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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
April 11, 2014

Superintendent's Message
Facilities Committee Continues Its Work

One of the objectives that the Board established for this school year was the following:
Implement the six-point recommendation from the Facilities Committee to the Board of Education:
  1. This is now a viable time to develop an all-encompassing master plan to address district and community facility needs for the next generations with the help of an architectural firm and a larger Facilities Committee.
  2. The process should involve community engagement to gain the input of all stakeholders.
  3. In general, renovations and additions as necessary are preferred by the committee—“Preserving the Past; Embracing the Future.” 
  4. The financial commitment we will ultimately make has to be palatable to the community.
  5. Complete renovation/replacement of the mechanical systems with an eye on energy efficiency throughout the buildings is crucial.
  6. The quality of our facilities should be a reflection of the value we place on education and our commitment to enhancing village life.
This recommendation was made by a Facilities Advisory Committee comprised of village residents, staff members, and Board representatives in March of 2012. This group spent a year investigating the condition of our buildings and made the recommendation to develop a master facilities plan to ensure long-term viability of our buildings.

The first step in developing that plan was contracting with an architectural firm to lead the development of the plan. The committee received proposals from eight firms, heard presentations from four of the firms, and unanimously chose Fanning Howey of Celina, Ohio to work with the district.

The next step was bringing more voices to the table. This year, the Facilities Committee was expanded to 38 individuals who represent the community, Village leadership, the Board of Education, the administrative team, and our staff and faculty. To see a list of committee members, click here. This group has been meeting throughout the school year. Several members have given their time to visit buildings in other school districts to observe their renovations and to see design trends that address Twenty-first Century education needs.

In addition to working with the Facilities Committee, Fanning Howey representatives Steve Wilczynski and Joe DeLuca met with and surveyed the staff and faculty to gain their input on facilities needs. Because the focus of the plan’s development is community engagement—involving the entire community in the process—a public forum was held for village residents on March 26.

At the forum, we provided an overview of the work of the Facilities Committee to this point and discussed the visits committee members made to other school districts. Staff survey results were shared, and Steve Wilczynski provided a pictorial tour of our school buildings. He made comparisons between staff survey results and the conditions of everything from windows to roofs to plumbing, security, mechanical systems and more.

Everyone in attendance had a chance to ask questions and share comments during the meeting. A “clicker system” allowed 100% of those in attendance to respond to nine different questions. You can also answer those questions by clicking here and taking a short survey. Please realize that these are representative questions and are not meant to be all-inclusive regarding the focus of the Facilities Committee. These questions provided a means for those at the forum to be actively involved in the evening’s activities. They do the same here—they give you a chance to respond to the questions and make your voice a part of the bigger picture. Please take a few minutes to provide your input on these various questions. There is room after each question for your comments.

Some things to note about the development of our Master Facilities Plan:

•The goal of the committee is to submit a plan to the Board by December of this year. The work of the committee will continue through this spring and into next fall.

•There will be another public forum this fall.

•There is no timeline for implementation of the Master Facilities Plan. That is something the Board will consider once they receive the plan.

•If someone tells you what the plan is and how much it will cost, their words should be taken with a grain of salt. The committee is in the investigation stage. The committee does not have the power to make decisions. The job of the committee is to make a recommendation to the Board of Education as to the best way to address our long-term facility needs. At this time, we have no idea what that recommendation will look like. There is still a lot of work to be done. Once the recommendation is made, it is the Board’s role, then, to represent the community in making decisions in the best interest of our school district and our community.

•You have a Board of Education, and a superintendent, who are sensitive to balancing the needs of the district with the economic realities that surround us. Since 2010, budget cuts and holding the line on expenditures have resulted in over $2.5 million in savings for our district and our taxpayers. As a district, we will remain committed to the six-point recommendation of the original facilities committee, including: The financial commitment we will ultimately make has to be palatable to the community.

•Be patient with the process. Sometimes people want to jump right to the end product. But to do it right, getting there takes an investment of time and thoughtful consideration. There are a lot of people working on behalf of our school district and community. They are doing a great job of representing their neighbors.

•Again, if you'd like to take a short survey of questions that were asked of the audience at the public forum, click here.

•I would be glad to sit down and review the work of the Facilities Committee and answer any questions that a Villager might have. Schedule a time to stop by my office by calling my Executive Assistant, Karen Mayfield, at 419-536-6371.    

Green Bear Ball Tomorrow: Tickets and Reverse Auction Tickets Still Available

Tomorrow evening, Villagers and friends of Ottawa Hills Schools will be following the yellow brick road to the Valentine Theatre for this year's Green Bear Ball. Tickets are still available for the Ball, and you can make sure you're part of the crowd celebrating at the Emerald City by contacting Kathy Lathrop at

Whether or not you can attend the Ball, you can take part in the evening's activities by buying a ticket to the Reverse Auction which will take place through the evening.  Tickets will be drawn throughout the evening with smaller prizes being given at random intervals. The final number will be the grand prize winner and announced during the live auction. The grand prize is $5,000 cash. You need not be present to win.

The Reverse Auction form can be found here. With time running out, you can contact Green Bear Ball Chairperson Beth Rotman directly at to get your Reverse Auction tickets. 

Have You Considered Hosting an AFS Exchange Student?

Ask our many proud host parents and families about the wonderful exchange students that they have hosted through the years. Let them tell you about the lasting memories and warm friendships that have developed with students from around the world.
Ottawa Hills is looking for families interested in hosting next year's AFS international exchange students. Please contact Linda Sherry at or leave a message at (419) 539-6946 to explore the possibilities of hosting. She will sort through hundreds of biographies to find just the right student to match your family's interests and personality.
Embrace the world. Host an international exchange student next year!

Hot Summer, Cool Science Summer Camps

Reserve your spot now for a fun-filled, weeklong summer camp loaded with COOL science! Choose from one of our three exciting camps: Super Splatter Science!, Behind the Mask and Survival Science Camp. Your camper will receive daily instruction from 9am – 4:30pm, take home activities, memories that last a lifetime and so much more. Camps begin in June and run each week through August 15. Spots fill fast, so call our Reservation Specialists at 419.244.2674 ext. 250 or RSVP online at

To view the camp brochure, click here.

The camps are for kids ages 7 – 12. Price per child: $165 for members/ $195 for non-members. This year's camps are sponsored by Libbey.


Jennifer Zaurov is BCSN Student of the Month

Ottawa Hills High School is proud to recognize Jennifer Zaurov as the BCSN Student of the Month for March.  If you have not seen the broadcast spot honoring Jennifer you can view it here. Jennifer will be attending the Honors College at Bowling Green State University in the fall to study public relations. While in high school Jennifer has maintained a position on the High Honor Roll every semester, is a co-editor of the yearbook, is a member of the National Honor Society, is active in the theater department, and has participated in numerous volunteer activities. For being named a BCSN Student of the Month, Jennifer receives a $1,500 scholarship and is eligible to be named BCSN's Student of the Year. Jennifer is the daughter of Greg and Irina Zaurov. Congratulations Jennifer on receiving this great honor!

Teaming Up with the Toledo Zoo

On Friday, March 28, the Toledo Zoo came to Mr. Nixon's 9th grade Biology classroom with some very special guests. Zoo representatives brought in two leopard tortoises for the Biology students to use for inquiry-based lessons.

The students used different kinds of foods to determine the eating habits of the turtles. Students made initial observations of the turtles, created investigative questions, made predictions, developed protocols for experiments, completed the experiments, and collected and analyzed their data. Presentations were then made by the students as they presented their data during a class discussion and white board session. Presentations included data tables, graphs or charts, and explanations of the content learned during the lesson. The zoo will be returning to OHHS later in April to share the inquiry lesson with other Biology classes. Mr. Nixon attended a "Teaching Science Through Inquiry" class at the Toledo Zoo through BGSU. Mr. Nixon's attendance at the workshop provided 2 hours of instructional time for the students at Ottawa Hills.

Ottawa Hills High School Blood Drive

On Tuesday, March 26, Ottawa Hills students and Villagers gave "the gift of life" by donating 20 pints of blood to the American Red Cross. Their selfless efforts will help save 60 lives. The Volunteer Focus seniors and juniors were responsible for setting up for the drive, escorting blood donors, and serving snacks to the donors. The blood drive is a great way for our youth to have an opportunity to serve our community. A special thanks to our blood donors and to Volunteer Focus Advisor Kristin Johnson.

Spring Training Under the Sarasota Sun

Many members of the Ottawa Hills Baseball team spent the week in sunny Sarasota, Florida for their annual spring training. The team scrimmaged teams from Florida, Kentucky, and Ohio. While the team wasn’t playing or practicing, families enjoyed time at the beach, chartering boats for fishing excursions, or just enjoying the warm sun by the pool. On Tuesday of spring break week, Ottawa Hills families met at the beach to enjoy a picnic organized by Cindy Beans and Jill Moreau. Many thanks to Chris Hardman for organizing the 28th trip to Sarasota and to Chuck and Johanna Riepenhoff for handling the communication about practice and game times.


Sixth Grade Parent Meeting is Wednesday

Parents/guardians of current sixth grade students who will be entering seventh grade at Ottawa Hills Junior High in the fall are invited to attend an informational meeting on Wednesday, April 16 at 6:30 pm in the Junior/Senior High School Library. Please use the Osborne Street entrance; the library is on the second floor. We look forward to meeting you. If you have any questions, please call principal Ben McMurray at 419.534.5376 or counselor Darcy Browne at 419.534.5377.

Students Recognized for Flexibility in March

Students worked hard during the month of March to demonstrate flexibility in all areas of the school.  The following students were recognized for exceptional flexibility!  In April, students are working to demonstrate amazing philomathy, the love of learning.
Emma Friedman, Evelyn Shimborske, Ethan Cotterman, Enzo Penrod, Jack Jorgensen, Sylvia DeCocker, Kori Mensior, Cassie Davis, Alex Mian, Collin Miller, Charlie Merrill, Cooper Conlan, Sophia Bolg, Stella Stout, Pearl Thurston, Ketan Tamirisa, Elin Fields, Reece Hill, Lucas Toma, Aidan Mulkey, Riley Catlin, Sarah Stone, James Schaefer, Elise Ansberg, Miles Jacob, Ken Liu, Joey Halbig-Sanchez, Gabe Carter, Abbas Gardezi, Arianna O’Neill.
Claire Petas, Joe Petro, Deepta Paramasamy, Libbey Rhegness, Hannah Houser, John Henry Diehl, Zihua Qian, Cooper Smith, Lane Colton, Jacob Geiger, Raisha Patel, Jack Silk, Parker Contreras, Nic Johnson, Riya Patel, Jamir Norwood, Wyatt Wilson, Charlie Werner, Ben Catlin, Liam Justison, Max Harvey, Reagan Clarke, Maya Khaskhely, Adam Hamilton, Rhys Francis, David Harding, Julia Yu, Grace VanSlooten

Making Observations of the Wind

This week, thre OHES second graders investigated how a simple pinwheel could be used to make observations of the wind.  After learning how air moves, students were able to understand how moving air caused their self-constructed pinwheels to spin.  The boys and girls also realized how their own pinwheels were much like anemometers, which are used to measure wind speed.  After making their observations, the students noticed that the speed at which the pinwheel spun was based on many factors, including the position of the pinwheel, and whether they relied simply on the wind, or if they moved about to encourage movement.  The boys and girls concluded that the faster the pinwheels turned, the faster the wind was moving.  The boys and girls planned to take their pinwheels home and extend their investigation and make further observations.

Variety Show 2014 is a Big Hit!

On Friday, March 28, dozens of OHES students put many hours of practice to the stage in the elementary variety show.  From piano and violin performances to karate and gymnastics demonstrations to dance routines and magic, performers Wow’d the audience.  It was amazing to watch the skills and talent that went into the show.  New Student Council advisors, Gráinne Carroll and Emily Atherine, coached their council as they organized and hosted the event. What an amazing way to kick off spring break!

OH Happenings

4/11/14 Friday
12:00 PM Parent/Teacher Conferences
No Classes PM
JH & High School
4:30 PM Coed Varsity Track & Field @ Viking Invitational
Evergreen HS
4:30 PM
5:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Lacrosse @ MVCD School
6:00 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse @ Dayton Lacrosse Club
4/12/14 Saturday
10:00 AM Boys Varsity Tennis @ Findlay HS
11:00 AM
1:00 PM
Boys JV  & Varsity Baseball vs. Waite HS
OH Baseball Field
1:30 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse @ Dayton Bellbrook
High School
4/14/14 Monday
4:30 PM Boys Varsity Tennis vs. Clay HS
OH Tennis Courts
4:30 PM Coed JH Track & Field @ Gibsonburg
4:45 PM Girls Varsity Softball vs. Start HS
OH Softball Field
5:00 PM Boys JV Baseball @ Whitmer HS
5:00 PM Boys Varsity Baseball vs Whitmer HS
OH Baseball Field
7:00 PM Football Parents Meeting
OH LMC Library
4/15/14 Tuesday
4:30 PM Boys Varsity Tennis @ Wauseon HS
4:30 PM Coed Varsity Track & Field vs. MVCD School
OH Stadium
4:30 PM
5:30 PM
Girls Varsity Lacrosse @ Notre Dame Academy
4:45 PM Girls Varsity Softball vs. St. Ursula HS
OH Softball Field
5:00 PM Boys JV Baseball @ Bowling Green HS
5:00 PM Boys Varsity Baseball vs. Bowling Green HS
OH Baseball Field
4/16/14 Wednesday
4:30 PM Boys Varsity Tennis @ Southview HS
6:00 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse vs. Anthony Wayne High School
OH Stadium
6:30 PM 6th Grade Parent Meeting
OH LMC Library
4/17/14 Thursday
4:45 PM Boys JV Baseball vs. Toledo Christian Schools
OH Baseball Field
4:45 PM Boys Varsity Baseball @ Toledo Christian Schools
4:45 PM Girls Varsity Softball @ Toledo Christian Schools
5:30 PM
6:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Lacrosse @ Perrysburg HS
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.

Parents need to fill a child's bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes in it
to drain it dry.
--Alvin Price
Copyright © 2014 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Ottawa Hills, OH  43606