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T h e O f f i c i a l M a g a z i n e o f t h e C i t y o f P i c k e r i n g t o n a n d V i o l e t To w n s h i p


INSIDE PLSD state grades Cub Scout Pack 256 Crystal Alward’s commitment to community

Future Leader Kaylee Pinson is a positive influence on community youth

OHIO NURSE OF THE YEAR AWARDS Nominate a Nurse for the


Have you ever had exceptional nursing care? Let that special care provider know by nominating them today!

By nominating an exceptional nurse, you join March of Dimes in honoring the nursing profession and the tireless efforts of those dedicated to their patients. We have 25 diverse nursing categories ranging from Advance Practice to Women’s Health for you to choose from.

NOMINATIONS ACCEPTED: April 1 - June 30, 2019 SUBMIT NOMINATIONS: 2019 Ohio Nurse of the Year category winners will be announced at an awards luncheon on Friday, November 1 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.



t s e B s u ‘B2019 of the

Make your voice heard!

Vote for Columbus’ best arts, entertainment, food and events for CityScene Magazine’s annual Best of the ‘Bus!

Voting is open through April 30! Winners will be featured in the July issue of CityScene.

pickerington magazine TM

1335 Dublin Rd., Ste. 101C Columbus, Ohio 43215 614-572-1240 • Fax 614-572-1241 Kathleen K. Gill Gianna Barrett

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Dave Prosser

Chief Creative Officer

Gary Hoffman

Creative Director

Nathan Collins

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Mallory Arnold



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Healthy New Albany Magazine Discover Grove City Magazine The Publisher welcomes contributions in the form of manuscripts, drawings, photographs or story ideas to consider for possible publication. Enclose a SASE with each submission or email ncollins@cityscenemediagroup. com. Publisher does not assume responsibility for loss or damage. The appearance of advertising in Pickerington Magazine does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s product or service by the City of Pickerington. Pickerington Magazine is published in June, August, October, December, February and April. Subscriptions are free for households within the city limits of Pickerington, Ohio. For advertising information or bulk purchases, call 614-572-1240. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. Pickerington Magazine is a registered trademark of CityScene Media Group. Printed in the U.S.A. © 2019.

pickerington magazine

Learn to Defend Yourself volume 11, number 4 april/may 2019

6 Calendar 8

News and Information from the City of Pickerington

10 News and Information from

Violet Township



A Blended Journey


Crystal Alward’s commitment to community

in focus


Making Grades Pickerington Local School District plans for progress

20 The Boys (and Girls) are Back

• Self Defense and Kung Fu • Combat Fighting • Youth and Adult Classes • Very Affordable Price


in Town

Pack 256 becomes one of the first co-ed Cub Scout packs in Columbus

on the table



Two Pies in a Pod

Longtime friends bring northeast Ohio pizza to Pickerington


student spotlight

42,000 Minutes and Counting Pickerington student accumulates over 700 hours of community service

around pickerington




Photos from the community


On the cover: Photo by Kim Ranney Photography PickeringtonMagazine


pickerington community calendar april/may 2019 Friends of the Library Book Sale

9 a.m.-8 p.m., Pickerington Public Library, 201 Opportunity Way, The Friends of Pickerington Public Library is holding a book sale at Pickerington Main. A variety of books, CDs, DVDs and vinyl albums will be on sale.

April 5

Women’s Leadership Coalition

8-9:30 a.m., Pickerington Public Library, Sycamore Branch, 7861 Refugee Rd., This free recurring event provides great networking opportunities and insight into the business world.

April 6

Lip Sync Battle for Team Pickerington Pelotonia

7 p.m.-midnight, Combustion Brewery and Taproom, 80 W. Church St., Team Pickerington Pelotonia is hosting a lip sync battle at Combustion Brewery & Taproom. All funds will go toward cancer research.

April 7

Paws 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Run

1 p.m., Hereford Drive, This fifth annual event, sponsored by Pickerington Lions Club and Leo Club

with Dwayne R. Spence Funeral Home, raises money for Pilot Dogs Inc. Participants are encouraged to bring their dogs.

April 8

Arbor Day Celebration

6-7 p.m., Sycamore Creek Park Arboretum, Pickerington Parks and Recreation presents its community chorus, color guard and the winners of the third grade essay contest to celebrate Arbor Day.

April 11

Indoor Farmer’s Market

4-8 p.m., 80 W. Church St. in The Loft, Combustion Brewery & Taproom, Sponsored by the Pickerington Village Association, Combustion Brewery & Taproom is providing a venue for local vendors, artisans, farmers and bakers to sell fresh produce, baked goods and souvenirs. There will be free cookie decorating for kids as well as a meetand-greet with the Easter Bunny.

April 12-13

Spring at the Round Barn

4-8 p.m., April 12; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 13, Fairfield County Fairgrounds, 157 E. Fair Ave., Hosted each spring, the Vintage & Made Market brings 100-plus vendors to the historic grounds of Fairfield County Fairgrounds. This event will include a variety of food trucks, live music and vendors from across the Midwest.

April 13

Historical Museum Reopens

April 15-June 17

Youth Kung Fu – Beginner

Mondays, 5:45-6:45 p.m., Peace United Methodist Church, Rm. 6, 235 Diley Rd., All students start in this beginner, selfdefense class designed to teach the foundations of Poekoelan Kung Fu. They learn how to roll and fall without injury, 55 self-defense holds and basic strikes, kicks and parries.

April 16-June 11 Adult Kung Fu

Tuesdays, 6-7 p.m., Peace United Methodist Church, Rm. 17/18, 235 Diley Rd., Poekoelan Kung Fu is an Indonesian/ Chinese martial art that will teach you a foundation in fighting and self-defense from stand-up to ground techniques along with several self-defense holds forms and stances.

April 18

Second Annual Business Summit & Monthly PACC Membership Luncheon

7:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Zion Church, 5780 Reynoldsburg-Baltimore Rd., www The Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce brings in speakers for a day of professional development for local and regional small business owners. This event will feature several topics including company culture and business as your legacy.

April 25

Driven Leadership Conference

8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Superior Beverage Group, 8133 Highfield Dr., Lewis Center, The Driven Leadership Conference answers the question, “What drives you?” It provides ways to enhance your leadership, motivate and develop the mindset required to become an excellent leader.

10 a.m.-3 p.m., Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society Museum, 15 E. Columbus St., The Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society Museum will be free and open to the public. This year’s open house will April 25-28 feature local artifacts, from American Indian Pickerington High School tools and weapons to Pickerington’s first North Theatre presents town pump.


7:30 p.m. April 25-27, 2 p.m. April 28, Pickerington High School North, 6

Photos courtesy of Pickerington Leo Club, John Nixon Photography, Karen Elson

April 3-7

Mark your calendars for these community events 7800 Refugee Rd., Pickerington North’s student actors present the world-renowned play, Mamma Mia! for its spring musical. This smash-hit musical features ABBA’s greatest hits and a captivating story of friendship, love and music.

April 26-27

Pickerington Community Theatre presents Spamalot Auditions

7 p.m., April 26; 10 a.m. April 27, Epiphany Lutheran Church, 268 Hill Rd. N., Pickerington Community Theatre is holding auditions for its summer production of Spamalot.

April 27

Violet Township Women’s League Style Show

11:30 a.m., Jefferson Golf & Country Club, 7271 Jefferson Meadows Dr., Blacklick, This 20th annual Violet Township Women’s League event, which features a luncheon and raffle in addition to the style show, raises money for the league’s community service scholarship fund.

May 16

Discover the Dream

6-10 p.m., Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 W. Powell Rd., Powell, Now in its 14th year, this annual event raises money for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. It features cocktails, dinner, live and silent auctions, a patient speaker, and a Give to Live event.

May 19

Pickerington Community Chorus presents Choralfest

3 p.m., Peace Lutheran Gahanna, 455 Clark State Rd., www. The Pickerington Community Chorus puts on its spring concert.

May 24-26

Dark Star Jubilee

Noon-11:30 p.m., May 24-26, Legend Valley, 7585 Kindle Rd., Thornville The eighth annual Dark Star Jubilee is taking place Memorial Day Weekend. Over the three-day weekend, Dark Star Orchestra headlines with countless other acts bringing the Grateful Dead’s music to life.

May 4

10 a.m., Toll Gate Middle School, 12183 Toll Gate Rd., The eighth annual 5K is open to all, raises money and awareness to encourage people to live a drug-free life by spreading its “speak up and save a life” message.

May 11

3 p.m., Epiphany Lutheran Church, 268 Hill Rd. N., www. The theme for this year’s concert is big band and swing music. The Tony Hagood Trio will be the special guests. Ticket prices: $10 for adults, $8 for children and seniors.

Lisa Stoklosa, Owner

Pickerington Senior Helper We provide in-home help with: • Companionship • Meal preparation • Light housekeeping • Grooming and personal care • Shopping/appointments

Call us today! (614) 971-0893

May 25

High School Graduation

1 p.m. North, 4 p.m. Central, World Harvest Church, 4595 Gender Rd., Canal Winchester, Members of the class of 2019 at Pickerington’s two high schools turn their tassels.

Tyler’s Light 5K Run/Walk

Pickerington Community Chorus Spring Concert

Are you a Senior in need of a little help?

May 25-Aug. 18

Selections from the Pizzuti Collection

Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, 145 E. Main St., Lancaster, This exhibit showcases contemporary masters and emerging artists whose styles range from sculpture and design to painting and fiber art. This collection will highlight art that is relevant to this moment in time as well as varied in style.

Submit Your Event

Do you have an event you would like to submit to our calendar? Send details and photos to ncollins@





New Economic Development Director Pickerington’s new economic development director is excited about what he sees happening in the City and he’s ready to be a part of what comes next. Dave Gulden started his new position Jan. 7 and has hit the ground running, learning the lay of the land while meeting with business leaders, developers and community partners. Gulden comes to Pickerington after spending the past four years as director of the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission. He’s also served as economic development planner in Lorain and project manager for the Norwalk Economic Development Corporation. “Dave brings to Pickerington a variety of experience and we feel that will allow him to help further the City’s objectives

as it pertains to economic development and guide future growth,” says City Manager Frank Wiseman. Gulden adds, “Where I came from was regional planning – it’s very spread out. This is a great opportunity to focus on one city and I’m looking forward to continuing the great things I already see happening in Pickerington.” One of the top priorities for Gulden is working to develop the 200-plus acres of land the City recently purchased at the intersection of Pickerington and Busey roads. The initial plans call for commercial or industrial development, along with some residential.

“We’re going to have to be very strategic with our development. I want to think creatively but I also want to make sure we think about long-term sustainability,” says Gulden. In addition to attracting new businesses, Gulden is also tasked with helping existing Pickerington businesses continue to thrive. “I encourage business and property owners to contact me with issues big and small. Our goal is common sense partnerships.” Dave Gulden can be reached by phone at 614-837-3974 or by email at

City Looks to Fill Summer Jobs Sun, fun and a paycheck, too? If you work for the City this summer, that’s how you could spend every day. The City is looking to fill nearly two dozen seasonal positions. The biggest need is at the Pickerington Community Pool. Parks and Recreation Director Rebecca Medinger is looking to hire pool management, more than a dozen lifeguards and several front office staff. Applicants for management positions need to be at least 18 years old and all other pool positions are 16 years and older. A complete list of qualifications and job requirements can be found on the City’s website, www. Medinger says working at the pool is an opportunity to gain experience, learn new skills and work in a great team environment. “Being someone who has been a part of the Pickerington Community Pool staff from high school through half of my college years, it has been an amazing 8

summer job that I always come back to. The customers have always been a pleasure and I love getting to see the same families year after year,” says returning staff member Mackenzie Puskar. “The staff is always full of amazing people who challenge each other and create an enjoyable work environment.

The experience I have gained from working here for so many years surpasses any other. I cannot wait for the coming season.” Lifeguard Delaney Burns agrees. “I really enjoy working at the Pickerington Community Pool because there truly is such a community that has been established between the workers and the individuals or families that visit our facility,” Burns says. “Every summer I look forward to the season where I get to be in such an uplifting environment, soaking in the sunshine and making sure that our pool patrons are safe.” In addition to offering swim lessons, the pool hosts several big events each summer. Olivia Evans is looking to return to the pool for a third year. “Interacting with members of the community in a calm and fun environment makes the job very gratifying,” Evans says. “I especially enjoy teaching swim lessons and family fun nights, such as dive-in movies.”

The City is also looking to fill six laborer positions in the Service Department. Applicants must be at least 16 years old. Service workers are provided with uniforms and have flexibility when it comes to working hours. A job with the City of Pickerington, even if seasonally, can earn retirement benefits with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. Medinger says it’s also a great resume builder for high school, college and professional positions. To fill out an application, visit www.

Parks Events

April • Parks Open, April 1 • Arbor Day, April 8 • Breakfast with the Bunny, April 13 Are you hosting a graduation party, birthday party or family reunion this sum• Swim Lesson Registration mer? The Parks and Recreation Department offers more than a dozen facilities and begins, April 29 park spaces to host your event. Shelters, gazebos, basketball courts and even the skate park are available to rent. Reservations are being accepted now for events May April 1-October 31. All reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance • Touch-A-Truck, May 11 and are first-come, first-served. Below are a list of park rules that must be observed in order to rent from the City of Pickerington. • Pool Opens, May 25

Facilities Reservations and Rules

Park Rules 1. Park open from dawn to dusk. 2. Damaging or removing park property, natural features and wildlife is prohibited. 3. No littering or dumping. 4. Loud and disruptive behavior is prohibited. 5. Advertising or commercial enterprise requires permission from the city manager. 6. No camping without a written permit from the city manager. 7. No fires except in designated areas. 8. Hunting and trapping is prohibited. 9. Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times and owners must pick up after their pets. 10. No swimming, wading, or boating. 11. Catch and release fishing only. 12. No motorized vehicles except in designated areas. 13. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Violation of any park rule may lead to ejection from the park or prosecution under the laws of the City of Pickerington. For a complete list of facilities available to rent, visit

citydirectory Pickerington City Hall, 100 Lockville Rd.

(All numbers prefixed with the 614 area code)

Building Services ..................... 833-2221 City Clerk/Council..................... 837-3974 City Manager........................... 837-3974 Development Services.............. 833-2204 Engineering Services ............... 833-2221 Finance Services...................... 837-3974 Human Resources.................... 837-3974 Income Tax Division.................. 837-4116 Mayor’s Office (Lee A. Gray)............................ 837-3974 Mayor’s Court.......................... 837-3974 Parks and Recreation............... 833-2211 Police Services......................... 575-6911 Service Department Streets.................................... 833-2292 Utility Billing............................. 833-2289 Utility Maintenance................... 833-2292 Water Plant.............................. 833-2290 Waste Water Plant.................... 837-6490 Water Reclamation.................. 837-6470


News and Information From

Violet Township Paramedic Education By Fire Chief Mike Little Education has many definitions. Merriam-Webster defines it as “the action or process of educating or of being educated, or, the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools.” defines it as “the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession.” The fire service is at a crossroads with education, specifically with paramedic education. Some experts believe paramedics should Cast of the 1970’s TV Series Emergency! now be required to attain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for paramedic school. After meeting to legitimize their education and the these criteria, the paramedic education profession. Others believe the current begins. The subjects covered include system works well and produces highly respiratory/cardiac emergencies, competent paramedics. orthopedic/general injuries, general patient assessment skills, report writing, medication calculations/administration, obstetrics and neurological emergencies. This list is not all-encompassing. Students also learn skills such as how to start IVs, cardiac monitoring and reading 12-lead EKGs, dosing medications properly, various splinting techniques and administering shots. The learning does not stop here. The student spends a significant amount of time riding VTFD Staff CPR training. with local EMS agencies and in hospitals for clinical experiParamedics receive over 1,500 ences. As you can see, a paramedic hours of school and clinical educais highly educated once school is tion. What began nearly 50 years ago completed. with limited education and Johnny I tell you all of this for one reason: and Roy in the TV series Emergency!, confidence. As the fire chief, it is my has grown and evolved into collegejob to ensure our department and its level subject matter. Before entering members are providing the highest posschool, prospective students are sible level of service to our community. I required to attend and pass a human am confident our department meets this anatomy course at a local college. goal every day. Our paramedics have Once completed, the student must met all the requirements expected for then take and pass an entry exam their certification. Each month, we com10

plete training in some facet of EMS. These training opportunities count as hours towards each member’s re-certification. Every two years our department has a paramedic refresher class. This class is 48 hours long and these hours count toward re-certification. The department recently created and filled an EMS coordinator position. One of the duties of the coordinator is to oversee the department’s EMS training. This assures that our paramedics are continually receiving the latest, most up-to-date training. As you can see, your Violet Township Fire Department encourages and expects our paramedics to remain highly trained and competent. Our service to you is dependent upon this commitment. As the fire chief, I, like you, will continue to expect nothing less. If you have any questions concerning our EMS service, call 614-837-4123. As always, we are your friends for life.

How to Reach Us Violet Township Administrative Offices 12970 Rustic Dr. Pickerington, OH 43147 614-575-5556 Violet Township Fire Stations Phone 614-837-4123 Fire Chief: Michael Little #592: 8700 Refugee Rd. #591: 21 Lockville Rd. #593: 2365 Taylor Park Dr. Violet Township Service Center Phone: 614-382-5979 490 Center St. Pickerington, OH 43147

Save the Date – Saturday, April 27

Drug Collection & Electronics Recycling Event Scheduled By Chad Lucht, CPESC, Senior Urban Specialist, Fairfield SWCD The Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Violet Township Service Center at 490 N. Center St. Participants are asked to enter the event from the North Center Street entrance. The Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District, in cooperation with Violet Township, Fairfield County Sheriff’s office, and Lancaster-Fairfield County Recycling & Litter Prevention will participate in the event. The event marks an ongoing effort to rid the Pickerington Community’s medicine cabinets of potentially dangerous drugs, particularly controlled substances. Only prescription pills and capsules will be collected. No aerosols, inhalers, liquids, creams, gels, ointments, powders, patches, suppositories, syringes or IVs will be accepted. We ask that you black out all personal information or remove labels before bringing containers to the disposal site. From 2018 events, residents disposed of nearly 125 pounds of pills. That was another 125 pounds that were not discarded in the trash or flushed down the sink or toilet, leading to potential contamination of groundwater and wastewater treatment plants and causing harm to aquatic life and the human water supply. Electronic recycling is also available at this event. The following electronic items may be dropped off at no cost: computers, laptops, printers, cables, mouses, keyboards, discs, electronic clocks, VHS/DVD players, radios and cell phones. More than 11,100 pounds of electronics were recycled at last year’s events. Please note some changes that are being implemented for televisions and monitors that are collected at the event. • CRT TVs (tube TV) - $1 per diagonal inch • LED/LCD TVs - $0.50 per diagonal inch • All monitors without a computer - $8 each

All monitors with a computer - $5 each • Only cash and checks will be accepted as payment for disposal fees. No items containing chlorofluorocarbons, commonly utilized as a refrigerant or as a propellant in aerosol cans, will be accepted. A certified facility, such as the Lancaster Transfer Station, must handle the disposal of this compound. Call the Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District office at 740-4153927 or the Fairfield County Sheriff’s office at 740-652-7900 for more informa-

tion about prescription drug disposal. Call Chad Reed with Litter Prevention and Recycling at 740-681-4423 with any electronic recycling questions. For those unable to attend this event, a drop-off box for prescription drugs is available at the Pickerington Police Department located at 1311 Refugee Road. Needles and liquids are not permitted for disposal. We look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday, April 27 as we continue to rid Pickerington and Violet Township of unused medications.

Violet Township Community Center Update By John Eisel, Director of Operations and Holly Mattei, AICP, Development Director

The Violet Township Trustees, in January, adopted the necessary resolutions and filed the required paperwork with the Fairfield County Board of Elections to place a 4.6 mill, 25-year Parks and Recreation levy on the May 7, 2019 ballot, which would generate funds to construct and operate a community center in Violet Township. The conceptual plans include a 95,000-square-foot facility that would

include two full-size gyms, separate competitive and leisure pools with locker rooms, a fitness area, several multi-purpose rooms, a child watch area for parents using the facility, a teaching kitchen, and a study/quiet room on the first floor. The second floor would include a walking/jogging track, exercise rooms and a messy arts and crafts room. Two outdoor athletic fields are also proposed. 11


$ 241.50


$ 322.00


$ 402.50


$ 483.00


$ 563.50


$ 644.00


$ 724.50


$ 805.00

The proposed site plan shows the community center being constructed at the southeast corner of Refugee and Pickerington roads. The Township Trustees have entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Ricketts Family for the donation of 30 acres for the proposed community center. The area also has room for potential economic growth that may be spurred from the construction of a community center. The proposed levy, based upon the 2019 Estimated Property Tax Valuation, would be $13.39 monthly for a $100,000 home per the appraised value on the Fairfield County Auditor’s website. The above table illustrates the yearly costs to homeowners with appraised values in $50,000 increments. Additional information on how to calculate the annual homeowner cost along with the feasibility study and other information can be found at The project will be a communitydriven project. The residents will decide at the ballot box, if this facility will move from concept to final design and construction. If the May 7 ballot tax levy passes, Violet Township staff will begin the process to finance, design and construct the facility. It is expected that the community center would be open to the public in 2022.


$ 161.00

A D J A C E N T RO A D W AY 1 0 0 ’ R . 0 . W.








November 6, 2018



$ 80.50



1 0 0 ’ R . 0 . W.

Yearly Cost


Fairfield County Auditor’s Appraised Value











14 16














20 18














TH E 14 t h AN N U AL


By Kim Brown

Photos courtesy of Crystal Alward

A Blended Journey Crystal Alward’s commitment to community



rystal Alward’s business may be new to the community, but she certainly is not. Her newest venture, a coffee shop and bakery, is a sharp turn from her past. “I stumbled into (baking). I was always baking and doing different kinds of things,” Alward says. It’s the nostalgia of her Easy-Bake Oven and her mother’s Christmastime baking that created a passion for cakes and pastries, and her newest venture is a culmination of nurturing that passion. Crystal and her husband, Dan, opened Porter’s Coffee House and Bakery in Olde Pickerington Village in mid-February, just in time for spring. Though all is sweet now, the road to this point had many forks along the way. Now Thornville residents, Alward and Dan met while attending Southwest Licking Local School District. Dan went on to pursue a career as a firefighter and Alward was a teacher for the previous decade, immersing herself in family consumer science and child/life development courses. She taught in the Whitehall School District for four years before teaching in Southwest Licking Schools for six. She started her undergraduate education at Central Ohio Technical College and received her bachelor’s from Franklin University. She originally took an interest in photography during high school and envisioned a future in wedding photography while taking baking classes on the side. Eventually, a friend asked her to bake a cake for her wedding, and Alward fell in love. In fact, she fell so hard that she started her own baking business, Cakes Creatively by Crystal, laying the initial groundwork for Porter’s. Alongside teaching, Cakes Creatively remains close to her heart, and played an integral role in leading her to where she is today.


Alward attributes her baking success to her customer relationships. She ran Cakes Creatively out of her home kitchen for the last 13 years. Her strong customer base is evident, as she makes more than 100 wedding cakes a year with specialty cakes and pastries as an addition. These relationships are what she hopes to instill in her new business at Porter’s. No matter how many goals Alward checks off her list, she always finds another to work toward. “No matter all the goals that I set, once you hit one, you just make another one,” she says. Alward graciously accepts the challenges of a new business and isn’t opposed to change. One of those challenges was making the decision to open Porter’s. After Crystal and Dan landed on the idea of a coffee shop, they knew they needed to make both a business – and life – decision that would direct the next path. They knew the coffee market had grown the last few years, and opening a coffee house felt like the next step. The couple began to visit every coffee shop in Columbus and worked to secure a positive and supportive coffee distributor. Their sights led them back to Pickerington and working with One Line Coffee. Alward and Dan didn’t just choose to station in Pickerington because it was close to home, but because Alward grew up working jobs in Pickerington, and they enjoyed visiting the city.


“We kept coming back here. …It’s not far from home, and we have friends in Pickerington,” she says. Like most things in life, there were challenges Alward and Dan faced during the process, but the couple finally closed on the renovated home on West Church Street in August 2018. In addition to Dan’s firefighting career, his furniture business has also helped develop the interior of the coffee and bakery shop. Co-workers, friends, and family have all contributed to the Alward venture and the renovation is a way to capture the couple’s true essence: bright furniture colors and mixed metals layered on elements of natural wood, concrete and brick. Alward continues to instill her personal values – uniqueness, taking risks, embracing challenges – into the business at Porter’s and, so far, it seems to be paying off. “If you don’t take that chance, there’s no great reward without a great risk,” she says. Kim Brown is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at feedback@

Your Trusted Home Improvement & Repair Ally in Pickerington 614.907.8855

8 Lockville Road, Suite A Pickerington, OH 43147 17

in focus

By Brenda Layman

Making Grades Pickerington Local School District plans for progress


provement goals, PLSD is focusing on the use of the Ohio Improvement Process, a systems framework of collaborative team protocols to analyze data, research aligned improvement strategies, implement and monitor strategies, provide feedback to teams, and determine effectiveness based on performance and implementation data. Ohio’s school districts are graded on six components: Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Graduation Rate, Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers, and Prepared for Success. Detailed information about these components is available on the Ohio Department of Education website. PLSD received A grades in Gap

Closing, with a 97.2 percent overall score, and in Graduation Rate. Pickerington’s graduation rates are 96.7 percent (4-year) and 98.7 percent (5-year). Receiving a C in overall Achievement has led to increased emphasis on growing the percentage of students who score proficient or better on the state tests and on moving more students to accelerated and advanced levels. Briggs says that teacher-led teams are already moving toward these goals. Although a grade of C was given to Pickerington’s At-Risk Reader component, 99.1 percent of the district’s

Photos courtesy of Pickerington Local School District


he Ohio Department of Education released the district report cards for the 2016-2017 graduating classes of Ohio’s public schools in September 2018. Pickerington fared well, earning an overall score of B, but there are some areas with room for improvement. Pickerington Local School District Superintendent Chris Briggs joined the district team in July 2017. Briggs welcomes opportunities to share information with the community. “A community that is well-informed is a supportive community,” Briggs says. “We’re excited about what we’re doing.” According to Briggs, to address im-

Superintendent Briggs believes in open lines of communication with the community.

third-graders scored at least proficient in reading. However, 43 percent of students who started off-track remained offtrack. PLSD is addressing this need with increased emphasis on early literacy. The Kindergarten Literacy Intervention Program, or KLIP, allows educators to identify at-risk students early and provide them with additional learning support to ensure that they begin with the skills they need for academic success. The score for Progress overall was C. While students in the lowest 20 percent in achievement experienced strong growth based on previous performances, students identified as gifted did not. Briggs says the Plan for Progress, which includes Academic Excellence, Efficient Operations and Modern Facilities, is designed to strengthen and improve the learning environment for all students. “We are implementing the Ohio Improvement Process within our buildings,” Briggs says. “Although many of our buildings are not new, we are providing modern facilities with what is inside those buildings. Pickerington is also the largest district in the state with the one-

to-one initiative, providing a Chromebook or other learning device to every student. The students take these devices home, connecting them to online information and learning opportunities.” The district’s lowest score was a D in Prepared for Success. This component measures the percentage of students who score well in college entrance exams, advanced placement tests, earn honors diplomas or receive industryrecognized credentials. “We are aware of the standard on the report card,” Briggs says. “But if you look at our students and what they do when they leave us, we think they are doing great things. We did a community survey last February, taking a look at current graduates and how they are performing. Very few needed remediation courses.” PLSD is also responding with a planned partnership with OhioHealth Pickerington. Students would be able to earn industry-recognized credentials in the health care field. Briggs explains that with these credentials, “When they walk out our door, they will be able to enter the work force.”

“We believe it’s very important to create an environment where parents feel comfortable in our schools,” Briggs says. “They can also go to our website and share feedback. When we have gatherings, I often ask how many of those present are Pickerington graduates, and how many grads are parents of students in our schools. The response is amazing, about 70 percent. This indicates to me that they believe in the quality of our schools. We are committed to providing great schools and working for continual improvement.” For more information about PLSD, visit the Pickerington Local School District website at www.pickerington.k12. For more information about the Ohio State Report Card, visit the Ohio Department of Education website at Brenda Layman is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at feedback@

Better lives

ONE story at a time. “Loading old fence into my truck, I shattered my shoulder socket and suffered a hill sacs fracture. I knew I had to get back to taking care of the children, taking care of our land and getting back to my career in law enforcement. I had 100 percent faith that Orthopedic ONE would take care of me. It may sound crazy but I’m actually thankful this happened. My life has not only returned, but my quality of life is better. “ - Michael Myers, husband, father and Deputy Sheriff Visit for all of Michael’s story.

This is where you go to get better.



The Boys (and Girls) Are Back in Town





Local decisions and expertise.

Pack 256 becomes one of the first co-ed Cub Scout packs in Columbus

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Photos courtesy of Lee Meyer


f you’ve ever had a daughter who wanted to join Cub Scouts, now is the time. For the past couple years, the Cub Scout Program has been accepting co-ed participation. These recent national developments have made their way to Columbus, and Pack 256 is one of the first recognized packs in Columbus to allow girls to join the program. Pack leader and Cubmaster Lee Meyer says the decision to make the pack co-ed was an easy one. “We felt that if the national and local councils were willing to allow girls into scouting, then we should open our arms and allow them in to our pack as well,” he says. “Since siblings are always included in what we do in our dens, there wouldn’t be much of a change. There are many skills that Cub Scouts learn from our program and everyone, boy or girl, should have that opportunity.” Pack 256 was the original Cub Scout Pack in Pickerington and has been around for more than 50 years. The pack’s name was derived from State Route 256, which was a notable landmark at the time the pack was formed. During their time in the pack, the kids work independently within their


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dens to achieve different rank requirements and learn special skills. Those activities include camping, hockey games, bowling, pumpkin carving, collecting supplies for local food pantries and special events like Christmas parties, the Pinewood Derby, the Blue and Gold Banquet and the Memorial Day Weekend March. Additionally, once a month, the entire pack meets together to give out awards and work on a special hands-on project that gives the different dens time to bond. Meyer says the pack’s co-ed initiative teaches the kids important lessons in diversity and inclusion, which is important for social development. “It allows the kids to interact equally and learn on the same level,” he says. “It’s a great way for young boys to interact and learn to treat young girls as equals.” Meyer first got the idea to volunteer as a leader when his oldest son decided to join as a Wolf Scout. Meyer’s son loved it so much that his younger brother also joined, and that’s when Meyer decided to become more involved. “My wife and I fell in love with it and I really wanted to be involved because (Cub Scouts) was something that I didn’t get to do as a kid,” he says. “I always try to have a smile on my face and provide a warm welcoming environment for the kids. I always want them to have fun and enjoy the activities while they learn new things. It’s awesome to see them grow while they learn.” Besides being able to watch his sons grow within the program, Meyer has been impacted by his role as a leader and encourages other parents to get their children involved in a program like Cub Scouts as well. “Since becoming a volunteer, I have learned to always be patient and be willMyriad skills are learned via Cub Scouts and everyone, boy and girl, has that opportunity.

ing to help any kid that needs it, no matter how long it may take them to understand something,” Meyer says. “I hope that the kids take one thing away from the program: respect. Respect for their parents, their leaders, their peers and the program.” To learn more about Pack 256 and the Cub Scout program, visit Tessa Flattum is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at feedback@ 22

on the table By Ryan McGlade

Larry and Dan are with Chris Owen, who currently is the director of quality and management for Gionino’s and was the manager at the Gionino’s location in Munroe Falls when Larry and Dan worked there in high school.

Two Pies J in a Pod Longtime friends bring northeast Ohio pizza to Pickerington

oy usually isn’t one of the first adjectives used to describe working in food service, especially for high school students who are working late nights and on the weekends. In many instances, the primary purpose of a job at that age is to have spending money or a reason to get out of the house. It’s not often that working in the food industry as a teen lays the foundation of a career. But that’s exactly what happened for Larry Halpin and Dan Shackelford. Halpin and Shackelford worked together at the Gionino’s Pizzeria in Munroe Falls, an Akron suburb, during their four years of high school. It 23

Dan (second row left) and Larry (second row, middle) in grade school.

is there Halpin and Shackelford forged the idea of owning their own pizza place in central Ohio. In mid-December, Halpin and Shackelford opened Gionino’s Pizzeria at 12983 Stonecreek Drive in Pickerington, one of the franchise’s 47 locations. Grand Opening of the Gionino’s in Pickerington on Dec. 14. “We had always talked about opening up a pizza shop as soon as we had started working at one,” says Halpin, who worked at the Gionino’s in Munroe Falls for six years. “I think it’s because we loved it so much in the time that we spent there in high school.” Halpin and Shackelford’s friendship began long before they started at Gionino’s, however. They went to the same school from kindergarten through 12th grade and grew up on the same street, which dead-ended into the Gionino’s location where they worked. Upon graduating from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 2009, Halpin en-

Easy-To-Make Cheese Pizza Ingredients 1⁄4 oz. dry yeast 1 cup water, lukewarm 1 tsp sugar 3 cups bread flour 1⁄2 tsp salt 1 tbsp olive oil 1⁄2 cup tomato puree 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese Directions Dough: In a bowl, combine yeast, water and sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast and let the


yeast bloom for 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup flour, add salt and then stir in another cup of flour (the remaining cup of flour will be your “bench” flour and added flour). Dump mixture onto kneading board and work in last cup of flour, kneading until dough is soft and elastic, but not sticky. Form dough into a ball. In another bowl, pour in the 1 tbsp olive oil and spread around. Coat ball of dough with oil and cover bowl with a damp towel and let dough rise for 40 minutes. Punch down dough and knead on board for about two minutes. Dough is now ready to spread in the pan.

To avoid sticking of crust, lightly spray pizza pan with olive oil or vegetable oil spray and then work dough to pan (or use free form pan) – this dough is enough for one 14inch pizza with a thin bottom crust and enough dough around the edge to munch. Sauce and Bake: Combine pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, minced garlic and basil. Spread onto prepared pizza dough. Top with sliced mozzarella cheese and bake at 500°F for 11-13 minutes.

Photos courtesy of Larry Halpin, Dan Shackleford, Ryan McGlade

Courtesy of

listed in the army while Shackelford enrolled at Kent State University, continuing to work at the Gionino’s in Munroe Falls during undergrad. Halpin spent more than three years in the army before attending Penn State University. Shackelford, meanwhile, graduated from Kent State and became a member of the air force for about four years. The two kept in touch during their college and military days, visiting each other once or twice a year. In fact, when the air force relocated Shackelford, he and Halpin drove together from Cuyahoga Falls to his new station in Tucson, Arizona, a trip of roughly 2,000 miles. Though the path to becoming owners of a Gionino’s location involved detours, Halpin and Shackelford never lost sight of their dream. Now that they are a few months into achieving their ultimate goal, they have realized there are many perks – even trivial ones – to owning a business with a lifelong friend. “This is silly, but I don’t like cutting onions because they make me tear up,” says Halpin. “So I told Dan, ‘Hey, if we’re opening up a pizza shop, I’m never cutting onions.’ Dan was like,

Dan Shackelford was a turboprop mechanic during his time in the air force.

‘All right, I’ll cut onions.’ There’s just little stuff like that where I don’t like to do it but he likes to do it, or I like to do it and he doesn’t like to do it. There’s a lot of ebb and flow between the two of us.” Shackelford says running a pizza place with Halpin has been a true pleasure. “Larry has a zest for life,” he says. “He really makes an effort to make things enjoyable. He’s always striving to have fun, and he’s a very good leader.”

Shackelford added that seeing their business owner goal come true is a fulfilling feeling. “It’s been extremely satisfying,” says Shackelford. “For me, at least, this is what I thought it would be. It’s nostalgic.” Ryan McGlade is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at feedback@


student spotlight

By Mallory Arnold

Student Spotlight features a student from a different area high school in every issue.

42,000 Minutes and Counting W

hen Kaylee Pinson is asked about how she became motivated enough to accumulate her impressive list of leadership and service experience, instead of talking about herself, she immediately credits someone else. “I’ll start off with my mom,” Pinson says. “She was the one who put me in a lot of leadership groups and exposed me to different organizations that did volunteering activities.” Pinson has more than 700 hours of community service, and it’s clear by her passion to help others that the number will grow. She’s participated in clothing drives, the United Negro College

Pinson credits her mother, Karla, for opening her eyes to the importance of volunteerism and what it means to be a leader. 26

Fund Walk for Education, worked with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and still has time to be on the varsity lacrosse and cheerleading teams. Though her resume is impressive, Pinson remains strikingly humble when she talks about some of her favorite service experiences. In summer 2018, she worked with the American Red Cross to organize a blood drive at Pickerington High School Central. The process took months of planning and Pinson worked countless hours finalizing all the details of the event. It was the first time she managed an entire volunteer operation which, she says, was truly a rewarding experience. “Seeing everything come together – I’m always going to remember that moment,” Pinson says. So, what pushes a young person to be so active within the community? “When I go to volunteer, not only do I like helping people a lot, but it humbles me as well,” Pinson says. “I think about how grateful I am to have all the resources that I do – it really motivates me to keep going.” Pinson also uses public speaking as a tool to share what she’s learned through volunteering and how to live a positive, healthy lifestyle. She started public speaking in eighth grade when her mom introduced her to Youth to Youth International, a group that engages young people in positive change. Pinson has been an active member of the Youth Advisory Board, promoting the organization’s mission and educating young adults on the benefits of a drug-free life. When she began making public speeches through the organization, Pinson was, understandably, a little nervous. “I think a lot of teenagers have that problem – they don’t like to talk in front of people because they’re nervous they’re going to be judged or say the wrong thing,” Pinson says. Once she became comfortable, her passion and talent for public speaking blossomed. “It’s cool seeing people go through the change – even myself,” she says. “We’ve opened up and can go in any room and talk to anybody about the drug-free message and encourage them to come to our meetings.” It’s no surprise that Pinson has big plans for her future. She’s excited to attend Clark Atlanta University and study early childhood education. Working with kids is important to her because of how vital it is for children to have positive influences early in their lives. “I want to be that teacher who encourages them to like education,” Pinson says. “At that young age, it’s essential that they’re learning effectively while having fun.”

Photos courtesy of Portraits by Patrick and Karla Porter

Pickerington student accumulates over 700 hours of community service

Pinson has accrued well over 700 hours of community service.

Learn more about Bryan’s story and other Columbus artists and events at

Additional support from: The Sol Morton and Dorothy Isaac, Rebecca J. Wickersham and Lewis K. Osborne funds at The Columbus Foundation.

Photo: Vera Gann | Design: Formation Studio

As a painter and comic artist, Bryan Moss thinks of himself as a conduit for the community. His painting gives him a “global” voice – and social media allows him to respond directly. And it begins right here in Columbus. There’s no place he’d rather make his art.

270+ Artists • 5 Stages At the riverfront #cbusartsfest

Pinson will attend Clark Atlanta University upon graduating from Pickerington Central High School.

Although Pinson has the confidence and maturity of a well-established adult, she is, of course, still a teenager. She, like many of her peers, loves to attend basketball games and hang out with her friends, but she’s committed to making sacrifices for volunteering. As for volunteering advice for her peers, Pinson acknowledges that sometimes it’s not easy. She also stresses that it’s important to get involved with volunteer opportunities you have a passion for and suggests talking with a school counselor to find the best fit for you. “Be focused and know that what you’re doing with volunteering is worth it in the end,” Pinson says. “Don’t think service is something boring – because once you’re invested and having fun, you want to keep doing it.” Mallory Arnold is an assistant editor. Feedback welcome at


Enrolling now for Fall 2019! Primrose School of Pickerington 131 Clint Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147 614.575.9930 | 27

Around Pickerington Want your snapshots to appear in print? Send your high-resolution photos to along with your name and a caption!

Rockin’ to Beat Leukemia Lauryn “Lu” Oliphant Memorial Fund March 2 Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center Photos courtesy of JPG Media


The Official Magazine of Pickerington and Violet Township



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Submitted by Colleen Bauman, Community Relations Coordinator, Pickerington Public Library


et your course this summer for A Universe of Stories! Held at all Pickerington Public Library locations, sign up begins Tuesday, May 28. Final day to turn in reading records is Saturday, Aug. 10.

Summer Reading Kickoff Saturday, June 1 2019 at 1 p.m. Visit Pickerington Main to blast off on your summer reading mission with The Shazzbots, an intergalactic rock’n’roll band and champions of music, art, science and everything creative! Led by Captain Captain, this five-member band from outer space will get you dancing in your moon boots. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to Pickerington Main and enjoy this all-ages show; no registration required. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee Grades 4-7 For fans of Rick Riordan, space adventures and mythology. Min, a 13-year-old girl with fox magic, stows away on a battle cruiser and impersonates a cadet in order to solve the mystery of what happened to her older brother in the Thousand World Space Forces. National Geographic Little Kids First Board Book of Space by Ruth Musgrave For everyone! You’re never too young to start learning.

CatStronauts series by Drew Brockington Grades 2-5 For fans of cats, puns and sending cats to outer space. Take a ride with fearless commander Major Meowser, brave but hungry pilot Waffles, genius technician and inventor Blanket, and quick-thinking science officer Pom Pom on their most important mission yet! Pickerington Public Library Visit us in person and online: Monday - Thursday 9 a.m.-8:00 p.m. | Friday & Saturday 9 a.m.-6:00 p.m. | Sunday 1-5:00 p.m. 30

Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker Picture book biography. Grades K-3. The bold story of an AfricanAmerican mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race and was depicted in the film Hidden Figures, and how she made sure the crew of Apollo 13 returned home. Solar System: Our Place in Space and Wild Weather: Storms, Meteorology, and Climate Grades 3-5 For graphic novel fans who like learning about science. Get ready to explore the depths of the ocean, the farthest reaches of space and everything in between! These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you’re a fourth-grader doing a natural science unit at school or a 30-year-old with a secret passion for airplanes, Science Comics is for you!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer A young adult fantasy series from the universe of Marissa Meyer, in which old fairy tales take on a futuristic twist and humans, cyborgs and androids coexist.

Pickerington Public Library Main 201 Opportunity Way Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday/Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday 1-5 p.m. Sycamore Plaza Library 7861 Refugee Rd. Monday-Thursday noon-7 p.m. Saturday/Sunday noon-6 p.m. Sunday closed


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Mount Carmel has relocated our longstanding and expert trauma program to Mount Carmel East, bringing trauma care to Columbus’ east side communities for the very first time. That means immediate access to the equipment, specialized resources, and a highly trained, multi-disciplinary team of surgeons, physicians, nurses and staff that can handle any severe injury. We’re the first and only health system with a significant trauma presence on Columbus’ east side. And we did it for the same reason we do everything at Mount Carmel. Because of you.

A Member of Trinity Health

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Pickerington April/May 2019  

Pickerington April/May 2019