Schools

Westlake school board appoints HR director

Fairview High School and Mayer Middle School principal Brady Sheets was appointed director of human resources by the Westlake Board of Education at its July 3 meeting.

Sheets has served as principal of Fairview High School and Mayer Middle School since 2011. He also served as assistant principal at Olmsted Falls High School for five years, assistant principal at Lee Burneson Middle School for one year and principal at Fort Jennings High School for three years. He taught English and served as the athletic director at Arcadia High School for five years.

He is experienced in facilitating professional development, district budget development, human resources development and continuous improvement planning.

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Volume 7, Issue 14, Posted 9:14 AM, 07.21.2015

Nicholas Miller named DIS assistant principal

Nicholas Miller, health and physical education teacher at Westlake High School, was named assistant principal for Dover Intermediate School by the Westlake Board of Education at its June 29 meeting.

Miller, 33, replaces Jim Sanfilippo, who will take over as Bassett Elementary School principal this fall.

Miller spent six years as summer school principal in the district’s math and reading intervention program for grades 1-6, and two years as the administrator of the “Brain Games” program, a math/reading/science partnership between the Westlake Schools and Westlake Porter Public Library. He also completed an administrative internship at the elementary level.

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 9:52 AM, 07.07.2015

Bridget Elias hired as new WHS assistant principal

Bridget Elias, Avon Lake High School English Department chair, was named the new assistant principal at Westlake High School.

Elias replaces Dave Schindler, who was named principal of Dover Intermediate School.

Elias taught AP English, English 9-12, reading, remedial English and TV production at Avon Lake High School for 18 years. She was the chair of the English Department for 13 years. Prior to that she taught English and reading in the Maple Heights City Schools for five years.

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 9:52 AM, 07.07.2015

WestShore Lions have school safety on their bucket list

The WestShore Lions Club has been working on for some time, and have now finalized the planning for their "School Safety Buckets" project. The Club has been working with the schools in both the cities of Westlake and North Olmsted to gather items to create a bucket for every classroom, which will contain items that can be used in case of an emergency.

A safety bucket is an emergency kit that teachers and students can use in their classroom, under the teachers' direction, in the case that an emergency arises.

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 9:55 AM, 07.07.2015

Westlake school board, city discuss properties

The Westlake Board of Education is involved in preliminary discussions with the City of Westlake as a part of the school district’s ongoing efforts to streamline operations and become as efficient as possible.

Westlake Schools administrative offices will move into Parkside (formerly Parkside Intermediate School) on Hilliard Boulevard by the end of this calendar year. The city has expressed an interest in the administrative site at the corner of Hilliard and Dover Center, and will continue to have discussions with the Board of Education.

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 9:53 AM, 07.07.2015

Bassett Elementary principal appointed

Dover Intermediate School Assistant Principal Jim Sanfilippo was appointed as the new Bassett Elementary School principal at a special meeting of the Board of Education on June 6.

Sanfilippo has served as an assistant principal in the Westlake City Schools for nine years – four years at Lee Burneson Middle School and five years at Parkside/Dover Intermediate School. Prior to coming to Westlake he also was an assistant principal at Kinsner Elementary in the Strongsville City School District, where he also taught science and special education at the elementary level.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:28 AM, 06.16.2015

Bay Kiwanis donate $15,000 for Normandy playground

The Bay Village Kiwanis Club presented Normandy Elementary School principal Dan Sebring with a $15,000 donation toward the purchase of new playground equipment for the school. The funds were derived from the Bay Village Kiwanis Foundation, along with designated gifts from the family of long-time member Leo Weiland and from the Kiwanis Youth Service Committee.

The school has been without a playground on the eastern side of the building this school year due to construction of a new addition. An expanded playground will be in place this fall.

“This gift is yet another example of the Bay Village Kiwanis Club’s ongoing generosity and support of the Bay Village Schools and our community," said Sebring. "Our students and school community will benefit greatly from their gift.”

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:31 AM, 06.16.2015

Bay Women’s Club awards scholarships

The Bay Village Women’s Club Foundation awarded $20,000 in scholarships of $2,500 each to eight outstanding Bay High School seniors. The Club recognized the students and their families May 14 during a luncheon at the Cleveland Yacht Club. The students are: (back row, from left) Stephen Krauser, Katherine Kerka, Collin Kendall (all attending The Ohio State University), Piotr Kotowski (Case Western Reserve University); (front row) Veronica Switzer-Poplar (Colgate University), Madeline Voiers (Ohio University), Lily Pattyn (Baldwin Wallace University), Jessica Mosier (University of Michigan).

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:30 AM, 06.16.2015

Westlake lacrosse team has another strong season

The Westlake Demons came off a big 2014 lacrosse season when new coach Brian Stepanek lead them to the Elite 8 game in state playoffs. To start the 2015 season with the loss of several key offensive players and some coaching staff, things may not have looked so promising. However, coach Stepanek lined up one of the toughest schedules, believing that his boys would again make it to the playoffs and he wanted them prepared when they got there.  

The Demons dominated the SWC and had some key wins against teams like St. Ed's, Medina, Mentor and Hawken that took them to the playoffs. They finished the season at the Sweet 16 level with a 9-8 loss to Hawken.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:34 AM, 06.16.2015

Bay Village Kiwanis honor drug awareness poster contest winners

The Bay Village Kiwanis have once again honored the winners of the Bay Middle School Drug Education & Awareness Poster Contest. All eighth-grade students recently completed a drug awareness education program and were invited to submit hand-made posters to the contest. Winning students were recognized for their creativity and messaging.  

Said Kiwanian Jim Potter, “We believe it is important for all kids, especially those in middle school, to learn about the harm of drug and alcohol use. Studies show delaying experimentation and resisting use at a young age has a dramatic effect on children as they get older. We’re glad we can be involved.”  

Winning students received gift certificates and all the posters were put on display in the cafeteria.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:27 AM, 06.16.2015

Bay Middle School’s Aqua Girls rank second in Destination Imagination finals

Competing with dozens of teams from Singapore, Turkey, Korea, Qatar and other countries, as well as from many states across the U.S., the Aqua Girls of Bay Middle School earned a second-place rank in their category at the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, in May. Two more teams from Bay Village Schools also competed at the event following a Destination Imagination season that drew 20 teams from the Bay Village City Schools competing at the regional level.

This was the Aqua Girls’ fourth visit to the Global Finals competition that focuses on creativity, problem solving and teamwork. Members Eliza Aleksandrovic, Grace Chilton, Caroline Fowles, Ava Ransom, Audrey Ray, Olivia Reed and Patty Yuhas beat their own goal of finishing in the top ten by getting to second place.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:26 AM, 06.02.2015

WHS junior aces ACT

WHS junior Alex Ikezawa is the fourth student from Westlake High School this year to score a perfect 36 on the ACT.

Alex is an all-state violinist and assistant concertmaster of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra in Cleveland, the only youth orchestra in the United States dedicated to the study and performance of contemporary orchestral literature. He is also vice president of the WHS orchestra and is part of the instrumental cover band “Atlas” with friends.

In addition to his musical talents, Alex is the incoming co-president of the National Honor Society and is a member of WHS Student Council.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:23 AM, 06.02.2015

Summer construction at Bay Village Schools closes buildings, parking, walkways and stadium

Construction work, much of it outdoors, will close down public access to some buildings and property this summer at the Bay Village Schools. Paving projects begin in early June. The high school track and stadium will be inaccessible for most of the summer.

At Bay High, the stadium closed immediately following this year’s graduation ceremony on June 1. Parking and access to the building will be closed starting Monday, June 8. The main drive will be repaved along with the parking lot. At the stadium, the track will be resurfaced, and end zone bleachers, new paving around the field and a new fence around the track will be installed.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:26 AM, 06.02.2015

LBMS students participate in national chemistry contest

Six Lee Burneson Middle School students qualified for the “You Be The Chemist” challenge, an interactive academic competition that engages students in learning about important chemistry concepts, scientific discoveries and laboratory safety.

The students qualified for the competition by taking a written exam. All eighth-grade students participated in the exam. Those qualifying for local competition were Abby Rence, Albert Zhou, Claire Brewer, Joseph Kneisel, Maisy Bogart and Jolie Bogart.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:24 AM, 06.02.2015

Westlake Schools administrator headed for a homecoming

Westlake City Schools Director of Human Resources Anne Pyros submitted her resignation to the Board of Education in anticipation of a move that will take her back to the school district where she began her career and where she will serve as associate superintendent.

“My first position in education was with North Olmsted City Schools,” said Pyros. “It has always held a special place in my heart.”

Pyros began her career as a student teacher at North Olmsted’s Butternut Elementary. From there, she went on to serve in a variety of positions within the district – including middle school teacher, assistant principal, principal, learning resource supervisor and associate superintendent – before joining the Westlake Schools team as the director of human resources three years ago.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:25 AM, 06.02.2015

Dover Intermediate team places 4th in national science contest

A Dover Intermediate School team scored high enough on a general science knowledge test to rank fourth in the country and second in the state.

During the first week of May, all DIS sixth-grade students participated in the 2014-2015 National Science League contest, a 35-minute, 40-question test of general science knowledge.

The team of Rahul Jain, David Daniel, Madison Sullivan, Colt Rujawitz, Evan Cowin, Andrew Bodi, Logan Evans, Neil Thakker, Alyssa Light and Alex Babinski scored 368 points, earning them fourth place in the United States and second place in Ohio.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:24 AM, 06.02.2015

Record year for Destination Imagination at Bay Village Schools

Three Bay Village Schools teams will compete at the Destination Imagination (DI) Global Finals at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, May 20-23. Their outstanding performances at DI's Ohio state tournament in Mount Vernon advanced the teams from Westerly Elementary, Bay Middle School and Bay High School to the international level. These three teams will be competing against teams from 45 states and 14 countries at the Global Finals. Over 16,000 attendees are anticipated to participate in this event, the world's largest celebration of creativity.

In all, 20 teams from the Bay Village Schools competed in this year's DI competition, beginning at the regional tournament held at Beachwood High School. This is a record number of teams sent by the district to this competition requiring innovative and creative problem solving, using skills from both the arts and sciences.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:43 AM, 05.19.2015

Buddy Benches at Normandy Elementary promote recess friendships

Students at Normandy Elementary School in Bay Village care about the feelings of all their fellow students. That is why members of the school's Students of Character Club (SOCC), a leadership group promoting good character traits and positive behaviors, figured out a way to help children who were feeling left out and lonely at recess.

The club of first- and second-grade children has been working all year to bring Buddy Benches to their school. The polished wood benches with colorful handprints painted on the backs have now been installed on the school playground. If a child is feeling lonely or doesn't have a friend to play with at recess, he or she can sit on a Buddy Bench. This is a signal to others on the playground to reach out and include that student in their recess fun.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:39 AM, 05.19.2015

Adapting to state tests

Bay Village forum covers struggles, hopes in transition to new education mandates

Bay Village Schools Superintendent Clint Keener made clear that he is committed to giving his district’s students their best chance at success, whatever the challenges that Ohio legislators send their way.

He told an audience at the April 28 State Testing Forum, sponsored by Bay Village PTAs, that testing, some kind of testing, is here to stay.

“Testing has always existed,” said Keener. “Testing always will exist. The question is, how much, when, what the test is … and does it measure what we think it measures?”

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:13 AM, 05.05.2015

Boosters fundraiser serves up the sweet sound of music

Want to enjoy a fun-filled day while supporting the music programs of Westlake City Schools? Come dig in to cake and ice cream and celebrate the musical ability of Westlake’s students at Music a la Mode on Saturday, May 9, in the Westlake Performing Arts Center.

The main fundraiser of Westlake Schools Music Boosters, this year's Music a la Mode marks the 60th anniversary of this daylong event, in which grades five through 12 show off their talent in choir, band and orchestra from 10:55 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:28 AM, 05.05.2015

WHS assistant principal tabbed to head Dover Intermediate

Westlake High School Assistant Principal David J. Schindler was appointed as the new principal at Dover Intermediate School by the Board of Education at the April 27 meeting.

Schindler was hired as a high school assistant principal in 2013 after spending 18 years with Positive Education Program (PEP), a specialized school in Cleveland for students with special needs.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:11 AM, 05.05.2015

Westlake math teams participate in national contest

Westlake’s middle and high school math teams placed among the Top 100 schools in the inaugural Math Madness  online contest sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America.

Math Madness featured live, team-based, online academic competition between almost 21,000 students from schools across the country. The contest included League Play with a round robin competition based on skill level, geography and common time availability. It concluded with the Bracket Challenge.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:12 AM, 05.05.2015

Bay Village fourth-graders use Skype to visit Statehouse observance of Lincoln’s funeral

A 150-year anniversary observance took place last week commemorating the stop in Columbus of President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train as it made its way from Washington, D.C., to Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois. Fourth-graders at Bay Village’s Westerly Elementary School had a front-seat view of it all thanks to Skype and the district’s curriculum director, Char Shryock.

“I had to be in Columbus for another reason, and I saw that the observance was taking place,” said Shryock. “Our fourth-grade students have been studying the Civil War through the lens of Ohio history, and as it happens, I was able to leave early for my meeting so that I could Skype everything back to Westerly. Many of those funeral events were recreated, including a replica casket placed in the Statehouse rotunda. Historical interpreters were dressed in period clothing as part of a Civil War encampment on the Statehouse grounds.”

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:17 AM, 05.05.2015

WHS hosts first-ever Demon Football Lift-A-Thon

The Westlake High School football team and coaches geared up for the start of the 2015 season with a first-ever lift-a-thon fundraiser on Sunday, April 19, in the weight room at WHS. 

New WHS head football coach Jason Hall and his coaching staff, assisted by the new Westlake Football Backers, organized this event to showcase the work the team has been putting in all winter and early spring. 

“We want to motivate our student athletes to become bigger, stronger, faster and less susceptible to injury though strength training, stretching and agility work,” said Coach Hall.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:32 AM, 04.21.2015

Demons tennis team overcomes court plague

It seemed all the "elements" for a special Westlake men’s tennis season had aligned. Newly constructed courts, the return of a top player, an experienced, senior-laden lineup with a track record of success on-court and in the classroom, and a schedule of challenging opponents.

However problems with the newly reconstructed high school courts forced the Demons men’s tennis team to return to the home courts of the last few seasons at the Westlake Rec Center. The first match of the spring on March 31 welcomed the netters back with bitter cold.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:46 AM, 04.21.2015

Holly Lane named Hall of Fame School

The Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators announced that Holly Lane Elementary in Westlake has been selected as a 2015 Hall of Fame School. Principal Mimi Verdone and her staff will be presented with the award, including $1,000 to be used at the principal’s discretion. OAESA will recognize 10 winners of the Hall of Fame Award during an awards luncheon to be held June 12, in Columbus.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:35 AM, 04.21.2015

St. Raphael students collect over 8,000 items for food drive

St. Raphael students rallied behind their “March the Madness Out of Hunger” food drive, and collected 8,120 non-perishable food items. The amount collected was well over the school’s goal of 4,000 items, and far surpassed last year’s total of 5,500 items. 

“We are so appreciative of the students and parents who sorted, loaded and drove the food to area locations," said Ann Miller, St. Raphael School’s principal. "It went very smoothly, and everyone at the food pantries was so grateful for the food.”

All food collected was distributed to St. Malachi’s, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Jerome’s and St. Joseph Center in Lorain.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 10:06 AM, 04.07.2015

Bay High junior Alana Bernys earns top ACT score of 36

Bay High junior Alana Bernys earned the highest possible composite score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam she took in February. On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2014, only 1,407 of nearly 1.85 million students earned a composite score of 36.

Alana is a member of Bay High's National Honor Society, a Bay High Rockette, and a team leader for the school's Team Africa. She has been a serious student of ballet and is currently a member of the ballet company at Beck Center, putting as much as 11 hours per week into her pre-professional training.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:57 AM, 04.07.2015

These bunnies got a jump start on spring!

Mrs. Therese Laskey's class at Westshore Montessori Class studied germination of the grass seed under a grow light to help these bunnies get a jump start on spring. These bunnies don't have to rely on it being nice outside. They grow their own grass and take it with them wherever they go!

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:58 AM, 04.07.2015

Westlake students named semi-finalists in letter writing contest

A Lee Burneson Middle School student’s letter was named among the top 20 percent in Ohio to be a finalist in the Library of Congress’ Letters About Literature 2015 Contest.

Ameen Zayad, an eighth-grader at LBMS, had his letter chosen from among 165 semi-finalist letters from across the state as a finalist in the contest. In December, Deb Schrembeck’s eighth-grade language arts students, and Katie Beachler and Jessica Dye’s sixth-grade classes at Dover Intermediate School, entered the writing contest, which asks students in grades four to 12 to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author about how the book affected them personally. In Ohio, 1,784 letters were received. The top 20 percent were selected as state finalists. Nationally, about 8,000 letters make it to state-level judging.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:49 AM, 04.07.2015

Westlake superintendent hosts coffee talks

Whether you are a long-time resident or a new addition to the community, we invite you to enjoy Coffee with the Superintendent on the first Monday of the month, April through June, at Panera Bread in Westlake.

Westlake Schools Superintendent Geoff Palmer invites community members for coffee and an opportunity to discuss important school issues during a series of informal sessions planned for the remainder of the school year.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:48 AM, 03.17.2015

Attorney General Mike DeWine visits Bay High

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine described the work done by his office and the path he traveled in his political career when he visited Bay High School students on Thursday, March 5. Then he encouraged the students to become involved in politics on any number of levels.

DeWine provided many examples of how the Office of the Ohio Attorney General operates and areas of its responsibilities. His experience as a prosecutor laid the foundation for the investigative knowledge he brings to the job. One of his first priorities in taking office was to make the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), the state crime lab, faster and more efficient. That improvement, along with a new law that requires collection of DNA at all felony arrests, resulted in many cold cases, such as rapes, being solved.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.17.2015

Westlake students head to state geographic bee

Lee Burneson Middle School seventh-grader Christopher Haddad and Dover Intermediate School sixth-grader Logan Evans are heading to Columbus to represent their schools in the state Geographic Bee and to compete for the chance to represent Ohio at the National Geographic Bee in May in Washington, D.C.

School-level winners took a qualifying test and the top 100 scores were named semifinalists and eligible to compete at the state Bee. State qualifiers compete in an oral competition, to be held March 27 at the Ohio Dominican University in Columbus. Each state champion will receive $100, the National Geographic Atlas of the World, a medal and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state May 11-13 at the National Geographic Bee Championship.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:47 AM, 03.17.2015

Hilliard launches One School, One Book program

Hilliard Elementary School students embarked on an all-school book club on March 2 – One School, One Book. Every family received a copy of “The World According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney and was encouraged to read it as a family over the next three weeks.

The school kicked off the family literacy program with a school assembly that featured Humphrey himself. To prepare for the event, students watched video clues about the book and made predictions about the book plot and title.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:46 AM, 03.17.2015

Bay High students raise $21,000 for fight against childhood cancer

Bay High School students challenged themselves and the community to once again, as they did last year, hit the $20,000 mark in fundraising for St. Baldrick's Foundation. Thirteen students and staff members volunteered to have their heads shaved as the dollars piled in over just four days, hitting $21,358.27 by the time their hair hit the floor.

Bay High students and brothers Will and Connor Huntington chaired the event, which pooled the efforts of the school's Student Council, Key Club and Youth Philanthropy Fellowship (YPF). In addition to the Huntington brothers, other students getting shaved were Alex Bennett, Michael Clark, Connor Flynn, Tim Garner, Megan Hughes, Kyle McPhillips, Sarah O'Hare, and Olivia Risch. Staff members shaved this year were coach Dave Adams, teacher Scott Stelter, and security staff member Jeff Nemeth.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:45 AM, 03.17.2015

Westlake fair showcases young inventors

Here’s your chance to see just how creative our youth of today can be when it comes to solving problems and inventing solutions to them.

The Westlake City School District will holds its Invention Convention Fair at Dover Intermediate School on March 21 from 8 a.m. to noon. Invention Convention is a process of solving a problem, developing the invention idea to solve the problem, and designing a prototype of the solution.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:47 AM, 03.17.2015

Kindergarten students discover Morocco

The kindergarten children at Westshore Montessori School learned about a place in the world where deserts and mountains meet and where a child might easily find a camel to ride. A parent in the class of Mrs. Laskey and Miss Monica came to share her handicrafts and customs and of her cultural heritage. We explored the geography and traditions of this country of northern Africa. Everyone had a delicious mandarin orange, the biggest crop of Morocco!

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.17.2015

WHS seniors named Presidential Scholar candidates

Three Westlake High School seniors were named U.S. Presidential Scholar candidates.

Aswin Bikkani, Nicholas Craven and Kartik Dhinakaran are among 98 students from Ohio named candidates for this prestigious award. Each year, up to 141 students nationwide are named Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Application for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only. Students must score exceptionally well on either the SAT or ACT and submit candidacy materials, including essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts. Candidates are evaluated on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and an analysis of their essay.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:36 AM, 03.03.2015

Westlake High School prom assembly

On Feb. 23, Westlake High School hosted its annual Prom Assembly for the graduating seniors. The purpose of this event is to promote safe driving and responsible behavior during the many activities that take place during prom and graduation season.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:37 AM, 03.03.2015

5 WHS students recognized in career-tech programs

Three Westlake High School seniors will receive the Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary Outstanding Student Award for exceptional accomplishments in their West Shore Career-Technical District programs.

Eric Van Keuls will receive the award for service occupations training, Megan Knott for early childhood education/senior services and Colin Murphy for community-based training.

The award recognizes students who are the top performers in their career-technical programs. These students will be acknowledged at the Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary recognition luncheon on March 16.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:32 AM, 03.03.2015