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West Side Education News & Notes

6/5/2008 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

Boedicker hired as Highland curriculum director

GRANGER — Laurie Boedicker has been hired as the Highland Local Schools District’s director of curriculum and instruction for the 2008-09 school year. Boedicker will replace Ann Johnson, who retired in February after seven-and-a-half years with the district. Craig Bailey has been acting as Highland’s interim curriculum director.

For the past eight years, Boedicker has been Highland’s technology resources coordinator. In that position, she led Highland’s professional development and staff training programs.

Early in her career, Boedicker was a high school math and physics teacher. She lives in the Highland district, and her children attend Highland schools.

Sutton announces Picturing America award recipients

GREATER AKRON — U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton (D-District 13), of Copley, recently announced 50 Picturing America awards given by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to schools throughout the 13th Congressional District.

Picturing America is an initiative that helps teach American history and culture by bringing some of the country’s great art directly to classrooms and libraries.

“As a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, I support the Picturing America program, which provides students with a gateway to the entire universe of the arts and humanities,” Sutton stated in a press release. “By bringing great art into our schools, libraries and communities throughout Northeast Ohio, people of all ages will have the opportunity to learn about our history in a new and engaging way.”

The 50 recipients in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District join more than 26,000 schools and public libraries across the country that will participate in the program. Successful applicants will receive 40 large, high-quality reproductions of great American art and a comprehensive teachers’ resource book to assist educators using the works of art in core subjects, according to Sutton’s office. Delivery of these materials is scheduled for August.

Additional resources are available through the Picturing America Web site at www.PicturingAmerica.neh.gov.

The following recipients are in the West Side Leader’s coverage area: Anne M. Holland Memorial Library, Our Lady of the Elms, West Akron; Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron; Arrowhead Primary School, Copley; Copley High School; Copley-Fairlawn Middle School; Emmanuel Christian Academy, West Akron; Firestone High School and Firestone High School Library, West Akron; Fort Island Primary School, Fairlawn; Herberich Primary School, Fairlawn; Miller South School for the Visual & Performing Arts, West Akron; Odom Branch Library, West Akron; St. Hilary School, Fairlawn; Norton Middle School; Old Trail School, Bath; Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, Brecksville; and Revere High School Library, Richfield.

UA will host  Confucius Institute

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The University of Akron (UA) has been chosen by the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Education to host a Confucius Institute beginning in 2008 to promote the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

Currently there are 42 Confucius Institutes in the United States, and UA’s Confucius Institute will be in partnership with Henan University in Kaifeng, Henan Province.

The Chinese government created Confucius Institutes in 2004 to enhance intercultural understanding worldwide.

“UA’s Confucius Institute will focus on Chinese-language instruction, both in-depth and ‘survival’ language instruction, as well as offer cultural enrichment activities to our students and faculty, P-12 students and teachers, businesses and community members,” said Elizabeth Stroble, UA’s senior vice president, provost and chief operating officer.

The Chinese Ministry of Education will support two faculty members from Henan University to teach Chinese at UA, as well as assist in cultural enrichment opportunities. It also will provide 3,000 textbooks and reference books, significantly expanding UA’s ability to offer Mandarin Chinese and promote the Chinese language and culture. UA began offering Mandarin Chinese to students in 2006.

UA’s Confucius Institute will have a governing board composed of university and community representatives.

There are 190 Chinese students at UA, and UA has had a student exchange program with Henan for 10 years.

Programs available from the Confucius Institute include Chinese-language courses at different levels, professional training and teaching resources for Chinese-language teachers. It also conducts Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) Chinese-language-proficiency tests and certifies teaching Chinese as a foreign language.

For more information about Confucius Institutes, visit www.hanban.org/en_hanban/index.php.

Revere Board of Education recognizes students

BATH — At the Revere Local Schools Board of Education’s May 20 meeting, members recognized Bath Elementary School students Kayla Goumas, Larissa Kurtz, Zechary Lehman, Anna Miller and Ingrid Schmetzer for their efforts in running a lemonade stand during a testing week at the school. The students, who planned and worked the stand by themselves, raised $168, which they donated to the district’s Relay For Life fund-raising efforts.

Kelsey Bonacci was honored for her dedication as a student leader at Revere Middle School. Bonacci, who is president of the middle school’s student council, has been serving as a representative on the executive board of the Ohio Association of Student Councils. She is one of only two students selected to represent Ohio’s middle school students on the executive board. Kelsey is the daughter of the board President Mario Bonacci.

Also at the meeting, Sonja Haller, middle school Science Olympiad moderator, provided the board with an overview of the Science Olympiad program and the awards students in the program have won during the past several years.

In 2008, the high school Science Olympiad team placed seventh and the middle school team placed 11th in the state tournament. Revere offers Science Olympiad, a national program to advance science, to students in grades six through nine.

In other student news:

  • Revere Middle School Principal Frank Surace announced the middle school chess team placed third in the state. Team members include Carl Ahlborg, Marc Ahlborg, Edwin Zhang and Patrick Zhang.
  • Surace congratulated the following middle school students for earning honors at the Summit County Schools 2008 Art Show: Kathryn Ciolkevich (second place), Gurbani Kaur (honorable mention), Jacob Martin (first place), Kaylyn Roose (second place), Chris Sivak (honorable mention), Emma Stewart-Bates (first place and best of show), Mackenzie Stiff (second place) and Debbie Weidrick (honorable mention).

Prior to the business portion of the meeting, the board enjoyed presentations by Dani Buser and Joe Lombardi. The two Bath Elementary School students from Marilyn DiMauro’s class presented characterization biographies of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Leonardo DaVinci.

The next regular school board meeting will be June 24 at 7 p.m. at the board’s Administrative Office, 3496 Everett Road.   

— By Anne Dennée

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