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District News

Cherrington builds on family outreach efforts with summer book drop Cherrington teachers greet students at a book drop site in the Northern Woods neighborhood.

A crowd of Cherrington Elementary students and their parents gathered at their Blendon Woods neighborhood last week, awaiting the arrival of Principal Andy Heck and their teachers.

Blendon principal part of state task force focused on educating Black students Blendon Middle School Principal Kendall Harris

Blendon Middle School Principal Kendall Harris is part of a state task force charged with identifying best practices that improve educational outcomes for Ohio’s Black children.

Ohio sales tax holiday starts Aug. 6 Sale tax holiday starts Aug. 6.

Save money on your back-to-school supplies and clothing by shopping during Ohio’s annual sales tax holiday, which starts midnight Friday, Aug. 6 and runs through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8.

Westerville band students participate in Ohio State marching band summer clinic Participants in Ohio State's marching band summer high school clinic

Westerville high school band students participated in the Ohio State University Marching Band Summer High School Clinic earlier this month, where they developed their marching and performance skills.

Alcott receives national award for book fair that brings more diverse books to classroom libraries

Alcott Elementary is one of 10 schools in the nation to receive a President’s Award for Exceptional Performance from the Scholastic Book Fairs Elementary National Contest.

Westerville special needs baseball program hosts All-Star game Aug. 8 Blendon Westerville Little League Challenger Division logo

The Challenger Division of the Blendon Westerville Little League (BWLL) program is hosting its All-Star Game 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8 at Hoff Woods Park, Diamond 5. 

Central Ohio museums offering discounted tickets to underserved families Museums for All logo

Six Columbus cultural institutions are offering free or discounted tickets to families who qualify for Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) benefits. 

WNHS Class of 1981 announces 40th reunion celebration

Westerville North High School’s Class of 1981 is kicking off its 40th reunion celebration at the  WNHS home football game against Westerville Central High School on Aug. 20, where former principal Lee Whitaker and former head football coach Ron Balconi will be honored. An after-party will follow at Harry Buffalo, 6150 S. Sunbury Road. The reunion event will be held Saturday, Aug. 21 at Wendell’s Pub, 925 N. State St.

Students and families are invited to the annual First Time Riders event Students doing bus activities

On Saturday, July 31, students and families will have an opportunity to learn about and explore school buses and the MyVan vehicles. This annual event is open to any student who might ride a bus or MyVan for the first time or who is apprehensive about the school transportation experience.

Administrative succession planning continues; Baldwin named Executive Director Anne Baldwin

The Westerville City School District (WCSD) Board of Education approved another organizational move during its June 28 regular board meeting as part of the district’s continuing succession planning initiative.

Anne Baldwin became the district’s Executive Director of Secondary Academic Affairs effective July 1, 2021, filling the vacancy created by Scott Reeves’ transition to Executive Director of Human Resources.

Westerville students qualify for the AAU Junior Olympic Nationals Track Meet Westerville students qualify for the AAU Junior Olympic Nationals Track Meet

Three Westerville students have qualified for the AAU Junior Olympic Nationals Track Meet in Houston on Aug. 2-7.

Blendon students to compete in national fishing tournament Blendon students compete in national fishing tournament

Brooks Hibbitt and Grant Buzard, two rising seventh-graders at Blendon Middle School, will compete in the National B.A.S.S. Junior Fishing Tournament on October 8 and 9 in Tennessee.

Westerville Central High School’s baseball field recognized by statewide organization Westerville Central High School baseball field

Westerville Central High School received this year’s Field of the Year Award from the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association

District continues administrative realignments for succession planning purposes Scott Reeves

The Westerville City Schools Board of Education approved another organizational move during its June 14  regular board meeting as part of the district’s succession planning initiative.

Westerville high school students led projects to enact change through Central Ohio collaborative Image from the Student Leadership Research Collaborative presentation by students at Westerville South High School

When a group of juniors at Westerville South High School (WSHS) surveyed their peers about a change they’d want to see in their school, many of them talked about a need for practical skills such as cooking, car maintenance and financial literacy. 

Another group of juniors at Westerville North High School (WNHS) focused their survey to peers about staff diversity and whether they’ve been able to connect with teachers whose racial and ethnic background is different from their own. 

Westerville Virtual Academy do not need to re-enroll in the district Westerville Virtual Academy logo

Students who were enrolled in the Westerville Virtual Academy (WVA) for the 2020-21 school year are still considered to be enrolled in Westerville City Schools.  

New for the 2021-2022 School Year: SafeArrival Attendance Reporting SafeArrival image

Next school year, all Westerville City School District families will report student absences through a secure system called SafeArrival.  In addition to reducing the time it takes to verify student attendance, this system gives families more options to report a child’s absence and allows our staff to immediately investigate discrepancies. This is especially important when a child is reported absent during attendance and the office has not notified that the student would be missing school that day. 

More than 50 Westerville graduates signed letters of intent this spring to play athletics in college  Collage of Westerville North seniors signing letters of intent spring 2021

More than 50 members of the Class of 2021 signed letters of intent for a collegiate sport this spring.

Two Westerville students honored by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth logo

Anna C. McCracken, an incoming fifth-grader at Emerson Elementary, and Anthony H. Malek, an incoming freshman at Westerville Central High School, have been honored as two of the brightest students in the world by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY).

Westerville Caring & Sharing back to school supply drive Westerville Caring & Sharing Back to School Drive

Westerville Caring & Sharing will be offering school supplies for qualifying students for the 2021-22 school year. 

Emergency Broadband Benefit available to households in need of internet services during the pandemic

Eligible families struggling to cover the costs for internet service during the pandemic can participate in the Federal Communication Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program. 

Westerville North raises more than $3,000 for the Friends of Faith Pruden Foundation Strike Out Cancer softball round-robin fundraiser for the Friends of Faith Pruden Foundation

The Westerville North High School community raised $3,471 for the Friends of Faith Pruden Foundation as part of its Faith’s Spirit Week and the Strike Out Cancer softball round-robin on May 1.

5K Run/Walk organized by Westerville North student is Aug. 22 Diabetes Dash on Aug. 22

The third annual Diabetes Dash 5K Run/Walk organized by Westerville North High School student Ryan Washburn is Aug. 22 at the Westerville Sports Complex. 

Federal pandemic funds, conservative spending improve district financial picture despite continued state challenges

Expansion of voucher program the latest legislative maneuver to fund private education at the expense of Ohio’s local taxpayers, public schools

Nine proposals awarded 2021 Spring Grant from the Westerville Education Foundation Westerville Education Foundation logo

New clubs to support student needs, school garden projects and an African-American Read-In are among the nine proposals awarded a 2021 Spring Grant from the Westerville Education Foundation (WEF). 

Westerville North senior earns associate degree ahead of high school diploma Andilyn McCallum

Westerville North High School senior Andilyn McCallum has completed a feat no other member of Westerville’s Class of 2021 has done this year: She earned her college degree before her high school diploma.

Westerville North’s Warrior Way Mentor program builds community across grade levels, schools Warrior Way Mentors

The first- and second-graders are years away from their freshman year at Westerville North High School but their mentors want them to know they are already part of the Warrior community.

Westerville South senior named a Class of 2021 Ron Brown Scholar Emmanuel Okyere

Emmanuel Okyere, a senior at Westerville South High School, is among 45 students in the nation who have been named a Class of 2021 Ron Brown Scholar.

Three Westerville high school students receive Girl Scout Silver Award Westerville students receive the Girl Scout Silver Award

Three Westerville high school students who are members of Westerville Troop 1434 have been awarded the Silver Award, the second-highest award in the Girl Scouts. 

Heritage sixth-grader advances to State Science Day competition Heritage students compete in District Science Day

Olivia JaJack, a sixth-grader at Heritage Middle School, has advanced to the State Science Day competition, which will be held virtually in June. 

Two elementary schools cap the school year with virtual musical productions Robert Frost elementary students perform "Lift Every Voice and Sing" in American Sign Language

Two Westerville elementary schools organized musical performances in videos to be shared with families and across the school.

Emerson’s Kindness Ninjas named Kindness Heroes Mayor Kathy Cocuzzi recognizes Emerson's Kindness Ninjas as Kindness Heroes

The five Emerson Elementary students who launched a kindness campaign with encouraging hand-written notes, posters and gifts as the Kindness Ninjas have been given a new name by Mayor Kathy Cocuzzi: Kindness Heroes.

Westerville North Athletic Booster Club’s annual auction fundraiser is July 31

The Westerville North Athletic Booster Club is hosting its 2021 WNABC Auction on July 31 in the WNHS Main Gym. 

Westerville Area Kids Lunch Club to serve free meals from June 1 to August 11 Kids Lunch Club logo

The Kids Lunch Club will serve meals outdoors on weekdays, rain or shine, from June 1 to August 11.

Westerville Central’s Justice Activist projects discuss gaps in equity and inclusion efforts Westerville Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg talks to students about the district's equity work

The students in Kyle King’s “Race and Equity Studies: The Quest for Justice in the US” class at Westerville Central High School started the course with a deep dive on the history of systemic oppression in different communities. 

Kindness Ninjas spread support and encouragement throughout Emerson Kindness Ninjas at Emerson Elementary

The posters appeared suddenly throughout Emerson Elementary. 

Hawthorne Elementary celebrates end of the school year with Summer Send-off parade  Hawthorne Elementary staff organize summer send-off parade for students, families

The Hawthorne Elementary school community wanted to finish the school year the same way they welcomed students back to the buildings in September — with a parade.

Blendon eighth-grader is state champion in 110 meter hurdles William Baumann wins state championship in 110-meter hurdles.

William Baumann, an eighth-grader at Blendon Middle School, is the school’s first Track & Field state champion in the 110-meter hurdles for the Ohio High School Athletic Association state track and field meet for seventh- and eighth-graders.

Where Everybody Belongs student leaders connect with Spring Play Day WEB leaders at Blendon Middle School get started on their training during the 2020-21 school year.

The incoming student leaders in the Where Everybody Belongs program at all four Westerville middle schools got their first taste of training just days before the end of the school year.

Battle of the Books: Westerville South earns four consecutive win, middle school teams compete Westerville South Battle of the Books team for the 2020-21 school year

Westerville South High School’s (WSHS) Battle of the Books team took top honors against 10 Central Ohio teams in the Ohio Capital Conference, winning the competition for the fourth consecutive year. 

Heritage and Genoa teacher helps students find connection through art Compilation of art projects organized by Juls Rathje for the 2020-21 school year.

Juls Rathje embraced a common approach to all the projects she rolled out for her art students at Genoa and Heritage middle schools this year: creating meaningful connections.

Westerville South hosts annual Fine Arts Signing Day Westerville South High School Fine Arts Signing 2021

Ten Westerville South High School seniors pursuing degrees in the arts were honored in the school’s annual Fine Arts Signing Day.

McElroy named director of Safety & Security as part of administrative realignment plans Steve McElroy

The Westerville City Schools Board of Education approved another organizational move to meet the district’s succession planning needs at its May 10 board meeting.

Annehurst’s 50th anniversary features school-wide activities, birthday celebration Annehurst Elementary student draws a message on the playground during the school's 50th birthday party

Since the start of the year, the staff and students at Annehurst Elementary have been celebrating the school’s 50th anniversary. 

Scaled-back Arts Alive Festival at Westerville Central brings back familiar activities Students create chalk art as part of Westerville Central's Arts Alive Festival

Westerville Central seniors Maeve O'Connell and Brady Leggett, along with two other friends, spent Wednesday after school sketching a jungle scene in chalk along the sidewalk in front of the building.

The piece, which featured different animals in an Aboriginal motif, was part of WCHS’ annual Arts Alive Festival — a week-long celebration of student art across the school community. 

Westerville South educator receives Westerville Civitan’s Special Education Professional Award 2020-21 Special Education Professional Award recipient Erin Focht

Erin Focht, a special education teacher at Westerville South High School, is the recipient of the 2020-21 Special Education Professional Award by the Westerville Area Civitan Club.

Inaugural One Westerville Scholarship recipients announced One Westerville Scholarship recipients

The first recipients of the One Westerville Scholarship are Chiedza “Chi Chi” Guyo of Westerville Central High School, Emmanuel Okyere of Westerville South High School and Miya Martin of Westerville North High School.

Three Westerville seniors named National Merit Scholarship award recipients National Merit $2,500 Scholarship recipients for 2020-21 school year

Three Westerville seniors have been selected as recipients of the National Merit $2,500 Scholarship, according to a recent announcement by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

Westerville North student receives Leadership Westerville scholarship Stephanie McGeorge

Emily McGeorge, a senior at Westerville North High School, has been awarded a $500 scholarship from Leadership Westerville. 

Westerville North Sinfonia Orchestra earns superior rating at OMEA contest 2020-21 Westerville North High School Sinfonia Orchestra

The Westerville North High School Sinfonia Orchestra earned a superior rating (top honor) at the Ohio Music Education Association’s (OMEA) Large Group District Contest on May 1, which was held remotely this year.

Bette Marschall Memorial Education Fund awards $2,359 in grants

Seven teachers have been awarded grants totaling $2,359 from The Bette Marschall Memorial Education Fund of The Columbus Foundation.

Walnut Springs students create blankets for service learning project Walnut Springs National Junior Honor Society students create blankets for My Very Own Blanket

The eighth-grade members of Walnut Spring Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society hosted their first in-person, socially distanced service project last week, making blankets for My Very Own Blanket.

Six Westerville middle school students earn top marks in 2021 Laws of Life essay competition Laws of Life winners for the 2020-21 school year

Students from Blendon, Genoa and Walnut Springs middle schools were recognized for their essays about perseverance, humility and compassion as part of the 2020 Laws of Life essay contest organized by the Better Business Bureau’s Center for Character Ethics.

Middle school students published in book about thrilling stories SOS Sagas: Hunted book cover

Several Westerville middle school students are now published authors.

Three Westerville students earned top marks in annual Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District poster contest  2020-21 winners for Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District’s poster contest

Three Westerville students are among the winners in the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual conservation poster contest.

Westerville South senior dives into identity, culture and hope in published poems and prose Alina Baer

You could say Westerville South High School senior Alina Baer got started on her first book in elementary school.

As early as the first grade, Baer captured her thoughts on identity, hope, culture, courage and growing up multi-racial through poems and prose. For years, she built a collection of works but didn’t devote time to compiling them until the pandemic.

Hawthorne students join global art project created by music group OK Go OK Go All Together Now video cover

Fourth-grade students at Hawthorne Elementary participated in a global art project organized by music group OK Go and the OK Go Sandbox, an online resource for educators that uses OK Go’s music videos as starting points for integrated guided inquiry challenges allowing students to explore various STEAM concepts.  

Genoa Middle School students among national winners in Continental Math League Contest Continental Mathematics League logo

Westerville sixth-grade students in advanced math classes competed in the 2020-21 Continental Mathematics League Contest with the Genoa Middle School team taking the top spot as the Pythagorean Division Grade 6 national winners.

Three WCSD students recognized in National PTA Reflections awards WCSD 2020-21 National PTA Reflections winners

Three Westerville City Schools students were among 14 Ohio students — and the only ones from Central Ohio — who were named winners in the 2020-21 National PTA Reflections award program, which recognizes student achievement in literature, music, dance, film production, photography, music composition and visual arts. 

Westerville North mural project celebrates students from all over the world A student paints a flag for the new mural at Westerville North High School.

The hallmark piece behind Westerville North High School’s new Cardinal and Gold Union is starting to take shape.

WCSD students recognized in Ohio PTA Reflections awards Ohio PTA 2020-21 Reflections

Students in seven Westerville schools received top honors in the 2020-21 Ohio PTA Reflections award program, which recognizes student achievement in literature, music, dance, film production, photography, music composition and visual arts.

Westerville Central High School senior organizes Wellness Webinar series for all high school students Dilara Sen

Westerville Central High School senior Dilara Sen discovered meditation when she started high school, finding peace and mindfulness by centering on the light in her heart. She typically starts every morning with Heartfulness meditation and turns to the practice when she feels troubled or faces difficult situations.

COTA Plus rides free for Westerville middle and high school students COTA Plus logo

Westerville middle and high school students are eligible for free COTA Plus rides from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. COTA Plus is an on-demand service that can be hailed via the COTA Plus App or by calling COTA’s Customer Care hotline at 614-228-1776.

New WCSD website offers resources for families of incoming middle school students Middle School Ready banner

Families of incoming sixth-graders can visit a new Westerville City Schools’ webpage that provides resources on the transition to middle school. The online site provides information on key dates, virtual middle school music meetings and the Moving Up Night virtual event on April 28.

WCSD announces “Bridge Plan” collaborative with central Ohio districts to address needs of students & staff due to the pandemic

Westerville City Schools Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg on Monday announced the district’s comprehensive approach to addressing the academic and social-emotional needs of students and staff because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Westerville North’s band director to march in the 2022 Rose Bowl Parade Westerville North High School band director Sara Loney

Westerville North High School’s band director Sara Loney will join up to 300 band directors from across the country to march in the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Parade on Jan. 1.

Heritage school community creates engaging outdoor space for students, teachers Heritage seventh-grader Jana Mohammed plays hopscotch at the school's new outdoor recess area.

Without access to basketballs, footballs and soccer balls, the recess options were limited for students at Heritage Middle School this year.

Principal Dr. Dru Tomlin started thinking about how the school could make recess more engaging last March and plans started to gain steam in August. He worked with the school’s National Junior Honors Society and PTSA to research what other schools were doing and what kind of supplies were needed. 

Whittier fifth-grader teams with mom to help young writers get published Charley Jones

Charley Jones was a third-grader at Whittier Elementary when she saw her words published for the first time. 

She submitted a story about a greedy turkey named Bob whose behavior led him to become a Thanksgiving entree for a writing contest sponsored by the Westerville Public Library. She didn’t win the contest but the story was printed in a book — an empowering moment she and her mother, Leanne, wanted to extend to others.

So they launched My Favorite Story, a nonprofit organization that gives young writers facing adversity the opportunity to creatively work through challenges by publishing their stories. 

WCSD Board approves school fees for 2021-22 school year

The Westerville City School board approved school fees for the 2021-22 school year at their March 22 meeting. The fees, which include supplies, instructional materials, tests and athletics, will not increase next school year.

Kendrick Lamar lesson at Westerville South explores poetry, music and social movement Students in Emily Swank-Kavanaugh's IB English class discuss institutional racism as part of their Kendrick Lamar unit.

The students in Emily Swank-Kavanaugh’s International Baccalaureate English class at Westerville South High School have spent the past week in a new unit that explores the connection between Kendrick Lamar’s music and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

But before students could examine Lamar’s works and their lasting impact on the fight for racial justice, Swank-Kavanaugh wanted her students to wrap their minds around some serious terms.

Genoa educator’s equal rights amendment lesson featured in national collection of U.S. history lessons Deanna McDaniel

Deanna McDaniel, a media specialist at Genoa Middle School, is one of 15 educators in the country who contributed to “Building a More Perfect Union,” a national collection of lesson plans and essays that help commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.

New graduation plans provide opportunity for entire school team to be part of students’ high school journey Westerville South High School freshman Sam Gurgiolo logging onto his Transeo account

When Westerville South High School freshman Sam Gurgiolo started thinking about what classes to take this fall, he decided to create a schedule for the remainder of his high school career, outlining course requirements and electives that would set him on a path towards his engineering studies. 

The exercise served as a primer to developing his own graduation plan — a new initiative Westerville school counselors rolled out with ninth- and 10th-graders this week.

Westerville City Schools Board of Education approves meeting schedule for 2021

Westerville City School District Board of Education members approved the following 2021 meeting calendar during their Jan. 11 organizational meeting.