SUPERINTENDENT speaks – 11.15.16

by Scott Nelson – Superintendent of Sylvania Schools

Scott Nelson
Scott Nelson









November 8th was a pivotal moment in the history of Sylvania Schools. The passage of Issue #17 will enable the district to continue to play a vital role in the lives of our students and the broader Sylvania community.  It is with heartfelt appreciation that we thank all of our community supporters; parents (present and past), the Sylvania City Council, the Sylvania Township Trustees, the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce, the Sylvania Area Community Improvement Corporation, Sylvania Rotary, Sylvania Senior Center, and to all of the other community members who recognize the valued relationship of a strong school district to our community.  We are sincerely grateful for the trust the community has placed in us and we will work diligently to meet and exceed that trust.

The tireless campaign work of teachers, support staff, administrators, board of education members, parents and community members cannot be overstated.  This collaborative endeavor was the reason Issue #17 passed by such a significant margin.  This successful campaign model will serve as a blue print and equip Sylvania Schools to confidently move forward into the 21st Century.

The future for our students is secure.  Sylvania Schools will be able to address their needs in an educational environment which is not only conducive to learning, but also allow us to better meet their social and emotional needs.  The ability to foster in our students the life-long passions and interests is a core value of all Sylvania educators.  As the Superintendent of Sylvania Schools, I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone who advocated for our students and their future.

Transfer equivalencies offered for former ITT students

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Lourdes University Director of Undergraduate Admissions Shawn T. Bussell announced transfer-friendly equivalencies for ITT students. “As a university that has long provided strong undergraduate programs for working adults and transfer students, Lourdes welcomes any former ITT student who wishes to complete his or her bachelor’s degree,” said Mr. Bussell. Transfer scholarships are also available.

In September, ITT Educational Services, a for-profit educational company, announced it was closing nearly all of its campuses leaving current ITT students unable to fulfill their undergraduate degree at that institution.

To assist these students, Lourdes University Admissions and Financial Aid representatives are available to help determine the number of credits that will transfer as well as available financial aid.

A private Catholic institution of higher education, Lourdes University, the Higher Learning Commission and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education accredits its business programs. Former ITT students can enroll at Lourdes to complete their Bachelor of Science degree in one or more of the following majors: accounting, business administration, health care administration, human resource management, integrated business, and marketing.

Interested students can contact an admissions representative at:
419/885-5291 or
800/878-3210, ext. 5291.

A current list of transfer equivalencies for former ITT students is available at:


Local entrepreneur adds business to portfolio

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff



Northview and University of Toledo graduate Chris Markho has recently added a new business, Local Door Coupons, to his portfolio of enterprises. He and a partner, Andrew Hillabrand, recently acquired the franchise for northwest Ohio.

“We are starting in Sylvania and will publish once a quarter beginning the end of November. We will print 15,000 copies, which we will distribute to homes over a 15 day period throughout Sylvania,” Markho pointed out. “People really enjoy coupons and we have an attractive product with enticing offers,” he said. “We can accommodate up to 16 non competing, exclusive businesses,” he said.

According to Markho the company is headquartered in Miami, Fla. and has franchise locations in 14 cities.

Markho said he has been operating his own businesses for the past eight years since his graduation from UT. Four years ago, he opened a Subway restaurant on Stickney Avenue and Matzinger Road. Last year, he opened a Krispy Krunchy Chicken adjacent to the Subway restaurant.

In addition, Markho is a licensed Realtor with Wilson Auction & Realty Co. specializing in commercial real estate.


Genius Garage opens program for high school students

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Casey Putsch points out the features of the eight-lane slot car race track that high school students will be racing their cars.

Casey Putsch, president and founder of Genius Garage, a 501(c)3 educational experience, has expanded  the Genius Garage Speed Lab to include a high school program. The four-month educational session begins the end of November and runs through March 2017 when the collegiate program gets underway. Up to eight students will be accepted to the program that began four years ago in Columbus to provide college-age students the opportunity to bridge the gap between the classroom and industry.

Students in the high school program will be involved with 1/24-scale slot car model racing as their laboratory environment.  The Speed Lab program will feature model cars built by students that will do 0-60 miles per hour in as little as 0.3 seconds. “These cars can hit speeds of 50-100 mph and aerodynamics is all that keeps them planted with motors that are calculated to spin as high as 300,000 rpm. We will even create and use a functional wind tunnel to test car designs,” Putsch explained. “Students will learn team work and develop personal and professional skills including design, engineering and sportsmanship. Students will be required to keep an engineering journal and be responsible for writing a paper along with some research assignments. They will also take several field trips during their program.”

Students are accepted into the program at no cost to them but are required to commit to spending two evenings a week and one weekend day each month for the four-month session.

To apply, students need to submit a resume highlighting extra-curricular pursuits, hobbies, creations, awards, volunteer work, jobs, special classes and grades along with a letter explaining why they would be a good addition to the Genius Garage program and why they think the program would be good for them.

Applications may be emailed to by Nov. 20.

The collegiate program, which runs from March through October, includes forming an actual professional-level auto racing team where the students design, build and support their car at races around the country.

“The focus is to give the most driven young people with an interest and aptitude in cars, engineering and design the opportunity to grow without limits in a constructive, competitive and professional environment,” Putsch said. “An added benefit is that with this experience on their resumes, college students stand out from the rest when they enter the job market.”

Recently Putsch, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and racing driver known for his automotive creations and accolades, moved back to northwest Ohio to join Central Classic Cars to expand and grow the business based on his professional background. He also relocated Genius Garage in an adjoining facility at 8444 W. Central Ave.

“Our collegiate program has been very successful and those who have participated have gained tremendous experience and have landed incredible jobs,” Putsch stated. “The program was set up to allow students the opportunity to face real challenges and do something big that would be a shining spot on their resumes and it has.”

He added, “This is the only program that allows kids to actually touch race cars. This is exciting for all of us, and it’s great to watch the growth and success of each of the students in the program.”

To learn more, visit:




by Libby Stupica

Libby Stupica









I have fallen dangerously in love with Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. I say dangerously, because with a 25% acceptance rate it’s not a guaranteed admittance. However, the love affair is long and deep. Since my first dorm overnight with my sister last spring, this college stole my heart and has refused to give it back. Now that I’m in the midst of my junior year in high school, peers and their parents ask about my college interests. Having only tagged along on my sister’s college visits a couple years ago, I realize I need to do some research and do my own college visits. However, my motivation to discover and visit said schools is almost non-existent, because I have convinced myself that nothing could surpass the love I have for Kenyon.

So, instead of exploring new options or taking a college tour, I spent the past weekend further convincing myself that my heart only has room for Kenyon. The visit began after my dad and I drove up Saturday morning to watch my sister and her volleyball team play a home match against Hiram. The energy at the match was incredible. The two teams volleyed back and forth for the lead for an hour and a half until Kenyon finally won the match by two points in the fifth game. Even the pep band came to support and played during each time-out. A banquet for the three seniors followed after their victory, and I felt right at home around Schuyler’s teammates. Even during their celebrating, they were welcoming and included me in all conversation. This openness is something I notice among the whole student body during every visit to Kenyon.


Schuyler had reserved tickets for “Fool for Love,” a play being performed on Saturday evening by one of the theater groups on campus. Fortunately, she had called ahead to reserve the tickets, because when we went to the box office to pick them up, a line of at least 30 students waited in the hopes of obtaining them. Apparently, this isn’t uncommon. I was told that the students support and truly appreciate the arts on campus … and for good reason. The four-person cast put on a fantastic performance of this twisted, sometimes comedic, love story. After the curtain call, the cast received a well-deserved standing ovation.

After the play, we had plans to meet up with some of Schuyler’s friends at a party. Having never been to a college party before, I went in expecting truly bad behavior. I had a preconceived idea based on Hollywood’s portrayal of parties and stories from peers. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t walk by one passed out student after the other, and I never encountered a situation that made my 16-year-old self feel even remotely uncomfortable (Kenyon and its students impress Libby! Example 1389). Instead, I enjoyed a night full of dancing, laughs, and finally getting to know better the people I constantly hear my sister talk about. As Schuyler and I walked back to her dorm after a final dance to “Rock Me Mama,” I found out they play it at the closing of every party. I couldn’t stop gushing about how much I respected everyone at the school and how much fun I had.

The next morning we met Schuyler’s boyfriend for brunch, where I enjoyed coffee along with a view that only Peirce Hall can provide. If I disregarded every single charming aspect about the people at Kenyon, the campus alone would still steal my heart. I long to be a student walking through campus every time I see Middle Path’s arch of trees, the light stone and dark wooden door architecture, and experience the Hogwarts-esque vibe the interior of the buildings give off. Walking outside to enjoy the beginning shades of autumn was this season’s bonus.

After spending the afternoon at the library, Schuyler and I grabbed dinner and headed to a meeting for the Middle East Student Association, where we discussed Muharram, the first month on the Islamic calendar. The diversity on campus and the open-mindedness of students and professors belies its small rural setting. College is an environment that encourages a free exchange of ideas, and I yearn to be a part of such discussions.

As my dad drove me back home Sunday evening, I realized no amount of visiting would ever be enough to make me leave without feeling nostalgic. It’s strange that a place I’ve frequented only a few times already feels so familiar and welcoming, and I doubt and worry that no other college will ever make me feel the same excitement about the future as Kenyon College does. I promise you this, though, you can bet I’ll be working overtime these next two years in the hopes of being accepted to the school of my dreams.

Special needs scholarship program available

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Ohio students with special needs can now apply for a Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship. The deadline to apply is Nov. 15, 2016. The scholarship is available for Ohio students who have special needs. Recipients can use their scholarship toward services and education costs at the participating school and/or provider(s) of their family’s choice. There are currently more than 300 registered schools and private providers statewide.

Scholarships are worth between $7,578 and $27,000, depending on the child’s special education category as identified on their Individualized Education Program. Eligible students who apply during this application window will receive a prorated scholarship that begins January 2017.

Any student in the state with an IEP is eligible to apply. Students can use the scholarship for one or more of the following:

• Services at private therapists and other approved services providers

• Services and tuition at participating private schools (with the exception of category one students)

• Participating public schools outside the student’s home district.

To apply, families can research the participating providers in their area. Next, they choose the private school and/or provider(s) that are the best fit for their child’s unique learning needs. Families may choose more than one approved provider to fulfill the services listed on their child’s IEP. Finally, parents apply to the participating school and/or providers of their choice, and ask the child’s primary provider to apply for the scholarship on their behalf.

For more information about the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program visit:


NV Theatre presents ‘Les Miserables School Edition’

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Northview High School Theatre is proud to present the epic musical “Les Miserables School Edition” Nov. 17-20 at the Northview Performing Arts Center.

Seen by more than 65 million people, “Les Miserables” boasts one of the most memorable scores of all time and has earned more than 100 international awards. Set in 19th century France, “Les Miserables” tells the story of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who is released from prison and works to become a respectable citizen and businessman. His journey of redemption leads him to adopt an orphan girl, Cosette, and provide a stable life for her. But Police Inspector Javert, who doesn’t believe criminals can change for good, makes it his life’s mission to capture Valjean and jail him once again. Complicated and tender relationships are developed against the backdrop of revolution in Paris.

“Les Miserables Student Edition”
is presented Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nov. 17-19 at 7:30 p.m.
and Sunday Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m.

All seats are reserved in the Performing Arts Center.

Tickets can be purchased through the Northview Theatre website at:

Adult tickets are $12 and
students/senior citizens are $10.


Education is opportunity…

by Shannon Syperski


Education is opportunity. My parents moved to Sylvania in 1975 in order to give their children the opportunity to thrive in an education-minded community. Like many families before us and many families since, we moved to Sylvania because of Sylvania’s schools.

It was not an easy move for us, because living in a good school system costs money. For much of my childhood, we were a six-people-in-a-three-bedroom rental, scrape-together-11-dimes-to-buy-school-lunch kind of family. We were also the volunteer-at-every-chance kind of family, because my parents understood that public education is a community commitment. What we couldn’t lend in financial support at the time, we made up for in sweat contribution.

The local burden of compensating for state and federal education underfunding is not a new phenomenon. My parents volunteered tirelessly to pass school levies over the years knowing full well that, whether as raised rent or raised property taxes, their efforts would result in tightening our already-tight family budget. However, they also realized that contributing to the underfunding by voting against a needed school levy was something our family and our community simply could not afford long term. Fewer teachers, crowded classrooms, buildings in disrepair, and unreliable transportation are not acceptable in any community, much less one built on quality education.

Sylvania Schools not only helped to build my community, it helped to build me. My eyes were opened to the world through rigorous, insightful instruction by a dedicated staff. My heart was opened to the world by sharing classrooms with kids of different socioeconomic standings, different cultures, different creeds, different abilities, and different political views. That is not just going to a school; that is receiving an education – an education that helps to define the course of a life.

When my husband, also a Sylvania graduate, and I started our family, we knew that we wanted our children to have the same kind of educational experience we had in Sylvania Schools. We pledged to move back to Sylvania as our oldest child readied to start kindergarten, and we did. As that kindergartner readies to enter Southview High School next year, it continues to be one of the best decisions we could have made for our now family of five.

My parents saw education as an investment more than 40 years ago, and that foresight continues to pay dividends to three generations of our family today. Their four kids, whose dilapidated family car once literally caught on fire on the way to Northview High School, are now a successful entrepreneur and community leader; a nuclear engineer; an assistant dean at the University of Toledo and nationally-recognized inspirational speaker; and me, a professional writer, Sylvan/McCord mom, and current president of Sylvania Schools Parent Organization. What the Sylvania community once gave to us, we are dedicated to returning to our communities through hard work, leadership and financial contribution.

Education is opportunity. As students, it is the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. As a community, it is the opportunity to pass that opportunity along to the next generation for everyone’s benefit. I will be voting for Sylvania Schools on November 8th. My FOR vote is a thank you to every taxpayer who ever helped pave my way and a promise to every child in this community that I am committed to our future.




by Libby Stupica

Libby Stupica










As I enter my fifth year of cross-country, I have finally found peace with the sport.

Running has always been a part of my life even before I did it competitively. I was a figure skater from kindergarten to middle school, which helped me build incredible endurance that allowed me to run with ease. I began running track in fifth grade when my dad became a coach for St. Joe’s Sylvania, where my teammates and I broke records and won championships yearly. Sprinting gave me a rush … I never faced the type of nerves at the starting block for track that I faced before a skating competition. However, my middle school glory days couldn’t last forever, and the summer before high school my dad sat me down and we had the cross-country talk.

Since I had run two seasons of cross-country in middle school, he asked me whether I would pursue that in high school. However, my memories of that sport didn’t have the same golden glow as track. The long distance running didn’t come as natural to me, especially because I had experienced growth spurts, and had also ended my skating career and the endurance workouts that came with it. The mornings of meets were filled with anxiety and dread, and practices where I couldn’t keep up left me feeling discouraged nightly. I convinced myself I wasn’t capable of improving, and this influenced my performance of the sport. Naturally, when my dad brought up running cross-country freshman year, my first instinct was to do nothing of the sort. However, I attended the informational meeting and a couple of my friends from my past track team urged me to give it a shot. With their influence and that of my parents, I reluctantly decided to join the team. I thought it was going to be hell.

So it was. I had subconsciously made the decision going into the season that I was entering a miserable four months of hot runs and crowded meets, with a discouraging lack of improvement. Somehow amidst my cloud of negativity, a little hope was able to emerge in the form of teammates and a coach who provided endless support. However, I still dreaded the physical discomfort of practice each day and had anxiety each Friday night and Saturday morning before meets. As my teammates improved with each passing week, I felt discouraged when presented with my stagnant race times. The only good part about the sport was the company I was keeping, which was one of the best parts of my new life at Notre Dame. Fortunately, the dynamic of the cross-country team was relaxed and extremely supportive, and I created relationships with girls who are now some of my best friends. These friendships alone brought me back sophomore year. Though the end of each season was bittersweet, I felt mostly relief that I was about to regain my evenings and weekends, free from anxiety and the pressure to prove myself.

However, as I entered my junior year season of cross-country, I realized there was no pressure to prove myself: I had fabricated that anxiety-stimulating complex myself. My coaches simply wanted me to feel my best each race, and so did my peers and parents. Nobody was basing his or her opinion of me off of my race times or my ability to run 6-minute miles. Realizing the personal relationship a runner has with the sport changed my perspective.

This year the joy that cross-country brings me isn’t simply from running with my friends. My runs belong to me. I can’t always control my physical capability to keep up with the pack, but I can control my attitude every time I put on my shoes and hit the trails. I get to decide whether my run will positively or negatively impact my day. It has challenged me to embrace the moment rather than dwelling on what is coming next. Now, I don’t think about my second mile until I’ve finished my first, and I don’t think about the hill workout after school until the last period bell has rung. When I began appreciating everything running has given me, my relationship with the sport transformed.

I’m not a competitive person by nature. I don’t think cross-country will ever be about times for me. Instead, it provides me with an outlet for stress after school every single day. It gives me an hour every afternoon in autumn to enjoy the colors of the changing leaves and my friends’ company, where I am able to run off the weight of homework and other obligations. It gets me outside and moving, it allows me to set goals (while still understanding that it’s okay to take time to reach them), and it gives me something of which to be proud. I’m empowered every time I finish an especially hard speed workout and each time I cross the finish line of the 3.1-mile courses on Saturdays. So please, take it from the girl who ran alone the first week of freshman year because she was too slow to run with anyone else: give running, or something else that scares you, a shot. You might just see your life change for the better.