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SPRING 2019 Spring 2019 1



Vision: Our educational community will be a model in identifying individual student needs and providing comprehensive support.

LETTER FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT Dear Community, May is a busy time of the year for North Royalton City Schools as we have an abundance of end of year activities, while at the same time, work to prepare for the start of the 2019-20 school year. In a few weeks, our seniors will walk across the stage at the KeyBank State Theatre and commence from North Royalton High School. We have been fortunate to serve these students throughout their educational career, and hope that we have made as much of an impact on their lives as they have made a positive impact on our District and community. We wish them much success and know that they will make us proud as they move onto their next steps at college, the military or in their careers.

Work is progressing on our two construction sites! At North Royalton High School, we had a wonderful groundbreaking ceremony on April 6. Currently, site work is being done in preparation for the new 100,000 square foot addition. At our State Road property, at the southwest corner of State Road and Valley Parkway, work has begun to construct the new North Royalton Elementary School. The first phase of this was to have the specific trees cut down that will become the footprint of the building. Our goal is to keep as many of the existing trees on the site as possible while still allowing us to construct the building and the driveways. As we move into the summer months, we will finalize the bids and guaranteed maximum price with Hammond Construction and the site work and construction will begin in later July! Look for details on the groundbreaking ceremony for the elementary school at the start of the 2019-20 school year. You can follow the progress of our construction

projects on Twitter and Facebook by using #NRBuildingGreat. In this edition of the Bear Way digital magazine, you will find numerous stories on so many accomplishments and accolades of our students, staff and community members. Please continue to follow all of these accomplishments by using #NRInspireGreat on Facebook and Twitter. I hope that you take a moment to read this newsletter and stay informed about what is happening in our schools and with the Board of Education. I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please call me at 440-582-9030 or email me at Sincerely, Greg Gurka, Superintendent North Royalton City Schools

What exactly is the “Bear Way?” It’s not just a saying, or title of a magazine, but a way of life here in our District. It is a sense of pride students have in their schoolwork and how they manage their extracurricular activities while keeping an eye on succeeding academically. It is a sense of pride teachers have when they continually go the extra mile to make sure every student receives a personalized eduation and succeeds.


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SCHOOL BUILDINGS ALBION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Grades K-4) Vince Ketterer, Principal 9360 Albion Rd. North Royalton, Ohio 44133 Phone 440-582-9060


ROYAL VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Grades Preschool-4) Kirk Pavelich, Principal 13220 Ridge Rd. North Royalton, Ohio 44133 Phone 440-582-9080

VALLEY VISTA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Grades K-4) Jeff Hill, Principal 4049 Wallings Rd. North Royalton, Ohio 44133 Phone 440-582-9101

Mrs. Jackie Arendt jackie.arendt@ 440-230-1567

Dr. Susan G. Clark susan.clark@ 440-390-8794

Mrs. Heidi Dolezal heidi.dolezal@ 440-237-8258

Dr. John H. Kelly john.kelly@ 440-552-0864

Mrs. Anne Reinkober anne.reinkober@ 440-582-3281

NORTH ROYALTON MIDDLE SCHOOL (Grades 5-8) Jeff Cicerchi, Principal 14709 Ridge Rd. North Royalton, Ohio 44133 Phone 440-582-9120

NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL (Grades 9-12) Sean Osborne, Principal 14713 Ridge Rd. North Royalton, Ohio 44133 Phone 440-582-7801


ADMINISTRATION 6579 Royalton Rd. North Royalton, Ohio 44133 Phone 440-237-8800 Superintendent | Greg Gurka | 440-582-9030 Treasurer | Biagio Sidoti | 440-582-9045 Assistant Superintendent | Jim Presot | 440-582-9034 Director of Personnel | Pat Farrell | 440-582-9036 Director of Curriculum & Instruction | Melissa Vojta | 440-582-9038 Director of Pupil Services | Julie Bogden | 440-582-9140 (Health/Nursing Services, Home Schooling, Residency/Custody, Special Education Programs & Services, Gifted Services)

Couldn’t attend the State of the Schools presentation on February 26? That’s ok...we taped it for you. Academics, arts, athletics, activities, finances, strategic plan, construction project...Superintendent Greg Gurka reports on all of these areas and more. Click here to view.

Director of Instructional Technology and Preschool Director | Mike McGinnis | 440-582-9109 Communication | Charlene Paparizos | 440-582-9031 Food Services | Mary Ellen Feigi | 440-582-9041 Maintenance | Dave Albert | 440-582-9043 Transportation | Greg Hovan | 440-582-9151 Before and After School Care (at Valley Vista Elementary) | 440-582-9108

Inspiring and Empowering Learners . . . #NRinspiregreat

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On Saturday, April 6, North Royalton City Schools held a groundbreaking celebration to kick off the construction work that will be taking place at North Royalton High School. Residents, staff, administration and city and community officials came together for a ceremony that included comments and reflections by various individuals. The North Royalton High School Wind Ensemble played the National Anthem and the Alma Mater was sung by North Royalton High School Royal Harmony. The ceremonial breaking of ground took place outside of the current community room. Light refreshments were served in the gym and guests were able to view artist renderings and talk with the architects and construction managers.

We are here today, ready to embark on a remarkable construction project, because people stood steadfast like a rock. With the shovels of dirt that we will cast in a few moments, together we are changing the course of time for our students and our entire community. With those shovels, we are all saying that good enough is not good enough and we want the best for our children today and in the future. As Bob Dylan said, “The times, they are a-changin…” The times they are a-changing and here in the North Royalton City Schools they are changing for the better. - Greg Gurka, Superintendent North Royalton City Schools

So today, as we celebrate the start of a truly transformational period for our District and community, let’s remember how hard we worked as a community to get us to where we are today. We studied, we asked questions, we sought out advice from others, and we built community support one conversation at a time for a plan that was right for us. For those who want quick results, look elsewhere. That is not how we will be doing our project. We will double check everything. The adage to “measure twice cut once” has never been truer than when building a school. - Dr. John Kelly, President, North Royalton Board of Education


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LY BREAKS GROUND ON NORTH ROYALTON Today marks an end of one phase and the beginning of another. We had more than 100 residents, staff and students as part of our educational visioning process to create the design of the new construction and renovation of North Royalton High School. That really kicked off the beginning of that process, and now, today, we enter into the exciting part of the construction phase. - Chris Smith, Partner ThenDesign Architecture

Now the baton is passed to Hammond Construction, as your builder, to convert the plan into reality. We’re committed and ready to go. While this groundbreaking is a significant milestone in the process, we look forward to future milestones as portions of the building are completed and turned over to the staff and students. That’s when the real excitement begins…when North Royalton students can begin to enjoy a high performance learning environment for many future decades. - Bill Schurman, Owner Hammond Construction

Today’s groundbreaking ceremony represents a community that realizes investing in education is important, not only for our students, but also for the future of our city. The day-today working relationship between the school district and the cities of North Royalton and Broadview Heights is something we should all be proud of. There’s an old saying that strong schools equal a strong community. When asking people why they moved to North Royalton, the first answer we usually hear is ‘because of our great school system.’ With today’s groundbreaking and the addition of a brand new state-ofthe-art elementary school in the near future, there will be no doubt why North Royalton will remain one of the premier communities in Northeast Ohio to live and raise your family. - Robert Stefanik, Mayor City of North Royalton

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BEAR WAY Today is about the future and what the new facility will offer to so many students, staff and community members in the years to come. The new building and renovated parts of the existing building will offer our students and staff the ability to teach and learn in collaborative and flexible spaces, using modern technology to prepare our students for the future. Along the way, they will develop friendships and fond memories of their own. - Jim Presot, Assistant Superintendent North Royalton City Schools

Building a


Foundation In Education & Facilities


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This building, along with the other schools in our District, are home to rich memories and years of nostalgia. I am living some of the best moments of my life, experiencing them when I walk through the doors each morning. Although I will not be here for the completion of the building renovation, I’m excited to know that progress is being made to benefit the future of our learners. New memories are destined to form in the innovative model constructed over the next few years. - Rebecca Pavelich, Junior North Royalton High School

Two years ago, our community took a monumental step passing the bond issue that will continue to make North Royalton High a place where a whole new generation of parents will proudly send their kids to learn about math, play sports, learn to love art, make music, learn to weld, program computers, become scientists, write poetry, experience history, but most importantly, learn about who they, themselves are. I would like to personally thank the community for making this commitment to our kids. - Sean Osborne, Principal North Royalton High School

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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS RECOGNIZES STUDENTS AT BOARD MEETINGS At the February 11 North Royalton Board of Education meeting, Board members and administrators recognized various students and staff for their commitment to excellence, whether it be through academics, arts, athletics, community service or for exhibiting core values.

Valley Vista Elementary

Fourth-grade students in Sarah Burrows class sang the National Anthem at the beginning of the meeting. These students also sang the National Anthem at the Lake Erie Monsters game on Sunday, February 24.

Albion Elementary/Royal View Elementary/ Valley Vista Elementary

design of the new building’s playground, the schools brought in the experts...their students. Student council representatives from the three buildings were selected to participate in a playground planning and design meeting. As representatives for the rest of the student body at their respective schools, this was the perfect group to help plan a playground for future generations of students. Since these student architects and designers are currently in third or fourth grade, they won’t have the opportunity to enjoy the new playground or building as elementary students. However, since they are wonderful leaders and representatives at their respective buildings, the principals had no doubt that they would do their best to serve as advocates for not only their younger brothers and sisters, but also for their fellow classmates who will one day be in leadership roles at the new building.

Royal View Elementary representatives include: Third Grade: Fourth Grade: Colin Costanzo Kate Mathis Brianna Jacin Elena Turner Sophia Bennington Miles Hamilton Trishaa Kiran Alexis Habak Anastasia Chyzhevska Valley Vista Elementary representatives include: Third Grade: Fourth Grade: Giada Green Abigail Hildreth Vidhi Vakil Samantha Amick Sachi Shah Sapphire Philstead Juliette Reinhardt Bryce Lapka

For the past year and a half, staff members at Albion, Royal View, and Valley Vista Elementary have been providing input on the design of the new elementary building. When it came time to have a discussion with ThenDesign Architecture (TDA) architects about the


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Albion Elementary representatives include: Third Grade: Fourth Grade Chloe Pal Madison Jackson Jackson Shaffer Lily Kate Mason Zack Leanza Achint Shrivastava Kristina Chernezhenko Stefanie Tsybulya

MARCH North Royalton Middle School

At the March 11 North Royalton Board of Education meeting, Board members and administrators recognized various students and staff for their commitment to excellence, whether it be through academics, arts, athletics, community service or for exhibiting core values.

Elementary Schools

North Royalton Middle School (NRMS) has many clubs and activities that support the health and wellness of its students. The Winter Sports Club is one example of a cocurricular activity that does this and helps to make NRMS a great place for middle level learners. Mr. Don Filips and Mrs. Cathy Dostal, along with many teachers coordinate this weekly winter event for 165 students. Kierstin West (eighth grade), Savannah Jacubenta (seventh grade), Taylor Jacubenta (ninth grade), Gabriella Lascu (seventh grade), and Michael Lascu (fifth grade) represented the club at the February Board of Education Meeting and shared all the fun they are having along with the impact that it is having on them as students.

North Royalton High School

The North Royalton High School Bowling Team was recognized as they competed in their first year as an official varsity sport. On Sunday, February 17, the team competed in their first-ever OHSAA Sectional tournament. “Many thanks to the students, parents and coach Ed Boduszek on their volunteer efforts during the past few years as they built the team from a club sport to its current status as an official varsity sport,” said Principal Sean Osborne, North Royalton High School.

The North Royalton Board of Education recognized the Bears Den class meetings that are taking place in our elementary schools throughout the year. Starting with the 2015-16 school year, North Royalton City Schools implemented a bully prevention program known as OLWEUS. With more than 35 years of research and successful implementation all over the world, the Olweus Bully Prevention Program is a whole-school program that has been proven to prevent or reduce bullying in schools. North Royalton City Schools’ program originated at the elementary level, continued to be implemented in the upper grades, and now is a part of the District’s culture at all levels. Class meetings are among the most important components of the program. In North Royalton, these meetings are known throughout the District as Bears Den. The purpose of these meetings is to build a sense of class cohesion and community, teach the rules and consequences of bullying, and to help students understand their role in bullying situations and how they can help students who are being bullied. Over time, class meetings also address additional themes and topics such as conflict resolution, friendship and communication. (continued on page 14)

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Students at the three elementary buildings meet every other week for Bears Den, with all staff members at our buildings involved in some capacity in the lessons. Royal View Elementary’s principal Kirk Pavelich works with a group of students alongside Lee Ann Morris, first-grade teacher, and April Robins, school psychologist. “Our students love being part of Bears Den lessons and have requested multiple times that they think we should have these meetings every week,” said Pavelich.

Second-grade teacher Amy Brenner said, “Jaiden is a great role model for the second grade and always leads by example. She serves as a conflict manager for second grade and is always encouraging kids to do the right thing. In conversations at our bi-weekly Bears Den meetings Jaiden has great ideas for helping her peers to make good decisions and guiding them to make good choices.”

North Royalton Middle School

At the Board meeting, four Royal View Elementary students shared their thoughts about Bears Den. The students were fourth-graders Alexis Habak and Christopher Farren and third-graders Brianna Jacin and Addison O’Shaughnessy. Jaiden Hurley-Belardo, a second-grader at Valley Vista Elementary, was recognized by the North Royalton Board of Education for an idea she had to create buddy chairs for indoor recess during the winter months. She came to Principal Jeff Hill with the idea and the school is now putting her idea into action. The school has had an outdoor Buddy Bench for several years. The bench has been instrumental and used often by the students during outdoor recess. The bench eliminates loneliness and fosters friendship on the playground and recess area. Jaiden is one of the students who keeps a watchful eye on the outside Buddy Bench and invites any individual who may need a friend or someone to play with during recess over to sit on the bench with her. She felt that with so many indoor recesses due to the cold weather, the school should have indoor Buddy Chairs, too. “Jaiden continues to demonstrate very creative and higher-level thinking,” said Hill. “She took an idea that would have a positive influence and impact on students within the building and brought it to life. She was more than willing to take her initial idea and present it to me, her teacher and her fellow classmates. Students were positive and enthusiastic in their responses when asked their thoughts of Jaiden’s idea. Classes have started working to implement the indoor Buddy Bench into the classrooms right now.”


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North Royalton Middle School (NRMS) seventh-grade student Soham Shah placed second in the Ohio School Energy Challenge. Students were tasked with creating a video or taking pictures to showcase how everyday tasks are accomplished with petroleum-based products. Soham’s hard work earned NRMS $250 in prize money. Soham asked that the money be used for the NRMS Science Olympiad Team and by the seventhgrade science teachers. “It was something that I really did not expect to do so well in, but it was great to do something extra and place so high,” said Shah.

APRIL At the April 8 North Royalton Board of Education meeting, Board members and administrators recognized various students and staff from all five buildings for their commitment to excellence, whether it be through academics, arts, athletics, community service or for exhibiting core values.

Royal View Elementary For the past several years, Royal View Elementary, along with our friends at Albion and Valley Vista, have participated in the American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart and now Kids Heart Challenge program. The Kids Heart Challenge is a fun and exciting event where students can learn about their heart while helping others and raising money for the American Heart Association. The Kids Heart Challenge prepares students for success through their physical and emotional well-being. “By holding this event at our school each year, we are able to raise awareness about heart-healthy living,” said Principal Kirk Pavelich. “In addition, the money raised can fund more life-saving scientific research and critically needed education efforts. Through the Kids Heart Challenge program, our students learn jump rope skills, how their heart works, and how they can raise money to help kids with special hearts. Most of all, the program enables them to have fun, learn how to stay healthy and make a difference in the lives of others.” Royal View Elementary students and staff this year raised a grand total of $6,600. Students had the opportunity to raise donations using an online tool that allowed them to set up a customized web page with a photo or video that could be emailed to friends and families asking for support. Donations were then made directly to each student’s web page, allowing everyone at the school to become a Heart Hero that could help save lives.

The top seller, who was recognized by the Board of Education, is fourth-grader Vanessa Smith. Smith alone was able to raise more than $700 as part of this year’s campaign. “For her efforts, we invited her here this evening to not only receive special recognition as Royal View’s top fundraiser in this year’s Kids Heart Challenge, but also as someone who is a true Heart Hero,” said Pavelich.

Valley Vista Elementary

The Board of Education recognized members of the Valley Vista Elementary Student Council. They include first-graders Addisyn Piorkowski, Kevin Reinhardt and Penelope Thomas; second-graders Samantha Presser, Owen Schilling and Zoey Sparks; third-graders Natalie Frydryk and Blake McDonnell; and fourth-graders Aubree Porto and Ben Swab These students have done some great service projects throughout the 2018-19 school year. Student Council works to get the communities of Broadview Heights and North Royalton included into their service projects. These initiatives include Red Ribbon Week, Unity Day, Thanksgiving Food Drive, Halloween Candy, Giving Tree (hats, gloves, mittens, coats, socks and boots this year) just to name a few. A good number of items were donated to the North Royalton Food Bank, veterans, senior centers and St. Malachi’s Church in Cleveland. One of our Student Council’s annual service projects includes honoring first responders. Over the years, (continued on page 16)

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they have given great recognition to these wonderful individuals through cards, banners and a delicious breakfast to help start their day in the morning. This year Amy Brenner and Amy King, who facilitate the Student Council meetings, discussed how they could sweeten the pot and better recognize the well-deserved first responders. The outcome was to have first responders come in for lunch and eat with the students.

organized service projects, served as ambassadors for special events, and were positive role models for other students. These boys and girls are leaders, and we look forward to the wonderful things they will continue to accomplish.”

North Royalton Middle School

“This turned out to be a special event for both the first responders and our students,” said Principal Jeff Hill. “Our first responders thoroughly enjoyed themselves to the point I was not sure who had more fun, the kids or the adults. Our first responders ate with the students, played games with the students and went out in the recess area to burn off their lunches.” Second-grader Zoey Sparks said, “We were able to take the firefighters and police officers through our lunch line just like we do each day. They didn’t know what to do and argued over who would go first. We had to show them how to order their lunch from our cafeteria. We sat in the lunchroom with the firemen and police officers; they ate their lunch with us, and told us all about what they usually eat at the firehouse on their shifts.” Fourth-grader Ben Swab said, “It was fun to be able to hand out cards that we made for our first responders as they left after lunch. The entire student council made banners that were hung in the lunchroom to welcome our visitors. We also made them cards and colored pictures for them to take home. Many of the first responders told us they would hang them up on the refrigerator in the firehouse.” Chief Robert Chegan said about the day, “The Safety Forces Appreciation Lunch gave us another opportunity to interact with the kids as we do throughout the year when we provide our fire safety information. We are public-related and service-oriented people so this falls right in line with what we do. We were very appreciative for the invite to this event by the kids and had a great time. Just by our interactions with them showed they look up to us. It is our job to be great public servants and we are so thankful that they took the time to put this on for us. We had a great time with the kids, especially the basketball outside. I will have to say I put blame on the wind for most of my bad shots.” Brenner and King said, “Our group of students this year had so much fun with this event! They worked to promote school spirit, strived for good citizenship,


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WNRMS is an integral part of North Royalton Middle School (NRMS). Not only does it allow for students to communicate all the events and happenings at NRMS to the student body and staff, but it provides an avenue for students to create, edit and broadcast using today’s technology. Students Jack Humble, Harikrishnan Kasi, Emma Ondrish and Julia Radziszewski were recognized by advisor Don Filips and the Board of Education for their work with WNRMS. It is evident to all that the hard work of these students provides a meaningful service to the middle school community in a fun and positive way.

North Royalton High School

The Board of Education recognized junior Jaya Harris for being not only an outstanding active student-athlete, but also a legislative ambassador for the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (CVCC). Harris plays basketball and runs track and field. She is also a student in the fire and EMS program at the Career Center. As a CVCC legislative ambassador, Harris traveled to Columbus to meet with legislative aides to discuss the importance of career technical schools. Harris and the other student ambassadors also had a chance to have lunch with the new governor.

Winter Athletes Recognized The Board of Education recognized North Royalton High School’s winter athletes that qualified for States. They include: Gymnastics Team: 3rd Place in the OHSAA Championship Avery Keller: 3rd Uneven Bars, 8th Floor, 16th Vault, 12th All Around Mya Costello: 13th Uneven Bars, 4th Floor, 5th Vault, 4th All Around Wrestling: OHSAA State Championship #152: Paul Twarog: 8th Place #220: Lazar Gasic: State Qualifier

Swimming: OHSAA State Championship Sarah Turchanik: 100 Butterfly 9th Place 100 Backstroke 5th Place Andrew Vance: 200 & 500 Freestyle: Qualifier, Bobby Bottomley: 100 Butterfly: Qualifier

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At the May 13 North Royalton Board of Education meeting, Board members and administrators recognized various students and staff from all five buildings for their commitment to excellence, whether it be through academics, arts, athletics, community service or for exhibiting core values.

Elementary Schools

Albion Elementary first-grader Thomas Ensor, Royal View Elementary firstgrader Anderson Kubec and Valley Vista Elementary third-grader Ariana Kendren were recognized for being selected for their respective schools’ “Principals of the Day.” These future leaders won this experience at the annual PTA fundraiser held at the Jump Yard. On May 9, the students shadowed their principals, Vince Ketterer, Kirk Pavelich and Jeff Hill. The day included supervising bus arrival and dismissal, doing the morning announcements, observing classrooms, meeting with the lunch staff and custodians to get a better understanding of their responsibilities, overseeing a tornado drill and attending an elementary PTA meeting. The students also enjoyed participating in a working lunch with Superintendent Greg Gurka where they reviewed the designs of the new elementary school and talked about their favorite things from the past school year and what ideas they have for next year.

North Royalton Middle School

North Royalton Middle School recognized eighthgrade student Casey Charles as the John Shepherd Scholarship recipient. Each year, eighth-grade students take the traditional trip to Washington D.C. to learn about and experience the Nation’s Capital. As part of this trip, students are encouraged to research and write an essay about John Shepherd, the oldest surviving soldier from the Revolutionary War and North Royalton resident. In order to be considered for this scholarship, students are required to write an essay with the goal of commemorating John Shepherd’s legacy. Shepherd


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was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and fought in the Revolutionary War under the command of General George Washington. He passed away at the age of 117 in North Royalton and is now buried in the North Royalton Cemetery. All entries are judged and the winning student has their trip paid for by the John Shepherd Scholarship Fund, which is organized by John Shepherd’s fourth great-grandson, Charles Phebus. This scholarship is made possible by the generous contributions of community members as well as people from all over the country who are involved in military service. Donations can be made payable to the “John Shepherd Scholarship” and mailed to the attention of Erin Calabrese, Assistant Principal, North Royalton Middle School, 14709 Ridge Road, North Royalton, Ohio 44133. Additionally, fifthgrade English/ language arts teacher Alison Novosel recognized several Power of the Pen students for their performances a various competitions. The four state finalists competing at the College of Wooster on May 23-24 include eighth-grader Casey Charles and seventhgraders Allison Krzywicki, Shivam Pandya and Rasleen Rai. The seventh-grade team won the first place team title at Black River Middle School (out of 19 competing teams) in January. The team included Leah Groves, Allison Krzywicki, Gabriella Lascu, Shivam Pandya, Rasleen Rai and Amulya Tiralapuram.

North Royalton High School

Sophomore Nick DiSisto was recognized by the Board of Education for winning the 2018 Congressional App Challenge for the 16th District of Ohio. He won with an app he created called iFixedIt and was recently recognized in Washington, D.C. DiSisto also likes to build drones, is a member of the NRHS Computer Club, plays trumpet and baritone in the band, and is taking AP Computer Science Principles.

PTA Reflections Winners Recognized by North Royalton Board of Education Middle School: Visual Arts – Allison Krzywicki, seventh grade Literature – Amulya Tiralapuram, seventh grade – Amulya earned second place at state Photography – Allison Krzywicki, seventh grade Music Composition – Alyssa DeAngelis, sixth grade – Alyssa earned an honorable mention at state

The theme for the 2019-20 PTA Reflections program was “Look Within.” Students across the country submitted their completed works of art in the available arts categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts. Student winners from the local level have the opportunity to move up through their district, region, council and state PTA programs to the national level. Congratulations to the following North Royalton City Schools’ students for their awards. High School: Literature – Rebecca Pavelich, 11th grade– Rebecca earned third place at state

At the Intermediate level, which is grades three through five: Visual Arts – Naisha Chopra, fifth grade – Naisha earned a third place at state Literature – Alexandros Velkos, fourth grade Albion Photography – David Visocky, fourth grade Royal View Dance Choreography – Ella Haley, third grade Albion – Ella earned a third place at state Film Production – Nyah Rain Palmer, fifth grade – Nyah earned a third place at state At the Primary level, which is grades kindergarten thru second grade: Visual Arts – Nathan Olman, first grade Valley Vista Literature – Claire Crucitt, first grade Valley Vista Photography – Thomas Ensor, first grade Albion

DISTRICT RECOGNIZES RETIREES Lisa Arvay, Math Teacher - High School Don Bazzo, Physical Education - High School Josephine Trusso, Cleaner - Middle School Linda Kraus, Cafeteria - High School Karen Whitely, Physical Education - Middle School Nunziatina Trusso, Cleaner - High School Beth Iafigliola, Music - Albion Elementary Joseph Hagen, Bus Driver - Transportation Dave Albert, Maintenance Supervisor - District

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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS BOARD MEMBERS EARN OHIO SCHOOL BOA Every year, the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) presents achievement awards to board members throughout Ohio who have shown dedication to selfimprovement, service to their association and work for their own board. The North Royalton City Schools is proud to announce that four of their board members will be recognized. Board President Dr. John Kelly and Vice President Anne Reinkober have both earned the honor of the OSBA’s Award of Achievement. This award is presented to only 68 board members out of the 3,400 in the state of Ohio. It recognizes a school board member’s commitment to training and leadership activities on their Boards of Education and region in addition to statewide OSBA activities. Dr. Kelly started on the school board in 2012 and has lived in the city of North Royalton for 38 years. He has practiced dentistry for 44 years and was an associate clinical professor at his alma mater, Case Western Reserve University. His involvement in the North Royalton City Schools includes Band Booster, Baseball Booster and guest lecturer. He has earned the PTA State Achievement Award and Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the North Royalton Friend of Education Award in 2009. He is a four-time Board president and two-time vice president and has earned the OSBA Master Board Member status. Reinkober has been a Board member since 2008. She has served on each of the Board committees and is a past Board president. She is a two-time recipient of the OSBA Award of Achievement. Her involvement in the North Royalton City Schools include President of PTA


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Council for each level of school in the District. She and her husband are 30-year residents of the city and she has served on the District’s Financial Advisory and Audit Committee for more than 10 years. Board Member Jacquelyn Arendt was the recipient of the OSBA’s Master Board Member award. This award is given to only eight Ohio School Board Members. Awardees have demonstrated a passion for improving their boardmanship skills and knowledge. To be considered, the awardee must have first earned the OSBA’s Achievement Award and have completed many professional development workshops and activities. This includes leadership on school boards or in educational service center governing boards and active involvement in student leadership and other OSBA activities. This award is given to a Board member only once and is a lifelong recognition. Arendt is an alumna of North Royalton High School and has been elected to the School Board in 2013 and 2017. She acts as the North Royalton representative for the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center Board and teaches sociology and research writing courses at Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University. She has served as president, chairperson and trustee for the North Royalton Association for Gifted and Talented as well as the North Royalton Educational Foundation. She has previously earned the OSBA Achievement Award in 2016 and received the Ohio PTA State Achievement

ARDS ASSOCIATION AWARDS Award in 2003. In 2006, she was awarded the Cleveland State University Sociology Department Distinguished Student Award. Heidi Dolezal was recognized for 20 years of service. Heidi Dolezal has served 20 years on the North Royalton Board of Education, along with 13 years on the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center School Board. This is her fifth term of service in North Royalton. Over the years, Dolezal has served on many committees and as officers at all levels of the North Royalton PTAs. She was an active member of the North Royalton High School Band Boosters when her children were in school. As a Board member, Dolezal has served on the Financial Advisory & Audit Committee, Curriculum Instruction Advisory Committee, North Royalton Educational Foundation, Building & Grounds, and Board representative

to the North Royalton Recreation Board. Heidi also served as a softball coach for girls and boys in the North Royalton Baseball Booster programs for 13 years. Heidi and her husband, Warren, are graduates of North Royalton Schools, as are their three children. Currently, she has four grandchildren living in the North Royalton school district. Heidi is employed by the Schmidt Family Dental Practices of North Royalton for more than 34 years. These Board members were recognized at the OSBA Spring Conference held in Warren on March 25 and also the May 13 North Royalton Board of Education meeting. The OSBA is in its 64th year and aims to lead the way to educational excellence by serving Ohio’s public school board members and the varied districts they represent. The OSBA understand that Board members exemplify superior service, steadfast advocacy and creative solutions.

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NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE GIVING BACK TO SCHOOLS WITH DONATION OF STETHOSCOPES Nick Colosi, a 2004 graduate of North Royalton High School, is giving back to his schools in a significant way. This school year, he donated approximately 120 stethoscopes to North Royalton Middle and North Royalton High School. Colosi is the co-founder of Smart Tools Plus. He developed various Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) tools while he was a student in chiropractic school. About half way through school, he developed golfer’s elbow. He was treated with all different types of manual therapy with no success. Then, an intern at the school’s student clinic decided to treat him with IASTM and his condition resolved within a week. Motivated by this, he sought out education and IASTM tools. At the time, one would have to pay close to $3,000 for the education and tool combination. Frustrated by this, he set out to design and produce his own. His father and uncle (co-founders of Smart Tools as well) both had been in the steel manufacturing and fabrication business for a combined 60 years. Colosi sought them out to manufacture and produce his IASTM tool designs. After two years of development and testing, the result was the highest quality, most ergonomic, and affordable IASTM tools on the market. IASTM uses a manual therapy approach to


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musculoskeletal injuries. These tools were developed to assist in effective treatment of adhesions and scarring brought on by surgeries, injuries and overuse of muscles. The tools assist medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists and acupuncturists to effectively treat patients with less fatigue to the practitioner. In 2018, Colosi invented another tool, Smart Cuffs, for blood flow restriction training. It allows individuals to train at lower levels while achieving the same results of training at higher levels. “We are so grateful for this donation,” said honors biology and anatomy and physiology teacher Beth Quirino, North Royalton High School. “Our honors anatomy and physiology classes will be using the stethoscopes to study both the cardiovascular and the respiratory systems. The students will be listening to each other’s heart and lungs. We also may use these stethoscopes to practice taking blood pressure. The biology students will be using them to listen to each other’s heart as well. Since every student in our school takes biology, these will be used a lot!” “Science is moving at an extremely fast pace,” said Colosi. “In order to keep up, students have to be ahead of the curve, thus being exposed to basic medical diagnostic equipment at a younger age. If it only sparks one student’s love for science and medicine, than it’s a win 1000x over.”

Honors anatomy and physiology students in Beth Quirino’s class at North Royalton High School are enjoying hands-on learning with these stethoscopes. Students were able to listen to their lungs to help bring their lessons in the respiratory system to life. In the spring, the stethoscopes will be used with the biology classes to listen to their hearts as they study the cardiovascular system.

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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS ENCOURAGING MORE STUDENTS TO BEGIN THEIR DAY WITH BREAKFAST To encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available for school breakfast, North Royalton City Schools celebrated National School Breakfast Week during March 4-8, 2019. Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for many families to find time for a healthy breakfast. However, US Department of Agriculture data show that more and more students are starting their day with a nutritious breakfast in their school cafeterias. The USDA School Breakfast Program currently serves 14 million students every day. Studies show that students who eat school breakfast are more likely to: • Reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math • Score higher on standardized tests • Have better concentration and memory • Be more alert • Maintain a healthy weight The National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) campaign theme, “Start Your Engines,” reminds the entire school community that school breakfast provides a healthy and energizing start to the day for students. Students were encouraged to show their enthusiasm for “Start Your Engines” from March 4-8 by participating in the breakfast program. Every time a child bought a breakfast in any of the schools during the week, their name was entered into the drawing for a prize: Beats headphones at the elementary schools and iTunes gift card baskets at the middle and high schools.


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Winners included: Albion Elementary: Madisan Winer Royal View Elementary: Isabella Luberger Valley Vista Elementary: Gurvardan Sekhon North Royalton Middle School: Ava Hamilton and Jaydan Griffin North Royalton High School: The Heritage Hall winner is Anjali Shaji and the kitchen winner is Alaina Kercher. They won baskets with snacks and an ITunes gift card. “A healthy breakfast at the start of the day is one way to ensure students are getting the best education they can,” said Food Service Director Mary Ellen Feigi. “National School Breakfast Week helps us educate parents and students about all the healthy, great tasting, and appealing choices we offer.” The District serves over 200 breakfast meals daily through the federally funded School Breakfast Program. School nutrition professionals in North Royalton prepare breakfast and lunches every day that meet federal nutrition standards – limiting fat, calories and sodium – while encouraging students to choose from the fruits, vegetables and whole grains offered with school meals.” This year North Royalton High School started a GrabN-Go Program with a breakfast cart at the entrance in Heritage Hallway before school. This allows the students to grab something to eat as soon as they get off the bus. The “Start Your Engines” campaign is made possible by the School Nutrition Association and Kellogg’s®. For more information about North Royalton City Schools’ meals, visit or download the app MySchoolMenus available free in the App Store or on Google Play.

A healthy breakfast at the start of the day is one way to ensure students are getting the best education they can. National School Breakfast Week helps us educate parents and students about all the healthy, great tasting, and appealing choices we offer. - Mary Ellen Feigi, Food Services Director North Royalton City Schools

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ALBION ELEMENTARY CELEBRATES NATIONALITIES WITH ANNUAL HERITAGE DAY Albion Elementary School has just over 50 students with English as a second language. Four years ago, Principal Vince Ketterer started National Heritage Day to celebrate the school’s diverse culture. The day was celebrated this year on March 15, and students were encouraged to wear their native dress or something that represents their heritage. Students also could wear red, white and blue to celebrate being American. The Chardon Polka Band entertained and educated the students on the history of diverse music and instruments that followed the immigration to America. The students participate with motion, singing and some dancing. In the media center, the students heard stories from all seven continents.


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ROYAL VIEW ELEMENTARY CELEBRATES RIGHT TO READ WEEK Right to Read Week at Royal View Elementary was celebrated the week of February 25 and included two different author assemblies, one geared specifically toward preschool through second-grade students ) (Lindsay Ward) and another designed for our third and fourth graders (Tricia Springstubb). A third author, Sarah Beebe, had lunch with 16 third- and fourth-grade students who were selected through a contest in which they wrote a one-page story on why they believed they should be selected for the author’s luncheon. On February 28, the school hosted its fifth annual Family Literacy Night. “The school was filled with students and families listening to local celebrity readers,” said Principal Kirk Pavelich, Royal View Elementary School. In addition, the PTA planned an evening Book Fair and Cleveland Indians’ mascot, Slider, entertained all the guests. The week culminated on March 1 with another play written by fourth-grade teacher Marta Malutza, as the Royal View Elementary acting troupe performed “Mimi and the Intergalactic Reading Test.”

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Valley Vista Elementary showcased students’ artistic talents at their art show on February 21. The theme for the show followed the reading theme in the classroom, which was “Out of this World.” Each grade level was responsible for creating a project that dealt with space. Kindergartners learned hand coloring and intricate cutting skills when making astronauts. First graders used neon paint and paper for their neon Alien UFOs. The second graders used Modge Podge, tissue paper, gems and metallic markers when creating warm colored suns and cool colored moons. Third-grade students painted a space scene, drew a space shuttle and worked with metallic paint for their painting of a space shuttle in outer space. Finally, the fourth-grade students were able to paint with watercolors using salt, foil stars and metallic pencils for their final product of salt painted constellations.

There was also a 12-foot mural to color on black paper filled with outer space designs drawn by art teacher Rebecca Gill. “The students had the opportunity during the art show to color it using construction paper crayons that showed up on the black paper,” said Gill. “The finished mural was out of this world!”


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The North Royalton Middle School (NRMS) Olympiad team placed second at the Science Olympiad Ohio Northern Regional Competition, earning them an invitation to the state competition.

The Science Olympiad is celebrating its 35th year as a nationwide science competition. It provides 450 tournaments and professional development workshops that showcase the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math. Their student competitions reach thousands of teams in all 50 states. At the 6-12 grade level, the Olympiad is compared to an academic track meet that has 23 team events in which students compete. Each school-based team may bring 15 students who train on a regular basis for events in their skill set. The events rotate to account for the growing fields of genetics, chemistry, physics, geology, and other STEM subjects. This was NRMS’s second year having an Olympiad team and co-coach Lori Krzywicki said, “It was a true team effort, with students working hard studying, parents getting their students to study groups, and coaches working with the students at every turn.” Students started studying in October, competing in two invitationals in January and February. After the last invitational, the students met twice as a full team before the regional competition on March 2 and all students studied hard in preparation. Krzywicki recalls the day of the event, saying the team was cautiously optimistic at a chance for states. They had previously faced some of the teams in the invitational competitions, but other schools were a new experience. Fifth through eighth graders competed in physics, chemistry and biology topics. “It’s amazing what they are able to comprehend and apply,” said cocoach Barb Davis.

In addition to their overall second place win, one student competed in five events and placed in the top five in each one, and the team had two first place finishes. Krzywicki said, “As the results were read and event after event, we finished in the top five, it began to sink in, the enormity of what the kids had accomplished.” Davis added that, “One of the best parts is seeing the kids congratulate each other on their successes. They understand how hard others have worked and are truly excited that their friends are having success. I am also proud of the students for supporting kids and teams from other schools, too.” The NRMS Science Olympiad Team competed in the state competition in April in Columbus, Ohio. Students on the team include: Fifth Grade: Anshul Bethi, Jamil Patel, Shrividya Regadamilli, Angela Armbruster, Aryav Patel Sixth Grade: Lily Postma, Gurucharan Ganapathi, Rishit Kapoor, Arin Mehta, Shreya Ganapathi, Joe Joseph Seventh Grade: Allison Krzywicki, Soham Shah, Shivam Pandya, Neerja Shah, Aangee Vakil, Leah Groves, Arnav Bhanwala, Parija Patel, Shaun Sekura, Siddhi Aswani, Kripa Kumaran Eighth Grade: Anna Scaria, Varuni Chopra, Sandheep Ranganathan, Akshita Kannan, Brandon Sekura, Prathisha Krishna, Max Gruhn, Harikrishnan Kasi

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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS STUDENTS RISE TO THE CHALLENGE OF CO On March 19, the North Royalton City Schools’ Research and Independent Study Extravaganza (RISE) was held at North Royalton Middle School. Enriched English Language Arts students in grades three through eight conducted formal research on a topic and then combined their findings into the form of an Independent Study Project that was showcased to the public during the event. Students in grades three through five were allowed to select a topic of their choice. Sixth-grade students chose a topic related to an historical event. Seventh-grade topics centered around an ecological issue. Eighth graders selected a social issue to research. The evening was the culmination of their research, which began in January. Throughout the evening, community members, Board members, teachers, along with District and City leaders, volunteered as consultants and provided feedback to the students. North Royalton High School seniors who participated in this event when they were younger also served as consultants. Some of the consultants included Superintendent Greg Gurka and Board of Education members Heidi Dolezal and Anne Reinkober. Mayor Sam Alai, City of Broadview Heights, also was a consultant. After the consulting, the public was able to view the third, fourth, and fifthgrade displays. Students in grades six through eight exhibited their research and findings to the public and consultants through formal presentations. The students communicated their results in a number of ways including three-dimensional displays, multimedia presentations with a pop-culture connection, a designed website to exhibit research and connections to other disciplines, and Prezi online presentations to exhibit the research and extensions to community agencies, legal cases, interviews and an opinion editorial. Independent Study allows students to explore high interest topics with depth and complexity. This process causes the students to shoulder more of the responsibility for their learning as they organize ideas


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and theories, develop real world, problem-solving strategies, and cultivate time management and organizational skills. “It is impressive to see the depth of knowledge our students exhibit when formally presenting their findings,” said Coordinator of Gifted Services Beth Burdick, North Royalton City Schools. “The students’ passion for their chosen topic and their poise when presenting is remarkable!”


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NORTH ROYALTON MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS RECOGNIZED AT OHIO MIDDLE LEVEL ASSOCIATION BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS On March 13, 2019, the Ohio Middle Level Association (OMLA) hosted a Northeast Ohio Regional Breakfast of Champions to honor local student-leaders. Students were nominated by educators for showing outstanding character, scholarship, leadership and service within their respective buildings. Sydney Frydryk and Cooper Sluzewski, eighth-grade students at North Royalton Middle School (NRMS), were among those students recognized. More than 20 schools from across the region gathered together to celebrate the success of approximately 40 student leaders. Students were joined by parents, grandparents, teachers and administrators. The breakfast was keynoted by Flo Brett from the Effective Leadership Academy, who gave students helpful tips on how to lead in school and life. Sydney Frydryk is a leader among the best and brightest that NRMS has to offer. Each month at a student leadership meeting with the principal, she regularly commands the room to make certain that the thoughts, opinions and feelings of her fellow classmates are shared with him in a professional and meaningful manner. She has no problem approaching the staff at NRMS to make suggestions or seek guidance as she works to make NRMS a positive environment for middle level students. “There is no doubt that Sydney’s ability to communicate and collaborative effectively, and to build positive relationships with students and adults alike, will serve her well as she continues to grow and mature,” said Principal Jeff Cicerchi. “Simply put, Sydney is a great leader!” Throughout Cooper Sluzewski’s middle school career, he has exemplified the idea that hard work pays off. Cooper has demonstrated an abundance of growth in his past four years at NRMS. Cooper is a champion. He has put in a lot of time and effort toward identifying and independently utilizing strategies to help meet


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his social-emotional needs. Cooper has made strides that allowed him to cultivate into a classroom leader and role model for other students. Cooper exhibits so many qualities that make others around him feel safe and cared for. “Cooper is kind, compassionate, helpful and genuine to everyone he encounters,” said Cicerchi. “People who come in contact with Cooper are lucky and fortunate to interact with such an amazing young man.

NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT PLACES IN “POETRY OUT LOUD” COMPETITION North Royalton High School (NRHS) student Zoe Douglas represented her school in the “Poetry Out Loud” competition, earning second place in the Cleveland regionals and placing in the top six at the state level.

Once at the state and national level, one of the three poems must be 25 lines or fewer, while another must be from before the 20th century. NRHS English teacher Walter DeMattie and AP Literature teacher Betsy Engle judged the school-wide competition. Each student who participated recited one poem per round and the judges marked their scores on the rubric. The poet with the highest cumulative score would move on to the next level of competition. Douglas said the competition was not only based on memorization, but on having the correct inflection and having a performance aspect to the piece.

The “Poetry Out Loud” competition encourages students to learn about poetry through memorizing and reciting poems. The goal is to help students become quality public speakers, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history. Since its beginning in 2005, the program has reached over 3.6 million students from 14,000 schools in every state.

The regional competition was held at the Cleveland Public Library in downtown Cleveland. The structure of the competition was the same as the classroom competition, only on a larger scale. Two representatives from this competition were sent to the states and Douglas was one of the students who advanced.

The program is broken up into a pyramid-style structure with the first competition being in each individual classroom. From there, the winners compete in a schoolwide competition. The winners from each school move to a regional or state match to determine who moves on to the finals in Washington, D.C. Awards and placements are determined solely by the scores from the judges. They use rubrics with specific criteria including physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, accuracy, and overall performance. Zoe started her “Poetry Out Loud” journey in December 2018 when she chose three poems with which to compete. They were “Quite Frankly” by Mark Halliday, “Rabbits and Fire” by Alberto Rios, and “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold. The only eligible poems are those from the “Poetry Out Loud” online or print anthology.

After the regionals came the state competition held in Columbus, Ohio at the King Arts Complex. Before the poetry portion began, students were asked interview questions to be used for promotional videos. This competition was altered as far as structure. Each competitor still recited their first two poems in rounds, but only the top six recited a third poem for the chance to compete nationally in D.C. Douglas ended her journey in this competition after placing in the top six in the state of Ohio. “This experience was incredible, and I would love to take part in this competition my senior year as well,” said Douglas. She hopes to bring more attention to the organization and get more people involved next year. “I would recommend this competition to anyone who enjoys the art of poetry or performing in front of an audience,” said Douglas.

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NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT PERFORMS AT OMEA ALLSTATE CONFERENCE North Royalton High School (NRHS) senior, Markie Michalke, was chosen to perform with the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) All-State Ensemble at their annual conference held in Cleveland. The OMEA was created to promote music education throughout all levels of schooling. Their annual conference and expo offers informational sessions, exhibits, and the highlight for student musicians: allensemble performances. These ensembles include bands, choirs, jazz bands and orchestras. Over 1,000 high school students across the State of Ohio submit applications and record auditions the spring before the conference in hopes of being chosen to perform with the ensembles. Michalke was chosen to be the representative for NRHS with his talents as a trumpet player. He plays in the NRHS Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Contemporary Youth Orchestra (who also performed at the conference this year). He has earned superior ratings at the OMEA Solo and Ensemble competitions and has been asked to perform with many other honors ensembles including the 2018 OMEA Regional Orchestra. He has studied the trumpet with Eniko Balazas at Royalton Music until recently switching to James Fry from the Bluecoats Alumni Organization. The band he performed with at the conference was under the direction of Professor Emerita Paula Crider, The University of Texas. The group performed in front of hundreds of people on February 1 in the Grand Ballroom at the Cleveland Convention Center. Michalke’s chance to play with this prestigious group will be a stepping stone in his future plans to continue a career in music with a focus in obtaining a Business/Arts Management degree.


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NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS COMPETE IN ROTARY CLUB’S FOUR-WAY TEST SPEECH CONTEST The purpose of the Rotary FourWay Test Speech Contest is to apply the principles of Rotary International’s Four-Way Test to a current ethical issue. Students are challenged to identify a topic they feel strongly about and to adopt a point of view from which they will seek to persuade others. It should be something from the speaker’s personal experience or general knowledge. There are no restrictions regarding the choice of topic as long as it is not blatantly offensive. The speech must be five to seven minutes in length. Each part of the Four-Way Test should be addressed during the speech: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?” Students who are interested in the contest start at the school level. North Royalton High School held the first round of speeches. Three students were chosen to advance on the club level of the competition.

These three students were Pankti Mehta (freshman), Megan Nawal (junior) and Kayla O’Callahan (senior). At the club level of the competition, these three students gave their speech to the members of the North Royalton - Broadview Heights Rotary Club. On March 13, they brought in several guest judges from surrounding Rotary Clubs to judge the competition. Each student delivered their speech on a different topic. Kayla O’Callahan went first and gave her speech on gun control. Megan Nawal went second and gave her speech on bullying. Pankti Mehta went last and gave her speech on women in technology. The students then received the news of how they placed. Third place went to Megan Nawal (winning $50), second place went to Kayla O’Callahan (winning $75), and first place went to Pankti Mehta (winning $100). Pankti Mehta advanced on to the district level competition representing the North Royalton-Broadview Rotary Club. The district competition was held on April 6 at Aurora High School.

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North Roya School bro students enjo to FOX8 Morning 36

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yalton High oadcasting oyed their visit 8 in the g in April. Spring 2019 37



NORTH ROYALTON PTA PRESENTS LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS AT FOUNDERS’ NIGHT On April 11, the North Royalton PTA celebrates its founding through its annual Founders’ Night celebration in the North Royalton High School media center. The evening began with a performance by North Royalton Middle School Show Choir under the direction of Melissa Kildo. Helena Johnson welcomed everyone and Superintendent Greg Gurka recited the invocation. In addition to the recognition of awards and past presidents, the PTA installed their new officers. Council President Chris May gave the closing remarks and talked about the power of the PTA. Helena Johnson and Kelly Tarnowski were the 2019 Founders’ Night co-chairs. Recipients of the Ohio PTA Achievement Award recipients include: Albion Elementary: Michelle Bauer Valley Vista Elementary: Misty Saviano North Royalton Middle School: Principal Jeff Cicerchi North Royalton Middle School: Rebekah Thompson North Royalton High School: Joel Young North Royalton High School: Becky Humes

Photo Credit: Facet Photography


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Albion Elementary: Michelle Bauer

North Royalton Middle School: Principal Jeff Cicerchi

North Royalton High School: Joel Young

Valley Vista Elementary: Misty Saviano

North Royalton Middle School: Rebekah Thompson

North Royalton High School: Becky Humes

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NORTH ROYALTON EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES GRANT RECIPIENTS The North Royalton Educational Foundation (NREF) presented several grants to teachers and staff at its annual reception on April 23 at Carrie Cerino’s. The following teachers received grants that covered all grade levels and types of learners, a wide range of curriculum subjects that focus on student-centered learning through the 4C’s - communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. The total dollar amount granted to staff this year was more than $4,300. The NREF raises money throughout the year through a number of fundraisers, including the popular Taste of North Royalton held in the fall. Deanna Mikin – All elementary buildings– Connecting Content Experts to the Classroom. Reaching a Global Community of Professionals for grades K-4 Samantha Lumpkin – All elementary buildings – Exploring the Genre Wheel

Valley Vista Fourth Grade (Patty Redman, Tiffany Timar, Pauline Simonek) – Valley Vista Elementary – Electricity Exploration Sarah Alhajomar – Royal View Elementary – Morning Learning Tubs Briana Raleigh – Royal View Elementary - Increased Language and Literacy Skills in Little Learners Sarah Franko / Jessica Connelly / Lesley Smith – North Royalton Middle School / Albion Elementary - Escape boring test review.....embrace the 4 C’s Cheryl Tenhunfeld / Jill Evangelista – North Royalton Middle School - Reading the Classics with Today’s Twist Janele Kauffman - North Royalton Middle School - Write On!

Sarah Burrows – Valley Vista Elementary - Students with Green Screens

Tiffany Timar speaks on behalf of Valley Vista Elementary fourth-grade teachers (Patty Redman, Tiffany Timar, Pauline Simonek) on their grant: Electricity Exploration


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Teachers Lesley Smith, Jessica Connelly and Sarah Franko from North Royalton Middle School and Albion Elementary discuss their grant...escape boring test review: Embrace the 4 C’s.


North Royalton City Schools recognized the Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Person of the Year at the North Royalton Educational Foundation’s reception on April 23. The Teacher of the Year is Kelly Tesar, who is an English teacher at North Royalton High School. She has worked in the District since 1988. “Kelly is truly an advocate for children,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. “In and out of the classroom, Kelly develops relationships with her students and strives to make sure they succeed not only in school, but in life. When we talk about every child deserves a champion, Kelly is that champion for kids.” In Tesar’s time at North Royalton City Schools, she not only teaches students in the classroom, she has served as the District’s activities director for many years, working with the students and staff to provide that something extra that makes school a great place to be. She also coached track, volleyball and was a student class advisor, student council advisor and National Honor Society advisor. “If there was something to be done that involved making high school a better experience for children, Kelly was part of it,” said Gurka.

Tesar graduated from Ohio University where she majored in Communications and English as well as being a student athlete on the volleyball team. The Support Staff Person of the Year is Dawn Filippi, who is an aide at North Royalton High School. She has worked in the District since 2011. “Dawn has made a lasting impression on our staff, students, parents and the entire District,” said Gurka. “She demonstrates outstanding qualities in her work ethic, dependability, attitude and knowledge, but most importantly in her relationships with people and her dedication to North Royalton City Schools. When I see her interact with students, staff and parents, I see the love that she has in her heart by the caring attitude that she exhibits constantly. Her approach to her daily duties very much exemplifies not only the importance of doing your own job, but also pitching in and helping out a colleague if they are in need.” In addition to her role with the District, Filippi has been involved in all aspects of the school system even longer than she has been an employee. As a mom, she was heavily involved in the building PTA’s and PTA Council. She helped plan and organized PTA Founder’s Night and she was chairperson for the after-prom food and beverage committee.

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CONGRATULATIONS SECOND SEMESTER CRYSTAL STARFISH RE On May 15, North Royalton City Schools announced the recipients of the second semester Crystal Starfish Award presented by First Federal of Lakewood. At Albion Elementary School, first-grade teacher Paula Ross was presented the Crystal Starfish Teacher Award. Besides the award, she also received a $250 Professional Development Grant from First Federal of Lakewood, a $50 gift certificate to Cleat’s restaurant and flowers from Independence Flowers and Gifts. Ross was nominated by numerous colleagues. Her nominations state: Paula is a driving force for both the students and staff at Albion Elementary School. As a teacher, she strives to make each lesson a masterpiece for her students. She does not rely on previous lesson plans; instead she researches best practices while giving each lesson rigor with an extra dose of fun and creativity. Paula works tirelessly to go the extra mile everyday to ensure our students are engaged in meaningful content that will not only spark their curiosity, but ignite a love of learning that only comes with carefully thought out lessons. She teaches to the student, not to the test. With this strategy we have students thriving and gaining so much in first grade! Paula is one veteran teacher in a team of five. She is patient, available and always willing to offer help with a smile. She is an outstanding leader and we couldn’t be having such a successful year without her! Tom Magpoc, a custodian at North Royalton Middle School was the recipient of the Crystal Starfish Support Staff Award. Along with the award, First Federal of Lakewood presented him with a $50 gift certificate to Cleat’s restaurant and flowers from Independence Flowers and Gifts. Numerous colleagues nominated Magpoc.


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His nominations state: He is always helping students and parents and is always compassionate about his job. He arrives early for work daily and goes the extra mile and always has a smile on his face. He is reliable, trustworthy and punctual. If he sees something that needs to be done and it’s not in his area, he will do it without asking to help out the other person. Whenever he helps you out with a project, he is always ready with the supplies needed to get the job done. “Both Paula and Tom provide inspiration that allows people to move from good to great,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. “We are fortunate to have wonderful staff members that put the needs of kids first and Paula and Tom are fine examples of our wonderful staff.” The First Federal of Lakewood Crystal Starfish awards are presented to support staff members and teachers who make a difference in their schools and go above and beyond in all that they do. “Every day, teachers and staff of North Royalton City Schools are making a difference,” said Branch Operations Manager Endia Small, First Federal of Lakewood. “Our bank is honored to partner with the District, enabling these special individuals to be recognized publicly for their contributions.”


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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS RECOGNIZES 2018-19 FRIEND OF EDUCATION North Royalton City Schools has recognized Tom Sargent as the 2018-19 Friend of Education. This annual award goes to a person or persons who significantly contribute to North Royalton City Schools, help inspire and empower students, and dedicate themselves to making North Royalton and Broadview Heights great places. Sargent is a parent and a North Royalton Fire Department firefighter and paramedic who has served North Royalton City Schools for more than 20 years. Sargent was recognized at the May 13 North Royalton Board of Education meeting. Sargent started chaperoning extended field trips for the school when his own children were in middle school. After he had fun accompanying his kids and their fellow classmates on their trip to Washington, D.C., he decided to continue chaperoning by going on their high school band field trip to California. There, the band marched in the Rose Bowl Parade. Though his children have since graduated, Sargent hasn’t missed a step as he chaperoned seventh-grade field trips to both Toronto and Chicago in past years and continues to go on the annual eighth-grade field trip to Washington, D.C. “Tom has done this out of the goodness of his heart for well over two decades. He truly does whatever is asked while working with our students on these field trips. He will open up his wallet to a student who maybe lost his, but more importantly, is always willing to open his heart to any child in need,” said Principal Jeff Cicerchi, North Royalton Middle School. In addition to his chaperoning duties, he provides professional development to staff about first aide, CPR, and AED. His time spent away from the firehouse and his family at home is due to Sargent using personal days to attend the field trips.


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“Tom also was instrumental in organizing and performing the tours at the Regional Fire Safety House that was located in Parma,” said Chief Robert Chegan, North Royalton Fire Department. “Tom would solicit for donations from some of the area service clubs to help pay for the cost of bus transports to and from the Fire Safety House. As the money in this fund was running scarce, Tom, along with a couple other instructors, would donate their overtime hours to help build that fund back up so the students were still able to attend the tours.” “There is no doubt that he has helped to make these field trip experiences a highlight of our students’ time in our schools. He truly wants what is best for the children in our school community,” said Cicerchi.


District news as well as department and building level news:

Monthly E-Newsletter

Emailed on the Thursday after the regular Board of Education meeting. A community update from superintendent. Monthly financial update from treasurer. Highlights of permanent improvement projects. Updates from Board of Education meeting presentations. Other important District news. Links to important information. How to subscribe:

Bear Way

District’s digital magazine published three times a year (fall, winter, spring) features students, staff, and District news. How to subscribe:

Your Royalton Schools – Printed Newsletter

Mailed to every resident in North Royalton and Broadview Heights (in the NRCSD) four times a year. Features message from superintendent, financial update, District news, focus on a department.

Quality Profile

Published once a year. Characterizes the overall educational value of North Royalton City Schools in academics, arts/music, student leadership/ activities, fiscal stewardship, parent and community involvement, and pupil services. How can I receive?

Bear Time with the Superintendent

Videos where Superintendent Greg Gurka visits our buildings and departments and interviews students and staff about various activities, lessons, programs, and events happening around the District. Where can I view them?

Regular Use of Email Messages through The District and each of the buildings use ConstantContact to send emails regularly to those parents and residents who sign up to receive these communications. How can I receive?

Social Media



Archived communications can be found at:

NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS 6579 Royalton Road, North Royalton, Ohio 44133 | Phone (440) 237-8800 (866) 404-5306 | Fax (440) 582-7336 | Spring 2019 45




North Royalton Bear Way

Profile for CMP

Bear Way - Spring 2019 - North Royalton City Schools  

The "Bear Way" is the digital magazine of North Royalton City Schools

Bear Way - Spring 2019 - North Royalton City Schools  

The "Bear Way" is the digital magazine of North Royalton City Schools