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

New Principal For Grant Elementary Named

The Board of Education at its July 6 meeting approved Lakewood City Schools’ Teaching and Learning Coordinator Christine Foote as the next Grant Elementary School Principal. Foote will replace Kait Turner, who moves to a new position with the District.

Foote, who has teaching and administrative experience from elementary to college level over the span of her career, joined Lakewood City Schools in 2005 as an elementary instructional coach. Prior to that she spent six years working as a middle school teacher in New Orleans and an elementary teacher for the Cleveland Municipal School District. In 2014, Foote was appointed to one of the Lakewood City Schools' teaching and learning coordinator positions.

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Volume 16, Issue 14, Posted 4:19 PM, 07.15.2020

Kantor Wins National Custodian Contest

Hayes Elementary School head custodian Kris Kantor has been selected from among more than two thousand nominations from around the United States to receive the first Custodians Are Key grand prize for his dedication to his job and his school community. Kantor was awarded a $5,000 prize package while the school received $10,000. The Custodians Are Key contest is an 8-month recognition program that rewards the great work K-12 custodians are doing in schools around the country. It is sponsored by Tennant Company, which designs and manufactures cleaning solutions.

“We had so many amazing nominees for this contest, which made it challenging to whittle down to 12 finalists, much less identify a single person to win the grand prize. Kris Kantor’s clear devotion to students and staff is what gave him the edge,” said Lisa Hrpcek, Channel Marketing Manager for Tennant Company. “There’s never been a more important time to herald the important work these heroes like Kris and the other nominees undertake for our schools.”

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Volume 16, Issue 13, Posted 5:19 PM, 07.01.2020

PTA Awards Include Teacher Of The Year, Mrs. Rudy

The Lakewood Council of PTAs handed out its annual awards in a virtual presentation that included the award for the District Educator of the Year and scholarships to four seniors.

Teacher of the Year Award was given to Garfield Middle School art teacher Leah Roudebush. Mrs. Rudy, as she is known, began the Garfield Holiday Open House to provide holiday decor, toys, and clothes for families in the community. She is an inspiration and mentor to many and strives to help students meet their full potential.

The other PTA Educator of the Year honorees for their respective school buildings were also recognized: Lisa Blasko, Harding Middle School; Megan Coe, Lincoln Elementary School; Cindy Vullo, Roosevelt Elementary School; Jennifer Frank, Horace Mann Elementary; and Tracy Somoles, Grant Elementary School.

The PTA Council also honored the overall success of four seniors. Earning $1,000 scholarships each this year were Emma Hirsch, Mayfeh Mahmoud, Olivia Vuyancih, and Sydney Wilhelmy.

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

Garfield To Receive $10K Cox STEAM Grant

Garfield Middle Schoo has been awarded a Cox Charities Northeast Community Grant for $10,000 for its STEM and art programs. Principal Robin Beavers, who submitted the grant application, said the money will be used to purchase equipment such as 3D printers and supplies for creative artwork. "We are excited and motivated to utilize these funds for the growth and development of our students innovative ideas," Principal Beavers said.

Lakewood City Schools has expanded its STEM programming across the middle school and elementary levels in the last couple of years and the recently passed levy will help with further additions to the programming at all levels.

Cox Charities Community Grants are given each year to deserving non-profit organizations dedicated to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education programming for youth in Cox footprints across Ohio, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

Harding Students' Work Honored

Several sixth graders from Kevin Spooner's class at Harding Middle School earned honors recently for their outstanding work.

Six students earned recognition for their position papers as part of the Jr. Model UN Spring Conference, which was held virtually. Conference officials said all the students' work was "really high quality...and they were full of new ideas." The following students and their work were honored with best position paper in their category:

United Nations Environment Program:
The Philippines: Alessio Matera & Ursula Rosen

Human Rights Council:
France: Maya Trempe & Rhea Tabor

World Health Organization:
Spain: Zachary Carnovale & Rian Fetting

Congratulations to these students and their advisers, Kevin Spooner and Donna Tomlin.

Students Ella Clasen and Audrey McNulty both had their poetry selected to be published by Creative Communications in a hard-bound anthology of students' poetry from across the nation. Creative Communications has helped to inspire and encourage student writers with their national writing contests for over 20 years.

The selected poems:

Where I'm From
By Ella Clasen
I am from crumbled sketchbooks and broken crayons
I am from the crooked treehouse
That smelled of moss and sawdust
From skits we conducted ourselves
I am from the spicy smell of latkes and fresh apple pie
From Ms. O. saying "Be more specific"
And Mrs. B. starting a quiet game,
Just to complain about the silence
I am from true friends
From Amaiya being her over-enthusiastic self
And Reese keeping her under control
(At least, attempting to)
From Mateo driving everyone insane
And Amelia being...Amelia
I am from soccer games in the yard
And daydreaming in window sills
From playing dreidel and betting gelt
And from afternoons of poker
(No chips, we used pineapple scented
markers and strawberry taffy)
I am from those memories

New School
By Audrey McNulty
Going to a different school
Will not make you blue
It could make you smarter
And make you work harder
Although it might be your first day
You'll still find a way
You will get in sticky situations
And learn new locker combinations
You will play sports
On all new courts
Going to a new school is a choice that is bold
But you never know what your future will hold

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Students Earn Top Awards In Beck/Rotary Contest

Lakewood High students were the top award-winners in the 75th annual Rotary Club of Lakewood & Rocky River Speech, Music, and Visual Arts Contests sponsored by Beck Center for the Arts. Lakewood students Audrey Warren (far left) was awarded first place in the Visual Arts category and Katie Spilsbury earned the top spot in the Speech contest, in which LHS students captured the top five places.

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. In Visual Arts, awards are given for first through third place and then Honorable Mentions are awarded at the judges' discretion for the music and visual arts categories. The speech contestants earned first through fifth places. The place winners were all awarded cash prizes of varying amounts.

The music portion of the contest was unfortunately canceled due to the stay-at-home order. The Speech contest was based on judging from the preliminary round, which took place before the order.

In addition to Audrey and Katie's top awards, the following students also earned recognition:

Mohammed Manaa, 2nd place, Speech
Kate Healy, 3rd place, Speech
Jennifer Ngo, 3rd place, Visual Arts
Sara Jarecke, 4th place, Speech
Madelyn Tumbleson, 5th place, Speech
Sara Corbin, Honorable Mention, Visual Arts

Congratulations to all the talented students and their teachers!

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

LHS Pair's Artwork Chosen for Governor's Exhibit

Congratulations to Lakewood High senior Natalie Costello and junior Nola Williams-Riseng, who each had their artwork selected to be part of the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition. The works are two of 275 from students across the state chosen for the exhibit, which due to the coronavirus pandemic will be a virtual exhibit this year.

Regional judges received more than 1,000 entries from high school students across Northeast Ohio and from those, 126 (including 21 from LHS) were selected to join winners from the other Ohio regions to be judged at the state level to determine which pieces of art would be part of the exhibit. 

The Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition, now in its 50th 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. 

Congratulations again to Natalie and Nola as well as their teachers, Dayna Hansen and Arline Olear.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Thank You, Lakewood Voters

Once again the Lakewood community showed that it values its public school district and the education it provides for our city’s children!
In the April 28 election, the Lakewood City Schools' 4.9 mill operating and permanent improvement levies passed 76.66% to 26.34%, according to unofficial results.

Said Superintendent Mike Barnes: “During this extremely trying time in our community, we are extremely grateful for their support and commitment to keeping our schools strong and stable.”
Plans for the new funds include:

  • Providing more mental health services and counseling for our students;
  • Retaining and recruiting high-quality teachers by paying them competitive salaries
  • Expanding STEM offerings;
  • Keeping educational technology and other learning materials up-to-date;
  • Expanding career tech educational opportunities for middle and high school students;
  • Expanding early childhood programs; and
  • Keeping all of our buildings, athletic fields, and other assets in good condition.
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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

District Earns 2020 Best Communities For Music Education Award

For the fourth consecutive year, Lakewood City Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Lakewood is one of 754 schools from across the country and only 47 in Ohio to earn the prestigious award.

The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs.

This award recognizes that Lakewood City Schools is leading the way with music learning opportunities as outlined in the federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation designates music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children. Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music.

The Lakewood City School District offers music education from kindergarten through 12th grade. Instrumental instruction begins in 5th grade. Middle school offerings include classroom band, orchestra, and choir with extracurricular opportunities in all three such as Strolling Strings and Jazz Band.

The high school boasts of five orchestras, four choirs, three bands, and classes in music theory, music history, pop music and keyboard. In addition, our high school extracurricular ensembles provide numerous opportunities for our students to enhance their musical experience through groups such as the Lakewood Ranger Marching Band, The Lakewood Project, Chamber Choir, and Jazz Band, just to name a few.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:23 PM, 06.17.2020

Students Earn Top State Reflections Honors

Congratulations to four Lakewood City Schools students whose artwork was honored at the state level in the PTA Reflections art recognition program! Special shout out to Grant Elementary fifth-grader Sean Miller, who won an Award of Excellence, Ohio's highest honor, in the literature category for the Intermediate level. His piece will move on to national judging. Out of thousands of pieces of artwork submitted for state judging, only six students were recognized in each age level/category.

Harding Middle School eighth-grader Edie Barcelona earned a second-place Award of Outstanding Achievement for her dance choreography at the Middle School level. Lakewood High School senior Jane Kalinowski earned a third-place Award of Merit in the High School visual arts category, and Garfield Middle School seventh-grader Anna Maurer earned an Honorable Mention in the visual arts category for the MIddle School level.

The Reflections program offers students from schools with active PTAs the opportunity to create works of art for fun and recognition. Students in preschool through grade 12 are encouraged to submit works in seven arts areas: literature, dance choreography, film/video production, musical composition, photography, visual arts and special artist. All entries must follow a chosen theme, which this year was “Look Within.”

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Should I Vote For The Levy?

Unlike many of the people we see pushing the levy, I have no day-to-day connection with Lakewood Schools. I am not dependent upon them for teaching my children, or relatives' children. I am semi-retired and on a very fixed income. I do not rely on Lakewood Schools for my day-to-day living, or my day-to-day well-being. I really have ZERO dogs in this hunt. Or do I?

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Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.04.2020