Page 1








Simply Shepard Hall Preserving a legacy

In the Classroom

p. 1

Embarking on academic concentrations p. 2

From the Faculty

Celebrating Wilson & Trombley Retirements

p. 9

and more...

Vol. 01 - Issue 01

From the Headmaster Dear GRA Family: A little more than two years ago I came to Austinburg excited and anxious to start my tenure as the 32nd

headmaster in Academy history. Today, I am more proud than ever to serve as a steward of our--- your--- wonderful


As I write, we are powering forward at warp speed with a spring in our step, irrepressible optimism, and an

overwhelming focus for excellence. By any and all measures--- enrollment, college placement, college success---

Grand River Academy is on a roll. GRA is the environment for boys to mature into young men. From the challenging

classes, competitive athletics, and the social life, GRA is the solution. In the classroom, the teachers are all about

helping our boys learn and thrive academically. On the playing fields, the coaches teach the values of determination,

commitment, sportsmanship and resilience. As for the social aspects, GRA truly helps our students mature.

The state of the Academy is strong, vibrant and alive with promise and we are forging forward to ensure that Grand

River Academy is a global brand for excellence in boy education. It is my belief that all roads must lead to Grand River

Academy. This belief is rooted in the notion that there are boys at every school in the country, and around the world,

that would find a great deal of success at GRA. Thanks to our Board of Trustees, our staff, our students and you, we are

on the verge of enduring greatness by virtually every definition of the phrase. However, we do have one more critical

step to take. Our next step, which we are already undertaking with controlled urgency, is to support our people and

programs with appropriate 21st century facilities. Having already invested heavily in academic and residential life

infrastructure over the last ten years, we are now on a mission to take the next step.

In July 2013, the strategic vision committee began the important work of outlining purposeful intentions for the

Academy during the next five years. The final version of the strategic vision was approved by the Board of Trustees at

the April 2014 meeting, while the campus master plan was approved at the July 2014 meeting.

Thus, we have begun the important work of planning the development of the campus and facilities for the next 20

years. The campus master plan will coordinate the locations of new constructions such as a new dormitory complex, a

field house, a new academic building and a faculty housing neighborhood. The plan will also coordinate renovating

existing buildings to make them more efficient and conducive to teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Indeed, it is an exciting time to be an Eagle. This school year will position GRA to soar to new heights as we aim to

bring GRA to national and global prominence. Onward,

Tim Viands Headmaster

In this Issue Simply Shepard Hall


Simply named in honor of Miss Clara Shepard's generosity, this

humble structure now stands as a treasured legacy at Grand

River Academy.

In The Classroom


Embarking on Academic Concentrations: Students, and faculty alike, are taking leadership roles with GRA's Focus Curriculum Program. Connecting Through Educational Kinesiology: GRA's innovative

Foundations Learning Program introduces a new component –

Established in 1831, Grand River

Educational Kinesiology.

Academy is a private boarding school

located in Austinburg, OH, that serves

In Recognition


Inducting the Bud Field Hall of Excellence Recipients: Kudos to

over 100 young men in grades 9-12

with a post-graduation option. The faculty and staff continue to make

the 2013. Distinguished Alumnus, Distinguished Athlete,

strides in the school's mission to

Outstanding Teacher, Distinguished Service and Special


Recognition recipients.




academically, socially and emotionally.

The school offers small and intimate

Acknowledging 2014 Award Winners: Congratulations to

class sizes, individualized instruction

recipients of GRA's annual awards, such as the Cassidy-

and supportive teachers. Grand River

Schwartz Award, Diemer Award & Bauder Cup.





unlock and activate their full potential.

tradition of 100% college placement.

Grand River Academy

Celebrating 41 years of teaching with Mr. Larry Wilson & 21 years with Mr. Jed Trombley.





important niche - helping young men

Selecting the Next Step: The Class of 2014 continues the

From the Faculty



3042 College Street

Austinburg, OH 44010 440-275-2811

Alumni, Advocates & Ambassadors



Alumni Take a Stand: Alumni “Take a Stand” at Graduation 2014. Alumni Class Notes: Stay connected with the continually growing GRA family. Outstanding Advocate & Alumnus: GRA is pleased to honor Mr. Ed

Puhl '70.

Outstanding Ambassador: GRA is pleased to honor Mrs. Susan Stackhouse, GRA Parent '13.

Around The Globe


A Second Language: GRA’s International Student Program boasts

Teacher, Sean Kaschak. Stories contributed by Director of Advancement

a diverse international student population.

In the Game

The River was designed in-house by Grand River Academy Director of Residence Life and Multimedia

Kristen Kitchen and Assistant Director of


Founding Membership in LEC Conference: A founding member of

Advancement Kelli Jones.


the LEC Conference, GRA is now one of over ten participating


A Positive Policy: Promoting physical health and well-being, GRA

proudly supports a “no-cut policy” in its athletic programming.

On & Off Campus


A Collaborative Community : GRA provides meaningful

opportunities for engagement with its fellow community


A Culture of Philanthropy With Many Thanks


The cover was shot with a 2013 Canon 6D using a

pinhole lens. The pinhole lens is an ancient concept

and, when combined with modern technology, gives

a unique and aged look to the photograph. Digital

post-production was used to provide the turn of the

Levels of Giving The Blue and White Fund 2014 - 2015

century coloration. The marriage of old and new

technology parallels Shepard Hall’s legacy, which spans several decades and eras•




Simply Shepard Hall The Board of Trustees of the school acted almost

immediately, appointing a building committee. The

citizens of Austinburg also acted promptly, subscribing

$5,000.00 in twenty minutes to a new building as a

testimonial to the value of the school to the community.

Through requests and subscription letters to citizens,

alumni and friends of the Academy, the pledges were

vast. Building Committee member Miss Clara Shepard

also stepped forward with a personal contribution.

Miss Shepard was born in Austinburg and prepared

for college at Grand River Institute. After teaching and

being principal at Harmon Hall School for Girls in St.

A tragedy that has transformed to a legacy. Most who

visit Grand River Academy today would never describe Shepard Hall in this manner. However, most are not aware, that the infamous Shepard Hall was constructed

after an emotional turning point in GRA's history.

On April 1, 1917, a fire originating in the west gable of the annex in the Ladies Dormitory destroyed and gutted

the building. The events that day were recorded in the Scimitar, noting, “On April 1st of the present year, the

Sunday School, just closing its session, was rudely startled

by the announcement that the Ladies Hall at the Institute was on fire…Though the entire population of the town was

present in a short time, it was found impossible to save the

building, owing to a lack of any facilities for fire-fighting. The crowd could only do what was possible to save the

records and some furniture…and then stand with swelling hearts and see the building, so treasured in memory, rapidly consumed; in fact, it was with extreme difficulty

that the Recitation Hall and Boys Dormitory were saved, and had it not been for a providential shifting of the wind, they, too must have gone.”




Louis, she returned to Ashtabula County. Because of her continuing interest in the school and her timely and

generous gift, the new Ladies Hall, first occupied in January, 1918, was named Shepard Hall. And the legacy began.

“It is imperative that we preserve the rich

history of this building, which is truly an icon on

our campus.”

Through the years, Shepard Hall has served in many

capacities for the GRA community, not only as a

dormitory, but also as the dining hall, student union, Headmaster's office and Admissions office. The lives

touched by this very structure are numerous, from alumni to current students, from visitors to faculty members, each have unique and fond memories of

Shepard Hall - as they have come to know the space.

(Continued on Next Page)

In the Classroom

Embarking on Academic Concentrations

Grand River Academy has long prided itself on its

robust academic offerings and the 2013-2014 school

year was no exception – particularly with the

establishment of the Focus Curriculum Program. The

program offers students the opportunity to graduate

with a specific academic concentration in an area of study, while also offering faculty the opportunity to

teach targeted coursework in an area about which they are passionate.

Both students and faculty alike have embraced the

new program, which enables them to collectively further their understanding in a specific field. The

current focused curriculum content areas offered at

Grand River Academy include Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM), Humanities, as well as Visual

and Fine Arts. By taking an additional two credits in a

focused curriculum content area, students can graduate







GRA Guidance Counselor, Director of College

Placement and Dean of Academics Mrs. Melissa

Nipper shares, “The students are taking great care in

selecting the various electives, often choosing as

many as their schedule will allow with their core

Leo Goldman ‘14 concentrates during a Robotics class

- one of GRA’s focused curriculum courses.

classes. It has not surprised me to see a student choose both the “Works of Mitch Albom” course through the English Department and the “Robotics” course through

the Science Department in the same semester! They are simply exploring the different areas of concentration to determine their favorite path. Ultimately, these choices

and exposure will assist with their applications to college, and subsequently, their college choice and degree of study.” •

(Continued from Previous Page) Board of Trustee President Mr. Steve Schoneman

shares, “It is imperative that we preserve the rich history of this building, which is truly an icon on our

campus. Maintaining the integrity, and increasing the use, of Shepard Hall is a priority and will certainly

be a portion of our strategic vision.” Simply named in honor of Miss Shepard's generosity, this humble

structure now stands as a treasured legacy at Grand

River Academy. •




In the Classroom Director of the GRA Foundations Learning Program Mrs. Katherine Radwancky demonstrates an educational kinesiology exercise.

various, proven methodologies.

Mrs. Radwancky

adds, “We also help students to implement strategies

to become more effective learners and will discuss

topics such as study habits and test-taking strategies. Sometimes,







solving/logical thinking activities. Our Educational

Kinesiology component will help many students, especially those who exhibit high incidence disabilities, such as learning disorders and AD/HD.”

Practicing intentional physical movement to address neurological wiring deficiencies is based on the

Connecting Through Educational Kinesiology Grand River Academy students utilizing the many services offered through the Academy's innovative Foundations Learning Program are experiencing a new

component introduced during the 2013-2014 school year – Educational Kinesiology. ”Educational Kinesiology is moving the body with

intention—exercises which can lead to optimal

foundational research of medical doctors, and was later applied to the field of education by Dr. Paul Dennison, Ph.D., an authority on the breakthrough attainment of

cognitive and academic skills.

“The changes our

students will see will likely be subtle, but once the foundation becomes stronger and the brain is better

able to communicate across the hemispheres, they

should notice a significant difference in how effectively

they are able to process and understand new material,”

said Radwancky.

(Continued on Next Page)

learning by making up for deficits in an individual's

developmental process, or re-patterning of an inefficient neurological wiring system,” shares Mrs. Katherine






Foundations Learning Program. In her ninth year at GRA, Mrs. Radwancky is implementing intentional movement in the Foundations Learning Program

classes to improve cognitive function of the students. Each class begins with physical exercises, combining









philosophy to develop each student

academically, socially and emotionally.”

Selecting the Next Step

Western Reserve University, Davis & Elkins, Duquesne

University, Florida Southern College, Hocking College,

Lake Erie College, Marymount California University,

Muhlenberg College, Ohio University, Randolph Macon

College, Schoolcraft College, Shawnee State University, SUNY Stony Brook, University of Akron, University of

Arizona, University of Dayton, University of Santa Cruz,

University of Vermont, Washington State University,

West Virginia University, Xavier University and Young

Judea Program in Israel, among others.

Headmaster Tim Viands shares, “The GRA Class of Grand River Academy provides services for all students in preparing for the college application and

selection process through the GRA Guidance Counselor,

Director of College Placement and Dean of Academics Melissa Nipper.

Mrs. Nipper notes, “We take great

pride in our students, their academic accomplishments

and their many talents. It is rewarding to work with

these young adults in finding just the right college for

them - one that best fits their particular goals and interests.” Colleges and universities throughout the United

States and abroad will welcome Grand River Academy

graduates during the fall of 2014 including Arizona

State University, Bowling Green State University, Case

2014 exemplifies the strides and accomplishments a

young man can make when in an individualized, educational atmosphere with supportive and innovative

faculty members and teaching methods.

We highly

anticipate the tradition of 100% college placement will continue with the Class of 2015 as well.” •

“We take great pride in our students,

their academic accomplishments and

their many talents. It is rewarding to

work with these young adults in finding

just the right college for them.”

(Continued from Previous Page) GRA Headmaster Tim Viands adds, “We recognize

the potential of our young men to excel even further

with this kinesiology approach in building a healthy

foundation for their style of learning. This additional

service in our Foundations Learning Program is part of

our 360-degree philosophy to develop each student academically, socially and emotionally.”•

Mrs. Randwancky works actively with students

individually, as well as with small groups in the FLP.




Inducting the Bud Field Hall of Excellence Recipients On Saturday, October 5, 2013, the GRA family joined together for the Edmund E. "Bud" Field Hall of Excellence

Recognition Dinner, highlighting awards for Distinguished Alumnus, Outstanding Athlete, Distinguished Service and

Distinguished Teacher.

Named in honor of Bud Field for his 35 years of exemplary service at GRA as a teacher, dorm master,

administrator, friend and mentor, induction to the Hall of Excellence holds significant meaning.

Special Recognition

OUTSTANDING TEACHER The Bud Field Hall of Excellence Outstanding Teacher award is presented to a faculty member of Grand River Academy who has touched the lives of

Academy students in the classroom, in the dormitory, on the athletic field and in other areas of Academy life. The Outstanding Teacher is a person of

good character and high moral standards.

Mr. Louis A. DiFabio

Mr. Louis A. DiFabio with Mr. John P.



Grand River Academy is proud to honor Mr. Charles T. Ranck II '73 for his dedicated efforts in establishing the Edmund E. “Bud” Field Hall of

Excellence during his time as the Alumni President. With great respect

and gratitude, GRA recognizes Mr. Ranck for this fine accomplishment. Mr. Charles T. Ranck II '73

Mr. Charles Ranck II ‘73 with Mr. Daniel

Marty ‘76

Please join GRA on Saturday, October 11th for the 2014 Bud Field Hall of Excellence Recognition Dinner Advance tickets for the recognition dinner are required as seating is limited. Please call GRA at

440-275-2811 to reserve your tickets ($40.00/ticket or $75.00/couple) or reserve online at through the Give Now tab. 05



Hall of Excellence 2013 inductees: OUTSTANDING TEACHER

The Bud Field Hall of Excellence Outstanding Teacher award is presented to a faculty

member of Grand River Academy who has touched the lives of Academy students in the

classroom, in the dormitory, on the athletic field and in other areas of Academy life. The

Outstanding Teacher is a person of good character and high moral standards.

Mr. William Thomas

Mr. William Thomaswith Mrs. Alicia Field


The Bud Field Hall of Excellence Outstanding Athlete award is presented to a former student of Grand River Academy who has made a significant impact on the Academy's

athletic program, who has served as a leader to teammates, who has earned a varsity letter in one or more sports and who has excelled during his athletic career at GRA. Mr. Aaron Tiknis '08


The Bud Field Hall of Excellence Distinguished Service award is presented to an individual for his commitment, dedication and long term service to Grand Academy. The

Mr. Aaron Tiknis ‘08 with Mr.

Joshua Hartz

Distinguished Service award recipient is a person of good character and high moral

standards, who is recognized by the GRA community as a model citizen. Mr. Patrick Geschke

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS The Bud Field Hall of Excellence Distinguished Alumnus award is presented to a former student of Grand River Academy who is a respected leader in his profession, who has

contributed significantly to the betterment of society, who is recognized by the community Mr. Patrick Geschke with Mrs. as a positive role model for students and who is a person of good character and high moral Alicia Field


Mr. David Kiros*

*awarded posthumously




Acknowledging 2014 Award Winners Grand River Academy proudly continues the tradition of

recognizing students for these long-standing awards:

Cassidy-Schwartz Service Award Awarded to students who unselfishly and generously give of their time

and effort in service to the Academy.

Mr. Benjamin Triulzi '14

Fisher Achievement Award A monetary award presented to a returning junior whose support of

the Academy and whose service to his fellow students is exemplary.

Mr. Rick He ‘15

Mr. Zachary Riemenschneider ‘14 William H. Jeffery Fine Arts Award

William H. Jeffery Fine Arts Award

Awarded to the student who has attended GRA for two years and excels in drama, art, music, photography or literature.

Mr. Zachary Riemenschneider ‘14 The Nonneman Award

Awarded to students who produce outstanding work for school

publications in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, artwork, and photography.

Mr. Eric Levaux ‘14 Mr. Benjamin Triulzi ‘14 Watson & Jan Kallay Award Awarded to the outstanding senior athlete. Mr. DJ Lewis '14



Mr. Eric Levaux ‘14 Nonneman Award Headmaster’s Cup


Acknowledging 2014 Award Winners George Armington, Jr. Memorial Plaque

Awarded to the senior who best personifies the philosophy of the Academy.

Mr. Benjamin Triulzi ‘14 Diemer Award

Awarded to a 9th, 10th, or 11th grade student who exhibits a positive

attitude, exemplary citizenship and who works to his fullest potential. Mr. Nate Heslin ‘17 Headmaster's Cup Awarded to the student who best combines the attributes of scholar, athlete, and gentleman. Mr. Eric Levaux ‘14

Mr. Benjamin Triulzi ‘14

George Armington, Jr. Memorial Plaque

Bauder Cup

The Nonneman Award

Bauder Cup

Awarded to the student who excels in character, leadership, and


Mr. Benjamin Triulzi ‘14

Trustee Bowl Awarded to the senior with the most distinguished record during his senior year.

Mr. Isaac Seger-Brown ‘14 Dr. William M. Lesuer

Awarded to the student whose citizenship is exceptional and who has

excelled because of hard work. Mr. Elpidio Amoussou ‘14

Mr. Isaac Seger-Brown ‘14 Trustee Bowl

Mr. Jared Cave ‘15 THE



From the Faculty

Mr. Larry Wilson and Mr. Jed Trombley pictured at the Alumni Reception following Graduation 2014.

Celebrating 21 Years with Mr. Trombley Mr. Jed Trombley

welcoming his daughter Becky in 1986.

classroom at Grand

John Carroll University in 1993, Mr. Trombley also

teaching in his

River Academy, as

pictured in the 1982


Receiving his master's degree in education from

taught at Andrews School, returning to GRA in 2006.

Serving as the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 Senior Banquet, Mr. Trombley retired after 21 years with GRA

at the end of May.

A thoughtful and reflective

educator, GRA is pleased to honor Mr. Trombley's service with Trombley Gardens, a quiet, landscaped

area connecting the campus community. A graduate of Xavier University, Mr. Jed Trombley first joined the GRA family in 1978, teaching mathematics for twelve years. In that time, he

coached basketball and began his family – marrying his wife Debbie, welcoming son Adam in 1981 and




Mr. Trombley shared, “Many of my life's milestones happened at GRA. There is a family

atmosphere and sense of understanding here. We all

work for, and believe in, the same mission.” Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, Mr. Trombley! •



Celebrating 41 Years with Mr. Wilson Mr. Larry Wilson, as pictured in the 1976 Scimitar. It was the summer of

1973 and a newly hired teacher moving






worldly belongings into Alumni Hall. It was only

natural that he returned

to Ashtabula County after

graduating with his degree in education from Kent State University.

As an alumnus of St. John's

School, he grew up in the area and hoped to teach in the community he called home. Little did the young man know when applying to Grand River Academy

and subsequently continued teaching through the

sophomore, junior and currently, senior levels. His

most recent courses included American Wars,

Government and World History.

Mr. Wilson and his wife, Barbara, raised their

four children Michael, Jennifer, Kathleen and

Kimberly, while living on-campus for over thirty years in a residence on College Street. “When I became a parent myself, I definitely applied what I

learned through raising my own children to helping my students - as a teacher and as a coach.”

(Continued on Next Page)

that he would be celebrating 41 years with the school in 2014. That young man was Mr. Larry Wilson.

Fresh from his student-teaching experience,

where he taught five classes with more than thirty

students in each, Mr. Wilson was seeking a position

where he could concentrate on individual students, and their educational needs, in a smaller classroom

setting. Mr. Wilson shares, “I was aware of Grand

River Academy, but I did not fully understand the capacity of the school and its mission until I applied

and met with Headmaster Keith Johnson in the Shepard Hall office that fateful day.” Mr. Wilson has worked with students of all ages

during his tenure in the Social Studies Department, where he also served as the Department Chair. Beginning with seventh and eighth graders, Mr.

Wilson transitioned to teaching freshman courses



Mr. Larry Wilson delivering the keynote speech

during the 2014 Commencement Ceremony.




From the Faculty

(Continued from Previous Page)

Coaching soccer, advising a variety of clubs including

model rocket club and student council, Mr. Wilson also

created the foundation for the GRA summer program,

“To teach for the moment is lost in the

day, but to instill knowledge, will last a


skill set that assists them in their next step, and

ultimately, throughout their life. As my favorite quote

from Latin scholar Seneca states, "Non scholae sed

vitae discimus,” which translates to “We do not learn

for school, but for life.” I also love "Give me a fish and

I'll eat for a day, teach me to fish and I'll eat for a

lifetime." I have tried through the years to apply them

daily to my students. To teach for the moment is lost

serving as its first Director, as well as leading the renovation of the Shepard Hall basement from a

dining hall to a student union.

“It is my hope that each student learns not only academically in my classroom, but also acquires a

in the day, but to instill knowledge, will last a lifetime.” Kudos to Mr. Wilson!

Serving as the Keynote Speaker for Graduation

2014, Mr. Wilson retired after 41 years with GRA at the end of May.•

The Wilson House and Trombley Gardens Wilson House rendering done by Mrs. Elizabeth Ginn, GRA Art Teacher

Accommodating GRA's expanding curriculum

and growing faculty, the Academy is thrilled to be

constructing a new faculty residence and garden, aptly named The Wilson Family House and Trombley


The first home in what will ultimately become a

faculty housing neighborhood, The Wilson Family

When determining the most meaningful manner

to recognize Mr. Wilson and Mr. Trombley's service to

House and Trombley Gardens will be dedicated in autumn 2014. •

the Academy, it quickly became evident that a

faculty home and garden named in their honor would

be quite fitting, as both the Wilson and Trombley families made GRA their home for so many years.

Progress on The Wilson House, constructed slated to

be completed by the end of November 2014.





Alumni, Advocates & Ambassadors Alumni Take a Stand In an effort to recognize the many graduates of

Grand River Academy throughout its steadfast history,

all alumni were invited to gather together on Saturday,

May 24, 2014 for the 2nd Annual Alumni Take A Stand

Initiative at Graduation 2014.

During the ceremony, GRA asked all alumni and

their families to "Take A Stand" and be honored. The graduating class of 2014 was then asked to "Take A Stand" themselves, joining their fellow alumni as

members of a very elite club – the distinguished graduates of Grand River Academy.•

Please join us for commencement on Saturday,

May 23, 2015 at 11:00am for the 3rd Annual Alumni

Take A Stand, where the Class of 2015 will be

welcomed to the special brotherhood of GRA


GRA welcomes its newest alumni as the Class of

2014 celebrates after graduation on the steps of

Armington Hall

Alumni Class Notes Did you recently graduate from college? Receive a promotion? Marry your sweetheart?

Start your family? Or take the trip of a lifetime? Share your news with your fellow

graduates, as well as your alma mater, as we strive to connect the continually growing GRA family.

In upcoming editions of the annual magazine, Grand River Academy would like to

spotlight graduates through Class Notes of each graduating year. Please submit your

updates today via or by

calling 440-275-2811.




Alumni, Advocates & Ambassadors

Outstanding Advocate & Alumnus - Ed Puhl ‘70

I'm back home. It's not a feeling of nostalgia, however.

I'm not someone who's sentimental about the past.

Rather, it's more a feeling of being welcomed, like a

family member who's back in town for a short visit.

Finally, there are all of those vineyards popping up in

northeast Ohio now.

I could never come up with

enough excuses to visit them all if it weren't for the quarterly trips I must make to Austinburg for On the left is Mr. Ed Puhl, with his wife Dorothy, on one of

their travels. On the right is Mr. Ed Puhl as pictured in the 1970 Scimitar. Mr. Edward G. Puhl, a graduate of Grand River

Academy with the class of 1970, currently resides in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with his wife of 40 years,

Dorothy. A partner with Puhl, Eastman & Thrasher,

Mr. Puhl devotes a great deal of his time to GRA – as an alumnus, as a member of the Board of Trustees

and as the Recording Secretary of the GRA Alumni

Association. GRA is proud to highlight Mr. Puhl, his dedicated efforts, and his volunteerism with his alma


meetings of the Board of Trustees.” Why do you feel it is important to “give back” to your alma mater? “A phrase you hear a lot these days is “pay it

forward,” meaning do something good for somebody other than the original benefactor.

Regardless of

whether you want to call it “giving back,” “paying it

forward,” or just “karma,” the concept is basically the same. It's recognizing that because you've been the

recipient of good deeds done in the past, you have a

duty to return the favor and do something good for the others who will come after you. It's an act of faith,

really, which reminds of that old adage, “a society

grows great when old men plant trees whose shade

Why do you volunteer your time to Grand River Academy?

they will never sit in.” Time to plant some trees, I say.”

“I give my time to GRA for several reasons, some

Why would you encourage someone to become involved at Grand River Academy?

the school depends on people like me in order to

“When you see the positive impact GRA can

of them altruistic, some of them selfish. First, I know

survive. By that, I mean people who care about the

academy's mission and who are willing to contribute both time and money in furtherance of that mission. People like Terry Warren and Dick Rose come to mind,

for example. They are my role models. On a more selfish note, though, whenever I drive up to Austinburg and take a walk around campus, I feel like




have on a boy – whether you're the boy's parents, grandparents, or the boy himself – you understand.

You get it, that GRA saves boys from unnecessary failure. In my book, there are few endeavors more

worthwhile, and I would tell anyone thinking about

getting involved at GRA that it's something to be genuinely proud of.”

Outstanding Ambassador - Mrs. Susan Stackhouse Why do you volunteer your time to Grand River Academy as

a Parent Ambassador?

“With the help of GRA, our son had 8 college choices,

6 with financial merit scholarships. Today, when he

struggles, he is able to reflect and make the necessary

Mrs. Susan Stackhouse, mother of JB Stackhouse

'13, made a significant commitment to Grand River

changes to succeed. He's back on track. For that

reason, we will always be grateful for the support he

Academy in 2012 – with her time, her talents and with

received at GRA.”

Residing in Riverview, Florida with her husband Robert

go to law school, but would like to start his career

her family's decision to pick GRA for a high school.

and her children JB and Sarah, Mrs. Stackhouse serves as a long-distance ambassador for GRA from her very

own home, frequently speaking with potential GRA families about GRA's admissions process, the academic

curriculum and life on-campus.

GRA is proud to

“My son pays GRA the best tribute, as he aspires to

teaching history at GRA. Yesterday, when approached via text by a family member on his opinion of GRA, he got

all choked up and asked if he could call her and talk

instead of texting as he had such profound memories of

the school.”

highlight Mrs. Stackhouse and her willingness to always

(Continued on Next Page)

speak on behalf of GRA, providing fellow parents with a

full understanding of what the Academy offers.

What is your fondest memory of your involvement with GRA (as a student, or as a volunteer)? “My fondest memory is my senior year (1970), when

I lived in North Hall. Richard Curry was my English teacher and dorm master, and we would spend many

evenings playing Scrabble together. I remember the

first time I beat Mr. Curry at that game. Fortunately for him, we didn't have the internet, let alone Facebook

back then.” How do you see the GRA campus and program in 10 years? “In the next 10 years, I'm sure the campus will greatly

sewer has arrived and the septic system is gone, the green space in front of Shepard Hall can be re-planted

and made to look more like the treed town square that it resembled in 1965. New buildings will be built in the next decade, too, and Shepard Hall, among other

buildings, may be repurposed as the campus expands. I don't expect major changes in the curriculum or in the mission of the academy, though. “If it ain't broke,

don't fix it,” I say. I'm anxious to see what Headmaster Viands and the long-range planning consultants come

up with.” •

improve in appearance. For example, now that public




Alumni, Advocates & Ambassadors (Continued from Previous Page)

Why do you feel it is important to “give back” to your

son's school?

student population. We have also made lifelong

friends, both parents of other students and

“Living over a thousand miles away from Grand

River made it more complicated to carve out a way to give back to the school. A semester into our

son's GRA career, the admissions department

approached me to be a parent ambassador and I

willingly jumped at the chance to give my time to

reach out to potential GRA families, answering

questions they had about the school. In the past

two years, I have spoken to at least a dozen

families, guiding them via email, phone calls or

Facebook personal messages, through the intake


understand both the mission as well as the

My husband has also shared in the

process welcoming families into the GRA

community and helping them make the decision on

whether or not GRA was the right fit for their son.

My husband and I have always believed it was

important to volunteer our time at our kids'

faculty members.” What is your fondest memory of your involvement with

GRA (as a parent, or as a volunteer)?

“I have two very fond memories. I made one

of my few trips to GRA dovetail with a school

break and our son's birthday. Prior to the trip, I

set up a pizza party to include our son's friends

and dorm members. I picked up the pizza at a

recommended local pizza place and also brought

homemade cupcakes. The boys devoured the

food and respectfully thanked me for bringing it.

It also turned out, that one of the boys whose

parents had spoken to us about sending their

son to GRA was at the birthday party. So, I got to

see him in action and recognized he was thriving,

just like our son! I was pleased to see it all

schools. As a private school educator, I recognize

worked out for him too.

from my personal experience, often times, parent

Grand River, there would be fewer people that

the importance of parent participation. I know involvement is just as important as additional financial contributions.” Why would you encourage someone to become

involved at Grand River Academy?

“I encourage other moms and dads to become involved at Grand River Academy. There are all

sorts of parent volunteer avenues. By giving back,

we've become more connected to the Academy and 15



My belief is, if there were more schools like

get lost and unable to find themselves. I'm

grateful we found GRA. I just wish we had found

it without the struggle. I'm not sure why kids have to hit rock bottom before they find schools

that fit their learning styles. I feel like we wasted

an incredible amount of monetary, emotional,

and overall wellness resources that would have

been better applied if we had found GRA sooner. GRA is a wonderful school. We are blessed we

found it!”•

Around the Globe Aoucheng (Jeff) Li ‘14 plays tennis.

know we can help them

learn about life in

America – but equally because

they help our

American students learn about the world and life from different and vital perspectives. For each of

our students it is important to achieve not only academic success, but also social success and

emotional maturity.”

The goals for GRA's International Student

Program are tri-fold, including to help students

become experts in the English language, to give

students the skill set to be

A Second Language If you had the opportunity to study in another

country while in high school, would you have

taken advantage of that chance? Would you have

made a home on a school campus where the

language was foreign, or where the meals, faces

and challenges differed from what you had come

to know? For the international students who select Grand River Academy, the answer to these

questions is a resounding, “Yes!”

Grand River Academy boasts quite a diverse

international student population. During 20132014, GRA welcomed students from Brazil, China,

Russia, South Korea, and Togo. International

Program Advisor Mrs. Angela Thomas shares, “We value our international students because we


successful in high school and a university, as well

as to help students earn university acceptances.

“Grand River Academy boasts one of the




populations in America.” Subsequently,





placed in courses according to their ability when

applying to GRA, whether as a beginning, intermediate




Beginning and intermediate English-learners'

schedule (ESL 1 & 2) include two to four “English as a Second Language” courses which focus upon

vocabulary development, reading comprehension,

grammar, writing, as well as listening and speaking. Students also take mainstream courses (Continued on Next Page)






Around the Globe (Continued from Previous Page)

in math, science and history. English-learners,


“We have the opportunity to immerse one

For advanced




mainstream, with support from Mrs. Thomas as their advisor.

another in our respective cultures - and

learn together as faculty, staff and


Each year, several recreational and social

gatherings are arranged that help international students become more familiar with American

culture and traditions. Activities range from apple

picking and carving pumpkins each autumn, to

decorating Christmas sugar cookies, coloring

Easter eggs, making s'mores around a campfire

and visiting the Amish community in nearby

Middlefield. Students also visit children in the local

hospital, as well as visit the elderly at nearby










encouraged to participate in regularly planned

campus activities and trips.

International Program Advisor Mrs. Angela Thomas

instructs a class of first-year English language learners. Each activity welcomes an English Speaking

Partner (ESP) to attend with the international students.


First year international students are






encourage communication and friendship among

the two students. The ESP acts as a mentor and

friend, answering questions, suggesting ideas and

helping to solve problems during the adjustment


Mrs. Thomas adds, “Our student population is

Yunyang (Jay) Liu ‘16 shows the harvest during an

apple-picking adventure 17



global. We have the opportunity to immerse one

another in our respective cultures - and learn

together as faculty, staff and students.”•

In the Game for many of our student athletes. We set goals for

ourselves in the classroom, so it is only natural that we

also set goals for ourselves on the field.” •

A Positive Policy In conjunction with the 360-degree philosophy to

develop each student academically, socially and emotionally, Grand River Academy supports a “no-cut

Founding Membership in LEC Conference When Grand River Academy was actively participating in the founding of the Lake Effect






throughout Northeastern Ohio, GRA was sincerely unaware of the profound impact its membership

would have on the student body.

Joining Andrews Osborne Academy, Hearts for Jesus, Horizon Science Academy, Lawrence School

and St. John School as a founding member in 2011, the conference has now grown to include over ten

schools. During 2013, GRA's baseball team took first

place in the conference, while the soccer team took second place and the basketball team ranked third.

Additionally, the conference promotes awards for 1st

and 2nd team all conference and all academic for those athletes with a grade point average of 3.5 and


Director of Athletics and Faculty Member Mr. David Scharping shares, “Prior to participating in the

policy” in its athletic programming as a means of

promoting physical health and well-being.

Coaches strive to create a sense of community

and belonging amongst their team members, who have the choice of nine varsity sports throughout the

school year including baseball, basketball, bowling,

cross-country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis and

wrestling. An average of 60 students participate annually.

“It is remarkable to see the transformation a

young man can make through a sporting season. Students who have played a sport for years are

connecting with students who may have never played

the sport before, and collectively, they are learning from one another.

Their growth in self-esteem,

individually and as a team, is always amazing to observe. It is an especially meaningful experience for

international students, as participating integrates them with not only American culture, but also the culture of GRA,” shares Director of Athletics and

Faculty Member Mr. David Scharping.•

LEC, our students did not have the opportunity to

compete for a conference championship. With the variety of varsity sports offered at GRA, the chance to

work toward a tangible, athletic goal is a driving force




On & Off Campus The Robert S. Morrison Lecture Center has

recently hosted Youth Leadership Ashtabula County,

the Austinburg Town Hall's American Red Cross Blood

Drive, the Family and Children First Council of

Ashtabula County's continuing education seminar, as

well as the Ohio Association of Independent Schools

Business Officer Conference.

Additionally, the students of Grand River Academy

have been out and about, volunteering their time and talent through a variety of projects including participation in Geneva's Grape Jamboree 50th

Anniversary where they carried the flags of the 50 states, volunteering as servers for Geneva's Locavore

Harvest Dinner to benefit the local foods movement,

and assisting with a Halloween party and holiday decorating for the residents of the Austinburg

Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility.

The winter season brought the chance to volunteer

Jon Butler ‘15 carries his state’s flag (Texas) in Geneva’s Grape Jamboree 50th Anniversary parade.

with Austinburg's Shannon's Mini Mart in decorating

A Collaborative Community Just a few short years ago, Grand River Academy proudly opened the doors of the Robert S. Morrison

Lecture Center. This incredible structure has been put to good use by the GRA family…and the community at large.







assemblies and movie nights, the students and faculty of GRA have embraced the Lecture Center - and found

every reason to utilize the space to its full capacity.

Meanwhile GRA's neighbors and friends throughout

the region are discovering the space for their

community events. .




Lizhong “Tim” Zhang ‘16 works with a group of

students when volunteering for the After School Discovery Program in Ashtabula.

trees for the Salvation Army, as well as visiting the pediatric

patients at Ashtabula County Medical Center with holiday gifts.

Director of Advancement Mrs. Kristen Kitchen shares,

“Providing meaningful opportunities for engagement with our

“We are grateful that we have the

opportunity at GRA to volunteer our resources

on campus, as well as extending our time and

fellow community members is integral for the

students of Grand River Academy. Regardless

of where they reside throughout their lives, it is

imperative they understand the capacity of

giving back to the community in which they


We are grateful that we have the

opportunity at GRA to volunteer our resources

on campus, as well as extending our time and

efforts to our neighbors.” •

efforts to our neighbors.”

GRA Surprises ACMC Pediatric Patients In December 2013, Grand River Academy student volunteers excitedly began their bi-weekly visits to Ashtabula

County Medical Center (ACMC) in hopes of spreading a little

more immersed in our community. However, the student response to be involved was so

overwhelming, GRA began making two trips a

holiday cheer to children in the pediatric unit.

week to ACMC with all interested students!”

Mrs. Angela Thomas shares, “Initially, this special project was

g i f t s f r o m t h e G R A f a c u l t y a n d s t a f f,

International Student Advisor and GRA faculty member

an opportunity for our international student population to work with their English-speaking partners to become a bit

Students collected donations of a variety of

meticulously wrapping each to perfection and personally delivering the gifts to the local

medical facility. A member of the Class of 2015, Cooper Loose, noted how important acts of

giving can be, sharing “It felt great to be involved.

We really connected with the kids.” Mrs. Thomas

adds, “We are so grateful to Ashtabula County

Medical Center for offering this opportunity to

our students.

They are looking forward to

participating in other opportunities!” •




A Culture of Philanthropy With Many Thanks With immense gratitude and great excitement, Grand River Academy is proud to announce The Blue & White

Fund, GRA's annual operating campaign, raised over $150,000 during the 2013-2014 school year!

Donations designated to GRA's Blue & White Fund support the many features that make GRA’s campus a home

including residential life, scholarship/financial aid, athletics, faculty professional development, facility

maintenance and, often, an area of greatest need during a particular school year.

GRA extends its utmost thanks to the many donors who helped GRA reach this goal. Recognition of all

donations to GRA throughout 2013-2014 can be viewed online HERE or visit our website within the

Advancement Tab. We are grateful for the many names that appear in this listing, which includes not only

contributions made to The Blue & White Fund, but also the generous capital pledge payments and gifts

received to GRA's Endowment Fund. Thank you!

Levels of Giving The Legacy Society - Planned Gifts

Named in recognition for the friends of Grand

River Academy who have made a provision in

The 1831 Society - $10,000 and up

Named in recognition of Grand River Academy's

founding year, members of The 1831 Society

their estate for the future of GRA.

contribute an annual gift of $10,000 and above.

The Trustee Society - $5,000 and up

The Headmaster Society – $2,500 and up

Named in recognition of Grand River

Academy's current and previous Board of

Trustees, members of The Trustee Society

Named in recognition of Grand River Academy's

leadership since its founding, members of The

Headmaster Society contribute an annual gift of

contribute an annual gift of $5,000 and above.

$2,500 and above.

The Aurora Club - $1,000 and up

The Scimitar Society – up to $999

Named in recognition of Grand River

Academy's honor society in the 1920's,

members of The Aurora Club contribute an

annual gift of $1,000 and above.




Named in recognition of Grand River Academy's

current students and alumni, the Scimitar is

GRA's yearbook.

Members of The Scimitar

Society contribute an annual gift of up to $999.

The Blue and White Fund 2014 - 2015 During the 2014-2015 school year, Grand River Academy is embarking on the integral journey of increasing

its goal of The Blue & White Fund to raise a total of $200,000.

Will YOU help GRA reach this significant goal? Yearly fundraising efforts by GRA include seeking individual,

organizational, corporate and foundation support. Beginning on July 1, 2014, The Blue & White Fund 2014-

2015 will close on June 30, 2015.

Become instrumental in the experience and opportunities offered to GRA students this school year, as we can

best impact our academic offerings, our faculty development and our campus as a whole by collectively

joining together to accomplish this goal for The Blue & White Fund 2014-2015. Join us today by visiting

Details coming soon regarding new opportunities to help GRA reach this milestone, annual goal of $200,000,

including Giving Tuesday and The 1831 Challenge.

Scan the Code to make a donation online or click the link HERE.

Name (as you would like to be recognized)






) Email

Telephone Number








Payment: (If you prefer to make an online donation, please visit Gift Enclosed Credit Card Card #

Checks may be made payable to Grand River Academy Visa Mastercard Expiration Date

CV2 Code (on back of card)

Name as it appears on card




Established in 1831, Grand River

Academy is a private boarding school

located in Austinburg, OH, that serves

over 100 young men in grades 9-12

with a post-graduation option. The

faculty and staff continue to make

strides in the school's mission to






academically, socially and emotionally.

The school offers small and intimate

class sizes, individualized instruction

and supportive teachers. Grand River






important niche - helping young men

unlock and activate their full potential. Grand River Academy 3042 College Street

Austinburg, OH 44010 440-275-2811

Keep in Touch /grandriveracademy /grandriveraca /grandriver

The River  

Grand River Academy's Annual Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you