The Drakkar: Summer 2024

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The Trumbull County Educational Service Center unveiled a new multi-tier aeronautics drone program for students in Trumbull County. One facet of the program, which is in its third year is the Trumbull County Drone Racing League.

LaBrae students were among dozens of high school drone racers who competed in the Trumbull County Drone Racing League’s annual competition.

The competition was held in April at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics and Winner Aviation hangars at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

The drone program encompasses four pivotal components, each designed to foster innovation, skill development and industry awareness among the students of Trumbull County. Beyond supporting the drone racing competition, the funding will support an unmanned aircraft mobility center, a preapprenticeship drone program, entrepreneurship education, and drone industry awareness. Students participating in this program will be eligible to earn an industry credential that will aid them in meeting graduation standards and equip students with a skill set to facilitate employment upon graduation. LaBrae students have competed for two years in the drone racing competition, and next school year, LaBrae students will have access to the drone educational program, led by LaBrae teacher, Mr. Joe Slifka. We are excited that this exceptional learning experience will be available to LaBrae students.

This program was made possible through funds provided by the federal government, and with the integral support of former Congressman Tim Ryan, and Trumbull County’s current representative, Congressman Dave Joyce.

WiNNINg Words

LaBrae Power of the Pen Team Makes High Marks at Tournament

LaBrae Middle School’s eighth-grade Power of the Pen team claimed second place overall at the regional tournament held Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, at Lake Elementary School in Hartville. The team competed against 25 schools from various counties, including Cuyahoga, Stark, Mahoning, and Columbiana.

Additionally, LaBrae eighth-grader Mars Bustard received a leather-bound journal for being awarded the “Best of the Best” from a story written at districts. She also received a fifth-place overall medallion. Eighth-grader Daisy Peace received a thirdplace d lli ll B h d i ll lifi d to com

LaBra Range

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Mars Bustard, left, and Daisy Peace.
LaBrae Power of the Pen Team, from left: Destiny Hineman-Haak, Mars Bustard, Sophia Balzer, Daisy Peace, Aaron VanDyke and Kaydence Church.


Mrs. Sharron Harper, our school nurse, retired from LaBrae Local Schools at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 school year. Prior to arriving at LaBrae in 1998, she had nursing experience at the Trumbull Career Center and Warren City Schools. A vast majority of her prior experience was in the private sector at hospitals in the Mahoning Valley. Mrs. Harper is a resident of the community, and her children are LaBrae graduates.

Mr. Vince Hanzes is retired from a teaching career at LaBrae Local Schools on March 1, 2024. Mr. Hanzes has been a high school social studies teacher at LaBrae High School since 1994. He has also served LaBrae students as a varsity assistant football and baseball coach throughout his years at LaBrae.

Congratulations to Mrs. Harper and Mr. Hanzes on their retirement milestone.

Both of these professionals have left an indelible mark on LaBrae students and the school community. LaBrae Local Schools thanks them for their service and wishes them health and happiness in retirement.

Once A Viking, Always A Viking

Mrs. Sharron Harper
Mr. Vince Hanzes

LaBrae Facilities Update

Summer always marks the time of year when the school district is best able to address facility issues in the absence of students and staff. There are a number of maintenance items the district will address as well as some upgrades to our facility operations that are scheduled for this summer.

One scheduled upgrade is the installation of a new energy-efficient 152-ton chiller at the LaBrae Grade 3-12 complex. The control program has been installed, and the new chiller is slated to arrive in August for installation. The chiller project will cost $308,780. Once operational, the chiller will be the primary equipment used to cool the facility. Its energy efficiency is expected to reduce LaBrae’s electricity consumption by 31%. The project is being funded with revenue generated by the permanent improvement levy.

One unprecedented opportunity has presented itself thanks to the extreme generosity of Russell and Peggy Sewell. The Sewell’s have donated $100,000 to LaBrae for the purpose of constructing a band shell over the bleacher seating adjacent to the south endzone of Viking Stadium. The LaBrae Board of Education has agreed to fund the necessary balance to complete the project. Planning is underway and the band shell is expected to be ready for the August 2025 LaBrae Band Night.

LaBrae Local Schools is extremely grateful to the Sewells for their generosity and their continued commitment to our students and the greater school community.

Chiller no. 2 of 4 at the LaBrae Complex Band Shell Representation

H.S./M.S. Dismissal Change for 2024-2025

When students return in the fall for the 2024-2025 school year, students and parents will find that the dismissal time for the high school and middle school has changed.

For many years the bell schedule at the M.S. was cumbersome and inefficient as the M.S. lunch split 5th period into two parts. The prior format also had the M.S. and H.S. on two different bell schedules.

In an effort to provide greater instructional continuity, and to put the M.S. and H.S. on the same schedule, the building principals devised a new bell schedule. Also, the new bell schedule makes it easier to share teachers between the two schools.

Dismissal time for the H.S. and M.S. will be 2:17 p.m. There are no changes to the start time at the beginning of the school day. This change does not impact students attending TCTC. Additionally, there are no changes to the start or dismissal time for students in grades K-5.

LaBrae Athletic Administration

LaBrae is entering its second year of a reconfigured athletic administration. In 2023, LaBrae, in a cost saving measure and as part of a broader administration realignment, eliminated the H.S. Assistant Principal position. Historically, the person filling this role also served as the athletic director, but with this staffing reduction, LaBrae had to find an alternative configuration for managing our athletic programs.

The current configuration splits the duties of a typical athletic director among many people. The daily administrative athletic duties are handled by LaBrae Athletic Director, Jon Elliot. Mr. Elliot is responsible for the overall operation and guidance of the varied facets of the LaBrae athletic program. To help manage the many athletic events, the LaBrae Board has employed Athletic Event Managers by sport season. These individuals are the official athletic administrators during the events they manage, and are responsible for the operation and duties associated with the contests they supervise. The following individuals represent our athletic administration team for the 2024-2025 school year:

Athletic Director: Mr. John Elliot

H.S./M.S. Football: Mr. Brian Coxe

Girls/Boys Soccer: Mr. John Wolford

H.S. Volleyball: Mrs. Lisa Alridge

M.S. Volleyball: Ms. Christine Meeks

H.S. Girls/Boys Basketball: Mr. John Wolford

M.S. Girls/Boys Basketball: TBD

M.S./H.S. Track & Field: Mr. Jon Elliot

M.V.A.C. Realignment

Effective with the 2024-2025 school year, Southeast Local Schools is a new member of the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference. The Pirates will be joining the Gray Division for all athletic competitions. Southeast replaces Campbell City Schools which will now compete in the Scarlet Division of the M.V.A.C. LaBrae welcomes the Pirates and is excited about the forthcoming athletic competitions.


Davin Derry, Madison Kuta, Mrs. Fee,Jayden Marks & David Blackmon

VPS Suicide Awareness Video

The Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board recognized seniors in the Viking Production class for their runner-up submission in a mental health awareness video competition. Their submission was broadcast on local network television during the spring. You can view the video using the hyperlink in the title.

Vikings Compete in Tom Holden Scholarship PSA Contest

Senior Peyton Smith was the grand winner of the 2024 Tom Holden Scholarship competition. Her winning Public Service Announcement, or PSA, promoted organ donation. Senior Jen Johnson’s submission won runnerup honors, and her PSA promoted the positive impact of the arts in education.

2024 MVAC Gray Division Champions

Peyton Smith
Jen Johnson

LaBrae Scholars Honored

Seniors Emily Sewell and Christian Haught were honored May 3rd at The Trumbull County Educational Service Center Scholarship Banquet. Emily received the Franklin B. Walter’s Scholarship, and Christian received the First Place Community Fund Scholarship. Congratulations Scholars!

LaBrae High School valedictorians Christian Haught and Racen Simeone were recognized April 25th at the 2024 Trumbull County Superintendents' Honors Breakfast. All valedictorians from Trumbull County were recognized at this event. Congratulations to LaBrae’s valedictorians on their academic accomplishment.

LaBrae Jazz Band

A night with the Youngstown Phantoms!


Mrs. Pleacher's 6th grade English Language Arts students took advantage of a great weatherday in May to conduct their poetry picnic. All students did a great job reading to their peers poetry they penned. The students were able to practice their public speaking skills while appreciating poetics and literature.

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LaBrae Drama Club took center stage in April with their excellent rendition of “Little Women”.

Select LaBrae seniors participated in the 38th annual Trumbull Civic Day. The day is an opportunity for senior students throughout Trumbull County to shadow public sector employees to better learn of the intracies of how local government entities serve the broader community.

LaBrae Board Suspends Instructional Fees

The LaBrae Board of Education has suspended instructional fees for the 2024-2025 school year. In light of the further implementation of Ohio’s Fair School Funding plan, and the fact that state funding for public schools has strengthened the district’s finances, the Board desires to ensure that the education offered is the least burdensome as possible on LaBrae families. To that end, the LaBrae Board of Education acted to not impose instructional fees on students for the next school year.

There will be fees associated with high school programs such as marching band and wood shop, as those fees are consumption-based fees associated with a student's use of materials aligned to those programs. Additionally, there are class fees associated with a student’s grade level such as a 9th grade class fee, 10th grade class fee, etc. These fees are used to fund class activities for each grade level at the high school. Such fees are non-instructional fees and they remain in place.

Lastly, it is the intent of the board to suspend instructional fees for the foreseeable future. Detailed information on the fee schedule for next year can be found on the LaBrae website under the high school drop down menu.

From left: Kim Walker, Associate Director, Trumbull County Mental Health & Recovery Board; A.J. Calderone, Superintendent, LaBrae Local Schools; Elise Morris, Emily Sewell, Ivey English, Max Young and Dylan Simpson, all LaBrae High School students; and Jeff Starkey, LaBrae High School Principal.

LaBrae Local School District is looking for


Must hold a Class B CDL License with a school bus and passenger endorsement. (District will help to obtain, if not)

Successful BCII & FBI background checks. Successful drug test.


Pay will be commensurate with school bus driving experience according to the salary schedule in the negotiated agreement. Fringe Benefits, Working Conditions, and other employment terms governed by the negotiated agreement.

AND Substitute Cafeteria Staff, Custodians, & Secretaries





Board Meetings

LaBrae Board of Education meetings are scheduled for the second Monday of each month. Typically, the lone exception is the month of November, when the Board meets on the third Monday of the month. The meeting schedule can be found on the LaBrae website.

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