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Design Future WINTER 2019

North Royalton Elementary School Playground Winter 2019 1



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



hat a year 2018 has been for North Royalton City Schools! Our students, teachers and staff continue to “inspire greatness” each day both in and out of the classrooms. Our facilities projects are well underway with visible signs of construction work at our high school and much work behind the scenes in the design of our elementary school. One of the most enjoyable moments for me in this process so far was the morning of November 30. We brought in students from our three elementary schools to work through an activity on designing the new playground at the future North Royalton Elementary School. The students were so excited and took their tasks of giving input very seriously! Not only that, they took into consideration, with no prompting, what other children might also enjoy and what students with differing abilities, whether height or special needs, might also need on the playground. I was so proud of them and told them how empathy is one of the greatest traits a person can have in life. All of the students’ ideas and designs will now be taken into consideration by our architects and incorporated into the playground plan.

Our District is beginning the major construction project at North Royalton High School (NRHS) beginning the week of March 24. The parking lot at NRHS will be closed to restripe areas and put up construction fences in other sections. This construction project is part of the bond issue that was passed in May of 2017 and will last until the fall of 2021. We will be holding a State of the Schools/ State of the Construction meeting on February 26, 2019, at 7 p.m. in the North Royalton High School Performing Arts Center to not only update the community on all the happenings in our schools, but also to relay information on the changes to traffic patterns and entrance ways into the high school. We hope that you will save the date on your calendars to attend. If I can answer any questions or be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact 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

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

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 . . .


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

Crystal Starfish Award

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

Nominate that person TODAY for a Crystal Starfish Award! Deadline April 12

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

Inspiring and Empowering Learners . . . #NRinspiregreat

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 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

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

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ALBION ELEMENTARY RECEIVES OVERALL “A” AWARD Ohio’s State Board of Education has granted Albion Elementary School its Overall A Award. As an Overall A Award winner, the building’s report card shows high academic performance and the building of bright futures for students of every background and ability level. “Ohio’s strategic plan for education, Each Child, Our Future, is the state’s plan to ensure each student is challenged, prepared and empowered for his or her future by way of an excellent prekindergarten through grade 12 education,” said President Tess Elshoff, Ohio Board of Education. “Our mission is to prepare students for a future that has yet to be written. Many consider this to be a daunting endeavor. Your education team, however, has clearly embraced this challenge. I want you to know how much we appreciate your leadership and the dedication your team has to providing a high-quality experience for all students. Please share our gratitude with all of those who contributed to this accomplishment.”

I am extremely proud of the efforts of the Albion students and staff, as I am of everyone in the North Royalton City Schools. This effort starts with being accountable to our mission of focusing on the needs of individual students and also developing positive relationships to allow the staff to meet those individual needs. - Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools


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NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY On Monday, October 1, North Royalton High School held its 2018-19 National Honor Society (NHS) induction ceremony in the Performing Arts Center. The ceremony included the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, singing of the Alma Mater and a variety of remarks and speakers. The keynote address was given by Cresta Mellon, a North Royalton High School teacher. The National Honor Society officers then explained the four pillars of the society – Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character – and lit a candle to symbolize each one. At the conclusion of the ceremony the inductees took the NHS pledge, led by Assistant Principal Kevin Atkins. After the induction, the North Royalton PTA hosted a reception for the families. The 2018-19 inductees include Seniors: Srinija Adibhatla, Morgan Boldt, Matthew Casey, John Daiker, Alyssa Dziak, Alexander Gata, Sadie Gremm, Samantha Horvath, Julia Korpusik, Mark Michalke, Lauren Pelagalli, Matthew Piccolomini, Evan Porter, Tanner Price, Paige Rider, Alyssa Riggle, Brian Rossman, Zachary Simonitis, Lana Vidic, Patrick Watrobski, Hailey Wypasek Juniors: Habib Akouri, Lena Alnazer, Lindsey Audino, Verina Baskhron, Robert Bottomley, Kate Brierley, Robert Burrows, Ethan Butler, Alexander Caldwell, Ashley Coffman, Katie Colabianchi, Nicholas DeAngelis, Alexandra Doehrmann, Zoe Douglas, Rutger Dumm, Matthew Emling, Diane Frangulea, Megan Garnet, Brenna Groh, Shannon Hassel, Kaitlyn Held, Savana Herceg, Sydnee Jones, Noelle Kidd, Alexis Kovach, Nichole Kuchta, Emily Kulka, Radha Sai Mamidi, Joseph Marousek, Rebecca Pavelich, Nicholas Poplin, Jordan Raudins, Paige Roesch, Natalie Rohrer, Abigail Rowlett, Emmanuel Scaria, Peyton Schrader, Nicholas Schultz, Dylan Sexton, Brody Shields, Martina Starkey, Breanna Tamoga, Hannah Waler, Rachel Weber, Ashley Workman

National Honor Society Officers: Margaret Kaniecki, Historian; Grace Amato, Secretary; Tyler Frantz, Treasurer; Jeffrey Kozik, President; Rachel Dawson, Vice President; Sofia Rakic, Parliamentarian.

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NORTH ROYALTON health AND wellness EX


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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED STUDENTS AT OCTOBER BOARD MEETING At the October 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.

Elementary and Middle School Over the past three years, Albion, Royal View and Valley Vista Elementary have brought the fourthgrade students together for a North Royalton Middle School Spirit Game at Serpentini Stadium. This year’s event was held on September 25. Students were bused from each building to the stadium to watch the seventh-grade football team win their game against Nordonia Middle School. The students cheered, ate wonderful food from the concession stand and had the opportunity to meet their future classmates at the middle school. One representative from each class, in addition to cheerleaders Gabby Green and Abigail Pfeil, spoke at the October Board meeting to explain one special part they enjoyed from the event.

Back Row: Greg Gurka, Superintendent; Jeff Hill, Principal, Valley Vista Elementary; Kirk Pavelich, Principal, Royal View Elementary; Vince Ketterer, Principal, Albion Elementary; Jeff Cicerchi, Principal, North Royalton Middle School


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Students left to right: Parker Pratt, Royal View Elementary; Kate Mathis, Royal View Elementary; Jillian Fyffe - Valley Vista Elementary; Kamron Liebenguth, Albion Elementary; Miles Hamilton, Royal View Elementary; Ben Hewlett, Albion Elementary; James Candelora - Valley Vista Elementary; Gabby Green, North Royalton Middle School; Conner Townsend - Valley Vista Elementary; Abigail Pfeil, North Royalton Middle School

North Royalton Middle School Linda Nickell, a paraprofessional at North Royalton Middle School for 23 years, has been given a Northeast Regional Award by the Ohio Middle Level Association (OMLA). School support staff play an important role in ensuring students are learning in a safe and supportive learning environment. Each year OMLA recognizes educators from around the state with regional awards. Nickell has worked with many students with a variety of disabilities including severe emotional behaviors, autism, specific learning disabilities, as well as students without disabilities. “The most important quality that Linda has is empathy, no matter who the student is, with or without a disability, she is there for each and every student in the same way,” said Principal Jeff Cicerchi, North Royalton Middle School. “She is compassionate about helping students whether it is with academics or personal life struggles. She will sit, lend an ear and provide wisdom or encouragement to help those around her find the strength to be successful. Linda leaves a lasting imprint on the hearts

of her students, who continue to see her as a mentor and as a friend, even after graduation.” “Linda not only impacts all of the students she works with, but the teachers and staff at our school as well,” said Sarah Franko, a teacher at North Royalton Middle School. “Her positive outlook and cheery disposition brighten all lives within our school family. Linda has deeply impacted our instruction by reminding us to think empathetically and to have patience.” “The connections that Linda makes with students and staff are not limited by school walls,” said Meredith Stanton, a teacher at North Royalton Middle School. “Students often see her at community events, running to her with the biggest smile and hug they can muster. Linda is extremely well respected by students, staff, administrators and parents alike. There truly is no one more deserving of this award than Linda, as all who work with her count their blessings each day.”

North Royalton High School Colin Rush, a junior at North Royalton High School (NRHS), was acknowledged for receiving a perfect score of 36 on the ACT test he took in September. In addition to excelling academically, Rush runs on the cross country team, plays piano for the show choir combo band, operates the lights for drama productions and participates as a member of the North Royalton High School Student Council and Kiwanis Key Club. Approximately two million students take the ACT college entrance exam and only approximately 2,700 students score the highest score of 36. That is fewer than .14 percent of students who take it.

NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED STUDENTS AT NOVEMBER BOARD MEETING At the November 5 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.

Albion Elementary Albion Elementary Student Council student representatives Joe Celek, Zack Leanza, Lily Kate Mason, Stefanie Tsybulya and Lydia Discenza, along with teacher/ advisor Jen Nemeth, were recognized by the Board of Education for raising funds for WAGS 4 WARRIORS, a local organization that provides service dogs to veterans in need.

A plaque recognizing this accomplishment will be hung in Heritage Hallway at North Royalton High School.

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NOVEMBER BOARD MEETING (CONT’D.) Royal View Elementary Throughout the year, Royal View Elementary celebrates and recognizes students who demonstrate Royal Pride when they are respectful, responsible and active learners. Fourth-grader Ava Wise, third-grader Ella Wise, and first-grader Harper Wise were recognized by the Board of Education for consistently showing kindness to others and exemplifying these other positive behavior qualities on a daily basis. Fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Maria Masch said, “Ava is a wonderful child with a big heart. She is always looking out for her peers’ best interest. She writes me poems and letters to show how much she loves being at Royal View. She is a hard and dedicated worker. If she does not do well on something, she is always seeking for ways to better understand.” Mrs. Sharon Hansen, who had Ava in class last year, said, “Ava was one of the hardest working students in the classroom. Never to complain, she always did what was expected and did her best! She was polite, helpful, and a true asset to our third-grade class.” Third-grade teacher Mrs. Barbara McLaughlin said, “Ella shines everyday! She is excited about learning and it shows. She loves to share her ideas and is always ready to learn. Just as importantly, Ella is a good friend to her classmates. She includes everyone and shows kindness through her words and actions. She makes me smile every day.” Ella’s kindergarten teacher Mrs. Jessica Lobaza said, “Ella loves school. She loves everything about school. Every day she was super excited to be here and to see what the day was going to hold. She was excited to squeeze all the learning that she possibly could into


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each day. Ella is kind to everyone and always ready to help everyone in the classroom. The kindergarten classroom was the best place for her to share her zest for life and learning. She put kids under her wing when they needed encouragement, helped when she could, and modeled great citizenship.” First-grade teacher Mrs. Cheri Rourke said, “I have had the pleasure of having all three of the Wise girls in first grade. They are all delightful young ladies, each with her own unique personality, who exemplify what it means to be respectful, responsible, active Royal View learners. I have no doubt that they will all grow to be strong and successful young women. Harper is in my class this year. She used to come with her mom to help with reading groups when Ava was in first grade! She is a cheerful, helpful and kind friend who always tries to do her best.” Mrs. Lobaza also had Harper last year in kindergarten. She said, “Who doesn’t smile when Harper smiles? You can light up a room with Harper’s smile. Harper was an asset to have in my class. She was ready to work hard, help adults and peers as much as she could, challenge herself with learning, and be a fantastic friend! Harper was a leader in our classroom and modeled great citizenship daily. I could always count on Harper to be a great peer to all kids in the class.”

Valley Vista Elementary Valley Vista Elementary third-graders Giada Green, Nikolina Milanovic, Cameron Kuzminski, Srdjan (Surgen) Novakovic, Emma Groves, Ricky Haberkorn, Natalie Wilson, Juliette Reinhardt and Mitchell Bell, as well as Enriched Language Arts teacher Mrs. Samantha Lumpkin, were recognized by the Board of Education for their dedication to the school’s book club this semester.

Promoting the school’s building-wide literacy program, “Reading is out of this World,” students from each of the four third-grade classrooms come together with Mrs. Lumpkin each Thursday for a book club during their lunch and recess. The students are nominated by their teachers because of their high interest in reading and willingness to give up a recess each week. As a group, they choose a book to read and then collaborate on how much they need to read for their upcoming meeting. Besides reading, the students are asked to come up with a critical thinking question and note any words they do not know. They are learning many new words as they read. “We enjoy coming together to share our love of reading,” said Lumpkin. “We are even exploring ways we can have discussions with Albion and Royal View Elementary book clubs.”

North Royalton Middle School The students at North Royalton Middle School often exemplify “The Bear Way” and the idea of treating others as they would like to be treated. Students in Mrs. Jennifer Harold’s art class are no exception to this. Art students Elyse Cepik, Leah Hrusovsky, Jessica Luberger, Simone Michel, Gerry Mlachak and Jenna Pickering were recognized by the Board of Education. Using skills of creativity and collaboration, these students were assigned the project of making a clay bowl using rolling pins, textures, and fine motor skills to pinch and roll the clay. The finished bowls will dry and be fired in a few weeks. Then, after glazing, the students will melt glass in the bottoms for a cool crackle effect. Making these clay bowls is providing an art experience that goes far beyond a project in a classroom. “Our students are learning how to work together and problem solve, which are skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Harold.

North Royalton High School Last year, under the guidance of the North Royalton High School (NRHS) Counseling Department Chairperson Kriste Smith, the high school opened the NRHS Caring Closet. The Caring Closet is a big idea crammed in a very small space at the high school. Smith thought of the concept when she met a student who didn’t have access or the means to buy a shirt and a tie to wear when giving a speech in English class. After some leg work, a little bit of grunt work and some creativity, a storage area was converted into a small store where students could shop for free for anything from dress clothes, toiletries, personal items, snacks and even shoes. Through a North Royalton Educational Foundation grant and monetary and clothing donations from our caring community, the closet is currently overflowing with generosity. “Of course, when you have so many donations coming in, you need to have a staff to make sure that clothes are cleaned, ironed, sorted and properly presented to the customers,” said Principal Sean Osborne. “This is where some of the students in Amy Vance’s and Kate West’s classes come in. During their work-study periods, these students help prepare the donations and organize the closet. This benefits not only the students who use the closet, but also helps these students learn some employment and life skills.” Students and parents recognized by the Board of Education included Senior Ryan Rybak (parents Kimberly & Dean), Sophomore Ryan Miller (parents Donald & Sheila) and Freshman Ally Talpas (parents Ronald & Elizabeth). Also recognized were the school’s graphic design students for creating the graphics inside the closet, the Key Club members for helping organize the large numbers of donations recently, and the school’s broadcasting class for creating a commercial to be aired on the morning announcements. “This is just another example of what makes the North Royalton school community such a special place to go to school, live and work,” said Osborne.

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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED STUDENTS AT DECEMBER BOARD MEETING At the December 10 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. Jamie Pyatt was recognized by the Board of Education as girls soccer second team All-Ohio. The team also was recognized as OHSAA district champions and regional runner-up. Joey Marousek was recognized by the Board of Education as varsity football third team All-Ohio. North Royalton City Schools’ Lil’ Bear Preschool and the Board of Education recognized the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s North Royalton branch. For the past three years, thanks to the coordination of Anne Lynch, a librarian at the North Royalton branch, Lil’ Bear Preschool has had members of their staff come out to the school monthly to do a sensory storytime with our classes. Bri Raleigh, one of the school’s preschool teachers, spoke at the Board meeting about the value of the sensory storytimes for the students. Three students, Andrew Nary, Mackenzie Kelly and Callan Stevens, discussed what they like about the library sensory storytimes. Library staff member Angie Bradley, who comes to Lil’ Bears, was recognized and took time to talk about other programs available through the Cuyahoga County Public Library.


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North Royalton City Schools’ students and staff thanked the members of the Board of Education for helping everyone “inspire great” each and every day through video. Click here to watch the video recognition for Dr. John Kelly, Board President; Anne Reinkober, Board Vice President; Dr. Susan Clark; Jacquelyn Arendt and Heidi Dolezal.

Treasurer Biagio Sidoti swears in Dr. John Kelly as the new president of the North Royalton Board of Education.

Treasurer Biagio Sidoti swears in Anne Reinkober as the new vice president of the North Royalton Board of Education.

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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED STUDENTS AT JANUARY BOARD MEETING At the January 7 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.

Albion Elementary Albion Elementary students Emily Dockrill and Ella Stoss joined North Royalton Middle School students Jamie Blatnik and Audra Reed in attending Beachwood High School’s annual American Sign Language Club holiday party this past December. The event celebrates the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in a fun and festive manner. The group of students thanked the Board of Education and took the opportunity to report how important the event is to them. Each year, the group of students looks forward to the friends and fellowship they have developed through the holiday party.

Royal View Elementary First-grade students Madeline Hamilton, Scottie Matteo, Anderson Kubec, Josie Postma, Bentley Samuels and Gabriella Boggess designed new name plates for the Board of Education


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members, and presented not only the name plates to them, but their very own Royal Pride tickets. Students at Royal View Elementary can receive Royal Pride tickets for being respectful, responsible and active learners. They presented the name plates and Royal Pride tickets as part of Board Recognition Month. The support of the Board of Education enables all of our students to have the opportunity to be recognized for being respectful, responsible and active learners.

Valley Vista Elementary Students in first grade at Valley Vista Elementary were recognized by the the North Royalton Board of Education for learning about holiday customs around the world. First-grade teachers taught the students the traditions and history of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and even virtually traveled to France, Germany, Italy and Mexico. “The children truly enjoyed learning different customs as they traveled to other classrooms,” said Principal Jeff Hill, Valley Vista Elementary. Students who represented their firstgrade class at the Board meeting included Lizzie Adkins, Nathan Olman, Grace Hoffman, Trevor Smith, Jackson Bucci, Adeline Magee, Sophia Kolz and Mikey Glozer. They presented what they learned before the Board and were recognized for their hard work in striving for growth and academic excellence at Valley Vista Elementary.

North Royalton Middle School With the generous support of the North Royalton Middle School PTA, seventh-grade students had the opportunity to participate in the Challenge Day Program on October 15, November 7 and November 8, 2018. The goal of the Challenge Day Program is to build community and to help address a variety of challenges middle school students face. Challenge Day is a powerful and transformational day to help make our students feel even more connected to our school and each other. Seventh-grade student Keira Leneghan said, “I am especially honored to be talking about Challenge Day because it was such an amazing experience for me! It was so emotional and exciting to be there. It was a great mixture between having fun and talking about real and serious discussions. It was also extremely helpful for me to hear that other students in our grade are going through the same things I am going through. I am certain in the coming months and years that Challenge Day will help me prepare for the difficulties that lie ahead for me.”

North Royalton High School Thomas Smith II, a senior at North Royalton High School, received several awards in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. He received two gold keys and

one silver key for his mixed media and sculpture works. Smith is known for creating art that explores emotion and personal perspectives. He often incorporates and combines unconventional materials to create mixed media works, but also enjoys painting in various media and working three-dimensionally. Scholastics is a nationally-recognized art and writing competition for students in grades 9-12. With his gold keys, Smith now joins the ranks of Andy Warhol and Norman Rockwell, along with many other famous visual and literary artists. Smith’s works will be on display among the other award winners in the region at the Cleveland Institute of Art from January 22 through February 1. Smith’s two gold key pieces will now go on to compete against other gold key winners across the country, with national winners announced in the spring. Smith plans to attend a fine arts school after graduation. “I am proud of Thomas for following his passion, showcasing his talents and representing our school and art department so well,” said Principal Sean Osborne, North Royalton High School. “Many thanks to teachers Katie Ford, Dalia Erney and Brandon Speers for all they have done to make our art program a great experience for the students at NRHS.”

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NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS PARTICIPATE IN EXIT INTERVIEW DAY North Royalton High School seniors took one step closer to graduation by participating in Senior Exit Interview Day on October 10. The exit interview is a part of a four-year accumulation of a Senior Exit Portfolio. This portfolio was created with the assistance of Cuyahoga Valley Career Center Specialist Jill Larson. The Senior Exit Portfolio is a requirement to graduate from North Royalton High School and its formulation begins freshman year, continuing through senior year. The goal of the portfolio is to give students an opportunity to demonstrate the necessary skills to move from high school to college or the work world. The portfolio includes a resume, reference sheet, cover letter and the student’s achievements. Once students get closer to graduation, the portfolio will have post high school explorations, a verification letter of completed courses, a final individual career plan, school profile and transcripts. Seniors completed the final step in the portfolio process by showcasing their accomplishments in the exit interview. Seniors presented their portfolio to a Senior Exit Interview team made up of teachers, administrators and community members. Students had the chance to explain the different portfolio pieces and panel members asked questions that dealt with the material in the portfolio.


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The North Royalton High School football players coordinated the ninth annual Coats for Kids/Stuff t and cash donations to the North Royalton Board of Education parking lot where the players “stuffed Ohio and is a way for the North Royalton school community to give back to those in need. The coat various social service agencies.


“Coats for Kids is extremely privileged to benefit from the nine-year Stuff the Bus heritage in North a football family and remains one of the signature, generous traditions of the Bears football team.” the 2018 event. Zeppe’s Pizza in North Royalton delivered sheet pizzas for volunteers. Becker’s Don North Royalton Bear Way

the Bus event on Saturday, November 17. The community was asked to bring gently used coats d” a North Royalton school bus with the donations. This event benefits the children of Northeast ts that were donated at Stuff the Bus were redistributed to Northeast Ohio children through

h Royalton,” said Debbie Martinko, Coats for Kids executive director. “Stuff the Bus was started by ” The team collected 549 coats and $2,853.12 Several local businesses were food sponsors for nuts, also in North Royalton, provided donuts for the volunteers’ breakfast.

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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS VETERANS DAY HIGHLIGHTS Veterans Day was celebrated throughout North Royalton City Schools, especially at the elementary schools. On Friday, November 9, Royal View Elementary honored Veterans Day by holding a “Red, White & Blue Day” celebration. The day began with an assembly where students recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang patriotic songs. Student Council representatives also did a presentation about Veterans Day and read thank you poems. To honor first responders, the student body then sang the song, “One Call Away.” Third- and fourth-grade Royal Ambassadors and Student Council representatives presented the veterans with flowers and stars that had been cut from old, tattered American flags that Royal View had collected in September. The assembly also included a moment of silence for American troops. Refreshments were offered afterward. On November 12, Valley Vista Elementary honored veterans who served our country by holding a schoolwide program. The celebration began with a welcome from Principal Jeff Hill and a presentation of colors by North Royalton Cub Scout Pack 218. Students and staff sang “America the Beautiful” and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The third-grade Student Council gave a history of Veterans Day before guest speakers addressed the school. The first speaker was 2nd Lt. Anita Ballash-Podlogar, who is also mother of two Valley Vista Elementary students. The second speaker was Taylor Fyffe, who recently completed flight school with the Air Force. They gave accounts of their experience in the military and a woman’s role in the armed forces. The fourth graders then read essays, and a video was shown entitled, “H is for Honor.” After Hill recognized the veterans, he dedicated a new flag to the honored guests, which will be flown every day at Valley Vista Elementary. The flag was purchased with anonymous donations from a veteran who has attended the program in the past.


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Cub Scout Pack 218 retired the colors to bring the program to a close. Refreshments were provided for the honored guests, courtesy of the PTA. Albion Elementary provided a delicious continental breakfast and reception for veterans and students on November 12. At the breakfast, veterans were able to receive a complimentary 4x6 photo taken by InterState Studios. Following the breakfast, a presentation of colors was held outside the school around the flagpole. After the presentation, there was an hourlong program honoring the veterans in the gym.

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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS TASTE OF NORTH ROYALTON BENEFITS SCHOOLS AND STADIUM The North Royalton Educational Foundation and North Royalton Stadium Foundation sponsored the eighth annual Taste of North Royalton on Thursday, November 1 at the St. Paul Hellenic Center in North Royalton. More than 400 people attended this event that showcases many outstanding restaurants and caterers in our area while supporting both non-profit organizations. There were more than 90 raffle baskets auctioned. Thanks to the following restaurants for their participation: Zeppe’s Pizza, Rosewood Grill, The Kavana Social Kitchen, Bistro 82, Brennan’s Catering, Stancato’s Italian Restaurant, The Hidden Backyard, Carrie Cerino’s Ristorante & Party Center, Cleats Club Seat Grille, Marge Walter Caterers, Jaipur Junction, Kona Ice, Tinkers Creek Tavern, Tom + Chee, Mission BBQ, Amici Restaurant & Lounge, PIZZAFIRE, Danny Boys, The 3 Spot, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Cozumel and Festive Plate Catering. “We are fortunate to have very supportive organizations, businesses and individuals who go above and beyond to help us inspire great in all we do,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools.


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Many thanks to the Taste of North Royalton committee members: Chairperson Becky Cozzens, Kelly Tarnowski, Tricia Stanton, Dr. John Kelly, Danetia McKay, Dan Dyson, Stephanie Buit, Larry Vasil, Ellen Kmetz, Beth Burdick, Ann Gurin, Sue Halamek, Abby Neidert, Linda Carozza, Yvonne Beers, Kathy Lineweaver, Shelly Schwarz, Allison Fowler and Natalie Bottomley. So many other volunteers helped with the set up and tear down the day of the event. The success of this fundraiser is due to many generous individuals and businesses. All of the money raised goes toward the North Royalton Educational Foundation and the Stadium Foundation. Two great aspects of the evening are the delicious food and the wonderful raffle baskets and we thank all of our donors and those who attended. It is a great night of community, a chance to socialize with friends and neighbors and sample food from the many vendors and restaurants in our surrounding area. - Becky Cozzens, Chairperson

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NORTH ROYALTON MIDDLE SCHOOL SEVENTH-GRADE STUDENTS CHALLENGED TO “BE THE CHANGE” Seventh graders at North Royalton Middle School participated in an inspiring program this fall called Challenge Day. The program is an all-day experience that provide teens and adults with tools to break down the walls of separation and isolation and replace them with compassion, especially in middle school. Challenge Day Leaders work to create trust and connection in the morning by helping participants step out of their comfort zones through music and games. Participants begin to recognize stereotypes and labels that exist among them, and are then willing to share and connect as human beings. During the afternoon, participants examine the impact that bullying, oppression and other forms of violence have on their lives and the lives of people around them. They find commonality and a sense of belonging through a deeply memorable exercise known as Cross The Line. This program goes beyond traditional anti-bullying efforts, building compassion and igniting a movement of positive change. “The experience is inspiring and awakening for students and adults,” said Principal Jeff Cicerchi, North Royalton Middle School. “It was a powerful and transformational day to help make our students feel even more connected to our school and


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each other. It was a day of fun, friendship and new possibilities.” By the end of a Challenge Day program, participants are empowered, motivated and excited to “be the change” in their schools and communities. These skills are lasting, and will help our students to inspire ongoing positive change in the school and community. A seventh grader said, “Challenge Day has changed my view of how I see people. I learned that it is ok to share and communicate your emotions and that you are never going through things alone because so many people might be going through the same things you are. It taught me to be more grateful for my family and friends. It also showed me it is ok to speak about my feelings.” Seventh graders participated on October 15, November 7 and November 8. The event was held at the North Royalton Baptist Church. Special thanks to the North Royalton Middle School PTA for providing the funding for this program.


The students could choose where they wanted to ride, which made exercising on the bikes more enjoyable and a learning experience. - Dean Chuppa, North Royalton Middle School Physical Education Teacher

Fifth- and sixth-grade physical education students at North Royalton Middle School had the opportunity to bike around the world during one of their recent classes in the weight room. Thanks to the use of a laptop stationed on a bike, as well as the Internet, students were able to ride through the streets of New York, Chicago, Rome, Paris, Hawaii and the United Kingdom.

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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS HONORS TWO DEDICATED STAFF MEMBERS WITH THE CRYSTAL STARFISH AWARD On December 19, North Royalton City Schools announced the winners of the first semester Crystal Starfish Award presented by First Federal of Lakewood.

a joke. It has changed my life because I see what Mrs. Vance always saw in my son: the ability to do more, to always learn and grow.

At North Royalton High School, intervention specialist Amy Vance 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. Vance was nominated by a parent.

Vikki Rodriguez, the cafeteria manager 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. A colleague nominated Rodriguez. The nomination states, “Vikki is one of the sweetest and most welcoming members of Royal View. For the past two years, she has treated me with respect and kindness. She makes time for every teacher, staff member, parent, and student in the building, and she would be the first person to offer her help if anyone ever needed.”

Her nomination states: Her enthusiastic, lighthearted personality has decreased anxiety and opened my son up to learning. She spends many overtime hours improving my son’s social skills. She enabled him to join the track team by setting him up with a buddy and walking him to practice after school. She recognizes his strengths and potential. She challenges him to do his best. He thrives under her instruction like no one else. She is proactive and can anticipate a problem and diffuse it before it occurs. She is a creative thinker and develops her curriculum to best fit the students. Her repertoire of experience enables her to react quickly and obtain the most progress in the school year. She thinks outside the box and is not afraid to try new things. She has made a difference in our lives as my son is now going out on his own making friends, has a passion for something, participates in track and is talking to people without fear. I actually see him laugh. She has taught him how to enjoy life and actually make


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“Both Amy and Vikki are deserving of this recognition,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. “Our vision of identifying individual student needs and providing support for those needs is exemplified in what Amy and Vikki do each and every day!” 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 ELEMENTARY STUDENTS COME TOGETHER TO HELP DESIGN NEW SCHOOL’S PLAYGROUND On November 30, approximately 30 third- and fourth-grade students from Albion, Royal View and Valley Vista Elementary came together with District administrators and architects from ThenDesign Architecture to help design the new playground that will be built at the new North Royalton Elementary School. The meeting began by the students reviewing the site plan and playground locations and the architects asking the students what their favorite activities are on a playground. The students then broke up into pairs to select their favorite pieces of equipment out of five categories: swings, slides, overhead, motion/balance and bridges. The pairs of students then collaborated and brainstormed with their peers to narrow down their favorite pieces from each category. During the last part of the meeting, students were actually able to design a playground from a variety of materials such as markers, paper, dots, and toothpicks. The students enjoyed being creative and presenting their creations to not only their friends, but the architects as well.


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NORTH ROYALTON MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS INTRODUCED TO FINANCIAL LITERACY Eighth graders from North Royalton Middle School participated in a Financial Literacy Day on December 7. “FutureSmart,” a financial education program sponsored by MassMutual Foundation and EVERFI, a leading education technology company, was an interactive Field Day that took place in the school’s gymnasium. Students had the opportunity to participate in a series of games and interactive scenarios that covered critical financial skills, from budgeting, to setting career goals, to understanding wants versus needs. Community and business leaders, along with MassMutual advisors, were present, encouraging and coaching students through the real-life financial activities. Students learned how to identify fixed versus variable costs, how to fill out an interactive paystub, calculate insurance costs and plan for a variety of career options. The MassMutual Foundation also awarded one North Royalton Middle School student who participants in the Field Day with a 529 Savings Plan Scholarship in the amount of $1,000.

Thank you to MassMutual, Mrs. Heidi Balicki and all of the other eighth-grade social studies teachers, and our PTA for making this day a reality for our students. The life lessons learned through this experience certainly will allow for our students to navigate the real world as it relates to financial literacy in a more effective manner. - Jeff Cicerchi Principal, North Royalton Middle Schools


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NORTH ROYALTON CITY SCHOOLS PARTNERS HOSPITALS PARMA MEDICAL CENTER AND ROYALTON FIRE DEPARTMENT TO “STOP TH North Royalton City Schools, in partnership with University Hospitals Parma Medical Center and the City of North Royalton Fire Department, has trained all employees to be equipped to help “Stop the Bleed” in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Experienced personnel from the UH EMS Training & Disaster Preparedness Institute trained employees on how to use their hands, dressings and tourniquets to properly control bleeding. Thanks to donations from the University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, there are more than 400 buckets and 90 trauma kits throughout building classrooms, school buses and vehicles, valued at $32,000. These buckets include kits, gloves, gauze and tourniquets. North Royalton is the second school system under UH Parma Medical Center’s medical direction to be trained. “Our goal is to educate all the schools in our area to Stop the Bleed in emergency situations,” said Joseph W. Toth, MBA, NRP, EMSI, Manager, EMS Training & Disaster Preparedness Institute. “Properly trained and equipped teachers and staff can begin bleeding control treatment before the ambulance arrives. This can be the difference between life and death.” This bleeding control training was developed after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. “The safety and well-being of our students and staff is the utmost importance to myself and the Board of Education. With the gracious assistance of University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, we are able to now provide additional resources to help in the event of an emergency. - Greg Gurka, Superintendent, North Royalton City Schools


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“We appreciate our long-standing partnership with University Hospitals Parma Medical Center and we look forward to additional opportunities in the future. Robert Stefanik, Mayor, City of North Royalton


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North Royalton Middle School once again hosted a leadership conference for middle school students from schools throughout Northeast Ohio on January 23. Schools that attended included Amherst Junior High, Aurora-Harmon Middle School, Bay Middle School, Berea Midpark Middle School, Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School, Brunswick-Willetts Middle School, Cloverleaf Middle School, Coventry Middle School, Hudson Middle School, Incarnate Word Academy, Mayfield Middle School, Nordonia Middle School, Strongsville Middle School, South Euclid/Lyndhurst - Memorial Junior High, and Kimpton Middle School-Stow. The conference consisted of a keynote speaker, Scott Backovich, as well as many team-building activities. Backovich is a youth motivational speaker who dedicates his life to inspiring teens by speaking to them at their own level. His message this year is “Giving Hope.”


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With this theme, Backovich aims to help middle schoolers learn to work together, provide inspiration, and give hope to their school community. Backovich currently lives in Southern California and has been featured on TV, radio, and in newspapers across the U.S. and Canada.

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ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS PARTICIPATE IN GREAT KINDNESS CHALLENGE Elementary school students at North Royalton City Schools worked to promote kindness within their schools during the weeklong nationwide event, “The Great Kindness Challenge.” The goal of the program is to perform as many acts of kindness as possible during the week of January 28 - February 1. Last year, more than 10 million students from over 19,000 schools in 100 countries performed at least one random act of kindness each day of the school week. By performing just one simple act of kindness each day, over 500 million random acts of kindness were performed in one school week. By encouraging acts of kindness, schools can improve their climate, increase student engagement, and show that kindness matters. The Great Kindness Challenge offers an important lesson of teaching young students that something very small and simple can have a large impact. Albion Elementary students were challenged to complete acts of kindness such as smiling at 25 people, reading a book to a younger child, and eating a healthy snack to show kindness to oneself. After they completed an act of kindness, they placed a check beside the action. Students heard announcements of kindness each day and had two spirit days during the week. The first spirit day kicked off the week with students wearing t-shirts boasting messages of kindness or bright colors to show that kindness brightens the day. The second spirit day was called “Team up for Kindness,” and students and staff wore North Royalton gear. Art teacher Misty Ricco, and counselor Jennifer Nemeth, teamed up to have different activities for various grade levels. Kindergarten students “Sprinkled Kindness around like Confetti” and decorated papers with different color dot markers. First and second graders placed a kindness message on a chain link, which was made into a couple of kindness chains. Third and fourth graders could draw and/or write to finish the prompt, “Kindness is…” These creations were displayed on each student’s locker. Finally, Student Council made a


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video for the school to watch of what kindness means to them. Albion continued to help those in need as a culminating activity of The Great Kindness Challenge. One of their second graders, Aleen Kowalski, had the idea to raise money for Operation Smile. This organization believes every child born with a cleft lip or cleft palate should have exceptional surgical care. The money raised supports these safe, life-saving reconstructive surgeries for children around the world that may not otherwise have the necessary means or resources. At Royal View Elementary, the week began with each student receiving a checklist of 50 kind deeds that needed to be completed throughout the week. In addition to the list, there were a variety of kindness activities for students to participate in, one of which was creating Valentine’s for Veterans. During P.E. class, teachers promoted team-building lessons that focused on kindness such as a hula hoop challenge, balloon race, paper plate challenge, handprint pledge, painting of kindness rocks, and more. Each day of the week had a theme in which students and staff were encouraged to follow. Monday was “Superhero Day” where they had to wear their favorite superhero shirt because superheroes are kind and helpful. Tuesday was “We are all in for Kindness.” For this day, participants were to wear something with kindness, peace, love, or wear bright colored clothing to show they were “All in for Kindness.” Wednesday was a crazy hair day with the theme being, “Go Crazy for Kindness.” Thursday was a day for students and staff to wear their clothes inside out to show they were “Inside out for Kindness.” The final day of the Great Kindness Challenge week was a reminder to “Keep Kindness at Royal View” by wearing the school colors of purple and gold.

Students at Valley Vista Elementary each received a checklist of kind deeds that cwould be completed throughout the week. In addition to the list, there was an appreciation station set up to make pictures and cards for City of North Royalton first responders. Each morning on the announcements, students were given a new kindness challenge by members of the fourth-grade Hospitality Team. Monday’s theme was “Say Howdy to a New Friend” and students wore their western wear. Tuesday was

“Kindness Rocks” and students and staff wore their most rockin’ clothing. Wednesday’s theme was “Dreaming of a Kinder World” and it was a pajama day. Thursday was “Peace, Love, and Kindness Day” where students and staff could show off their tie-dye and peace signs. The final day of the Great Kindness Challenge week was a reminder that “Kindness is the Vista Way” by wearing the school colors of purple and gold.

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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 | 40

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Profile for CMP

Bear Way Winter 2019 - North Royalton City Schools  

Bear Way Winter 2019 - North Royalton City Schools

Bear Way Winter 2019 - North Royalton City Schools  

Bear Way Winter 2019 - North Royalton City Schools