Home > Uncategorized > Parent Update – March 9, 2011

Parent Update – March 9, 2011

March 9, 2011


State Speech & Debate Champion Ben Brown

State Speech & Debate Champion Eric Miranda

For the first time, Olmsted Falls has won a state championship in Speech and Debate. 

Seniors Ben Brown and Eric Miranda went 10-1 in debate and won the state championship in Public Forum style debate at the Ohio High School Speech League (OHSSL) State Tournament held last weekend. 

Congratulations Ben and Eric!

The team also garnered 2nd and 3rd place awards with solid performances by Nick Macek and Shom Mazumder, who qualified for the final session of Student Congress.  Nick won 2nd place and Shom won 3rd place.  Shom Mazumder was also named Best Presiding Officer.  

Overall, the team finished 9th in the State – their first top ten finish at the state level! 

It has been a successful year for the OFHS Forensics program.  This past fall, the team earned the National Forensics League’s (NFL) Leading Chapter Award in the North Coast District. This coveted award, based on student participation, is the highest honor the NFL can bestow upon a chapter. Only one school in each district attains this designation each year. This year, out of more than 2,800 NFL member schools nationwide, Olmsted Falls High School is one of only 105 to receive the Leading Chapter Award

Congratulations to our OFHS Forensics Team and their advisor Mr. John Mercer on these outstanding accomplishments! 


• A YES VOTE WILL NOT RAISE TAXES (Replaces existing bond millage set to “drop-off” in 2012.)

• A YES VOTE WILL provide a dedicated funding stream for permanent improvement projects and purchases with an estimated life or usefulness of five years or more.

• A YES VOTE WILL provide resources to immediately expand the District’s ability to address issues at the 42-year-old High School facility – a recurring concern expressed by Bulldog parents in the recent Parent Survey.

• A YES VOTE WILL help lengthen span of time before next operating levy is needed by expanding the District’s ability to handle looming maintenance expenses in older buildings without tapping into limited general fund dollars. 

• A YES VOTE WILL NOT provide any funds for salaries nor benefits. By law, P.I. funds may NOT be used for this purpose.

PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS CRITICAL LEVY:  Any parent or resident interested in hosting an informational, in-home “coffee talk” for a group of 10-15 friends, neighbors and/or family members, please contact Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley to schedule.  These in-home presentations feature a 15-20 minute Power Point and an opportunity for Q & A with a District Administrator or School Board member. 


Scholarship Semi-Finalist Hayleigh Sanders

Scholarship Semi-Finalist Pam Keller

Congratulations to OFHS students Pam Keller and Hayleigh Sanders on being named among just 26 semi-finalists in the third annual Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out essay contest.  This year more than 1,700 students from 139 schools shared their solutions to stop hatred and discrimination by entering this essay contest.  The 26 semi-finalists – including Pam and Hayleigh – are now eligible for $100,000 in scholarship prizes at an Ohio college or university. 

The 26 student semi-finalists will be narrowed down to ten finalists after a panel of select judges has read their essays. Those finalists will then compete for three college scholarships by giving oral presentations at an awards ceremony on April 10 at Severance Hall.

The Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out essay contest is open to public, private and home schooled students in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit Counties. Juniors and seniors compete for three, four-year scholarships (one each $50,000, $25,000 and $15,000) to an Ohio college or university; they and younger students also compete for cash prizes, class visits to the Museum and resource materials for their schools.

Good luck to both Pam and Hayleigh!


Just a reminder that this Saturday, March 12 @ 7:00 pm on TV5, the OFHS Academic Team will make their appearance on Academic Challenge.  Members of the A-Team participating are Jim Coury, senior, captain; Mike Coury, senior; and Sohan Vartak, junior.  If you can’t watch, you may want to set your DVR/VCR!  This is an all-time record setting performance that will make all Bulldogs proud!


The Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) will be administered the week of March 14th – 18th.  Students must pass all five sections of the test (Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science and Citizenship) in order to receive an Olmsted Falls High School diploma.  All sophomores will be required to report to their assigned homeroom by 7:30 a.m. each day for testing.

Please click here for additional information, including a list of assigned homerooms.


Drawing of Rachel Scott's hands with a message found on the back of her bedroom dresser. Rachel Scott was the first victim of the Columbine High School shootings.

Olmsted Falls Middle School is proud to present the Friends of Rachel Club

This is a club that provides the opportunity for students, staff, and community members to partner with Rachel’s Challenge to continue the chain reaction of kindness and compassion for our school, community, and world. 

The goal of the Friends of Rachel Club is to encourage everyone to be a helpful friend to anyone who needs a person to care and to comfort him or her. 

We hope to make a positive impact in schools and communities by sharing Rachel’s message of kindness for others.

The Friends of Rachel Club invites all Olmsted Falls community members to its first meeting on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 from 7:00pm – 8:15pm.  We will meet in the OFMS Media Center. 

Please join us for this special event.    

~Julia Stevens, OFMS 8th Grade Student


The Olmsted Falls High School football field has been selected as a winner of the 2010 “Field of Excellence” Award sponsored by Pioneer Athletics.  At right, Olmsted Falls School District Director of Business Affairs Tim Atkinson stands between grounds maintenance staff member Heath Krakowiak (left) and grounds maintenance manager Tom Dipert (right), who both received special recognition for their work in maintaining the award-winning field.

The OFHS athletic field and crew exhibited the care, dedication, and overall superior qualities that judges were looking for in selecting a winner.  This achievement places our field among the best, both professional and amateur alike, in the nation.  This is the third consecutive year OFHS has earned this award.


Congratulations to senior P.J. Mueller (left) and sophomore Chase DuPratt (right), who placed 8th at the State Tournament last weekend to become the 55th and 56th All-Ohio Wrestlers in school wrestling history.  Olmsted Falls has placed 56 Wrestlers in the State Wrestling Championships.  That total ranks the Bulldogs 18th in the History of the Ohio State Tournament.  For additional information, please visit www.ofwrestling.com.



The OFMS Physical Education Department partnered with Ohio State Assistant Rugby Coach Ron Bowers to promote youth non-contact rugby during physical education classes last week.

Coach Bowers worked with all of the Middle School students to help develop their rugby skills, as well as the teamwork and leadership aspects of the game.

Rugby is the second most popular sport in the world and is played in over 90 countries.

Several area high schools, colleges and universities field both men’s and women’s teams.


OFIS Counselor Mr. Mark Tabar and OFMS English Teacher Mrs. Nancy Gulden

Middle School English Teacher Mrs. Nancy Gulden and Intermediate School Counselor Mr. Mark Tabar were recently nominated by the PTA units in their respective buildings for the Ohio PTA “Educator of the Year Award.” 

Mrs. Gulden was nominated by OFMS PTA member Denise Olszewski.  Mr. Tabar was nominated by OFIS PTA member Ann Simon.  Congratulations to Mrs. Gulden and Mr. Tabar for inspiring these heartfelt nominations through their commitment and dedication to our students!

Each school district may submit one nomination for this prestigious award each year.  A vote by PTA Council members at last month’s meeting selected Mrs. Gulden as the nominee to be submitted to compete with the pool of nominees from other local school districts in the area.  Congratulations to Mrs. Gulden!


OFHS student Hannah Whitney (junior) is a member of Look Up to Cleveland – an organization that promotes Cleveland by having one student from each area high school attend seven one-day meetings throughout the year.  Each meeting has a theme and explores a different aspect of the city. 

Most recently, Hannah participated in Look Up to Cleveland’s “Government Day” where she met Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (see photo at left) as well as the City Council President and a member of the new County Council. 

Other meeting themes include: “Cultural Day,” where students experienced backstage tours of the Capitol Theater, Hanna Theater, and Near West Side Theater; and “Business Day,” where students met the person who started the entrepreneurship organization, Jump Start.


The DanceItUp4Kids Health Event is just around the corner!  This family-friendly event will take place Saturday, March 19th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Olmsted Fall Middle School.  Event Tickets:  $3 Students/Seniors 60+ & $5 All others. Children under 5 are free.

DANCERS STILL NEEDED — OR JUST PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO HAVE FUN & RAISE MONEY FOR A GREAT CAUSE!  Dancers are needed for the exhibition which starts at noon.  NO SKILL REQUIRED! Just put together a fun, entertaining, family-friendly routine with your friends or family, and come dance to raise money for our kids.  Please call Darla at 440-427-6364 to register by March 14th.

Dancers of all ages are also needed for the marathon!  There are two ways you can dance in the marathon:  1) Bring a completed pledge form (available in the school clinics or contact Darla) to the event & you’ll get in free. You’ll also be eligible for some amazing prizes for the most pledges and the most money raised;  OR 2) Come to the event and give a $5 donation at the marathon.  Along with the donation, you’ll need to purchase an event ticket at the door. All dancers must have a parent signed release prior to dancing (available in the school clinic or at the event).

Marathon info: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (15 minute breaks every hour).  Limbo and Hula Hoop Contests for prizes – all dancers eligible.  You can stop dancing at any time!

Come on O.F.!  You could spend over $150 taking your family to the IX Center Amusement Park for a day, OR you could spend well under $40 bringing your family to this amazing event that promotes children’s health, is tax deductible, and raises money for our kids! 


Check out some of our amazing raffle items! 

– A 4-hour Lake Erie fishing charter with a nationally known, professional circuit, walleye fisherman

– An installed 180 sq. ft. room of hard wood or laminate flooring

– A wonderful overnight hotel stay with “extras”

– Family fun gift baskets which includes free passes to many fun local attractions

– Many more items too numerous to list!


The Olmsted Falls Academic Booster Club puts on the Annual Honors Banquet held at Baldwin-Wallace College each year.  This important group is seeking Board members to join their efforts for the 2011-2012 school year.  Any parents interested in getting involved are encouraged to contact Cindy Kelly at 440-235-0989 or cindykelly@ameritech.net for additional information.

Also, all Bulldogs can support the Academic Boosters by dining at Applebee’s on Tuesday, March 22nd.  Please click here to download the fundraising flyer!


The annual High School May Art Show is scheduled for Friday, May 20th.  In addition to the large collection of student artwork, the show also showcases a section of artwork created by alumni, faculty, staff and community members.

High School Art Teacher Mariel Krakowiak is currently seeking entries for this year’s show.  Please click here for the official entry form which features additional information.

Deadline for completed entry forms is Friday, May 13.


POPULAR OECPTA BARGAIN BONANZA SCHEDULED FOR THIS SATURDAY, MARCH 12TH Olmsted Early Childhood PTA’s Bargain Bonanza Resale Event is set for Saturday, March 12th in the Olmsted Falls Middle School Cafetorium. Great deals on gently used children’s clothes, toys, gear and maternity wear.  Sale times and costs are: Early Bird – 8:00am to 9:00am – $5, General – 9:00am to 12:30pm – $2, Bag Sale –  2:30 pm to 3:30pm – $3 per bag.  Please visit www.oecpta.org for more information.

HUGE RUMMAGE SALE THIS SATURDAY, MARCH 12TH – Right down the road from the Bargain Bonanza, the Olmsted Falls Relay for Life Rummage Sale will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Falls-Lenox Elementary School.  Hundreds of participants, food, furniture, toys, and clothes!  Come and hunt for treasures!  All proceeds benefit Olmsted Falls Relay for Life event on June 11-12, 2011.  For information, contact Lisa Brady at (216) 870-2856 or Michelle LaGruth at (440) 476-4697.

KIWANIS SPONSORED PANCAKE BREAKFAST FOR MACKENNA WERTMAN THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 13TH, 8:00 A.M. TO 1:00 P.M. AT OLMSTED FALLS HIGH SCHOOL – MacKenna Wertman, a 4th grader at the Olmsted Falls Intermediate School, is fighting her second battle with brain cancer in less than 5 years. Since December, MacKenna has endured two rounds of chemotherapy and is on her fifth week of radiation therapy in Indiana.  All proceeds from this Sunday’s breakfast will be donated to MacKenna and her family.  We hope to see you there – your support means so much!  Adults $8.00; Kids Age 10 & Under $4.00; Children Age 2 & Under are FREE.  Entertainment for the whole family, plus 50/50 and gift basket raffles.

HIGH SCHOOL POST PROM 2011 COMMITTEE FUNDRAISER – WING NIGHT AT SLIM AND CHUBBY’S ON SATURDAY, MARCH 19TH, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. – Support OFHS Post Prom by enjoying “Wing Night” at Slim and Chubby’s located at 12492 Prospect Road in Strongsville on Saturday, March 19th from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  $25 per person.  Food, Raffle and Fun!

OLMSTED FALLS ACADEMIC BOOSTERS FUNDRAISER ON TUESDAY, MARCH 22nd from 11am-9pm – Download and bring this special flyer to Applebees & they’ll donate 15% of your lunch or dinner check to the Academic Booster Club.  The Academic Booster Club puts on the Annual Honors Banquet each year at Baldwin-Wallace and would like to give some financial support to the Academic Team in their endeavors as well, so any funds raised will support both.  Kindly encourage people to pass on the flyers to friends & co-workers…anyone can participate.  PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING THE FLYER!

EMPLOYERS, JOB SEEKERS INVITED TO 2011 POLARIS/WESTSHORE CAREER FAIR – Wednesday, March 30th, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  – Polaris partner employers and local job seekers are invited to participate in the 2011 Polaris/Westshore Center Career Fair which will be held at the Polaris Career Center on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  This free event, designed to foster a competitive and productive workforce in Northeast Ohio, will provide a vital link between employers and potential employees – the career fair promises to attract 100 companies and more than 1,200 job seekers.  In addition, local agencies and representatives from Polaris will be on hand providing access to educational resources, financial aid information and much more.

Employers must click here to register online.  Set-up on March 30 will take place from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. followed by a brief welcome program.  Job seekers are strongly encouraged to pre-register at this web address to gain priority entry into the event.

Prior to the March 30 Career Fair, Polaris will host free Resume Writing Workshops on Thursday, March 24 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  These sessions will provide timely resume information and allow participants to “hit the ground running” on March 30.  To register for the Workshop, visit www.polaris.edu or call (440) 891-7600.

For additional information, contact Tony Schweppe (Employment Connection) 216-664-3431 or Chris Anderson (Polaris Career Center) 440-891-7607 or visit www.polaris.edu.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Mike
    March 11, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I was wondering about the pending PI levy in May. The current PI is due to drop off in 2012, and the focus or the drive for the new PI is the aging HS. Apparently what has been written and said is the HS is in need of some major improvements. If this is the case, then has any of the money from the current PI being used to start some of this needed work? It seems that no work on the HS will commence until the levy is passed. Why is this? I surely hope that this is not a tactic to force us to pass a levy, sound like bulling to me.

  2. March 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm


    Thank you for your question.

    Actually, the 2.8 mills that are “dropping off the books” at the end of calendar year 2011 are from a bond issue that was passed by voters a couple of decades ago. A bond issue is used to build a facility. In the case of this 2.8 mills that is dropping off the tax duplicate, it is my understanding that these bonds helped finance the construction that led to the combining of Falls elementary and Lenox elementary into Falls-Lenox. Please note that a bond issue provides the “upfront” money to construct a facility, a bond issue does not provide an ongoing revenue stream for the maintenance and repair of a building.

    The district does not have a PI levy currently only the books. It does have a maintenance fund that helps provide revenue for the care of the new Intermediate School and the Middle School. The reason for this maintenance fund is that both of those buildings were built under a state construction program which required the creation of this maintenance fund.

    The High School, Falls-Lenox Primary school, and the Early Childhood center are our District’s three oldest buildings and the District does not have a PI levy to provide revenue for these facilities.

    As such, when these buildings need repairs, these repairs must be paid for out of the General Fund. The General Fund is the fund which covers the “general expenses” of the districts. These “general expenses” include the salary and benefit costs of all district employees, the utility costs (electric, water, sewer), purchases of technology, purchases of school buses, etc.

    Because the district lacks a PI fund for coverage of our 3 oldest buildings, the costs of the maintenance needs, for these buildings, compete against other General fund expenses. Therefore, the cost of repairing a roof or resurfacing a parking lot, or upgrading the electrical system competes against hiring additional teachers (to reduce class sizes) or purchasing a new school bus, or purchasing new computers or updating software programs.

    The main benefit of a PI levy, dedicated to building maintenance, is that the revenue could only be used for this purpose. There would be no competition against other expenditures and thus we can ensure that our District Facilities are well maintained and last long into the future.

    Thanks again for your question. Please feel free to post additional questions or comments.

  3. Steve
    March 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Dr. Hoadley I appreciate your comments and explaining how the 2.8 mills are ending and how this levy will not increase our taxes. I know it is a tough time to run a levy even if it will not increase our taxes. We appreciate your dedication on trying to do what you think is right for our community.

  4. Linda Parkowski
    March 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Wow!! Congratulations to the Academic Challenge team, Jim, Mike and Sohan, and advisor Mrs. Rhonna Smith! How proud you have made this Bulldog community. And congratulations to the young mens’ parents also – way to go!!

  5. Linda Parkowski
    March 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    While this blog is certainly a wonderful way to educate the parents about the upcoming permanent improvement levy, it should not be parents only source of getting PI information or getting their questions answered. Dr. Hoadley, the administration and school board representatives are having 3 more PI information nights, 3/23, 4/5 and 4/19. Parents are encouraged to come and hear the presentation, get their questions answered, and then make an informed decision. Also, if you are invited to a neighbor’s home to attend a PI levy coffee, go!! And most importantly, don’t assume your vote doesn’t matter…..every vote counts. Vote absentee, vote at the poles, but make sure your voice is heard!

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