District News

July Board of Education Meeting Updates

The Westerville City School District Board of Education is scheduled to meet on July 7, 2016, and July 25, 2016.

Important Change to “Health Heroes” Flu Immunization Clinics
IMPORTANT: New Vaccination Requirements
Superintendent to Recommend New Westerville South Principal, Westerville North Athletic Director
Retirees Honored at Board of Education Meeting

Retiring Westerville City Schools personnel were honored at a reception prior to the Regular Session of the Board of Education on May 21, and at an official ceremony during the meeting.  This year 30 individuals are retiring from the district with a combined 667 years of service.

Updated Financial Forecast Reflects Academic Program and Service Restorations, Maintains Prior Fiscal Timelines

Westerville City School District (WCSD) Treasurer/CFO Bart Griffith presented Board of Education members with a revised financial forecast indicating the district will end Fiscal Year 2020 with a cash balance of $37.14 million.  The balance reflects expenses the district has incurred while rebuilding academic programs and services impacted by significant budget cuts approximately four years ago.  Even during this rebuilding phase, district officials have stretched the March 2012 emergency operating levy five years longer than originally projected.

Alcott Fifth Grade Students Raise $500 for Cancer Research

Recently two fifth grade students who attend Alcott Elementary School – Kaitlyn Gardner and Lily Burky – did a research project on cancer.  These two young ladies decided they wanted to take their project a step further, so they brainstormed a way to earn money to help fund a cure for cancer.  First, they shared their research with the principal and seven different classrooms.  Kaitlyn and Lily then decided to ask the entire fifth grade of Alcott to wear bright, neon colors and bring in a dollar on May 19.  On the 19th, almost the entire fifth grade wore bright colors and brought in a dollar, or more.  Many fourth graders helped too!  At the end of the day, they had raised nearly $500 dollars to fund a cure for cancer!  The initiative shown by these young ladies is inspiring to many people, including their teacher, Mrs. Amici. 

Westerville Students are Patient Champions in the Great Columbus Duck Race and Run

Westerville City Schools are proud to partner with The Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in support of the 5th annual Great Columbus Duck Race and Run, presented by Meijer.  This family friendly activity benefits the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Robert Frost Elementary students Megan Dickerson and Olan Ross, along with Whittier Elementary pupil Doug Spayde, are serving as Patient Champions for the event, to highlight the life-saving research and medical care that is provide by Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Annehurst Kindergarten Students Plant Flowers at Metzger Park

Westerville’s Metzger Park will be a little more beautiful than usual this year, thanks to the efforts of little people with big hearts.  Parent volunteers at Annehurst Elementary School worked with the Westerville Parks & Recreation Department to get permission to plant flowers at the front entrance, which were generously donated by local businesses.

District Encourages New Families to Enroll Children As Soon As Possible

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean the work stops in Westerville City Schools.  While some may anticipate a slower pace once the school year ends, employees at the district’s Enrollment & Family Resource Center actually hope for a significant increase to their workload and the number of enrollment applications they process over the summer months.

OSU Coach/Football Players Bring Powerful Message to Robert Frost Students

Robert Frost Elementary School was saturated with scarlet and gray on Monday, May 16, in honor of some special visitors from The Ohio State University, who came to impart a valuable message to students there.

Westerville North’s Bev Koenig Honored by OHSAA

Westerville North High School is pleased to announce Bev Koenig as this year’s selection for the State Award for Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity from the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA).

Sunrise Rotary Recognizes 2015-2016 Service to Youth Award Winners

The Westerville Sunrise Rotary Club hosted a breakfast at the Old Bag of Nails on Wednesday morning, May 18, where Service to Youth award winners were honored.  The program began four years ago to recognize exceptional Westerville City Schools employees who have made a special contribution to youth; have served as a positive role model for young people; and have demonstrated service above and beyond the call of duty in performing their job responsibilities.

Bette Marschall Memorial Education Fund Awards $3,082 in Grants

The Bette Marschall Memorial Education Fund of The Columbus Foundation has announced the recipients of 10 grant awards totaling $3,082 to Westerville City Schools personnel for applications submitted this spring.

2nd & 7 Foundation Representatives Visit Cherrington Elementary Students

The 2nd & 7 Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote reading by providing free books and positive role models to kids in need while encouraging young athletes of the community to pay it forward.

2016 Central Ohio Invention Convention Winners Moving on to National Competition

Following the Regional Invention Convention Competition held at Tolles Career and Technical Center on May 7, a number of Westerville City Schools students have advanced to the national contest.

Westerville’s Kurt Blaser Places Fifth at Ohio School Bus Driver Road-E-O Contest

On Saturday, May 7, Westland High School in Galloway, Ohio, was the site of the state finals for school bus drivers and the driver skills Road-E-O.  Drivers from across the state competed at the regional level on April 23, and winners advancing to the state contest.  Representing Westerville City Schools were Kurt Blaser and Gary Case.

Westerville Parent Council Awards Scholarships to Deserving Seniors
Elementary Leadership Summit Inspires Teamwork

The 10th annual Elementary Leadership Summit occurred on Friday, May 13, at Westerville North High School.  More than 140 third, fourth and fifth grade students from all Westerville elementary schools were in attendance.  Participants completed leadership and team building exercises, and shared the outcomes of their building community service projects.

District Hosts 5th Annual Middle School Chess Tournament

On May 18, each Westerville middle school sent their building Chess Club champion to participate in the Middle School Chess Tournament, hosted by Blendon Middle School.  Families, friends, and staff eagerly watched the round-robin matches.

Hawthorne Girls on the Run Club Thanks Minerva Park Police Department

The new Girls on the Run group at Hawthorne Elementary School concluded its first season on May 18 with a community impact project – thanking the Minerva Park Police Department for supporting the school community. Girls on the Run is a positive youth development program for females in grades 3-8. The 10-week curriculum incorporates lessons that empower girls, who also train for a 5k run.

Genoa’s Jill Ponzi Named to Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame

Jill Ponzi, Genoa Middle School counselor, was recently named to the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association (OATA) Hall of Fame. Candidates for this most prestigious award are nominated by their peers, making this a most revered honor.

Alcott’s “El Toro Loco” Garners Rave Reviews

“El Toro Loco (The Crazy Bull)” was the name of this year’s Spanish-themed first grade restaurant, run by students in Jim Ledford’s class at Alcott Elementary School.  The pupils have been working on learning Spanish words and sentences all year, and this marked the culminating activity.  Children filled all the jobs in the restaurant, including host/hostess, waiter/waitress, busser, manager, and cashier.

Westerville North Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

Friends, family members, staff and coaches gathered in the Atrium at Westerville North High School on Wednesday, May 11, to watch and celebrate as three student athletes signed Letters of Intent to continue competing at the collegiate level.  Brandon Goldsmith will wrestle at Baldwin Wallace; Quinn Nicodemus will play Lacrosse at Sierra Nevada College; and Alex Stefanelli will play baseball at Hope College.

Westerville South’s Eric Atta is a Gates Millennium Scholar; Earns Full Ride to Stanford

UNCF’s (United Negro College Fund) high-impact scholarship initiative, the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, has announced its final class of high school recipients.  Included on the list is Westerville South High School Senior Eric Atta.  He will attend Stanford University in California, where he plans to double major in economics and either symbolic systems or human biology.  In the future he would like to pursue a dual JD/MPH degree and become an international human rights attorney.  Cynthia M. DeVese, Coordinator of Minority Student Achievement for Westerville City Schools, said, “There is no doubt in my mind that Eric is well prepared for the academic rigor and student leadership that comes with being a student at Stanford.”

Sixth Annual Chip Challenge Winners Selected

Sixth graders from advanced science classes in the Westerville City School District took part in the sixth annual Chip Challenge, a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) initiative.  Teams of students were asked to design and test a container for shipping a single Pringles potato chip to Superintendent John Kellogg at the Early Learning Center.  Upon arrival, the packages and the chip they contained were evaluated and scored.  The goal was to design a package having the smallest volume and smallest mass, which protected the chip so it would arrive at its destination undamaged.

Ohio State University Students Offer Insight into Engineering Degrees and Careers

Pupils at Westerville South High School had the opportunity to talk with current Ohio State University engineering students last week about potential degrees and career pathways in engineering.  Disha Shah, Logan Rohaley, and Tom Ziebro are OSU students being mentored by Dr. Menachem Kimchi, Assistant Professor in OSU’s Materials Science Engineering program.  They presented their capstone project to students in Beth Eddy’s Materials Science Engineering class at Westerville South.

Forty Blendon Students Receive Top Award at Spring Bulldog Breakfast

Blendon Middle School recently held its Spring Bulldog Breakfast recognizing 40 fantastic Blendon students.  Bulldog Breakfast honors those students who “make the day” of a staff member and go above and beyond to exemplify the Bulldog Spirit.

Franklin County Immunization Clinic offered Twice a Month at Westerville Fire Division

A Franklin County Immunization Clinic for children and adults is being offered at the Westerville Division of Fire (400 West Main Street) on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.  This clinic is by appointment only. 

Middle School Invention Convention Winners Announced

The 7th annual Westerville Middle School Invention Convention season concluded recently as Westerville’s four Middle Schools each held their building Invention Convention Competitions.  Sponsored by the Gifted Education Department with support from the PTO/PSTA, students set up displays and were judged by a panel of distinguished educators, administrators, and community members.

Last Day of Classes in Westerville is May 24; First Day Back Changed to August 18

The last day of classes for the 2015-2016 school year in the Westerville City School District is Tuesday, May 24, 2016.  A Teacher Professional Day will take place on Wednesday, May 25.

Ohio Energy Project Celebrates Student Leadership in Westerville with National Award

Solutions to today’s energy challenges are being developed in classrooms and homes around Westerville.  The Ohio Energy Project’s annual Youth Energy Celebration on May 10 at COSI welcomed more than 400 students, teachers and partners from around the state.  In Westerville, 45 students and four educators were recognized for their outstanding work this school year through the Westerville Energy Education Partnership.

School Board Recognizes Test Winners, Buckeye Boys and Girls State Delegates

At the Westerville City Schools Board of Education meeting held Monday evening, May 9, American Legion Post 171 chairperson Glen Golden presented Americanism & Government Test Program winners for recognition.

Middle School Chess Tournament Winners Advance to District Competition

All students at each of the middle schools are invited to participate in school-wide chess activities leading to the selection of a building representative to compete in the Middle School District Chess Tournament on May 18.

Westerville North’s Megan Harris Receives Writing Award from NCTE

According to NCTE, this national recognition was established in 1957 to encourage high school students in their writing and to publicly recognize some of the best student writers in the nation.

Pointview Receives $40,288 Grant for Leader in Me Program

This funding will allow Pointview to become the first school in Westerville to implement The Leader in Me program by Franklin Covey, which promotes the 7 Habits – Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw.  All of these habits encourage student leadership and empower children to own their learning and behavior.

Career Day at Genoa Middle School Gets Students to Focus on the Future

Genoa Middle School was abuzz with excitement on Friday, May 6 when, after a two-year hiatus, Career Day returned.  Organizers worked hard to coordinate volunteers representing 28 different careers, all dedicated to exposing students to a vast array of professions.

Central Football Players Read to Elementary Students

Westerville Central varsity football players excel not only on the field, but in the classroom and in the community, as evidenced by recent sightings of players reading at nearby elementary schools.

Walnut Springs Students Perform at Barnes & Noble

As part of the 7th grade advanced language arts class taught by Tammy Saltzmann, Walnut Springs students have been creating their own reader’s theater scripts based on different themes of the novels they have read.  Poetry, non-fiction, student writing, and lyrics are brought in to complement the novel’s theme.  From there, the script is woven together.

Visit from Columbus Zoo Thrills Children at Alcott Elementary

First grade students at Alcott Elementary School enjoyed a visit from Columbus Zoo representatives, who visited the school recently and brought animals that can be found outside in Ohio.

Westerville South High School Inducts Three into Alumni Hall of Fame

Westerville South High School inducted three alumni into its Hall of Fame at a luncheon and ceremony held April 22 – Rick Rano, Cindy Straub and Jonathon Strickland.  The school’s Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee selected those honored from a pool of applicants who graduated at least 10 years ago, have demonstrated success in their career, and have made significant contributions to their community.

John and Betsey Krause are Honored by Board of Education and Superintendent

John and Betsey Krause were recognized at the Westerville City Schools Board of Education meeting on April 25 for establishing the Sarah Krause Memorial Science Grant program in memory of their daughter Sarah, a Westerville North junior who passed away in September of 2004.  Over the years, more than $30,000 from that fund has been given directly to students.

Westerville Central’s Noah Martin is Recognized for Second Place Poetry Out Loud Finish

Noah Martin, a sophomore at Westerville Central High School, was honored by the Board and Superintendent on April 25 for having placed second in the State of Ohio Poetry Out Loud contest, which was held on Saturday, March 19 at COSI.  He won a cash prize as well as money for the purchase of poetry books at the Westerville Central library.  Martin recited a poem for the crowd, and received a Resolution of Commendation for having represented Central and the Westerville School District with “honor and distinction.”  Also recognized were Martin’s advisors – Amy Farris, Scott Paynter, and Jim Grannis. 

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Seeking Westerville Student as Patient Champion for 5th Annual Great Columbus Duck Race and Run

The Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital is proud to partner with Westerville City Schools in an effort to raise awareness and funds for pediatric research.  The 5th Annual Great Columbus Duck Race and Run is a fundraising event put on by the Development Board at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  The money raised from the event supports The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Eight Stellar Employees Earn A+ Awards

A+ Awards honor outstanding school employees whose actions demonstrate support of the district’s Mission Statement; willingness to go above and beyond normal expectations; and behavior consistent with one or more of the district’s values. 

Career Experiences Offered to Students in Health-Related Science Courses

Faculty and staff at Columbus State Community College (CSCC) recently facilitated two opportunities for Westerville students to explore careers in health-related professionals.  Juniors in Human Body Systems and Medical Interventions (both courses in the Project Lead the Way Health Pathway) attended a Health Sciences Career Fair on April 22.  Students toured the campus and nursing labs, and spoke with representatives at more than 20 booths representing a range of departments in CSCC’s Health and Medical program.

Whittier Students Shine during their Evening of Jazz

Fourth grade students at Whittier Elementary presented an upbeat recorder and choral showcase titled An Evening of Jazz on Wednesday, April 27.  Part of the performance included pieces from the Recorder Karate curriculum, featuring songs inspired by jazz and the musicians who made it great.

District Art Shows Celebrate Student Creativity

Families gathered at the Westerville Community Center and Westerville Public Library on Sunday afternoon, April 24, to see student artwork on display.  They were welcomed by Phyllis Self from the Arts Council of Westerville (pictured) and Dr. Jan Fedorenko, retired principal of Hanby Arts Magnet School.

Annehurst First Graders, Now All Grown Up, Gather for Fond Farewell

They certainly don’t look like first graders anymore, but students who used to be in the classrooms of retired teacher Jane Wonnell and current Annehurst 1st grade teachers Julie Pierron and Erica Layne have fond memories of Annehurst Elementary School.

Westerville Drivers Walk Away with Top Honors at Central Ohio School Bus Road-E-O

School Transportation Professionals from across the Central Ohio region gathered at Reynoldsburg Elementary on Saturday, April 23, to sharpen their knowledge and behind-the-wheel driving/maneuvering skills at the Central Region School Bus Safety Road-E-O.  At the conclusion of the competition, Westerville City Schools bus drivers walked away with top honors.

Walnut Springs Writing Center Coaches Saluted at Luncheon

An end-of-the-year celebration for student writing coaches at Walnut Springs Middle School was held on Thursday, April 28.   The Writing Center at Walnut Springs was a pilot this year funded by the Westerville Education Foundation, with added support provided by Principal Becca Yanni and Media Specialist Jean Trimble.  Eighth grade student writing coaches were trained to help peers by writing coaches from The Ohio State University.

Columbus Children’s Theatre to Perform Plays Written by Hanby Students

Stories written by Hanby Elementary fifth grade students Caleb Piatt and Lydia Moore have been selected to be performed by The Columbus Children’s Theatre as part of 2016 The Child Writing Project.  This year’s theme is You Are What You Eat.  The children are students in Tara Norling’s English Language Arts class.  Piatt’s play is called Origin of the Potato; Moore’s is titled Slice Pizza.

Westerville City Schools Once Again Earns Auditor of State Award with Distinction
Westerville City Schools Posts 2014-2015 Annual Report

Westerville City Schools has posted its 2014-2015 annual report, titled Where You Belong, on its website.  It features a building directory plus highlights and photos of the 2014-2015 school year, along with school calendars and information about human resources, district departments, and school finances.

Wilder Students and Teachers are Wild about Visit from Columbus Zoo Animals

Representatives from the Columbus Zoo visited Wilder Elementary on Monday, March 21.  They brought a variety of animals including a sloth, echidna, hissing cockroaches, a lesser anteater, and a screech owl.  The students learned about different adaptations the animals have to help them survive, in which part of the world they can be found, and how they communicate with other animals.

State Champions!

Community members gathered in the Westerville South High School gymnasium on Tuesday evening, March 22, to celebrate the varsity boys’ basketball team which, under the direction of Coach Ed Calo, became State Champions after defeating Lima Senior on March 19.

Board Approves Westerville Educator Days; School Starts August 18

The Westerville City Schools Board of Education, at its meeting on Monday, March 7, approved two District Professional Development Days for the next school year – Monday, August 15, 2016 and Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  Classes will not be held on these days. As a result, school will begin for students in grades 1-12 on Thursday, August 18.  Kindergarten will begin on Tuesday, August 23, following three days of “gentle start.”