Page 1








WINTER 2018 Winter 2018 1



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

SPRING IS IN THE AIR AT NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS By Greg Gurka, Superintendent North Royalton City Schools

City Schools:

Spring is right around the corner and we are headed into the last quarter of the school year. Here are some of the latest updates and news from North Royalton

Reminder of SaferOh Hotline as Safety Resource As we have the victims and the families of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida on our minds, we want you to know that safety and security are always at the forefront of our minds. Each of our buildings has a safety and security plan that is submitted to the Ohio Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. We also regularly review our plans and practice the drills (fire, tornado, lockdown) and refine our practices as needed. We want to remind our communities that we have partnered with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Public Safety in a safety resource called SaferOh. Calls or texts to 844-SaferOH (844-723-3764) are answered by analysts in the Ohio Homeland Security’s Threat Assessment and Prevention Unit.

Please program that number into your cell phone. And remember, if you see something, say something. Please know that our top priority is keeping our students and staff safe in all of our buildings and campus. District Awarded $100,000 Grant North Royalton City Schools has been selected for funding under EPA’s National Clean Diesel Rebate Program - 2017 School Bus Replacement and Retrofit Funding Opportunity. Based on the District’s application to remove five school buses from its fleet, we have been awarded $100,000 to go towards their replacements. The District was in the process of purchasing four regular buses for the year and because of this grant, we can now purchase an additional bus. Next Community Meeting on Facilities Planned for March 26 I’d like to invite our residents to a community meeting on Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m., in the North Royalton High School Performing Arts Center. We will provide an update on our facilities process and you’ll even have a chance to see the exterior designs start to take shape. Strategic Plan Process Begins this Spring Our District will begin updating its Strategic Plan. On June 8, 2015, the North Royalton Board

of Education adopted a three-year Strategic Plan for the District. Areas of community engagement, student achievement, communications, facilities, financial, and collaboration all set the course for the successes the District has seen since the adoption of the first strategic plan in 2000. North Royalton City Schools will engage the community and staff once again to refresh the Strategic Plan, focusing on those same areas and also professional development, technology, facilities, and financial communication. Meetings of these subcommittees will begin this spring. State of the Schools Address Scheduled for April 18 On April 18, I will be giving my annual State of the Schools Address at the North Royalton Chamber of Commerce luncheon at noon at Carrie Cerino’s. If you are unable to attend, we will have a video of the presentation on our District website. We wish all of our school families and residents a happy spring. Thank you for all of your support for our students and programs. I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please call me at 440-582-9030 or email me at

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.


North Royalton Bear Way

North Royalton Middle School Show Choir performed at the February 15 Senior Citizen Advisory Committee Meeting. 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 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

Inspiring and Empowering Learners . . . North Royalton City Schools #NRinspiregreat



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)

Director of Instructional Technology and Preschool Coordinator | Mike McGinnis | 440-582-9055 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

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

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

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

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

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

Winter 2018 3





Building a

Strong Foundation In Education & Facilities

On January 3, more than 100 people attended a community meeting to hear and discuss the progress of our facilities project, as well as provide input into the design of the exterior of the buildings. ThenDesign Architecture (TDA) presented the input received from various educational visioning sessions held this fall with a cross-section of community members. They shared preliminary sketches of the interior layouts of the elementary and high school buildings, as well as a tentative construction timeline. Residents viewed more than 10 schematic designs and pictures of what the exteriors of both buildings can look like and shared thoughts on their preferences. These comments will now be taken into consideration as we move forward with the schematic design phase. We continue to meet with grade levels and departments to talk about spaces and specific needs. TDA continually refines and redesigns based on these conversations. The elementary and high schools, due to the new construction that will be done, have specific timelines of design that must be completed so construction can begin late in the fall of 2018 and into 2019. The middle school, as it has no major new construction, will begin the programming and schematic phases later this spring. There are other areas that are currently being addressed at the middle school such as HVAC and roofing, but the discussion of the educational renovations will be later in the spring.


North Royalton Bear Way


RECEIVES AUDITOR OF STATE AWARD WITH DISTINCTION FOR CLEAN AUDIT REPORT North Royalton City Schools received the Auditor of State Award with Distinction for a “clean” audit report at the February 12 North Royalton Board of Education Meeting. Michelle Stys, Cleveland Regional Liaison, Ohio Auditor of State, presented the award to Treasurer Biagio Sidoti, North Royalton City Schools. “This is the highest award that our office gives to a government entity,” said Stys. “Less than 5% of government entities receive this award which proves a strong practice of fiscal accountability and excellence in financial reporting.” In a statement from State of Ohio Auditor Dave Yost, he states, “While a school district’s primary concern is its students, it must also remain accountable to taxpayers. Accurate record keeping is clearly a priority for this district, and I am proud to present them with this award.” The Auditor of State Award with Distinction is given to those entities that file a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and timely financial reports in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, as well as receive a “clean” audit report. The “clean” audit report means that the district’s financial audit did not

contain findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, single audit findings or any questioned costs. “The North Royalton Board of Education has a longstanding history of outstanding financial reporting,” said President Dr. Susan Clark, North Royalton City Schools Board of Education. “We applaud our entire financial department for receiving this recognition as it confirms that we are responsibly managing taxpayers’ money.”

Winter 2018 5



NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS RECOGNIZES STUDENTS AT BOARD MEETINGS On November 6, the North Royalton City Schools recognized several students at its Regular Board Meeting.

Albion Elementary Bradley Compton, a third grader at Albion Elementary, was recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on November 6 because he is one Albion’s most courageous students and a true ambassador of the “Bear Way.” He exemplifies the Albion core value of courage. Bradley looks like your typical third-grade boy. For the most part, he is no different than his friends and buddies at Albion. He likes sports, hates homework, and his favorite part of the day is recess. But Bradley is anything but typical. He is extraordinary. Bradley has been diagnosed with Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), a rare genetic disorder that results in vision loss. Those who have LCA eventually go blind. In addition to his normal third-grade curriculum, Bradley is spending extra time every week learning to read and type Braille. He spends time walking through the halls practicing with his cane and uses the closed-circuit television (CCTV) to supersize the words in his books and on his papers. He does all this every day with a positive, “go get ‘em” attitude. Mark Twain said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” If ever Bradley is afraid, you would not know it. He is the master. He stops to answer the questions of kindergarteners when they ask why he is using a cane. He has embraced his differences and shares his knowledge and expertise. Bradley recently spoke in front of two third-grade


North Royalton Bear Way

classrooms explaining to his peers his disability. He gave an amazing tutorial on how to use the Braille machine, showed off his CCTV, and even answered questions. That takes courage! “Bradley, your courage and attitude towards life and the obstacles that life throws us are so very impressive,” said Principal Vince Ketterer, Albion Elementary. “You are an inspiration to all of us.”

Valley Vista Elementary Valley Vista Elementary saluted all the students who were involved in Red Ribbon Week, October 23-26. Their theme for the week was “Good Character, Good Choices – Drug and Bully Free.” The week was set aside to remind students to make good choices and live a healthy and safe drug-free lifestyle. Red ribbons were hung around the building. Red ribbons also were handed out to every student and prizes were given each day. Student Council planned a variety of activities from dressing as superheroes to wearing different colored shirts to represent various pledges students made to be drug and bully-free.

Royal View Elementary Andrew Pacak, a fourth grader at Royal View Elementary, was recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on November 6 because of his perseverance that has led to outstanding results. After several attempts to pass the AIR Reading Test last year, he went from a 38 to a 65. The required score is 44. Andrew worked throughout the summer months and at one time was only one point away from passing. “Because of his determination and hard work, he far

exceeded what was expected of him and we would like to take this time to congratulate Andrew for refusing to give up and setting himself up for an outstanding fourthgrade year,” said Principal Kirk Pavelich, Royal View Elementary.

North Royalton Middle School Nadiia Kozubiak, Martina Gadalah, and Hope Campbell, sixth graders at North Royalton Middle School, were recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on November 6. They took the initiative to support the Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest entitled “America’s Gift to My Generation.” These students have demonstrated a level of maturity and patriotism by working diligently to write essays on their own time showing their support of our service men and women, and our country. Sixth-Grade Teacher Kelly Atkins said the following about Hope and Nadiia . . . “Hope is such a conscientious student, and always goes above and beyond. She is a great writer, and I am delighted that she is entering this contest with her skills.” “Nadiia put her excellent writing skills to good use. She researched and put her ideas together into a great essay. I am glad she also took on this extra challenge.” Sixth-Grade Teacher Carolyn Perkins said the following about Martina . . . “I noticed how creative Martina was with her writing for a class assignment and encouraged her to take the opportunity for the contest if she were interested. I was pleased to hear that Martina, who is typically quiet and shy, was working during flex and her own time to go above and beyond for the contest. I enjoyed seeing her enthusiasm and excitement whenever we spoke about her progress.”

North Royalton High School Eric Zielinski, a senior at North Royalton High School, was recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on November 6 because of his entrepreneurial spirit in starting a business making and selling woodcrafts. Eric’s business is called EZ’s Woodshop and he sells his products on Amazon. For all of his creations, Eric starts with just a log. Eric makes jewelry boxes, candle centerpieces, oven pulls, Ohio cutouts and bottle openers, soap dishes, candle holders, clipboards, tables, and benches. Eric’s inspiration came from a woodworking class with Alec Byrum that he took when he was a sophomore. Girls’ Varsity Golf Team The Girls’ Varsity Golf Team was recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on November 6. They celebrated the first league championship in the more than 20-year history of the girls’ golf team. During the season, the girls set new school records in every team category including lowest 9-hole match average (177.4), lowest 18-hole tournament average (360.3), lowest 9-hole team score (166) on 9/20/17, lowest 18-hole team score (338) on 9/27/17. The score of 338 was accomplished in the Suburban League National Conference Postseason Tournament where the Lady Bears needed to win the tournament in order to secure first place for the season. In winning the tournament, four of the girls shot new personal lows. In addition, the team was a District Qualifier with all four seniors earning Academic All-Ohio Honors. Coach Nick Neumeister was present at the meeting along with team members: seniors: Megan Grospitch, Gabby (Gabrielle) Horvath, Kaytie (Kaytlin) Kieklak, Jennifer Lutz; juniors: Paige Rider, Sammy (Samantha) Horvath; Sophomore: Alexa Belardo. Continued on page 8

Winter 2018 7



On December 11, the North Royalton City Schools recognized several students at its Regular Board Meeting.

Albion Elementary Albion Elementary second graders Chloe Pal, Collin Moroney and Naomi Smelcer were recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on December 11 for putting their idea to help others into motion and creating the “Christmas Club.” Chloe, Collin, and Naomi are true ambassadors of the Bear Way exemplifying the Albion core value of mindfulness. “Albion students pledge to face each day with mindfulness,” said Principal Vince Ketterer, Albion Elementary. “Part of being a mindful student is being self-aware of one’s emotions, words, and actions and the realization that we each impact our world around us. This is exactly what our three friends did a few weeks ago. Motivated to help others during the holiday season, Chloe, Collin, and Naomi generated a plan at lunch and recess. They decided to call their group, “The Christmas Club” and requested that I meet with them to talk about the plan. They made a well thought out pitch to me. It was an offer that I could not refuse so their project was greenlit. The group decided that they would collect spare change this week and make a special donation to the Salvation Army to help the needy.” All week Chloe, Collin, and Naomi rang a bell at the front entrance of Albion and collected spare change in the bucket that they decorated. They created posters and on December 12 they each spoke in front of the entire student body and staff at Albion’s Monday morning Bear Huddle explaining their service project and asking for support. With very little help or direction from adults and teachers, this group was able to organize and plan out an idea, collaborate together, justify the importance and get approval, and advertise and market their vision to gain support. “Thank you all for being role models to the other students in our building showing them that everyone has within them the power to make a positive


North Royalton Bear Way

impact. You are an inspiration to me and certainly to those in need during the holiday season,” said Ketterer.

Valley Vista Elementary The Valley Vista Elementary Girls on the Run team was recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on December 11. The students include Arianna Bokman, Ema Ciric, Reagan Cox, Samantha Dehrmann, Violet Frantz, Kendall Holter, Enaya Khawaja, Sophia Kraus, Neha Kulkarni, Lily Mullins, Hope Piasecki, Olivia Podlogar, Camryn Sibits, Alexia Stetler, Claire Supelak, Vivian Tindira, and Marissa Vadovski. They have been extremely committed and have devoted many after school hours on Mondays and Thursdays to help get them ready for a 5K in which they participated at Mayfield High School on Sunday, November 12. Also recognized were staff members Arynn Leety, Dana Kesselem, Marguerite Greenlee, Betsy Boyer, Samantha Lumpkin and Amanda Velbeck for volunteering and devoting endless hours to making not only this fall’s program a success, but also keeping Valley Vista’s Girls on the Run program alive and running effectively over the past three years. Volunteer parents also were thanked. The Girls on the Run program not only builds upon good health and exercise, but also works to engage students in commitment, citizenship, team building, and most importantly, positive self-esteem within the school’s third and fourth graders. “We are so proud of this season’s team of girls,” said Dana Kesselem. “We had 17 wonderfully bright and strong young ladies sign up and they have done such an awesome job growing as a team and supporting each other! They completely ROCKED their 5K on November 12. Even more importantly, they just finished running their community outreach project to benefit Laura’s Home, which is a women’s and children’s crisis center in Cleveland. The girls organized and ran a successful toy donation drive for the children staying at Laura’s Home.”

“These girls and coaches continue to illustrate determination and commitment to reaching their final goals,” said Principal Jeff Hill, Valley Vista Elementary. “It brings great pleasure watching these girls accomplish their goal of finishing their 5K and celebrating as a unified team. Individual success is one small part for the girls in that this team always works as a whole to ensure each and every team member not only crosses that finish line but also feels a sense of positive accomplishment. This program will be something that the girls will always be able to look back on and know it made a difference in their lives both in and out of the classroom.”

Royal View Elementary A long-standing tradition at Royal View Elementary is the Holiday Shop, where the school gymnasium is filled with crafters and vendors, offering inexpensive gifts for all members of the family. The event offers everything from ornaments to pet accessories to handmade items to jewelry and much more. Thanks to the efforts of the PTA, the Holiday Shop is a safe, child-centered environment where children can learn how to budget and spend wisely, all while experiencing the joy of giving. Elise Werner, a former student at Royal View Elementary who now is a freshman at the high school, was recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on December 11 for developing this idea. This marks the fifth year that Elise has served as one of the vendors at the Holiday Shop. As an elementary student, the Holiday Shop was always her favorite event, and now as an experienced vendor, she realized that some students who may wish to participate in the joy of giving might not have to means to afford those gifts on their own.

Elise decided to contact all of the vendors at the holiday shop and pitch them on the idea of a Free Holiday Shop Punch Card, a program that would help bring students into this event who may not have been able to come otherwise due to their financial situation. Working with school counselor Beth Ann Kleem, Elise helped identify some of Royal View’s current students who may be in need of some help with holiday gifts. The punch cards were presented as random prizes where students could redeem for five free items from all of the participating vendors at the stop. Vendors who chose to participate, a red balloon was taped to their table, signifying the locations the lucky students could go on their shopping spree. “As I scanned the huge crowd at our Holiday Shop on Friday night, I found it heartwarming to see numerous red balloons in the gym,” said Principal Kirk Pavelich, Royal View Elementary. As Elise said so eloquently in her letter to all of the vendors, she loved seeing the students shop at their school with their friends in a way that erased the financial pressure. She said, “Honestly for me, this was the best part of the night. I can only imagine how helpful this also was to their parents.”

North Royalton Middle School Jude Carver, an eighth-grader at North Royalton Middle School, was recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education meeting on December 11 for his participation on the cross-country team the past two years. Coach Dan Foldesy said, “Jude works extremely hard during practice and it reflects on his times he runs at the meets. Each of the last two years he has won the Most Improved Runner for the boys on the middle school team. He has a great sense of humor and is competitive. He has been an outstanding teammate to all and he is a pleasure to coach.” School Counselor Jen Gaydos states, “In the past four years at NRMS, Jude Carver has grown immensely not only athletically, but also socially as an eighth grader. Jude is the type of student that other kids want to be around. They ask to be his partner, they request to work with him, they gather to play with him and go out of their way to say hi to him in the hall. One of J Continued on page 10

Winter 2018 9



Jude’s peers said, ‘Being around Jude makes me just feel good.’ Jude is the true definition of a friend.” Intervention Specialist Steff Cicerchi said, “Jude is a polite and vibrant young man. It has been such a joy to watch him grow and develop over the years. I feel privileged to work with Jude and have the opportunity to share in all his improvements and accomplishments. I am so proud of his successes.”

North Royalton High School North Royalton High School Intervention Specialist Kate West, and her students Ryan Rybak, Kristina Blatt, Michael Stefanski, and William Mitchner were recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education meeting on December 11. These students take orders and make weekly deliveries of breakfast goodies from the North Royalton High School Bistro. These students bring NoRo’s famous sausage and cheese bagel sandwiches, treats, coffee and wide grins to teachers each week as they make their deliveries. This service benefits not only the teachers receiving the breakfast, but also gives the students experience running a small business. Customer service and money handling skills are practiced and reinforced weekly. “Thank you, Mrs. West, for your work with the students, and thank you, students, for bringing a smile to us each week,” said Principal Sean Osborne, North Royalton High School.


On January 8, the North Royalton City Schools recognized several students at its Regular Board Meeting.

Royal View Elementary The Weatherbie family was recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on January 8. Ava (4th), Malia (6th), and Isabella (7th) all attended Royal View Elementary. “These three young ladies are leaders, both in the classroom and in their various fields of athletics,” said Principal Kirk Pavelich. “They work extremely hard at all times and have outstanding grades because of the dedication they take with their academics. They are constantly kind to their fellow classmates and consistently go out of their way to make others feel welcome. They have been outstanding ambassadors for the Royal Pride Way, the positive behavior program where we expect our students to be Respectful, Responsible, and Active Learners.” Pavelich also gave special recognition to the students’ grandparents. “I met Mr. and Mrs. Bell my first year in the building, primarily because they make it a point to come to as many events as they possibly can for their granddaughters. I knew right away how special this was because I found out early on that Mr. and Mrs. Bell live in Shelby, which I know very well as a neighboring community to Norwalk, where I used to commute over an hour to work each day when first starting off in the district,” said Pavelich. Mrs. Bell and her husband, Steve, have come to all of the Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day parties, in addition to class plays, grade level concerts, and any other event involving their granddaughters. “The best part is that Mrs. Bell has made it a point to create embroidered, personalized bags or other similar gifts for every child in her granddaughters’ classes over the years. On behalf of the entire staff at Royal View, thank you to the Weatherbie girls, Ava, Malia, and Isabella, grandparents Sandy and Steve Bell, and parents, Stacy and Todd Weatherbie.”


North Royalton Bear Way

North Royalton Middle School The middle-level school years of a student’s life mark a time when he or she is forming attitudes, values, and habits of mind that will largely direct his/her behavior as adults. Claire Casey is making the most of her opportunity at NRMS. She is a leader at our school and will continue to do so while at our high school and certainly into adulthood. Not only does Claire achieve at a very high academic level, but she is a member of the NRMS Honor Society, Student Council, and Eighth Grade Leadership Group. She runs cross country and plays basketball, all while participating in the eighthgrade band where she plays the baritone saxophone. Mr. Burdick says that she plays very confidently and musically, and is engaged in the rehearsal process so she is always getting better at what she does. Claire is a great student and an even better person who helps to make our school the best it can be each and every day.

North Royalton High School Teachers Kristin Hubbell and Brad Klingbeil, Athletic Director Bo Kuntz, and some of the student members of the North Royalton High School Leader Academy, sponsored by Chickfil-A were recognized by the North Royalton Board of Education at the regular meeting on January 8. This group is part of our Letterman’s Club and these student-athletes were selected for their roles as leaders within their sports and among the student body. The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Strongsville, and its owner Brian Wellman, are big supporters of this group.

The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy is a national high school leadership program that focuses on “impact through action.” High school students desire an outlet to learn and lead. Most programs that transfer information with speakers, seminars, or books offer short-term motivation, but long-term frustration, without an outlet for action. Chick-fil-A Leader Academy engages students in monthly leader labs with a focus on important leadership skills that they will use to create student-led community impact projects. The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy engages students where they are with what interests them. “Through a combination of inspiring storytelling and technology, we create compelling ways for students to re-imagine leadership and what is possible,” said Hubbell. “We expose students to new and unique ideas and insights. Positive stories of impact are all around us. We bring these stories to light through monthly leader labs that highlight inspirational and informational ways to make a difference. We equip students with tangible tools for their leadership journey. Ideas demand action and we know our students have the ability to change the world. Our approach helps put students’ ideas into practice to positively impact their local communities.” Students recognized include Zachary Antonio, Emma Glickberg, Gabrielle Horvath, Chazzlyn Jackson, Anna Krikke, Jacob Mantle, Ryan Newman, Claire Novak, Paige Rider, and Anna Weber.

Winter 2018 11



Albion Elementary

Fourth-graders Gianni Gangale, Victoria Koval, Taras Pokotskyy, Maxim Yasinskyy, Grace LiPuma, Anshul Bethi, Malayah Tucker, Leah Thompson, Alan Ung, Sameer Mirza, Jack Koll, Brianna Ciocca, Landyn Wolf, and Ben Hemeyer from Albion Elementary were recognized at the February 12 North Royalton Board of Education meeting. These students volunteer to help support and mentor kindergarteners at Albion Elementary. The Kinder Tech Team and Bear Mentors were created this year and are being recognized because they are true ambassadors of the Bear Way, exemplifying the Albion core value of mindfulness. “Part of being mindful is recognizing the needs of others and being aware of the impact our choices have on the world around us,” said Principal Vince Ketterer, Albion Elementary. “This group has answered the call and shows leadership through their actions at Albion.” Bear Mentors are assigned to a kindergarten classroom. They visit their kindergarten class before Bear Huddle and assemblies. They walk in and sit among the kindergarten students, helping maintain control and positive behavior. The Kinder Tech Team gives up one recess a week to help in the computer lab assisting and guiding the kindergarteners. To be a part of the Kinder Tech Team and Bear Mentors, students were asked to complete an application and write the reasons why they felt they were a good fit. “It was so impressive to see how much thought was put into each application,” said Ketterer. “Equally impressive is to watch this group in action. Their dedication to the leadership role and the positive impact they have had on our kindergarten and our school building is noticeable.”

Royal View Elementary Royal View Elementary has been fortunate to have many outstanding families pass through its building. This month’s presentation at the North Royalton Board


North Royalton Bear Way

of Education meeting highlighted the Kramer family, whose five children have been educated at Royal View. Their last child to go through the school is Julia, who is currently in fourth grade. She has four sisters–Katie, 6th grade; Claire, 7th grade; Abby, 9th grade; and Sara, 11th grade and one brother, Zack, (Class of 2010). The Kramer family has done a tremendous job supporting all of us here at Royal View. To quote our teachers, “The girls have an innate ability to recognize when a fellow student is struggling or needs some extra attention. They help effortlessly and never seek recognition for all they do in our classroom.” Royal View Principal Kirk Pavelich said this was no surprise, considering how involved and supportive Mr. and Mrs. Kramer are when it comes to events and activities at the school. He said Jen Kramer started years ago painting the front doors at the building, with everything from winter/holiday themes to elaborate Dr. Seuss creations to promote Family Literacy Night. In addition, she has planned and organized the school’s annual Fall Festival multiple years, all while still finding the time to work at the building on a daily basis as a lunch/recess aide since the start of the 2016-17 school year. Pavelich added that Mike Kramer is a master craftsman when it comes to props and scenery used at various Royal View events, ranging from a pirate ship for the Fourth Grade Musical to a 1960s themed photo booth in which students and staff had their pictures taken during the Royal View 50th Birthday Celebration. “It has truly been a joy watching them grow,” Pavelich said. “One of our staff members said she can’t wait to fast forward to graduation to see how they all turn out. I have no doubt every single member of this family will be successful in whatever they choose to do because of the type of people they are and because of the tremendous support from Mom and Dad.”

Valley Vista Elementary

North Royalton High School

Valley Vista Elementary fourth-graders Anna Tsirambidis, Jasmyn DruskyTinch, Paige Hunady, Mehar Kandola, and Avery Keitlen presented their Veterans Day essays at the February 12 North Royalton Board of Education meeting. The school participated in a celebration that saluted its local veterans on Veterans Day. This program has grown over the years and the committee continues to enhance the program. The school reaches out to families and friends of students, as well as local senior centers within the community. Valley Vista was proud to have more than 70 veterans attend this year’s program. As part of this year’s program, the school had fourth graders write essays on the meaning of Veterans Day.

Each year, more than 1.5 million students take the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors. From this pool of students, 16,000 are selected as semifinalists. The semifinalists must complete an application, take the SAT, and using this information, the pool is narrowed down to 15,000 (less than 1%) who are considered finalists and who are eligible to receive scholarships. Approximately half of the finalists will be selected for merit scholarships. “Typically a high school would count themselves blessed to have one student reach the finalist level, but tonight I would like to recognize three of our high school family members who have achieved this high accomplishment,” said Principal Sean Osborne, North Royalton High School. Emma Chu, Anaam Mostafiz, and Kyle Roberts have earned the designation of finalist in the competition for National Merit Scholarships. “These students are not only academically successful, but all three have been involved in athletics and student clubs. Each of them has a lofty GPA and has scored exceptionally well on the ACT.”

North Royalton Middle School North Royalton Middle School MVP student Gabby Green is inspiring greatness in her classmates. Deanna Mikin’s sixth-grade class was asked to do a passion project. This project prompted students to reflect and decide what they could do to inspire other people and change the world. Gabby decided that she wanted to use her painting talents to spread positivity. Gabby painted pictures that included positive quotes and vibes, which will be prominently displayed in the sixth grade area to inspire her classmates. “I am inspired by Gabby and her outlook on life. Gabby is a wonderful role model to her fellow peers,” said Mikin.

“I would like to thank their teachers,” said Osborne. “From elementary through middle school and high school, they have challenged and pushed these students and others to a high level of achievement. I also would like to thank your families for all their support, and the importance that they have placed on your education. Thank you for sharing your children with North Royalton High School.”

Winter 2018 13



NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS HONORS TWO DEDICATED STAFF MEMBERS WITH THE CRYSTAL STARFISH AWAD On Thursday, January 11, North Royalton City Schools announced the winners of the first semester Crystal Starfish Award presented by First Federal of Lakewood. At North Royalton High School, music teacher and band director David Vitale was presented the Crystal Starfish Teacher Award. Besides the award, he 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. Vitale was nominated by several students and community members Highlights of Vitale’s nomination state . . . He makes me work to my potential and beyond. He taught how hard it is to be a part of a team and also time management. He has helped me build character and selfdiscipline. He takes his occupation seriously and creates the impression that his job is not even a job. My entire perspective of music and the level of appreciation that I have for it has grown immensely due to the knowledge, care, and dedication he has shown.


a competition show and continuing throughout the year as he teaches us how to improve our skills and techniques as performers. He is one of the positive influences on why I want to continue a career with music. Karen Svoboda, a paraprofessional at Royal View Elementary, was the recipient of the Crystal Starfish Support Staff Award. Along with the award, First Federal of Lakewood presented her with a $50 gift certificate to Cleat’s restaurant and flowers from Independence Flowers and Gifts. Her colleagues wrote . . . She is a true professional. Her role in our coteaching classroom is instrumental for our students’ success. She makes an amazing difference for all students and works tirelessly to ensure the students in our room with special needs are making progress. From writing out the morning message to helping students take notes in social studies, she never stops creating opportunities for all students to show all that they know and can do. She is a true champion for students.

He uses music to not only teach us how to make beautiful sounds, but also to teach us valuable life lessons like punctuality, following instructions, and working together to achieve a common goal.

She demonstrates patience, dedication, and kindheartedness. She goes above and beyond her expected duties. She greets each student with a smile and if you stop by her desk, you will see notes displayed from students proclaiming her as “the best teacher ever.”

He puts countless hours into the band program, starting in the summer when he begins to design

She is a great example of what makes North Royalton such a great place to work and learn.

North Royalton Bear Way

“Both David and Karen are deserving of this recognition,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. “Our vision of providing support to students to meet their individual needs is at the forefront of what each of them do on a daily basis. Whether it is Karen assisting a student in the classroom or David inspiring students to reach their maximum potential, both are an inspiration to those around them. Congratulations to both David and Karen and thank you to those who nominated these staff members.” 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 Michelle Cabassa, First Federal of Lakewood. “Our bank is honored to partner with the district, enabling these special individuals to be recognized publicly for their contributions.”

Winter 2018 15



MIDDLE SCHOOL HOLDS STUDENT-LED PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES This past November, students in grades five through seven had the opportunity to take the lead during parent-teacher conferences at North Royalton Middle School. Prior to the conference, students had to organize their plan and practice for conference night with fellow classmates. During the conferences, students practiced real-world skills by providing formal introductions, shaking hands, and maintaining eye contact. Students informed their parents about their progress, what their goals are moving forward, and shared how they take an active role in the school by following “The Bear Way.” “I thought the Student-Led Conferences were great,” said student Lilly Kazak. “I was able to tell my parents about all of the things that I do at school. My parents thought the classrooms were cool to visit, and it was awesome to meet my teachers.” For 20 minutes, students spent time reflecting on their academic achievement and growth and setting goals for improvement. Students were able to communicate with their parents about their school work in a professional setting. “Student-Led Conferences allow our students to have complete ownership of showcasing


North Royalton Bear Way

their learning as a middle school student,” said Fifth-Grade Math Teacher Julie Caputo, North Royalton Middle School. “Students create a Google presentation that includes a self-created video introducing their parents to this special evening. Teachers write a reflection about each student to be included in the student presentation to be shared with their parents. We love the opportunity to see all parents, be introduced to them by our students, and welcome each family to our school.” “It was fun telling my parents about how I have been acting at school and showing them my grades,” said student Essence Whitmore. Students also had to show their parents what their locker looks like, making them take responsibility for its appearance, good or bad. “Student-Led Conferences allow us the opportunity to have every single one of our students and their family visit our school, said Fifth-Grade English Language Arts Teacher Alison Novosel, North Royalton Middle School. “We enjoy seeing our fifth graders take their family on classroom tours and complete locker inspections together. It is a special time for our learners to be able to take ownership and pride in their daily learning as they navigate through their digital slideshow.”


NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS SERPENTINI CAR GIVEAWAY Congratulations to Anita Compan, winner of the 2018 North Royalton Car Raffle and the 2018 Chevy Trax. The car was donated and sponsored by The Chevy Network and Serpentini Chevrolet of Strongsville. Thank you again to all who supported our athletes and band members. Thank you to Rudy Djukic, sales manager at Serpentini Chevrolet, for helping us out, and thank you to Bob Serpentini for his support.

Winter 2018 17




Future engineers in Gina Stabile’s class at North Royalton Middle School! #NRInspireGreat

North Royalton Middle School students tested their sense of taste in the STEM lab. #NRInspireGreat


North Royalton Bear Way

On November 15, North Royalton High School Future Business Leaders/Computer Club offered technology assistance to the senior citizens of Royalton Woods Retirement Living. What a wonderful collaboration and learning experience that took place! #NRInspireGreat

Winter 2018 19



NORTH ROYALTON MIDDLE SCHOOL INCORPORATES WONDER INTO ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS CURRICULUM With the new film, Wonder, now in theaters, the popularity of this story has grown from novel to big screen. Both North Royalton Middle School (NRMS) and the Enriched Language Arts students at the elementary schools are ahead of the curve by incorporating the book into their lessons. At NRMS, students have been reading this novel since 2012. The week of November 16 was “Wonder Week,” allowing students to delve into the story to help them understand the important life lessons within the novel. Elementary students enjoyed a “Wonder Meetup” at the Cinemark in Valley View on November 19 as well. Wonder is the story of a 10-year-old boy named August Pullman who was born with a facial deformity known as mandibulofacial dysostosis. This means that the bones and tissue in the face are underdeveloped, resulting in downward slanting eyes, a small chin and jaw, and cleft palate. Pullman enters a mainstream school for the first time as a fifth grader only to realize that fitting in may be more of a challenge than he thought. The novel, written by R.J. Palacio, was introduced to the English Language Arts (ELA) department by teacher Lori Cole in 2012. Last year, the fifth-grade content teachers began to read this novel aloud daily. The themes in the book fell in line with the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program that the school adopted. This program is a comprehensive model that uses annual surveys, classroom curriculum, implementation resources and training to reduce


North Royalton Bear Way

existing bullying among students, prevent new bullying from developing, and achieve better peer relations among students. The book is a tool to foster discussions and lessons around bullying. Three teams led by the ELA teachers performed activities that helped students understand these lessons. The work the teams did was even recognized by the Ohio Department of Education on Twitter. Team Maverick uses lessons from Wonder in the school’s monthly mindfulness days. Students look at a precept from the novel and write a response as to how they can act on it in their lives. They have also created locker decorations that list five ways to show kindness. Finally, they have created “tear off daily reminders” that hang in the hallways and provide a positive affirmation for students to take or add their own. Team Millennium makes connections between Wonder and other literature such as the book, One by Kathryn Otoshi. They also make connections about kindness through short video clips and other literary works. Their most recent activity focused on accepting one another’s differences. Students also created an interactive bulletin board where students can write anonymous “shout outs” to classmates acknowledging their acts of kindness. These acts are discussed at the monthly team meetings and students are awarded.

Team Raptor pairs monthly character trait words with the novel such as perseverance, honesty, responsibility, respect, good judgment, and selfdiscipline. They have daily discussions about personal connections they can make with the book such as friendship trials and family situations. They also displayed posters with quotes from the book to remind students how they should be living life. “I could not be more proud of our fifth-grade teachers and staff as they truly focus on educating the whole child and making the student’s first year of middle school a success. The academic, social, and emotional lessons that are taught using Wonder are only a few examples of how this grade makes the difference for the fifth-grade students of North Royalton and Broadview Heights,” said Principal Jeff Cicerchi. The school plans to rent the movie later this year and set up a showing for the students in the Performing Arts Center at North Royalton High School.

On November 19, students from the elementary school’s ELA classes, met at Cinemark in Valley View to see the movie on the big screen. Both the students and families enjoyed the time spent outside the classroom watching the heartfelt movie. The movie reinforced so many lessons the students are learning by reading the book as a class. “I feel that my students have a responsibility to use their intelligence for ‘good, not evil,’” said Gifted Intervention Specialist Samantha Lumpkin, North Royalton Elementary Schools. “This book and movie experience will hopefully drive this point home for my students.”

Winter 2018 21



NORTH ROYALTON ELEMENTARY STUDENTS SKYPE WITH AWARDWINNING AUTHOR After reading the book, Poppy, by Avi, students at Royal View, Albion, and Valley Vista Elementary Schools had the opportunity to engage in a Skype session with the author himself. Avi is an award-winning author who has written more than 75 books, many aimed at young adults. His accomplishments include the Newbery Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Due to a generous grant from the North Royalton Educational Foundation, a Skype session between Avi and the students took place on Tuesday, November 21. The students had finished reading Poppy, the second book in a six-book series. This story is about the unlikely interaction between a harsh owl and simple dormice. Gifted Intervention Specialist/Enriched Language Arts Teacher Samantha Lumpkin had her students read this story and prepare questions for Avi. In addition to preparing questions, students created a project based on a theme seen in Avi’s book. Three students from the other North Royalton elementary schools read the remaining books in the series and used Google Classroom to chat about the second book in the series that everyone had read. The project is called, “Avi Pick One” and had questions under the themes of “The World of Fantasy,” “What Makes a Hero,” “Being True to Yourself,” and “Love and Friendship.” Students had to answer these questions using either an auditory, visual, or tactile-kinesthetic method. These methods included activities like creating song lyrics, a comic strip, or acting out a TV broadcast. The teacher then filled out a rubric examining the


North Royalton Bear Way

grammar, answers, and references that were put into the project. During the Skype session, students from all North Royalton elementary schools met at Albion to speak with Avi. They took turns going in front of the computer camera to introduce themselves, ask a question, and show their project. Avi was personable and explained that he rewrites his stories many times before he is finished. When asked what makes a good book to him, he responded by saying, “A story and characters that make you care.” Students used their spelling words to write thank you letters to Avi. “This was one of the most satisfying and exciting moments of my career as a teacher. I loved having such an established author speak with my students,” said Lumpkin.

Winter 2018 23



NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY NORTH ROYALTON Sponsored by the Partnership for a Healthy North Royalton (PHNR), 22 members of the North Royalton High School STAND Club joined with the SADD chapters from 10 local schools on December 6, at Quicken Loans Arena with the Cleveland Cavaliers to talk about good decision making, positive living, positive peer influences, and to brush up on knowledge about living a drug-free life. At the event, sponsored by the regional SADD chapters, NRHS joined more than 425 students to gather and hear speakers on life choices and being positive leaders among their peers. They enjoyed a presentation from a person in recovery and a motivational speaker, Jim “Basketball” Jones, who challenged them to be their best and work hard at their goals. Special thanks to Jim “Basketball” Jones for a spectacular presentation and phenomenal entertainment to send home his message: “Our words are a reflection of who we are and we should respect ourselves and treat others with kindness.” McIntyre Center had a great and challenging Kahoot session where one of our North Royalton students placed second out of hundreds of players based on her knowledge of the statistics of drug prevention. After the seminar, the kids were treated to a Cavs basketball game and brought home a win. Thanks to SADD Nation and Westshore Youth Leaders for planning the event.

The North Royalton High School Royal Tones Joseph Mikolajczyk at the September Board of Education meeting. 24 North Royalton Bear Way

performed under the direction of

NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL COATS FOR KIDS Thank you to everyone who donated to the annual Coats for Kids/Stuff the Bus Drive-N-Drop Drive on November 18. Each year, the North Royalton High School football players coordinate the collection event. The community brings gently used coats and cash donations to the North Royalton Board of Education parking lot and the players “stuff” a North Royalton school bus with the donations. “Coats for Kids is indebted to the North Royalton football team and their families for their many years of dedicated support,” said Debbie Martinko, Coats for Kids executive director. “The Stuff the Bus team endured miserable weather at last year’s event, but still had a highly successful event. They raised close to $2,600 and collected several hundred coats.”

Winter 2018 25





North Royalton Bear Way

Winter 2018 27



NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS Thank you to the more than 400 people who attended the 2017 Taste of North Royalton on November 2. It was such a success and showcased many outstanding restaurants and caterers in our area while supporting both the North Royalton Educational Foundation and North Royalton Stadium Foundation. There were more than 20 food vendors and close to 100 raffle baskets. “We are so fortunate to have outstanding organizations and people who help us inspire great in all we do,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. “Congratulations to everyone on the committee who worked hard to raise funds for both the Stadium Foundation and North Royalton Educational Foundation.”


North Royalton Bear Way


Winter 2018 29




North Royalton Bear Way



Thank you North Royalton Post and Royalton Recorder for the pictures and coverage of the event each year.

Winter 2018 31



NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC CHALLENGE AIRS APRIL 14 Junior Andrew Seifert, Senior James Ptak (captain), and Junior Jeffrey Kozik competed on NewsChannel 5’s Academic Challenge in the TV5 studios. Find out how our team did by tuning in on April 14. Senior Kyle Roberts, Senior Stefan Rakic, and Junior Connor Clark were the alternates.

NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNA SHARES SCHOLARSHIP RECOGNITION WITH TEACHER Samantha Bradford, North Royalton High School Class of 2017, was awarded the GE STAR Award by the GE Foundation. As part of the recognition, Bradford received a scholarship and also was able to select a teacher who made a significant difference in her life and educational experience to receive a $500 grant. She selected her math teacher, Dave Marhefka. He will be using those funds for classroom supplies and instructional materials. “Samantha is a truly amazing young lady,” said Marhefka. “She is one of the most considerate, compassionate, and caring individuals I have had the opportunity to teach and coach. She will be tremendously successful in her future endeavors.


North Royalton Bear Way

Her positive attitude, helpful nature, and concern for others are really missed. I appreciate everything Sam has done both in my class and on the team.” The GE STAR Award competition is open to high school seniors who are children of GE employees worldwide. Finalists are determined in a highly selective global competition independently managed by the Institute of International Education, an international non-profit educational exchange organization. Bradford was selected because of her academic achievement, extracurricular and community activities, work experience, and her personal goals that were described in a written statement.

ELEMENTARY STUDENTS HEAR FROM FARM OWNER TO SUPPLEMENT READING In conjunction with reading the book, The Secret Garden, students in Samantha Lumpkin’s third and fourthgrade Enriched Language Arts classes enjoyed a presentation at Valley Vista Elementary by a representative from Purple Skies Farm. On Tuesday, January 30, the students heard a presentation by Visar Duane, one of the owners of Purple Skies Farm in North Royalton. The farm engages in and supports organic grown farming methods and standards. It is their approach that contributes to safe and healthy locally grown food.

Duane spoke about the plant cycle, soil nutrition, and engaged students by facilitating growing their own radishes. “My hope is that this experience will help to make the gardening in our reading come alive (literally) and help to give our students a greater appreciation of where their food comes from,” said Lumpkin. The Secret Garden is about a young girl named Mary who was raised in India and comes from British wealth. When her parents die, she is sent to live with her uncle in Yorkshire. As her Uncle travels frequently, she becomes close with her chambermaid. Her maid tells her of a secret walled garden her late Aunt created that has been locked since her death. She becomes curious about the garden and, as she discovers its secrets, also discovers a newfound appreciation for the world around her. The students wrote thank you notes to Duane that included their spelling words from the novel.

Winter 2018 33



NORTH ROYALTON MIDDLE SCHOOL ASPIRING MIDDLE SCHOOL LEADERS PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL CONFERENCE Keith Hawkins, one of North America’s top youth speakers, presented to North Royalton Middle School (NRMS) on Tuesday, January 23. The presentation was entitled, “Leaving Footprints in the Lives of the Human Race.” The goal of the presentation was to help students build meaningful relationships with each other. Hawkins was the keynote speaker for the NRMS MiddleLevel Leadership Conference. North Royalton Middle School students welcomed peers from Mayfield Middle School, Bay Middle School, Strongsville Middle School, Brecksville/Broadview Heights Middle School, Shiloh Middle School, Kimpton Middle School, Memorial Junior High, Harmon Middle School, Nordonia Middle School, and Willetts Middle School. During the day, the students enjoyed Hawkins’ keynote presentation, along with breakout sessions and plenty of time for networking and making new friends. “Our hope is that students realize that leadership doesn’t have to come with a title or by doing some


North Royalton Bear Way

grand task or performance,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. “Powerful leadership comes from the example students set for one another and the passion and inspiration that they give to others. As Hawkins told the students at Leadership Conference, ‘You’re not good. You’re better than good!’ At North Royalton City Schools, our goal is to always focus on moving from good to great. By developing future leaders, we are realizing our goal...and their potential.” “I have no doubt that Mr. Hawkins’ message resonated with our students,” said Principal Jeff Cicerchi, North Royalton Middle School. “After his all-school assembly and in the days following the Leadership Conference, student after student commented, ‘Better than good!’ when I would ask how they were doing. His positive message certainly impacted many and I am confident that our students will continue to make a difference and inspire greatness in those around them.”

Winter 2018 35





North Royalton Bear Way

North Royalton Middle School fifthgraders had the chance to show off their work to parents, as well as the entire fifth-grade community, when they showcased their “Space Night” projects. All fifth graders were assigned a project dealing with space. They were given 12 different options to choose from to match their specific talent. Some of these options included technology, art, creativity, writing, and singing. After the projects were complete, all fifth-grade science teachers set up their classrooms in a museum-style and allowed students, parents, and family to walk around the pods to view different projects. “As teachers, we feel it is important that students share their work with more than just their parents and teachers,” said Sarah Franko, a teacher at North Royalton Middle School. Other teachers involved include Gina Murphy, Doug Fischer, and Matt Stricker.

Franko said the teachers wanted to give students a chance to show off their amazing projects to the whole fifth-grade community. “It is an understatement if we said the projects were good. To quote our recent motivational speaker Keith Hawkins, they were better than good,” said Franko. In addition to Space Night, for those students who selected to make space board games, Franko invited them to have lunch in her room with their friends to play their games.

Winter 2018 37



NORTH ROYALTON MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT THE WHOLE CHILD ON “FABULOUS FRIDAYS” Fridays are usually every student’s favorite day of the week. But for the students at North Royalton Middle School, sometimes Fridays just don’t mean the weekend, they mean a “Fabulous Friday” lesson. These Fabulous Friday lessons, which happen once or twice a month, focus on more than just facts from a textbook. They are dedicated to forming the student as a person through character building, mindfulness, team building and the general brightening of someone’s day. Parent Cari Harvanec said, “I love that Team Maverick teaches team building to our children. We have high expectations for our youth, but rarely do we model what it should look like. I believe my daughter will become a much more caring, calm, and empathetic person because of your Fabulous Friday activities.” On Fabulous Fridays, one category of activities students engage in is team building and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). So far, they have “Saved Sam” by figuring out how to use only paperclips to get a life saver under a cup onto a gummy worm. The students participated in a competition to see who could create the tallest index card tower and are currently building paper bridges. Students also cut snowflakes to see which design made the snowflake fall faster or slower as well as attempting to copy the way another student cut a snowflake. At the end of this activity, the snowflakes were donated to a nursing home. Another upcoming STEM activity is an experiment with inertia through putting Mardi Gras beads in a glass. The second category of activities was computerbased. Students created their own memes, which


North Royalton Bear Way

are funny images, videos, or text that are copied with slight variations to fit a theme. Students used these memes when creating quizzes using the Quizziz website. The other project is called “Eyebombing.” This art form involves putting googly eyes on an inanimate object in a public space such as a light post, a bench, or a parking meter. After placing the eyes on an object, pictures of it are shared on the Eyebombing website. The goal is to use humor and wit to bring some joy to a passerby’s day in this busy world. “Fabulous Fridays create opportunities for students to learn more about themselves. ​Removing the focus from content for the day allows us to make special connections with students, further enforcing to them how much we care about them as human beings, and not just students. Our team motto is based upon the quote, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ We feel that teaching about character, mindfulness, and relaxation helps students to see their potential as future catalysts of change to make the world a better place,” said fifth-grade teachers Sarah Franko, Amy Cowan, Lori Cole, Doug Zimlich, and Meredith Stanton. The final category of Fabulous Friday is mindfulness. Under this category, students read many books including the novel Wonder. In this book, a fifth-grader with facial differences attends school for the first time and learns to deal with bullies. Students then do a monthly precept reflection based on what they learned from the reading. Another book lesson came from Ishi. This picture book showed a small rock with a face on it that was meant to promote happiness and fuel people to share that happiness with others. Students made their own rocks and still carry them

today. The book, Mistakes that Worked, details 40 inventions in the world today that began as mistakes before becoming successes. Students also partook in yoga, meditation, and relaxation, and wrote positive quotes in chalk at the middle school, high school and Board of Education office. Teachers showed the Pixar short film, Lou, that details why bullying is wrong. School counselors have also become involved by teaching lessons. Finally, for an hour on Friday, students are permitted to work on their Genius Hour projects. Fifth-grade English Language Arts Teacher Lori Cole said, “Fabulous Fridays allow me to connect with my students and develop the whole child. My lessons focus on creating mindful learners. This prepares them for the real world by giving them strategies that help them to regulate their emotions, reduce stress and increase their attention. These ‘special’ days have been some of the most rewarding as I see the students implementing what they are learning into their everyday lives.”

Winter 2018 39



NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL FUNDRAISES FOR PROVIDENCE HOUSE IN FRIENDLY COMPETITION WITH BRECKSVILLE-BROADVIEW HEIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL Members of the North Royalton High School Student Council and the Student Council members at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School have collaborated with Fresher Media to promote a friendly fundraising competition between the districts. The fundraiser is for Providence House, an organization that helps to prevent child abuse and protects families throughout Northeast Ohio. The fundraiser kicked off on Friday, February 9, at North Royalton High School, during halftime at the boys’ varsity basketball game between the two high schools.


North Royalton Bear Way

Fundraising opportunities that accompany this initiative will continue through March. The goal is to raise awareness for students in the importance of supporting community organizations, as well as learning the importance of giving to those in need. The Student Council groups will be holding t-shirt sales, bake sales, and a 50/50 raffle. All of the donations will support Providence House. Donations are accepted online on the donation page of the Providence House website at http://


Congratulations to our North Royalton High School student-athletes who signed their National Letters of Intent on February 7. Jacob Franczak - Tiffin (football) Claire Novak - Cleveland State University (soccer) Krista Harbart - Lake Erie College (soccer) Jordi Markovic - Notre Dame College (soccer) Juliet Tyma - Lake Erie College (soccer)

Winter 2018 41


BEAR WAY DO YOU Have a teacher

oR MEMBER OF OUR support staff that has made a difference in your life? The North Royalton Schools & First Federal of Lakewood present the . . .

Crystal Starfish Award Nominate that person TODAY for a Crystal Starfish Award! deadline April 20 Winners will be recognized May 2018 and will receive a Crystal Starfish Award, $50 gift certificate to Cleats Club Seat Grille North Royalton and flowers from Independence Flowers & Gifts. The teacher also will receive a $250 Professional Development grant from First Federal of Lakewood.


North Royalton Bear Way

The Bear Way - Winter 2018  

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

The Bear Way - Winter 2018  

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