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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
September 13, 2013

Superintendent's Message
6.9 Mill Levy to Appear on November 5 Ballot

On November 5, the citizens of Ottawa Hills will be asked to vote on a 6.9 mill levy for general operating expenses of the school district. The revenue from this levy will cover day-to-day operating expenses connected to running the school, such as utility costs, salaries and benefits, and classroom supplies.
Because of the way that Ohio laws are structured, revenue collected from property taxes does not increase as the value of the property increases. For example, a levy passed in 1990 collects no more revenue from a home in the village in 2013 than it did 23 years ago. Therefore, as is true for all school districts in the state of Ohio, the cost of doing business for Ottawa Hills Schools increases each year, yet revenue does not. For this reason, the district must routinely ask voters to support new levies to keep up with increasing costs and state mandates. Ottawa Hills typically runs on a three-year levy cycle, and the last operating levy request was in 2010 (the last two years, the district had Permanent Improvement replacement levies on the ballot—PI funds cannot be used for the day-to-day operations of the school).
The levy addresses the need to raise revenue at regular intervals, but it also addresses economic challenges that the school district faces. First, our village has seen a decrease in property values over the past few years. Even though the school district cannot collect additional revenue when a property increases in value, it does lose revenue when that same property decreases in value. This has meant a loss in revenue of $460,000 a year from the last four operating levies approved by our voters.
Second, schools are very limited as to how they can invest cash on hand, and the options, such as money markets, certificates of deposit, and government securities currently have very poor returns. Annually, the district currently realizes over $412,000 less in investment revenue than we did at our high point in 2007.
Third, state funding has steadily declined over the past decade. This past year, our district collected $144,804 less in state revenue than we did 7 years ago. In addition, our district loses over $70,000 annually due to the reduction of public utility property tax revenue.
It would take an additional 4.9 mills to recoup the district’s losses of revenue due to decreasing property values, a poor investment market, and decreasing state funding--making this levy request closer to 12 mills--but over $2 million in savings over the past three years have allowed the Board to keep this request at 6.9 mills. However, the school district is at the point where additional cuts will impact those components which have established the tradition of excellence for which Ottawa Hills is known, such as curricular offerings, class sizes, and quality staff members.
Please take the time over the next few months to become informed about the need for the 6.9 mill levy, which will be on the ballot this November. The Citizens for Ottawa Hills Schools levy campaign committee is being chaired by long-time village residents, Dee and Lance Talmage. They note, “We are proud to be residents of Ottawa Hills! We moved here over 35 years ago because of the excellent school system. Our three children received a fine educational experience as well as opportunities to participate in many school activities and sports. During that time, we were involved in numerous school and community activities, which continue to this day. We have always admired the responsible and effective educational and fiscal management of resources by the Ottawa Hills Schools’ administration, staff, and faculty.”
Other committee chairs include:
Campaign Treasurer—Jim Walter
Voter Registration/Vote By Mail Committee—Julie Boesel and Kym Lemieux
Literature/Signs Committee—Amy Rowe
Door-to-Door Committee—Karen Berry and Becky Hauck
Coffee Committee—Allison Johnson and Patti Robb
Website/Social Media Committee—Donnie Stevens
Committee members will be sharing information through levy tables set up at various events over the next few weeks, including being at the Fall Festival on September 28. In addition, voters will receive informational materials in the mail and will have the opportunity to host or attend various neighborhood coffees held throughout the Village. The committee will also be sharing information via their website and through Twitter. Of course, your questions regarding the levy can always be directed to board members David Arnold, Troy Greeley, Brad Johnson, Gretchen Rohm-Ensing, and Gary Wilson.

Pigskin Barbeque is September 27...

The start of the fall sports season means that the annual Pigskin Barbeque isn't too far behind. This year's event will take place on Friday, September 27 on the front lawn of the junior/senior high school from 5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Advanced tickets for the barbeque buffet are $14. Tickets at the event are $16. A children's hot dog meal is $4. Advanced tickets must be purchased by Friday, September 20. To access the order form, click here.

Good food isn't the only feature of the evening, as diners will be treated to face painting, the O.H. Marching Band, the Trash Can Band, and much more! The Pigskin Barbeque is the beginning of Ottawa Hills' "Super Weekend," with the football team taking on Hilltop at 7:00 and the annual Fall Festival taking place on Saturday, September 28.

...Fall Festival is September 28

On Saturday, September 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Geresy Field, celebrate the arrival of fall by attending the ninth annual Ottawa Hills Fall Festival and Marketplace.  Admission is FREE! The festival is sponsored by the Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association.

The marketplace will include a variety of art and fall decor. There will be pony rides, a cornhole tournament, pumpkin contest, wagon rides and activities for all ages. Enjoy food from the Boosters, Shorty's, Chick-fil-A and Coldstone. Entertainment will feature the OH cheerleaders and band, Otto Hill and His Hillbillies, Forte Trio, Haywire and more. Again this year there will be a Car Show. Come and view special, exotic, unique and classic vehicles.  Vote for your favorite car during the fall festival.

Help raise up to $6,000 at the Fall Festival for Ottawa Hills Schools--we need 300 drivers - 50 per hour! Are you one of them? Ford Motor Company will donate $20 per test drive to Ottawa Hills Schools at NO cost to you! The more people who drive, the more we'll earn. The drive will take place during the Fall Festival in front of the high school beginning at 9 am on September 28. The test drives are limited to one driver per household, 18 and over only.

See you at the Fall Festival!

The Office of Village Life has Gone Paperless!

We are excited to announce that The Village Of Ottawa Hills website has a new look and you will now be able to register for classes through our new website.  Registration is easy:
1. Go to The Village of Ottawa Hills website at

2. On the Home page at the top right click on the Village Life icon for a listing of all our exciting classes for the fall. To get a more detailed description, click on the title of the class. 

3. To register for a class go to the home page and at the top right, click on My Account and create a family profile. Here you are able to sign up for classes and manage the classes you signed up for through Village Life.
We are thrilled to bring this on line procedure to our community and hope it will make things easier, more efficient, and environmentally friendly. We will no longer have the capabilities to sign up for classes through our office with checks or cash. If you do not have access to a computer please call Village Life at 419-537-9852 to make an appointment and we will help you create a profile. If you have any questions please call us, we are happy to help in any way we can.

Celebration of Village Life Parade Slated for October 18

The annual Ottawa Hills Celebration of Village Life Parade will take place on Friday, October 18 before the Green Bears' Homecoming football game with Danbury. The Joint Recreation Board sponsors this parade, and it is open to all Ottawa Hills residents. Parade participants will gather at the Village Offices at 5:00, and the parade will begin at 5:30, ending at the high school parking lot. For more information about the parade, click here

This is a parade to celebrate our community groups. High school and community groups may walk, ride bikes, pull wagons, etc., or use a vehicle such as a car, mini-van, SUV, or truck. Vehicles must be driven by adults over age 25. Only village residents may take part in the parade. No commercial or political advertising is allowed on parade vehicles. All registrations to participate in the parade must be submitted by October 14. To access the registration form, click here

New Director Picks The Merchant for the Fall Production

The Ottawa Hills Theater Department has chosen The Merchant by Platus and adapted by Arthur Wilmurt for this year’s fall production. There will be an informational meeting for The Merchant and a discussion on spring musical possibilities on Wednesday, September 18 at 7 PM. Dramatics Director Lance Mekeel and Spring Musical Director Darrin Broadway will disseminate audition expectations. Open Auditions for The Merchant will be held at 6 PM on Wednesday, September 25. Callbacks will begin at 8 PM.

Welcome Lance Makeel as New Dramatics Director

Lance Mekeel was chosen to be the new Dramatics Director at Ottawa Hills for the fall production. Lance holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from Bowling Green State University. He received a B.A. in Theatre Performance at Susquehanna University, and a M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University. He has worked professionally as a teacher of theatre and acting for students of all ages, from elementary through secondary and post-secondary education. Dr. Mekeel is a Certified Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique of acting through the National Michael Chekhov Association. His work has been published in several academic journals. He is also a freelance acting coach and theatre technician. Dr. Mekeel is currently  teaching courses at Bowling Green State University and Defiance College. Welcome Dr. Mekeel! 

Girls Soccer Team Makes Lunches For The Homeless

Over the summer break in August, the Girls Soccer Team made lunches at "Food For Thought", a program geared towards packing over 350 brown bag lunches every Friday night for Saturday morning delivery. "Food For Thought" is a social justice organization dedicated to feeding the hungry and offering dignity, welcome and relationship to anyone in need. The team enjoys making a difference on the field and off the field, and enjoyed make lunches to feed the homeless. In September, the girls will be working at the Toledo Northwest Ohio Food Bank. 

OH Welcomes Student Teacher Steve Solomon

Steve Solomon will be working with science teacher Brandon Aigner for the 2013-14 school year. Steve is a Master’s education student who will be graduating from The University of Toledo. Steve is an astronomy enthusiast and his passions have led him to be a graduate lecturer at Ritter Planetarium and a graduate observer at Brooks Observatory. He is delighted to be placed at Ottawa Hills and is looking forward to learning about the science curriculum and our new STEM class. His hobbies include basketball, tennis, biking, running, and watching Ohio State football every Saturday in the fall. Steve lives just outside of Ottawa Hills and is very excited to make a positive impact on students here. He was born and raised in Canfield, Ohio where his family still resides.

New Trainer and Intern at Ottawa Hills

Amy Clements (on the right) is our new athletic trainer for Green Bear sports. She is originally from Troy, Michigan, and received her Bachelor’s Degree from Grand Valley State University and her Master’s from the University of Toledo. Amy is excited about the opportunity to work with our student-athletes. In her free time, Amy enjoys snowboarding and hanging out at the beach. We also welcome Amy’s intern from BGSU, Alex Jakyma (seated left).

Science Teachers Attend STEM Summer Sessions

In preparation for the roll out of the new Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) class for eighth graders, Brandon Aigner and Dan Feuerstein spent two weeks of intensive training this past summer in Dayton, Ohio with Project Lead the Way (PLTW) representatives and teachers. As stated on PLTW’s website, “STEM education programs like the one offered by PLTW engage students in activities, projects, and problem-based learning, which provides hands-on classroom experiences. Students create, design, build, discover, collaborate and solve problems while applying what they learn in math and science. They're also exposed to STEM fields through professionals from local industries who supplement the real-world aspect of the curriculum through mentorships and workplace experiences.”  For more information about PTLW visit the organization’s website at

Fine Art Fills the Focus Show 2013

Students from all over northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan submitted over 1,200 pieces of art for this year’s Focus show. Only 270 pieces were chosen to be exhibited and 40 received special recognition. Shelby Hoskins, a 2013 OH graduate attending the University of Cincinnati, received the Superintendent’s Award for her mixed-metal piece, “Man on a Moving Horse”. Not only was the craftsmanship superb, the work also contained moving parts. Junior Sam Lemieux received the Principal’s Award for “Cerebral Skyline”. Sam’s piece combined portraits of classmates with silhouettes of various cityscapes to create five separately framed pieces.  Together they are both clever and fun. Congratulations to Kara Kime and Sarah Baehren who made the final cut for their artwork. Many thanks to art teachers Steve Wipfli, Kristin Johnson, and Cyndi Bodziak for providing wonderful opportunities for students to develop artistic skills, sensibilities, and appreciation. The Focus show runs through October 5 at BGSU’s Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery. More information about the show can be found by clicking here.

XC Runs Well At Tiffin Carnival

The junior and senior high cross country teams joined nearly 7,000 runners from all over the state of Ohio to participate in the forty-fifth annual Tiffin Carnival cross country meet last Saturday. Highlights included a first place finish by eighth grader Abby Hauck and a fifth place finish by Caelan Carter. The junior high girls finished fourth place overall. Congratulations to all of the runners and coaches Matt Wrobleski and Sara Nida.

Picture Day is Next Thursday

Picture day for OHES students is next Thursday, September 19. In order to purchase pictures, order forms MUST be turned in on or before picture day. If you would prefer to order online, you may do so by clicking on this link:  Our school's order code is 400619. Don’t forget to bring your best smiles to school on September 19!

OHES Students are Respectful and Responsible

This year, our students at Ottawa Hills Elementary School are working hard to choose actions that represent the tree in The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Through the month of September, students are thinking hard about what they can do to demonstrate Respect and Responsibility. Each day, students are recognized by their teachers or other adults in the building, and their names are announced on the morning announcements. Each student announced is then recognized on our Character Wall for their achievement. OHES students ARE Respectful and Responsible!

Meeting Standards through Community Speakers

Part of the New Common Core for second grade Social Studies includes the concept of how “Interactions among cultures lead to sharing ways of life.”  Mrs. Bode, a Ottawa Hills community member and school parent helped our second grade classes meet this standard by talking to our students about Mid Autumn Festival, an Asian celebration. Mrs. Bode explains, “Just as we celebrate a successful harvest with the Thanksgiving holiday, many Asian countries celebrate the harvest with a holiday, Mid Autumn Festival. Just like Thanksgiving, it is not always on the same day of the year. It is always celebrated on the night of the full moon in late September or early October. This year it will be celebrated on September 19.”  Thank you, Mrs. Bode, for being part of the learning process for our second graders!

Strike Up the Band!

The marvelous OHHS marching band, under the direction of Mr. Michael Leeds, performed for the fifth graders on Tuesday, September 10 at the stadium. Mr. Leeds used this opportunity to encourage the students to join the fifth grade band. Band instruments were introduced one at a time to give the students a clear understanding of each instrument. Hats off to the marching band for sharing their musical talents with our students!

Getting to Know the New Math Series

Recently, the elementary school has adopted a new math series entitled, enVision Math. One important reason for selecting this series is that it was "written specifically to address the Common Core State Standards; enVisionMATH Common Core is based on critical foundational research and proven classroom results."

There are many fabulous features such as center activities with multiple levels and interactive online resources for each lesson. We look forward to using all that the new series has to offer.

New Daily 5 Curriculum-Working on Building Read-To-Self Stamina with Good Fit Books

As part of our new Daily 5 reading curriculum structure, students throughout OHES are working on increasing STAMINA when reading to themselves. Increasing stamina requires students to have an increased focus on what they are reading while remaining seated and quiet in a single space with their eyes scanning the pages of the book. This encourages students to fall in love with reading and allows the teacher to begin working with small groups on targeted reading skills. Most of our classes have increased their stamina by upwards of 15 minutes, and the students use strategies such as peer modeling to show expected reading posture.

Writing Clear Procedures

On Thursday, September 12, Mrs. Williamson’s class engaged in a hands-on activity where student groups had to work together to write clear procedures for making the perfect hotdog. After writing their procedures, Mrs. Williamson or Mrs. Zake followed each student group’s procedures, EXACTLY, to see what would happen. The end result was exploding hotdogs, condiment messes, and a few close-to-perfect hotdogs!  Each group had 2 chances to write their procedures: one initial attempt, and one opportunity to revise after watching the results of their first attempt.

OH Happenings

9/13/13 Friday
4:00 PM Girls Varsity Tennis vs. Notre Dame
OH Tennis Courts
7:00 PM Boys Varsity Football @ Lake HS
9/14/13 Saturday
8:30 AM Boys Varsity Golf @ Napoleon Invitational
9:30 AM Coed Varsity Cross Country @ Lakota Invitational
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
Girls 7th Grade Field Hockey vs. St. Andrew & Dexter
OH Stadium
10:00 AM Girls 8th Grade Field Hockey @ Oakwood
10:30 AM
11:45 AM
Girls Varsity & JV Field Hockey @ Dublin Jerome HS
11:00 AM Girls Varsity Soccer @ Southview HS
2:00 PM Girls 7th Grade Volleyball vs. Liberty Challenge
OH Gym
5:00 PM
7:00 PM
Boys JV & Varsity Soccer vs Oak Harbor High School
OH Stadium
9/16/13 Monday
11:00 AM Boys Varsity Golf @ Kiely Cup
5:00 PM Boys JV Soccer vs. Start High School
OH Stadium
5:00 PM Girls Varsity Soccer @ Northwood HS
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Volleyball @  Gibsonburg
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball vs. Gibsonburg HS
OH Gym
9/17/13 Tuesday
4:30 PM OHLS Board Meeting
OH Community Room
5:00 PM Boys JV Soccer vs. St. John's HS
OH Stadium
7:00 PM Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Cardinal Stritch
OH Stadium
9/18/13 Wednesday
8:00 AM High School & Community Blood Drive
OH Multi-Purpose Room
4:00 PM Boys Varsity Golf vs MVCD
9/19/13 Thursday
4:30 PM
5:30 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Volleyball vs. Kateri Catholic Academy
OH Gym
5:00 PM Boys JV  Soccer vs. Whitmer HS
OH Stadium
6:00 PM Boys Junior High Football @ Gibsonburg
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball @ Cardinal Stritch HS

Village of Ottawa Hills:

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.

The best portion of a good man's life
is his little, nameless, unremembered
acts of kindness and of love.
William Wordsworth
Copyright © 2013 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Toledo, OH  43606