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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
October 4, 2013

Superintendent's Message
Fall Festival Has Become an Ottawa Hills Tradition

Merriam-Webster defines tradition as “a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group…for a long time.” I’m not sure if nine years is considered a long time, but I think it’s fair to say that OHSPA’s Fall Festival has become an annual tradition, not only for our community, but also for the greater Toledo area.
This year’s Fall Festival, the ninth annual, was perfect in every way—from the weather to the variety of vendors to the classic cars, games, pumpkins, and more. But it doesn’t all happen magically. It takes months and months of planning to make it all come together. And it also takes someone who is willing to take charge of every little detail. Enter Joyce Stengle and Vanessa Prince. The two have been chairing the Fall Festival since its inception, and together, they have grown it into an Ottawa Hills tradition that offers something for everyone.
“The idea started with Kathy Miller,” the two remember. “It was back when we had MSG (Mother’s Support Group) and they used to have the chicken barbeque in the fall. They passed the barbeque along to the Athletic Boosters, but the group still wanted to do some sort of fall event that would bring families together.”
And so the Fall Festival was born. Vanessa notes, “It looked similar to what we have today, but smaller. We had vendors, pony rides, and wagon rides…we were just hoping people would come.”  Today, the various food offerings are a trademark of the festival, but nine years ago, the singular choice was basically hot dogs. They used generators and even hooked into a nearby home for electricity. “When they finally got electricity installed on Geresy Field, it made life so much easier,” Joyce shares. “With that, the Athletic Boosters were able to take over the food. It was a turning point where we decided that the festival was getting to be too much for us to oversee everything, so we began to involve more people and groups.” 
It’s the involvement of people that makes Ottawa Hills’ Fall Festival unique. Similar festivals in other towns are typically run by the Chamber of Commerce, but our Fall Festival is completely parent driven. “It’s always neat,” Joyce says, “that we begin at six in the morning to start setting up, and by 11:00, the entire area is filled and ready to go.”
It’s completely a team project to get everything in place for the festival. Joyce and Vanessa point to volunteers like Patti Robb, who does a lot with the advertising, Rick Spitler of the band, Haywire, who runs the sound system through the day, Bob Billstein and Chris Heidenreich, who have been integral in building the classic car show, and Robert Bishop, who oversees the pumpkin contest. “I used to take care of the pumpkin contest when it first began,” Joyce remembers. “Robert would help out, but now he just takes care of it all, so it’s a good example of how the volunteers have taken the reins on many of the different events.”
The volunteer help begins early and goes on long after the crowds have left. “The way the Village helps us is another big part of our success,” Vanessa shares. “We sit down with the Village police and the fire department before the festival and go through everything. Chief Wenzlick, and before him, Chief Overmyer, have been big supporters of what we’re doing. Marc Thompson will do anything to help us out.” The festival co-chairs note, “Maybe the adult volunteer numbers have dropped off the past three years, but that’s not true with the kids. They do a great job of volunteering. Julie Boesel and the kids from Youth to Youth are tremendous, as are so many others who are deserving of individual attention.”  
After the festival, the high school football team comes in to help with clean up. Joyce and Vanessa add, “John Aiken brings a big truck to help haul everything away. Ed Simon allows us to store materials at Giant Industries. We don’t know what we’d do without the help of people like them. And we can’t say enough about Ed (Lawson) and Julio (Rodriguez) from the school. They’re lifesavers.”     
The food, the music, the games, the classic cars, the pumpkins, and the wagon rides are standards of the festival, but it’s the vendors who are the heart of the event. Joyce shares, “Through the years, I’ve gone to events at Levis Commons, the Botanical Gardens, and in other towns. I used to go to booths that I thought might be a good fit for our festival and invite people to come. Now, they call us.” The vendors have grown over the years because they’ve spread the news about the great event that takes place in Ottawa Hills each fall. One vendor emailed Joyce soon after this year’s festival. The vendor wrote, “Bravo, Joyce! I just want to thank you for inviting me to be part of the Fall Festival. I was so impressed with the organization, security, and the variety offered at this event. Well run, well planned, and well executed. I do lots of shows, and yours was the best organized that I have participated in to date. I look forward to participating next year.”  Joyce had found this vendor at a three-day event in Bowling Green and invited her to come to O.H. The results speak for themselves.  
It’s hard to get a count of how many people come to the festival because admission isn’t charged and people come and go throughout the day. A few years ago the two tried to get an accurate count and they estimated that it was around 2,500 who attended the festival. “It’s a great way to showcase our community and our kids,” Joyce and Vanessa agree.
The Fall Festival will celebrate a decade of showcasing our community next year, but it will do so without one of the co-chairs, as Joyce Stengle will be stepping down from her position. “I live here and I love it. But I have a daughter headed to college next year, so my focus will be on other things.” Vanessa will continue on as she made a commitment to helping to chair the event for 10 years (“I spent my 40’s with the Fall Festival,” she jokes.)
No matter what the future holds, one thing is for sure: Joyce Stengle and Vanessa Prince have helped to build a tradition that will live on because of their incredible investment of time and energy over this past nine years. “We hope it continues and we hope it stays a family event. We have the school carnival for the kids and the Green Bear Ball for the adults. The Fall Festival is a day for the family to come together.”
And that’s just what families do every year on the last Saturday of September. They come together at Ottawa Hills’ Fall Festival to celebrate not only the arrival of fall, but also who we are as a community. It’s a great tradition.
Thanks, Joyce, Vanessa, and all who volunteered for this year’s Fall Festival. You’ve created another wonderful memory for us all.

Ottawa Hills Rated by Forbes as 5th Best in the Midwest

Forbes recently conducted a national survey to find the "Best Schools For Your Housing Buck," and they found that the best high-performing public school districts with affordable housing are in Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin. As a matter-of-fact, seven of the top ten rated school districts in the Midwest are Ohio schools, with Ottawa Hills Local Schools being ranked as the fifth best high performing school in the Midwest in relation to housing cost. The Forbes article can be found here.

The article explains Forbes' methodology in rating the schools, and it notes, "...we did find a remarkable collection of school districts that share some striking similarities. Most are in small towns within driving distance of major cities...They also tend to have highly involved and dedicated parents." Visit the website for more information. When you click through the photo library included at the site, you will see this picture of some of our Ottawa Hills band students from a few years ago.

It's a great piece of recognition for an amazing school district in an amazing Village!  

What's In  Your Medicine Cabinet?

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 26 as a great day to clean out your medicine cabinets and bring your expired or unused medications to the Ottawa Hills Police Department's Drug Take Back Day. The Ottawa Hills Police Station at 2125 Richards Road will be a collection site from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. that day. You can bring narcotics, over-the-counter medications, pet medications, prescriptions, and vitamins to the drop-off. Items not accepted include syringes, inhalers, liquid medications, and ointments/lotions. For complete information about the Drug Take Back Day, see the flyer here

"Understanding AD/HD"

On Tuesday, October 15, the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West is sponsoring a workshop on AD/HD. The workshop is "an intensive training experience for parents and educators who want to increase their knowledge and acquire specific intervention skills to maximize the success of children with AD/HD. Discussion will include topics regarding the importance of family involvement, accommodations in the classroom, and homework--organizing it, surviving it, and getting it turned in."

The training will be led by Michelle Self, who has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in special education. She has given presentations across the country on family involvement and accommodations in the school setting. The training will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Lucas County Board of Development Disabilities Family First Zone at 1155 Larc Lane. To see additional information on the workshop, click here

Green Bear Golf Team Captures District Title--On to States!

The 2013 District Title was claimed by the Ottawa Hills golf team on Thursday, October 3 at Stone Oak Golf Club in Bowling Green. Ben Silverman led the way for the team, carding a 72. Matt Abendroth brought in a great round of 77, while solid rounds were also turned in by Michael Denner, who shot an 81, RJ Coil--83, and Ben Dayton--86. The District championship qualifies the team for the Division III state golf tournament, to be held at Ohio State University's Scarlet Golf Course next Friday and Saturday, October 11 and 12. For information about the state tournament, visit the OHSAA website.

In other great Green Bear golf news, Ottawa Hills Golf Coach, Jim McGill, was named Ohio's Golf Coach of the Year by the Ohio Golf Coaches' Association. Coach McGill has been coaching Green Bear golf for 22 years, and under his leadership, his teams have realized great success, winning innumerable invitationals and several league, sectional, and district titles. This year's trip to the state tournament will be the seventh for Coach McGill's teams--the third in the last four years. In 2000, Green Bear Justin Kruse won the individual state title, and in 2010, the Green Bears captured the state runner-up title. Congratulations, Coach McGill, on this well-deserved honor.  

Girls' Tennis Team Turns in Solid Sectional Performance

The O.H. girls' tennis team competed in the sectional tournament at Defiance College this past Thursday, and though some have already punched their ticket to districts next week, they will continue their quest for sectional titles tomorrow.

Kristen Berry and the doubles team of Megan Healy and Kelsi Berry have already qualified for Districts next week, but will continue on with sectional finals action at DC on Saturday. Lilli Boice has one more match early Saturday to qualify for sectional finals. The doubles team of Muna Abdouni and Rachel Smithberger and singles competitor Morgan Billstein represented the Green Bears in fine fashion, but will not qualify for the district tournament. All in all, it's been a great sectional performance for the team. Good luck at the district tournament next week ladies! 

“Public and Permanent!”

On Tuesday, September 24, Richard Geurry, co-founder of the Institute for Responsible Online and Cell Phone Communication (IROC2), presented to junior high and high school students. Mr. Geurry encouraged students to consider texts, photos, emails, and postings on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram,, Twitter, and “public and permanent”. Guerry does not oppose the use of social media, but wants students to be safe and responsible. Many thanks to guidance counselor Darcy Browne for coordinating this wonderful opportunity for our students and parents, and special thanks to parent Natalie Aubry who was instrumental in finding Mr. Geurry as a resource for our school system and making his presentation at Ottawa Hills possible. More information about the speaker can be found by clicking here.

Horn is Tough on Tobacco

On October 23 and 24, junior high and high school students listened to presentations from Cheryl Horn, a respiratory therapist with Toledo Hospital. Mrs. Horn shared the facts about the dangers of using tobacco and dispelled the myths about hookahs, chewing tobacco, and e-cigarettes. In a survey following the presentation one student wrote, “Your talk was one of the best ever. You’re not afraid to say anything, and the pictures were enough to make me want to never touch tobacco. You are an excellent speaker.” Many thanks to assistant Principal Jackie Patterson for organizing the event.

Personal Records for Runners at Clay Invitational

The Ottawa Hills Junior and Senior High School Cross Country teams participated in the annual Clay Invitational held at Pearson Metropark last Saturday. Several JH and HS team members had their personal best times. Eighth grader Abby Hauck continued her streak by placing first in the girls junior high race. Congratulations to all of the Green Bear runners!

Pigskin Barbeque Followed by Green Bear Victory 

Following one of the best turnouts for the annual Pigskin BBQ, the Ottawa Hills football team beat Hilltop 35-14 last Friday night. The Bears played an incredible game and hope to continue their momentum when they play at Edon tonight. Thank you to our O.H. Athletic Boosters and all of the parent, staff, and student volunteers who helped to make Friday, September 27 another memorable evening for Green Bear Nation! Photo by Yarko Kuk

Respect and Responsibility in Character Education

The months of August and September were full of respectful and responsible students! Each classroom teacher nominated two, three or in some cases four students who were exemplars in demonstrating the character traits of respect and responsibility. Those students are pictured below.

Sevar Mian, Evan West, Megan Justison, Freya Klaas, Emma Friedman, James Sprott, Stella Stout, Ketan Tamirisa, Elle Hopkins, Carson Mackey, Sam Petro, Jack Peroz, Akash Parikh, Tessa Iorio, Noah Houser, Breckin Miller, Ashley Wang, Jack Smith, Emma Shimborske, Cole Green, Addison Marshall, Samantha Brandstatter, Eire Ratcliffe, Claire Johnson, Graham England, Ava Jessee, Jack Vicente, Collin Potts, and Caroline Durfee.

Clare Mather, Erin Kadrovach, Rohit Murkherjee, Thomas Howard, Conor O'Loughlin, Lily Catlin, David Heuring, Will Estes , Anna Brown, Ishan Khare, Kavita Parikh, Tim Wiemer, Maya Pande, Alex Duran, Will Summers, Claire Rotman, Warren Goik, Elise Denk, Brayden Miller, Hayden Isabell, Nick Mack, Nicholas Rowe, Claire Petas, Joe Petro, Paige Harmon, Truman Talbott, Preston Broce, Megan Findley, Drake Furey, NatalieTimmerman, Sam Lathrop Jordan Reiter, and Thomas Merrill.
October is the month of Honesty….. look for pumpkins to appear on our Giving Tree!

Journey North

Third and fourth graders in Spanish made monarch butterflies to send to Mexico as a symbolic gesture of the actual monarch migration. On each butterfly, there was a brief message written in Spanish. The butterflies were sent to schoolchildren who live near one of the twelve monarch sanctuaries in the state of Michoacán.  Thanks to the Journey North website, students are able to view videos of life in rural Mexico and read in Spanish a slide presentation about the monarch migration. It is our hope that, come May, other symbolic monarchs made by children across the US and Canada will land on our doorstep as a gesture of goodwill and friendship with our fellow North Americans.
Visit the Journey North website for a plethora of photographs and information on this topic:  

Fifth Graders Head to Oak Openings

On Friday, September 27, the fifth grade students began their study of ecosystems by visiting Oak Openings Metro Park. While visiting the park, the students participated in four classes to learn more about the world in which they live. The activities included geocaching, a nature hike, a study of the skins and skulls of various organisms, and learning about the Underground Railroad in Lucas County.  A special thank you to the many parent volunteers who transported and spent the day in the great outdoors with our fifth grade ecologists.

Playing the Part

Sixth grade students stepped into character as one of their options for presentations of their independent reading projects.  Students eagerly presented their books to their class, providing time for questions and answers at the end. Each presentation was student-led, and allowed for peer and teacher feedback. Well done, sixth graders!

What’s in a Book?

Sixth graders have also been spending time analyzing the book, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, in teams and as a whole class. Some of the parents have purchased books too and are reading along. Wonder is a book with an anti-bullying message that instills within the reader compassion and empathy for others.

It tells the story of August "Auggie" Pullman, "who was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school--until now. He's about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is, Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearance?" The New York Times Book Review calls Wonder "Rich and memorable," and hopefully our sixth graders do too! 

Correction to P.M. Kindergarten Start Time

It has been noticed that the start time for P.M. Kindergarten is listed as two different times in our parent handbook. Though this will be corrected in next year’s handbook, please note that P.M. Kindergarten doors open at 11:45 and class begins at 11:50. It was stated in the district newsletter a few weeks ago that students should be lined up to enter the building by 11:47. Lining up this late causes a delay in the beginning of class, as these young students need time to settle in upon entry. Please try to have your child lining up by the 11:45 entry time so classes can begin as quickly as possible.  Thank you for your understanding.

OH Happenings

10/4/13 Friday
7:00 PM Boys Varsity Football @ Edon High School
10/5/13 Saturday
9:00 AM Girls Junior High Field Hockey @ Dublin Jerome Play Day
9:00 AM Coed Varsity Cross Country @ Fostoria Invitational
10:00 AM Boys JV Football vs. Edon HS
OH Stadium
10:00 AM Girls Varsity Tennis in OHSSA
State Sectionals
Defiance College
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
Girls JV & Varsity  Volleyball vs. Woodmore HS
OH Gym
1:00 PM
3:00 PM
Boys JV & Varsity Soccer @ Summit Country Day School
1:30 PM
2:45 PM
Girls Varsity & JV Field Hockey @ Hudson HS
4:15 PM
(both teams play same time)
Girls JV & Varsity Field Hockey @ Western Reserve
10/7/13 Monday
4:30 PM
6:00 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Volleyball @ Kateri Catholic Academy
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball vs. Cardinal Stritch High School
OH Gym
7:00 PM Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Whitmer HS
OH Stadium
10/8/13 Tuesday
4:30 PM
5:30 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Volleyball vs Swanton
OH Gym
4:30 PM Girls Varsity Tennis vs. Clyde
High School
OH Tennis Courts
7:00 PM Boys Varsity Soccer @ Emmanuel Christian School
10/9/13 Wednesday
9:00 AM Girls Varsity Tennis in OHSSA
State Districts
6:00 PM Girls Varsity Soccer @ Woodmore HS
7:00 PM Girls Varsity Field Hockey vs. MVCD
OH Stadium
10/10/13 Thursday
5:00 PM Boys Varsity Soccer @ Cardinal Stritch High School
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Volleyball vs. Northwood
OH Gym
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball @ Northwood
7:00 PM OHMTA Meeting
HS LMC Library

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.

Nothing happens
unless first a dream.
Carl Sandburg

Copyright © 2013 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Toledo, OH  43606