Winter 2003 Connector Newsletter by lonyoo

VIEWS: 129 PAGES: 8

									Connector
Published for Parents, Students and Friends of Mt. Healthy City Schools

The

Spring 2004

Newsletter
August Renewal Levy Needed For Continued Success
raduation marks the end of another successful school year. As a community, we can take pride in improved academic performance and increased attendance and graduation rates over the last several years. We can celebrate that this yearís graduating class received more than $1.6 million in scholarships and awards to pursue higher education goals. Pride can also be found in the numerous awards/recognitions given to our student athletes and musicians - five league titles this year and numerous band competition awards. With the 2003-2004 school year in our rearview mirror, plans are already underway for next year. The plan, as voted on in May by the Board of Education, calls for a 1.54-mill renewal levy on the August 3rd ballot. This renewal levy will not increase taxes. It will not cost Mt. Healthy homeowners additional money. Yet its passage is critical to our school budget for continued student success. The renewal, originally passed in 1982 as an emergency operating levy, brings $500,000 to the district budget. Voters have renewed the levy five times since 1982, guaranteeing the district continued collection of these funds. Without a renewal, Superintendent Dave Horine said, the district would lose $500,000 per year from its budget. That loss, coupled with revenue cuts from state and local taxes over the last two years, would negatively impact existing programs. ìWhen we campaigned for the levy last November, we promised three years, and that assumed renewal of the emergency levy and no additional losses in future funding,î Mr. Horine said. Though passage of the levy last November saved the district from making disastrous cuts,

Mt. Healthy City School District

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High school studens Brandon Bauer (left) and Joey Berning show off their diplomas at the graduation ceremony in May.

Inside:

ï Whatís Inside?
Superintendentís Message............................ 2 Courtyard Project ............... 3 Sports Highlights ............... 4 Cicada Mania...................... 5 Around the District........ 6-7 Instruments Needed.......... 8

the state funding situation continues to challenge our financial situation. The district announced in February that it would cut another $700,000 from its budget for the 2004-05 school year. Nearly all of these reductions will be in personnel, including the elimination of 10 teaching positions, one custodial position, two administrative positions and other administrative restructuring. To ensure financial responsibility, the district formed a Citizens Financial Advisory Committee last fall. The committee has met several times since last November to learn about the districtís financial condition, including the impact of state funding. The committee will continue its important work and be positioned to advise the Board on its communication to the public about district finances. Since its original passage, the district has counted on renewing this levy as part of its regular operating budget. Failure to pass this renewal would make it impossible to get three years out of last Novemberís levy without additional budget cuts.

Superintendent’s Page

David J. Horine, Superintendent Mt. Healthy City Schools

Weíve had a good year in the Mt. Healthy City School District. Our many accomplishments can be read about in this issue of The Connector, and I am delighted to share them with you. A pivotal point in the districtís future occurred last November when voters passed a new levy. Up until that point ñ and after four unsuccessful levy attempts ñ numerous budget reductions had taken place. Without a November passage, disastrous cuts would have been necessary for this coming school year. Though additional cuts are in place for this year, many of the student achievement programs and extracurricular activities remain intact. I again thank our community members for their support. We have a number of changes taking place in the upcoming year, including an administrative reorganization described on Page 3 of The Connector. This reorganization comes as a result of three retirements and the resignation of Assistant Superintendent Randy Parsons, who will be Finneytownís new superintendent. Mr. Parsons now becomes the 10th Mt. Healthy administrator in the past 26 years to become a superintendent in our state. Though I donít know for sure, I guess that might be some type of record. We have been fortunate over the years to have had good people serve our district. Mr. Parsons will be missed. The lead story in this newsletter describes the renewal this August. This regular renewal (every 5 years) is part of our regular operating budget and will not cost taxpayers additional taxes. If you have any questions about this issue, I urge you to call me at 728-4960. I hope you enjoy your summer.

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From the Board

(back row, clockwise)

Steve Harness Albert Crawford, President Robert Lawrence Carole Ellis Donald Wolf, Vice President
The Connector is a publication of the Mt. Healthy City School District. It is published three times a year. To receive a copy, call 728-4445. See us on the web: http://www.mthcs.org Layout, editorial and photography by Judy Ashton, Communications Coordinator

We finished another school year! Graduation was great, with nearly $2 million awarded in scholarships. Some of our students will serve in the military or enroll in two- and four-year college or trade programs. Every student that graduated or promoted to the next grade can thank the great teaching staff at Mt. Healthy Schools. Learning is usually a inconspicuous process. When asked: ìWhat did you learn in school?î 99% of the time the answer will be a familiar one, ìnothing.î Along the way, students learn to read, write, contemplate scientific theories and create. Does this mean that learning only takes place 1% of the time that the kids are in school? Of course not! Learning is an individualized process, hopefully combined with a series of events, and requires a multitude of approaches and exposures by patient teachers who hang in there and day after day fighting to spark learning. Thank you to all our teachers. Teachers will begin the learning process anew in about 12 weeks when schools re-open August 25. But before that, another important event takes place August 3. We are asking for your support in approving a levy RENEWAL. This renewal will not increase your taxes, but it will mean that your school district will be able to support an additional two to three years of wonderful learning opportunities for our students. It means students can continue to learn from our great teaching staff and experience the wonderous joys of public school life like plays, choir, sports, clubs, school trips and other events that shape learning experiences. Public Schools were created to give all kids an opportunity to have an education. Yes, schools are different from the way they use to be, but the broad mission has not changed. Our kids need the same opportunities to a good education. Supporting this levy renewal will do exactly that for the next two to three years. Thank you for supporting public schools. - Al Crawford, School Board President

Spring 2004

Couryard Project: Community Service Begins At Home
Mt. Healthy High School students and staff have devoted countless hours to the restoration of the courtyard in the rear of the school. The dream is to restore it to its former beauty, a prestigious gathering place in the 1970s that hosted many school activities. Then, the space was known as the Kull Courtyard, named after art teacher Rebecca Kull, who taught in the district from 1960 to 1971. She worked to raise the funds to lay the brick, plant flowers and trees. Now, the courtyard has succumbed to decay. Bricks are crumbling, the ground has shifted and trees are floundering. Work has already begun to restore the courtyard. Staff and students spent numerous hours this school year pulling up old bricks and recycling the good ones for resale to a local company. High school Principal Jack Fisher continues to explore funding options. Though dollars are tight, staff and students press on with what can be accomplished at a cost of nothing more than man power. ìWe are still clearing brick,î he said. ìAt some point, I will form a committee and begin the process of deciding what and how to build.î To volunteer or help with fund-raising, call Mr. Fisher at 729-0130.

Administrative Changes
With the retirement/resignation of four administrators, a restructuring of roles and responsibilities is in place for the 2004-05 school year. This restructuring will save more than $125,000. The district welcomes Mark S. Walden, currently principal at FelicityFranklin Elementary School, as the new principal at Frost Elementary. He will succeed Bob Kelly, who will become principal at New Burlington Elementary next year. Barb Ewing, principal at New Burlington, will lead Rex Ralph next year as principal. Rex Principal Hazel Ross retires this year after 30 years in the district. Mr. Waldenís professional experience includes teaching first and fifth grades, school counseling, as well as serving as a mental health specialist at Childrenís Hospital. Susan Heitner will become the Coordinator of Special Education. Ms. Heitner has been a special education teacher in our district since 1975, the last 12 at Frost Elementary. Lori Handler, currently Director of Elementary Education, will become Executive Director of Personnel and Staff Development. Ms. Handler, who has 27 years in the district as a teacher and administrator, will complete her superintendentís license and be elevated to assistant superintendent. She will be responsible for personnel operations and staff development. Jane Hoop Elementary Principal Todd Bowling has been named Director of Elementary and Secondary Education. He will supervise secondary administrative staff, align curriculum and oversee K-12 initiatives. Mr. Bowling has been with the district for seven years, his first two as assistant principal at the high school and the last five as principal at Hoop. Prior to coming to Mt. Healthy, he taught in both elementary and secondary levels at Northwest Local School District. The search for a new principal at Jane Hoop Elementary is under way.

Cafeteria Gets Computerized Cash Registers
New computerized cash registers will be in place next fall in the high school cafeteria. Each student will have an account and receive a PIN (Personal Identification Number). Money can be placed in a student account and deducted when purchases are made. When used, a student photo is displayed to ensure legitimate access to student accounts. The new system promises to deliver quicker service and make the payment process more convenient. Another plus is the anonymity of the system. No one, not even cashiers, can tell if a student receives free or reduced lunch or pays full price. Cash purchases will also be available.

Our Volunteers: The Heart of Mt. Healthy Schools
A heartfelt thank you to the many volunteers like Chuck and Becky Turner who never cease to lend a helping hand in our district. From athletic and band boosters to chaperoning, mentoring and levy support, they made a strong presence for many years. The two attended the districtís Volunteer Reception May 2 when a formal thank you was punctuated with cake and punch. For those volunteers that missed it, we want to again say thank you for your role in another successful school year!

The Connector • Mt. Healthy City Schools

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Congratulations to the Lady Owls softball team! The Mount Healthy High School softball team dominated the Southwest Ohio Public League again this spring, winning its fourth consecutive league title. The Owls finished 16-0 in league play this year and 20-4 overall. Coach Jon Sheehan was named the 2004 SWOPL Girls Softball Coach of the Year. In tournament play, the Lady Owls made it through the first round with a 6-1 win over Ursuline. All League First Team: Amber Powell, junior, first base; Becky Roper, sophomore, shortstop; Nateya Sowels, junior, third base; Sarah Shamblin, sophomore, outfield; Heather Bashford, junior, pitcher; and Ashley Shelton, junior, utility player. All League Second Team: Kayla Corner, junior, second base; Caitlin Laker, senior, outfield; and Erin Phelps, junior, designated hitter. The boysí varsity baseball team had a fifth place finish, with a 5-7 record in the SWOPL. All-League First Team: Dan Ertel, junior, utility player. All League Second Team: C.J. Leahy, senior, first base; Dustin Milligan; junior, second base; Adam Maker, junior, outfield. Honorable mention: sophomores Scott Smith, shortstop and Kevin Brown, outfield. First team track/field in discus, freshman Devon Stuckey.

Pairing high school students with elementary children is a great learning opportunity for both groups. Greener Elementary kindergartner Sayanna Jones wears the glasses she and Shatonnah Green (top right), a junior, made after reading Arthur. The two are part of a Book Buddy Program created in a Child Development Class at the high school. For six weeks, high school students visited Greener to read to the younger ones. The semester-long class ended with a visit to the high school and a morning of fun reading activities. High school senior Christina Mueller and her German IV classmates spent a couple of weeks teaching Greener students about the language. Fourth graders (left to right) Brandon Henderson, Ambrea Johnson and Haley Campbell picked German names and learned simple words. On the last day, they played German Bingo.

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Athletics

Lady Owls: Softball Champs Again!

Students Learn About Investing
Students at North, South and the high school learned a few things this year about investing. ìCan kids buy stocks?î a student asked Dawn Utter, a math teacher at North Middle School who won a county grant to participate in the Stock Market Game. For an entry fee of $20, teams such as the Red Stocks, Big Money Stockholders, D&R Money Makers and Da Lil Stock Ladies were formed to learn about the Stock Market. The goal: to make the most of $100,000 through simulated investments over 10 weeks, ending April 16. Results (rankings) of weekly and total investment returns were printed Saturdays in The Enquirer. High school math teacher Lana Gerber had nine teams involved as part of a project in her Math with Business Applications classes. ìWe had several teams consistently place in the top 15 of the 300+ teams and have been in first place for three weeks.î Final rankings for four teams placed in the top 25. At North, 21 teams participated for the first time and four to five teams consistently ranked in the top 15 of 340 teams. The Steel ëNí Stock team shot to the top in week 3 with an 11.4% return on shares sold, profiting $14,460. ìIím very proud,î said Dawn Utter, a math teacher from North Middle School who oversaw the project. ìOur students had absolutely no experience at all with investing in the stock market. That fact makes their success even more special.î Ms. Utter also oversees another grant-funded financial literacy program at North Middle School called Divas with Dollars. About 18 female students have learned to create budgets, research investment options and explore careers. They also participated in etiquette training and mock interviews.

Trading Spaces: Older Students Work With Younger Ones

Spring 2004

Help A Budding Musician : Donate An Instrument
Do you have a band instrument to sell? Advertise it on the districtís instrument exchange list. The Mt. Healthy Instrument Exchange list is distributed in August to all fifth-grade students who will be playing in their school band. All sale negotiations are at the discretion of sellers and buyers. Following a successful sale, a donation to the Mt. Healthy Band Boosters is expected. Instrument donations are accepted and are tax deductible. To list or donate an instrument, call elementary band teacher Merv Snider, at 791-1728; e-mail: msnider@mthcs.org; or write him at Greener Elementary, 2400 Adams

Teen Institute: Promotes Healthy Living

The Mt. Healthy High School Jazz Band members (left to right) Daniel Allen, TJ Moyer, Brad Okel and Zach Gable entertained folks at the Heritage Days festival.

Road, 45231. Please include your name, phone number and instrument for sale.

Sharing the anti-drug and alcohol message, members of the high schoolís Teen Institute organize a Mock Crash to warn fellow classmates of the dangers of drinking and driving. Mt. Healthyís Fire Department and the Hamilton County Coroner participate in the drama that unfolds before Prom weekend.

Cicadas Buzz Their Way Into Classrooms
The biggest phenomenon to hit classrooms this spring has been the pending arrival of the cicadas. Opportunities to learn about these buggers have presented themselves in a variety of ways. At Hoop, Rex and Duvall, students constructed cicada models from pop bottles and candy. Sixth graders (top right) Ryen Lynch, Tyler Earley, Mary Wathel and Kyanna Perry from Hoop show off their models and a display board they helped construct. A naturalist from the Hamilton County Park District, dressed as a tree, visited a kindergarten class at New Burlington Elementary (middle right) to show a cicada in the larvae stage. Science classes examined holes in the ground and dug up larvae before they emerged. Classrooms wrote reports and displayed information on poster boards that depicted the life cycle and anatomy of a cicada. At North Middle School, students wrote limericks. Eighth grader Sharda Ellis wrote: ìCicadas are ugly, all black and red; their constant singing bothers my head. It sounds like a rusty wrench; And their dead bodies leave a bad stench. Iíll spend this spring hiding under my bed.î At the high school, students in Steve Carsonís biology and environmental science classes (bottom right) took the cicada study to a new level by cooking and eating them. On the menu: tacos and chocolate covered cicadas were dished up to those students willing to try. With a toaster oven and a crockpot, Mr. Carson dry roasted the cicadas and melted chocolate for dipping. Chris Schwemberger, a freshman, was one of the first to taste test them. ìThey taste like a Kit Kat bar,î he said, coming back for seconds. Chef Chris Bearing sautes cicadas for the taco filling for fellow freshmen classmates (left to right) Mike Bien, teacher Steve Carson, Taylor Tennison, Erica Clark, James Starrett and Heather Lindner. ìAs for the tacos,î Mr. Carson said, ìstudents liked them and said that they tasted better than Taco Bell.î
The Connector • Mt. Healthy City Schools

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N EWS District
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Student Spotlight

Greener Elementary first graders Poet Wilder, Nick Robertson and Tyrone McFarland welcomed in spring by reading about ducks. Their class welcomed in spring by learning about ducks through interactive writing, read alouds and independent reading and writing. It also included role-playing using duck puppets! The art of scrapbooking is creatively used in this history class to extract key lecture facts and display them visually and pictorially. The result at the end of the year is a beautiful portfolio that contains every lesson learned, from the War of 1812 to the Underground Railroad. Here, ninth-grader Zach Gable uses colored pencils, scissors, glue, string, construction paper, to visually depict the major battles in the Civil War. Frost Elementary sixth graders (left) Shara Ferguson and Ashley Bolden built and raced mousetrap cars against their peers to see who would represent their school at the citywide M2SE (Minorities in Mathematics, Science and Engineering) competition in May. Winners Vequwanza Hollingshed, Maílakkah Ervin and Terrell represented Frost at the Saturday event held at University of Cincinnatiís College of Applied Science & Engineering.
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South Middle School eighth grader Jay Lewis shows off his science project to classmates as a prelude to the schoolís Spring Education Fair. Mixing vinegar and baking soda, Lewis waits for a volcanic eruption.

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Spring 2004

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❚ Junior Carri Burgjohann was selected to attend Girls State as the Mt. Healthy delegate. Sheíll spend a week with students from all over Ohio at the expense of The American Legion. ❚ Senior Craig Forsberg was honored by the Kiwanis Club of Ohio, 6th division, at its 49th Annual Student Recognition Day. He was among 47 students recognized in Greater Cincinnati for his outstanding academic and athletic achievements. ❚ Frost Elementary sixth graders Ashley McIntosh and Chinita Allen received the PAVE (People Against Violent Environments) Mediation Award for solving school disputes. ❚ Junior Brad Okel and senior Angela Fox recognized as emerging leaders by peers and teachers. They were given the I Dare You Award. ❚ Senior Rebecca Lynam received the Daughters of the American Revolution award for leadership and patriotism.

Mt. Healthy High School students learned how to make maple syrup in this environmental science class. With drill in hand, Terrell Bonner, (left to right) Mike Wheeler, Nichelle Hall, Jessica Noe and Christian Horne identified, tapped and collected sap from sugar maple trees on school property. The end result: pancakes! and a lesson on the harvesting of a natural resource right in their own backyard!

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Classroom

New Burlington Elementary hosted a Career Education Fair that focused on flight. The day brought interesting visitors - from the Hamilton County Sheriff to General Electric to Mt. Healthyís own Bob McMillan, a high school science teacher who teaches about NASA, were part of the day that recognized the Wright Brothers 100th anniversary of flight. Northís Student Council raised money this year to replace 10 classroom flags in disrepair. Members, left to right, seventh grader Joseph Rodelo, council president Kendra Rhodes and McKenzie Murdoch, also a seventh grader, show off the flags they presented. Council members also began a new tradition this year, raising $250 for a scholarship to high school senior who attended North. Amy Criswell was the recipient. Jane Hoop Elementary student council members meet the acquaintance pen pal Kimm Sandusky, a captain in the Air Force Reserves and sister of third-grade teacher Mindy Fisher (right). Students sent a care package of decorated cards and candy to Ms. Sandusky and her unit stationed in Afghanistan. The Valentineís Day project, called ìLove Our Soldiers,î also included $60 of phone cards. She visited students in April and shared experiences and memorabilia.
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Duvall Center students were treated to an evening of science experiments as part of the Mt. Healthy Family Science Night at the high school. Students participated in hands-on activities, including blowing air into a straw to create bubble domes. The experiment was one of several that devoted an evening to science and fun for the entire family. Popping the bubbles was half the fun!

Juniors Brad Okel and Heather Bashford place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Washington, D.C., visit was the destination of this yearís class trip, a tradition that has taken place since 1946. The Junior Class Trip, now in its 59th year, also included a visit to Williamsburg, Va.

Class of 2004: Top Students

Craig Forsberg
Valedictorian

Angela Banks
Salutatorian

Top Students: Shanese Wilson Christina Mueller Sarah Burkhardt Lizz Stone Andy Smith Jennifer Silver Gloria Talbert Kenitra Battle Top Vocational Student: Raven Bull
The Connector • Mt. Healthy City Schools

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Coordinating Council Awards Nine Scholarships
Mt. Healthyís Coordinating Council awarded more than $8,000 to nine high school seniors. The recipients are: Gloria Talbert, Joseph Epplen Scholarship; Angela Banks, Wendt Family Scholarship; Shanese Wilson, Terri Phillips Memorial Scholarship; Kenitra Battle, Ruth Dershimer Memorial Scholarship; Stephanie Boncutter, Bert Barnes Memorial Scholarship; Amy Cain, Terry Morris Memorial Scholarship; Shannon McDaniel, Ethel Frost Memorial Scholarship; Amy Criswell, Joyce Hauer Memorial Scholarship; and Luke Clemens, Ted Rickey Memorial Scholarship.

Horine Named To State Committee
Mt. Healthy City Schools Superintendent Dave Horine has been named Chairperson of BASAís State Department Committee for the upcoming school year. BASA (Buckeye Association of School Administrators) is the professional association of state superintendents and administrators. This committee works with State Superintendent Susan Zelman and the Ohio Department of Education on state educational issues. Mr. Horine, of Greenhills, begins a second year as chairperson of BASAís Report Card Advisory Committee, which also works closely with the Ohio Department of Education regarding the local school report cards for the districts across the state. ìThe reason for my involvement in BASA is to affect positive changes in education and to help kids throughout the state, especially those in the Mt. Healthy School District,î he said.

Portfolio Winners: Good Writing Skills Pay Off
Ten sixth-grade students were awarded $160 in gift certificates from Northgate Mall for their writing, reading and citizenship skills in a districtwide portfolio contest. The winners from Hoop Elementary are: Kyann Perry, $20 for Best Portfolio; Linda Do, $15 for Best Reading; Chelsey Cole, $15 for Best Citizenship; Kara Brown, $15 for Best Writing. Winners from New Burlington Elementary: Michael Lauffer, $15 for Best Writing; Ashley Gray, $15 for Best Citizenship; Eric Scott, $15 for Best Reading; Brandon Rhoten, $20 for Best Portfolio. Winner at Frost Elementary: Whisper Wise, $15 for Best Writing. Winner at Rex Ralph Elementary: DíAndre Smith, $15 for Best Writing.

Mt. Healthy City School District Mt. Healthy City School District Mt. Healthy City School District Mt. Healthy City School District Mt. Healthy City School District

7615 Harrison Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45231

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