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13401 Chillicothe Road Chesterland, OH 44026 Principal: Jay Bishop jay.bishop@westg.org

Assistant Principal: Shawn Krippel shawn.krippel@westg.org Important Numbers: Attendance (440) 729-5951 Fax (440) 729-5959 Main Office (440) 729-5950

FALL 2019


7:25 am 7:25 am 8:40 am 8:40 am

End Time 2:33 pm 2:26 pm 3:20 pm 3:20 pm

School Calendar

The full West Geauga Schools calendar is on our website at www.westg.org

School will be closed on the following dates:

August 30: Fair Day September 2: Labor Day September 27: Professional Development Day September 30: Rosh Hashanah October 9: Yom Kippur October 11: NEOEA Day October 18: Teacher Records Day/ Professional Development November 1: Professional Development Day November 8: No School – ELEMENTARY ONLY November 27-29: Thanksgiving Break December 20-Jan 5: Winter Break February 14: PD Day February 17: Presidents’ Day March 20: PD/Teacher’s Records Day March 23-27: Spring Break April 10-13: Easter Break May 25: Memorial Day


8611 Cedar Road Chesterland, OH 44026

Principal: Ron Dahlhofer ron.dahlhofer@westg.org

Attendance (440) 729-5906 Fax (440) 729-5909 Main Office (440) 729-5940

ROBERT C. LINDSEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 11844 Caves Road Chesterland, OH 44026 School Hours 8:40-3:20 

*Other Important Dates: Graduation June 4, 2020; Last day of school June 4, 2020

Attendance (440) 729-5981 Fax (440) 729-5989 Main Office (440) 729-5980

Ben Kotowski, President William Beers, Vice President Kathy Leavenworth, Member Chet Ramey, Member Dan Thoreson, Member

Principal: Meagan Bellan meagan.bellan@westg.org

WESTWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 13738 Caves Road Novelty, OH 44072

Principal: Deborah Nanney deborah.nanney@westg.org Attendance (440) 729-5991 Fax (440) 729-5924 Main Office (440) 729-5990

Board of Education Members

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF Dr. Richard Markwardt, Superintendent Karen Penler, Treasurer/CFO Nancy Benincasa, Assistant Superintendent Sean Whelan, Director of Technology and Operations Amy LaMotte Davis, Director of Pupil Personnel Jim Kish, Director of Public Relations and Development Mark Richardson, Facilities Manager Michelle Papic, Supervisor of Nutrition Services Cheryl Fowler, Transportation Supervisor

Dear West Geauga Resident: We are anticipating a great 2019-2020 school year. This newsletter highlights some of last year’s accomplishments as well as this year’s ongoing projects. Please take a few moments to read about the accomplishments of West Geauga’s students and staff. We are proud of their achievements in our classrooms, on the athletic field, in the arts, and in our community. The newsletter also provides information related to the proposed Territory Transfer of Newbury into West Geauga as well as the status of the West G Facilities Master Plan. Both will occupy the district’s attention this year. We have some new staff members joining our ranks, and several West G administrators are serving in new roles. I anticipate some excellent results. A team of West Geauga administrators and teachers just returned from an Equity Conference held at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The purpose of that conference was to help us to meet the educational needs of all of our students regardless of their unique learning characteristics. Many of the strategies learned will be implemented in our district this year. The focus on academic achievement will continue with concentrated attention devoted to our early literacy initiatives in K-2 and academic expectations and accountability K-12. West G has a tendency to “teach to the middle” that needs to be broadened to meet more fully the needs of struggling learners and advanced students who would benefit from an extended range of opportunities. This will be a unique and busy year for West Geauga. While change is a constant in all districts, it will be an elevated process for West G in 2019-2020. We will do our best to inform you as developments unfold. As always, we will keep our students’ well-being as the focus of our decisions. Thank you for your continued support of West Geauga Schools. We hope that you enjoy reading this newsletter. Sincerely,

Rich Markwardt, Superintendent


Territory Transfer Status The proposed Territory Transfer of the Newbury Local School District into the West Geauga Local School District continues. At this point, both the Newbury Board of Education (by a vote of 3-2) and the West Geauga Board of Education (by a vote of 5-0) have passed resolutions initiating the process of the transfer. On August 20, 2019, the Geauga County Educational Service Center Governing Board (by a vote of 5-0) resolved to propose the transfer of all of the Newbury Local School District into the West Geauga Local School District for the 20202021 school year. The transfer is not a certainty yet. Other legal requirements remain. However, as of today, the completion of the transfer appears probable. As a result of the Territory Transfer study, Open Enrollment of Newbury students into West Geauga has doubled from 2018-2019 to 20192020 with a total of 80 Open Enrollment students from Newbury for the current school year. If all goes as planned, we will be hosting many opportunities for Newbury families to become acquainted with West Geauga. We will do so throughout the year as part of our efforts to anticipate the needs of Newbury students and to welcome and include them in the West G family. The proposed combining of Newbury and West Geauga will help to offset the declining enrollment that has affected both districts. It will result in the expansion of academic and extracurricular programming, continuation of athletic competitiveness, and cost efficiencies.

Facility Master Planning Over the past eighteen months, residents of the West Geauga community met in a series of Facility Planning Committee meetings and large public community meetings to assess the status and needs of the district’s school buildings. Facilitated by BSHM Architects, the groups discussed the educational programming needs of the district and the capacity of facilities to meet those needs. Any owner of an older home knows that old buildings require increased maintenance and occasional major component replacements/upgrades. Schools are no different. West Geauga’s school buildings are at a point where their structures and their infrastructures need attention. Boilers, windows, HVAC systems, etc. do not last forever. Eventually, age takes its toll and costly repairs are required. In some cases, renovations and repairs are warranted. In others, corresponding costs are so great that new constructing is a better option. In West G’s case, the input received from the Facility Planning Committee meetings and the larger community meetings indicated a preference for the combining of renovation with new construction.

The plan presented to the West Geauga Board of Education by the Facility Planning Committee on February 25, 2019 included a new high school and middle school conjoined by a performing arts center (auditorium and music classrooms) and included an athletic field house. The two schools would share those spaces as well as some other common elements like the library media center, kitchen, gymnasium spaces and athletic fields. The plan calls, furthermore, for the current middle school to be remodeled for use as a Pre K – 5 building, thus centralizing all of West G’s students on a common campus. The Executive Summary of the Master Plan is posted for public viewing on the West Geauga website. Obviously, a project of this size would require funding through a bond issue which would require a vote of the electorate at some time in the future. In addition to local property tax dollars, the West Geauga Board of Education is exploring other sources of funding. We will keep you informed as the study unfolds.



A Very Warm Welcome to All Our New Staff TONY SLEPKO – SYSTEMS TECHNICIAN

Tony earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems from Cleveland State University in 2012. Previously, he worked as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in Troy Township and as a technician at Kirtland Local Schools. Tony most recently served as the Assistant Director of Technology at Riverside Local Schools and Madison Local Schools prior to coming to West Geauga Local Schools as our Systems Technician.


Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Ashland University in 1997. She began her career in the Cleveland Public Schools as a first grade teacher and continued in Euclid City Schools serving as a fifth grade and third grade teacher. Most recently, she served the Kirtland Local Schools as a reading tutor. Lauren will join the Westwood Staff as a 3rd grade teacher.


Megan earned a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toledo in 2017 where she was a four year varsity soccer player and two year captain. She holds an Early Childhood/Kindergarten Teaching License. Megan taught 3rd grade in Fostoria City Schools prior to accepting her position as 3rd grade teacher at Lindsey Elementary School.



Erin earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Mathematics from The Pennsylvania State University in 2017 and a Master of Mathematical Sciences from The Ohio State University in 2019. She holds an Adolescence to Young Adult/High School Teaching License that she obtained while working as a graduate teaching associate at The Ohio State University. This year, Erin will join the High School Mathematics Department at West Geauga High School.


Katherine earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashland University in 2018. She holds an Early Childhood Education Teaching License. Prior to accepting her position at West Geauga, Katherine taught 5th Grade at Newbury Local Schools. She will be serving as a 5th Grade Teacher at Westwood Elementary School.


Leah earned an Educational Specialist Degree from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2013 and a Bachelor of Science Degree from DePaul University in 2007. She holds a Pupil Services License in School Psychology. She has worked as a Behavior Analyst at Northern Suburban Special Education District in Highland Park, IL, School Psychologist at Distinctive Schools in Chicago, and as a Behavioral Therapist/Skills Coach at Autism Home Support Services in Northbrook, IL. We welcome Leah as a new School Psychologist at Lindsey Elementary School and West Geauga High School.


Molly earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders from Baldwin Wallace University in 2017 and a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology in 2019. She has worked as a student Clinician at Glendale Primary School and Columbia Local School Districts. She will be the Speech/Language Pathologist at West Geauga Middle School and Lindsey Elementary School.


Qian Earned a Bachelor of Law Degree at the College of Law at Nanjing University, China in 2003 and a Master of Education Degree in Chinese Language from Cleveland State University in 2016. She holds a multi-age Chinese teaching license. She taught Chinese at Bard High School and at Archbishop Hoban in Akron, and was an Assistant Teacher at Akron Chinese School prior to accepting the position teaching Chinese at West Geauga High School and West Geauga Middle School.


Ben earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in 2000 and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Cleveland State University in 2003. Previously, Ben led the Cleveland State Vikings Wrestling program before serving as West Geauga’s Head Wrestling Coach last year. Next, Ben will serve as the Athletic Director at West Geauga High School.

This year West Geauga High School has partnered with University Hospitals to provide top notch medical care to our student athletes. Our students will have access to physicians, an athletic trainer, priority appointment scheduling, and a web-based injury tracker. Our team physician Dr. Michael Karnes is an Orthopedic Sports Medicine Specialist. Dr. Karnes completed his Sports Medicine Fellowship at The University of Utah Hospital. He completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland and is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He sees patients out of the UH Mayfield, Chardon, and Mentor Health Centers. We are extremely happy to have him providing medical care for our student athletes. Sam Adkins is a certified athletic trainer with University Hospitals. She will join West G as the new Head Athletic Trainer here. Sam grew up in the Cleveland area and completed her bachelor’s in athletic training in 2013 at Valdosta State in Valdosta, GA. Her professional experience includes training youth, high school, and semi-professional athletics. Sam hopes to increase student involvement in athletics through the implementation of a Student Aid program and the development of an Intro to Athletic Training Course offered at the High School level in the future. Healthy Roster is a web-based injury tracking software that allows parents and student athletes to track the progress of their injuries. It provides injury documentation and tracking. It provides users with access to daily treatment logs. Healthy Roster will send e-mail updates on student’s injuries and rehab progress. It will also let parents know when athletes are eligible to return to athletic participation. Healthy Roster will provide athletes and families with convenient communication to track their medical care.



West Geauga High School Interact Club Helps in St. Thomas In the wake of the destruction of the hurricanes that hit St. Thomas in 2017, the West Geauga Interact Club wanted to help. The library at the biggest school on the island, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School was completely destroyed. The West Geauga High School Interact club raised and donated $4,000 to assist. They also partnered with the Rotary Club of Chesterland to donate an additional $5,000. They presented this relief effort to other Rotary clubs in District 6630 and were able to raise an additional $35,000. The total effort, which included a matching fund grant, raised nearly $130,000 to assist St. Thomas with the rebuilding effort. The West Geauga Interact Club hosted the Interact Club advisor from St. Thomas and one of their students in April 2019. They spoke about how the hurricanes affected them at the school and how excited they are

to receive this grant money to purchase equipment. The hope is that the WG Interact club will visit St. Thomas when the library is completed.

West Geauga High School Marching Band The West Geauga High School Marching Band is anxiously awaiting the 2019-2020 school year with numerous happenings that will bring excitement to members and fans. Band Camp has included all 155 members in rehearsals, sectionals, and outdoor field rehearsals. Musicians have learned 30 songs for the upcoming season and will feature the Script West, The Fight Song, and the National Anthem. Shows this year will include The Greatest Show, Star Wars, and Magical Mystery Tour to name just a few. This fall, the Marching Band will have the opportunity to attend a Skull Session at The Ohio State University with the OSUMB on September 21, 2019. The West Geauga High School Marching Band will also perform the pregame show and halftime songs as the OSU football coaches and team walk through and conclude with a speech. Our Band will also perform for the entire crowd PAGE 6 | FALL 2019 WOLVERINE TRACKS

for 45 minutes prior and will play a song with the OSUMB for the full arena. Mr. Branch and Mrs. DeSapri have been busy building the band program. The beginning Band sessions have been extremely popular. 105 fifth graders have enrolled in band for the upcoming school year. Over half of which attended 4 beginning summer Band sessions which concluded with a performance for parents. The WGHSMB will be traveling to Walt Disney World with the Choir in November to perform at several venues including Disney Springs and the Magic Kingdom Parade. Students will also take part in recoding studio sessions and our Wolverettes will participate in a dance clinic.

From the Athletic Director On behalf of the student-athletes and the Fall coaching staffs, we would like to welcome all of you to the 2019 Fall sports season. What an exciting time of year! Everyone associated with the West Geauga athletic department is looking forward to representing our school district and our community, who so fervently supports each of the sports programs at West Geauga High School. Interscholastic sports programs have always been a vital component of the overall educational experience because they provide lifelong memories that are not a part of the daily curriculum. With this in mind, we all need to do our part by providing the best possible environment for our athletes and coaches. The West Geauga Athletic Department philosophy best expresses this ideal: “Good sportsmanship is an integral part of all athletic events. West Geauga High School and the Chagrin Valley Conference require all athletes, coaches and fans to practice only positive support, before, during and after all contests, including cheers, signs and vocal encouragement. We hope you enjoy the game and help to make it a rewarding experience for all involved�. On a personal note, I want to thank all of the athletes, coaches, parents, staff and community members who have made me feel so welcome as the new high school athletic director. It did not take very long for me to feel that I had become a Wolverine! Best of luck to all of our Fall sports teams! Ben Stehura, Athletic Director, West Geauga High School

New Programming Offered at West Geauga Local Schools This year, the World Languages Department at West Geauga Local School District will see an expansion of offerings. French I and Chinese I will be added to our PAGE 2 | FALL 2019 WOLVERINE TRACKS current Latin and Spanish programs. This year, Chinese I will be offered at both West Geauga Middle School and West Geauga High School. French I is running at the High School. We are excited to broaden our World Languages Department and will continue to look for additional expansion opportunities.



West G Hosts AP Collaborative The West Geauga High School hosted an Advanced Placement Collaborative for eight area school districts. The teachers and administrators examined recent changes in the College Board AP content and assessments. The event afforded AP Teachers a unique opportunity to collaborate with their peers from other districts. Schools represented were: Aurora, Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Kenston, Orange, Solon, and West Geauga. Chris Rader, West Geauga High School Social Studies Teacher is pictured to the right.

Kindergarten Kick-off at West Geauga Local Schools On Tuesday, August 13, 2019 the West Geauga Local Schools hosted the first annual Kindergarten Kick-off for all the new kindergarteners in the district. Students rotated through stations such as face painting, registration, and a selfie station. The event was well attended, and students and parents had the opportunity to meet the entire district administrative team, school nurse and school resource officer. Left: Traci Coughlin, 3rd grade teacher at Westwood Elementary School is pictured with her incoming Kindergarten daughter at the Kindergarten Kick-off. Right: Kindergartner Danny Kuchta in Wolverine Facepaint.

Administrative Offices 8615 Cedar Road Chesterland, OH 44026-3576 EXCE LL ENCE T HR OU GH T RAD ITION AND INNOVATI ON




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Wolverine Tracks 2019 - Fall Edition  

Wolverine Tracks 2019 - Fall Edition  

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