There were no classes in the Westerville City School District on October 19, Central OEA/NEA Day, but buildings were still bustling with a variety of activities.
The Westerville Educational Support Staff Association (WESSA), for example, hosted a meeting in the Media Center at Westerville North, where this year’s focus was on Diversity and Cultural Awareness. The group also donated embellishments for The Turban Project, a ministry that makes and provides free headwear for patients who have lost their hair due to medical conditions. Immediate Past President Lonnie Thomas Robinson (Food Service) helped organize the event, where new Co-Presidents Ahmed Salaad (North ESL paraprofessional) and Sue Kaczor (Buildings and Grounds secretary) were introduced. WESSA represents district support staff such as English as a Second Language paraprofessionals and bilingual aides, study hall and building duty monitors, clerk typists, secretaries and health aides.
At Blendon Middle School, Westerville band students and their directors (grades 6-12) were invited to music workshops hosted by Otterbein University Professor Kimberlee Goodman (flute) and Capital University Professor Tony Zilincik (tuba). The clinicians offered one-on-one expertise in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Blendon band director Amy Levine organized the opportunity.
The Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) held their annual meeting at Westerville Central High School. Helping to organize the gathering were Shirley Timberlake, president of OAPSE Local 719, which represents Westerville City Schools’ bus drivers and mechanics; along with Jason Shenefield, president of OAPSE Local 138, representing district support staff such as custodians, food service workers, maintenance employees and warehouse staff. OAPSE is more than 34,000 members strong. Steve Mazzi, Director, Human Resources Licensed Staff, welcomed the group by telling them Westerville City Schools takes pride in hiring energetic, optimistic educators and support staff who are willing to do whatever it takes to elevate each child to their greatest potential. He said, “What you do matters.”
Westerville City Schools hosted its fourth annual Employee Health, Safety and Well-Being Fair. Ninety-six individuals attended the 2018 Health Fair, where 22 vendors exhibited their goods. A 5K Wellness Challenge at Walnut Springs Middle School was completed by 238 participants. The District’s Wellness Program motivates and educates school employees to improve their health and fitness levels by providing incentives throughout the school year. The Health & Safety Services department also offered staff and students the opportunity to become certified in CPR and First Aid.