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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
November 8, 2013

Superintendent's Message
Ottawa Hills--It's Who We Are

Thank you, Ottawa Hills. You are who you say you are. You say that you are a community that provides unparalleled support for its schools. And you are. You say that you make the schools the centerpiece of the community. And you do. You say that you have established a history of doing what it takes to continue a tradition of educational excellence. And you have.   
This past Tuesday, the voters of Ottawa Hills approved the district’s 6.9 mill levy request for general operating funds with a 67% rate of support. In providing your support to this request, you join Generations of Support who have, since the 1940s, partnered with our school district to provide our students with opportunities that result in academic excellence. With this latest approval, Villagers have now approved 64 of 68 levy requests over the decades—a 94% approval rating. There is really no way to compare, but my bet would be that no other school district in the state of Ohio can match that passage rate.  
Your support shows who you are, and it also allows us to continue being who we are.
We are a high performing school district. Time and again, the metrics prove our performance:

•To see a copy of our Local Report Card, Ohio’s best, click here.
•To see a five-year look-back on O.H. ACT and SAT test scores compared to state and national averages, click here.
•To see a sampling of our Advanced Placement scores compared to state and global averages, click here.

Many pieces of evidence could be provided—these are just a few that I shared at levy campaign coffees. But the bottom line is this: our performance is the best in the area, bar none, at the top in the state, and among the best in the nation. Your support is the foundation of our high achievement and gives us the ability to provide a quality education in a setting of high expectations and small class sizes.   
We are a team of highly qualified educators who constantly go the second mile to provide educational opportunities for students. Your support allows us to fill our classrooms with amazing educators who challenge themselves as much as they challenge their students. Fittingly, I would place a picture of our entire staff here, but allow me to share just one example.
We were just notified that Mr. Steve Wipfli, OHHS Art teacher, has been named BCSN’s Teacher of the Month for December. BCSN will soon come to O.H. to create a video about Mr. Wipfli. Mr. Wipfli’s feature will be shown 500 times on BCSN throughout the month of December!
As part of the nomination application submitted by the school to BCSN, parent Becky Hauck shared in a letter, “One of the best examples of Mr. Wipfli’s dedication is how he channels and celebrates the talents of his students.” She goes on to note, “I witnessed a great testament to his teaching recently when a former student thanked him for suggesting she take his graphic design class when she didn’t really think it was something for her.  Based on that class, she went on to study and major in graphic design in college and is now out of school and employed in a job she loves. She thanked him for seeing something in her that she had not identified.”
We are a district that provides many extra-curricular and co-curricular opportunities for our students. And we don’t just offer those activities, we provide excellence in those activities. Here, I could list everything from Model United Nations to Science Olympiad to Math Matters and more. Brown Bag Chorus to Choraliers to school musicals and more. Soccer to basketball to baseball and more. For a small school district, the list is long and impressive. But lately, one exemplar of our excellence has been our band program.
In 2007, our band program included 33 students, Grades 5 through 12. This year, we have 131 students taking part in band. Our high school marching band, which was non-existent a handful of years ago, now boasts 48 members (and growing). It’s created a “good" problem—we don’t have enough uniforms (see your opportunity to help through the UNIFORMraiser below). Whether it’s in the band, on the stage, or on the athletic field, our students have the opportunity to carry the banner for our school and our community because you are willing to provide your support at the polls.
We are a complete team that surrounds students with an environment of care and concern to ensure the success of each unique child. It’s our team of maintenance and custodial personnel who make our buildings a pleasant environment in which to learn. It’s our paraprofessionals who provide support to students and teachers. It’s our district’s secretaries, who welcome and assist our public. It’s our tutors who provide an extra dose of help to help our students perform at their highest levels. It’s our administrators who give their mornings, their afternoons, their evenings, and their weekends to make it all happen.
We are Ottawa Hills. We are proud. And we are thankful: for your support at the polls on Tuesday, for an incredible community-school partnership, and for Generations of Support.      

Levy Sign Pick-Up

The Campaign Committee has made an effort to pick up all campaign signs throughout the village. However, if your house was missed, the committee asks you to do one of two things: 1.) Drop the sign off in the central offices (or you can just set the sign by the storage building in the corner of the elementary parking lot); or, 2.) Call the central office at 419-536-6371 and provide your address. Someone will stop by to pick up your yard sign. Thank you to all who supported the levy campaign by displaying a yard sign!

"Bear Essentials" to be Held Wednesday, November 18

OH principals, Ben McMurray and Kori Zake, would like to invite you to their conversational series, Bear Essentials, next Wednesday, November 13 at 8:00 in the Community Room of the elementary building. This is an opportunity to hear about important school issues and to provide input and affect change here at Ottawa Hills Schools. We look forward to seeing you there!

Mark Your Calendar for "The Merchant"

OHHS presents "The Merchant" as this year's fall production. The Merchant is an ancient Roman comedy, by one of the most revered comic playwrights in history. Plautus's slapstick comedy pits father and son against one another as Charinus, son of merchant Demipho, returns from abroad with the stunning Pasicompsa, a slave whom Charinus had purchased because he's in love with her. It's love at first sight for Demipho, who devises a plan to snatch Pasicompsa away for himself. Father and son separately enlist the help of their friends and servants, and the tension rapidly builds and hilarity ensues as espionage occurs, doors slam, and general idiocy prevails. The situation is complicated even further when Demipho's and his friend's wives get involved. The plot comes to an appropriate end of melee, complete with wives attacking husbands with cookware and food, cooks chasing the wives, and Charinus getting his girl... or does he? This fast-paced, side-splitting farce makes for one entertaining night at the theatre!

Showtimes will be Friday, November 22 at 7:30 PM, Saturday, November 23 at 7:30 PM, and Sunday, November 24 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are all general admission, priced at $10 each. The High School Ticket Office will be open 11 am to 12 noon, M-F, Nov 18-22. Tickets will also be on sale at the Theatre Box Office 30 minutes before each show.

Orders Due Today for Band UNIFORMRaiser

The OH Marching Band has grown from very humble beginnings to the group of 48 members we have now. With 30 junior high band students and more on their way from the 5th and 6th grade, our band future looks bright in terms of continued growth.  Currently, there are only 40 uniforms for our 48 band members. Mr. Leeds creatively solved this dilemma by having the percussion section dress in black for the football season. As our band program continues to grow, there is a need to add at least 20 more uniforms. Each uniform (i.e., black suspender pants and a wool jacket) costs approximately $300. This does not include a hat, which will also need to be ordered at some point for all band members.

So, with great anticipation and excitement, OHMTA reveals the details of the BAND UNIFORMraiser at the Village Inn on Saturday, November 16. This “All You Can Eat” breakfast will be served from 9:00 am – 11:00 am and 100% of the ticket sales will go to our band uniform fund. Many thanks to Village Inn owner Nick Tokle for his incredible generosity! Many thanks to parents and band liaisons Sherri Cousins and Teresa Leinweber for coordinating this event. To access an order form for tickets to the event, click here. Ticket orders must be submitted by today Friday, November 8.

AFS Rummage Sale is Tomorrow

The annual rummage sale will take place tomorrow, Saturday, November 9, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM in the multipurpose room. Donations will be accepted on today until 7:00 PM. Volunteers are still needed. If you can volunteer or have any questions, email AFS advisor Kate Hunyor at or community liaison Linda Sherry at

"Celebrate America" Tour Coming to O.H. November 20

The Celebrate America Tour delivers impactful speakers who inspire and challenge audiences across the USA, encouraging a focus on values that Americans have come to appreciate and want to make sure get passed on to the next generation.

Executive Producer, Brett Bohl, is delighted to bring a Celebrate America Tour stop to Ottawa Hills High School on Wednesday, November 20.  Brett graduated from the University of Toledo and was a defensive back on the Rocket football teams coached by Nick Saban and Gary Pinkel. In the mid-nineties, Brett also coached the Ottawa Hill Junior High football team. His brother, Nathan, and sister, Heidi, both graduated from OHHS. Brett is co-author of the book, Getting to Thanksgiving, a novel which features Ottawa Hills. Roy Hall, former NFL and Ohio State football player will be the featured speaker, and will focus on topics such as navigating life, perseverance, and work ethic.

Roy Hall gradated from Ohio State with honors, earning a degree in marketing. He was a five-time scholar athlete award winner. A key member of the 2002 Ohio State National Championship Team, he went on to play four years with the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions. He is founder and President of the Driven Foundation.

Mr. Hall will speak in the high school auditorium at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 20. The event is open to all Ottawa Hills students, parents, and residents. "Celebrate America" is underwritten by individual, corporate, and charitable groups. For questions, contact O.H. Athletic Director, Tim Erickson at

Art Students Study the Self Portrait

Art teacher Steve Wipfli and his students have been investigating ways of communicating a specific idea through a photographic image. Unlike popular, spontaneous “selfies,” these self-portraits are carefully planned  or directed. According to Mr. Wipfli, “Students were to do everything except push the shutter button.” They spent a good deal of time working on a biographical narrative and setting the details of place, pose and composition. A friend or family member was asked to shoot the image. The results are spectacular!  To see more of the photographs, stop by the video kiosk outside the art rooms.

Pen Pals Go Digital With ePALS

French teachers Matt Chappuies and Noreen Hanlon have been using ePALS, a digital equivalent to pen pals, to connect their upper level French students with students in francophone countries.  Students from Ottawa Hills get the opportunity to practice their language skills, learn about the diversity of French-speaking countries, and utilize new technology. Monsieur Chappuies and Madame Hanlon’s French III, IV, and V classes have connected with French speaking students in Montreal, Quebec and Paris. The teachers hope to have their studets Skype or Facetime with their ePALS in the near future.

Green Bears, Ghosts, and Goblins

Junior high students attended the annual Halloween dance last Sunday evening. Many thanks to seventh grade class advisor, Dan Feuerstein, for organizing the dance. Thanks also to officer Bob Overmeyer and parent chaperones Lisa Lay, Elizabeth Rand, and Margaret Penn. Congratulations to the winners of the costume contest:  Priya Varanasi, Reed Gnepper, Connor Pellegrinni, and Shruthi Varier.  Many thanks to the Office of Village Life for co-sponsoring the event.

Learning How Healthy Relationships Help Create a Caring Climate

Ohio Substitute House Bill 19 (HB 19) requires public schools to incorporate dating violence into their policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying. On Wednesday, October 30, Darcy Browne, junior high guidance counselor, and Jackie Patterson, assistant principal, visited seventh grade students in Ms. Gill’s physical education classes to discuss the importance of recognizing signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships. Additionally, they highlighted the ways in which technology has affected dating relationships.

Fun with Flexibility in Freshmen PE

Ms. Gill’s freshman physical education class recently spent time learning more about flexibility, one of the health-related components of the state standards for Physical Fitness. The class began with a brief overview about flexibility which included contributions to our overall health, the importance of warming up for physical activity, different types of stretches to help improve flexibility, and what the level of intensity should be when a person stretches. Following the introduction, students moved through nine flexibility “testing stations” to measure their ROM (Range of Motion) for a variety of joints in the body. According Ms. Gill, “The lesson proved to be an interesting, hands-on, and fun learning experience.”

Boosters Donate New Video Board

After years of fundraising and months of planning, a new video board was recently installed in the main gym of the junior senior high school thanks to the Ottawa Hills Boosters. The video board will complement the existing scoreboard and will be a welcomed addition to basketball games, graduation, and school assemblies, and other activities that take place in the main gym. Many thanks to athletic director Tim Erikson and the Boosters for making the new video board a reality for our district.

A Note From Mrs. Zake

I would like to thank all of you who supported our district levy this past Tuesday. Your support on the ballot, within the school walls, and for your children’s educational growth at home is what makes Ottawa Hills the amazing district that it is.

Changing of the Guards…

This week, you may have noticed different crossing guards at each station.  Our first group of guards has completed their 9-week assignment. They helped prepare the next group for duty.  Reflective belts and flags were officially handed over to the new guards on Monday. We appreciate your support of the guards as they learn the ropes with their new posts.

ALICE Training at the Elementary

As you know, on Monday, all of the students in the district were trained in the new lock-down and evacuation procedures called ALICE.  Elementary students experienced a very personalized training. Each class participated in a presentation of ALICE with their homeroom class, led by their homeroom teacher. Students were able to ask age-appropriate questions in a safe environment, and practice a traditional lock-down and an evacuation in their small class setting. Classroom discussions were meaningful, and students felt safe throughout the drill.  Thank you, parents, for your support of our new safety procedures!

OHES Teachers Gain Deeper Knowledge of the Six Traits Writing Program

During Tuesday's teacher inservice, OHES teachers met at the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West to work with 2 professional trainers of the Six Traits Writing Program. Teachers were divided into 2 groups (grades K-3 and grades 4-6), so that all of the information provided was applicable to each teacher. Since our teachers already had a foundational knowledge of this program, they were ready for a deeper look into the traits and how they can use the program to ensure students learn all of the components of the new Common Core. Teachers left the training with new ideas and an excitement for the possibilities within the Six Traits Framework.

OH Happenings

11/8/13 Friday
7:00 PM –
9:00 PM
OH Y2Y Scavenger Hunt
Scout House
11/9/13 Saturday
9:00 AM -
2:00 PM
Annual Community Rummage Sale 
HS Multi-Purpose Room
11/12/13 Tuesday
8:15 AM OHSPA Meeting
Community Room
11/13/13 Wednesday
7:00 PM OHPAC - Hoeflinger Meeting Follow-up  HS LMC Library
11/14/13 Thursday
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.

In most vital organizations, there is a common
bond of interdependence, mutual interest,
interlocking contributions,
and simple joy.
Max DePree
Copyright © 2013 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Toledo, OH  43606