by Scott Nelson Superintendent of Sylvania Schools

Scott Nelson
Scott Nelson









Strong Schools, Strong Sylvania!

Strong Schools, Strong Sylvania. The significance of this statement is key to the future of the Sylvania community as Sylvania Schools will be on the ballot this Nov. 8 as Issue 17.  The school board is asking for the community’s support, after paring down an initial 5.9 mill request to a 5.7 mill request in response to better-than-expected budgeted district savings.  Of that request, 4.7 mills are designated for operating expenses and 1.0 mill is for permanent improvements. The cost for Issue 17 can be determined by looking at the median price of a home in Sylvania, which is $175K.  This median cost to a homeowner will be $28 dollars a month, or just under $1 a day.

The need is real. The last successful levy was five years ago, in 2011. Complicating the school district’s financial stability has been state funding cuts, as well as local property devaluation.  Sylvania Schools  have taken a  $16 million dollar cut from state funding since 2010.  Compounding this cut are property tax devaluations in 2009 and 2012, which reduced actual real estate collections $10.3 million since 2010, with a $2.2 million shortfall continuing annually.  We will never be able to recover this funding due to state tax real estate laws. The substantial $26 million shortfall in state funding along with property devaluation have put immense pressure on the school district making it extremely difficult to meet the needs of our students. Our students cannot continue any longer without further help from the community.

Future articles will discuss why passing Issue 17 is critical and how Sylvania Schools benefit the entire Sylvania community.

More than 600 students receive scholarships

The Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund has announced that they have awarded a total of 614 scholarships, including 132 new scholarships, for the 2016-2017 school year. The eligibility scale for these scholarships is based on the National School Lunch Program and all of the families receiving the  scholarship are at the 270 percent poverty level or below.

The Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund provides privately funded scholarships to students from low-income families in grades K-8 to attend a private school or for homeschool expenses. Students can receive up to $1,500 per year for tuition or $500 for homeschool expenses. Families must reside in
Allen, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood or Wyandot and are required to pay a minimum of $500 towards their tuition.

Monclova Christian Academy principal Neil Black says of the program, “NOSF has been an incredible blessing to our families at Monclova Christian Academy. We understand that, in some cases, our families who are receiving financial help from NOSF would not be able to attend our school and
receive the benefits of a Christian education.” NOSF is a partner with the Children’s Scholarship Fund. CSF provides scholarships to families in need so they can choose the private school that best meets their children’s needs. Every dollar raised locally gets matched by CSF, which provides additional dollars for scholarships. Since the program began, more than 14,000 students have been awarded a NOSF Scholarship.

Interested families can find more information about the program and apply online on the NOSF website at:

For more information, contact Ann Riddle, executive director of the Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund at 419/720-7048.


A Student Speaks

­­–By Libby Stupica

Libby Stupica

As the beginning of the school year approaches, it’s hard not to feel that bidding summer farewell is like saying goodbye to an old friend you might never see again. Though the sunny days provide us with a sense of being free of obligations, the school year isn’t too bad either. In fact, it might just prove itself superior to summer. Don’t believe me? Consider: Ten Reasons Why the School Year Trumps Summer

1. Thanks to mandatory wake-up times and class schedules, the questions “do I have lunch or breakfast or both after waking up at Noon?” and “if I do have breakfast this late, do I have lunch or dinner in five hours?” don’t apply anymore. In short, your eating schedule will be flawless.

2. Speaking of eating, you may conveniently happen to pass an ice cream shop like I do on the way home from school each day that invites you to make frequent pitstops.

3. Uniforms may extinguish all creative juices when it comes to self-expression, but they do eliminate wardrobe dilemmas and provide a nice excuse to hit the snooze button.

4. Groggy cold mornings give a valid excuse to splurge on a quality cup of coffee that a) wouldn’t go well with the summer heat and b) is too expensive to drink just for kicks.

5. Homework assignments, long-term projects, sports practices and meetings change your life through your new love for organization and list-making.

6. You can shake out the cobwebs and fill your noggin with an abundance of knowledge and new perspectives and form your own opinion through discussions instead of scrolling through a ranting Twitter account.

7. You say goodbye to your summer job and hello to the wad of cash that is just begging you to treat yourself.

8. You can slowly begin to pack up your stash of SPF.

9. Instead of being overwhelmed by photoshopped body-morphing swimwear ads, you can enjoy mediocre history reenactment films where
fashion is obsolete.

10. You no longer have to try to readjust your work schedule to get to see your friends. Instead, they start each of your mornings with a hug and a smile, and even though you may be stressed and longing for summer again, they remind you that you are more than capable of accomplishing everything that life throws your way.

Students get emergency childbirth training

On Tuesday, May 24, the junior Med Tech program at Northview High School took part in an emergency childbirth training session. The two sessions were provided in cooperation with the Sylvania Fire Dept. The simulation wrapped up a lesson on the reproductive class in both anatomy and medical terminology. The Sylvania Fire department helped with the hands-on portion, bringing a simulator called SIM MOM. SIM MOM is an advanced full body interactive birthing simulator. The fire department has obtained the simulator to help teach Northview students and give them a real world experience.

The SIM MOM simulator that the Northview Med Tech students used to complete their training.
The SIM MOM simulator that the Northview Med Tech students used to
complete their training.

SV students construct Olander booth

Driving into Olander Park, the first thing you will see is a brand new ticket booth. The booth, built by Southview construction students, is the product of two weeks of hard work and is just the latest addition to Olander by Southview students. In the past, the high school’s construction class has also rebuilt the lifeguard shack and both outdoor shelters. According to construction teacher Bob Johnson, Olander contacts Southview with ideas for the park, and then the plans are taken to the students. The booth was designed by Southview senior Morgan Shepard and built by juniors, who will return next year as seniors to the two-year construction course.

SV carpentry_1585

Construction students Dylan Never, Jake Owens, Eddie Box, Harrison Coleman, Mike Schreiber, Mohammad Ibrahim and Harold Cousino built the new ticket booth for Olander.

SV carpentry_1588

Stranahan time capsule buried


On May 26, Stranahan Elementary closed the school year with a momentous event. Enclosed with a variety of mementos including photos, trinkets, artwork, crafts, and letters, the school buried a time capsule. The event also included an unveiling of marquee pillars donated generously by Richard Jackson of Myles Construction and his team.

Leslie Black, a member of the first class to attend Stranahan, spoke about her time as a student and the future of the school.
Leslie Black, a member of the first class to attend Stranahan, spoke about her time as a student and the future of the school.

In addition, Leslie Black spoke about her experience as a student in the first class of Stranahan in the 1950s. She contrasted the world she grew up in during her time in elementary school to the present, while stating that her class and today’s class still share the wonderful experience of attending Stranahan and drawing inspiration from their teachers. She concluded, “As you remember your days at Stranahan Elementary, I hope you will feel grateful for your experiences here.” Reading teacher Tammy Garrison then read from her Dr. Seuss-inspired book about Stranahan, which was also put into the capsule.

L-R: Tammy Garrison, Julie Hoffman, Jane Spurgen, Wendy Paine, Amber Fielding and Renee Stack help with the unveiling of the new marquee pillars.
L-R: Tammy Garrison, Julie Hoffman,Jane Spurgen, Wendy Payne, Amber Fielding and Renee Stack help with the unveiling of the new marquee pillars.

After each teacher added their class’s contribution into the time capsule, it was lowered into one of the pillars to the cheers of the students and faculty alike. The capsule will be unearthed in 2055, at the 100-year anniversary of the school’s opening

Mini horse visits Central Trail


This past January, Serenity Farm Equestrian Center visited Central Trail Elementary to offer equine therapy to the schools’ autistic students. In May they returned, and with a small treat. Their mini horse, named Thunder, arrived with Serenity Farm membersto the pleasure of the students.

Thunder the mini horse was the center of attention as student Landon Lay got a close up look and his mother, Amber Ledford, snapped a photo. Serenity Farms Staff member Debra DeHoff steadied Thunder as Kami Blakeman, intervention specialist for the autism program, looked on.
Thunder the mini horse was the center of attention as student Landon Lay got
a close up look and his mother, Amber Ledford, snapped a photo. Serenity
Farms Staff member Debra DeHoff steadied Thunder as Kami Blakeman,
intervention specialist for the autism program, looked on.

The students participated in fun activities with Thunder, including leading the mini horse around a path and through hoops and brushing him. The goals for the visits are to increase communication, improve gross and fine motor skills, regulate and decrease behaviors, teach safety and responsibility, and improve basic academics.

In addition to the school visits, Central Trail’s autistic students will be visiting the farm next fall and likely again in the spring. Their fall trip is planned for Sept. 8, according to Central Trail’s Intervention Specialist for their Autism Program, and they will hopefully continue their next tripsinto October.At the farm, located in Luckey, Ohio, students will get to enjoy lessons including brushing the horses or finding numbers or letters around the farm

St. Ursula plans summer Camps

Girls entering grades K–8 will be Happy Campers at the St. Ursula Academy Summer Camp Program. The summer will offer a variety of sports and enrichment camps, which means there is a perfect camp for everyone according to organizers.

Options include: American Girl, Camp Laffalot, theatre, STEM, coding, fairy garden, photography, painting, craft, baking, film festival, yoga, golf, volleyball, soccer, dance, lacrosse, basketball, softball and crew.

For more information and to register, visit or call 419/329-2209.

NDA Offers Sports, Academic, and Discovery Camps for Girls K-12

Girls entering grades K-12 in the fall will have a bold, brilliant, beautiful, blessed summer at Notre Dame Academy’s athletic, discovery, and academic camps. Back by popular demand are the Safe Sitter® program, Fused Glass, Italian Cooking, Baking, Theater, Dance camps and more. New this year NDA will be offering camps on computer coding, etiquette, self-defense, and CSI. Camps are arranged so a girl with a particular area of interest can take a series of camps in the areas she would like to discover. Tracks will include STEAM, Performing Arts, Culinary Arts,Arts & Craft and Life Skills. The NDA Eagles, twelve time All-Sports Champs, will also host a variety of sport camps that will include volleyball, lacrosse, soccer, basketball and rowing. High school students can take credit and non-credit academic camps in which girls can explore careers at local professional venues, investigate the world of robotics, or improve study skills. One of the area’s top ACT coaches, Greg Owens from STARS Test Prep, will teach an ACT prep course.

Visit to register or view a full listing of NDA Summer Academy camps.

Breast cancer awareness at SUA


According to, about one in eight United States women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. At St. Ursula Academy, that is a statistic worth sharing with the all-female student body. Recently, representatives from Mercy Health Center and Hadassah came to present their Check it Out program to the juniors and seniors.

Patti Beach, patient navigator for Mercy Health Systems, explained that the program has been offered in the community for 20 years. “St. Ursula was one of our pilot schools, and we’ve come back every other year since then. Check It Out is really a program about breast health, and we encourage the girls to become familiar with their own bodies, so they will recognize any change early on.”

The program consisted of a Power Point presentation that explained how to do self exams and some views of cancerous breasts. Each girl received an information card to hang in the shower and a “mini breast teaching model” with two small lumps in it. The idea is to learn what a small lump or irregularity in the breast might feel like.

L-R: Juniors Felicia Fioritto and Tre’Ana King display the breast cancer selfexam card they received at the assembly.
L-R: Juniors Felicia Fioritto and Tre’Ana King display the breast cancer self exam card they received at the assembly.

Beach is happy that young women seem more aware of breast cancer. “In the past, breast cancer was kept undiscussed,” she noted. “It’s not a secret anymore. We hope the girls leave an assembly like that and go home and talk about what they learned with their female friends and relatives. We tell them that 75 percent of women with breast cancer have no risk factor so they don’t expect a cancer diagnosis, so it’s even more important to talk to others and pay attention to your own body.”

She continues, “We don’t try to scare anybody. In fact, 80-85 percent of discovered lumps turn out to be non-cancerous. But it pays to know your own body and have a baseline to compare your breasts from one month to the next. We don’t want any of these students to be one of the nearly 250,000 women and 2,600 men (Yes, men can get breast cancer!) who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.”

“Some people say they are tired of seeing pink ribbons everywhere,” Beach said. “But all the attention and the research has a domino effect on other cancers, which is very important.”

Juniors Tre’Ana King and Felicia Fioritto agreed they hadn’t thought about breast cancer happening to them, but were glad for the presentation. “It was good information we need to know as we get older,” Tre’Ana noted. “I’m sure we can share this information with friends and other schools, so they are aware, too.