Dragon Dragon Dispatch Dispatch
I N S I D E :
NILES MCKINLEY HIGH SCHOOL
NILES MIDDLE SCHOOL
IT'S GREAT TO BE A NILES RED DRAGON!
Great things are happening in the Niles City School District this school year! First and foremost, we want to sincerely thank our community members for supporting the district in November and passing our renewal levy. The money generated from this levy supports the dayto-day costs of operating our district and allows us to continue offering students the very best educational experiences possible. Again, thank you!!
NILES INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
NILES PRIMARY SCHOOL
It's hard to believe we are already into the second half of this school year! The first half of our year was filled with exciting accomplishments and activities. We welcomed several special guests to our buildings including Penguin Pete, Jungle Terry, and awardwinning authors Cinda Williams Chima and Candace Fleming. We have participated in, and won, Prep Bowl, speech and debate, and mock trial competitions; several art students have won awards and one will even have their work featured in a national competition; our band and choir students received high marks at ensemble and honors events. We've held art shows and Fall Fests and welcomed the return of pep rallies and music concerts. We are once again exploring in Robotics Club, giving back to our community, and being rewarded for meeting or exceeding classroom reading goals, and demonstrating positive behaviors. Here's to a great finish to the 2022-2023 school year!
We are busy, we are proud, we are Dragons!
Ann Marie ThigpenSuperintendent
Niles City School District
McKinley Alma Mater
McKinley Alma Mater, Guiding star above, Forever in our gratitude
We offer thee our love. In Joys and in all sorrows, We shall e'er be true, While in our hearts we ever love thy flag of Red and Blue!
McKinley Alma Mater, Tender, brave and true, So proudly in eternal skies
Now gleam thy Red and Blue, Then proudly shall thy mantle, O'er thy children fly, While in our hearts we ever praise Thy name McKinley High!
NILES MCKINLEY NILES MCKINLEY high school high school
AWARDS $120,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS
Congratulations to the 2022-2023 Clayman Family Foundation Scholarship winners, as pictured above: Avallina Aurilio (2nd - $40,000), Marissa Bugos (1st$60,000), and Thomas Rossi (3rd - $20,000)!
The Clayman Family Foundation Academic Scholarship is one of Niles McKinley High School's most prestigious scholarships. Applicants are limited to seniors who are in the top five percent of their class. This year eight students were eligible to apply. In addition to the application, a student's GPA, ACT score, academic honors/awards, extracurricular activities, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and personal interview are considered in the selection process.
Rebecca (Clayman) Smith, whose grandfather started the foundation, announced the winners telling applicants, “It was an honor meeting with you. You are all very deserving and should all be proud of your achievements. I am confident you will all be successful in your futures.” This is the 32nd year the Clayman Family Foundation has presented scholarship offers and we are grateful for their continued support.
Other candidates included: Tessa Haroulakis, Natalie Linger, Alivia Shaw, Alaina Thigpen, and Cheyenne Zack.
Four Niles McKinley High students have won awards at the Scholastic Art Competition! Delaney Grubbs has won a gold key award, 2 silver key awards, and 4 honorable mention awards with her work. Pieces submitted by Caydence Golias, Olivia Madura, and Keira Preusser have all won honorable mentions! Delaney's Gold Key work was also chosen as an American Vision Award! This means it was one of the Top 5 pieces in the Scholastic Competition. The piece will advance to the National Scholastic Art Competition in New York. Congratulations!
A W A R D - W I N N I N G A R T I S T S
MCKINLEY HIGH IS MAKING HEADLINES
Extra, extra read all about the McKinley High Headlines online!
Digital journalism students have created an online newspaper highlighting events and recognitions from each month. This new venture is a great way for students to improve creativity, build confidence, and enhance communication.
Digital journalism students have also taken the lead in planning Pep Rallies, Spirit Weeks, and other activities to get the student body involved. Read all about the fun by clicking the McKinley High Headlines link below or following them on their new McKinley High Headlines Instagram page!
Our community is at the heart of all we do, and it is our privilege to give back. This year, several of our athletic teams and student groups, including, Key Club, National Honor Society, Future Teachers of America, Journalism, Students for the Environment, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and Students Making a Safer Highway (S.M.A.S.H.) have all had members volunteer their time to help others. Students have assisted at the Niles Community Center, organized a food drive, helped students shop at Santa's Workshop, developed relationships at NIS through Big Brothers/Big Sisters, lent support at Fall Festivals, and laid wreaths at Niles Cemetery to honor Veterans through Wreaths Across America. We are so proud of our students' giving spirits!
A unique look at city planning and just how difficult it can be to 'please everyone.'
Recently, 20 of our students were invited to participate in a focus group with the City of Niles and MS Consultants - a planning firm helping shape the future of Niles. Students were able to voice their opinions on what they
want the city to look like 20-30 years from now. In addition to the focus group, students also participated in a city planning activity where they were tasked with rebuilding all facets of the city while keeping multiple stakeholders happy in the process. Click this link to read the full story from the Business Journal!
STUDENTS HELP CITY LEADERS PLAN FOR THE FUTURE OF NILES McKinley
RED DRAGON COMMUNITY PRIDE
Photo Courtsey: Deanne Johnson, Youngstown Business Journal
Seniors Avallina Aurilio, Brionna Bash, Matt Keeley, Ashton Russo, and Cheyenne Zack all commit to continuing their athletic and academic careers in college on National Signing Day.
ON NATIONAL SIGNING DAY
Five Niles McKinley High School student-athletes have committed to continuing their athletic and academic careers in college! Festivities took place February 1 (National Signing Day) in the high school gym with family, friends, school administrators, and coaches all in attendance. National Signing Day is traditionally held on the first Wednesday of February each year and signifies the first day that a high school senior can sign a binding letter of intent for a collegiate sport with a school that is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). “This is always one of my favorite days of the year,” says Niles City Schools Athletic Director Marc Fritz. “It marks the end of a lengthy process and is a celebration of your hard work and what’s to come. Congratulations!”
Aur McK tea fou out is a great,” she said after signing her National Letter of Intent.
Aurilio says the small-town feel and architecture of Bethany College drew her there. She adds she’s looking forward to continuing her soccer journey, working hard, and becoming a valuable team member on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Aurilio plans to study biology and hopes to one day become a physical therapist.
signing her letter. “It means so much to me that everyone is here to support me.”
Bash says committing to Bethany was an easy decision - they were the first to reach out to her about playing soccer for them, and her aunt also attended the school. She’s looking forward to joining the team and being a contributing factor to future success.
Bash plans to study chemistry and hopes to become a pharmacist.
Brionna Bash Bethany College - Soccer
Matt Keeley Youngstown State - Football
Keeley is thrilled to be continuing his football career close to home!
“Football has been a long journey for me,” he said after signing his NLI. “This is like a dream come true.”
A standout lineman at Niles McKinley High for the last four years, Keeley is looking forward to taking his game to the next level. “Coach [Doug] Phillips is one of the best coaches in the area,” he says. “I can not wait to be one of his athletes.” In addition to the program’s coaches, Keeley says the facilities and proximity to family, made committing to YSU an easy choice.
Keeley is undecided about his major but is considering the nursing field.
Ashton Russo Malone University - CC/Track
A childhood dream has come true for Russo. “Ever since I was little I always wanted to run in college, or be a college athlete,” he says. A quick stroke of a pen made all of it his new reality.
Deciding to take his talents to Malone was an easy choice for Russo who says he can’t wait to get started. “I’m looking forward to it,” he says. “They’re going to get my best!”
Cheyenne Zack Garrett College - Soccer
Zack officially committed to Garrett College in McHenry, Maryland for women’s soccer! “What a great day,” she said after signing her letter.
Russo currently plans to major in political science and pursue a law career.
Zack has been a member of the high school girls’ soccer team for the last four years, playing center back. The opportunity to continue playing in the Appalachian Mountains where Garrett is located (a big draw for Zack), is one she doesn’t take for granted. “I’m going to put in the work and be a determined player both on the field and in the classroom,” she says.
Zack plans to study psychology while at Garrett.
NILES NILES MIDDLE MIDDLE SCHOOL SCHOOL
NMS was pleased to offer students dental and vision screenings at no cost to families. The dental screenings and sealants saved families over $7,000, and Vision to Learn provided new glasses to 26 students. Additional screenings will be offered throughout the year.
NMS DRAGONS GIVE BACK
Niles Middle School takes great pride in the educational opportunities provided to its students, however, some of our most important lessons are being taught outside the classroom. We have been extremely impressed and proud of the different ways students have come together to give back to the community.
Our giving began in September with our annual Dragon Food Pantry Drive. During the month-long drive, the NMS school community donated more than 700 non-perishable food items for the pantry. This resource is available to any student who may need food or toiletry items at home.
In December, the NMS WEB program organized a holiday-themed dance where all proceeds went towards providing meals to students and their families in need during the holiday season. Meals were then picked up at school or delivered by NMS staff.
We are grateful to everyone who supported these efforts by our students and look forward to continuing our giving ways in the second half of the school year.
We welcomed the return of our traditional Harvest Dinner Open House in October. 320 of our community members came to enjoy pumpkin painting, face painting, games, Kona Ice, kettle corn, and a basket raffle. Thank you to Nutrition Group and the Red Dragon Boosters for providing a delicious meal!
HE A LT H S C R E E N I N G S
HA R V E S T D I N N E R
Coming to school on time, everyday, has benefits! This year, all NMS students with no absences or tardies in a grading period are entered into the 'Dean's Dragon Draw' for a chance to go bowling with Principals Mr. Reigle and Ms. Marsh, and Dean of Students Mr. McConnell. Our first six winners received their positive attendance reward over the MLK holiday!
NMS is extremely excited to introduce it's first-ever Student Council! Eighth grade students interested in the positions ran election campaigns with the student body casting ballots for their top choice. Elected council members are Kamron StevensPresident, Jada Washington - Vice President, Karli Cox - Treasurer, and Ava CourtSecretary. The group has hit the ground running, planning a multitude of activities including a Spirit Week, a Pep Rally, two dances, and Valentine’s bracelets!
INSTRUCTION PARTNERS + NMS = SUCCESS
Instruction Partners, a non-profit organization, is partnering with NMS to implement new math curriculum. Throughout the year they will spend time getting to know the needs of our educators, administrators, and students to custombuild a plan to support the implementation of this new curriculum.
They, along with NMS administrators and members of the Trumbull County Educational Service Center, will observe our math classrooms and then work with us to create an aligned math curriculum which aims to increase student achievement.
We are excited to be a pilot school for this initiative and look forward to the success it will bring.
intermediate intermediate school school
Members of the Rotary Club of Niles donated new dictionaries to our third graders! Thank you, for your continued support!
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS RETURNS
Our Big Brothers/Big Sisters program is BACK this year at NIS! Our third, fourth, and fifth grade "littles" have been so excited to have their McKinley High School "bigs" around to hang out with. While the group has been meeting all school year, we caught up with them recently and everyone was enjoying a game day. Students had their choice of playing basketball, bowling, cornhole, hula hoop, ring toss, bag toss, or doing something quieter like a puzzle.
All of the high school students had to go through an extensive process in order to become a mentor. Those who do it say the experience has been somewhat of a reality check. "I didn't realize how many of these kids needed someone else to support them," says 11th grader Kennedy Barrell. "I hope I'm making their day better by being here."
"They come in here and they're just so excited to see us," says junior Avah Rodgers. "It makes me feel good knowing I'm having a positive impact."
Third grade students put on beautiful performances during their winter concerts in December. Signing new tunes, along with the holiday classics, students truly lit up the stage. We were excited to welcome our families back for this exciting event!
T H I R D G R A D E R S S H I N E I N C O N C E R T
AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM BEGINS
113 Niles Intermediate students are receiving additional supports through our after-school partnership with the Cadence Care Network. CCN received over a million dollars in grants from the Ohio Department of Education to put an afterschool and summer program in place within the district. This program is implementing evidence-based strategies and activities that meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students.
SPELLING BEE WINNERS
Congratulations to 5th grader Sophie Gadd - she is this year's Spelling Bee Champion! Sophie beat out 20 of her fellow 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classmates after correctly spelling the words 'ancestor' and 'lounge'! She and runner-up Christian May (also a 5th grader) went head-to-head six times before Sophie was able to pull out the victory. Our second runner-up was 4th grader Aniello Rose. Congratulations to ALL of our Spelling Bee participants, we are so P-R-O-U-D of all of you!
AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR VISITS
On Thursday, January 26, NIS was honored to welcome awardwinning author Candance Fleming to the building! Fleming writes picture books, middle grade and young adult biographies. Among her nonfiction titles are Giant Squid, Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, and The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia.
Fleming spent the day speaking with all of our students about her love of reading and writing. She shared how some of her own personal experiences and her fascination with real-life mysteries have provided the inspiration for many of her literary works. Our students left her presentation truly inspired. You can read more about her visit to NIS in the Tribune Chronicle. Click here to read the article.
niles primary niles primary school school
Positive behaviors continue to pay off for NPS students this school year! Every month, one student from each classroom and one student per grade level for specials is recognized for their outstanding behavior and participation in class. MVP trophies are also given to students who perform above and beyond expectations.
Reading is fundamental. This year at NPS we are doing all we can to help students read more and develop healthy reading habits. To help get students inspired to pick up a book, we implemented a school-wide reading challenge in October and invited Youngstown State University's Penguin Pete to come by to kick off our literacy adventure!
Starting in November, through the remainder of the school year, students will be able to earn prizes and participate in special, monthly school activities when they read at home. Students have special reading logs to keep track of their daily reading. Each month, students turn in those sheets and every student who has the sheet completely full, which means they've read at least once a day, is able to participate in a reward. Rewards have included teachers pied in the face (pictured above), hallway snowball fights, and dance parties - with more to come! Keep up the great work! Read Dragons, Read!
Thank you to our students and families who contributed to our cereal drive! Together we donated more than 500 boxes to Niles Community Services to help those in need. The class in each grade level that donated the most boxes received an ice cream party! Classroom winners were KG - Mrs. Hodge
1st - Mrs. Lehman
2nd - Mrs. Burns & Mrs. Gilmartin (tie)
B E H A V I O R M V P s
N P S T A K E S D O N A T I O N D R I V E ' C E R E A L ' O U S L Y
Niles City Schools was honored to salute our Veterans in November. Students in all buildings participated in various classroom activities surrounding the significance and meaning of this day. Our buildings also opened their doors, hosting Veterans for breakfast, special assemblies, and classroom visits. Here at NPS our 2nd graders performed a concert in honor of our Veterans. Students sang patriotic songs, shared facts about the day, and gave all in attendance a heartfelt salute!
Thank you, Veterans, for your service!
WINTER ART WARMS HEARTS
We love putting our students' creativity on display, and we love it even more when we can share it with our families! Hundreds of you came out for our Winter Art Show in December to enjoy the works our students had been working so hard to create!
The Niles Primary Home & School Association was gracious enough to provide a hot cocoa bar and activities for everyone to enjoy as well. We look forward to hosting another event like this soon!
CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS
At NPS, we welcome the holiday season with open arms! There is always so much excitement in the air and a sleigh-full of fun activities to participate in!
The magic always starts after Thanksgiving break when students return to find the school halls decked in holiday decorations. This year, all students in grades kindergarten through second were able to take a field trip to the DeYor Performing Arts Center to watch Miracle on Easy Street.
The sounds of the season also filled the halls once again this year as our holiday concert returned! First grade students put on performances dressed like elves. (They absolutely nailed their costumes too - great job parents!) Students sang a number of new and familiar songs and many students participated in speaking parts. So many family, friends and community members came to watch them, our cafetorium was standing room only.
BUS DRIVERS NEEDED
Join the Niles City School District team as a bus driver! Position includes:
Starting rate: $18.21/hour
Open routes available
4 hours daily guarantee
Additional hours available
District benefits available
NO required night or weekend work
Days off are similar to the Niles City Schools calendar
Click here for additional information
Click here to apply or call 330652-5764.
The district is accepting applications for indistrict, new student enrollment for the 20232024 school year. This would include any student who moves into our district and/or those who will start preschool or Kindergarten in the fall.
Open enrollment applications for new students will be available March 1, 2023. Open enrollment is for those who live outside the district and do not currently attend one of our schools.
All applications can be found on our website. Click here to begin the enrollment process.
MARCHING BAND SPIRIT DRUMS UP $500 DONATION
We all know the McKinley High School Marching Red Dragons have spirit, and now their enthusiasm is being rewarded! On Friday, December 2, 2022, the band participated in the City of Youngstown Holiday Parade and Premier Bank's marching band spirit contest. We are proud to share that this year our Marching Dragons placed second out of 11 schools!
As a result, Premier Bank
representatives Nancy Tabor and Racheal Solida presented a check for $500 to Band Director Mr. Stephen Orlando, band President Alaina Thigpen, and the entire marching band! "We are grateful to receive this wonderful donation from Premier Bank," says Mr. Orlando. "This money will be used to replace older, damaged instruments."
Congratulations Marching Dragons!
ENROLL NOW FOR 2023-24!
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
March 17: End Q3 - No School Students / Staff
April 6-14: Spring Break, No School
April 17: Classes Resume
May 21: Graduation at Packard Music Hall, 1:00 p.m.
May 25: Students' Last Day of School
May 26: Staff in-service day
Board Office: 330-989-5095
McKinley High: 330-652-9968
Niles Middle: 330-652-5656
Niles Intermediate: 330-989-5093
Niles Primary: 330-989-5091
SPRING TESTING DATES
ACT Tuesday, February 28, 2023 (11th Grade Students Only)
Language Arts Math Science Grade 3 April 4 & April 5, 2023 May 2 & May 4, 2023 Grade
March 31, 2023 April 27 & April 28, 2023 Grade 5 March 28 & March 29, 2023 April 25 & April 26, 2023 April 18 & April 19, 2023 Grade
Language Arts Math Science Grade 6 March 28 & March 29, 2023 April 27 & April 28, 2023 Grade 7 March 30 & March 31, 2023 May 2 & 3, 2023 Grade 8 April 4 & 5, 2023 May 4 & 5, 2023 April 25 & April 26, 2023 Algebra May 4 & 5, 2023 Grade English Language Arts II US History Government Algebra I Geometry Biology I Grade 9 May 3, 2023 Grade 10 March 28 & 30, 2023 April 26, 2023 May 3, 2023 May 4, 2023 Grade 11 April 26, 2023 Grade