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West Side Education News & Notes

6/26/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Revere board preparing for next school year

BATH — The Revere Local Schools Board of Education held a special meeting June 17.

The board voted 5-0 in favor of approving resignations from Erin Bethea, a Revere High School Spanish teacher, and Bridget Wirfel, a Bath Elementary School intervention specialist.

The board also approved a two-year contract, from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2016, for Kim Hussing as assistant principal at Hillcrest Elementary School. She’ll be paid $72,000 for the 2014-15 school year, according to the agenda.

The board also approved:

  • several certified new hires for the 2014-15 school year;
  • a service plan with the Summit County Educational Service Center (SCESC) to provide a variety of services for the 2014-15 school year, an annual agreement with the SCESC for a school building lease and an annual agreement with the SCESC for services for preschool children; and
  • Zac Wilson to do painting in the district.

Superintendent Randy Boroff said during a phone call after the meeting that the Third Grade Ohio Achievement Assessment results have come in and Revere students had the highest passage rate in Summit County, with 98.4 percent of students who were tested scoring proficient or higher.

“We are extremely proud of our teachers, administrators and students for these results,” Boroff said.

The board will meet for its regular meeting June 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Revere High School Library, 3420 Everett Road.


Highland hires new Sharon Elementary principal

SHARON — Kathryn Kowza was hired during a special Highland Local Schools District Board of Education meeting June 18 as the new principal at Sharon Elementary School, effective Aug. 1. She replaces Connie Marzullo, who has retired after 19 years as principal at Sharon Elementary and a total of 22 years with the district.

Kowza is now the principal at Hillcrest Elementary School in the Revere Local School District, where she has been an administrator and teacher for 18 years. As principal, Kowza has led her school to implement the “Leader in Me” program, was awarded the GAR Foundation Educator Initiative Grant, developed an Extended Day Kindergarten Program, established Professional Learning Communities and served as a member of the district’s Safety and Security Team, according to Dawn Marzano, director of communications for the Highland district.

Kowza also led the school to raise student achievement and performance index scores and place sixth in Ohio for the 2013 Third Grade Fall Reading Ohio Achievement Assessments.

“Mrs. Kowza is a leader in elementary education, and we are excited to have her joining the Highland family,” said Highland Superintendent Catherine Aukerman. “We are very fortunate to have someone of her caliber as the next principal at Sharon Elementary School. She is a very child-centered, thoughtful and creative educator, and we look forward to her working with our students, teachers and families in the years to come.”

Kowza, of Medina, earned a bachelor of science in education from Miami University and a master’s in education administration from The University of Akron.

She was awarded a three-year contract at the school board’s June 18 meeting.

Also at the meeting, the board approved one-year contracts for Katie Blower as Granger Elementary kindergarten teacher, Bethany Kennedy as school psychologist, Alicia Lambert as middle school intervention specialist and Patrick Martin as high school science teacher.

In other district news, Highland will conduct a public hearing June 30 at 6 p.m. at the Highland High School Media Center, 4150 Ridge Road, to discuss the intended use of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B special education funding for the upcoming fiscal year. The district also will seek public input on the use of IDEA, Part B special education funding at the hearing.


Highland Foundation hosting alumni/community event

GRANGER — The Highland Foundation announced it will host its inaugural “Our Living Legacy: Highland Alumni Affair” June 28. The evening event, which is open to alumni and members of the community, will feature a reception and speaker series from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Highland High School followed by an afterparty at On-Tap Grille and Bar on state Route 18 in Medina.

The event is $25 per person, with 10 percent of the proceeds benefitting the Highland Athletic Facilities Association. The cost includes the reception, speakers’ forum and drink ticket for the afterparty. Highland students will be admitted free with a paid adult.

Featured alumni speakers scheduled to appear include: Dwier Brown (Class of 1976), an author and actor; Barb Frye (Class of 1984), author and motivational speaker; Mike Kudla (Class of 2002), former Ohio State University and NFL football player and now managing director of development for The Ohio State Fisher College of Business; Kory Wiita (Class of 2010), law student at Case Western Reserve University; and Autumn Ziemba (Class of 1996), Fox 8 reporter and journalist.

For more information or to reserve tickets, contact Highland Foundation Trustee and Events Committee Chairperson Dr. Julie Reeves at 330-815-0339 or julie.reeves@highlandfoundation.org.


The UDS Steel Academy now enrolling for fall

NORTHEAST AKRON — United Disability Services (UDS) has announced the opening of the new UDS Steel Academy, now enrolling for the 2014-15 school year that will begin Aug. 26.

According to UDS officials, the school will take a nontraditional approach to educating students struggling with learning differences who have had difficulty finding success in other school environments. The UDS Steel Academy will be located in the former North Akron Catholic School, located at 1570 Creighton Ave. in Chapel Hill.

The UDS Steel Academy is a free, public community school with a fully accredited academic program focusing on serving children in grades six through 12 with attention deficient hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders, as well as gifted students who need to be challenged, according to UDS officials. The school also will offer extracurricular activities, and it will be the home of the Steel Angels, a traveling and performing steel drum band.

“Our students learn differently, so we use proven methods that integrate academics with the arts to creatively engage students in learning,” said Steel Academy founder Angel Lawrie.

“The agency has a long history of serving children with learning differences, and we have been looking for an opportunity to fill an education component of our services since closing our developmental preschool more than 10 years ago,” said Gary Knuth, UDS president/CEO. “When I first met Angel, I was inspired by her passion, commitment and demonstrated success in educating children who are having a difficult time achieving in more traditional academic settings. This is a perfect complement to our current services and follows the agency’s rich tradition of offering creative and innovative program solutions.”  

Parents and students are invited to attend one of the enrollment sessions taking place June 30 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 4 and 8 p.m. at the Creighton Avenue location. For more information, contact Lawrie at 330-687-0834 or by email at angel@steelacademy.org.


Ariel Hakim, Julia Kazar and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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