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BLHS Fundraising for Digital Sign
Posted 1/17/2020 at 9:24:06 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

CONNORVILLE-Buckeye Local High School is looking to modernize its school sign with a digital display and officials are seeking donations to make it happen.

   Principal Lucas Parsons and junior high Principal Jason Kovalski will be soliciting the public in order to collect funds for the project, which would replace the current sign on the school grounds. A new mechanism would cost an estimated $15,000-$20,000 and leaders hope to have one in place this school year.

   “We are trying to replace the sign out front with a digital sign,” Parsons said. “Any donations could be made to Buckeye Local High School and earmarked for the new sign. We want it to be done by before the end of the year.”

 Solicitation letters will be sent at the end of the month but donors may make contributions now. The present signage was erected 28 years ago and officials said an update would provide a more aesthetic and efficient way to communicate with the public.

   “This is for the junior and senior high,” Kovalski added. “It will be an easier way to inform the public of what’s going on at the schools. We encourage members of the public to attend our events and activities.”

   Donations may be sent to Buckeye Local High School at 10692 State Route 150, Rayland, Ohio, 43943. For more information, contact the school at (740) 859-2196.

Panther Paws Club Hosts Veterans for Holiday Dinner
Posted 12/18/2019 at 9:25:56 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Panther Paw Club Dinner

ADENA-The Panther Paws Club at Buckeye West Elementary shared some yuletide cheer with local veterans as the afterschool program hosted a special Christmas dinner on Dec. 10.

 Members of Adena American Legion Post 525 were invited to break bread in the school cafeteria and Post Commander Gary DeNoble was joined by Paul Kalonick, Tom Sickle, Roger Sliva and Frank Zamski shared some quality time with about 25 students and five staff members. Title teacher Wendy Lovell, who acts as site co-coordinator with second-grade teacher Lisa Brown, said it was the first time the dinner was held and kids had a chance to learn about the veterans, plus it was fitting since the American Legion has been a school partner for years.

   “The Legion members are very active in our community and especially our school,” she said. “They participate and help lead our school’s Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day programs, respectively. The purpose was to meet with the vets and get to know more about them on a personal level. Students see them at the school and community events, but they really don’t get to meet with them one-on-one. A goal of our after-school program this year was to foster community involvement and reach out to the various organizations in the community so the students can learn more about showing gratitude, respecting others and learning what it means to give back.”

   Lovell, Brown and teacher’s aide Jessica Valesko planned the event with help from district Assistant Superintendent William Luther, who also serves as program coordinator. Legion members had a chance to engage the youth in conversation at the dinner table and discuss a variety of topics from their family, friends, hobbies, school activities and holiday plans.

  “The Legion members were thanked by the staff and students for their participation, for their help in the community and the school and, most importantly, for their service to our country,” Lovell added. “Based on this year’s response, we would like to try a similar event next year.”

   Each veteran also received a holiday card with a message of thanks and a small angel ornament before shaking students’ hands in a receiving line. 

 “The students and vets all enjoyed themselves. One of our visiting vets commented that he hadn’t had so much fun in quite a while,” she noted. “It was delightful to see the children handing the men the candy canes, offering to fill their coffee cups and enticing them with Christmas cookies. One of the children expressed that she felt as if she were talking to a friend while others asked if we could do it again in the future.”

   Lovell also thanked the cafeteria and custodial staff for their assistance and said Gena Joseph and Laura Morrison served the meals. Additionally, students visited Altercare Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care Center on Dec. 13 to brighten up residents’ spirits by dining with them, singing Christmas carols and presenting holiday cards and handmade ornaments at the facility on U.S. 250 outside Adena. Other events have included a monthly literacy activity with representatives of the Adena Library and visits from the Wheeling Nailers while more plans are in the works to foster community involvement in the spring.

   The Panther Paws Club is part of an extended learning center developed at the school last year. The site received a 21st Century Grant for afterschool programming and operates weekdays from 3:30-6 p.m. for grades K-6. About 86 kids are enrolled in the program, while an average of 25-30 pupils participate during the afternoon sessions. For more information, contact West Elementary at (740) 546-3331 or 546-3413.

(Photo Cutline: Twenty-five students with Buckeye West Elementary’s Panther Paws Club after-school program shared a holiday meal with members of the Adena American Legion Post 525 during a special Christmas dinner on Dec. 10. The event was a way for the two groups to get to know each other better and to show appreciation for the veterans for their service to the school, community and country. A similar event is eyed for next year.)

Buckeye South Filling Shelves for the Holidays
Posted 12/13/2019 at 10:54:39 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL South Food Drive

Students at Buckeye South Elementary School are in the giving spirit this holiday season by donating food and personal items to assist the needy. Teacher Jane Kleineke organized the annual project and said students collected non-perishable items and toiletries from Dec. 3-13 as a way to give back to the community, while the donations went to the Dillonvale Food Pantry. Pictured with a few of the goods are, front from left, second-graders Hayes Conaway and Ellie Ricer. Back: Jane Kleineke, second-grader Makayla Lander and first-grader Brooklyn Peters.

Brilliant Lions Keep Kids Warm This Winter
Posted 12/13/2019 at 10:51:36 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Lions Club Donation

BRILLIANT-The Brilliant Lions Club is keeping kids warm this winter by donating 10 new coats to Buckeye North Elementary School.

   Ten lucky kids were chosen in a drawing to receive seasonal attire provided by the organization in partnership with Walmart. Coats and gloves were presented at the school as part of an annual project and club President Dave Porter said it was just another way to help the community.

   “We’ve been doing this for more than 15 years,” Porter said. “The Brilliant Lions Club provided the program at the former elementary school and Walmart has partnered with us for the past few years. We help the school every chance we get.”

   He added that the group gains sweet rewards by simply seeing the smiles on the students’ faces when they receive their coats.

   “If that doesn’t make you cry, then I don’t know what will. It isn’t about getting something, it’s about giving.”

 Principal Susan Nolan, who is also a longtime Lions Club member, was grateful for the organization’s continued support.

   “I think it’s absolutely wonderful. It’s exciting for the kids that they’ve won something and it helps out everybody,” Nolan said. “The Lions are always promoting helping people and they do this every Christmas season. Kids are always grow out of stuff, but if we can give them something that helps a little bit longer that’s great. Anytime I need something, all I have to do is ask and they come.”

 Meanwhile, the club has volunteered time to assist with updates to the school auditorium and installing new playground equipment, plus they have helped maintain bleachers and landscaping on the grounds. Porter said the group has actively supported the community by giving money and their time.

   “Anytime [Nolan] needs a hand at the school, she lets us know,” he continued. “We gave over $3,900 to community projects in the last year and have built handrails, ramps and steps for people. For a small community, everybody works together.”

(Photo Cutline: The Brilliant Lions Club donated 10 brand new coats and gloves which went to lucky students who won a drawing at Buckeye North Elementary. The annual project is an effort to help keep kids warm this winter. Pictured are, front from left, Shane Renforth, Zyianne Hardway, Briah Batenburg, Kalani Asuncion-Kahoalii, Briar Crites and Donald Paugh. Middle: Principal Susan Nolan, Abigail Runnion and Kai’Noah Hundley. Back: Lions Club member Butch Ford, club President Dave Porter, and members Ralph Nickoson, Jim Everson and Don Hutchinson.)

Buckeye Local, Edison Team up for Paws for Claus
Posted 12/6/2019 at 10:22:46 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

DILLONVALE-Buckeye Local and Edison high schools may have a rivalry in sports, but they are also up for a little friendly competition when it comes to helping the community.

   For the second year in a row, the Panthers and Wildcats are teaming up to collect toys for needy kids through their Paws for Claus campaign. Each school seeks to gather the most toys and the public can also participate by bringing items to an upcoming boys’ basketball matchup this Friday at 7 p.m. at BLHS. Edison kicked off the activity last year but this time Buckeye Local is leading the effort. Principal Luke Parsons invited the community to join in the cause and said those who bring a new toy will receive free admission to the game. 

   “The event is being coordinated by myself, student Hannah Badger, student council and [Edison High School Assistant Principal Josh] Leasure. The goal is to raise the most presents possible to help needy children in our area,” Parsons explained. “On a side note, it is always the goal to raise more than Edison. This is an ongoing event from the past. Edison and Buckeye Local are rivals, but in the same breath we are closely similar to one another and have many personal connections to each other.”

   Paws for a Cause began as a joint effort between former students, former BLHS Principal Coy Sudvary and Leasure as a way to help brighten the holidays for area kids. Leasure reached out to Parsons to continue the campaign and Parsons was happy to carry on the tradition.

   “Buckeye Local and Edison are always helping one another and this is no different. This area is all about family and we consider the districts around us, especially Edison, as extended family,” he added. “Don’t get me wrong though, we still want to beat them Friday night. In coordination with Hannah Badger, we have launched a promotion on social media and our own interactive media teacher Dan Davis has created beautiful signs that have been shared around the school and community.”

 Meanwhile, Leasure noted that collections began prior to Thanksgiving break and hopes are to surpass BLHS with the number of items gathered. Last year, Edison Local Schools raised more than 400 toys alone which were distributed to needy elementary children through the district’s Giving Tree program as well as a community church to aid its holiday project. Leasure said teachers were giving students extra credit as an incentive to increase the donation amount and his students always heed the call when it comes to helping others.

 “I have always said that our kids, or kids in general, love to help out those who have a need. A lot of our students want to help their classmates and communities out by donating toys,” he added. “Some of our students have even found themselves in the position to need and had someone that helped them, and now they want to pay it forward. Likewise, it’s great to work together with a rival and do something positive for our local communities. The kids get that and want to be a part of doing good for our communities, especially during the holiday season.”

   Leasure said he hopes Buckeye Local and Edison continue working together and increase the number of volunteer projects they could do in unison throughout the community. One idea is a possible canned food drive during the football season to help stock local pantry shelves for Thanksgiving, while it would also continue to build the rivalry and relationship between the schools in a positive way.

   Parsons agreed, saying it was important to remember that education is more than just academics.

   “It is about molding and instilling a sense of community and pride within students that not only helps them better themselves, but the people and community around them,” he concluded, and he invited the community to take part in the special event and cheer on their teams.

West Authors Publishing Spooky Sagas
Posted 11/20/2019 at 11:34:09 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL West Spooky Stories

ADENA-Ten sixth-graders at Buckeye West Elementary have become budding authors, and now their works will be seen in print through a national contest.

   Students Bri Sellers, Ben Riter, McKenna Halickey, Nevaeh Sasak, Kirsten Morgan, Isabella Russell, Brooke Kovalski, Pierce Sobleski, Tera Carmalt and Jaden Keenan entered original works for the Young Writers’ Spooky Sagas contest and a book will be published this February.

   Teacher Melissa Sobleski said a dozen West Elementary students submitted stories while there were 10,000 entries nationwide. Their pieces were written and submitted in October and will appear as part of Spooky Sagas 2019—Ohio early next year.

   “They were selected based upon their ability to create a mini saga that read like a fictional story,” Sobleski said. “The criteria were to have a clear beginning, middle and end. They were given a paper with a brainstorming section and a lined section and had to write their ideas, then combined them into a 100-word piece that told a complete story.”

 Among the mini sagas are Sellers’ piece, “The Not-So-Scary Ghost”; Riter’s work, “The Boys and the Candy”; Halickey’s tale, “The Scarecrow by Horror Girl”; Sasak’s story, “Don’t Dare”; Morgan’s adventure, “The Creature”; Kovalski’s piece, “The Name on the Tombstone”; Sobleski’s narrative, “Spike the Rabbit and the Brain Munchers”; Carmalt’s tale, “The Haunted Twin” and Keenan’s original fiction, “The Tale of Darkfur: A Little Horror Story.”

   The students learned the good news this month and will be able to see the fruits of their imagination in print come Feb. 7. Even more exciting is a copy of the tome, which will be published under West Elementary School, will be sent to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to provide a lasting record of their achievement.

   Editors of the Young Writers publication stated the aim of the project was to get kids to be passionate and confident about their work, as well as to showcase their writing skills and boost confidence. All of the selected authors received a certificate for their accomplishment, but more accolades could be in store this spring. In April, the Young Writers’ Award of Excellence will be presented to the school with the best set of stories and the best published writer will receive an iPad and trophy while three runners-up will earn a $50 Amazon gift card. 

(Photo Cutline: Ten Buckeye West Elementary School students will have their original stories published in Spooky Sagas 2019—Ohio this February. Their submissions were part of the Young Writers’ Spooky Sagas Contest and there 10,000 total entries nationwide. Among the budding storytellers were, front from left, Jaden Keenan, Tera Carmalt and Nevaeh Sasak. Back: Ben Riter, Bri Sellers, Kirsten Morgan, Brooke Kovalski, Isabella Russell, McKenna Halickey and Pierce Sobleski.)

North Students Support Operation Christmas Child
Posted 11/20/2019 at 11:30:56 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL North Operation Christmas Child

BRILLIANT- Buckeye North Elementary students are playing elves and supporting needy kids around the world through Operation Christmas Child.

   The program, which is sponsored by the Samaritan’s Purse Christian international relief organization, helps children in need around the world to ensure they have a good Christmas and benefits youth between the ages of 2-14. Donors are invited to contribute smaller items such as toothbrushes, bars of soap, combs, crayons, yo-yos, coloring books, small books, socks, playing cards and bracelets to fill special boxes provided for the project. North students gathered enough toys, toiletries and school supplies to pack several dozen boxes and the effort was spearheaded by preschool teacher Kylene McCombs. She has organized the collection for the past five years, including two years at Buckeye North in Brilliant and three years at Buckeye West in Adena, and she said both sites have been generous in giving.

   “I did it for a while through my church and decided to open it up to the school. Over the past few years, it has averaged about 30 boxes and our goal is to fill 32 boxes for this year,” said McCombs. “The entire school collected for a week and some [kids] went all out.”

   Preschooler Richlynn Striffler went shopping with her mother and brought in several bags of goodies because, she said, they wanted to help. They kindly supplied gloves and hats to keep the children warm.

   “[It’s] for kids who are not going to get presents,” she added. 

   “We give them to different kids because they don’t have toys,” said classmate Evan LaSalle.

   McCombs said the boxes will be taken to her church, East Richland Friends Church in St. Clairsville, to make someone’s holiday even brighter.

   For more information about the project, go online to www.samaritanspurse.org.

(Photo Cutline: Buckeye North Elementary students gathered small toys, toiletries, school supplies and more for the Operation Christmas Child relief effort, which helps give needy kids around the world an even happier holiday. Preschoolers Evan LaSalle and Karmyn Renforth are pictured with a few of the boxes.)

Buckeye South Collects for Pajama Drive
Posted 11/20/2019 at 11:27:59 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Buckeye South Pajama Drive

TILTONSVILLE-Youngsters at Buckeye South Elementary are keeping their peers a little cozier by collecting clothing for Scholastic Book Clubs Pajama Program.

   Students in grades PreK-6 gathered 81 pairs of sleepwear for the 10th annual Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive and the items will be donated to the Tri-County Help Center to help other children facing uncertainty, be it homelessness, foster care or poverty. Principal Julie Packer said the hope is to bring the youth some comfort amid their strife.

   “Second-grade teacher Mary Matthews came to me after seeing this program and asked if we could do it,” Packer said. “We collected from mid-October to Nov. 1, and at the end of the campaign Scholastic donates books to the pajama drive.”

 Students were encouraged to provide brand-new pajamas in all sizes, from newborn to adult, which were complete sets or appropriate nightgowns. The sleepwear also must be for all seasons, but especially the winter months. As in incentive, the top collecting classrooms will be treated to class parties. Fittingly, Matthews’s students and Sarah Lewton’s kindergarten class were the winners.

   Packer said she was provided a list of area receiving organizations and the St. Clairsville site was included since it serves Belmont, Harrison and Jefferson counties.

   “Anything we can do to give back to people, we will,” she commented. Packer said it was the first time for South to hold the program but the school may continue it in the future.

 The pajama drive was organized in partnership with Pajama Program, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting a comforting bedtime routine for children affected by instability in order to help them thrive. The Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive is the largest such event in Pajama Program’s history with more than 730,000 pajamas donated since 2009. Scholastic Book Clubs has also donated nearly 1 million books within that timeframe. Donations for the Pajama Program are continuous since the need is year-round. For more information, go online to www.scholastic.com/pajamadrive.

(Photo Cutline: Buckeye South Elementary kindergarten teacher Sarah Lewton and second-grade teacher Mary Matthews’ classes were the top collectors in the 10th annual Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive, which is sponsored by Pajama Program and Scholastic Books to benefit local kids facing uncertainty. About 81 pairs of pajamas are being donated to the Tri-County Help Center in St. Clairsville while Scholastic Books will match with brand-new books to give affected kids some comfort. Pictured are, front from left, Tanner Eastham, Addison Wilt, Hayes Conaway, Kyllian Payne and Breonna Lucas. Back: Sarah Lewton, Kyle Beranek, Raelynn Glover and Mary Matthews.)

Let’s Go Crazy
Posted 11/15/2019 at 12:44:55 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Red Ribbon Week at North

Kids at Buckeye North Elementary School marked Red Ribbon Week by donning crazy hair and socks to commemorate the event, which is held each year across the U.S. to draw awareness to drug and violence prevention. Pupils were invited to take part in themed days, such as coloring their tresses or sporting kooky styles while also flaunting funky footwear. Pictured are, front from left, Kason Starr, Blake Worwa, Jerry Carr, Caroline Frye, Aubree Skinner, Ronnie Dulaney, Tyla Pagett and Sophia Vitek. Middle: Mikaela Renforth, Marissa Pethtel, Derek Thompson, Kyian Wilson, Stormy Kopras, Caden Dulaney, Colin Lindsay and Damien Ohle. Back: Blake Haught, Meleia Ellis, Brody Kurner, Karly Koran, Kylie Watt, Rylan Walker, Aiden Speegle, Britiney Charlton and Chase Worwa.

DARE Program Stresses Good Choices
Posted 11/15/2019 at 12:39:50 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL DARE Program

BRILLIANT- The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program wrapped up in several classes at Buckeye North Elementary School, but not before providing students with some key information to help them make good choices.

   Wells Twp. Police Sgt. Sean Norman, DARE officer for Buckeye Local Schools, concluded 10-week-long lessons for second, fourth and fifth grades but will keep instructing sixth- and eighth-grade students for the rest of the school year. Lessons range from drugs and peer pressure to stranger danger and are age-appropriate according to the pupil. Sgt. Norman led second-graders on a final refresher course on what to do and what not to do in various situations, even acting out some scenarios with the children. Incidents included being approached by strangers, Halloween safety and finding a gun, while kids were also peppered with questions about how they would respond to seeing a younger sibling with a potentially dangerous substance. He said while the topics vary, the lesson for all ages is how to make good choices.

   “They find out why it’s important to learn some of the things we learn and that there are ways to be safe,” he said. “We began at the start of the year and each [grade lesson] is different and age-appropriate.”

   Second- and fourth-graders learn about kindness, handling their anger and dealing with dangers while fifth-grade lessons are designed to help those students know the difference between prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Sgt. Norman noted that topics become more intensive for the upper grades and focus on responding to pressure and making safe and responsible choices under the theme “Keeping It Real.” 

   But the fun isn’t over quite yet as DARE dances are held each month at the Wells Twp. Community Center for fourth- to sixth-graders. The next event is set for Nov. 8 at 6-8 p.m. for $3 admission with snacks for sale. The dances have been held for more than 15 years and also create a sense of togetherness among the students. 

   Sgt. Norman said the goal is for students to retain the knowledge they’ve learned so they may stay on the right path, and it also helps form camaraderie between the youth and safety forces.

   “You are on the kids’ level and they get positive interaction with law enforcement. I’ve been doing this for at least 15 years and it helps build trust. Kids don’t know how to deal with stress and peer pressure and here they learn that every choice they make has a consequence.”

(Photo Cutline: Wells Twp. Police Sgt. Sean Norman, DARE officer for Buckeye Local Schools, shares some final lessons with second-graders at Buckeye North Elementary following a 10-week program. Students in second, fourth and fifth grades concluded programs on bullying to drug and stranger danger while sixth- and eighth-graders will continue more intensive lessons for the rest of the school year, but the key is for all of the pupils to make good choices when facing various situations.)

West Students Exercise Mind, Body and Spirit
Posted 11/15/2019 at 12:36:47 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL West Yoga

ADENA-First-grade students at Buckeye West Elementary School are exercising their mind, body and spirit by regularly practicing yoga in the classroom.

 Teacher Song Walrath has implemented the practice for the past three years and her 21 students take time each day to stretch and meditate to help them clear their minds, relax and focus on their studies. She said it has made a positive impact upon the children’s concentration.

 “I went to a mindfulness class, and as stress levels rise it would be a way to get them calm and to focused. I’m trying to teach them self-control,” Walrath added. “They do it during breaks between work and they get out of their seats and do deep breathing exercises.”

   Students also stretch into warrior, star and frog poses before quietly meditating, and Walrath completes the exercise with a story.

   “Kids at this age need to get out of their seats and move, and I think this gives them a purpose for moving and they take pride in it. Sometimes we do this twice a day and we have an affirmation statement: ‘We will be kind, make good choices and always try to do our best.’ Our class motto is ‘To Persist.’”                                                         

(Photo Cutline: Buckeye West Elementary School teacher Song Walrath and several of her first-grade students practice yoga and meditation in class to help them focus on studies. Walrath has been implementing exercises for the past three years and said it benefits the children’s minds, bodies and spirits. She is pictured with pupils, from left, Robert Glauser, Payton Fetty, Olivia Krupinski and Annie Meyer.) 

Taking Flight
Posted 11/15/2019 at 12:31:11 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL West STEM

Buckeye West Elementary student Trey McCoy launches his marshmallow catapult as part of a STEM project in his fifth-grade science class. Teacher Allison Bartek said her pupils studied motion, force and Newton’s Laws in class and were introduced to the engineering design process for some hands-on learning. They were supplied with plastic spoons, a Styrofoam bowl, rubber bands and tongue depressors to create their contraptions and marked the distance of each landing. Bartek said the students were actively engaged in the learning process and enjoyed the activity.

A Brighter Smile
Posted 11/15/2019 at 12:21:37 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Mobile Dentist at North

Buckeye North Elementary student Skyler Pethtel has a brighter smile following a recent visit from Dr. Dwight Fox and Ohio Dental Outreach’s mobile dentist program. About 30 students took part and received X-rays, examinations, cleaning, fluoride treatments, sealants and non-invasive cavity treatment. The mobile dentist program visits each fall and spring and is set to return in May. 

Buckeye Local Teachers Receive Mini-Grants
Posted 11/8/2019 at 9:52:58 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

DILLONVALE-Educators in the Buckeye Local School District are among the 2019 Best Practice Grant recipients through the Jefferson County Educational Service Center and will use their allocations for unique learning projects.

   JCESC Superintendent Dr. Chuck Kokiko recognized teachers Jeff Merrill, Colleen Weekley and Jenny Potts during the regular Buckeye Local school board meeting on Nov. 4 and presented each of them with $600 mini-grants to implement their ideas. JCESC is awarding a total of 22 mini-grants to seven school districts, a vocational school and a community school during the 2019-20 academic year.

    Merrill, a math teacher at Buckeye Local High School, said his funding will help eight students develop a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) project for the school’s annual Sea Air & Land Challenge competition. Roughly 40 students from Ohio and West Virginia participate in the contest each year and the event is sponsored by Penn State University’s Electro-Optics Center (EOC).

   “My project is an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV). I have eight students in my STEM class who will be responsible for building and operating the ROV,” he said. “This is the first time I have received a Best Practices Grant. I feel honored to receive this grant so that the students at Buckeye Local can have even more STEM experiences. They learn to build, troubleshoot and work collaboratively on a common goal.”

   Merrill said the funds benefit junior and seniors in his STEM class and thanked JCESC for awarding the mini-grant so students have more opportunities to expand their learning skills.

   Weekley, an intervention specialist at Buckeye North Elementary, will purchase critical-thinking activities for her project, “Everyone Needs a Little Help from a Friend,” to communicate and collaborate and think outside the box so students can play to their strengths. 

    “I am getting hands-on learning materials for students to collaboratively work together. There are STEM activities, science, math, reading and social studies activities, games and challenges. Some of the materials will be used in class, but most of the activities will be utilized during Title or recess time. With students and people so focused on technology, I wanted activities that would challenge the students without the use of technology,” she said. “I am really excited to be able to give the students the opportunity to create, learn and make mistakes on their own in small groups.”

   Weekley that it would benefit more about 80-100 fifth- and sixth-grade pupils but other grade levels may use the materials. She commented that it was her first Best Practice Grant and she was grateful to have her project chosen.

    Potts, a kindergarten teacher at Buckeye South Elementary, will use her windfall for “We Know Our ABC’s and Want to Share Our Recipes,” a project in which her 25 students will publish a cookbook with help from the community. 

   “This collaborative project will involve the students, their families, the community and the teachers at school.  The kindergarten students will create a collaborative ABC’s recipe book that will be professionally printed and bound,” she said, adding that her pupils will be responsible for interviews, writing the recipes and drawing illustrations. “After all of the recipes are collected, the class will work together to bring the book to life.  The students will use their letter knowledge to put the recipes in alphabetical order. They will also be able to use their math skills to number the pages. The students will then learn what it takes to be a published author by making a rough draft of the book.”

 

   The book will be released through Studentreasures Publishing Company and the class will receive 29 copies of the book as included in the grant, but unlimited additional copies may also be purchased. Potts added that her students will benefit from the collaboration as well as practicing the skills they learn in the classroom. Additionally, they get to share their hard work with the world by displaying their book in the school library. Potts also hopes to make the book an annual class tradition.

 

   "This grant would allow us to have the start-up supplies to use year after year.  Next year, the students would have to pay for the book, but we would be able to start earlier because we will have the necessary items and experience to begin right away.”

 

   JCESC has been awarding Best Practice Grants for more than three decades to benefit education at Buckeye Local, Edison Local, Harrison Hills City, Indian Creek Local, Southern Local, Steubenville City and Toronto City Schools as well as Jefferson County Joint Vocational School and the Utica Shale Academy, while an estimated $106,500 has been disbursed within the past 12 years alone.

   “The Jefferson County Educational Service Center Board governs with a belief of making decisions that are beneficial to our students.  Most of those decisions are impactful at the district level,” said Dr Kokiko. “The Best Practice Grant program provides an opportunity to directly assist teachers and students in the classroom.  JCESC is grateful to the teachers who apply for the Best Practice Grants and we look forward to funding innovative instructional practices in the classroom each year.”

North Elementary Visiting Fire Station for Safety Week
Posted 10/11/2019 at 11:14:22 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary students will pay a visit to the Brilliant Volunteer Fire Department this week to learn about safety.

   Classes will be at the site each day from Oct. 14-17 where they will watch a video on fire safety and talk to officials, as well as view turnout gear, equipment and vehicles and tour a smokehouse to learn about hazards in the home. Principal Susan Nolan said the fire department works well with the students and teaches them a lot about staying safe.

   “The kids love going there and the fire department is excellent with them. They are introduced to the fire trucks and their capabilities and they go through a smokehouse to see what needs to be done if there is a fire,” Nolan said. “They are given instructions and some watch a video, and then they see the gear and equipment that is used. They really do a nice job.”

West ELC Building Community Involvement
Posted 10/11/2019 at 11:12:40 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Buckeye West Elementary is helping students hone their classroom skills as well as learn about the community through its Extended Learning Center.

   The ELC, which is currently in its second year of being funded under a 21st Century Grant, operates at the school on weekdays from 3:30-6 p.m. and is led by site co-coordinators Wendy Lovell, a Title teacher, and Lisa Brown, a second-grade teacher, with Buckeye Local Assistant Superintendent William Luther as program coordinator. Lovell said teacher’s aide Jessica Valesko also assists and about 69 kids are enrolled in the program, while an average of 30-40 pupils participate during the afternoon sessions. 

   “Students can enroll any day,” Lovell said. “It’s a latch-key program and is also for working parents. It’s for anyone who has a need. We’re here for them.”

   Free dinner is offered to students whether or not they attend ELC, provided that those who do not stay have their own transport home. Students to participate in the sessions will complete homework, work on reading and math skills, do activities such as gym, music and art and work at their own pace during computer time before being dismissed to their parents or for bus transport home. However, they will also have opportunities to go on field trips and interact with the community. Lovell said the group recently visited the Adena Library, where they learned about services and enjoyed stories with librarian Pam Kourim, and now Kourim plans to visit the school each month for more activities with the children.

   Organizers are currently seeking other forms of outreach and are contacting businesses and organizations to get involved.

   “We want to visit a local nursing home and do a Christmas program for the residents and possibly work with veteran’s groups on projects,” Lovell added. “We wanted to establish a rapport with the students last year and now we want to branch out. Adena has been supportive of our students and school and we want to have students give back to the community.”

 The ELC plans to promote itself through activities at the school’s upcoming Fall Fair literacy night on Oct. 16 from 6-8 p.m. while registration forms have been sent home with students. For more information, contact the school at (740) 546-3331 or 546-3413.

Safety Day at South
Posted 10/11/2019 at 11:10:29 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL South Safety

Buckeye South Elementary welcomed local emergency personnel for its second annual Safety Day activity on Oct. 2. Students held safety drills, learned about fire safety, practiced in the Jefferson County Fire Association’s smokehouse and viewed emergency equipment. Representatives of the Tiltonsville and Yorkville Volunteer Fire Departments and the Tiltonsville Police also joined in and educated youth on how to respond in emergency situation. Principal Julie Packer said she appreciated the responders for being involved in another successful event. 

Buckeye West Planning Literacy Night
Posted 10/8/2019 at 10:09:04 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Students will be “falling in love with books” during a literacy night event at Buckeye West Elementary in Adena.

   Intervention specialist Melissa Sobleski, event organizer, said this year’s activity is set for Oct. 16 from 6-8 p.m. “Falling in Love with Books” is the autumnal theme and it will include a fall festival that evening. A variety of free and fun festivities are set including face painting and STEM activities such as building a scarecrow, a spider toss, skeleton labeling, mystery picture creations and a pyramid cup game. Sobleski said each activity incorporates a reading element from reading directions to matching words. Additionally, local firefighters will have a truck on display and talk to kids about trick or treating safely this Halloween.

   “This is the first year we are attempting a literacy night this large and we are hoping to have several families participate,” she added. “We are offering goodie bags to the first 50 participants, which will include a free book. West Elementary hopes to promote parent involvement and increase literacy awareness through fun, hands-on activities.”

Buckeye North to Unveil Updated Auditorium
Posted 9/18/2019 at 12:32:08 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary is getting set to unveil its updated auditorium with a special open house on Sept. 19.

   Principal Susan Nolan said the open house is set for 5:30 p.m. and will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially introduce the enhanced space and Nolan hopes to have a representative from the Charles M. and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation on hand since the organization provided a sizeable grant for the work.

   The project is nearly completed and adds nearly 600 new seats and a fresh coat of paint to the decades-old facility. Newer seats were acquired at an auction at the former Follansbee Middle School with extras purchased from a Michigan-based company. Nolan said they replace the original furniture which dates back to 1952. Among other upgrades are new paint on the walls and ceiling, added décor and energy-efficient LED lighting. 

   “About 294 seats were bought from Follansbee and we bought 288 extra from Martin Seating,” she commented. “We replaced the lights with LED’s that came through donations from staff, alumni and other donors. We had to buy lights, extra paint and a plaque, and any extra left over may be used to bring in a program for the kids.”

   Efforts began this winter when Nolan had the winning bid during the school auction. She later received a $53,888 grant from the Pugliese Foundation to defray costs for the additional chairs. Funds also paid for labor to remove the older items and install the new furniture, plus the purchase of several cameras for the auditorium, preschool wing and a public access area at the north end of the building.

   Crews prepared the flooring since the more modern chairs are larger and there will be fewer seats in the room, while Nolan added that sets of the older chairs were either purchased or recycled. She also thanked volunteers for taking time to paint and assist with other aspects of the project.

 “We had five Buckeye Local High School art students, Sonya Powell, Jeff Neilly and D.J. Eddy painting and the custodial staff has gone above and beyond to clean.”

Watch D.O.G.S. Program Begins Fourth Year
Posted 9/18/2019 at 12:30:08 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary School’s Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program is entering its fourth year and officials are gearing up to add new volunteers on campus.

   Principal Susan Nolan said fathers and students will be invited to attend a free pizza night at the school on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. to highlight the program and register new participants. About 200 people have attended in the past while a dozen dads and other male family members have been inspired to take part.

   “We will have pizza and drinks and do a presentation with the dads to get some to sign up for the year,” Nolan said. “About 10 to 12 have volunteered throughout the year.”

   Invitations will be sent home later this month and those who plan to attend may RSVP to the school.

   The Watch D.O.G.S. program, which first began in Arkansas in 1998, is part of the National Center for Fathering and has been implemented in more than 5,300 schools around the world. Dads, grandpas, uncles, stepdads and adult brothers actively volunteer across the country and spend time in the classroom, patrolling hallways and school grounds, interacting with students at lunchtime or assisting with bus dismissals. Its purpose is to provide positive role models for the students in addition to adding extra security in the school building. Members get a closer look at daily school life while gaining a greater awareness of the impact they can have in their student’s academic performance, self-esteem and social behavior.

   Volunteers must undergo a BCI background check to participate and wear special T-shirts and “dog tags” as identifiers while on school grounds. The dads also get a free lunch and may dine with their student and have their picture taken with Nolan for a Wall of Fame at the school. She said the volunteers enjoyed taking part and often returned or recommended that other dads join, while the ultimate goal was to get more fathers involved. For more information, contact the school at (740) 598-4589 or visit the website at www.fathers.com/watchdogs.

A Fresh Start
Posted 8/28/2019 at 1:51:54 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Fresh Start

New Buckeye Local High School Principal Lucas Parsons addressed freshmen as school commenced for 2019-20. Parsons, like the class, is starting fresh in the high school building and he said they were all on the adventure together. He, school guidance counselors Krista Kinyo and Jami Cammer and freshman class advisor Chuck Eddy discussed grades, rules and activities and also answered questions during the gathering.

Honing Instructional Skills a Plus for Math Teachers
Posted 8/28/2019 at 1:49:17 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

CONNORVILLE-Math teachers at Buckeye Local Jr./Sr. High School are getting some extra support to help their students succeed in the classroom and ongoing professional development is part of the equation.

   Teachers in grades 7-12 will work with Carri Meek, CEO of Instructional Growth Seminars and Support and an instructional specialist. She began visiting the school on Aug. 28 and will be on-site throughout the school year to meet with educators for strategic coaching and spend time in their classrooms.

 “I will work with administrators on instructional leadership and support plans for staff,” Meek said. 

   Meek added that they will focus on identifying standards which need additional instructional or assessment activities and aligning relative resources for them, as well as using checklists or digital tools to record individual standard growth and using the assessment data for decision making and immediate interventions.

 “I have been in education for 28 years and have been working on school improvement initiatives for the past 15 years with great success,” she added. “Some of my most struggling schools moved from being Ohio focus schools to independent status. As student achievement and progress are monitored and part of weekly focus groups and conversations, the growth and change in instruction is contagious. Teaching and assessing with clarity benefits both teachers and students. Better than the rise in scores is the rise in growth mindset; kids are taught differently and are able to experience success.”

   School leaders said the ultimate goal is to help the teachers improve students’ learning skills.

   “[Meek] will be in throughout the year to meet with grades 7-12 teachers to improve upon instructional strategies in the classroom,” said Assistant Superintendent William Luther. “We’re looking at ways to help our teachers, so it’s helping student performance. It is totally focused on math, whether it’s remedial or advanced.”

   “Carri Meek is working one-on-one with the math teachers in the junior high and high school, and I am excited to provide support to the math teachers this year and in essence help our students,” said BLHS Principal Lucas Parsons.

 “She works with the teachers in their classrooms and as a group,” said BLJHS Principal Jason Kovalski. “We are going to set a few focus areas as our goals.”

BLHS Collecting Donations for Smith Family
Posted 8/28/2019 at 1:47:29 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BLHS Fundraiser for Mackenzie

CONNORVILLE-Buckeye Local High School staff and students are opening their hearts and wallets to collect funds in honor of Mackenzie Smith.

   Smith, the 14-year-old daughter of Marsha and Ross Smith of Bloomingdale and a student at Edison High School, passed away suddenly on Aug. 11 and a trio of BLHS freshman hope to honor her by raising money to assist her family. Kaydence Kinyo, Carly Long and Emily Valuska all participated in the Jefferson County 4-H organization with Smith, and although they were in different clubs they all shared a common interest in the organization. The county 4-H recently donated funds to help Smith’s family while the steer she raised was shown and sold during the fair earlier this month. Now, the Buckeye Local freshmen hope to spread some kindness and help Smith’s family with the collection at their school. A moment of silence was held to honor the teen’s young life and organizers announced the fundraiser, which started Aug. 23. 

 Kinyo described how the unexpected tragedy has affected many people, saying, “Mackenzie passed away just two days before our fair started. Unfortunately, she never did get to show her steer or make memories like we did at the fair.”

 Long remembered Smith as a cheerleader who loved the color pink and always had a smile on her face, and the fundraiser was a way to support her loved ones.

 “We are asking for the students and staff at Buckeye Local to help us raise money for Mackenzie’s family. We will be coming around during third period and we will also be at lunches. We are asking to please give a donation,” she added.

   Valuska then urged her peers to never take anything for granted and said Smith will always be in people’s hearts. 

   “Our small town schools always support each other in times of need and we would be proud to show how wonderful our Buckeye Local family is,” she commented.

    The teens said they were glad to lend a hand and help others in their time of need.

   “I feel grateful that I can help them out,” Valuska noted. “It just makes me feel good about what we’re doing.”

   Marsha Smith was touched by the gesture and said people have been very supportive during her family’s time of loss.

   “We’ve been completely blessed with all the help, love and support. I’m so proud of the kids,” she added. “We’re honored and very thankful.”

   Donations may be taken throughout the year while more plans are eyed to sell pins bearing ribbons in Smith’s favorite hue at Edison sports activities.

(Photo Cutline: Buckeye Local High School freshman, pictured from left, Kaydence Kinyo, Carly Long and Emily Valuska are spearheading a fundraiser to benefit the family of Mackenzie Smith, an Edison High School student who suddenly passed away suddenly this month. The teens were involved in Jefferson County 4-H clubs and the Buckeye Local students wanted to help Smith’s family amid the tragedy.)

BLJHS Launching Community Committee
Posted 8/28/2019 at 1:45:17 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

CONNORVILLE-Buckeye Local Jr. High School hopes to spur more interaction between the school and local area by organizing a community involvement committee.

   Principal Jason Kovalski said he and a group of teachers are searching for retired educators and available members of the public to volunteer their time and help students both in and out of school. Volunteers will be required to undergo a background check prior to participating but the time they spend at the school is flexible.

   “I’ve developed a committee to seek out people in the community to try to get the community more involved with the school,” said Kovalski. “The volunteers would give additional help and attention to students struggling with reading, writing and math. I would love for retired teachers to get involved with this program.”

   He said the committee was a first for the junior high and was created to support the school and its students, plus he is looking for ways the estimated 270 seventh- and eighth-graders could give back and become more civic-minded individuals. Volunteers could also help with deliveries and related fund-raising activities.

 “We could work at food drives and collect animal shelter donations to get involved in the community,” Kovalski said.

   For more information or to get involved, contact Buckeye Local Jr. High School at (740) 859-2196.

BLHS Teacher to Study in Uruguay
Posted 6/5/2019 at 11:19:40 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Teacher Studying in Uruguay

CONNORVILLE-Buckeye Local High School teacher Bonnie Soos will head below the equator this summer to participate in a special study program in South America.

 Soos, a BLHS alumna who has taught at her alma mater for the past 18 years, will join educators from across the nation for the Summer Seminars Abroad for Spanish Teachers (SSAST) program through The Ohio State University. She will depart on July 8 for Montevideo, Uruguay to hone her linguistic skills during a 17-day workshop at Academia Uruguay and live with a host family for the duration, plus she will have opportunities to immerse herself in the culture and participate in extracurricular activities. Among the activities are weekend excursions and a visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 She previously studied in Venezuela and Mexico as an undergraduate at Ohio University in Athens around 1999 and said those experiences helped shape her career.

   “I would not be where I am today if it were not for these two amazing experiences. Being fully immersed in culture and language is how one truly acquires a foreign language and understands and appreciates one’s culture,” she explained. “I am always itching to travel and have been blessed to have traveled to many places since then. Over the years, I have planned student travels to places such as Mexico, Spain, France and Italy. I try to instill my passion of language, culture and travel in my students and it is very rewarding.”

   She became involved with the program as a way to improve herself as an educator and said she was looking for authentic professional development opportunities during summer break. In December, she received information through the Ohio Department of Educator and jumped at the chance. Soos applied in January and shortly thereafter was accepted into the program. She will also receive three graduate credits for her participation. But for her, the rewards are so much greater.

 “I am super excited for this opportunity. It has been over 20 years since I last studied abroad,” she continued. “I am excited to meet other Spanish teachers from around the U.S. and I hope to collaborate with them and become lifelong friends. I am looking forward to living with a Uruguayan host family. This unique opportunity will help me to become better acquainted with their culture and customs in a direct and authentic way. Upon my return to the classroom in August, I will be eager to share all of these amazing experiences with my students. My students love hearing stories and looking at pictures from my past trips.”

   Soos hoped to continue such studies in the future should the opportunities arise.

(Photo Cutline: Bonnie Soos, a Spanish teacher at Buckeye Local High School, will join similar educators from across the U.S. for a 17-day workshop in Montevideo, Uruguay, in July as part of a linguistics program through The Ohio State University. Soos will reside with a host family and also immerse herself in South American culture for the duration of her stay.)

West Elementary Observing Memorial Day
Posted 5/17/2019 at 1:12:55 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Buckeye West Elementary School will commemorate Memorial Day with a special gathering on May 24.

   Adena American Legion Post 525 will conduct a ceremony in the school gym at 1 p.m. and students and community members will join in the free festivities. Roger Sliva, organizer and past commander, said it was the 26th year for the event.

 “The purpose of the Memorial Day service is to honor those who have died to preserve our liberty and to instill in our schoolchildren and others the true meaning of Memorial Day and to respect our flag,” Sliva added.

 Several Legion members from different service branches visited the school on May 13 to speak to fifth-graders about their personal experiences, service and sacrifices and to educate them about Memorial Day, respect the flag and other patriotic holidays. During the ceremony, the Color Guard will make an appearance while the featured speaker is Michael Bongart, a member of the Jefferson County Veterans Service Commission and Vietnam veteran.

 Music teacher Jack Skidmore will also lead schoolchildren in patriotic songs while students Grant Dombroski, Octavia Bailey and Tristan Palmer will read their winning submissions to the Legion’s fifth-grade essay contest on the subject “What Memorial Day Means to Me.” Legislators were also invited to present certificates to the young essayists and members of the Legion’s auxiliary will honor younger students who took part in a related poster contest.

 “This year, the service consists of Sen. Frank Hoagland (R-30th District) presenting certificates to the three student essay contest winners from the fifth grade and students in grades K-6 will receive awards for posters and colored pictures,” said Sliva.

 Additionally, officials will conduct a roll call of all killed in action from Adena while the auxiliary will have poppies available for a donation. All money collected will benefit the veterans.

Scholarships, Awards Given at BLHS
Posted 5/17/2019 at 11:16:21 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

CONNORVILLE- Buckeye Local High School recognized students during the annual senior awards program on May 14. Dozens of local scholarships and awards were distributed and among the students recognized were the following:

--Katelin Rogers, Alpha Delta Kappa Scholarship for $500;

--Emily Holzopfel, Morgan Donley and Stevie Roberts, the Buckeye Local Junior Panthers Scholarship for $500 each;

--Jordyn Spencer, Leon Berze Memorial Scholarship for $500;

--Katelin Rogers, Buckeye Local Board of Education Scholarship for $500;

--Katelin Rogers, Buckeye Local Classroom Teacher Association Scholarship for $500;

--Gage Kornetti and Carlye Sempirek, the Dillonvale High School Alumni Association Scholarship for $750 each;

--Owen Long, Eastern Gateway Community College Scholarship (Jefferson County Academic Scholarship for tuition, books and supplies);

--Sierra Farnsworth, Nathan W. Finney Memorial Scholarship for $500;

--Ethan Boroski, Kiri Carothers, Camryn Case, Sierra Dudzik, Kaelynne Duke-Holland, Emily Holzopfel, Owen Long, Kylie Merkel, Rachel Moore, Audrey Sebring and Carlye Sempirek, food pantry recognition;

--Collin Buck, Emily Holzopfel and Katherine Zackey, four-year perfect attendance awards for $100 each;

--Freshman Shayla Zinn, sophomore Isabella Gaudio, junior Seth Bird and senior LeeAnn Wurschum, Heske Family Awards for $100 each for most improved GPA in grades 9-12;

--Michaela Greene, Independent Agents Association of Belmont County Scholarship for $500;

--Michaela Greene, Emily Holzopfel and Audrey Sebring, Indian Club Scholarships for $1,000 each;

--Sierra Dudzik and Sierra Farnsworth, Kontogiannis Family Scholarships for $5,000 each;

--Marines Awards of Excellence to Collin Buck and Michaela Greene for scholastic excellence; Shayne Christian and Jordyn Spencer as distinguished athletes; Jayme Chittenden for musical excellence; and Damien Grant and Zakary Fraelich for entering the Marines;

--Camryn Case, Morgan Donley, Jailyah Green, Madalyn Kujawa and Rachel Moore, Jessica Marie Mayle

Memorial Volleyball Scholarships for $750 each;

--Camryn Case and Frederick Hertler, Bill Mazeroski Baseball Scholarship for $3,000 each;

--Kodie Richardson, Brad W. McFadden Memorial Scholarship for $500;

--Audrey Sebring, Woman’s Club of Adena Scholarship in Memory of Kelly McKim Smith for $500;

--Patricia Faulkner, Russ Moran/Lori Whitaker Memorial Scholarship for $1,000;

--Ethan Boroski and Sierra Farnsworth, Mt. Pleasant-Dillonvale Lions Club Scholarship for $500 each;

--Ethan Boroski, Michaela Greene and Rachel Moore, Mt. Pleasant High School Class Alumni Association Scholarships for $1,000 each;

--Kiri Carothers, North Elementary/Robert Dalrymple Memorial Scholarship for $1,000;

--Carlye Sempirek, Ohio University Eastern Scholarship Multicultural Merit Award;

--Michaela Greene and Owen Long, OHSAA Scholar Athletes; Jordyn Spencer, Courageous Student Award; Audrey Sebring and Gage Kornetti, NFHS National Award of Excellence; Shayne Christian and Emily Holzopfel, Archie Griffin Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award; and Julie Holzopfel, State Award for Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity;

--Emily Holzopfel, Kylie Merkel and Rachel Moore, Charles and Thelma Pugliese Charitable Foundation Scholarship for $1,000 each;

--Camryn Case, Morgan Donley and Katelin Rogers, Sons of the American Legion Squadron Post 525 Adena Scholarships for $500 each;

--Carlye Sempirek, Special Friends Scholarship for $500;

--Morgan Donley, Edward J. Stanko Memorial Scholarship for $250;

--Patricia Faulkner, Steven E. Strupe Memorial Scholarship for $1,000;

--Jordyn Spencer, Mike Tolliver Memorial Scholarship for $750;

-- Dustin DiCola, Pete Ziniach Scholarship for $500; Gage Kornetti, Bill McHugh Scholarship for $500; and Ben Bailey, Dick Thurnes Scholarship for $500 from the Touchdown Club;

--Gage Kornetti, V.A.L.E.S. Scholarship for $750;

--Aubrey Sebring and Abby Nightingale, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4811 Scholarships for $500 each;

--Emily Holzopfel and Jordyn Spencer, Warren Township Lion’s Club Scholarship for $500 each;

--Jordyn Spencer, Nora Webb-Winstead Memorial Scholarship for $1,000;

--Kaelee Anderson, Doyle R. Weldon Memorial Band Scholarship for $1,000;

--Sierra Farnsworth, Wells Township Haunted House Scholarship for $500;

--Jayme Chittenden, West Liberty University Scholarship;

--Ashley Burkett and Cassandra Cominsky, Bethany College Scholarships;

--Gage Kornetti, Joseph Nieb ‘43’ Memorial Scholarship for $500;

--Emily Holzopfel, Maderia Family Scholarship for $1,000;

--Emily Holzopfel, Cynthia Rose Phillipson Memorial Scholarship;

--Owen Long and Audrey Sebring, Bill Johnson Future Leaders of America Award;

--Sara Lambright and Abby Nightingale, ACT Jefferson County Recognition;

--Camryn Case and Audrey Sebring, Adena Lions Club Scholarship;

--Audrey Sebring, Wheeling Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship for $1,000 annually for four years.

Books With Badges Program Conducted at North
Posted 5/13/2019 at 1:28:09 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Books with Badges at North

BRILLIANT-Safety forces from throughout the area converged upon Buckeye North Elementary School to treat kids to a day of reading and camaraderie through the Books With Badges program.

   Officials from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Brilliant Volunteer Fire Department met with students for an open forum and discussion ranged from safety to their jobs. Trooper Watts of the OSHP post in St. Clairsville began the program three years and has visited about 55 schools during that time with assistance from other departments. 

   “We mainly talk with the youth about the importance of positive relationships between the young ones and law enforcement,” he said. “It’s about having a positive mindset.”

   Books With Badges is a reading program for elementary school students that shows how reading can be fun while establishing a bond between children and emergency personnel. The program’s goals range from teaching students the importance of an education to building their confidence and enabling safety personnel to become positive role models in a child’s life. Emphasis is placed upon the elementary level, where reading and writing become the foundation of the student’s growing education. Additionally, it helps influence youth in a positive way and bridges the gap between safety forces and the general public.

   Trooper Watts was joined by Deputy Yoho, Dispatcher Rath and Deputy Thompson with K-9 Officer Kilo of the JCSO as well as paramedic/firefighters Bob Nash and Chrissy Roush of the Brilliant VFD. They first gathered with fifth- and sixth-grade students in the auditorium and answered questions about their work and the canine cop’s training. Deputy Thompson said he trained with Kilo for 10 weeks to become acclimated with his new partner, while they continue to practice three to four times a month to sharpen the dog’s skills. Officials also discussed being safe in the event of a fire, and Deputy Yoho said it was important to have a central meeting place with family members should they have to flee a burning home. For those students entering the junior high next year, officials encouraged them to become involved in school activities. Dispatcher Rath suggested they get active in sports and clubs and Trooper Watts said they should make new friends. 

   “A lot is going to start changing [in seventh grade],” he added. “You don’t have to impress people, just be yourself and stay around positive people.”

   More topics included students’ personal goals and future career interests, the latter of which ranged from being a nurse practitioner to an engineer. The safety personnel then ventured into other classrooms, introducing Kilo to kids before branching off to read to students in grades K-4 throughout the day. 

   Principal Susan Nolan said she appreciated the visit, which tied into the school’s observance of Right to Read Week, and the program was very beneficial to the students.

 “I think it’s a great opportunity for kids to see police officers in a positive way,” she noted. “It’s a great program.”

   For more information, visit www.BooksWithBadges.org or Facebook.com/BooksWithBadges.

(Photo Cutline: The Books With Badges program was held at Buckeye North Elementary School on May 9 as officials from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Brilliant Volunteer Fire Department visited classrooms and read to kids, as well as talked to them about safety and their jobs. Pictured are, from left, Trooper Watts of OSHP, Deputy Thompson, K-9 Officer Kilo and Deputy Yoho of JCSO, Bob Nash of the Brilliant VFD, substitute school staffer Bill Petrozzi, Chrissy Roush of Brilliant VFD and Dispatcher Rath of JCSO in a kindergarten class.)

North Obtains Nearly $54K Grant for Auditorium Project
Posted 5/1/2019 at 11:04:17 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary School got a major shot in the arm with a nearly $54,000 grant to complete its auditorium upgrade.

   Principal Susan Nolan said the school received a $53,888 allocation from the Charles M. and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation to help update the decades-old facility with newer seating and paint. Nolan said she received the confirmation on April 30 and was delighted to see the project reach fruition.

   “I am very excited. This will be used to furnish and redo the auditorium,” she said. “It will help get the rest of the seating, paint the auditorium and get three new cameras as well.”

 Nolan had acquired nearly 300 blue seats from the former Follansbee Middle School this winter after placing the winning bid at auction and plans to purchase 200 more with the windfall. The seating will replace furniture that has been part of the building since it opened in the 1950s, but there will be fewer seats available since the new chairs are wider. Nolan said members of North’s WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) group helped transport the items with help from school maintenance workers and other volunteers. She said she contacted the company which installed the chairs at Follansbee to potentially purchase 200 more and business officials offered to install all of the seats at North. Nolan also planned to use proceeds from the sale of the original seats at North to help defray expenses. 

   Another goal is to add a fresh coat of paint to the auditorium’s walls and Nolan hoped to involve the Buckeye Local High School art class in creating pictures of the school mascot, while work could be completed this summer.

Schools Squaring off Friday at Sea Air & Land Challenge
Posted 5/1/2019 at 11:02:38 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BLHS Sea Air Land Challenge

CONNORVILLE-Roughly 40 students from Ohio and West Virginia will put their STEM skills to use during the second annual Sea Air & Land Challenge at Buckeye Local High School this Friday.

   The activity, which is sponsored by Penn State University’s Electro-Optics Center (EOC), kicks off at 9 a.m. with a brief gathering in the auditorium while the first run of challenges follows in the gym and outside the building. Five teams from BLHS, Martins Ferry, Beaver Local, East Liverpool and Wheeling Central will compete with members operating remote-controlled robots they designed to finish timed tasks on land, under water and by air. The second run of challenges starts at 10:40 a.m. and experts will judge all of the events. The teams will then break for lunch around 11:45 a.m. before heading back into the auditorium for trophies and to hear from keynote speaker Sgt. John McCoy of the U.S. Marine Corps.

   Organizer Jeff Merrill, a math teacher at BLHS who also helped establish the school’s STEM program, said the challenge was first created at the EOC and Buckeye Local was invited to an activity four years ago. BLHS officials eventually opted to host their own event last year, which drew about 100 students from 14 teams representing BLHS, Beaver Local and Quaker Valley, the latter of which traveled from the Keystone State.   

   “When we started this, our hope was to get more local schools involved,” Merrill said. “We have judges coming in from the American Modelers Association of Wheeling and are working with Penn State EOC, which is sponsoring the challenge.”

   Buckeye Local’s two teams include seniors and juniors Ethan Boroski, Hunter Colvin, Kya DeMeter, Sean Bates, Josh Kinyo, Justus Chieffalo, Fred Hertler, Conrad Schuetz, Haylie Marshall, Kode Richardson, Brooklyn Grant and Skyler Sall. Merrill said the students were excited and it was a great opportunity for all of the contestants to showcase their knowledge.

   “Our students are very excited and very competitive,” he noted.

(Photo Cutline: Students from Buckeye Local High School are pictured completing a STEM exercise during the school’s inaugural Sea Air & Land Challenge last year. Another event is set for this Friday with five teams and an estimated 40 students coming from schools in Ohio and West Virginia.)

South Elementary Hosting Car and Craft Show
Posted 5/1/2019 at 10:59:11 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

TILTONSVILLE-Vehicles, vendors and more are in store for the third annual South Elementary Playground Committee Car and Craft Show on May 11.

 The fundraiser will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school located at 100 Walden Ave. in Tiltonsville with a rain date set for May 18. Dozens of cars and crafters will be on hand, as well as plenty of food and fun for the whole family. Proceeds benefit the school’s playground committee to help finance improvement projects. Joe Malechowski, PTO president and committee chair, is organizing the activity and said there is something for everyone.

 “This is our third year and we’re hoping for some good weather,” he said. “We will have about 28 vendors but never know the number of cars until the day of the show.”

 The show has attracted 80-90 cars and bikes plus 20-30 vendors to peddle crafts, cosmetics and other wares. Malechowski said dash plaques will be given for the first 100 vehicle entries, in addition to 30 trophies with the top three by year range and a Best of Show custom trophy. Registration for the car show is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at a cost of $8 and no preregistration is necessary. Judging starts at 1 p.m. with trophies being distributed at 3 p.m. For more information, contact Malechowski at (740) 275-6406.

   Attendants may also browse among such vendors as Avon, Thirty-One, Sweet Dyes, Younique, Country Scents, Country Vine Primitives, Origami Owl and Paparazzi, to name a few, and sales run until 4 p.m. Other offerings include door prizes, a Chinese auction and raffles along with music from DJ Mr. Bill and kids can enjoy face painting, an inflatable ride, balloons and a fire truck display by the Tiltonsville Volunteer Fire Department. The Yorkville VFD will also cook up some scrumptious burgers, pulled pork and other hot foods while playground committee members will have Sno-cones, popcorn and other concession items. Additionally, shirts will be sold for $10-$12 to benefit the school playground project. Malechowski said the event raised $3,000 last year and funded a shelter with tables for students to enjoy recess outdoors.

   For more information about the event, go to the South Elementary Playground Facebook page.

BLHS Science Club Beautifies Courtyard
Posted 5/1/2019 at 10:56:50 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Science Club Beautifies Courtyard

The Buckeye Local High School Science Club got their hands dirty to beautify the courtyard in the center of the building. Teacher Amy Basinger, who acts as co-advisor with teacher Dave Cybulski, said about 32 juniors and seniors spent a month clearing away old mulch and plantings, trimming trees and bushes and adding blue rubberized mulch for an extra pop of color. The cleanup was part of an annual project that Basinger said helps streamline the site for future maintenance.

Buckeye Local Olympic Challenge on May 16
Posted 5/1/2019 at 10:53:58 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

CONNORVILLE- Students in grades K-12 will get a chance to shine when the Buckeye Local School District holds its annual Olympic Challenge on May 16.

   Games will be held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the two gyms at Buckeye Local High School and between 50 to 100 students from throughout the district will participate in a series of events. Scott Celestin, who heads the Buckeye Local Olympic Challenge Committee with Mary Ellen Bolock, said the program is for students who receive intervention services within the district and the BLHS Student Council will oversee the activities.

 “It’s really nice how it has morphed from when I started to including the student council. Mary Ellen got involved and she works with them,” he added, saying club co-advisor Jaide Brown was also involved. “They do an amazing job and they organize and plan it together.”

 Students will participate in a variety of athletic events according to grade level, including 50- and 100-yard dashes, a softball throw, obstacle course, shot put, standing and running long jumps, soccer kick, shuttle relay and an Olympiad. It will be followed by a lunch and awards ceremony, and Celestin said every participant will receive an Olympic medal while first-, second- and third-place ribbons will be presented for each event. Trophies will also be given to each boy and girl with the most overall points.

 Celestin said he has been part of the Olympic Challenge for a decade but the program itself has been held for more than 20 years. He noted that the real rewards had nothing to do with the medals themselves.

   “The emotion and look on the kids’ faces…it gives them a chance to shine,” he said. “It’s very rewarding.”

   The public is invited to attend and cheer on the young athletes who participate in the program.

Buckeye Local NHS Inductees
Posted 4/12/2019 at 1:10:14 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL NHS Induction

Eighteen new members were inducted into the Buckeye Local High School Panther Chapter of the National Honor Society on April 7. They include, front from left, Halie Marshall, Alexis Scott, Brooke Roski, Alyssa Lingenfelter and Brooke Carpico. Middle: Conrad Schuetz, Jenna MacAlister, Brianna Staats, Kya DeMeter, Allie Berze and Corban Westfall. Back: Elijah Lovell, Bryan Blazeski, Steve Bezak, Garrett Cesario, Kylie Merkel and Mary Dagan. Not pictured is Farah Hawk.

South Sets Kindergarten Readiness Event for May
Posted 4/10/2019 at 9:17:35 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

TILTONSVILLE- Buckeye South Elementary is making sure some of its newest pupils are prepared for the classroom by hosting a kindergarten readiness event on May 9 for parents of 2019-2020 students.

  Principal Julie Packer said the session will be held at 6 p.m. Kindergarten students are assessed every year but officials will highlight what parents need to know before their child begins class.

   “We will be focusing on skills the students should have when they come in August and what they will learn throughout the year,” said Packer. 

   Information on how parents can help them at home will also be reviewed and she added that a large kindergarten enrollment is expected for the next school term. For more information, contact the school at (740) 859-2800.

North Holding Plant Sale for Dalrymple Scholarship
Posted 4/10/2019 at 9:15:46 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-A plant sale is currently under way at Buckeye North Elementary to benefit graduating Buckeye Local seniors in the name of a former educator.

   The school is conducting its 10th annual flower sale from now until April 23 to raise money for the Robert Dalyrmple Scholarship Fund. The fund is in honor of Dalrymple, who taught at the school for more than three decades, and provides $1,000 each year to a graduating high school senior who attended North Elementary. Dean’s Greenhouse of Westlake, Ohio, is providing a variety of flowers and vegetables in time for spring planting. Items are available in flats and baskets and range from $3 to $25, while offerings include herbs, vines, petunias, begonias, marigolds, impatiens, geraniums, New Guineas, ferns, fuchsias, million bells, material plants, mixed annuals and vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, red cabbage and eggplant.

   Principal Susan Nolan said purchases may be made online or in paper form through any student or even by contacting the school. Delivery and pick-up day is set for May 9. For more information or to make orders, call the school at (740) 598-4589 or go to https://app.myteamworks.org/buckeyenorth-3 .

Buckeye West Holding Right to Read Week
Posted 4/10/2019 at 9:14:00 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Students at Buckeye West Elementary School are gearing up for Right to Read Week on April 29-May 5 with a fun camping theme.

   Principal Lucas Parsons said this year’s theme is “A Good Book Sets Your Mind on Fire” and students will dress up throughout the week in recognition of the event. Classroom doors and reading areas will also be decorated and for Drop Everything and Read! (D.E.A.R.) time, which will be held each day according to classroom schedules. Students also will don caps for Hat Day and take a nature walk and scavenger hunt that Monday, weather permitting; wear flannel on Tuesday and take part in a “Fishing for Sight Words” evening activity from 5-6 p.m., where families will visit various stations centered on the camping theme; dress up in their dream vocation for Career Day on Wednesday, while it is also the rain date for the nature walk and scavenger hunt events; wear crazy socks and camo on Thursday and visit classrooms to read campfire stories to a class or small group; and dress as their favorite book character on Friday, plus teachers will perform skits at that time.

Buckeye West Promotes PAW It Forward
Posted 4/10/2019 at 9:11:47 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Buckeye West Elementary students are helping their peers through a new initiative known as PAW It Forward.

   The program, which was developed by fourth-grade teacher Margo Scherich, began earlier this month and aims to spread kindness by having children in grades PreK-6 work together.

   “The goal was to use a play on words from ‘Pay It Forward’ and tie in the Buckeye Local Panthers,” Scherich explained. “I had been planning this for a few weeks and preparing all of the needed materials and student groupings with fellow staff members. We began our first PAW It Forward on April 5.”

   She added that each PAW group meets weekly for about 40 minutes and upperclassmen are paired with students in lower grades to help in their classroom. The older students tell stories, practice weak skills, make crafts and share experiences with the younger set, while plans can change between groups depending on the grade level and teacher’s discretion.

 “I first got this idea when I was trying to come up with a way to have older students give back and spend time with the younger students. In the classroom, they always love to share and help but there isn’t always time since instruction time is already limited. Both students can feel important and get close to one-on-one attention with peers. They have to model manners and work with students they aren’t accustomed to always being around,” she continued. “It’s a chance to spread personal time, kindness and experiences back to others in a comfortable environment.”

   Scherich has already received some positive feedback and noted the older students enjoyed interacting with the other grades.

 “I hope this catches on and can be implemented at the start of the 2019-20 school year. It doesn’t cost anything but time to give back to others.”

   Principal Lucas Parsons said he hopes to expound on the concept next year by incorporating a character intervention activity to handle behavioral issues. The option would be provided each day in conjunction with academic intervention and detention and students will have the opportunity to discuss situations that caused the issues at hand, as well as find solutions to benefit everyone involved. Parsons, who collaborated with fifth-grade teacher Joanna Call on the project, said it also includes goals the pupils must reach.

   Character intervention will also be utilized along with PAW It Forward Fridays and students will be placed in lower grades and interact in social, academic and physical activities to help build relationships, and Second Step Thursdays, the latter of which occurs monthly and involves combining classes of the same grade level with teachers sharing instructional duties.

   “When a student is struggling with academics, we place them in intervention to help them reach their academic goals. However, when a student misbehaves, we simply punish them and send them to detention.  This doesn’t work anymore [and] we must adapt our expectations and understand that values are based upon circumstance,” Parsons commented. “By utilizing all three programs, students will have ample opportunity to get to the root of the issues and teachers will find solutions to behaviors rather than overused, broken punishments.”

WSO Young People’s Concert at BLHS
Posted 4/3/2019 at 10:32:52 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

CONNORVILLE-The Wheeling Symphony will return to Buckeye Local High School on April 2 with its Young People’s Concerts Tour.

 WSO will present “The Animated Orchestra” with conductor Maurice Staton and give students and teachers a high-quality symphonic experience in a school setting. Performances are set for the high school at 9:30 a.m. and junior high at 11:15 a.m. and focus on the imagination and orchestral-depicted animation featuring the music of composers Bedrich Smetana, Richard Strauss, Sir Edward Elgar and Gregory Smith. The Young People’s Concerts program has been held at BLHS for the past three years and Principal Coy Sudvary said students from Martins Ferry Christian School are expected to attend this time. More performances are slated at Washington Park High School on April 1, John Marshall High School on April 3 and the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center at Wheeling Park on April 4.

 Sponsors include the Helen J. Prince Foundation, Schenk Charitable Trust, W.E. Stone Foundation, Hess Family Fund, Levenson Family Foundation, Sands Charitable Trust, Wheeling Hospital and anonymous contributors. For more information about the Wheeling Symphony or to learn more about upcoming events and concerts, visit www.wheelingsymphony.com.

South Gearing up for Car and Craft Show
Posted 4/3/2019 at 10:30:44 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

TILTONSVILLE-Craft vendors and classic car aficionados are being sought for the third annual South Elementary Playground Committee Car and Craft Show in May.

 Events get under way on May 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school located at 100 Walden Ave. in Tiltonsville with a rain date set for May 18. Cars, crafters, food and fun are on the agenda and benefit the school’s playground committee. Joe Malechowski, PTO president and event organizer, said attendants can expect a lot of the popular offerings from years past but the committee is also looking at other ways to make it more enjoyable.

 The show has drawn 80-90 car and bike entries as well as 20-30 vendors who sell everything from crafts to cosmetics. Dash plaques will be given for the first 100 vehicle entries, in addition to 30 trophies with the top three by year range and a Best of Show custom trophy. Registration for the car show is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at a cost of $8 and no preregistration is necessary. Judging starts at 1 p.m. with trophies being distributed at 3 p.m. For more information, contact Malechowski at (740) 275-6406. Meanwhile, vendors must preregister for a $30 fee with $10 for an additional space. Space will be held and confirmed when the payment is made while setup is from 9-10 a.m. and the sales run until 4 p.m. It is open to crafters, skilled trades and home business retailers and vendors may set up their own 10-foot-by-10-foot tents, tables and chairs. To preregister, email sepgc@comcast.net or go to the committee’s Facebook page.

 Door prizes, a Chinese auction and a BASF Corp. raffle item worth $500 will also be available at the event while DJ Mr. Bill will provide music and kids can enjoy games, face painting and more. Attendants can dine on burgers, pulled pork and other hot food cooked up by the Yorkville Volunteer Fire Department and playground committee members will offer Sno-cones, popcorn and other concession items. Additionally, shirts will be sold for $10-$12 to benefit the school playground project. Malechowski said $3,000 was raised last year and the committee added a shelter with concrete and tables for students to enjoy recess outdoors. This year, officials are eying a tire climbing apparatus to get kids moving.

 “Every year we try to do something and have gotten support from the VFW and Lions Club. We’re hoping we can get donations for projects this year,” he added. “We also try to save a little for a big item in the future.”

   More information about the show is available at the South Elementary Playground Facebook page.

Buckeye Local Blood Drive on March 19
Posted 3/11/2019 at 10:35:39 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

DILLONVALE-The Buckeye Local High School Student Council is seeking donors to take part in its upcoming blood drive slated for March 19.

 Students and the community are invited to roll up a sleeve and help others during the event, which runs in the school gym from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Teacher Jaide Brown, who co-advises the organization with MaryEllen Bolock, said the organization was partnering with the American Red Cross and students will oversee stations while Red Cross medical personnel will handle the collection.

    “The Red Cross has set our goal at 35 units, which is what we collected at our fall blood drive,” she said. “To reach the 35-unit goal, the Red Cross gives us 45 appointments to fill, six of which are Power Red donations. Currently, we have 35 BLHS students, staff and community members signed up and we have filled 33 whole blood appointments and three Power Red appointments. We always try to fill more spots than we are given just in case someone is unavailable to donate the day of the drive.”

   The student council has sponsored Red Cross blood drives for more than a decade and attempts to conduct two per year. Brown continued that every bit helps, and it literally goes a long way. The student council collected another 35 units during its Dec. 5 campaign and the Red Cross reportedly used it at Wheeling Clinic, Marietta Memorial Hospital, Uniontown Hospital and Charleston Area Medical Center, as well as other locations. Meanwhile, the school has collected 1,170 units of blood with 1,384 total donors over the course of 24 blood drives. She noted that Buckeye Local has also hosted 688 first-time blood donors, and at this time several registered contributors will be making milestone donations, including a senior who will achieve a half-gallon of blood donated.

   “We simply encourage donors to eat a nutritious breakfast, drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine prior to donation,” she continued, saying the American Red Cross has a list of restrictions on their website with further information. “The student council and advisors want to thank everyone that has donated in the past and encourage them to sign up for donation on March 19.”

   Walk-ins are welcome but registration is also available at www.redcrossblood.org or by downloading the app and entering the code word Buckeye. Walk-ins are given priority and organizers attempt to keep the donation process under an hour.

Buckeye West is Busy This Month
Posted 3/6/2019 at 9:50:44 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Students at Buckeye West Elementary School have a busy schedule with activities set throughout the month of March.

 Principal Lucas Parsons said grades 3-6 will get a preview of “Willy Wonka Jr.,” the spring musical production at Buckeye Local High School on March 13 as part of their Positive Behaviors and Intervention Supports (PBIS) incentive rewards. Preschool and kindergarten registration opens for on March 15 from 9-11:15 a.m. and the school will host its second academic challenge, “March Mathness,” on March 22.

 Additionally, the site will host the annual Adena Lions Club Minstrel Show on March 29-30.

BLHS Holds International Culture Fair
Posted 3/6/2019 at 9:19:14 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL International Culture Fair

CONNORVILLE-Buckeye Local High School welcomed traditions and food from around the world during the 14th annual International Culture Fair on Feb. 28.

 Hundreds of participants browsed around the commons area, stopping at tables that represented more than two-dozen different countries to learn about culture and cuisine. This year’s theme was “Love Around the World” and the night also included live international music, theatrical performances, kids’ activities and a 50-50 raffle to benefit the Foreign Language Club for field trips and cultural events.

 Exhibits displayed information and tempting dishes from the likes of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Belize, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Russia, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Holland, India, Japan and South Korea. The first part of the event included the food tasting, where people paid 25 cents each to sample such dishes as haluski, tacos, baklava and jerk chicken, plus they viewed displays and voted in the commons area. The night concluded with performances in the theater with a Parade of Nations, songs in Spanish, Spanglish, Dutch, French, Japanese, Russian, Hebrew and German and tango, waltz and Indian dances.

 Some students had interesting reasons for selecting their respective country, such as Jaina and Kya Demeter.

 “The theme was about love and my parents got married in the Bahamas and we’ve been there twice, so it was an easy choice,” said Jaina.

 Meanwhile, other members explained the traditions of their selected countries. Students Maria Zackey, Nathan Jarrell and Nathan Dierkes depicted how the groom gives the bride 13 gold coins and Los Padrinos, or the godparents, contribute to the cost of the ceremony.

 “I think Mexico is a very interesting country,” said Jarrell. “There’s more to it with the history.”

 In Italy, tradition dictates that the closest friends of the bride and groom purchase their rings, while people go to Chetmo, Poland, on Valentine’s Day to pray for a good marriage because the town is known as “Lover’s City.”

   Co-advisors Bonnie Soos and Wendy Patrone said a steady stream of attendants ventured through the building all evening, making it another successful event.

   “I am amazed. The kids put so much work into it,” said Soos. “The community came out and we have gotten a lot of positive feedback.”

   “It’s been a fantastic night,” Patrone added. “The kids put a lot of hard work into it and it shows. I’m thankful for the support of the community. There were lots of parents and grandparents attending.”

(Photo Cutline: More than two-dozen countries were represented during the 14th annual International Culture Fair at Buckeye Local High School on Feb. 28, where people viewed global traditions depicting “Love Around the World” and took part in tasted foods from each nation. The evening included music, kids’ games and theatrical performances and proceeds benefitted the school’s Foreign Language Club. Pictured are members Hannah Badger and Brooklyn Garlinger with some of the attendants at their United States exhibit.)

The Cat Appears at South
Posted 3/1/2019 at 10:53:42 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Buckeye South Right to Read

Famous feline The Cat in the Hat visited Buckeye South Elementary on Feb. 27 as part of Right to Read Week festivities, which included classroom activities and a book fair hosted by the school PTO organization. Dr. Seuss was the theme of the program since the author’s birthday is March 2 and The Cat took time to meet and delight the young students. He is pictured here with preschoolers, front from left, Abram MacAlister, Camden McNeil and Logan Machine.

Buckeye North Slates Activities for March
Posted 3/1/2019 at 10:50:23 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary School will be busy with a full slate of activities for March.

 Principal Susan Nolan said the school PTO organization is kicking off a candle sale fundraiser on March 4 to benefit student activities. The group will be selling Makepeace Natural Candles from the Wintersville-based company and soy jar candles will be available in a variety of scents for $12 each. The sale will take place throughout the month.

 The school will also host the Jefferson-Harrison Regional Spelling Bee on March 9 at 11 a.m. About 50 local students from schools around Jefferson and Harrison counties will participate and the winner will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May. The event is sponsored by the Steubenville Herald-Star and the Jefferson County Educational Service Center. In case of inclement weather, a rain date was set for March 16 at 11 a.m.

 Nolan added that students in grades 3-6 will enjoy their Positive Behavior and Intervention Strategies (PBIS) reward with a trip to the Wheeling Nailers hockey game on March 12 while they will also preview the Buckeye Local High School production of “Willy Wonka Jr.” on March 13. Grades K-2 will also have their own activity at North that same day as part of their PBIS incentive.

ECE, Kindergarten Registration at Buckeye Local
Posted 3/1/2019 at 10:48:54 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

DILLONVALE-Buckeye Local Schools will hold registration for new students in the Early Childhood Education (ECE), formerly preschool, and kindergarten programs for the 2019-20 academic year.

 Enrollment is set for South Elementary in Tiltonsville on March 13, North Elementary in Brilliant on March 14 and West Elementary in Adena on March 15 from 9-11:15 a.m. ECE service may be students that are 3 years old on or before Aug. 1 while kindergarteners must turn 5 years old by that same date.

   Online registration stations will be made available and the child need not attend, but copies of their birth certificate, Social Security Number and immunization records are required. Those students already attending Buckeye Local ECE do not need to register for kindergarten. A summer screening will be held for those newly registered ECE and kindergarten students and a screening appointment will be made during registration.

   Immunization records for preschool and kindergarten should include four or more doses of vaccine for DtaP, DTP, or DT, three or more doses of OPV or IPV in any combination, one (preschool) or two (kindergarten) doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) administered after the first birthday and three doses of Hepatitis B. Students will need to show prove of receiving doses of the Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine prior to entry unless the student has naturally had the chicken pox. Preschoolers only will be required to show proof of having the Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HIB) vaccine and the number of doses may depend on age. School nurse Mary Kay Mayle will review those records and any incomplete information may be taken care of through the family physician or the Jefferson County Health Department. Local pharmacies may also have the shot available. Students with incomplete immunization records and/or required documents will be placed on a waiting list for registration. Registration will be completed when all required forms are on file.

   Students in the all-day preschool program must be 4 years of age by Aug. 1 and returning preschool students will be considered first. Students with special needs will also have priority and registration must be received by Aug. 1 to be considered for a spot. Any registration that is received after that date will be put on a waiting list for the all-day program. Acceptance is not based on first come, first served during registration.

   For more information, contact the school district at (740) 769-7395 or the respective schools or go online to www.buckeyelocal.net.

Buckeye North Auditorium Getting Updated Seats
Posted 2/19/2019 at 10:51:48 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
North Auditorium Seats

BRILLIANT-A piece of the former Follansbee Middle School has found a new home across the river at Buckeye North Elementary.

 Elementary Principal Susan Nolan said a successful auction bid was made for seating from the FMS auditorium and the furniture will be installed at North for a much-needed update. The chairs at the elementary school auditorium are part of the original building and date back to the 1950s. Nolan said the plan is to remove the newer blue, plastic-molded chairs from the Follansbee site and install them at North, but it will take more than a few helping hands. She has put out calls to local organizations such as the Brilliant Lions Club and the school’s WATCH D.O.G.S. group, which includes dads and father figures who volunteer at the site, to assist with the project.

   “Our maintenance workers will unbolt them and we’ll get volunteers to load them and bring them over,” she added. “We’ll auction off [our current seats] and move the new ones. I’m also going to seek grant money and sell the rest of our seats to the community for memorabilia.”

   Proceeds will be used for hardware to add the newer used furniture, and while there is no actual timeline Nolan hopes to complete the work soon. About 290 seats were acquired at auction and Nolan hopes to obtain at least 200 more. However, the newer chairs are slightly wider and there will be fewer spots in the audience.

    “We will lose some seating,” she commented. 

    Anyone interested in assisting with the project may contact Nolan at the school at (740) 598-4589.

(Photo Cutline: Buckeye North Elementary will get an updated look after its current seats are replaced with plastic chairs acquired at auction from the former Follansbee Middle School. North Elementary Principal Susan Nolan said volunteers are needed to move the items and install them at the Brilliant site.)

North Hosting Donuts with Dad on Tuesday
Posted 2/19/2019 at 10:46:29 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Fathers and father figures can join their kids and learn about volunteering as Buckeye North Elementary hosts its third annual Donuts with Dad event this Tuesday at 6 p.m.

   Principal Susan Nolan said attendants will gather in the cafeteria for treats and the adults will learn about the WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program where they can spend time in the school and support the kids.

   WATCH D.O.G.S. is an innovative program used by schools nationwide which allows fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and stepfathers to volunteer at their student’s school and be a positive role model in the lives of the youth. The initiative involves adult male role models spending at least one day in their child’s school and working with educators by helping as crossing guards, car or bus rider facilitators, hallway monitors, library assistants, lunchroom helpers, classroom and homework tutors and playground or gym coaches. 

   “We’re going to have dads come in and hopefully sign up for the rest of the year and get some new recruits,” Nolan said. “We usually average one volunteer a week and sometimes more than that.”

 The father involvement initiative is provided by the National Center for Fathering and was inspired by one father’s desire to increase male involvement in his children’s school. WATCH D.O.G.S. was created in 1998 in Springdale, Ark., but has since spread to more than 5,300 schools in more than 47 states and other countries. Nolan said North Elementary has had about 20 volunteers give their time and she hopes to recruit more help at this week’s event.

   “We are always looking for more. The kids love it when they are here,” she added.

   Official WATCH D.O.G.S. T-shirts will be sold for $12 and volunteers are required to undergo FBI background checks prior to working at the school. For more information, contact the school at (740) 598-4589.

BLHS Hosting International Culture Fair
Posted 2/15/2019 at 1:41:57 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

 CONNORVILLE-Buckeye Local High School is going global this month as it hosts its annual International Culture Fair.

 “Love Around the World” is the theme of this year’s event, which takes place in the commons area on Feb. 28 from 5-8 p.m. More than two-dozen countries will be represented with cultural displays, food tastings, live international music and theatrical performances while a 50-50 raffle will also be held to benefit the Foreign Language Club for field trips and cultural events. Admission is free but tickets for the food tasting costs 25 cents. 

   Co-advisors Bonnie Soos and Wendy Patrone said children’s activities will be added this year to introduce kids to the worldwide experience.

   “The Foreign Language Club officers chose the theme. Since the fair is taking place in February, they decided to incorporate it into the theme,” said Soos. “This is our 14th annual culture fair. We take great pride in it, and each year the fair gets bigger and better. Between the excitement and the students, the live international music and dance, the delicious food, the beautiful cultural displays and the community involvement, it is so magical. We are so proud of our students.”

   Among the countries on display are Poland, Italy, India, France, Belize, the Czech Republic, Canada, Argentina, Denmark, Russia, Spain, Bahamas, Jamaica, Holland, Ireland, Puerto Rico, United States, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and Costa Rica. There is also something for attendants who have a yen for Japan, want to peruse Peru and are hungry to learn about Hungary.

 The club has 110 members, and in addition to those holding the exhibitions, others will be involved with decorating the site, selling tickets, serving refreshments, participating in performances and more.

BLHS Students Attend WVU Honor Band Invite
Posted 2/15/2019 at 1:39:30 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL WVU Honor Bands

Four Buckeye Local High School band members visited West Virginia University for the 40th Annual High School Honor Bands Invitational. Students from about 100 schools practiced and performed with guest conductors Dr. Arris Golden of Michigan State University, Dr. Douglas Phillips of Stetson University and Dr. John Locke, retired director of bands at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, during a concert in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre on Feb. 9. Pictured are, from left, Bill Stephens, BLHS band director; Allie Berze, trombone; Elijah Lovell, tuba; Mary Dagan, baritone; and Sarina Tetley, trumpet.

Elec Simon Returning to Buckeye Local
Posted 2/7/2019 at 12:13:40 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Elec Simon Visiting Schools

DILLONVALE-Buckeye Local High School alum Elec Simon is returning to his roots and sharing his musical message with students this week.

 Simon will appear at Buckeye South Elementary and Buckeye West Elementary Schools at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, on Monday and Buckeye Local High School at 8:30 a.m. and Buckeye North Elementary at 1 p.m. on Tuesday as part of Black History Month. This marks Simon’s fifth trip back to his old stomping grounds and the one-time Broadway performer will get the crowd moving with his rhythmic and enlightening performance. 

   The Smithfield native is a 1999 BLHS graduate and former University of Akron football player who later found success on Broadway as a cast member in the hit theatrical production “Stomp.” The self-taught musician and tap dancer began busking with street performers and along subway platforms before auditioning along with 1,200 people for a role in the critically-acclaimed 2005 production. After earning one of the eight coveted spots, Simon was sidelined with an injury during rehearsals but made a triumphant return to the stage for a five-year run. He also toured throughout the two continents through 2014 and his career has also included appearances in “Tap Extravaganza” alongside his inspiration, dancer Savion Glover, plus at famed Harlem jazz clubs and on recordings with the likes of funk and hip hop artists Justin Miles and Ace Boogie. After touring Canada, the U.S. and South America, he returned to Ohio to make a difference in other people’s lives and currently resides in Canton. Today, he is a prominent member of the Qstix percussion crew at the Cleveland Cavaliers games and is also travelling on a Pieces of a Dream world tour.

   He still travels to schools, juvenile detention centers and prisons to share words of self-respect, anti-bullying and acceptance and was looking forward to returning to his home community.

 “[BLHS Principal] Coy Sudvary asked me to come back and [West Principal] Luke Parsons and I grew up together and we’re good friends,” Simon said. “I love it. This is where it all started.”

   He added that his message differs between the elementary and high schools, and the latter pays tribute to his best friend Terry Ford, who committed suicide at age 17 after being bullied. Simon’s program encourages others to be kind to one another.

    “The message is going to be about respect and light—respect, love and self-esteem. At the elementary level, I talk about respecting your teachers and listening; at the middle and high school, I share my story. I have a five-piece band and there is audience participation. It turns into a huge party.”

   Sudvary said it was a pleasure to host Simon’s return to the area, particularly at the school he once attended.

   “We are always excited to welcome Elec Simon back to his alma mater. He is very energetic about helping the youth at Buckeye Local,” Sudvary said. “He has a unique way of communicating his anti-bullying and respect message. Elec is such a gifted musician and entertainer, the kids love to hear him. He loves his hometown and his hometown is extremely proud of his accomplishments.”

(Photo Cutline: Elec Simon, a Smithfield native and Buckeye Local High School graduate, will return to his alma mater this week to speak about anti-bullying and respect. His motivational talks also include a musical mix and he will showcase his talents with a band at Buckeye Local Schools this Monday and Tuesday.)

K-9 Units Visit Buckeye North
Posted 2/7/2019 at 12:04:49 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Buckeye North K-9 Visit

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary has gone to the dogs as K-9 units from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol visited the school on Feb. 6.

   Deputy Reese Thompson and Sgt. Chris Vinci of JCSO joined OSHP Trooper Scott Bayless of the Cambridge Unit and JCSO Deputy Rodney Roe, who serves as school resource officer for Buckeye Local Schools, with some four-legged crime fighters to speak to more than 30 third-graders about the roles the canine cops play in keeping the community safe. Deputy Thompson was on hand with his K-9 partner, Kilo, while Tpr. Bayless brought his partner, Alex. Officials answered questions from students ranging from training to the dogs’ strength and agility and said they were very helpful in serving the public.

   Alex is a seven-year-old German Shepherd from Czechoslovakia while Kilo is a two-year-old Belgian Malinois from Holland. The officers said the dogs are at least 10 months old when they are paired up and they train together for 10 weeks before they go on the road. The partners spend more than 16 hours per month continuing their training sessions to hone their skills and the dogs primarily aid in detecting drugs and tracking people through scent, while they only respond to commands in their native language.  The K-9 units performed a few demonstrations with the dogs using scent detection to locate hidden drugs and Sgt. Vinci donned a protective sleeve to showcase the apprehension of aggressive subjects.

   “Training is never-ending,” said Tpr. Bayless.

   “It’s very rewarding to see what the dogs can do,” said Deputy Thompson.

   The visit comes on the heels of a class reading project, “Aero and Officer Mike,” which is a book about a K-9 unit. Teacher Erica Frye said a similar K-9 visit occurred two years ago and it gives students an opportunity to see the dogs up close.

   “I thought it would be a nice visual to see the K-9 rather than just read about it,” she said, adding that she collaborated with fellow third-grade teacher Jenny Aubrey on the project.

(Photo Cutline: Local law enforcement K-9 units visited third-graders at Buckeye North Elementary School to talk about their four-legged partners and demonstrate their crime-fighting skills. Trooper Scott Bayless of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Cambridge Unit and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Reese Thompson were joined by their partners Alex and Kilo, as well as Sgt. Chris Vinci of JCSO and Deputy Rodney Roe, who also serves as school resource officer in the Buckeye Local School District. The visit concluded a reading project about a police officer and his K-9 partner.)

BLHS Students View “Hamilton"
Posted 2/7/2019 at 11:59:07 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BLHS Students View Hamilton

CONNORVILLE-Buckeye Local High School students got to see history and the arts combined after making a trek to Pittsburgh recently to view the touring production of the award-winning Broadway hit “Hamilton.”

   About 29 students in the Honors III English, College Credit Plus English and American Literature classes took a field trip to the Benedum Center on Jan. 25, where they watched a matinee performance and engaged in educational activities and a question-and-answer session with cast members. Organizers said nearly 3,000 students attended the event and Buckeye Local was the only local site on hand. The trip was made possible with funding from the Hamilton Education Program, which subsidized most of the costs.

   English teacher Stephanie Crust said she learned about the opportunity last year and worked to make the trip a reality.

   “In March, I came across information on the program. The creators of ‘Hamilton’ and the education foundation for Gilder Lehrman created a program for students from Title I or low-income schools to see a performance,” Crust said. “I thought it would be an interesting opportunity and got on their website to sign up. I emailed the Gilder Lehrman Foundation and asked for more information.”

   The Gilder Lehrman Institute partnered with the producers of “Hamilton” and the Lin-Manuel Miranda family on the Hamilton Education Program. Title I–eligible high schools are invited to integrate Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Era into classroom studies and then see the musical. The Hamilton Education Program is part of the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s broader mission to improve the teaching and learning of American history. The generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation, which helped launch the initial program and support its national expansion, along with many national and local donors allows high school students in Title I schools in New York City, Chicago and selected cities to pay only $10 to see the production.

   In addition to being a Title I school, teachers had to implement lessons about the country’s founding documents and historical events from the American Revolution. Meanwhile, the students had to complete a research project and create an original performance piece that was graded as part of the English course. A written copy of each performance piece had to be submitted to the Hamilton Education Program prior to the trip. Crust learned the school qualified this past fall and officials also raised funds to defray costs for motor coach transportation. The group, which also included members of the English Department and BLHS Principal Coy Sudvary, viewed student performances and took part in the Q&A with main players in “Hamilton” in addition to watching the matinee production on the Benedum stage. They even lunched at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center while in the big city, and she added that it was a unique experience that the youth enjoyed.

   “The kids were thrilled. It was wonderful to be able to give them an opportunity that many would not have otherwise,” Crust noted.

   She said fellow English teachers Tricia Zaccagnini and Belinda Boyce were instrumental in organizing the performance pieces and other projects to meet the foundation’s requirements as well as obtaining funds, while Principal Sudvary was very supportive of the cause.

   “Mr. Sudvary allows us to pursue opportunities to benefit students to help them grow culturally and educationally.”

   Crust also thanked the local donors, including individuals and groups, for their generosity to make the trip happen.

(Photo Cutline: About 29 students from Buckeye Local High School viewed a matinee performance of “Hamilton” at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh on Jan. 25 after receiving support from the Hamilton Educational Foundation and Gilder Lehrman Institute. Students took part in educational activities, saw the performance and took part in a question-and-answer session with main cast members from the touring production.)

BL Top Speller
Posted 1/29/2019 at 9:28:36 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL District Spelling Bee

The top spellers were named during the Buckeye Local School District Spelling Bee on Jan. 16, where students from Buckeye Local Jr. High School, North Elementary, South Elementary and West Elementary gathered at Buckeye Local High School to determine who advances to the Jefferson-Harrison Regional Spelling Bee slated for North Elementary in March. Pictured are, front from left, Cara Motto, a sixth-grader from South Elementary, first place; Sydney Snyder, a sixth-grader from South Elementary, second; Cassie Burkhead, a seventh-grader at BLJHS, third; Nick Kovalski, a sixth-grader from West Elementary, fourth; and Jasmine Yohe, a seventh-grader at BLJHS, fifth. Middle: Adam Blackwell, a sixth-grader from West, sixth place; Jude Riggs, an eighth-grader from BLJHS, seventh; Kylie Watt, a fifth-grader from North, eighth; Paul Pasco, an eighth-grader from BLJHS, first alternate; and Tristin Bennette, a sixth-grader at North, second alternate. Back: Ross Galabrese, managing editor of the Steubenville Herald-Star; Susan Nolan, spelling bee coordinator and North Elementary principal; and Kimberly Leonard, superintendent of Buckeye Local Schools.

February Activities Slated at North
Posted 1/29/2019 at 9:23:52 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary students gearing up for a variety of school activities in February.

   Students in grades PreK-6 will be selling Anthony Thomas candy bars from Feb. 4-22 at a cost of $1 each to gain some sweet rewards. Principal Susan Nolan said pupils will be peddling bags containing 30 chocolate bars and proceeds will help sixth-graders attend Camp Muskingum this spring as well as fund other student-related activities.

   Nolan said it costs $180 per student to attend the camp in late April and sixth-graders and their siblings keep half of their earnings to defray the costs. She added that profits from the other candy sales will benefit the school activities fund to cover assemblies, treats, prizes and other events for the pupils.

   Additionally, students can enjoy taking part in two upcoming dances. The DARE program is kicking off its monthly activity on Feb. 8 at the Wells Township Community Center. The event will run from 6:30-8 p.m. and is open to students in grades 4-6. Nolan said the dances are held each month through spring and third-graders will be invited to the final event in May. Meanwhile, the Buckeye North PTO will sponsor another dance at the school on Feb. 15 from 6-8 p.m.

North Students Learn about Careers
Posted 1/29/2019 at 9:21:44 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Students at Buckeye North Elementary School are learning about different careers and how they are important to the community.

   Fifth-grade teacher Erin Best said people from throughout the area have visited the school to speak to her classes about their careers and how they contribute to society. The events have been held since the start of the school year and Best said they have been successful.

   “We are using our intervention period once a month to have real people come in and explain what they do on their job. These kids need to know how the person is important,” she said. “Every month we will try to have someone come in to show they are not always white-collar professionals. We are trying to expose them to things in the world and hopefully they can do that someday.”

   Guests so far have included an exterminator and a farmer while a female coalminer was also slated to appear. Best said the latter will give girls a chance to learn that roles were available for both genders and female students in the sixth-grade will also be invited to attend.

   “We really want to inspire some of these girls and help boost their self-confidence,” she added.

   She noted that the variety of speakers show the many job opportunities available and they don’t always require a college degree, while her pupils have enjoyed the visits. 

 “They respond well to it. This is something I think we’re going to continue because the kids love it and we want this to expose them to the opportunities out there.”

Basketball Tourney Benefits Scholarships, Community
Posted 1/29/2019 at 9:20:22 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary will be the site of the third annual Buckeye Local Junior Panthers Basketball Tournament to benefit high school graduates and the surrounding community.

   The tourney, which is sponsored by the Buckeye Local Junior Panthers organization, will be held Feb. 20-24 with games slated at North Elementary and the Meadowbrook Church of God near Rayland. Events will be held Feb. 20 and 21 from about 5-8 p.m. and over the weekend from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Proceeds will go to the BLJP Scholarship Program to support graduating BLHS seniors and also help the community.

   Erin Best, organization member, said at least 20 teams of kids will participate and represent both sides of the Ohio River. Boys and girls in grades 3-6 spanning from Oak Glen to Bellaire will play and help raise money for some great causes.

   “We hope to raise $3,000 at the tournament,” Best said. “[The scholarships] are for Buckeye Local High School students and anyone who played in the program is eligible. We also started a toiletry closet and give away items to help people in need. We want to make sure the kids have what they need.”

   Funds will be derived from admission costs, which are $5 for adults and $3 for students, plus proceeds from the concession stand. Best added that entry fees cost $125 for one team and $100 for schools with several teams and defray expenses for food, trophies and referees, and a Break the Bank moneymaker will also be held to help refinish the high school gym floor.

   About 215 kids take part in the in-house intramural program and the organization acquired eight-foot-tall mobile hoops to accommodate the younger athletes. The BLJP includes 15 adult core members and Best said this marked the third year for the tournament and the second year for the scholarship program.

   “We want kids to come out, play basketball and have fun, and we just want to raise money for our group.”

   For more information, contact Best at (740) 359-1218 or email erin.best@buckeyelocal.net.

Buckeye South Holds Food Drive
Posted 12/21/2018 at 2:57:34 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
South Food Drive 2018

Buckeye South Elementary School held its annual Share the Holidays food drive and collected about 300 non-perishable items to fill the Dillonvale Food Pantry, a local organization that provides services for residents and families in the Buckeye Local School District. Students amassed such items as soup and instant potatoes from Dec. 3-19 and delivered the items to the food pantry on Dec. 21. Pictured with the items are, from left, second-graders Leena Howard, McKayla Schnelle and Makayla Conaway.

Church Donates Gifts to BLJHS Students
Posted 12/21/2018 at 2:52:29 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Church Donates Gifts to BLJHS

Pastor Dan Holt and members of the Tiltonsville United Methodist Church donated gifts to students at Buckeye Local Junior High School on Dec. 17 as part of an annual holiday tradition. Students were randomly selected to receive the items and nearly 80 stockings were delivered to the school. Dean of Students Janelle Windsheimer said the students were appreciative of the gifts and each stocking had different items. She added that the district was grateful to the church for thinking of the students and providing those wonderful gifts this holiday season. Assisting church officials during the delivery are, pictured front from left, seventh-graders Ivan Grady, Richard Green, Landon Sgalla, Jesse Meddles, J.D. Koran, Austin Billingsley, Bailey Coen, Kiarra Eastham, Morgan Richardson and Olivia Kovalski. Back: church member Roger Warren, Pastor Holt, and student Josh Ghrist.

The NED Show Visits Buckeye South
Posted 12/18/2018 at 2:28:44 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
South Ned Show
 background:white'>Photo Cutline: The NED Show stopped by Buckeye South Elementary on Dec. 11 to teach kids how to build brain power. NED, which stands for “Never give up, Encourage others, Do your best,” promotes academic achievement through character development and the latest lesson centered on growth mindset, or the attitude that the brain gets stronger with use. Examples include learning from mistakes, considering new solutions and engaging in problem solving. Pictured is student Kayden Sacco taking part in the show.

Paws to Help Santa Claus
Posted 12/11/2018 at 1:01:03 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
PAWS to hel Santa Claus

Edison and Buckeye Local High Schools teamed up off the court to help collect toys for needy kids in their communities through the “Paws to Help Santa Claus” campaign. The schools had to raise the most toys by the Dec. 7 basketball matchup and the one with the least collected would see their principal don the opponent’s mascot during a game. Edison won the challenge by gathering 274 toys while Buckeye Local collected 152, but the kids were the real winners since the 426 toys will be divided between the districts. Pictured with a few of the items are Edison and Buckeye Local students, front from left, Gracie Fox, Morgan Martin, Jailyah Green and Ethan Powell. Back: Alysea Fiedorczyk, Delaney Johnson, Kiera Reese, Emileah Booth, Brooklyn Grant, Gino Barber and Seth Richardson.

Christmas Programs at Buckeye Local Schools
Posted 12/7/2018 at 11:42:22 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Christmas Program West

Buckeye West Elementary students rang in the season during their Christmas program on Dec. 5. Children in grades K-6 sang and played instruments for family, friends and school staff and performed such tunes as “Jingle Bells,” “Up on the House Top” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” More holiday programs are planned in the district, with Buckeye North Elementary holding events for grades K-3 on Dec. 11 and grades 4-6 on Dec. 12 and Buckeye South Elementary’s program on Dec. 19 at 1:30 p.m. Buckeye Local High School set its Christmas program for Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. with a variety of holiday favorites on the playlist while monetary donations will be accepted at that venue.

Buckeye Local Holds Blood Drive
Posted 12/7/2018 at 11:39:31 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BLHS Blood Drive

RAYLAND-Buckeye Local High School held the first of its biannual blood drives on Dec. 5, where dozens of students and community members heeded the call to give of themselves and help save lives.

   The high school student council conducted the event in conjunction with the American Red Cross. Jaide Brown, who shares co-advisor duties with Mary Ellen Bolock, said 45 people registered to donate while some community members were walk-ins.

 “We were expecting around 50 and our goal is 36 units, so we’re feeling really good about it today,” Brown said. “This year, we needed to do more social media to keep kids informed as to why it was important to donate. We made public announcements and officers took signups for donors. We usually get 10 or more community donors coming in and it’s open to everybody.”

   Building participation was crucial since donations are generally low during the holidays, but organizers noticed an uptick in contributions. Student volunteers also received free T-shirts for taking part, as well as other incentives such as scholarships for graduating seniors. Conrad Schuetz and Kya DeMeter, student council co-presidents, said they saw more student involvement while they were first-time donors themselves.

   “It was wonderful and I’d do it again,” Schuetz commented.

   “I’m definitely doing it again,” DeMeter added. “This is probably the most [participation] I’ve seen and I’m proud of everybody here.”

   Other students and teachers on hand said they rolled up their sleeves to help a great cause.

   “I’m nervous but excited,” said first-time donor Maisie Dowell, a junior at BLHS. “[I did it because] I could help people.”

   Business and technology teacher Roger Roberts has donated about 20 times between school and community collections after being inspired to help a loved one with an illness.

   “I give every time here and throughout the year,” he said. “I had a family member who was sick and they needed blood. It’s the right thing to do to help people.”

   Student council members volunteered as greeters and also assisted donors as they moved between stations from blood collection to the canteen, the latter where they had refreshments from juice and water to pizza. Brown said donors could trace the journey of their contribution on a special Red Cross app which tracks where the blood goes. There are some criteria regarding donations, including travel, illnesses and medications, and more information is available by contacting the American Red Cross at (800) RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or its web site at www.redcrossblood.org.

 Meanwhile, Brown said the second blood drive is slated for March 19 and she eventually hopes to expand it to later in the afternoon to accommodate more community donors.

 “We thank everyone for helping here today and encourage others to do blood drives if they are interested,” she concluded.

(Photo Cutline: Buckeye Local High School teacher Roger Roberts rolled up his sleeve to help save lives during the biannual blood drive held at the school on Dec. 5. About 45 people were registered with community members also walking in to contribute. The event was sponsored by the student council and another event is set for March 19.)

Edison, Buckeye Local “Paws” to Help Santa Claus
Posted 12/3/2018 at 12:05:32 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND-Edison and Buckeye Local may be fierce rivals when it comes to sports, but the high schools are getting into the Christmas spirit by teaming up to help local needy children.

   Officials from both sites are organizing the “Paws to Help Santa Claus” toy drive, which will conclude Dec. 7 at the schools’ basketball game at EHS. The schools have been collecting toys and those who attend the Wildcat and Panthers games from 5:30-7:30 p.m. can help needy kids within their elementary schools and community. However, the campaign comes with a challenge: the principal of the school gathering the least toys must don the opposing team’s mascot costume during the second half of the game.

   The idea was the brainchild of Buckeye North Elementary teacher Heather Long, who is also a high school sports parent club member. She approached BLHS Principal Coy Sudvary and EHS Assistant Principal Josh Leasure, the latter of whom formerly worked in the Buckeye Local, about using that team rivalry for a good cause.

   “We’re looking for all students—especially ones in the cheering section—to bring in elementary-level toys for kids in the Edison and Buckeye Local School Districts. I’ve been thinking about the rivalry between [the schools] and we all needed to work together,” Long said. “I thought, ‘Why not use that energy to do good?’”

   She organized the toy drive, which includes the “paws” reference to the team mascots, and got the schools on board to benefit needy kids in both districts. 

   Leasure received support from EHS Principal Matt Morrison and plans were made to begin collecting toys in his building.

   “We wanted to collect toys and hope to get a lot of presents,” Leasure said. “I’ve worked with Heather Long and our portion may go to the two elementary schools or a local charitable organization. We may be rivals in sports but we want to work together to do something special for our community, and we hope this continues in the future between our schools.”

    Sudvary said BLHS faculty, staff and students began their collections this past week and agreed it was a great way to spread some generosity.

   “Buckeye Local High School is very excited to participate in the toy drive to help support students in need. We are excited to work together with the Edison Local community for such a positive campaign,” he commented. “We appreciate any support in donations we can get from our Buckeye Local communities.”

    The campaign will conclude at the basketball games, where officials will gather the goods in totes and tally the total number of toys. Sudvary or Leasure will then parade around in the opposing team’s costume during the last half of the game. Meanwhile, the toys will be distributed to needy kids prior to the Christmas break.

North Students Collect Money for United Way
Posted 12/3/2018 at 12:01:39 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
North United Way Donation

Buckeye North Elementary donated more than $877 for the United Way of Jefferson County following a penny wars collection at the school. Students conducted dress-up days and brought in money to assist community programs. Pictured are, front from left, Katie Humphrey and Robert Tatum. Middle: Ainsley Keyoski, Neena Starr, Logan Cowden, Rylan Price and Jailyn Gilliam. Back: School United Way Committee chairs Jennifer Aubrey and Kim Monahan with United Way Executive Director Kate Sedgmer. 

Food for the Needy
Posted 12/3/2018 at 11:58:16 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
North Food Drive

Buckeye North Elementary recently collected 15 boxes of food which were distributed to families before Thanksgiving break. The school PTO provided rolls and potatoes while community members, staff and the Brilliant Lions Club donated turkeys. Principal Susan Nolan said the program has been held for more than 12 years and children learn a lesson in giving to the less fortunate. Helping to gather the food items were, pictured from left, sixth-graders Dustin Stingle, Sam McGuire, Morgan Ensell and Christopher Ebright.

Buckeye Local Teachers Earn Mini-Grants
Posted 11/20/2018 at 1:05:28 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ESC Buckeye Local BPG

DILLONVALE-Buckeye Local teachers are making a difference in the education of their students with some financial help from the Jefferson County Educational Service Center.

   JCESC awarded three $600 Best Practice Grants to Jennifer Aubrey of Buckeye North Elementary, Margo Scherich at Buckeye West Elementary and Stephanie Crust of Buckeye Local High School to promote learning growth.

 Aubrey’s project, “Focus on Facts,” is a family involvement experience dubbed “Making Math Fun Night” that will benefit nearly 40 third-grade students who can take part in the event on Nov. 15.

   “I will create an introduction to multiplication workshop to involve both parents and students. The workshop will inspire the families to focus on the importance of learning and understanding these basic facts as they enter the upper elementary grades,” Aubrey noted. “Each family will get to experience and take home an entire tool kit of ways to learn and practice their multiplication skills.”

   Aubrey has applied for the mini-grant in the past but this was the first time she received an allocation. She also plans to enhance math learning skills by acquiring Flash Masters devices and including literature in her instruction.

She was excited to receive the grant funds, saying it would support the event and help bolster their math skills.

   “This is an amazing opportunity to put into practice a night that I have wanted to offer my third-graders for quite some time but did not have the funds to make it happen. In the past I have offered a quiz informational meeting, but this will be a hands-on, make-and-take workshop.”

   Scherich’s project is entitled “Hands On Learning to Inspire Out of the Box Ideas” and targets 40-50 fourth-grade science students using comprehension and STEM units and activities. 

   “[The goal] is to keep my class engaged by adding more hands-on material in the curriculum,” she said, adding that she received another mini-grant in the past and was happy to be included this time. “I’m honored to have been chosen and am excited to enhance my students’ learning.”

    Meanwhile, Crust’s project is “Using Culturally Relevant Novels in the Classroom to Expand Readers’ Worlds,” and the grant money will help procure sets of novels that are diverse in genre and culture, while the students who read them are eligible to attend the Youngstown State University English Festival in April.

   “I hope to take Buckeye Local students to attend, participate in and compete in writing activities at Youngstown State University,” she said. “The YSU English Festival is an annual event that just celebrated its 40th year. Thousands of students from Ohio attend the festival which is considered the best English festival in the country.”

    She said BLHS students have never attended the event and it would be an innovative learning opportunity. About 35 high schoolers may attend the festival but the books themselves will be used for individual, small-group and class novel studies for many years to come. Crust hopes to have the books on hand soon to help her pupils prepare for the festival by honing their reading and writing skills. Students will read the required festival books and write essays or prepare original artwork for submission to the festival’s contests. On the festival day, they will hear keynote speeches from the festival book authors and participate in breakout sessions where they learn the writing process from experts, participate in group discussions and writing activities and sharpen their journalism skills by interviewing authors and writing nonfiction essays and journalistic pieces. Students will also use higher-level thinking skills to analyze the literature and compose their essays.

   This is Crust’s second Best Practice Grant and she was grateful to give students an opportunity to expound upon their skills.

   JCESC Superintendent Dr. Chuck Kokiko said the mini-grants have enabled educators to make their innovative ideas a reality.

   “The JCESC is appreciative of our member school districts and enjoy giving back when the opportunity presents itself. Much of our time is spent with school administration as well as providing teacher professional development and the mini-grants are a way to have a direct impact on the classroom,” he said. “The JCESC Governing Board is grateful to all of our applicants and the hard work teachers do each and every day. We look forward to continuing the program next year.”

    JCESC has disbursed an estimated 200 Best Practice Grant funding over the past 11 years with Buckeye Local receiving 32 awards within that timeframe. This year, 21 total applications were approved out of more than 50 submissions from Buckeye Local, Edison, Indian Creek, Harrison Hills, Southern Local, Steubenville, Toronto City Schools and the Utica Shale Academy.

(Photo Cutline: The Jefferson County Educational Service Center presented three $600 Best Practice Grants to teachers at Buckeye Local Schools for their innovative projects. Pictured are, from left, JCESC Treasurer Don Donahue with Buckeye Local High School teacher Stephanie Crust and Buckeye North Elementary teacher Jennifer Aubrey. Not pictured is Buckeye West Elementary teacher Margo Scherich.)

Down on the Farm
Posted 11/20/2018 at 12:55:09 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
North Farmer

Students in Erin Best’s fifth-grade science class at Buckeye North Elementary got a different lesson about agricultural life from Steve Griffith, a fourth-generation dairy farmer from Harrisville who discussed raising cows and providing milk for public consumption. Students also took part in a question-and-answer session and learned about pasteurization, homogenization and animal husbandry.

Veterans Day Observed at Buckeye West
Posted 11/13/2018 at 12:17:05 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
West Veterans Day

ADENA-Buckeye West Elementary students honored our country’s bravest during the annual Veterans Day assembly on Monday.

   Music and some patriotic words were shared at the event, which was led by music teacher Jack Skidmore and accompanied by Sharrie Stephens. Students in kindergarten through sixth-grade took the stage in the gym to perform such tunes as “Yankee Doodle,” “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” “God Bless America,” “Grand Old Flag,” “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless the U.S.A.” 

   “This is a day to honor veterans who served past and present during wartime and peacetime,” Skidmore said. “This is a time to join hands and hearts to recognize veterans and their service.”

   Gary DeNoble, commander of Adena American Legion Post 525, thanked the school for hosting the event and never forgetting the service of Armed Forces personnel.

   “Yesterday at 11 o’clock marked 100 years since the armistice was signed,” DeNoble said. “In 1924 it was changed to Veterans Day. I thank the veterans for being here and for showing respect on this day. This is one day we like to carry on. [The school] does the program for us and it’s wonderful.”

   Sixth-grader Shane Griffith shared the beginning of the observance, which began as Armistice Day following World War I. President Woodrow Wilson recognized the signing of the armistice at France on Nov. 11, which brought an end to the conflict that lasted from 1914-18.

   “The armistice let people know the war was over. Unfortunately, World War I was not the last war,” he said. “In 1944, it became Veterans Day.”

    Student Keirah Coe read the poem “It is the Veteran,” denoting how their sacrifices have protected our freedoms.

   “It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion. It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble,” she read. “It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote. It is the veteran, who salutes the flag. It is the veteran, who serves under the flag, to be buried by the flag, so the protester can burn the flag.”

   The event closed with a 21-gun salute and by Legion members and a rendition of Taps by sixth-graders Jacob Rinkes, Brayden Russell and Danielle Howard.

(Photo Cutline: The Adena American Legion Post 525 Color Guard advances through the gym at Buckeye West Elementary on Monday during the school’s Veterans Day program. Students performed patriotic tunes and shared some poems and messages thanking veterans of yesterday and today for their sacrifices in the name of freedom.)

Veterans Day Observed at BLHS
Posted 11/13/2018 at 12:10:16 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BLHS Veterans Day Program

CONNORVILLE-Veterans Day was marked at Buckeye Local High School on Monday where students, faculty, family and past military members gathered for a day of remembrance.

   Music and messages of patriotism led the assembly, which included displays of Old Glory and flags of the Armed Forces and shows of gratitude for those who served our country. Principal Coy Sudvary then welcomed the crowd and introduced the program speakers and presentations.

   Speakers included Deputy Rodney Roe, school resource officer and a veteran of the U.S. Army, Marines and Air Force. Roe told the audience that service members were responsible for the freedoms we have in America and there were countries around the globe that did not have the same rights.

   “We all did our time for our country and for our citizens and I’d do it again tomorrow,” Deputy Roe said. “When we came home from Vietnam, we didn’t get yellow ribbons or parades; we were shunned and spit on. Some of you will never know. We took time out of our young lives so you can do what you do today. You should be thankful for all the veterans who serve around the world. I’m proud to be an American, I’m proud to be a veteran and I’m proud to be at Buckeye Local.”

   Deputy Roe was also recognized with a plaque by Sudvary for his service.

    Retired Master Sgt. Bill Carpenter, who served in the Special Forces, said he went to Vietnam as an Army soldier only two months after his 18th birthday and was wounded twice before he was 19.

   “It makes you grow up very fast,” he commented. “It makes it so easy to quit, but you can’t quit when you are in the military. You are a team, not individuals.”

   He said time moves by very quickly and one day youth sitting in the audience will be reflecting upon bygone days.

    “You’re going to reflect on that, and now is a good time to learn to become a good citizen. Don’t wait until you are an adult; you need to start while you’re still in school,” he said. “Our country was embroiled in a Civil War where 600,000 people died. We need to change things in the country with the ballot box, not the bullet box.”

    He echoed Deputy Roe’s sentiments about people not knowing what they have until they visit a country without freedoms, and the people who protect Americans’ rights are those in the military. He concluded with a poem about a retired soldier and reminded the crowd that those who serve face hardships.

   “Being a veteran is something that is so special. You have to become a veteran to understand what I’m saying.”

    Also speaking that day was John Puch, a one-time Air Force fighter pilot who flew the F-4 Phantom and received the Distinguished Service Flying Cross. The Smithfield resident recalled how he received opportunities to serve his country and encouraged students to take advantage of chances that come their way.

 Puch said he qualified to become a pilot while in a college ROTC program and trained in Texas on the F-400 Super Sabre. He then had an opportunity to helm the F-4C Phantom and flew missions in Vietnam as part of an advanced party. Puch flew over North Vietnam during his tour and continued doing training missions once he returned stateside, then he flew with the National Guard on an F-100 Super Sabre.

   “If you have goals in life, push for that goal,” he said. “If an opportunity comes up, go for it. Work hard in school because it adds to your life.”

   Other highlights included band and choir performances of the National Anthem, “God Bless America” and “America, of Thee I Sing” plus student messages on Old Glory; the history of Veterans Day; the symbolism of the 13 folds of the American flag; recognition of 2018 Buckeye Boys and Girls State delegates Wyatt Robinson, Noah Harvey, John Skatula, Nathan Hesske, Cameron Henry, Sarah Mosser, Maddie Kujawa, Audrey Sebring, Mickayla Green, Morgan Donley and Cameron Case; awards for Americanism in Government winners presented by local American Legion posts to Kaden Bednarek and Collin Henderson, sophomores Abby Kinyo and Jason Ohle, juniors Mary Dagan and Conrad Schuetz and seniors Katie Rogers and Sean Bates; a history of Taps; and a rifle salute with a performance of Taps by students Kaelee Anderson and Jailyah Green.

   The event concluded with Sudvary thanking the veterans for preserving freedom and protecting the country, school and community, but also encouraged students to do their part as good citizens.

   “Today is a proud day, and it should be every day. Take pride and give back through dedication in the Armed Forces or by giving back to the community. There should be patriotism every day and we need participation by all citizens.”

   The program was followed by a special luncheon for the veterans which was provided by the school.

(Photo Cutline: Buckeye Local High School gathered students for a special assembly on Monday to mark Veterans Day. Speakers included Deputy Rodney Roe, school resource officer; Ret. Master Sgt. Bill Carpenter of the U.S. Army; and one-time U.S. Air Force fighter pilot John Puch. Students also shared poems, messages and music in observance of the patriotic day. Pictured is Principal Coy Sudvary at the podium during the event.)

Funding Adds Chromebooks at Buckeye North
Posted 11/2/2018 at 12:33:19 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary is adding Chromebooks to help students gain more current educational tools thanks to a recent grant, but the school PTO is looking to benefit even more pupils by raising funds to acquire more devices.

   The school obtained a $5,000 grant from the Charles M. and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation to procure 20 Chromebooks for grades 3-6 and the PTO donated $1,700 to purchase five more devices and two charging carts, in addition to raising more than $1,100 during a recent event to provide further aid.

   Principal Susan Nolan said the school received the grant this summer after she submitted for funding and devices were ordered.

   “The PTO is hoping to raise another $5,000 and will be working throughout the year to get us another cart,” Nolan said. “Our goal is to have one for each grade. We’ll have some for grades 3-6, so each of them can share a cart. I am also thrilled about the grant. Technology is something the kids need because testing is online and the exposure they get is a plus. They learn to use it and navigate with it and it makes a difference.”

   PTO President Kelly Young said the plan is to acquire 20 more Chromebooks this year, but that will take funding. The organization held it’s first-ever Night at the Races event on Oct. 13 at the Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department and raised more than $1,100 at the conclusion. About 65 people attended and paid $10 to purchase a horse or $7 for admission only, plus they took part in a 50-50 raffle and Chinese auction to help raise money.

   “We were trying to get 20 Chromebooks for the year, so with that grant it helped,” Young said. “Our goal now is to get 20 more this year and more in the future.”

   In addition to purchasing more devices, funding will also defray student activities such as field trips and school functions. Young said more fundraisers were being pondered including another Night at the Races event in the spring.

Veterans Day Activities Slated at Buckeye Local Schools
Posted 11/2/2018 at 12:31:52 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

DILLONVALE-Veterans will be honored over the next week during a series of events scheduled at Buckeye Local Schools.

   School assemblies will be held for Veterans Day at each of the four buildings and include student music and presentations and involvement from local organizations. Buckeye North Elementary in Brilliant and Buckeye South Elementary have slated their festivities for Friday, Nov. 9. North Principal Susan Nolan said events kick off at 9:30 a.m. and members of the Brilliant American Legion Post 573 are expected to be on hand. South Principal Julie Packer added that her school will pay tribute to the bravery of past soldiers and sailors at 2 p.m. with students sharing their appreciation through music and words.

   On Nov. 12, Buckeye Local High School will host an assembly at 9 a.m. featuring the school band, students and special guests. Principal Coy Sudvary said Ret. Master Sgt. Bill Carpenter of the Army Special Forces and Deputy Rodney Roe, school resource officer and a fellow veteran, will address the audience and the band will perform tunes from each of the military branches. Student speeches, Americanism in Government contest winners, 2018 Boys and Girls State representatives and other presentations are expected during the program. Other groups that have taken part in the past include American Legion Post 529 in Dillonvale, American Legion Post 525 in Adena, American Legion Post 735 in Piney Fork and Yorkville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4811. A small luncheon will also be held immediately following for veterans to gather and break bread.

 Finally, Buckeye West Elementary will hold its event that afternoon at 2 p.m. with more student-led activities and involvement from the Adena American Legion.

 Local veterans are invited to attend at the schools while students may also bring relatives who have also participated in the military.

Pride, Safety Displayed at Buckeye Local High School
Posted 11/2/2018 at 11:00:16 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Special Graphics at BLHS

CONNORVILLE-Visitors to Buckeye Local High School will notice a big change to the front of the building, namely a display of pride that also provides some extra safety for its inhabitants.

    Principal Coy Sudvary said window graphics were added around the commons area that offers a two-fold benefit for the facility.

   “It’s a film over the window, so during the day it makes it difficult to see into the building but people can see out,” he said. “It has a double function and shows school spirit and pride, but it also provides security measures and conceals people from the outside.”

 Sudvary continued that the project was funded through contributions from the principal’s fund, which is a blend of proceeds from school activities and snack sales, as well as donations from the Classes of 2017 and 2018 and the Special Tactics and Rescue Training (S.T.A.R.T.), a Mingo Junction-based business which is a safety partner with the school district. The upgrade is also the latest such undertaking at the school since similar graphics were added to the front stairwell area of the building this past summer.

 He noted that outside of a few signs at the campus, the graphics will clearly display that people are in Panther territory.

 “This builds pride in our school and the visitors will also know where they are.”

                                       -30-

 

(Photo Cutline: Panther pride is clearly on display at Buckeye Local High School with the addition of window graphics around the commons area. The graphics are not only decorative and promote school spirit, but they also add a layer of protection by concealing occupants from outside view. Funding for the upgrade came through a mix of principal’s funds and donations from the Classes of 2017 and 2018 and Special Tactics and Rescue Training (S.T.A.R.T.) of Mingo Junction.)

D.A.R.E. Program Back at BL
Posted 11/2/2018 at 10:53:48 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL DARE

Photo Cutline: Sgt. Sean Norman of the Wells Township Police Department has returned for another year with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program at Buckeye Local Schools. Sgt. Norman recently spoke to eighth-graders at BLJHS about avoiding situations such as bullying and peer pressure and will continue his program there throughout the school year, plus he visits second-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade classes with more age-appropriate presentations at Buckeye North Elementary in Brilliant.

Donation Aids Multi-Handicapped Class
Posted 11/2/2018 at 10:51:38 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL AME Society Donation

CONNORVILLE-A special donation will assist students in the multi-handicapped class at Buckeye Local High School by building upon their literacy resources.

   Members of the Ohio/South Ohio Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopalian Church presented a $250 check to BLHS Principal Coy Sudvary which will be used to provide reading materials for the special needs classroom. Sudvary said the donation was greatly appreciated and will benefit more than a half-dozen students.

 “They would like to use it to focus on literacy, so we want to purchase novels, workbooks and reading material for the MH unit.”

   He added that society member Brenda Harris, one of the presenters, also volunteered at the school as a tutor. The AME society spans a vast region of Ohio and grants monetary gifts to schools statewide, but Sudvary said this was the first time BLHS was a benefactor.

   “We really appreciate the AME church’s support of Buckeye Local and its students,” he commented.

(Photo Cutline: Representatives of the Ohio/South Ohio Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church presented a $250 check to the multi-handicapped class at Buckeye Local High School and the donation will be used to provide literacy sources for the students. Presenting the check are society members Brenda Harris, pictured at left, and Jada Dalton with BLHS Principal Coy Sudvary.)

New Playground at West Elementary
Posted 10/26/2018 at 9:20:16 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
West Playground

ADENA-Older students at Buckeye West Elementary have their own recreational space after a new playground was installed at the campus.

 Principal Lucas Parsons said the estimated $18,000 project was installed on Oct. 8 and students have enjoyed the equipment during cooperative weather. Fundraisers have been held for roughly three years to acquire the set and David Williams and Associates (DWA) Recreation of Harrison, Ohio, provided the items and handled the installation.

 Parsons said it was a long time coming and the goal was to provide more age-appropriate activities during recess. The playground, which is located in the upper field on the south side of the campus, is geared towards grades 4-6 and features swings, monkey bars and a balance beam but children in lower grades may still use it. Meanwhile, younger grades still have access to the current playground on the lower end.

 “It’s been a real team effort to get the playground completed. The PTO and teachers raised funds for the past two or three years,” Parsons said.

   About 95 percent of the funding raised were used for the project, and among the moneymakers were Candygrams, Easter eggs and Smencils (scented pencils) while parents and community members also made contributions. Parsons thanked the people for their generosity and helping to make the project a reality.

   “West Elementary has always had a long tradition of community support and outreach. We are lucky to have such a wonderful community behind us in everything we do. The past couple of years have been a fundraising effort for both the school and the community and its end product is now on display.”

   The next step is to develop a pavilion next to the new playground for children to use during hot days, as well as a place to hold class or parties outside. The remaining funds will be used to help complete that project before the end of the school year, but more funds will be sought for the plan.

   “We’ve been discussing fundraisers with the PTO and are considering a 5K color run in the spring,” he said, adding that letters have also been sent soliciting donations from businesses.

   Parsons estimated the pavilion project to cost around $10,000 and he hoped to have it finished around spring so students can use it this year.

(Photo Cutline: Ongoing fundraising efforts have culminated in Buckeye West Elementary adding a new, $18,000 playground for students in grades 4-6. Principal Lucas Parsons said the equipment features swings, monkey bars and a balance beam that are more suited for the upper grades. He is pictured, at center, hanging out with sixth-graders Lexie Leach, Ava Stewart, Adam Blackwell and Chad Evans.)

Book Club Thriving at North
Posted 10/16/2018 at 11:33:39 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
North Book Club

BRILLIANT-Students are getting inspired by literature with the start of a new book club at Buckeye North Elementary.

   Third-grade teacher Jennifer Aubrey began the program this year after she learned other teachers were seeking sponsorships online to help purchase books for their pupils. Aubrey took a similar route and received sponsorships from friends and family for her 19 students. That assistance is helping to provide one book each month for her class to read so they can cultivate a deep appreciation for the written word.

 “I created a post on Facebook explaining how the sponsorship would work and then earned the sponsorships from people who responded to my post,” she said. “A total of nine sponsors—friends and family members—chose to help students in my class.”

   Aubrey explained that Scholastic Books offers a tome for $1 through their book clubs and her sponsors contributed $9 per student, allowing them to receive a new book each month for the duration of the school year. Students read “Stink: Hamlet and Cheese,” by Megan McDonald in September and are currently in the midst of “A Jigsaw Jones Mystery: The Case of the Mummy Mystery,” by James Preller.

   Students Kade Haines and Necia Hosenfeld said they both liked receiving the books and they were reading more. This is the first year for the book club and Aubrey hopes it will become a yearly project. Ironically, she instructs math but said she had a deep love for reading and wanted to spark some interest in her students.

   “The purpose of this book club is to allow all of my students to experience the joy and excitement of receiving a new book. Hopefully these books will help instill a love for reading in some students who may hesitate to pick up a book on their own,” she said. “I am so excited that I discovered this movement through Facebook. Watching the students get excited over their books and ask when the next one is coming has been one of the most rewarding activities I have done as a teacher. They have been carrying their books everywhere with them—even sneaking peeks during lessons. It is a great problem to have as a teacher.”

(Photo Cutline: Third-graders at Buckeye North Elementary are getting exciting about reading with a new book club. Teacher Jennifer Aubrey gained sponsorships to help provide one book a month for each of her 19 students through Scholastic Books. Pictured with their newest tomes are, front from left, Kaige Black, Necia Hosenfeld, Brooklyn Torok, Logan Zimmermann and Gage Edgell, Second row: George Tingler, Marissa Pethtel, Serena Layman and Tristin Weldon. Third row: Cayden Padgett, Kade Haines, Mason Young, Mikaela Renforth and Myah Fabry. Back: Zoe Haines, Kloe Anthony and Bryli Bowers.)

Fire Safety Program at West Elementary
Posted 10/12/2018 at 9:18:00 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Buckeye West Elementary School will hold a fire safety program this Friday, Oct. 12 featuring a visit from the Short Creek Joint Fire District.

    West Elementary Principal Lucas Parsons said fire crews will be at the school beginning at 9:30 a.m. and will remain onsite throughout the day to address students in grades PreK-6, as well as to showcase equipment and emergency vehicles. The program is part of Fire Prevention Week observance on Oct. 7-13.

   “[Fire officials] will be speaking to the students about fire safety and going over safety plans. Students will get the opportunity to see firsthand the equipment the firemen use on a daily basis,” Parsons added. “I am very grateful to the Short Creek Fire Department for asking to put on this very important program. The safety of our students is always first and foremost.”

Literacy Night at Buckeye South
Posted 10/12/2018 at 9:10:25 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

TILTONSVILLE- Buckeye South Elementary is beguiling students and families with some learning fun during the annual literacy night on Oct. 18.

   “The Enchanted Forest” is the theme of this year’s event, which is set for 5-7 p.m. at the school in Tiltonsville. First-grade teacher Jenny Potts is organizing activities and said there will be lots to enjoy that evening. Potts said about 150 students and parents generally attend and families will visit stations and complete learning activities to earn tickets for a book basket raffle.

   Attendants can take advantage of the book fair that is onsite that evening and throughout the week; enjoy a movement activity in the gym; participate in activities in the Magical Unicorn Reading and Math Room such as making headbands, doing Mad Libs and playing guessing games; view animals provided by Oglebay Zoo; visit the PTO booth to join the membership; and decorate cupcakes to eat as a snack.

   “Students earn participation tickets for each event and the tickets can be cashed in for a book raffle, and over 20 baskets of books will be given away,” she added.

   Potts said literacy night helps make learning fun.

   “The purpose of literacy night is to promote family involvement in the area of literacy. It is also to show everyone that reading (and all subject areas) can be fun,” she commented. “This event would not be possible without the generous donations from the South Elementary PTO as well as family, friends, co-workers and our cook. It takes months of planning for this one night and I appreciate everyone who has helped make this night a success for our families.”

Fundraiser adds Chromebooks at South
Posted 10/9/2018 at 9:24:49 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

TILTONSVILLE-Students at Buckeye South Elementary have some new hardware thanks to a successful snack sale at their school.

    About $3,000 was raised last spring through an ongoing popcorn sale and proceeds have since helped acquire 15 Chromebooks and a charge cart at the Tiltonsville school. Principal Julie Packer said it was the first time the school worked with the Steubenville Popcorn Company to raise the dough and the result will help students improve performance on assessments and education as a whole.

   “We purchased 15 Chromebooks and a cart and they will be used by grades 4-6,” Packer said. 

   The purpose of the campaign was to add more technology in the building and help increase students’ time for research, typing, testing, and learning, plus the daily computer usage would also prepare them for entering junior and senior high school. The company sold a variety of gourmet goodies from caramel and Garlic Parmesean to white cheddar, but people also had the chance to make a direct contribution to the school for the high-tech upgrade. An initial goal was set to raise $5,000 for 20 devices and Packer said more money will be raised in the future.

    “We plan to do another fundraiser in the spring,” she added.

Buckeye North Marks Fire Prevention Week
Posted 10/9/2018 at 9:23:03 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL North Fire Prevention

BRILLIANT-Students at Buckeye North Elementary School observed Fire Prevention Week on Oct. 1-5 with a trip to the Brilliant Volunteer Fire Department.

   Students traveled to the neighboring department each day to watch a fire safety video, listen to officials and view equipment, vehicles and turnout gear to gain a better understanding about fire dangers and what safety forces do to prepare for battling flames. Firefighter Christina Roush, who serves as fire prevention coordinator, also led kids through the fire safety trailer provided by the Jefferson County Fire & EMS Association, which includes scenarios in a home-type setting with a rear escape window and a smoke machine for realism.

   Kids learned to “get out and stay out” when a fire alarm sounds in their home, having a family escape plan, techniques to alert officials and where to go once they exit their home safely. Some top tips included having working smoke alarms; creating a fire escape plan with two exits; having a safe place for family to gather once they’ve left the house; practicing the safety plan at least twice a year; testing fire alarms once a month; replacing the alarms with fresh batteries annually and keeping their vents free of dust; calling 9-1-1; and waving a towel, pillowcase or flashlight if inside the house to alert safety forces of your location. Roush also quizzed the kids and answered questions about her job and safety issues. The Brilliant VFD has hosted Fire Prevention Week at its location for the past six years, but previously firefighters visited the school to hold safety presentations.

   “We teach about fire safety and put on the gear so they know not to be scared of us,” Roush added. “They went inside the fire safety trailer and took part in scenarios. There’s a kitchen, fireplace, living room and bedroom and they learn to cover the cracks in the bedroom door to avoid the smoke.”

    A few of the students also shared what they learned from their visit.

   “It’s dangerous to be a firefighter, but it’s also helping people,” said sixth-grader Gary Jones. “[We also learned] to never put stuff on the stove when it’s warm and to turn the handles away from burners, and we saw most of the trucks and tools.”

Jones added that he might become a firefighter one day but he also has a yen to serve in the military.

   “I learned a lot about safety and how to be safe during a fire,” added sixth-grader Rylee Lude. “I learned about fire trucks and how the gear worked. I didn’t know how hard it was to be a firefighter.”

(Photo Cutline: Students at Buckeye North Elementary School visited the Brilliant Volunteer Fire Department throughout the week of Oct. 1-5 as part of Fire Prevention Week. There, they viewed a fire safety video, spoke with fire officials and viewed vehicles and equipment. Pictured are sixth-graders Aubreigh Barton and Lakin Burch practicing their escape from the safety trailer provided by the Jefferson County Fire & EMS Association.)

North PTO Hosts Night at the Races on Oct. 13
Posted 9/24/2018 at 1:05:55 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

SMITHFIELD-The Buckeye North Elementary PTO is gearing up for its first-ever Night at the Races to benefit the school.

   The event is set for Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department with doors opening at 6 p.m. Post time is 7 p.m. and costs are $10 to purchase a horse and $7 for admission only. Both expenses include food and soft drinks for the evening while a Chinese auction and 50-50 raffle will also be held. PTO President Kelly Young said the fun night for adults benefits the kids by helping to purchase new Chromebooks and providing for supplies and activities.

 “It will help the PTO to provide for field trips to fun days,” she said.

 Chinese auction items include baskets, gas cards, movie passes and more and Young thanked everyone for their support.

 “We hope to see you there,” she added.

   For tickets, food donations, Chinese auction items or race sponsorship, contact Young at (740) 424-3735 or at kells283@gmail.com.

My Space
Posted 9/24/2018 at 12:51:43 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Design Space

Buckeye Local High School senior Tristyn Kontra designs her own personal space in the school parking lot to enjoy for the next year. Seniors who purchased parking passes could also paint their spot to personalize it and many included their names, graduation year and pictures of sports and hobbies, while Kontra included her initial and bright colors in a psychedelic display.

BL Hosting See You At The Pole
Posted 9/21/2018 at 11:31:56 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

CONNORVILLE-Buckeye Local Schools will host See You At The Pole with events slated at its four schools this Wednesday.

   The Buckeye Local High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes will lead events at 8 a.m. at the high school before moving on to Buckeye South Elementary in Tiltonsville at 9:30 a.m., Buckeye North Elementary in Brilliant at 10:30 a.m. and Buckeye West Elementary in Adena at 1 p.m. FCA Advisor Belinda Boyce said this year’s theme is “Broken” and the students will be invited to create a chain and sing around the flagpole. SYATP is an annual event where students gather to pray for their school, friends, families, churches and communities in a day committed to global unity in Christ and prayer for your generation.

WATCH D.O.G.S. Kickoff on Oct. 3
Posted 9/19/2018 at 10:52:14 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-The Buckeye North Elementary WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program will kick off its third year with a Dads and Kids’ Pizza Night on Oct. 3.

   Students, their fathers and father figures are invited to the site at 1004 Third St., Brilliant, from 6-7 p.m. to enjoy food and learn about the innovative program which brings dads, stepdads, grandfathers and even adult brothers into the school. The father involvement initiative is provided by the National Center for Fathering and was inspired by one father’s desire to increase male involvement in his children’s school. WATCH D.O.G.S. was created in 1998 in Springdale, Ark., but has since spread to more than 5,300 schools in more than 47 states and other countries.

   North Elementary Principal Susan Nolan said about 20 volunteers have given their time and the program has been successful.

   “The program has been absolutely wonderful,” she said. “The students really enjoy the men that come in and spend time with them—whether it is reading with them, eating lunch with them, having recess or just seeing them in the hallway and giving them a high five. It makes the students feel safe and secure.”

   The initiative involves adult male role models volunteering at least one day in their child’s school and working with educators to help as crossing guards, car or bus rider facilitators, hallway monitors, library assistants, lunchroom helpers, classroom and homework tutors and playground or gym coaches. 

   According to studies by the U.S. Department of Education, a positive adult male role model will uniquely impact a child’s development and educational success and WATCH D.O.G.S. was found to be an effective way to increase male involvement in our nation’s schools. Other benefits include having an extra set of eyes and ears on the premises; fathers and father figures spending meaningful time with their students in a school setting; and volunteers learning how to better partner with the school and meet the students’ educational goals.

   For pizza night information, contact Nolan at the school at (740) 598-4589. Details about WATCH D.O.G.S.® program are available by calling 1-888-540-3647, e-mailing watchdogs@fathers.com or visiting www.fathers.com/watchdogs.

Afterschool Programs at Buckeye West
Posted 9/12/2018 at 2:30:39 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Grant funds are helping Buckeye West Elementary students take part in an Extended Learning Center to enhance their learning.

   Principal Lucas Parsons said the school gained a 21st Century Grant to provide funding over the next five years for afterschool programming. The ELC began Sept. 4 and is offered weekdays from 3:30-6 p.m. for grades K-6, while bus transportation is available to designated neighborhood drop-off locations.

   “The program is not available on snow days or any other day school is not in session,” Parsons said. “Students will be involved in activities such as computers, homework help, exercise, Character Counts and other creative efforts. We are also lucky to be able to provide meals to the students as well.”

   Meanwhile, community groups will offer family resources and guest speakers for the program. Parsons said about 25-50 students participate each night and the opportunity the program provides is fantastic.

   “It provides them with the extra attention they need to make sure they succeed in this ever-changing world,” he continued. “The teachers and staff of the program do everything in their power to make sure they reach every student. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Buckeye Local and West Elementary. We truly are bringing back Panther Pride and I believe this program brings us one step closer.”

   The school also began an afterschool dinner program this month to provide meals for students involved with the ELC or any pupil who wants a hot meal following the school day. About 25-50 children currently take part and funding comes from the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which is provided by the Ohio Department of Education and available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Parsons said providing such services to the area is a wonderful opportunity and he thanked Superintendent Kim Leonard and the administrative team for bringing the programs to West Elementary.

Popcorn Sale to Add Chromebooks to Classrooms
Posted 9/12/2018 at 2:23:31 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Things are popping at Buckeye North Elementary as its parent-teacher organization looks to raise funds for new Chromebooks.

   The PTO is hosting a Kopper Popper popcorn sale through Sept. 21 to outfit each of the school’s estimated 375 students with devices for their studies. President Kelly Young said the venture began in late August and hopes are to help fill the coffers and eventually reach the $5,000 goal.

   “This is the first time we’ve done it,” Young said. “We usually do a candle sale in the fall and wanted to try something new, plus the sale fell into Halloween and the holidays.”

   The Martins Ferry-based company has a variety of flavors available in 5-to-10-ounce bags, such as Salt and Vinegar, Chicago and Buffalo and Ranch for $6 plus Birthday Cake, Nutty Crunch, Peanut Butter Cup, Turtle and S’Mores for $8, and checks are to be made payable to the Buckeye North Elementary PTO. After completing a nearly four-year process of acquiring $21,000 for a new playground set at the school, officials set their sights on some smaller projects that will certainly aid pupils in the classroom. Students are selling the yummy snacks to acquire the technology and hopes are to have the Chromebooks on hand by the end of the year.

 “The goal this year is to get the Chromebooks since the student-to-teacher ratio went up a little bit in classes, so we want to get enough for all of the students. Ten Chromebooks cost $5,000 and we raised $252 from our steak fry in August. We need to raise more than $4,700 and whatever we can raise will help upgrade the classes.”

   Young added that feedback has been positive and more moneymakers are planned for the endeavor, including a Night at the Races on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department. Proceeds from that event will not only assist with the Chromebook purchase but also defray costs for field trips and other student-related supplies and activities.

   “We’re hoping by the end of the night that we’ll reach our goal,” Young said, adding that she appreciated the support for the PTO and kids and wanted to make it a successful year for fundraising.

     For more information, contact the school at (740) 598-4589.

Buckeye West Promotes Literacy Events
Posted 9/12/2018 at 2:21:00 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Buckeye West Elementary School is promoting literacy this week with a variety of events for students and their families.

   Principal Lucas Parsons said Donuts with Grandparents will be held on Sept. 13-14 from 8-8:45 a.m. in the school gymnasium. Grandparents can join students for some sweets and even a little shopping with the corresponding book fair headed by the school PTO organization. Books and other materials will be for sale with proceeds benefitting the school.

   “It gives grandparents a chance to have donuts with the kids and to go shopping,” Parsons said.

   West Elementary will also host its annual Literacy Night in the gym on Sept. 13 from 5-6 p.m. with a free sports-themed event for the whole family.

   “There will be events with games with prizes,” he said. “I did a yearlong theme called ‘We’re on the Same Team’ and it is sports-based to show students that reading can be fun. We do a literacy night every year and usually it’s in the spring, but we decided to hold it in September.”

   Among the activities are Word Bowling, Balloon Spelling, Reading Relays, Golf Ball Painting and Sound-It-Out Hockey and the PTO will have the book fair available for students and parents to purchase books and other items. All students in attendance must be accompanied by a parent.

BL Back-to-School Bash Draws Crowd
Posted 8/17/2018 at 3:33:00 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BL Bash  Face Paint

CONNORVILLE-The annual Buckeye Local Back-to-School Bash drew a crowd as to mark the start of another school year.

    Nearly 300 students and their families appeared throughout the day at Buckeye Local High School on Aug. 12 to receive free school supplies and peruse dozens of booths. The event, which has been held for seven years, has been coordinated for the past two years by Team B.L.U.E. (Buckeye Local Unites Everyone). The group, which includes school and community members, organized about 33 booths with school and local organizations plus vendors selling a variety of merchandise.

   Susan Nolan, principal at Buckeye North Elementary and a Team B.L.U.E. member, said attendants had a chance to obtain some free items, purchase everything from candles and jewelry to clothing, meet school officials and have some fun along the way.

 “We had more vendors this year than we did last year,” Nolan commented, adding that the community has been very supportive.    

   The day kicked off with the annual chicken dinner fundraiser for the high school marching band from noon to 3 p.m., followed by a band performance. Attendants then had a chance to obtain free school supplies from administrators, browse among other booths such as Lularoe, Tastefully Simple, River Twyn Designs, Color Street and Touch of Amish, listen to more music from the band All Is Well, enjoy Sno-Cones, popsicles and face painting and win door prizes.

 Booths and vendors on hand included Team B.L.U.E., Magnabilities, Young Living Essential Oils, Paparazzi, 31, Lip Sense, Maskara Beauty, Clever Container, Cedar Grove, Soap Mason, Jamby, Origami Owl, Norwex, Buckeye North, South and West Elementary PTO’s, Warren Township Lions Club, Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students), the South Elementary Playground Committee, Peoples National Bank, Boy and Girl Scouts, Meadowbrook Church of God, Walmart Vision Center, JB Green Team, Eastern Gateway Community College, Jefferson Behavioral Health, Ohio Valley Down Syndrome Support Group, Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority Beta Epsilon Chapter (ADK) and the Cardinal Plant. In addition, businesses and organizations provided monetary donations, supplies, door prizes and vendor tables. Among others lauded were Wheeler Funeral Home, Belinda Boyce of Magnabilities, Cheri McClung, BLHS Cross Country and Cheerleaders, Brilliant Lions Club, April Ogden, Brooke Stingle, Gene and Margie Omaits, Susan and Paul Filipovich, Yorkville VFW, Wendy Patrone, Dr. Joseph DePalma, Mingo Knights of Columbus, Dillonvale Dollar General and Tiltonsville United Methodist Church. Meanwhile, BLHS volleyball and football players were also on hand to share in the day.

   Several people in attendance said they enjoyed the experience.

   “We enjoy it,” said mother Ashley Kolkedy, noting that the free items were very helpful.

   “You get most of the stuff for free,” added Dakota Young, a fourth-grader at West Elementary.

   Mother Tina Dougherty said the giveaways were helpful while her kids also liked the festivities.

   “I like this,” said Raelynne Hayes, a student at Buckeye South Elementary. “[Getting the free school supplies] helps us a lot.”

   “I like school,” added Logan Dougherty, a second-grader at South.

   “I like all of it,” said Gavin Dougherty, who is also a second-grader at South.

   Superintendent Kim Leonard said she was pleased to see a great turnout at the bash.

   “It’s nice to see so many people here. There are students and parents from every building and it’s nice to bring everyone together at one event,” Leonard added. “The school spirit is very high.”

(Photo Cutline: Mason Young, 8, a student at Buckeye North Elementary, gets his face painted to resemble a baseball during the district’s annual Back-to-School Bash on Aug. 12. Nearly 300 people gathered at Buckeye Local High School to receive free school supplies and other goodies as well as purchase items from various vendors to kick start the new school year that begins on Aug. 22.)

BL Elementary Schools to Hold Open House
Posted 8/13/2018 at 11:40:34 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

ADENA-Three Buckeye Local elementary schools are counting down to the first day of class by hosting open houses over the next few weeks at their respective buildings.

   Buckeye North Elementary in Brilliant has set its event for this Friday, Aug. 17 at 5:30 p.m. In addition to touring the building and becoming acquainted with teachers, officials will dedicate the new playground which was installed by volunteers in June. Buckeye Local High School football players, Brilliant Lions Club members and others gave their time to erect the estimated $20,500 set and 30 students won chances to be the first to play on the new equipment in a special drawing. Donors to the playground project will also be recognized via a sign hanging at the site.

   In addition, West Elementary in Adena and South Elementary in Tiltonsville will open their doors on Aug. 21 from 5-6 p.m., where students and their families will visit classrooms and meet administrators and teachers to become familiar with their surroundings. School officially starts the next day on Aug. 22.

Playground Dedication Slated at Open House
Posted 8/3/2018 at 2:01:11 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BRILLIANT-Buckeye North Elementary School is opening its doors and showcasing its new playground during a special event on Aug. 17.

   The school will host its annual open house at 5:30 p.m., where more than 300 students and their families can view their classrooms and meet teachers. Principal Susan Nolan said some lucky kids will also have the chance to play on the new playground that was added in June.

   “We will dedicate the playground and 30 kids won a raffle to be the first on it,” she said.

   The equipment was added in mid-June thanks to the efforts of volunteers. About 30 people, including coaches and members of the Buckeye Local High School varsity and JV football teams and members of the Brilliant Lions Club, were on hand to install the estimated $20,500 playground set. The school parent-teacher organization spearheaded efforts for the past three years to raise funds, collecting donations and conducting a series of benefits before a $7,000 donation from the Mingo Sportsman’s Club helped the PTO reach its goal. The new equipment, which was acquired from New Albany-based Playworld Midstate, replaces the outdated and broken set with new swings, slides and a climbing apparatus. Company representatives and a few district employees also pitched in for the installation and J. Schultz Excavating of Rayland helped prepare the ground, while Weirton Lumber provided some of the cement and more materials were procured from Lowe’s of Wheeling.

   Nolan said a sign will be hung at the site to thank those who contributed to the playground project over the past few years. Meanwhile, the school will be open for participants to tour so the students could familiarize themselves with their new teachers and surroundings.

   “They can walk through the building and see their classrooms,” Nolan commented.

   Some snacks and beverages will be on hand with food and Buckeye Local apparel also for sale at the venue.

Student Orientation Nights at BLHS
Posted 8/3/2018 at 1:58:37 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

CONNORVILLE-Buckeye Local Jr./Sr. High School will host two student orientation nights this week to make sure the youth are ready for class.

   Seventh-graders, new students and their parents are invited to the site on Aug. 9, where BLJHS will hold its orientation at 7 p.m. Principal Jason Kovalski will gather students in the auditorium and give an overview of student policies, attendance, schedules and related matters. The students will also receive their schedules and may tour the building to become familiar with their classrooms and lockers. The school athletic department will spearhead a mandatory Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) meeting at 6:30 p.m. prior to the orientation and a safety video will be shown in the auditorium. All students who are planning to participate in sports are required to attend.

   BLHS will conduct a separate event on Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. and Principal Coy Sudvary is expected to make a similar presentation to high schoolers in the auditorium.

   Additionally, parents have a modern option to complete district forms through the OneView online portal. They can go to https://buckeyelocal.esvportal.com/ to create their own accounts and complete the annual student forms, which are then sent digitally. The forms were previously submitted in paper format during the first week of school and leaders says this simplifies the process. The first school day is set for Aug. 22.

   For more information or if unable to attend the orientations, contact the school at (740) 859-2196. Those seeking details about OneView may call the school or the district office at (740) 769-7395.

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