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McDonald Bids Farewell to Indian Creek
Posted 5/24/2022 at 12:22:46 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ICBOE McDonald
MINGO JUNCTION- Dr. Nicole McDonald bid farewell to Indian Creek Local Schools after leaving the district for a new position in Florida.
   Dr. McDonald, who most recently held dual roles as principal at Cross Creek Elementary and district director of curriculum and instruction, headed to Boca Raton, Fla., to serve as grants manager with Florida Atlantic University’s A.D. Henderson Lab School. Her first day was Monday and she said goodbye to school board members during the regular session May 19 at Indian Creek Middle School. She initially planned to relinquish her role as CCE principal to solely focus on district matters when the opportunity presented itself. Dr. McDonald then decided to leave Indian Creek after more than two decades on staff.
   “It happened very quickly. My husband used to live in South Florida for a couple of years and wanted to go back,” she continued. “I feel the skills I’ve gained at Indian Creek for the past 22 years have prepared me for this new position.”
    As district director of curriculum and instruction at Creek, she has been heavily involved in developing reading tools for students to bolster their education as well as test scores. She said the lab school primarily conducts research for reading that the State of Ohio subsequently uses to aid students in the classroom.
   “I’m super excited to leave that with my friends here to make sure the district is still on the cutting edge of using evidence-based strategies. I definitely feel like Indian Creek gives students the time and support to be successful and also gives them the experience to be successful with the strategies.”
   Her two-decade tenure began when she taught sixth-grade classes then first-, second- and third-graders at Wintersville Elementary. She went on to teach at the former Wayne Elementary in Bloomingdale before returning to WES as principal. From there, she was promoted to district director of curriculum and instruction but was called upon to once again lead Wintersville and aid the transition to Cross Creek Elementary. Among her highlights were the new elementary and high school buildings and changes implemented to address the reading needs of students.
  “We targeted the needs of students and skill groups and implemented the changes with instruction. That put us ahead of the dyslexia language coming down through the state,” she commented. “The staff has been amazing at wanting to grow and learn to meet instructional strategies to teach the students. It sets us apart and the staff really does care about the kids. I’m forever grateful to be part of Indian Creek.”
   Hills Elementary Principal Michele Minto will succeed Dr. McDonald in the district role and Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear praised them both.
    “Dr. McDonald has been a great teacher and administrator at Indian Creek School District. I wish her the best in her new role and welcome Ms. Michele Minto as her replacement.”
   In other matters, the board:
--Approved the preliminary five-year forecast, but district Treasurer Denise Todoroff noted increases in health insurance expenses in the wake of COVID. Assistant Superintendent John Belt said the district negotiated a 10-percent cap on rate increases or there would have been a 20-percent jump. Todoroff said healthcare comprises 19 percent of the operating costs in the general fund;
--Heard that Dr. Chappelear said was asked to serve on the steering committee for the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, which is behind a lawsuit declaring EdChoice funding unconstitutional. He said the case could be more important than the DeRolph vs. Ohio case also regarding the state’s funding method for public education;
--Heard from Dr. Chappelear that the year was ending on a positive note and he was pleased with the progress throughout the district.
Hills Raises $4,500 for RFL
Posted 5/20/2022 at 12:23:40 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
MINGO JUNCTION-Students at Hills Elementary took to the track and raised more than $4,500 for Relay For Life.
   The school’s Fourth-Grade Student Senate hosted a weeklong fundraiser from May 10-13 which included dress-up days and a turn on the neighboring track. Advisor Ashley Turnbull said the students were generous as always and every cent will be put to good use.
   “Our theme was ‘Knocking Cancer off the Board’ and we did dress-up days,” she said.
   Themes included “Dress up Like Your Favorite Board Game” on Monday; “Twister Tuesday” with activities; “Lost Candy” where they bought candy on Wednesday; “Roll a Dice and Move One Space,” where they wore their favorite numbers on Thursday; and “Pay to Play,” where they made donations to participate in activities that Friday.
   Students played giant board games and took to the track for contributions. They could pay $5 to walk on the track and receive cotton candy and other prizes; participate on the track, play a game and earn cotton candy and more prizes for a $10 donation; or receive all of that as well as a necklace and sweatband for a $15 donation.
   “We had so much money donated that every student got to do a $10 donation,” Turnbull added. “This year, we’re donating half to the Tony Teramana Cancer Center and half to Bryson Pierpoint, a two-year-old cancer patient whose sibling is one of our students.”
    She said the fundraiser has been held for about five years and the school’s giving spirit has never faltered.
   “It’s always good to give back, especially when it’s local.”
Dylewski Has Perfect Attendance
Posted 5/19/2022 at 1:50:04 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
IC Dylewski attendance
WINTERSVILLE-Indian Creek High School senior Bobby Dylewski has faithfully gone to classes throughout his educational career, earning him perfect attendance.
   Dylewski, the son of Cas and Catherine Dylewski of Mingo Junction, is graduating on Sunday with a 3.93 GPA and has enjoyed his time in the school district. He simply says he comes to school “because that’s what we’re supposed to do.”
    His favorite subject has been social studies, particularly learning about U.S. Presidents, and he counts math intervention specialist Patty Peckins among his favorite teachers at Indian Creek. His senior courses have ranged from business administration and anatomy to art and Dylewski also was named a Gold Key Scholar during this year’s banquet for earning at least a 3.5 GPA for seven consecutive semesters. While he’s proud of his achievements from grades K-12, he now looks ahead to the next chapter of his life. 
   “I’m thinking about attending Franciscan University and possibly studying accounting,” he said.
    His pastimes include drawing and volunteering twice a month at the Jefferson County Humane Society--the latter of which he’s done since 2019--and his love for animals carries over at home where he has a dog and five cats. He is also a proud big brother and recently sponsored his sister’s Catholic confirmation at church.
   Teacher Tom Mort instructed Dylewski during his sophomore year and said he exemplifies a great student.
   “He is why we do what we do,” Mort commented. “Bobby never forgets the teachers and would bring gifts for appreciation and holidays. He is just the most thoughtful person and we are so happy for him. We’re going to miss him.”
   Principal Louie Retton praised Dylewski for his commitment to learning, saying that is key to finding success in life.
   “He’s an outstanding young man,” Retton said. “One of the things we talk about is you have to be present. He’s always here and he’s always on his A game. He’s very well liked and respected by his teachers. To make a commitment each day, as an employer, that’s what they look for.”

(Photo Cutline: Indian Creek High School senior Bobby Dylewski has excelled in his studies and his commitment to learning can be attributed to perfect attendance. He is pictured with teacher Tom Mort before he departs school for graduation on Sunday.)
ICHS Scholars Honored
Posted 5/6/2022 at 11:51:08 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ICHS Scholars Banquet Gold Key
WINTERSVILLE-Indian Creek Local School District recognized some of their academic brightest during the 41st Annual Scholars’ Banquet on May 1.
    District leaders hosted more than 200 people at St. Florian Hall and presented certificates to Indian Creek High School juniors and seniors who earned a 3.5 grade point average or better for more than one semester. Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear praised the pupils for their consistent achievement, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 school shutdown.
   “The Gold Key Scholars have maintained a 3.5 GPA or better for seven consistent semesters,” Dr. Chappelear said. “When you think about the last few years these seniors have endured, particularly a worldwide pandemic, it is amazing.”
   ICHS Principal James Retton echoed those remarks and read the names of 206 freshmen to seniors who earned keys and certificates for making the grade. Board members Bob Smith and Dr. John Figel were also present to distribute the honors and parents stood as their student was recognized.
  Gold Key recipients included Harlee Barbour, Allison Bell, Kendall Driscoll, Robert Dylewski, Gracie Francis, Peyton Freshwater, Roan Kovach, Kyle Laughery, Samuel Maiorano, Kailey McMillion, Aiden Minch-Hick, James Orlando, Carley Penner, Tanner Petrella, Sammantha Ratkovec, Kaitlyn Turner, Mitchell Williams, Olivia Wukelic and Olivia Yoho. 
   Silver Key recipients having five consecutive semesters with a 3.5 GPA or better included seniors Breanna Hanlin and Robert McDonald as well as juniors Abigail Beegle, Bryson Bodo, Olivia Bonecutter, Haylee Booher, Amanda Boring, Lance Coleman, Emma DiBenedetto,  Hailey Doan, Amelia Ferroni, Trevor Francis, Avery Lucas, Malaina McDonald, Emma Morrison, Madison Paoloemilio, Gracie Parks, Domenic Paterra, Isabella Pitts, Kaycee Potenzini, Vanessa Redfern, Santosh Schaefer, Charles Spencer, Abigail Starkey, Jayden Vandeborne, Courtney Walkosky, Aleshia White and Lindsey Zifzal. 
   Among the Bronze Key honorees for three semesters of a 3.5 GPA or more were seniors Jacob Chichick, Kylie Clark, Vivian Dubravski, Rachel Durbin, Brooke Grant, Clarissia Gross, Harley Oliver, Camden Parsons, Allison Pethtel, Samantha Price, Jaimee Rymarkiewicz, Ethan Saltkield and Ayden White; juniors Rebecca Blackburn Williamson, Megan Gampolo, Sy Howell, William Kovalchik, Aidan Orr, Samara Pierson, Kania Reed, Van Bao Tran and Lucy Zadanski; and sophomores Tara Bell, Carson Copeland, Kaitlyn Donahue, Kiersten Dorsey, Payten Ewing, Caitlyn Hager, Tyler Martin, Nicholas Maurer, Leah Parks, Landon Pownall, Titus Redfern, Victoria Robertson, Mason Scharfenberg, Reese Scott, Arnesa Shoshi, Alexis Smith, Noah Tweedy and Madeline Ujcich.
   Certificates were awarded to those who achieved  a 3.5 GPA or better for one consecutive semester including seniors Jeffrey Bensie, Emileah Booth, Tahlia Burch-Martin, Brock Burnett, Ivy Costlow, Michael Flinn Jr., Bailey Harris, Logan LaRue, Hannah Moore, Alexis Nation, Brianna Newburn, John Parrish, Dominic Price, Ashton Sands, Arnaud Schatz, Santana Smith, McEndree Stabile, Zachary Taylor, Americus Virden and Ashley White; juniors Mary Ballato, Matthew Belon, Johnnie Brake, Torry Burks, Kelsey Cotter, Tyler Crane, Alexis Dawson, Keerstin Drake, Timothy Goodwin, Jonathan Gorman, Chloe Jones, Trevor Lash, Miea Lucas, Foster Maiorano, Peyton Marsh, Abigail Maxwell, Brayden Medley, Faith Oberholtzer, Victoria Redmond, Adessa Robinson, Shilea Smith, Cody Snyder and Mason Yoho; sophomores Spencer Adams, Alex Bowman, Seth Bowman, Vanessa Davis, Ireland Emery, Kylah Ferguson, Camryn Fray, Drake Freshwater, Ciara Goff, Kiley Hayes, Mazie Hilderbrand, 
Dylan Howell, Bryce Joyce, Fred Layman, Bryce Morris, Brent Rayburn, Christina Reesor, Elijah Richards, Raegen Rusyniak, Wyatt Scheel, Emma Sensibaugh, Kyley Sherbondy, Lance Thornton and Dino Zurzolo; and freshmen Hunter Allen, Jamie Bell, Gianna Bellum, Caleb Bodo, Carl Bonecutter, Cambyl Caprita, Jade Casey, Shiloah Connell, Noah Crane, Emigin Cutri, Emma Doerr, Demarion Eskridge, Logan Ford, Rocco Galownia, Colton Giusto, Kyleigh Haines, Emily Hanlin, Charlee Henry, Caila Higgins, Chase Hile, Jerilyn Hirschfeld, Caitlyn Hoover, Ty Householder, James Houser, Logan Jordan, Camryn Ketron, Wyatt Kiger, Neveah Kirby, Onya Knight, Melia Lane, Lilly Larkins, Hannah Long, Sophia Maxon, Xander Mazik, Allison McGraw, Brennan Monroe, Kaitlyn Morrison, Kayla Myers, Destiny Ratkovec, Allison Rawson, Brooke Scharfenberg, McKenna Scott, Taylor See, Kyle Shultz, Alayna Starr, Briggs Taylor, Isaac Taylor, Cambrie Wilson, Caleb Zifzal, Abigail Zinzmeister and Marlee Zook.
   Gold Key scholars also had a chance to tout the teachers who inspired them during their school career. Among the educators lauded were Cody Larue, Stacey Hall, Kim Howell, Patty Peckins-Nixon, Amy Lane, Staci Copeland, Mary Jo DiPietro, Ryan Smith, Sarah Houser, Barb Turner, Susan Gossett, Julie Robinson, Coach Joe Dunlevy and Isabelle Heisler.
   Finally, Dr. Chappelear thanked his secretary Diane McAfee for coordinating the event and ICHS teacher Dave Moffat’s interactive media class and guidance secretary Lynda Linhart for their assistance, Indian Creek teachers and staff for their dedication and the students for their remarkable achievement.
   “What an accomplishment it is for all of our students, that consistency of a 3.5 GPA for consecutive semesters. It’s all about showing up. Sometimes they say the best ability is availability,” he concluded. “That will take you far in life: showing up and giving a consistent effort.”
(Photo Cutline: Indian Creek Local Schools held its 41st Annual Scholars’ Banquet May 1 to recognize students who earned a 3.5 GPA or better for at least one consecutive semester. Gold Key Scholars were lauded for seven semesters of top grades and include, front from left, Olivia Wukelic, Kaitlyn Turner, Sammantha Ratkovec, Carly Penner, Kyle Laughery, Peyton Freshwater, Kendall Driscoll, Allison Bell and Olivia Yoho. Back: Mitchell Williams, James Orlando, Aiden Minch-Hick, Kailey McMillion, Samuel Maiorano, Roan Kovach, Gracie Francis and Robert Dylewski. Not pictured are Harlee Barbour and Tanner Petrella.)
Plenty of Movement at Indian Creek Schools
Posted 4/25/2022 at 4:01:10 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
WINTERSVILLE-Plenty of movement is occurring within the Indian Creek Local School District as some familiar faces take on new leadership posts.
   On the heels of staff and students’ relocation to the new Indian Creek High School comes a transition of duties within district schools and administration. Board members approved a series of resignations and reassignments during the regular meeting on Thursday, which was held at their new ICHS office. Changes began with the resignation of Dr. Nicole McDonald, who recently served as principal of Cross Creek Elementary as well as district curriculum and Title I coordinator. Dr. McDonald will depart her duties after accepting a post in Florida.
    Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear said Dr. McDonald had originally resigned the principal’s post to return to the district office but will now head to the Sunshine State. He praised her efforts in navigating the transition from Wintersville Elementary to the newly completed Cross Creek building as principal and her ongoing work with the district. 
   “She will take a similar position at Florida Atlantic University with their lab schools,” he said, adding her last day is May 20.
   Her chair at Cross Creek will be filled by former Indian Creek High School Principal Dan Hartman, who will return under a three-year contract. Hartman, who previously served as principal at ICHS for two years, will leave his current post as supervisor/principal at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School. 
  “Dan’s been at the JVS for the past six years and we’re excited to have him back in the district,” Dr. Chappelear commented.
    Meanwhile, current Hills Elementary Principal Michele Minto will take Dr. McDonald’s place in the district and oversee curriculum, Title 1, preschool, district testing and gifted education. She will leave her principal’s seat on June 30 and begin her new role under a three-year contract on July 1.
    “Michele has been a longtime educator at Indian Creek and has taught in about every grade level,” Dr. Chappelear continued. “She has done a great job at Hills Elementary for the past seven years and I have no doubt she will do great things with this position.”
  CCE Dean of Students Makenzie Householder will succeed Minto at Hills after receiving a one-year contract starting July 1, and Dr. Chappelear said it should make for an easy transition.
    “Makenzie has been dean of students for several years and has done a great job. [Her position] is similar to an assistant principal and she has led many student initiatives at Cross Creek.”
   In related matters, officials discussed the relocation to the new high school and said the move went well while students and staff alike were excited to be in their new environment.
   Among other action, the board:
--Heard from Michael McIntyre of the NAACP about education initiatives and Dr. Chappelear said the district looked forward to working with the organization;
--Learned district bus drivers were heading to a regional Bus Rodeo in Navarre Saturday. Transportation Director Brenda Staffilino said seven drivers were competing and the top 10 winners head to the state contest. Dr. Chappelear praised the drivers for their work.
--Approved KIKO Company for online auctioneer services regarding personal property at the former high school.
IC Students Donate Chemo Care Packages
Posted 4/12/2022 at 11:03:34 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Hills Chemo Care Packages
MINGO JUNCTION-Students at Hills and Cross Creek Elementary Schools are showing their kindness by donating 200 chemo care packages to the Tony Teramana Cancer Center.
   Second-graders gathered in the Hills Elementary gym on April 7 for a presentation to representatives and provided colorful canvas tote bags full of snacks, personal care items and games to give chemo patients some comfort both at home and at the facility. Second-grade teacher Sarah Hibbits said the community service project has been held for seven years and more than 1,000 bags have been contributed during that time.
   “There were 204 between Hills and Cross Creek,” she said, noting she began her project while at the former Wintersville Elementary. “The 200 will go to Teramana and four immediately go to family and friends of students and staff going through chemo.”
   Even the oncoming of COVID didn’t impact the strong sense of giving, although it did alter plans during the school shutdown, but Hibbits said the community responds in kind when there is a need.
  “Every year, I always get to a point where I wonder if we will have enough,” she said. “We spread information on social media and shared the project. When the community members see the project, they want to help.”
   This year, collections began in February and were extended through March due to snow days while items were still needed to fill the bags. The supply list included packaged snacks, bottled water, hard candy, lotion, travel-sized packages of wet wipes, Biotene or dry mouth products, travel-sized packages of tissues, blankets, hats and scarves, slipper socks, puzzle books and games, among others. The latest contributions also filled a dozen extra boxes with supplies for the center to distribute when necessary. 
  During the presentation, Hibbits said the students’ generosity cheers up the patients and gives something back to the community. Students also shared their feelings about helping others and said it made them smile and they hoped others paid it forward.
   “I feel grateful for what we’re doing because I love to help people,” said second-grader Emerson Bates-Dallman. 
   “I feel good that we’re trying to do something for other people and it can go on and on,” added student Camdin Bell. 
   Meanwhile, cancer center reps were equally delighted by the outpouring of love.
   “It’s wonderful,” said oncology advocate Marsha Lewis. “The patients love it and it brightens their day.”
   Catherine Poludniak, foundation manager for Trinity Health System, told the children their efforts make a huge impact.
   “It’s fantastic. The community has always been supportive,” she added. “It’s heartwarming to see all of this and I really enjoy seeing the kids get involved.”

(Photo Cutline: Second-graders at Hills Elementary School presented 200 cancer care packages to representatives of the Tony Teramana Cancer Center to distribute to patients undergoing chemotherapy as part of an annual community service project. Hills and Cross Creek Elementary students collected the items with help from the community this winter. Pictured with the students are, from left, Marsha Lewis, Denise Mannarino and Catherine Poludniak of Trinity Health System with teacher and organizer Sarah Hibbits.)
DI Team Heading to State Contest
Posted 3/25/2022 at 11:20:05 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
IC DI Team
MINGO JUNCTION-The third time’s the charm for one Destination Imagination team from the Indian Creek Local School District after COVID upended previous attempts to go to the state competition.
   Holidaze of the Future, a team based at Indian Creek Middle School, will head to Centerville, Ohio, to take part in the state DI contest on April 2. Destination Imagination, a program formerly known as Odyssey of the Mind, has students work together to solve open-ended STEAM challenges designed to teach the creative process. The Indian Creek team has qualified for states for the past three years but the pandemic shelved plans until now. They were among hundreds of students from 14 school districts attending the Region 17 Contest at Union Local Schools in Morristown on March 5 and took part in the service challenge category, earning first place and advancing to the next level.
   The team of Isabella Wilson, Khloe Buchanan, Harper Long, Sophia Tongate and Arabella Brown-Hess focused on public service while addressing real-life community issues. Their project entailed collecting money and creating cancer care packages for local patients late last year and the packages included everything from hats and scarves to snacks, puzzle books and small blankets to help make treatments a little smoother. 
   Advisor Lisa Longo-Mayle was proud of her team and said they worked hard to attend the state matchup.
   “They sold Candygrams to raise money at the middle school, had a Pajama Day, wrote letters to collect money and they ended up with 30 cancer care packages,” said Longo-Mayle. “They competed in person and came in first. Now they will go to states in April. This is going to be the first time to go to state in person.”
   Tongate said the team had discussed ideas for a service project while Long’s mother works at the Tony Teramana Cancer Center. The team is very excited to get the opportunity to attend the upcoming event at Centerville High School.

(Photo Cutline: The Holidaze of the Future Destination Imagination team based at Indian Creek Middle School won first place at the Region 17 competition at Union Local earlier this March with their cancer care package service project and will attend the state contest on April 2. Members include, from left, Isabella Wilson, Khloe Buchanan, Harper Long, Sophia Tongate and Arabella Brown-Hess.)
IC Leaders Talk Making Moves
Posted 3/21/2022 at 9:49:13 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
MINGO JUNCTION-Indian Creek officials are making moves within the district and discussed their plans at Thursday’s regular session.
   Board members met at Hills Elementary, a change from the usual venue at neighboring Indian Creek Middle School in Mingo Junction, in a bid to meet at alternate locations each month and showcase the new and renovated buildings as well as attract more public participation. The subject of moves continued throughout the session as leaders discussed personnel and school building matters.
   One topic was the reassignment of Cross Creek Elementary Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald, who will return to a full-time position within the central office. In addition to her role as principal, Dr. McDonald has also served as district curriculum director and Title I coordinator and her new assignment will be as curriculum director, Title I coordinator, preschool coordinator, district testing coordinator and gifted coordinator. Officials are seeking a replacement at the school and said Dr. McDonald’s vast administrative work assists the district in meeting—and even exceeding—state requirements.
   “She helped when we needed an experienced principal to operate the new building and she did an excellent job getting it done,” said Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear. “There is dyslexia legislation for next year and it’s important for Dr. McDonald to move into her position. We are already meeting requirements of the legislation. Some superintendents are concerned about the aggressive requirements but we are all right.”
   Meanwhile, district leaders discussed their recent move into the new high school, which is nearing completion with construction. A dedication and open house are slated for April 13 at 6 p.m. and students will spend the last few weeks of the school year in the building before seniors graduate and underclassmen leave for the summer.
   Dr. Chappelear and others said they were pleased with the new digs. Assistant Superintendent John Belt announced the move was made while district Treasurer Denise Todoroff noted her enthusiasm with all of the new and renovated school buildings.
   “The offices are just wonderful,” Dr. Chappelear added. “It’s been fantastic to be there. It has an impact on your mindset.”
  Among other matters:
--Dr. Chappelear discussed other legislation on the horizon and a lawsuit regarding school vouchers to fund private and even homeschools;
--ICMS Principal Dr. Holly Minch-Hick and Hills Principal Michele Minto recognized activities and students in their building, saying middle school pupils visited the elementary schools and School of Bright Promise for Read Across America, the ICHS Key Club presented letters to Hills kids for Absolutely Incredible Kids Day and others were taking part in sports activities and the Jefferson-Harrison Regional Spelling Bee;
--District Food Service Director Eric White said the ICMS cafeteria employees were featured in Nutrition Ink Magazine for Moments Matter recognition and students purchased more than 2,700 ice cream items since February;
--The board lauded ICHS wrestlers for being sixth in the state following competitions last weekend;
--Officials announced the Indian Creek Foundation Reverse Raffle was set for April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Mingo Knights of Columbus.
Cross Creek is All Heart
Posted 3/5/2022 at 11:35:52 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
CCE All Heart
WINTERSVILLE-Cross Creek Elementary School took their lessons to heart during some special activities through February.
   From learning about the vital organ to raising money for a cause, students participated in programs in connection with National Heart Month. 
   “February was our Healthy Heart initiative and we combined a Heart Walk with STEM activities along with Jump Rope for Heart,” said CCE Dean of Students Makenzie Householder. 
   CCE Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald said the program was suggested by first-grade teacher Karen Lloyd as a hands-on task involving the entire building.
   “We decided to make a learning heart and the kids researched parts of the heart and had activities,” Dr. McDonald added. 
    The school was segmented to represent the portions of the heart as depicted in decorations around the site. More fun was had through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning activities and students travelled through each classroom to learn something new. Among the events were simulating the movement of oxygen through the lungs with balloons; using colored yarn to indicate how blood flows between the lungs and heart; and information on cholesterol and the importance of healthy living. One interesting factoid is the human heart pumps a gallon of blood through the body each minute, and first-graders got a chance to mimic the act by attempting to transfer water to a container within the same timeframe.
   “STEM activities included making stethoscopes from cups and toilet paper rolls and they also tried to beat the heart with the water activity,” Householder added. 
   Meanwhile, Householder and physical education teacher Joe Strohmeyer organized the Jump Rope for Heart moneymaker on Feb. 22-25. Children took part in the Healthy Heart Challenge by jumping rope in gym and collecting donations from friends and loved ones to benefit AHA, and their efforts ultimately raised more than $1,400 in just a few days’ time. 
  “We brought in over $1,400 and it will be donated to the American Heart Association,” Householder continued. 
   The collection was extended until Feb. 28 and contributions were made to the organization while students who donated received a “Behavior Buck” for use at the school’s Behavior Store and earned incentives such as a glow party in March.
(Photo Cutline: Cross Creek Elementary first-graders Kyrie Martin, Blaire Welch and Corbin Cooper attempt to move a gallon of water to replicate blood circulation in an activity connected to the school’s Learning Heart project. Each grade conducted events throughout February and raised more than $1,400 during a Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser for the American Heart Association.)
IC’s Canestraro Earns CORAS Award
Posted 3/4/2022 at 11:27:39 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Canestraro CORAS award
WINTERSVILLE-Cross Creek Elementary teacher Rebecca Canestraro’s efforts in the classroom have earned her honors from one state organization.
   Canestraro was named Outstanding Elementary Teacher for the Indian Creek School District by the Coalition of Ohio Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS). She was among 50 educators recognized during a ceremony at the Pritchard Laughlin Center in Cambridge on Feb. 22 and said she was humbled by the distinction.
   “It was truly an honor to receive such a recognition. I believe all educators are deserving of such honors, given the challenges we’ve faced the last three years. We’ve had to adapt our instruction to best meet the needs of our students,” she commented. “To receive this honor, after completing a year of remote learning and now returning to a classroom, has left me feeling great pride in the accomplishments my students have made when faced with such unique learning situations.”
   The Wintersville native spent eight years teaching in the Buckeye Local School District before returning to her alma mater, where she has instructed third-grade students at Wintersville Elementary and now works with second-graders at Cross Creek.  Canestraro said she was inspired to teach by the educators who came before her.
   “The excellent teachers I had throughout my childhood instilled a love for learning within me. Those teachers became my influence for wanting to share my passion and knowledge with students,” she added and also credited others for her success. “Teaching is truly a team effort. I would not be the educator I am today without the mentors and teammates I have had collaborating, teaching and sharing with me in various schools I’ve had the fortune to teach in throughout the years. While I am honored to receive this award, I know it would not have been possible without the knowledge and support of those amazing teachers who continue to share their knowledge with students throughout the county.”
   Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald praised Canestraro’s abilities to inspire and prepare children despite the challenges of COVID-19.
   “Rebecca was nominated for outstanding and innovative teaching during the pandemic. Rebecca taught third-grade using innovative technology strategies to reach students who chose remote learning during the 2020-2021 school year,” Dr. McDonald added. “She continues to provide engaging face-to-face teaching strategies to address learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

(Photo Cutline: Cross Creek Elementary teacher Rebecca Canestraro was among 50 educators honored during the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools’ (CORAS) Outstanding Elementary Teacher Recognition Ceremony in Cambridge and was highlighted for her work with remote students during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Indian Creek Local School District. Pictured are, from left, Interim Dean Sara Helfrich with the Patton College of Education at Ohio University, Indian Creek Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear, Canestraro, Cross Creek Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald and Ohio Sen. Jay Hottinger (R-31st District).
Items Needed for Chemo Care Packages
Posted 3/4/2022 at 11:23:56 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
MINGO JUNCTION- Students in the Indian Creek Local School District are again reaching out to help patients at Teramana Cancer Center by collecting supplies for their Chemo Care Packages project, but there is still a need for items to fulfill the goal.
   Hills Elementary second-grade schoolteacher Sarah Hibbits is spearheading the service learning project that she started at Wintersville Elementary and said Hills and the current Cross Creek Elementary are both involved. Hibbits said it will benefit students’ friends, family members and others who are patients at the Steubenville facility. Collections have been held since February but were extended until March 11 due to snow days, plus many items are still needed to complete the packages.
   Plans are to gather hundreds of new supplies and fill 200 tote bags with food, personal care and miscellaneous items that will be distributed to the patients.  Hibbits launched the project six years ago but it faced some delays due to COVID-19. 
   “We are doing 200 bags again this year and we’re teaming up with Cross Creek Elementary since that’s where it originated,” she said. “We did something similar last year because in 2020 we shut down [for the pandemic] three days before we were to send the bags to Teramana. The food was donated to the Bay Six Project and we stored the other items and then took bags to [the cancer center].”
   Plans are back in action and hopes are to surpass last year’s amount of 202 bags, but many items are still greatly needed to make it happen. They include individual sleeves of saltine crackers, packaged snacks, bottled water, sugarless gum, hard candy, tuna lunch pouches with crackers, Chaptstick, lotion, travel-sized packages of Wet Wipes, Biotene or dry mouth products, travel-sized packages of tissues, blankets, hats and scarves, slipper socks, puzzle books, journals/notebooks/calendars, pens or pencils, and games or others such as puzzles, books and Bibles. Cash or check donations and gift cards are also accepted and sponsors may also give $20 to help. Online purchases may be shipped to Hills Elementary at 2281 Wilson Ave., Mingo Junction, Ohio, 43938, in care of the second grade.
   Hibbits said sponsors and students also add notes of support and the greatest rewards are the cards and smiles received from the thankful recipients.
  “We’re trying to rally them as much as we can. We’re always inspired by people who are undergoing therapy. One school parent’s dad was undergoing chemo and he had a suggestion on what to put in the bag, so we’re going to add those also,” she said. “This gives the kids a connection and the cards from patients lets them see the gratitude and learn their personal stories or hear from family members of patients who have passed on. They are unbelievably kind to send their appreciation.”
   Hibbits said an assembly will be held when Teramana officials collect the bags for distribution possibly later this month.  For more information on how to help, contact her at sarah.hibbits@iclsd.org.
First Responders Appreciated at IC
Posted 1/12/2022 at 9:47:33 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
WINTERSVILLE-Area safety forces are being recognized by gaining free admission to an upcoming Indian Creek High School basketball game.
    Local fire, police and ambulance personnel are invited to attend First Responders Appreciation Night during the ICHS Redskins’ roundball matchup against Toronto on Jan. 28 with tip off at 6 p.m. Emergency staff who are not in uniform simply present their badge at the door to receive free entry to the game. Indian Creek Assistant Superintendent John Belt said it was the district’s way to show gratitude to those who help keep the school community safe.
   “The board of education is extremely grateful for the service and support we have always received from our local first responders,” Belt continued. “They wanted to do something to recognize them for their services and to say thank you for always supporting the Indian Creek Local School District.”
   The district has periodically recognized groups including Military Appreciation Night with local Armed Forces members and veterans, but this marks a first with the first responders. Belt said more events may be held in the future while Indian Creek has supported safety crews in other ways. 
  “We have always had good relationships with them. In the past, they have used our facilities for meetings and training and we also have an open-door policy with the police that while in uniform and out on patrol, they may stop in to freshen up and have a free meal.”
ICMS Club Fills Pantries
Posted 12/7/2021 at 12:42:42 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ICMS NJHS Food Drive
MINGO JUNCTION-Members of the National Jr. Honor Society at Indian Creek Middle School helped stock local pantries by collecting canned goods and other food items in time for the holidays.
   About 44 members collected non-perishable goods on Nov. 15-19, raising about 3,000 items in the process. Advisor Cathy Dibenedetto said turkey and ham were also acquired to feed families for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
   “We had raised 3,000 food items and also purchased 10 turkeys and six hams with donations. We had a food drive at the school on Nov. 22 and ICMS families in need came first,” she explained. “They got to take food they could use for the holidays and the rest of the food was donated to the Urban Mission.”
   Boxed and canned goods were collected throughout the week from classrooms and Dibenedetto believes they surpassed their previous goal, plus they doubled the amount of turkeys and hams.
   “We filled the school food pantry,” she said.
   Several NJHS members noted their enthusiasm and were glad to pitch in and help others.
   “I feel really good about helping families in need,” said Olivia Johnson.
   “I’m happy our school is donating to people in need,” added Noah Fowler. “It’s a really good cause.”
   “It’s good the school tries to help everyone out for the holidays,” said Teaghan Garcia.
(Photo Cutline: Indian Creek Middle School National Jr. Honor Society members Noah Fowler, Teaghan Garcia and Olivia Johnson gather some of the holiday meal items raised by the club to feed needy families. About 3,000 non-perishable goods were collected over a week while more than a dozen turkeys and hams were purchased with funding donations for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.)
IC Program Awarded for Efforts during Pandemic
Posted 11/19/2021 at 9:00:33 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
WINTERSVILLE-The Indian Creek Local School District’s Food Service Program has gained some high marks from the American Dairy Association.
   District Food Service Director Eric White said the program was recognized with the 2020-21 Superstar Serving Breakfast and Beyond Award during the Ohio School Boards Association’s annual conference on Nov. 8 in Columbus. The honor was bestowed for officials’ work to expand the Summer Feeding Program and help sustain students during the COVID-related shutdown.
  “We served nearly 90,000 meals,” he said. “We are just trying to feed as many students as we can.”
   Those meals were distributed between March and August of 2020 but leaders continued to feed students attending school or working remotely at home during the 20-21 school year. It began when food service officials sought ways to extend the summer food program to help families in need. A teacher who volunteered at the Bay 6 Project then connected White with the organization and plans were formulated to help feed the children. The district acquired extra equipment with grants from the Children’s Hunger Alliance and GenYouth to prepare breakfast and lunch and school buses transported the meals to the Bay 6 site for distribution during the shutdown. Efforts continued for in-school and virtual students once classes resumed with meals available for pickup each Monday for remote students while weekend backpack meals were collected on Fridays to keep kids nourished outside of class.
   The district has won the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge over the past four years and officials learned last February that Indian Creek was among nine school districts statewide to earn the designation for having an innovative and collaborative approach to maximize participation in the programs. In addition to the Superstar Serving Breakfast commendation, the food service program also gained kudos from the Children’s Hunger Alliance during the past year. White, who has served as director for the past five years through The Nutrition Group, said he was excited to see the district get recognized but he didn’t do it alone.
   “I couldn’t have won this without my incredible staff and the great administration here at The Creek,” he said.
    Assistant Superintendent John Belt applauded White and his staff’s efforts to help the students and district as a whole.
   “Eric and our food service staff work very hard to provide for our staff and students. They truly care about the people they serve,” Belt said. “It's a great thing when outside organizations reaffirm what our community has already known for a long time -- well deserved!”
DI Team Benefitting Cancer Patients
Posted 11/12/2021 at 12:10:29 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ICMS DI Cancer Package Collection
MINGO JUNCTION-One Destination Imagination team is taking service learning to heart by coming together to help cancer patients.
  The Holidaze of the Future team based at Indian Creek Middle School is competing in the service learning challenge as part of the program formerly known as Odyssey of the Mind. The challenge engages students in public service while addressing real-life community issues and members decided to collect money and items to create cancer care packages for local patients. They are conducting their drive from Nov. 5 to Dec. 6 and want to show their support to those currently fighting the disease. 
   Team members include sixth-graders Arabella Brown-Hess, Khloe Buchanan, Harper Long, Sophia Tongate and Isabella Wilson and are coached by Lisa Longo-Mayle. Longo-Mayle said the packages will include hats, scarves, a “Stronger than Cancer” T-shirt, queasy drops, Chapstick, throw blankets, cozy socks, snacks, water or ginger ale, puzzle books, tissues and lotion. Donations are being accepted at all Indian Creek school offices or may be sent to Longo-Mayle, who teaches first grade at Hills Elementary.
   The challenge is a win-win because the team learns about service while also helping others.
   “Everyone knows at least one person that has been affected by cancer,” said Tongate. “We want to use this as an opportunity to give back to people just like those we know.”
   Buchanan added that the team has worked together for some time and were ready to participate in the upcoming event, which has been impacted by COVID in recent years. Longo-Mayle noted that they meet each Tuesday at Hills to prepare and this was the team’s second service learning project. She said it gives them a chance to give back as well as compete.
   “Coaching these girls for the last five years, we have become like a family,” Longo-Mayle continued. “We want to show the love and compassion we have built for one another to others affected by cancer. We hope to make a small difference in someone’s life.”
   The team is expected to compete March 5 at the Region 17 Destination Imagination contest at Union Local in Morristown. Hundreds of students from 14 school districts compete in various challenges with seven to 15 teams generally taking part in the service challenge category.
(Photo Cutline: The Holidaze of the Future Destination Imagination team based at Indian Creek Middle School is raising money and items for cancer care packages to support local patients as a service learning project. Items are being accepted at any Indian Creek school through Dec. 6 and will help others while also enabling the team to compete in the activity, which includes the Region 17 competition at Union Local this spring. Members include, front from left, Khloe Buchanan, Harper Lnog and Isabella Wilson. Back: Arabella Brown-Hess and Sophia Tongate.)
NJHS Fundraiser Benefits Brayden’s Army
Posted 10/19/2021 at 1:20:47 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ICMS Tipton
MINGO JUNCTION-The Indian Creek Middle School National Jr. Honor Society pulled together and collected money to help a student in his time of need.
   Club member Cara Vandeborne, an eighth-grader at the school, sparked the idea to raise funds for classmate Brayden Tipton, who has been battling acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and the event also coincided with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month for September. Cara was looking for ideas for her school organization and decided on the moneymaker to benefit her classmate. 
   “I just wanted to help somebody who was in my class,” Cara said. “I just wanted to support him.”
   Her mother, Brandy, donated promotional items from beaded necklaces to stickers that were sold in homeroom from Sept. 27-Oct.1. Cara and fellow NJHS members Abbey Pendleton and Trista Simeral, who are also on the cheerleading squad, sold the merchandise and utilized sporting events to help make more money. Brandy said she was glad to help such an important cause, which also struck close to home.
   “I made T-shirts for the cheerleaders and Brayden picked two designs. They also sold necklaces, stickers, pens and pencils,” she added. “This was the first time I donated. I’m a nurse at Children’s Hospital and childhood cancer was something I thought I’d go to nursing school for. We’ve had family and friends who had childhood cancer, and these kids are so strong and I couldn’t imagine what they go through.”
   She said the cheerleaders donned the T-shirts during games while the Toronto Middle School football and Weir Middle School volleyball teams kindly purchased stickers to help the cause known as “Brayden’s Army.”
   “It’s great to see the community come together like that,” Brandy said.
   The effort raised more than of $677 at the conclusion and all of the proceeds will go to Tipton for any expenses to assist him and his family. Cara also thanked the school for making the project a success. 
   NJHS Advisor Cathy Dibenedetto said the fundraiser was the first benefit for Brayden’s Army and the group’s 43 members plan to host other activities in the near future. Among them are a food drive next month and a Sadie Hawkins Dance on Nov. 10. She added that the NJHS is for students who hold a 3.5 GPA or higher when entering eighth grade. Membership selection is based on outstanding scholarship, leadership, service, character and citizenship. Once selected, members have the responsibility to continue demonstrating those qualities.

(Photo Cutline: The Indian Creek Middle School National Jr. Honor Society raised $675 for student Brayden Tipton, who has been battling acute myeloid leukemia. Necklaces, stickers and other items were sold during the last week of September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to help Tipton and his family with medical and other expenses. The event was organized by NJHS member and cheerleader Cara Vandeborne and items were donated by her mother, Brandy. Pictured are, from left, fellow NJHS members and cheerleaders Trista Simeral and Abbey Pendleton with Cara Vandeborne, Brayden Tipton and Brandy Vandeborne.)
PAX Program Accentuates the Positive
Posted 10/8/2021 at 11:41:36 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
WINTERSVILLE-Cross Creek Elementary is accentuating the positive though the PAX Program to motivate kids and help them attain success.
   Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald said the program has been slowly integrated into Indian Creek’s school system over the past few years but is being fully implemented at Cross Creek during the 2021-22 term. Dr. McDonald said students are rewarded for Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports (PBIS) through the PAX plan. A kickoff was held in September and teachers and students practice a series of Good Behavior Games, or GBG’s, throughout the day to increase academic success and mental health and decrease problem behaviors, as well as promote positive prosocial behaviors and outcomes for students’ lifetime success.
   “We did a PAX kickoff on Sept. 10 and the kids were given T-shirts. The PBIS team matched each grade level and taught expectations to navigate the building and the collaborative spaces. This year, we are fully implementing the PAX game where children are rewarded for positive behaviors. It’s working and making things go a lot smoother.”
  Students are recognized with “Behavior Bucks” which can be used in a mobile rewards store to purchase trinkets, plus they may earn a chance to have lunch with a teacher or receive a homework pass.
   “Our focus this year is honing in on support for positive behavior and helping the students. We also have a parent component we introduced at our open house that gives parents tips and tools for positive behavior at home.”
    Dr. McDonald said the plan is definitely a plus.
   “It’s really a culture shift and focusing on positive things. I think kids are really into it because we are in a positive place [with the new school] with positive things going on.”
Mask Mandate Draws Concerns
Posted 9/17/2021 at 1:14:58 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
WINTERSVILLE-A temporary mask mandate put in place last week drew concerns from parents during the Sept. 16 Indian Creek school board meeting.

  The measure was passed during a previous emergency session and was implemented on Sept. 13 in an effort to maintain low COVID infection numbers. Prior to that, masks had been strongly recommended but Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear notified parents of the change in a one-call and said it was a precaution to keep everyone safe. He said students, staff and visitors are required to wear a face covering inside all district buildings and the policy would be reviewed at the end of the month.  

   But the change didn’t sit well with more than a dozen people who appeared at the meeting at Indian Creek Middle School. Many argued that masks were not effective and parents should have the right to decide whether their children don the coverings.

   “The mask doesn’t stop anything or slow the spread,” said parent Kurt Williams, citing some recent studies. “They will not provide protection against COVID-19. I’m not here to tell people to wear or not wear a mask. It’s not political. I understand you want to keep kids and staff safe {but] it is your job to educate.”

   Parent Amanda McClements said she cared about children’s health and well-being but did not agree with the mandate.

   “COVID isn’t going away. Are you going to make our kids wear masks forever? We get consent forms for everything,” she commented, asking why parents cannot give consent to the masks.

   More comments came from Rich Gualtire, who called the mandates unconstitutional and families should have the freedom of choice. Others who were not on the public participation list spoke out against the measure and board member Dr. Ted Starkey sided with the parents, saying they had the right to voice their opposition and he initially voted against the mandate. Fellow board member Dr. John Figel said he respected people’s decisions and the matter was not political. 

  “I look at the science of this every day and there are arguments on both sides as to what masks will and will not do,” Dr. Figel added. “We did feel that anything we could do to help protect and help maintain our kids in the classroom, we felt it was the right thing to do.”

   He added that medical and religious exemptions could be filed with the school buildings students attend. Medical exemptions will be granted with a note from a physician and religious exemptions will be granted by writing a letter to the school of attendance.  Parent Chris Forrester questioned the protocol of who signed off on religious and medical exemption forms, saying he was in support of the district’s move to mask kids.

   “I follow the recommendation of the CDC and from Dr. Fauci,” he said. “Our government officials who are epidemiologists recommend masks. I want to protect my kids so they can get through school and can get shots.”

   He also shared his thanks with the board for their decision.
Dr. Chappelear said officials looked at the rising number of quarantined students and noted that the mandate was temporary and would simply help keep kids in school. As of now, there were more positive cases than at the same time last year and 170 students were being quarantined. However, the number in quarantine was stabilizing and officials were keeping a close eye on the situation. He later said the mandate would remain in place and leaders would review matters at the end of the month. Dr. Chappelear also thanked everyone for attending and voicing their concerns.

   “I appreciate the parents and community members who showed. That’s all part of this process,” he commented. “You have an elected board of education and you have opportunities for the public to weigh in on the decisions of the board. I am happy to hear their concerns.”

   Meanwhile, facial coverings must be used on public transportation provided by the district in accordance with CDC guidelines. Officials will continue to utilize a minimum of three feet of spacing in classrooms when possible, clean and disinfect surfaces and classrooms and utilize ventilation.

   Leaders also approved a series of personnel issues such as the resignation of Sarah Bolen as ICHS Spanish/Italian teacher at the end of the school year. Bolen has also served as the high school foreign language and drama advisor. Meanwhile, the board corrected a previous agenda to name Bethany Davis as freshman girls’ basketball coach, plus they approved extra-duty supplemental contracts for Hills After School Physical Activities Director Bobbie Jo Agin, ICHS Band Director Don Llewellyn, ICHS Assistant Band Directors Kent Howell and Kim Howell and Cross Creek OIP Kim Wadas; Before & After School care staff including teachers Hillary Garner, Amy Rusnak and Ruth Rees at Hills and Rachel Antonelli, Dominique Banks, Alex Menke, Mary-Lil Giusto, Hannah Treglia and Marissa Kiddey and substitutes Karen Lloyd and Kristi Sciarra at Cross Creek, as well as classified staff Brenda Hyde of Hills and Christina Keyser of CCE and substitute Linda Scarabino of Hills; and employed Raymond Cooper as a cook/cashier at Hills and classified substitute Trey Jeter as bus driver. On a similar note, the board approved the resignations of Kenneth Skinner and Raeann Sowers as freshmen girls’ basketball coaches and named them as volunteers; approved the resignation of Ashley Agin as head cook at Hills Elementary but added her to the substitute list; approved the resignation of Holly Parissi as Before and After Care Coordinator at Hills for the current school year; gave supplemental contracts to Mentha Moore as ICHS majorette line instructor, Joe Ribar as ICHS assistant girls’ basketball coach; named Colleen Shepherd as part-time reading teacher at Bishop John King Mussio Elementary for the 2021-22 school year.

   Among other matters, the board:
--Heard reports from Indian Creek Education Association President Karen Lloyd, who thanked officials for getting into Cross Creek Elementary and also for the recent approval of the three-year labor agreement with the teacher’s union; OAPSE representative Lori Orban, who said members were glad to be in the new building and cannot wait to get into the new high school; and ICMS Principal Dr. Holly Minch-Hick, who reported that five picnic tables were donated to the outdoor classroom and plans were underway for sixth-grade improvement and a speaker to visit the school; and Hills Elementary Principal Michele Minto, who said her students were happy to return to the updated building and thanked the board for their support;

--Approved an agreement with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center for additional special education services at the Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities and new services for the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School for the current school year;

--Approved an agreement with Franciscan University to provide clinical education and practice for students in the education degree programs for the 2021-22 school year;

--Approved an agreement with Ohio University Eastern in which Indian Creek will provide experiences and student teaching placements for teaching students during the 2021-22 school year;

--Approved a one-time payment of $500 for district administrators to retain quality administrators, hazard pay and for supplemental duties related to COVID-19, which will be financed with ESSER III funds.
IC Implements Temporary Mask Mandate
Posted 9/10/2021 at 10:23:09 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
WINTERSVILLE- The Indian Creek Local School District is issuing a temporary mask mandate in a bid to keep students healthy and in the classroom.
   During an emergency session in Wintersville on Tuesday, the school board agreed to institute the rule from Sept. 13-30 despite showing low numbers in infection cases. Dr. T.C. Chappelear notified parents of the change in a one-call and said it was a precaution to keep everyone safe. He said students, staff and visitors will be required to wear a face covering inside all Indian Creek buildings and the policy will be reviewed at the end of the month.  
   “We have had a great start to the school year and as of today, our COVID-19 cases are very low. The mask mandate is being put in place to keep our cases low and limit the number of possible quarantines as the school year progresses,” he said.
   Medical exemptions will be granted with a note from a physician and religious exemptions will be granted by writing a letter to the school of attendance.  
   Most recently, school leaders only recommended wearing masks inside facilities for employees, students, parents or guardians, volunteers, contractors and others who inhabited the buildings during school hours, for business meetings and for extracurricular events. However, facial coverings must be used on public transportation provided by the district in accordance with CDC guidelines. Officials will continue to utilize a minimum of three feet of spacing in classrooms when possible, clean and disinfect surfaces and classrooms and utilize ventilation.
IC Elementary Schools Prepare for New Start
Posted 8/26/2021 at 3:09:06 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
IC Elementary Schools
WINTERSVILLE-Teachers in the Indian Creek Local School District’s elementary schools are busy preparing for a fresh start in new and updated buildings come September.
    Moving day occurred Tuesday and Wednesday at Cross Creek Elementary, where educators unpacked crates and boxes from Wintersville Elementary School that now temporarily serves as the district office. Additionally, Hills Elementary teachers in Mingo Junction readied their rooms amid ongoing renovations. Contractors have been putting the the finishing touches on the two-story Cross Creek building along Bantam Ridge Road, which is part of an estimated $63 million project including a new Indian Creek High School as well as the work at Hills.  Elementary classes are set to start on Sept. 7 with open houses respectively scheduled for Hills on Sept. 2 from 3-6 p.m. and Cross Creek on Sept. 3 from 2-5 p.m. to highlight the sites.
   Cross Creek Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald said it was a long time coming but is definitely worthwhile.
   “[Moving is] hectic but it’s exciting. We have an organized system and the moving crew has been fantastic,” she said. 
   The structure includes a dedicated preschool wing, cafetorium, media center, gymnasium, flexible learning environments with pods in vibrant hues to indicate grade levels, art and music rooms as well as a learning stair for grades PreK-4 and two playgrounds for preschool and the remaining grade levels. In addition, it features interactive smartboards with touchscreens, modern furniture and an infusion of elements in homage to the local coal and steel heritage and nature. Teacher workrooms are centrally located and the collaboration space will feature handmade wooden benches with a television for instruction as an added bonus. 
   Teachers emptied boxes and stocked shelves as they awaited their first day of class, and many noted their eagerness to begin anew following ongoing construction and dealing with the COVID pandemic.
   “It’s a big change,” said first-grade teacher Shari Legros. “It’s a gift for the kids and teachers are beneficiaries of the community’s generosity.”
   “When I walked in, I started getting goosebumps and tears in my eyes,” added first-grade teacher Erin Moffat. “It’s incredible and so amazing. The entire vibe is different. It gives you hope and positivity. I think the kids will be able to feel that too.”
   “Right now, I’m trying to take it all in,” said third-grade teacher Kristi Sciarra. “I’m just overwhelmed.”
   “We’re ready for a new school and a new school year,” commented preschool teacher Alexis Davis.
     Additionally, Dr. McDonald said everyone was excited about the change and thankful to the community for approving the bond issue to finance it.
   “We are so grateful to the community for giving us this gift. This is really a gift from them with their tax money. The staff and these kids deserve this more than ever.”
    Hills Elementary has been the focus of a $10 million makeover which adds updated security, technology and modernized rooms akin to those at Cross Creek. Principal Michele Minto was equally ecstatic to see the project come to fruition and said everyone was waiting for the new school year to begin.

“I love it. It’s nice to see all of the pieces of the puzzle coming together,” she said. “It’s exciting.”
    Hills’ updates include relocating the office to the front of the building with a view of the parking lot and any visitors to the site, as well as a secure vestibule at the entrance. Classrooms have been improved with contemporary furnishings and will include state-of-the-art technology for a truly enhanced education. 
   “It’s bringing us into the 21st Century with the remodeling,” Minto continued. “Everybody’s excited to be back.”
   Physical education teacher Ryan Smith was pleased to have a larger office with plenty of storage and an updated gymnasium which was temporarily out of commission amid COVID protocols.
   “Last year, we didn’t have the gym because it had been used for cafeteria space. Now I have a gym that’s painted and has natural lighting. I’m getting all new equipment, too. It’s great.”
   Third-grade teacher Ginny Pawelczyk said it was an amazing time for students and teachers alike.
   “It’s definitely an exciting time. I think the kids will really be excited to see all of the changes and really enjoy it. It’s well worth the wait with the construction and the taxpayers will be pleased to see it and know it’s been money well spent.”
   Meanwhile, the district office will find a permanent base at the new high school upon its completion this spring and the current ICHS and WES buildings will eventually be demolished. 
(Photo Cutline: First-grade teacher Shari Legros unpacks and prepares her classroom at Cross Creek Elementary as educators make a fresh start in the new building in Wintersville. It is one of several improvements made under the Indian Creek School District’s $63 million project, which also entails the creation of a new high school on the current Wintersville campus and renovations at Hills Elementary in Mingo. Both elementary schools start classes on Sept. 7 and the new high school is set to be open this coming spring.)
Food Program Thriving at Indian Creek
Posted 6/21/2021 at 11:02:22 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
MINGO JUNCTION- The food service program continues to thrive at Indian Creek Local School District as board members heard an update from Nutrition, Inc. representatives on Thursday.
  District Food Service Director Eric White was joined by Regional Manager Kim Ohler during the regular monthly session at Indian Creek Middle School, where they informed the board how children were being assisted both in and out of school.
   White informed the board that 150 students were registered for the current Summer Scholars program at ICMS with about 110-120 attending each day and 10 more students completing summer school at ICHS. Meals are being provided for attendants with 15-20 more meals going to the Bay Six Project in downtown Mingo each day and roughly 10 more were taken to the Wintersville Parks program.
  “Every student in the district who is under age 18 is eligible,” said district Assistant Superintendent John Belt. 
   Ohler said she was excited about the new school year, which includes occupying new cafeterias at the new Indian Creek High School and Cross Creek Elementary and a revamped space at Hills Elementary under the current construction project. She went on to note that several nutritional programs were continuing to keep children healthy and fed.
  “We are still going to do Lunch for Life,” she said, which will be called Nutrition for Life. “We are working to get kindergarteners introduced to so they will participate in meals.”
   She said the goal was to teach the youngsters how to go through the line and activities are held three times a week at lunchtime to make things fun. Ohler continued that special events were also being held each month to make things fun and increase further participation in the food program. Another event is Wellness Wednesday, in which students sample various fruity and vegetable recipes to expand their palate with delicious and nutritious foods. She said the Seamless Summer Option was being extended, so free and reduced meals will be offered for the entire school year. District Treasurer Denise Todoroff responded that there was a national push to make the move permanent.
   “Every student will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch and we will continue to do afterschool meals,” Ohler commented.
   Board member Kim Mark then praised the food service officials for their hard work. Officials went on to renew its contract with Nutrition, Inc. for the 2021-22 school year later in the meeting.
   Meanwhile, Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear updated the board on activities, saying the Summer Scholars program was successful with about 110 regularly in grades K-8 at ICMS and about 15 in grades 9-12 at the high school. He said the teachers have new programs to help them assess students and tailor lessons to improve their learning skills, plus they are using the Orton Gillingham and other methods to build reading capabilities.
    In other matters, the board:
--Ratified a negotiated agreement with the Ohio Association of Public Schools (OAPSE) Local No. 4/AFL-CIO and Local No. 460. Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear said the agreement, which runs from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2024, provides a 2-percent raise annually over the three-year period;
--Approved the resignation of James Maul, ICHS guidance counselor, for the purpose of retirement as of July 1. Maul served the district for 23 years;
--Heard from Belt that work began on the high school parking lot with flooring and ceiling tiles and paint work happening at Cross Creek, in addition to renovations in the cafeteria and gym at Hills;
--Waived competitive bidding upon urgent necessity exception and approved a proposal from H.E. Neumann Company for an HVAC installation project at ICMS. Belt said an ionization system was being added to provide cleaner air in the building and reduce germs;
--Approved an amendment to an agreement with Four Seasons Environmental for additional commissioning agent services to include testing, balancing and management services on the new high school and elementary school projects;
--Approved extra-duty supplemental contracts to Makenzie Householder to serve as literacy assistant and student senate advisor and Karen Lloyd to be lead teacher and math assistant at Cross Creek and Jessica Clegg as yearbook advisor at Hills for the 2021-22 school term;
--Approved a continuing contract for Diane McAfee as superintendent’s secretary, effective July 1;
--Approved Richard May as a custodian at ICHS, effective July 1;
--Approved Cathy DiBenedetto and Caroline Schooler as teachers and Makenzie Householder and Kristi Sciarra as substitutes for the Summer Scholars’ reading camp;
--Approved an extra-duty position for Denny Cowser as seventh-grade football coach at ICMS;
--Approved an agreement with Jefferson County Educational Service Center to provide special education services for Fiscal Year 2021-22;
--Agreed to participate in the OME-RESA/Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council Bus Bid Process;
--Hired Kaylee Schubenski as ICHS intervention specialist and Abigail DeCesare as a first-grade teacher at Hills, both under a one-year contract, and also approved the employment of John Sindeldecker as a bus driver. Leaders further accepted the resignation of Dave Lucas as an intervention specialist at ICHS, effective July 31;
--The board agreed to meet for a final appropriations session on June 30 at 7 a.m. at ICMS and Todoroff said other action may be taken.
   “The kids seem pretty happy to be here, the teachers are happy to be here. I think the kids are glad we’re doing it again,” he said.
Summer Learning underway at Indian Creek
Posted 6/21/2021 at 10:48:01 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
IC Summer Scholars Program
MINGO JUNCTION- School may be out but the learning continues as the Indian Creek Local School District conducts its 2021 Summer Scholars program.
   An estimated 150 students in grades K-8 gather at Indian Creek Middle School in Mingo Junction with another 16 students in grades 9-12 at Indian Creek High School in Wintersville on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon to take part in 18 total lessons. The program runs from June 8-July 22 with a break from July 1-13 to observe the Independence Day holiday with transportation and breakfast and lunch provided. Organizers said the program addresses any learning gaps and credit deficiency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and extends learning for students at all grade levels. Elementary and middle school students focus on standards-based skills with high school students working on credit recovery.
   Dr. Nicole McDonald, district director of curriculum and instruction, said the program has been held annually since 2012 with the exception of last year due to the pandemic. 
   “The program is focusing on K-12 reading and math. The students were given a diagnostic assessment in both reading and math on the first day of the program,” she said. “This assessment data allows for teachers to create specific targeted skill instructional plans that are tailored to the students’ needs. The students are provided enrichment lessons as well as interventions based on their level of competency.”
    She noted that the program was formerly known as “Reading Rocks!” and had targeted grades K-8. This year’s program was expanded with the focus primarily on the two core subjects.
   “Students are strengthening and enriching their reading and math skills through fun and engaging lessons. Summer school is very low stress and fun which allows the teachers to create lessons based on skill and areas of student interest.”
    Dr. McDonald said the program has been very well-received by students and their families.
   “Some students who have attended all four years from grades K-4 are super excited that they get to continue in grades five and beyond. Our research indicates that students who have attended our summer programs enter the fall better prepared than those who do not. We like to attribute those results to our dedicated teachers who always seize every moment for instruction, even summertime.”
   Officials at ICMS said it also reunites students with friends they may not have seen during the school year due to remote learning or COVID safety protocols. The children at ICMS also have breakfast, lunch and recess before departing around 12:30 p.m.
   “It’s a very laid-back atmosphere and teachers try to make learning fun and engaging because it’s summer,” said ICMS Principal Dr. Holly Minch-Hick. “The students come when they can, so it’s flexible. The kids are happy to be in an environment where they don’t have to worry about limitations like they had done all year since COVID restrictions were lifted. It’s a great opportunity for them to come in and engage in some learning, and the kids are enjoying a lot of social time and getting to talk with their peers and can be engaged without wearing a mask.”
   Ruth Rees, a fourth-grade math teacher at Hills Elementary, led grades 7-8 for the program and said it was a wonderful opportunity for the kids to reunite with friends they may not have seen all year.
   “The yare excited to be here and want to catch up,” Rees said.
   “They ate with the same kids at school during the pandemic and this allows them to be with their friends,” added ICMS teacher Bernie Edgerly, who leads grades 5-6 math during the sessions. “It’s wonderful to see them interacting with each other here and catching up on their educational needs which were impacted by COVID.”
  Meanwhile, ICHS Principal Louie Retton said the program adds some regularity to an uncommon year.
   “It’s going great. The enthusiasm from the teachers and students has really been great to see,” Retton commented. “After a difficult year, it is really nice to see things getting back to normal. Our students are excited to have the opportunity to gain some credits and spend time with some really great teachers.”
    District Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear was also pleased to see the program underway.
   “We are excited to offer this Summer Scholars program to our students over the summer months.  We have two main objectives with Summer Scholars: First, we want to continue to build positive relationships with students, and second, we want to accelerate their learning over the summer months. The students and staff are excited to be there and it is great to see all the smiling faces.”

(Photo Cutline: Indian Creek Middle School math teacher Ruth Rees works with students during the Summer Scholars Program, which is offering fun and engaging lessons for grades K-8 while grades 9-12 are at Indian Creek High School. Sessions are held Tuesday to Thursday at 9 a.m. to noon from June 8-July 22 and help address learning gaps and credit deficiency caused by COVID-19.)
Farewell, Nurse Wickham
Posted 5/27/2021 at 10:23:46 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
IC Nurse Wickham Farewell
School Nurse Jill Wickham received flowers, hugs and applause as Wintersville Elementary School faculty, staff, students and administrators bid her farewell on May 20 after she retired from her duties at Indian Creek Local School District. Wickham served the district for 26 years and also worked in a hospital for 18 years.
Final Walk
Posted 5/26/2021 at 5:56:33 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ICHS students walking
Indian Creek students walk down the halls of Indian Creek High School as the clock counts down for their move to the new school across the campus next spring. Incoming seniors are excited about being in a brand-new structure but said it will be bittersweet to leave the building they’ve come to know over the past four years. 
Wintersville Schools Await Moves
Posted 5/26/2021 at 5:50:27 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
IC Last Day WES Swings

   WINTERSVILLE- Another school year capped off May 20 in the Indian Creek Local School District as students said goodbye for the summer.
   But it also signaled a season of change as Wintersville Elementary School teachers, staff and administrators began emptying out for the big move to Cross Creek Elementary over the next few months and incoming seniors at Indian Creek High School looked forward to being in a new building next spring. 
   Cross Creek Elementary will be located at the former district office location on Bantam Ridge Road and features a dedicated preschool wing, cafetorium, media center, gymnasium, grade level pods with flexible learning environments, art and music rooms as well as a learning stair for grades PreK-4. The district office will be relocated to the new ICHS and the remainder of current building will be razed to pave the way for final site work and parking lots. Teachers and students alike are excited about the transition and also reflected fondly upon their time at WES.
   “There are lots of good memories here, a great staff, great principal and great kids,” said first-grade teacher Shari Legros. “I love working with all of them.”
   “It’s bittersweet, but I’m ready for the new building,” added intervention specialist Kristi Sciarra. “I can’t wait. The new building is student-centered and everything in there we thought of what students would need and what they would like. Every nook and cranny is for the students. What an awesome way to start the new school year. With the end of COVID regulations, we can start fresh all the way around.”
    What do the students look forward to?
   “I want an elevator in there,” said newly minted second-grader Rylee Valle.
    “Maybe new people will be there, too,” added classmate Tegan Colflesh.
    “I’m really excited,” added Brennan Kovaleski, who is heading into second grade. “I don’t know [what it will be like]. I’m about to find out.”
   Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald was also looking forward to the transition and can’t wait to be in the modernized building.
  “I am super excited. It’s something this community deserves,” she said. “We’ve done a good job with what we’ve had and I am excited for them. It’s a new beginning and we’ll be in a new building with state-of-the-art equipment.”
    Meanwhile, some at Indian Creek High School had a few mixed feelings as they have become accustomed to the current building, although they like the prospect of being in a new structure with more updated amenities. The school is eyed to open in the spring next to Kettlewell Memorial Stadium and will include a two-story building with updated amenities such as technology, safety and improved learning in addition to a 700-seat auditorium, a competition gymnasium with a raised walking track and student-centered classroom environments with state-of-the-art technology.
  Incoming senior Ivy Costlow was optimistic about the idea of going to the new ICHS.
    “I think it’s going to be cool seeing what it will be like in the new high school,” Costlow noted. “It is exciting.”
“I like being the last [senior] class in this building,” added classmate Alanna Babel.
   “It’s going to be a cool time for us to be there and we will be seniors,” said new senior Samantha Mamula.
   “It’s kind of sad. My dad went here and my sister went here, but my brother won’t get to go here,” classmate McEndree Stabile commented. “I am excited about the new building but I grew up at [WES] and this high school.”
   Fellow senior Hannah Moore said she came to ICHS from another district and now she will get to know the new building once she moves in.
    “It’s kind of bittersweet because I came here last year and we’re going off to a different building, but I like the idea of going there.”
   Principal Louie Retton also looked ahead to a more modern facility.
   “I am excited for the move to the new school. Everything will be state of the art for our students, staff and community,” he said.  “Part of me will miss the old high school.  This building has served this community for decades and a whole lot of people have fond memories of this place. But the timing for the move could not be better.  Our students, staff and community deserve this new school.  The ICHS family will be forever grateful to voters who made this possible.”
(Photo Cutlines: Students in the Indian Creek School District enjoyed their last day of class with the Wintersville campus inching closer to a new look. Wintersville Elementary School Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald spent a few fun moments with kindergarten students Trevor Casto and November Yates at the school playground as teachers and administrators pack for their relocation this summer to Cross Creek Elementary on Bantam Ridge Road.)
Morrison Interns with Rural Action
Posted 5/18/2021 at 11:08:54 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
IC Emma Morrison Internship
WINTERSVILLE- Indian Creek High School sophomore Emma Morrison is gaining experience in the environmental field as the first intern in Jefferson County to take part in the Rural Action organization.
   Morrison, the daughter of Robert Morrison and Autumn Francis of Bloomingdale, has been taking part in the Huff Run Watershed project since February and will wind down her time in June. Morrison must spend 50 hours in the field, plus she attends weekly staff meetings. But her primary work entails collaborating with Americorps volunteers on creating a story map and taking photographs for the project which may be used by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
   “We are creating story maps with abandoned mine lands and reclamation sites,” she said, adding that she has worked in such areas as Friendship Park collecting photos and information. “I spend five hours a week doing my own research on abandoned mine lands and my main focus is Harrison, Jefferson and Belmont counties.”
    She became involved at the request of ICHS teacher Julie Robinson, who told her the program was seeking interns for assistance. 
   “They reached out to Mrs. Robinson since she was with the OSU 4-H Extension Office and works with career readiness,” Morrison recalled.
  According to its website, Rural Action was founded in 1991 on the principle that locally-based, sustainable, and inclusive development is the main strategy for building resilient rural Appalachian communities. Its mission is to build a more just economy by developing the region’s assets in environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways. Rural Action focuses on sectors identified as important by its members: food and agriculture, forestry, zero waste and recycling, environmental education, watershed restoration, and energy. The organization has a variety of internships available from environmental science, legal and photography. It is also right up Morrison’s alley since she hopes to study environmental science and agriculture at Ohio State’s Agriculture Technical Institute in Wooster, plus her parents and grandparents have been involved with the Jefferson and Belmont Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
   Her interest in the environment extends from growing up on her family’s 1,500-acre beef cattle farm and she also takes part in the Friends and Neighbors 4-H Club. As part of the internship, she will also attend a forestry camp this June at Camp Canopy, which is located at FFA Camp Muskingum in Carrollton. She has enjoyed her experience and said it has been educational.
   “It’s definitely different and it’s opening my eyes,” she said. “I have no experience in abandoned mine lands and I’m learning about coal spoils and how that affects the environment. I definitely recommend it to other teens. They can go into any area they like to focus on and there are multiple opportunities to seek. I feel like it would be a great benefit to the high school program.”

(Photo Cutline: Indian Creek High School sophomore Emma Morrison is getting a hands-on education about the environment as the first Jefferson County intern in Rural Action. Morrison has been part of the program since February and is assisting with a story map on local abandoned mine lands. She said it has been an eye-opening experience and hopes to work in environmental science and agriculture one day. She is pictured at right during a recent tree-planting event with her mentor Vicki Irr and grandmother Beverly Riddle while Americorps volunteers also took part.)
ICHS Scholars Honored at Banquet
Posted 5/5/2021 at 1:10:15 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Ron Ferguson

   WINTERSVILLE- Indian Creek High School seniors who excelled in the classroom were in the spotlight during the 40th Annual Scholars Banquet on May 2.
    About 74 students who earned a 3.5 grade point average or better for at least one consecutive semester were recognized during the event at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville. The banquet generally recognizes freshmen through seniors but COVID restrictions streamlined activities to focus on the graduating class. ICHS Principal Louie Retton welcomed honorees, their parents and educators, the latter of which were invited by the scholars as their positive influences.
   Indian Creek Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear congratulated the seniors and introduced school board members Bob Smith and Dr. Ted Starkey, ICHS Assistant Principal Keith Swearingen, guidance counselor Jim Maul and guidance secretary Lynda Linhart. Dr. Chappelear then introduced keynote speaker Ohio Rep. Ron Ferguson (R-96th District), who encouraged the seniors to follow their dreams.
   Rep. Ferguson, who is a 2004 Indian Creek alumnus, told the students to not wait for chances but to create their own opportunities. He explained how he hoped to attend William and Mary College to study political science and his dreams were long deferred until he took a hold of his destiny.
   He was denied once but applied again, then continued a career in radio, as a reporter for WTOV-TV and worked in internet news. He eventually sought a seat in Ohio legislature in 2014 but lost his first bid before winning on his second try, and he is currently completing his first term in the Ohio House.
   “Quit expecting people to give you chances; start earning your opportunities,” he said. “I worked to learn and understand public policy and issues to better help myself do that job and have control over my circumstances. I have confidence that you—the best and brightest in Indian Creek—will go out and do great things.”
   Gold Key awards were given to seniors with seven consecutive semesters of 3.5 GPA or better and honorees included Taylor Agin, Hannah Ault, Kevin Belock, Morgan Belt, Haylee Blackburn, Emily Buchanan, Hailey Clark, Abigail Copeland, Corey Cottis, Lexi Crane, Sarah Crawford, Vyom Dave, Kameron Dorsey, David Ferroni, Rileigh Gualtiere, Matthew Hope, Taylor Jones, Kylie Kiger, Michael Kuczykowski, Amanda Livingston, Cy Long-Foutty, Trevor Meek, Justice Morris, Andrew Nelson, Peyton Pietro, Pierce Pietro, Destiny Ralston, Rina Shoshi, Lexis Smarrella, Amie Smith, Lynden Starkey, Jenna Stewart, Gage Swearingen, Makenzie Taylor, Jarrett White and Ethan Zifzal.
   Silver Key awards went to seniors who earned a 3.5 GPA or higher for five consecutive semesters, including McKennah Cook, Ashley Dalrymple, Jonathan Donley, Matthew Marracino and Madison Pierson. Bronze Key Awards were distributed to those with three consecutive semesters of 3.5 GPA or higher and included Holly Campos, Alexis Grigsby, Jonathan Powers and Zachary Smith. Certificates were also distributed to seniors with one consecutive semester of 3.5 or better and included Kailene Barz, Jacob Edwards, Nolan Granatir, Brandon Grizzel, Hailey Marcino, Isabella Merriman, Te’Shaya Muckle, Dylan Rush and Ivana Virden.
   Scholars also invited teachers who guided their high school career and among those recognized were Sarah Bolen, Staci Copeland, Cathy DiBenedetto, Joe Dunlevy, Crystal Hammack, Sarah Hibbits, Mitchell Hukill, Janet Maxon, Michele Minto, Dave Moffat, Lucinda Phillippi, Brittany Shank, Tammy Sismondo of Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, Keith Swearingen, Barbara Turner and Stacey Zink.
  In addition, seniors Morgan Belt and Sarah Crawford respectively gave invocation and benediction at the event. Dr. Chappelear closed the banquet by lauding the seniors for their accomplishment.
   “These are seniors that have seven consecutive semesters with a 3.5 GPA or more. I think that’s a tremendous accomplishment,” he said. “It shows consistent effort in their academics. I enjoy these banquets because we are recognizing that dedication and achievement.” 
   School leaders also touted the parents for their unwavering support and educators for being an inspiration.
   Meanwhile, another 47 juniors, 62 sophomores and 29 freshmen also earned certificates to Silver Key awards this year and include the following:
--Silver Key awards: Juniors Harlee Barbour, Allison Bell, Kendall Driscoll, Robert Dylewski, Gracie Francis, Peyton Freshwater, Jordan Hiles, Roan Kovach, Kyle Laughery, Samuel Maiorano, Kailey McMillion, Aiden Minch-Hick, James Orlando, Carley Penner, Tanner Petrella, Samantha Ratk;ovec, Kaitlyn Turner, Mitchell Williams, Olivia Wukelic and Olivia Yoho;
--Bronze Key awards: Juniors Breanna Hanlin, Samantha Mamula, Camden Parisi and Ayden White; and sophomores Abigail Beegle, Bryson Bodo, Olivia Bonecutter, Haylee Booher, Amanda Boring, Lance Coleman Emma DiBenedetto, Hailey Doan, Hayden Elm, Logan Evans, Amelia Ferroni, Trevor Francis, Lilly Harbin, Avery Lucas, Malaina McDonald, Emma Morrison, Madison Paoloemilio, Gracie Parks, Dominic Paterra, Isabella Pitts, Kaycee Potenzini, Vanessa Redfern, Hunter Rothacker, Santosh Schaefer, Charles Spencer, Abigail Starkey, Jayden Vandeborne, Courtney Walkosky, Aleshia White and Lindsey Zifzal;
--Certificates: Juniors Macy Bigler, Kamara Carmichael, Kylie Clark, Vivian Dubravski, Cayden Flesher, Laci Gear, Brooke Grant, Dylan Haines, Madison Hess, Jadyn Irizarry, Merci Lowe, Gavin Metz, Jennifer Miranda, Harley Oliver, Allison Pethtel, Samantha Price, Delilah Rucker, Jaimee Rymarkiewicz, Ethan Saltkield, Ashton Sands, Jeffrey Soltis, Zachary Taylor and Ashley White; sophomores Nathan Allen, Adam Belisle, Rebecca Blackburn-Williamson, Makayla Brazauskas, Anthony Capaldi, Braxton Clark, Michael Davis, Leah DiNofrio, Kirsten Driscoll, Brandon Fluharty, Zachary Ford, Megan Gampolo, Keirsten Gundrum, Madison Hall, Brooklynn Harton, Mikayla Hoover, Sy Howell, Corinne Hutton, Colin Krantz, Logan Kuczykowski, Robert Larkins, Trinity Layman, Seth Maderia, Angela Nolan, Aidan Orr, Caleb Phillips, Samara Pierson, Victoria Redmond, Kania Reed, Ainsley Roach, Van Bao Tran and Lucy Zadanski; and freshmen Ava Aleksiejczyk, Tara Bell, Brianna Blake, Gabrielle Buchanan, Carson Copeland, Kaitlyn Donohue, Kiersten Dorsey, Payten Ewing, Joseph Foust, Ella Fray, Ericka Gibbons, Caitlyn Hager, Kameryn Hartsouk, Tyler Martin, Nicholas Maurer, Shelby Miller, Leah Parks, Brock Pendleton, Landon Pownall, Titus Redfern, Victoria Robertson, Mason Scharfenberg, Reese Scott, Arnesa Shoshi, Alexis Smith, Trinity Taylor, Madeline Ujcich and Jakeden Weathers.
  (Photo Cutline: Indian Creek High School seniors who earned a 3.5 GPA or better for up to seven consecutive semesters were recognized during the 40th Annual Indian Creek Scholars Banquet on May 2 at St. Florian Hall. Seniors, their parents and educators who guided them were lauded during the event, which also included keynote speaker Ohio Rep. Ron Ferguson (R-96th District), who is also an ICHS alum.)
ICMS STEM Event a Success
Posted 5/5/2021 at 1:00:03 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ICMS STEM Scott 3D Printer
MINGO JUNCTION-Roughly 175 people turned out to have fun while learning about science during Indian Creek Middle School’s STEM and Literacy Night on May 4.
   Events were initially set for the outdoors to provide a different venue and also enforce COVID restrictions, but rainy weather forced most of the exhibits inside the school gym and cafetorium. Still, it didn’t dampen the spirits of students and parents as they viewed a wide array of activities.
   Among the displays were the Mingo Junction Fire Department with its trucks demonstrating Newton’s Law with water pressure; Carrollton Electric and the Ohio Energy Project with an energy bike which powers light bulbs by pedaling; Jefferson County Emergency Services/911 Director Rob Herrington with drones used by safety forces; the Indian Creek High School engineering and VEX Robotics students with their designs; the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District; students showcasing photos of the planned ICMS Nature Trail; the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program; the principles of flight with model airplane displays; middle school students with aquaponics and vegetable garden demonstrations; STAT MedEvac demonstrating intubation with a mannequin; ICMS teacher Michael Minor creating Dippin’ Dots with ice cream and liquid nitrogen; thongophones and PVC musical instruments; a 3-D printer demonstration; and a Tesla electric vehicle.
   Several youth participating in the event noted which exhibits sparked their interest.
  “The Teslas are the best part,” said 10-year-old attendant Lydia Creech.
   “I liked the Dippin’ Dots and flower planting,” said Julianna Hanlin, a sixth-grader at ICMS.
   “I liked the planes,” added middle school student Bruce Mazar.
    ICMS Assistant Principal Scott Abercrombie was thrilled with the response and said more activities will definitely be held in the future. He noted that students enjoyed the displays while adults were equally intrigued.
   “There was a phenomenal turnout,” said Abercrombie. “There are a variety of things to see such as a Tesla display, the Mingo Fire Department, middle school labs doing hands-on projects and the Carrollton Electric and Ohio Energy Project with the electric bike. I believe we will do this several times throughout the year.”
    He added that it would offer more STEM and literacy components and incorporate different activities that are fun, engaging and educational. The goal is to inspire more advanced learning opportunities with technology-driven courses as 21st Century education continues to evolve to help prepare students for the future.
   “We want high-level academics and to allow kids to be problem solvers,” he said. “We want to get them started here and ready for the high school.”
   The event was organized by Abercrombie and school science teachers including Austin Cable, David Kemp, Michael Minor and Wesley Lewis. May 4 was designated due to the popular “May the Fourth Be with You” catchphrase for Star Trek sci-fi fans. 

(Photo Cutline: Indian Creek Middle School’s STEM and Literacy Night on May 4 was a resounding success, drawing about 175 students and their families to browse among scientific displays and demonstrations. Rain forced many of the exhibits indoors but didn’t dampen people’s spirits. Pictured is ICMS Assistant Principal Scott Abercrombie explaining the 3-D printer to attendants while little Jack Vana, 4, of Wintersville, plays with some of the creations.)
Math Mini-Camp at ICHS
Posted 4/6/2021 at 1:40:37 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Math camp
WINTERSVILLE-A free math mini-camp will be offered to Indian Creek High School students to help them prepare for end-of-course (EOC) testing this spring.
   The mini-camp will be held on April 6-8 from 3-5 p.m. at ICHS and is available to in-school and remote students who are required to take the Algebra I and Geometry exams. It is being organized by teachers Sarah Houser and Sondra Vojvodich and will review math standards and concepts targeted on the EOC test. Students will also have a chance to explore the practice testing site and tools available during the exam. They must bring their school-issued charged Chromebook and calculator to the camp while cell phones will not be permitted as calculators or used to access testing websites.
   Activities will be conducted in the portable buildings unless numbers are too large to provide proper social distancing. Students will receive a short break halfway through the camp and a light snack will be offered, but they need to bring their own water. Students are not required to attend every day but it is encouraged by teachers. Among the teachers involved are Houser, Vojvodich, Joyce Cammilletti, Alex Menke and Patricia Peckins-Nixon.
   Any parents interested in having their child participate should contact Connie Hoobler in the school guidance office at (740) 264-1163 to reserve a spot. This will allow teachers to have adequate materials and space available during the event.
COVID Alters State Testing
Posted 3/29/2021 at 11:34:39 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
WINTERSVILLE-It is that time when schools are gearing up for state testing, but COVID-19 has impacted how assessments are being given this year.
    At Indian Creek High School, guidance counselors are working to ensure that remote students get their chance to complete tests in person since they have primarily been working at home. Guidance counselor Mike Cottis said officials have been contacting the estimated 218 pupils--most of whom are freshmen and sophomores—so they are able to take the tests.
   “As far as the process, we are using the same methods, but getting remote students in to test has been a huge challenge,” he said. “We try to communication through one-calls and Microsoft Teams and we’re starting to firm up dates for tests.”
    Testing started on March 22 and students have 15 days to complete English and Language Arts (ELA) assessments, and they will have another 15 days beginning March 29 to finish tests for U.S. History, U.S. Government, Algebra, Geometry and Biology. Freshmen must only complete Algebra and U.S. History while sophomores test in ELA, Biology, U.S. History, U.S. Government and both math subjects. Upperclassmen will only test if needed, but seniors’ scores are not being counted toward their graduation since the coronavirus shut down schools and halted exams last year. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed H.B. 67 with an emergency clause which allows students in grades 11 and 12 to use end-of-course grades instead to meet those requirements. 
   “With the 15-day window, it is time sensitive and difficult to put kids into testing,” he added. 
   Cottis said the upcoming Easter Break is not factored into the latter timeframe and the testing period concludes on April 23. Meanwhile, another issue regards having smaller groups to meet COVID-19 guidelines. To that end, four classrooms are being utilized with 10 students per room for proper social distancing.
   Guidance counselor Jim Maul said officials have been busy emailing and calling students to make sure they are scheduled.
   “We try to work with them to get them in,” he said. “We try to suggest times for them to come, but if they show up at a different time we try to meet their needs.”
Simulation Day Helps Students Gain Understanding
Posted 3/29/2021 at 11:26:51 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
WES Simulation Day Activity
WINTERSVILLE-Students at Wintersville Elementary gained some understanding about living with physical challenges during Simulation Day activities on Wednesday.
    Children spent part of their school day performing activities provided by the Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities for “Through Our Eyes: Simulation Day” in observance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Cookie West, JCBDD employment and community navigator, sent packets of activities to mimic vision, mobility and hearing impairments, autism and communication disorders with a brief survey to describe the students’ experience. 
   Classrooms had different activities to enlighten and educate students on what it is like to be developmentally disabled. For example, students in Jennifer Schubert’s fourth-grade class learned to maneuver in a wheelchair and reach for objects placed on a high shelf while Mary Lil Giusto’s third-graders had to write with their non-dominant hand. Students said they learned a lot from the experience and they appreciated people who faced those challenges on a regular basis.
   “We thought it was kind that [student Addison Savage] moved her desk,” said classmate Allie Morgan, referring to an activity when student Kyle Gotschall practiced in the wheelchair.
  “The students had to simulate a task that would normally be easier,” said Schubert. 
   Braden Brown said trying to write his name was difficult during his exercise while others in his class said they knew someone who was differently abled. Giusto and her aides used walkers for an added effect and she noted that it helped the kids learn a valuable lesson.
    “We talked about challenges and said it’s not impossible,” Giusto said. “They had to find another way to do it.”
    Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald said the simulations helped students gain knowledge and an appreciation for others who live day to day with such challenges.
   “This taught empathy and compassion for everyone and to show some kindness and understanding about where other people are coming from,” she commented. “We try to use the term ‘differently abled’ and not ‘disabled.’ Everyone has their strengths and this is about teaching others to not define people by what they cannot do but what they can do. It was an eye-opening experience.”
    Meanwhile, West said it was a change from the usual Simulation Day event hosted at the School of Bright Promise. The regular event includes on-site visits by area schools but was shelved due to COVID-19 restrictions. Still, West was pleased to see children take part in the alternative activities.
   “Every school district was given the activities packet and we are assured that each of those schools took the time to interact with their students in these simulations,” she added. “We are excited that area school districts are raising awareness and looking through the eyes of someone differently abled. This experience will stick with students way beyond today.”
(Photo Cutline: Braden Brown, a third-grade student at Wintersville Elementary School, tries writing with his non-dominant hand during “Through Our Eyes: Simulation Day” activities held at the school on Wednesday. Students learned what it was like to live with challenges as part of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with activities provided by the Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities. JCBDD officials said COVID-19 halted plans to host area students at the School of Bright Promise and the alternative helped kids gain compassion and understanding.)
Competitions Wind Down
Posted 3/29/2021 at 11:10:31 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ICHS Robotics
The Indian Creek High School Robotics Team placed 12th at its latest matchup at Brecksville-Broadview Heights on March 20. Eight members participated including Katie Turner, Kyle Laughery, Roan Kovach, Kendall Driscoll, Sydney Emery, Cy Long-Foutty, Ethan Zifzal and Frankie Mazzaferro. Advisor Barbara Turner said more than 30 teams were on hand and one more competition was scheduled at Akron STEM High School on Friday. The state contest is set for mid-April while the world championships will take place with a virtual event in May. Turner hoped to create two teams next year depending on student interest.
Indian Creek Talks Graduation, Summer Learning
Posted 3/25/2021 at 12:18:17 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
MINGO JUNCTION- The Indian Creek High School Class of 2021 will have a chance to toss their graduation caps during commencement exercises this spring, but the event may come with some changes.
   During the regular school board session on March 18 at Indian Creek Middle School, Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear informed officials that a date was set for May 23 at 2 p.m. at Finnegan Fieldhouse at Franciscan University in Steubenville. Activities were streamlined last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but Dr. Chappelear said seniors can celebrate the pomp and circumstance this time with a little more normalcy.
   “It will be limited to 800 people, but we will see how that progresses,” he added. “Nonetheless, we plan to have an in-person graduation at Franciscan at the present time.”
   Meanwhile, officials are looking to keep other students on course with the district’s new summer learning program. Summer Learning 2021 will be held on Tuesday to Thursday from June 8-July 1 and July 13-22. Grades K-8 will attend at Indian Creek Middle School with grades 9-12 at the high school with busing, breakfast and lunch to be provided by the district.
   “We will have 18 days—or 54 hours—of instruction for grades K-12. We will be focusing on the grades K-8 level mainly for reading and math with a greater variety of subjects and credit recovery at grades 9-12,” Dr. Chappelear explained. He added that registration information will be available on the district’s website and officials will notify students and their families through social media and one-calls with more details.
  Leaders also approved a series of posts, resignations and other moves under personnel matters. Among them were approving Katrina Scaffidi for cafeteria, custodian and secretary and Raymond Cooper for cafeteria and custodian on the classified substitutes list. Dave Moffat was named ICHS Head of Department for Career Technical Education (CTE) under an extra-duty supplemental contract with David Kemp also approved as ICMS junior high track coach. Supplemental personal service contracts were further approved for Gary Bracone, ICHS softball assistant coach; Todd Mazzaferro and Tina Evans, ICHS assistant varsity track; and Mike Wilson, Jr., ICMS junior high track coach. In addition, a continuing contract was given to Brian Hibbits as bus driver with a resignation approved for Robert Juresko, who plans to retire effective July 1 after more than 36 years of service to the district.
  In other action, the board:
--Approved the 2021-22 district calendar; 
--Adopted a sliding fee scale for preschool for the next school year;
--Agreed to purchase a 2020 F-250 pickup truck through the Ford Fleet Purchasing Office and disposed of a 2006 Ford maintenance truck that is beyond usefulness and repair.
ICHS Ranks Ninth at VEX Competition
Posted 3/1/2021 at 10:56:06 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
The Indian Creek High School Robotics Team continued its successful streak by placing ninth out of 3
The Indian Creek High School Robotics Team continued its successful streak by placing ninth out of 34 teams during the latest VEX Robotics Competition at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in Cleveland on Feb. 20. Students were tasked with completing a Tic-Tac-Toe-type challenge using their creation and were two points shy of reaching the quarterfinals. Advisor Barbara Turner said the team also ranked 13th out of 50 teams during a separate contest on Feb. 12 in Canfield and had one more event scheduled this month in Marion.
FCCLA Stresses Traffic Safety with Grant
Posted 2/26/2021 at 11:07:24 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Trooper Greg Scalley of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Wintersville Post addressed teens at Indian Cr
WINTERSVILLE-A $1,000 grant has enabled the Indian Creek High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) to highlight the importance of traffic safety.
    The 20-member student organization received the Family Acting for Community Traffic Safety (FACTS) grant in January and capped off their promotion on Wednesday by partnering with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and TEAM Automotive Collision Center to educate more than 100 students aged 16-18 on the FACTS curriculum. About 119 high school students completed a FACTS Traffic Safety Survey last month and ranked driver or passenger distractions such as changing the radio to speeding, plus they remarked on maintaining vehicles to driving in inclement weather and construction.  
   “There were identified areas if they were in an unsafe situation and what they would do or say,” co-advisor Julie Robinson explained, saying the responses were the focus of the event. 
   She and co-advisor Jennifer Belt led the program in the school gym during Flex time which included safety stations using the FACTS curriculum. The crowd also participated in a driving scenario and question-and-answer session with Trooper Greg Scalley of the Wintersville Post of the OSHP, while the scene incorporated too many passengers in a car with a bevy of distractions that could lead to an accident. 
   “We’re here to teach kids about passenger safety, the rules and laws of juvenile drivers,” Tpr. Scalley said. “Distracted driving is the No. 1 killer of teen drivers.”
   He cited cell phones, radios and too many people in the vehicles as the main sources.
   “When you have other kids in the vehicle, you get distracted and do things you don’t normally do when driving,” he added.
   Tpr. Scalley praised the school program, saying it was very helpful for juveniles to learn the rules of the road.
   “This teaches kids to stand up for themselves and to be in control of the vehicle. Indian Creek has its own program, which is great. Not many schools have programs to teach about driver safety.”
   Robinson posed survey questions on what the students learned during the program, while Corey Jackson and Cody Minor, estimators for TEAM Automotive Collision Center, presented prizes for six students who completed the Ford Driving Skills for Life, an online program including videos. Officials said it was imperative for students to understand aspects of traffic safety, particularly if they are just beginning to drive.
   “I have a kid myself who is 16 and it’s important to have things like this,” said Jackson. “It’s stuff I’d stress to my own kid.”
   Meanwhile, more hands-on vehicle, bicycle and ATV-related activities are being planned for May.

   The traffic safety program was one component of FCCLA Week celebrations in late January, where members recognized the theme, “Beyond Measure.” The group also made daily announcements; organized an interactive bulletin board; promoted career technical education (CTE) pathways at the school, including Information Technology, Interactive Media, Business and Administrative Services, Engineering and Science Technologies and Career-Based Intervention with the addition of Career and Individual Development under the Family Consumer Sciences program; taking part in LEAD 4 CHANGE by identifying issues and implementing programs such as food drives, career fairs and a virtual run4red walk.
(Photo Cutline: Trooper Greg Scalley of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Wintersville Post addressed teens at Indian Creek High School on the importance of traffic safety. The school’s Family, Community and Career Leaders of America (FCCLA) group received a $1,000 Family Acting for Community Traffic Safety (FACTS) grant and held an activity which included a driving scenario, surveys and prizes for students who completed an online program.)
Indian Creek’s Maul Makes an Impact
Posted 2/5/2021 at 1:00:58 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Cookie West of the Lee Alexander West Spiritual (LAWS) Movement presents a 2021 Village Impact Award
WINTERSVILLE-Jim Maul has spent nearly a half-century making an impact on the lives of high school students in local districts, and he treats each day with the same enthusiasm as if it were his first day on the job.
   Maul has assisted thousands of students as they completed their high school years and planned for the next chapter of their lives, be it in college, the military, a trade school or the workforce. And it was this ability coupled with his unending zeal which led him to receive a 2021 LAWS Village Impact Award. Cookie West established the Lee Alexander West Spiritual (LAWS) Movement in honor of her late son and has presented awards throughout the community for nearly a decade. She honored Maul at his Wintersville home and said unlike other honors, her selection process came from a higher power.
   “God put it on my heart,” she said, noting that Maul was the perfect recipient for all that he did. “He has such passion for what he does.”
    She explained that the award is based on the ancient African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
    “We go a step beyond and believe, ‘It takes a healthy village to raise a healthy child,’ which implies the responsibility of raising a healthy child does not lie on the parents alone, but also with the extended family and in some cases the whole community.”
   The award itself is inscribed with a verse from Philippians: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others."  
   Meanwhile, Maul was very humbled to be named a recipient and it simply comes down to loving what he does.
   “This is what I do every day of my life,” he said. “This is my vocation and my calling. I’m just very humbled by the experience of this. I’m very, very grateful and applaud the efforts of Cookie West is doing to move forward the legacy of her son. It shows there are values that carry forth into the world.”
   Maul was inspired to work in schools after being influenced by his own high school teacher. He graduated from Steubenville Catholic Central High School and later the College of Steubenville with a bachelor’s degree in English and French. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in counseling from Bowling Green University in 1976. Maul is currently celebrating his 49th year in education and first taught at Holy Name School in Steubenville and Parkway Local Schools before becoming a guidance counselor. He spent 25 years at Cadiz High School, now known as Harrison Central, before joining Indian Creek about 23 years ago.

 “I love the friendly family atmosphere,” he said of his workplace. “We all work together.”
   He also enjoys seeing students make their way in the world and smiles when some say he’s influenced them.
  “I’ve seen many go on to good jobs and become very successful,” he commented. 
   When not in school, he is a proud husband to wife, Jo Sana, father of two sons and grandfather of four. He and Jo Sana have also helped care for their grandson, Owen, and he notes how his family brings him such joy. 
   In the meantime, he continues to inspire and guide more children and shows no signs of slowing down.
   “It’s who I am and they can’t separate it from me.”
(Photo Cutline: Cookie West of the Lee Alexander West Spiritual (LAWS) Movement presents a 2021 Village Impact Award to Jim Maul, Indian Creek High School guidance counselor, for nearly 50 years of inspiring young lives.)
IC Organizes, Celebrates Successes
Posted 1/19/2021 at 10:53:37 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
MINGO JUNCTION-The Indian Creek Local Board of Education got organized for 2021 and celebrated successes during its first meeting of the year.
   Officials gathered at Indian Creek Middle School on Thursday where Dan Bove and Kim Mark were elected and sworn in as president and vice president, respectively, during a special organization meeting. The regular session followed and leaders took time to recognize school and board members who made achievements over the past year. 
   Scott Eldredge and Deb Folger, consultants with State Support Team Region 12 (SST-12) presented the 2020 Bronze Award to ICMS Principal Dr. Holly Minch-Hick for the school’s Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports (PBIS) strategies. The award was given through the SST and Ohio PBIS Network and Eldredge said this was a banner year as 5 percent of Ohio’s 4,100 schools have been honored for their efforts.
   “PBIS has been around for 20 years but is now just taking off because the legislature is requiring school districts to implement it,” said Eldredge. “The PBIS network is made up of support systems around the state and this time we’ve had the most awards given. There are 4,100 schools in Ohio and 215 got an award.”
   He continued that schools applying for the award had to provide evidence and proudly presented two large binders full of information submitted by the middle school.
  “There’s a lot of evidence to show they are doing it right here,” he said. “It was checked and we’re pleased to announce that they have been recognized with the bronze award from the PBIS Network.”
   Dr. Minch-Hick said it was a true team effort and teachers and staff worked with the administration to implement PBIS activities from rewards to activities. The school’s PBIS team, which includes teachers, counselors and administrators, work to support students and improve their environment. PBIS is a framework for schools to identify needs, develop strategies and evaluate practices to improve climate and culture, increase learning outcomes, self-regulate behaviors and diminish challenging behaviors. Dr. Minch-Hick noted that the fundamental purpose is to make schools a more effective learning environment by being consistent with rules and procedures throughout the building, creating a predictable environment and promoting safety in positive ways.  
   “It’s not my award; it’s everybody in the building. It’s teacher’s scheduling PAX training and Tomahawk Tickets [for monthly drawings to earn gift card rewards]. Everything we’re trying to do to promote a positive culture, it’s the staff.”
   “It’s to build a positive culture so kids can come to school, and we congratulate Holly Minch-Hick for that work and effort. She can say a team is doing it but you can’t do it without an administration.”

In related matters, Reno Contipelli, northeast regional manager of the Ohio School Boards Association, presented certificates to Bove, Mark and Dr. Ted Starkey for marking milestones within the district. Bove was lauded for 15 years of service while Mark and Dr. Starkey were recognized with Veteran Member awards for 25 years of dedication. Starkey has served for 28 years while Mark has completed a quarter century of service.
   “Thanks to all of you for what you do. This is our simple way of saying thank you,” he commented.
   Contipelli added that he was personally presenting the awards since the 62nd annual Capital Conference and Trade Show was held virtually in November due to the coronavirus pandemic while an online spring conference was set for March 3.
   Meanwhile, Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear distributed more certificates as part of School Board Recognition Month for January and honored board members for their ongoing commitment to the school district and students.
   “We have five people elected to serve the schools and children. You see all of the things happening [with new and renovated schools] and it all starts at the top and trickles down,” he said. “I appreciate the job you have done. The stability and support you have and the perspective to make the right decisions for the kids is incredible.”
    Among other action, the board:
--Heard from Dr. Minch-Hick about activities at ICMS including the district spelling bee which was held that Tuesday and where crowned ICMS student Caleb Zifzal as winner; a successful virtual band concert; hosting wrestling and basketball seasons; and the beginning of the second semester;
--Appointed members to various committees with Dr. John Figel and Bob Smith on the Indian Creek High School Athletic Board; Dr. Starkey and Bove, labor relations committee; Dr. Starkey, legislative liaison; Bove, representative to the Curriculum Improvement Council; Drs. Starkey and Figel, insurance committee; Mark, student achievement liaison; and Dr. Starkey and Mark, Indian Creek Foundation Board;
--Agreed to keep meetings on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at ICMS.
Posted 1/19/2021 at 10:51:59 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Reno Contipelli, northeast regional manager of OSBA, recognizing Mark, Bove & Dr. Ted Starkey for ongoing dedication. Bove received an award for 15 years’ service while Kim Mark & Dr. Ted Starkey each received a Veteran Member award for at least 25 years of dedication
Posted 1/19/2021 at 10:50:59 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
Scott Eldredge, a consultant for the Ohio State Support Team Region 12 (SST-12), presented Indian Creek Middle School Principal Dr. Holly Minch-Hick with a 2020 Bronze Award for efforts to implement Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports (PBIS) strategies
Pantry Donation
Posted 1/8/2021 at 3:26:13 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
WES Pantry Donation
Wintersville Elementary School officials delivered canned goods and a $684 check to the Unionport Food Pantry following a food drive and fundraiser this holiday season. Students took part in penny wars and generated nearly $1,400 and 700 non-perishable items for the Unionport and the Wintersville United Methodist Church Good Neighbors pantries. Members of the student senate normally deliver items, but due to the pandemic school teachers performed the good deed prior to Christmas break. Pictured are, from left, Makara Eick, Barb Merryman, Brittany Shank, Principal Dr. Nicole McDonald and Dawn Carson with Unionport Food Pantry representative Bonnie Ault.
White Receives CORAS Award
Posted 12/21/2020 at 1:09:36 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
MINGO JUNCTION-The Indian Creek Local Board of Education recognized one of its own for his efforts to ensure that no child goes hungry when district Food Service Director Eric White received a special distinction on Thursday.
   Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear surprised White with honors from the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS), which touts school employees for going above and beyond the call of duty. Dozens of school employees are recognized annually with the CORAS Outstanding Support Staff Award and White was gifted with a clock inscribed with words of appreciation for his hard work and dedication.
   “We have honored our treasurer and last year we recognized a paraprofessional. This year’s theme was ‘Heroes’ and they wanted us to look back to last spring. I asked our administrative team to nominate someone and we are presenting the award to Eric White,” Dr. Chappelear said. “We constantly ask Eric, ‘Can we do this?’ and the answer is always yes.”
    White said he was extremely surprised by the honor. Now in his fourth year, he has actively helped provide students with nutrition through the popular Breakfast in the Classroom initiative, which has garnered awards and attention on the state level and reduced hunger in children so they can be successful academically. He said the district is currently feeding about 2,100 pupils.
   Assistant Superintendent John Belt said when the administrative council recommended the district to go fully remote this past week, he contacted Dr. Chappelear to see what could be done to make sure students were still being fed. White helped formulate plans for food to be distributed to families and parents may procure boxes from any of the school buildings. Students receive a box with two breakfast and lunch meals each day, including for weekends, and food was being sent home through the holiday break.
  “Eric is working with the busing to deliver to children [whose parents have no transportation to collect the boxes],” he added. “We are trying to get food out to kids who may not have it at their house.”
   White said meals were being sent through Friday and continued for the following week until Dec. 27.
   “We’ll take boxes to the home to help families who don’t have transportation to pick up meals,” he continued. “They can come to any of the buildings.”
   The program follows Seamless Summer Feeding Program guidelines and is open to any district youth under the age of 18. For more information, contact White at (740) 264-3277 or email eric.white@iclsd.org.

(Photo Cutline: The Indian Creek Local Board of Education recognized district Food Service Director Eric White with an award from the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) for his efforts to keep kids fed both in and outside of school. Pictured are, from left, Assistant Superintendent John Belt, White and Superintendent Dr. T.C. Chappelear.)
ICHS Teams Create for Chain Reaction Contraption
Posted 12/7/2020 at 12:17:06 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
ICHS Chain Reaction
WINTERSVILLE-It’s that time of year again as engineering and design students create working machines for the 20th Annual Chain Reaction Contraption contest.
    On-site activities at Carnegie Science Center have been sidelined in favor of a virtual event and students will record demonstrations of their contraptions for preliminary judging on Tuesday, after which teams will learn whether they will head to the finals on Friday. About 20 schools from the Tri-State Area have competed in the past with eight advancing teams given a chance to showcase their project at the Westinghouse Electric world headquarters during Engineers Week in February.
   Sponsored by Westinghouse Electric Company, CRCC is open to students in grades 9-12 and intends to foster an interest in engineering by challenging students to create a machine that will accomplish a specific task in 20 steps or more. The teams submit preliminary design drawings, project progress photos and videos and reports to document their contraption’s evolution, then present their machines for judging based on functionality, complexity and creativity in achieving the task.
   Twelve ICHS students are participating within two teams, with one including junior Kyle Laughery and seniors Jesse Bolek, Sydney Emery, Pierce Pietro, Gage Swearingen, Ethan Zifzal and Matthew Hope and the second team including seniors Greg Singleton, Kevin Belock, Justice Morris, Aiden Fernandez and David Ferroni.
   Teacher Barbara Turner said this year’s designs take a look back at prior contests.
   “Usually the Carnegie Science Center provides the theme, but since it is 2020 and this is the 20th year for Chain Reaction Contraption the theme is ‘Hindsight is 20/20. We went over the last 19 years to pick a task,” Turner said. 
   Laughery’s team was fine-tuning its project, “Making Bank,” which demonstrates how to make change for a dollar while Bolek’s team was still finalizing its design for the competition. Turner said ICHS senior Cy Fouty was producing the teams’ video submissions as a final project for his interactive media class.
   This is the sixth year that ICHS has taken part in the contest while engineer Rich Fray has provided his services for the past three years to assist the pupils with their designs. Indian Creek teams have performed well at previous CRCC events, with one advancing to the finals and the second earning special recognition for best presentation at last year’s festivities.

(Photo Cutline: Twelve engineering and design students at Indian Creek High School are creating original works for the 20th Annual Chain Reaction Contraption competition sponsored by the Carnegie Science Center this Tuesday. Due to COVID-19, this year’s competition is being held virtually with teams submitting videos of their demonstrations. Pictured are, from left, Sydney Emery, Kyle Laughery and Jesse Bolek putting the finishing touches on their team’s “Making Bank” design. Not pictured are teammates Pierce Pietro, Gage Swearingen, Ethan Zifzal and Matthew Hope.)
ICMS Earns PBIS Award
Posted 11/13/2020 at 12:32:07 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
MINGO JUNCTION-Indian Creek Middle School has been recognized for its efforts to promote Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) strategies with an award from the Ohio Department of Education.
   The school earned a bronze award from the Ohio PBIS Network through ODE and will be recognized at a future Indian Creek Board of Education meeting. Principal Dr. Holly Minch-Hick said officials applied in September and had to submit evidence of activities the school does to provide a strong learning atmosphere. She noted that the school’s PBIS team, which includes teachers, counselors and administrators, work diligently to support students and improve their environment.
   “It’s super exciting because our teachers do so much to promote a positive school climate and I think they deserve this recognition,” she said.  “PBIS is a framework for schools to identify needs, develop strategies and evaluate practices to improve climate and culture, increase learning outcomes, self-regulate behaviors and diminish challenging behaviors.”
   Dr. Minch-Hick noted that the fundamental purpose is to make schools a more effective learning environment by being consistent with rules and procedures throughout the building, creating a predictable environment and promoting safety in positive ways.  
   “As a staff, we created the building expectations and placed them in a matrix identifying the areas of focus being the classroom, hallways, restroom, lunchroom and bus.  This was made into a poster and is displayed in every classroom and throughout the building.  A big part of PBIS is to teach the expectation, so at the start of every year and after every school break we have a teaching schedule where teachers will take students to various locations throughout the building review, model and practice the expected behavior.”
   One activity has included monthly Tomahawk Ticket drawings where teachers would hand students a ticket that they would sign and place into various grade-level buckets outside the office. Drawings were held each month in the cafeteria with winners receiving $25 Walmart gift cards, vouchers for Domino’s Pizza or Extra Value Meal cards from McDonald’s. However, the advent of COVID-19 has led to an altered format and now includes a distance learning behavior matrix for virtual students and virtual tickets that teachers submit through an online link so those pupils have a chance to participate.
    Students have also participated in events throughout the year such as signing the CARES Pledge, a kick-off assembly, positive postcards which are sent home, student of the month recognition and random acts of kindness, among others. 
   “As part of the award, we had to have monthly meetings and review our data to determine our strengths and weaknesses,” she said. “We also had to participate in a fidelity check; students and teachers went through an interview process with an outside evaluator to determine our level of implementation and fidelity in the building.”
   Assistant Principal Scott Abercrombie was delighted to see the school lauded, saying it was the building’s first such award and he credited Dr. Minch-Hick’s work with teachers to help make it happen.
   “It’s a testament to her leadership that we’ve been doing this for so many years. It’s many things the school’s already been doing at a high level. We are very excited that we’ve been recognized for it.”
(Photo Cutline: Indian Creek Middle School is being recognized for promoting Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) strategies by the Ohio Department of Education and received a bronze award from the Ohio PBIS Network. The school’s PBIS team will be honored at a future school board session and members include, pictured front from left, school counselor Cary Smith, teacher Robyn Scott, behavioral analyst Michelle Dupree-Anderson, and Principal Dr. Holly Minch-Hick. Back: Teacher David Kemp, teacher Alex Bodnar, Assistant Principal Scott Abercrombie and teacher Matt Cowser.)
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