2017, article, january, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Winter Hikes: Metro Parks kicks off annual program

The 44th season of Metro Parks’ weekend series of Winter Hikes kicked off in Blacklick Woods on Jan. 7 with 2- and 4-mile walks.
Participants embarked on guided and self-guided hikes and enjoyed hot soup and warm drinks at the Beech-Maple Lodge afterward.
The 2017 Winter Hikes series features 13 hikes, including one at the newest park, Scioto Grove Metro Park in Grove City.
Peg Hanley, a Metro Parks spokeswoman, said the Winter Hikes are a good opportunity for those looking for a free outdoor activity after being cooped up inside through the holidays or who resolved to get fit this year.
“Each park has its own unique terrain, its own personality,” she said. “It’s a great chance to explore parks people might not usually go to.”
Hanley said the hikes provide an opportunity to see wildlife, such as barred owls at Blacklick Woods, bison at Battelle Darby or turkeys at Blendon Woods or Sharon Woods.
Free food might also entice hikers. Participants of the Blacklick Woods Winter Hike enjoyed a hot bowl of vegetable minestrone, hot chocolate, coffee, water and a campfire to roast marshmallows.
Cody Berkebile, a naturalist at Blacklick Woods, said Jan. 7 was his fourth Winter Hike, and he appreciated how many people came out to the park. Last year 1,117 participated in the hike at Blacklick Woods.
“I like seeing so many people in central Ohio coming out,” he said. “It’s great to see people who keep coming back year after year.”
Additionally, those snow-lovers who complete seven of the 13 weekend hikes can earn a decorative patch to wear on jackets, scarves or hats.
The Sexton family from Bexley hiked 2 miles in the frigid temperatures Jan. 7 to get ready for an upcoming family adventure.
“This summer, we’re going on a vacation out west and we plan on doing a lot of hiking, so we want to get ready for our trip,” Pam Sexton said. “We aren’t going to let winter stop us. We brought hand warmers and everyone in the family bought new hiking boots.”
Meanwhile, Libby McKinley of London proudly wore a scarf adorned with Winter Hike patches.
She said she has been participating in the Winter Hikes since 2008 and she plans on earning the 2017 patch.
Pam, Malcolm and Matt Sexton brave the cold Sat. Jan. 6 at Blacklick Woods during the kickoff of the Metro Parks’ Winter Hike’s series. The Bexley family hiked two miles to get in shape for a vacation out west. 

article, blog, june, myblog, onion, satire

Local girl discovers ASL ice-bucket challenge, one year late

(This is just a work of satire, like The Onion)

A local Reynoldsburg girl named Rose Cinnamon excitedly shared with her Facebook friends a video of her dumping a bucket of ice all over herself.

“I’m super stoked to be the first one of all my friends to be part of the SLA ice-bucket charity challenge to raise awareness of disease,” she said to her cell-phone camera as she shakily held the heavy ice bucket over her head.

As soon as she dumped the freezing water over her 112 lb body, she let out a blood-curdling scream and her white t-shirt from Justice immediately became transparent.

None of her “friends” had the heart to tell her that she butchered the name of the charity that she was supposedly helping.

At the end of the 3:33 min video, Cinnamon challenged her “BFFs” Carrie, Alexa, Shawn and he-who-must-not-be-named to also do the “pour-a-box-o-cold-water challenge”.

A few of Cinnamon’s 23 Facebook friends were quick to point out that the ice-bucket challenge is no longer cool.

“What the hell is this? I already did this last year. You cray if you think I soaking myself with ice again.” commented one of Cinnamon’s friends, Carrie Spice.

ASL (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrigs Disease)  is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord

The ASL ice-bucket challenge was a cultural phenomenon that took place a long long time ago, back in the summer of 2014.

Participants who did dump ice on themselves were asked to use any of the following hashtags: #icebucketchallenge, #alsicebucketchallenge, and #strikeoutals.

Cinnamon did not even follow these simple directions.

Reportedly, Cinnamon did not make a financial donation to the ASL Association, but instead filmed herself dumping a bucket of ice cubes over herself.

2014, article, barrel, baskets, magazine, signatures

Baskets, Barrels & Longaberger

(I wrote this article for the Fall/ Winter Signatures magazine for Longaberger. I went out to The Homestead and interviewed both Ahmad and Christy about the barrel basket. I enjoyed researching the history of barrels and learning how a basket evolves from being just an idea to a real basket. I’m proud of how factual this article is and the playful tone it has when referring to how much wine barrels can hold. I have included scanned images of the article from Signatures.)

Barreling Traditions

Barrel making is a centuries-old craft rooted in tradition, just like basket making. We’re proud to honor the tradition of barrel making with our new Barrel Basket.

For nearly 2,000 years, barrels were the most convenient method of shipping because of their round shape. They held a wide variety of items, just like baskets carry diverse things.

Techincally, a barrel is a hollow cylindrical container, traditionally made of wooden staves bound by wooden or metal hoops.

Archaeological research has found barrel making tools dating from as early as 100 BC. Even the Roman empire used barrels in the 3rd century AD. When the Romans began to spread their empire across the globe, they wanted to take their wine with them so they used wooden barrels.

After transporting their wines in barrels, for some time, the Romans and other societies after them, started to realize that the oak barrels imparted new, pleasant qualities to the wine. The contact with the wood made the wine smoother and sometimes it also made it better tasting.

Traditionally, the barrel was a standard size of measure referring to a set capacity or weight of a given commodity. For example, in the United Kingdom, a barrel of beer referred to a quantity of 36 gallons. That’s over 300 pounds!

The talented designers at Longaberger have perfected the art of creating timeless beautiful baskets exclusively for Collectors Club members.

Ahmad Takouri  was excited about the Barrel Basket for Collectors Club members.  He has been a Basket Designer for 16 years with Longaberger. Ahmad works on the Collectors Club baskets and the Master Studio baskets.

“I like trying to make something that looks like a barrel and putting the Longaberger signatures weave into it. We’ve done that a lot with previous shapes and it’s always neat to take a shape your used to seeing and making it into a Longaberger basket. That’s my favorite part,” Ahmad said.

“It makes sense to produce a Barrel Basket because barrels have a similar construction to baskets because of their bands, up splints and construction,” said Ahmad.

Barrels also relate to baskets because they require skilled artisans called “coopers” would manufacture them.

Coopers were once independent craftsmen, whose craft was economically vital and physically demanding. Until a century ago, many villages had at least one skilled cooper, plus younger recruits serving a seven-year apprenticeship.

“I think Collectors Club members will appreciate that we’re honoring an age-old craft, especially an older hand-made craft and such a historical shape. It’s who we are,” Ahmad said.

The purpose of the barrel and basket are very similar, but barrels carried larger quantities of goods and were used in shipping.

 “Sauerkraut used to be fermented in the barrels. They also stored dried meats, fruits, and of course, whiskey,” said Ahmad. “It also carried a lot of fragile things like eggs and pottery which would be packed among layers of straw.”

Barrels were additionally used to transport wine and most barrels could hold 55 gallons of wine. Now we’re talking.

Christy Flood is a weaver of the Barrel Basket and loves “making something that people can pass onto generations.”

The Barrel Basket is unique to weave because it uses a breakaway form where small pieces can be taken out as the basket is woven from the bottom to the top.

Flood said that she has several Longaberger baskets and she “will pass them onto her boys when they grow older.”

She joked that when she goes to garage sales and sees Longaberger baskets, she checks the bottoms to see if any of them have her initials.

It was only fitting that Longberger honored the rich heritage of barrels with a Collectors Club Barrel Basket.  The Barrel Basket is available through the Fall/ Winter WishList.

The Barrel Basket is made of Soft Gray maple weaving and Rich Brown accent chain. It has a small black band on the top and bottom with a Pewter trim.

The Barrel Basket has a soft gray board bottom. Unlike other baskets, it is not signed and dated on the bottom because it has a WoodCrafts board bottom. It is signed on the inside once it is completed.

It is marked with the Longaberger logo that authenticates our proud tradition of quality and craftsmanship.

2014, article, dublin, dublinschools, dublinvillager, education, news, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Parents hear draft of gifted program revamp

Tuesday December 23, 2014 9:28 AM

Page A2 of 12/25 issue

The Dublin City School District presented a Gifted Service Delivery Draft to community members recently and then listened to their feedback.

About 60 community members gathered Dec. 10 in the Wyandot Elementary School Library to listen to Kimberly Pietsch Miller, the district’s chief academic officer, present the draft and answer questions.

In the fall, the school district convened a task force to review the current gifted service delivery model.

The district is responding to new and more rigorous content standards for all students, Miller said. In addition, the community provided feedback to the district during the 2013-14 school year indicating Dublin should review gifted services for possible improvements

In addition to reviewing the current model, which has been in place for eight years, the task force studied the research about service delivery, reviewed the ability and achievement of the current student population and considered the needs of different groups of students.

One of the goals of the task force is to ensure all students reach calculus by 12th grade.

In the draft, students in grades K-3 would receive group testing and gifted intervention specialists would visit classrooms to offer extension activities.

Students who are high achievers in math or reading in grades 4 and 5 would receive differentiation in the classroom.

Differentiation is an approach in which teachers give slightly different assignments to groups of students to best fit their learning needs.

For high achievers in math, numeracy coaches would be available and so would single- and double-accelerated options in sixth grade.

Miller assured parents the district “doesn’t want to accelerate students too quickly and risk them missing out on foundational skills.”

The task force also took into consideration students’ maturity levels when thinking about when to begin acceleration.

“In this model, we would bring the high school math classes to the middle school so students can stay in their building and be with students their own age,” Miller said.

The draft stated that fourth- and fifth-grade students who are identified as having superior cognitive skills would receive more “pull-out” and “cluster grouping in the regular classroom.”

From the 12/25 issue

Pull-out instruction is when students are taken out of their usual classroom for a period of time so they can work on different material.

Cluster grouping refers to placing small groups of superior cognitive students in each classroom.

In middle school, superior cognitive students would receive “social-emotional skills support.”

The current draft does not address gifted high school students.

The state of Ohio requires school districts to identify students who score above the 95th percentile on standardized testing. However, the state does not mandate service, once students are identified as gifted.

In Dublin, 22 percent of students scored above the 95th percentile in math and 16 percent scored above the 95th percentile in reading on standardized tests.

About 8 percent of Dublin students have been identified as gifted in the area of superior cognitive ability, Miller said.

During the meeting, parents asked questions about the current middle school gifted delivery model, whether test scores from elementary would be taken into consideration and what changes they should expect next year.

Miller reminded parents the only time a child would “fall out of the gifted education program is if a parent, teacher or principal suggested it.”

The first part of the service model plan would be implemented next year, Miller said.

This first stage would likely include name changes (for example, LEAP would be renamed) and changes in the elementary schools.

The task force will meet in early January to revise the draft, taking feedback from the meetings into consideration.

Additional community meetings will be held in January to gather feedback on the revised draft, Miller said.

A final plan is expected to be reached by March.

Sara Hallermann, a parent of three gifted students, said the meeting answered her questions.

“I think the Gifted Education Task Force is doing an excellent job in revamping the service model to better meet the needs of gifted students,” Hallermann said.

She said the meeting was positive and helpful, even though sometimes the content was controversial.

Hallermann appreciated that Miller explained the rationale of each decision and assured parents that everything is grounded in research.

Another parent, Rae Kroger, said the meeting was informative.

“They did a really good job at answering diverse questions,” she said.

Kroger said the district is moving in the right direction.

At the end of the meeting, community members were given an opportunity to write down what components of the service model they liked, components they want to see included, any questions they had and any additional input.

“We don’t want to glaze over anything,” Miller said.

“I want all students to achieve at high levels.”
Deb’s Details: This article happened during a crazy moment in my life. I was on my way to where the meeting was held when I was rear-ended! I’d never been in an accident before. I was a little late to the meeting because of that but I don’t think it affected my ability to get the facts. At the meeting, it was clear that the parents were very concerned and passionate about the gifted education program. The meeting lasted almost three hours.
I wanted this article to explain to those who couldn’t attend any of the three meetings what was discussed and emphasize how it’s not too late for them to give their suggestions to the school board.

2014, article, dublin, dublinschools, dublinvillager, organ donor, ThisWeekNews

Student’s organ donation honored on parade float

(originally published in ThisWeekNews)

Wednesday December 17, 2014 3:37 PM

Tom, Kathy and Reilly Harrington look at the
 floragraph of their daughter and sister, Lindsay Jones
(photo from ThisWeekNews)

To honor the late Lindsay Alyce Jones, her family invited students and staff to help decorate her floragraph, which will be displayed on the 2015 Donate Life Tournament of Roses Parade float.

Floragraphs are memorial portraits created with floral materials. They are recreations of a favorite photo submitted by family members.

Jones attended Dublin Scioto High School until she died from a brain aneurysm 10 days into her senior year in September 2002.

The floragraph of Lindsay Jones
(photo from ThisWeek News)

The event took place in Scioto’s cafeteria at 12:15 p.m. Dec. 12, during lunch, so students and staff could have an opportunity to view the completion of the floragraph.

Upon unveiling Jones’ floragraph, the family had the privilege of finishing the portrait by completing the decoration of Jones’ eyebrows.

The image of Jones was printed, applied to foam board and decorated in a method similar to “color by numbers” with flowers and organic materials, including seeds, grains and spices.

Bob Scott, Scioto’s interim principal, said he was honored to have the event at Scioto.

“This building loved Lindsay and the Jones family and to host this event for them and for Lindsay is the least we can do,” Scott said in an e-mail.

Jones’ family will travel to Pasadena in late December to attend the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade Jan 1.

Jones is the first person from Dublin to be honored in this manner during the parade.

“To have a program at school promoting being an organ donor and the impact it can have on others is clearly something we need to support and celebrate,” Scott said.

Scott said Jones will forever be a hero.

The decorating of Jones’ floragraph began in Pasadena by volunteer transplant recipients and donor family members under the direction of experienced float artists.

Jessica Petersen, media and public relations coordinator for Lifeline of Ohio, said it was a sweet moment to see the floragraph come to life.

“Kathy Harrington, Lindsay’s mom, was very anxious before it was unveiled. It looked so beautiful and lifelike. It was heart-melting,” Petersen said.

“Kathy has been volunteering at Lifeline of Ohio for 11 years. Her passion for organ donation has now led her to Pasadena.”

The 12th Donate Life Rose Parade float — with the theme “The Never-Ending Story” — will symbolize the enduring power of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation.

Jones’ floragraph will be one of 72 on the float.

The float will feature 60 butterflies emerging from an open book, representing the number of lives transformed by a single donor.

Walking alongside the float will be 12 living organ donors whose stories have become intertwined with those of their recipients.

The overall theme of the parade, which will be seen by an estimated 80 million TV viewers, is “Inspiring Stories.”

Since its debut on New Year’s Day 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire people to become organ, eye and tissue donors.

Deb’s Details:
This event was covered by some of the bigger news outlets in Columbus and I read their coverage of it before writing mine. That gave me perspective on how I could make mine stand out from their articles. I did this by interviewing Bob Scott and Jessica Petersen. I’m an organ donor myself so it was neat to see how that little heart on my license really can mean a lot.

My article on the front page 😀 
2014, article, baskets, magazine, porch, signatures, writing

Front Porch Memories

(I wrote this article for Longaberger’s Fall/ Winter Signatures magazine. Lynn and Gary were nice enough to invite me to their home and I interviewed them on their front porch. I’m proud of the descriptive details I included in the opening and how I used quotes that make the voice of Lynn and Gary come alive.)

Front Porch Swinging with Gary and Lynn Longaberger
Things in the village of Dresden, Ohio move at a slower pace. The hustle and bustle of big city life is replaced by the casual swoosh of a comfy porch swing. Cars pass by slowly and the sounds of friends chatting fill the cozy porch.

Surrounded by brightly colored flowers potted in warm brown Longaberger baskets, Gary and Lynn Longaberger take time to enjoy each other’s company (and some wine, of course) after a busy day. They gather with friends, laugh together and wave to the people passing by. 

Taking in a breath of autumn air, Lynn turned to Gary and said, “Feels like you’re back home again, doesn’t it honey?” Gary nodded.
It’s a simple porch with a white and grey rug that fills almost the whole space, a sturdy gray swing, a few small tables and Grandma Bonnie’s dark green and white patio furniture that she passed down to her 10th child.

 “We eat dinner out here sometimes,” Gary said. “On the weekends, we drink coffee in the mornings and almost every evening we dink our wine out here.”  

Gary and Lynn chat about their grandkids and what’s going on that week.  Gary is more or less retired. He joked that he is “on-call for Longaberger events.” Lynn is Senior Project Coordinator at the Home Office and celebrated her 22nd year with the company in November. 

Lynn grew up just outside of Zanesville and Gary grew up, of course, in Dresden. Their two granddaughters currently go to Tri-Valley High School, while the other is in college. They also have a younger grandson and granddaughter in nearby Reynoldsburg.  

 “The grandkids can spend the night whenever and even a few members of the Sales Field have stayed over,” Lynn said.

About a year ago, Gary and Lynn had been looking for a new house in Dresden. A friend mentioned that a home on Main Street recently went up for sale.

“We called the owners that evening. Gary went through the house at noon. The next day, I went through it at four. We called them at six to say it was perfect. We will take it!” Lynn fondly remembered.    

The house has a separate garage that Gary has turned into a workshop or “mancave” as Lynn lovingly calls it.

Gary and Lynn agreed that it was fun sitting out on the front porch, especially during special events like Halloween.

“Remember, they told us we would have 500-600 kids come by? But, it was raining and cold that night. So Gary ended up eating half of the candy himself,” Lynn said. “One piece for the kids. Two for him.”

A favorite porch memory took place before the Bee, this year. A couple of Home Consultants from California came to Ohio a few days early and came to Gary and Lynn’s house. The Home Consultants took turns riding Grandma Bonnie’s bicycle through Dresden as Gary and Lynn showed them around. They rode down to Wendy Longaberger Little’s house and chatted on her front porch for a bit. Then, they went to Grandma Bonnie’s old house and took a few pictures there. 

“They were thrilled to death. One woman said that riding Grandma Bonnie’s bike was her favorite Bee experience,” Lynn said.

During the Bee, about 30-40 people stopped by Gary and Lynn’s house.

“We talked about how excited we were to have them and how they couldn’t wait to stop back by again,” Lynn said. “So many people were here, that we had to get extra chairs and we had people sitting in the front yard.”

Lynn gave tours around the house and showed them the baskets that J.W. and Larry had made for Gary. 
“Some people you only get to see once a year, but they feel like your best friend,” said Lynn. “Thank goodness for Facebook so you can keep up with people and see what’s going on in their family.” 
In Dresden, Main Street comes alive in the evenings. Best friends go on power walks together. 

Parents ride bicycles while their children ride tricycles a few feet ahead of them. Young couples walk their dogs. Trucks give friendly honks. Gary and Lynn wave to everyone who passes by.

“Even if we don’t know them, we’ll wave. But, usually we know them and say hi,” Lynn said.
So many different people stop by the porch and such wonderful memories are made that Lynn and a few friends joked that they were going to start a blog to chronicle their porch adventures.

Most nights, Lynn reads her Kindle outside and Gary solves Sudoku puzzles.

“I do one easy puzzle and then one hard one. Sometimes I’ll do a ‘very hard’ puzzle,” said Gary, “And, I always do the Sunday Sudoku in the paper.”

Gary and Lynn like being so close to local sports events. They attend nearly every Tri-Valley High School sporting event. Whether it’s supporting their daughter, who coaches the varsity volleyball team, or cheering on the Scotties at a Friday night football game, Gary and Lynn are there.

Best of all, their house is located very close to the high school. Lynn said, “It’s great being able to just walk to the football games and not worry about parking.”

The location of their home also comes in handy during parades. There is the Dresden Homecoming parade at the end of June, the Tri-Valley Homecoming parade in early October, and the Christmas parade on the first Saturday of December.

“Tina Smythe and her family, Anita Rector, and Gary’s sister, Wendy Little with her husband Bob will bring lawn chairs and sit in our front yard and all of us will watch the parade go by,” Lynn said. 
As the evening went on and the sun started to set, Lynn said “Only thing that could’ve topped this would be if Grandma Bonnie was still here to sit on the porch with us. She was a good mother-in-law”

Gary chimed in that Grandma Bonnie was a mother and grandmother “to a lot of people.”

They remembered her sense of humor and how much fun she was. Gary noted that his sister, Wendy, is a lot like his mom. Wendy and Bob are frequent visitors to the porch. 

 In the future, Gary and Lynn hope to add a ceiling fan and improve the back porch so it can be used “for times when the front porch overflows with people.” They are always looking up Main Street to see who will walk down the sidewalk and who they can invite on their porch. 

2014, article, dublin, dublinvillager, education, news, newspaper, schools, ThisWeekNews

Dublin’s advanced placement programs receive honor

By DEBBIE GILLUMTuesday November 25, 2014 9:07 PM
Written for ThisWeekNews Dublin Villager newspaper

Dublin City Schools is one of 547 school districts in the U.S. and Canada to be honored by the College Board with placement on the 5th Annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP course work and improving scores.
This is the second consecutive year that Dublin City Schools has earned this honor.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement,” said Todd Hoadley, Dublin superintendent.
“It is remarkable for the 11th largest District in Ohio to be able to increase the number of students who take AP?exams while also increasing scores,” Hoadley said.
According to the most recent Ohio Department of Education statistics, Dublin students took the most AP Exams in Ohio during the 2012-13 school year.
Reaching these goals indicates the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit from rigorous AP course work.
Since 2012, Dublin City Schools has increased the number of students participating in AP by 8 percent while improving the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher by 1 percent.
The AP Exams take place in the spring and are scored on a 5.0 scale.
College credit may be earned for scores above a 3.
The exams can be taken in a variety of subjects, ranging from chemistry to European history.
In 2014, more than 3,800 colleges and universities throughout the world accepted AP scores for college credit, and/or took them into consideration during the admission process.
Thirty other Ohio school districts, such as Hilliard, Granville and New Albany, achieved this honor.
“The devoted teachers and administrators in this district are delivering an undeniable benefit to their students: opportunity,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of AP and instruction.
“When coupled with a student’s hard work, such opportunities can have myriad outcomes, whether building confidence, learning to craft effective arguments, earning credit for college, or persisting to graduate from college on time,” Packer said. “We applaud your conviction that a more diverse population of students is ready for the sort of rigor that will prepare them for success in college.”
Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn better AP scores is an objective of all members of the community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors.
Many districts are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to simultaneously expand access and improve student performance.
Inclusion on the AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2012 to 2014.

Districts must increase participation or access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/ Latino, and American Indian/ Alaska Native students, and improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2014 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2012.

Deb’s Details:
This was a pretty straight forward article to write because I had a press release to work off. I wanted to make the press release my own and so I tried to reword some things.
I think this article confirms that Dublin is a highly ranked district and they put a lot of emphasis on great academic achievement. Their students work very hard and are clearly performing very well on AP tests. I remember how hard those AP tests were so I think it says a lot that they are getting 4s and 5s.
I would’ve liked to have gotten a quote from a student in an AP class or an AP teacher at a high school.

2014, article, dublin, dublinvillager, news, newspaper, schoolboard, schools, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Elementary School Additions

Work progressing on preparing recommendations

By DEBBIE GILLUMTuesday November 25, 2014 8:50 AM
Written for ThisWeekNews Dublin Villager newspaper

At the Dublin Board of Education meeting, discussions continued about elementary school additions.
Throughout the month of November, representatives from the engineering architectural firm of Garmann/Miller Architects are scheduled to visit all 12 elementary schools with the goal of making a recommendation as to where four or five school additions will be constructed. As of Nov. 13, five buildings have been assessed.
Garmann/Miller will present a report of their findings at the first meeting in January. The company has previously collaborated with school districts in Findlay, Cedarville, Mansfield, and Lima.
 Also in January, a Request for Qualifications for architect services will be examined to select a design firm. The design will take six to eight months, the bidding and award decision will take six to eight weeks and construction would be nine to eleven months.
These additions are part of the district’s effort to address enrollment growth issues.
“Our goal is to have the first additions open for students in the fall of 2016, with the remainder opening in the fall of 2017,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley. “As we’ve stated throughout this process, we will keep our community informed on the progress of the projects.”
In other building improvement news, the board discussed that Davis Middle School needs a new gym floor and bleachers. No definite plans have been set yet.
Plans are also being discussed to expand Jerome’s science labs, due to overcrowding.
With more students and teachers, the district’s computer network was starting to run low on free space so the Board of Education approved the purchase of 45 terabytes of increased storage capacity and 45 terabytes in backup capacity.  The two storage devices cost $78,287.28.
The meeting started with Riverside elementary’s new principal, Staci Lutz, leading ten students from the Student Leadership Team in the Pledge of Allegiance. Lutz has been serving as the interim principal at Riverside since February, when Connie Stitzlein was charged with assault after a domestic dispute.  
There were about 100 community members in attendance at the meeting.
The meeting took place at the 1919 Building at 144 West Bridge St. at 7 p.m. and the next meeting will be Dec. 8 at the same location and same time.
Other News
In other school board news, 16 National Merit Semifinalists were honored by Dr. Dustin Miller, Director of Secondary Education for their academic accomplishment.
Students took the PSAT exam in order to qualify to be a National Merit Semifinalist. The city of Dublin had the most SemiFinalists of any Ohio school district.
Also, two Dublin City School teachers were honored with the Golden Shamrock Award for their dedication to education.
Secretary Pat Ford and teacher Gardner Watkins, both from Scioto, were honored with the lifetime achievement award.
Bob Scott, principal of Scioto, said that Gardner Watkins, a science teacher, exhibits enthusiasm for all facets of education.
“Kids learn tremendously [from Mr. Watkins] and don’t even know they are learning,” Scott read from one nomination.
When Scott introduced Ford, Scioto’s receptionist, he called her the “face of Scioto.”
“She takes a special interest in every staff and student and is a kind person to work with,” read Scott from a nomination.
In her acceptance speech, Ford said that she enjoys all the parents that come in.

Deb’s Details:

Man, did I struggle with this article. It was my very first assignment and was supposed to go in last week’s issue. I thought it would be an easy assignment and maybe I just got cocky and didn’t pay attention hard enough. I turned off my voice recorder and didn’t take very detailed notes because I thought a video of the meeting would be posted online. Looking back, I think that was a stupid move. The video was not posted and I could not easily get a hold of an audio recording. To make things worse, I didn’t fully understand the meeting lingo and what was news and what was not. I reached out to my parents, my editor and the PR person for Dublin City Schools and they all helped me immensely.

Next time, I’m going to pay close attention to the whole meeting, record it, take notes and do a better job. Now, I know what I’m looking for and what to expect at the school board meetings.

article, band, flashback, journalism, old, reporting

Even in high school, I wrote articles

Flashback Post!

With the band directors at senior night

This Saturday, I went to the OMEA State Marching Band Finals with my best friend, Emily. Of course, Hilliard Darby got a superior rating!
Freshman year of high school, Emily and I became friends because of marching band. I couldn’t imagine my life without her or if I hadn’t been involved band.
 It was so wonderful to see that marching band is still a part of so many high schooler’s lives. It teaches values like teamwork, hard work and dedication.
In my high school journalism class, I wrote an article as part of an assignment and I wanted to share it.
The article covers a marching band competition that we went to.

Oct 25 2007
<!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>
Band Dominates Tri-Valley
            The Hilliard Darby Marching Band won their third Grand Champion award on Saturday evening at the Tri-Valley Band Festival, according to darbybands.org. 
            “The Marching Panthers” traveled to Tri-Valley High School, located in Dresden, Ohio, and performed their 2007 show titled, “Channel One Suite” on October 20th.  The band won four Overall Best in Class awards, Overall Grand Champion award, and received a Superior rating.
According to Joe Burke, the director of bands at Darby, there were a total of fifteen performing marching bands. 
            “Tri-Valley is just a regular OMEA-approved band contest. This year, our graduating seniors requested that we attend,” said Burke.  “We’ve been there three or four times before in years past.”
He also predicted the band would “do well” and expressed a “possibility of becoming Grand Champions.”
            Before the competition, sophomore flute player Emily May predicted, “I think we’ll do pretty well because we just finished learning our show.  I think people will really get excited about the music.”
Marching band hats
            A junior mellophone player had a much more confident prediction about the outcome of the band’s performance. 
            “I think we’re gonna kick butt,” exclaimed Sarah Cooper.  “This is the best show we’ve ever had because of the amazing brass feature.”
            After the competition, the band was thrilled with their success. “I’m really pleased with how we did.  It feels great to know that we’re Grand Champions,” May beamed.
According to the Darby band website, “The band placed first in class “AA” and won the following awards: Outstanding Percussion – Class AA, Overall Best Music, Overall Best Marching,  Overall Best Percussion, and Overall Grand Champion Band.  Other results included: Second Place Auxiliary – Class AA. The band also earned a Superior rating.”
The Hilliard Darby band is known for their outstanding performances.
 “I think we have such a good reputation because of our past performances, exciting shows, fast tempos, and good music,” said Burke. “I like this year’s show.  I think it’s well played and well-arranged.” He also noted that the band needs to work on “individual and personal responsibility.”
The Darby band will perform at the OMEA State Marching Band Finals on Saturday, October 27 at Dublin Coffman High School.  Their performance time is 5:30 p.m.  They will also perform at halftime during the Groveport Madison High School football game on Friday, October 26.
            The typical Darby marching band week consists of practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m., then on Wednesdays from 3:30- 5:30.
Hillard Darby marching band
“On Fridays we prepare for the football game. We practice beforehand if it’s a home game,” said sophomore trombone player Alaina Mills. “On Saturdays we normally practice from about 12- 3:30 p.m. and then afterwards we get ready for our competition.” 
The Darby Marching Band also has won previous Overall Grand Champion awards at New Bremen High School and Northwestern High School.  The band regularly competes at OMEA adjudicated band shows.
The band’s show, “Channel One Suite” was originally written by legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich. 
            The band was led on Saturday by Field Commanders Taylor Colman, Ben Powell, and Alyssa Hoop. 

The Panther band is comprised of 200 members, including 11 color guard members and 34 percussion players.  The Hilliard Darby Marching Band is in its 11th season.
2014, article, denison, features

Students share their experiences as dining hall workers

Max Collins, a junior from Stamford, Conn., does not have a typical on-campus job such as working at the library, being a tour guide or working in a department. Instead, Collins works for Bon Appetit at Curtis. While it may not be the most glamorous job, Collins said he enjoys the people he works with and that he likes his job. I caught up with him in the Curtis Veggie room to ask him more about his job.

Debbie: What’s it like working at Curtis?
Max: I really like it. Everyone back there is nice. It’s a lot of fun. The students are generally really nice. I get a lot of ‘Hi, how are you?’s or at the very least most of them say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

D: What’s your least favorite part about working?
M: The cleanup is usually bad because some students are disgusting. Sometimes there is food all over the tables and the floor. People will leave spilled juice and stuff like that. Sometimes serving can get kind of stressful on days when we have something that’s really popular like chicken parmesan. It’s a constant stream of kids and I don’t get any down time for four hours.  

D: How many hours a week do you work?
M: I usually work 15. Most work 10 and some work like 20. Then there are the full time workers who work about 40 hours.

D: How did you get the job?
M: A friend of mine told me about it. We applied and I ended up getting it, not her. I felt bad for stealing the job but she’s fine with it.

D: What’s the hiring process?
M: It wasn’t bad. I handed in my application and a week later I got a call. I came in for a first interview and it was mostly a get to know you type interview. The second interview was more formal and informational. Then I had to go to an orientation where I learned the rules of the land.

D: What’s a typical shift like?
M: I punch in a half hour before the dining hall opens. I make sure everything is clean, prepare and put up the food. I’m serving food during the big rushes at dinner and lunch time. After the rush, I’ll go see who I can help. I’ll clean the counters and tables. When the dining hall closes, we make sure the leftover food is taken away to charity. We clean our work stations, vacuum and go home.   

Gabby Vecchio, a sophomore from Cleveland, Ohio opened up about her time working for both Sodexo and Bon Appetit. Vecchio has worked at Huffman, Curtis, Slayter and has been involved with selling concessions for a couple years. I met up with Vecchio in the Slayter pit to chat about what she liked about her job.  

D: How many hours a week do you work?
G: Well, last semester I was working 27 hours a week. So I was pretty much full time. I’ve been trying to get my hours reduced but they are understaffed. I was able to buy a car with the money that I made.

D: What’s been some differences that you’ve noticed between Sodexo and Bon Apetit?
G: I think most people don’t realize how sustainability focused Bon Appetit is. They’re really picky and concerned about composting and sorting. I think it’s very worthwhile. They try and get whatever they can from local farmers too.

D: What’s it like working at Huffman?
G: It’s very friendly. Most people are there because they want to be and they enjoy working there. I like working when I’m in contact with the students like serving in the main line.

D: What’s your least favorite part about working?
G: Probably just waiting around when it’s slow. It gets kind of long sometimes. Usually at dinner it’s not a problem but after 7 it gets kind of slow.

D: How did you get your job?
G: A friend got a job in the dining hall and when she left Denison I took over her job. I thought it was really brave of her to work for the dining hall. They started me out with really short hours but gradually.

D:  Do you think you’ll continue to work?

G: I hope to get more into catering and concession stands. I like setting up and running my own thing. It’s kind of like owning your own business but you’re under supervision. I think it’s better to work catering as a student because the hours are more flexible.