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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
December 13, 2014

Superintendent's Message
New Year Brings New Adventures for Retirees Rubino and Sturdevant

Come this December 31st, as the clock strikes midnight, we’ll all be celebrating the start of a new year. But two Ottawa Hills team members will be celebrating for a different reason. For them, it will be the end of many years of service to Ottawa Hills Schools and the beginning of a new chapter in their lives as they begin retirement on January 1, 2014. High school secretary, Linda Rubino, will be retiring after 25 years in education, with 13 of those here at O.H. Custodial team member Beth Sturdevant will be retiring after 30 years of service, all of them at Ottawa Hills.
Linda Rubino spent her first 11 years at Washington Local, where she served an attendance secretary at the high school and as a secretary in the student services department. Her final assignment there was as a secretary in the treasurer’s office. It was not a good fit. “I was too far away from the kids,” Mrs. Rubino recalls. “I’m a people person, so being in a central office position was not a good fit for me. I saw the opening here at Ottawa Hills, so I jumped at the chance. I was ready to be back in an environment where I was working around other people, including students.” 
Those who cross Mrs. Rubino’s path would agree that she’s a people person. In her position, she notes that she serves as the “building greeter,” so she is often the first person that people come into contact with when they visit our junior/senior high school. She greets parents, students, and visitors alike with a ready smile and a quick “Can I help you?” In addition, she takes care of many other tasks in the office—from attendance records to discipline records, purchase orders, work permits, and a variety of other duties. “The two requirements of this job,” she shares, “are that you have to love people and you have to be able to multi-task every minute of the day.”   
Retirement will mark the beginning of new adventures for Mrs. Rubino, as on January 1, she will fly to Myrtle Beach with fellow secretary, Tina Dowling, and retired secretary, Sally Otterson, to visit Claudia Evans, who was a math teacher at O.H. for several years. Next will be a mid-January trip to West Palm Beach to visit a niece. “And after that,” she says with a smile, “I’ll do whatever I want.” That list of retirement desires will include daily trips to the gym and regular yoga classes. 
Of course, the retirement picture will include her husband of 42 years, Tim (they were junior high sweethearts), and their two children: Mandy, who is an art teacher at Licking Heights Schools, and Ross, who is working on a degree in social work.
Mrs. Rubino shares with the community, “I want to thank the parents for allowing me to be part of their children’s lives and for welcoming me with open arms. This has been the most perfect job for a people person. I wish all 25 years of my career had been in this school district. “ 
Though most of her work is done in the evenings, custodian Beth Sturdevant is still well known to our students. She has saved more than one student from imminent disaster by letting them into the building late at night to retrieve a forgotten textbook or worksheet to complete the next day’s homework.  “Beth,” as she’s known to us all, has been keeping our hallways and classrooms clean since 1982.

The Toledo area has always been Beth’s home, as she graduated from Start High School in 1975. She worked at Sears where she changed tires and installed batteries, but injuries from a car accident forced her to give up that job. Eventually, she lived with her grandmother on Kingsgate, where the next-door-neighbor was Ottawa Hills outside maintenance man Dan Lease. “Dan and his mother, Juanita, saw me working on my grandmother’s house. I’d work on the roof, clean shrubs, and mow the lawn. I’d always be working on fixing something. One day, Dan asked if I wanted a job. He told me about an opening at Ottawa Hills. I applied on December 3 of 1982 and I began working on that very same day.”
Beth spent several years working at the elementary before moving to the high school building. Her best memories through the years revolve around the children. “One time I was cleaning up after lunch when a little first grader named Meredith said, ‘When you get a minute, come outside.’ When I did, she gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, ‘I love you.’ Times like that make it all worthwhile. Through the years the kids have enjoyed kidding around with me. It made it fun to come to work.”
Beth’s memories will include the students, but also the teachers and her colleagues. “People like Rose Stevens and Chuck Eighmey are special to me. I’ve known Ann Kos since I came here. The first grade team of Kathy Senn, Mary Pat Gilsdorf, Bev Newcomber and Donna Koenker stand out in my mind. Mrs. Bodziak, Mrs. Wipfli, and I always called ourselves the ‘Pisces Club’ because we were all born the beginning of March. Pat Everhart and I created some priceless memories together.  I’ve had a lot of deep connections with teachers.”
Beth is known as somewhat of a jack of all trades, and after retirement, she’ll keep busy with painting and repair jobs that are already lined up. Her knack for fixing things came from watching her father, a commercial contractor, work around the house. “We added onto our house on Oak Grove when I was 11 years old. I watched and listened to my father. I would ask questions, but he would say  ‘You don’t need to know that.’ But I wanted to learn, so he would have me do different things. When I bought my first house, I just jumped into fixing things up. I would learn from others or I would just study pictures, figure it out, and then dive right in.”   
Retirement will also give Beth more time to spend with her mother, Betsy Christ. Her father, Bob, passed away in 2009, but his skill of working with his hands certainly lives on in his daughter.
Reflecting back on her 30 years of service to O.H., Beth simply remarks, “It’s been a great ride. I’m going to miss it.”
And we’ll miss the daily presence of two ladies who have meant quite a bit to our school system for several years. Best wishes, Linda Rubino and Beth Sturdevant, as you begin new adventures in your lives at the stroke of midnight this New Year’s Eve.     

Giving Sudents a Chance to Act Out

The Ottawa Hills Music and Theatre Association (OHMTA) is pairing up with OHHS Theatre Artistic Director, Darrin Broadway, elementary music teacher, Kimberly Bright, and others to present “Acting Out” workshops. The workshops will be held on select Saturdays beginning in January and running through May. Workshop topics include “Expressive Speaking,” “Acting and Movement,” “Vocal Performance,” and “Technical Theatre.” Junior High classes will take place separately from grades 4-6, allowing instructors to focus on the developmental readiness of each child. Green Bear Ball funds will be used to continue supporting this educational program next school year while also providing funding for start-up costs of a musical production uniquely involving students in grades 4 through 8.  A copy of the registration form for "Acting Out" with much more information about the program can be found by clicking here. Forms are also available in each building's main office.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest happenings of the drama department of Ottawa Hills Local Schools, follow Darrin Broadway on Twitter @darrinOHtheatre.


Choraliers Share the Sweet Sounds of the Season  

The holidays in Toledo wouldn’t be the same without the Choraliers.  During the month of December, the Choraliers will perform nearly a dozen times at various venues in the Village and throughout greater Toledo. Their performances include many of the classics including Sleigh Ride, Carol of the Bells, Go Tell It On The Mountain, Still Still Still, and The First Noel. Many thanks to vocal music director Donna Tozer Wipfli and the Choraliers. Catch the Choraliers this weekend when they perform for our school and community in the auditorium on Sunday, December 15 at 7:00 PM. The winter concert will also feature the high school choirs and the high school band. Please consider supporting our performing arts program by joining the Ottawa Hills Music Theater Association and by participating in their annual holiday plant sale. For more information, visit the OHMTA website by clicking here.

Toughness and Tenacity on the Ice

The season for the Ottawa Hills High School Ice Hockey team is in full swing. Although they lost to both Lake and Springfield this past weekend, the Bears played their hearts out. The team is coached by Derek Helmke and Aaron Wiemer with help from captain and goalie Kaleb Konoff. The hockey team's schedule can be found on the junior/senior high school website or by clicking here. Most games are played at Tam-O-Shanter. The Green Bears face off against the Maumee Panthers on Friday, December 13th at 9:30 PM.  Come out and support the team!

Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Problem-Solving in STEM

The most recent project in the 8th grade STEM class involves combining students’ knowledge and skills regarding computer programming, gear ratios, motors, engineering and design to build a robotic car. Eighth graders Abby Hauck and Shruthi Varier took the assignment a step further. They programmed multiple motors on their cars to play to the tune of Jingle Bells. Hats off to these budding innovators!

Berry and Nichols Go Solo for Green Bear Nation

Two sophomore athletes will represent Ottawa Hills as they compete in swimming and gymnastics. Kelsi Berry will swim and Margaret Nichols will pursue her passion for gymnastics. Kelsi excels at swimming and specializes in the freestyle and backstroke. She is coached by her parents, R.L. and Karen. Margaret competes in all gymnastics events and is coached by Jesse Hodlik. Both girls were granted special permission from the Ottawa Hills Board of Education to represent Ottawa Hills.

Margaret competed at a meet at the YMCA Gymnastics Center in Perrysburg last Saturday along with 42 other gymnasts from a variety of schools. She finished fifth in the vault and an impressive third out of all competitors in the all-around. The all-around scores are based on performance on the vault, the bars, the balance beam, and the floor exercise.

We are extremely proud of these exceptional student athletes and wish them the best of luck this season!

Math Mentors Make a Difference

Tim Adkins’ calculus students have been offering their expertise to Diane Drabek’s Algebra students. Students meet during lunch in the library to review major concepts and homework problems. Senior Peter Brown says, “It’s been a good experience for me to be able to help someone out and it also gives me some extra practice.” Many thanks to Mr. Adkins, Mrs. Drabek, and their students for organizing a useful resource for students at Ottawa Hills.

Green Bears Tackle Geopolitical Simulations

On December 6th and 7th,the OH Model United Nations Club participated in the Canadian-American Security Council Conference at the Radisson Conference Center in Lansing, Michigan. Thirty-four OH students attended, representing countries in the present day United Nations Security Council, European Union, League of Arab States, and the African Union. Topics included:

Security Council: The situation in Syria & Promotion of peace in western Africa;
European Union: Development of a common income tax policy in Europe to prevent relocation of the wealthy to low income tax states & development of a common European approach to civil conflict such as those in Syria;
Arab League: Addressing measures to protect and preserve national treasures and further develop Arab art and culture in times of both peace and war & addressing external threats to Arab security including but not limited to nuclear capabilities, digital and other types of espionage, and foreign involvement in regional conflict;
African Union: The implementation and harmonization of standards & legislation on anti-corruption & a strategic plan for Africa and gender equality.
Participating were: Seniors Jimmy Brunner, Peter Brown, Alec Frye, Courtney Fung, Michael Geisler, Peter Graham, Mara Horn, Noah Johnson, Harrison Leinweber, Claire Oxford, Kelly Rudolph, and Brittany Schecht; Juniors Theo Coman, Robby Gilmore, Dan Reilly, and Stephen Wu; Sophomores Wasey Ahmed, Jolie Brochin, Kirstin Cousins, Waverly Hart, Katie Justison, Furman Mahmood, Aidan McMurray, Audrey Rotman, James Steven, and Brent Wang; and Freshmen Patrick Arnold, Nathan Card, Gillian Heckler, Sean Kazmi, Adit Makuherjee, Isabella McCluskey, Mac Veh, and Tony Zhou. 

The OH Model United Nations Club received six awards during the conference. Mara Horn received Highest Honors representing Rwanda in the Security Council and Noah Johnson and Brittany Schecht received Highest Honors representing Bahrain and Comoros respectively in the Arab League. Jimmy Brunner and Harrison Leinweber received Second Honors representing China in their respective Security Councils, and Michael Geisler received Second Honors representing Slovenia in the European Union. OHHS social studies teacher and club advisor Tom McCarthy, in addition to OHHS social studies teacher Jessica Temple, accompanied the students.

Exam Schedule Posted

Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School students will take first semester exams January 15, 16, and 17. To view the exam schedule, along with information on the schedule in the case of inclement weather, click here


Mrs. Browne and Mrs. Zake Celebrate the Food Drive on Tricycles

At the beginning of the OHES November food drive, Mrs. Browne and Mrs. Zake pledged to ride tricycles for a day if students brought in at least 2,000 food items to donate to charity. Though we missed our mark by just a few items, Mrs. Browne and Mrs. Zake lived up to their promise anyway! Throughout the day, many students expressed surprise that they actually rode the tricycles, but hey…a promise is a promise!


Ottawa Hills Elementary School competed in the 2013 Ohio Grade Level Chess Championships at Kent State University on Saturday, November 22 and came away as the new Ohio 1st Grade State Chess Champions! Over 300 hundred players representing approximately 100 schools competed in the K-12 event. In addition to Ottawa Hill become the 1st Grade State Champions, the Green Bears also won three 2nd Place Awards, winning the runner-up titles in the 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade and 5th Grade sections. Placers for the Green Bears were:
Rohan Padhye
1st Graders
Zachary Amonett & Shayne Lin
2nd Graders
Ryaan Bhuiyan, Sevar Mian, Saumya Talla & Ketan Tamirisa
3rd Graders
Carson Mackey, Alex Mian & Gene Lin
4th Grader
Raeed Bhuiyan
5th Graders
Ishan Khare & Oliver Smirnov
Congratulations to the entire chess team from Coach V. & Coach Ryan and the entire OH staff.

2013 Spelling Bee Leaves Students and Staff in Suspense

Fourteen 5th and 6th grade students participated in this year’s spelling bee, leaving students and staff members wringing their hands in suspense. Participants showed focus and stamina through upwards of 18 rounds, when Nick Mack took first place with the word, “expediently.”  Congratulations Nick! Nick advances to the Lucas County Area Spelling Bee on February 4, 2014 at the Maumee Indoor Theater.  Our runner-up, who will act as an alternate in the county bee, and who gave Nick a battle to the finish, was Danielle Sun.  Congratulations on your strong finish, Danielle!

Exploring Forces Through Fishing

This week, the second graders explored the invisible force of magnetism through a fishing expedition. While working through the steps in the scientific method, students teamed up to hypothesize what might cause certain items to be attracted to the magnet "bait", while other items were not. After trying to catch paper clips, pennies, golf tees, washers, and more, students recorded their observations, reflected back on their hypothesis, and drew a conclusion about what properties the magnetic items had that the non-magnetic items did not. The boys and girls extended their understanding of magnetism by testing items at home and recording their findings there as well.

Fifth Grade Scientists

Fifth grade science students have been busy at work wrapping up their learning about ecosystems. As part of the final requirements for our ecosystem study, students designed board games for other students to play. These board games had to combine engaging playability with ecosystem content that has been learned in class. Students in all science classes really came up with some great products and had a fantastic time playing each other's games. Great job 5th grade!
Students were also excited this week by the arrival of their mini-ecosystem organisms. Students are creating their own aquariums (replete with guppies, Elodea, duckweed, Tubifex worms, Daphnia, and snails) and terrariums, which include earthworms and isopods (roly-poly bugs). Over the coming weeks, students will make observations of how their ecosystems change over time, of predator/prey relationships, and of how human interaction may affect the survival of the ecosystem.

OH Happenings

12/13/13 Friday
8:10 AM Parent/Teacher Conferences (JH/HS only)
Junior High & High School
12/14/13 Saturday
10:00 AM
11:00 AM
Boys 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs Toledo Christian Schools
10:00 AM Girls 8th Grade Basketball @ Toledo Christian Schools
1:00 PM
2:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball @ Gibsonburg HS
7:30 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs Maumee High School
12/15/13 Sunday
5:00 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs. Whitmer High School
Ice House
7:00 PM HS Winter Concert
OH Auditorium
12/16/13 Monday
5:00 PM Boys Freshman Basketball vs Put-In-Bay HS
12/17/13 Tuesday
4:30 PM OHLS Board Mtg.
Community Room
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Boys 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs Gibsonburg Middle School
OH Elementary Gym
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Basketball @ Gibsonburg Middle School
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball @ Toledo Christian Schools
12/19/13 Thursday
5:00 PM
6:15 PM
Boys 7th & 8th Grade Basketball @ Emmanuel Christian School
5:00 PM
6:15 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs Emmanuel Christian School
OH Elementary Gym
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.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed
is more important than any other one thing.
Abraham Lincoln
Copyright © 2013 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Toledo, OH  43606