WHS students earn Gold Keys in art, writing awards

Westlake High School senior Mary DeFeo won a Gold Key for a creative writing piece, and senior Jace Lee won two Gold Keys for artwork in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Gold Keys are the highest award in the regional level of the competition. Winning works are automatically considered for national-level recognition.

Earning Silver Keys are WHS junior Katherine Mazzella and seniors Mary DeFeo, Julia Kiss and Sneha Ramachandran.

Honorable mentions were earned by seniors Sara Massa and Ashley Crise; juniors Katherine Mazzella, Patrick Lee and Madelyne Dunn; and sophomore Howard Duangkla.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 9:32 AM, 05.16.2017

Bay High student a finalist in Maltz Museum’s 'Stop The Hate' awards

“My great-grandfather was living in a small farming village in German-speaking Czechoslovakia. He was approached by the Nazi party, who demanded that he join the Nazi cause. My great-grandfather refused.”

So begins the moving essay, written by Bay High senior Aurora Fleming, which finished in the top 10 out of nearly 3,300 entries in the Stop the Hate Youth Speak Out competition sponsored by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland.

Aurora stumbled across the contest when looking for scholarship opportunities. The theme resonated with her, not only because of her great-grandfather’s history in resisting the Nazis, but also because of her experience as an exchange student in Germany during her high school junior year.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 9:55 AM, 05.02.2017

Bay Bike To School Challenge begins this week

The Bay Bike To School Challenge celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, as over 1,200 middle school and elementary school students in Bay Village saddle up and ride their bikes to school to promote good health, active transportation and environmental awareness.

The Bay Bike To School Challenge began in 2008 at Bay High School and Bay Middle School, following on the heels of an informal student-organized protest at Bay High School in 2007 that saw students biking to school to beat the high price of gasoline. This year, the Bike To School Challenge returns to Bay Middle School and Westerly Elementary School.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 9:57 AM, 05.02.2017

Compelling action starts Demons tennis season

With 2016 Southwestern Conference first singles champion Aris Jhaveri back for his senior season, the 2017 Westlake boys tennis team knew they had a weapon to anchor the lineup. But with the 2016 graduation of 2nd and 3rd singles stalwarts Keenan Dinchman and Matt Homm, major questions loomed. Below is a capsule of the roller-coaster first two weeks.

Week 1: The 'Brick-Man' cannot be denied
The 2017 campaign began at home March 24 against Copley, a perennial top program. At first singles Aris Jhaveri had to face an unfamiliar opponent who unloaded rocket serves despite the frigid conditions. Once Jhaveri locked in on the returns however, it was game over as he pounded his opponent relentlessly to win decisively 6-4, 6-1.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 10:04 AM, 05.02.2017

Bay program addresses overdose, suicide

For Bay Village school and city officials, drug overdose and suicide headlines are personal

Too many funerals of beloved Bay Village graduates dying from drug overdose and suicide drove three, heart-wrenching presentations at the Bay Village Schools on Wednesday, April 12.

“I have attended 15 funerals for former students over the past 16 years,” said an emotional Sean McAndrews, Bay Middle School principal. “I can’t stand it anymore.” He noted that in Cuyahoga County, we are losing almost one person a day to heroin or opioid overdoses, with 60 people dying from those causes in February of this year alone.

Bay High Choraleers opened the presentations with an a capella rendition of “Tears in Heaven” while photos and obituaries revolved on a screen, memorializing the Bay High graduate victims of addiction and suicide. The presentations were meant to have an emotional impact that would “stick with” students and parents.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:24 AM, 04.18.2017

WHS junior advances to U.S. Geography Olympiad

Westlake High School junior Kyle Yu is heading to the 2017 United States Geography Olympiad (USGO) in Arlington, Virginia, on April 21 for the second time.

Kyle took the challenging written qualifying exam with gifted specialist Anne Dill in early March. To qualify for the USGO, students must finish in the top half of students on the National Qualifying Exam in their division, or in the top half of scores across the country.

Last year, Kyle qualified for the Junior Varsity level and earned the individual first-place trophy in the USA Olympiad.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:51 AM, 04.18.2017

LBMS student qualifies for state chemistry challenge

Lee Burneson Middle School seventh-grade student Mantas Viazmitinas is advancing to the state "You Be The Chemist" Challenge.

You Be the Chemist is an interactive academic contest sponsored by the Chemical Education Foundation that encourages students in grades 5-8 to explore chemistry concepts and their real-world applications.

All seventh- and eighth-grade science students participated in a timed interactive question and answer contest in January. The top nine students from LBMS advanced to the regional contest at the Great Lakes Science Center in March and were among the 28 students participating from eight Greater Cleveland area schools.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:50 AM, 04.18.2017

Bay Middle School students learn about health, wellness

Bay Middle School students learned from the experts last week about nutrition, healthy life choices, internet safety, CPR, fitness and many other aspects important to living a long and healthy life.

Bay Village Schools nurse, Chanda Wall, organized the Health and Wellness Day. "Some of the topics here are not addressed in the classroom, and even for those that are, it is always good to have students exposed to healthy behaviors through different venues," she said. She hopes the information sparks good discussions at home and guides those who might be having health issues in the right direction.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:17 AM, 04.04.2017

WHS students participate in Museum Ambassadors program

Ten Westlake High School AP Art History and International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge students participated in the Cleveland Museum of Art "Museum Ambassadors" program that provided a behind-the-scenes experience at the world-class institution.

The program is open to only six schools in Northeast Ohio, and Westlake High School is the only West Side school selected for the program. This is Westlake's fifth year in the program and it marks the students’ fifth Community Day event.

Students are selected through an application process. This year’s participants are juniors Gwynnie Ball, Abby Falcone, Jade Hawk, Dena Hussain, Rachel Kaiser, Riley Larcey, Carolyn McBride, Emily Nebraska, Adalee Ratycz and Jonathon Shear.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:14 AM, 04.04.2017

Colagiovanni earns BVHS scholarship

Laura Colagiovanni has been selected to receive the Bay Village Historical Society’s scholarship for 2017. Colagiovanni is the daughter of Chris and Joy.

Colagiovanni is a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club, having served as that organization’s Ohio District Governor during her junior year. She also was honored for giving the most service hours to the Bay Key Club during 2014 and 2015.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:20 AM, 04.04.2017

Safe boating program for middle school students returns this spring

Bay Village Schools and the Spirit of America Foundation will provide a hands-on boating safety education program this summer for sixth- through eighth-grade students. The nationally recognized program, known as Spirit of America (SOA), provides students both classroom and on-the-water sessions to teach safe boating skills.

Participants will take the Ohio Boating Education Course on two Saturdays in May. This meets the Ohio law that requires "any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, to show proof they have completed an approved boating course if they are operating a power boat over 10 horsepower." This OBEC class is mandatory and students must attend both days and pass an exam. Boy Scouts can earn their small boat sailing, canoeing, kayaking and motor boating merit badges by completing the course and some additional requirements.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:21 AM, 03.21.2017

‘Oklahoma!’ at Bay High March 23-25

Bay High School students will perform Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 23-25, in the Bay High School auditorium. All performances begin at 7 p.m. Tickets can be ordered online at: The ticket link is also available on the school district website at

Reserved seating is $12, plus a service fee of $1.95. General admissions seats are $8, with a $1.30 service fee. Tickets will also be available at the door on a first-come basis.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:37 AM, 03.21.2017

Bay High raises another $20,000 for St. Baldrick's

Bay High School raised a total of $20,000 this year for the St. Baldrick's Foundation in the fight to find cures for childhood cancers. This year's effort brings the school's total four-year contribution to more than $75,000.

The annual event, held around St. Patrick's Day, has participants solicit sponsors with the promise they will have their heads shaved. The head shaving shows solidarity with children who often lose their hair during chemotherapy, but the tangible result is that many thousands of dollars are raised for lifesaving childhood cancer research.

Seniors Will Huntington and Kyle McPhillips have been co-leaders in bringing the St. Baldrick's effort to Bay High since they were freshmen. Back in 2014, the pair introduced the fundraiser to their fellow students. It was a memorable first-run effort, as the original goal of raising $10,000 was met and then doubled to $20,000. A top motivator that year was the promise of art instructor Thomas Schemrich to shave off his longtime ponytail hairstyle, which he said he had worn almost always since he was 15 years old.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:08 AM, 03.21.2017

BMS girls basketball team caps perfect season with trophy

This year the Bay Middle School seventh-grade girls basketball team finished with a perfect season – 12 wins and no losses! They won the championship game at Hillside Middle School on March 7 with a final score of 33-30. The girls were down by nine in the third quarter but worked together to win the championship. The team was composed of Iris Hunt, Emily Edman, Rachel Rankin, Sydney Brabant, Abby Smith, Lydia Erwin, Carli Mendelow, Chaeli Ziebarth, Emily Martin, Myka Evenhouse, Emma Fox and Macey Ault.

But the team could not have won on their own. Along with the players, the team also included two amazing managers, Lia Vizdos and Lauren Cseh. The girls thought they had an incredible coach, Coach Mont, who inspired all of them to play their best! They truly could not have won the championship game without her. During the championship game Coach Mont gave an inspiring halftime speech that made them believe that they could win.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.21.2017

Bay High's Will Huntington is National Merit Finalist

Bay High School senior Will Huntington has been named a National Merit Finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Program. He earned the prestigious academic distinction with his score on the 2015 Preliminary SAT (PSAT), taken during his junior year in high school.

Will plans to major in economics, and he has narrowed down his choice of schools to Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Harvard and Yale. The Rockets baseball player would like to coach baseball, but he also has a strong interest in the nonprofit world.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:21 AM, 03.21.2017

WHS has 4 National Merit Finalists

Westlake High School has four students named National Merit Finalists.

Seniors Emily Schordock, Alexander Lathem, Anna Craven and Hong Liang are among 15,000 students to achieve Finalist standing. They will move on to compete for about 2,500 National Merit Scholarships worth $2,500 each, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:20 AM, 03.21.2017

Father/daughter team makes a difference for transplanted student

When Holly Lane Elementary School first-grade teacher Lisa Forshey took German foreign language classes at Westlake High School as a teen, she never imagined she’d rely on those skills to communicate with a transplanted student in her own classroom.

Alex Kuenkel showed up in Forshey’s class in early February after moving to the area from Germany with his parents, Sebastian Griebe and Anja Kuenkel. Alex speaks no English and was lost in a new school and a new country – until Forshey stepped in.

“We were very surprised about his teacher having German roots and even speaking German,” said Griebe, Alex’s father. “The extra attention was very pleasing for us, and Alex likes working with Hans a lot.”

Hans is Forshey’s father, Hans “Hank” Hanisch, a retired insurance appraiser who was born in Germany and speaks fluent German. Hanisch has been a Westlake resident for 42 years. He came to the community from Germany in 1953 at age 13.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:20 AM, 03.21.2017

Bay High presents musical comedy 'Oklahoma!' March 23-25

Bay High School students will perform Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 23-25, in the Bay High School auditorium. All performances begin at 7 p.m.

Set at the turn of the last century, just as Oklahoma is about to achieve statehood, the story focuses on romance as handsome cowboys, a sketchy ranch hand and a traveling peddler pursue two beautiful farm girls. Bay High’s talented student actors, singers, dancers and musicians will perform the musical comedy’s well-known songs "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "People Will Say We're In Love," and, of course, the rousing "Oklahoma!,” as well as others.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.07.2017

WHS senior to compete in Shakespeare contest

Westlake High School senior Emily Schordock won the regional Shakespeare competition and is now heading to New York City to complete nationally.

Schordock won the school-level contest on Feb. 9 and then beat out students from 25 Northern Ohio high schools at the English-Speaking Union’s High School Shakespeare Competition held in Westlake on Feb. 25. The contest was held in partnership with Great Lakes Theater.

Schordock’s monologue as Kate from “Taming of the Shrew” won her an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Competition on May 1 at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She will face about 50 competitors from around the country for a three-week scholarship to study William Shakespeare in London.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:21 AM, 03.07.2017

Westlake math club students qualify for state contest

Three Lee Burneson Middle School Math Club participants qualified for the state MATHCOUNTS competition in Columbus on March 11 after achieving the top three overall individual scores at the regional contest.

Seventh-graders Daniela Danolova and Neige DeAngelis took the top two winning scores, with eighth-grader Vivek Aslot placing third among all schools and students at the regional competition held recently at Lorain County Community College.

The seventh-grade team of Subratha Araselvan, Daniela Danilova, Neige DeAngelis and Grace Harte earned second-place trophies.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:21 AM, 03.07.2017

LBMS service project benefits soldiers serving overseas

When seventh-grade math teacher Taylor Ratliff’s best friend and college roommate shipped out with her U.S. Army unit to Kuwait, Ratliff knew she wanted to do something to help her friend adjust to her new surroundings.

She brought up the idea of a collection of items to her Lee Burneson Middle School team as a class service project, and the idea took off. Over the course of two weeks, students in Ratliff’s, Meg Sherban’s, Paul Hammond’s and Todd Milkie’s classes collected books, wet wipes, Amazon and iTunes gift cards, candy, snacks and socks to send to Larissa Davis, a combat engineer with the 82nd Airborne Division.

The class collecting the most items will be treated to a pizza party, while the runner-up will receive donuts.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:47 AM, 02.21.2017

Holly Lane students simulate immigration experience

Hun Piazza’s fourth-grade students learned the ins and outs of the immigration experience through a recent Ellis Island Immigration Simulation Project.

With the help of Honors American History students from Westlake High School, Holly Lane Elementary School was turned into Ellis Island, with students adopting the life of an Irish, Italian, Polish, Chinese, Russian or Syrian immigrant. Students assumed the life of a specific ethnic family to learn about their life, family and issues that prompted them to leave their country.

The project focuses on the fourth-grade International Baccalaureate Planner: Where We are in Place and Time – an inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; and the relationships between the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:58 AM, 02.07.2017

Bay Village kindergarten information meeting on March 2

Bay Village parents of children who will be 5 years of age on or before Aug. 1, 2017, are invited to attend a Bay Village Kindergarten Information Meeting on Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m., at Normandy Elementary School, 26920 Normandy Road. The meeting is for parents only due to limited space.

The kindergarten registration packet, required for those registering for the 2017-18 school year, will be distributed at this meeting. Appointments can also be made for required kindergarten readiness screenings held in April. In addition to an overview of kindergarten and kindergarten readiness, there will be information tables for those with questions regarding daycare, kindergarten readiness, speech therapy, early entrance and volunteer opportunities.

More details on March registration and April screenings can be found on the district website at

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:52 AM, 02.07.2017

WHS students win art, writing awards in Cleveland Clinic program

Six Westlake High School students were named winners in the Cleveland Clinic eXpressions program.

Cleveland Clinic eXpressions is an educational initiative that engages high school students in the exploration of science and medicine through creative expression. Students translate research studies conducted by Cleveland Clinic high school interns by producing artistic, literary and mathematical interpretations of the science.

In the art category, Katherine Mazzella won a Red Ribbon, while Kira Mudryk and Bridget Quinn won White Ribbons.

In the language category, Rachael Kaiser earned a Red Ribbon, and Norah Wilson and Hyun Park won honorable mentions for their short stories and poems.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:47 AM, 02.07.2017

Bay students win dozens of awards in Regional Scholastic Art & Writing competition

Top awards in visual arts and writing, 41 in all, went to Bay High School and Bay Middle School students in the 2017 Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition for Cuyahoga County taking place at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Nine Gold Key awards in visual arts, 10 Silver Key awards in visual arts and three Silver Key awards in writing, and 13 Honorable Mention awards in visual arts along with six Honorable Mention awards in writing, were amassed by Bay Village Schools students for their work from the 2015-16 academic year.

Winning Gold Key Awards in visual arts are Bay High seniors Alexandra Hoffman (ceramics and glass, "Cubed") and Mia Russell (painting, "Identity"); juniors Abby Coe (painting, self portrait), Danielle Cooke (painting, self portrait), Maria DiLallo (painting, "Javari"), Allie Maust (painting, "Monochromatic Appliances"), and Christine O’Hare (photography, "Abandoned Ohio"); sophomore Olivia Reed (painting, "Oscar"); and eighth-grader Kayla Poling (printmaking, "Other Side of the Road"). Gold Key art moves on to New York City for judging at the national level.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:49 AM, 02.07.2017

Westlake Schools offers bond sale

On Feb. 22, the Westlake City Schools will place $24.41 million in bonds on the market in a competitive sale to fund the construction of a new elementary school. The Westlake community will have an opportunity to buy these bonds during a short time window before they go on the secondary market.

A competitive sale helps the district provide the best interest rate for the community by collecting less tax and providing that benefit back to the community.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:45 AM, 02.07.2017

Kiwanis donate to Bay Schools

The Kiwanis Club of Bay Village has made a $1,125 donation to Bay Village Schools, through the Kiwanis Foundation. The funds will provide $800 for microphone system for teacher Kate Holinek’s classroom and an additional $325 for Eileen Meehan’s science students, to provide for a hands-on science project, a classroom aquarium, illuminated orbiter, and root viewer.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:59 AM, 02.07.2017

VFW thanks Key Club with donation

The Bay Village VFW Christmas Social was held at the Bay Lodge on Dec 13. The event was aided by more than 25 volunteers from the Bay High School Key Club. In January, VFW Christmas Social Chair Debbie Green presented a $75 donation from VFW Post 9693 to acknowledge the exceptional assistance provided by the Key Club at the event. The check was presented to Mrs. Anita Bauknecht, Key Club advisor.

There were many challenges addressed by the Key Club that evening. With an unknown schedule conflict with the adjacent church, parking was scarce and potentially dangerous for many of the VFW members and guests. The Key Club volunteers assisted members from their cars to the building, they served food and assisted the elderly with their plates, they provided coffee and drinks, and they helped clean and re-store the furniture and load the materials.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:45 AM, 02.07.2017

Saint Raphael kindergarten registration now open

Registration is now open at Saint Raphael School for kindergarten. Here are some fun facts about Saint Raphael:

  • Saint Raphael School has the largest enrollment of any K-8 building in the Diocese of Cleveland.
  • Our 4th-8th grade science teachers received the Ohio Governor's Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education.
  • Throughout the school there are 120 MacBooks, 50 iMacs, 140 iPads, 180 Chromebooks and 30 Projectors with Interactive Whiteboards
  • All classrooms are outfitted with surround sound.
  • The Home & School Association and the School Advisory Council are parent groups that are actively involved in the school.

For more information, call Principal, Ann Miller at 440-871-6760. Come and get a tour of the school and pick up a packet to register for the 2017-2018 school year. 

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:57 AM, 02.07.2017

Westlake PTAs' food and toiletry drive benefits 330 families

For over 20 years, the Westlake Council of PTAs (Westlake Council) and its member PTAs have teamed with the May Dugan Center in Cleveland to provide food and toiletry items to local families in need. In recent years, the donations have expanded to include Westlake Assistance as well. In October 2016, all seven Westlake schools and their PTA units, city school district administration, the transportation department, and Westlake Early Childhood PTA joined together to make the largest donation to date. Items included canned goods, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, oatmeal and toiletry items. The collection netted nearly 3,800 items.

The successful assembly and delivery of donations was coordinated by Erin Baesel, community service chairperson for Westlake Council, and Rick Kemm, executive director of the May Dugan Center. On Oct. 22, the process of unloading a school bus full of goods took more than 20 volunteers, both adults and children, almost two hours. The food and toiletry items will be distributed to over 330 families on the west side of Cleveland who qualify for assistance. The donations are projected to last roughly one year.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:41 AM, 01.24.2017

LBMS principal Wilson takes over at WHS

On Feb. 10, Westlake High School Principal Timothy Freeman will retire. Lee Burneson Middle School Principal Paul Wilson will immediately assume the duties of high school principal.

Freeman, who is leaving Westlake for a new professional opportunity, came to Westlake as WHS principal in 2006. Prior to WHS, Freeman was principal at Avon Lake High School and Albion Middle School in Strongsville, where he also served as Director of Pupil Services, and assistant principal at Strongsville High School. He was the coordinator of academic coaching services at Brooklyn High School, and a special education teacher at Brookridge Elementary in Brooklyn. He began his education career as an associate teacher-counselor for Positive Education Program in Cleveland.

“We hate to lose him, but we understand Tim has been presented with an opportunity that uniquely fits his skill set. Opportunities do not always fit within a traditional timeline. You have to take them when they are presented. We wish him the best,” Superintendent Scott Goggin said. “Transitions like this are positive when you have familiar people in place. Paul has experience at the high school and will have the opportunity to begin crucial planning for next school year immediately.”

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:35 AM, 01.24.2017

WHS students win innovative app award

Five Westlake High School technology education students will be recognized in a special award ceremony for winning the Best in State award in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.

Seniors Sneha Ramachandran, Carter Hoon, Leah Choban and Jordan Sherwin, along with junior Jill Eddy, created the ALERT U app, an innovative way to combat urgent situations as they unfold, especially in an educational setting. Through a map-tracking interface, users can pinpoint the location of a threat, such as an active shooter, fire or extreme crisis, and share this location with others. With immediate activation upon clearance, and notifications sent automatically to emergency response personnel, parents and nearby residents, ALERT U can save lives in any situation, anywhere, at any time.

ALERT U was selected as state champion from among more than 1,800 app concept submissions in a highly competitive contest. The team also was named a Best in Region winner. The team advances to the Best in Nation contest (winners will be announced on Feb. 15), as well as the Fan Favorite Award.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:33 AM, 01.24.2017

Westlake gifted teacher earns national award

Anne Dill, gifted teacher at Westlake High School and Lee Burneson Middle School, was selected as a winner of the 2016 Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Mathematics Teaching in Middle and High School.

Dill won the award based on letters from students and colleagues, who acknowledged Dill’s hard work and going above and beyond what is expected of an American Mathematics Competition (AMC) manager to help her students do their best and enjoy mathematics.

“Your encouragement and commitment to your students had made a noticeable difference in your students’ problem-solving abilities and love of mathematics,” the committee wrote in a letter to Dill.

Dill is one of 34 to receive the award nationwide, and the only recipient from Ohio.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:07 AM, 01.10.2017

Westerly fourth-graders partner with Bethesda-on-the-Bay to bring warmth to urban schoolchildren

There was a new twist to this year's Blanket Project, an annual service project by the fourth-grade class of Barbara Woodburn and Mary Jo Mahall at Westerly Elementary School in Bay Village.

In order to make enough of the warm, fuzzy and comforting blankets for Cleveland's Urban Community School students, the teachers enlisted the help of the Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church congregation.

"It seemed like a lofty idea to make this an inter-generational event," said Woodburn. "We've done this in the past at a different school with far fewer blankets for just one grade level of students." She explained that the class wanted to provide a blanket for every student in the after-school program at Urban Community, but the teachers knew they couldn't do it alone.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 10:05 AM, 12.13.2016

Westlake students share their favorite traditions

The holiday season has arrived, with all of the magic and wonder that make this time of year so special. It is a time for rejoicing, connecting with loved ones and creating memories that will last a lifetime. For the Observer's annual last-issue-of-the-year feature, students from Mrs. Melissa Graham’s fourth-grade class at Dover Elementary in Westlake share favorite family traditions.

Elf on the Shelf
My favorite family tradition is our Elf on the Shelf! He is an elf named Elfie that is magical and hides every morning. Sometimes he is found in a baby doll stroller or even a candle! Once he put shaving cream all over the bathroom! It was a mess. He does not show his magic so that is why you have to believe in him. It is also very important that you do not touch the elf or he will lose his magical powers! Elfie is always watching us to make sure that we are behaving and then he reports back to Santa each night. Elfie can even take your Christmas list to Santa. You can get an Elf on the Shelf at any store and there is also a book explaining his magical powers. I hope that you can enjoy your own Elf on the Shelf this year!
– Maddie B.

Christmas Party!
Every Christmas Eve, my family and I celebrate Christmas at one of my cousin’s houses. A few weeks before Christmas Eve, all of my aunts and uncles figure out who will have the party and tell each other what types of food they will be bringing. My absolute favorite part of having a Christmas party every year is getting to see and hang out with all of my family. At the party, we have a big meal and eat lots of food because I have 17 cousins! Some dishes that my relatives bring are my great aunt’s salad, meat, mashed potatoes and a variety of cookies! After we have dinner, my cousins and I open the presents that our godparents got us. Soon after the kids are done opening presents, the adults and children split up. The adults play a game where they all give someone a present and one by one they open them. If they do not want their present they can trade it, but if they do want it, they can keep it. Meanwhile, the kids are either playing games, doing a craft, or watching the Santa tracker. The Santa tracker tells us where Santa is currently located. Finally, we all have to say our goodbyes. This is by far one of my favorite family traditions.
– Quinn W.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 9:54 AM, 12.13.2016

Bay Village students share their favorite traditions

The holiday season has arrived, with all of the magic and wonder that make this time of year so special. It is a time for rejoicing, connecting with loved ones and creating memories that will last a lifetime. For the Observer's annual last-issue-of-the-year feature, students from Mrs. Martha Fisher’s third-grade class at Westerly Elementary in Bay Village share favorite family traditions.

A Holly Jolly Family
When the adults wake up on Christmas, the kids are forced to stay upstairs. My aunt and uncle sleep over and the rest of my family comes over in the morning to eat breakfast together. After eating we open our presents. Everyone stays for lunch and dinner. After dinner we stay up late. The adults talk while the kids play with their toys. Getting coal on Christmas is a possible outcome of being naughty. But it has not happened to me … yet!
– Emma M.

Are You Ready for Christmas?
Jingle! Jingle! Jingle! Let me tell you about my tradition from the beginning. Before Christmas or even Christmas Eve, we decorate our trees. One of my trees is in the front room by the big window. The other tree is in the living room by the backyard door. I’ll tell you about my small tree first. My small tree has lots of adventure ornaments, family ornaments, and friend ornaments. We have ornaments that my little  brother and I made. We have some from when we were born and some of my cute little dog Reagle when he was alive. (He died about 4 years ago.) Other ornaments are from when my parents were kids. Some are from vacations, even ornaments from Owen’s and my friends. The other tree is all blue and silver, blue poinsettia flowers, silver and blue fake plants, blue and silver ribbon. It is beautiful! I love seeing my little brother’s face when we’re all done decorating the trees. He sparkles with joy!
– Olivia M.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 9:57 AM, 12.13.2016

Westlake Council of PTAs awards 21 scholarships

Westlake Council of PTAs (Westlake Council) and its member PTAs are proud to announce 21 recent Westlake High School graduates as recipients of their 2016 PTA scholarships. Each recipient exhibited academic success, as well as community and/or school involvement through participation in athletics, music, clubs, service and employment. Each student received a $1,000 award from the respective PTA unit, totaling $21,000 in scholarships awarded. 

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Volume 8, Issue 23, Posted 9:40 AM, 11.29.2016

BMS seventh-graders learn about voting rights

Talking to seventh-graders in Mr. Fitchpatrick's social studies class at Bay Middle School, Conda Boyd of the Bay Village League of Women Voters didn’t just tell students that the right to vote is precious. She showed them how few of our citizens had that right early in our nation’s history.

She began with having all students raise their hands. Group by group, they lowered their hands as they did not meet the earliest requirements to vote. “In 1776,” she summarized, “an American citizen had to be white, male, a landowner or taxpayer, age 21 or older and not a resident of Washington, D.C., to vote.” At the end of the demonstration, only Mr. Fitchpatrick still had his hand raised. She explained that since those early times, voting rights have expanded to include American citizens of all races, those without financial resources, women, and a lowered voting age requirement of 18 years.

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Volume 8, Issue 22, Posted 9:47 AM, 11.15.2016

Bay Village Schools levy passes in all 12 city precincts

Bay Village Board of Education president Amy Huntley has worked on the district’s school levies since she was a teenager. A graduate of Bay High School with six adult children who are all Bay High alumni, she cannot remember a levy ever passing in all 12 Bay Village precincts.

“I am just ecstatic,” Huntley said as the election night poll numbers came in showing a 60 percent passage rate for the levy. “This is a strong indicator of trust in us, and I give credit for that to our teachers, staff and administrators who demonstrate every single day how much we care about our kids. It’s definitely all about our kids.”

Credit, too, should go to a board of education and administration who demonstrated sound fiscal management, according to Citizens for Bay Schools co-chair Tom Harkness.

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Volume 8, Issue 22, Posted 9:47 AM, 11.15.2016

Westlake math clubs going strong

The Math Clubs at Westlake High School, Lee Burneson Middle School and Dover Intermediate School are all ranked on the National Top 100 list in the Math Madness Contest.

The weekly online challenge involves thousands of school districts and over 40,000 students from around the country. Students tackle eight new challenging questions each week.

Westlake’s teams are in the bracket rounds advancing each week as they take on schools from Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Connecticut, California, New York, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii and more. This is the third year Westlake Schools has participated under advisor Anne Dill.

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Volume 8, Issue 22, Posted 9:42 AM, 11.15.2016