WHS has 7 National Merit Semifinalists

Seven Westlake High School students were named 2014 National Merit Semifinalists in the National Merit Program. Less than 1 percent of the 1.5 million high school seniors who took the PSAT in their junior year make it to the semifinal round. The WHS semifinalists, pictured from left, are: Wendy DeFeo, Alan Garber, Kartik Dhinakaran, Ameesh Shah, Aswin Bikkani and Thomas Reusser. (Not pictured: Nicholas Craven)

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Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:47 AM, 09.30.2014

Students plant 'pinwheels for peace'

Students across the country celebrated the annual International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 by creating and displaying colorful pinwheels. In Westlake, students from Dover, Hilliard and Holly Lane elementary schools and Dover Intermediate School created theirs in art classes and "planted" them on the front lawns of their schools. The kindergartners of Westshore Montessori School also decorated pinwheels for their school's lawn. The pinwheels are meant to create a visual public statement about peace.

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Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:47 AM, 09.30.2014

K-Kids donate to hunger center

Dover Intermediate School K-Kids assembled more than 200 bags filled with a variety of toiletries to donate to St. Patrick’s Hunger Center in Cleveland. About 2,000 sample-sized and hotel toiletries were collected by DIS K-Kids, Westlake Kiwanis and St. Ladislas parish in Westlake. Thirty-eight students met after school to assemble the bags with the help of the Westlake High School Key Club.

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Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:46 AM, 09.30.2014

'Hidden in Plain Sight' reveals signs of drug abuse, illegal activity in teens' bedrooms

Parents exploring a typical teen bedroom staged at Bay High School will find that, hidden in the usual mess, are clues that signal trouble. “Hidden in Plain Sight” will be on display in the school's auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Doors open for browsing at 6:30 p.m., with a presentation beginning at 7 p.m. The exhibit is open to adults only.There is no charge for admittance, and adult residents of all surrounding communities are welcome.

The unique traveling exhibit was created by the Bath and Copley Township police departments. The departments constructed what appears to be at first glance the bedroom of the average teenager. Visitors will learn, though, that amidst the clutter of clothing scattered on the floor, school supplies on a desk and personal care products on a vanity are more than 150 items that can actually be signals that a young person could be involved in risky, dangerous and even illegal activity.

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Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 10:02 AM, 09.16.2014

WHS senior scores perfect 36 on ACT

Westlake High School senior Kartik Dhinakaran scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test given over the summer. Fewer than 1/10th of 1 percent of the average 1.6 million students who take the ACT annually earn a top score of 36. This is the ninth time in six years a WHS student has earned a perfect score on the test.

As a sophomore, Kartik scored in the top 2.5 percent of test takers on the American Mathematics Competition 10 exam and competed in the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) for the last four years. Last spring he was one of two WHS students representing Ohio in the American Regions Mathematics League – a national high school mathematics team competition – at Penn State University.

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Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 10:03 AM, 09.16.2014

American Legion presents new flag to WHS

The American Legion Post #385 recently presented a new flag to fly outside Westlake High School. Jim Potter, the Post's Americanism Chairman received a call from Principal Tim Freeman's office this summer explaining that they had a new school building, but the flag outside was faded and torn. They asked if the Post could present them with a new flag when school opened this fall.

The American Legion ordered a new flag for the school and will retire the old flag as part of their annual Veterans Day flag retirement ceremony.

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Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 10:03 AM, 09.16.2014

Kindergarteners welcome the new school year

The kindergarten class of Westshore Montessori School in Westlake participated in the annual making of the Japanese koi windsock celebrating the beginning of the kindergarten year. As a cultural enrichment lesson, the children learned that the koi fish is renowned for its determination for swimming upstream against the hard current, therefore is thought to be a worthy example for children. In Japan, the koi windsocks can be seen hanging from tall poles around the neighborhoods celebrating the festival for children traditionally held in May.

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Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 10:03 AM, 09.16.2014

St. Raphael School raises more than $900 with Ice Bucket Challenge

St. Raphael School in Bay Village responded to the Ice Bucket Challenge from St. Christopher School in Rocky River. Nearly 20 staff members participated in the challenge, with students donating money for a chance to dump the ice. More than $900 was raised by the St. Raphael students, with funds being split between the John Paul II Medical Research Institute and the Prayers From Maria Children's Glioma Cancer Foundation.

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Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 10:06 AM, 09.16.2014

BVEF to award annual grants to schools

It’s that time of year again when the kids are back in class and teachers and school personnel have put the finishing touches on their plans and rooms for their eager students. The Bay Village Education Foundation, however, lends a helping hand to those teachers and staff that desire a little something extra at the beginning of each year, such as to initiate a revolutionary idea, gather more purposeful and helpful supplies, or to try using new equipment with their students.

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Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 9:57 AM, 09.16.2014

Westlake BOE introduces new superintendent

Geoffrey Palmer, the interim superintendent of the Westlake Schools for this school year, was introduced to the community at a reception at Dover Intermediate School prior to the Aug. 25 board of education meeting.

Westlake school board President Carol Winter announced Palmer by saying, “He is here to do wonderful things for Westlake. One of the things that struck us as a board when he interviewed, was that he made it clear that he wasn’t looking at this as an interim position, even if it was for 12 months. He was looking at making Westlake the best Westlake city schools in the time that he is here. Anytime you bring new folks into a district we bring fresh eyes to the district and that’s great thing.”

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Volume 6, Issue 18, Posted 9:48 AM, 09.03.2014

Bay High Athletic HOF induction weekend Sept. 5-6

The 5th Bi-Annual Bay High Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will take place on Friday, Sept. 5, and Saturday, Sept. 6. The hall of fame event honors past Rocket athletes, coaches, teams and contributors who made their legacy while at Bay High School.

Friday night there will be a brief ceremony introducing the new class of inductees to the community during the Bay-Westlake football game. After the game there is an informal get together at the Bay Lodge on Bradley Road, lasting until midnight. Food and beverages will be served and everyone is welcome to attend – inductees, family, friends and interested members of the community.

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Volume 6, Issue 17, Posted 3:47 PM, 08.20.2014

Chamber luncheon welcomes new Bay, Westlake educators

The West Shore Chamber of Commerce held its annual end-of-summer luncheon focused on education and jobs. All of the new teachers in the Westlake and Bay Village school districts were the chamber’s invited guests on Aug. 12 at the Holiday Inn on Crocker Road.

The luncheon also featured a presentation of the Friend of Education Award, given to the chamber member who has made the biggest contribution to education in the past year. This year’s honoree was Jeremy Thompson from Amica Insurance, who accepted his award from Nancy Ralls, career development coordinator of the Westshore Career-Technical District.

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Volume 6, Issue 17, Posted 10:19 AM, 08.19.2014

Bay Music Boosters conducting door-to-door membership drive

More than 1,000 students enroll each year in orchestra, jazz, band, choral and Rockette programs from the fourth to 12th grades. Bay Village Schools’ music program has been named one of the "Best 100 Music Communities in America" since 2003!

This year, Bay Music Boosters is having their Door-to-Door Membership Drive on Thursday, Aug. 14, from 4-8 p.m.

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Volume 6, Issue 16, Posted 9:36 AM, 08.05.2014

The fine line between prescription drug abuse and heroin Is prevention

A new government report finds a link between prescription drug abuse and an increased risk of heroin use. Americans ages 12 to 49 that illegally use prescription drugs are 19 times more likely than others in their age group to begin using heroin, the report found. According to the National Survey on Drug Use, nearly 1 in 5 teens report abusing medications that were not prescribed to them. Sadly, every day, 2,500 youth (aged 12-17) abuse a prescription pain reliever for the very first time.

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Volume 6, Issue 16, Posted 9:46 AM, 08.05.2014

Westshore Montessori School enrolling for Fall 2014

A Montessori classroom is different from most. Children are not silently restricted to desks, but have the freedom to explore and make their own decisions. This allows students to develop a sense of independence and motivation that will follow them through life.

In fact, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have credited their unprecedented business success to an early foundation in Montessori learning.

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Volume 6, Issue 16, Posted 9:46 AM, 08.05.2014

Deadline extended for Mini-Rockette camp

Time is running out to enroll in this year's Mini-Rockette Camp, conducted by the Bay High School Rockette team. The camp will be held Saturday, Aug. 16, in the Bay Middle School cafeteria, 27725 Wolf Road, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The camp is open to all children entering first through eighth grade and the cost of the camp is $60 per child. The registration deadline is July 25.

The camp will include: dance and flag skills, a special Rockette T-shirt, crafts and games, two snacks and lunch, face painting and poms for the performances. During the last hour of camp, the Mini-Rockettes will perform the dances they learned at the camp. In addition, the Mini-Rockettes will perform during the pre-game festivities for a Bay High School football game at Bay High Stadium.

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Volume 6, Issue 15, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.22.2014

Bassett hires new principal

Alexander Fleming, principal of Midview East Intermediate School in Grafton, was named principal of Bassett Elementary School at the June 16 Board of Education meeting.

In his three years at Midview, Fleming restructured the way instruction is delivered, creating a teaming model and implementing several building-level programs. He also implemented co-teaching special education strategies to improve achievement. Those efforts led to the State of Ohio Special Education Team of the Year award in 2011-2012. In addition he created an outdoor education program for his fifth and sixth graders.

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Volume 6, Issue 13, Posted 9:06 AM, 06.24.2014

LBMS class donates prize back to charity

When Dennis Sullivan’s seventh-graders at Lee Burneson Middle School learned that they had won the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Pasta for Pennies contest at the school, they made a startling request.

The students asked that the Olive Garden lunch they had won for their classroom be donated to the Ronald McDonald House, a home-away-from home for families of children being treated at Cleveland-area hospitals. Lunch was delivered to those families on May 29.

“Many families on our team are currently personally affected by cancer,” said Sullivan, seventh-grade social studies teacher and middle school athletic director. “The most incredible act was to donate the motivational lunch back to the hospital. I am extremely proud of all the kids in my homeroom.”

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:19 AM, 06.10.2014

Women’s Club funds $12,000 in scholarships

The Bay Village Women’s Club awarded scholarships to six Bay High seniors at its annual Honors for Scholars Luncheon. The May 8 program at the Cleveland Yachting Club provided Club members with the opportunity to chat with the students and their parents and to meet Bay High School staff members.

At the podium each student described his or her future plans. Later the Huff-n-Puff Barber Shop Quartet provided entertainment with songs from the 1800s up through the Doo-Wop era.

The Club awarded its first scholarship in 1936. This year’s $12,000 total – $2,000 to each student – brings the Club’s scholarship funding to over $427,000. Funding comes from the annual Antiques Show at the high school in February, the Hassler Funds, and ongoing sales of Bay memorabilia (afghans, cookbooks, cards, etc.).

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:13 AM, 06.10.2014

Holly Lane Service Club raises money for autism

Students from Westlake's Holly Lane Service Club have been able to pair the latest fashion and crafting craze among kids, Rainbow Loom bracelets, with a great cause. The club recently donated the $122 it earned by selling “Bracelets 4 Autism” to local nonprofit Connecting for Kids.

The popular blue-and-white bracelets were sold to Holly Lane students during April which is Autism Awareness Month. Club member McKenna Riley, who has a sibling with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), came up with the idea that was voted on and eagerly undertaken by the group. The students both made and sold the “Bracelets 4 Autism” themselves.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:31 AM, 06.10.2014

Featured Student: Megan Teets

Featuring some of our districts' great high school students.

Megan Teets, a sixth-grade Parkside Intermediate School student, is one of 16 recipients of the R.A. Horn Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Department of Education.

The award is presented to one exemplary special education student from each of Ohio’s 16 State Support Team regions. Megan will be recognized in Columbus on June 18 by the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:32 AM, 06.10.2014

Graduations and Goodbyes

Hi. My name is Halle Parks. I am 10 years old, in fourth grade and am home schooled. My mom has been my teacher at home in Bay Village since I was in kindergarten. Recently, my parents and I have been thinking about having me go to a “regular” school for fifth grade. Hopefully, I will attend Westside Christian Academy (WCA) in Westlake.

To  learn more about the school, my mom and I went to WCA’s eighth-grade graduation on June 3. The ceremony was much more exciting than I thought it would be! It began with a prayer, and continued with music and worship. Then, the 11 graduates recited Psalm 19 together (which is quite a long Psalm).

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:21 AM, 06.10.2014

Bay High Rockettes to hold Mini-Rockette Camp

The Bay Village High School Rockette team will hold a Mini-Rockette Camp on Saturday, August 16, in the Bay Middle School cafeteria, 27725 Wolf Road, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The camp is open to all children entering first through eighth grade and the cost of the camp is $60 per child.

The camp will include: dance and flag skills, a special Rockette T-shirt, crafts and games, two snacks and lunch, face painting and poms for the performances. During the last hour of camp, the Mini-Rockettes will perform the dances they learned at the camp. In addition, the Mini-Rockettes will perform during the pre-game festivities for a Bay High School football game at Bay High Stadium.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 9:25 AM, 05.28.2014

Civil War poetry contest winners

Lee Burneson Middle School eighth-graders Alex Rujawitz, Audrey Lyle and Rachael Kaiser are the 2014 winners of the Jon Thompson Civil War Poetry Contest sponsored by the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.

The three were honored at a dinner on May 14 at Cleveland’s Judson Manor, where they read their winning entries – poetic interpretations of “The Widow,” a painting showing a Confederate widow being comforted by the ghost of her husband as she grieves at his tombstone.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 9:15 AM, 05.28.2014

Featured Student: Katie Randazzo

Featuring some of our district's great high school students.

Bay High senior Katie Randazzo has used her time at her school to be an actor, a member of the stage chorus, and a student director of the cast and crew of Bay High’s ambitious musical "Beauty and the Beast." She capped off her high school performances this year playing the wicked stepmother in Bay High’s presentation of "Cinderella" while serving as vice president of the Bay High Thespians. But as much as she enjoys “treading the boards,” Katie has her sights set on actually creating the stories that others perform. She plans to be a screenwriter.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 9:15 AM, 05.28.2014

3 WHS students accepted into language immersion program

Westlake High School sophomores Harleen Shergill and Allyson Simon, and junior Sophie Warner, were accepted into the 2014 STARTALK Foreign Language Academy in Chinese and Russian at Kent State University this summer.

The KSU STARTALK Academy is a four-week language immersion program that introduces a new language and culture. Students are housed in the KSU Honors College and students can receive up to five college credits. Students are provided with a laptop computer and all the necessary software.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 8:59 AM, 05.28.2014

WHS students race at Derby Downs

Students in the Westlake High School Technology & Engineering Department participated in the fifth annual Gravity Racing Challenge at Derby Downs in Akron on May 17.

The team of Robert Slater, Chris Stone, Jake Johanni and Dylan Komorowski won the Innovative Braking System award sponsored by Time Warner Cable. They designed a new braking system for the derby car as part of the inaugural open class high school division competition. Their braking system consisted of constructing and installing a drum brake configuration, greatly reducing the stopping distance and increasing the efficiency of control.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 8:59 AM, 05.28.2014

Students earn national recognition for Spanish exam scores

Sixty-eight Westlake High School Spanish students earned national recognition for excellent performance on the 2014 National High School Spanish I-5 Examinations.

Spanish students earned a total of 13 gold, 10 silver and 21 bronze medals, along with 24 honorable mentions.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 8:58 AM, 05.28.2014

Westerly fair teaches environmental science

On May 9, the "Plant New Ideas" environmental fair celebrated the 20th birthday of Westerly School’s Outdoor Science Lab, a natural habitat in the center of the school and a certified National Wildlife Site. The students in my third-grade class received a grant from Bay Education Foundation and support from Westerly’s PTA to create, organize and implement the birthday party for the Outdoor Science Lab.

The students stayed after school once a week since the beginning of January to prepare their activities: stations with games, puzzles and interactive events. The students had relay races with bees gathering pollen and nectar and another race acting out the different stages of a butterfly’s metamorphosis. The Bee Master Challenge focused on fact and fiction about bees. Large scale posters of the Outdoor Science Lab were cut into smaller shapes to be reassembled. A scavenger hunt in the Outdoor Science Lab had participants matching photos of the plants with the growing plants in the Lab. The students planted terrariums to sell. A display with melting ice demonstrated the plight of the polar bears’ shrinking habitat. The students manned the different stations.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:35 AM, 05.13.2014

Event uses real-life experiences to highlight dangers of drug use

Parents, children, community and school leaders gathered on Tuesday, May 7, for the “Let’s Talk About It” parent drug education event, held at Bay Middle School. Highlighting the evening’s event were presentations by Bay Village Detective Kevin Krolkoski and Judge Donna Congeni Fitzsimmons of the Rocky River Municipal Court. 

“After hearing about the amount of drugs in our community and how easy it is for our kids to get them, I’m now convinced drug use, abuse and addiction can hit any Bay family,” said one of the parents in attendance.

The drug education event opened with information displays by the Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB), Recovery Resources, and Drug Awareness and Prevention Inc., surrounded by over 80 colorful handmade drug awareness posters designed by Bay Middle School seventh and eighth-grade students. Parents and children were given an opportunity to collect literature and also talk with the representatives.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:55 AM, 05.13.2014

'Word Play Around Bay' will build rich vocabularies in young children

There’s a new push going on in the Bay Village preschool community, and swing sets are only one place where it’s happening.

Just introduced this week, “Word Play Around Bay” is a fun, vocabulary-building resource for parents and their young children. The brochure is packed with dozens of location-specific activities that make it easy for parents to help children build a rich and meaningful vocabulary during everyday visits throughout Bay Village.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.13.2014

Area youth proclaim 'We are the Majority' at downtown rally

Westshore Young Leaders from Westlake, Rocky River and Lakewood high schools joined more than 100 other high school youth and leaders from Cuyahoga County at the “We are the Majority Rally” on Wednesday, April 30. The purpose of the rally was to raise awareness about the fact that the majority of youth make healthy choices and do not partake in the use of drugs and alcohol. 

Students from across the county gathered at the Cleveland Public Library to participate in team-building activities and march to City Hall to listen to speakers including Nolan and Jaclyn Brandt of Robby’s Voice who inspired them to continue to make good choices.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:53 AM, 05.13.2014

Westlake fifth-graders explain importance of trees

In celebration of Arbor Day, the Westlake City Tree Commission sponsored a poster and essay contest for Parkside Intermediate School's fifth-grade students. Essays were limited to 150 words and included information about the importance of trees for the city and its residents.

The students' posters were colorful illustrations of the area's trees and the theme “Why Trees are Important to the City of Westlake.” The posters showed methods of preserving and protecting trees as well as encouraging the planting of new trees for shade, erosion control, animal habitats, wind shelters and beauty. The posters were judged by the Westlake City Tree Commission members Mary Beth Schneidler, Margie Rossander, John Walz, Thea Steinmetz, Diane Morris, Westlake City Arborist Stan Barnard and Westlake City Service Director Paul Quinn.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 04.29.2014

Yumming it up for a great cause!

At Westerly Elementary School in Bay Village, Ms. Holinek’s third-grade class learned a lesson in economics that turned into a lesson of the heart. Production, consumption and transfer of wealth were among the many skills learned through the sale of cupcakes. The process of advertising was the first step of the economic lesson. The students made flyers and posters with mouthwatering pictures of their favorite looking cupcakes.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:47 AM, 04.29.2014

Featured student: Emma Jarvi

Featuring some of our school districts' great high school students.

Bay High senior Emma Jarvi believes she achieved what she set out to do this month when she organized an Autism Awareness Week at her school.

“I think students at Bay High are now a little more aware of what autism is and how students with autism may be different, but that they should be accepted and loved for who they are,” she said.

Emma and her crew put signs up on the walls that expressed sentiments like “Autism is Awesome” and “Look behind the autism and you will see someone very special.” The signs expressed the positive aspects of being unique and seeing things in a way that is different from how others see things.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:47 AM, 04.29.2014

Case Closed: 'Legally Blonde' comes to an end

[This article originally appeared in the April issue of The Green & White, Westlake High School's student newspaper.]

After the applause from “Legally Blonde” finally died down, the sets demolished and costumes put away, the musical came to a close.

“It was really wonderful to work with so many awesome people and bring this show to life,” said senior Jabri Johnson.

This year’s musical played from April 11 to April 13 and starred Evie Kennedy as Elle Woods, Dylan Diemer as Emmett, Caroline Kane as Vivian Kensington, Peter Bradley as Professor Callahan, Kevin Waitrovich as Warner and Anna Parchem as Paulette.

It was put on by the Center Stage Players, Westlake High School’s drama club.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:42 AM, 04.29.2014

Green & White staff recognized

Westlake High School’s The Green and White student newspaper was recently recognized by the Ohio Scholastic Media Association for its work in 2013.

The Green and White earned a second place overall, and several individual staff members were recognized for their work:

  • Pierce Gleespen was rated excellent in newswriting
  • Julia Ferra was rated superior for news photo
  • Emily Simon was rated excellent for general feature
  • Caroline Gray received an honorable mention for commentary

The Green and White is an extracurricular publication at Westlake High School and is in its 96th year as a student-run, open-forum publication.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:42 AM, 04.29.2014

Westlake board chooses firm for superintendent search

The Westlake Board of Education approved the hiring of the Ohio School Boards Association to facilitate the search for Westlake’s next superintendent.

The Board interviewed three firms for the process, including Finding Leaders in Independence and Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, based in Illinois. Dr. Daniel J. Keenan Jr. announced his resignation effective July 31 to take the executive director’s position with the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation in Cleveland.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:39 AM, 04.29.2014

Westlake superintendent stuns with resignation

After seven years of leading the Westlake City School District, Superintendent Dr. Daniel J. Keenan Jr. announced his resignation, effective July 31, 2014, to accept the position of executive director of the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. Dr. Keenan made the announcement during the April 3 Board of Education meeting, surprising many in the room.

Dr. Keenan joined the Westlake Schools on Aug. 1, 2007. His tenure was punctuated by significant progress in the Westlake City School District. His tenure has been a collaborative one with the Westlake community. He sought input and direction from the community on major issues through a variety of committees and has been applauded for being a dedicated educator and manager.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 10:26 AM, 04.15.2014

Bay Village and other school districts distribute state tests on paper for final year

Every spring since the early 1990s, when the Ohio Department of Education began mandating statewide proficiency testing, the Bay Village City School District has accepted many dozens of cartons containing printed test booklets and bubble answer sheets. The tests had to be counted out, secured, and delivered to teachers and students exactly when needed.

Once the tests were taken, the process would begin again in reverse. Districts, teachers, parents and students could wait as long as 2-3 months to learn their individual test results. This spring, Bay Village and most other Ohio districts are accepting all those cartons for the final time.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 10:19 AM, 04.15.2014