4th Friday of the season. Students, staff and administrators gathered on the front lawn of Hanby Elementary to present activities and achievements in subject areas including math, science, technology, language arts, performing and visual arts, social studies, health and wellness and extracurriculars. The District also had its new FabLab on display, a mobile facility that will introduce students to advanced manufacturing skills and tools such as laser cutters, 3D printers and robotics.


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Board, Superintendent Recognize Parent Volunteer Groups

At its meeting on Monday evening, September 22, the Westerville City Schools Board of Education and Superintendent recognized all 35 parent support organizations, including each booster group, each Parent Teacher Association, each Parent Teacher Organization, each Parent Teacher Student Association, the Westerville African American Parent Association, Westerville Partners for Education and the Westerville Parent Council for selflessly volunteering their time and talents for the betterment of students and staff in the Westerville City School District.


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Circle of Giving Results in New Equipment for Best of Both Worlds Students

The Best of Both Worlds (BOBW) program at Otterbein University this week received new bicycles, helmets and sports equipment, thanks to the generosity of State Farm and Share-Bac-A-Pac.  How this came to happen is a story of kindness, giving back, and perhaps, a bit of good karma.


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Westerville’s Performance Remains Strong on Redesigned State Report Card

The Westerville City School District’s latest state report card indicates that students once again attained high levels of academic achievement during the 2013-2014 school year, but also revealed areas that need evaluation and improvement.


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Westerville Schools Ranked 18th Best in Nation by Movoto

Movoto Real Estate, a national online real estate brokerage, recently released its findings, after collecting data for 109 different suburbs using sources including the U.S. Census American Community Survey and GreatSchools.org.  They considered student/teacher ratio; money spent per year per student; high school graduation rate; and the GreatSchools.org rating (based on test scores for the area).


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