Ottawa Hills Local Schools District Newsletter
3600 Indian Rd., Toledo, Ohio  43606

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
February 28, 2014

Superintendent's Message
Discovering Directions:  Career Day, 2014

Last Friday, the classrooms of Ottawa Hills High School were filled with Secret Service Agents, CEOs, Architects, Newspaper Columnists, News Anchors, Veterinarians, Lawyers, Dentists, Corporate Presidents, and more. It was a clear indication that the OHHS Career Day was in full swing.
Career Day is held every-other-year, during non-Agora years. It is an opportunity for students to hear from experts in a variety of career fields. The students attend three different breakout sessions during the morning, and each breakout session is focused on a career cluster, such as Engineering, Law, Finance, Technology, Medicine, and TV/Radio Journalism.
The session presenters are experts in that particular career cluster. For example, the TV/Radio Journalism breakout session featured WTVG-13 ABC News Anchor Diane Larson, Toledo Blade Metro Columnist Keith Burris, and Cumulus Media Vice President John Gallagher. Presenters for the Law Enforcement breakout were Allison Arnold, Senior Trial Attorney with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office, and Dan Hamilton, Special Agent with the United States Secret Service. Speaking in the Leadership in Business session were Jim Hoffman, Michigan/NW Ohio District President for Key Bank, Mark Rodriguez, CEO of Hickory Farms, and Christy Stone, Senior Vice President of HealthCare REIT.

OHHS Principal, Ben McMurray notes the importance of Career Day for our students when he shares, "Career Day provides an opportunity for our high school students to be inspired by some of the most successful professionals in the Toledo area. Throughout the day, they learn about career pathways they may or may not have considered and gain insight about leadership, creativity, and character. All of our speakers stressed the importance of being well-rounded, playing an active role in the community, and following a passion."
Many of the sessions featured our own Ottawa Hills alumni, such as 2002 graduate Jackie Kozy and 1999 graduate Bridgett Kozy-Snyder, both who are now dentists. Judd Silverman, a 1974 graduate of O.H. presented as Executive Director of the Marathon LPGA Classic (Judd also graciously chairs our Career Day event). Betsy Ankney, a 2005 graduate, is now the Political Director for U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. O.H. alumnus David O’Connell is a managing member of the law firm of Marshall & Mellhorn. Another O.H. graduate, Mark Wagoner, was on hand to share his experiences as partner in the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick and as a former State Senator for Ohio’s 2nd District.  
The morning closed with keynote speakers Lindsay Danforth and Tim Varner. Ms. Danforth works for the City of Toledo as a Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Specialist. She is teaching herself the computer programming languages Javascript, Visual Basic, and Python in order to deliver interactive maps to internal users as well as the public. Ms. Danforth is also co-organizer of the Toledo chapter of “Girl Develop It.”
Tim Varner calls himself an “accidental technologist and entrepreneur.” After a three-year stint helping ESPN design and launch a blog network in the middle of the last decade, he has gone on to found two companies. The first, White Label Collaborative, is a new technology incubator with a focus on mobile and web apps. Roost ( is the other recent startup. Roost is the first company to offer push notifications for websites, with several patent pending innovations.
In their keynote address, Ms. Danforth and Mr. Varner discussed the importance of “disruptive technology.” They emphasized the necessity of disruptions as a way of life, pointing out that we live in a world that is incredibly disruptive. The technologies we adopt disrupt our previous way of living; however, they replace our former way of life with a new and better way of life.
The two pointed out that in the past, there was perhaps one new technology introduced about every century that changed civilization—the wheel, electricity, the car… But now, the rate of new culture-changing technologies is occurring every few months. The keynote speakers shared the words of Mary Meeker, an American venture capitalist whose primary work is on the internet and new technologies. Ms. Meeker notes that we are at a unique time in history because “everything is being reimagined as a digital process.”
Therefore, Danforth and Varner emphasized to our students the importance of “program or be programmed.”  Tim Varner shared, “The class divide in the future will not be race, gender, or economics, but whether you can program or not. If you do not have a mastery of computer programming, you will be programmed by others.” He stressed that learning how to program will become an issue of basic literacy in the next 10 to 15 years.
Mr. Varner told the students that his own company is constantly looking for people who can program. He adds that startups and tech companies can’t hire enough programmers and engineers. He shared that the five top high-tech companies alone—IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Qualcomm—have a combined 10,000 current job openings in the United States which cannot be filled because of the lack of qualified programmers.
Their words and insights provided plenty of food for thought for our students, and also validated the importance of the work we’ve done to add Twenty-first Century themed curricular offerings at Ottawa Hills—courses such as Computer Programming (where our students learn Python and JAVA), STEM for 8th Graders (and now, STEM for 7th Graders), Modeling and Simulation, and Robotics.  
On behalf of our school district, I extend my thanks to all of our presenters and volunteers who helped make Career Day a success. Special appreciation is extended to the Planning Committee who made Career Day 2014, “Discovering Directions,” a reality: Judd Silverman, who chaired the event, Kristi Hoffman, Patti Robb, Mark Nusbaum, Stephen Bobak, Tim Hood, Ben McMurray, Jackie Patterson, Teresa Leinweber, Lisa Silverman, and Susan Frantz. 

Be A Part of Oliver! Sponsor a Program Ad

It’s Theater Season! The Ottawa Hills Theatre Arts Department is proud to present our Spring Musical “Oliver!”.  OHMTA invites and encourages you to support the spring musical through the purchase of an ad in our Playbill or a donation towards the production. The Ottawa Hills Theatre seats 500 people and with four shows you are potentially reaching 2,000 people with an affordable advertisement. There are many ad possibilities to choose from!

The ad form is available on OHMTA's page on our school website or by clicking here.

Emerald City Awaits You at Green Bear Ball 2014

The GBB has been an important fund raising event for Ottawa Hills Schools for more than 25 years. This year’s Ball will fund three different projects along with supporting ongoing student athletic programs. The projects have a focus on “STEAM” which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Please consider being a Patron of this year's Green Bear Ball. The Program Patron form can be found here. This is the "last call" for patrons, as they are due tomorrow, March 1. 

The Green Bear Ball will be held on Saturday, April 12, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. This year's event is being held at the historic Valentine Theatre. Silent and live auctions will be taking place. In addition to the auctions there will be a reverse raffle with only 200 tickets being available for $100 each. The winner will receive $5000! Ticket prices for the Ball are $80 each, but remember that after March 15, ticket prices go up to $90. If you have not already been contacted by a ticket ambassador and would like to purchase tickets, contact Kathy Lathrop at

Another opportunity to support the Green Bear Ball is by purchasing VIP box seats for the Ball. The GBB Committee is auctioning off ten VIP box seats for the Emerald City Ball. The top ten bids  will win:
•seating for four in exclusive box seats during the live auction;
•desserts and a bottle of wine for four VIP guests;
•following the silent auction, this VIP seating is yours for the rest of the evening,which will keep you close to the dance floor.

Bids are placed by filling out the Box Seat Auction Form and mailing it to Sue Carson. You can access that form here. Don’t miss out on having the best view in the house! Hurry! All bids must be post marked by March 15, 2014.


Pancakes Dinner Raises Dollars for After Prom

On Friday, February 21, hundreds of people turned out for the annual pancake dinner and pre-game festivities. According to organizers, a record number of tickets were sold. The annual event is the major fundraising vehicle for After Prom, which will be held from midnight to 3:00 a.m., immediately following the OHHS Prom on May 17. After-Prom provides a fun, drug and alcohol-free environment for all junior and senior students, as well as for any freshman or sophomore who has been asked to Prom by an upper class student. Many thanks to Julie Boesel and Sonja Baehren for organizing a wonderful community event.

Mr. Aigner Attends OMLA Conference

Brandon Aigner recently presented at the Ohio Middle Level Association annual conference and shared his version of the “flipped classroom” with other middle school and junior high teachers from around the state. Mr. Aigner’s hybrid flip model incorporates the use of teacher-made videos to help differentiate curriculum for students and maximize the use of class time for student practice and active discussion.  Junior high math teacher Dan Feuerstein also attended the conference. Both teachers enjoyed the conference and they hope to incorporate what they learned into their junior high classrooms.

Holy Toledo! Winter 2014 Rubik’s Cube Tournament

If you have the ability to solve the notorious Rubik's Cube, come and compete in Toledo's first Rubik's Cube tournament at the Ottawa Hills High School library! Competitors from around the nation will converge to compete in a range of events, included a 6x6-order cube, feet solving, and, of course, the classic 3x3 Rubik's Cube. Competitors of all ages and skill levels are welcome!
This event is sanctioned by the World Cube Association. All times set at this tournament will be ranked among the world's 'speedcubers.' National, continental, and world records are on the line! Click here for more information and registration. All competitors are required to bring their own puzzles. Lunch is included in the registration fee. Registration closes on March 1, 2014, so be sure to sign up before then.

Boys' Basketball Takes the TAAC; Plays in Sectional Finals Tonight

The Ottawa Hills Boys Basketball Team finished the season with a 19-1 overall record. At the end of the season, they were ranked fifth in the state. Their only loss was an early season overtime defeat at Southview. The Green Bears went on to sweep conference play and captured The Toledo Area Athletic Conference Championship. They enter sectional play as the number 1 seed.

The boys will plays tonight at 6:15 p.m. at Eastwood High School. They will take Cardinal Stritch, who defeated North Baltimore in the first round of sectional play. All Tickets at the door are $6.00.

Cast Your Vote for O.H. as "Team of the Year"

The Ottawa Hills boys' basketball team has been nominated to receive the Ohio National Guard/JJHuddle "Team of the Year" Award. O.H. joins 18 other teams who have been chosen for this honor. The winning team will be determined by fan-generated votes which are cast by clicking here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the word "vote" next to Ottawa Hills' name.

JJHuddle is a website which follows Ohio high school sports and allows posters to share their insights and opinions on various teams, players, and match-ups. The website notes: "The Green Bears led the Toledo Blade small school poll wire-to-wire this season and suffered their only loss at D-I Sylvania Southview 58-55 in OT on Dec. 7. Since then the Toledo Area Athletic Conference champions have put together a 16-game winning streak heading into the postsaeason. Finished ranked No. 2 in the final National Guard JJHuddle D-IV Power Poll and No. 5 in the final AP D-IV State Poll."

Voting continues to March 23. You can vote for the Green Bears as many times as  you would like, so begin today by visiting the voting page today!


Fifth Graders Explore Ancient Civilizations...

Who are the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas? The fifth graders can now share similarities and differences of these ancient civilizations. Students chose a project to extend their learning of one aspect of this social studies unit.  Come see the timelines, maps, reports, Mayan Temples, Aztec Floating Gardens, and Incan Quipus created by our talented and creative students.

...While First Graders Go Under the Sea

OHES first graders have been working on their “Under the Sea” unit. They have been singing songs, reading books and poems, writing and listening to stories, and examining sea creatures. They have discovered amazing facts about various ocean animals. An exciting culmination to the unit was a treasure hunt.

Art Fair 2014 is a Success

Hundreds of families made their way into the elementary school for an early breakfast and a taste of the fantastic artwork created by our own OHES students. Students were able to select their favorite individual piece for display and entrance into the art competition. Families were able to enjoy breakfast surrounded by the artwork of our students while listening to the sweet sounds of the OHHS jazz band. They could then tour the hallways after breakfast to enjoy even more artwork.
Thank you Mrs. Bodziak, Nick Mancy, and the many volunteers who brought this event together in style. Mrs. Bodziak, Mrs. Conlan and Mrs. Bhat spent countless hours organizing, decorating, and then hosting the event, while Nick Mancy donated 100% of all the yummy breakfast treats. Thanks to all who helped us run a flawless event.

Chess Champs!

Ottawa Hills won two 1st place awards this past Saturday at the 2014 Educational Service Center Chess Tournament at the Challenger Learning Center in Oregon, Ohio. Over 60 players representing over 20 schools competed at the event.
Winning 1st place in the K-2 section was the Ottawa Hills team of Zach Amonett, Saumya Talla, Shane Lin, Rohan Padhye, Ryaan Bhuiyan, Sevar Mian and Chinmay Khare.  First grader Zach Amonett led all scorers with 5 points, followed by Saumya, Shane, and Rohan who contributed 4 points each. Also scoring for the Green Bears were Ryaan, Sevar, and Chinmay, each scoring 3.5 points in the 6 round event.
Winning 1st place in the grades 3-5 section was the the Ottawa Hills team of Oliver Smirnov, Ishan Khare, Carson Mackey, Alexander Mian and Ra'eed Bhuiyan. Oliver and Ishan led the Green Bears in scoring with 5 and 4.5 points respectively, while Carson, Alexander, and Ra'eed each contributed 4 points.
The Ottawa Hills Chess Club hosts a match at 4:30 PM on Friday, March 7 in the elementary school gymnasium.  The event is open to the public.

Great job, Green Bears!

Kindergarten Registration and Screening

Kindergarten registration is currently in process. If you have a child who will be 5 before August 1, 2014, please stop in our office or call 419-536-8329 to place your child on our registration list. Kindergarten Screening will take place during the week of June 9. Beginning next week, once you have registered your child, you will receive a mailer with information about kindergarten, including your scheduled date and time for screening.

Award-Winning Author To Visit OHES

Ottawa Hills Elementary School is pleased to announce that on Friday March 14, 2014, author Shelley Pearsall will be visiting our students. A native Ohioan, Shelley Pearsall has enjoyed writing since childhood. More than a quarter of a million copies of her books have been sold nationwide, and her work has received regional and national recognition. Her first historical novel, Trouble Don't Last, was the recipient of the prestigious Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction in 2003. Her first contemporary novel, All of the Above, was a 2007 ALA Notable book. Her other books, Jump Into the Sky, All Shook Up, and Crooked River, have likewise received national recognition, including 2006 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and Booklist's 2012 Top Ten Historical Fiction Books for Youth.

Before writing Trouble Don't Last, Shelley Pearsall was a public school teacher and a museum historian. In her spare time, she wrote historical scripts and short stories for Cleveland-area museums. She was the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship in Writing in 1999 and was named the 2005 Children's Writer-in-Residence for the James Thurber House.

Advance sales of Shelley's books will begin next week. Order forms will be sent home with students today. Students may also purchase books on the day of the visit.

For more information about Shelley Pearsall and her books, please visit her website at

OH Happenings

2/28/14 Friday
11:10 AM AFS Diversity Weekend Luncheon
Scout House
6:15 PM Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Cardinal Stritch HS
Sectional Finals
Eastwood HS
3/1/14 Saturday
9:00 AM AFS Diversity Weekend
Scout House
3/4/14 Tuesday
6:15 PM Boys Varsity Basketball vs TBD
District Semi-final
Lakota HS
(With win on 2/28/14)
Village of Ottawa Hills:

Ottawa Hills Parent Association:
In partnership with our community,
Ottawa Hills Local Schools
will challenge and inspire each student
to realize his or her unique potential;
to embrace learning as a lifelong process;

and to become an active, responsible citizen.

Reading is a basic tool
in the living of a good life.
--Joseph Addison
Copyright © 2014 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Ottawa Hills, OH  43606