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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
September 20, 2013

Superintendent's Message
"What I Did This Summer"--O.H. Students Share Memorable Experience in Kenya

This is part one of a two-part article.
Friendships forged in the hallways and classrooms of Ottawa Hills become lifelong connections, and because of that, doors were opened and memories made for three O.H. students this past summer. Seniors Ben Bogart, Jimmy Brunner, and Jack Hylant spent three weeks of their summer teaching in Kenya. And it all came about because of connections made in our village and schools over 35 years ago.
Fred Roberts is a 1979 graduate of Ottawa Hills High School. From 1990 to 1999, he was the director of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Kenya division. When the organization closed, he bought the land it was located on and established Batian’s View Experiential Education Center, which provides “world class team building and experiential learning courses for corporates, schools, and other groups.” (See the Batian’s View website here.) Year-round residency in Kenya turned into summers only when Fred’s children were born and he wanted to be in the United States for their education. So today, he lives in Arizona and spends his summers at Batian’s View, situated in Kenya along the Naro Moru River, on the lower slopes of Mt. Kenya. Each summer, he brings students from his Arizona school who are entering their Senior year in high school to Batian’s View for a few weeks to spend time there teaching in the local Kenyan schools.
It just so happens that several of Fred’s friends from his days at Ottawa Hills have children who are high school Seniors this year. Among them are Village residents Debbie (Jenks) Bogart (Class of ‘80), Rick Brunner (Class of ‘79), and Clare (Coyne) Hylant (Class of ‘80). So the group decided that their children would have the opportunity to visit Fred in Kenya during the summer of 2013 and teach the children there. They were joined by the children of other OH grads who are scattered throughout the country: Becky Boynton (Class of 1982) has a son, Eric, and niece, Ellie who made the trip. Caroline Cowell, the daughter of Craig Cowell (Class of 1979) also made the trip. Friendships established years ago led to an amazing opportunity for three of our students today.
So the three were off on a 24-hour trek that took them from Detroit, to Amsterdam, to Kenya. Long plane flights were followed by a three-hour drive to reach Batian’s View, which would become their home base for the next three weeks. There, they were assigned to various schools where they would spend their days leading students in a variety of subjects. The public schools were on strike during the boys’ visit, so they were assigned to local private schools. They shared that even though the schools are private, they’re not much different from the public schools. Tuition of about $60 a year doesn’t provide much funding to the schools, so they are definitely bare bones operations.  
The area schools generally educate students up to grade eight and the buildings house either younger students up to third grade or students in grades 4 through 8. Jimmy spent most of his time in Kenya teaching fifth grade math. Ben taught social studies, math, and English at a variety of grade levels. Jack shares that he taught pretty much every subject throughout his experience. “They just handed me the book and said ‘Go teach math now’,” he shares. And that’s how the three became teachers in Kenya.   
The private schools there are typically boarding schools, so the students are there 24/7. “Their school day began at 6:00 a.m. every day,” the boys shared. “The school day itself would run until 4:00, and then from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., there would be planned activities. This might be helping to clean the schools and dormitories, or it might be time used for private studies.”
The involvement of our Ottawa Hills students was quite welcomed by the students and teachers of the Kenyan schools. The three reflected, “They were happy to see Americans come to their school. They called us the ‘Mzungu,’ which means ‘that which is unusual or unknown.’ In other words, they didn’t see Americans very often, so they were excited that we were there. They treated us like celebrities.”
There’s much more to share about our students’ adventure, so we’ll continue with their story next week. 

Pigskin Barbeque Pre-Orders Due Today

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 next 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 today, 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 Fun Awaits Villagers Next Saturday, 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.

While you're at the Fall Festival, get ready to "Drive 4 UR School" and help raise up to $6,000 for Ottawa Hills Schools (see article below).

Drive 4 UR School

Ottawa Hills Fall Festival - Ottawa Hills High School 9:00 am to 3:00 pm- rain or shine! Help raise up to $6,000 for Ottawa Hills Schools!  Ford Motor Co. 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 for our schools.  The Drive 4 UR School program is sponsored by the Ford Motor Company.   The test drive will be taking place in front of the high school from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The test drive will have a mapped-out course on village streets and should take 5 - 7 minutes of your time.  The Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association is working with Kistler Ford to organize this one-day only event.  No purchase is necessary.  Even if you drove in 2009 and 2010, you can drive again! So please join us and test drive a Ford on September 28! Limited to one test drive per household, 18 and over, valid driver's license required.  Contact Vanessa Prince for more information at

Follow Green Bear Athletics and School News on Twitter

O.H. Athletic Director Tim Erickson has been tweeting scores to all of the varsity games for fall sports since the start of the fall sports season. Get the most current athletic news by following @GreenBearSports on Twitter. You can follow school news by following @OHHSprincipal.

Audition Call for "The Merchant"

Auditions for the fall production of The Merchant will take place next Wednesday, September 25 at 6:00 p.m. Callbacks will begin at 8:30 p.m.

This fast-paced, side-splitting, slapstick COMEDY makes for great fun! We want OH's wildest to audition. Auditions will be an enjoyable experience! If interested, please go to the OH website and click on ARTS.  Then, proceed to OH Theatre Arts. Or, you can access the web page by clicking here. Character breakdowns, sides, and the OH Theatre CONTRACT are available. Be sure to print and fill out the AUDITION FORM and CONTRACT.  Parents must sign the CONTRACT.

Come one, come all to auditions next Wednesday night. Fun for all is guaranteed!

Ottawa Hills Welcomes New AFS Students

We welcome our new AFS students, Piriya Piriyakrit from Thailand and Maria Ullberg from Sweden.  Maria is living with the Tim and Ann Heckler family. Piriya is living with Carol Stepien-Calahan and Jim Calahan and family. Our exchange students will be sharing more information about themselves at our annual AFS assembly on October 25. 

Wang and Hylant to Represent OH for Youth Leadership Toledo

Congratulations to students Courtney Hylant and Brent Wang. They will represent Ottawa Hills at Leadership Toledo for the 2013-14 school year. According to the organization's website, “Youth Leadership Toledo is a program for fifty high school sophomores selected by high schools in the Toledo Region because of their leadership potential. Through skill development and educational opportunities, the nine month program introduces participants to the needs of the community and inspires individuals to take an active role in making an impact.” Congratulations and good luck, Brent and Courtney!

JH Student Council Excited About the New Year

Junior high student council advisor Kristie Stevens says, “The officers this year are excited about a great year. They have fresh ideas and are motivated to accomplish them.” This year’s Junior High Student Council will be led by President Tessa Koury, Vice-President James Silk, Secretary Ellie Westmeyer, Treasurer Eli Zinck, and Artistic Directors Peyton Broce and Darshai Thomas.

President Tessa Koury shares, "This year, in student council, I am really looking forward to getting the whole junior high involved. The officers and I have come up with some really fun and exciting ideas to make this year a memorable one." Congratulations to our newly-elected officers. We look forward to seeing their leadership in action.

Green Bear Baseball Dominates Summer League

The OHJH community baseball team captured two honors this past season, as the Green Bears won the Divisional Championship of the Linedrive Sports All-County Colt League before capturing the overall league tournament championship. The Green Bears finished the season with an impressive 22-2 record, including posting a 3-0 record in the league tournament. The team's 8th grade players were Patrick Arnold, Tyler Gargas, Austin Hanrehan, Alex Morrison, Noah Purnell, Simon Purnell, and Alec Zinck. The team's 7th graders were John Aiken, Jack Bassett, Michael Helgren, Pierce Morrison, Tim Reiter, Ben Werner, Jack Werner, and Jack Yark.  Tony Bassett, Dave Arnold, and Brandon Cohen coached the team.  Congratulations!

Class of 1963 Celebrates 50th Reunion

Despite being spread out around the globe, the Class of 1963 made their way back to Ottawa Hills for their 50th class reunion in mid July. Marilyn Jensen, OH grad and current village resident, hosted her former classmates for most of the weekend at her home. Many of her classmates attended a tour organized and led by assistant principal Jackie Patterson. The Class of 1963 was the first class to graduate on our stage in the auditorium and one of the first to call themselves Green Bears. In addition, they were the first class to have drama and reminisced about doing such productions as Bye-Bye Birdie and Our Town.

XC Finishes Strong at Invitational

The junior high cross-country team performed exceptionally well at the Lakota-Myron Cline Invitational on Saturday. The boys’ team placed 5th with top OH placers Aidan Byrne (8th place) and Edward Shimborske (11th place) out of 169 runners. The girls’ team placed 3rd with Abby Hauck (1st place), Caelan Carter (6th place) and Brea Fields (16th place) leading the way out of 171 runners. Congratulations!

Fifth Graders Remember 9/11

In social studies classes, fifth graders studied the events of September 11 through video, books, and discussion. To pay tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11, students were asked to perform a good deed for someone else. Our students joined with millions of Americans this year in the “I Will” movement to show their compassion for the victims and heroes of September 11th. For example, students donated food, clothes, and toys to charity. Others completed household chores, read to siblings, and volunteered their time to pay tribute. Pictured here is Alistair Rand who volunteered at the Paws and Whiskers Animal Shelter. Abby Dewhirst, Gigi Kanarowski, and Claire Petas made cookies and muffins for the residents of the Sunset House. What a wonderful way to make a positive impact in our community!

Lunch Orders for October Due Today

Please note, if you order hot lunch for your children, the orders for October must be placed by today, September 20. Throughout the school year, all lunch orders for any particular month must be placed by the 20th of the month before.

A Reminder About the Drop-off/Pick-up Circle

Many thanks to our OHES families for working hard to keep our students safe in the drop-off/pick-up circle before and after school!  To further improve the safety and efficiency of the circle, please help us with the following: If you will be exiting your vehicle to meet your child on the sidewalk, please park in the designated parking spaces. Second, please refrain from backing up in the car line. There have seen many close calls as cars pull forward and back up at the same time. Finally, please do not pull forward onto the yellow-striped crossing areas if there is not enough space to pull all the way off this area. The yellow-striped area is considered a "safe zone" for our students to cross. Thank you for your help in keeping our children safe!

Kindergarten Pick-Up/Drop-off

Doors open for kindergarten drop off at 8:00 for morning session and 11:45 for afternoon session. Classes begin at 8:10 for morning session and 11:50 for afternoon session. Please make sure you have your child lined up at the Kindergarten door at least 3 minutes prior to the start of class so students are ready to learn right away.

Book Club Discussions Create Mindful Readers

One of Mrs. Palko’s reading clubs is deliberating over Wonder, by R. J. Palacio. Wonder is a book with an anti-bullying message that instills compassion and empathy for others within the reader. Students practice reading comprehension skills with their peers, developing their skills in collaboration, idea development and sharing, and processing the themes of the story.

TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

As part of our character education program, the OHES second graders have been learning about what it takes to make an educational team, while honoring our individuality. The boys and girls have learned that we all have unique strengths to offer, and when we work together, everyone benefits. As a team, we support one another to help achieve success. Although individual achievements and accomplishments are important, by working together, we can all learn and grow. When you have time, stop by and see our T.E.A.M. hand print wreaths near the front entrance of the school. 

OH Happenings

9/20/13 Friday
7:00 PM Boys Varsity Football vs Gibsonburg HS
OH Stadium
9/21/13 Saturday
10:00 AM Boys JV Football @ Gibsonburg HS
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
Boys JV & Varsity Soccer vs Springfield High School
OH Stadium
12:00 PM Coed Varsity Cross Country in Cardinal Cross Country Invitational @
Maumee Bay State  Park
1:30 PM Girls Varsity Field Hockey @ Hawken H.S.
2:00 PM Girls Varsity Soccer vs Springfield HS
OH Stadium
3:00 PM
4:15 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Field Hockey @ Laurel School
9/23/13 Monday
9:00 AM Boys Varsity Golf in TAAC Championships
Stone Ridge Golf Club
4:30 PM Girls Junior High Field Hockey @ Greenhills
5:00 PM
6:30 PM
Girls 7th  & 8th Grade Volleyball @ Northwood
5:00 PM Girls Varsity Tennis vs Calvert HS
OH Tennis Courts
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball vs Northwood HS
OH Gym
7:00 PM Girls Varsity Soccer vs Liberty Center HS
OH Stadium
9/24/13 Tuesday
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Volleyball @ Danbury
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball vs Danbury HS
OH Gym
7:00 PM Girls Varsity Soccer vs Cardinal Stritch High School
OH Stadium
9/25/13 Wednesday
4:30 PM Girls Junior High Field Hockey vs MVCD School
OH Stadium
5:30 PM
7:00 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball @ Swanton HS
9/26/13 Thursday
9:00 AM Boys Varsity Golf – OHSSA Sectionals
4:00 PM Girls Varsity Tennis @ MVCD School
4:30 PM
5:30 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade  Volleyball vs Emmanuel Christian
OH Gym
5:30 PM Boys Junior High Football @ Hilltop
6:00 PM
7:00 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball @ Emmanuel Christian High School

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.

Successs seems to be largely a matter
of hanging on after others have let go.
William Feather
Copyright © 2013 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Toledo, OH  43606