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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
March 14, 2014

Superintendent's Message
Science Olympiad Teams Have the Right Stuff at Regionals

Any program that is just three years old would be considered in its infancy—definitely in the formative stages. So you wouldn’t expect much. Certainly not a lot of success. Unless you’re involved with our Science Olympiad program. And then you realize that the sky’s the limit. Even if you’re the new kid on the block.
Three years ago, Mr. Aigner volunteered his time to start the junior high Science Olympiad program. Two years ago, Mr. Nixon did the same with the high school Science Olympiad program. On Saturday, March 1, the teams took part in the regional Science Olympiad competition at Defiance College and came home with plenty of hardware and the right for both teams to advance to state competition at the Ohio State University on April 26.
According to its official website, Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school). Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved.  Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation.
Events in Science Olympiad range from “Meteorology” to “Boomilever” to “Rotor Egg Drop,” “Write It, Do It,” “Crime Busters,” and more. Under the direction of Mr. Aigner and Mr. Nixon, students work after school to prepare for competition in the various events. Our teams attend preliminary invitationals which allow them to fine tune their skills and projects, all in preparation for the regional tournament and the right to advance to state.  
Mr. Nixon emphasizes the importance of the invitationals for the high school team: “We competed at the Northview Invitational in December and the Mentor Invitational in February. Both invitationals had the top teams in the state. The kids learn from their mistakes at the invitationals. Then they modify and make changes. That’s the benefit of the invitationals—we find out what we need to do to improve and we learn by watching the other teams. It pays off because we had been beaten by Northview and Southview at those invitiationals, but we beat them at regionals, so our kids made up a lot of ground.”
Mr. Aigner echoes the importance of invitationals for the junior high team. The team attended the Magsig Invitational in Centerville in January. In February, the team competed at the Mentor Invitational. Those invitational competitions helped prepare the team to take home the title at the Defiance College regional competition. Mr. Aigner notes, “We have never done invitationals before this year. The opportunity to compete against state and national powers like Centerville and Solon helped us to get new ideas and see how our performance compared to some of the very best.”
The high school team made some noise of its own, placing third at the regional competition. The finish marked the second year in a row the team qualified for state competition, but by placing third, the team won the program’s first trophy.
So let me pause one moment to reiterate what the students in our Science Olympiad program have accomplished. In three years of existence, the junior high team has qualified for state competition all three years. After a sixth-place finish in 2012 and a second-place finish in 2013, this year, they won the regional title, besting 18 other schools, including long-established programs such as Paulding, Lima Shawnee, Sylvania, and Springfield. Only two-years-old, our high school program has qualified for state competition in both years, bringing home a third-place finish at regionals this year out of 30 high school teams. Mr. Nixon notes that the team was only 13 points out of first place.
And it’s not only the steady climb in team placings that is distinguishing our program, it’s also the growth of the programs. Mr. Nixon shares, “Last year we only had 10 kids involved in the high school program. This year we had 25 kids competing at regionals—enough to have 2 teams. A couple of times our B team beat our A team in certain events, and if not, they knocked other teams down because they beat them, so that helped with the final standings. Our A team and B team kids won medals. Of the 23 different events, we won 24 medals in 12 different events. This year we had every event covered plus 10 events with B team involved.”  
Mr. Aigner also points to the growth of student involvement as one of the positive changes in the junior high program over the last three years. He shares, “The big thing this year was that we were able to field two teams—a green team and a white team. Instead of just 15 kids competing, it allowed 30 kids to participate. This year, we didn’t have any students that we had to turn away. We were able to say ‘yes’ to everyone who wanted to participate.”
And those who participated brought home plenty of hardware from the regional competition. At the high school level, first place gold medals went to:
Olivia Koury for her Boomilever,
Emory Leinweber and Maeve McBride for their Bungee Drop,
Leif Gunderson and James Steven for their mission possible Rube Goldberg machine,
Olivia Koury and Maeve McBride in Write It Do It.
Second place silver medals were earned by:
Anna Callahan and Kristen Berry for Water Quality,
Michael Geisler and Harrison Leinweber for Circuit Lab,
Kathleen Johnson and Maeve McBride for Astronomy.
Third place bronze medals were awarded to:
Emory Leinweber and Lauren Jenkins for their Scrambler Car,
Michael Geisler and Oliva Koury for Geologic Mapping,
Shana Capur and Nadine Ayad for Dynamic Planet.
Darcy Davis and Anna Callahan for Disease Detectives
Aidan McMurray and Noah Dewhirst for Bungee Drop.
Top three finishes for the junior high team included gold medals for the following:
Daniel Liu and Steven Randall for Disease Detectives,
Nolan Greeley for Helicopters,
Will Koury and Meg Muir for Road Scolar,
Spencer Colton and Urvish Patel for Robo-Cross,
Urvish Patel and Randall Johnson for Rotor Egg Drop,
Spencer Colton and Randall Johnson for Shock Value,
Meg Muir and Nathan Card for Sounds of Music,
Shruthi Varier and Connor Pellegrini for Anatomy,
Luke Koury for Boomilever.
Second place silver medals went home with:
Randall Johnson and Joe Boesel for their Boomilever,
Enna McBride, Meg Muir and Rahul Bais for Experimental Design,
Renae Goik and Spencer Colton for Heredity,
Will Koury and Nathan Card for Rocks and Minerals.
Bronze medals were earned by:
Urvish Patel and Sam Assi for Can’t Judge a Powder,
Joe Boesel and Randall Johnson for Simple Machines,
Emma McMurray and Daniel Liu for Solar Systems,
Matt Mintun and Natalia Cortes for Heredity.
As they prepare for the state tournament on April 26, both the junior high and high school teams will continue to work on refining their skills and projects.
Both Mr. Aigner and Mr. Nixon point to the importance of the support of parents who not only travel to the competitions with the team, but also give their time and energy to help the students work on their skills and projects in preparation for their contests. The involvement of even more parents and other resources will be crucial in the future as the programs continue to grow. Helping students master 23 different events takes lots of helping hands and expertise.
Funding provided by the Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association has been another important factor in the teams’ successes. Mr. Nixon and Mr. Aigner point out that OHSPA has provided “generous funding” so that they can buy materials for the various Science Olympiad building events which require wood and other building supplies.
Last week my article featured a trip to Chicago that our Choraliers enjoyed in February. This week, I share with you the success of our students in Science Olympiad. From the Arts to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, our students are enjoying opportunities to experience excellence. That’s the mark of a great school system, providing optimum opportunities for amazing students in a variety of ways. Helping to create well-rounded individuals. Helping to create excellence in every endeavor.  

Green Bear Ball Ticket Prices to Increase After Tomorrow

The Green Bear Ball will be held on Saturday, April 12, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. This year's event is being held at the historic Valentine Theatre. Silent and live auctions will be taking place. In addition to the auctions there will be a reverse raffle with only 200 tickets being available for $100 each. The winner will receive $5000! Ticket prices for the Ball are $80 each, but remember that after tomorrow, March 15, ticket prices go up to $90. If you have not already been contacted by a ticket ambassador and would like to purchase tickets, contact Kathy Lathrop at

Another opportunity to support the Green Bear Ball is by purchasing VIP box seats for the Ball. The GBB Committee is auctioning off ten VIP box seats for the Emerald City Ball. The top ten bids  will win:
•seating for four in exclusive box seats during the live auction;
•desserts and a bottle of wine for four VIP guests;
•following the silent auction, this VIP seating is yours for the rest of the evening,which will keep you close to the dance floor.

Bids are placed by filling out the Box Seat Auction Form and mailing it to Sue Carson. Don’t miss out on having the best view in the house! The deadline for bids has been extended. All bids must be postmarked by March 22, 2014.

Jill Roman Joins O.H. Team

Village resident Jill Roman has joined the staff of Ottawa Hills Schools as a part-time paraprofessional, working with one of our kindergarten students. Jill and her husband, Dan, have two children. Molly is a senior at O.H., while Peter is a freshman. The family has a cat, Stanley.

Jill enjoys volunteering at her church and organizing in her home. On working at Ottawa Hills Elementary, she notes, "I like to help people. I think that it's one of my best talents. When I was asked to work with a kindergartener, I jumped at the chance. It has been a very rewarding experience."

Welcome to Jill Roman, one of our newest Green Bears!

Last Chance to Register for T-Ball, Coach Pitch, and House Baseball

One day soon, the snow WILL be gone, and it will be time to break out the bats, gloves, and baseballs. Registration for t-ball, coach pitch, and house league baseball ends very soon, so take this opportunity to access the forms and register your child for a season of fun.

Registration for t-ball and coach pitch is due today. You can access that form here. These teams are designed for children who are currently in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade.

Registration for house league is due this coming Monday, March 17. House league is for second through seventh graders. Second through fourth graders play in the American League, while fifth through seventh graders play in the National League. The registration form for house league can be accessed here.

All participants are required to fill out a concussion form, which can be found here.

Oliver! Needs Animals!

The spring production of Oliver! is in need of a Bull Terrier or other English breed of dog. The production also needs a bird. To schedule an audition, please contact Darrin Broadway at 419-346-6569. The production of Oliver! will take place on April 25, 26, and 27.


Green Bears Close Season at Regionals

The Ottawa Hills basketball team closed their successful season in regional semi-final action this past Tuesday at Bowling Green State University's Stroh Center. The Bears dropped their match-up with top-ranked Crestview, who moves on to face Wayne Trace in the Regional finals. With a stellar record of 22-2, the Green Bears claimed an outright TAAC title along with Sectional and District titles, making the 2013-2014 season quite successful by any measure. Congratulations to Coach Lindsey and our Green Bears. Special recognition goes to our seniors--Geoff Beans, R.J. Coil, Ellis Cummings, Ben Silverman, and Jack Hylant. Thank you, Green Bears, for providing us with an exciting season!

Idol Contestants Evoke Ideals of Romanticism

On Friday, March 7, high school students watched James Kinkaid’s sophomore English students recite poetry from the Romantic period of American literature. It was Morgan Meisiac-Jacob’s dramatic recitation of Lord Byron’s poem Darkness that moved the audience and helped her clinch the title of 2014 Romantic Idol. Other finalists included: runner-up Jack Wolff, third place winner Haider Hasan, Skye Richards, Charlie Moynihan, Katie Justison, Haidir Bin Hamid, and Ilaina Monroe. Thanks to MC Jimmy Brunner and judges Sara Eskandari, Noah Hupp, and Stephen Wu. Thanks also to to Harrison Leinweber, Spencer Colton, and Luke Koury for handling sound and lights. Thanks to teacher James Kinkaid for bringing Romantic poetry to the masses.

Competitors Come Together for Cube Competition

In the first-ever Rubik’s Cube competition held at Ottawa Hills, 55 people from as far away as Montreal, Canada and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, converged on campus to compete in a range of cubing events that included a 6 x 6-order cube, feet solving, and, of course, the classic 3 x 3 Rubik's Cube. The event was conceived and organized by eighth grader Mason Langenderfer who has been planning the event since the fall. Mason secured an official delegate from the World Cube Association to ensure the event was officially sanctioned. 

Competitions were held all day Saturday, culminating in the 3 x 3. Thanks to the volunteers: Steven Randall, Brent Wang, Madyson McCabe, Claire McLean, Rahul Bais, Will Koury, Tony Zhou, Furman Mahmood, Frank Furhman, Adam Sari, Ellie Westmeyer, Sam Assi, and Urvish Patel. Many thanks to chaperones Teresa and Rob Langenderfer, as well as teachers Tim Adkins, Dan Feuerstein, and Rebecca McLean. Lastly, thanks to the Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association for funding some of the start up costs. Mason hopes to make this an annual event at Ottawa Hills. Several records were broken at this year's event, which was covered on several local news outlets. Click here to watch a story that appeared on Channel 13 news about the tournament. To listen to a WSPD radio interview with Mason, click here.

Quiz Bowl Team Finishes Strong In TAAC Tourney

The TAAC Quiz Bowl Championship was held on Saturday, March 8. Ottawa Hills finished in second place behind Maumee Valley Country Day School. Proudly representing the Ottawa Hills Quiz Bowl Team were juniors Adam Wright, Quinn Wright, Kathleen Johnson, Hannah Loeser, and Stephen Wu, and sophomores Kirsten Cousins, Maeve McBride, and Waverly Hart. According to Advisor Tony Torio, “All teams played graciously and competitively, and it was a lot of fun!” Congratulations on a successful season.

Chemistry Students Nail It!

Mary Kate Hafeman’s Chemistry students have been analyzing and applying a host of chemistry concepts, including Avogadros number, moles, and balanced equations through an inquiry-based lab known to the students as the infamous Nail Lab. At the beginning of the lab, chemistry students create a reaction by dropping common steel nails into a solution of copper II chloride. They allow the reaction to run overnight and the next day they separate the copper which appears from the leftover nails. Each of these is dried overnight in an oven and on the third day the nails and the copper are weighed on a balance. Using mass measurements they calculate the amount of moles of copper and the moles of iron. Through a class discussion, students create a balanced equation for the reaction. The mole amounts end up appearing as coefficients in the balanced equation.

Art Attack: Art in Contemporary Life

Studio Art students Hannah Moreau, Claudia Fuhrman, Molly Roman, Sara Eskandari, Kaleb Konoff, Robert Dixon and Audra Swan attended Issue Day at Maumee Valley Country Day School on Friday, March 7. This year's topic was Art Attack: Art in Contemporary Life. Students listened to a keynote address by playwright D. W. Gregory on the value of the arts in our culture. Breakout sessions followed with topics from "Art and Food" to "Exploration of Visual Poetry" presented by over 30 regional artists and teachers. Art teacher Steven Tozer Wipfli was one of the presenters, discussing the powerful work of African-American photographer Gordon Parks, who said he used his camera "as my weapon" in the civil rights movement.  Many thanks to Mr. Wipfli for presenting and chaperoning the trip to MVCDS.  In the photo, Molly Roman, Sara Eskandari and Audra Swan are listening to UT Theatre Professor Kate Abu-Absi as she presents "Identity Through the Arts."

OHJH Students Shoot for the Moon, End Up in S.P.A.C.E.

Congratulations to the February S.P.A.C.E. students as they were chosen by their 4th period teachers for making a difference at Ottawa Hills Junior High with their flexibility, creativity, and caring throughout the month of February.  Pictured are:  Tim Reiter, Annaliese Erickson, Shelley McClure, George Mancy, Michael Helgren, Annika Richards, Lauren Rownd, Matt Mintun, Weston Hecklinger, Kara Nowakowski, Mazin Omer, Mary Shawaker, Alex Saul, Mary Findley, Tommy Coil and Kate Hopkins. 

Congratulations and thank you for all you do at OHJH!


A Safety Message for Walkers From Mrs. Zake

I would like to send out a quick reminder for students walking to school without an adult.  Just when we think we have experienced the last snowstorm for the winter, here we are with one more major snowy blast!  All winter long, we have fought to find places to push snow, as has the village.  This past snowstorm is a little different than the last several, however. This one will be followed by warmer days as we move into spring, which means less drivers and more walkers to school. 
Parents, please remind your walkers of basic safety behavior as they walk to school. If there is a sidewalk on the streets your children use, remind them that they should stay on those sidewalks. If your child will be walking on streets with no sidewalks, remind them to walk as close to the curb as possible. Review what they should do if a car is driving too close to the curb for your walker to be safe, especially on some of our curvier roads where drivers do not have a clear vision of the road ahead of them. Hopefully the snow will melt quickly and the streets will be clearer and more visible soon. Until then, please take these extra precautions as we head into spring and walking season.

Fifth Graders "Math" Their Way To Nome

Excitement was barely contained as fifth graders chose the name of an Iditarod "musher" from the tin bucket last Friday. For the past week, fifth grade math students have raced their way through the Iditarod, tracking an assigned musher, and gathering data along the journey.  Each year, the 1,100 mile race from Anchorage to Nome begins the first weekend of March and lasts 9-12 days. What a terrific way for students to correlate grade level standards as they track their musher live to graph daily high and low temps, create line plots of rookie mushers, and stem-and-leaf plot veterans’ ages. Stay tuned to see which fifth grader will reach Nome, Alaska first. Mush!

While other Fifth Graders Use Math to Make a Feast

Delicious aromas filled the OHES basement hallways last week, as fifth grade math students tried their hand at cooking in our first ever Fraction Feast! As the culmination of our unit on fractions, students were asked to find a recipe with at least four fractions in the ingredient list. They then had to use their math skills to double the recipe, half the recipe, and adjust the recipe to make enough for everyone in the class. Last Friday, students then brought in their food for all to taste (using the adjusted recipes) and presented their calculations to the class. Food options ranged from lentil soup to tiramisu to mango ice cream. The students had a fantastic time completing this project and Mr. Siebenaler and Mrs. Smith look forward to continuing the Feast in years to come.

Regional Spelling Bee

OHES fifth grader Nick Mack did a great job at the 2014 Blade Northwest Ohio Championship Spelling Bee at Owens Community College. The competition was held on March 8. There were 51 participants and Nick was among the 16 spellers to make it to the 5th round. He correctly spelled dogma, islamic, corporal, and cruller. The word "nebbish" caused him problems as he spelled it with one "b" instead of two. Nick had many family members on hand to support him, as well as fifth grade teacher, Angie Parker. G-R-E-A-T  J-O-B  N-I-C-K!

Destination Imagination

Sixth graders did great at the Destination Imagination tournament last weekend 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 that will be brought into school for display once each participant has a bit of time to celebrate the victory at home for a few days!
 Also at the regional DI tournament on Saturday in Delta, Ohio, our Rising Stars team from OHES "The Fast Thinking Cheetahs" had stellar reviews from all the 4 judges! 

The kids worked hard since November preparing for the central challenge which was “Circus” this year, as well as prepared for the instant challenge. They aced the instant challenge within 2 minutes! Some of the judges' comments included: “Excellent team work and energy!” and “Incredible understanding for the science of balancing and geometry!” The Fast Thinking Cheetahs of OHES team members are
Ketan Tamirisa, Zara Sediqe, Ali Sediqe, Catherine Rhegness, Akash Parikh, Noah Hamilton and Kate Bode.

Author Visit Postponed; Will Be Rescheduled for May

Unfortunately, the visit of author Shelley Pearsall scheduled for today, Friday, March 14, has been cancelled. The visit will be rescheduled for some time in May. The date will be announced as soon as it is confirmed. All author book orders and payments will be held until the rescheduled visit. Please contact Rebecca McLean at 419.536.8329 ext. 383 with questions.

OH Happenings

3/14/14 Friday
6:00 PM Father/ Daughter Dance
ES New Gym
3/18/14 Tuesday
4:30 PM OHLS Board Mtg.
Community Room
5:30 PM Club Sport Scrimmage
Boys Varsity Lacrosse vs Northview HS
OH Stadium
3/19/14 Wednesday
5:00 PM Girls Varsity Lacrosse Scrimmage vs
St Ursula Academy
OH Stadium
7:30 PM Brown Bag Chorus Concert 
HS Auditorium
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.

Act as if what you do makes a difference.
It does.
--William James

Copyright © 2014 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Ottawa Hills, OH  43606