May 30, 2014
Special Event and Major Pledge Kick Off the Ottawa Hills School Foundation
The seed for the formation of a school foundation was planted four years ago. Like all school districts across Ohio and the country, the economic downturn had impacted the bottom line for our school district. In response, the Board of Education and district personnel worked together to identify over $1 million in budget cuts and cost savings. However, we knew that cost-cutting alone would not be enough. In discussions with our community during this time, one message clearly came through: Regardless of the ups and downs of the economy, we are committed to preserving the full scope of offerings and experiences that are unique to our schools. It’s time for us to get creative with developing new sources of revenue in the near term and for the long term. And thus, the idea of the Ottawa Hills School Foundation
After a year-long investigation, the members of a Philanthropy Advisory Committee, comprised of community members, overwhelmingly supported the creation of a foundation. On May 2, 2013, our Board of Education approved the first Board of Trustees and the Code of Regulations for the Ottawa Hills School Foundation, and the vision became a reality. The Trustees include Paul Bishop, Joe Clarke, Scott Estes, Troy Greeley, Brad Johnson, George Lathrop, Phil Mintun, Judd Silverman, Dee Talmage, and Andy Westmeyer.
This past school year, the Trustees have been working on developing the mission and vision of the Foundation. They have studied best practices from other public school foundations; among them, the Ann Arbor School Foundation. On Thursday, May 22, they were ready to share the story of the
Foundation with members of the Village. Fifty guests joined the Trustees at a special event held at Health Care REIT to hear about the work of the Foundation and the plans for the Foundation as it moves forward.
The mission of the Ottawa Hills School Foundation is “to permanently enhance and extend the unique experience of excellence that defines Ottawa Hills Schools.” Those unique experiences were evidenced in many ways at the event. Attendees were entertained by the Ottawa Hills Jazz Band and the Choraliers. O.H. alumnus, Reed Silverman, was on hand to share how the Ottawa Hills experience prepared him for college.
Reed just finished his junior year at Harvard University, where he is
studying Government and Spanish. Reed has worked as a campus tour guide, showcasing the university to visitors. This year he was also a cast member in the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 166th
annual production, entitled “Victorian Secrets.” This experience gave him the opportunity to meet Dame Helen Mirren and Neil Patrick Harris, as well as enjoy a 38-show run, culminating in spring break trips to New York and Bermuda. Reed spent last summer studying abroad in Spain, and he will be interning at Parliament in London this June and July.
Reed shared with the audience, “As great as these opportunities have been, I do not define myself in terms of them. I identify myself not as a tour guide or an actor, but, more essentially, as a driven worker and a curious learner. These traits could only have been instilled at Ottawa Hills. Here, I was afforded the truly incredible opportunity of being forced to think critically, not just to memorize.”
Reed continued, “As a Harvard student, of course I need to be hard-working, but academic diligence is made easier and more worthwhile only in the presence of academic curiosity. So to the teachers and administrators who have posed so many challenges to me since my days at the elementary school, thank you. You are the reasons I consider myself a learner for life.”
He spoke specifically to the audience about the importance of community
support, noting, “In supporting the Ottawa Hills School system, one is supporting the opportunity for students to develop leadership skills inside and outside the classroom. He is supporting the arts, the sciences, and the humanities. Most importantly, he is supporting the seed of critical thinking, helping to make learning a process that students can find worthwhile in and of itself. I hope to see Ottawa Hills continue to thrive as a place of go-getters who take advantage of their opportunities. I think this is exactly what is fostered when we share the wonderful experiences we’ve taken from this community, and when we encourage others to do the same.”
Reed’s words set the stage for the introduction of the Ottawa Hills School Foundation to the attendees. While the idea of a school foundation might be new, the idea of community support is not. As a matter-of-fact, Ottawa Hills does it as well as anyone. However, the challenge from the community four years ago was to create a mechanism that has a depth and permanence unlike anything we’ve seen before. It must guarantee that no matter what the outside influences might be, generations of students to come have the same unique experiences as students like Reed and those who have come generations before. These are the experiences that define Ottawa Hills.
The Foundation has not been formed to take the place of any of the valuable supports that are already in place in our school system. Instead, it
has been formed to ensure that the unique experiences that define Ottawa Hills are supported and enhanced for decades to come. The Foundation becomes a path to match donors to their passions and to create a permanent endowment. The Foundation will enhance who we are and what we do.
George Lathrop, President of the Board of Trustees, shared the plans for the Foundation moving forward. He noted that the Trustees want to begin a dialogue in the community about this unique opportunity that has been created for our schools. The Trustees envision working in widening concentric circles, starting with the board, moving to the current parents, and ultimately reaching out to the alumni base of our schools.
He shared that the Foundation Trustees are formulating plans to announce a “Founder’s Society” this coming fall. This will create an opportunity for contributors to make a multi-year commitment to the Foundation and be permanently recognized within the walls of the school. He also noted that over the summer, the Trustees will be working with several early investors who will serve to inspire the rest of us to give. These early investors will add validity to what the Trustees seek to accomplish with the Foundation.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, President George Lathrop ended the evening by making a major announcement: “Tonight I am pleased to announce that we have already secured our first early investors. Dee and Lance Talmage have made a multi-year commitment totaling $100,000 to the permanent fund of the foundation.”
Dee and Lance were traveling and were not able to attend the roll-out event, but President Lathrop shared, “They wanted to make sure that everyone understands that this gift is an expression of how much the Ottawa Hills experience means to them, and it is important to them that it serves as an inspiration to the rest of us. This community means a lot to Dee and Lance and there are few people with a bigger passion for Ottawa Hills than them. They raised their kids here. When their kids had grown and moved out, they could have moved anywhere in northwest Ohio, or the country for that matter, but they chose to stay here. Ottawa Hills Schools and the Ottawa Hills community mean so much to them and we are grateful for their involvement and support.”
As he spoke about the future of the Foundation, George noted, “Not everyone is going to do what Dee and Lance have done, but they would like
us all to be inspired so that when the time comes to make a gift to the Foundation, it is an expression of what the Ottawa Hills experience means to each of us personally. Their gift is a commitment to the schools and to the community, but ultimately it is a commitment to the preservation of the experience of raising our children in Ottawa Hills.”
It was Jonas Salk who said, “The greatest gifts we give our children are roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what’s been taught them.” Every day we see the evidence of the deep roots that make Ottawa Hills a great home for our families and for our children. Reed Silverman is an example of how our graduates use their wings to explore and impact the world beyond our Village limits. In partnership with people like Dee and Lance Talmage, the Foundation will become another tool to strengthen roots and build wings so that the possibilities for our students become…limitless.
Girls' Junior High Soccer Sign-Up Taking Place Now
Welcome to the 7th season of girls' junior high soccer! This community-based team is looking forward to competing in a 12-game schedule once again this fall.
The Junior High Team continues to play in the Eastern Suburban Soccer League (ESSL). Players in grades 6-8 are invited to play as part of a competitive team playing 11 vs 11 on a full size field. Home games will be at the same time as last year: Sundays at 5:30 p.m. in the high school stadium. Away games will be on Saturday afternoons. Games will be scheduled September 6th thru October 25th and we will play 12 games in total. The team will practice 2 times a week. and everyone will play equally. Players are provided with home and away uniforms. The registration form can be found by clicking here
. Registration is due by July 30th, 2014.
Fall 2014, will be another exciting year for Girl's Soccer and we look forward to having all our players and new players come out and join us!
Green Bears Competing in State Finals
Junior Matt Gargas and Sophomore Ryan Simon finished as district runners-up in doubles at the district tennis tournament. This qualified them to play in the state tournament this weekend. The pair will take the courts at Ohio State University against Tim Meyer and Ethan Meyers from Millersburg West Holmes High School in the first round today.
To see the complete bracket for the Division II doubles state tournament, click here
. Good luck to Matt, Ryan, and Coach Jeff Harst at this weekend's state tournament!
Students Collect PB & J for "Food for Thought"
O.H. Junior High students collected over 742 pounds of peanut butter and jelly for "Food for Thought," a local organization that specializes in feeding Toledo’s hungry and homeless population. Junior high advisory classes turned the peanut butter and jelly collection into a contest. Mr. Aigner shared, "I am so impressed by the amazing donations brought in by our students. I didn't really know what to expect when we started this drive; perhaps a few dozen jars of donations. The kids have exceeded my wildest hopes for this, and the best part is how much good "Food for Thought" can do for the hungry and homeless of the Toledo area." Many thanks to all of the students, teachers, and parents who donated peanut butter and jelly.
Behnfeldt and Kazmi Compete at States for Power of the Pen
On May 23 and 24, seventh graders Zoe Behnfeldt and Neha Kazmi competed
with over 350 students from Ohio at the State Tournament for Power of the Pen at the College of Wooster. Power of the Pen sponsors writing competitions for seventh and eighth grade students in the state of Ohio. Qualifying for Districts at Tiffin University earlier in the season were seventh graders Zoe Behnfeldt, Maya Chandar-Kouba, Sarah Abdouni, Shelley McClure, Neha Kazmi and eighth graders Meg Muir, Alizeh Hasan, Adam Sari, Joe French, Jan Durst and Mason Langenderfer. Thanks to advisor Kristie Stevens and the entire Power of the Pen team on another amazing season.
Students from John Lindsay’s Career Explorations classes decided to conduct class on the front lawn of the school when they invited parent Brad Lay to be the guest speaker. Mr. Lay parked his gold and black 1970 Z28 Chevrolet Camaro in front of the old main entrance so students could get under the hood and get a closer look of the major components. Mr. Lay used the car as a springboard to discuss his career as owner and operator of Lay's Transmission Company. Many thanks to Brad Lay for taking the time to share his experiences with our students.
Treasured Trips to the Toledo Museum of Art
Last week seventh grade English and history teacher Kristie Stevens took her seventh grade students to the Toledo Museum of Art to study the art, culture, and history of the Renaissance. English teacher Karen Schoenberger also took her senior classes to museum. Students were given a guided tour and asked to do a piece of ekphrastic writing: creative responses to art. Mrs. Schoenberger is grateful to the TMA docents for helping students to make careful and informed observations and
encouraging students to use imaginative expression to get a response. We are fortunate to have a world-class museum with an exceptional collection and insightful, intelligent staff. The Toledo Museum of Art is indeed a Toledo treasure.
Eighth Graders Enjoy Whirlwind Tour of Washington DC
From May 20-23, eighth grade students visited the center of our democracy, saw monuments that commemorate our history, and heard the echoes of voices that define what it means to be American. They had an ambitious agenda for their trip to Washington D.C. that began with a stop at Gettysburg National Battlefield, and included the Capitol Building, National Building Museum, the Spy Museum, Union Station, the American History Museum, Natural History Museum, Air and Space Muse
um, the FDR Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the MLK Jr. Memorial, the World War II Memorial, Einstein Memorial, the Holocaust Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon Memorial to 9/11, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the White House, the National Cathedral, and the National Archives. One of their highlights was a special trip to the Supreme Court and an opportunity to meet with Justice Clarence Thomas (pictured here). Thanks to trip organizer Sean Mercer and chaperones Brandon Aigner, Daniel Feuerstein, Darcy Browne, Jon Corbett, and Jackie Patterson. The students had a spectacular time!
Boys LAX Loses Heartbreaker in Tournament
The boys' lacrosse team lost a close tournament game to the Anderson LAX Club of Cincinnati, 18 to 14. This marks the first time in three years that the team hasn't made it to the semi-finals in the state tournament, but it doesn't take away from a very successful season.
Ottawa Hills Elementary Students Shine in 2014
Our Ottawa Hills 6th
Grade team did great at the Destination Imagination tournament in March and had lots of fun doing it! The "Super Sugar Squirrels" team (Ella Wilson, Amelia Frueh, David Heuring, Rhi DeMilt, Veronica Eichbauer, and Hank Griffin) came in second place in the middle school level for the improvisation challenge. They received medals and a team trophy which was brought to the elementary school this week for display after touring each team member’s house.
In addition to our amazing improvisational performers, Ottawa Hills captured second place at the 2014 Ohio Elementary Chess Championships held at Ohio State University. Approximately 270 students
from around the state competed at the K-6 event.
In the K-3 Championship Section, top scorers for the Green Bears were Rohan Padhye, Zach Amonett, Carson Mackey, Ketan Tamirisa and Shayne Lin.
In the K-4 Unrated Section, Ottawa Hills' Gene Lin finished with an impressive 5 points to lead all Green Bear students on the day. Other Green Bears to compete at the event were Ishan and Chinmay Khare, Ryaan and Ra'eed Bhuiyan, Darin Croy and Saumya Talla.
Coaches Jim Van Vorhis and Ryan Clayton thank all 12 Ottawa Hills players who participated at this year's championship event.
Welcome Baby Wanner!
We are ecstatic to announce the birth of Cecelia Elizabeth Wanner to first grade teacher, Mrs. Wanner. Cecelia was born on May 20 at 11:55 p.m. She weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz. and was 20 inches long. Mrs. Wanner and Cecelia are doing great! We hope to meet her soon. Congratulations to Mrs. Wanner and her husband, Jason, on the arrival of Cecelia.
5th and 6th Grade Bands Entertain
On Thursday evening, our 5th and 6th grade band members took part in the All District Band Concert. The 5th graders impressed everyone with their memorized Bb Major Scale. They went on to play entertaining tunes such as Conquest, Regal March
, and Defender of Time.
The sixth grade band followed up with their own impressive performance. Band members serenaded the audience with solos, duets, and small group performances. Then the entire band combined for performances of America the Beautiful, Star Trails Overture,
and Heroes of the Galaxy.
They ended their selections with an outstanding rendition of Eye of the Tiger.
To our elementary musicians and Director, Mr. Leeds, we say, "Job well done!"
||8th Grade Recognition Ceremony
||Boys Varsity Tennis Players Matt Gargas and Ryan Simon compete in OHSSA State Tournament
Ohio State University
||Girls Varsity Softball vs Toledo Christian Schools
OH Softball Field
||Junior High Dance
HS Multi-Purpose Room
||6th Grade Graduation
ES New Gym
||Booster Club Meeting
HS LMC Library
||OHLS Special Board Meeting
Ottawa Hills Parent Association: http://ohspa.digitalpto.com
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.
I've learned that people will forget what you said,
they will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.