The Drakkar: LaBrae Local Schools June 2022

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Putting Pen to Paper LaBrae Middle School's Power of the Pen teams earned multiple distinguished honors during the 2021-2022 school year. Three 8th-grade team members advanced to the state tournament. Please see more on page 4.

ALSO INSIDE Retirees .................... 2

Camp Invention ....... 11

Drone League ............. 5

Vouchers .................. 12

Cafeteria Update ....... 6

LaBrae Veterans Call it a Career The 2021-2022 school year marks the end of exemplary service to LaBrae students for three venerable veterans of the LaBrae staff. These Vikings go way back as they can claim LaBrae High School as their alma mater. Laura Zigmont, a 1980 alumna of LaBrae, taught in Youngstown City Schools before coming to LaBrae in January of 2007. Laura has been a special education interventionist at LaBrae Intermediate for her entire tenure at LaBrae. Carol Shanower is a 1972 LaBrae graduate. She was hired in 1993 and has served as a math tutor at LaBrae prior to becoming the library aide at LaBrae Intermediate School. John Maurer, a 1984 alumni of LaBrae, has been employed as a custodian for the district since 1986. Most of John’s service to LaBrae was spent at the high school before he transferred to his most recent assignment at Bascom Elementary in 2006. LaBrae thanks these Vikings for their stellar service.

Laura Zigmont

Carol Shanower

John Maurer

#Once A Viking, Always A Viking 2

FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT Superintendent A.J. Calderone

The recently closed school year marked another wild ride filled with challenges for students, families, and staff, yet all of us prevailed and built upon our capacity for resiliency. As operations became more normal throughout the year, it entrenched the teaching and learning practices that existed pre-pandemic. Despite the challenges of the year, it was still an outstanding year working with our students and being a part of their academic and personal growth. Our custodial and maintenance staff are immersed in their summer cleaning duties, readying for the return of students. Moreover, LaBrae is busy with summer projects, making facility repairs and upgrades, prepping our bus fleet for summer inspections, hiring staffing to fill current vacancies, and reviewing spring student test data to better assess this year's academic achievement.

Drainage Repair at the Complex

I thank our community and our families for your continued support. The coming 2022-2023 school year will be upon us sooner than we can imagine, but I imagine it to be an exciting year that is full of opportunities for our students. Lastly, should anyone have questions relative to LaBrae Local Schools, please don't hesitate to contact my office this summer at 330.898.1393.

Paving Repairs Along the Complex Entrance Way

2022 LaBrae Board of Education Mr. Russell Sewell, Email: Mrs. Karen Ancell, Email: Mr.Bradley Gamlin, Email: Mr. Tim Gibson, Email: Mr. Gary Morton, Email:

2022 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.


LMS Power of the Pen Teams Earn Top Marks

Eighth-graders above from left, Ava Cruse, Caylee Fitzpatrick and Makenzie Lichty traveled to Otterbein University May 13 to compete in the Power of the Pen state tournament. Three members of the LaBrae Middle School 8th-grade Power of the Pen team - Caylee Fitzpatrick, Makenzie Lichty and Ava Cruse - advanced to the state tournament that was held May 13 at Otterbein University. Our 8th-grade team claimed the top spot in the Eastern Regional Power of the Pen District tournament earlier this year, and our 7th-grade team came in 6th place. Fifteen teams from several middle schools, including Canfield Village, Claymont, Dover, Hillsdale, Holy Family, Lincoln (Warren City Schools), Louisville, Marietta, Northeast Ohio Impact Academy, Northwest, South Range, Strasburg-Franklin, Tuscarawas Valley and Wedgewood, competed in the Jan. 29 tournament hosted by the Northeast Impact Academy. Power of the Pen is a creative writing program for 7th- and 8th-grade students in Ohio.


LaBrae Drone Team Takes Flight Joins New County League LaBrae Local Schools is among five school districts that make up the new Trumbull County Drone Racing League. The league, formed this past year as a collaboration between the Trumbull County Educational Service Center and Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, is a member of the national Drones in Schools program. Brookfield, Joseph Badger, McDonald and Southington also have teams in the league.

Team members explain how they built LaBrae's drone and demonstrate how they operate it during a presentation as part of a Trumbull County Drone Racing League event. LaBrae is among five school districts that joined the new league this year.

The teams competed at PIA and Winner Aviation in April. Staff from each district received training on drone instruction and flying through the TCESC taught by PIA instructors. Students spent several months assembling their drones and learning how to operate them. The drones had to accomplish tasks and maneuver through obstacles, and students created portfolios and video presentations of their drone builds and flying skills.

The TCESC provided drones for each district and covered startup costs. PIA donated $600 to the program.


LaBrae Cafeteria News Our 2021-2022 school year began with some uncertainties from the ongoing pandemic; however, as the school year continued, “normal” operations began to reappear. With eager anticipation, students and staff returned to the lunchroom and began sharing new experiences together. Some of these included trying new recipes, taste-testing new items, enjoying special themed meals, and a memorable visit from Molly the Cow. TNG’s keystone programs, Wellness Wednesday, Recipe of the Month, and Nutrition in the Classroom, all resumed. A new program, the TNG Cares Award Program, was also introduced by The Nutrition Group. The program recognizes our team members for their tireless work, dedication, and achievements. While “normal” operations seemed to reappear, the past year had its challenges. Supply chain issues affected product availability and some items familiar to students were unavailable throughout the year. Menu options at times had to change on short notice, but there was never a shortage of high-quality, nutritious, healthy meals. In fact, LaBrae Cafe experienced increased participation rates and served more than 178,600 meals throughout the school year. That’s over 1,000 meals a day! With supply chain issues likely to continue, and rising costs of materials, transportation, and distribution, our corporate chefs and dietitians are collaborating with our purchasing department to continue to select new products for next school year. Continued testing is being done on products and new, healthy and fun recipes are being created. New student favorites are sure to return in the 2022-23 school year! (Continued on page 6.)

Our Lunch Heroes Wish Everyone a Great Summer!


Food Service 2022-23 Focusing on the new school year, there is an important update from the USDA. For the past two years, the USDA has offered waivers to Child Nutrition (CN) Programs across the United States, allowing these programs to offer all students breakfast and lunch at no cost to you. Unfortunately, these waivers will expire on June 30, 2022. Starting in 2022-23, CN programs across the nation will return to normal, pre-pandemic operations. Families will once again be asked to complete and submit a current school year Free/Reduced Meal Application if they would like to see if their students qualify based on income. Free/Reduced Meal Applications for the 2022-23 school year will be available online at after July 1. PaySchools Central can also be accessed from the LaBrae Local Schools website as well as directions for creating a PaySchools account. Paper applications will be available in the school attendance offices upon the return of staff in August. As we transition back to pre-pandemic operations, families will need to be mindful of approaching deadlines and be sure to check their emails for important updates and reminders. Over the past few years we’ve faced a number of difficulties, but with hard work, determination, and our commitment to providing delicious and healthy meals to LaBrae students, we have prevailed. And we look forward to another great year ahead!

2022-2023 Cafeteria Pricing


Student Standouts LaBrae students excelled throughout the 2021-2022 school year to give us more than enough reason to be #VikingProud!

From our Students of the

Month Spotlights to our Twenty Under 20 representative to our Class of 2022 Valedictorian and scholarship recipients, our students repeatedly rose to the occasion as academic, extracurricular and life achievers. Here are just some examples: At Left: LaBrae High School Class of 2022 Valedictorian Connor Natali, center, joined dozens of Trumbull County graduating seniors recognized at the Trumbull County Superintendents' Association's Annual Valedictorian breakfast in April. Shown here with Superintendent A.J. Calderone, left, and High School Principal Jeff Starkey, Connor plans to enroll at The Ohio State University in the fall to study aerospace engineering.

At Right: Brynley Harris, left, accepted a First Place Community Fund Scholarship Award while Connor Natali, right, accepted a Franklin B. Walter Award at the 2022 Scholarship and Recognition Breakfast sponsored by the Trumbull County Educational Service Center Governing Board in May.


Student Standouts

LaBrae High School graduating senior Briley Daniels, standing center in the picture above, was named one of the Tribune Chronicle's "outstanding student" Twenty Under 20 Award Recipients! Briley was recognized at the Tribune's annual awards dinner.

Olivia Gray (NTHS Secretary), Interactive Multimedia, Hannah McCartney, Education & Family Services, and Alyssa Chaney, Veterinary Science, were honored at the Trumbull County Career & Technical Center's National Technical Honor Society Induction Ceremony.

LaBrae's National Honor Society inducted 14 new members this year. Front Row L-R: Isa’acia Richardson-Box, Julie Bianco, Kennedy Sanderson, Sarah Ochsenbine, Hannah McCartney, Lindsey DeArmitt. Back Row L-R: Kalayah Bradley, Connor Natali, Jacob Nowak, Keith Smith, Dale Khlem, Samuel Bailey, Riley Davidson, Grace Barnhart.


Student Standouts LaBrae High School 2022 Prep Bowl Champs

LaBrae's High School Prep Bowl Team, above, earned top honors at the 2022 Trumbull County Educational Service Center's Annual Academic High School Prep Bowl

Seniors Aidan Stephens, Ashley Munroe and Devin Carter participated in the 36th Annual Trumbull County Civic Day pictured above with featured guest, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague. Participants learned of careers in public service. Aidan and Ashley shadowed Mrs. Delgado of the Trumbull Veteran's Affairs Department and Devin learned about school operations shadowing Superintendent A.J. Calderone.


BASCOM WELCOMES CAMP INVENTION! Designing. Building. Problem Solving. Dozens of students in grades K-6 gathered at Bascom Elementary School June 13-17 for this year's action-packed STEM adventure Camp Invention! The day camp was facilitated by LaBrae's own Mrs. Walton, Camp Invention director. Students worked together and independently to create tools they could use for various tasks. For example, one activity involved designing and constructing nets they could use to catch fish. "This year's camp was a great experience," Mrs. Walton said. "The students had opportunities to be creative and experience learning with handson activities while having fun. It was wonderful to see how they work together or even by themselves to come up with amazing ideas and designs."


Ohio Vouchers At Center of Scrutiny Over the last 20 plus years, Ohio's school voucher program has gradually expanded with each passing state budget. What started out in the 1990's as a pilot program designed to help impoverished families trapped in poor performing districts has gradually morphed over time to an ever expanding program that has ballooned to a taxpayer funded expense of $350 million during the last school year. Over the last three budget cycles, the Ohio General Assembly has significantly expanded eligibility criteria and has demonstrated a clear intent in H.B. 290 to make educational vouchers universal for all Ohio students regardless of residence or family income levels. Should universal vouchers become law, all private school students currently not eligible for a voucher would qualify to receive one. It is estimated to cost Ohio taxpayers an additional $750-$800 million per year to fund those students currently in private schools and not eligible for vouchers. School funding experts question if such a move is affordable as it creates a sizeable rebate/refund program for families that already possess the financial means to afford a private education. Legislative leaders espouse the notion that "the money should follow the child", which would mean Ohio taxpayers are responsible for funding three types of school systems, their local public schools, Ohio charter schools, and private schools. Such a system creates many questions that Ohio citizens should ponder earnestly. For example, should the money follow the child? Will private schools be subject to the same levels of accountability as local public schools? Should Ohio taxpayers fund the private education for families with financial means? If the State diverts millions of dollars to private schools via vouchers, what might be the impact on local public schools? What might be the impact on local property taxes? Will private schools be required to accept all students using a voucher? Does Ohio allow such a transfer of taxpayer funds for other public goods such as parks, police, and fire? These questions are just a sampling of important considerations in the voucher debate. Last year, an ever growing list of Ohio public schools initiated a lawsuit against the State of Ohio over the unconstitutionality of the voucher program. Simply, the belief is that Vouchers Hurt Ohio, the State voucher program is unconstitutional, and Ohio should not be subsidizing private education. You can learn more about the Vouchers Hurt Ohio effort by clicking on the picture below which will redirect you to their website. The unceasing growth of the voucher program has created scrutiny, and in light of an unwilling legislature to curb the growth of the program, the only avenue for clarity on the legality of the program is through the courts, thus the Voucher Hurt Ohio suit against the State.


LaBrae Local Schools

"Home of the Vikings"


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