Harding Hosts 6th Grade Math In Business Symposium

Sixth graders at Harding Middle School recently completed a six-week project-based learning experience that was capped off with an incredible Math in Business Symposium on October 14 The symposium, which included speeches from Mayor George and Superintendent Niedzwiecki, highlighted the end product of students’ work learning about how local business owners use math to help make their businesses successful.

While the focus was on math, the project was truly multidisciplinary, reaching across math and language arts as the students used many of our Vision of a Lakewood Graduate competencies including creativity, communication, collaboration, growth mindset and critical thinking. Working in teams, the students were required to reach out via email to a Lakewood business owner asking to interview them about how math is used in their business.

More than 50 Lakewood businesses welcomed the students for interviews, which the students recorded and are now included in a podcast that can be listened to on Spotify. Each team then worked on creating an infographic outlining the ways that math is a part of the success strategy of the business they profiled.  They asked about math tools, math models and math calculations, among other concepts. What they learned, they compiled into amazing infographics, designed by the students and displayed at the symposium.  


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Volume 17, Issue 20, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

Come Work For Lakewood Schools!

Although the 2021-2022 school year has been in full swing for a while, the District is still in need of some substitutes to support our current staff members when they have to miss work. Many of the positions we are looking to fill work directly with students. The District is currently in need of substitutes for the following positions:

Teachers - $125 per day
Paraprofessionals/educational assistants
Lunch monitors
Health aides
Building cleaners
Cafeteria workers

Interested applicants should complete a Lakewood City Schools online application by by visiting the Human Resources page on the District website (

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Volume 17, Issue 20, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

Board/City OK Fields/Pools Agreement

The Lakewood Board of Education at its Sept. 22 meeting approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Board and the City of Lakewood that outlines the responsibilities of the two entities in relation to the maintenance and capital improvements of the City-owned fields and pools. The Board and the City have shared responsibility for the recreational facilities for decades without a formal agreement in place. Lakewood City Council approved the agreement at its Sept. 22 meeting as well.

The agreement defines each party’s role in ongoing maintenance and capital expenses, as well as establishing a formal annual schedule for regular meetings between the City’s Public Works Department and the Recreation Department to ensure that communication between the two regarding field and pool conditions remain current. 

“We are pleased that our administrative team and the Board of Education were able to work together with Mayor George and city officials to resolve these longstanding issues,” said Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki. “We look forward to being able to provide the community more quality programming through our Rec and Athletic Departments now and in the future. Our Community Recreations and Education Commission will be engaging with the community to gather feedback on programming wants and needs.”


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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021

LHS Musicians Chosen For Honors Ensembles

Congratulations to the Lakewood High musicians chosen to be part of the Ohio Music Educators Association’s Northeast Ohio Region Orchestra, including junior Madeline Oldfield (viola), who earned a chair in the All-State Orchestra as well. Joining Madeline in the regional honor ensemble are sophomore William Detmar (bass) and junior Jill King (cello). Jill also was chosen as an alternate for the All-State ensemble.

Students must qualify for the Region Orchestra to be eligible for a spot with the All-State Orchestra. The All-State ensemble performs at the OMEA annual conference. The conference will be held in Cleveland this year at the Huntington Convention Center from February 3-5.  

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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021

Don't Miss Marching Band Festival Sept. 18

Weeks before most students headed back to school this year, members of The Lakewood Ranger Marching Band were hard at work preparing music and choreography for not only the fall football season, but also their highlight performance event, the 34th Annual Lakewood High School Marching Band Festival, set for Saturday, September 18 at First Federal Lakewood Stadium.

This event, the band’s biggest fundraiser of the year, kicks off with the Parade of Bands at 6 pm, followed at 6:30 pm by on-field performances by 10 of the best Northeast Ohio marching bands! This year, the Ranger Marching Band, led by director Clinton Steinbrunner and assistant director John Blasko, will be joined at the festival by bands from Aurora, Beachwood, Bellevue, Brush, Eastlake North, Lake, Olmsted Falls, Strongsville, and Wickliffe. And of course, the Lakewood Ranger Marching Band will be performing joined by members from the alumni marching band!

Tickets can be purchased online at

Online ticket prices are: $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $4 for older students, and free for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased with cash at the gate, for $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for older students, and free for children 12 and under.

Please come out and show your support for this community treasure! It’s a fun event for the whole family! There will be concessions and a chance to win cash in the 50/50 raffle.

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Volume 17, Issue 17, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021

Employment Opportunities-Lakewood Recreation

The Community Recreation and Education Department has employment opportunities for the Event Staff position. Event Staff are the direct representative of the Lakewood Board of Education and the Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation & Education Department during non-school hours. The primary duties and responsibilities are, but not limited to, the monitoring and managing of all facility events, ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants.

The ideal candidate for the position of Event Staff will have knowledge of school facilities, the ability to establish priorities and work independently, without direct supervision. This position is part time, approximately 15-20 hours a week, nights and weekends may be required.

Interested candidates should submit an Employment Application, which is available at under Resources and Important Forms, to: The Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation and Education Department, c/o Mitchell Robida, 14100 Franklin Blvd., Lakewood, OH 44107.

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Volume 17, Issue 17, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021

District Revises Return-to-School Plan

When the District leaders developed its plan for the 2021-2022 school year as it relates to the pandemic, they did so with the data and information that was current at that time. On July 30, when our plan was communicated to families, our county was considered to have only moderate transmission of COVID-19, according to levels determined by the Centers for Disease Control. Since that time, cases in the county have increased to the level of substantial transmission and case counts continue to rise. Of particular concern is the rise in cases among children that the delta variant spurred.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

Lakewood Girls Soccer Season Preview

The term “Student–Athlete” can mean different things, but at Lakewood High School, the model “student athlete” excels in the classroom, on the field/court, and in the halls. That is, they are a dedicated student, a good citizen of the school, and of course bring energy and effort to the field.  Recently, the Lakewood Rangers Girls Soccer Team has crushed it in the classroom, and have likewise been exemplary citizens. (More on this later). But things are also trending upward on the field.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

District Moves To Cashless System For Fees, Events

The Lakewood City Schools has begun the process of transitioning to a cashless system for most transactions, including lunch accounts, general instruction fees, pay-to-participate fees, bookroom purchases, event tickets, and more.

The PaySchools EZPay system families have used to pay fees and load money on lunch accounts has been upgraded to PaySchools Central. The upgrade offers all the features of EZPay. The EZPay link on the District website ( will be replaced with the PaySchools Central link. Families will be prompted how to transition from EZPay to PaySchools when they first click on the updated PaySchool Central link.

PaySchools Central offers families many new features allowing for greater control over their accounts. New benefits include real-time loading of lunch account funds, a mobile app capability, the ability to store multiple payment options, details on purchases and payment history, auto lunch account replenishing, and advanced payment scheduling. A full list of features is included in the attached document.


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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 1:00 PM, 08.04.2021

APEX Awards Recognize Excellence In Communication At Birchwood School

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Birchwood School recognized the importance of effective communication as the key to holding their community together and maintaining the academic excellence and character development for which they are known. Their efforts began with an email crafted by eight unmasked administrators in a 10 by 12-foot office mingling in a now unheard-of way as they swapped seats to edit the message. This was the beginning of what earned the Birchwood team a 2021 APEX (Awards for Publication Excellence Competition) Award of Excellence in the category of COVID-19 Media- Education and Training. 

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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

New Faces, New Roles In District Admin Ranks

The Board of Education recently approved a number of administrator moves that include one new face to the District with incoming Horace Mann Elementary Principal Sanya Henley and several current administrators taking on new roles.

At the June 21 meeting, Lakewood High School House Principal Bridgette Firstenberger was approved as the next LHS associate principal. She will replace Brian Siftar, who has taken a position in another district. Firstenberger has been with the district since 2015 when she was named the House 2 principal.

At the elementary level, Sanya Henley was named the next principal at Horace Mann Elementary School at a special meeting on July 7. She will replace Dr. Merritt Waters, who will begin a new position as a teaching and learning coordinator and will oversee the District’s student wellness and mental health initiatives. 

Henley was the coordinator of learning initiatives at Euclid City Schools and principal of its Early Learning Village. Under the direction of former Euclid Superintendent, Charlie Smialek, Henley was charged with creating and bringing to fruition the Early Learning Village for the district’s preschool and kindergarten students. She has also served as a principal in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Schools and a teacher and International Baccalaureate coordinator at Shaker Heights Schools.


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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 1:01 PM, 08.04.2021

Alumni Event Celebrates The Ranger Bond

The middle school years. Most say they never want to relive those precious few years where everything seems to change in a young person’s life. However, on a recent Sunday afternoon a group of about 75 Lakewood City Schools alumni celebrated the bonds and memories created as middle schoolers with a fun day of games, food and friendship they dubbed “Revenge of the Rangers.”

Rangers primarily from classes from the 1980s-2000s gathered in the Metroparks for an afternoon of friendly competitions between Emerson, Harding and Horace Mann alumni. Some private school alumni or “Saints” participated as well. The teams tried to best each other in tug-of-war, egg toss and sack races. From talking to participants and comments online, the event was a great success and a blast for all.

Class of ‘93 grad Terry Alexander imagined the event as a kind of take off on the movie “Revenge of the Nerds,” and when he threw the idea out on Facebook, many alums jumped on board for the event. Jennifer Kunes (‘91) joined as the master organizer and put in tons of hours finalizing the logistics and details while Alexander served as the grillmaster, cooking up 15 slabs of ribs, 40 chicken legs and 8 pork shoulders. Jessica Clayburg (‘97) was the official event photographer and Marc Reimer donated handmade Rangers and Browns cornhole boards as prizes.

Alexander said he came up with the idea as a way to “bring people together and connect them.” “Lakewood was a really cool place to grow up and I am blessed to have grown up with the people I did,” he said.


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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 1:01 PM, 08.04.2021

Lakewood Schools Hiring For New School Year

The Lakewood City School District is busy preparing for the 2021-2022 school year, including filling some remaining vacancies for its staff. The District is currently accepting applications for lunch monitors and other support staff positions in both general education and special education. The District is also looking for preschool paraprofessionals, who will be hired through the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio. Those interested in applying should visit the district website at and follow the application links contained in the news article titled "We're Hiring!"

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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 1:01 PM, 08.04.2021

New Superintendent Takes Over

This summer marks an important transition for Lakewood City Schools, one that we know will be an important step in the growth of the district and the educational success of its students. With Dr. Mike Barnes having stepped down as Superintendent of Lakewood City Schools last month, the district now looks forward to the tenure of Maggie Niedzwiecki in the role and everything she brings to it.

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Volume 17, Issue 14, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.21.2021

Seckers Earns National Merit Scholarship

Congratulations to Lakwood High School senior Nina Seckers, who has earned a $2,500 scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corp. National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the National Merit Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The 2,500 Merit Scholar winners were chosen from a talent pool of some 16,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.

These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

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Volume 17, Issue 11, Posted 3:01 PM, 06.02.2021

District Receives $15,000 Kiwanis Centennial Gift

Part of the tradition of the Lakewood Kiwanis is to have a signature project to mark important anniversaries of the organization. For the group’s 75th anniversary in 1996, the Kiwanis gifted an announcement sign for the Lakewood Board of Education property located then on Warren Road. A quarter century later and in conjunction with its centennial celebration, the Kiwanis have graciously given the Lakewood City Schools $15,000 to place a new sign at the Board’s new home at the Taft Center for Innovation (formerly Taft Elementary).

“We are extremely grateful for the longstanding partnership the District has with the Kiwanis and appreciate the many ways they serve our students, whether it be through scholarships for seniors, service clubs at our school buildings, or now this generous gift for our community,” said Superintendent Mike Barnes.

The Kiwanis marked their 100th anniversary with a gala on May 14 where Board President Betsy Bergen Shaughnessy accepted the $15,000 gift on behalf of the Board. 


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Volume 17, Issue 11, Posted 3:01 PM, 06.02.2021

Staff Spotlight Honorees: Corrigan & Sedlak

Each month the Lakewood City Schools selects one or two staff members to be honored as part of its Staff Spotlight feature. The staff members are nominated by their peers. April's honorees are District Nurse Katy Corrigan and Lakewood High and West Shore Career-Tech teacher Bob Sedlak. Read below for more on each of these outstanding staff members:


When life began to slow down for everyone due to restrictions necessitated by the pandemic, Katy Corrigan’s pace of life significantly ramped up. That’s because Corrigan, in her role as District School Nurse, suddenly became the expert on all things COVID for our district. She has been working non-stop ever since.

Corrigan’s job became guided by one simple mission: “What can we do in our school system to safeguard students and staff” during this pandemic. We all know that the strategies to contain the pandemic and protocols to stay safe and healthy have constantly evolved. It has been Corrigan's job to stay on top of all those changes and then advise District leaders on how to move forward with the District’s educational mission while maintaining the safety and health of everyone.

In her role, Corrigan keeps abreast of all the guidelines issued from national, state and local health organizations. She is the recordkeeper of all reported student and staff COVID cases. She conducts contact tracing and determines who must isolate or quarantine and then communicates that with those affected. She researches and shares the protocols for keeping the students and staff safe in the buildings. And she answers the continuous stream of staff and parent emails and phone calls at all times of the day, dispensing the latest guidelines for when to stay home and when to return to school. 


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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Students' Art Honored In Congressional Contest

Congratulations to Lakewood High students Sadie Tabor and Rosie Lipka, whose artwork was honored in the annual Ninth Congressional District Invitational Art Competition, sponsored by Rep. Marcy Kaptur. Sadie earned a first runner-up award and Rosie won the Alice Louise Press Award in the Art to Market category. This event showcases high school artistic talent from the Ninth Congressional District.

The winner of the competition earns a place in the national exhibit at the U.S. Capitol. As a runner-up, Sadie will have her artwork exhibited in one of Rep. Kaptur's offices. Rep. Kaptur has been presenting this opportunity to her district since 1983. High schools and student artists in Lucas, Ottawa, Cuyahoga, Erie, and Lorain counties are invited to participate. 

Congratulations again to Sadie and Rosie, and to their teachers, Dayna Hansen and Arline Olear.

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Lakewood High School Mock Trial 2021

This spring the Lakewood High School Mock Trial team competed in the District competition sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law Related Education (OCLRE). The trial case for this year was State of Buckeye v. Micah Opessa. The issue was whether or not Opessa could withdraw a guilty plea in the case from a year earlier due to misconduct on the part of the prosecution.

All in all the students worked hard for over three months, on their own, to prepare for this competition. They overcame a number of challenges to perform and thoroughly impressed the judges in both competitions.

For the first trial, the Defense team was led by Attorneys Cameron Wereb (co-captain, 9th) and Jana Evans (9th), with Emily Jarecke (9th) playing the role as the defendant Micah Opessa, and Leah Campbell (co-captain, 9th) playing the role as defense witness Corey Abrams. The second trial was conducted by Attorneys Grace Lamparyk (10th) and Meredith Wheeler (10th) for the Prosecution, with witnesses Alexandra Hodson (10th) as Prosecutor Justice Okafor and Mimi Nee (9th) as Detective River Foley. The bailiff and timekeeper for the 2021 LHS team was Sofia Rivera-Bitner (10th), who juggled both roles successfully for both trials.


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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

LHS Students Sweep Rotary/Beck Speech Awards

Lakewood High juniors swept the top four spots of the Speech category in the 76th annual Rotary Club of Lakewood & Rocky River Speech, Music, and Visual Arts Contests sponsored by the Beck Center for the Arts. Leading the way for the talented talkers was Eva Strazek, who earned $700 and moved on to compete in the District competition April 10. Rounding out the top four contestants were Andre Hallenburg ($500), Abby Hirsch ($300) and Sidney Bacon ($250).

Contest participants are students from the five Lakewood and Rocky River high schools including Lakewood High School, Lutheran High School West, Magnificat High School, Rocky River High School, and St. Edward High School. The speech contestants were asked apply the principles of Rotary international’s Four Way Test to a current ethical issue. Students are challenged to identify a topic they feel passionate about and to adopt a point of view from which they will seek to persuade others. The Four Way Test includes the questions:


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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Outstanding Career-Tech Students Recognized

Congratulations to the 14 West Shore Career-Tech students that were recognized in an April 15 ceremony as the Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary Outstanding Students for 2021. Each of these students were chosen for their exemplary accomplishments in the classroom, school activities, clubs, athletics and service in the community. Each student exemplifies traits of leadership, dedication, responsibility, caring, community involvement, and initiative.

West Shore Coordinator, Bill DiMascio praised the students, saying, “This year has been a year like no other in our lifetimes and in education. To be named as an "Outstanding Student" this year says just a little more about you as a student and a person. You are able to adapt and overcome. So many in our community, state, and nation are in need. I hope you will use your talents--your ability to rise above adversity to help and serve others. Look for opportunities to serve others in your future educational experiences, careers, and communities. We need you to continue to be "outstanding"! We are so proud of you!” 

This year’s recipients are:

Auto Technology: Ryan Duffy, Bay High School

Construction Trades: Matt Dacek, Bay High School


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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Ready To Start Your Quit And Begin Your Life?

There are always hard life decisions that have to be made throughout life. Making the decision to quit smoking and vaping for good is a tough one to make. There are many reasons to quit such as the impact that it has on your body and the impact on your pockets. Not only is it bad for your health but it is very financially draining which could be a reason to quit. But taking that first step is crucial to succeeding in goals such as this. 

Tobacco companies want to get people addicted to their product, especially teenagers. They want to hook teenagers to get long term customers so they advertise these products to make consumers more likely to buy their products. By producing colorful packaging, different flavors, and good advertising on many different platforms like social media it intrigues the younger generation. This is the main reason why teens start using tobacco. Teens’ brains are not done fully developing so it has a greater impact on these young users, even worsening their anxiety. The dopamine that is released when using nicotine is what makes people crave more. Nicotine has a great impact on learning and memory since not only does it affect the brain, but it affects your lungs by making it difficult to breathe. With people that already have respiratory problems vaping could make it worse and affect your lungs sooner than later in life. Looking at all the negative consequences that come from starting to vape you should think before taking that first hit. 


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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

The Effects Of Nicotine On The Teenage Brain

We are seniors in the West Shore Health Careers Program at Lakewood High School. We are writing to educate and inform teens about the harmful effects of vaping on the development of the teenage brain. In December 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General declared youth vaping an “epidemic.” So what may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime decision will affect your body and brain permanently. As a teenager you finally have some freedom or control over life, you can make decisions for yourself, but sometimes those decisions will leave a long-lasting impact on your body. As vaping has become more and more popular in youth, we have been seeing negative long-term effects on the developing teen brain. 

While nicotine may feel good at the moment, long term it negatively affects your body. Your brain becomes hooked and addicted leading to the use of more serious drugs in the future. Once you are addicted your mood and personality may start to change. You may be cranky or stressed because your brain is craving that sweet taste of nicotine while the rest of your body is screaming for help. Nicotine has mood-altering effects that can temporarily mask the negative symptoms of mental illness, putting people with mental illness at higher risk for cigarette use and nicotine addiction. 


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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

District 'Spring Into STEM' A Success

While most students were relaxing and taking a hiatus from school over Spring Break the week of March 15, more than 100 K-8 students signed up for the District’s first three-day Spring into STEM program to engage in some fun project-based learning and enrichment activities. 

Emerson school building was bustling with classrooms full of students from each elementary grade for the three hours of instruction each day. Keeping the focus on fun, teachers assigned creative projects that helped students grasp concepts related to science, math and engineering with a dose of literacy integration as well.

For example, shaking a structure built out of toothpicks and mini-marshmallows atop a pan of Jell-O was one class’s fun way of learning about civil engineering and building an earthquake-proof (or not) building. Another class learned about buoyancy and built pirate ships and fifth-graders worked on an egg-drop project where they learned about force of gravity and aerodynamics. A program highlight entailed testing out the creations the fifth-graders built to protect and carry their eggs when dropped from the roof of the building! All classes were able to watch as program administrator Bridgette Firstenberger dropped the transport vehicles from the school roof. All cheered as the creations made their way down to the pavement followed by a classmate excitedly recovering the egg (or not).


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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

LHS Students Reap Recognition For Writing And Art

Congratulations to a number of Lakewood High students who recently had their writing or artwork honored in statewide competitions.

On the visual arts front, senior Nola Williams-Riseng's art was honored with an Award of Excellence as one of the top 25 pieces entered in the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibit competition. Also earning a spot in the 300-piece exhibit with their artwork are juniors Grace Hoppel and Inga Wilhelmy. Judges received more than 1,000 entries from high school students across Northeast Ohio. From those entries, 126 were selected to join winners from the other Ohio regions to be judged at the state level to determine which pieces will be part of the exhibition.

From the 6,000 regional entries from across Ohio, approximately 1,000 are selected to enter the state judging. State jurors then select 300 for the actual exhibition, with 25 of the 300 chosen to receive the Governor's Award of Excellence. Scholarships are offered to seniors by over 30 universities and colleges of art.

The Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition, now in its 51st year, is open to all of Ohio's high schools, both public and private. Its purpose is to provide all budding young artists of the state with opportunities to advance their talent, whether that be through scholarships or simply experiencing the process of entering their work in a competition.


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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Cavani String Quartet To Join LHS Chamber Orchestra

In the District's first live concert of the school year, the LHS Chamber Orchestra will join with The Cavani String Quartet in a performance of the powerful Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8. The event will include a discussion of the life of Shostakovich, the art depicting life under Stalin, and the power of music to heal. The concert will take place on Thursday, April 8 at 7 pm at the Civic Auditorium. The concert is free but guests must register at Masks and social distancing are required.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Emerson Machine Rewards Students With Books

Emerson Elementary students have an exciting and big new reason to strive for those gold coins they receive as part of the school’s positive culture/behavior program. The school recently unveiled its Book Experience vending machine, where students who exhibit the competencies contained in the district's Vision of a Lakewood Graduate (communication, collaboration, creative thinking, empathy, growth mindset, and global citizenship) can use their gold coin to select a book from the machine. Much better than candy or soda, right?!

The idea for the machine was broached by teacher Jennifer Mollison and then enthusiastically endorsed by the school’s Positive Behavior and Intervention Support (PBIS) team to include it in their rewards system for students. The school’s PTO stepped in to provide funds to purchase the custom machine - decorated in purple and gold with inspirational quotes and two Lil’ Rangers of different skin tones - and supply the initial batch of books.

Students Mia Ferrone, TJ Blanchard, and Alex Samples were the first students to drop their gold coin in the coin slot and watch a book they selected drop down. The trio were chosen for exhibiting kindness and empathy to fellow students. They each were thrilled to have a new book of their own to take home!


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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Tri-C Student From Lakewood Named To All-USA Academic Team

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) student Geri Bakushi is among 20 students named to the All-USA Academic Team for achievement in the classroom and leadership on campus. 

More than 2,000 students across the country were nominated for the award, regarded as one of the top honors available for community college scholars. 

Bakushi, of Lakewood, expects to graduate from Tri-C this summer with an Associate of Science degree. The international student from Albania has maintained a 4.0 GPA while taking a course load focused on technology, engineering and math. 

He holds a leadership role in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter at the College’s Western Campus. Bakushi also served as a Tri-C student ambassador and assisted fellow students as a math and information technology tutor. 


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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Dive In To Lakewood Rec's Underwater Egg Hunt

Grab your bathing suits, towels, baskets and goggles for Lakewood Recreation’s annual Underwater Egg Hunt. This year’s event will be held Saturday, April 3, 2021 at the Lakewood High School Pool, with groups beginning shortly after 9am.

Children are split up into age groups for the hunt. All children ages 6 and under must be accompanied by an adult in the pool; no separate registration fee is required for the adults accompanying younger children. Everyone receives a little treat bag after, but there are special prizes if you find the lucky egg during your grouping.

Don’t be fooled by the name; not all the eggs sink. Approximately half of the 200 eggs float at the surface. The other 100 or so eggs are spread out on the pool bottom, varying in depth from 3.5 feet deep to 9 feet deep. Included in each time group is a little open swim time, with the high and low diving boards open for each group.

Don’t get closed out of this unique event – register now at We look forward to seeing everyone for this year’s hunt.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Rangers Set School Records At State Indoor Track & Field Meet

Congratulations to the Ranger athletes who participated in the OATCC Indoor Track & Field State Championship Meet on March 6. The Ranger contingent of nine athletes set three school records and several personal records. Setting new school records were:

  • Alicia Smith, 60-meter hurdles
  • Smith, Aniya Symons, McKenna Hunt, and Ebony Bradford, 4x200 relay
  • Helen Roche, Abby Sacha, Bradford and Hunt, 4x400 relay

The 4x400 relay earned the highest placing of the team, finishing 11th in the state. The 4x200 relay team finished 13th. The 4x800 relay of Mallory Zavatchen, Sacha, Sadie Gregg and Roche finished 18th. Besides Smith in the hurdles, Bradford also competed in an individual event, finishing 19th in the 200 meters. Teeghan McGann qualified in the 800 meters but was unable to run.

Congratulations to all the girls who competed and to coaches Stephanie Toole and Adam Swiat!

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Winter Sports Rangers Earn All -Conference Honors

Congratulations to the 30 winter sports Rangers who earned All-Conference honors in the Great Lakes Conference this season. Leading the way were the Rangers' two 1st Team honorees, basketball players Peter Patsouras and Mollie Henrikson. Below is the full list of All-Conference honorees:

1st Team: Peter Patsouras and Mollie Henrikson (basketball)
2nd Team: Riley Ulintz and Gianna McAuliffe (basketball); Brandyn Bates (wrestling)
Honorable Mention: Samantha Hudak, Sydney Hampton, Ahmed Muhammad and Ayden Wacker (basketball); Cole Dockus and Zeylile Cheiky Fakadej (bowling); Ryanne Eisnaugle and Sara Jarecke (gymnastics); Alex Blinky and Gavin Fielder (hockey); Charlotte Beno, Sam Saracina, Ronson Tucker and Ethel Woodford (swimming); Nistor Krizan and Kelsey Dalton (wrestling); Isabella Colon and Isabelle Reay (cheerleading)
Sportsmanship: Molly Pilgrim and Riley Ulintz (basketball): Katie Arth and Nolan Geyer (bowling); Maya Nieves-Bucey (gymnastics); Zach Vuyancih (hockey); Sarah Donaldson and Jacob Kavc (swimming); Eric Barber and Malaak Suleiman (indoor track); Garrett Schweter (wrestling); Jada Brown (cheerleading)

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Creative Writing Advances Birchwood Teams to the Next Level

Last month, Birchwood’s seventh and eighth grade teams competed at the district level Power of the Pen creative writing tournament taking top honors. The seventh grade team placed second and the eighth grade team placed first. Both teams advance to the regional competition.

Individually, Isabelle Bixler won 4th place overall, and also a “best of round” award. Areesha Nouman won “Best of Round” in two out of the three rounds.

Jennifer Seward, one of their coaches, described the event saying, “What many people may not realize is that Power of the Pen is more than a showcase of writing talent and creativity. Students must have stamina, they must be willing to practice their storytelling, and they must be open to constructive criticism. All of these students possess all of these things. It's such an honor to see their hard work pay off.”


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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 7:38 PM, 03.03.2021

Lakewood Kiwanis Increased Scholarships For 2021 Graduating Seniors

The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood is proud to be offering its 2021 scholarship program to graduating high school seniors. The club’s foundation increased the awards to TEN  $10,000 scholarships, $2500 per year for 4 years each. Edward Hadaway, Kiwanis scholarship committee chairman said “Eligible applicants can be students at any high school, but must be a resident of Lakewood. They must demonstrate academic success in high school and must have applied to one or more specific college or university. Winners will be chosen based on need for financial assistance; community involvement and service; the qualities of leadership, honesty, loyalty, diligence and participation in extracurricular activities.” Applications and contact information is online at Please submit by April 1, 2021. Lakewood Kiwanis serving Lakewood youth and celebrating our Centennial year in 2021. 

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 7:38 PM, 03.03.2021

Continental Mathematics League Honors Local Young Mathematicians

Continental Mathematics League holds five meets per year that students can participate in from school or home. Students are given 30 minutes to answer six questions aimed at furthering students’ progress in the art of problem solving.

After the third test was completed this week, local Birchwood School students achieved the highest honors. Many maintain a perfect score through all three tests.

Gold medal winners:

Jonathan Samulak (6th grade of Cleveland)

Eric Velez (6th grade of Cleveland)

Jacob Gao (6th grade of Westlake)

Joshua Gordon (6th grade of Bay Village) Perfect score!

Ted Alten (6th grade of Avon Lake)

Manya Raina (6th grade of Brecksville) Perfect score!

Shreeyans Bhavaraju (8th grade of North Royalton)

Manan Raina (8th grade of Brecksville) Perfect score!

Chloe Leng (8th grade of Hinkley)

Reyna Uechi (8th grade of Lakewood)


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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:15 AM, 02.03.2021

Lakewood Kiwanis Offering Scholarships To 2021 Graduating Seniors

The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood is proud to be offering its 2021 scholarship program to graduating high school seniors. The club’s foundation will award eight $10,000 scholarships, $2500 per year for 4 years each. Edward Hadaway, Kiwanis scholarship committee chairman said “eligible applicants can be students at any high school, but must be a resident of Lakewood. They must demonstrate academic success in high school and must have applied to one or more specific colleges or universities. Winners will be chosen based on need for financial assistance; community involvement and service; the qualities of leadership, honesty, loyalty, diligence and participation in extracurricular activities.” Applications and contact information is online at Lakewood Kiwanis. Please submit by April 1, 20. Kiwanis serving Lakewood youth.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:15 AM, 02.03.2021

Levy Commitments Status Check: Complete

This past April, our community resoundingly passed an operations levy for Lakewood City Schools with nearly 77% support of voters. During the levy campaign, the District shared with the community what its priorities would be for the new funds provided. Below is an update on where the District stands in regards to commitments promised:


  1. Expanding mental health services and counseling for students

    • Hired five Student Wellness and Success Specialists that are working in all of our elementary buildings

    • Expanded our partnership with the Cleveland Clinic for mobile mental health supports

    • Assigned a social worker and social worker-in-residence at LHS, provided through Cleveland Clinic

    • Continue to have an adolescent psychiatrist available one day per week through at the Cleveland Clinic Medical Clinic at LHS.

    • Created a Student Navigator position in partnership with Cleveland Clinic and a grant from the Three Arches Foundation to assist with risk assessments and transitioning students from mental health hospitalization. 

    • Dist

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:15 AM, 02.03.2021

District Furthers Commitment to Equity, Inclusion

Last fall the District began its initial efforts in addressing the racial inequities and biases that exist in the District in the wake of this past summer’s tragic events that spurred a sense of urgency around the country to address systemic racism. In response, the District has formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force comprised of staff members across all buildings to examine where and how the District must address deficiencies that create barriers for some students to achieve their full potential.

The District DEI task force has been meeting monthly since October and staff members throughout the District have also been addressing the issue on their own initiative. Much of the DEI committee work is being done in subgroups in order for staff to dig deep in different areas. Subgroups include: special education identification; discipline practices; gifted/advanced classes; leading elementary conversations; engaging students in leadership/clubs and in cultural competence and critical consciousness; engaging families; engaging/training staff; and hiring practices. 

The work is already having an impact. Building on the Board of Education’s resolution passed in August urging the Ohio Department of Education to revise current core content standards to be more inclusive, Lakewood High beginning next school year will offer African American and Native American history electives that will allow teachers to more adequately explore contributions of Americans of all cultures and races. 


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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:15 AM, 02.03.2021

Scholastics Awards Local Young Writers

Scholastics Awards Local Young Writers

The nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens has awarded local teens their highest honors. Each year Scholastic Art and Writing Awards accepts entries from seventh through twelfth grade students in 28 categories. They are then blindly adjudicated by some of the foremost leaders in the visual and literary arts for originality, technical skill, and authentic and unique point of view.

Local Birchwood School students received the highest honors for their writing.

 Reyna Uechi (8th grade of Lakewood)

Wither and Fade, Short Story, Silver Key 

 Isabella Bixler (7th grade or Fairview Park)

Home, Personal Essay & Memoir, Gold Key 

 Lydia Chen (8th grade of Cleveland)

The Light, Short Story, Honorable Mention 



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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.20.2021

Kindergarten Registration Now Open

Lakewood City Schools kindergarten registration for the 2021-2022 school year is now open. Students must be 5 years old on or before September 30, 2021 to be eligible to enter kindergarten. Registration information and materials can be found on the Lakewood City Schools website ( under the Student Registration Quick Link. Registration is by appointment only. 

The online forms are accessible anywhere there is a computer with an internet connection, including home or the public library. Kiosks are also available in all elementary school buildings and the Lakewood Board of Education during the school day. The school building and Board kiosks are by appointment only. The District's goal is to have all incoming students registered for next school year by March 31.


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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.20.2021

Students Return Thanks To Community Effort

Dear Residents of Lakewood,

I want to express heartfelt appreciation on behalf of our staff, the Board of Education, and myself to the Lakewood community.

I want to express heartfelt appreciation on behalf of our staff, the Board of Education, and myself to the Lakewood community.

Although options exist for our students for remote and eLearning instruction models, many families want their students to experience in-person instruction once again. As of Thursday, January 7th, the Lakewood City School District will provide in-person instruction for the students that need this model.

The ability to bring some of our students back for in-person instruction is a direct reflection of the Lakewood community’s commitment to safe practices during the pandemic. We thank you for being careful and cautious regarding social gatherings over the holidays and for adhering to other safety protocols that minimize the spread of COVID-19. Only together, as a true partnership, can we keep providing the in-person instruction that so many of our students need.

Inevitably, there will be challenges ahead. Let us remain vigilant and committed to the safety protocols and practices that have allowed us to open for in-person instruction on January 7th. Finally, we thank the Lakewood community for your patience, support and constructive two-way dialogue over these past months. Although it has been a challenge, the positive character of our community has consistently shone through and for that, we are truly grateful.


Michael Barnes, Ed.D. Superintendent

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 1:03 PM, 01.06.2021

Creative Destruction or Destructive Creation? Part 2

New inventions come up to make improvements, but some things can be called creative destruction. This means that a new invention can come up with a new production unit that can take the place of an outdated production unit. This concept was created by Joseph Schumpeter in the 1940s, when he contemplated the essential fact of capitalism. There are many creative destructions, but one of these is cell phones/ smart phones. There are as many pros as there are cons. Cell phones have replaced many things over time, such as television, telegrams, regular landline phones, and many more inventions. Even though some of these inventions are still used, a lot of people, especially younger generations, prefer cell phones. This is more of a creative destruction than a destructive creation. As time went on, cell phones took the place of outdated production units, even though some of the things that cell phones take the place of aren’t completely outdated. As cell phones have many advantages, they also have many disadvantages. I wish they never were created, but of course I have an Iphone...

Over 5 billion people own a mobile device, but more than half of this is the number of people who own a cell phones around the world. There are many pros of having a cell phone. These little devices allow people to communicate with each other in a matter of seconds, and you can be around the world, and it would still be a matter of seconds to contact that person, that can be via email, text and phone calls. One pro of having a cell phone is that it is good to have when there is an emergency. According to Pew Research Center, 40% of people who have cell phones said that when they found themselves in an emergency, having their cell phone with them helped. Although, they might be more prone to take risks in the first place...This doesn’t just mean calling 911, but teenagers can call their parents, the police, the fire department, etc. Also, with your phone, if someone is following you or stalking you, you can use your phone camera to either take a picture of them and/or you can call someone to talk with. Taking a picture and calling can help protect you, and can help the police find the person. Another pro of having a cell phone is that it can teach children and teenagers responsibility. According to Kids Health, having a cell phone teaches children and teenagers responsibility because they have to care for it, which means keeping the cell phone charged and in perfect and working condition. Another pro of having a cell phone is that it can keep you organized. You can keep your grocery lists on there along with to-do lists, important dates, and more. According to Reader’s Digest, using your phone to organize lists, dates, and other things and making it simple helps get things done, keep to a routine and that way you don’t get as forgetful. Not only can cell phones be used to go onto the internet, to play games, or to go on social media, you can use these little devices to help sort out and organize your routines and most important things. There are many more advantages of having a cell phone. But, what if the mind is not being exercised because the phone is doing so much for us? 

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 4:16 PM, 02.17.2021

Creative Destruction Or Destructive Creation?

One theme for my APUSH History Class this year is the impact of new inventions/technology on society. In this case, students analyzed the impact of technologies through Joseph Schumpeter’s notion of creative destruction. Their task was to argue over whether the new invention/technology is a net positive or negative for society. --Dr. Chuck Greanoff, LHS Social Studies Teacher

By Leah Campbell, LHS Class of ‘24

Butter churners, canals, telegraphs, typewriters, polaroid cameras, and horse-drawn carriages are antiquated and obsolete today. But all so quant! They have been replaced by factories, cargo trains, semi-trucks, smartphones, and cars. This is because a factory can produce butter much faster and with less waste than a household butter churner ever could. This concept is defined by economist Joseph Schumpeter as creative destruction; the cycle of old inventions or concepts being replaced by newer and more effective inventions. 

Social media’s recent dominance over news is a current example of creative destruction. Many people would rather hear about current events through “trusted” friends on social media than mysterious reporters. This has reduced reliance on newspapers and longstanding news sources for information on current events. Social media has made the spread of news faster than it has ever been before. Unfortunately, many people are wrong to trust their friends’ posts on current events which leads to misinformation. According to NPR, “More than 40 percent of visits to 65 fake news sites come from social media, compared to around 10 percent of visits to 690 top US news sites” ( This abundance of misinformation leads to distrust of the media and the government agencies that collaborate with the media. While news on social media is incredibly convenient, it is a net negative for society because it’s largely responsible for the publicity of false information, biased news sources and distrust of the government. Trustworthy news sources and a trusted government are more valuable to society than convenient news will ever be.

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.06.2021

Barnes To Return To Mayfield Schools to Lead District

On the evening of December 1, the Mayfield City Schools' Board of Education voted to hire Dr. Michael J. Barnes as their new superintendent effective August 1, 2021. Dr. Barnes will replace current Mayfield Superintendent Keith Kelly, who recently announced his retirement effective August 1.  

“While we as a Board are disappointed that Dr. Barnes will be leaving us after the end of the school year, we appreciate everything he has brought to Lakewood,” Board President Emma Petrie Barcelona said. “We know he will be fully committed to the Lakewood City Schools for the remainder of his superintendency and through this unique school year.” 

The Lakewood Board of Education will meet soon to determine the path moving forward for the District. The Board will keep the community informed as a plan is developed.  

“The decision was not an easy one for my family and me. My wife and I have enjoyed every minute of being a part of the Lakewood community,” said Dr. Barnes. ““Lakewood Schools are a special place where community, children, and staff come together for the betterment of all. I treasure the experience and lessons from my tenure as Superintendent, and firmly believe that I am a better instructional leader, and person, as a result of my time here,” he continued.

Dr. Barnes came to Lakewood in August 2018 from the Mayfield City Schools where he served in several administrative positions for more than 20 years.

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 9:48 AM, 12.02.2020

Lakewood Schools Stay Remote Until New Year

Lakewood Family:

Our focus has been, and continues to be, to provide the best instruction possible for the students of our district in as safe a manner as possible. To accomplish this, we are adhering to two core principles: Safety and Choice. 

Regarding Safety 

We are following the latest guidance from healthcare professionals and are committed to implementing best-practice safety protocols. 

Regarding Choice

Our families have made it clear through extensive two-way communication with the school district that they desire options for instruction. We have heard you and three instructional options will be available. 

  • In-Person instruction

We are committed to returning to in-person instruction as soon as possible for those that choose this option.

  • Remote instruction

We are committed to supporting our remote learners with high quality instruction.

  • eLearning instruction


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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

West Shore Student Ohio Presidential Scholar Semifinalist

Congratulations to West Shore Career-Technical and Bay High School senior, Ryan Duffy for being recognized as an Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Presidential Scholar Semifinalist. Duffy is in West Shore’s Auto Technology program instructed by Mike Szittai. Duffy was also recognized this year as a National Merit Commended Scholar.

In his free-time, Duffy enjoys restoring cars, including a 1971 Buick Riviera and a 1965 Corvair which he can often be found driving to school. Self-taught, Ryan says he “did it with YouTube and a little help from my friends.” He also runs his own private auto detailing company, “Duffy’s Dynamic Detailing.”

Inside and outside of school, Duffy demonstrates leadership. Boy Scouts of America awarded him the rank of Eagle Scout in February 2020. He is also the drumline tenor section leader in the Bay High Marching Band and a 4-year member of the Rockets’ cross country team. For the last two years, Ryan has participated in the Appalachian Service Project and traveled to West Virginia and Virginia in the summer and rebuilt homes for impoverished families in those areas. Ryan is a leader among his peers in Automotive Technology and serves as the Skills USA Class President.

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

West Shore Billboard Design Contest Win Streak Continues

For the fourth straight year, a West Shore Career-Tech Media, Art & Design student has won the Teen Driver Safety Billboard Design Challenge. Congratulations to senior Gaby Bush of Bay Village High School for her winning design! The contest requires students to create a billboard design that tackles the issue of distracted teen driving.

Gaby’s winning design, “One Like Shouldn’t Cost a Life” will be displayed on five digital billboards for two-three weeks at various high-visibility locations throughout Cleveland, including I-90 and I-480.  It is estimated that approximately half a million people will see Gaby’s billboard design during their placement.

In addition to the billboard exposure, Gaby will receive a $500 cash prize for winning the contest, which is sponsored by University Hospitals, Safe Communities Coalition and State Farm Insurance.

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

LHS Students Engage With Violinist Known For Art Activism

The students in Lakewood High's Chamber Orchestra and AP Music Theory classrooms were fortunate to spend a virtual hour with acclaimed violinist, composer and social justice advocate Daniel Bernard Roumain. Roumain, known professionally as DBR, was recently the featured performer in New York at the Lincoln Center 9/11 tribute. He is a classically trained violinist who infuses a myriad electronic, urban, and African-American music influences (like Hip-hop, and funk) into his music. Roumain he uses his music to partner with others in projects that speak to social injustice issues. Some of his artistic partners include famed composer Philip Glass and Lady Gaga.

The students and Roumain, who were also joined by members of the nationally recognized Cavani String Quartet, who have been working with the Chamber students this school year thanks to a grant by the Lakewood Rangers Education Foundation, talked about how one can use their art to help heal some wounds in the world. Roumain explained how he uses his violin as his "weapon of choice" in his social activism. "You can use music to change the world," he told the students. "You can change menacing in magic and you can change the mundane into magic."


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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

Milestone Project Gives Tree To Every Kindergartener

Part of the mission of the LKWDGreenTeam is to nurture good environmental stewards among students and staff. Like the development of any mindset, it helps to start young. The team’s Kindergarten Milestone Trees Project will give our youngest learners a tangible reminder of not only the benefits of healthy trees in our community, but it will also allow them to watch those trees grow as they do!

The project was the brainchild of LKWDGreenTeam and Harding Middle School staff members Diane Quimper and Laura Balliett as a great way to mark the milestone of our kindergarteners educational journey and foster their connection with nature. Each kindergartener will receive a poplar sapling to plant at home. The trees and planting materials were donated by Lynn Yanyo, founder of, and someone Balliett met thanks to common interests in raising awareness and educating people about environmental issues. 

“We wanted to create an opportunity for positive childhood memories with trees so that the next generation will be inspired to connect with nature and advocate for natural spaces in our urban community,” Quimper said.


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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

Cuyahoga County Goes Red, Lakewood Schools Stay Remote

This past Thursday, Cuyahoga County was placed into Public Emergency Level 3, red status in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System which is described as "Very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible."

Due to this change, Lakewood City Schools postponed the October 19th partial, in-person return to school buildings, notifying families that PreK through 12th grade students will remain in their current instructional model to start the second quarter. 

While some LCS families accepted this news with relief as it has become obvious that COVID19 cases are climbing, others were frustrated that the long-awaited plans for students to be back in the buildings, albeit in the hybrid mode, were postponed. 

At Monday’s Board of Ed meeting, the Lakewood Civic Auditorium was full of (socially distanced) attendees who were there to make their concerns known. 

The crowd was divided into three groups: those who wanted to encourage the District to open the schools, those who wanted to support the District’s decision to stay remote, and make sure they stuck to it, and the Lakewood Teacher’s Association who wanted to make sure their recently signed MOU was honored. The first group highlighted the difficulties of remote learning, the toll it has been taking on families, and the example the District is setting by “being scared” of the virus. Several people made it clear that they thought that Lakewood students were up to the challenge of staying safe in the buildings by following safety protocols that other school districts have been using. 

The second group praised the Districts decision to stick with remote learning because it guarantees the health and safety of the students, staff and families, saying that this way will lead to the desired goal for all: the day when the virus is fully under control and everyone can return to school together. 


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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.22.2020

Dr. Barnes To Speak On Black History At LHS History Club Event

Superintendent Mike Barnes will be the Lakewood High History Club's first speaker in the group's series presentations for the 2020-2021 school year. The event is set for Sunday, October 18 at noon on the Lakewood High front lawn. If there is inclement weather, the event will take place in the Civic Auditorium, with maks required and social distancing enforced.

Dr. Barnes will speak on "From DuBois to Steele--The Struggle for Liberty and Equality & the Diverse History of Black Political Thought." Dr. Barnes, a former Social Studies teacher, will discuss the wide range of Black political thought, from the classic Booker T. Washington W.E.B DuBois debate, to the conservative Shelby Steele and other voices.

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Volume 16, Issue 19, Posted 6:07 AM, 10.08.2020

Congratulations To Lakewood High's National Merit Semifinalists

Lakewood High School seniors Gina Marjanovic and Nina Seckers have been named National Merit Semifinalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Corporation competition. This designation recognizes Gina and Nina as among the top students in the nation.

Based on their PSAT score from the 2019-2020 school year, Gina and Nina join the group of 16,000 Semifinalists who represent less than 1% of the U.S. high school seniors and the highest-scoring entrants in each state. They will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million, offered next spring. 

National Merit Scholarship Corp. also recognizes Commended Scholars, who are among the top 5% of PSAT scorers. Commended Scholars will be announced later this month.

Congratulations to Gina and Nina!

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Volume 16, Issue 18, Posted 5:22 PM, 09.16.2020

Lakewood Lutheran School Adapts, Opens Doors For 2020-21 Year

It’s business as usual for Lakewood Lutheran School.

Yes, LLS has implemented measures to protect its students and faculty from COVID-19. Rather, what’s business as usual at the corner of Madison and St. Charles is the school’s family-centric approach to education.

“It’s certainly a strange year,” principal Carolyn Potantus said. “It was a strange summer as we prepped the school for the year and figured out how to make everything work.”

LLS, which has been a staple of the Lakewood community for nearly 125 years serving students K through 8th grade, is open five days a week.

Standard COVID precautions are in place — social distancing of at least 6 feet between desks, plexiglass barriers on the desks to further protect students, mandatory masks and a teacher to greet each student at the door for a temperature check.


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Volume 16, Issue 18, Posted 5:22 PM, 09.16.2020

District Hires Assistant Treasurer

The Lakewood Board of Education approved the appointment of Olmsted Falls City Schools Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Emily Weisbarth as the District’s assistant treasurer. The new position is part of a restructuring of the Treasurer’s Office on the heels of the retirement of Accounting Manager Maria Gregg.

Weisbarth, who begins her new post on October 12, has held positions at all levels within a treasurers’ office and enjoys collaborating within a team to improve the operational and reporting processes relating to district finances. Her career spans 12 years and multiple districts.

Weisbarth, who started her career as an accountant after graduating from Walsh University, values creating financial transparency and clear communication across all levels of stakeholders. Her accomplishments include developing and leading a District Finance Committee, being a member of the Olmsted Township Economic Development team, fiscal agent for the Great Lakes Regional Health Consortium and assisting in running multiple successful levy campaigns. 


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Volume 16, Issue 18, Posted 5:22 PM, 09.16.2020

District Earns Marketing Awards

The Lakewood City Schools earned top honors for its marketing pieces in the Ohio School Public Relations Association's recent annual awards contest. The District was honored with the Best of the Best award in the video category for its video titled "A Place for Everyone," which showed the vibrant educational environment and rich opportunities available to the District's diverse student body. The video was produced by Second Story Productions and coordinated by Communications and PR Coordinator Christine Gordillo. The District was given the Mark of Distinction award, the second-highest honor, in the Special Purpose Publication category for its Lakewood High School marketing booklet, "Where Potential Meets Opportunity," which was designed by Lakewood graphic designer David Meeker.

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Volume 16, Issue 16, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

Academic Awards: Lakewood Students Receive Tri-C Honors Program Fellowships

Andrew Griffin and Benjamin Mitchell of Lakewood have been selected for Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) Honors Program Fellowships, which offer high-achieving students scholarships to cover tuition, fees and books as they work toward an associate degree.

The students signed commitment letters with the College during a recent virtual ceremony. Each scholarship — funded by donors to the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation — is valued at up to $5,120 per academic year.

The College’s seventh fellowship class features 54 students with at least a 3.5 GPA and outstanding ACT/SAT scores. By entering the scholarship program, they commit to being full-time students, maintaining a high GPA and earning a degree from Tri-C within two years.

This is the largest fellowship class since Tri-C began the program. The previous high was 46 students in 2018.

“These gifted students chose to come here because they understand the power of a Tri-C education,” said Karen Miller, the College’s provost and chief academic officer. “I look forward to celebrating their success at Spring Commencement in 2022.”

The honors fellowship places special emphasis on academic planning, mentoring and portfolio building to reflect student work. Smaller honors class sizes also ensure specialized attention for students.

The program is designed to support eventual transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s and other advanced degrees. Previous Honors Program Fellows amassed numerous academic honors on their way to earning associate degrees from the College.

For information on the Honors Program Fellowship, including eligibility requirements, contact Rebecca Stolzman at 216-987-4713 or

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Volume 16, Issue 16, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

Supplies4Success Is Back!

As we near the final days of Summer, Lakewood students and their families are preparing to begin a new school year. Since 2011, “Supplies4Success” has been a big part of that process. Many Lakewood businesses have collected supplies generously donated by Lakewood families for distribution to neighbors in need.

Of course, the challenge of the pandemic means a different plan for Supplies4Success this year. Our goal is to provide the same support to Lakewood students while protecting the health and safety of our business community and volunteers.

Here’s how it will work:

- Cash donations preferred. Cash donations reduce the need for going into stores to purchase supplies. They cut down on the number of volunteers needed to sort supplies for donation and give us the ability to save money and purchase items in bulk. We’ve made it easy for you to donate online:
- Three donation sites. If you do have items you wish to donate, you can drop them in donation boxes at Foster Pool, Madison Pool, and the Recreation Department office at Lakewood High School. We are not asking Lakewood businesses to collect supplies this year.
- New supplies for remote learning. This school year will be quite different from past years. Lakewood students will spend at least part of the school year engaged in remote learning from home. Our wish list includes typical school supplies, but cash donations will enable us to purchase remote learning items such as headphones in bulk to address the increased needs posed by video conferencing.

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Volume 16, Issue 16, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

Lakewood Schools' Reopening Plan

Lakewood City Schools rolled out its 2020-2021 Reopening Plan to its families on July 15. The plan consists of four different learning model plans, including a full-semester eLearning LKWD plan that parents can select. There are also extensive safety protocols that will be implemented that are tailored to each plan. The District thanks their families for their support of their students during the 2019-2020 school year and asks for their similar cooperation as the District enters a most unusual school year. The four learning models are:

1. ALL IN: The All In model will be implemented when Cuyahoga County is in Level 1 (Yellow) per the State of Ohio's Public Health Advisory System Risk Levels. At this level, 100% of students will return full day, every day, with safety protocols in place, including spacing to promote 3-foot distancing. Families will be asked to provide their child(ren) with a face covering to be worn daily at school. Staff will wear face coverings as well. Parents/caregivers will be required to take their student(s) temperature before the student attends school.

2. PARTIAL: The Partial model will be implemented when Cuyahoga County is in Level 2 or 3 (Orange or Red) per the State of Ohio Risk Levels. Grades K-12 will attend full-day, every other day. Preschool students will follow their regular calendar. At this level, safety protocols in place will include spacing to promote 6-foot distancing. Families will be asked to provide their child(ren) with a face covering to be worn daily at school. Staff will wear face coverings as well. Parents/caregivers will be required to take their student(s) temperature before the student attends school.

3. REMOTE: The Remote model will be implemented when Cuyahoga County is at Level 4 (Purple) per the State of Ohio Risk Levels. All instruction will be delivered remotely with staff and students participating from home. Once the State of Ohio Risk Level has decreased, staff and students will return to their school buildings with the Partial or All In model.

4. eLEARNING LKWD: This option is for families who want to commit to a full semester of online coursework. These students will not return to the building at all during the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. The first semester concludes on December 17, 2020.

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Volume 16, Issue 15, Posted 4:18 PM, 07.15.2020