Home Community News Schools

The Windham Bombers dropped their fourth straight game of the season and their 11th dating back to last year. Unfortunately for the Bombers 41-0 loss to the undefeated Rootstown Rovers is not the worse news. Regrettably, the schedule is not in the Bombers’ favor this week as the Southeast Pirates host the Bombers this Friday. The Bombers and Pirates last met in October of 2003 with the Pirates coming out on top 26-7.
The Newton Falls Tigers have one of the toughest schedules around. The first four games they have played, the teams have a combined loss of one. Last week the Tigers fell to undefeated Girard 24-55. This week the Tigers host 4-0 Brookfield.
The Crestwood Red Devils bulked up their schedule as well. The four losses this season were  all to  potential playoff teams. Last week Ravenna traveled to Mantua and walked out with a 56-3 victory. This week the Red Devils host 1-3 Norton Panthers.
The Cardinal Huskies fell victim for the fourth straight game, this time in overtime, 27-24, to the Skippers from Fairport Harding. Cardinal comes home this week to host the 1-3 Black Knights from Newbury.
Garfield lost their second in three weeks last week by falling to the undefeated Pirates 24-7. While Wyllie’s 44-18 record and two playoff berths since the beginning of the 2005 season are impressive, it is the 9-13 record against teams with winning records that jumps out at me. This week Garfield has a date with 0-4 East Canton at JAG Stadium before clashing with the undefeated Rovers next week.

Weeeeellll, a fine time was had by all!

Or at least they all certainly appeared to be enjoying themselves at  the sixth annual Garfield Alumni Banquet held last Saturday at the Garfield Elementary School.  Several classes–’56, ’61, ’66, ’71, ’81 & ’86–were especially recognized for hitting milestone years (twenty-five and up) with most of their faculties intact and their memories probably even more fun than events were at the time in the hallowed halls of Garfield.  The late Don Moore, who labored for years to get the alumni association organized, up and running, would have been proud.  The committee which put together this year’s event (all nine of them) certainly can be as well.

The meal, catered by Guido’s, had filled in any empty corners with cake when Superintendent Chuck Klamer began the program for the evening.  First on the agenda was a brief presentation by Betty Clapp, of the board of Portage County Library District, speaking of the up-coming library levy on the ballot in November.  She outlined the grave funding situation created by the drastic reduction of state support for libraries in all communities and the many, varied services offered by local libraries.  She encouraged all in attendance to support the levy, pointing out that the cost   would be low–$ 2.50 per month for the owner of a $100,000 home–the benefits would be many–including computer access to job-seekers and portals to government sites–and the need is great.

Board members in attendance included  David Vincent, ’70, Deral White, ’72 and Guy Pietra (He’s an import).  Several of those introducing themselves shared bits of Garfield history : Class of ’52 was the first to be graduated from “James A. Garfield High School”, because prior to the consolidation, the communities of Freedom and Nelson had maintained their own schools, the Class of ’56 was the first to attend school in the core building of the present high school/middle school complex ( ’55 got to put the time capsule in the cornerstone but not attend their graduation year in the building).  Siblings and family groups showed up across the years (Think : Vincent, McClintock, Lange, Thrasher, etc.).  Honored classes rounded up their members for sharing good times once again; several local hot spots (We do too have them!) lit up after the gathering ended…some to tour the new, bigger, better high school/middle school with their guide, the intrepid C. Klamer, some to continue the reminiscences in new venues.

For the ending, see opening line : A fine time was had by all.


Elementary/Intermediate Routes
*Estimated Times*

Bus #1
7:40    Gotham Rd.
8:00    Stanley Rd.
8:02    Slagle
8:05    Smalley Road
8:07    Nichols Rd.
8:27    Right on S.R. 88

Bus #2
7:55    Center St.
8:07    Garfield
8:12    Center St.
8:15    Maple
8:17    North St.
8:20    Clover Lane
8:25    Meadow Run
8:30    Wolff
8:32    Elm Street
8:35    State Street
8:37    Park
8:38    Maple/Center

Bus #4
7:35    Streeter
7:45    Stamm Rd.
7:50    Streeter
7:55    Stamm Rd.
8:00    Hankee
8:05    Blackbrook Trailer Park
8:15    White Street

Bus #6
8:00    Pritchard
8:03    S.R. 282
8:06    Kool Lakes
8:10    Nelson Trailer Park
8:12    S.R. 282
8:15    S.R. 305
8:20    Parkman/Center St.
8:25    Brosius
8:30    Crestwood Drive

Bus #7
7:40    S.R. 88
7:43    Asbury Rd.
7:50    S.R. 88
7:55    Limeridge
7:59    S.R. 303
8:00    Wygle Road
8:15    King Road
8:20    Vair Road
8:25    Freedom Road
8:41    S.R. 88/303
8:45    St. Rt. 88

Bus #8
7:50    Bancroft
7:55    S.R. 422
8:00    Bancroft/ Chalker and Herner
8:03    Reynolds Road
8:06    Hobart
8:10    S.R. 422.
8:11    Reynolds
8:15    Fenstermaker
8:20    S.R. 305
8:25    Bloom Rd.
8:38    Just For Kids Daycare

Bus #9
7:40    Silica St./Pierce
7:48    Right on Newell Ledge
7:52    East Silica Sand
7:54    West Silica Sand
7:58    Windham/Parkman
8:02    Pierce
8:08    Knowlton
8:12    Sophia/Paul St.
8:15    Hopkins
8:20    Pierce
8:25    Brosius-Homestead Manor
8:32    Hewins

Bus #11
7:55    S.R. 305
8:00    West Ely
8:05    South Brosius
8:10    Ely
8:13    Prentiss
8:15    East Ely
8:20    Nelson Parkman
8:25    S.R. 305
8:28    Mills
8:35    Southwood Apts.
8:36    Creekwood Apts.
8:37    South Park Ave.

Bus #12
7:50    Anderson
7:55    S.R. 303
8:05    Limeridge
8:10    Streeter
8:11    Goodell
8:12    Limeridge Rd.
8:25    Asbury
8:30    S.R. 303
8:35    S.R. 88

Bus #15
7:50    Collins
7:51    Bloom
8:00    Knowlton
8:05    Shanks-Down
8:08     Nicholson
8:10    S.R. 305
8:15    Kyle
8:20    Knowlton
8:25    High
8:30    Water
8:31    Liberty
8:33    Eagle Creek Dev
8:35    Sky Plaza parking lot
8:36    Highland
8:37    Freedom
8:38    Windham Street
8:40    Liberty

Bus #17
7:56    State St. & S.R. 82
8:00    Wrenwood
8:01    Wheeler Rd.
8:02    Shawnee Trail
8:04    Wheeler
8:10    S.R. 305
8:12    Left on S.R. 88
8:14    S.R. 88
8:16    Norton-(West)
8:20     Norton, back to Mumford
8:28    Mumford
8:33    Norton
8:34    Mumford
8:35    S.R. 88
8:39    French St to South St
8:42    Right on South Street, Right on Zupancic-AM ONLY!!!

Bus #18
7:50    S.R. 700
8:05    East Streeter
8:10    S.R. 700
8:15    Hankee/Freedom
8:18    Village Dr/Vanderslice
8:22    Freedom St.


Middle/High School Routes
*All times are approximate*

Bus #1
6:40    Gotham
6:48    Stanley
6:55    S.R. 303
6:42    Slagle
6:55    Smalley Rd.
6:56    Nichols Rd.
7:13    Slagle

Bus #2
6:42    Center/Maple
6:45    Garfield Drive
6:50    High St.
6:51    Maple
6:52    North Street
6:54    Meadow Run
7:00    Harris Drive
7:01    Forest
7:06    Park
7:08    French Street
7:12    Vanderslice
7:15    White St.

Bus #4
6:25    Asbury
6:30    Streeter
6:40    Limeridge
6:51    Goodell
6:55    Limeridge
7:00    S.R. 303
7:10    Blackbrook Trailer Park

Bus #6
6:50    Kennedy Ledge
6:52    S.R. 282
7:00    Kool Lakes
7:02    NTP Shelter
7:07    Bloom Rd.
7:09    Knowlton
7:10    Sophia
7:12    Center St.
7:16    Liberty
7:20    Windham St.

Bus #7
6:30    S.R. 303
6:33    Freedom Road
6:35    Vair
6:40    King
6:45    S.R.88
6:50    Limeridge
6:55    Wygle
7:01    S.R. 88
7:05    Asbury
7:15    S.R. 88

Bus #8
6:40    Bancroft
6:45    S.R. 422
6:47    Bancroft
6:50    Reynolds Rd
6:52    Hobart
6:55    SR 422
7:01    Fenstermaker
7:03    S.R. 305

Bus #9
6:33    Hopkins
6:35    Center
6:37    Win/Parkman
6:40    Knowlton
6:45    Windham-Parkman
6:46    Silica Sand
6:49    Newell Ledge
6:50    Windham-Parkman
6:53    Hopkins
6:56    Pierce
6:57    Riverview Dr
7:01    Silica St./Pierce Rd
7:05    Brosius- Homestead Manor
7:10    Liberty
7:15    Hewins

Bus #11
6:35    Brosius
6:45     Ely
6:47    Adams
6:48    Brosius
6:50    Prentis
6:55    Ely
7:00    Nelson-Parkman Rd.
7:05    S.R. 305
7:10    Mills
7:20    S.R. 88

Bus #15
6:31    Liberty
6:33    Silica St.-turns into Pierce
6:35    Windham Parkman
6:36    Collins
6:37    Bloom
6:39    Knowlton
6:40    Knowlton where Nicholson meets Knowlton
6:55    Shanks-Downes
6:56    Nicholson Rd.
6:58    S.R. 305
7:05    Kyle
7:07    Knowlton
7:10    Knowlton
7:15    Windham St.

Bus #17
6:37    State Street & S.R. 82
6:43    Right on Wheeler Rd.
6:45    Shawnee Trail
6:46    Right on Wheeler Rd.
6:48    Right on Wrenwood
6:49    Right on Wheeler Rd.
6:50    Right on S.R. 305
6:57    Left onto S.R. 88
7:02    Right on Norton
7:04    Right on Mumford
7:09    Right on Norton
7:12    Right on Mumford
7:20    Right onto S.R. 88
7:22    Save 4 Group Stop

Bus #18
6:43    Anderson Rd.
6:57     S.R. 700
7:00    East Streeter
7:05    Cross over S.R. 700
7:10    Right on Asbury
7:12    Hankee
7:13    Stamm
7:15    West Streeter
7:16     S.R. 700
7:20    Hankee
7:25    Freedom St.

Newton Falls – Tickets are on sale at the Superintendent’s Office located at 9091?2 Milton Blvd., for the upcoming Newton Falls Tiger football season from 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The cost for reserved season passes for 5 homes games will be $40.00. We also have a 10-game pass available for adults to purchase for $50.00, and students 10-game pass for $30.00, which is good for any Varsity game, i.e., volleyball, soccer, football or basketball.
We appreciate the support that the community of Newton Falls has given to the football, soccer, golf, basketball and volleyball teams.   The first football game will be Thursday, August 25th, 2011, against Southeast at home.  Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m.

If you are a senior citizen (65 years of age or older & retired) and a resident of Newton Falls, you are eligible for a complimentary senior citizen’s pass. This will admit you to all home games.  See Mrs. Dunlap in the Superintendent’s Office for tickets and passes.

Windham – Windham Board of Education (BOE) met for their regularly-scheduled meeting for August with one member missing.  The meeting was opened with the pledge and a moment of silence before moving forward with the agenda.
The first item on the agenda was a technology update from Brian Shanower who is the districts techie guru. According to Shanower, their system has been updated to improve speed, allow individual student log ins and an improved help-desk ticket system. The district has also received a technology grant for the high school  that will allow the district’s system to go wireless in all three buildings, he noted that everything will still be filtered through SPARCC so there are no worries about students accessing things they shouldn’t, like Facebook and My Space. The grant also allowed the district to purchase six new projectorless smart boards, new computers for the teachers and 10 new laptops for the library for study use. Shanower stated that all the obsolete and broken equipment was disposed of through a recycling company out of Youngstown. The district expects all the updates to be completed prior to the start of school.
In the Legislative report Melissa Roubic announced that union members from around the state were able to obtain enough signatures on the petition to have the repeal Ohio HB5 placed on the fall ballot. She also noted that Ohio has changed the school year from required days to hours allowing more flexibility for districts that are in areas where they could potentially use all their calamity days.
In the superintendent’s report Gregg Isler reported that the district received a notice from the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) for alleged unfair labor practices in this spring’s contract negotiations. Isler stated that a response to the allegations was sent. He also said the district has applied for a book grant that will provide 300 books for students. Other items in the superintendent’s report were that the application for title one funds is pending and the preschool grant was approved.
Transportation and Building Maintenance Supervisor Craig Alderman said the buses all passed the Ohio State Highway Patrol Inspections and the buildings were right on schedule to be ready for the first day of school. Bus routes will soon be re-evaluated and possibly some rerouted so they can continue to be fiscally responsible.
In other board news the board approved a five cent increase for lunches making high school lunches $2.55 and Elementary lunches $2.05 per meal. They also approved the calamity day alternative make-up plan, which is where the district can hold school online rather than cancel the day. Those who do not have access to a computer will receive study packets on the assignments.
Lastly, the board accepted a $200 donation made in memory of  former kindergarten teacher, Chloe Ann Small,  to help defray the cost of the kindergarten zoo trip.
The BOE meets regularly on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7pm. However, due to schedule conflicts, the August meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 16th at 7 pm.

Garrettsville – Nice job by the Marching Pride at their Premier performance last Friday.  It was a showcase for all of the music and routines they worked on during a super-heated week at BAND CAMP and a thank you to all of the contributors to the program–this year and every year.  Amazing results, considering that the weather for the entire week was “hot – hot – hot” and frequent breaks for water and cooling off were de riguer.
Rumor has it that the Scarlet Guard is hard at it now , with their own high standards as their guiding principle.

The James A Garfield Class of “1961” celebrated their 50th class reunion at Roby Lee’s Restaurant in Newton Falls on Saturday June 18th. There were 63 in attendance, 38 of those being classmates.

Each classmate received a certificate of congratulation from the Superintendent, Charles Klamer and the Board of Education, an engraved “class of 1961 50th ” key ring, a pink rose (the class flower) and a children’s book authored by classmate Mary Jo (Minnick) Stiffler.

The evening began with the invocation and welcome given by classmate Regina (Lejsek) Kochar of Kowloon, Hong Kong. A delicious buffet dinner and the sharing of many photos and memories followed.

Classmates attended from Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Hong Kong,
All those in attendance had a very enjoyable evening. The celebration continued Sunday, June 19 with a picnic at the Freedom Town Hall and pavilion.

Garrettsville – This past week the sixth graders at James A. Garfield (JAG) Intermediate School had the opportunity to discover our nation’s heritage first-hand as they toured Washington D.C. The highlights of the trip were the National Cathedral, Arlington National Cemetery, memorials, monuments, and Mount Vernon. This was a trip that many of them will remember forever and for some of them it may be the only time they get to walk through the pages of history at our nation’s capital.  The National Cathedral was the first stop and it wowed the students with its 215 stained glass windows that depicted biblical stories as well as secular ones, gothic architecture, tapestries, sculptures, bells of the carillon, along with Woodrow Wilson, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan’s crypt and so much more. The Cathedral left them standing in amazement, especially when they learned that the building took 83 years to complete because of the war, which made the cathedral the longest construction project in our nation’s history.They then moved on to Arlington Cemetery which was a somber affair as the students viewed the graves of the Kennedys then watched in wonder at the changing of the gueard and soldiers placing flags at every grave stone in the cemetery.  They learned why the grave stones of the Confederate soldiers had pointed tops verses flat-topped stones that the Union soldiers had. The cemetery gave the students a new perspective on why we celebrate Memorial Day.Late in the evening, the students had the opportunity to view the Jefferson and the Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Memorials.  The Jefferson Memorial was a memorial dedicated to Thomas Jefferson and was a sight to behold as one walked around the tidal basin to approach the spectacular monument. The boys and girls stood in awe at the large statue, the enormous pillars and the writings of Jefferson. The FDR Memorial was a group of four memorials with each containing a water feature. The water features depicted the four terms Roosevelt served and they ranged from raging waters during the tumultuous times of his term to the quiet still waters depicting his death when he was at peace. The memorial had several statues of Roosevelt on display as well.Early Friday morning the students headed out to see other monuments and memorials. The tour guide explained how the Korean War Memorial was designed to depict soldiers in a rice paddy in Korea. On a wall behind the scene were actual pictures from the war engraved in the wall, truly a sight to behold. The guide explained to the students that the radio man would be the enemy’s first target.  He went on to explain that by eliminating the radio man they shut down communication, crippling the army’s plan of attack. The Vietnam Wall was another somber place the students visited. When approaching the wall the students were told the history behind the memorial as well as how the men and women who came home from the war were welcomed with protests rather than parades and appreciation that we see today when soldiers return from war. The students who had family members killed in action took the time to make an etching of the name from the wall.  The tour took the class of 2017 through the Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial along with Iwo Jima, the Air and Space Smithsonian and the Natural History Museum. After a quick tour of Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, the students headed for home. The fast paced trip was just a snippet of what Washington D.C has to see and learn about. The kids were able to see the lessons from their history books come to life, leaving them with a greater desire to learn more about our history and a new perspective on our military. We boarded the buses and headed for home, leaving me to reflect on the two-day excursion. For many of the adults the highlight of the trip was watching student’s faces as the history on our nation began to unfold for them.  The excitement, the reverence, and the ahh ha!  moments were a priceless memory that I, for one, will never forget seeing. The chatter on the bus ride home left me to surmise that everyone seemed to enjoy the outdoor classroom experience. It has left  the students and chaperones with memories from a trip that will be forever etched in their minds like the names on the Vietnam Wall.

Mantua – Crestwood Intermediate School dressed in red, white and blue and took up flags to celebrate heroes today.  The inspiration for this celebration was their One School, One Book program.  The entire school — the lunch room staff, students, teachers, principal and counselor — is  reading the book On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck.  Set in World War II, it has provided these young students (grades 3 to 5) an opportunity to walk through history.  Replicating a jalopy parade from the book, veterans rode around the bus loop in old cars and an army jeep.  Students waved flags and chanted, “Go USA!”   An entire museum has been created to help students see and understand items they read about in the book. The staff has worked together to create and share different activities to enhance the educational experience.  Other activities have included visiting heroes from our community. Mayors, firefighters, mail carriers, and two deputy sheriffs were all represented.  Veterans and family heroes have also been invited to lunch with the students.  Using the book as a starting point, students have used their reading to create stories, write poems, journal entries and develop letter writing skills.  Students extended their outreach by raising money for the memorial to celebrate the heroes of Flight 93. There is a vibrant excitement humming through the school that is reflected in the interaction of community members, students and their families, school staff and our nation’s veterans.  In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do not even attempt a job if you do not plan to do the best you know how.”  Crestwood Intermediate School’s One Book, One School reflects these words.

Garrettsville – On Sunday, the day after Armed Forces Day, the J.A. Garfield School District held its district-wide concert.   The twenty-first annual event featured band students from each grade, including the fourth grade recorders, and  honored those who have served and are serving our country.  The high school band opened the program with our National Anthem while Reservists from the United States Air Force (USAF) based in Youngstown presented the colors before a packed gymnasium of family and friends. Each of the school bands (fifth grade through High School) had an opportunity to showcase what they had accomplished during the school year.  The bands wowed the crowed with movie tunes, songs from the Beatles, patriotic songs, John Phillips Sousa Marches and even the “William Tell Overture”. Our fourth graders were featured when they played two numbers showcasing their newly acquired skills on the recorders. The fifth grade band amazed everyone with their accomplishments after only 6-7 months of lessons, while the Sixth Grade band entertained the crowd when their percussion section dressed as construction workers when they played “Construction Zone”.  The seventh grade band entertained the crowd with sounds from the Beatles, while the eighth grader played the “William Tell Overture”. One of the concert’s highlights was when the high school band performed the Battle Hymn Republic with community choir members representing St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Garrettsville United Methodist Chancel Choir and members of the high school choir — this was truly a sight to behold and hear.  When the high school band hit the first note one could hear a pin drop in the gym. The crowd rose for the occasion as the USAF color guard stood at attention. Before too long everyone was lost in the moment, especially when the choir joined the band in their rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The concert’s grand finale was when all the schools bands played the fight song together.  The bands rocked the house down while the audience stood in awe of their children’s accomplishments. Both events were totally breathtaking. The 7th & 8th grade bands along with the high school band are under the direction of Theo Cebulla. The fifth and sixth grade bands are under the direction of Joe Gaither while the recorders were under the direction of Mr. Ken Fox.  Congratulations to all participants on a job well done!

Hiram – Armed forces veterans and their families who want to take advantage of their GI educational benefits will be able to access a wide range of services, including beginning or continuing their college education, when Hiram College opens its new resource center for veterans  on the campus this fall.The center will be one of the first in a private institution in the State of Ohio, and will offer help to veterans and their dependents in accessing their GI educational, medical, mental health, career counseling advice and many other benefits, as well as a place to connect to other veterans.“We are proud of those who have served our country,” said Thomas V. Chema, President of Hiram College. “And we are committed to helping them to take full advantage of their GI benefits to be successful in their return to civilian life.”Plans call for the center to be staffed by professionals who will provide information and screening for federal and state veteran programs, such as education, group therapy and mental health counseling, job training and placement and financial advice. They will also assist veterans in completing and filing the paperwork to claim their benefits.Research shows many veterans never take full advantage of their benefits, which often also extend to their families, either by choice or lack of information or access to services. For example, many veterans assume that their educational benefits, which pay college costs, can only be used at public colleges and universities. In fact, most veterans’ benefits are sufficient to pay tuition at private colleges and universities, such as Hiram.  The new resource center at Hiram will be located in the newly renovated space in Miller Hall, and will feature a lounge area as well as service and counseling areas. Services will be available to all students using veteran benefits.       The College currently has 14 veterans enrolled and hopes to have 20 before the   center  opens.

Hiram – On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, representatives from the James A. Garfield, Crestwood and Woodridge Local Schools along with Roxanne Sorrick, Head of Teacher Education and Project Director for Hiram College  traveled to Columbus to accept a Teacher Planning Grant and begin advanced planning for the 2011-2012 school year. During the 2011-12 school year, Hiram College teacher candidates will be placed at the partner schools for clinical experiences where they will work collaboratively with their cooperating teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum. The school partners are Woodridge Primary, Crestwood Primary, and James A. Garfield High School and Middle School. The Teacher Planning Grant provided each partner with $12,500 for hardware and software and a shared fund of $50,000 for professional development. Each school partner identified a focus for technology purchases based on district goals and technology implementation priorities. Purchases include iPad2, iTouch, laptops, digital microscopes, wireless capability, and audience response systems. Grant funds will provide for a Community Technology night at each school partner site, distance learning opportunities for students and teachers/teacher candidates, as well as a collaborative conference for all participants in May 2012. Grant goals were based on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for both students (NETS-S) and teachers (NETS-T).“We are excited to be selected as one of the 11 recipients of the grant,” stated Sorrick. “The funds will provide new avenues of teaching and learning at these three school districts and prepare Hiram College teacher candidates to effectively integrate technology into the curriculum for 21st century learners.”This Teacher Planning Grant represents the collaborative work of four bodies of education, all equally committed to academic excellence, innovation in teaching and learning, and building relationships in schools and communities in Northeast Ohio and beyond. Relationships are perhaps the backbone of any educational endeavor. It is through collaboration that educators find new ideas, challenge existing assumptions, and reach new avenues that provide stronger, richer learning opportunities for all students.

Kent – James A. Garfield graduate and Kent State University senior, Shannon Gallagher was recently inducted as a charter member of the Kent State chapter of Sigma Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Honor Society, the first academic honor society dedicated to entrepreneurship. The mission of Sigma Nu Tau is to promote, recognize, honor, and reward academic excellence in entrepreneurship and to encourage and recognize the practice of principled entrepreneurship.  Six other students, three community entrepreneurs, and five faculty members were also inducted into this charter group.  Shannon (pictued above with Jeff Hoffman) is majoring in both fashion and entrepreneurship and was inducted in a ceremony and program that featured guest motivational speaker, Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline.com.

Logo for the proposed yogurt shop

Logo for the proposed frozen yogurt shop

Hiram – Want a place where you can take a minute to sit down, relax. and enjoy the cool sweet taste of Frozen Yogurt?If you would be willing to take a moment of your time to fill out a short questionnaire, a local frozen yogurt cafe could be on the horizon…and just around the corner from your home…in the Kennedy Center Basement Food Court at Hiram College.Several dedicated students, Bonnie Brentar ‘13 and Monica Lucas ‘14, inspired by Professor Fillner’s entrepreneurial class at Hiram College, are seeking approval of the Steve Jones, Vice President of Finances at Hiram College.  Professor Senary and his Managerial Accounting class, with special assistance from Forrest Reed, Josh Buzbee, Bradley Stachowski, and David Miller, are working to conduct research and help formulate a business plan for the cafe. The frozen yogurt cafe will, of course, be available to the public. We need your IMMEDIATE input to assure that this will be a winning venture. Fill out a short questionnaire today at  http://www.weeklyvillager.com/001 or http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/L75HCCJ

Garrettsville – If  you enjoy Saturday Night Live humor, you’ll enjoy James A. Garfield’s final drama production of the year titled “The Test” by Cliff McClelland. This play chronicles a series of scenes all devoted to the idea that we must face so many tests in our lives here in America.

While many of the scenes poke fun at these tests, some scenes are a bit more dramatic in nature, but all of them work together to create a unique night of entertainment for the whole family. What would you do if you had to take your driving test with a wacko instructor? Or in order to receive your Masters Degree you had to face a karate instructor and defeat him before you could move on to the next level?

Come and find out why Monty Python had so much fun doing their Spanish Inquisition skits, and what Adam and Eve might have thought about testing.

Show dates are May 20, 21 at 7:30PM both nights. Adults- $6.00  Students/Senior citizens $3.00. Pre-sale tickets will be sold a week before the show during lunches. These will enable you to get a better first- come first- served seat either night. Come and have a night of laughs on us! See you there!


Pictured from left to right are Rosalie Novotny, clarinet; Maia Pancost, flute; Bryanna Herbold, french horn; Chelsea Evans, oboe; and Alex Bigler, bassoon. These 8th grade band students played together as a Wind Quintet, receiving a Superior (I) rating for their performance at Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Mantua – Eighty CMS Band students participated in the annual Solo and Ensemble Contest April 9, 2011 held at Crestwood Middle School. Students in grades seven and eight performed 47 solos and in 22 ensembles. CMS Middle School band students received 57 Superior and 13 Excellent ratings.

Each performance was evaluated by an adjudicator on rhythm and pitch accuracy, intonation, tone quality, and interpretation. They were then awarded a rating ranging from I to V. Adjudicators for the day’s performances were Jim Murphy, retired, Kent City Schools; Diane McMaster-Perry, retired, Field Local Schools; Jennifer Culver, teacher, Cuyahoga Falls; and Cheryl Graham, teacher, New Philadelphia Schools. The adjudicators were all very complimentary of the students for their behavior as well as their preparation for this event.

Mrs. Debbie Wiandt, Mrs. Judith Guegold, and Ms. Courtney Lambert prepared CMS band students for this event. Mrs. Kate Ferguson and Mr. Craig Rice, KSU student teacher, also assisted students in their preparations. Mrs. Virginia Goodell and Mrs. Becky Oliphant volunteered to accompany the soloists. Ms. Krystal Friend and Dr. William Guegold helped students warm-up and tune before each performance.

Several sixth grade band members served as judges’ assistants and door guards. They were Haley Brady, Olivia Brady, Karli Bigler, Megan Cymanski, Catherine Hoover, Rachel Hutchison, and Madeline Turner.

Two sixth graders who have been studying privately also performed solos. Michael Snodgrass earned a Superior Rating for his mallet solo and Olivia Brady earned a Superior for her flute solo.


Garrettsville – Anyone fortunate enough to snag a golden ticket to James A. Garfield High School’s musical theatre production of  “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” had a simply nutterrific time. The four-day run of the show was virtually sold out before opening night on April 7, and only a few lucky latecomers managed to get a ticket the day of the show.

Playbills, concessions and fresh-cut flowers also ran low as audience members couldn’t get enough of anything Wonka-related. The cast and crew were enormous, and worked together effectively to construct a fast-paced, nearly flawless and entertaining show.

Although the starring leads were obviously Willie Wonka (played by senior David Soukenik) and Charlie Bucket (played by sophomore Shiloh Van Oss), the production also showcased strong and funny supporting roles of Bucket family members, TV reporters, naughty children and their parents played by 18 fellow student actors…and an ensemble of two dozen additional cast members (mostly from the Intermediate School) to play the parts of Oompa-Loompas, village children, cooks, squirrels, a computer technician, a psychiatrist and a patient.

This gave seven graduating seniors the opportunity to enjoy one last shining moment in the JAG spotlight before graduating. In addition to David Soukenik, they included Petra Brown (Veruca Salt), Nick Butto (Mr. Bucket), Brooke Heavner (Mrs. Beauregarde), Sam Roubic (Mr. Salt), Laura Sanicky (Mrs. Bucket,) and Lizzie Van Oss (Violet Beauregarde).

The production also showcased the talents of the JAG crew, which devised and built several creative sets that cleverly allowed for effective special effects  on a tight budget. Children in the audience gasped when the curtain opened on the initial scene of the chocolate factory, where candy could be plucked from the colorful set and eaten by the lucky actors.

Then, when Augustus Gloop falls headlong into the lake of chocolate and gets sucked up through a drain pipe and overtaken by liquid chocolate, it makes for one of the funniest scenes… or was it when Violet turns into a blueberry for chewing the off-limits Everlasting Gobstopper gum?… or maybe it was when Veruca throws a tantrum atop the Good Nut/Bad Nut platform and falls through to the incinerator below?… No, it must have been when Mike Teavee got disembodied into millions of tiny little pieces, only to be reconstituted inside a TV to the size of a Ken Doll and stuffed into his mother’s purse before being stretched back to size in the Taffy Pulling Room. The jury’s still out on that, but all agree the sets and special effects were top notch.

Senior crew members included Curtis Cosner, Matt Curry, Jeremy DeWitt, Adam Gilmer, Jon Hecky, Sam Russell, and David Spencer. Working alongside the crew were artistic director Mrs. Kristine Gilmer and her student artists; head carpenters, Mr. Scott and Mrs. Becky Russell and their student carpenters; hair and make-up artists; costume designers; props coordinator and manager; lighting and sound operators; the pit orchestra directed by Mr. Theo Cebulla; and, of course, director/choreographer Mr. Nathan Peters and producer/technical director Mr. Joe Gaither.

According to Gaither’s closing words after the final show on April 10, the show cost $8,000 to produce. But thanks to combined fundraising efforts headed up by Mrs. Carol Slaughter, show ticket sales, candy bar sales, flower and concession sales, and ticket sales to Breakfast with the Cast at the elementary school all worked together to actually allow the production to make more money than it spent.

After 12 weeks of planning, preparing, rehearsing and producing, the curtain has closed on the 2011 Spring Musical at James A. Garfield High School and its 14 graduating seniors. But a new curtain will rise next year on yet another stage of pure imagination that’s sure to please audiences in 2012.


The QuizMasters/Academic Challenge Team of James A. Garfield High School is again sponsoring this activity in conjunction with the Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce Community-Wide Garage/Yard Sale. Sunday, May 22 from 10:00 to 2:00 in the Garfield Elementary School parking lot there will be wheeled vehicles of all sorts–ambulances and emergency vehicles, fire trucks, jeeps and motorcycles, construction monsters, high-rise buckets, eighteen-wheelers–any or all of them could be there, along with local favorite, the dragster, TIME BANDIT.  Not to mention our National CSX Safe Driving Exhibit finisher, Deral White.

Kids of all ages are welcome.  Whistles, bells and sirens are included.  Admission is $3.00 for kids under 12, $5.00 for kids of more advanced ages.


See you there.


Garrettsville – James A. Garfield senior baseball standout Brandon Baumgardner’s favorite song is “Lights Out” by P.O.D. It is no wonder the first game of the season Brandon was exactly that… LIGHTS OUT.

When the lefty took the mound last Thursday at Waterloo little did Brandon know he was on the cusp of greatness… Perfection to be exact. Brandon struck out 13 of the 18 batters he faced on his way to the first perfect game in Garfield history.

Baumgardner used just 70 pitches to eliminate the Vikings and also made a sliding play down the third base line to throw out another would be base runner.

Brandon also helped his own cause offensively with two doubles, two runs scored and two runs batted in. This year Brandon is 1-0 with one save. His 14 strikeouts in three games is just one shy of his freshman total (15), and he gave up just one hit Saturday versus Kent.

Baumgardner career stats: 11-5 overall, six saves and 111 strikeouts, First team PTC his junior season and second team the year before.


Garrettsville – OPENING NIGHT for J.A. Garfield’s performance of “Willy Wonka” is Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and senior citizens.  House doors will open 30 minutes prior to show start time.

Pictured above are the cast and crew of “Willy Wonka” who invite you to attend their performance. Performance dates are: Thursday through Saturday, April 7- 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 10 at 2:00 p.m.

Pre-sale tickets have been wonderful and we expect another year of SOLD OUT shows.  There will be concessions available during intermission and flowers for sale to present to actors following the performance.

There will also be a Wonka Basket raffle each performance night.  This is a great comic show for the whole family to enjoy!  Senior David Soukenik (Wonka) and Sophomore Shiloh Van Oss (Charlie) do an excellent job as the two main characters. It’s almost as if Gene Wilder was in our show!


The 2011 James A. Garfield Hall of Fame slate is completed by two young men a decade apart who displayed their talent and teamwork in several venues and at several levels.

Matt Paul, class of ‘85, earned letters in golf (3), basketball (3) and baseball (4);football only got one year of his time, golf took precedence for time avilable.

Baseball was where he really got a chance to shine. Garfield baseball teams took the PCL championship in his junior and senior years (‘84, ‘85)with Matt on the mound in his share of hotly-contested games.  He was named to the all-county first team in each of those years and player of the conference in ‘85.

Basketball followed the same sort of script, as Matt was named to the PCL all-county first team in both ’83-‘84 and ‘84-‘85

Moving on down the road at Hiram College, Matt spent one year on the varsity basketball squad then chose to focus on baseball.  Good choice!!  He received the conference Cy Young Award (for pitchers) in his junior and senior years and the Donald M. Campbell Award for best male athlete in his senior year.  He was elected to the Hiram College Hall of Fame in 2002; his picture’s on the wall.

Matt then chose to enter the field of education and is currently a principal in the Kirtland Schools.

He was chosen for the Garfield Hall of Fame earlier but had school duties required of him.  Now is his day of recognition.  A homer for sure!

The Garfield class of ‘95–and every crowd member there to watch–was frequently electrified by the performances of our sixth honoree, Barron Chambers. The numbers may have faded by now, but he at one time held the all-time Garfield rushing and TD scoring record as well as the most yards rushing in a season; at broken field running he was a whiz.  He was twice named to the All State Team in football and was three times a PCL All Star in that sport.  He was part of the PCL Championship teams of 1993 and1995, garnering letters in football, basketball and track during that time. Football didn’t take up all of his time; he made it to the honor roll too and served as a camp counselor for the annual trip to Camp Fitch.

Of course that wasn’t the end.  Barron moved on to Tri State University at Angola, IN where his talents in football led to his being named MVP of the Quarter-final and Semi-final conference championship games and election to the Tri State Hall of Fame.  He also acquired, through dint of considerable hard work, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.  Can’t keep a good G-Man down


CHAMPION, Ohio – The Champion High School Relays have become an annual event for the J. A. Garfield G-Men high school track & field team.  Last week, the Berkshire High School track & field team joined the fun on a blustery, yet sunny afternoon.

Garfield and Berkshire hold a lot of promise in this early show of the season.  The Badgers finished the evening with eight first-place finishes including the boys’ 1600-meter relay & 4 x 400-meter relay, and both the boys’ and girls’ distance medley & 4 x 800 meter relay races.

Garfield earned three first-place finishes with the boys’ 4 x 200-meter relay and 4 x 100 meter iron man relay and the girls’ 4 x 1600-meter relay.  Garfield also had seven impressive second-place finishes.

The Badgers’ boys’ team won the meet with a score of 91 points while the Garfield G-Men followed close behind into a second place finish with 85 points.  The Berkshire girls’ team also had an notable finish, earning second place while Garfield girls’ team finished in fifth place overall.

Season schedules for both schools can be found at www.highschoolsports.net.


“Consider the ladies”…as First Lady Abigail Adams wrote to her destined-to-be-second-U.S.-President John Adams when he was one of the patriots, politicos and visionaries laboring to write a constitution for the new nation, the United States of America.

Mrs. Adams didn’t have a whole lot of luck at influencing the direction that took but the James A. Garfield School District has been well-served by the ladies, as witnessed by this year’s Hall of Fame honorees, Jami Bray Mirka, ’83 and Sarah Thompson, ’98.  Consider them :

Nineteen eighty, eighty-one, eighty-two and eighty-three saw the Lady G-Men riding high in both volleyball and basketball, securing regional qualifier status twice in volleyball (‘80&’81), sectional championships in volleyball (’80 & ’81) and basketball (’82-’83), district championships in volleyball in’80 and ’81, district qualification in basketball in ‘82-’83, county championships in volleyball in ’80, ’81 and ’82.  Whew!

And one of the kingpins–er, queenpins?–of these teams (two other members have already been named to the HOF) was Jami Bray Mirka…who did not go unrecognized at the time.  She was chosen for the all-county VB first team in ’81 and ’82, received honorable mention on the all-county BB team in’81-’82 as well as first team selection for ’82-’83.  The Lady G-Men had 37 straight league victories in VB over a three-year period.  Some ladies, huh?  Jami earned three varsity letters in volleyball, four in basketball as a starter all four years.  While all of this was going on, she was also serving as scorekeeper/statistician for boys’ sports–basketball, track, football.

She then shifted gears, so to speak, and attended the Ohio State University to take a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a master’s degree in Economics; basketball and volleyball became intramurals pursuits.  She has had work published (The title is looooong, as is anything in econ .or international relations.) and has served as a lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Campbell University.  A stint  at a Nature center in N.C might be considered another shift, a fun one.  A husband and two daughters who are also avid volleyball players and fans have been part of the trip…a grand ride for a grand athlete!

Sarah Thompson saw the same kind of scenery on her athletic journey, dotted with varsity letters in volleyball(3), basketball(3) and softball(4), coach’s awards(3) an umpire’s award, a leadership award, first team selection for Div. III volleyball (’97) three PCL league championships(’95,’96,’97), one district championship (’95)one regional runner-up, one district runner-up spot, two sectional championships.  Strong teamwork and outstanding talent across the board made the Lady G-Men a power to be reckoned with in the area; one of the sparkplugs and powerhouse players was Sarah.  It didn’t hurt that she also played on the Ohio Bandits of the National Fastpitch Association.  That team placed as national runners-up in  1995; Sarah took the Most Improved Player Award in 1997, the Player Appreciation Award in 1998.  In 1999 she was named to the Ohio Bandits Hall of Fame.  Then it was on to Lakeland Community College and more of the same.

Sarah was named NJCAA LCC Female Athlete of the Year in 1998-99, Most Valuable Player and NJCAA Region XII All-Tournament Team ,achieved a Region XII Division I Championship and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1999-00.  This resume’ probably had something to do with her serving as assistant varsity softball coach at Ravenna H.S. in 2003.

Having received  her associate’s degree from Lakeland in 2000, Sarah persevered in her academic track at Kent State University, securing a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies.  She’s currently working as a neuro tech  with Neurology & Neuroscience Associates…and a shortstop at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company.  Still a great team player.


Garrettsville – Zoe Swenson and Adam Norris won their respective divisions for the 4th grade PTO chess tournament.  Congratulations to them both!  The tournament was held over their lunch break for several weeks, and they recently competed in the finals.

For the boys, Chad Angermeier came in second while Nathanael Dech came in third.  For the girls, Trinity Syvertson came in second and Erica Musgrove took third.

The tournament was sponsored by the Garfield PTO and the elementary school.  Students were invited to come during their lunch once a week and play chess, checkers, cards, or even just read a book.  Over sixty-five different students participated in the program.  Special thanks to the PTO and principal Keri Dornack for providing the prizes to the winners.


The James A. Garfield High School Hall of Fame returns.  Honorees in this year’s class total six, with one a holdover from a previous flight who will finally face the music (Fight Song, anyone?)after being deferred  from a previous ceremony.
Who are these worthy individuals?  Read on.
First up : Daniel James Gallagher, Class of 1970.  Dan made his mark in three sports, baseball, wrestling and football.  Baseball had the shortest run (ha), with appearances on the Crestwood Hot Stove All-Star teams in ’63 & ’64 and Garfield varsity ball in his freshman year.  Work in the family business intervened and Dan’s time was then limited to wrestling and football.
Some limits!  Dan wrestled–and lettered–in his freshman, sophomore and senior years in four different weight classes (junior year went to work), placing 4th in the county in 1967 & 1970.  Football was his real passion and it showed.  His junior high team (nobody had middle schools then) was undefeated.  He played on the freshman team (Yes, there was a separate freshman team ), then earned three varsity letters.  The 1969 season saw ten G-Men placed on the county squad, with Dan Gallagher as 1st team defensive middle guard (alongside Jack Lambert, of Steeler fame).  The Record-Courier recognized Dan on its all-star team and he picked up a trophy for “Most Improved “.Dan then spent seven years in the Army National Guard, serving stateside as the Viet Nam era ended.
The Soap Box Derby in Portage County owes much to Dan’s involvement.  He led the push to stage the event in Mantua and smiled to see his children–Shannon, 4th place in international competition, Tyler, World Title in 2005–and neighbor RickiLea Murphy bring home honors.
What does he do for fun?  Well, guess how the National Honor Society got the rock placed in front of the high school building.  Guess who competed–at age 43–and took first place in his age class in the Badger Open Wrestling Tournament at 167 lbs.  And he still runs the family business ( twenty years in the student employment program).  Worthy of recognition in many areas.
Chronologically, next comes Gary Brunn, Class of 1973.  Gary was nominated by friend and team-mate Mike Paul, who played with him on the Hot Stove baseball team, mostly Freedom boys, which rode Gary’s pitching abilities to become state qualifiers.  Gary set a school rushing record–since surpassed– in football, earned a total of 12 letters (football, baseball, basketball, wrestling) , was named to the all-county team in football, played on county championship teams in football and basketball.  Moving on to college, Gary played defensive middle guard for the feared Bearcats of Cincinnati and achieved recognition by the Cincinnati Enquirer and Post  as a player who was “coming of age”, “one to watch”
Instead of taking that route, Gary went into business, eventually operating his own construction company in the Cincinnati area.  Too soon, the hazards of the construction industry brought an end to his career.  He died in an industrial accident on March 26, 1999.  He was forty-four years old.  Gone but not forgotten, he will be honored at this year’s Hall of Fame ceremonies.

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Mass Media Class under the direction of Mrs. Tina Downing in conjunction with The Weekly Villager, is pleased to announce their first edition of the “Hi-Crier”. Look for this quarterly publication produced by talented Garfield students who will share school district news, events and items of interest. The paper will be available throughout the J.A. Garfield district wherever you pick up your Weekly Villager. Congratulations up-and-coming journalists — we are proud of you!

Columbus – On Saturday, March 5th the Garfield and Crestwood boy’s bowling teams competed in the State Championships at Wayne Webb’sColumbus Bowl.  It was the first trip to State for both teams.

The G-Men got off to a great start in game one, led by Kyle Bolton’s 258 and Cody Berg’s 251.  They got some clutch bowling the rest of the way from teammates Mack Hawkins, Clark Kolmorgen, and Howard Moore to finish in 4th place and qualify them for bracket play.
In the head-to-head best-of-five baker series the G-Men defeated Carrolton High School 3 games to 1 advancing them to the semi-finals where they faced the #1 seed Wapakoneta team.

After falling behind 2-1, the G-Men rallied and won game four by the score of 210-206 to force game 5.  Garfield had a small lead going into the 7th frame when back- to- back splits let Wapakoneta take control and eventually win the game 208-176.
It was a valiant effort for their first state appearance. Coach Howie Moore was very pleased with their bowling and vowed that they will be back next year with almost everyone coming back.
Individually, Kyle Bolton earned 1st Team All-State honors along with Cody Berg receiving Honorable Mention All-State.
The Crestwood boys were in contention after the first three actual games, but couldn’t put together a big baker game and ended up finishing 12th.

Mantua - Every year, Crestwood students are recognized for outstanding contributions in the classroom and in the athletic field. Students who help in the community are no exception.
Crestwood senior Kyle Vertoch, a member of the National Honor Society, is organizing a rummage sale as his NHS service project to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Vertoch’s aunt and grandmother are both afflicted with the disease.

The sale will be held April 1, and he is asking the community for donations.
“A rummage sale is a good way to get both the community and the high school involved,” said Vertoch. “Everyone has stuff lying around the house that they don’t need anymore. I’m currently running announcements at the high school and hopefully I can find a way to reach out to the community.”

According to the NHS website, NHS is a national organization established to recognize outstanding high school students in grades 10-12. More than just an honor roll, NHS honors students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service. There are currently 52 students in NHS at Crestwood, none of whom are sophomores.

“We decided early on that we wanted to place our focus on the element of character and service,” said Crestwood Teacher and NHS Advisor Nancy Groselle. “We can get a pretty good feel of what the students are about by the time they finish their sophomore year. In fact, up until this year we only had seniors in NHS, but by changing the induction ceremony from spring to fall, we were able to extend participation to both juniors and seniors. The community service project allows students to exhibit the tenets of not just service, but also leadership and character. Kyle is a great student and displays these characteristics every day.”

The NHS rummage sale will take place April 1 from 10 am until 7 pm in the Crestwood High School cafeteria. Anyone with articles to contribute can drop them off any day in the high school library from 2:40 to 3:30 pm beginning March 21. Cash donations will also be accepted.

Columbus - Area wrestlers did a fantastic job in representing northeast Ohio and their respective high schools in Columbus last week.
Leading the way were the Crestwood Red Devils who qualified a school record seven wrestlers.  After finishing second in the Akron Firestone district the week before, head coach Dave Wrobel was confident that his team could make a run at a top 5 finish in Columbus.  Five of his seven qualifiers had previous state tournament experience and that experience paid off in the first round as the Red Devils won 5 out of 7 matches Thursday afternoon.  On Friday the Red Devils found themselves competing against many of the pre-tournament favorites in their respective weight classes and success was harder to come by.  When wrestling concluded for the day the only Red Devil to be unscathed was senior Cody Ryba who kept alive his hope of being Crestwood’s first state wrestling champion since 1994 (Brian Singleton).  Coach Wrobel, like most wrestling coaches had mixed feelings as he assessed the results from Friday’s action.  He felt his team “competed well” … was “ecstatic for Cody Ryba’s results” …  and “dealt with the pain of not seeing all his wrestlers make it to the placement round”.  On Saturday evening, Cody Ryba put the finishing touches on a brilliant season for Crestwood when he won the 171 lb. championship with a 5-4 decision over Jake Cramer of Oak Harbor.  The victory moved Crestwood up to 6th place in the final team standings.
The Garfield G-Men qualified three wrestlers for the state wrestling tournament which was also a school record for them.  Coach Alan Harbert was “pleased with how well we competed” … “thrilled that all 3 kids were wrestling in the placement round” … and “very excited that two of his wrestlers were underclassmen and would be returning to his practice room next season”.  Kevin Stock was the highest finisher (4th) for the G-Men but lost his chance to wrestle for an individual championship when he was defeated in his semi-final match, 8-7.  The final score was  ultimately decided by a penalty point earlier in the match.
Cardinal’s Casey Johns lost his opening match and then rallied to win his next four matches to make the consolation bout. Johns found himself in familiar territory matched against his freshman nemesis from Beachwood, Sammy Gross, whom he defeated in the districts by a pin in the second period. Sammy, however, got his revenge by besting Casey 4-1 in Columbus.

Cardinal’s other state placer, Ziegler, won his first round match before falling to the eventual second place finisher. In the consolation bracket Chad won two more matches before falling to a third place finisher and winning his fifth place match 7-3.
The Southeast Pirates were looking to get back on track after a one-year absence from the state wrestling tournament.  The Pirates had two wrestlers qualify this year, with one of them trying to finish a Cinderella season.  Junior Tylor Brokaw placed 5th in the sectional wrestling tournament two weeks ago and thought his season was over, only to gain entrance into the district tournament last week as an alternate.  Tylor took full advantage of his second opportunity by placing 4th at districts and punching his ticket to the state tournament.  His story book season ended in Columbus when he lost his first two matches.  Teammate Ravonne Lawrence did however take 6th place at 171 lbs to give second year Coach Bob Noall his first state placer.  Coach Noall was extremely happy for Ravonne,  “he did all the right things to put himself in position this year and hopefully it will lead to bigger things for our program”.

Complete results can be found at the OHSAA website:  http://www.ohsaa.org

Garrettsville – On March 11, 2011, Charles Klamer will celebrate a benchmark which makes him the longest-serving school district superintendent in Portage County. On that date in 1991, Klamer became superintendent of the James A. Garfield School District.

Over the next 20 years, he was to pull the flailing school district from the brink of bankruptcy, oversee a successful tax levy that allowed for the construction of a new middle school and a renovated high school, and guide the student body’s scholastic improvement so the district would reach the state’s highest rating for performance in standardized tests, attendance and graduation rates: Excellent with Distinction… all this despite the fact that JAG schools spends less per pupil annually than all but two other school districts in the county. (In 2005, Klamer retired, then was immediately rehired by the board at a lower salary, saving the district about $90,000 over two years.)

With all of this in mind, and Klamer’s current contract set to expire July 31, the JAG Board of Education has extended the superintendent’s contract for another four years. Klamer’s salary under his new contract will remain at $60,000 annually.

Why didn’t the superintendent simply let his current contract run out, so he could retire, satisfied, with the district at the top of its game? “The people keep me here,” Klamer says with a broad smile. “This is my home; this is my community.”

That was not always the case. Before coming to the Garrettsville area, Klamer was superintendent of the Bloomfield-Mespo School District in Trumbull County for nearly 10 years, following two years there as a middle school and high school principal. “But I had my eye on the James A. Garfield School District all the while,” Klamer sys. “I felt that this district had a lot more potential than it showed from the road, whenever I drove by on State Route 88.”

When Klamer became JAG superintendent in 1991, he arrived on a chaotic scene where a “lack of trust, a lack of transparency, and a lack of acceptance of one another had been the rule. The district was basically bankrupt, having accumulated a lot of debt,” Klamer recalls. The levy had failed eight times already, and was about to go on the ballot for a ninth time.”

“But I’m a rather positive person,” Klamer says. “And I came here with a vision. This was one of the only local school districts remaining with a centralized business community that catered to kids — a roller rink, a bowling alley, Dairy Queen and other family-friendly restaurants, parks, a safe atmosphere, strong churches and civic involvement, and caring parents. I believed in this district from the start.”

Klamer deflects any credit given to him on behalf of the district’s achievements. “”It’s not what I’ve accomplished but what the kids, the community, parents and staff have accomplished since I’ve been here. These people work hard and are committed to excellence.”

Looking toward the next four years, Klamer’s main challenge is to sustain Excellence with Distinction. “It’s one thing to get on top academically. It’s quite another to maintain it!”

Garrettsville –  It’s gonna be sweet! …Not just the edible set of candy confections, but the entire production of “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, the spring musical taking the James A. Garfield High School stage April 7-10. Come and see how Violet Beauregarde morphs into the Blueberry Girl, how snotty Veruca Salt can be, how the Oompa-Loompas make all that candy, how strange Willie Wonka really is, how Charlie makes everything alright, and so much more.
Why Willie Wonka? “We wanted a show that appeals to the whole family, something that everyone would enjoy,” says producer Joe Gaither. “It’s kind of a funny story really… Do you remember that AT&T commercial that ran all summer long? The one with the paper sketches interacting on the streets of a city with the music of “Pure Imagination” sung by Gene Wilder (the original Willy Wonka)?  That’s where the idea came from.”
Most of the lead roles are being played by high school students and some of the younger roles are being played by middle school and intermediate school students. “The nice thing about theatre at Garfield is that the kids really adapt well to their roles,” Gaither says. “With a little costume, makeup, and some attitude, the audience will never know that an adult role is being played by an 18- or perhaps a 16-year-old.”
People routinely ask which movie is this production closest to, the Jonny Depp or Gene Wilder version? Gaither responds, “Well, the Jonny Depp version is closest to the book (by Roald Dahl) but the music comes from the Gene Wilder version. You will find a lot of similarities to both movie versions in this stage performance.”
Anticipating another sold-out performance (like last year’s Beauty & the Beast), Gaither has pre-show tickets going on sale February 28. This year, assigned seating is being utilized, so patrons will be able to select the seat of their choice (based on availability). Payments must be made in order to reserve tickets. Gaither has the layout of the auditorium posted on the school website to make it easier for parents and the community to view a seating chart as well as a form to mail in ticket payments. You will find links to these in the “NEWS” section at the top of the right column of the James A. Garfield High School home page: http://www.garfield.sparcc.org .
People may also call high school secretary, Mrs. Young, at (330) 527-4341 or can stop in at the high school front office during business hours (8 a.m. – 2 p.m.) to purchase tickets.  If you call to reserve tickets, payment must be received within 24 hours or the reservation will be forfeited.
Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students 18 and under, and for senior citizens. All checks must be made out to James A. Garfield Local Schools. All sales are final; there are no refunds or changing of seats and dates after purchase is made.
Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. April 7-9, and 2 p.m. on April 10 (doors open 30 minutes prior to start).
Fundraisers are in motion to offset costs for the musical, including school dances, silk rose sales, a concession stand, and program ad sales. ‘Breakfast with the Characters of Willy Wonka’ will also be hosted at James A. Garfield Elementary School in early April, before the start of the school day.  Information will be sent home with all elementary students.

Garrettsville – Brian Gorby is a proud father. And he has every right to be. His son, Travis, has been selected as McDonald’s Student Athlete of the Week, representing the Greater Cleveland/Northeast Ohio area. A television news crew from WEWS Channel 5 traveled to the Garrettsville G-Plex sports complex on Tuesday night to video and interview the freshman soccer standout for broadcast on Wednesday.

Travis  — who just turned 15 in October — coaches a soccer foot skills clinic every Tuesday night at the G-Plex for rookies aged 4 -14. Travis started every varsity game this year as a freshman at James A. Garfield High School, playing outside midfielder. The JAG varsity soccer team won a record number of games this past season, advancing to the state regional tournament against CVCA, which ultimately won the state title.

Not only did Travis earn his varsity letter, but he received the Top Freshman Award from Head Coach Michael Coney, and the Portage Trail Conference Scholar Athlete Award for Academic Achievement while participating in the sport. Travis maintained a perfect 4.0 grade average while taking Advanced Placement college-level classes…  with perfect attendance, too.

Travis has been playing soccer for 11 years now — on 55 different teams. He has played in almost 500 soccer games, scoring 650+ goals and making 700+ assists. While in eighth grade, he was playing on four different teams in four different leagues at the same time (finishing up two indoor leagues while playing on two outdoor leagues). The teams went a combined 44-1-1, with Travis scoring 96goals and 106 assists, primarily playing the center midfielder and forward positions.

While WEWS Channel 5 puts Garrettsville in the regional spotlight, its prestigious honor is especially significant for Travis, who has been selected for an award usually set aside for upperclassmen; and among peers from big schools in the most competitive athletic divisions.

Since 2007, relatively few student athletes from Portage County have been named McDonald’s Student Athlete of the Week. The only former James A. Garfield student listed is Olivia Dressler, named during her 2008-09 senior year; one of the top female goal scorers in Ohio soccer history.

The McDonald’s Student Athlete of the Week honors teens who are “true all-stars, both on and off the field.”  Nominations are taken on behalf of those deserving recognition for hard work and a winning attitude.

Coaches, teachers, friends, family members, teammates, classmates or neighbors can submit the names of students who excel at their game, give back to the community and value education. News Channel 5 honors athletes each week who set examples in the classroom, on their team and in the community.

Travis is accustomed to achieving high aspirations at a young age. While in middle school as a member of Beta Club, he was selected as a People to People Student Ambassador and traveled throughout Europe for three weeks during the summer of 2009, visiting Belgium, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

He has also been Student of the Month at Garfield almost every year since first grade, and has won numerous other academic and athletic awards over the years, including a Portage County D.A.R.E. essay award when he was in fifth grade.

According to Travis’ father, “His trophies and medals almost clutter his room because there are so many, and I have cut out many articles and saved stacks of newspapers with his name in them for his scra book, along with all of the academic and athletic awards programs from the school that I save with his name in them. He has numerous letters of recognition and congratulations from the superintendent, the board of education, his past principals and teachers. I could go on and on… and if you couldn’t tell, I am very proud of him (I’m proud of all three of my sons).”

(front row) Brooke Heavner, Brett Hammonds, Mrs. Bell, Rachel Gruszewsk, (back row) Josh Whan, Kendall Morrison, Mike Jajcinovic and Danielle Hickman(photo courtesy of Josh Simmons/Bird’s Eye Photography)

(front row) Brooke Heavner, Brett Hammonds, Mrs. Bell, Rachel Gruszewsk, (back row) Josh Whan, Kendall Morrison, Mike Jajcinovic and Danielle Hickman (Photo courtesy of Josh Simmons/Bird’s Eye Photography)

Rivalries have been around for years and many times the rivalries brings out the not so good in people. Folks get so caught up in the rivalry they have a tendency to be more negative than positive, but that has been changed recently with the Garrettsville–Windham Rivalry.

Last fall when Mike Chaffee took over as the principal of Windham Schools, he wanted to revive the rivalry that had somewhat died down over the years with Garrettsville. Chaffe wanted to turn what often  becomes a week of pranks and sometimes vandalism into a week of positive, healthy competition for a good cause.  He thought: after all, we already have one good cause that both schools are involved with, the Volley for the Cure. The annual Windham-Garrettsville volleyball game has always been Volley for the Cure, a fundraiser for breast cancer, so why not expand it to other causes for other head-to-head competitions.
Chaffe had several ideas and contacted Joe Malmisur, principal of neighboring James A.  Garfield High School, to see if he would be on board with the idea, Malmisur agreed that the kids needed to have their energies channeled into a positive challenge rather than a negative one, thus creating “Rivals for a Cause.”

The “Rivals for a Cause” was launched the week of the Garfield- Windham basketball game held at Windham on February 4, 2011. The schools each had planned a food drive, t-shirt sales to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the head-to-head basketball competition for a chance to keep the revolving trophy that was established for the entire 2011-2012 school year.

The hospital  benefit  suggestion came from Danielle Hickman who had recently toured the hospital when she represented Windham at the Liberty Bowl over the Christmas holiday.  The hospital tour inspired her to consider raising funds for the facility. Both principals agreed it would be a good cause. Both schools’ student councils were challenged to raise funds by selling t-shirts, with the proceeds going to the hospital. Each school sold different colored t-shirts; Windham sold white shirts while Garrettsville sold gray shirts to raise funds for the hospital.

The rivalry week came and the t-shirts were ordered, but due to two snow days that week, the sales week was limited to two days. In spite of the shortened week, the schools were still able to raise a combined total of $1,500 for the hospital.
The yet-to-be-named revolving trophy will be awarded at the end of the school year to the school which has won the most varsity head-to-head sporting events this school year. The winning school will have the trophy to display until the end of the next school year. They will  hold the bragging rights for the year as well.

The schools also plan on holding a name-the-trophy contest later this year. Each school will submit name ideas and the principals of each school will choose the top 5 or 6 entries from each school. They will then give the mayors of the two towns the job of deciding the winning name for the trophy.

The food drive seemed to be a fantastic way to serve the community and still rival one another, however the two snow days that week severely limited the collections at both schools and they have decided to postpone the drive to the week of the Garrettsville-Windham baseball games.

Garrettsville – Bulletin: the James A. Garfield Quiz Masters appeared this past Saturday on the WEWS Channel 5 Academic Challenge program at 7:00.  Interesting mix of competitors–Indian Valley (Gnadenhutten, Tuscarawas County), Canton Central Catholic and Garfield.  Quite an extensive viewing area the station has from which  to draw participation.  It was a “Great Battle of the Brains” whereby the Quiz Masters gave quite a performance! Team Captain  Molly Everett, Logan Dean and Eileen Mangan did a wonderful job  squeaking out a very impressive win which included capturing several bonus round  points!!  Great Job!

Apropos of which, here’s a heads-up   about the return of Machine-O-Mania/Touch-A-Truck in concert with the annual village-wide yard/garage/porch sale on May 21st & 22nd.  Save that Sunday morning and afternoon to come on out to the James A. Garfield parking area to get a look at the BIG BOYS…and GIRLS, for that matter.  If it’s large and lovingly polished, if it’s fast and fairly loud, if it’s got tires that could be lived in by most of the population of Latvia, it’ll be there.  The gathering is a fund-raising activity of the Garfield Quiz Masters and it’s FUN!  Plan now to attend.

Garrettsville - Alien adolescents (Yes, yes, aren’t they all?) wandered the halls of James A. Garfield Middle School on Saturday, January 15, 2011, looking for the auditorium (the Iva Walker Auditorium), looking for their assigned rooms, looking for inspiration.  It was the District Power of the Pen tournament, locally underwritten by the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary, and attended by schools including Southeast, Crestwood, Stanton, Aurora as well as Garfield.

The standard procedure is this: Students and judges are assigned numbers–no names, please–and directed to writing rooms by number only, (No judge will read papers by any writer from his/her own district).  Writing form sheets are passed out in the rooms and each session–each grade–receives a writing prompt (a topic to be written about…how my dog got fleas, my first act as President, my deepest regret, whatever) and forty minutes in which to write.  The students then move on to their next room and the judges read the papers while a new batch of scribblers comes in to work on a new prompt.  The judges confer and sort the writings as to their perceived merits. The adjudicated writings –originals and copies–are sent to a central tabulation location, the points for placement are assigned to individuals and to teams and the number one papers from each room go to master readers for “best of round” designation.

This repeats for a total of three rounds then kids and judges break for lunch and a movie.  Tabulators and master readers continue slaving away until all papers have been read, all points awarded, all tabulations completed.  Awards time!

A table-full of trophies and awards (Thank you, Rotary!) is distributed to the assembled writers.  Some excerpts are read, some happy people come to the stage, some parents and teachers beam with pride, pictures are taken.  Team standings are met with applause and cheers; trophies go home.

Congratulations to the James A. Garfield 8th grade Power of the Pen Team for placing 4th at the district tournament. Strong finishes were made by 8th grader Lindsey Jones who placed 9th overall, 8th grader Evelyn West who placed 12th, and 7th grader Collette Rhoads who placed 11th. Crestwood’s 8th grade team took 3rd place while their 7th grade team placed 4th. Joanna Ondash (2nd), Hannah Bennett (7th) and Angelina Neno (10th) were Crestwood’s strong finishers.

And you just know that some of them will be writing about this in a journal to use again sometime in a story.

Ravenna – On Thursday, February 10, 2011 Maplewood Career Center will hold its annual Open House and Spaghetti Dinner between the hours of 4:30 and 8:30 p.m.  A spaghetti dinner featuring salad, pasta with choice of sauces, bread, dessert and drink, will be served from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. and self-guided tours will be permitted until 8:30 p.m.  The public is welcome.

Cost for dinners is just $3.50 for adults and $3.00 for senior citizens and students.  Children under six are free.

The event is held in conjunction with sophomore visitation day when area school sophomores are encouraged to visit career technical programs.  Parents and sophomores attending the Open House will receive free dinners and have the opportunity to visit labs, meet instructors, and discuss career opportunities with working professionals in the career fields.

Maplewood provides career technical education to high school students from ten area school districts, offering a wide range of career choices.  Maplewood also features an extensive Adult Education catalog which includes recreational classes, computer and technical skills, and job training programs.

Maplewood is located at 7075 State Route 88, Ravenna, Ohio 44266.  For more information call 330-296-2892.

Garrettsville -  Michael Oddo, a comedian/hypnotist, will perform on Saturday, January 22nd.  He will do two family-friendly shows- one at 3:30 pm and the other at 7:30 pm in the James A. Garfield High School auditorium.  Each show will last from 60-75 min.  Tickets are $8 per person, per show (regardless of age). Oddo’s performances are to raise money for this years  junior/senior prom.  Students will be selling tickets at the high school girls and boys home basketball games and during lunch in the high school and middle school.

If you are interested in purchasing any tickets for yourself and/or a group of people please send in the money with your high school or middle school child or you can contact Mrs. Sweigert at the high school by calling (330) 527-4341.  All checks are to be made payable to  James A. Garfield High School.

Garrettsville – The Child Development Class at J.A. Garfield High School is eagerly awaiting the “Baby Think It Over” dolls.  Pat Wetzel, the teacher of the class has applied for a grant through “DonersChoose.org”  to receive two of the computerized babies for the classroom to use.

The purpose of the infant simulator, after the student has cared for it for a weekend, is to have the feeling that they are not ready for a baby.  Recent studies have shown the use of Baby Think It Over is more effective in changing the attitudes of adolescents toward parenting than other popular strategies such as shadowing a teen parent for a day.

The infant simulator weighs 6.5 pounds, it has an internal computer that simulates an infant crying as realistic, at random intervals 24 hours a day. The “parent” is given a non transferable key attached to a hospital bracelet on the wrist that must be inserted in the baby for a specific length of time to simulate feeding, bathing, diaper-changing and comforting.  Care sessions last from 5 to 35 minutes.  If the baby has been properly cared for, it will coo to signal the end of the session. If it is neglected or handled roughly (dropped, thrown, or struck), tamper-proof indicators on the computer will alert the instructor.

If you would get on line at the email address “ DonersChoose.org” and contribute any amount to make it possible for the students to participate in this worthwhile learning experience, the class would be so grateful.

Garrettsville -  Michael Oddo, a comedian/hypnotist, will perform on Saturday, January 22nd.  He will do two family-friendly shows- one at 3:30 pm and the other at 7:30 pm in the James A. Garfield High School auditorium.  Each show will last from 60-75 min.  Tickets are $8 per person, per show (regardless of age). Oddo’s performances are to raise money for this years  junior/senior prom.

Students will be selling tickets at the high school girls and boys home basketball games and during lunch in the high school and middle school.

If you are interested in purchasing any tickets for yourself and/or a group of people please send in the money with your high school or middle school child or you can contact Mrs. Sweigert at the high school by calling (330) 527-4341.

All checks are to be made payable to  James A. Garfield High School.


Burton-Berkshire High School is proud to announce their Junior and Senior Students of the Month for December.  Congratulations go out to Nathan Dornback, Patience Elliott, Lisa Gregory, Melissa Koziol, James Rohaley and Spencer Wilson.  Great job and keep up the good work!

The Berkshire After Prom Committee is holding a raffle for Berkshire Juniors only.  New Directions Photography located at 11800 East Washington Street in Chagrin Falls (440.708.0965) has donated a Senior Portrait Package valued at $435 to be raffled to assist in raising funds for the After Prom.  They have also donated two $25 runners up prizes.  Raffle tickets, which are $10 each, can be purchased at any home basketball game.  The drawing will be held at the Spaghetti Dinner/Spring Musical After Prom fundraiser on April 8th.

The Berkshire Family and Civic Engagement Team is working alongside the United Way in Geauga County to help the community utilize the United Way’s 211 Help Line.  The 211 Help Line is available to all Geauga County residents either via the website (www.211Geauga.org) or by calling 440.285.3194.

Here is just a sampling of the service information provided through the Help Line.  You can find alcohol and drug programs, crisis services, employment services, food pantries, health care services, shelter for victims of domestic violence or for those who are homeless, parenting programs, many kinds of support groups, family services, volunteering and much more.  The Berkshire Family and Civic Engagement Team are made up of parents, community members, administrators and the Executive Director of the United Way in Geauga County.

Below is a list of upcoming Berkshire sporting events:

Varsity Girls Basketball:

Saturday, Jan. 15 (Cardinal HS) 6:30 pm at Berkshire High School

Wednesday, Jan. 19 (Grand Valley HS) 7:30 pm at Grand Valley High School

Saturday, Jan. 22 (Painesville Harvey) 2:30 pm at Harvey

Wednesday, Jan. 26 (Kenston HS) 7:30 pm at Berkshire High School

Junior Varsity Girls Basketball

Saturday, Jan. 15 (Cardinal HS) 5 pm at Berkshire High School

Wednesday, Jan. 19 (Grand Valley HS) 6 pm at Grand Valley High School

Saturday, Jan. 22 (Painesville Harvey) 1 pm at Harvey

Wednesday, Jan. 26 (Kenston HS) 6 pm at Berkshire High School

Freshman Boys Basketball

Monday, Jan. 17 (Hawken) 4:30 pm at Hawken

Thursday, Jan. 20 (Beachwood HS) 5 pm at Berkshire High School

Monday, Jan. 24 (Richmond Hts. HS) 5 pm at Richmond Hts. High School

Varsity Boys Basketball

Tuesday, Jan. 18 (Independence HS) 7:30 pm at Berkshire High School

Friday, Jan. 21 (Richmond Hts. HS) 7:30 pm at Berkshire High School

Tuesday, Jan. 25 (Hawken) 7:30 pm at Hawken

Junior Varsity Boys Basketball

Tuesday, Jan. 18 (Independence HS) 6 pm at Berkshire High School

Friday, Jan. 21 (Richmond Hts. HS) 6 pm at Berkshire High School

Tuesday, Jan. 25 (Hawken) 6 pm at Hawken

Varsity Boys Wrestling

Saturday, Jan. 15 (Ashtabula Edgewood) 9 am at Ashtabula Edgewood

Other matches are to be announced, please check the website (www.berkshireschools.org) for up to date times and locations.

There are a lot of great things happening at the Berkshire Schools.   Thank you to Superintendent Doug DeLong for the updates and news.

Chandler Bee and Ethan Milko (Photo: Iva Walker)

Garrettsville – Excitement filled the air.  Tension mounted as the contestants moved into position for the competition.  The crowd was hushed….  No, wait…this was the annual James A Garfield Middle School Spelling Bee…this crowd is never hushed…quiet, maybe…attentive, perhaps…but hushed?   In your dreams, Principal Tom Sullivan, organizer Jackie Lovelace, in your dreams.

The judges table featured a Webster’s Unabridged, three judges and the dreaded bell to signal lack of orthographic (Look it up) success.

The microphone–center stage–was adjusted  to pick up the veriest whisper from the height-challenged or the stratospherically-inclined.

And the words rolled forth: gnash, versatile, suffrage, grammarian, monstrosity …speaking of which, who picks these things out anyway?   One interesting moment of the event came about when Becky Kirk, who was cruisin’ up to that point, got the word, “yippee”.  The pronouncer spoke the word…silence…spoke the word again–with definition…silence…spoke once more, with feeling…then Becky turned  and said, incredulously, “Is that THE WORD?”  It was, and she spelled it right to move on to the next round.  At one point, all of the spellers in the rotation had missed their words, so everyone got another crack at the brass ring.

The two survivors of the process, Chandler Bee and Ethan Milko–a seventh grader and an eighth grader, held up through all that and the finale words–surmountable and   herringbone–to take finalist honors and head for the county bee which will take place at Maplewood Career Center on February 1st at 6:30 p.m.  Congratulations to all participants and good luck to our champs as they head to The Big Enchilada.

Portage County – Snow days are every school kid’s fantasy come true… until it’s time to make up for lost instructional time. Most area school districts have already exhausted their allowable cancellation days due to two major snow storms in early December. Now districts are on borrowed time as actual winter weather kicks into typical gear, with drifting snow, ice, below-zero wind chills and slick roadways posing hazards for the next three or four months.
Due to a change in state law intended to increase instructional time for students, the number of calamity days for public schools has been reduced in 2010-2011 from five to three. Many administrators and students are hopeful that Ohio Governor-Elect John Kasich will repeal this new law set in motion by outgoing Governor Ted Strickland.
But until then, schools’ first line of defense against inclement weather will likely be two-hour delays rather than cancellations. Late-start days still count as instructional days to the Ohio Board of Education, so the hope is that they will buy districts the time needed to brighten and clear roadways, mitigating the risk of potential accidents.
“Typically, we see three to five weather cancellation days per year,” says James A. Garfield Schools Superintendent Charles Klamer. Considering that three school days were already cancelled by mid-December, it’s likely that the district will double that number before the spring thaw arrives.
Safety for students and bus drivers is a superintendent’s top priority, even with pressure mounting to keep school doors open as scheduled rather than extend the school year with added make-up days. “We drive district roads in the early morning hours, consult with our transportation and maintenance supervisor, other neighboring school districts, road crews and weather forecasts before making any decisions,” says Klamer. “It’s not easy making a decision in the dark. The worst thing to happen is to have a school bus accident on our hands.”
With that in mind, both Garfield and Crestwood school districts will implement two-hour delays when possible, if weather forecasts and local road departments indicate that roads can be adequately cleared in time, and weather conditions are likely to improve throughout the remainder of the day.
Currently, the JAG school year has set June 8, 2011 as the last student day (graduation is June 5). With every school day cancelled hereafter, the school year is another day longer. If 10 cancellation days accumulate, Klamer’s understanding is that the state requires other measures for making up lost instructional time, such as extended school days or Saturday school.
The JAG School Board will finalize its calamity day procedures for the remainder of the school year by December 27, and will post it for parents on the district website: www.garfield.sparcc.org. As always, notification of delays and cancellations will be made available on major radio stations, Fox 8 News and Channel 5 TV weather alerts.
When Crestwood called a snow cancellation on December 14, it became the district’s fourth calamity day this school year, exceeding the state allowance of three. Consequently, Crestwood will be extending the school year an extra day through June 8, 2011… until further notice.
According to Crestwood Superintendent Joe Iacano, Crestwood tries to alert parents of delays or closures by 5:45 -6:15 a.m. that morning. Periodically, forecasts are definitive enough that school can be called off in time for the nightly news the prior evening. The announcement of a closing or two-hour delay will be broadcast on Cleveland television and radio stations and via Crestwood’s Alert Now telephone system. Those who have not signed up for the Alert Now system should contact their child’s principal for details. Parents should avoid calling schools or stations since incoming calls tie up phones and delay notification.
If a Crestwood parent believes it is safer to keep their child home all day due to localized conditions, even after schools re-open, they should send a written excuse the next day and students will be excused and allowed to make up any missed work for credit. (See www.crestwood.sparcc.org for full details.)
Crestwood is the only Portage County district to have surpassed the three-day limit so far. In addition to JAG, five other Portage districts — Rootstown, Ravenna, Aurora, Streetsboro, and Windham — have depleted their three-day allowance. Remaining Portage school districts — Waterloo, Field, Kent, Mogadore and Southeast — have used two snow days and have one bonus day remaining.
…And winter has only just begun.

Garrettsville – James A. Garfield Schools will be sponsoring the Mobile Dentist again this year.  They will arrive at the Elementary, Intermediate, Middle, and High Schools on January 26.  We have invited the Smile Programs to bring their on-site preventative dental care services to our schools because we know how important good oral health is to a child’s overall health.  The program can provide services to families who need financial assistance, accepts insurance and/or can subsidize fees for persons who can partially cover the cost of an exam and services.
The dentist will arrive at the Elementary, Intermediate, Middle, and High Schools on January 26.  A mini clinic will be set up in the buildings and the dentist and team will provide preventative services for students who return the registration forms that were sent home.  If you would like to register, you may also contact your child’s school.

Meadville, Pa. – Tight end Rob Carlisle capped a marvelous senior campaign with one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate sports. On Wednesday, Carlisle was named ESPN First Team Academic All-America in recognition for his rare combination of outstanding academic achievement and athletic ability.

Carlisle, who holds a 3.95 cumulative grade point average, majors in Biochemistry with a minor in Economics. In addition to his outstanding credentials in the classroom, he is a three-year starter for the Blue and Gold having appeared in 29 consecutive games. Carlisle was easily one of the league’s biggest break-out stars this season and closed the year as the top tight end in the North Coast Athletic Conference. He garnered First Team All-Conference accolades after finishing the slate with 41 catches and 461 yards, both tops in the circuit at his position. His presence as a blocker and a receiver enabled Allegheny to finish third in the NCAC in total offense while ranking second in red-zone scoring and third in rushing.

Carlisle becomes the 30th student-athlete in the history of Allegheny College to elicit Academic All-America honors, and his selection is the fifth for the Gators’ storied grid program. The last Allegheny student-athlete to cop a First Team Academic All-America selection was swimmer Jennifer Erdos in 1998. Kevin Baird is the only other football player to claim the coveted postseason award following the 1981 season.

The ESPN Academic All-America program covers all NCAA divisions and selections are made by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

Berea –  Samantha M. Martin of Garrettsville was inducted into the Dayton C. Miller Honor Society at Baldwin-Wallace College during a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010.

Martin is a junior.

Dayton C. Miller recognizes academic excellence and inductees are selected for consistently maintaining superior academic work. Only four percent of the undergraduate student body achieves membership.

Findlay – Alyssa Cain, a junior pharmacy major, recently performed in The University of Findlay’s student piano recital.  Cain performed “Autumn Breeze” by John Bastien.

Cain, a 2008 graduate of James A. Garfield High School, is the daughter of Garrettsville’s Lynette and Charlie Cain.

The University of Findlay is a comprehensive university with a hands-on approach to learning located in Findlay, Ohio, approximately 45 miles south of Toledo. With a total enrollment of approximately 3,900 full-time and part-time students, The University of Findlay is noted for its innovative, career-oriented programs in nearly 60 majors and nine graduate and professional degrees.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians, having received a taste of   the Power of the Pen at their meeting on November 17, affirmed their support for the program, directed at the Garfield Middle   School by Mrs. Jackie Lovelace.  This support took the form of a $600 contribution toward the facilitation of  the district tournament to be held at Garfield in the spring.  The club also briefly considered the possibilities in reaching out to middle school-age students with information about the goals and activities of Rotary at all levels.

Other items on the agenda included: (1) possible follow-up on the Renaissance 490 presentation by Rev. Fred Youngen, acknowledging the helpful community activities involved and the resources required to carry them out, (2) including the center as a future program, (3) recruiting new members, (4) planning for the Santa Delivery Project–truck needed, sign-ups at Business Works and McCumbers-Brady Realty, tradition since the ‘60’s,  (5) beginning plans for Family Week coming up in February–sponsorships and donations will be solicited after the first of the year, contact any Rotarian, (6) ideas for new programs, (7) assembly at the Jackson Estates on December 13 at 6:30… CHRISTMAS  PARTEEE !