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EHS Receives Purple Star Award
Posted 5/13/2022 at 10:36:18 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Purple Star Award
RICHMOND-Edison High School has received a Purple Star award for its commitment to military students and families.
   The designation is valid for three years and Edison may seek a renewal for 2025. To receive it, district Director of Special Education Jamie Angelini and EHS Career Pathways Coach Leah Eft joined efforts with Angelini’s husband Nick, a substitute teacher who also acts as military liaison, while district Website Coordinator Jamie Evans handled online resources. The school was notified by Dr. Stephanie K. Siddens, interim superintendent of public instruction for the Ohio Department of Education, who stated in an official letter that “Each Child, Our Future,” the state’s strategic plan for education, recognizes the importance of supporting the needs of the whole child. 
   “To be successful transitioning between school settings, Ohio’s military-connected youth require supports to ensure that their unique social, emotional and academic needs are met,” she stated. “The Purple Star award your school is receiving signifies your school’s demonstrated commitment to serving these students and families.”
   Dr. Siddens added that the Purple Star Advisory Board established a series of criteria to be considered for the designation including required activities and one optional event. They include having a staff point-of-contact as liaison for military students and families who will identify and inform teachers of military-connected students in their classrooms and special considerations they and their families should receive; maintaining a dedicated page on its website featuring resources for military families; providing professional staff development on special considerations for military students and families; hosting a military recognition event that demonstrates a supportive culture; implementing social and emotional development programs with the military child in mind; celebrating the Month of the Military Child in April with events and programming for impacted students; and having the local school board pass a resolution publicizing the school’s support for military children and families.
   Jamie Angelini said Nick was a former Army recruiter in Columbus who worked with other schools to obtain the Purple Star. She had been employed as director of special education in Hamilton Local Schools and the district was the first to achieve the distinction. The couple moved to Wildcat Country in June and began working with Edison Local for the 2021-22 school year.
   “Nick informed me of the deadline in which to apply, and then Leah and I worked on the application process and website with help from EHS teacher Jamie Evans. Of course, we had to have the approval of our superintendent and high school principal, but they were very supportive of our interest in this and were on board with this process.”
   She added that the state’s recognition sets EHS apart from other area schools.
   “I was ecstatic. With hard work and persistence, the news of achieving this immediately made me feel proud of our school and district. We were already doing great things to support our military families, but this will enhance what we already are doing and continue to create an awareness for our staff, students and community,” she continued. “I am hoping that we can eventually apply for the Purple Star for our junior high and elementary buildings but wanted to start with the high school first.”
   Nick Angelini was thrilled with the distinction and said it benefits impacted youth.
   “I am proud that Edison High School gained the Purple Star recognition. [It] means that the school has recognized the need for military families to have special support and resources available as an extension of military family support programs. It also means that the school has prioritized its appreciation for the servicemen and women that it caters to with tangible resources and a special care and attention to their unconventional needs,” he added. “The award goes beyond the ‘Thank you for your service’ atmosphere of appreciation and respect for our servicemembers and takes it to the next level, almost as if to say ‘Thank you for your service. We understand the challenges you face and we are here for you, like you are there for us.’  When you see the Purple Star, you understand the school made a commitment to our military families far deeper than words. The Purple Star is about commitment, culture and community and continuity between educators and military families. “
    Eft said efforts are now in place to assist the students and their loved ones.
   “We put in processes to get more information from the students on their military involvement. To be military connected, they have to have a parent or guardian who is active in the military or a veteran,” she commented. “We have 15 this year who responded.”
   Among Edison’s plans are to hold recognition nights for military families at sporting events and Eft has also approached the youth to provide further assistance. 
   Meanwhile, Jamie Angelini’s ultimate dream is to begin a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) leadership development program based on the values and practices of the four U.S. military branches. The program combines classroom experiences with service to students' schools and communities and is available in high schools and post-secondary institutions throughout the state. JROTC teaches students the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline and its mission is to “motivate young people to be better citizens.”  In addition to professional and personal development, participation in the program can support students' pathway to graduation and earn them the Military Enlistment Seal.
Senior Walk
Posted 5/13/2022 at 10:08:47 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS SEnior Walk
Members of the Edison High School Class of 2022 donned their caps and gowns for the annual senior walk held at Stanton and John Gregg Elementary Schools on Wednesday. Youngsters bore signs of congratulations and applauded as the soon-to-be-graduates paraded through the buildings. Edison’s commencement exercise is set for May 27 at 7 p.m. at the new fieldhouse. Pictured are Katelin Kowalczyk, at left, and Mikayla Reed as they march through Stanton.
Project Taking Shape
Posted 3/30/2022 at 10:58:05 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton 3D printer
Stanton Elementary sixth-graders Teagan Reynolds, pictured at left, and Natalie Bunton are using a 3-D printer as part of a high-tech math lesson. It is a new project in teacher Jordan Tice’s classroom where students learn about three-dimensional shapes and surface area, then design nets of shapes on paper which are recreated inside the printer.
Edison Takes Next Steps for Walking Trail
Posted 3/30/2022 at 10:55:52 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-The Edison Local Board of Education are formally taking the next steps for a new walking trail at the high school.
   During a brief special session conducted virtually on March 29, the board overwhelmingly approved a recommendation by Superintendent Bill Beattie to enter into an agreement with Burgettstown, Pa.-based JTSA Sports for architectural and engineering services to create ta 1.5-mile path on the Edison High School campus. Plans are to have the path open later this summer for use by the students and community.
   “We advertised for architectural and engineering services and had three firms bid,” said Beattie. “We felt JTSA was the most qualified.”
   The district is already familiar with the company’s work since JTSA has been involved in creation of the unified sports complex at EHS. Beattie said the walking trail is the latest addition and would be relatively simple to complete.
   “It’s board-approved and we’ll get the contract signed,” he added. “We hope to be ready for August.”
   The project itself will mostly require excavation and surfacing work, and then it should be ready for use not only by students but also the community. Once complete, the course will wind from the football stadium into the nearby woods and has the ability to reverse, so users’ treks could span a total of 3.1 miles. Beattie added that usage could extend beyond health purposes.
  “It’s open for the community so they can use the track and the outdoor walking trail. We’re also hoping it’s used by our students for not only physical education, but also for science classes and outdoor education purposes for the kids.”
  He noted that federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds are being utilized for the project.
  Meanwhile, leaders also approved the superintendent’s recommendation to proceed with a proposal for a food service vendor. Beattie said officials will seek bids for the vendor since Fatima Smuck, who retired as district administrative assistant and director of early childhood and special education but still acted as food service director, will permanently depart her remaining duties this summer.
Edison Mulls Financial Impact Amid Plant Rumors
Posted 3/22/2022 at 9:23:42 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-Edison Local Board of Education officials said it is too soon to tell how big a hit the district will take in its coffers amid rumors surrounding the potential sale or closure of Energy Harbor’s W.H. Sammis Plant in Stratton.
   School board members discussed the news during the March 17 regular board session at Edison High School but said so far funding matters remain in the clear. Superintendent Bill Beattie said he had yet to confirm the news of the potential shutdown, which is reportedly eyed for June of 2023, with company leaders and until then the district can only wait and see.
   “There are two buckets,” Beattie said. “There’s real estate tax and the public utility property tax. Until they decide what’s going on, we have no clue.”
   While the property tax loss could fall within the $2 million range, officials were unsure how it would impact the public utility tax totals. Beattie said they still need more information to get a better picture of the situation.
  One positive note is the district has completed most of its projects and will not be affected at this time. Updates such as the unified athletic complex at EHS are nearing an end and are already paid.
   On a similar note, Beattie said the complex is edging closer to completion and the softball and baseball fields are ready for play.
   “It’s winding down. We have been practicing and holding scrimmages and they open March 28,” he said. “We’re very excited about everything coming to fruition and getting on the fields to play. We’ve been happy with the construction process and will have very classy facilities.”
   The final piece of the puzzle is the new 1,500-seat gym, which could be finished within the next six weeks. Once it is done, school sports will be fully combined at the Richmond campus along with a multi-purpose athletic field for football, soccer and track as well as a new parking lot. The baseball and softball fields have been located at Jefferson State Lake near Richmond and athletes have held track practice and meets and junior high basketball practice about 10 miles away at Stanton in Hammondsville. Officials said centralizing the activities would improve safety for students and save time for parents who must travel through the area to attend events. 
   Now, leaders are looking to create a 1.5-mile nature course on the exterior of the school property. The site will run behind the football field, into the woods and to the new fieldhouse. Beattie said a request for qualifications (RFQ) has been filed and an architect and engineering firm could be selected by the next meeting.
   Among other business, the board:
--Approved the resignation of Elizabeth Bufkin, multi-handicapped aide at Stanton Elementary;
--Accepted the resignations of Gretchen Yanssens and Lori Potkrajac-Roberts for retirement purposes effective June 1 and Aug. 1, respectively;
--Placed Jim Zorbini on the bus driver sub list retroactive to March 4;
--Approved a memorandum of understanding and transition agreement between Family Children First Council, Columbiana County Head Start and Jefferson County School Districts regarding services for children with disabilities;
--Accepted a $500 donation from Joe and Lisa Bruzzese for the Sheriff Fred J. Abdalla Scholarship; $3,000 from the Charles and Thelma Pugliese Foundation for scholarships; and $100 from the McBane Insurance Agency for John Gregg Elementary student needs;
--Approved Derek Peck and Melaina LeMasters for the substitute teachers’ list and Vicki Casto as aide/secretary at John Gregg on the non-certified sub list;
--Set the next meeting for April 21 at 6 p.m. at John Gregg.
Stanton Students Raising Funds for Ukraine
Posted 3/21/2022 at 9:44:57 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Ukraine
HAMMONDSVILLE-Stanton Elementary students are showing solidarity with the Ukraine by raising funds for the war-torn country.
   Fifth graders Isabella Boniey, Adreanna Delbruzzi and Sophia Delbruzzi will be collecting money from March 23-25 which will be donated to charity to support the eastern European country amid the Russian invasion. They said they were inspired to help by watching news broadcasts and learning of the tragic situation.
  “On the news, things are exploding and homes are gone,” said Isabella. “It’s really sad.”
   “We feel really bad that they don’t have clothes, food or anything and homes are destroyed,” added Adreanna.
    “We are doing this fundraiser for the Ukraine,” Sophia noted, adding that posters were being created to publicize the campaign.
   They approached teacher Ginger Bloomer, who was moved by their compassion. Bloomer said a letter was created informing parents of the moneymaker and she and Stanton Principal Shannah Scotch were researching organizations to benefit from the contributions.
   “I was surprised but also excited because they were excited about it,” said Bloomer. “I got on Facebook and asked friends to give me ideas on who to send the money to. I have 10 organizations and the principal and I will narrow it down to one to send the donations.”
   She said parents will also be asked to spread the word on social media and the winning homeroom class will receive an ice cream party as a reward.
   Meanwhile, the young organizers said every little bit makes a difference and they hoped to make a difference.
   “It’s a nice feeling,” said Isabella.

(Photo Cutline: Stanton Elementary School fifth-graders Sophia Delbruzzi, Isabella Boniey and Adreanna Delbruzzi are raising money from March 23-25 to help the people of the Ukraine amid the Russian invasion. They are standing near a sunflower exhibit created by art teacher Kelly Dopp’s students in grades 4-6 that depicts the Ukraine’s national flower and current symbol of peace.)
Stanton Students Go for the Gold
Posted 3/11/2022 at 1:02:36 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Olympics
Stanton Elementary students conducted their own version of the 2022 Winter Olympics with a series of events during their gym class. Physical education teacher Tammy Saphore said kids completed a series of activities throughout the week including luge, curling, bobsled, speed skating, ski jump and a biathlon with recipients earning gold, silver and bronze medals for their efforts. Pictured are Noland Cronin and Noah Jarmen during the ski jump portion of the games.
John Gregg Student Aides Learn about Responsibility
Posted 3/9/2022 at 10:40:59 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg Student Aide
BERGHOLZ- Students at John Gregg Elementary are gaining a sense of responsibility by assisting school leaders and staff members with some of their tasks.
   A student aide program began in February to help fulfill goals within the Edison Local School District’s five-year strategic plan. One goal is to build and protect a school culture where all staff and students accept responsibility in cultivating a respectful, safe and supportive school and classroom environment, and one way is to develop opportunities for shared leadership. The program correlates with that way of thinking, and so far 10 fifth- and sixth-graders have been aiding the school counselor, nurse, secretary, special needs unit and Principal Tammy Burchfield on a daily to weekly basis.
   Participants include Beckett Dopp and Mimi Ault, who help write and make announcements each morning; Presley Leake, Olivia Ferguson, Lydia Krepps and Leila Sudvary, who help Moses when morning and afternoon preschool students arrive and depart; Aliyah Glover, who also assists Moses in her office; Adrienne Granatir, who aids school secretary Casey Barnhouse; Brea Shrieve, who helps school nurse Natasha McConnell; and Brycen Kline, who works with Shaylyn McCarthy in the special needs unit. Each student is on the job for a half-hour and will continue their roles for the remainder of the year.
   “One of the goals from the district’s strategic plan is to develop opportunities for shared leadership. We wanted to provide leadership opportunities for students in fifth and sixth grades and [school counselor] Tiffany Moses had the idea to do the student aide program,” Burchfield said. “We began discussions after Christmas break and she and I had been talking about building leadership with the students. She came to me with the idea and I said to do it.”
   Moses said she sought ways to get students more involved and engaged, and the program not only allows them to prepare for the future but also learn the value of helping others. She created the positions as well as applications to teach students the process of preparing and applying for a position and officials selected the pupils for their posts.
  “Now that we have been doing this process for a few weeks, the students and staff seem to love it. Personally, it has been unbelievably helpful to me. My personal aide, Aliyah Glover, works so hard every Monday that she comes to me. She arrives at my office and I have a list waiting for her and she gets right to work and takes it so seriously. She copies and makes Shout-Out Cards for the whole building and organizes many other things for me. She is such a joy and a responsible student,” she continued. “The building has been loving Beckett Dopp and Mimi Ault doing the morning announcements and they have even added some fun additions to the morning such as a daily riddle. Preschool morning workers Presley Leake and Olivia Ferguson help walk preschool and kindergarten students to their rooms upon arrival and help carry items such as birthday treats and snacks. The afternoon preschool aides, Leila Sudvary and Lydia Krepps, help walk all the preschool pickup students down to the gym for dismissal and help teach the students our hallway expectations. They even have started giving preschoolers Shout-Out cards themselves as a reward for positive behavior according to our building PBIS system. I know that Adrienne Granatir, the secretary’s aide, has taken inventory of supplies and filled the copy machines, not to mention many other helpful clerical tasks. Brycen 
Klein, Mrs. McCarthy's aide, helps kindergarten students with their work while Brea Shrieve, the nurse’s aide, fills supplies and does many other useful tasks. We are proud of these students and excited to build upon this program in the future.”
    Meanwhile, McConnell has kept Shrieve busy from restocking supplies in the self-care station to stuffing envelopes for immunization reminders. 
   “I think it’s nice because it gives them additional responsibilities at school and a chance to develop extra skills outside of class,” she continued.
   Granatir has assisted Barnhouse by running and organizing copies for homerooms while Leake, Ferguson, Krepps and Sudvary have helped Moses lead preschoolers to and out of classrooms. Several student aides said they have been learning a lot by taking part.
   “I love it and I’m super glad I got picked,” said Dopp. “I hope I can continue it next year and in high school.”
    Leake said she enjoyed working with the preschoolers and helping with their snacks.
   “I like it,” she commented. “I like talking to them and I like listening to them. They are fun.”
   “I wanted to apply because I like helping, Mrs. Moses especially,” said Glover. “She’s really nice.”
   Burchfield said more students would be added if other staff members need help, but the youth must apply to take part.

(Photo Cutline: Beckett Dopp and Mimi Ault, students at John Gregg Elementary, are among 10 aides who assist school leaders and staff and learn responsibility along the way. Dopp and Ault help Principal Tammy Burchfield by presenting daily announcements to the school. Others perform tasks such as helping with preschoolers’ arrivals and departures, organizing copies, stuffing envelopes and stocking supplies. The student aides work for a half-hour each day or once per week and will continue for the remainder of the year.)
Artwork on Display
Posted 2/11/2022 at 12:00:17 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Artwork on display
Local students are getting a chance to put their creativity on display at Schiappa Branch Library in Steubenville including some young artists at Stanton Elementary School. Third-graders in Kelly Dopp’s art class will have their unique watercolor rainbow parrots exhibited at the library from March 16-30. Dopp said the artwork was formed using straws to blow the paint on the paper. Pictured with their renderings are, front from left, Addy Scalley, Jessup Rawson and Landon Ankrom. Back: Lillyann Timcho, Jayna Cooper, Andrew Gabathuler and Seth DiPasquale. Not pictured is Annie Montgomery.
John Gregg Classes Create Time Capsule
Posted 2/11/2022 at 11:51:53 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JG Capsule
First-graders at John Gregg Elementary took advantage of the 2-2-22 dateline to create a tuck-away time capsule. The capsule will be opened when they become high school seniors. Teachers Haley Hashbargar and Melissa Trimmer received messages about doing a project and students provided information about their favorite things and what they want to be when they grow up. The capsule would be unveiled on March 3, 2033 (3-3-33). Pictured are, front from left, Kyler Blancato, Preslie Sears, Tucker Berardinelli, Jacob Crites, Landon Hayes, Chase Blancato, Kendall McElroy, Jackson Mozingo, Lydia Byron and Liam Monigold. Second row: Bree Hilderbrand, Leland White, Annabelle Clutter, Raelynn Hudson, Talon Glover, Jayce Miles, Khloee Clancey, Dakota McCoy, Christian McCain and Jayden Chase. Third row: Melissa Trimmer, Colton Seaburn, Julia Crawford, Isabel Wood, Paige Gump, Caleb Alvis, Keith Miller, Olivia Rees, Isabella Diley, Daviona Marcus, Lucas Hileman, Bentley Miller, Brantley Miller, Harper Mills and Haley Hashbarger. Back: Izabellah Tanley, Elijah Cooley, Bode Berardinelli, Henry Bernhart, Greyson Butcher, Kelsie Granatir, Gemma Fuller, Brantley Hinkle, Sylas Trimmer and Lincoln Cooper.
Edison Extends Mask Mandate
Posted 1/13/2022 at 4:25:15 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison BOE January 12 Board
HAMMONDSVILLE-The Edison Local School District is extending its mask mandate for the time being as COVID cases continue to mount in the area.
   The school board held two sessions Wednesday in the district office at Stanton Elementary School, with one to organize the panel and district affairs and a regular meeting to take action on a variety of other business. Aaron Richardson remained board president for 2022 while Ron Smyth was elected vice president and Lisa Bruzzese continued as treasurer. The oath of office was also administered to newcomer Anna Ault during the organizational meeting and leaders approved operational authorizations and board committees, among related matters.
   But the mask mandate led discussion at the following regular session and Superintendent Bill Beattie sought to continue the policy to Jan. 28. He cited 14 positive cases between staff and students but said numbers have been lower than in other districts.
   “I would like to at least extend it to Jan. 28. We were first to get [COVID] in the fall and it’s a matter of time before it hits us,” he added. 
   “Your end result was to keep kids in school,” Smyth commented.
   “Our goal is not to end COVID; our goal is to keep kids in school,” Bordash interjected.
   Building projects also topped talks and Beattie said the new school gym could be ready this spring. He said a tentative date has been slated for March 24 and projects are continuing to bring the plan to fruition.
   “They are due to start getting the floor in the second week of February and they started spraying the ceiling,” he added. “It’s getting there.”
   Beattie said framing work and windows were also underway in the hospitality suite while Smyth said officials should look at repairing or removing a mural of the three schools. Leaders discussed repairing the artwork and getting an artist to do the project, plus they hoped to have the project done in time for the start of the football season. Leaders also addressed progress at the new bus garage less than a mile from Edison High School, saying framing, septic and other work was underway at the site.
  Among other matters, the board:
--Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta said she has been in discussion with a representative at the Ohio Department of Education about offering Ag science courses at EHS to obtain credits toward graduation. Plans are very preliminary but Kireta said it offers a hands-on opportunity for students and may also benefit the Ag program;
--Heard from Richardson, who sought to hold a brainstorming session regarding the district’s strategic plan. Richardson was seeking ideas on where to take the district in the future through building projects, academics and other pathways. The board agreed to meet on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at the district office at Stanton and the public is invited to attend;
--Approved Mindy Madzia as a certified substitute;
--Accepted the resignation of Dawn Cable as junior high track coach and also approved supplemental contracts for Cable and Nick Angelini as track assistants; 
--Agreed to participate in the Ohio School Boards Association’s Legal Assistance Fund and renewed a membership with OSBA for 2022;
--Observed School Board Recognition Month for January and members received certificates in appreciation of their service;
--Set the next regular meeting for Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. at Stanton.
(Photo Cutline: The Edison Local Board of Education organized for 2022 during one of two sessions on Wednesday and elected Aaron Richardson and Ron Smyth as president and vice president, respectively. Anna Ault was also sworn into office as the newest member and the board also observed School Board Recognition Month for January. Pictured are, front from left, Ron Smyth, Anna Ault and Aaron Richardson. Back: Josh McConnell and Matt Bordash.)
EHS, WLU Set the Stage for Productions
Posted 12/1/2021 at 11:03:26 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS WLU stage project
RICHMOND-Students from Edison High School teamed up with officials from West Liberty University to set the stage for future productions.
    David Schultz, advisor for the EHS Drama Club, and school Vocal Music Director Greg Hofmeister joined more than two-dozen students and theater officials from WLU for a daylong Saturday workshop in stagecraft. WLU Assistant Theater Professor and Technical Director Meta Lasch, along with husband and adjunct instructor Richard Deenis, met with the high school group to teach the finer points of preparing stage flats for theatrical scenery. Crews worked together to gather and organize wooden boards and other materials, something they had not done in the past.
   “I met Meta through the theatre director at West Liberty, Michael Aulick,” said Schultz. “My students participated in last year’s Monologue Slam/Competition hosted by West Liberty, which is how we met him and then, through him, Meta and Rich. [We did this] for professional help with the construction of our flats.”
    He said the workshop was very educational and enlightening, and now his students have a better grasp of what it takes to bring a production together. That knowledge would come in handy as the school held it’s first performance of the year, “The Sound of Music,” in November.
   “Meta and Rich have been helpful, helping both myself and my students with this project. They have given so much of their free time to make this a successful event,” Schultz added. “I really liked that the students got a chance to work with materials that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. They got a fantastic chance to see and do the technical side of set building and see if they had any interest in pursuing a career in stage construction.”
   He noted that the flats will benefit both the drama and music programs and he looked forward to working with the university again in the future.
   “This experience gave my students great exposure to the technical side of professional theatre.”
   Hofmeister agreed, saying the lessons they learned will be very beneficial.
   “With their supervision and us monitoring, the students were able to build flats, learn and organize our loft. The flats will be used for background,” Hofmeister continued. “From ‘The Sound of Music’ to Mr. Schultz’s productions, we’ll have more time after school to make [the scenery].”
   Lasch was impressed with the students’ work ethic and said she would happily work with them again in the future.
   “The students really wanted to be involved with the program and be able to do this on their own,” said Lasch, “I think Edison’s stage is forming and will be utilized to its fullest extent now.”
  A few of the students said they enjoyed the workshop and learned something new.
  “I liked doing the project,” said sophomore Chloe Brooks. “I learned a lot about cutting wood and measuring.”
  “I liked it. This was fun,” added junior Aiden Ferguson. “It’s really hands-on and gets us involved.”
   Meanwhile, Schultz added that all of the wood materials had been generously donated by Denoon Lumber and cited them as amazing supporters of Edison Local and the arts. Other items were acquired jointly by the drama club and music department using revenue from previous fundraisers.
   “We are incredibly humbled and grateful for such a donation. The flats built with this lumber will last decades and will positively impact dozens of classes of students thanks to the generosity of Denoon Lumber.”
(Photo Cutline: Edison High School students recently learned about theatre construction during a workshop with officials from West Liberty University. Pictured are freshmen Jordan Hughes, at left, and Mariah Hunter gaining a few pointers in preparing stage flats for scenery from Rich Deenis, who was among those representing WLU, while senior Kayla Striker looks on from the audience.)
EHS Students Receive Academic Letters
Posted 11/30/2021 at 12:49:55 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
academic excellence
RICHMOND-Students excelling in the classroom at Edison High School were highlighted as they received academic letters during an assembly on Nov. 23.
    A total of 164 students received first, second and third academic letters for the 2020-21 school year, including 55 current sophomores, 53 juniors and 56 seniors. To be eligible, students must earn a year-end grade point average of 3.0 or higher beginning their freshman year. First-year achievers receive an academic letter with second-year honorees gaining a lamp pin and third-and fourth-year awardees earning bar pins. Awards earned during sophomore and junior year are generally given during a fall assembly while senior awards are distributed at the honors banquet in May.
   Among those receiving their first-year letter are sophomores Alexandra Ash, Drew Beebe, Faith Bell, Chloe Brooks, Autumn Brown, Grace Browning, Nolan Buchanan, Gage Cable, Cheyanne Coil, Caiden Cooley, Abigail Cunningham, Keeley Day, Daniel Dwyer, Edward Eisnaugle, Rebecka Evans, Zachary Evans, Luke Grimes, Terry Hanson, Kendall Hennis, Kolton Hennis, Jacob Hooper, Lily Larkins, Kylee Leishman, Emma LoPrete, Natalie Lucas, Jackie Matheson, Chase McClurg, Levi McCourt, Maxwell McConnell, Pressly Meadows, Mason Montgomery, Blake Moran, Revan Otto, Jeremy Parr, Jessica Phillips, Riley Redovian, Adali Reynolds, Jacob Roth, Caden Rudy, Hannah Russell, Kamryn Sears, Rayna Shane, Brenden Simms, Joseph Simpson, Hannah Spencer, Trinity Spencer, Hailey Teichman, Kendra Teichman, Isabella Thornton, Zachary Vojvodich, Alaina Warren, Liam Watson, Karlee Wayt, Rylee Wells and Kameron Wright. First-year letters also went to juniors Cameron Schmitt and Christopher Tarr.
   Second-year lamps were given to juniors Conner Arbogast, Dylan Barker, Tessa Binkiewicz, Jaycee Blake, Robert Carpenter, Marian Cline, Raeanna Dawson, Ryan Dinger, Olivia Fankhauser, Aiden Ferguson, Isaac Firm, Katie Fluharty, Elizabeth Gampolo, Eva Goad, Lynzee Grimm, Logan Gubanez, Bayleigh Gump, Kaydence Habbit, Coleman Holly, Jaima Howell, Olivia Huff, Elijah Hurdle, Pamela Johnson, Jenna Kelley, Chloe LaRue, Aiden Lawrence, Megan Licata, Michelle Marino, Lane Martin, Morgan Martin, Brayden Moses, Brittany Mynster, Jadyn Nicholson, Matthew Parsons, Ella Porter, Travis Rose, Audrey Scott, Holley Scott, Zoe Shell, Shane Smith, Sophia Smith, Emily Stewart, Gabriella Sunyoger, Megan Tice, Anna Wadas, Ethan Waggoner, Makayla Wells, Matthew Whitehill, Katelin Wilson, Evan Wood and Nicole Zullo.
  Seniors making the grade were first-year letter recipients Zoe Eisnaugle, Benjamin Linscott, Jeremiah McGalla and Caitlyn Pelley. Second-year lamp recipients included Hunter Cronin, Bailey Fillman, Dylan Leasure and Parker Scaffidi. Among those receiving third-year bars were Savanna Ankrom, Gavin Barnhouse, Adriana Bertini, Nathan Black, Kasee Blackburn, Chloe Bond, Dakota Coil, Alysea Fiedorczyk, Mark Gescheider, Emily Gubanez, Gabriel Hurdle, Delaney Johnson, Abigail Kinney, Katelin Kowalczyk, Drake Leasure, Morgan Lesnansky, Nathan Lucas, Kathryn Maille, Alayna Meadows, Ian McBane, Emily Moore, Laine Murphey, Erika Murphy, Rachel Nesbitt, Kaitlyn Nutter, Justin Palmer, Karyn Parrish, Delaney Perine, Emily Phillips, Thomas Phillips, Mikayla Reed, Keira Reese, Khloe Shannon, Andrew Schrock, Leanna Smith, Jocelyn Smyth, Jonah Snyder, Mychi Stewart, Kayla Striker, Arabel Sudvary, Jenna Swickard, Cameron Taylor, Jayna Tedeschi, Kayla White, Benjamin Willison, Christopher Willison, Eli Wilson and Katie Yohman.
JCESC Grant Augments Teaching Tools
Posted 11/19/2021 at 10:52:41 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JCESC Edison BPG 2021
RICHMOND-Edison Local Schools received a small funding boost to help augment teaching tools in several of its classrooms.
   Educators Angela Arbogast, Emlly Henry and Megan McNear were among the recipients of the Jefferson County Educational Service Center’s Best Practice Grant program during the 2021-22 funding cycle. JCESC Coordinator Patty Ferrell presented three mini grants totaling $1,800 during the regular school board meeting on Nov. 18 at Edison High School and the funding will incorporate technology and other resources for instruction and emotional well-being.
   Arbogast, who teaches Spanish at Edison High School, will purchase equipment for her classroom to assist between 100-200 students. 
  “This grant would supply every foreign language teacher’s dream: a classroom set of durable headphones with built-in microphones for individual listening, comprehension and pronunciation practice. Headphones are one of the most highly desired items amongst foreign language teachers because they greatly enhance students’ interaction with the language,” she added. 
   Arbogast said the equipment will help eliminate distractions and enable students to quietly and clearly record themselves. She has applied for Best Practice Grant funds in the past but said this was her first award.
   Henry, a literacy interventionist for grades K-6 at Stanton Elementary, will use her funds for her “Book of the Month” project and allow all students to read the same book and complete activities within their classrooms. 
   “The Book of the Month is a school-wide initiative to promote literacy while incorporating cross-curricular activities. Each month, the same book will be read aloud in every classroom across all grade levels. These same books will serve as mentor texts that will be used in reading, writing, math, social studies and science. Therefore, our students will benefit because they will be able to extend their learning into all content areas with standard based activities.  Finally, our book will benefit students because it will serve as a great school and home connection tool. We will engage families with the same book so that the learning can continue at home.”
  Henry said the project will benefit every preschool to sixth-grade student, or about 400 children. She noted that it was her first Best Practice Grant and she looked forward to implementing the program to help build a literacy community.
   McNear, who is the school counselor at Stanton, will create a “STEAM Sensory Space” for her project. A classroom and section of hallway will be designated to use a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) theme to help students refocus, self-regulate and incorporate movement in meaningful ways throughout their day. She said multi-sensory stations will be formed to help develop the parts of the brain that control emotional regulation and learning. Among the stations are a colorful walkway that allows students to move in different ways to release stress and cope with diverse emotions; a Lego wall and pop tube station to create designs while simultaneously using the time to calm down and regain focus; and a station where students can use kinetic sand and water beads to explore and create. McNear is working with occupational therapy assistant Cheryl Smith to design and set up the sensory room, which has the potential to benefit all 400 students at the school.
   “This is particularly important during their elementary years so that they may gain benefits that will help them in years to come,” she added. “We will use the funds obtained through this grant to purchase materials to create this space for all grade levels from PreK-6 to utilize at various times. It will include several cross-curricular components to blend science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics with the sensory experiences.”
   McNear previously gained similar mini grants and said she was excited about the latest opportunity.
    JCESC Superintendent Dr. Chuck Kokiko recognized the educators for thinking outside the box and the grants support those efforts.
   “The JCESC has a mission of building capacity through innovative cost-effective programs.  The Best Practice Grants are a great example of allowing our classroom teachers to be innovative in the practice of educating their students,” he commented. “Every year, our district teachers continue to find unique and innovative methods for their classroom.  We are grateful for the teachers’ hard work and happy to support their creativity.”   
   Edison has received 45 Best Practice Grants over the past 14 years, although the program has existed even longer. More funds were awarded this year at Buckeye Local, Harrison Hills, Indian Creek, Steubenville, Southern Local, Toronto and the Utica Shale Academy.
(Photo Cutline: Three Edison Local School District educators received $600 Best Practice Grants from the Jefferson County Educational Service Center on Nov. 18. A check was presented during the regular Edison board meeting and pictured are, from left, Emily Henry and Megan McNear with JCESC Coordinator Patty Ferrell. Not pictured is teacher Angela Arbogast.)
Edison Pays Tribute to Veterans
Posted 11/12/2021 at 10:03:03 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Pays Tribute to Veterans
RICHMOND-Soldiers from the past and present were the guests of honor for Edison High School’s 32nd Annual Veteran’s Day program on Thursday.
   Members of American Legion Post 740 of Richmond Honored Seven joined students in the school gym for tributes in words and music during the event, which was organized by history teacher Paul Baker. Baker explained the origin of the holiday, saying it began on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 to herald the end of World War I. It was known as Armistice Day and a Congressional resolution later passed to establish an annual observance. Raymond Weeks, who served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, petitioned federal leaders to form a national veteran’s holiday and President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name to Veteran’s Day in 1954. Weeks would be recognized for his efforts by President Ronald Reagan with the Presidential Citizens Medal in 1982.
   “Over the years, I’ve learned a few things from this assembly,” Baker continued. “One of the things I’ve learned is we wear red on Friday to show solidarity and support for the deployed until they return home to their families. We also keep a single empty chair which represents Prisoners of War and those missing in action—the veterans who never returned home.”
   He recognized local veterans including U.S. Army 1st Sgt. J.O. Henry, post commander; Army Sgt. Kasen Arnold; A1C Bob Woodward of the U.S. Air Force; Army Chief Warrant Officer Bill Burress; Army Airborne Don Swickard; Army Sgt. E-5 Sam Warren; and Army Sgt. Dan Vojvodich. Baker said that Edison was proud of the veterans, thankful for their service and humbled by their sacrifice.
   “Let us thank them today and every day,” he said.
   Henry then recalled how some enlisted personnel joined the military as “conscientious objectors,” but a female soldier learned a valuable lesson.
   “One said, “Sgt. Henry, I joined the Army for the wrong reasons. I thought it would be fun to shoot machine guns...but I’m very humble about what I’m doing. I want to serve my country,” he said. “She is what a veteran is. A veteran is someone who writes a blank check to serve their country up to and including [sacrificing] their very life.”
   Vojvodich said the American Legion’s mission was to recognize WWI veterans but it ultimately included those from later conflicts.
   “Our role is to help people out who come back from the military. We belong to all veterans,” he noted. “When you see a vet, thank them.”
   He also lauded Edison staff and students for the service and continued support.
   The program also included a performance of the National Anthem by the high school band and choir, led respectively by Marc Sansone and Greg Hofmeister as well as readings of “In Flanders Field” by teacher Ellen Swickard, “Freedom Is Not Free” by teacher David Schultz and “The Wall” by past teacher Tony Kovalesky, who organized the initial 

assemblies. The choir also sang “Thank You, Soldiers” and an a cappella version of “Remember,” plus they joined the band for a rendition of the “Military Salute” lauding all branches of the Armed Forces. Band trumpeters closed the event with a solemn version of “Taps” while Principal Matthew Morrison recognized everyone involved and thanked the veterans for their courage. 
(Photo Cutline: J.O. Henry, commander of American Legion Post 740 Honored Seven in Richmond, spoke during the 32nd annual Veteran’s Day Assembly at Edison High School on Thursday. Legion members were the guests of honor for a day of patriotic words and music in tribute to the bravery and ongoing support of veterans for their community and country.)
Veterans Day Activities at Edison
Posted 11/10/2021 at 9:07:08 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-Edison High School will conduct a series of events to commemorate Veterans Day over the next week.
   The school will host a Veterans Day program on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. with representatives of American Legion Post 740 of Richmond on hand. Organizer Paul Baker said a variety of activities are being planned with songs and messages to honor heroes of the Armed Forces.
   “We are planning a series of tributes to our veterans during the assembly,” Baker said, adding that the high school band and choir as well as the junior high choir will take part.
   Festivities will continue that evening with a Veterans Day choir concert organized by EHS Vocal Music Director Greg Hofmeister at 7 p.m. Hofmeister said it will feature the musical stylings of both choirs to honor past military personnel.
  “The goal is to have veterans there to recognize them,” he added.
   It is a free event but free will donations will be accepted to benefit the music program.
   Meanwhile, the EHS FFA Chapter will host a Veterans Day Breakfast on Nov. 13 from 8-11 a.m. in the cafeteria. Advisor Chuck Cline said members will serve pancakes and sausage to patrons and veterans and their families may dine for free while all others are by donation. A similar event has been held in the past.
Stanton Pupil Helping Shelter Pets
Posted 11/5/2021 at 11:39:41 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Maylee Rawson Pet Drive
    HAMMONDSVILLE-One Stanton Elementary student has made it her mission to help displaced pets find some comfort while housed in the local animal shelter.
   Sixth-grader Mayelee Rawson led the charge with her second-annual pet drive on Oct. 25-Nov. 5 to benefit dogs and cats lodged at the Jefferson County Humane Society. Rawson, the daughter of James and Katie Rawson of Toronto, called upon others to help donate food, treats, cleaning products and even a few beds to brighten up the lives of the furry friends.
   “This is my last year at Stanton,” she said. “I love animals and I just like to help them. With COVID, lots of people are passing away and a lot of these animals are going to shelters. The pet drive helps give more supplies to help the animals.”
   Boxes were placed at the entrances for bus and passenger car pickups and drop-offs as well as the school office. In the end, Rawson was able to secure peanut butter, pet beds, Clorox wipes, bleach and cat and dog food. She transported the contributions to the animal shelter and was pleased with the outcome.
   “We did really well. We had at least three good-sized boxes filled up,” she said, adding that she couldn’t have done it without some help. “I want to give a really big shoutout to [sixth-grade teacher Jordan Tice] and [students] Javen Fuller and Bryson Cunningham. Javen and Bryson helped me collect the items and they’ve been a really big help.”
   Her love for animals is obvious since she has quite the menagerie at home with four horses, a turtle, fish and two dogs. Rawson’s quest first began last March when she was granted approval from Principal Shannah Scotch with fifth-grade teacher Alicia Hartman acting as her sponsor. Her initial collection was extended from one week to two and she gathered toys, dog and cat food, laundry detergent plus a few nice notes which were delivered to the shelter. She hopes the tradition will carry on at the elementary school through her brother, Coalton, who will attend next year.
   Meanwhile, her teacher had nothing but praise for the young girl with the kind heart.
  “She came to me asking if I would help her out with the pet drive,” said Tice. “She started it last year and I’ve been overseeing everything. She’s taken the lead and is a go-getter. She likes to be involved and likes to help.”
(Photo Caption: Stanton Elementary sixth-grader Mayelee Rawson led her second pet drive to benefit animals at the Jefferson County Humane Society on Oct. 25-Nov. 5, where she collected food, cleaning supplies and pet beds to help brighten the lives of the furry friends. She is pictured with classmates Javen Fuller, center, and Bryson Cunningham who provided plenty of help with her endeavor.)
Veterans Day Activities at Edison
Posted 11/5/2021 at 10:04:58 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-Edison High School will conduct a series of events to commemorate Veterans Day over the next week.
   The school will host a Veterans Day program on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. with representatives of American Legion Post 740 of Richmond on hand. Organizer Paul Baker said a variety of activities are being planned with songs and messages to honor heroes of the Armed Forces.
   “We are planning a series of tributes to our veterans during the assembly,” Baker said, adding that the high school band and choir as well as the junior high choir will take part.
   Festivities will continue that evening with a Veterans Day choir concert organized by EHS Vocal Music Director Greg Hofmeister at 7 p.m. Hofmeister said it will feature the musical stylings of both choirs to honor past military personnel.
  “The goal is to have veterans there to recognize them,” he added.
   It is a free event but free will donations will be accepted to benefit the music program.
   Meanwhile, the EHS FFA Chapter will host a Veterans Day Breakfast on Nov. 13 from 8-11 a.m. in the cafeteria. Advisor Chuck Cline said members will serve pancakes and sausage to patrons and veterans and their families may dine for free while all others are by donation. A similar event has been held in the past.
Edison Kicks off Career Mentoring Program
Posted 10/11/2021 at 3:06:27 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Career Mentoring
RICHMOND-Nearly 200 Edison High School students are setting their sights on the future by determining their career pathways in an initiative through Harvard University.
   Leah Eft, EHS career pathways coach, kicked off a career mentoring program on Oct. 7 to gain insight as to what the group of freshmen through seniors may choose as their vocation. An assembly was held in the school auditorium featuring special guest Tricia Maple-Damewood, president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, and students completed a survey based upon their interests with the goal of holding monthly sessions with local professionals tailored to the youths’ feedback.
   Maple-Damewood tested students’ knowledge and provided prizes for her interactive presentation. She told the crowd that Jefferson County currently had plenty of work opportunities and provided a list of businesses which were chamber members, as well as details about internships and job shadowing programs.
   “There are 2,000 businesses right here in Jefferson County that would make great places to work,” she said.
   She continued that the area included many large and small companies such as Timet Corporation in Toronto, which is the fourth-largest producer of titanium in the world and supplies materials for aircraft. Maple-Damewood suggested the students consider careers that matched their interests and skillset and offered advice on how to research and make a plan.
   “A perfect way to figure out career planning is to see what you like. Are you passionate about the environment or animals? Would you prefer to work alone or with a team? Your extracurricular activities show your interests and passions, but employers want to see jobs on your resume,” she noted. “Think of your likes and dislikes and if you want to do one thing every day, all day.”
    Maple-Damewood said students should also think about their income, if they want flexibility to work in shifts and where they want to live. One major plus is Jefferson County’s close proximity to larger metropolitan areas such as Pittsburgh, New York and Washington, D.C. to seek employment and live. Most importantly, she said students should be knowledgeable of soft skills such as giving firm handshakes, speaking confidently, being able to use Microsoft Office and other technology, following up with others and following through with tasks.
   “If an employer sees you are taking the initiative, you’ll instantly set yourself apart from everybody else,” she concluded.
   Eft then guided students through an online survey to discern their interests, skills and other information to help shape the mentoring program. It is all part of Edison’s ongoing collaboration with Harvard University and one way to address post-secondary pursuits among the high school set. The district is currently in its third year of a five-year process and Harvard utilizes the Proving Ground model of evidence-based improvement to address chronic absenteeism, career readiness and college enrollment. Edison is among 50 rural schools in Ohio and New York that are part of the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCRERN), an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard, and the study is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education.
   Eft said Harvard officials selected which students would be involved in the program. 
   “We sent surveys to the students to get data on what’s important to them, their career interests and the level of importance on the educational process. [Harvard] found that students didn’t see a value in a school setting and they thought this would be a good intervention.”
   The initiative has emphasized building school attendance while the second part hones in on college and career readiness. Eft said the monthly meetings would educate pupils on not only college or trade programs in their particular field of interest, but also other skills needed to help them find success in the workplace. The surveys simply provide a roadmap to plot their course.
    “We will match the students with two careers they will focus on and their interests and go from their answers to match them with mentors,” she commented. “We. will have monthly meetings and a professional will come in to speak on careers and career pathways. We want to get kids more motivated to be in the know and this is a huge part of it.” 
   Another aspect of Eft’s role concentrates on underclassmen and incorporates the district’s vision on the three E’s –enroll, enlist and employ. She works closely with EHS, John Gregg Elementary and Stanton Elementary to coordinate activities and get students in grades 5-12 interested in enrolling in college, enlisting in the military or employed in the workforce. She also implements professional skills from work ethic to punctuality to give kids a purpose in career planning and to be prepared with college and career readiness.
   Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta thanked Eft for her work and Maple-Damewood and the chamber for their involvement, saying the ultimate goal is to help students achieve success in the future.
   “We started working with Proving Ground for attendance and are continuing to work with attendance intervention, but we also moved on with career readiness. The project we are working on this year is career exploration and Mrs. Eft will take groups of students and have meetings with community members with careers that students have interest in,” Kireta said. “It is interest-based career exploration. We are glad that Mrs. Eft organized it because it was a lot of work. I also thank Mrs. Maple-Damewood for talking to the students about career readiness and what employers expect out of employees, and I am glad the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce can be a part of that.”

(Photo Cutline: Edison High School Career Pathways Coach Leah Eft addresses nearly 200 students during an assembly to kick off a career mentoring program in connection with the district’s ongoing partnership with Harvard University. Students were surveyed on their career interests and local professionals in those roles will visit the school to talk to the youth. Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce President Tricia Maple-Damewood was also on hand to share tips on career planning and soft skills to help students land the jobs they desire.)
EHS Students Learning Sign Language
Posted 9/27/2021 at 1:22:40 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Sign Language
RICHMOND-Edison High School students are letting their hands do the talking with the implementation of a new sign language class.
   About 15 pupils in grades 9-12 gather each day in Andy Lesnansky’s classroom for an online American Sign Language (ASL) course through the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center, which is a first for the school and is offered as a foreign language subject. The Interactive Video Distance Learning (IVDL) class is taught by instructor Jenna McBriar and includes mostly hands-on education conducted through signing. McBriar said the students are catching on quickly and she was pleased with their progress.
  “It’s been going really well,” she said. “We teach mostly in ASL, so the voice is off for at least 30 minutes.”
   McBriar said eight teachers instruct sign language classes through the ECOESC and interest is growing among school districts.
   “It’s so popular we don’t have enough people to teach it. This is a foreign language requirement and we’ve picked up two to three new schools this year, and one is Edison.”
  So far, the class has been learning the basics such as the alphabet, names, colors, shapes, numbers and parts of conversation such as greetings and saying thank you. The first 10 minutes also includes a practice video review of the previous lesson.
  “Right now, we’re working on using our fingers to describe a picture. They are getting to the point that they are more comfortable with it,” Lesnansky said. “They are getting more skilled at it.”
   A few of the students said they were already putting their knowledge to use.
   “I thought it would be cool. Whenever I was little, I wanted to learn sign language,” said junior Katelin Wilson. “I was able to communicate with deaf customers at work.”
    Junior Tessa Binkiewicz said she is able to use signing as a form of singing in the school choir.
   “We do sign language in choir to perform ‘What a Wonderful World,’” she commented. “It’s the first time we’ve ever done it.”
   Freshman Faith Van Horne noted that her grandmother worked with the deaf while her sibling had prior hearing issues, so sign language was nothing new in her household. When the course was offered at EHS, she took advantage.
   Meanwhile, Lesnansky is learning right along with them and said it offers a new perspective about communication.
   “I’m picking it up because I see it as an awesome opportunity,” he concluded.

(Photo Cutline: Students at Edison High School are taking part in a new Interactive Video Distance Learning (IVDL) American Sign Language class offered through the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center. About 15 pupils in grades 9-12 are taking the course as a foreign language requirement and letting their hands do the talking.)
Pytash Named EHS Employee for August
Posted 9/10/2021 at 10:32:16 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Susan Pytash
RICHMOND-Edison High School has named Susan Pytash as its Employee of the Month for August.
   Pytash has worked in the Edison Local School District for the past 24 years and has held various roles as an office aide, special education aide, multi-handicapped aide and librarian. She is currently secretary to the assistant principal at EHS and is the first face everyone sees when they visit the site, and she is always happy to greet everyone with a smile and a laugh.
   She graduated from cosmetology school and also obtained a business management degree from Jefferson Technical College before settling into work at Edison. Pytash has been married for 36 years to Tom Pytash and they have three daughters, Stephanie, Melissa, and Cheri, and three grandchildren, Kailey, Kaydee and Parker. All have either graduated from or are currently attending Edison Local Schools.
   The Pytash family are huge Edison fans and are always very supportive of the district and its students. She said she has worked with many people during her time in the district and has made many lifelong friends, but most of all she loves the students and looks forward to meeting even more of them in the coming years.
Edison Student Creates Youth Initiative
Posted 8/18/2021 at 12:55:38 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison students picking up trash
RICHMOND-One Edison High School student is taking the initiative and showing how youth can make a positive impact upon the community.
   Senior Morgan Lesnansky, the daughter of Brian and Wendy Lesnansky of Steubenville, created the Valley Youth Initiative in July as a way to respond to what she viewed as needs in the area.
   “I began to notice many aspects of my community that were in need of improvement and attention. After all, if you want to see change, you must be the change. ‘Being the change’ that we want to see is Valley Youth Initiative’s primary objective while serving our community,” she said, adding that she was inspired by participating in a similar organization.
   “I joined my boyfriend and his youth group, Youth Alive, to engage in a trash pickup in Bellaire. Together, we picked up an impressive amount of trash within just a few hours. Driving home that night, I found myself noticing the slew of trash that litters our community’s roads. The area that namely caught my attention was the stretch of State Route 213 that begins at the Park and Ride. Upon seeing the mess alongside 213 hill, I realized that I could make the eyesore trash disappear. I reached out and asked if anyone my age was interested in community service work. Thus, Valley Youth Initiative was born. “
   About 30 students ages 13-19 are currently involved with a shared interest in making things better and work on projects as their busy schedules allow. Lesnansky said they represent Edison, Indian Creek, Madonna, Brooke, West Virginia Northern Community College and Robert Morris University and projects have included litter cleanup along Ohio 213 and a school supply collection for community distribution. She thanked her parents for their support and the Island Creek Township garage for providing supplies for the litter project. 
   When not striving to make the world a better place, Lesnansky is active as a member of the EHS cross country, track and soccer teams at EHS as well as the marching and concert band, the latter of which she serves as treasurer. She is also vice president of the school Beta Club.
   She noted that the philosophy of the initiative is simple: to leave things better than you found them. 
   “This extends in all walks of community service, as well as in terms of interactions with others. It is important to be kind, be gratuitous, and be giving when you’re able to be.”
   To that end, she is looking to complete more litter clean-up projects in the future, conduct food and toiletry drives, offer volunteer assistance where needed and lift the spirits of others with cards and letters. She also hopes to paint a mural to decorate the exterior of a local business with a positive image or message. Anyone interested in the mural project may contact her via email.
   Lesnansky hopes to see the Valley Youth Initiative continue and inspire others to do good works for years to come.

 “My hope is that I’ve gotten others to realize our communities' need for civic engagement, deepening their interest in being a service to our community. 
   For more information, to share project ideas or to get involved in the Valley Youth Initiative, contact Lesnansky at morganblesnansky@gmail.com. 
(Photo Cutline: Edison High School senior Morgan Lesnansky is working to make her community better one project at a time by creating the Valley Youth Initiative. Efforts began this summer and about 30 youth ages 13-19 have been involved. Projects so far include litter cleanup along Ohio 213 outside Steubenville and a school supply collection for community distribution. Pictured at the cleanup are, front from left, Mikayla Reed, Aiden Minch-Hick and Parker Scaffidi. Back: Josie Lesnansky, Morgan Lesnansky and Adriana Bertini. Anyone interested in information or participation may email morganblesnansky@gmail.com.)
Edison Talks Efforts to Quell Learning Slide
Posted 5/27/2021 at 10:15:34 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-Personnel hirings topped the Edison Local school board’s agenda on May 20 as officials looked to get students back on course following the COVID pandemic.
  A series of faculty and staff members were hired during the session which took place at Edison Local High School and Superintendent Bill Beattie said the help will be part of the district’s initiative to quell the students’ learning slide.
   “Our focus is truly on any learning loss from this past school year because of the pandemic, which is the reason for the extra personnel,” Beattie said.
   The district must still determine the impact from the school shutdown and remote education, but there are opportunities to keep students on track with summer school and related activities. Summer school will be offered with six-week programs at EHS each Tuesday to Thursday from June 15-July 22 at 9 a.m. to noon. Breakfast and lunch will be provided with transportation available if necessary. Offerings include traditional programming for grades K-6 to work on grade-level standards that have not yet been mastered in reading and math, as well as credit recovery for grades 9-12 to make up what was not earned in core classes during the 2020-21 school year. The two-week Little CAT Enrichment Camp is available for grades K-6 to work on grade-level standards. There is a 20-student limit and programming will incorporate interest-based courses such as music for grades 1-3; STEM activities for grades 4-6; art for grades 3-6; Lego Robotics for grades 2-6; and geography and virtual field trips for grades 1-6. It is open at EHS on June 15-17 and July 22-24 from 9 a.m. to noon. 
   Middle school students may also attend Elkhorn Valley Church Adventure Camp for hands-on activities and socialization. There is a 75-person limit but breakfast and lunch will be provided. Current sixth- and seventh-graders participate on June 22-24 with current fourth-and-fifth-graders attending on June 29-July 1 and current first-to-third graders to go on Aug. 3-5, all from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Beattie said the latter would give those transitioning into the junior high an opportunity to meet and even bond prior to returning to class.
   “Our big focus is on the sixth- and seventh-graders transitioning to the middle school level to meet each other in a different setting and maybe develop friendships.”
   In the meantime, Beattie said the district is keeping an eye on the learning slide so leaders can take any necessary action.
   “The future will determine the impact but we definitely know it’s going to be there. We just have to figure out how to address it.”
   Under personnel matters, officials hired Jamie Angelini as special education director and preschool director for a one-year, 240-day contract; Jen Boka as a preschool teacher at John Gregg Elementary; Miranda Robinson as a third-grade teacher at Stanton Elementary; Gregory Hofmeister as vocal music teacher at EHS; and Bailey Gooderl as an intervention specialist at John Gregg. 
  More hirings included Tom Bocek, who received a 30-day contract as athletic director from June 1-July 31, 2021, with another 260-day agreement to serve from Aug. 1, 2021, to July 31, 2022; Jeremy Matics and Matthew Herrick as the summer paint crew; Marissa Matics as summer technology assistant; Dianna Antill, Wendy Ramsey, Vicki Harper and Christina Carson (alternate) as summer cooks; Kelly Crosby as physical therapist; bus drivers for summer school and food delivery; supplemental and certified staff; and certified summer staff. Agreements were also approved with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center to employ Jaimee Szymanski as a speech therapist; Marcie Albin as school psychologist; Michelle Trikones as supervisor of visual impairment (VI) aides; Amy Gareis as public relations coordinator. All contracts are from Aug. 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022.
   Resignations were then accepted for Susan Sutton, a third-grade math teacher at Stanton, for retirement purposes effective Aug. 1; EHS guidance aide Kathy Sapp, who will retire effective June 30; and district Transportation Director and Building and Grounds Supervisor Joe DeBold effective July 31.
   In other action, the board:
--Approved candidates for graduation from EHS;
--Continued the membership with the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the 2021-22 school year;
--Approved a memorandum of understanding between the school board and Edison Local Education Association;
--Approved the district’s tentative five-year forecast, which district Treasurer Lisa Bruzzese said showed positive numbers for the time being but leaders will get a better picture with the finalized forecast in the fall;
--Approved agreements with Sedgwick Services to manage Workers Compensation claims and for participation in the Bureau of Workers Compensation Group-Retrospective Program for Calendar Year 2022;
--Accepted donations from the Bergholz Community Foundation for $2,500 and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Schaefer for $500 as part of the Sara Schaefer Scholarship Fund. The district also learned that First Westminster Presbyterian Church and Pastor Jason Elliott donated cookies in honor of Bus Driver Appreciation Day;
--Set the next meeting for June 28 at 6 p.m. at EHS.
Lesnansky to Buckeye Girls State
Posted 5/4/2021 at 10:38:04 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS Lesnansky Buckeye Girls State
Edison High School junior Morgan Lesnansky, daughter of Brian and Wendy Lesnansky of Steubenville, will attend Buckeye Girls State at the University of Mount Union in Alliance on June 13-19.  Buckeye Girls State is a week-long program designed to educate young women across Ohio about rights and privileges of good citizenship and give them insight into local and state government.
EHS Rewards Students for Perfect Attendance
Posted 4/13/2021 at 11:45:15 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS Perfect Attendance
RICHMOND-Edison High School students are being recognized for making education a priority through perfect attendance.
   Assistant Principal Josh Leasure said four pupils received gift cards for faithfully showing up each day and participating in their lessons. 
   “We gave out four $25 Walmart gift cards to students who had perfect attendance as a push to keep good attendance in the last two months of school,” he explained. “We have a prize at the end of the year and will distribute two footballs signed by the Cleveland Browns’ Miles Garrett and Baker Mayfield.”
   Leasure said attendance is important and is all part of the “Get 2 School, Stay in the Game” initiative with the Cleveland Browns Foundation, which also ties in with the district’s involvement in the Proving Ground model through Harvard University to address chronic absenteeism, career readiness and college enrollment. Edison is among 50 rural schools in Ohio and New York that are part of the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCRERN), an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard, and the study is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. Edison is currently in its second year of a five-year process and officials currently are focusing on post-secondary and college and career readiness among the high school set.
   The school has distributed Browns notebooks, toboggans and headphones as not only a reward, but an incentive to keep the positive momentum going. The latest honorees included Zoe Speaker, Cole Jackson, Dakota Coil and Malayna Bright.
   Jackson noted that it was vital to be in school because it prepares you for life.
   “It’s really important to come to school. You get a good education and coming to school also means a lot of responsibility. It shows you are on time and prepares you for life and working a job.”
   Coil agreed, saying students need an education to get ahead after graduation.
   “It’s what life is going to be like and it’s about being responsible and learning respect,” he said.
    Anthony Pierro, district attendance liaison, said attendance is a huge benefit for the students if they want to succeed in their future.
    “Attendance is the No. 1 priority, especially during COVID times. The more students are students are in school, the more interaction there will be with teachers and the better they will perform.”

(Photo Cutline: Edison High School students are being rewarded for perfect attendance during the fourth nine weeks of school and received $25 Walmart gift cards for their good deed. Pictured are, from left, Dakota Coil, Malayna Bright and Cole Jackson with attendance liaison Anthony Pierro. Not pictured is Zoe Speaker. The school is also part of the Cleveland Browns Foundation’s “Get 2 School, Stay in the Game” initiative and two footballs autographed by Baker Mayfield and Miles Garrett will be distributed at the end of the school year.)
Life Skills Class Benefits from New Appliances
Posted 3/22/2021 at 12:07:08 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS Life Skills
RICHMOND-Students in the Edison High School Life Skills class have received updated equipment to help them learn to become more independent.
   The class, which is now in its fourth year, includes eight special needs students in grades 7-12 who have gained skills for home and work, but the advent of the coronavirus has limited their lessons. However, teacher Ron Ferrell said updated appliances are helping his pupils attain some domestic know-how to be successful. The Richmond United Methodist Church donated a new stove for the program while the school district also acquired a refrigerator to replace an outdated appliance.
   “The church contacted [district Administrative Assistant] Fatima Smuck to see if anyone needed help and she referred them to me,” Ferrell added, saying he was grateful to Smuck, the district and the church for their support and every bit benefits the program. “Students learn basic cooking, cleaning and laundry skills. By the time they are seniors, they can do a lot on their own.”
   Smuck noted her gratitude to the church for its generosity and said the program makes an impact on the students’ lives.
   “We are so appreciative for the many contributions from the members of the church and for member Janice Kiaski being the liaison,” she added. “The students in the Life Skills class are learning lifelong skills while enjoying every minute of it!”
    Meanwhile, Ferrell said his students had also completed jobs inside and outside the school until COVID-19 put tasks on hold.
   “We have a job program where the older kids would go to work, but they can’t do that now because of COVID. They’ve worked at King’s Restaurant, did janitorial work at Lighthouse Church and worked at Sign America in Richmond. They also did work at the school serving lunch, working in the kitchen and cleaning tables prior to the virus.”
   They still manage to feed school staff each Thursday and donations for those meals help support the program. Students hone their abilities by creating simple, five-ingredient meals such as pizza, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches and spaghetti and enjoy the experience.
   “I like this class,” said Hannah Hendrix, a seventh-grader in the program. “I make new friends and help cook at home.”
   “I like to eat,” added senior Kameron Wright. “Eating helps with football a lot.”
   Senior Autumn Wright said her knowledge enables her to help at home and her mother even designates a night for her to cook meals for the family, giving her opportunities to make macaroni and cheese and pasta. Ferrell said the students ultimately receive a cookbook of recipes they can make in class and at home.   
(Photo Caption: Kameron Wright and Hannah Hendrix pose with new appliances for the Life Skills class at Edison High School. The Richmond United Methodist Church contributed a stove while the district provided a new refrigerator. Teacher Ron Ferrell said the program helps students develop skills for home and on the job and the new items aid in that endeavor.)
Edison Adds Truancy Officer to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism
Posted 3/1/2021 at 11:06:33 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
HAMMONDSVILLE-The Edison Local School District is looking to reduce chronic absenteeism and is already seeing some positive results with the addition of a new truancy officer.
  School board members approved the hiring of Anthony Pierro during the Feb. 25 regular meeting but his contract is retroactive to Feb. 1. Superintendent Bill Beattie said Pierro’s presence has already yielded improvements among student attendance and leaders want to maintain the momentum.
   “We’ve been monitoring our chronic absenteeism since the beginning of October and there’s so much responsibility on the principals, guidance counselors and SRO’s, so the board made a commitment to hire someone to handle absenteeism in the district,” Beattie said.
    Funding from a previous wellness grant is helping the district finance the position and the truancy officer will complete the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, while officials also plan to keep him on board for next year. Since Pierro started, there has been a decrease in chronic absenteeism. As part of his job, Pierro meets weekly with principals and contacts at-risk students who fall below the 90-percent absentee rate. When Pierro began, the district reported 231 students were below the 90-percent threshold, but that number had dropped to 201 as of Thursday’s meeting.
   “We run a biweekly EDGE report of kids who are below the 90-percent absentee rate and focus on why they are not attending school, and we are attempting to get the students and families the resources they need to get the students back in school,” Beattie continued. “Our goal is to meet the chronic absenteeism indicator on the report card, which can be met three different ways from the previous year.”
    The truancy officer works hand-in-hand with the district’s ongoing participation in the Proving Ground pilot program with Harvard University. The initiative utilizes the Proving Ground model of evidence-based improvement to address chronic absenteeism, career readiness and college enrollment. Edison is among 50 rural schools in Ohio and New York that are part of the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCRERN), an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard, and the study is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. The district is currently in its second year of a five-year process and Beattie said the current round is focusing on post-secondary and college and career readiness among the high school set. 
   “This is another key component [with Proving Ground] and benefits the increase in attendance. It shows a positive effect to what we’re doing.” 
   Meanwhile, officials approved a five-year lease agreement with TCF Equipment Finance for the new video board planned at the EHS sports complex. Beattie said the 13-foot-by-24-foot color LED video scoreboard, which is estimated at $183,500, includes a speaker system and sections for rolling and static ads which can be sold to businesses and the community and displayed during home football and soccer games. 
   “We secured a five-year lease from TCF to help fund this and we’re moving forward with signing the contract,” he added, saying the district will solicit advertising and use the costs to defray the estimated $36,700 annual payments.
   Beattie added that it also benefits students in the new media and graphics class being developed next fall as a career pathway. 
   In other action, the board:
--Approved a $26,000 contract with Vince Zastudil of Toronto for concrete work at the high school sports complex, including trench drains, steps and concrete pads at the track’s finish line;
--Hired Brenda Kmatz as an aide/cook/secretary/NBC/custodian and Jamie Minor as a bus driver on the substitute’s list;
--Approved supplemental contracts at EHS for Jess McCallister, Virtual Learning Academy (VLA), Darlene Mason, mentor; Greg Marsh, junior high track; Anthony Pierro, volunteer football; Anwaa Martin, volunteer track; Byron Bufkin, assistant varsity track; and Scott Day, volunteer band;
--Approved the hiring of Vanessa Scott as a bus driver;
--Accepted the resignation of Shane O’Brien as assistant track coach;
--Accepted the resignation of Diane Wellington, preschool teacher at John Gregg Elementary, for retirement purposes;
--Agreed to extend Family First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) benefits to employees for 90 days retroactive to Jan. 1 and ending March 31. Officials said the resources help teachers so they may work remotely if they are quarantined or in isolation due to COVID-19. The previous plan expired Dec. 31 but the district’s attorney said Edison may implement an extension that would allow teachers to take 10 days or 80 hours of COVID-19 leave time, after which they may use their paid sick leave time if necessary;
--Approved a dual credit Memorandum of Understanding with Eastern Gateway Community College;
--Approved a service agreement with Alisha Waugh for cortical visual impairment (CVI) consultations and evaluations for students;
--Approved the 2021-22 district calendar;
--Approved an addendum to the OMERESA internet service agreement;
--Accepted donations including $4,747 from the Bergholz Community Foundation for hoodies for John Gregg students; $500 from Christ United Methodist Church for student needs at John Gregg; and $683 from Richmond United Methodist Church to purchase a new stove for the Living Skills class at EHS;
--Set the next regular meeting for Tuesday, March 16 at 6 p.m. at EHS.
How to Save a Life
Posted 3/1/2021 at 11:02:15 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison High School students learned some life-saving lessons using CPR compression on mannequins. Te
Edison High School students learned some life-saving lessons using CPR compression on mannequins. Teacher and Red Cross Instructor JoAnn Stagani led groups and said they will also learn procedures for choking and first aid, plus they will work with infant and child mannequins provided by the Richmond Volunteer Fire Department. Training sessions are being altered to follow current COVID guidelines but students will gain certification as well as points toward graduation.
The Language of Love
Posted 2/5/2021 at 1:29:56 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison High School Spanish Club members expressed their affection for Valentine’s Day through cards
Edison High School Spanish Club members expressed their affection for Valentine’s Day through cards and holiday activities at their recent meeting. A dozen students got crafty and creative by making Spanish valentines for loved ones but also challenged each other to a fun game of Spanish Scrabble, listened to contemporary Spanish love songs and enjoyed some chips and salsa for refreshment. Pictured with her valentine is member Mikayla Reed.
Ferralli Wins Edison Spelling Bee
Posted 1/19/2021 at 10:42:17 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Spelling Bee
Luke Ferralli, a seventh-grade student at Edison Jr. High School, won the 2021 Edison Local School District Spelling Bee held at Edison High School on Jan. 12. Ferralli, the son of Joe and Carey Ferralli of Richmond, was one of 30 participants from three district schools and will now advance to the Jefferson-Harrison Regional Spelling Bee with a chance to attend the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Also finishing in the bee were Mimi Ault, a fifth-grader at John Gregg Elementary, in second place; Conor Schiffman, a sixth-grader at John Gregg, third; Mayelee Rawson, a fifth-grader at Stanton Elementary, fourth; Gwendolyn Stine, a sixth-grader at Stanton, fifth; Leila Sudvary, a fifth-grader at John Gregg, sixth; Ali Shrieve, an eighth-grader at EJHS, seventh; Jayden Kelley, a sixth-grader at John Gregg, eighth; Jelena Cefus, a fifth-grader at Stanton, first alternate; and Lydia Krepps, a fifth-grader at John Gregg, second alternate.
Edison Purchasing Land for Vehicles
Posted 1/11/2021 at 1:44:57 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Mtg Richardson
HAMMONDSVILLE-Edison Local school board members reorganized for the year and took action on a land purchase to store vehicles during a session on Wednesday.
   Board President Aaron Richardson and Vice President Ron Smyth were returned to their posts with Lisa Bruzzese remaining as treasurer during the organizational session while officials discussed ongoing projects at Edison High School at a subsequent regular meeting. Superintendent Bill Beattie said the district was paying $150,000 for a nearly 3-acre tract a quarter mile from the Richmond campus to accommodate about 20 district buses and vans. He explained that the relocation was necessary in order to utilize the current bus garage site for the new softball field.
  “Based on the projects at the high school, we needed an area to park the buses and vans and had discussions with Bill DeNoon of DeNoon Lumber to purchase 2.725 acres of land up the road by the Bordash Tree Farm. We agreed upon the purchase and sometime this spring the buses will make the transition to the new location.”
   Smyth was actively involved in discussions on the deal and leaders thanked him for his efforts. Meanwhile, Beattie said a traffic study was needed and he was speaking with Ohio Department of Transportation officials to review avenues.
   “As of now, based on the clearance and speed limit, we need 365 feet of visual clearance off of [Ohio 152] between two buildings and we only have 250,” he said. “There are options and we could possibly put in a turn lane but we’ll look at other things.”
   Board member Josh McConnell asked if the speed limit could be lowered and made into a school zone while Smyth suggested making it 35 miles per hour for 24 hours a day. The superintendent also addressed ongoing work at EHS, which included pouring footers at the new fieldhouse as well as for the new concession stand, locker room and restrooms. He was also awaiting a state permit for lighting upgrades as well as an electrical plan for the latter facilities. 
   “Play Surface Solutions is ready to coordinate and bring the press box in and we’ll start grading,” he added. “Phase one should be ready in March.”
   He also provided renderings of the baseball and softball fields and the board approved his recommendation and the board approved a change order for Play Surface Solutions to authorize Phase Two of the plan, which consists of rough grading and installation of stormwater improvements at the baseball and softball fields in preparation for the field turf.
   In other matters, the board is looking to extend Family First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) resources for teachers so they may work remotely if they are quarantined or in isolation due to COVID-19. Beattie said the current plan expired Dec. 31 but the district’s attorney said Edison may implement an extension that would allow teachers to take 10 days or 80 hours of COVID-19 leave time, after which they may use their paid sick leave time if necessary. Discussion ensued and the board agreed to approve the remote teaching with more action planned on the extension in February.
   The board also:
--Heard from Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta, who said officials were planning for next year’s Title funding and completing a one-year assessment. Smyth commended her for her work when the schools had to go fully remote due to the coronavirus pandemic and Kireta said a lot of work was done to continue the students’ education;
--Learned Smyth attended the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School board meeting since he will replace longtime representative John Prokopakis. Edison leaders thanked Prokopakis for his work and Smyth said he was getting acclimated to his new role;
--Beattie said two new buses were inspected and ready for operation while two new substitute drivers were in training, two more were interested in employment and another was already on the road;
--Approved bus driver Frank Martin as a retire/rehire;
--Proclaimed January as National School Board Recognition Month and received certificates of appreciation from Beattie;
--Approved administrative committees for 2021 with Smyth, Bordash and Beattie on athletics; Scott Lockhart, Richardson and Bruzzese on budget and finance; Smyth, Bordash and Beattie on buildings and grounds; Richardson, Lockhart and Beattie on insurance; Richardson, Lockhart and Beattie on levy/bond issue; Lockhart, Richardson and Beattie on negotiations/ELEA; Richardson, McConnell and Beattie on negotiations/OAPSE; Bordash, Smyth and Beattie on personnel/classified; McConnell, Smyth and Beattie, personnel/certificated; Lockhart, Bordash and Beattie, policy; Richardson, Lockhart and Beattie, public relations; Lockhart, McConnell and Beattie, technology; McConnell, Richardson and Beattie, transportation; Richardson, Lockhart and Beattie, grievance; and Richardson, Lockhart and Beattie, administrator evaluation/contract committee;
--Named Lockhart legislative liaison, Smyth as Ohio School Boards Association Annual Conference delegate and Lockhart as conference alternate attendee;
--Transferred $500,000 from the general fund to the construction fund for work at the two elementary schools and EHS concession stand;
--Scheduled the next school board meeting for Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. at Stanton Elementary.

(Photo Cutline: Aaron Richardson regained his seat as president of the Edison Local Board of Education during an organizational session on Jan. 7 while Ron Smyth and Lisa Bruzzese respectively returned as vice president and treasurer. The board also moved to acquire nearly three acres of land for its buses since the current bus garage site was being used for the new softball field.)
Student Groups Unite to Clean Veterans’ Graves
Posted 12/10/2020 at 1:56:46 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BLHS Student Groups
Fifteen members of the Buckeye Local High School Student Council and National Honor Society joined forces to complete a community service by cleaning veterans’ gravesites at the Upland Heights Cemetery near Yorkville. Students spent the day replacing tattered flags, raking leaves and trimming high weeds as a tribute to military members who sacrificed for our country. Pictured are, kneeling in front from left, Sierra Sterling and Annie Takach. Standing: Lyndsee Malechowski, Julia Orban, Josey Meddles, Cai McKeever, Sian Tetley, Emily McDiffit, Carly Long, Jaina DeMeter, Bri Merkel, Kaydence Kinyo, Kaitlynn Merkel, Corissa Griffith and Noah Meyer.
Edison Talks Remote Learning, Bus Routes
Posted 12/10/2020 at 1:51:47 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BERGHOLZ-The Edison Local Board of Education held its final session for 2020 with remote learning and busing issues atop the list.
   The school district entered into fully remote learning on Wednesday due to COVID cases and quarantines and the plan will remain in place until students return from their holiday break on Jan. 4, while leaders discussed the move during its regular meeting on Dec. 9 at John Gregg Elementary. 
   “We based it on the number of positive cases and quarantines, and I think at the end of the day it was a good decision because over the last three days numbers increased,” said Superintendent Bill Beattie. “Hopefully, everyone will stay safe so they can come back to school in January.”
   The district was able to go virtual after receiving nearly $151,000 in BroadbandOhio Connectivity funds to extend wireless capabilities outside of Edison High School, Stanton Elementary, John Gregg and into the community so its 1,382 students may access work assignments.  Network infrastructure was expanded at all three buildings with external wireless access points, giving Wi-Fi access to the parking lots and grassy areas so students can visit the buildings after hours to connect and complete their work. Additionally, Edison’s entire fleet of 17 buses has Wi-Fi installed so students could complete work while being transported to and from school, plus the vehicles can park at various locations in the rural area for use during virtual learning. In that instance, parents can drive to the sites and connect the student devices to them for internet access. All of the district’s PreK-12 students are assigned a 1-to-1 device with Wi-Fi capabilities, but the lack of broadband infrastructure has limited access, leading to the district’s upgrades to ensure a seamless transition for face-to-face and remote learning.  Students will continue their studies with Google Classroom and other digital resources while learning with their teacher.
   Bus hotspots and meals are being offered to the pupils and locations include Lake Lodge Trailer Court, Pleasant Hill Trailer Court, Amsterdam Church of God, Smitty’s Old School, Empire Methodist Church, Irondale Methodist Church, Bergholz Volunteer Fire Department and Pine Grove Methodist Church, while breakfast and lunch are available from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Meal locations only with internet access points include Hilltop Church, East Springfield Church of the Cross and the three schools from 10:30-11:30 a.m. while parking lot internet access is offered 24/7 at the three school buildings, Bell Chapel Church, Two Ridge Presbyterian Church, East Springfield Church of God and Smitty’s Old School. More information, including remote schedules, is listed on the district website at www.edisonwildcats.org.
   As surrounding schools continue to operate with a blend of in-person, hybrid and remote learning, Edison leaders said the district’s decision was the right thing to do. Board member Ron Smyth said he believes in the importance of academics and school safety and the district made the correct choice.
   “I’m thankful you are doing what you’re doing to move ahead,” he said. “You guys have done an outstanding job. If it’s the right time, it’s the right time.”
   Board member Scott Lockhart referred to a call by the Ohio Education Association for schools to close down until Jan. 11, which would provide extra quarantine time following the holiday break. He asked officials for their thoughts and Beattie said for now, he still hoped to see Edison students return on Jan. 4.
    John Gregg Principal Tammy Burchfield noted in her report that teachers and staff have been working hard to maintain the students’ education.
   “Today was our first day of remote learning, and it was an independent study day.  Early this morning, more than half of the fifth and sixth graders were online doing work. I don’t think we could have been any more prepared than we have. It’s not going to be 100 percent, but I feel a majority is ready to go. I feel it’s a journey for many of us and some are stepping way outside of their comfort box. I think it’s scary, it’s stressful, but it’s the unknown…but it will be okay,” she said, commending Beattie, Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta and Administrative Assistant Fatima Smuck. “I don’t think we would be where we are without their direction right now.”
    Meanwhile, Kireta added that she reviewed the school buildings that day and believed teachers were ready to go remote.
   “There are a lot of unknowns out there, but there were a lot of kids logged on early to work today and we are keeping track.”
   Another topic on official’s list was the collapse of a bridge along Jefferson County Road 164 at Bergholz on Dec. 1, which ultimately led to some quick rerouting of school buses. District Transportation Director Joe DeBold said school was not in session when the incident occurred but he had to create alternative routes to ensure kids could still be transported. The change has resulted in an extra 15-20 minutes on the road for students heading to EHS and John Gregg.
   “We got the high school bus in the morning and [the driver] drops it off to me seven minutes early to get the JVS and Christian school bus going, and it gives him a 10-to-12-minute window to utilize for the grade school,” DeBold explained. “It’s working very well and the high school has been accommodating. They wait for 40 kids for about 12-14 minutes.”
   During discussion, DeBold said five school buses had crossed the bridge four times a day and he heard some concerns about the span, but it was inspected prior to the collapse. He also had been in touch with Jefferson County ODOT officials and did not have details on a target date for replacement, but he planned to have more information for the next meeting in January.
   He is also working on another plan to use main routes as a last resort should he face a shortened staff of drivers. 
  “We’re also looking at main route busing and using county and state roads,” he said. “If we have a large group of drivers off, it really speeds up transit. A route that takes one hour and 20 minutes not takes 45 minutes.”
   For now, three potential drivers were completing testing, Frank Martin was approved as a retire/rehire and he also was working to add several others. Edison recently increased its pay rate to $15.25 per hour for substitute drivers and anyone interested may contact the district office at (740) 282-0065.
Paint the Plow
Posted 12/7/2020 at 12:22:59 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison FFA Paint the Plow
The Edison High School FFA took part in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Paint the Plow program and promoted their organization on the equipment. Members decorated the plow prior to Thanksgiving break and it will be used on a local ODOT truck. Pictured is member Jadyn Nicholson, at left, with FFA President Delaney Johnson. Not pictured is Dylan Leasure, who also assisted with the project.
Edison Students Play Detective with OSU Program
Posted 12/7/2020 at 12:07:40 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Detective
HAMMONDSVILLE-Two students in the Edison Local School District are putting on their thinking caps and playing detective for a unique program through The Ohio State University.
   Stanton Elementary sixth-grader Leila Cable and Paige Somerville, a seventh-grade student at Edison Jr. High School, have been taking part in “Become a Detective—Solve an Arctic Mystery,” a six-week program sponsored by Camp Oty’Okwa and the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at OSU. The program is open grades to 6-8 and an estimated 15 students collaborate to solve a mystery. They first trained by solving a faux case involving a stolen $25,000 necklace, but the main scenario surrounds a missing scientist using clues, reasoning and teamwork.  Each team has roughly three to four young Sherlock Holmes and Jane Marples who work online each week to crack the case and participants receive packages at their homes with new pieces of the puzzle, more information and particular instructions as they continue on their journey.
   The teams participate in a Zoom meeting each Saturday with Byrd Center Education Research Coordinator Karina Peggau to discuss the clues and learn how to think like a scientist, plus they gain life skills needed to solve the mystery such as analyzing information, sifting through evidence to make valid claims, accurate map-reading skills, reading for content and inferencing for clues and strong deductive reasoning. The youth can also communicate on Padlet online program throughout the week to discuss their findings.
   Cable joined the program after learning about it from her father, Austin, a teacher at Indian Creek Middle School. She said it has helped her with problem-solving skills in the process.
   “I’ve learned how to think like a scientist,” she said. “I love being a part of the program.”
   Somerville said she became involved once she learned her friend was participating.
   “I became involved because I heard Leila was doing it and I was willing to give it a try,” she said. “We learn how to become a detective and do investigations. I am really happy that I found out about this because doing this work is really fun and the cases are very interesting.”
   Somerville added that she has enjoyed the learning experience and hopes others participate in the future.
   “I do not know if anybody from Edison has done this before, but I would recommend this to others who like investigations and detective work.”

(Photo Cutline: Stanton Elementary sixth-grader Leila Cable completes a task as part of the “Be A Detective—Solve an Arctic Mystery” program offered through The Ohio State University. Cable and Edison Jr. High seventh-grade Paige Somerville are participating in the six-week program sponsored by Camp Oty’Okwa and the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at OSU. It is open grades to 6-8 and an estimated 15 students collaborate in teams to solve the case.)
Edison Beta Club Benefits Urban Mission
Posted 12/4/2020 at 9:51:03 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS Beta Urban Mission Donation
Edison High School Beta Club President Gracie Phillips, pictured at left, and Vice President Kiley Babel, right, organized a food drive to benefit Urban Mission Ministries of Steubenville. They raised more than $70 and 100 items which were donated prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The Urban Mission is still accepting donations during the holidays and for weekly distributions.
John Gregg Students Using Their Noodles
Posted 11/23/2020 at 9:47:25 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JG Pool Noodle Doantion
BERGHOLZ-Students at John Gregg Elementary School are really using their noodles when it comes to coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
   The youth are becoming active in class and in the gym by using foam pool noodles for social distancing activities. School counselor Tiffany Moses reached out to the community for support and Modern Woodmen of America Fraternal Financial and Richmond United Methodist Church donated 170 noodles to help expend energy and relieve stress.
   “They purchased enough noodles for every child in the building to use in preschool to second grade and gym class. When they have to social distance, they also play games with the noodles at recess,” Moses added. “The students also have pool noodle drumming, where the teachers cut the noodles and they drum to music and dance. It’s really helping the kids get out their energy while they are stuck in the classroom.”
   She said many of the teachers have used the items and first-graders play with them on a daily basis during a “brain break.”
   “Our teachers were wanting to use them but spent a lot of their own money out of pocket to meet teaching demands this year,” she explained. “They were looking for active things they can do in the classroom and found the idea online. Everyone wanted to try it.”
    The two community groups soon got involved and donated the toys to the school, and Moses is grateful for their generosity.
   “I reached out to them both to try to help support the teachers. They were both super happy to help right away,” she said. “John Gregg Elementary sends a big thank you to Richmond United Methodist Church and Modern Woodmen! Our students are loving the cardio desk drumming to get them up and moving as well as the noodle tag at recess to help keep them active during these unprecedented times.”
(First-graders at John Gregg Elementary drum with pool noodles as a way to expend energy and alleviate stress in the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic. The noodles were donated by Richmond United Methodist Church and Modern Woodmen of America Fraternal Financial to help support kids in a fun and unique way while also social distancing.)
New SRO Returns to Old Stomping Grounds
Posted 11/23/2020 at 9:40:35 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Fetty Edison SRO
RICHMOND-Deputy Joe Fetty may be walking the halls as the new school resource officer at Edison High School, but he is also returning to his old stomping grounds as an alumnus.
   Deputy Fetty, who graduated from EHS in 1990, began his duties after retiring from the Ohio State Highway Patrol in July. He spent more than 28 years as a state trooper and most recently served as commander of the Steubenville Post, but now he is excited to begin a new phase by serving the school community.
   “I have been in law enforcement and public service for a long time, and towards the end of my career I was looking for something new and wanted to begin a new chapter,” he said. “The opportunity came up at my home school.”
    He heard of the open post and contacted Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla to make an inquiry. 
   “I told the sheriff I wanted to throw my hat into the ring. It’s still in a law enforcement capacity and I get to interact with kids at school,” he continued. “I am very happy to be back at my home school.”
    In a way, he has come full circle in his career. He first became interested in law enforcement after listening to Sheriff Abdalla speak in his high school law class, and although he initially studied biology in college he changed direction and applied to become a cadet/dispatcher with OSHP at age 19. From there, he joined the academy and became a trooper, but he enjoys the aspect of continuing his service by working with youth. 
   Deputy Fetty said there was a need for students to interact with law enforcement in an effort to build relationships and know that officials are there to help. Since he began his new post, he has conducted a volunteer vehicle check with his peers at OSHP. Several troopers were on hand in October to inspect students’ vehicles and ensure they were safe for young drivers while he gave a PowerPoint presentation about being prepared for winter. The project was formed after he noticed several cars bearing one headlight or bald tires and wanted youth to understand the importance of car safety. 
    “I wanted to get them to think ahead and think outside the box so they can be prepared,” he added. “I want to do that again next year.”
   Deputy Fetty has other ideas going forward but hopes the current coronavirus pandemic will subside so plans may be implemented. One project would bring a driving simulator into the school so students learn the dangers of distracted driving, plus he would like to present a program for the junior high about making good choices.
    “I want to be proactive and be a great role model for them before they make choices,” he noted.
   He originally hails from the district but makes his home in Tuscarawas with his wife, Rachel, a former trooper and current adult probation officer. There they raised four children, all of whom are in some form of public service from law enforcement and the U.S. Army to the medical field. He is also a proud grandfather of two with a third little one on the way this summer.
   Deputy Fetty said he is proud to return to Edison and appreciates the warm reception he has received from staff and students.
   “I’ve been very happy. Everybody’s been very welcoming and receptive,” he concluded. “This will always be my home.”
Edison Educators Earn Best Practice Grants
Posted 11/23/2020 at 9:21:09 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison BPG
RICHMOND-Educators in the Edison Local School District are implementing programs centering on academic and social emotional learning with grants from the Jefferson County Educational Service Center.
   JCESC Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Ron Sismondo presented three 2020-21 Best Practice Grants totaling $1,800 to Jordan Tice, Megan McNear and Tiffany Moses during the Nov. 19 Edison Local Board of Education meeting at Edison High School. Tice, a sixth-grade math teacher at Stanton Elementary, will continue a fun, interactive educational project to build their math skills while McNear and Moses, respectively school counselors at Stanton and John Gregg Elementary, will focus on social-emotional learning at their buildings.
   Tice’s plan will benefit about 40 math students with “Classroom Amusement Park,” which provides hands-on learning by creating a KNEX classroom amusement park. They will learn how mass affects speed, how gears work, show how kinetic and potential energy are used and create tables and graphs to show their data. The pupils will then present their findings to the class. 
    Tice has received Best Practice Grant funding in the past for her projects and was thankful for the latest allotment.
   “I am honored to receive the Best Practice Grant. Thank you to the JCESC for offering this grant and giving students the opportunity to learn in new ways. My students are excited to get hands on and create a classroom amusement park,” she noted.
   McNear and Moses are both using their grants to benefit a combined total of 750 PreK-6 students through monthly activities.
   McNear’s project, “SEL Book of the Month,” is school-wide initiative that promotes literacy while also incorporating social emotional learning (SEL) competencies. Each month, a book focusing on an SEL competency will be read in each grade and about 400 students will complete cross-curricular activities aligned with state academic and SEL standards to help build a stronger school community.
   She said she received a Best Practice Grant in 2017 and was elated to earn the latest funding.
   “I am very excited to get the funding to purchase social emotional learning books for our school and combine literacy and SEL. It is a great opportunity,” she added.
   Moses said her project, “Social Emotional Learning Books,” will enable her to visit the PreK-6 classrooms every month for face-to-face SEL lessons with 350 students. Ohio has adopted five SEL standards and her program will touch on each one using books for the entire building book while video lessons will be sent out to students, their parents and staff on a monthly basis.
   She added that this was her first such grant award and it would definitely benefit the children.
   “I am so excited to receive this funding to help support the social emotional learning of John Gregg students. I feel blessed to receive help in these endeavors and anxious to get started planning my lessons with these new materials.”
   JCESC Superintendent Dr. Chuck Kokiko congratulated the teachers for thinking outside the box and engaging students in interesting ways.
   “The 2020-21 school year has brought new challenges for classroom teachers given the current pandemic.  JCESC is pleased to have the funding for continued support of the Best Practice Grants,” said Dr. Kokiko. “Many teachers are looking for new resources to meet the unique needs of this school year while others are simply searching for funds to support innovative instructional practices.  In either case, JCESC congratulates all of our winners and wish them continued success as they work to provide the finest education to their students.”
   JCESC has awarded Best Practice Grants 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 the Utica Shale Academy.
(Photo Cutline: Ron Sismondo, director of curriculum and professional development at the Jefferson County Educational Service Center, presented three $600 Best Practice Grants to, pictured from left, John Gregg Elementary school counselor Tiffany Moses, Stanton Elementary school counselor Megan McNear and Stanton Elementary teacher Jordan Tice for their projects during the Edison Local Board of Education meeting on Nov. 19.)
Elementary Schools Focus on Social-Emotional Learning
Posted 10/26/2020 at 2:55:08 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison SEL John Gregg
HAMMONDSVILLE-Elementary students within the Edison Local School District are taking part in activities that center on social-emotional learning.
  School counselors Megan McNear and Tiffany Moses have been incorporating monthly themes at Stanton and John Gregg Elementary, respectively, in order to bolster such skills as communication and problem solving. The SEL curriculum is not a new concept but standards were recently adopted by the State of Ohio.
   McNear said students receive lessons based on SEL competency and will read or will be read a book encompassing that theme, plus they take part in dress-up days to remind them of that skill. In September, students learned about diversity and inclusion under the theme “Our Class Community” and wore jerseys sporting numbers for the “Everybody Counts” Unity Day activity. Students spent October learning about empathy and critical thinking, reading the book “Leah’s Pony” and donning orange for Unity Day under the theme “Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes.” In November, they will look at “Healthy Communication” by reading the book “Say Something” and wearing their favorite socks to “Step into Assertive Communication.” Further themes range from problem solving to peer relations in the coming months.
  “Stanton and John Gregg are doing the same themes and dress-up days,” she added, saying the program impacts a total of 800 students in grades PreK-6 between the two schools. “We are also implementing a new social-emotional curriculum called Sanford Harmony in the classes, so we aligned our themes with the topics in each of the units of the curriculum.”
  Sanford Harmony uses age-appropriate materials as teachers facilitate lessons and activities that enhance students’ communication and relationship-building skills. Five themes of Sanford Harmony are Diversity and Inclusion, Empathy and Critical Thinking, Communication, Problem-Solving and Peer Relationships. Each theme addresses an important need in schools which Sanford officials state “creates positive and proactive environments that support the success of diverse students.” Teachers are instructing one lesson per week from the SEL curriculum while the counselors teach a lesson each month based on the theme in each class. 
   “We wanted to make sure that our teachers and students were supported socially-emotionally coming back into the school this year,” McNear said. “We felt that giving our teachers the tools to implement part of the SEL curriculum in their classrooms, as well as giving the school a common SEL theme, would allow students to feel supported, give them skills they could build on throughout the year and even carry on into their lives in the future.”
   Moses continued that there were many benefits to the Sanford Harmony curriculum.
   “First and foremost, the students are learning social-emotional skills that are crucial to becoming successful citizens, and crucial in bettering their relationships and feelings about themselves. Second, students are feeling included in their classroom and building rapport with their teachers and peers through these built in lessons,” she said. “I believe students are feeling less isolated and excluded because of this curriculum and the effort our teachers are putting into it. Lastly, I believe the students are feeling more comfortable with me in my role as the school counselor and are more open and more likely to come to me with trauma or issues because of the comfort and rapport that is further being developed by these weekly lessons.”

   She added that students were responding well to the activities and engaged in lessons.
   “I myself run the fifth- and sixth-grade lessons and the students look forward to them every week and actively participate,” Moses noted. “I believe students are better learning the foundations of feeling expression, healthy communication and coping skills through these SEL lessons and I believe that we will see the payoff.”
   Officials said implementing the school-wide theme and dress-up day would also help build a sense of community and camaraderie.
   “There is a great emphasis on social-emotional learning throughout the schools in the state and country and on finding ways to help students utilize SEL skills to grow and master SEL competencies,” McNear commented. “In the elementary schools, we want to provide students with the tools so that they can express themselves in a healthy way. Our goal is to provide a safe space to do that. The more exposure students have to the school counselors through the classroom lessons and school-wide videos, the more comfortable the students will feel coming to us and opening up to us.”
   “I am so proud of the emphasis that John Gregg has placed on PBIS this year including these SEL weekly lessons, PAX monthly kernels, whole-building character videos and challenges, the PBIS matrix throughout the building, increased positive communication with parents and much more. In a very difficult time where teachers are in over their heads, our staff are still placing a top priority in rapport with their students and making their students feel cared for and loved,” Moses concluded.
(Photo Cutline: First-graders at John Gregg Elementary donned orange for Unity Day as part of an ongoing social-emotional learning program occurring at Edison Local elementary schools. A total of 800 students at John Gregg and Stanton read books, dress up on theme days and complete other activities to bolster their skills in communication, relationship building and other areas.) 
Spreading Sunshine
Posted 10/22/2020 at 5:55:17 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS Be the Sunshine
Edison High School sophomore art students Coleman Holly, left, and Olivia Huff are spreading sunshine by adding some brightness to the school walls. Art teacher Sara Cunningham said the project was a way to lift spirits and show kindness during these uncertain times.
Edison Partners with Parents for Literacy
Posted 10/9/2020 at 11:56:22 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
HAMMONDSVILLE-Edison Local Schools has entered a partnership for literacy with the goal of building family and community engagement within its elementary buildings.
   District Administrative Assistant Fatima Smuck said Edison was part of Partnerships for Literacy, an initiative to improve their student’s early literacy skills through the development of new and improved family and community engagement strategies. It focuses on improvements in communication with families about literacy, supporting language and literacy learning at home and community partnerships for literacy. The partnership began last year and several meetings were held with parents, grandparents, Smuck, district Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta, literacy coach Miguel Brun and preschool intervention specialists. So far, those talks yielded literacy night events and the implementation of the Sit Together and Read program for parents and students at Stanton and John Gregg Elementary Schools. However, the advent of COVID-19 impacted other ventures and the most recent session was conducted online Sept. 29 and involved 25 family members and educators.
   Smuck said the session was informative and the group is looking to develop an action plan to improve upon literacy in grades K-12. During the meeting, officials discussed educator Joyce L. Epstein’s six types of literacy involvement with key emphasis on learning at home. Meanwhile, Brun updated the group on the literacy program and planned monthly meetings while State Support Team Region 12 representatives Lisa Baker, Kayley Andrews and Diane Enama reviewed results of last year’s sessions. Information from the partnership meeting will be shared with the district leadership team (DLT), which will seek ways to implement them in the school buildings during their own meeting scheduled on Nov. 3.
    She added that officials were working to address concerns by bolstering communication and providing any additional assistance.
 “We implemented more communication [through the REMIND App] and are talking about technology training for parents,” she said. “They contact our tech department for help. Our tech department is available and we’ll also do trainings onsite in the district. We’re going to work on helping students and parents who are working remotely and give them strategies to navigate through online.”
   Other outcomes of the session included an explanation of assessment results and a suggested schedule to help parents struggling to help their children complete daily assignments. 
   “The meetings are part of the process of the district leadership team. We focus on things that parents and teachers think we need to bring up as action steps,” Smuck noted. 
   More partnership meetings will be held throughout the year and SST-12 officials will also return in the spring to review inventory practices as well as the action steps.
Edison Expanding Access with Broadband Funding
Posted 9/23/2020 at 10:39:52 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
HAMMONDSVILLE-The Edison Local School District is expanding internet access beyond its buildings to help students learn after receiving $150,981 in BroadbandOhio Connectivity funds.
   District Technology Coordinator Rachel Granatir said the allocation will extend wireless capabilities outside of Edison High School, John Gregg Elementary and Stanton Elementary and ultimately into the community so students may gain access to work on assignments. The district currently yields 1,382 students, of which 280 are remote learners, but all of them will benefit from the upgrade.
   “We are expanding our network infrastructure at all three buildings by adding external wireless access points,” she said. “These will flood our parking lots and grassy areas with Wi-Fi so students can visit the buildings after hours to easily connect and complete their work. The grant will pay for the equipment, wiring and labor to install them.”
   Granatir added that Wi-Fi will also be installed in the district’s entire fleet of 17 buses to provide access so students can complete work while traveling to and from school, as well as give Edison the ability to park the buses in various locations throughout the vastly rural community should the district transition to fully remote learning. In that instance, parents can drive to the sites and connect the student devices to them.
   “We are also looking to partner with local internet access providers to bring public parking lot access to various locations throughout the district,” she continued. “We will be reaching out to local churches, businesses and villages to identify locations where we can get internet access and then place an outdoor antenna. One internet service provider we have spoken to is Access Ohio Valley, which provides wireless internet access on towers around a large portion of our school district.”
   She said all of the district’s PreK-12 students are assigned a 1-to-1 device with Wi-Fi capabilities, but broadband infrastructure is limited in the area. Despite the challenges, teachers are diligently working to create a digital classroom experience that is seamless for both face-to-face and remote learners.
   “In the event that we go to a hybrid or completely virtual learning environment, our students are prepared to continue learning with their teacher in Google Classroom with digital resources,” Granatir added. “While students might have internet access, it can be unreliable at times. Students may be using a DSL on rural phone lines that is very slow, a satellite connection with data caps, Wi-Fi hotspots with limited or unreliable signals or a cable connection with limitations. For some students, internet access is not affordable or simply unavailable where they live. By utilizing these grant funds, we will provide convenient, local locations for our students to access their digital classrooms and continue that seamless learning environment.”
   She said the grant budget has been finalized and Edison has received 60 percent of the funds it requested, and now officials are ordering the necessary equipment to complete the project. The upgrade will occur soon since funding must be expended by the end of December. 
   “We want to be prepared to support our students as best we can with local broadband access outside of the school building in the event we implement our hybrid or virtual learning plans,” Granatir commented.
  Edison Superintendent Bill Beattie said the project will definitely help students who live in remote areas and are impacted by a lack of internet access.
   “We are very excited to get the BroadbandOhio Connectivity grant. It will allow us to do a lot of tech support for our students who live in the outlying areas, and also in areas that are limited in connectivity,” Beattie said. “The hot spots on our buses will allow our students to do homework or online assignments on the bus ride home, especially for those students who are on the bus for 45 to 60 minutes.”
Edison Approves General Contractor for Fieldhouse Project
Posted 9/21/2020 at 12:23:55 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BERGHOLZ-Earth will be moving soon on Edison High School’s new fieldhouse after school board members approved a bid for the project.
    During the Sept. 17 regular session at John Gregg Elementary in Bergholz, officials accepted project manager SHP’s recommendation to use Canfield-based Hively Construction as the general contractor for the job at Edison High School. The company submitted the lowest bid at $6.44 million, which Superintendent Bill Beattie said was below the original estimate of $7 million. Officials had previously eliminated items and formed alternates to keep prices down for the project, but the low base bid allows them to put all of the plans back into place.
   “Based on the base price, which was $6 million, the added alternates put the final project cost at $6.44 million,” Beattie said. “The plan is for them to be onsite on Oct. 26. The last football game is Oct. 23 and we need to prepare for the demolition process. Our hope is for them to mobilize and start the demolition for the project.”
   Plans are to have the fieldhouse ready around December of 2021. The project is among many upgrades the district is making in an effort to combine sporting events at EHS. Among the upgrades are new turf at the multi-purpose athletic field to host football, soccer and track activities and a sports facility boasting the new gym, as well as baseball and softball fields, a new press box and more grandstand seating, and the goal is to improve safety for students and reduce travel to current sites spread throughout the district. The baseball and softball fields are located at Jefferson State Lake near Richmond and track practice and meets and junior high basketball practice have been held at Stanton Elementary in Hammondsville. Expenses are being paid through the 2.1-mill emergency renewal levy, which would generate more than $1,049,000 annually over seven years. In related business, the board increased appropriations in its COPS Project Fund by $8.5 million to cover costs for the gym update.
   So far, the site has gained a new track, turf and lighting with bulk excavation starting for the grandstand. Excavation will take place for the main entrance and plaza areas around the grandstand after the last football game, and then the present grandstand will be relocated. Further plans call for putting additional seating to the existing grandstands and a new press box while a new concession stand, locker rooms and restrooms are also on the horizon. Beattie said the latter project should be done in time for the start of track season in March.
  In other action, the board:
--Approved the resignation of bus driver Thomas Byers and hired Lori Cronin as a temporary full-time night cleaner at John Gregg Elementary, Matt Herrick as a night building cleaner at Stanton Elementary Beth Bufkin as paraprofessional special education aide at Stanton;                                                                           
--Approved substitute teachers and staff including Polly Givens, RN; Christopher DiCenzo, integrated math; Carol Slates, grades 1-8 at John Gregg only; Melissa Miles, grades PreK-3; Allison Bertha, Hope Bullard, James Colabelli and Tracie Cole, general education; Marie Highfield, general sub at Stanton only; Kyle Solar, general sub; 
--Approved Robyn Timcho on the non-certified sub list for aide/secretary/custodian/NBC/cook;
--Approved supplemental contracts for Tammy Burchfield, Josh Leasure, Shannah Scotch, Jennifer Bahen, Monica Potenzini, Caitlyn Schultz and Angela Smith for Local Professional Development Committee (LPDC); Samantha Science, Learning Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS); mentors Dani Carroll, one year; Kris Turk and Susan Sutton, two years; and Josh Leasure, lead mentor; Leasure as E-CAT coordinator; and Michelle O’Karma, Virtual Learning Academy (VLA);
--Approved bus routes for the 2020-21 school year;
--Entered into a license agreement with affinity Licensing LLC on behalf of Kansas State University;
--Adopted a new drug policy;
--Approved a contract with Jefferson County Juvenile Court for the School Liaison Program;
--Advanced $40,000 from the general fund to athletics;
--Set the next regular meeting for Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. at Edison High School.
Edison Students Participate in Virtual Library
Posted 9/17/2020 at 11:37:26 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Virtual Library
RICHMOND-Edison Jr. High School students now have more knowledge at their fingertips after receiving e-cards from the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County.
   Dawn Cable, a seventh- and eighth-grade ELA teacher at EJHS, said all incoming seventh-graders were given e-cards for the virtual library during the week of Sept. 7. About 100 students will benefit from the program, which intends to expound upon their learning and hopefully inspire an everlasting love of reading.
   “This is our fourth straight year of issuing library cards to our incoming, new students at the junior high,” Cable said. “Despite COVID, students have access to digital and audiobooks through the library as well as digital access to research engines so they are learning from an early age about using reputable resources in their school work.”
   Following a class demonstration on using the site, she said more than 30 books were checked out the first day the e-cards were issued. 
   “We know how important it is to bring diverse reading materials to our students in our rural areas. At no cost to families, our students do not have to struggle to access good books by their favorite authors. Our 1-to-1 [Chromebook] district promotes this site not only for independent reading selections, but it also promotes a love for reading, choice and independent project work that is differentiated and student driven. The site makes it easy for students to search by genre, topic or author.”
    Edison became involved with the PLSJ e-card system to better serve students living in rural areas.
   “We wanted kids to have access to good materials despite our rural locations and lack of small-town libraries, so we wanted to use our community and county resources,” she said.
   Cable added that the library is utilized every week with many students accessing it on a daily basis. Currently, the entire student population at Edison Jr./Sr. High School--which equals more than 600 pupils in grades 7-12-- has been granted access to the library with their e-cards.
(Photo Cutline: Seventh-grade students at Edison Jr. High School have more knowledge at their fingertips after receiving e-cards to the virtual library at the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County. The goal is to provide access to reputable online resources to expound upon learning and hopefully inspire an everlasting love of reading.)
Edison Receives $3K Grant to Feed Kids
Posted 7/2/2020 at 1:09:17 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Childrens Hunger Alliance

The Children’s Hunger Alliance presented a $3,000 PNC Grant to Edison Local Schools to help finance the district’s seamless summer feeding program. Edison operates 11 locations within the district and distributes about 2,500 breakfast and lunches to kids on a weekly basis while funding support for the grant is provided by PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Rick Oxley, manager of school and summer nutrition for the Children’s Hunger Alliance, is pictured giving a check to Fatima Smuck, district administrative assistant. 

Edison Reviews Reopening Plans
Posted 7/2/2020 at 1:07:21 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND-Edison Local school board officials reviewed plans in light of the COVID-19 lockdown and hope to proceed with reopening school doors in August.

   The board discussed the matter during its June 25 regular session at Edison High School and is eyeing a traditional start for classes, barring any changes from the state level. But officials are also looking at ways to help educate students remotely in the upcoming year and Superintendent Bill Beattie said the goal is to be prepared for whatever looms on the horizon.

   “As of right now, our plan is to come back in a traditional setting for five days a week, but we will prepare for any option moving forward,” Beattie said. “We’re going to use Google Classroom as a learning management system and Google Meets as a means for teachers to meet and communicate with kids.”

   He said surveys were mailed to district parents which are not due until July 10, but so far 63 percent of the 168 recent respondents support having their children back in the classroom. Currently, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has given county health departments and local school districts the lead in reopening plans and options range from traditional schooling to blended learning and a completely remote education online. In any case, Beattie said the Google systems will play a role in student learning.

   “We want to see if any directives come from the governor, and if the plans are up to the local health department and school districts we will move forward accordingly. Our plan is to try to provide some professional development for teachers during August so we’re ready to be up and running on day one.”    

   Further talks entailed how to utilize three school resource officers at the school buildings since services were affected by the lockdown. Beattie said the board discussed how to proceed if the district faces a similar situation in the future and schools close once again.

   Meanwhile, the board was updated on projects continuing throughout the district. Beattie said a bid was approved for Playing Surface Solutions of Meadville, Pa., to undertake the bulk excavation of the master facilities in preparation for walkways, plaza areas, the grandstand relocation and a building entrance gate on the high school campus. The project costs an estimated $1,014,000 for phase one, but phase two plans were put on hold regarding the addition of baseball and softball fields on campus. Beattie explained there were financial constraints but leaders will decide how to proceed by the end of the year. When that phase proceeds, hopes are to have the ballfields ready for action in the spring of 2022.

  Change orders were also approved with Vasco of Massillon for a concrete stabilization plan for unified athletics facilities at EHS, but officials learned that portion was not necessary and costs were reduced, saving the district an estimated $110,000. Beattie added that costs for work at Stanton and John Gregg Elementary were more than $400,000 over the district’s allotted $6 million budget and the contract was reviewed again to eliminate the overrun. Those projects include updating windows and HVAC units, among other renovations.

   In other matters, the board:

--Employed Josh Haspel as computer technology teacher, Shannon Small as a Language Arts teacher, and Elizabeth Conley as the vocal music teacher, all three positions at EHS;

 --Entered into an agreement with the Columbiana County Educational Service Center for occupational therapy services;

--Approved extended time for guidance counselors Sara McGee and Samanda Pepperling for 40 hours of extended time from June 1 to July 31, 2020;

--Approved a contract with Trinity Health System for trainer services;

--Contracted with the Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities (JCBDD) for special education services;

--Approved the treasurer’s reports and donations such as the Dean Boring-Sarah Schaefer Scholarship for $200, the Mr. & Mrs. Bill Schaefer-Sarah Schaefer Scholarship for $800 and $228 from the East Springfield Jr. Women’s Club for EHS lunch accounts;

--Approved a contract with BJAAM Environmental Services Inc. of Canal Fulton for environmental engineering services for ongoing monitoring and testing of 30 wells on the high school campus following a diesel fuel leak years ago which seeped into the ground;

--Accepted a $3,000 grant from the Children’s Hunger Alliance of Ohio to help cover costs for the seamless summer feeding program;

--Approved supplemental contracts for JoAnn Stagani as athletic director; Todd Smith as assistant athletic director; Shane O’Brien as head varsity football coach; Jason Fogle, Alfred Johnson, Mike Collopy, Greg Marsh and Nolan Marcus as assistant football coaches; Josh Waggoner, Mark Pittman and Tyler Stagani, volunteer varsity football; Collin Skeeles, Byron Rufkin, Bruce Palmer and James Evans, junior high football; Shane O’Brien, elementary football; Kodi Peterson, varsity golf; Andy Lesnansky, varsity boys’ soccer; Jordan Tice, varsity girls’ soccer; Kim Judy, volunteer girls’ soccer; Todd Smith, varsity volleyball; Keely Drabick, assistant varsity volleyball; Holly Johns and Tonyea Roberts, volunteer varsity volleyball; Sarah Louda and Samanda Pepperling, junior high volleyball; Maddie Brown and Casey Mozingo, fall junior high cheerleading; Jamie Evans, EHS Yearbook, district annual report/calendar and district website coordinator; Marc Sansone, EHS Band and extended band time; and Bev Sansone and David Schultz, EHS Band assistants; 

--Set the next meeting for July 23 at 6 p.m. with the location to be determined.

Edison Purchasing Bonds for EHS Project
Posted 3/24/2020 at 1:41:32 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND-The Edison Local Board of Education took another step forward in its plan to unify sports activities at the Edison High School campus by approving measures to secure necessary funding.

   Officials held their regular session at the high school on March 19, where they passed two resolutions which would allow them to purchase bonds for the project with the amount not to exceed $15 million. Superintendent Bill Beattie said the move was the beginning of the process but the actual timeline may be altered depending on the current situation with the coronavirus outbreak.

   “We’re probably looking at four to six weeks before the funds are available. If the governor and ODE issue a shutdown for the rest of the school year, we’ll push to get work started sooner than later. For now, our plan is to start construction during the second week of May.”

    The project will unify school sports at the Richmond campus by adding baseball and softball fields, a multi-purpose athletic field for football, soccer and track and a new 1,500-seat gymnasium as well as a new parking lot. The baseball and softball fields currently are located at Jefferson State Lake near Richmond and athletes have held track practice and meets and junior high basketball practice about 10 miles away at Stanton Elementary in Hammondsville. Officials said centralizing the activities would improve safety for students and save time for parents who must travel through the area to attend events. Expenses will be paid through the 2.1-mill emergency renewal levy approved by voters this fall which would generate more than $1,049,000 annually over seven years.

   JTSA Sports architectural firm of Burgettstown, Pa, has undertaken design services for the athletic complex which excluded the new gym. Meanwhile, officials plan to relocate and add more grandstand seating and build a new press box. There are still a few more steps to take before the overall project happens, and Beattie said pre-bid meetings were held for the grandstand and press box were held on Friday and the formal bids are due March 30. The turf bid will also go out to bid in the near future, while officials also must select a general contractor to do the site prep work for the master facilities.

    “We’ll look at securing a general contractor in the near future to do site preparation work,” he added.

    In other action, the board:

--Approved a one-year contact for Ellen Swickard, a teacher at EHS;

--Approved Rebecca Schaming, Christopher Winesdoerffer, Devyn Carpenter and Guy Nestor as additions to the substitute teachers’ list;

--Approved non-certified employee contracts for bus drivers Gary Bell, Rebecca Carr, Francis Martin, David Dock and Aric Bernhart; paraprofessionals Christina Carson, Heather Call Booth and Kathy Gill; library professional Dianna Snyder; custodian Doug Luscko; NBC Pam Collins; cooks Lori Haught and Kari Speedy; secretaries Casey Barnhouse and Tammy Wallin; and administrative secretaries Tracey Matta and Brenda Stone;

--Donated $1,000 to the Imagination Library;

--Approved participation in federal and state programs for the 2020-21 and authorized Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta to act as representative;

--Re-appointed Administrative Assistant Fatima Smuck as district preschool and food service director;

--Approved an agreement with the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 495 Joint Apprenticeship Training Center in Cambridge to train EHS students interested in the field. Beattie said a female student current takes part in the program;

--Approved the monthly financial reports that totaled $14,237,547.38 with expenditures at more than $9.4 million. The cost includes an $8 million transfer for the HVAC projects at Stanton and John Gregg Elementary Schools, but leaders said the work timeline may be impacted based upon availability of equipment in light of the coronavirus situation;

--Accepted a $2,000 SPDGE Grant for a family engagement program;

--Tentatively set the next regular school board meeting for April 16 at 6 p.m. at John Gregg Elementary.

Food Service Available to Edison Students at Local Sites
Posted 3/16/2020 at 4:01:01 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

HAMMONDSVILLE-Local churches and other sites are helping Edison Local Schools provide food service to students as schools remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    District Administrative Assistant Fatima Smuck said free, pre-packaged breakfast and lunch meals will be available at 10 locations on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. to ensure children are being fed during their time away from school.

   “We’re preparing food at Edison High School and delivering it to the sites. People can go to the churches to obtain them and we will have transport vans at the other sites to serve grab-and-go breakfast and lunch,” Smuck explained.   

   For now, the program will run until April 3, which was the end date of the closures issued by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. Meals are being offered at the following locations:

--Lake Lodge Mobile Home Park, 1588 State Route 43, Richmond;

--Pleasant Hills Village Mobile Home Park, 2981 State Route 213, Steubenville;

--Amsterdam Church of God, 8247 Bear Road, Amsterdam;

--East Springfield Church of the Cross, 203 Church St., East Springfield;

--Smitty’s Old School, 8898 State Route 213, Toronto;

--Empire Methodist Church, 84 First Ave., Empire;

--Irondale Methodist Church, 75 Grant St., Irondale;

--New Somerset Christian Church, 12052 State Route 213, Toronto,

--Bergholz Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Second Street, Bergholz;

--Hilltop Church, 70 County Road 46, Toronto.

   For more information, contact Smuck at (330) 532-3199, Ext. 1114 or email fatima.smuck@edisonwildcats.org.

John Gregg Authors Unveil Books
Posted 3/11/2020 at 10:11:25 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg Books

BERGHOLZ-John Gregg Elementary’s littlest authors celebrated their classes’ latest collaboration with a special book-signing party on March 5.

   Students in Melissa Trimmer and Haley Hashbarger’s first-grade classes unveiled “When We Grow Up” and “When I Grow Up,” collections of brief essays and illustrations they penned which describe what they hope to become as adults. Pre-ordered copies were available during the first-grade showcase at the school and include a common thread of teachers, veterinarians and military personnel as well as more intriguing careers such as a rock star, football player, artist and employees at Wendy’s and Denoon Lumber. The books, which are published through Studentreasures Publishing of Topeka, Kan., have kits with instructions and special paper for the students to write on.

   “This is our fifth year,” said Trimmer. “We started working on it in November and sent it away to be published in January. They brainstormed ideas of what they wanted to be in the future and did graphic organizers to plan ideas. Then it went through rough drafts and editing and they illustrated their own page.”

   Students also designed the covers and Trimmer noted they were all excited about the project.

 “They loved it. They were so excited,” she added. “It’s our tradition. It’s better than a yearbook because they can see what the others wanted to be. In 10 years, they can pull it out to look at it at their graduation party. It is a great keepsake for parents and the teachers also like looking at it.”

   “It was a cool experience and good for the kids,” Hashbarger said, adding it was her first year for the project. 

   Dozens of parents and grandparents got a chance to view the finished product during the showcase, which also included refreshments and crafts. Several students shared which jobs they liked and what they enjoyed most about writing the book.

   “I want to work at Denoon Lumber because my dad works there,” said Brody Champion, who added that he liked drawing and spelling when it came to putting the book together. “I want to give it to my family for a gift.”

   “I want to be a teacher to teach kids how to be respectful and because my mom is a teacher,” said Adalyn Swearingen, noting that she was excited about writing the book and giving it to her family.

   Fellow student Lola Keister hopes to become a zookeeper and she also enjoyed the writing experience.

   “I like keeping animals healthy,” she commented, saying she wanted to give her book to her parents.

   Classmate Bryson Moses said he wants to be a gym teacher because he liked being on the move.

   “I like to run a lot and I’d like to teach kids,” Moses continued.

(Photo Cutline: Adalyn Swearingen, a student at John Gregg Elementary School, shares a book she wrote with her class with her father, Jake, during the First-Grade Showcase on March 5. First-graders penned “When We Grow Up” and “When I Grow Up,” which tells of their future career hopes as teachers, zookeepers and more and includes original illustrations. The book is an annual project published through Studentreasures Publishing of Kansas.)

Teacher of the Month
Posted 3/6/2020 at 1:39:01 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton TOM O'Karma

Stanton Elementary School Kindergarten teacher Michelle O’Karma was named State Farm Insurance Teacher of the Month for February, earning a gift card and other prizes in recognition of her good work in the classroom. O’Karma is pictured with students, front from left, Max Kuntz, Madison Furbee and Gabriel Hale. Middle: Nevaeh Allen, Sadie Snyder, Gavin McKee, Michael Kline, Alyssa Clark, Wesley Damsey, Skylar Blanton and Richard Allen III. Back: Colton Monigold, Paisley Fish, Layla Zullo, Frankie Board, Olivia Waggoner, Brooklyn Pelley, Nevaeh Collins, Luke Kirkman, Keylea Allen and Jace Kidder.

Little Reader
Posted 3/6/2020 at 1:35:14 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Book Fair

Little reader Tyler Cronin, a preschooler at Stanton Elementary, takes a gander at a Paw Patrol story while visiting the Stanton Elementary School PTO’s Scholastic Book Fair. The PTO held the event on March 2-6 and doled out plenty of literature and other merchandise with proceeds benefitting the school library.

Edison BOE Advances Plans for Sports Facilities
Posted 2/26/2020 at 10:22:55 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

HAMMONDSVILLE-Plans are advancing to provide more centralized sports facilities on the grounds of Edison High School following action at the Edison Local Board of Education meeting on Feb. 20.

   The board is looking to enhance athletic amenities at the Richmond campus and took another step by approving a contract with SHP of Cincinnati for design build services on the new fieldhouse. Plans are to unify school sports at one site by adding baseball and softball fields, a multi-purpose athletic field for football, soccer and track and a new 1,500-seat gymnasium as well as a new parking lot. The baseball and softball fields currently are located at Jefferson State Lake near Richmond and athletes have held track practice and meets and junior high basketball practice about 10 miles away at Stanton Elementary in Hammondsville. Officials said centralizing the activities would improve safety for students and save time for parents who must travel through the area to attend events. Expenses will be paid through the 2.1-mill emergency renewal levy approved by voters this fall which would generate more than $1,049,000 annually over seven years.

   In January, the board passed a resolution for the JTSA Sports architectural firm of Burgettstown, Pa., to undertake design services for the athletic complex, which excluded the new gym. Superintendent Bill Beattie said major work will get underway following the latest session.

   “The board decided to move forward and do everything simultaneously, which is to relocate the football field and turf the soccer field so that will become the multi-purpose facility,” said Beattie.

   Other ideas include relocating and adding more grandstand seating and building a new press box, creating new baseball and softball fields on the campus and exploring options for a restroom, concession stand and either a full locker room or half locker room facility. Officials are also looking to add a 1,500-seat gym and may put that project out to bid this August, while the site may be operational in August of 2021. Beattie said that decision will depend upon talks about the football field since the gym will be built on the site of the current Cartwright Memorial Stadium.

Choices will also be determined by costs and talks are underway to determine the best avenue. Preliminary estimates may put the centralized facilities within the $15 million range but leaders hope to have more solid figures at the next board session.

   Beattie said there is no definite timeline on the project to begin and plans remain under review.

    “We’re looking at August of 2020 as the potential target date for the relocation of the football field, depending on our continued conversations with the architects will better determine that timeline. We’ll decide in the next couple of months and will know more in March,” he commented. “We are exploring finances to determine if our baseball and softball fields will be turf or natural grass.”

 In other action, the board:

--Approved Jay Hale, Karina Santacroce and Jennifer Tausch to the substitute teacher list;

--Approved Amanda Huntsman to the non-certified substitute list as aide, custodian, NB, cook and secretary;

--Approved a supplemental contract for Bruce Palmer as a weight room volunteer;

--Approved FMLA leave for an employee;

--Approved medical leave for an employee;

--Agreed to hire Aric Bernhart and David Dock as bus drivers;

--Approved membership renewal to the Ohio High School Athletic Association;

--Approved an agreement with Eastern Gateway Community College for Dual Credit Course Work;

--Approved an agreement with Kent State University for College Credit Plus courses;

--Approved the school calendar for 2020-21;

--Approved overnight field trips for the EHS Band to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on March 26-28 and July 19-24 to West

Liberty University for band camp;

--Approved the January financial summary for $14,353,228.36 and expenditures of $2,209,056;

--Approved a $1,000 donation from Wal-Mart to John Gregg Elementary;

--Accepted the amounts and rates determined by the Jefferson County Budget Commission;

--Set the next regular meeting for March 19 at 6 p.m. at EHS.

John Gregg Students Earn Stars for Assessments
Posted 2/19/2020 at 9:18:04 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JG Star Students

BERGHOLZ-John Gregg Elementary is celebrating star pupils in a unique way by giving them a chance to name real heavenly bodies.

   Principal Tammy Burchfield said a “You Can Be a Star” board was created for grades 1-6 and students who perform well on their national Star reading and math assessments have an opportunity to name an actual star in space. Tests are taken online three times a year during September, January and May and results indicate grade equivalent growth and percentile. 

   “Their grades get compared to other same grade-level students in the nation,” Burchfield explained. “We want them to do their best and we use the assessments for reviewing progress and for instruction. Students with four-to-nine months’ growth are considered Star Learners and students with a year’s growth are Superstars in Star Math and Reading.”

  Burchfield added that one year’s growth has been seen in 220 students in math and reading. So far, John Gregg has yielded 84 Star Learners, 99 Superstar Reading students, 76 Star Math Learners and 121 Math Superstars. Their names were added to the board near the office and the school purchased stars through the Buy A Star website. Burchfield randomly selects students from each category to name an actual star and they will receive a certificate with a map. Names are chosen following the second and third tests while the end-of-year assessment will be used as a gauge for the first test next year.

  “They can name the star after themselves or whatever they want,” she said, adding that teachers created the concept to motivate the students when they take their assessments. “Teachers Jodi Connelly and Mark Smyth had the idea and [Connelly] organized the board.”

   Students were equally enthused with the program and hope to have their chance to earn a star. The first group to participate includes Annie Board, who plans to dub her star “Chichen Itza” after the famed Mayan ruins; Jayden Kelly, who will call his “Stjarna Kelly”; David Major, who will call his “John Cena” after the actor and professional wrestler; and Blayden Tripp, who will simply style his as “Sun Jr.”

   “We’re pretty excited and the students are very motivated and excited with their progress,” Burchfield commented.

(Photo Cutline: John Gregg Elementary is rewarding students who excel in their national Star Reading and Math assessments by giving them an opportunity to name an actual star. Students’ names are listed on a board near the school office and Principal Tammy Burchfield selects four random pupils to name a star. Pictured are, from left, teacher Jodi Connelly, student Blayden Tripp, student Annie Board, Principal Tammy Burchfield, student Jayden Kelly, student David Major and teacher Mark Smyth.)

Beta Clubs Donate to Humane Society
Posted 2/19/2020 at 9:12:41 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS Beta Club Donation

The Edison Jr./Sr. High School Beta Clubs donated supplies to the Jefferson County Humane Society including food, treats and cleaning items, plus they contributed monetary donations to sponsor a kennel. Pictured with the items are, from left, high school advisor Sara Cunningham with members Eva Johnson and Emily Waggoner.

Edison Adds New Members, Talks Upgrades
Posted 1/15/2020 at 11:29:44 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Board of Education

RICHMOND-The Edison Local Board of Education added two new members on Jan. 13 and took official action to update school properties.

Matt Bordash and Josh McConnell were sworn in by district Treasurer Lisa Bruzzese during the reorganization meeting at Edison High School, while Aaron Richardson and Ron Smyth were re-elected board president and vice president, respectively. Bruzzese was also named continue as treasurer and the board approved a series of measures to maintain operations for the remainder of 2020.

Meanwhile, the crux of the subsequent regular session centered on the development of sports facilities at EHS and the board approved a resolution for the JTSA Sports architectural firm of Burgettstown, Pa., to undertake design services for the athletic complex, which excludes the new gym. The decision comes after board members previously tabled the matter for further review and JTSA owner Jim Sauer attended the latest meeting to respond to queries.

He said officials saw only a masterplan and details could be refined to better suit the district’s needs, but the design considers circulation, parking, security and accessibility. Plans are to unify school sports at one site by adding baseball and softball fields, a multi-purpose athletic field for football, soccer and track and a new 1,500-seat gymnasium as well as a new parking lot. The baseball and softball fields currently are located at Jefferson State Lake near Richmond and athletes have held track practice and meets and junior high basketball practice about 10 miles away at Stanton Elementary in Hammondsville. Officials said centralizing the activities would improve safety for students and save time for parents who must travel through the area to attend events. Expenses will be paid through the 2.1-mill emergency renewal levy approved by voters this fall which would generate more than $1,049,000 annually over seven years. 

Regarding the football field, Sauer said the goal is to have the facility ready in August for the start of the season, but overall construction involving the restrooms, locker room facilities and concession stand will take some time. He explained that constructing grandstands and turf fields may require a six-month timeframe and the grandstand materials should be ordered in February or March.

“We could have it all up by kickoff, but I’d like to have more time [with the restrooms, locker room and concession area],” he added, saying the locker room project would slow down the process. Sauer hoped to present ideas for the grandstand and give cost estimates for the work. “Once we seal up [the schedules] we need to shore up the grandstand designs, then we need to bid out.”

If all goes according to plan, work on the football field could begin in early May with a completion date in August, while the restrooms, locker room and concession area could start in June and be ready around October. Sauer said it also was feasible to do the baseball and softball fields while crews were still mobilized.

Superintendent Bill Beattie said costs were not yet determined but the price tag could run between $12-$15 million. He planned to meet with SHP Leading Design of Cincinnati, which is designing the gym, on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the board office in Hammondsville to obtain more details.

“They want to get a good idea of what we’re looking for so they can do a proposal,” he added. “I think our focus is correct to hold on the baseball and softball field [and work on the gym and multi-purpose facilities] once cost estimates are determined. It will give us a better timeline for the construction of the baseball and softball fields.”

Amid further discussion, Beattie hoped to schedule a special board meeting later this month to approve contracts and get the projects underway.

Talks then turned to planned improvements at Stanton and John Gregg Elementary Schools and Smyth asked if the HVAC work would be starting this summer. Beattie responded that once the schematic design phase of the project is completed, it will be ready for bid.

He explained that John Gregg would be easier to do since it is all one-story, while Stanton operates with a boiler system in the lobby and gym and uses electric heat in the classrooms and offices. Smyth added that officials promised to change the windows and asked if they were included in the plan. Beattie responded that the HVAC update would be done first with the window project to follow.

(Photo Cutline: The Edison Local School Board of Education swore in two new members at the Jan. 13 reorganization session and took action on its sports facilities consolidation plan at a subsequent meeting. Leaders also marked School Board Recognition Month for January and pictured are, front from left, board Vice President Ron Smyth and President Aaron Richardson. Back: Scott Lockhart, Josh McConnell and Matt Bordash.)

Edison Obtains DLT Grant
Posted 1/8/2020 at 10:03:54 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

HAMMONDSVILLE-The Edison Local School District has been awarded nearly $500,000 dollars in federal funding to bolster telecommunications and improve education and health for students and families living in rural areas.

   The district gained Rural Utilities Service District Learning and Telemedicine (RUS-DLT) grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for $498,015 while Edison kicked in a $75,000 local match. District Administrative Assistant Fatima Smuck, who submitted the grant with technology coordinator Rachael Granatir, said it will help acquire equipment to provide educational programs, instruction and information to students and teachers who are located in rural areas. The funding also includes a telemedicine component to help district families who are unable to access medical and mental health services.

 “Our project aims to address critical needs identified including expanding opportunities for students to access STEM resources; providing students with access to STEM industry leaders and mentors; implementing information technology programs; expanding our current course offerings; expanding our current counseling services for students; and providing professional development for staff to help address student mental health and opioid issues,” Smuck said.

   Officials applied for the competitive grant last spring and Smuck said they were first-time recipients. She noted that students and their families will greatly benefit from the distance learning and STEM courses as well as the counseling services.

   “We are hoping to start our programs soon. The programs were developed over a period of several months while working with our partners in education, which includes The Village Network, Eastern Gateway Community College and Franciscan University of Steubenville,” she concluded. “The grant will allow us to offer the needed medical and mental health services for our students as well as expand our courses to include more STEM classes. We are excited that we received this grant and the opportunities we have to work with other agencies to help our families.”

   The grant will impact about 2,600 students, teachers and parents in Belmont and Jefferson counties and USDA officials believe it will help level the playing field for rural students and also bridge the gap between urban-based healthcare specialists and residents living in remote areas for whom time and travel may present significant challenges.

John Gregg Sends Support through Operation Christmas Card
Posted 1/8/2020 at 9:26:44 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JG Operation Christmas Card

BERGHOLZ-Students at John Gregg Elementary supported the troops and community by brightening their holidays through Operation Christmas Card.

   The school sent 1,039 homemade cards to active military personnel overseas as well as local sites through the first-time venture, which was coordinated by sixth-grade teacher Hannah Boggs. Boggs said she was inspired by a film, plus the issue hit close to home.

   “One of my favorite Christmas movies is ‘The Christmas Card,’ which is about a woman who writes letters to the troops and falls in love with one, so it safe to say the movie was my inspiration,” she said. “The military holds a special place in my heart because my husband is a Marine veteran and my cousin is in the Army, and I know so many of the ones overseas do not receive anything from home, so I wanted them to know we appreciate them.”

   Students began working on the project around Thanksgiving and a goal was set to create 1,000 cards. Boggs said the first 500 were sent to a unit overseas that her cousin suggested she contact.

   “Once we hit our goal, my daughter, along with two other students, went with me and we delivered them to people in four different nursing homes. I also put some in the gas station, restaurant and post office in Amsterdam so they could get distributed throughout the community. We also made a bunch for an Edison graduate who was attending basic training and I know he very much appreciated it.”

    She continued that the pupils loved sharing sentiments through the project and she hopes to make it an annual event.

   “Most of the students enjoyed making cards and knowing that they were going to those who wouldn’t be receiving much this Christmas or be able to spend it with their loved ones. I know my daughter said she loved going to the nursing homes and seeing how appreciative they were to get a card. She said it made her feel good.”

(Photo Cutline: John Gregg sixth-graders Alyssa Brinsky and Breelynn Carrick-Shank create homemade cards for a school-wide Operation Christmas Card project. Students made 1,039 cards which were sent to troops overseas and distributed throughout the community and teacher Hannah Boggs, who coordinated the effort, hopes to make it an annual project.)

Edison Welcomes New SRO
Posted 12/13/2019 at 11:04:25 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS SRO John Levy

RICHMOND-A new school resource officer is patrolling the halls at Edison High School as Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy John Levy assumes his role.

   Deputy Levy began his duties on Dec. 9, succeeding longtime SRO Deputy Scott Renforth, and said he was excited about the opportunity. The Steubenville-bred law enforcement officer hopes to use his experience as a teaching tool to hopefully inspire students.

   “It’s a great school with great students,” he said. “They were more welcoming than anything.”

   The 2012 Steubenville High School grad joined the U.S. Navy and served for four years as an E-5. He was stationed with Strike Fighter Wing 122 in Leemoore, Calif., and spent 26 months in Bahrain performing security transport for the Naval Supply Fleet Logistics Center, or NAVSUP FLC, then decided to return to his old stomping grounds in another capacity. After leaving the military, he applied to become a police officer in Steubenville and attended the Ohio Highway Patrol Academy in 2017. Deputy Levy went on to work for the city police department and also conducted security for the Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority, patrolling the site where he once lived.

   It was there that he organized community events such as JMHA Community Days last year and he has also been involved with Urban Underground, Sycamore Center and senior talks at Big Red, where he’s shared his experiences and message with teens. He continued making connections with kids after joining the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office this past April. Deputy Levy said he approached Sheriff Fred Abdalla about further services with juveniles and learned of the available SRO position.

   “I jumped at the chance,” he added. “It’s very rewarding and I’ve still got a lot to learn.”

   Among his plans are to speak with students about his life and how they could achieve success in their future.

 “I’m looking to give back and ultimately be the ledge they can lean on,” he concluded. “I want to get out there and tell them they can be anything they want to be. That’s the reason I got into this as a police officer. This position is where I want to be and share the wisdom I’ve learned.”

Edison Beta Club Feeds the Needy
Posted 12/13/2019 at 10:58:31 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS Beta Club Feeds to Needy

The Edison High School Beta Club is helping to feed the needy by holding its annual Christmas food drive. Students collected about 1,000 non-perishable items for the Amsterdam Food Pantry and advisor Sara Cunningham thanked everyone who contributed, saying it will help the less fortunate during the holiday season. Pictured with a few of the items are Beta members Alex Mayle, Hayden Johnson and George Ash.

Buckeye Local, Edison Team up for Paws for Claus
Posted 12/6/2019 at 10:21:57 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.

Elementary Schools Gain Playground Equipment
Posted 12/6/2019 at 10:17:55 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Playground

BERGHOLZ-Elementary schools within the Edison Local School District have some new equipment on hand for students to enjoy during recess.

   New playground equipment was added at John Gregg and Stanton Elementary schools in November and Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta said the district obtained a Playcore grant through DWA Recreation of Harrison, Ohio, which matched district funds for the estimated $145,986 project. Kireta said the items replace outdated equipment and expenses include groundwork, installation and the play structures.

   “The equipment arrived around Nov. 5 at John Gregg and students began playing on the playground the following week,” she said. “Stanton’s work began once John Gregg was completed and students there were able to play on the new playground on Nov. 25.”

 She said the district defrayed costs for the upgrades while the Playcore grant matched the cost of the large playground equipment, while the items were installed by DWA Recreation. The new playground at John Gregg replaces items which previously came from the former Pleasant Hill Elementary School.

 “The playground was designed around the six elements of play: balancing, sliding, brachiating (swinging with the arms), spinning, climbing and swinging,” she said. “The new equipment includes swings, a balance beam, spinner and one large piece that includes slides and climbing structures. The previous equipment was installed at various times and was beginning to become dated.”

   District Superintendent Bill Beattie said the goal was to keep kids active and potentially make further improvements to the sites.

   “The students were very excited to be able to play on the new playground equipment,” Beattie concluded. “It is our hope in the future to investigate additional pieces of equipment to enhance the playgrounds even more.”

(Photo Cutline: Leah Moore and Maddox Richardson, kindergarten students at John Gregg Elementary School, took advantage of the nice fall weather to enjoy new playground equipment at the school. Sets were installed at John Gregg and Stanton Elementary in November and feature swings, slides and other amenities. The total project cost an estimated $145,986 and was paid through a mixture of district funds and a Playcore matching grant from DWA Recreation of Harrison, Ohio, which also installed the equipment.)

Literacy Programs Planned
Posted 11/26/2019 at 8:20:25 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

HAMMONDSVILLE-The Edison Local School District is targeting literacy with an upcoming program at its two elementary buildings.

   Parent and Family Engagement meetings are set for Nov. 26 at Stanton Elementary at 9:30 a.m. and John Gregg Elementary at 2:30 p.m. to bolster reading activities both at school and at home. District Administrative Assistant Fatima Smuck said the event will enrich preschool pupils and help them better grasp literacy by incorporating family interaction and activities outside the classroom.

   “The teachers are going to present an online curriculum piece with parents and demonstrate reading a book to kids,” Smuck added, saying the event will also involve Sit Together and Read at Home and School, a component for which the district will provide books.

   “Each parent is going home with a backpack and books,” she noted. “We’ve had [literacy events] before but this is a new program.”

   Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta added that the activity was through the Ohio Early Literacy pilot program and students will receive the same books for home that they read at school. There is also a guided structure for parents to question students about what they have read.

    Miguel Brun, district literacy coach, said Sit Together and Read at School and Home allows preschool teachers to implement the program for about 70 students and their families.

   “Sit Together and Read is a school-home reading program coordinated by The Ohio State University,” he said. “It utilizes intentional read-aloud practices and scaffolding strategies to strengthen students’ knowledge and print awareness. Through shared book readings, Sit Together and Read at Home provides for a back-and-forth communication for strong family engagement. It includes an at-home reading component which includes a book and reading guide to ultimately increase children’s print knowledge and strengthen caregiver involvement in school.”

    Also included are Sit Together and Read at Home journals to enable parents and caregivers to be engaged in their child’s learning. Brun said it was another way for Edison Local Schools to promote reading readiness.

Edison BOE to Discuss Construction Plans
Posted 11/26/2019 at 8:11:49 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND-Edison Local School officials will take the next step to bring new facilities into fruition during a special meeting early next month.

    School board members scheduled a special meeting for Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. at the board office to discuss the development of sports facilities at Edison High School. Plans will be financed through the 2.1-mill, seven-year emergency renewal levy voters approved on Nov. 5 and Superintendent Bill Beattie said hopes were to have the project completed within the next two years.

   “We will discuss the initial plan that has been drawn up by JTSA Sports architectural firm of Burgettstown, Pa., that develops sports complexes,” Beattie said. “They created a rendering of the complex and the board has to review it and determine costs.”

   The goal is to unify sports and school facilities on the high school grounds in Richmond to provide further safety and convenience for students, parents and the community. The levy, which would generate $1,049,150 per year, will help construct a 1,500-seat gymnasium and add baseball and softball fields, as well as new parking lots on the campus. The baseball and softball fields currently are located at Jefferson State Lake and athletes have held track practice and meets and junior high basketball practice about 10 miles away at Stanton Elementary in Hammondsville. Officials said centralizing the activities would improve safety for students and save time for parents who must travel through the area to attend events.

   The school board previously hired MS Consultants of Youngstown to establish a program design for future facilities and the firm will be used for the centralization plan. If all goes according to plan, construction could begin around March or April. Beattie said it will take 12-16 months to construct the new gym and possibly six months to complete the ballfields, while work has already been completed on the new $500,000 track by Vasco of Massillon.

   In other matters, the board:

--Accepted a resignation from volunteer basketball coach Mark Smyth;

--Accepted a resignation from teacher Melissa Hudson effective Nov. 6;

--Accepted additions to the county substitute teacher list including Marianne DuBois, Melissa Miles and Mark Kovalcik, the latter of which was approved last month for Stanton but will now serve all three buildings;

--Hired Brenda Stone as the new secretary of the superintendent after accepting her resignation as longtime secretary at EHS. She began her new duties on Nov. 18;

--Approved supplemental contracts for Jamie Evans and Josh Waggoner for volunteer wrestling, Mark Smyth for freshman basketball, Anwaa Martin for junior high wrestling and Jessica McAllister as VLA teacher for the current academic school year;

--Named Aric Bernhart and David Dock as substitute bus drivers for the 2019-20 school year;

--Granted permission for co-ed indoor track and field club at no cost to the district;

--Approve memorandums of understanding (MOU’s) for the district resource officers;

--Approved the second reading of new and revised policies;

--Approved a swim team contract with Steubenville City Schools for use of their pool;

--Accepted donations of $100 for Paws Pantry from Jeffrey Kemmer, $500 each for student needs at John Gregg and Stanton from the Bergholz Foundation and $1,000 for computers at John Gregg from the Bergholz Foundation;

--Learned three $600 Best Practice Grants were awarded to teachers Kathy Ramsey, Jordan Tice and Mikayla Tice from the Jefferson County Educational Service Center for their innovative classroom projects;

--Approved a $6,575 school safety training grant;

--Approved District Treasurer Lisa Bruzzese to be designee for public records training for board members Tracy Wright, John Prokopakis and Ron Smyth;

--Set the next meeting for Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at John Gregg Elementary.

Feeding the Needy
Posted 11/20/2019 at 11:48:06 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg Canned Food Drive

John Gregg Elementary School held its annual canned food drive on Nov. 4-15 to benefit local pantries and collected 751 non-perishable items from canned meats, vegetables and fruits to peanut butter, cereal and pasta. The items will be contributed to the WEBA Outreach Pantry in Amsterdam, East Springfield United Methodist Church of the Cross and North East Jefferson County Food Pantry in Bergholz to help needy families in the community. Pictured is Melissa Trimmer’s first-grade class, which was named top collector for the project. They include, pictured in front, Makayla Keenan. Middle: Briar Bendle, Brody Champion, Kyleigh Huntington, Olivia Davis, Kylin Moore and Carson Ensinger. Back: Dallas Hayes, Aubree Grimes, Braelyn Rippee, Taleah Carpenter, Adalyn Swearingen, Kendall Barker, Ronin Blake and Kenzi Call.

EHS Hosting Veteran’s Day Program
Posted 11/8/2019 at 9:32:40 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND-Edison Local Schools will highlight military heroism with activities planned on Veteran’s Day.

   Edison High School will hold its 30th annual Veteran’s Day program on Monday for students, staff and special guests at 10 a.m. in the auditorium. Organizer Paul Baker, a social studies teacher at EHS, said members of the Richmond American Legion Post 740 Honored Seven will also be on hand and guest speakers will include J.O. Henry and U.S. Army Sgt. James Gorrell, the latter of whom is a 2005 Edison graduate.  The program will also include Boy Scouts of America Troops 3, 20 and 41 joining sophomore Ben Linscott for the Color Guard presentation, the National Anthem by the high school band and choir under the direction of respective teachers Marc Sansone and Dani Carroll and patriotic readings and music from students and educators before closing with a performance of Taps by band students and remarks from Principal Matthew Morrison.

    Meanwhile, students at John Gregg and Stanton Elementary schools will conduct their own events that day with John Gregg holding a breakfast and assembly with veterans beginning at 8:30 a.m. The program itself begins after 9 a.m. in the gym and will include music and speakers. Officials said it is a school-only event.

   Stanton Elementary will hold its assembly at 2:30 p.m. in the auditorium featuring coloring and essay contest winners, poetry, readings, patriotic music, a PowerPoint presentation honoring vets and active military personnel and fourth-graders presenting veterans with cards of gratitude. It is organized by sixth-grade teacher Maryann Hoobler and is open to the public.

Oktoberfest Contest Winners
Posted 11/1/2019 at 12:02:03 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Oktoberfest Contest Winner

Rain did not dampen the spirits of those who attended the Edison Local School District’s ninth annual Oktoberfest celebration on Oct. 26, which drew 200 students and parents to Edison High School for some frighteningly good fun. Attendants enjoyed free food, candy stations, inflatables and even a costume contest. Winners included, from left, Kayden Chase and Lela Sudvary, cutest; Kane Kuntz, scariest; Mimi Ault, funniest; and Emma Hoobler, most original.

Career Expos Slated at Edison Local Schools
Posted 11/1/2019 at 9:07:31 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND-Edison Local Schools students are getting a jump on their futures by taking part in a series of career fairs in November.

   Leah Eft, district career pathways coach, said local experts will attend Career Expos at Edison High School and John Gregg and Stanton Elementary schools on Nov. 13-14 and talk with students about their chosen professions. In all, nearly 500 pupils in grades 5-8 will participate in the activities.

   Local business or organizational officials will be on hand at John Gregg Elementary Nov. 13 from roughly 9 a.m. to noon in the school gym, where they will man stations and speak to fifth- and sixth-graders about careers of interest. Among those expecting to attend are representatives for such trades as plumbing and pipefitting, carpentry, ironworkers, medial assisting with nursing and dental with radiology, plus military recruiters and law enforcement. Eft said activities will then move on to EHS where the same officials will visit classrooms from 12:30-3 p.m. and students will rotate among the rooms to hear the nine career exposure lessons.

   Stanton’s event will be held Nov. 14 from 9-11 a.m. in the school gym and presentations will be held for fifth- and sixth-grade classes. Local businesses and organizations will man stations in a job fair-format and students will be led to tables based upon their own career interests. Those attending include representatives for the plumbers, pipefitters, ironworkers and carpenters’ trades, military recruitment, IT technology and law enforcement. During their sessions, professionals may also touch upon important soft skills needed to perform jobs such as drug-free lifestyles, reliability, work ethic, punctuality, teamwork and collaboration. 

   As part of her duties, Eft intends to carry out the district’s vision to have graduates enrolled in college, enlisted in the military and employed in the workforce. The goal is to involve grades 5-12 and have each senior connected to one or more of the categories each year. Eft said it gives kids a purpose in career planning and to be prepared with college and career readiness.

   Tiffany Moses, guidance counselor at John Gregg, said the format corresponds with her observance of monthly events. November’s theme is “Navigating Our Future” and students will also take part in Career Week activities following the district’s vision of “Enrolled, Enlisted and Employed.” Pupils will don patriotic colors and camouflage for Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11; collegiate-themed clothing on Nov. 12; camouflage and military branch-themed attire on Nov. 13; career-centered clothing on Nov. 14; and Edison gear to rally for the football team on Nov. 15.

   “Every fifth- and sixth-grade student created an Ohio Means Jobs account and will do activities with that this year,” Moses added. “We hope to build on [the Career Expo] every year.”

John Gregg Literacy Night Oct. 29
Posted 10/25/2019 at 1:05:27 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BERGHOLZ-John Gregg Elementary School’s third annual K-3 Family Literacy Night will be an evening under the big top with a circus-themed event.

   Festivities will be held on Oct. 29 from 6-7:30 p.m. and will include fun, food and family-oriented activities befitting the younger students. Organizers Angela Smith and Kathy Stewart, who are Title I teachers at the school, said various stations will be available that are all geared towards reading.

   “The theme is ‘Reading Under the Big Top’ and it really goes along with early literacy, plus it goes hand-in-hand with what we’ve been taught through Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) training,” said Smith. “It’s an opportunity to share early literacy with families and we will show them how they can help their child with learning. We try to pick a theme that’s fun and interesting for kids.”

   Stewart added that reading games will be on hand as well as a puppet theater, plus retired Edison Local teacher Dr. Connie Crawford will showcase her juggling talents and add some more fun. Additionally, the school PTO will offer a book fair in the library and distribute free books in line with the circus theme. Other activities include scooter races, basketball and a balance beam to promote physical activity while free hot dogs, cotton candy and other carnival foods will be served that evening. Officials noted that upwards of 120 people have attended previous venues and they hope for another strong turnout.

 “The idea is if we make reading fun, the kids will want to read,” said Stewart.

   Smith noted that prior literacy events have spurred an increase in sales during the school book fair, which will continue throughout the week.

Edison FFA Hosting Veteran’s Day Breakfast
Posted 10/25/2019 at 1:02:27 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND-The Edison High School FFA will host its second annual Veteran’s Day Breakfast on Nov. 9 from 8-11 a.m. in the high school cafeteria. Local veterans and their families are invited to dine for free but donations will be accepted. FFA members will cook up a full feast of eggs, pancakes, sausage and fruit salad to show their appreciation to military veterans for their service while it is also a community service project for the school organization.

Edison FFA Member Third in State Contest
Posted 10/25/2019 at 1:00:01 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND- The Edison High School FFA headed to the state competition on Oct. 12 where one of its members placed third within the individual contests.

   More than 200 high school students and 40 teams representing FFA organizations across Ohio took part in Columbus and Edison FFA member Hayden Johnson ranked third in the individual ag soils contest. He received a plaque after evaluating soils by their characteristics and determining their land use. Johnson earned his spot at the state competition after winning first place in the District 8 event in September, plus he and fellow EHS students Dylan Leasure, Alexis Dawson, Mackenzie Reynolds and Delaney Johnson also participated in the team soils contest after earning second place at the district event.

Edison Band, Red Cross Team up for Blood Drive
Posted 10/25/2019 at 12:58:40 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND-The Edison High School Marching Band will host the first of two biannual blood drives on Nov. 22.

   The band is teaming up with the American Red Cross and school and community members may attend from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the high school gym. Band Director Marc Sansone said his students will man various stations and guide donors through the process while Red Cross medical personnel will coordinate the actual collection.

   “Our goal is usually around 35 units,” he said, adding that it was part of the Red Cross’s Thanks for Giving campaign commemorate the holiday season.

    Donors may download the app from the American Red Cross website and utilize the Rapid Pass to save time on registering at the high school. Walk-ins are also accepted and donors must be at least 16 years old and in good health to participate. A second blood drive will be coordinated in the spring and Sansone said the events are a community service, while the Red Cross will provide scholarships to a graduating member. A $1,000 contribution was previously given to benefit three students, with one $500 award and two $250 scholarships presented to seniors.

   For more information, go online to www.redcross.org or email marc.sansone@edisonwildcats.org.

Additional Wellness Resources Available at Edison
Posted 10/18/2019 at 11:21:32 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

HAMMONDSVILLE-Students in the Edison Local School District will receive even more help when it comes to wellness and success.


   During the Oct. 17 regular school board meeting, officials approved an agreement with The Village Network for mental health services and a family engagement specialist will be hired through the counseling agency to provide extra resources. Superintendent Bill Beattie said The Village Network currently has two counselors in the district five days a week and the new specialist should be on board by the end of October.


  “We hope to have the family engagement specialist start by Oct. 28. He will be in the district full-time and his role is to be a liaison between the school and families to help them provide resources they may not be able to obtain. We have a full-time counselor in the district who provides individual and small group sessions and we have another who provides day treatment and one-on-one counseling for three hours, five days a week. The family engagement specialist will pull it all together.”


    The program is tied into more than $383,000 the district received through the Ohio Department of Education under Ohio House Bill 166. State legislators passed the bill this past July to provide $675 million for districts to help support students’ academic achievement through mental health counseling, wraparound services, mentoring and after-school programs. It is all part of the ODE’s “Each Child, Our Future” strategic plan to ensure each student is challenged, prepared and empowered for his or her future by way of an excellent grade PreK-12 education. The concept is to meet the needs of the whole child, be they physical, social, emotional and intellectual.


   Funds were disbursed to a city, local or exempted village school district, a joint vocational district, community school or STEM school to promote any or a combination of the following initiatives: mental health services, services for homeless youth; services for involved youth; community liaisons; physical health care services; mentoring programs; family engagement and support services; city connects programming; professional development regarding trauma informed care; professional development regarding cultural competence; students services prior to or after a regularly scheduled school day or any time school is not in session. Beattie said the amount should increase next year to nearly $560,000 and the partnership with The Village Network fulfills one portion of the plan with the addition of the family engagement specialist while the district is also acquiring telepsychiatry equipment in the school setting to save parents from traveling or inability to get to the agency’s location.


    In other matters, the board:

--Approved Joshua Fordham, Haley Richardson, Mark Kovalcik, Shawn Scott and Alexis Sheets on the substitute teacher list;

--Approved supplemental contracts for Lucas Spencer, head wrestling; Jeb Banovsky, assistant wrestling; Sara McGee, seventh grade girls’ basketball; Byron Bufkin, seventh grade boys’ basketball; Madison Richards, eighth grade girls’ basketball; Zach Smith, volunteer swimming; and Ron Smyth, volunteer girls’ varsity basketball;

--Accepted resignations for retirement from administrative secretary Brenda Powley, effective Jan. 1, 2020; teacher Debra Bickar effective at the end of the school year; and parapro Sue Polen, effective June 1, 2020;

--Hired Nicole Herrmann as a tutor for Edison students attending Bishop John Mussio and utilizing Title I funds;

--Approved additions to the classified list including Amber Decker as aide/cook and Amanda Hayes as aide/cook/custodian/NBC/secretary;

--Hired Christina Carson as an aide at Stanton Elementary;

--Accepted resignations from swimming coach Zach Smith and bus driver Holly Boyuk;

--Approved an overnight trip for the Edison FFA to attend the national convention from Oct. 30-Nov. 1;

--Set the next meeting for Nov. 21, 2019 at Edison High School at 7:00 p.m.

Stanton Hosting Lunch with Law Enforcement on Oct. 24
Posted 10/18/2019 at 10:15:48 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Lunch with Law Enforcement

HAMMONDSVILLE-Local law enforcement will take time out to break bread with students as Stanton Elementary School hosts its second annual Lunch with Law Enforcement fete on Oct. 24.

   School Resource Officer Liz McCall, who also serves with the Saline Township Police Department, said the event will begin at 10:30 a.m. and safety forces will dine with each grade during their lunch period. The luncheon was organized with the school PTO and Officer McCall said more than a dozen area police officers and sheriff’s deputies are planning to attend.

   “Any local police department is invited. Last year, we had 12 officers and expect about 15 this year,” she added. “This is to get the kids familiar with law enforcement. They see me every day and know me, but it’s helpful for them to know other officers if there is an emergency. I think it breeds a good rapport between kids in the community and the police departments.”

   Attendants invited represent the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and East Liverpool, Steubenville, Toronto, Saline Twp. and Belmont Police Departments. Officer McCall added that police personnel appreciate the support and look forward to the event.

   “The officers like being able to talk to the kids. Last year, we were able to read a couple of stories in classrooms,” she noted, saying this time the cops may interact with youngsters during lunch and recess.

  Some of the classes also got creative and crafted pictures of police officers to thank them for their service, while a few students said they hoped to join the force when they were older.

 “I’m going to be a police officer when I grow up,” said first-grader Kierra Hazeltine.

 “I’m going to also,” added classmate Brayden Chapman. “[I want] to stop people from being bad.”

   Fellow first-grader Draven Adams also sees himself wearing a badge one day, and what does he think is the best part of being a police officer?

   “Eating doughnuts and arresting people,” he replied.

(Photo Cutline: Brayden Chapman, a first-grade student at Stanton Elementary, completes his artwork in time for Lunch with Law Enforcement, which is set for Oct. 24. More than a dozen area police and sheriff’s officials will spend time interacting with students at lunch and recess as part of the second annual event that was coordinated by School Resource Officer Liz McCall and the Stanton PTO.)

Curtains Up
Posted 10/18/2019 at 10:12:32 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Curtains

A crew from Pittsburgh Stage and Curtain installed new curtains in the auditoriums at Edison High School and Stanton and John Gregg Elementary schools as part of the latest upgrades within the Edison Local School District. The project cost an estimated $54,236 and took about a week to complete.

Edison Focusing on Career Pathways
Posted 10/16/2019 at 9:04:43 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Career Pathways

RICHMOND-The Edison Local School District is setting its sights on preparing students for the future by promoting career pathways.

   The district’s vision centers on the three E’s –enroll, enlist and employ—and officials hope to have each senior connected to one or more of the categories each year. To help see it through, longtime Edison High School Guidance Counselor Leah Eft now serves as the district’s career pathways coach and will work closely with all three school buildings to coordinate activity. Eft kicked off her program in September by addressing freshman English classes at EHS, but she also visits Stanton and John Gregg Elementary Schools to reach the younger crowd. She divides her time between John Gregg on Mondays, EHS on Tuesday through Thursday and Stanton on Fridays and her goal is to get students interested in enrolling in college, enlisting in the military or employed in the workforce and also encourages teachers to start such conversations with their pupils.

   “This year, my focus is going to be grades 5-12 and each year I will add something,” she said. “My goal is to work with approximately 960 students—or 120 students per class. It gives kids a purpose in career planning and to be prepared with college and career readiness.”

   Professional skills will be implemented at each school so students are more employable and have better chances of obtaining jobs upon graduation. Students will also have an Ohio Means Jobs backpack and a binder portfolio kept by the schools, so by the time they graduate the will have a career interest inventory, some ideas toward a living wage, pathways to reach gainful employment and other details. Eft’s initial talk with the English classes was to register students and also perform a career inventory which incorporates pathways, budget planning, organizing and updating potential job information, college searches and resume writing. She plans to target job searches for sophomores, budget and lifestyle planning for juniors and resume building for seniors along with a personality inventory for junior and senior high students.

   Eft said it was essential for students to learn the 15 professional skills from work ethic and team work to professionalism and punctuality.

   “This can make you more career-ready and it looks good on transcripts and shows employers you are prepared. There’s a huge push in the state and a lot of graduation requirements are leaning towards career readiness,” she added.

   The new requirements currently affect EHS freshmen and would help them meet all course completion and credits to graduate. Requirements for the class of 2020 include having three pathways, modified additional requirements or permanent requirements, but that is reduced for the classes of ’21 and ’22 to three pathways or permanent requirements. For classes of 2023 and beyond, they must only meet the permanent requirements. 

    Meanwhile, Eft will reach out to the fifth- and sixth-grade classes to give them a start on the career pathway.

   “At the elementary level, I am working in conjunction with the school counselors to implement classroom lessons on career readiness and essential soft skills.  At the high school level, I am working on the Ohio Means Jobs Readiness Seal to be on each student's transcript and essential/soft skills throughout the district.  Some other things I am currently working on is a yearly calendar for the district, a senior day in partnership with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in which seniors get the opportunity to network intimately with local businesses, college and career application days, a career expo for grades 5-8 in partnership with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center and career tech program, and a reality/lifestyle day for our freshmen and/or sophomores,” she said.

   Eft is looking for teachers who are willing to focus on an essential or soft skill throughout the year in their classrooms and send information on their career readiness focus for the year. Another goal is to mark Career Week on Nov. 11-15 an incorporate a career expo at each school for grades 5-8.

(Photo Cutline: Leah Eft, career tech coach for Edison Local Schools, assists high school student Isabella Wade with her Ohio Means Jobs backpack to determine potential career interests. Eft kicked off her program in September and plans to work with students in grades 5-12 to get them focused on enrolling in college, enlisting in the military or gaining employment after graduation.)

Stanton Reading Program Incorporates All Subjects
Posted 10/11/2019 at 1:40:03 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Book of the Month

HAMMONDSVILLE- Stanton Elementary has implemented a school-wide reading program which spans across grade levels and class subjects.

   Students are immersing themselves in “How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin,” a seasonal story included in a new Book of the Month initiative, but the theme also carries into math, social studies and other school subjects. Principal Shannah Scotch said she utilized the concept while serving as a school improvement specialist in Florida and believed it could be useful at Stanton.

   “I was discussing the concept with the intervention team and a Title I teacher here at Stanton and they thought it would be a fun idea,” she said. “We then presented the idea to the building leadership team and they thought it was great and even added more ideas.”

    She said the purpose was for students to understand that all teachers and educational professionals are reading teachers, and regardless of the content area being taught every teacher is a reading teacher and reading can be fun.

   “This month’s book has a math theme, whereby it’s a children’s literature book about counting while also teaching life skills through literature. The smallest boy in the class learns an important lesson about size, which incorporates self-esteem into a math lesson,” Scotch added. “The moral of the story is that small things can have a lot going on inside of them. Activities about the book will be integrated into all classes, everything from school guidance to math and social studies, music and even physical education to bring the beauty and richness of literature to life across all disciplines, ages and classrooms.”

   Intervention specialists Lynsey Morrison and Makayla Tice are spearheading the program and said they hope to provide a new book each month for students to read and teachers to include in their respective lessons.

   “Every child in the whole school is going to read the book and teachers in all subject areas and grades will come up with activities based on the book,” Morrison said. “We are going to get pumpkins and kids will guess the number of seeds, plus we will do Pumpkin-grams and they can give one to someone for being a good friend.”

   Tice enjoyed the idea of including the entire school because every student is hearing the same story and talking about it within the school, which also builds a sense of community.

   “The students are excited. They have so much curiosity as to what activities will be taking place with the book,” she said. “They are looking forward to hearing the book of the month and participating in the activities.”

    Activities include identifying parts of a pumpkin to creating stories about visiting a pumpkin patch, while the pumpkin-grams concept is based upon Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) initiatives at Stanton. The school procured the first set of books and the teachers have applied for a Jefferson County Educational Service Center Best Practice Grant to purchase more literature.

    “The purpose of this project is to promote literacy through a read-aloud method to all students within the school. It can also be used to provide teachers with a supplemental book that is themed and they can build upon using the standards they are covering in class during each month. The whole purpose is to build literacy and community within the school through a whole school initiative.”

(Photo: Stanton Elementary students are gearing up for a new reading program that crosses all subject areas. Each month, they will read a different story while themed activities are conducted in math, science and other classes. Pictured with their books are, from left, Layla Zullo, Sophie Bowman, Taylor Westfall, Landon Perry, and Wyatt Speaker.)

Community Meetings Set to Discuss Edison Renewal Levy
Posted 10/8/2019 at 10:17:54 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

HAMMONDSVILLE- A series of community meetings will take place this month to discuss Edison Local Schools’ 2.1-mill emergency renewal levy that is on the ballot this November.

   Superintendent Bill Beattie said sessions will be held on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. in the John Gregg Elementary School cafeteria, on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Edison High School auditorium and Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Stanton Elementary auditorium. Plans are to share information about the measure, which would generate about $1,049,150 annually for a term of seven years and help defray costs to centralize sports and school activities at the high school campus.

   “It’s an opportunity for me to meet with the communities of all three schools to present information to them based on what the emergency levy is,” Beattie explained. “We will discuss how long it’s been in place and answer any questions on how we plan to use the funding.”

   The original levy passed in 1994 for daily operations and first collected a year later, and the funds were originally used as necessary additional revenue to handle daily operations. This time, proceeds from the emergency renewal will help centralize facilities for extracurricular activities at the high school. The school’s baseball and softball fields are currently located near Jefferson State Lake and athletes hold track practice and meets plus junior high basketball practice at Stanton. Beattie said having them at the same site not only improves safety for students, but it also adds convenience for parents and is an investment in the district’s future.

   He noted that the project is contingent upon passage of the levy, and if all goes according to plan the district will add a 1,500-seat gym, two ballfields and new parking lots over the next few years. The school board previously hired MS Consultants of Youngstown to establish a program design for future facilities and Beattie said officials would discuss financing and planning if the measure is approved. Once the design is finished, it could take 12-16 months to construct the new gym and possibly six months to complete the ballfields. However, work wraps up this month on the new $500,000 track by Vasco of Massillon.

   Meanwhile, Beattie said officials also wanted to preserve the Homestead Exemption rule for eligible residents and cited a state law passed on Sept. 29, 2013, to eliminate the exemption on any new levies after that date. Taxpayers currently pay 87.5 percent of their bills, but they could be responsible for the full amount if the renewal levy was removed and a new measure was added to the ballot. The school board is also permitted by law to extend the renewal levy’s term to seven years to ensure it will not be back-to-back with the district’s 5.9-mill, five-year operational measure that is already on the books. The operational levy was approved last year to fill a gap left by decreasing tax revenue from First Energy Corp., which announced impending shutdowns of the W.H. Sammis Plant in Stratton as well as other coal-fired facilities in the area. 

   The district is deploying the Mine Plus Nine method to garner support for the emergency renewal levy by asking faculty and staff members to share information with at least nine other people in their communities. Some of the employees may also be on hand at the meetings to endorse the measure.

Edison Touts Kindness during Start with Hello Week
Posted 10/2/2019 at 9:59:36 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
EHS Start with Hello

RICHMOND- Edison High School recently implemented an initiative designed to promote a positive school community.

   Students participated in Start with Hello Week from Sept. 23-27, where they touted inclusion, kindness and a sense of belonging. The program is provided by the Sandy Hook Promise organization, which was formed by the families of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to prevent further gun violence. Guidance counselor Sara McGee said the goal is to remove social isolation and school violence and pupils took part in a themed activity each day.

   “I wanted to get the word out that this school doesn’t tolerate bullying and we should want to make students feel like they belong,” McGee explained. 

   Monday was Hey Day, which encouraged students to say “Hi” to someone new, and McGee said the cheerleaders volunteered to greet students as they entered school in the morning. Tuesday was Pose and Promise Day, where students wrote down reasons why they wanted to participate in Start with Hello Week and posed with their answers for the yearbook. Among the remarks were “to be kind” and “to make someone’s day.” On Wednesday, students wore green to show support and signed pledges to form a giant tree display on the school wall that was created with help from EHS art teacher Sara Cunningham. Thursday was Mix It Up Day, where students sat somewhere new at lunch, in class or on the bus.

 “I loved pulling kids out of their comfort zone to sit with other people,” McGee added. “I was impressed with the number of volunteers and how they were openly making conversation.”

   The week concluded with teachers submitting nominations of students for random acts of kindness they witnessed throughout the activity. The names were entered into a drawing with three winners selected to receive small prizes, including junior Rex Stewart for being kind to a new student; eighth grader Becka Evans for assisting other students in class and asking questions on her group’s behalf; and seventh grader Colleen Miles for volunteering to participate in Mix It Up Day and interacting with new people at lunch. Additionally, English teachers encouraged their students to reflect upon the importance of Start with Hello Week and a winning entry was chosen to receive a prize. That recipient was seventh grader Kylee Leishman, who wrote about the importance of helping others feel included and make new friends.

   "Someone can turn out to be your best friend by just starting with hello,” she wrote. “Make them feel happy and included. It is a great way to make new friends. "

   “I am so proud of the way our school participated in Start with Hello Week,” McGee continued. “Our students are proud of the school community they have built at Edison, naming us a Wildcat family.”

    She plans to promote Say Something Week in March, another Sandy Hook Promise initiative to report issues and prevent bullying so kids feel safer at school.

(Photo Cutline: Edison High School students participated in Start with Hello Week, an initiative through the Sandy Hook Promise organization, to raise awareness about inclusivity and kindness in school. Pictured are participants, at bottom, Kaden Wayt. Middle: Karissa Speedy, Allyson Marker, Hailey Yoho and Gracie Phillips. Top: Madeline Whitehill and Grayce Andreozzi.)

Edison Obtains State Funds for Student Wellness, Success
Posted 10/2/2019 at 9:52:29 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

HAMMONDSVILLE-Edison Local Schools is among districts across Ohio gaining state funds to improve student wellness and success.

   The district was earmarked more than $380,000 through money administered by the Ohio Department of Education under Ohio House Bill 166. State legislators passed the bill this past July to provide $675 million for districts to help support students’ academic achievement through mental health counseling, wraparound services, mentoring and after-school programs. It is all part of the ODE’s “Each Child, Our Future” strategic plan to ensure each student is challenged, prepared and empowered for his or her future by way of an excellent grade PreK-12 education. The concept is to meet the needs of the whole child, be they physical, social, emotional and intellectual.

   Funds are being given to a city, local or exempted village school district, a joint vocational district, community school or STEM school to promote any or a combination of the following initiatives: mental health services, services for homeless youth; services for involved youth; community liaisons; physical health care services; mentoring programs; family engagement and support services; city connects programming; professional development regarding trauma informed care; professional development regarding cultural competence; students services prior to or after a regularly scheduled school day or any time school is not in session.

   Edison Local Schools Superintendent Bill Beattie said the monetary figure should increase next year and emphasis will be placed on mental health and families.

 “This year, we’re getting $383,253 and next year we’re getting $559,646,” he explained. “We plan to use it for mental health and family engagement and support.”

   Each participating school district, community school or STEM school also must develop a plan to utilize the funds it receives in coordination with at least one community partner including a board of alcohol, drug and mental services; an educational service center; a county board of developmental disabilities; a community-based mental health treatment provider; a board of health of a city or general health district; a county department of job and family services; a nonprofit organization with experience serving children; or a public hospital agency. At the conclusion of each fiscal year, each school-based recipient shall submit a report to the ODE describing how the funds were spent.

   “Right now, our approach is looking to partner with The Village Network and hire a family engagement specialist to bridge the gap between home and school and provide families with resources they may not have access to,” Beattie added. “We will also offer telepsychiatry in the school setting to save parents from traveling or inability to get to a TVN site.”

   Leaders were still in talks with The Village Network representatives about the possible collaboration, but they have moved forward to procure equipment for the telepsychiatry component and hope to acquire it this month.

EHS Math Students Thinking Outside the Box
Posted 9/25/2019 at 9:51:26 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Math Pilot

RICHMOND—Some Edison High School math students are thinking outside the box as part of a new pilot project though the Ohio Department of Education.

   This year, the Edison Local School District began implementing the Mathematics Modeling and Reasoning Course Pilot Project, a college-level math review program that is open to juniors and seniors. Six other school districts have already enacted the program and Edison got involved as a way to enhance the math curriculum and offer more challenging learning opportunities. It involves a blend of rural and urban schools and also helps Edison move closer to its goal of building on math education. Under the concept, students gain higher level thinking, which benefits them if they plan to attend college, and it is designed to help reinforce algebra, statistics, probability and geometry and emphasize reasoning and problem-solving skills. EHS math teacher Jessica McCallister was recruited to instruct the class and completed a four-day training session this summer in Columbus to prepare. The state DOE will collect data on the program while McCallister will have online sessions with other teachers to discuss progress and challenges they may face along the way.

   The district applied to participate late last year and was accepted around January, while students must have already completed Algebra and geometry classes to take the course. McCallister said students regularly work in groups and she essentially acts as a facilitator, plus the format helps meet the school district’s strategic goal for collaboration.

 “There are approximately 40 teachers doing this,” she added. “The idea behind this is to give the kids a concept so they are doing some kind of task, then I decide what type of lesson they will do. I’m not sure they realize that they are doing math.”

  One project had students creating a professional budget proposal to renovate her classroom. The students had to take measurements and complete math conversions for their plans and each group made a formal presentation in class.

   “They asked a lot of good questions and the groups had tasks, took measurements and had to do research,” she said.

   A few of the pupils agreed that they were learning a lot through the concept.

   “I think it’s more useful when we do things,” said student Kaysi Holland.

   “I love this class,” added student Austin Hanning. “It teaches me a lot.”

   “This is teaching us to prepare for the real world,” noted classmate Kennadie McElroy.

   McCallister said math teachers created the program and the group works with a higher education coordinator who teaches a course at the college level. Teachers meet regularly to discuss their progress and the goal is to ensure students learn in a more modern way.

   “[The pilot project’s organizers] want us to facilitate this and for students to have a productive struggle so they learn more,” she said.

(Photo Cutline: Edison High School students Austin Hanning, Jadden Vincenzo and Kennadie McElroy, pictured clockwise from left, work on a task for the new Mathematics Modeling and Reasoning Course Pilot Project, a college-level math review program through the Ohio Department of Education that was enacted at EHS and six other school districts to enhance the math curriculum and offer more challenging learning opportunities. Also in the group but not pictured is classmate Noah Woods.)

John Gregg Students Get a Shout Out
Posted 9/25/2019 at 9:31:01 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg Student Shout Out

John Gregg Elementary is spotlighting students who have done good deeds with a special Shout-out board as part of ongoing positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) initiatives. The first 100 students were recognized by having their names posted and three of the pupils were randomly selected to win prizes. Pictured are kindergartener Lincoln Cooper with first-grader Adalynn Swearingen and sixth-grader Andalyn McConnaughy.

Aiming High at John Gregg
Posted 9/25/2019 at 9:27:55 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg Aiming High

The Family Recovery Center of Steubenville introduced its Aiming High program to fifth- and sixth-graders at John Gregg Elementary by kicking off a four-week series on good decisions and peer pressure. Michelle Paulowski, prevention educator for FRC, is facilitating the course and is pictured leading sixth-graders in an exercise.

Barker Earns National Honor
Posted 9/25/2019 at 9:24:44 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Dylan Barker

RICHMOND-The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) has selected Edison High School student Dylan Barker to become a member of the esteemed organization. 

    Barker, the son of Howard and Brooke Barker of Bloomingdale, is a freshman at EHS and has been a member of the school’s Jr. Beta Club.

   The Society recognizes top scholars who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community involvement. The announcement was made by NSHSS Founder and Chairman Claes Nobel, senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes.

   “On behalf of NSHSS, I am honored to recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Dylan has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence,” said Nobel. “Dylan is now a member of a unique community of scholars—a community that represents our very best hope for the future.”

   “We are proud to provide lifetime membership to young scholars to support their growth and development,” stated NSHSS President James W. Lewis. “We aim to help students like Dylan build on their academic success by connecting them with uniqud learning experiences and resources to help prepare them for college and meaningful careers.”

 NSHS members automatically become lifetime members at the time of their initial membership. At each step along the way—from high school to college to career—NSHSS connects outstanding young scholars with the resources they need to develop their strengths and pursue their passions.

   Formed in 2002, the National Society of High School Scholars recognizes academic excellence at the high school level and helps to advance the goals and aspirations of high-achieving students through unique learning experiences, scholarships, internships, international study and peer networks. Currently there are more than 1,500,000 Society members in over 170 countries. For more information about NSHSS, visit the website at www.nshss.org.

Tearin’ Up the Turf Benefits Uniforms
Posted 9/4/2019 at 1:32:24 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

RICHMOND-Area marching bands will be making sweet music as at Cartwright Memorial Stadium as Edison High School hosts its 14th annual Tearin’ Up the Turf on Sept. 14, and proceeds will help acquire some much-needed new uniforms.

   This year’s event will be held at 7 p.m. at the stadium, which is located at 9890 State Route 152 in Richmond. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens and children under age 5 are free while parking is by donation.

   EHS Band Director Marc Sansone said students from eight high schools and one university will take to the field to perform halftime show numbers and entertain the crowd.

   “We will be hosting Bellaire, Bridgeport, Oak Glen, Wellsville, Toronto, Thomas Jefferson [in Pennsylvania], Shadyside and West Liberty University,” he added, saying it marked the first time for Shadyside to appear. “It’s officially known as a festival and we’ll have T-shirts, concessions and Candygrams you can send to a band member. Each band will have an opportunity to perform 10-to-15-minute halftime shows and get a participation award in the end. It’s from 7-9 p.m., rain or shine.”

   This year’s proceeds will help purchase new uniforms for Edison band members and replace current attire that is a quarter of a century old. 

 “We are halfway through the goal and need about $30,000, but that’s only for jackets,” he added. “The process to get uniforms takes about six months and we are looking at designs.”

   The band boosters organization has generated funds through two sportsman’s bash events as well as band shows and the fundraising has been a five-year process. Sansone continued that donations are also being accepted from the public and checks may be made payable to the Edison High School Band Boosters and sent to the school. Hopes are to have the new uniforms ordered within the next 18 months from Stanbury Uniforms of Missouri.

   Presently, there are 75 members in the band and Sansone hopes to purchase 100 jackets in various sizes in case of growth spurts or extra members. For more information about donations, contact Sansone by email at Marc.sansone@edisonwildcats.org.

Edison Senior Selected for OMEA All-State Choir
Posted 9/4/2019 at 1:31:02 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Troy Hackathorn

RICHMOND-Edison High School senior Troy Hackathorn was selected to attend the 2020 Ohio Music Education Association’s All-State Choir.

   Hackathorn, the son of Ty and Julie Hackathorn of Amsterdam, will attend the event on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom in Cincinnati. He will be among 160 warblers from across the Buckeye State who will perform on Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. with conductor Dr. Andre Thomas, the Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music Education at Florida State University. Prior to the performance, Hackathorn must attend six hours of regional rehearsals and a mandatory mass rehearsal on Jan. 11 at Otterbein University.

   Participants submitted a recording of their vocals for consideration, and Hackathorn included his warmups to denote range as well as a rendition of “Ride On, King Jesus.” He was elated to take part in the honors choir and represent EHS.

   “I’m excited,” he said. “A lot of hard work went into it.” 

   He has been a member of the school A cappella choir for the past five years and has participated in school musicals including “The Wedding Singer,” “Hello, My Baby” and “Annie.” Additionally, he has appeared in OMEA solo and ensemble contests, area talent contests and is a member of the school’s National Beta Club.

   Dani Carroll, director of vocal music at EHS, was proud to see Hackathorn selected.

   “This is quite an honor. We haven’t had anyone audition since 2012,” Carroll commented.

Edison Schools to Host Open Houses
Posted 9/4/2019 at 1:27:37 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

HAMMONDSVILLE-Edison Local Schools will host open houses on Sept. 10 to showcase facilities to students’ families.

    Events will be held from 4:30-730 p.m. at Stanton Elementary in Hammondsville, John Gregg Elementary in Bergholz and Edison High School in Richmond and attendants can learn what each building has to offer.

   Stanton Elementary Principal Shannah Scotch said students and their families will have a casual evening of visiting classes and meeting with the teachers, while John Gregg. Principal Tammy Burchfield noted that her school will include booths in the gym featuring different topics.

   “The theme is ‘It’s All About the Kids’ and we will have someone talk about bullying,” Burchfield said. “We will also have booths for voter registration, family fitness, Destination Imagination, literacy, coping skills and other subjects.”

 Like Stanton, she said parents will have a chance to visit classrooms and meet their child’s teacher while also finding out what students are learning.

    EHS Principal Matt Morrison said the open house provided an opportunity for families to become acclimated with the junior-senior high facility and staff.

  “It’s open for classroom visits and they can come and see the teachers,” he said. “We encourage everybody to come.”

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