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Student interns recognized at Highland BOE meeting

10/24/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Scott Kriska

At the Highland Local Schools Board of Education meeting Oct. 21, Highland High School Principal Dana Addis recognized four students for their summer internships.

Madeline Bigley interned at Medina Hospital. Nathan King, McKenzie Kinzbach and Samantha Nold (the latter two were not present at the meeting) interned at NASA. Addis introduced the two students who were at the meeting before they gave brief presentations on their internship experiences.

Junior Bigley discussed her Cleveland Clinic internship experience working at Medina Hospital. She said while she primarily worked in radiology, she also worked in the emergency room. She said she also observed biopsies of lungs and a pacemaker implant. Bigley said her research project assigned by her mentor was to evaluate a pneumothorax, a collection of air that separates the lung from the wall of the chest.

“It was very beneficial for me,” she said of the internship. “I got to see so much and learn so much.”

Bigley said her experiences helped her decide she does not want to pursue a career in radiology.

Junior King said he spent his summer working with NASA studying the modeling of the catalytic wet air oxidation of polyethylene, the breakdown of plastics and waste in space. He said he visited several on-site NASA facilities and several small businesses that work with NASA to develop coatings for high temperatures. He said other experiences he had during the internship included experiencing zero gravity and traveling through wind tunnels. He said he met many professional engineers and researchers throughout the summer.

“It was a great opportunity for me and provided invaluable experience for me,” King said.

King said he was encouraged by his relatives who work for NASA to apply for this internship. He said he hopes to major in chemical engineering in college and to continue working with NASA throughout his college education.

Following King’s presentation, Kurt Sacksteder, chief of NASA’s Space Environments and Experiments Branch, said he wants to institutionalize a relationship between Highland High School and NASA to bring more educational opportunities like this to students.

“We can grow this into something much more substantial,” Sacksteder said, adding that other internships, shadowing NASA workers and in-school activities could easily be part of this relationship.

In other business:

  • Treasurer Neil Barnes gave a detailed explanation of the five-year forecast for the 2014 fiscal year. He explained Ohio school districts are required to submit a five-year forecast to the Ohio Department of Education each fiscal year by Oct. 31. He added the five-year forecast will be utilized as a management tool in various decision-making processes.
    Barnes said the total operating revenues plus other financing sources are estimated to be about $29 million for the 2014 fiscal year and gradually increase to about $30.5 million by the 2018 fiscal year. He also said the total operating expenditures plus other financing uses are estimated to be about $26.6 million for the 2014 fiscal year and gradually increase to about $30.6 million by the 2018 fiscal year.
    Barnes explained the district is in relatively good financial shape, and the forecast indicates deficit spending is not likely to occur until the 2018 fiscal year at the earliest. He added the district will continue to make every effort to maximize revenues and contain costs to lengthen the levy cycle, and Highland’s per pupil expenditure remains 21 percent below the state average. Following Barnes’ presentation, the board approved the five-year forecast.
  • Board member Diane Thomas reminded the public the Highland Foundation will hold a dinner and benefit auction Nov. 9 at Weymouth Country Club, 3946 Weymouth Road. She said ticket purchase information can be found on the foundation’s website, www.highlandfoundation.org.
  • Board President Dr. Norman Christopher reminded the board the Ohio School Boards Association will have its annual meeting in Columbus Nov. 10-13.

Also at the meeting, the board approved the following items:

√ the establishment of an agency fund for Ohio High School Athletic Association tournaments;

√ the renewal of various insurance policies maintained through the Brooker Insurance Agency for the policy year ending Sept. 30, 2014;

√ a Highland High School band trip to Williamsburg, Va., April 30 through May 4;

√ a Highland High School trip to Europe June 3-14;

√ a resolution for payments in lieu of student transportation;

√ the acceptance of various donations to the Highland High School Thespians and to Granger, Hinckley and Sharon Elementary schools;

√ the use of various facilities in all schools and the waiving of associated fees;

√ contracts and agreements with the Cuyahoga County Educational Service Center, the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism, Rea and Associates, and Strategic Solutions; and

√ various personnel items involving faculty and staff members.

The next Highland Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18 in the Media Center at Highland High School, 4150 Ridge Road.

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