Sylvania Teachers Receive NWO Education Association Awards

The Northwestern Ohio Education Association presented Courtney Fox of the Sylvania Education Association, the NWOEA Promising Leader Award at the District’s Annual Awards banquet held at the Findlay Country Club on March 3. This award recognizes individuals who, within the first five years of their teaching career, have shown initiative in their local association.

Sylvania teachers receiving the NWOEA Local Service Award were Liz Casey, Darla Omey and Sarah Rhine. This award recognizes individuals for distinguished service for outstanding work for their local association.

Promising Leader Award

Courtney Fox

Courtney Fox is in her third year of teaching and first year in the Sylvania Schools where she has quickly immersed herself in association work. In her first month as a Sylvania Education Association member, she volunteered to be a building rep and was elected to represent her local at the OEA Representative Assembly. According to her nominator Dan Greenberg, President of SEA, “Courtney has been diligent about attending meetings, asking questions, and advocating for colleagues. I’m excited about her activism and look forward to her continued involvement and leadership in the Sylvania Education Association.”

Courtney Fox
Courtney Fox

As a graduate from Southview High School, Courtney received the Sylvania Teacher Scholarship and has now returned to the district to “pay it forward.” Along with her teaching and association responsibilities, she is also a volunteer for the Southview Girl’s Golf Team.

Local Service Awards

Sarah Rhine

Sarah Rhine, a high school social studies teacher, has taught in the Sylvania School System for eight years. She has been a building rep for the Sylvania Education Association for four years. During the spring of 2014 she was elected Vice President of Contractual Procedures, “the second in command” position in SEA. Sarah is a member of the Labor Management Team and has worked to form a grievance committee to help with the writing of grievances. Sarah is the voice for her colleagues’ concerns and last year presented their views of the new district energy conservation policy. Sarah has attended three OEA Representative Assemblies and she was active during SEA’s efforts against SB 5. Sarah has represented SEA at an AFL-CIO meeting during which she helped to develop strategies for engaging members in union activities.

As a walking witness member for the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, Sarah traveled to Hungary, Poland, and Greece in the footsteps of northwest Ohioans who survived the Holocaust.

Darla Omey

This is Darla Omey’s sixth year in the Sylvania Schools but her union activity goes back farther than that. Before teaching in Sylvania, she was involved in the Swanton Education Association for ten years. Her union involvement included building representative, treasurer, negotiations team member, negotiations chair, vice president and president. Darla’s multitude of union experience has made her a valuable member for the Sylvania Education Association serving as a member of the negotiation team, the labor management team, and the OTES Committee. She is currently the treasurer of Sylvania Education Association. Darla works hard to update her knowledge of finances and update financial policies for the Association. The SEA President states, “Darla is precise and detail oriented. She makes sure that our numbers match up and also communicates the financial position of the Association.”

In her spare time Darla is a co-leader of a Girl Scout Troop and a parent volunteer at Highland Elementary.

Liz Casey

Liz Casey is a junior high science teacher for Sylvania City Schools. During her eight years as a member of the Sylvania Education Association, she has assumed various leadership roles.  Last year when SEA created the position of Vice President of Elections and Education, Liz volunteered for the job and has worked diligently to set protocols for elections. She has been a building rep for five years and a local delegate to eight OEA Representative Assemblies. She has handled the FCPE drive in her building and has helped with levy efforts. She is a member of the Labor Management Committee and the negotiations team.

With two children under five, Liz still found time to serve as a precinct volunteer during elections and as a campaign volunteer for a judge running for election, as well as SEA’s representative at an AFL-CIO meeting to develop strategies to engage more members in union activities.

To quote her nominator, the SEA president, “She is one of the most dedicated members of the SEA. I expect great things for Liz as she gains experience and training from the OEA.”

MVCDS art show

Maumee Valley Country Day School will host the 2015 Youth Art Month show through April 30, 2015.  With more than 200 pieces of artwork from 27 area schools, the Youth Art Month show will draw hundreds of visitors to the Wolfe Gallery on the campus of MVCDS.

Artwork from students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade will feature multimedia creations from a wide range of young artists.  Young students from across Northwest Ohio submitted colorful designs and prints, charming portraits, and dramatic landscapes.  Visitors can expect to see everything from sculptures exploring faces, figures, and animals to drawings inspired by cultures, history, and imaginations.

For 36 years the Northwest Ohio Art Education Association has hosted a regional exhibition. This year, outstanding artwork has been selected by regional art teachers for this special exhibit from nine counties in Northwest Ohio. This show is sponsored by the Northwest Ohio Art Education Association and Maumee Valley Country Day School.

The Wolfe Gallery, located at 1715 South Reynolds Rd., Toledo,  will be open through April 30 on weekdays from 8 a.m.  to 4:30 p.m. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

SV Student Named Ohio’s Distinguished Young Woman

Southview student Claire Coder was named the 2015 Distinguished Young Woman at the Distinguished Young Women of Ohio Scholarship Program Feb. 21 in Mount Vernon, Ohio. She won over $6,000 in scholarships and will represent Ohio in America’s Distinguished Young Women finals in Mobile, Ala., in June. Coder was one of 25 young women and two other Southview students, Alison Clausius and Jessica L’Heureu, in the state contest.

Coder was part of the 2014 World Mock Trial Team and demonstrated entrepreneurism by starting her own small business in 2012. “There’s a Badge For That” creates badges with humorous and inspirational sayings.

All of the Southview girls first competed in the At-Large Program. Southview teacher Brandi Shepard was Ohio’s Junior Miss 1999 and she continues to encourage students to compete each year.  Past competitors from Southview include Kaylyn Johnston and Taylor Zaborski.

Distinguished Young Women, formerly known as America Junior Miss, is a scholarship program for girls in their senior year of high school.  The program is based on interviews, talents, academics, self-expression and fitness.  The fitness aspect is a physical fitness challenge, including push-ups.

Scholarships are offered in each category as well as for the top five finalists.

LOURDES, SYLVANIA SCHOOLS TEAM UP

Lourdes University, Sylvania Schools and the Sylvania Schools’ Athletic Foundation have announced plans for shared athletic fields at Northview High School benefiting both schools’ athletic programs. The Northview Wildcats and Lourdes Gray Wolves teams will practice and play on a newly renovated turf field for football, lacrosse and soccer events. The $2.6 million project, which also includes a softball field, will be funded primarily through private donations.

“We are pleased to work with the Sylvania Schools and Northview High School in converting their current football field to a turf field which can accommodate athletic competitions for football, lacrosse and soccer teams. The Gray Wolves will not only have practice fields located on Lourdes’ mid-campus grounds but also a state-of-the-art home field,” says Lourdes President Dr. David Livingston.

“This is a win-win initiative,” adds Sylvania Schools Superintendent Dr. Brad Rieger. “Sharing athletic facilities will expand opportunities and enhance the overall educational experience for Northview and Lourdes University students.”

Sylvania Schools Superintendent Brad Rieger, Sylvania School Board President Julie Hoffman, Lourdes University Vice President for Academic Advancement Mary Arquette and Lourdes President David Livingston recently agreed to share the Northview High School athletic fields.
Sylvania Schools Superintendent Brad Rieger, Sylvania School Board President Julie Hoffman, Lourdes University Vice President for Academic Advancement Mary Arquette and Lourdes President David Livingston recently agreed to share the Northview High School athletic fields.

Turf will be installed at CAT Stadium by August 2015 in time for football, lacrosse and soccer seasons.

Rooted in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, Lourdes University offers baccalaureate degrees in more than 30 academic majors as well as graduate degrees in business, education, liberal studies, nursing, organizational leadership, and theology. Community outreach programs include the Appold Planetarium, the Center for Science Education & the Environment, and Lifelong Learning. A member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Lourdes students can also compete in a variety of men’s and women’s sports. Named a “Best in the Midwest” college by the Princeton Review, Lourdes University is a nationally accredited, veteran, and transfer-friendly institution offering a variety of student scholarships.

Sylvania Schools is a comprehensive K-12 school district serving 7,600 students. Over 40 Advanced Placement and Honors classes are offered along with over 50 different extracurricular and athletic opportunities

for students.

McCord students successful at Olympiad

McCord Junior High’s Red and the Black teams, competed in the Science Olympiad Invitational in Westlake, Ohio on Jan.10 winning multiple medals and ribbons. The Red Team won an eighth place trophy competing against 31 other middle schools.

Medals and ribbons were earned in 10 different events: Bridge Building: fifth place, Hannah Dorris and Jeremiah Luke; eighth place: Paul Thomas and Jimmy Duwve. Crave the Wave: eighth place, Kaushy Gera and Hannah Dorris. Dynamic Planet: fourth place, Edward Lui and Anya Wojkowiak. Meteorology: fifth place, Patrick Andres and Edward Lui. Road Scholar: eighth place, Patrick Andres and Daniel Klein. Solar System: seventh place, Patrick Andres and Jae Choi. On the Shoulders of Giants: third place, Patrick Andres and Jae Choi; fifth place, eighth graders Max Kelso and Tyler Kujawa. Python Coding: second place, Edward Lui.

Four Robotics Teams Advance to State

Two teams, Twisted Toys and Digital Dragons, students from Sylvan and McCord Junior High, won regional competition in Girard, Ohio and advanced to district competition in Austintown. Twisted Toys won as Ambassadors and received a first place. Digital Dragons, won Robot Games and received the highest score at district. Both teams will advance to state competition.

Three other Sylvania teams, Mutant Minds, Blockheads and Beastie Bots, competed in regionals in Toledo and advanced to the district qualifier in Dayton.

Mutant Minds, students from Sylvan and McCord and three-time state qualifiers, won first place Mechanical Design for Robot. Blockheads, students from Highland and McCord, won the Project tournament and both will advance to state competition. Beastie Bots did not place at districts.

The state tournament will take place Feb. 7 and 8 at Wright State University. For more information on FLL Robotics, go to www.firstlegoleague.org.

Stranahan Fifth Grade Students, Parents, Revive Tradition

Stranahan fifth graders from the 2013-14 school year wanted to leave a gift to the school. Through donations from the students and their families, an old tradition at the school was revived. Staff members Jeanne Quinn, Peg Eding and Angie Keaton had created the Teacher Honor Garden several years ago.

Flowers planted for retiring teachers at Stranahan are part of the garden.
Flowers planted for retiring teachers at Stranahan are part of the garden.
Last spring, Stranahan fifth-graders Marcella Sanchez and Erin King, finished work on their ceramic leaves to place on the school wall.
Last spring, Stranahan fifth-graders Marcella Sanchez and Erin King, finished work on their ceramic leaves to place on the school wall.

Parents Audrey Laux and Connie Vasbinder and art teacher Kari Armstrong led the group of gardeners who planted shrubs and plants in the garden to honor retiring staff.

Stranahan parents Audrey Laux and Connie Vasbinder and art teacher Elise Simko came together to make the garden tradition happen last fall.
Stranahan parents Audrey Laux and Connie Vasbinder and art teacher Elise Simko came together to make the garden tradition happen last fall.

Last spring, the then fifth-grade students made ceramic leaves guided by Vasbinder and Stranahan art teacher Elise Simko. Vasbinder is a local artist and teacher at the 577 Foundation, as well as the mother of two Stranahan students.

The finished artwork from last year’s fifth graders leave a lasting legacy of their time at Stranahan.
The finished artwork from last year’s fifth graders leave a lasting legacy of their time at Stranahan.

The plan was to adhere the leaves to the inside wall of the school, around the windows to the garden. This revived a tradition of fifth graders making ceramic tiles as a parting gift to the school. This spring, art teacher Kari Armstrong plans to continue the tradition.

Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund Welcomes Three New Board Members

The Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund, Inc. (NOSF), a need-based scholarship program for kindergarten through 8th grade students in northwest Ohio, has approved three new members to serve on the organization’s board beginning in January of 2015. The new board members are Mary Arquette, Drew Nitschke, and Markus Rasmus.

Mary Arquette is the vice president for Institutional Advancement at Lourdes University. Drew Nitschke is a partner with Marshall & Melhorn, LLC, and Markus Rasmus is a commercial real estate relationship manager with Fifth Third Bank in Toledo.

Rita Martin, NOSF’s Governance Chair, said, “It is always a pleasure to welcome new members to the NOSF Board, who bring with them a fresh perspective and a different personal approach. I look forward to working with all three of them as we plan for the future for NOSF!”

NOSF is one of 27 partners across the country, along with the Children’s Scholarship Fund, that awards need-based scholarships in order that parents have a choice for their child’s education. Since 1999, the Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund has awarded a total of $10.8 million in scholarships to 12,900 students; part of that includes $3.9 million in matching funds. All funds raised locally by NOSF are matched by the Children’s Scholarship Fund and are used for scholarships in Northwest Ohio.

Interested families can find more information about the program and apply online on the NOSF website at www.nosf.org. For more information, contact Ann Riddle, executive director of the Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund at 419/720-7048.

Eight SJJ Seniors Honored for Scholarship

St. John’s Jesuit High School announces eight seniors, including two Sylvania residents, have been honored for outstanding test scores in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Competition.

Sylvania resident Matthew Theis joined classmate Gabriel Scarlett in being distinguished as National Merit Semifinalists. Matthew is the son of Dale and Maria Theis.

Semifinalists are in the top one percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

St. John’s Jesuit students who were named National Merit scholars include (front row, L-R) Zachary Prephan, James Lazenby, Joseph Braun and Benjamin Dubielak, along with (back row, L-R) Jared Schwallie, Nicholas Kranjec, Matthew Theis and Gabriel Scarlett.
St. John’s Jesuit students who were named National Merit scholars include (front row, L-R) Zachary Prephan, James Lazenby, Joseph Braun and Benjamin Dubielak, along with (back row, L-R) Jared Schwallie, Nicholas Kranjec, Matthew Theis and Gabriel Scarlett.

Sylvania resident Jared Schwallie joined classmates Joseph Braun, Benjamin Dubielak, Nicholas Kranjec, James Lazenby and Zachary Prephan in being recognized as Commended Students. Jared is the son of Joseph and Cynthia Schwallie.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 PSAT/NMSQT competition.

Since 1987, St. John’s Jesuit has had more National Merit scholars than any other school in Northwest Ohio.