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Edison Looking to Add Unified Sports
Posted 2/20/2024 at 11:15:35 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
HAMMONDSVILLE-Students with disabilities will have a chance to take part in athletic events as Edison Local School District looks to add unified sports teams.
      District leaders made the announcement during the regular school board session at Stanton Elementary School on Feb. 15, saying they were working with officials and planning to recruit players. Unified sports combine individualized education plan (IEP) students interacting with general education pupils in blended teams for various sporting events. Plans are to offer flag football, basketball and cornhole/kickball starting in the fall, but there is a chance of having a track team ready for this spring.
   Superintendent Bill Beattie said interest was building in many Jefferson County schools and district Director of Special Education Jamie Angelini and elementary sports coordinator Jason Ensinger would serve as co-advisors with the Edison High School Youth Leadership Council acting as mentors. 
   “We will be a Unified Champion School,” Beattie commented. “We are in the process of getting this finalized and a group of students will be attending a leadership summit at Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities.”
   The district is working with Unified Champion Schools, which is part of Special Olympics Ohio, and Steve Forte of the Jefferson County Special Olympics and JCBDD, to get the ball rolling.
   “It is still in the works but we hope to get it up and running,” Beattie added.
   In other business, the school board approved a $198,000 contract to complete a roofing project at John Gregg Elementary.  Officials entered into a deal with Triangle Roofing, Inc., of Pittsburgh to oversee the work, which involves replacing a section over the gym and cafeteria. Beattie said core sample testing in November resulted in the need for a new topper and once it is finished, all of the school’s roofing work will be complete.
    Under personnel matters, the board approved substitute teachers Katisha Beckwith, Shannon Bahen, Emily Berry, Michael McIntyre and Stephanie Nelson;  accepted the resignations of Dawn Cable as assistant varsity track coach, Jamie Evans as volunteer track coach and Faith Hoobler as junior high track coach and accepted supplemental contracts for Hoobler as assistant track coach, Evans and Ryan Sronce as junior high track coaches and Cable as volunteer track coach; non-renewed the contracts of teachers Ellen Swickard and Jackie Harris and bus drivers Donna Roberts and Frank Martin, all effective May 31, as retired-rehired personnel; employed Dusty Grimm as a full-time substitute bus driver; and accepted the resignation of Spanish teacher Angela Arbogast, effective May 31.
   Among other matters, the board:
--Heard a report from Stanton Elementary student representative Jaxon Sciance, who said a new student council was formed by Principal Kody Peterson and included nine members from grades 3-6. The council meets every other week to address concerns or suggestions to improve the school and Sciance brought forth several ideas for the school board to ponder. Among them were having more school dances during the school year and adding extra recess time for fifth-and sixth-graders. He said they currently have recess on Fridays and suggested adding one or two more days per week;                            
--Learned from Beattie that a new Wall of Fame kiosk will be installed at the Edison Fieldhouse featuring team photos, yearbooks, athletic records and other memorabilia and more information will be sought to add to the display for the school’s 30th anniversary. Officials may be seeking items from former buildings Jefferson Union, Stanton, Springfield, Edison North and Edison South sometime in the fall;
--Continued the district’s membership with the OHSAA for the 2024-25 school year;
--Approved a calendar for the 2024-25 school year;
--Approved overnight trips for the EHS swim team to Ohio University on Feb. 15-16 and the marching band to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge on April 4-6 and the FFA to Columbus on May 2-3;
--Approved a dual credit memorandum of understanding with Eastern Gateway Community College for the 2024-25 school year.
--Set the next meeting for March 21 at 7 p.m. at EHS.
It's Magic!
Posted 2/13/2024 at 7:13:04 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Magic
Preschoolers at Stanton Elementary were delighted by New Jersey-based comedy hypnotist and magician Steven Michaels, who left the little ones spellbound during his performance on Feb. 9. The presentation was sponsored by Movin and Groovin Productions of Toronto and was held for kids aged 3-5. Michaels is pictured performing a napkin trick with volunteers Ava Gunn, Grant Kuntz and Fiona Tingler.
Toshiba Grant Supports STEAM Learning
Posted 2/13/2024 at 7:04:54 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg Toshiba
BERGHOLZ-A nearly $4,000 grant from the Toshiba America Foundation is supporting the concept of STEAM learning at John Gregg Elementary School.
    Teachers Kelly Dopp and Brooke Barker received a $3,395 allocation for “A Circus of Circuits,” a mobile art project that will get underway in April. It is a sixth-grade science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) collaborative which combines artwork and moving pieces and in the style of innovative artist Alexander Calder, who is best known for developing the idea of mobiles as kinetic, or moving, sculpture with the circus as his focal point.
    Dopp, who teaches art, and Barker, who instructs computers, are joining efforts to compare Calder’s use of movement in paintings with his use of movement in mechanical or motorized circus sculptures. Fifty-eight students will study simple electrical circuits and learn how electrical forms of energy can be transferred to other forms, such as light, heat, sound and motion. They will then explore circuits through the My STEM Deluxe Circuit Pack and use the engineering design process. Toshiba’s contribution will be used to acquire the circuit pack, Teknikio Makerspace Kit and paper circuit kits which include e-textiles, heat-sensing devices, embroidery lights, blinking lights and more. The students will evaluate how well their electric circuits showed movement and represented the circus, and finally they will create a Google Slides presentation of their circuit’s completion.
    “We’re going to research the famous artist who did kinetic sculpture and the students will learn how to wire circuits. We will use the Makerspace and circuit kits and the students will design a circus setting. It’s going to be art with technology applied and they must move or light up in some way,” Dopp added. “We will start the project around April.”
     It was the first time she applied for the grant and Dopp said everyone was excited to be chosen.
    “The district was working on a grant-writing committee and this was the first one I wrote. Mrs. Barker and I wanted to find a way to do a collaborative project that involved art and something STEM-based, and using circuits seemed to be a great way to incorporate it.”
    Barker noted that the project stemmed from activities in the school’s enrichment program.
    “When we took over the enrichment program, we realized how much the kids enjoyed the snap circuits. We have Fun Fridays and do activities and the snap circuits were popular,” she explained. “They made simple circuits and it triggered interest, so we said, ‘Let’s see if we can spark something in the kids in case they want to make a career moving forward.’”
    Barker was overwhelmed to receive the grant and said it will be a tremendous benefit.
    “We’re just a small school in rural Jefferson County, Ohio. I think it’s an awesome opportunity for the kids and I’m glad Toshiba is funding this.”
     John Gregg Principal Tammy Burchfield applauded the teachers for their forward thinking and said they work hard to inspire the kids.
   “The teachers are always trying to find more creative and relevant projects for our kids to be a part of,” Burchfield continued. “They always sacrifice their time for the kids and plan for hours, and it’s all for the benefit of our students. John Gregg is blessed to have them and we cannot wait to see the results.”
    Matt Specht, account representative for Toshiba in Canton, was equally thrilled to see the fruits of the children’s plans become a reality.
    “One of the things we love to do is give back to the community, so we when come and hear what they are doing it’s amazing,” he said.
   The Toshiba America Foundation’s grants fund projects designed by individual classroom teachers. Teachers are able to change the way they teach STEM subjects because the grant supports equipment for hands-on experiments and inquiry-based approaches to the curriculum. TAF was founded in 19909 with support from the Toshiba Corporation and the Toshiba America Group Companies and helps teachers make STEM learning fun and successful for grades K-12 in schools across the U.S. For more information, visit www.toshiba.com/taf.

(Photo Caption: John Gregg Elementary School received nearly $4,000 from the Toshiba America Foundation to support a unique STEAM collaboration between art and computers. Sixth-grade students will design a moving sculpture depicting a circus scene based upon the works of famed artist Alexander Calder. Pictured are Matt Specht, account executive with Toshiba in Canton with art teacher Kelly Dopp, computer teacher Brooke Barker and school Principal Tammy Burchfield.)
John Gregg Art Show Featuring Entrepreneur’s Market
Posted 2/13/2024 at 6:28:50 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BERGHOLZ-The annual art show at John Gregg Elementary will feature something new this year as enrichment students learn to become entrepreneurs.
    Fifth-and sixth-graders will create and sell original products at the event, which is set for March 14 from 6-7:30 p.m. Art teacher Kelly Dopp, who heads the enrichment program with computer teacher Brooke Barker, said this year’s event will allow patrons to purchase the homemade goods at an entrepreneur’s market.
    “Our enrichment students are going to host an entrepreneur’s market,” she said. “Each student will create the product that they are going to sell. We’re going to determine the number of items to sell.”
   The students are still deciding what their products will be and must craft a logo, business plan and price for the product. Dopp said supplies will be funded through a $660 Jefferson County Educational Service Center Best Practice Grant she received for the project, which is expected to be self-sustaining. She said proceeds from the sales will go back into the fund for next year’s program and any extra profits will be donated to a local charity.
    Dopp continued that the enrichment class has been learning about business and recently hosted local teen Kenzie Everhart, a senior at Edison High School and Jefferson County Joint Vocational School who established her Pleased Pooches dog treat business last year. 
   “We’re trying to encourage [our students] to sell something they are interested and invested in, something they think they has a purpose and would be marketable,” she said. “They will pitch product ideas to their classmates for feedback to determine if they will make it [for the market]. The students are excited about it.”
  In addition, patrons will have a chance to peruse paintings and other artwork created by the school’s estimated 400 pupils in grades PreK-6. Dopp said the evening is themed “Rockets and Robots: Outer Space Art” and will also feature a pop bottle bio display by second-to-fourth-graders, a food truck, and a family make-and-take activity.
    “They can go into a room and make something to take home. It’s an opportunity for parents to make something with their kids,” she continued. 
    The art show drew about 200 participants last year and Dopp anticipates a similar amount this time. Food will be provided by the Rusty Bull of Toronto and items bought at the food truck can be eaten in the cafeteria.
    She noted that the evening intends to bring students and their families together for some learning fun.
    “The purpose is for students to showcase their artistic talent and for parents to see what their kids are doing in their related arts class. I’m a big believer that elementary schools should produce well-rounded kids. We are highlighting their artwork and creativity is important for kids at this stage. We have a lot of artistic kids.”
Drone Course Being Offered at Edison
Posted 11/10/2023 at 10:50:52 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

"Prepared for Tomorrow." This is the mission of the Edison Local School District and is a phrase that is instilled in its students every day.

Juniors and seniors taking part in the drone course at Edison Local High School, are learning the importance of those three words by Derek Gulling, the course’s instructor. The math and engineering teacher explained the drone course provides the opportunity to expose students to the technology used in various career fields. 

“The district has worked hard in recent years to provide its students with the education and experiences necessary to prepare students to be ‘employed, enlisted or enrolled’ in higher education,” he stated. 

Gulling explained the district wants to ensure relevant learning is being taught and students are exposed to opportunities where they can explore careers and learning aligned to careers. 

“By offering this drone course, students are able to apply technology that is used in many different career fields,” he continued. “This course will allow students the opportunity to take the certification exams for FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate and the Small Unmanned Safety Institute Level 1 Certification. The remote pilot certificate enables students to fly drones for commercial purposes, among other benefits. There are many employers that utilize drones for inspection purposes, including power lines and bridge inspections.” 

“The course is currently offered to our 11th and 12th grade students,” Gulling said. “Our initial count is seven students, but we are hoping to expand this number in the years to come, as the interest in flying drones builds.”

Gulling conveyed how his students start off by flying a “learning” drone so they can get used to how to operate it and fly one.

“They then progress to larger and more powerful drones,” he added. “With these drones, students conduct several types of missions in the course. One of their favorite missions is to conduct a 'search and rescue' mission where we hide a CPR dummy somewhere on campus and they must find them within an allotted amount of time.”

“Students have also done missions to photograph buildings and property  mimicking what realtors and property firms might want,” Gulling concluded. “In addition to the 'fun' flights, students become familiar with the regulations and laws surrounding flying drones.”

The students enrolled in the program are looking forward to the time when they can take one or both exams. By having taken this class in high school, they will have a head start in knowing how to operate and fly a drone, and understand how to perform a mission, which can include photography.

Caden Rudy is a student taking the drone course, and commented he was interested in taking this type of class. He said he wanted to learn how to fly drones and became knowledgeable of the laws surrounding drones because he would like to use them in agricultural settings.

 

First graders “work” on new project
Posted 11/3/2023 at 10:10:15 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg workers
BERGHOLZ — Haley Hashbarger is a first-grade teacher at John Gregg Elementary School. This year, she decided to put the children in her classroom to work.
No, she isn't breaking any child labor laws. She is, however, instructing the 6- and 7-year-olds on how to apply for potential employment and explaining why it is important to conduct a proper interview. She has even gone one step further and incorporated jobs into her lesson plan. 
Throughout the summer, Hashbarger went online and researched potential lesson plans for the upcoming school year. Her scrolling ultimately paid off, as she stumbled across a new jobs system that older classes were using. The lesson focused on the requirements one must consider when applying for a job.
She thought this would be a wonderful addition for her first-graders — despite the fact most are 6.
“During the first week of school, we were practicing the jobs to see which they would prefer doing,” Hashbarger explained. Since the first-grade classrooms at Edison Local’s John Gregg have a camping theme, she created jobs centered around that topic. Jobs included camp cleaner, technology helper, lights operator, calendar helper and teacher’s assistant. 
She walked through the process of how the children applied for their desired positions, saying in addition to their application, each was given a form to complete. The form consisted of questions that would be asked of a potential employee, including, “Why would you like this job?” “Why would you be good for the job?” “Do you get up early enough that you could get this job done?” “Would you be able to leave school on time and still get your work done?” 
These scenarios helped the first graders decide what job would suit them best. 
Once the form and application were completed, both the parent and pupil had to sign the form. 
It was then time to begin the interview process.  
“The children all dressed appropriately,” she commented. “I even had a student who wore a bow tie and one little girl wore a pretty dress for her interview. Some of them were really nervous when they came up to my desk. They were just so cute.”
One by one, each boy and girl took their paperwork to the teacher and answered her questions. Hashbarger asked one pupil why he wanted the task of camp cleaner. His reply was, “Because I help my mother at home and I clean up after myself.”
Positions were assigned and the children have been taking their jobs seriously since the start of the year, Hashbarger noted. For the second nine weeks, the first graders were told they would have to apply for different job using the same method as before. However, their teacher informed them if they were really good at their job and no one else wanted to take on the role, they could keep it for another nine weeks. 
“I was thrilled with the idea,” Hashbarger concluded. “And the kids love and enjoy it, too.”
The class has even taken the school’s motto of being respectful and being responsible, and incorporated it into the new job program. 
If asked, they will state, “Be respectful, be responsible and be safe while completing the job.”

Photo Cutline: John Gregg pupils in Haley Hasbarger’s first-grade classroom, are learning how to interview and hold a job within their classroom as part of this year’s new assignment. Enjoy their responsibilities are from left, front, Ariana Hobbs, teacher’s assistant; Billy Ault, technology helper; Lydia Garcia, calendar helper; and Lane Barker, lights operator; and back, Karter Cline, camp cleaner; Beau Barker, teacher’s assistant; and Levi Barker, camp cleaner.
Edison Seeking Operational Levy Renewal
Posted 6/26/2023 at 1:57:56 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
HAMMONDSVILLE-The Edison Local School District is looking to voters to approve the renewal of a 5.9-mill levy this fall to help maintain operations.
 
  School board officials took official action at a recent meeting to place the measure on the Nov. 7 ballot. The current levy has generated more than $2 million annually, but officials finalized figures for the renewal through the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office and district Treasurer Lisa Bruzzese said they were being set at $3 million.
 
      “There will be a 5.9-mill renewal levy back on the ballot in November and we passed the last one back around 2019,” said Superintendent Bill Beattie. “It’s a renewal for operations and there will be no extra cost to voters.”
 
    Voters previously renewed the operational levy to fill a void left by decreasing tax revenue from Harbor Energy, formerly First Energy Corp., in the wake of impending shutdowns of the W.H. Sammis Plant in Stratton as well as other coal-fired facilities in the area.   The levy has brought in an estimated $1.9 million annually and also helps close the $1.6 million financial gap caused by the loss of revenue from the forthcoming closure in July.
 
   Beattie said the district expects to feel a steep impact in the future.
 
  “It’s still looming,” he added. 
 
    The district has also gained some funding from gas and oil pipeline revenue, but leaders said it is not guaranteed and the amount could fluctuate each year.
Saving the Planet
Posted 4/27/2023 at 7:51:33 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JG Earth Day
First-graders at John Gregg Elementary in Bergholz shared ideas to save the planet after learning about Earth Day, which was celebrated on April 21. Students used recycled materials such as egg cartons and plastic milk jugs for their displays and pictured are Brayden McConnell and Brynlee VanFossen with their projects.
John Gregg D.I. Team Going to Global Finals
Posted 4/12/2023 at 9:58:06 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg DI Team to Global Finals
BERGHOLZ-John Gregg Elementary School is celebrating as one of its Destination Imagination teams earned a ticket to the global finals in May.
 
  The team “Us,” which includes sixth-graders Beckett Dopp, Lindsey Howell, Connor Richardson, Daleanee Devore, Olivia Ferguson and Nate Myers and is managed by Amanda Richardson, earned first place during the state contest in Barberton on April 1. Now the students will head to Kansas City, Mo., on May 20-23 to compete among 1,400 teams from around the world. 
 
   “There will be teams from every continent,” said Edison Local School District D.I. Coordinator Kelly Dopp. “For a small, rural school to compete against kids from all over the world, I think it’s very impressive.”
 
   Us took part in the middle-level engineering challenge and created a thrill-ride rollercoaster with a golf ball moving along the tracks while also incorporating a story. The result was “Emotional Rollercoaster,” which included a range of emotions humans feel at a given time. Two members portrayed typical people in the skit while the others represented various feelings, and that ingenuity not only earned them top honors but also a DaVinci Award.
 
   “They earned a rare award,” Dopp continued. “The DaVinci Award is given to teams to honor outstanding creativity.”
 
   Lindsey said the idea struck her to use the theme and her teammates discussed and agreed to utilize it in their project. They worked on the challenge since September and it accounted for 60 percent of their score, but the team also had to quickly complete an instant challenge. Beckett explained that the rollercoaster broke at one point during the timed challenge, but the crew pulled it together and finished with time to spare. Had they surpassed the limit, they would not have advanced to the global competition.
 
   “I am super excited and proud,” said Daleanee. “Every year, we’ve been working harder and harder to get to globals.”
 
   “I am extremely happy,” added Connor. “I’m excited for the long drive.”
 
   “Just one word: Yippee!” exclaimed Lindsey. “There are a lot of ceremonies and festivals all week.”
 
   Beckett, Lindsey, Connor and Nate have been together since the first grade while Daleanee and Olivia joined the team in subsequent years, and each time they kept an eye on the global goal. They first earned first place at regionals as third-graders but COVID prevented them from attending the state event. They returned to regionals again last year as fifth-graders and ranked second at the state contest with their challenge.
 
   “It’s awesome that we can keep going and we can keep doing it the next year,” Beckett added. “I look forward to being in Kansas City.”
 
   “I’m excited about the puzzles, getting to meet the teams and seeing what they are doing for their challenges,” Olivia continued, saying she also anticipated the pin-trading portion of their trip that involved creating a homemade pin and swapping them with the other teams. 
 
   Meanwhile, Dopp was thrilled to see them succeed.
 
  “They decided to come back the next year and go to states. They had a goal to go after and they got it,” she noted.
 
   The team is currently soliciting businesses to raise funds for the trip while a spaghetti dinner, raffle and other ideas are in the works. Us is the first district team to go to the global competition since Edison Local Schools reinstituted Destination Imagination in 2017. Prior to that, no other district team has possibly attended since around 2002.

(Photo Caption: Sixth-graders at John Gregg Elementary School are eagerly awaiting their chance to take part in the Destination Imagination global finals in Kansas City, Mo., this May.  The team known as Us includes Beckett Dopp, Connor Richardson, Daleanee Devore, Nate Myers, Olivia Ferguson and Lindsey Howell and they followed up a first-place finish at the state event in an engineering challenge with a DaVinci Award for creativity. The team will be the first from Edison Local Schools to attend since the district reinstituted the competition in 2017, while no other Edison team has possibly attended since 2002. Pictured are, front from left, Nate Myers and Beckett Dopp. Back: Connor Richardson, Daleanee Devore, Lindsey Howell and Olivia Ferguson.)
Students’ Lesson Goes to the Dogs
Posted 3/21/2023 at 12:27:32 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JOhn Gregg Iditarod
BERGHOLZ-John Gregg Elementary School went to the dogs as second-graders learned all about the Iditarod.
 
   Students in Tiffani Roush and Sarah Mullings’ classes followed the famed trail sled dog race in Alaska for two weeks and incorporated the trek into their curriculum. Roush was inspired by fellow educator Vickie Shaffer, who read the story “Balto” to her class, and decided to carry on the concept with her own pupils. Now in its sixth year, the project has become a favorite among the children.
 
    “We have a story in the second-grade reading book about dogsledding. I read ‘Balto’ to the class and we decided to follow the Iditarod race,” Roush added. “They not only learned the history of the race but we also learned about the race today.”
 
    She and Mullings had the students read and learn spelling and vocabulary words, plus they followed the race online at Iditarod.com. This year’s winner was musher Ryan Redington, whose grandfather was famously known as “The Father of Iditarod.” Students also selected a musher for the class to follow or chose one individually, plus they created biographical reports to know more about them. 
 
    The Iditarod spans nearly 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome, and during even years mushers follow a northern route with odd years spent on a southern route. There are 43 checkpoints to have the dogs reviewed by a veterinarian with a one 24-hour rest stop and an eight-hour rest also required. There were 34 mushers in this year’s event and the final competitor collects the red lantern at the end of the race. This year’s recipient was Jason Mackey, who finished on St. Patrick’s Day.
 
    Roush said the race has delighted the students.
 
    “It’s amazing to see them light up,” she said.
 
    Her pupils agreed and even shared what they have learned.
 
    “The last poster gets the lantern,” said Henry Bernhart.
 
    “Ryan Redington [won],” added Isabel Wood. “It was his first win, and his grandfather was the ‘Father of the Iditarod.’”
 
    “Anna Berington got 22nd place and she raced with her twin sister, Kristy,” added Aria Long.
 
    “It’s fun to see and you have dogs with a musher and they have to lead them to Nome,” said Liam Bennett.
 
    “You have to have at least five dogs to win,” added Annabelle Clutter.
 
    “When you start, you have to start with 12-16 dogs,” commented Tucker Berardinelli.
 
(Photo Caption: Second-graders at John Gregg Elementary got an education in dogsledding after following the Iditarod in Alaska for two weeks. Students selected a musher and learned all about the race, which was also incorporated into their reading, spelling and vocabulary lessons. Pictured are, front from left, Liam Bennett, Henry Bernhart, Aria Long and Sylas Trimmer. Back: Isabel Wood, Kelsie Granatir, Annabelle Clutter and Tucker Berardinelli.)
Stanton Students Learn to Recognize Warning Signs
Posted 3/21/2023 at 9:39:06 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison NAMI at Stanton
HAMMONDSVILLE-Stanton Elementary students are learning to recognize the warning signs of potential suicide and how to get help.
 
    National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Wheeling is visiting area middle and high schools and Family Services Navigator Meghan Elliott led presentations in the fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms at Stanton on March 17. Students learned the significance of the acronym “ACT,” which stands for acknowledge, care and tell.
 
    Officials believe that acknowledging the warning signs of potential suicide, showing the affected person someone cares and telling a trusted adult could make a significant difference. Signs include a change of sleep pattern, lack of interaction with others, loss of concentration, anger or irritability and feelings of helplessness, and those who identify them should seek help. 
 
  Through videos and discussion, students learned that talking to someone about suicide does not make the affected person suicidal; rather, they may feel relieved to open up to others. Depression was also defined as a prolonged sadness which may be compounded by other negative thoughts or feelings, and it may be caused by chemical changes, some possible occurrence or may even run in the family. It can be treated with therapy and medication, and officials said the most important thing is to seek help. Trusted adults to tell may include parents, grandparents, school staff, counselors, coaches, club leaders, religious leaders and even police officers, firefighters or EMT’s. Like physical health, mental health also requires obtaining treatment.
 
   “It is important to take any mention of suicide seriously and to tell a trusted adult right away,” Elliott said.
 
   The presentation also touched on how people may use drugs, alcohol or self-injury to cope, but only seeking treatment can help their condition. Other advice included not ignoring a concern or promising to keep it a secret while those who feel depressed should find positive outlets such as exercise, sports, spending time with friends and family, surrounding oneself with uplifting people, journaling and doing things they enjoy. Social media could also be used for good by staying connected to others and seeking online support groups and resources, although professional help is important to feel better.
 
   Elliott encouraged the students to practice the coping skills regularly so they can use them when needed, then she provided a survey to complete. She noted that more resources were available with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Line or by texting 741741.
 
   Elliott said NAMI has visited schools in Brooke and Ohio counties and the surrounding area to spread the message and the program works with people from grade 5 through adulthood.
 
   “Mental health affects everyone and we’re seeing it affect younger and younger ages. They can look out for warning signs to help themselves and their friends,” she added. 
 
   Stanton Principal Shannah Scotch said the issue impacts children and families and the program was vital to help recognize the signs.
 
    “With this becoming more and more evident, not only in the community but with families, this is important because of the information for kids to be aware of,” Scotch concluded. “Everyone needs to be mindful of the signs to watch for.”
 
   This marked the district’s second presentation on mental health and followed speaker Steve Wize’s visit to Edison High School on March 13. NAMI representatives also attended that event, which was held in conjunction with Mental Fitness of Cranberry, Pa., and the Josh Merriman Foundation.

(Photo Caption: Meghan Elliott, family services navigator for NAMI of Wheeling, led presentations for fifth- and sixth-graders at Stanton Elementary on identifying warning signs for potential suicide and how to get help. She is pictured in a fifth-grade classroom where students learned the importance of the acronym “ACT,” which stands for acknowledge, care and tell.)
Edison Approves Arming Staff
Posted 3/20/2023 at 9:35:33 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-The Edison Local School Board of Education took official action and will now permit armed staff members within its buildings.
 
  During the March 16 regular session at Edison High School, the board approved Superintendent Bill Beattie’s recommendation to authorize certified personnel to convey weapons and follows the recent signing of House Bill 99 with added guidance by Gov. Mike DeWine. Under the code, the personnel are required up to 24 hours of initial school-specific training and up to eight hours of annual requalification to be developed by the Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC).  As part of their training, selected staff would learn response tactics and neutralizing potential threats, among other strategies. Gov. DeWine also emphasized that the bill was not a mandate but at the discretion of local school boards. 
 
   Edison had previously permitted the practice but stopped amid regulation changes, and now the district is resuming its plan once qualified staff regain their certification. Beattie said unnamed staff members were undergoing an eight-hour requalification and recertification training which involved a four-hour class and four-hour training at a shooting range. He must then submit required paperwork to the state for the staff to regain their certification, after which they would be permitted to carry on the premises and help respond during a major incident. School board members also amended the district’s Emergency Management Plan to include those employees.
 
   Beattie said the proximity of first responders was a major motivator in the plan.
 
  “Based on the new requirements, the board reapproved the staff who were trained to carry and made an amendment to the emergency plan. Our next steps are to get those people trained, and then they have to go through eight hours of recertification training to be able to start carrying again,” he commented. “Being a rural school district with little law enforcement support locally and knowing the response time for other law enforcement, it gives us an extra layer of protection.”
 
   In other news, the board:
--Recognized the EHS Cheerleaders for winning first place in the non-tumbling division at the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA) State Cheerleading Championship;
--Approved the superintendent’s resignation for retirement purposes, effective on Aug. 1;
--Accepted the resignations of Nick Howell as assistant baseball coach and Nolan Marcus as volunteer baseball coach. Their roles were switched on the supplemental list with Howell named volunteer coach and Marcus as assistant coach. In addition, Tony Kovalesky was also approved as the Indian League director;
--Heard Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta’s report indicating a potential increase in classroom sizes for career-technical education courses, which include engineering and expanded offerings in biomedical and VoAg;
--Learned the district completed a food service audit with good results and Beattie thanked everyone involved in making Edison compliant under Ohio Department of Education requirements;
--Approved the February financial report and appropriations;
--Set the next meeting for April 20 at 7 p.m. at John Gregg Elementary in Bergholz.
Edison Students Learn about Mental Fitness
Posted 3/15/2023 at 10:13:18 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Mental Fitness Speaker
RICHMOND-It’s okay not to be okay.
 
   That was the lesson Edison Jr./Sr. High School students learned during two assemblies on Monday. Edison was the first district to host the mental health sessions in collaboration with the Josh Merriman Foundation and Mental Fitness of Cranberry, Pa. Speaker Steve Wize, a counselor and motivational trainer with Mental Fitness, said he combined mental health and personal fitness to create his mental fitness mission. The avid athlete also shared how people can overcome adversity by turning negativity into positive action. 
 
   He said people have an average of 60,000 thoughts per day—roughly one per second—and most of them are the same thoughts they had the previous day. Wize noted that one out of six students had a major depressive episode in the past year while one out of three reported persistent sadness. Additionally, one out of five teens have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Despite the severity of teen depression and anxiety, about 20-40 percent of children did not receive any treatment. 
 
   Wize questioned the crowd on how they coped with high school and said there are many stressors teens may endure, such as the demands of life, preparing for the future and social media pressures. He said when they begin to struggle, they should reach out for help, but there were also ways to alter their negative thinking.
 
   “It’s okay not to be okay,” Wize said, adding that youth could approach teachers, coaches, guidance counselors and professionals. “My goal today is to give you practical takeaways. We practice our thinking, and just as we practice, we get better at it.”
 
    Wize cited his “Seven Deadly Phrases” such as “I Can’t,” “I Need,” “Makes Me,” “Should/Shouldn’t,” “Always/Never,” “Have To” and “Happens to Me,” saying people believe they cannot do something or have to look for happiness when they are capable of achieving their goals and finding happiness within themselves.
 
   To make his point, he shared stories of famous and not-so-famous people who changed their outlook and had great accomplishments in life. Among them were professional football player A.J. McCarron, who left the NFL to become an XFL player and found happiness; baseball player Andrew McCutchen, whose initial football injury cost him a college scholarship but led to success with the Pittsburgh Pirates with three consecutive winning seasons; Craig Deitz, a local man born without arms and legs who went on to become a lawyer, speaker and athlete; and tennis icon Serena Williams, who endured racism, health issues and more but became an influential athlete. Wize said Williams inspired a 44-percent increase in Black players between 2019-21 while a record number of Black female players participated in the 2020 U.S. Open.
 
   He continued that 70 percent of people believe they are living the best version of themselves, but eliminating negative beliefs would help everyone accomplish what they are truly capable of.
 
   “When you go through adversity in life, it only makes you stronger if you have the right way of thinking. The world—and high school—is a gym for building your character,” he said. “I want you to reach your full potential.”
 
    He also urged the youth to contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or reach out to teachers, school counselors, coaches and others for support if they are struggling.
 
    Representatives of Josh Merriman Foundation were also on hand providing information and other items to promote awareness. The Wintersville-based organization was named for Josh Merriman, a college student who battled depression and committed suicide five years ago. His parents, Bob and Colleen, and friends have raised funds through an annual golf outing at the Steubenville Country Club to support such causes as concussion awareness, mental health and suicide prevention.
 
   “This is the sixth year for the golf outing and the community has greatly supported it,” said Colleen Merriman. “We partnered with Steve Wize and we’re pleased that Edison was the first school we brought this to. If we can save one life, it’s worth it.”
 
   Edison Superintendent Bill Beattie added that the goal was to reach teens so they can get help when they are struggling.
 
   “We appreciate that the Josh Merriman Foundation, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Wheeling) and Steve Wize with Mental Fitness have come to the district with a message to our students. Hopefully, the presentation will help them deal with the adversity in their lives.”

(Photo Caption: Steve Wize, a counselor and professional speaker with Mental Fitness of Cranberry, Pa., visited Edison High School to discuss the impact of mental fitness and overcoming adversity during two assemblies on Monday. Wize, who is also an athlete, combined mental health and personal fitness to create his mental fitness mission and shared stories and advice to help youth who may be struggling.)
Edison Freshmen Focus of Latest Harvard Study
Posted 3/8/2023 at 3:25:13 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-The Edison Local School District is continuing its partnership with Harvard University and student success by placing emphasis on the freshman class.
 
   The district is currently in its fourth year of collaboration with the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCERN), an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard, with a study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. Edison was recently mentioned in a “District Spotlight” segment of the NCERN newsletter and touted for efforts to improve education.
 
   “Edison Local School District has made their focus on postsecondary readiness a collaborative effort by including their ninth-grade teachers. By using homeroom as a strategic time for their counselors to have their ninth-graders explore various career pathways, they’ve also been able to seamlessly include ninth-grade teachers to help promote discussions with students and create an easy way to follow up with students,” it stated.
 
   The initiative has focused on such areas as building school attendance and college and career readiness, and now officials are setting their sights on helping Edison High School’s estimated 140 ninth-graders achieve their goals, particularly with the district’s vision of the “Three E’s”—enroll, enlist and employ. Career Pathways Specialist Leah Eft and guidance counselor Chandler Hoppel meet with freshmen to view videos and discuss lessons and then provide the data to NCERN.
 
   “Harvard found that the freshman year was the most pivotal year in high school as it relates to academia,” Eft said. “The goal was to work with us in readying the freshmen and talking about the importance of schooling and coursework and connecting it to pathways. We do weekly lessons in homeroom and are now halfway through them.”
 
   The lessons, which are provided through NCERN, pertain to “Sense of Purpose,” “Setting Your Goals,” Enroll, Enlist and Employ” and “Paying for College,” among others, and during the class sessions Eft and Roush show videos and discuss topics related to them, and then the freshmen complete activities and reflective assignments.
   
   “We give the data we receive to Harvard, then we talk with them about our discussions and specific questions we are getting. Harvard provides us with feedback on what’s working or not working and has monthly reviews to get specific information.”
 
   For her part, Hoppel said one of her favorite lessons was when students were quizzed based on their personality, and those responses resulted in suggested career paths.
 
   “It brought up a list of careers, the timeframe it takes [to attain that career] and the pay. The students enjoyed being able to see that and it helps us prepare for our three goals of employed, enlisted and enrolled,” she added. “It helps, especially with freshmen. They have to make decisions on whether to go to the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School next year and get interested in fields. This gives them some perspective that there are more opportunities than college and other careers than what’s in this area.”
 
   Eft noted that she’s seen some positives with the initiative and the partnership with Harvard and NCERN has been beneficial.
 
    “I’m noticing a lot of engagement [among the students]. It means they are involved in what’s going on,” she added. “We talk a lot about them not choosing a career but choosing a cluster. It’s not specific, just more generalized choices,” she said.  “The biggest benefit is giving us the data to see what works. It is a pivotal year and the students will decide as sophomores if they want to stay at the high school or go to [the JVS] and later if they will go to work, college or a military pathway. I think this is important in making sure they make decisions earlier.”
 
   Edison officials also take part in NCERN events in Athens to get the latest information and better serve the students. 
   
   The district is currently in its fourth 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. Eft has also worked closely with EHS, John Gregg Elementary and Stanton Elementary to coordinate activities and get students in grades 5-12 interested their future paths. 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. Edison is among 50 rural schools in Ohio and New York that are part of NCERN and the latest effort will carry the district through the 2023-24 school term.
John Gregg Students are Heart Heroes
Posted 3/7/2023 at 1:10:27 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison John Gregg Heart Challenge
BERGHOLZ-John Gregg Elementary students were the real heroes by raising more than $4,000 for the American Heart Association.
 
   The youth completed their moneymaking mission during the Kids Heart Challenge on Feb. 24 and performed a variety of physical activities in the school gym. Students collected money from friends and family and about 167 first-to-sixth-graders participated in the fitness festivities.
 
   “We raised over $4,000 and exceeded our $3,000 goal,” said physical education teacher Kari Byers, who was the event organizer. “The theme was ‘Heart Health’ and we had individual short rope, a long rope team of three competitions and fun jumps, plus partners and a super long rope.”
 
   She said the fundraiser has been held at John Gregg for decades, with the exception of one year due to the COVID pandemic, and the top collector was second-grader Isabell Wood with $600. Students competed in events but Byers noted that they were all winners for helping the cause. 
 
    Kids learned valuable lessons about the heart, including that it beats an average of 108,000 times per day (or 3 billion beats in a lifetime), pumps about 83 gallons of blood per hour; and greatly benefits from eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. The challenge also promotes mental well-being and life skills by highlighting how helping others and being kind can lift and self-esteem through service-learning; denotes body wellness with healthy habits through interactive videos, nutrition and physical activities; explores the world of STEAM careers with augmented reality field trips through the heart, brain and lungs, career path videos and the Young Scientists Contest; being your best self by helping students explore and discover new passions from music and art to journaling and cooking; and the various school and teacher benefits from grants and scholarships to professional staff development.
 
   Meanwhile, Byers praised school officials for their involvement in making this year’s event fruitful.
 
   “The Kids Heart Challenge promotes heart fitness and our staff, PTO and food services all really worked together to create a successful event that the kids enjoyed.”

(Photo Caption: John Gregg Elementary fifth-graders Maddie Keister, at left, Giuliana Wiley and Mariah Leake jump rope for a good cause as they participated in the annual Kids Heart Challenge to support the American Heart Association. Nearly 170 students got active and raised more than $4,000 for the organization.)
John Gregg Art Show Draws upon Literacy
Posted 3/6/2023 at 1:14:35 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BERGHOLZ-John Gregg Elementary will promote literacy through artwork during its upcoming student art show on March 9.
 
  “Reading Rainbow: Art from Literature” is the theme of this year’s event, which will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. and highlights popular books.
 
   “Student artwork will be on display and we will have a food truck from the Rusty Bull Taco Co.,” said art teacher Kelly Dopp. “The fifth-and sixth-grade enrichment groups will present wax museums and the third- and fourth-grade enrichment students will be displaying biographical projects. There will be art-making stations for families to enjoy with their children and a Scholastic Book Fair in the library.”
 
   Dopp added that the students researched famous people for their exhibits with the sixth-graders focusing on ancient cultures, fifth-graders eyeing explorers, fourth-graders showcasing famous Ohioans and third-graders touting American Presidents. 
 
   “The fifth- and sixth-grades all researched people and will make speeches about them and [the latter grades] will have pop bottle characters with information on display,” she continued, adding that the event them was based on a love of books. “All of the art is based on children’s books. The children love having books read to them and I think being an art illustrator is an interesting career.”
 
   Dopp said students are honing their skills by literally drawing upon literature.
 
   “This gives them a chance to mimic that type of career and look at literature through a different lens when it comes to art illustrations.”
 
   Dopp has held art shows for four years while serving both at John Gregg and Stanton Elementary but most recently has been based at the Bergholz school. She said upwards of 150 to 200 people have attended in the past and hopes the turnout is even greater this time.
Edison Taking Bids for Access Project
Posted 2/22/2023 at 2:20:26 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
HAMMONDSVILLE-The Edison Local Board of Education is taking the next step in a possible project to improve access at John Gregg Elementary.
 
    The board met Thursday at the district office in Hammondsville, where they agreed to accept bids to extend the loop around the school. The site currently has a U-turn at the back of the building and officials said it would improve traffic flow and safety. Superintendent Bill Beattie broached the subject during the January session and officials had noted it would relieve congestion and eliminate the two-way traffic, plus they also discussed adding a retaining wall or improving the grade of a hill in the rear of the school. 
 
   Beattie said the latest board action will get things moving and J.T. Sauer and Associates, LLC, of Burgettstown, Pa., was approved for $12,000 to obtain work and cost proposals for the update.
 
   “The hope is to put it out to bid in late March or early April and then get the bids back,” he added. “If we decide to move forward, it will be a summer project.”
 
     Leaders also agreed to install new equipment for the sewage plant at Edison High School. Beattie said the upgrade will add two new storage tanks to help improve issues with the sludge processing unit and work is eyed within the next month. The board approved Mack Industries of Akron for the estimated $57,000 project.
 
   Among other matters, the board:
--Approved Cindy Knight as a substitute bus driver;
--Approved the resignation of Kim Jolly effective Feb. 13;
--Approved the district’s 2023-24 school calendar;
--Approved an overnight field trip for the EHS Marching Band to perform at Niagara Falls on April 16-18;
--Continued membership with the OHSAA for the 2023-24 school year;
--Approved a dual credit memorandum of understanding with Eastern Gateway Community College as well as College Credit Plus MOU’s with Kent State University for 2023-24 school year;
--Named Hank Boka as a baseball volunteer on the supplemental list;
--Scheduled the next meeting for March 16 at 6 p.m. at Edison High School.
Coal Talk at John Gregg
Posted 2/6/2023 at 3:25:03 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg Coal Talk
Retired coalminer Roger Sliva lectured on coal to sixth-graders at John Gregg Elementary as part of their science studies on rocks and minerals. Sliva, of Adena, discussed how his family worked in the industry as well as the types of coal and methods of strip and deep mining found in the area. He also displayed headlamps and other equipment, samples of ore and photos of major earthmovers such as the Silver Spade and Gem of Egypt for the students to peruse.
Edison Keeping Watchful Eye Amid Pending Plant Closure
Posted 1/23/2023 at 1:01:01 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
HAMMONDSVILLE-Edison Local School officials are keeping a watchful eye on its pocketbook amid the pending closure of Energy Harbor’s W.H. Sammis Plant this summer.
 
   Company officials formally announced a shutdown was slated for July with roughly 140 employees to be laid off starting in March. The plant has been a mainstay since first operating as Ohio Edison in 1960, then it merged to become FirstEnergy nearly 40 years later. It was later renamed Energy Harbor after emerging from bankruptcy in 2020. The financial impact of the plant’s closure is not yet fully known, but for now Edison plans to take an estimated $2.3 million hit to its budget starting in 2024. Superintendent Bill Beattie said that figure is reflected in the loss of some property tax but the exact impact has not been realized.
 
   “We knew this was coming. It was just a matter of when,” Beattie said. “We don’t know the amount yet and we’re in a situation where we’re still in a holding pattern.”
 
   He said the $2 million figure does not take all of the company’s land parcels into account and it will remain under review, but he was hopeful that funding from the Rover Pipeline will help cushion the blow. The pipeline company has been in an ongoing legal battle in an attempt to reduce its 2019 property tax valuation by $2 billion, but the matter remains on appeal.
 
   “If the ruling on the appeal in our favor, that will benefit us,” Beattie said. “Until the dust settles, we don’t know what it’s going to amount to and when that will be settled.”
 
   The district has been monitoring the situation since Energy Harbor first announced plans last year to deactivate or sell the plant and have attempted to adjust their five-year forecast accordingly, but they still must determine the full effect on real estate and public utility property taxes in the future. He commented that not only the district, but also Jefferson County and the Village of Stratton will be affected.
 
   However, Beattie said Edison has faced fiscal strife before and rebounded successfully.
 
   “We’ve had financial issues in the past but we’ve flourished and have new facilities,” he concluded. “We’re just going to have to be frugal and tighten our belts. There are no plans to do anything drastic but we need to make sure that the financial decisions we make for the district will get us back there again.”
John Gregg Students Bring Smiles to Soldiers, Seniors
Posted 1/10/2023 at 10:22:53 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
John Gregg Brings Smiles
BERGHOLZ- Students brought smiles to soldiers and seniors by sending more than 2,000 holiday messages through their third annual Operation Christmas Card campaign.
 
  A total of 2,245 cards filled with colorings, decorations and original notes were sent across the area, the country and the world around Thanksgiving, with a total of 1,100 cards lifting the spirits of troops stationed away from home. Military personnel responded in kind with emails, videos and photos thanking the children for their kindness, particularly during the holiday season.
 
  The project was created by school librarian Hannah Boggs, who was influenced by a television movie and said the matter struck close to home.
 
  “I was inspired by the movie “The Christmas Card,” which was about a woman’s church that sent cards to soldiers. I thought it was a great thing to do and my husband was a Marine,” Boggs said. “I know, especially during the holidays, that care packages mean a lot to the troops and it has been very successful.”
 
   Operation Christmas Card began prior to COVID and recipients have included Edison alumni and local residents in service, and she said many messages were passed on to their brothers and sisters in arms. 
 
   Boggs has reached out to others within her family, the schools and community for military contacts and received names of local natives serving stateside and overseas. The school’s estimated 375 PreK-6 students then spent eight weeks coloring, decorating and writing in the cards in the fall, which were then sorted and proofread by Boggs and members of the Edison High School Beta Club and eventually sent to the soldiers. The cards have traveled to such places as South Carolina, Guam, the Middle East and Japan, and military members have been grateful for the thoughtfulness.
 
   “Each year, I contact the same person and they forward me to people in the service, plus [district website coordinator] Jamie Evans put it online and I received names that way. I sent to 11 individual places with 100 cards in each envelope,” she added. 
 
    In response, the school has received emails of gratitude as well as photos of cards being displayed at the troops’ stations and videos aboard Navy ships. Brothers Collin and Derrick McMasters also visited the school prior to the holiday break to thank students in person. Collin, who serves as an airman first class in the U.S. Air Force in Guam, and Derrick, who is a fireman in the U.S. Navy and stationed in South Carolina, related how they were touched by the sentiments.
 
   “They said it was difficult being away from home and their family, but just knowing there are people out there thinking of them was wonderful.”
 
   AIC McMasters also expressed himself in an email.
 
   “Thank you for the Christmas cards. I was surprised when I opened the package to lots of cards almost falling out of my hands,” he wrote. “The first thing I did when I got back to my room was open and read all [of them]. I love all the drawings and inspiring words.”
 
   More emails from other soldiers noted their appreciation for the well wishes.
 
   “One of the brightest parts of this holiday season was receiving your thoughtful, amazing and beautiful cards from John Gregg Elementary School,” stated U.S. Army National Guard Capt. Yancey Reynoso, who was stationed in the Middle East with the 369th Special Troops Battalion. “As I distributed the Christmas cards, soldiers’ faces lit up with joy and happiness. The excitement of receiving a card...made our soldiers feel valued, appreciated and loved.”
 
   Capt. Reynoso also provided photos of soldiers thanking the students and holding some of their cards.
 
   U.S. Navy MM3 Dakota Woods added that fellow sailors were very excited to receive their cards and replied with photos aboard their ship from England, Germany, Spain and other locations.
 
  “I just wanted to say thank you so much for the cards. It was a really nice surprise to receive.”
 
   Boggs noted that the kids were equally thrilled by the impact they’ve made on the lives of those in the Armed Forces.
 
   “Every year, we get certificates, medals, postcards and thank-you cards,” she commented, saying the responses were posted on the school televisions and social media. “The students were very excited. I think it made them see we’re really doing some good.”
 
  Additionally, students have brightened the lives of senior citizens in area nursing homes by sending Christmas and Valentine cards to facilities in Steubenville and Carrollton with another 827 cards mailed to a site in Minnesota.
 
   Boggs said it is a vast undertaking, but it one she enjoys doing.
 
   “I love the responses. I look forward to doing this every year,” she said. “I don't do this project in hopes of getting recognition; I do it for the kids because I think it’s good to teach them to think of others, especially during the holiday. We do it to spread Christmas cheer to the ones who sacrifice so much to ensure our safety.”

(Photo Caption: John Gregg Elementary students have brought endless joy to soldiers and senior citizens through their annual Operation Christmas Card campaign. Hundreds of cards have made their way across the country and globe to military personnel, who have since responded with gratitude. The following is a photo of members of the New York-based U.S. Army National Guard 369th Special Battalion, known as the Rattlers, with a few of the cards they received at their station in the Middle East.)
John Gregg Students Recognized for Excellence
Posted 12/29/2022 at 11:47:30 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JG Recognizing Excellence
BERGHOLZ-John Gregg Elementary is taking time to recognize students who strive for excellence in classwork and behavior to attendance.
 
   Principal Tammy Burchfield said the school has always placed its focus on supporting students’ needs but is now touting those who go the extra mile. This year, pupils who stand out are touted during their lunchtimes and receive “Burchfield Bucks” to save or purchase popcorn and items from the Spirit Corner store operated by the school PTO, plus they receive a few extra free treats from a “treasure chest.” Honors are given several times a month in seven categories including attendance, behavior, grades, foundational reading skills, STAR reading, STAR math and state test results. Recipients are those who rarely need support, are self-motivated and self-regulated, and officials say they deserve recognition.
 
    Burchfield said the attendance, behavior and honor roll awards are given every nine weeks. Meanwhile, foundational reading skills focuses on students being at or above the benchmark and STAR reading and math assessments, which are taken at the beginning, middle and end of the year, must yield results either at grade level or above one year greater than grade level. Finally, state testing recipients must be proficient or at an advanced or accelerated level. Recipients are announced during their lunch time in the gym and they receive the “Burchfield Bucks” to purchase small bags of popcorn and an array of fun school supplies and Edison-based goods from the Spirit Corner, while they may also choose a free trinket or toy from a nearby chest. Burchfield said it gives the students an incentive to stay on course and make achievements in school.
 
    “In the last few years, the programs we’ve provided have been for the needs and supports of students. Following some conversation with the staff, they said it seemed the students who worked really hard were never recognized,” she explained. “They were not being recognized for excellence, so we created a section of support with the seven categories from attendance to grades and have a recognition day for students in excellent standing in each of those categories.”
 
    The honorees also have their picture taken for the school’s Facebook page, then they receive their money to acquire items from the PTO store and choose a freebie from the treasure chest. 
 
    “This is our first year, and we want them to strive for excellence and continue to better themselves,” she added. “They should do what’s expected while supporting others to do what’s expected and strive for excellence while encouraging others to strive for excellence.”
 
    Several recipients noted their enthusiasm for being spotlighted.
 
    “I like being recognized for working hard,” said fourth-grader Ronan Blake.
 
    “It makes me happy and want to work hard,” added fourth-grader Olivia Davis.

(Photo Caption: John Gregg Elementary students are being recognized for excellence in behavior, attendance, grades and math and reading assessments. Principal Tammy Burchfield announces recipients to receive “Burchfield Bucks” that they may use to purchase popcorn as well as items at the school PTO’s Spirit Corner and they also get free treats from a treasure chest. Pictured is PTO President Jamie Wiley handling purchases as students, from left, Landon Hayes, Talon Glover, Silas Trimmer, Chase Blancato and Olivia Rees peruse the merchandise.)
 Hilscher-Clarke Aids Needy Kids
Posted 12/19/2022 at 10:15:34 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Hilscher-Clarke Donation
HAMMONDSVILLE-Officials with the Hilscher-Clarke Electric Company played Santa for some needy kids in the Edison Local School District and donated gifts at Stanton Elementary.
 
   Brian Zorne, tri-state branch manager for Hilscher-Clarke, said the company conducted a fundraiser to give back to those in need.
 
  “We have seven branches and all of the branches decided to benefit the community. We brainstormed and decided to take donations, then divided the money to go shopping,” said Zorne. “We reached out at each school district and they contacted us with a family. We adopted families from Edison, Indian Creek, Steubenville and Toronto.”
 
    He added that the districts provided lists of ideas and sizes and his daughters acted as elves by assisting him in procuring presents, then employees wrapped the gifts for distribution. The gifts and a basket of cleaning supplies were contributed to Stanton and will benefit four children from a family in the school system.
 
    Zorne said it was the reason for the season and the company was happy to spread some holiday cheer.
 
   “We were glad to help. It’s a good feeling and you feel better for giving,” he added.
 
   Stanton Principal Shannah Scotch was appreciative of the generosity.
 
   “I’m extremely grateful,” Scotch commented.  “The need is there and I know it will be appreciated.”
 
    Hilscher-Clarke, which has locations from Canton to Columbus, provides service for commercial businesses and industrial oil and gas. About 35 people are employed at the Toronto office and served local sites such as Trinity Health Systems and JSW Steel in Mingo Junction.

(Photo Caption: Hilscher-Clarke Electric Company, which has an office in Toronto, donated gifts for a needy family at Stanton Elementary School. Brian Zorne, tri-state branch manager, said a fundraiser was held and proceeds were divided to benefit families at local districts. He is pictured with Stanton Elementary Principal Shannah Scotch.)
Edison BOE Talks Safety Measures
Posted 12/19/2022 at 10:02:23 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
BERGHOLZ-The Edison Local Board of Education is taking steps to increase safety by reintroducing its carry concealed policy.
 
   The board discussed its plans during the Dec. 15 meeting at John Gregg Elementary School and Superintendent Bill Beattie said it was another way to ensure buildings would be protected.
 
   “We always wanted to continue doing it because of the rural area and the [proximity of] first responders. It’s best to have an extra layer of protection in addition to our SRO’s,” Beattie added.
 
   The decision follows the signing of House Bill 99 with added guidance by Gov. Mike DeWine. One of the main subjects would again permit school staff to be armed inside the building, but it now requires up to 24 hours of initial school-specific training and up to eight hours of annual requalification to be developed by the Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC).  As part of their training, selected staff would learn response tactics and neutralizing potential threats, among other strategies. Gov. DeWine also emphasized that the bill was not a mandate and leaves the choice of arming staff at the discretion of local school boards. 
 
   Edison had previously permitted the practice but stopped amid regulation changes, and Beattie said the district has an opportunity to start again and ensure students and staff are secure.
 
  “We had to submit a survey to the OSSC to allow us to have staff carry while in school,” he said. “We are waiting for the vendor who trained the staff to get approval to retrain our staff.”
 
    He added that once the approval is given, interested staff members would undergo training. That plan also comes on the heels of a windfall through the governor’s K-12 School Safety Grant Program, which awarded a total of $100 million statewide for security improvements. The district received $400,000--or $100,000 per building—between two funding rounds this year and last year, and leaders are looking to add more safety-based technology to the facilities.
 
   “We decided with the principals to develop a list of what they felt they needed, and we’ll determine what to get based on those lists,” he added. “Our hope is to update the cameras and key fobs for every building.”
 
   District Technology Director Rachael Granatir also noted that some equipment needed modernized.
 
    “We have old analog cameras at the elementary schools and will update them to Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, so it will be easier for safety issues and 911,” she said. “We’re looking at better coverage of the cameras, especially in an emergency situation, so all of the interior and exterior are covered as well as possible. The cameras have been updated but some are 10 to 15 years old. The IP cameras connect to a server and our administrators, SRO’s and emergency response teams can access them on a phone.”
 
    She said it provides real-time access and officials do not need to be inside the building. Granatir added that the door fobs would also secure access and other potential projects include visitor identification badges and exterior lighting in the parking lots. Hopes are to have contracts in place this spring and projects underway during summer, and all of the work must be completed by 2024.   
 
   In other action, the board:
--Approved certified substitutes Morgann Ault, Johni Miller and Maxwell Moffo;
--Employed Emily Ferrell as an intervention specialist at Stanton Elementary and named David Long as a substitute van driver;
--Approved a contract with Maple Consulting, LLC to provide communications and marketing services for the school district from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2023;
--Re-appointed Ron Smyth to the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School Board for a three-year term ending in December of 2025;
--Increased the minimum wage for aides, cooks, night building cleaners and secretaries to $10.10 per hour and custodians to $10.80 per hour based on the minimum wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2023;
--Set the board’s organizational meeting for Jan. 11 at 5:45 p.m. at Stanton Elementary with current board President Aaron Richardson to act as president pro tempore. The regular board meeting will follow at 6 p.m.
EHS Students Earn Academic Letters
Posted 12/7/2022 at 10:00:34 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-Edison High School students who were high achievers in the classroom earned academic letters during an assembly on Nov. 22.
 
    A total of 170 students received first, second and third academic letters for the 2022-23 school year, including 60 current sophomores, 52 juniors and 58 seniors. To be eligible, students must earn a year-end grade point average of 3.0 or higher beginning their freshman year. First-year recipients earn an academic letter with second-year honorees gaining a lamp pin and third-year awardees earning bar pins. Awards earned during the students’ sophomore and junior years are generally distributed during the fall assembly while senior awards are given at an honors banquet in May.
 
   Among those receiving their first-year letter were sophomores Austin Abshire, Sofia Allen, Blair Allison, Rebecca Bell, Isaac Bertini, Bryce Bregenzer, Brennan Carson, Emily Cline, Ronaleigh Crawford, Lukas Dawson, IsaBella Daugherty Fair, Dylan Falla, Joseph Firm, Lane Fomenko, Jacob Forster, Mason Fox, Sydney Frampton, Gabriel Glenn, Dallas Gotschall, Coleman Granatir, Madison Grim, Myah Howell, Mariah Hunter, Jordan Hughes, Olivia Jackson, Natalie Johns, Cheyenne Jordan, Ellie Joynson, Laurel Kemp, Ethan Kimmerle, Savannah Kirkman, Zachary Kuntz, McKenzie Lowe, Meghan Maxwell, Kylvin Meredith, Colleen Miles, Zechariah Murphy, Peyton Neeley, Isabela Norori, Alexa Phelps, Kaitlyn Phillips, Katie Phillips, Cole Pittman, Alayna Prayso, Zamara Ramos, Avah Reed, Annabell Reynolds, Shawn Shannon, Shayla Shannon, Ali Shrieve, Madison Somerville, Zoe Speaker, Kaylee Spencer, Austin Springer, Dustin Pesta-Stingle, Kylee Stull, Lillian Talkington, Zachary Vangosen, Kaleb Wayt and Jada Wilbur. Juniors included Emily Adkins, Kaylee Ferguson, Benjamin Fray, Ian Lewis, Erika Miller, Steven Miller, Deacon Rawson and Celeste Vojvodich. Seniors included Breaohna Ammon, Tristan Clegg, Kayleigh Davisson, Jeremiah McGalla, Natalie Pittman and Hannah Randolph. 
 
   Second-year awards were given to juniors Alexandra Ash, Craig Arnold, Faith Bell, Chloe Brooks, Grace Browning, Nolan Buchanan, Gage Cable, Cheyenne Coil, Abigail Cunningham, Keeley Day, Daniel Dwyer, Edward Eisnaugle, Rebecka Evans, Zachary Evans, Luke Grimes, Terry Hanson, Kendall Hennis, Kolton Hennis, Lily Larkins, Kylee Leishman, Emma LoPrete, Natalie Lucas, Chase McClurg, Maxwell McConnell, Pressly Meadows, Blake Moran, Revan Otto, Jeremy Parr, Riley Redovian, Adali Reynolds, Jacob Roth, Caden Rudy, Hannah Russell, Kamryn Sears, Joseph Simpson, Trinity Spencer, Hailey Teichman, Kendra Teichman, Isabella Thornton, Zachary Vojvodich, Alaina Warren, Liam Watson, Karlee Wayt and Rylee Wells. Seniors making the grade were Tessa Binkiewicz, Robert Carpenter, Elijah Hurdle, Travis Rose, Hunter Rothacker, Cameron Schmitt, Kelcy Shannon, Sophia Smith, Gabriella Sunyoger, Alayna Sutherin and Hunter Tice. 
 
  Third-year honorees included seniors Connor Arbogast, Dylan Barker, Jaycee Blake, Marian Cline, Raeanna Dawson, Ryan Dinger, Floyd Edmond, Olivia Fankhauser, Aiden Ferguson, Katie Fluharty, Elizabeth Gampolo, Eva Goad, Lynnzee Grimm, Logan Gubanez, Bayleigh Gump, Kaydence Habbit, Coleman Holly, Jaima Howell, Olivia Huff, Pamela Johnson, Jenna Kelley, Chloe LaRue, Aiden Lawrence, Megan Licata, Michelle Marino, Lane Martin, Morgan Martin, Brittney Mynster, Jadyn Nicholson, Audrey Scott, Holley Scott, Zoe Shell, Shane Smith, Emily Stewart, Megan Tice, Anna Wadas, Makayla Wells, Mathew Whitehill, Katelin Wilson, Evan Wood and Nicole Zullo.
 Edison Approves Improvement Projects
Posted 11/21/2022 at 12:02:08 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-More improvements are coming to Edison High School as school board members addressed a number of projects on Thursday.
 
  The board approved Wheeling-based Peddicord and Son’s bid for $123,600 to paint the high school, which will freshen up 55,000 square feet on the exterior of the building plus the annex. Superintendent Bill Beattie said the contractor is looking to have the work done by the start of the next school term.
 
   “They hope to start the prep work in the spring and paint over the summer,” said Superintendent Bill Beattie. “It should be ready by the beginning of August.”
 
   Leaders also approved a $25,000 bid from Buckeye Mechanical Contracting of East Liverpool to complete brickwork on the agriculture building, and hopes are to have it ready soon.
 
  “The Ag building is part of the greenhouse project and we’re doing some façade updates on the remainder of one side to match the brick and aluminum on the fieldhouse,” Beattie explained. “We hope to have it done by the end of the year but still need to add the greenhouse.”
 
    Beattie also announced the outdoor trail on the campus has also been finished; however, it won’t be open to the public until spring. Fairfield Landscape of Canonsburg, Pa., completed the $532,000 project with Burgettstown, Pa.-based JTSA Sports conducting architectural and engineering services. The 1.5-mile woodland trail, which spans eight feet wide, winds from campus into the nearby woods but also reverses and treks could span a total of 3.1 miles.  Beattie noted that the trail could be used for more than health purposes; other ideas are to utilize the area for science classes and other forms of outdoor education. Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds were used to cover the cost.
 
   “We’re waiting for benches and fit trail stations to be installed,” Beattie added.
 
   On a similar note, the board approved Carrie Rudy and Sarah Koehnlein as part-time supervisors of the new fitness center. The site, which is located on the second floor of the new fieldhouse, is open to the public on weekdays from 6-8:30 a.m. when school is in session but remains closed when the district has two-hour delays and cancelations. Beattie said the center has been seeing some use since opening its doors with an average of five to seven patrons per day.
 
   In other action, the board:
--Spotlighted district educators Miguel Brun, Kathy Ramsey and Jordan Tice, who each received $660 Best Practice Grants from the Jefferson County Educational Service Center for their projects. JCESC Intervention Specialist Patty Ferrell made the presentation and said the trio submitted innovative ideas for student learning;
--Heard a presentation from Mike Paris, a representative of Coral Reef Partners of Pennsylvania, who provided an overview of the solar energy company and benefits of solar panels on costs and energy usage. No action was taken at the conclusion. 
--Approved a $5,000 grant from the Tulsa Community Foundation to upgrade the district’s entire fleet of approximately 20 buses. Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta submitted the grant and officials said it would improve coverage for communication.
Edison Educators Earn Best Practice Grants
Posted 11/18/2022 at 2:14:42 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JCESC Edison BPG
RICHMOND-Educators in the Edison Local School District are promoting ideas for literacy, reading and math to hone student learning.
 
   Three teachers were spotlighted during the Edison Local Board of Education meeting at Edison High School on Nov. 17, where Jefferson County Educational Service Center Intervention Specialist Patty Ferrell presented more than $1,900 in Best Practice Grants for unique projects that Miguel Brun, Kathy Ramsey and Jordan Tice plan to utilize in their classes.
 
   Brun, a literacy interventionist in grades K-3, will implement “The Science of Reading” to allow 22 readers at John Gregg Elementary School to develop the crucial neural pathway in the reading brain. He said teaching students to spell words is a powerful way to boost their ability to read by carefully examining words from the inside out. 
 
    “Learning to read involves a vast array of linguistic knowledge through the application of both word recognition skills and the mental processes that are involved in comprehending our language. Reading comprehension is the product of having accurate, automatic word reading along with linguistic comprehension. For our beginning novice readers and struggling readers of any age or grade level, it is critical that our instruction focuses on the areas of the brain that are supported during the reading process,” he said. “Spelling and reading words use the same basic processes, and the two skills develop reciprocally; however, spelling requires closer attention to the phoneme-grapheme correspondences. Through extensive practice in my project activities using the phoneme-grapheme magnetic boards, students will enhance their orthographic mapping of words. This word work with manipulative letters is a powerful way for students to learn to read and spell words. In turn, it will allow them to store the words in the visual word form area of the reading brain as if they were reading by ‘sight.’”

   He said the grant will be used to purchase 22 Wilson Reading System magnetic journals with letter tiles and the goal is for all students who need this guided and extended practice will be able to utilize the resources.
   Brun has received similar grant funding and said those resources are still being used at both John Gregg and Stanton Elementary.

   “I would like to thank the Jefferson County ESC for the opportunity to be considered for this grant. This project will allow our students to continue building their knowledge of the English language. The literacy instruction that students are receiving at John Gregg Elementary is guided by the science of how the brain learns to read. Every teacher deserves to know the science of reading and every student deserves a teacher who knows the science of reading. This grant from the Jefferson County ESC ensures each of those will continue to happen each and every day at John Gregg Elementary.”

   Ramsey, a music teacher at John Gregg Elementary, will highlight “Music Interactive Resources” for her pupils in grades PreK-6. She will acquire Hal Leonard’s Essential Elements Music Class and a Fenderplay app to benefit about 375 students. The Hal Leonard Essentials will be used for band, the general music classroom and private school lessons on the ukulele, recorder and guitar, as well as the interactive music theory pages, music based educational videos, interactive musical games, solfege, rhythm reading, music history, access to instrument method books and various music content that meet the music standards.  Additionally, the Fenderplay app will be used for learning to play various string instruments.  
 
   “I applied for the grant to access more educational opportunities for our students from some educational music sites. The two sites will offer an extension to their everyday lessons, guitar, ukulele, and vocal repertoire and composing notation,” Ramsey noted.
 
   She has received the Best Practice Grant before and was thankful for funding to expand opportunities for music education.
 
   “There are so many excellent music resources via the internet, however, many come with a price.  One of the ways that we use these resources, the students play a song on an instrument like the ukulele, the flutophone or the guitar.  These resources play an accompaniment and track the beat visually as they play along and watch the music on the screen. They often feel like they are in their own band. After one or two classes, they usually can play one song. They feel a sense of accomplishment.”
 
   Jordan Tice, a physical science teacher at Edison High School, plans to incorporate “Electrical Circuits” into her classroom. About 134 freshmen will discover how electrical components come together by working hands-on with components using Caddy Shack electrical kits. She added that the students will not only be able to describe electrical phenomena, but they will also be able to demonstrate it, plus they will build specific types of circuits that work from simple to more complex.
 
   “The Best Practice Grant is providing electrical circuit kits and equipment like small motors, wires, light bulbs, and batteries. Students will be able to explore electricity concepts and create different types of circuits not just by drawing them but by actually building them.  This gives students an authentic learning experience, ultimately leading to a better understanding of the concept. 
 
   Tice has earned grants before and was honored to obtain the latest windfall.
 
   “I would like to thank the JCESC for offering the grant and giving students an opportunity to learn in new ways.  My students are excited to work together on this project.”
 
   JCESC Superintendent Dr. Chuck Kokiko said the Best Practice Grants helped teachers bring their ideas to life.
 
    “There are certain events or occasions that folks look forward to each year. At the JCESC, one of those events is when the board and staff can read the innovative teacher Best Practice Grant applications that have been submitted,” he added. “Our schools have many great teachers with ground-breaking lesson plans and out-of-the-box instructional strategies, and we are happy to be able to fund many of those ideas so they may become reality for the students in the classroom.  Congratulations to our winners and we look forward to seeing what unique ideas will be submitted next year.” 
 
   This year, JCESC awarded more than 20 Best Practice Grants to teachers at Buckeye Local, Edison, Harrison Hills, Indian Creek, Steubenville, Southern Local, Toronto and the Utica Shale Academy.

(Photo Caption: Patty Ferrell, intervention specialist for the Jefferson County Educational Service Center, presented three Best Practice Grants totaling $1,980 to Edison Local School District teachers Miguel Brun, Kathy Ramsey and Jordan Tice for their unique projects during Edison’s school board meeting on Nov. 17. Ferrell is pictured, at right, with Tice while Brun and Ramsey are absent from the photo.)
Under the Sea
Posted 10/17/2022 at 11:49:11 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Stanton Under the Sea
Sebastian and friends from “The Little Mermaid” would feel right at home in this artistic aquarium setting created by students at Stanton Elementary. Art teacher Ginger Bloomer inspired her preschool through sixth-grade pupils to form an ocean scene in the classroom featuring a bevy of creatures from sea turtles and fish to octopi and scuba divers. Sixth-graders also learned how to pencil sketch self-portraits with their own faces.
Stanton Students Get Strumming
Posted 10/13/2022 at 12:03:12 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Ukuleles
HAMMONDSVILLE-Stanton Elementary students have new instruments for some lively music-making after the school program won more than 30 ukuleles in an online contest.
 
   Music teacher Dani Carroll  received 36 new lutes at the beginning of the school year after learning about the contest from a fellow educator.
 
  “John Gregg Elementary music teacher Kathy Ramsey shared the contest info with me and said a teacher friend had won ukuleles in the past, so it was worth a try to enter,” Carroll said. “I received a congratulatory email from the [Kala Brand Music Co.] in August. Kala Brand Music had the contest on Facebook to win a classroom set, and I enter any and all contests that can benefit my classroom.”
 
   Carroll, who has more than 400 students, planned to use the instruments in her fifth- and sixth-grade classes before inviting the younger pupils to enjoy some strumming.

   “It takes a good week or so of constant tuning to get the strings to settle and stretch, and then I hope to start adding other grade levels. I’m ecstatic that I am a winner but most excited for my students to learn a new instrument and enjoy playing and singing together.”  

   She said the students were equally excited and she always keeps one available to accompany their singing in each class.

   “I also demonstrate the proper way to hold them and how to play them. The sixth-grade gifted students have already gotten to try them out and they did such a good job of tuning them and practicing their plucking.”

  The ukuleles will be used in general music classes and during school programs while Carroll also has a fifth-and sixth-grade concert band.  Meanwhile, she is always seeking new or gently used instruments to benefit her program.

   “We will gladly take any used band instruments that anyone is looking to get rid of.  We will also accept donations of classroom instruments,” she commented. “I am actually looking into grants to help purchase some Remo Sound Shapes [for drumming] and I also just received a donation of scarves, bean bags, a percussion book and slide whistle from Modern Woodsmen.  The Kala contest, Modern Woodsmen donation and [Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief] money that was used last year to buy some new band percussion instruments and baritones have really helped to upgrade our program.”

   She also thanked school officials, parents and the community for their ongoing support.

   “Thank you to all of the parents, community members, administration, school board members, Stanton teachers and staff members who continually encourage and support the Stanton Elementary music program.  I work with some pretty amazing people and feel so blessed to have the opportunity to work with them and the students at Stanton.  They make me feel like a rock star!”
                                                          
(Photo Caption: Sixth-grade gifted students at Stanton Elementary tune up and learn to play new ukuleles which music teacher Dani Carroll won in an online contest through Kaia Brand Music Co. The school received 36 new instruments that will be used in class and possibly for school programs. Pictured are, front from left, Emily Kireta and Chloe Cornish. Back: Nikolas Cline, Jayden Sciance and Gabriel Mitewell.)
Balloon Fun
Posted 10/13/2022 at 10:40:08 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Balloon Animal
Little Skarlett Plunkett, 3, is all smiles after receiving a balloon animal from Porgie the Funny Balloon Guy during a visit to Stanton Elementary. Porgie, also known as George Caban, delighted preschoolers as he created colorful puppies, cats, teddy bears and more and entertained the youngsters with his zany humor. 
Going Wild
Posted 10/12/2022 at 10:45:31 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Stanton Going Wild
Things got a little wild at Stanton Elementary when representatives of the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium brought some of their animal friends for a presentation on Oct. 7. Students in grades 4-6 learned about making good conservation choices from recycling to reducing water and electricity usage, plus they took part in a series of related games. Officials said it was all part of the Zoomobile program that made its first visit to the school. Pictured is education specialist Brea Stephan with Luna, a 14-year-old barn owl, while a Gulf Coast box turtle and African ball python were also exhibited.
Edison Educators Recognized
Posted 10/12/2022 at 10:23:30 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison Educators Recognized
Three Edison Local educators were recognized for their efforts during a professional development day at Edison High School as Travis DeZordo, a representative of Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial of Canton, presented certificates to Tiffani Roush, a second-grade teacher at John Gregg Elementary; Greg Hofmeister, vocal music director at Edison Jr./Sr. High School; and Megan McNear, school counselor at Stanton Elementary and a donation was made to charity in each honoree’s name. DeZordo also spoke to a group of roughly 100 teachers, staff and administrators about his company’s financial and fraternal services, saying it provides advice for retirement funds and is a not-for-profit that also gave back more than $300,000 to communities and would assist teachers with classroom needs and fundraisers. Pictured are, from left, Roush, DeZordo, McNear and Hofmeister.
Edison Hosts ALICE Training
Posted 9/27/2022 at 9:42:26 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Edison ALICE TRaining
RICHMOND-Edison Local faculty, staff and administrators got a lesson in safety response following an ALICE training session on Monday.
 
   More than 100 employees representing Edison High School, John Gregg Elementary, Stanton Elementary and the district office gathered in the EHS auditorium for professional development and participated in a PowerPoint presentation and discussion with Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla Jr, which was followed by an active intruder drill. ALICE, which stands for Alert Lockdown Inform Counter and Evacuate, involves taking action when an incident occurs such as using tactics to subdue an intruder to fleeing to safety.
 
   Sheriff Abdalla was joined by Capt. Tommy Koehnlein, who serves as school building safety coordinator for the JCSO, and spoke on the importance of being alert and responding to a situation. The sheriff said he’s instructed the program for the past six years and a majority of Edison’s staff had already undergone training and were receiving a refresher, but it was the first time for new members. The concept centers on awareness and communication and response options from lockdown to evacuation.
 
   “I want you to trust what your gut instincts tell you,” he added, saying clear communication was key. “You want to provide real-time information and not use code words. Use plain language.”
 
   During discussion, school officials said the district used a phone app to help share information. Other main points were to describe what the intruder is wearing and where they are going. Sheriff Abdalla added that those who are able to evacuate must leave their belongings, take a “Go Bucket” with supplies, go to a rally point and take attendance, while those who stay inside must learn ways to overpower the intruder and take control. He told the crowd to take a lesson from the tragedy at Uvalde, Texas.
 
   “Like the video says, ‘Fight for your life. Don’t fight fair,’” he commented. “You’re either going to fight, flight or freeze. It’s going to be a personal choice.”
 
   A brief question-and-answer session was held and Superintendent Bill Beattie noted that the district has a team of educators who were trained and certified to carry weapons in the event of an incident while local emergency crews were also responders He continued that school officials should also take initiative and question visitors about why they are on the premises.
 
   “Overwhelmingly, it’s people at the school [who take back control] and stopped situations,” Sheriff Abdalla interjected. “Normal, everyday people took it upon themselves to act.”
 
   The sheriff and Koehnlein then initiated the drill by acting as intruders. They scoured the building and attempted to gain access to classrooms as teams of school staffers built barricades to block doors and secure themselves. The officials then simulated a live-fire scenario using blanks and Principal Matt Morrison made frequent announcements indicating where the “intruders” were, while several teams fled outdoors to safety. The group returned to the auditorium for a review and Sheriff Abdalla said the scenario went well, plus he commended the district for always making safety a top priority.   
 
   “Edison has been very proactive for years with protecting the schools. [It] has been the most proactive in the county, without a doubt.”
 
   He said sheriff’s officials also hoped to visit schools to speak and read to kids, plus he offered reading materials to teachers. Following more talks, he reiterated the importance of active response. 
 
   “Whether it’s run, lockdown or fight, we want you to do something.”
 
   Meanwhile, Beattie said the next professional development session will include a Stop the Bleed training on Nov. 2 to instruct on wound treatment.

(Photo Caption: Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla Jr. and Capt. Tommy Koehnlein portrayed active intruders in a scenario at Edison High School on Monday, where they led an ALICE training session for more than 100 district employees. Teachers, staff and administrators took part during a professional development day and learned how to barricade themselves in classrooms and flee to safety. The district also plans to hold a Stop the Bleed instructional session in November.)
Edison Ratifies Teachers’ Contract
Posted 9/2/2022 at 10:41:28 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-Edison Local Schools kicked off the new school year on a positive note after ratifying a contract with its teachers’ union.
 
   The school board held its regular meeting on Aug. 23, one day prior to the first day of class, at Edison High School in Richmond and approved a three-year deal with the Edison Local Education Association. The district’s 110 teachers will receive a 3-percent pay increase along with a $650 signing bonus payable in December under the deal, but Superintendent Bill Beattie said that is only for one year since the potential sale or closure of the Energy Harbor Corp.’s Sammis Plant in Stratton has left financial matters at a standstill.
 
  “There was a one-year agreement on the finances due to the situation with the power plant, but we will be re-opening discussion on salaries in the spring once we know more,” he said.
  
   Last March, Energy Harbor announced it was either deactivating or selling the plant sometime in 2023 and the district has been mulling how the change will impact real estate and public utility property taxes moving forward. School leaders have said the district could stand to lose upwards of $2 million in property taxes while the public utility tax losses were unknown. Edison will remain unaffected over the next year but could see an impact in 2024.
 
   Meanwhile, leaders agreed to adjust some language within the three-year pact and Beattie said everyone seemed pleased with the outcome.
 
   “I think both sides were satisfied at the end,” he said. “We met five or six times and they were very good negotiations. Both representatives came to the table and made an agreement.”
 
   The board also agreed to grant administrative secretaries the same wages as the ELEA agreement.
 
   In other matters, the district received an estimated $135,000 grant through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to improve school safety measures. Beattie said new cameras and access systems will be added to ensure students and staff can work in a secure environment.
 
   “We applied for a grant through the state which was up to $50,000 per building and were awarded $50,000 for Edison, but we didn’t apply for the full amount at the others,” he explained.
 
    The district received about $41,379 for John Gregg Elementary and slightly more than $43,462 for Stanton Elementary.
 
   “It’s going to be used for additional cameras and a new fob system for entry into each building,” Beattie added, saying the pandemic has slowed down supplies and work will be done once materials are received. He noted that the new cameras and fob systems may not be up and running until the next school year.
 
   Among other action, the board:
--Approved Marie Highfield, Karen Edmond, Karen Barcus and Anthony Forte as substitute teachers and named Emma Gallagher as a substitute aide, cook, custodian and NBC on the classified list. Leaders also approved the transportation department’s sub list;
 --Approved supplemental contracts to Lori Kinney, volunteer assistant band director; Jason Ensinger, science department chair; Collin Skeeles and George Ash, junior high football; Kayleigh Fisher, freshman volleyball; Alicia Hartman, cross country assistant; and Wendy Lesnansky and Paula Lucas, volunteer assistant cross country;
--Accepted resignations from EHS computer teacher Josh Haspel and bus driver Terry Gooch;
 --Hired Faith Hoobler as an intervention specialist at Stanton, Amber Ankrom as a fifth- and sixth-grade reading teacher at John Gregg and George Ash, Danah Beaver and Erik Kaufman respectively as special education, art and computer teachers at EHS;
--Heard from Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta, who reported that the number of students using the E-CAT online education system has dropped, meaning more have returned to in-school learning. District Director of Special Education and Early Childhood Jamie Angelini also said preschool numbers were up with 70 enrolled at Stanton and 54 at John Gregg;
--Set the next regular meeting for Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. at John Gregg;
--Announced a special strategic planning session for Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.
Edison Rebidding for Planned Trail
Posted 7/26/2022 at 2:33:55 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-The Edison Local Board of Education plans to rebid for an outdoor walking trail project after not receiving any submissions during the initial search.
 
    During the July 21 regular meeting at Edison High School, Superintendent Bill Beattie said submissions had been sought for a 1.5-mile path at the Richmond campus, but none were received. However, Beattie said plans are still in the works and hopes are to do the project this fall.
 
    “No one bid on the outdoor walking trail, so we are putting it out to rebid and changing the timeline,” Beattie said. “We will try to do it during the fall months and hope we will get people who are interested.”
 
    During a virtual special session in March, the school board overwhelmingly approved entering into an agreement with Burgettstown, Pa.-based JTSA Sports for architectural and engineering services to create the trail, which would be available for students and the public. The project primarily requires excavation and surfacing work, and once completed the course will wind from the Edison campus into the nearby woods. The path has the ability to reverse, so treks could span a total of 3.1 miles.  Beattie noted that the trail could be used for more than health purposes; other ideas are to utilize the area for science classes and other forms of outdoor education. Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds are financing the project.
 
   In other matters, the board:
--Approved series of classified and certified substitute positions;
--Approved supplemental contracts for Karen Crawford as freshman class advisor, Mark Pittman as assistant wrestling coach, George Ash for junior high boys’ basketball, Jimmy Panella for junior high football and Jim McMillian for volunteer volleyball;
--Amended administrative contracts for district Technology Coordinator Rachael Granatir and Assistant Technology Coordinator Tyler Roush;
--Accepted a resignation from EHS teacher Mycaela Ensell;
--Approved Erica Hannan as a substitute van driver;
--Approved a Memorandum of Understanding for school resource officers with Springfield Township and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. SRO’s include Ben Swoyer at EHS, Mark Clark at John Gregg Elementary and Dave Wojtas at Stanton Elementary;
--Approved payment to the Columbiana County ESC for occupational therapy assistant’s expenses totaling $14,792.88;
--Approved an agreement for cortical visually impaired (CVI) services with Fundamentals First, Inc., and Alisha Waugh for the 2022-2023 school year 
--Approved a school accident insurance plan through K & K Insurance Group for the 2022-2023 school year;
--Approved inter-agency and transition agreements with HARCATUS Head Start;
--Entered into a distance education agreement with the East Central Ohio ESC for an American Sign Language instructor;
--Approved an agreement with Kendall Behavioral Solutions, LLC, for professional services;
--Set the next meeting for Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. at EHS Fieldhouse.
Edison Sees ACT Achievements
Posted 7/12/2022 at 2:05:42 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
academic excellence
RICHMOND-Eight Edison High School students have excelled on their ACT exams by attaining a composite score of 30 or higher.
 
   Recent graduates Katelin Kowalczyk, Kathryn Maille, Emma Phillips, Tommy Phillips and Mikayla Reed as well as incoming seniors Jaycee Blake, Logan Gubanez and Matt Whitehill each received a 30 or better on tests taken during the past school year. According to 2021 statistics, the average composite score was 19.3 across Ohio and 20.7 nationwide. EHS Principal Matt Morrison said he was very pleased with the local results.
 
   “We are extremely proud of our seven students scoring a 30 or higher on the ACT test during the 2021-22 school year. This is an unprecedented accomplishment,” Morrison said. “We are expecting more students to reach this milestone next year because we’ve had several underclassmen score 28’s and 29’s on the test.”
 
   Kowalczyk, a recent alumna and the daughter of Scott and Lisa Kowalczyk of Bergholz, yielded a 31 on her exam. 
 
   “I took it the first time in February and got a 30, then I took it a second time and got a 31,” she said. “I was very surprised but also proud of myself.”
 
   Maille, the daughter of Dan and Victoria Maille of Bloomingdale, scored a 30 on her exam. She took the test twice and completed some practice exams to get ready.
 
   “I was [a bit] surprised, but I didn’t have any expectations going into it,” she said. “I’d probably [tell other students] to study but not get nervous about it. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get an amazing score.”
 
   New EHS alumna Emma Phillips, the daughter of James and Jamie Phillips of Amsterdam, earned a 33 on her second attempt in February. She said preparing for the test really helped her achieve the high score.
 
   “I had taken the ACT the previous summer after my sophomore year to get a feel for the test, and at that time I scored a 30. Preparation for me included buying the ACT prep books for each subject and lots of hours taking practice test after practice test,” she noted.
 
   Tommy Phillips, son of Robert Phillips and Christina Gilday of Steubenville, took the exam four times as he eyed a perfect score of 36 but still achieved an exceptional result of 33. Phillips said the key is time management.
 
   “The material itself is not difficult to me; it’s the time you are given,” he added as he gave future test-takers some solid advice. “Bring a watch and have a plan with regards to time.”
 
   Reed, the daughter of Michael and Tina Reed of Richmond, scored a 30 on her fourth attempt, which was part of an initial plan to enter a program at the University of Pittsburgh. She focused on the English portion of the exam during her studies and said that proved beneficial.
 
   “I was so close to 30 that I was pleased to break into a new bracket. During work breaks I’d practice my English for the ACT. [I would tell others to] just study. Getting to know how to take the test would give you the best advantage.”
 
    Blake, the son of Eric and Michelle Blake of Richmond, took the exam twice and earned a composite score of 30, but his superscore (the average best scores from each subject during multiple attempts) was 31.
 
  “I prepared by reading books,” he said, and he advised students to not fret about their results. “Some advice is to not stress about a simple score as it doesn’t define your life.”
 
   Logan Gubanez, the son of Samuel and Betty Jo Gubanez of Toronto, earned a 32 on his composite test and said it was his first time taking the exam. He completed practice tests to get ready.
 
   “You are given similar questions,” he said. “I did them in homeroom.”
 
   Whitehill, the son of Bill Whitehill and Julie Kozel of Toronto, scored a 30 on his first try. He said he prepared by reviewing some of the harder test questions in a prep guide, plus he simply tried not to become stressed.
 
   “I was definitely surprised by my score considering how little I prepared,” he added. “I would tell others to just try your best. It’s easy to give up, especially on questions you don’t know, but the best thing is to try your best and move on.”
Edison’s Eye Remains on Budget
Posted 5/28/2022 at 9:34:23 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
RICHMOND-The fate of Energy Harbor’s W. H. Sammis Plant has Edison Local School officials keeping an eye on their budget as they set their five-year forecast.
 
   Since word spread of the Stratton plant’s potential closure or sale next year, the district has been mulling how it would impact real estate and public utility property taxes in the future. Treasurer Lisa Bruzzese told board members during the May 19 session at Edison High School that she still needed more information before she could provide a clearer picture of the figures.
 
   “We all know on March 14 that Energy Harbor Corp. announced they were either deactivating or selling the plant sometime in 2023,” Bruzzese said, adding that the district could stand to lose upwards of $2 million in property taxes if that should occur while the public utility tax losses were unknown. 
 
   “That’s what’s on the table if the company closes down the plant. If they sell it, there will be a decrease in value. I haven’t reflected it in the forecast because I don’t feel I have enough information. After 2023, it’s pretty good. If the Sammis Plant closes, that won’t affect us until 2024.”
 
     Following more discussion, the board approved the preliminary forecast.
 
   Among other matters:
--Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta discussed summer school programs at Edison High School and Elkhorn Valley Christian Service Camp near Bergholz from June 7-July 21. The district will offer traditional summer school for grades K-8 and 9-12 with elementary and middle school pupils honing their math and reading abilities while high schoolers participate in a credit recovery program and concentrate on core courses. The Wildcat Day Camp will feature activities for grades 1-9 on varied weeks that include a rock wall, high and low ropes and tests on teamwork to complete challenges. About 70 students had registered by the meeting but she was awaiting more by that Friday’s deadline;
--Special Education Director Jamie Angelini and EHS Career Pathways Coach Leah Eft shared details of the Purple Star Award the high school received for supporting students in military families. Angelini said she, her husband NickAngelini, Eft and district Website Coordinator Jamie Evans worked to provide and publicize services to benefit students with loved ones who are either active or veterans;
--Beattie said the Edison Unified Sports Complex open house on the high school campus in Richmond was successful May 18 despite rainy weather. Students, parents, school and community members appeared for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and to tour the $12 million facility, which includes the 1,500-seat fieldhouse, multi-purpose area for football, soccer and track, new softball and baseball fields and renovations to the FFA building, auditorium and band room. County commissioners and township trustees were also on hand for the event;
--Leaders outlined the final week of activities which culminate with graduation at the new fieldhouse on May 27 at 7 p.m.;
--Officials set the next regular meeting for June 23 at 6 p.m. at EHS.
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 [email protected]
 
(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 [email protected].)
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 [email protected].

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.

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