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2014 - 2015

FROM THE HEADMASTER This past year has been truly remarkable on many fronts. On October 11, 2014, Grand River Academy was honored to continue the tradition of the Bud Field Hall of Excellence induction ceremony in conjunction with GRA’s annual Fall Family & Friends Day. Current families, alumni and the community joined together for a beautiful autumn day of recognition and comradery. On November 15, 2014, we dedicated The Wilson Family House, a new faculty housing unit on the north side of campus. Named in recognition of Larry and Barb Wilson, and their 66 years of combined service to GRA as faculty members, this new construction enabled GRA’s strategic vision to come alive and spur the campus master plan. On March 7, 2015, GRA opened the campus to first through eighth grade students from throughout Ashtabula County for our inaugural STEAM Day event. We were excited to host 32 students from the community to learn and experience science on our campus! In April 2015, I had the privilege of once again representing Grand River Academy internationally, traveling throughout Asia to meet the families of our current students participating in our International Program. On May 2, 2015, we hosted the inaugural Grand River Gala as an evening of philanthropy for the Blue & White Fund, GRA’s annual fund. This special event assisted in GRA exceeding the $200,000 goal for the 2014-2015 school year. On May 23, 2015, twenty-five young men graduated from GRA, including the first student to earn a commendation in science through GRA’s Focused Curriculum. We are proud to call each graduate an alumnus. Adding special significance to the day was commencement speaker, Jim Stafford ‘79, President of the GRA Alumni Association and Mike Good ’09 who presented the 3rd Annual “Alumni Take a Stand” recognition. And over the summer of 2015, Grand River Academy has undergone many exciting enhancements to campus. With the success of the Blue & White Fund, in addition to mini-campaigns, the enhancements will directly impact each student’s residential life experience and social well-being. Improvements include dorm bathroom renovations courtesy of the Class of 2015 families, renovated weight and fitness rooms, renovation of the

Gates Library and the re-purposing of Shepard Hall basement as the Productive Growth Center for counseling combined with hand-tool wood-working. All of the above could not have been made possible without the best faculty and staff in the country and a supportive and energized Board of Trustees, as well as GRA’s many donors and friends. While the campus is beautiful, it is the people that make the magic at Grand River Academy. The state of Grand River Academy is strong and the future looks bright. Onward, Tim Viands Headmaster


What a year it has been! Progress abounds. With our dedicated Board, a new strategic vision, a detailed campus master plan and a newly revised mission statement, Grand River Academy is changing, and growing, as a school and as a community. I have had the pleasure of being involved with Grand River Academy since my son Dan began his freshman year in 2003. When he graduated in 2007, my family and I continued our involvement with the school - as volunteers, advocates and ambassadors. As the current Chair of the Board of Trustees, I am enthusiastic about the progress the Academy has made during the 2014-2015 school year, as can be seen in the following pages, as well as through the ongoing construction and campus improvements. With challenging academic offerings, robust recreational activities, and meaningful social opportunities, GRA is truly preparing young men for lifelong success. Regards, Steve Schoneman Chair, GRA Board of Trustees Alumni Parent ‘07




The bell tower, inspiration for GRA’s logo, is captured by Dmitry Chebakov ‘15 in the midwinter sunlight during the 2014 - 2015 academic year.

The River was created in-house with collaboration between Marketing and Communications Coordinator Kelli Jones, Director of Advancement Kristen Kitchen, and Director of Residential Life and Multimedia Teacher Sean Kaschak.

Pictured Above: The Class of 2015 celebrates graduation with the traditional hat toss on the steps of Armington Hall. THE RIVER i



Planning for the Future Grand River Gala



Headmaster Travels Abroad The Countries of GRA





1:1 Technology Course Spotlight: Photography

Bud Field Hall of Excellence 2014 - 2015 Student Award Winners





Outstanding Advocate Outstanding Ambassador New Alum Welcome

Taking the Lead Engaging in Austinburg and Beyond The STEAM Experience

24 IN THE GAME Four Seasons on the Athletic Field 25


Blue and White Fund Surpasses Goal





ABOUT THE STRATEGIC VISION It is with great enthusiasm that GRA presents the 2018 Strategic Vision. This vision is ambitious and designed to be nimble and flexible, adapting to changing demographics, economies, and educational trends. It aligns the Academy’s mission (see GRA’s newly approved mission statement above) with a forward-thinking mindset, consistently concentrating on the six key aspects below. It is our students’ successes that keep the spirit of “The River” alive. Providing the best learning environments and residential facilities is at the core of the immediate campus vision. Spaces that inspire creativity, collaboration, learning, and recreation are important factors in the forward-thinking mindset of academic and residential life. OUR ACADEMICS Grand River Academy will create and improve academic spaces and programs that foster intellectual curiosity, creativity and collaboration, as well as advance its educational program to provide students with the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in a complex and changing world. OUR STUDENTS Grand River Academy will create college-ready, capable, ethical, and compassionate graduates. OUR TEAM Grand River Academy will enhance its faculty’s professional lives by recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty who embrace the boarding school ethos, as well as promote excellence in teaching by supporting faculty to develop and advance their professional practice. 1



OUR COMMUNITY Grand River Academy will strengthen its relationship and collaborative efforts within Austinburg Township, Ashtabula County, and the Northeast Ohio region. OUR CAMPUS Grand River Academy will repurpose or develop spaces that are cutting-edge and foster interaction, collaboration and recreation. OUR FUTURE Grand River Academy will provide the financial management and support needed to be the global leader in helping young men activate their potential.

ABOUT THE CAMPUS MASTER PLAN In accordance with the Strategic Vision, the Campus Master Plan focuses on these areas to help improve facilities on campus. For more information on these projects, please request a copy of the 2014 -2018 Strategic Vision. EDUCATION: Construction of a state-of-the-art educational learning center for the Academy’s students. STUDENT HOUSING: Upgrades to all dormitories to include central air and heat, new bathrooms, and new furniture in addition to paint and more natural lighting in common areas.

FACULTY HOUSING: Align the access drive to the Bud Field Student Center/Robert S. Morrison Lecture Center with Velotta Drive to unify the intersection, and focus on additional faculty housing opportunties. ADMINISTRATION: Move administrative offices and accomodate the majority of the campus administrative functions in one locale.

RECREATION: Consolidation of outdoor recreation spaces to north campus and gym renovation. THE




A GLOWINGLY SUCCESSFUL GALA The Robert S. Morrison Lecture Center and the Bud Field Student Center were aglow the evening of Saturday, May 2, 2015, as Grand River Academy welcomed over 100 guests to its inaugural fundraising event, the Grand River Gala. With Signature Sponsorship by the Huffman Mayer Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, this special evening featured a four-course meal by Chef Jay Cabatingan and AVI Fresh with wine pairings by Laurello Vineyards, a silent auction spotlighting the hometowns of our students (domestic and international), as well as a moving student testimonial from Kelvin Addae PG ‘15. Surpassing $50,000, proceeds from the Gala supported GRA’s annual fund, The Blue & White Fund, thus enabling GRA to enhance its academic, recreational and residential programs. Director of Advancement Kristen Kitchen shared, “We were graciously overwhelmed by the positive response to this event – from our current families and our Board, to our alumni and the community-at-large. It was quite meaningful to see how much the GRA family values the school’s mission. We are grateful for their generosity in making the evening such a success. Needless to say, we are already looking forward to next year’s event on Saturday, May 7, 2016!”




EVENT SCHEDULE 5:30pm Wine Reception 6:30pm Dinner Begins First Course: Lobster Bisque Paired with Chardonnay (aged in Hungarian Oak, Limited Release 2013) Second Course Naso Rosso Red Wine Poached Pear, Walnut Brie en Croute, Arugula, Field Greens and Vinaigrette Paired with Riesling (off-dry, Grand River Valley 2013) Third Course Beef Wellington with Mushroom Duxelles, Potato and Vegetable Paired with Cabernet Franc (Laurello’s Signature Grand River Valley Wine) Dessert Course Trio of Opera Cake, Lemon Curd with Macerated Berries, Cheese Gelato on Tuille Cookie and Fresh Fruit Coulis Paired with Laurello’s selection of Dessert Wine – Sweet Genevieve Ice Wine (Vidal, GRV Awarded Double Gold Medal) or Simply Mad Habanero Ice Wine 8:00 Silent Auction Closed 8:30 Live Auction Item of Hilton Head Condo

Right Pictured from top to bottom: (1) Kelvin Addae , featured student speaker (2) Mr. and Mrs. Daniel and Lori Huffman (3) Director of Advancement Kristen Kitchen with Mr. Wyatt Bratt of the Strong Oaks Woodshop drawing the winner for the featured wine rack table (4) It was a culinary delight, as seen by just a sample of the appetizers




GRAND RIVER GALA Showcasing the diversity that exists within the GRA student body, both present and past, the Grand River Gala boasted a wide variety of silent auction items. This, with much thanks, is due to the many wonderful families, students, and businesses, both near and far, that donated their time and treasure. Several silent auction items featured baskets that highlighted student hometown areas. Areas highlighted include Texas, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Gettysburg, and Philadelphia (just a few of the many). GRA’s international diversity was also represented with artwork by Wilson Wang ‘16 and a basket representing Venezuela, home of Rodrigo Pascazio ‘16. The live auction item was a luxurious week long stay in Hilton Head, graciously donated by GRA Board Member Dr. John DeCato ‘80 that featured a condo with three-bedrooms, three baths, full kitchen, dining room, living room and laundry that was walking distance to private tennis courts and a pool, located just minutes from the ocean. Also featured was the raffle drawing to win a handmade oak table with wine rack. This table was made with reclaimed wood by the Strong Oaks Woodshop and was stocked full of Laurello Vineyards wine. SAVE THE DATE: Grand River Academy looks forward to offering another great variety of prizes at the 2016 Grand River Gala scheduled for May 7th!




GRAND RIVER ACADEMY EXTENDS ITS DEEPEST APPRECIATION TO OUR SPONSORS OF THE 2015 GRAND RIVER GALA, INCLUDING: SIGNATURE SPONSOR Huffman Mayer Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors TABLE SPONSORS Jim & Dreama Aveni The Baker Family ‘08 Bob & Linnet Fritz KeyBank The Law Office of Mark Gardner Ryan Richards Schoneman, Inc. & VistaTrac STREAK Investments, LLC Sharon, Michael & Aaron Tiknis ‘08 Tim Viands SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FRIENDS FOR THEIR DEDICATED EFFORTS WITH THE INAUGURAL GRAND RIVER GALA: AVI Fresh Gilmour Academy Grand River Academy Faculty, Staff, Parents & Students Pictured from left to right: (1) Silent auction item featuring the Texas region (2) Retired GRA Counselor Ms. Sue Krieg enchants guests with music during the dinner portion of the event (3) Laurello Vineyards’ wine is displayed on the Strong Oaks Woodshop’s wine rack table (4) Mr. Dan Marty ‘76 talks with retired faculty Mr. and Mrs. Larry and Barb Wilson THE




HEADMASTER VIANDS VISITS FAMILIES IN ASIA Grand River Academy welcomes students from around the world. With a large collection of families from various cities across Asia, Headmaster Viands recognized a need to discover families in these unique cities. As a result of this, the past year began the start of many important trips that took Headmaster Viands across the world to various parts of China, Vietnam, and Korea. The purpose of the Summer 2014 and Spring 2015 trips was to meet current families, share about their son’s experiences at GRA, and gather any present feedback, while the Fall 2014 trip opened up a new market for Grand River Academy with potential families. Headmaster Viands was honored to receive such a warm welcome overseas and cannot wait to return. GRA is always traveling and if you would like to meet with someone from the Academy, near or far, please contact the office! SUMMER 2014 Beijing, China Chengdu, China Shanghai, China Wenzhou, China Hong Kong Seoul, South Korea



FALL 2014 Seoul, South Korea Hanoi, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


SPRING 2015 Chengdu, China Wenzhou, China Shanghai, China Nanjing, China Beijing, China Hanoi, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

LO B E Q&A WITH HEADMASTER VIANDS What were the highlights of the trips? “The highlights are many. Seeing the pride the parents have when they hear about their son is priceless. I also thoroughly enjoyed learning about their culture, traditions and cuisine.” What did you love about meeting the families? “I loved seeing one of my goals come to fruition - bringing the parents together and giving them the opportunity to make friends with each other.” What was a memorable experience? “In Beijing, visiting the Great Wall, Summer Palace and Forbidden City was very memorable. In Wenzhou, climbing a mountain in a national park was memorable. In Chengdu, visiting the panda center was memorable. In Shanghai, visiting the Yangtze River dam. In Nanjing, travelling via the high speed train was quite the experience. These excursions were made even more memorable because I shared these experiences with amazing GRA families.” What was your favorite new food you tried? “Everything!”

Top Left Picture: Headmaster Tim Viands with Zhilong (James) Zhang ‘16 in Shanghai with Pudong in the background Right Pictured from top to bottom: (1) Headmaster Viands in the Yangtze Scenic Mountain Region with Sixiang (Nick) Chen ‘16, Wenbo (Allen) Huang ‘16 and Nick Chen’s brother (2) A warm welcome by a school in Chengdu, China (3) Headmaster Viands meets in Beijing with the mothers of Lyuliang (Jack) Zhang (Nanjing) ‘17, YunYang (Jay) Liu (Beijing) ‘16, Yingbo (Mark) Wang (Urumqi) ‘16, and Runze (Bruce) Shao (Beijing) ‘19 (4) Headmaster Viands meeting with new families in Hanoi, Vietnam




Pictured from left to right: (1) Xichang (Jack) Liang ‘17 talks with Pedro Fernandes ‘16 about his meal and country, Brazil. (2) Chef Jay Cabatingan helps Fares Jeddaya ‘15 prepare a traditional Tunisian meal. (3) A staple in Brazilian cuisine, is shown prepared by Pedro Fernandes ‘16.

A R O U N D T H E G LO B E For the 2014 - 2015 academic year, Grand River Academy was comprised of students from twenty different states and seven countries. Mrs. Angela Thomas, International Student Advisor and ESL Instructor, spotlighted each country throughout a month during the school year so that fellow students could discover and learn more about each other. Each month culminated in a special meal that students from the designated country helped plan with Chef Jay Cabatingan, which they then shared with all GRA students and faculty members.


Brazil China Pakistan Russia





United States


GRA IMPLEMENTS 1:1 TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM Grand River Academy launched its 1:1 Program during the 2014-2015 school year, where each student is utilizing their personal smart device to enhance their learning experience. This program supports the integration and proper usage of devices, such as tablets and smart phones, both inside and outside of the classroom as a means of enabling students and teachers to collaborate and interact through digital, educational resources. Notifications such as assignments, test reminders, project due dates and study sessions are highly utilized. This also allows for greater communication between the students and teachers during times when class is not in session. Headmaster Tim Viands shares, “Grand River Academy strives to prepare students for college and to also become capable, ethical and contributing members to society. The 1:1 Program adds an additional layer of preparation for our students by empowering them to utilize technology in a responsible and efficient manner.” The 2015-2016 school year will see the implementation of Google Classroom. This platform will act as an assignment book, a place for classroom announcements, a flow of video lectures, storage for supplemental reading or a paperless version of the classroom, complete with its own gradebook for instant feedback with students regarding their personal progress. Pictured from left to right: (1) Hardy (Yuhan) Ying ‘19 with Mr. Brian Ballentine review items using the classroom smart board (2) Mr. David Crowell assists Spencer Mandell ‘15 with an item using his personal device while Cooper Loose ‘15 looks on in the background THE




EXPLORING BEYOND THE CLASSR Launched in Spring 2013, the photography course at Grand River Academy was created as the flagship program for the GRA Multimedia Department. This department has expanded to now include courses in videography, graphic design, web design, contemporary performance, and yearbook while focusing on integrating technology and creativity. At Grand River, photography is considered both a fine arts and a technology course. The evolution of the Multimedia Department, and specifically the photography course, has been an exciting journey. The transition to a rotating block schedule at GRA has opened Ashtabula County to the students allowing them to get off campus once a week during class time to photograph. Be it Lake Erie or one of the county’s 18 covered bridges, there is always a new perspective to find.

Pictures captured during the 2014 - 2015 Photography Class from left to right: (1) Sam Simpson ‘15 is seen while looking for a scenic lakes another Indians victory are captured on Kodak TMax 400 black and white film during a GRA student outting (3) Brock DiCillo ‘18 captures an trip to the Smolen-Gulf Covered Bridge (4) Jack (Lyuliang) Zhang ‘17 and Arthur (Da) Pan ‘16 study the scene during an off campus photo sh





ROOM THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY Photography instructor, Sean Kaschak, notes the importance of focusing both on the aesthetic and technical aspects of photography. “I really focus on the science and mechanics of how the camera works. I want the boys not only to be able to see with an artistic eye, but to be able to manipulate the camera to produce the image they have in mind,” says Kaschak who is always looking for new ways to engage his students. “We are introducing an Advanced Photo course for the 2016 spring semester that is a hybrid film and digital course.” Starting in January, 2016, students will be photographing and developing their own film, and then scanning their negatives to digital. From there, they will be able to edit and print digitally. “As with all of the multimedia courses, photography is such an asset skill to have. I always remind the boys, whether it’s your college newspaper or the company you work for, people always need pictures. They always need designs.”

shore shot (2) Fireworks celebrating n idyllic forest scene during a class hoot THE



2014 EDMUND E. “BUD” FIELD IN RECOGNITION On Saturday, October 11, 2014, 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 In Memorium It is with great honor that Grand River Academy remembers Mr. Rick Peck who passed away in April 2014. Mr. Peck was a vibrant member of the GRA faculty for fifteen years, teaching mathematics, coaching soccer and serving as West Hall Dorm Parent among many other responsibilities. He is most often remembered by students for his coaching talents and giving spirit. Presented by Mrs. Katy Studer Mr. Rick Peck With Gratitude Grand River Academy is proud to honor Mrs. Pam Wooding for her dedication to the Academy the past 14 years as the Financial Secretary. During her time at GRA, she was a second mother to many, a dedicated worker, and a friend to all who crossed her path. The Academy looks forward to her continued presence at school events and singing the national anthem at home basketball games. Presented by Mrs. Kristen Kitchen Mrs. Pamela Wooding 13



D HALL OF EXCELLENCE Pictured from left to right: (1) Mr. JB Stackhouse ‘13 with Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Polak 2) Mrs. Alicia Field (3) Mr. Dan Riddell and Mr. Mike Baker ‘08 (4) Mrs. Kristen Kitchen with Mrs. Pamela Wooding

2014 INDUCTEES Distinguished Alumnus This 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 as a positive role model for students and who is a person of good character and high moral standards. Presented by Mrs. Alicia Field Mr. Andrew D. Seifert, Sr. ‘84 Outstanding Athlete This 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 specific sports and who has excelled during his athletic career at GRA. Presented by Mr. Dan Riddell Mr. Mike Baker ‘08

Outstanding Teacher This 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. Presented by Mr. Tim Viands Mrs. Angela Thomas Distinguished Service This award is presented to an individual for his commitment, dedication, and long-term service to Grand River Academy. The 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. Presented by JB Stackhouse ‘13 Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Polak





2014 - 2015 STUDENT AWARD WINNERS MOST IMPROVED STUDENT Class of 2015 Cooper Loose Class of 2016 Avery Coslik Class of 2017 Tiancheng (Horneil) Cai Class of 2018 Yuhan (Hardy) Ying

OUTSTANDING STUDENT Class of 2015 Jon Butler Class of 2016 Johnny Ania Class of 2017 Jack Lefkowitz Class of 2018 Chris Hall

Trustee Bowl Awarded to the senior with the most distinguished record during his senior year Jon Butler ‘15

OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL STUDENT Chongjia (Charlie) Xu ‘15 & Youfan Wei ‘16

Carl B. Bauder Cup Awarded to the student who excels in character, leadership and friendliness Billy Jordan ‘16




Headmaster’s Cup Awarded to the student who best combines the attributes of scholar, athlete and gentleman Kelvin Addae PG ‘15 Watson & Jan Kallay Award Awarded to the outstanding senior athlete Kelvin Addae PG ‘15

ION Cassidy-Schwartz Service Award Awarded to the students who unselfishly and generously give of their time and effort in service to the Academy Spencer Mandell ‘15 Scott Fisher Achievement Award Awarded to a returning junior whose support of the Academy and whose service to his fellow students are exemplary Avery Coslik ‘16 George Armington, Jr. Memorial Plaque Awarded to the senior who best personifies the philosophy of the Academy Logan Feagin ‘15 & Gary Leslie ‘15 Gordon Diemer Award Awarded to the freshman, sophomore or junior who exhibits a positive attitude and exemplary citizenship and who works to his fullest potential Johnny Ania ‘16 The Nonneman Award Awarded to students who produce outstanding work for school publications in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, artwork, and photography Cooper Loose ‘15 & Jon Butler ‘15 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 Liam Eagan ‘16 Dr. William M. Leseur Award Awarded to the student whose citizenship is exceptional and who has excelled because of hard work Johnny Ania ‘16 Lawrence J. Wilson Social Studies Award Awarded to the student who has shown a sincere interest in how the Social Sciences relate to both the present and the future, and who has gone beyond the textbook and the classroom and expanded his knowledge of the subject matter Taha Omar ‘15 Pictured from top to bottom: (1) Billy Jordan ‘16 with Mr. William Thomas (2) Headmaster Viands with Johnny Ania ‘16 (3) Mr. Lawrence Wilson with Taha Omar ‘15 and Mr. Tim Viands (4) Mrs. Elizabeth Ginn with Liam Eagan ‘16 THE




ROBERT J. FRITZ, P’88 & P’93 OUTSTANDING ADVOCATE Grand River Academy is pleased to recognize Mr. Robert J. Fritz as this year’s Outstanding Advocate. Mr. Fritz is the proud GRA parent to both Robert Fritz ‘88 and Allen Fritz ‘93. He is currently a GRA board member and serves on the Advancement and Communications Committee. His longtime service to the Academy is much appreciated as he helps promote the mission of the school and the many ways students have benefited by attending.

Pictured from left to right: Mrs. Dorothy Puhl, Mr. Ed Puhl ‘71, Former Faculty Mr. Charles Soprano, Mr. Jim Stafford ‘79, Retired Headmaster Randy Blum, Mr. Robert Fritz P’88 & P’93, Mrs. Linnet Fritz P’88 & P’93, and Mr. Daniel Marty ‘76




ES & AMBASSADORS Why do you volunteer your time to Grand River Academy? “I have been associated with GRA off and on since my first son entered there in 1984. I want it to continue and to prosper. Very few schools provide what GRA offers. Besides, GRA is at a unique point in its history right now. There are both formidable challenges and great opportunities.” Why do you feel it is important to “give back”? “My two sons are both graduates from GRA. Today, they have earned graduate degrees and have successful professional careers. Looking back, I feel that this might not have happened without the education they got at GRA and the unusual dedication of GRA’s teachers.” Why would you encourage someone to become involved at Grand River Academy? “Because any time you can help young men achieve their full potential, which they might not have done otherwise, it is a positive for them and for our whole society.” What is your fondest memory of your involvement with GRA? “Actually, my fondest memories were as a parent, watching teachers go the extra mile for the students. Many years later my oldest son would visit GRA to see some of his old teachers. On one such visit, our former headmaster asked him if I would consider serving as a trustee. I thought this was a great honor and enjoy giving my opinion on issues facing GRA.” How do you see the GRA campus and program in 10 years? “I would like to see GRA’s mission and program remain basically unchanged. I would also like to see a greater number of applicants from which to select and perhaps a larger number of students admitted than at present. Secondly, I would like to see more money being available for physical improvements to the campus. The campus is beautiful right now, but GRA owns a lot of land with room for whatever GRA decides it needs.”




A L U M N I , A DV

DONNA CAVE, P’15 OUTSTANDING AMBASSADOR Mrs. Donna Cave, mother of Jared Cave ’15, has been a significant asset to Grand River Academy in many ways. Not only is she an active participant within the Parent Association, but she also assists GRA as a parent ambassador, speaking with potential families about the Academy and assisting student council during the past school year in fundraising. She resides in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with her husband Jeff and children, Jared ‘15 and Hannah. We are proud to highlight her as this year’s Outstanding Ambassador. Why do you volunteer your time to Grand River Academy as a Parent Ambassador? “I volunteer my time at Grand River Academy because I want to be involved in my son’s education and personal growth. I believe in Grand River Academy's philosophy and want to see the school grow and improve. I want to help raise the bar for the students and school.” Why do you feel it is important to “give back” to your son’s school? “My faith teaches me to give back to the community. I think it is so important to give back to Grand River Academy because it is a small school and needs the parents to get involved. Parent involvement will make it a better experience for our sons. When parents “give back” to GRA, it creates a virtuous cycle.” Pictured from Left to Right: Mrs. Donna Cave, Jared Cave ‘15, Mr. Jeffrey Cave, and Hannah Cave




O C AT E S & A M B A S S A D O R S Why would you encourage someone to become involved at Grand River Academy? “It is great to see your son’s “world” away from home. You can watch his growth and feel like a part of the school even when you are miles away. It is very satisfying to think that I possibly helped make the time at GRA more enjoyable for my son.” What is your fondest memory of your involvement with GRA? “I really enjoyed Jared’s first year at Grand River Academy. I came out for the Spring Family and Friends Day in May and stayed to watch two of his tennis matches that following Monday and Tuesday. I got to see the school operate on a regular schedule and see the students interact. I also was able to get to know Jared’s friends and fellow classmates. I felt so much more a part of the school.” How do you see the GRA campus and program in 10 years? “I hope to see the same GRA academic program with caring teachers in a structured environment. I look forward to seeing an increase in enrollment that would bridge the gap for the school. I especially can’t wait to see all the bathrooms remodeled!”

GRA WELCOMES THE NEWEST MEMBERS TO THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION! On Saturday, May 23, 2015, Grand River Academy was excited to welcome 25 graduates to the Alumni Association!

Pictured above from left to right: Valedictorian Jon Butler ‘15, Mr. William Thomas P’11, Mr. Steve Schoneman P’07, and Mr. Jim Stafford ‘79

Spencer Mandell Bobby Migliaccio Quay Miller Connor Okruhlica Jason Olefson Taha Omar John Richardson Preston Schrader Sam Simpson Jie (Blake) Weng Chongjia (Charlie) Xu Yao Yao

Kelvin Addae PG Jon Butler Jared Cave Dmitry Chebakov Sixiang (Nick) Chen Tianrong (Frank) Fan Xinyu (Oliver) Fang Logan Feagin Daquan (James) Guo Zhuoyuan (Rick) He Fares Jeddaya Gary Leslie Cooper Loose THE



IN THE COMMUN Pictured above from left to right: (1) Connor Okruhlica ‘15 hands out candy during a Halloween event at Austinburg Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center (2) Hardy Ying ‘19 assists a child during a Chinese lesson at Austinburg Elementary (3) Johnn Cave ‘16, Cooper Loose ‘15, and Taha Omar ‘15 help to serve meals during Austinburg’s First United Church of Christ community dinner

TAKING THE LEAD Ethics. Diversity. Perspective. Just a few of the topics tackled by GRA students participating in the Ashtabula County Youth Leadership Program during the 2014-2015 school year. Beginning in September and meeting monthly through May, the Youth Leadership program introduces accepted applicants to Ashtabula County and its many resources, including from the business sector to recreational activities. Founded by Leadership Ashtabula County, Youth Leadership brings together high school students countywide, including seven public school districts, a parochial school and GRA. Working collectively, the students engage in meaningful activities, lessons and personalized tours of locales throughout the area, meeting with adults who work in every sector. Marketing & Communications Coordinator Kelli Jones shared, “The Youth Leadership program is such a valuable educational and social opportunity for our students. We are grateful they have the chance to participate each school year.” Kudos to GRA’s 2015 Youth Leadership graduates including Jon Butler ‘15, Jared Cave ‘15, Johnn Cave ‘16, Logan Feagin ‘16, and Dylan Porter ‘16. 21



NITY ENGAGING IN AUSTINBURG...AND BEYOND In addition to GRA’s many academic, athletic and recreational offerings, the Academy also prides itself on the opportunities it provides its students, faculty and staff to volunteer throughout the local community. Whether adopting Route 307 for highway clean-up with National Honor Society, tutoring elementary children with language lessons in Chinese, serving regular community dinners at Austinburg’s First United Church of Christ, or opening the campus to host local organizations’ events including blood drives, community health education forums and business meetings, Grand River Academy is proud to serve as a resource and a helping hand. Director of Advancement Kristen Kitchen shares, “It is imperative that we educate our students about the importance of being involved in one’s community. Students are not required to complete community service hours, but rather they are encouraged to volunteer. In turn, they understand how their time and effort in the community can truly make a difference. Regardless of where they go to college, or decide to live in the future, they must engage in their respective communities with the simple notion of giving back.”

Top right picture from left to right: Alumni Relations and Admissions Associate David Thomas ‘11, Headmaster Tim Viands, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Kelli Jones, Director of Advancement Kristen Kitchen, GRA Board President Steve Schoneman P’07 and LEADERship Ashtabula County Executive Director Laura Jones pose for a photograph after GRA accepts the 2015 Host Award for welcoming various community groups and events on GRA’s campus





IN THE COMMUNITY Grand River Academy, in partnership with Schoneman, Inc. & Vista Trac, hosted its first STEAM Day on March 7, 2015. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. This event was offered to local students entering first through eighth grade and had 32 participants from across Ashtabula County. This inaugural event taught children about Force and Energy. Students were divided based on age. The younger age groups designed and created their own race cars, while the older children designed and built their own rollercoasters. The second STEAM Day on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 highlighted Bridges: Defying Gravity through Science. Children spent the morning in GRA’s Robert S. Morrison Lecture Center and Skeggs Hall investigating and constructing just like Thomas and Caleb Pratt, William Howe, and Joseph Strauss while applying the principles of engineering to build their own bridges using common household materials. Dean of Academics, Guidance, and College Placement Melissa Nipper stated “we hope that sharing the excitement of learning about science through hands-on activities will inspire children to possibly one day pursue the various professional opportunities in that area. It is about engaging our local youth and making them think about things differently.” The GRA STEAM team has already scheduled a Halloween themed event, Mad Science, for October 24, 2015 as the third of many STEAM experiences GRA plans to offer the community.




IN THE GAME FOUR SEASONS ON THE ATHLETIC FIELD Whether the autumn leaves are falling, or the snow is blowing across Lake Erie, the GRA athletic teams are actively engaged in competition. From cross country, soccer, and golf in the fall, to wrestling, bowling and basketball in the winter, and tennis and baseball in the spring, GRA student athletes had many opportunities to not only play a sport for recreation, but also to learn the integral lessons of dedication and perseverance. Athletic Director David Scharping shared, “The 20142015 school year consisted of athletic triumphs and challenges. Our student athletes and coaches impressed me with each season, particularly since we faced multiple challenges with weather throughout the year. They adjusted to practices in Bauder Hall or gymnasium as opposed to our playing fields, never losing the passion for the game. Now that’s dedication.” GRA began the school year with one of the most attended pre-season soccer camps, while the basketball team placed 3rd overall in the Lake Effect Conference. The GRA Eagles baseball team also make it to the semifinals in the LEC, while the tennis team compiled an 11-2 record with big victories over conference foes. Mr. Scharping continued, “We are proud of our young men as both students and athletes. And we are excited to build upon the success they found this year – individually and as teammates.”

Top Left Picture: Local children learn about force and energy during GRA’s inaugural STEAM Day GRA faculty member Mr. Dan Riddell Right Pictured from top to bottom: (1) Pedro Fernandes ‘16 returns a serve (2) Liam Eagan ‘16 continues down the soccer field while Jon Butler ‘15 is in the distance (3) The GRA Baseball team gathers for a pregame pep talk THE




BLUE AND WHITE FUND SURPASSES 2014 - 2015 GOAL HOW YOUR DONATIONS HELP There is one commonality for each individual who supports Grand River Academy - you believe in our young men, you recognize their potential, and you value the future they are building by attending GRA. It is with immense gratitude and great excitement that GRA is proud to announce that for the 2014 - 2015 school year, we raised over $249,000, surpassing the goal of $200,000. Thank you! Your gift to the Blue and White Fund, GRA’s annual fund, this past year enabled GRA to improve academic, recreational, residential offerings, and programs as we foster intellectual curiosity, creativity, collaboration and active, healthy lifestyles for each student. This fall, students will return and experience a renovated library, weight and fitness center, as well as the Center for Productive Growth. There are also new dorm bathrooms spearheaded by the parents of the Class of 2015 and several new academic offerings, too. The students will have quite a year!





We value…

GOAL FOR 2015 - 2016 During the 2015 - 2016 school year, Grand River Academy is increasing its goal for the Blue and White Fund to $250,000. Will YOU help GRA reach this significant goal? Yearly fundraising efforts by GRA include seeking individual, organizational, corporate, and foundation support. This campaign runs from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

Opportunity Individualized learning Activating potential Friendship

It’s easy to give, go online to to learn more and make a donation.



Life skills

Recognition of all donations to GRA throughout 2014 - 2015 can be viewed by visiting our website within the Advancement Tab or by clicking here. The Legacy Society - Planned Gifts Named in recognition for the friends of Grand River Academy who have made a provision in their estate for the future of GRA.

Self-awareness Active lifestyles Leadership

The 1831 Society - $10,000 and up Named in recognition of Grand River Academy’s founding year. The Trustee Society - $5,000 and up Named in recognition of Grand River Academy’s current and previous Board of Trustees. The Headmaster Society – $2,500 and up Named in recognition of Grand River Academy’s leadership since its founding. The Aurora Club - $1,000 and up Named in recognition of Grand River Academy’s honor society in the 1920’s. The Scimitar Society – up to $999 Named in recognition of Grand River Academy’s yearbook, The Scimitar Society honors the alumni and current students of GRA.

Personal success Academic, social and emotional well-being

What do YOU Value?




Established in 1831, GRAND RIVER ACADEMY is a college preparatory boarding and day school located in Austinburg, Ohio, that serves over 100 young men in grades 8-12, with a post-graduate option. The faculty and staff continue to make strides in the school’s mission to educate the total young man – academically, socially and emotionally to prepare them for lifelong success. The school offers small and intimate class sizes, individualized instruction and supportive faculty. Grand River Academy serves a unique and important niche - helping young men unlock and activate their full potential.

SAVE THE DATE October 3, 2015

Fall Family & Friends Day Bud Field Hall of Excellence

November 4, 2015 Fall Athletic Awards & Gourmet Night March 2, 2016


Winter Athletic Awards & Gourmet Night

May 7, 2016 Spring Family & Friends Day Grand River Gala May 7-8, 2016

Alumni Weekend

May 24, 2016

Spring Athletic Awards & Gourmet Night

May 28, 2016 Graduation Alumni Take A Stand Initiative

STAY CONNECTED /grandriveracademy /GrandRiverAlum @grandriveraca @GrandRiverAlum

The River 2014 - 2015  

Grand River Academy's annual magazine highlighting the 2014 - 2015 school year.

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